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On the up-kick: Plano fighters impress on Dominion Warrior card
Part and parcel to all sports, mixed martial arts is becoming more of a young person's game.
Longtime Metroplex fighter Ira Boyd learned that lesson the hard way Saturday night in the main event at "Dominion Warrior: Evolution." Held at the Plano Centre, the 36-year-old veteran became the latest slide for the ever-expanding highlight reel of Plano native Charles Byrd in the promotion's inaugural Welterweight Championship bout.
"This is something I've been waiting for my whole life," Byrd said.
A product of the Plano-based Saekson Muay Thai Association, Byrd (4-2) required just 2:11 to dispatch of Boyd (9-14-1), doing so with an arm triangle submission.
After an early stalemate, Byrd took the initiative by clinching with Boyd against the cage and working the action to the mat with a trip takedown. Maneuvering to half guard, Byrd didn't wait long before sinking in the eventual fight-ending, championship-winning choke.
"When I had him on the ground, [Boyd] went for a kimura," Byrd said. "Once he did that, I knew I was supposed to counter with an arm triangle."
Dealt the 14th loss of a career that spans back to 2001, Boyd announced Saturday's foray would be his last.
"I'm 36 years old and this place is run by young new breeds coming up here," he said. "I've been doing this for 12 years and I don't feel the same way about it that I used to. Win or lose, this was going to be it for me."
In becoming the first Dominion Warrior Welterweight Champion, Byrd capped a clean sweep for Plano-based fighters, who went 7-0 Saturday.
Among those was Vaughn Govia, who weathered an early storm by Marin Moreno to score a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27). Eating a hard right from Moreno would be all the adversity endured by Vaughn, whose mixture of punches and elbows on the mat left his opponent donning a crimson mask behind cuts around both eyes.
Govia's victory followed a successful debut by Plano native and Saekson product Albert Bocardo, who procured a Round 2 submission over Joe Leyendecker.
While his Saekson tutelage may have equated an edge in the standup game, it was Bocardo's grappling acumen that shifted the tide with a long-standing triangle choke in the first round. Despite Bocardo combining the choke with a keylock submission, Leyendecker weathered the storm until round's end. He wouldn't enjoy the same fortune in the second stanza, taken down before succumbing to an armbar at 2:38.
"[Leyendecker's] a strong opponent," Bocardo said. "He's tough to finish. The first thing I saw on the ground was a kimura, but the armbar worked just as well."
A second-round submission was also the name of the game for Plano's Julian Walters, a student of the city's Dominion Gym. Towering over opponent Randy Reyes, Walters imposed his size on the feet and ground, dropping the College Station native with a body kick in the second and immediately claiming side control and a keylock submission for the win just 25 seconds into the frame.
Size also paved the road to victory for Stephenville's Javier Obregon in the night's co-main event -- that plus a pair of ill-timed kicks by Derek O'Neil.
Catching one of O'Neil's kicks in the fight's opening moments, Obregon launched a grappling onslaught, carving through O'Neil's guard for a mesh of ground-and-pound and a near-guillotine choke submission. Late in the frame, slipping on another kick proved O'Neil's undoing, as Obregon capitalized on the miscue and promptly secured a rear-naked choke for the victory with just 13 seconds left in the first.
"[O'Neil's] defense was really good and made it difficult for me to attack," Obregon said. "We were both really tired, but he let his arm out there and I took it."
Alex Madrid rounded out the main card after a shaky opening round against Yonny Osuna, landing a counter right that staggered his opponent and led to a rear-naked choke submission 52 seconds into the second stanza.
Finishes were the norm during the undercard, with Cameron Martin tapping Jessie Riley via guillotine choke that the latter spent roughly 30 seconds trying to survive.
Plano's Brandon Mitchell brawled his way to a second-round TKO of Daniel Rodriguez, while fellow Planoite Ivan Cole required a bit more flash in scintillating the crowd with a head kick knockout of Gino Escamarilla at 2:11 of the third.
Hernan Porras added a TKO victory over Raul Ponce in 78 seconds, while Plano's Rohan Mitchell required just 41 seconds before extinguishing David Cortez with a body kick. Jessie Palmer opened the card with a rear-naked choke submission win over Harold Baxley.