STFC 19 “Relentless” Review and Thoughts

This past Friday at the Mcallen Convention Center I was treated with probably the funniest MMA cards I’ve been to in awhile here in the Rio Grande Valley. I was only there for four of the fights but even with the price increase and not fully witnessing all the matches live I still walked away very satisfied and pleased with the promotion and fights.

Like I mentioned in my preview for this show I was unsure if I wanted to dish out some coin for this show but I’m really glad I attended. Also in attendance for the STFC show was UFC’s own Leonard Garcia and Tom Watson which was nice surprise for all those in attendance. There was a report by another valley website that Donald Cerrone was also in attendance but there was no mention of him for whatever reason.

The night started with with Raymond Moreno taking on Ali Ileiwi in the curtain jerker of the night. Moreno finished Ali with some serious violent ground and pound in the 1st round of the contest. In a cruel but amusing moment, when Moreno spoke into the microphone he made the crowd collectively hold their laughter in for almost a whole second before the whole crowd busted out laughing due to his high voice. It was funny but I felt bad for the guy especially after he dominated his opponent. The crowd really did try to hold it in but it was just too much not to laugh at.

The second fight of the night was a showcase of Paragon fighter Rogelio Navarez taking on Arsenal’s Andrew Garza. Navarez’s hands were the story of this fight as he picked apart the relentless Garza on his feet. Garza held on strong and landed some good haymakers but Navarez’s boxing was just too good for Garza. At the end of the first round Garza’s eye was completely swollen which really displayed the hands of Navarez. Navarez was able to end Garza’s misery in the 2nd round by TKO. The lost isn’t good for Garza’s record who is now 4-3 but it did put an end to the punishment his eye was getting. Since I was seated in the very last row right next to the entrance I was able to see Garza come back with a huge pack of ice on his eye which really opened by eyes a bit more to the sacrifice fighters go through, especially fighters who do not fight full time for a living. I gained a lot of respect for anyone that’s willing to enter the cage at that moment cause I would be too afraid to be mess up my money maker. I’m too pretty for that.

With back to back TKO finishes our first decision of the night was up next between Frank Trevino taking on rival Jorge Cortez. The ticket seller for me was this match cause of its heated rivalry between the two. I’m not really too sure what sparked the fire to the two but what I read on a FB comment was that it was due to a sparring session the two had where things got a little too much. They both went jaw face and went at each other like it was a real fight. This fight was certianly entertaining with Cortez landing some good shots that Trevino waved off as nothing and answered back with his fierce striking. Cortez was exhausted by the 2nd round in what I believe could be attributed to the punch output in the 1st round. At the end of the fight Trevino explained that he just wanted a little respect from Cortez and that was it. Trevino went on to say he will take on someone but the mic distorted a bit and was unable to hear who he said. The guys in front of me didn’t know how he said either.

Coming in at clean up the title of “King of Brownsville” was on the line in this one with the 1-0 Johnny Garcia taking on 6-2 Luis Vega. Personally I think this was a horrible booking decision that served only to sell a few extra tickets. Garcia was way too young in his career as a fighter and Luis Vega and way more experience in the cage and showed as soon as the bell rang. In the first few minutes of action Vega Cro-Cop kicked the hell out of Garcia. Garcia looked to be in bad shape after the highlight reel knockout that brought worry through out the whole convention center. It really looked bad when they brought the strecher out but the center was relieved that Garcia was able to stand on his own power. Even Vega looked disappointed in the way he won and really couldn’t celebrate as much as one would after a spectacular knockout victory.

I left after this fight but read that the remaining bouts were just as satisfying with all fights never going to the judges. I give the show a thumbs up which is something I didn’t expect to do before heading into the event. There was really nothing besides the usage of reverb for fighter introductions which makes me want to stab myself in the ear. It’s incredibly ridiculous, gimmicky and if the announcer was really worthy of announcing he wouldn’t need smoke and mirrors. Just for the record, I think RnR James does a good job of announcing without the gimmick. Drop it, you’re only hurting yourself and the product.

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