TXMMA – Texas Mixed Martial Arts

Houston MMA Preview – Cage Combat 23

By TXMMA Staff // Cover Photo – Hosanna Rull


Trio of title fights highlight amateur MMA fight card this Friday night in Humble


HUMBLE, TX – Cage Combat 23 returns to the Humble Civic Center this Friday night with an amateur MMA fight card stack 18 fights deep. This includes 3 title fights in the flyweight, featherweight and welterweight divisions as the organization looks to crown new champions in each of those with the previous titleholders moving on.

1743722_10152217793294293_750771103_nFirst up, competing for the flyweight title with be Athletic Performance Lab’s Christian Lira taking on Tony Nguyen out of Lutrell MMA. Lira is no stranger to title fights. His last two bouts have been for belts with him splitting the two, winning at SCC and losing at Legacy Amateur Series. Props to Christian however. He won his first four straight before finally losing that last one to Manuel Lozoya – an opponent with over 10 amateur bouts under his belt at the time who had been fighting since 2009. As for his opponent, “Team Pine” Tony Nguyen, he too has had championship success. He’s 5-0 and also has championship experience from SCC. Lira should be his toughest challenge yet and he’s prepared well for it – going outside the confines of Houston (4OZ) to train with top teams such as Lutrell and Team Alpha Male. This should be an interesting one.

Next up, we’ve got Alonso Sanchez out of Iron Dragon taking on Gustavo Gomez from GB Champions for the featherweight belt. Both fighters have been impressive at points in their career so far. Alonzo has torn through most of his opponents, going 5-1 nd winning his last 3 straight. Meanwhile, Gomez won his first three in impressive fashion (knocking out 2) but he’s stumbled in losing his last two bouts. Both these guys are hard punching knockout-minded fighters so this should deliver a finish one way or another.

12360073_10153780582334293_6386214041564496265_nLast but not least, Garcia Promotions website lists 4OZ fighter Ryan Connelly taking on Michael Patterson out of ACS for the welterweight strap. At 6′ 3″ with 6 fights under his belt, Connelly should have a consider advantage in both height and experience over his sub-6 ft. opponent Michael Patterson (1-0). With only one fight, it seems like Patterson might be a tad overmatched here but maybe the matchmakers know something the rest of the pundits don’t.

As for the rest of the card, there’s some interesting bouts on it. This includes two women’s bouts. One of them features the highly anticipated debut of Itzel Esquivel, a top class boxing talent with some grappling under her belt as well. She takes on Karla Hernandez while Whitney Rice takes on Amber Schoech in the other women’s bout.

Other prospects worth keeping an eye for based on record and previous performance include Melvin Giron (4-2) taking on Dayron Vasquez (4-1), Josh Altum (3-1) taking on Kyle Villarreal (4-2), and Danny Ageday (3-1) taking on Christopher Haire (1-0).


Cage Combat 23 – Updated Fight Card for March 11, 2016


  • 170 lbs.: Mikey Patterson (ACS) vs Ryan Connelly (4oz) * TITLE
  • 145 lbs.: Alonso Sanchez (Iron Dragon) vs Gustavo Gomez (GB Champions) * TITLE
  • 125 lbs.: Christian Lira (APL) vs Tony Nguyen (Lutrell MMA) * TITLE
  • 155 lbs.: Dayron Vasquez (Stream Line) vs Melvin Giron (Revolution) * #1 contender
  • 145 lbs.: Josh Altum (TX Striking Academy) vs Kyle Villarreal (4oz)
  • 265 lbs.: Logan Eckert (Gracie Humaitá) vs Sebastian Storm (Paradigm)
  • 115 lbs.: Karla Hernandez (TX Striking Academy) vs Itzel Esquivel (Paradigm)
  • 115 lbs.: Whitney Rice (HHH) vs Amber Schoech (Ground Dwellers)
  • 170 lbs.: Derrick Ageday (Legions) vs Christopher Haire (Precision MMA)
  • 185 lbs.: Anthony Cruz (Windy) vs Jared Clark (Khaos)
  • 155 lbs.: Christopher Miller (Team Cyborg) vs Chantz Gibson (SLMMA)
  • 160 lbs.: Mark Meyer (Stream Line) vs Mason Wunderlich (Champions MMA)
  • 170 lbs.: Santiago Guzman (Elite MMA) vs Hector Molina (Precision)
  • 155 lbs.: Michael Rodriguez (SLMMA) vs Nino Villarreal (4oz)
  • 155 lbs.: Marcellus Brown (Stream Line) vs Tim Cormier (Paradigm)
  • 145 lbs.: Ben Hericheta (HHH) vs Tony Nguyen (4oz)
  • 125 lbs.: Danny Negrete (Northside MMA) vs Vic Lomax (Champions MMA)
  • 145 lbs.: Carlos Melara (Team Cyborg) vs Jose Martinez (GB Magnolia)