STFC 39: Recap and Thoughts

After a lackluster UFC 200 I was craving some good MMA action. Good thing I traveled five hours and 311 miles to the Valley to check out STFC 39 and boy, what a show! The card went through various changes; Flores’ original opponent dropped and so did his replacement, Eli Rodriguez took on Payton Burns instead of Roldan Abundis, Abram Torres was absent from the card and Leroy Martinez also saw a new opponent. The irony is that each change was a positive one which made for an epic night for STFC.

Quick Results

  • Luke Flores over Edgar Diaz by Unanimous Decision
  • Leroy Martinez over Paco Castillo by TKO (2nd Round, :31) (TGS Knockout of the Night)
  • Alfonso Gaus over Orlando Rodriguez by Submission (2nd Round, 2:31) (TGS Submission of the Night)
  • Michael Rodriguez over Edgar Juarez by Submission (2nd Round, :52)
  • Eli Rodriguez over Peyton Burns by Unanimous Decision (TGS Fight of the Night)
  • Robert Aguirre over Adonis Saucedo by TKO( 2nd Round, 1:57)
  • Gilbert Jimenez over Guilherme Da Costa by TKO (2nd Round, 1:19)
  • Nick Montanez over Homero Gonzalez by TKO(2nd Round, 1:19)



Nick Montanez vs Homer Gonzalez

Photo Credit: Raymond Ramos

The card started off with Nick Montanez taking on Homer Gonzalez in an amateur bout. Montanez wasted no time in bringing the action to Gonzalez as he rushed in and overwhelmed the less seasoned Gonzalez with an onslaught of haymakers. At one point during the first round, Montanez caught Gonzalez with a shot that opened him up pretty good. The cut was so significant that the bout was stopped. This was the right call. There is no reason to go on and suffer more damage especially considering it was a amateur bout. Montanez has appeared on three straight STFC shows and has seen the victory column in each contest. It will be interesting to see if Montanez takes on one more amateur bout before turning professional.

Guilherme Da Costa vs Gilbert Jimenez

Local favorite Guilherme Da Costa took on the season Gilbert Jimenez in a bout that didn’t go as expected. We last saw these fighters in he valley when they fought for Bellator last year in Hidalgo. Jimenez took a lethal assualt to his body via leg kicks courtesy of Luke Flores and Da Costa saw the wrong side of the win column when he was defeated by KO. For this fight, it seemed Da Costa endorsed Flores’ game plan of punishing the body of Jimenez with a plethora of leg kicks which ultimately ended up costing him a victory. During the leg kick fest, Jimenez checked one of the leg kicks of Da Costa and that was it- Da Costa fell to the ground in pain and the ref wasted no time jumping in and ending the fight due to injury. It was unfortunate to see Da Costa lose a contest he was dominating and probably should have incorporated more of his grappling to take down Jimenez. This will serve as learning experience for Da Costa for his future bouts and will be something he thinks of a lot while he sits on the sideline recovering.

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Robert Aguirre vs Adonis Saucedo

Photo Credit: Raymond Ramos

For some time now, it seems like these two camps have had issues with various trash talking going back and forth on social media. I won’t get into the specifics but the result of that trash talking resulted in this match up of Robert Aguirre taking on Adonis Saucedo. This was a nice little scrap that saw Aguirre get his hand raised after the TKO victory in the second round. It will be interesting to see where Aguirre goes from here. Aguirre has taken care of all opponents that have stood in his way and one would think he would be next in line for a title shot.

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Eli Rodriguez vs Peyton Burns

After a 5 year layoff, Cinco Elite owner Eli Rodriguez made his return to the cage against Austin’s Peyton Burns. There were so many highlights in this fight that I would easily consider this one of STFC’s greatest fights of all time. The bout was filled with action from bell to bell with both fighters representing themselves well. Rodriguez took a lot of unprotected shots but I’m not sure if he was just testing the power of Burns or if he was putting on a show. Either way, he looked great in his return back to the cage. Word is that he might be more active in the coming months and we won’t have to wait for another half decade to see Rodriguez in action. I also hope we see more of Burns in STFC down the line. He’s a tough fighter and definitely showed he brings his lunch pail when he steps into the cage.

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Michael Rodriguez vs Edgar Juarez

It was a good night for the Rodriguez brothers as they both walked away with their hands raised. Juarez is a tough fighter and was a good challenge for Michael Rodriguez. Interesting tidbit about this contest is that both fighters were coming of loses to Alex Black under the Legacy banner.

Orlando Rodriguez vs Alfonso Gaus

The jury is out and the verdict is Alfonso Gaus is going to be somebody to look out for in the future. He took on Orlando Rodriguez in his debut and wow’d everybody in attendance with this skill set. Gaus utilized his hands very well against Rodriguez and even knocked down Rodriguez with a shot in the first round. The most memorable moment in this exchange was how calm Gaus was when he knocked down Rodriguez. He didn’t get overly excited , he waited for an opening and eventually secured a win in his professional debut by putting Rodriguez to sleep via guillotine.

Leroy Martinez vs Jeremiah Paco Castillo

Before the event started, Castillo was familiarizing himself with the cage and took a nasty spill outside of the cage. Word is that he was practicing kicking the door, which was not locked, and went through it. I was only able to see the aftermath of the fall and it didn’t look pretty; he was face down on the stairs grimacing in pain. When he got up, he looked visibly shaken but refused all help and made his way to the back while holding his arm. I do think this played a factor in the fight; it could have limited his striking, but it certainly didn’t matter when Martinez landed a stick of dynamite on Castillo’s chin. Martinez made quick work of Castillo and dominated practically every second of the fight.

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Luke Flores vs Edgar Diaz(Non-title fight)

Coming into the main event, I don’t think many people knew who Flores was going to be taking on(two opponents dropped out) and if the opponent even had a chance against Flores. Flores might be the most dominant fighter out of the RGV since Frank Trevino held two titles concurrently in STFC. I even believed with an impressive showing that he should relinquish the belt and seek an opportunity with the UFC when they came to Hidalgo in September. After this fight, I might have changed my mind. If an opponent with only two week notice could push Flores to the limit and force Flores into uncharted territory (beyond the first round and going the distance) then there is no telling what another UFC caliber fighter with a full camp might be able to do. Flores is still on the path to the big stage but he probably needs more time in the cage to get more experience. Flores looked noticeably tired by the second round and putting him against another top tier fighter like himself could do him some good.  Since he turned pro in 2013, he’s had a total of six fights which he all won in impressive fashion the first round but he’s never been tested like he was before this clash with Diaz. There was a lot of chatter cage side after the decision was announced if Flores really won and why there was no split decision. A few people I talked to had Flores winning but others had Diaz winning the second and third round. Regardless of our opinions, this was a great test for Flores that will only help him when reaches the next stage of his career.

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