‘Mayhem in Mesquite XIV’ a memorable night of action for MMA fight fans

MESQUITE, Nev. — More than 1,600 fans packed the venue tent adjacent to the CasaBlanca Resort, Casino, Golf & Spa for “Mayhem at Mesquite XIV,” a night of fighting featuring the future stars of mixed martial arts.

Zane Darlington (top) of St. George won his debut match over Elijah Bertley at Mayhem in Mesquite XIV, Mesquite, Nevada, May 19, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Saturday night’s stacked card featured three title fights, one female fight, a heavyweight fight and one featuring two fighters making their MMA debut. The lineup featured athletes from six U.S. states plus two fighters from Mexico. The event, officially titled Barry Meyer’s World Famous Future Stars of MMA, was produced by Tuff-N-Uff, in conjunction with CasaBlanca.

Both of the Mexican fighters won their respective fights, including Bryan Arreaga’s dramatic second-round victory over Cody Hamm of Las Vegas in the lightweight (155 pound) title fight, the first of the three featured Tuff-N-Uff championship fights.

Arreaga and Hamm had gone the entire three minutes of the first round delivering a series of punches and kicks, with both fighters remaining standing throughout. Then, 33 seconds into the second round, Arreaga applied a front chokehold known as the guillotine, causing Hamm to tap out. Arreaga improved his record to 6-1 with the victory, while Hamm dropped to 6-5.

The second title fight with a Tuff-N-Uff belt on the line featured Elijah Legget of Moreno Valley, California facing Nick Perez of Las Vegas for the championship of the featherweight (145 pound) weight class. In that contest, which lasted three full rounds, Legget was declared the winner by unanimous decision. Legget’s record improved to 4-1 with the win, while Perez dropped to 4-4-1 with the loss.

The final championship bout of the evening featured Jaylon “New Breed” Bates of Portland, Oregon, and Christopher “Lil Savage” Elisarraras of Las Vegas vying for the bantamweight (135 pound) title. Bates stayed undefeated and improved his record to 5-0 by winning via technical knockout (TKO) with 2:20 elapsed in the second round. Elisarraras dropped to 5-3 with the loss.

In the other seven fights of the evening, rounds lasted two minutes each instead of three.

Maria Jose Favela dodges a kick from Eliza Rushton during their match, which Favela won via unanimous decision, Mayhem in Mesquite XIV, Mesquite, Nevada, May 19, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The lone female fight of the evening was a hard-fought match featuring Maria Jose Favela of Tijuana, Mexico, and Eliza Rushton of American Fork in the 125 pound class. Favela bloodied Rushton’s nose early on, then continued with a series of unrelenting punches. After the final bell, the judges declared Favela the winner by unanimous decision. She improved her record to 2-1, while Rushton dropped to 1-1.

Four St. George fighters, all affiliated with Fusion MMA, were on the evening’s card, in separate fights. Each was cheered wildly when first announced inside the cage.

The only St. George fighter to emerge victorious was Zane Darlington, who won his debut fight over Elijah Bertley of Las Vegas, also making his debut. The 155-pound Darlington came out strong, winning by TKO just 1:10 into the first round.

The evening’s first fight featured John Varela of St. George, who lost in a unanimous decision in the 145-pound class after going three full rounds with Denis Actis of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Even though Actis was declared the winner by the judges, he was carried out of the cage on a stretcher by emergency responders afterward. Actis, who improved his record to 2-3, appeared to be groggy and unable to stand after the bout ended. Still, he managed to wave to applauding fans even as he was being carried away. Varela dropped to 0-2 with the loss.

The evening’s shortest fight lasted just 27 seconds. In the 135-pound class, undefeated Morgun Colledge of St. George (2-0) was pitted against Mike Tim of Las Vegas, also undefeated (3-0). Colledge knocked Tim down to the mat with his first punch, but Tim managed to turn the tables and quickly put Colledge in a rear naked chokehold (RNC), forcing him to tap out.

Bryan Arreaga of Mexico delivers a kick to opponent Cody Hamm’s head during their Tuff-N-Uff lightweight title bout, Mayhem in Mesquite XIV, Mesquite, Nevada, May 19, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

In another match that ended in similar fashion, Pierre Lagasca applied an RNC on Devante Burnham, winning the match 1:18 into the first round. Both fighters were from Las Vegas, competing in the 125-pound class. Lagasca improved to 2-2, while Burnham dropped to 0-2.

Making his debut in the 145-pound class, Jose Bonifez of Las Vegas defeated Luis Camacho of St. George in a TKO. The fight was stopped by the referee 15 seconds into the third round. Camacho’s record fell to 1-2 with the loss.

The evening’s heavyweight matchup featured Anthony “Big Mack” Womack (1-2) of Chicago and Emaun “Main Event” Greagor of West Covina, California. Much of the three rounds was spent with the fighters clenching one another and pushing up against the chain-link cage. Judges scored the bout a majority draw.

The next Mayhem in Mesquite event is slated for August, organizers said.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • No Filter May 21, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Great Night of fights! This event is really a good time for a great price. Big shout out to Brian Smith from TuffNUff, you made my daughters night! Thanks

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