TXMMA – Texas Mixed Martial Arts

Event Preview: IXFA – Lightfoot vs. Villanueva on December 4, 2010

The IXFA returns to Downtown Houston for their second professional mixed martial arts event at the Verizon Wireless Theatre early next month. Coming off the heels of a successful debut in which the promotion crowned a new welterweight champion via scintillating knockout by Antonio Flores, fans should expect more of the same in the form of action, entertaining fights, and the crowning of new champions on Saturday, December 4, 2010.

In the main attractions of the evening, the IXFA presents a dual main event in the form of two title bouts, in the lightweight and light-heavyweight classes.  The undercard features eight fights showcasing a mixture of up-and-coming combatants and seasoned veterans, a few of whom battled at the inaugural IXFA Houston event in October of this year.

For promoters Chris Reed and Scott Dawson, the hope for this sophomore event will be to add to the excitement in Houston during the holiday season. I recently spoke to Mr. Reed and he mentioned being extremely pleased with results and positive feedback from their last snow. One change he did mention is the introduction of a new ticket option for a section dubbed the “club area.” Located on the floor level, this option allows fans to enjoy the night’s action in a standing night club-style environment.

“This is the best venue and home of Houston MMA. There will be action-packed fights throughout the night. Our show is fast and furious.” Reed says. “If they (potential ticket buyers) don’t believe it, ask someone who has been to an IXFA show. Then go to Tickermaster, Live Nation, or better yet, get them at a discount from your favorite fighter!” Check out this video after the jump for a quick preview of the action.

IXFA – December 4, 2010 – Current Fight Card and Preview (Subject to change)

Light Heavyweight Title Bout – Brian Lightfoot (2-2) versus Isaac “Hurricane Ike” Villanueva (5-4)

Fans can expect a knock-down, drag-out slugfest in this bout pitting two seasoned-strikers against one another. “Hurricane Ike” usually fights like a category-5 storm, seeking a knockout with his hands. Cross-training recently with Prince’s Boxing Gym, amongst others, Villanueva looks to leave the cage after this bout hoisting the IXFA light-heavyweight belt around his shoulders. His opponent, Brian Lightfoot, is going to everything in his power not to make this happen. A very adept kickboxer in his own right, Lightfoot owns a decision victory over Artenas “Machine Gun” Young, who is the last man to beat Villanueva.  All in all, this should be a very competitive main event promising action no matter who leaves the victor.

Lightweight Title Bout –  Adam Schindler versus Marc Ramirez

The general consensus amongst local pundits is that Adam Schindler might be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in Houston. With eight wins and only one loss to his credit, the former West Virginia wrestling phenom also boasts the rank of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and is coming off consecutive wins at both Strikeforce and Bellator. His opponent, Marc Ramirez is an undefeated fighter with three fights total under his belt. Many consider Ramirez to be an up-and-coming fighter in his own right, and a well-rounded one at that. Will his star continue to shine in this title bout or will Schindler add his name to his list of conquests? We’ll find out in the co-main event of the evening.

Chad Cook versus Ruben Davila

This will be a battle of age versus experience as the forty-one year old Ruben Davila takes on twenty-plus fight veteran Chad Cook. The 1-1 Davila will be tested in this bout by the highly-seasoned submission skills of Cook, a previous winner of events such as the Dungal Fighting Championship.

Dwight Gipson versus Reed Shelger

Striking versus wrestling will be the story in this bout of two athletes looking to improve their MMA records. According to Sherdog, Dwight Gipson is listed at 1-5 and has shown himself to be a scrappy brawler in his past fights. At 0-2, Reed Shelger has not fought since 2008 but is making another go at the sport. As the head wrestling coach at Paradigm, Shelger boasts impressive grappling credentials and will certainly look to capitalize on that skill set in this bout.

Lane Yarbrough versus Joshua Lee

Lane “The Pain” Yarbrough is a seventeen fight MMA-veteran looking to rebound from a three-fight losing streak. His opponent, Joshua Lee, is on a two-fight winning streak but holds an overall record of 3-9. Will Lee continue his ascent? Or will Yarbrough right the ship and bring the pain? Time will tell but as promoter Chris Reed told me, this one could be the sleeper as a potential fight-of-the-night candidate.

Jason Sullivan versus Justin Ledet

Jason “Sully” Sullivan is a scrapper. That is all I’m hearing around town about this fighter. Sullivan actually made his professional debut on the inaugural IXFA Houston card, besting Jordan Clissold for the hard-fought decision. Coincidentally, his opponent Justin Ledet made his debut on the very same card but finished his opponent, Joshua Foster, via triangle choke. This may just be a battle of technique versus determination come fight night.

Andrew Craig versus Joshua Foster

Fans are in for a treat in Andrew Craig as the blue-chip prospect out of Team Tooke returns to Houston after besting a tough-as-nails Rodrigo Pinheiro in the Bellator promotion’s last trek to San Antonio. The 2-0 pro is equally adept striking or on the ground and should be a threat everywhere for his opponent. To win, Joshua Foster will likely look to push the pace on his feet and surprise his opponent.

Lee Higgins versus Colby Bartholmey

Lee Higgins is coming off a victory at the WGC, submitting Kenny Burke via rear-naked-choke. His opponent, Colby Bartholmey is said to be an extremely strong fighter for his weight. Both fighters seem to favor going for the submission so we shall see who gets it in this bout.

Justin Murray versus Bryan Garcia

Justin Murray of Bushi Ban has been touted in local forums to be “one of the best-kept secrets in Houston MMA.” He left the amateurs with a 2-4 record but is 1-0 as a pro, having submitted the always-tough Patrick Hutton in his debut and showing impressive takedowns in doing so. His opponent, Bryan Garcia, is coming off a tough loss to physical specimen Rashon Lewis at the last IXFA but displayed some sticktuitiveness in that bout. The result of this bout will go a long way in determining who ends up the better pro.

Gerzan Chaw versus Domingo Pilarte

Gerzan Chaw recently made his professional debut in Pasadena’s WGC event, besting a game opponent in Nate Garza while showing a solid game both striking and on the ground. His opponent, Domingo “El Nino” Pilarte of BJJ Revolution Team has also shown a similar arsenal in terms of striking and submission. This is an early contender for fight of the night in my book.

All in all, it should be a great night of fights at IXFA on Saturday, December 4, 2010. Check out the IXFA website for more details.  Houston MMA fans, get your tickets now and I’ll see you at the fights!

Author’s Note – I recently created a Facebook Group for everyone involved in the Houston Fight Community. (MMA, BJJ, Submission Grappling) My intent in creating this group is to enable us to have a community shared space where we discuss our great sports and share news in real-time. (e.g. the “Group Chat” function where you can talk to all members who are online) All in all, it’s pretty neat, free, and absolutely devoid of outside interests. If you’re involved in any way, I suggest you join the discussion and feel free to invite your training partners. – Mike Calimbas