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Photo by Cpl. Giovanni Lobello

Marines line up for martial arts competition

22 Dec 2005 | Cpl. Giovanni Lobello

Station service members had the opportunity to watch a live mixed martial arts event at the Cocopah Casino in Somerton, Ariz., Saturday.

With more than 1,000 people in attendance, Total Combat 11 Volume I “Respect” brought hard-knocking action to Yuma for the first time with hopes of staying local for some of their fighters.

“We have a lot of fighters from the Imperial Valley area,” said Diana O’Campo, promoter, Total Combat. “They always have to go to Tijuana, Mexico where we hold all our events, so we wanted to bring the event closer to their area this time. It was our first show there, so we weren’t too sure what to expect.”

The MMA event featured 10 action-packed full-contact fights.

“We try to schedule fights that we think will be good,” said O’Campo. “We don’t want to have a poor product out there because it’s our name.”

The bouts featured fighters from different fighting backgrounds and hometowns.

The fighting styles varied from grappling to Muay Thai kickboxing and fighters from here in Yuma to as far as Los Angeles.

For the Marines who were present at the event, they were able to see some of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program moves applied. The fighters delivered blood chokes, horizontal elbows, rear hand punches, round kicks and counter to round kicks to name a few.

The tickets varied from $35 for general admission to $75 for VIP seating. Since the founders of Total Combat were former sailors, they decided to give station service members a 20 percent discount for the tickets.

“This was the first fighting event I’ve ever been to before, so I figured I (would) go all out and get the VIP seats,” said Sgt. Andrew Durivage, armorer, Marine Aircraft Group 13. “It was also cool that they recognized what we do for our country and gave us a twenty percent discount. I first became interested with marital arts through MCMAP. I started watching (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fights on (television) and I figured this would be a good opportunity to watch a real fight live. I enjoyed the (heck) out of the fights. I thought this was great; every Marine should be able to see this. I hope other Marines took advantage of the discount and came out to see this great event.”

Cpl. Chris Hix, range coach, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, who is also a martial arts enthusiasts echoed his enjoyment of the MMA event.

“It was good to watch the MCMAP moves in a dynamic setting,” he added. “That would definitely motivate me to continue learning the moves knowing they can actually work in a fight.”

The main event featured the Total Combat champion, Alex Garcia, facing off against former Marine Adam Lynn, in a match up between 155 pound fighters. Lynn made Garcia tap out in an upset victory over the champion, with a rear blood choke in the first round.

Total Combat hopes to bring their event back to Yuma so service members can watch another exciting MMA event and the promoters hope for a bigger turnout next time.

For more information or a schedule of events visit Total Combat’s Web site at 

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Marine Corps Air Station Yuma