Ambriz records quick KO in Cage Wars

Marco Ambriz’s first roundhouse kick made a fleshy, smacking noise when it connected with Juan Flores’ head, then Ambriz backed Flores into his corner of the hexagon.

The second kick Ambriz launched caught Flores in the ribs and the third ended his night, putting Flores flat on his back, out cold in less than 10 seconds.

Ambriz, a Grand Junction fighter with Crest Combat Conditioning, capitalized on a rare hometown fight Saturday night and dominated his Cage Wars XVII 145-pound bout at Brownson Arena.

“Kicks are definitely my strength, and with all my height and long legs, I knew I had to use them,” said Ambriz, who is listed at 6-foot-1. “The plan tonight was to use my range and use my footwork because I spend a lot of time on my footwork in training.”

Grand Junction fighter Brandon Crespin got former boxer Trevor Pasha onto his back and never let him up, winning the 195-pound main event by technical knockout 2 minutes, 28 seconds into the first round.

“It was real important for me to get him on his back,” Crespin said. “He has that length, and he says he’s a striker. Everyone was telling me to get him on his back, and we got close and I took the opportunity.”

In the co-main event, Billy Martin downed Jay Orallo with a rear-naked choke 1:22 into the first round.

At 145 pounds, New Mexico fighter Andrew Tenneson submitted Tomas Cruz 1:47 into the first round. Tenneson won with a headlock while backed against the cage. After the fight, he joked he learned the move on YouTube.

Utah fighter Mitch “Twizzler Bones” Thompson lived up to his nickname in the 155-pound fight, twisting and turning away from New Mexico fighter Jon Sparks to win an unpopular majority decision that brought boos throughout the arena.

Thompson appeared to tap out in the second round, but did so away from the referee’s view.

The flying triangle is not a common move, especially for a first-time fighter. With some luck and a well-timed leap, Durango rookie Caden Rezek submitted Jarom Putvin with the move less than one minute into his 155-pound amateur fight.

After backing Putvin into a corner, Rezek jumped and wrapped his legs around Putvin’s neck. With Rezek’s thighs squeezing Putvin’s head, they tumbled to the floor, where Putvin tapped out.

At 135 pounds, Donaldo Holguin won a back-and-forth fight with Alesio Velasquez. Holguin, from Riverton, Wyo., was nearly submitted with an arm bar at the end of the first round. At 2:28 of the second round, Holguin spun free from another arm bar despite his left arm being torqued behind his head. Holguin ended the fight from the standing position, raining blows from above.

In a hard-fought 175-pound match, Paonia fighter Tanner Ellenberger fell to Utah fighter Ali Farkhar by unanimous decision.


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