AKA 12, Annette Nichols

Annette Nichols takes home the AKA Amateur Women's Featherweight Title against Taylor Pace in Round 3 via TKO at AKA 12.

AKA 12 was the Return of MMA to Louisiana Since Shutdown

Bishop Fight Promotions brought MMA back to Louisiana on Friday, November 13, 2020, returning as the first MMA show since the COVID shut down earlier this year in March. Ironically enough, the last show in the state was on March 13, 2020, which was also a Friday the 13th. AKA 12 featured 14 bouts, five of which were for championships. Fighters representing three states (Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas) competed on the card. The event packed Hirsch Coliseum located in Shreveport, Louisiana, selling out before the show began.

Opening Bout

Alonso Escobedo vs Cody Isenhour

Opening up the action on the night, War Training Center of Houston, Texas’ Alonso Escobedo took on Cody Isenhour of Elite Combat Academy and Slaboda Combat Academy in Shreveport. The bout started out with both fighters exchanging strikes with Escobedo getting the better of the early-off exchange. After a takedown by Escobedo, he immediately took control and tried for the guillotine choke. Abandoning the choke quickly, Escobedo moved to side control and started landing big shots. There was a quick flurry from Escobedo in Isenhour’s guard and landed a few more shots. Unfortunately, the beginning of the end was all too near for Isenhour when Escobedo locked in the rear-naked choke to take the victory. Alonso Escobedo announced the winner via first-round submission.

Big Debut Performance

Miguel Da Cruz vs Logan Sanders

A couple of young flyweights took to the cage as Miguel Da Cruz battled Logan Sanders of Pinnacle MMA in Monroe, LA. Da Cruz, representing Dog Pound MMA in Center, Texas, came out with a flurry of strikes. Sanders was able to wrap up Da Cruza and press him to the cage. Working Da Cruz on the cage, Sanders was finally able to score the takedown. Once in top position, Sanders eventually got to the back of Da Cruz and flattened him out, raining down shots. The strikes softened up Da Cruz for the submission attempt, which Sanders sought out and successfully locked in a rear-naked choke. Logan Sanders announced the winner via first-round submission.

Third Rear-Naked Choke In A Row

Jordan Pate vs Benton Mitchell

Both fighters were looking to establish their range with Jordan Pate making the first move, pressing Benton Mitchell to the cage. Though Mitchell looked to be stronger on the cage, Pate secured the single-leg takedown. Mitchell went for the guillotine choke on the takedown but was at a bad angle to really lock it in. Pate showed his strong wrestling ability, landing another single-leg takedown after the two fighters returned to their feet. Mitchell started out the second round with a big left hook that startled Pate. Pate was able to implement the better part of his game, grabbing Mitchell and clinching him on the cage. Mitchell was unable to really solve Pate’s wrestling game, being the subject of more takedowns. While on the mat, Pate was able to flatten out Mitchell and land some heavy strikes. After the heavy strikes, Pate was able to lock in the rear-naked choke to secure the victory. Jordan Pate announced the winner via second-round submission.

Two Lightweights Battle It Out

Dakota Smith vs Rashad Turner

The fourth bout of the night brought two strikers into the cage with Dakota Smith starting out strong with a solid leg kick on Rashad Turner. Turner attempted to return the strike, but it was caught by Smith, pushing him back to the mat. Quickly, the bout moved to the mat with Smith in control on top. Turner was able to return the bout to the stand-up, finally using his reach advantage. Tuner looked to find his comfort zone now on his feet. As the round comes to an end, Turner bused open Smith’s nose. Round two saw Smith move the bout to the ground with a takedown. The large majority of this round was spent on the ground. Both fighters appeared to be tired from the fast-paced first round.

Round three saw Smith pick up the pressure on the feet. Smith worked Turner to the cage, where most of his success has come. Smith was moving his way in closer and closer to Turner, negating the reach advantage. After landing a couple of solid right hands, it looked like Turner had turned the tide back into his corner. Eventually, Smith was able to wear down Turner enough to where he could not continue. Turner turned his back to the cage and Smith laid on heavy strikes until the bout was called. Dakota Smith announced the winner via third-round TKO.

The Ladies Takeover The Cage

Ari Cobb vs Jessie Clark

In our first of two women’s bouts on the card, Jessie Clark went to the mat with Ari Cobb quickly. Almost instantly after going to the ground, Cobb locked in the triangle choke and held it until Clark was forced to tap. The victory came under 30 seconds, giving Cobb the win and a huge boost to the crowd. Ari Cobb announced winner via first-round submission.

Bantamweight Title Fight Goes To Decision

Dimas Chapa vs Jordan Woodle

The first of five title fights on the night came when bantamweight Dimas Chapa and Jordan Woodle met in the middle of the AKA cage. Both of these skilled fighters took a minute to find their range with Chapa making the first set of aggressive strikes, leaving a cut near Woodle’s left eye. Every time Woodle attempted a strike, Chapa used great head-movement and counter-strikes. When Woodle tried to mix it up and throw the leg kicks, Chapa came over the top with big right hands. With nearly 30 seconds left the bout went to the mat with Chapa continuing to maintain his control. Chapa looked very confident as the second round started. Chapa was finding success throwing multiple jabs with the cross afterward. Woodle started to have success on the feet but Chapa just always seemed to be a step faster.

Round three saw these two bantamweight stars continue their high-pace action. Woodle really started to pick up the pace in the third knowing he needed the round. Chapa decided to mix it up and secure a double-leg takedown. Though Woodle was able to get back to his feet, Chapa secured yet another takedown. As the round was nearing an end, Chapa attempted a few rear-naked choke submission attempts but was not quite able to finish him off. When the judges’ decisions were read, we finally had a champion crowned. Dimas Chapa announced the winner via unanimous decision.

The Bangers of the Light-Heavyweight Division Step Up

Brandon Delrie vs Coby Bradford

Coby Bradford put on an amazing striking display as he took on Brandon Delrie in the night’s only light-heavyweight bout. Delrie started the action with a body kick, but it was caught by Bradford and met with a huge slam. Following up on the slam, Bradford rained down heavy shots until the referee had no choice but to call for the match. Coby Bradford announced winner via first-round TKO.

Heavyweights Look To Bring a Finish

Vincent Brown vs Chris Roppolo

Our first heavyweight bout of the night saw the much shorter Vincent Brown taking on the solid-striking Chris Roppolo. Brown was entering the fight nine inches shorter than Roppolo, leading to this being a long night for Brown. Brown tried to neutralize the reach, pressing Roppolo to the cage trying for the takedown. Roppolo flipped the roles and pressed Brown on the cage with each landing a few solid strikes. The second round saw Brown trying for the takedown again, but it was a no go by Roppolo, stuffing all takedown attempts. Brown was trying to get past the reach of Roppolo but was having no success. Roppolo started to land his own shots, leading Brown to turn to the fence. The shots continued by Roppolo until the bout was called. Chris Roppolo announced winner via second-round TKO.

Skilled Strawweights Take to the Cage

Sandra Jerez vs Sarah Davila

For the 1-0 Sanda Jerez, this was a big test in taking on the Louisiana veteran Sarah Davila. Davila started out well, mixing up the kicks and the punches against the young Jerez. Jerez looked to be finding her stride in the standup before the bout went to the mat. The second round saw Jerez really find her stride in the striking department. The bout found it’s way back to the mat where Davila attempted a triangle choke. Jerez had both arms through the triangle, keeping herself safe from the more dangerous submission fighter. Once the fighters returned to their feet, Jerez looked to be the much more dominant fighter. Unfortunately, Davila was unable to make round three as her corner called off the contest. Sandra Jerez announced winner via second-round corner stoppage.

Welterweight Title Bout Kicks Off Trio Of Championship Bouts

Charles Levy vs Michael Manno (170lbs Championship)

Charles Levy looked to have the reach advantage over Michael Manno and was using that reach early. Manno got in his first offense of the bout, landing a big takedown. Starting in Levy’s closed guard, Manno eventually worked his way to the top mount but Levy kept a tight grip on Manno, keeping him close. As the round came to an end with about 20 seconds left, Manno was able to land a few strikes. Round two saw Levy throw some solid body kicks. After about a minute of both fighters exchanging strikes, Manno landed another takedown. The rest of the round was spent on the ground but near the end round, Manno landed some heavy knees in side control to Levy.

In round three Manno turned the tied, landing a big head kick that had Levy startled. Manno followed it up clinching Levy to the fence and drilling in some solid knees. Mano was able to continue his domination and wrestled Levy to the ground where he took the top position. Levy looked wore out at this point. Manno rained down strikes until the referee stopped the bout. Michael Manno announced winner via third-round TKO.

Women’s Bantamweights Put on Striking Show in Title Fight

Taylor Pace vs Annette Nichols (135lbs Championship)

It was time for the bantamweight women to take the cage for championship gold and they did not disappoint. The first round was full of non-stop striking as Annette Nichols dictated the “pace” of the bout with Taylor Pace. Nichols did a great job keeping Pace on the back-pedal, not allowing her to move forward to generate any force on her strikes. The bout for its duration was a stand-up battle seeing Nichols land her jab-jab-cross combo as well as nicely place uppercuts. In the third round, Pace was unable to continue on her feet from Nichols’ strikes, leading to the stoppage. Annette Nichols announced winner via third-round TKO.

Heavyweights Battle it Out for the Gold

Joshua Metzger vs Hunter Jones (HVWY Championship)

In a battle of two heavyweights who have worn the AKA heavyweight gold, Joshua Metzger met Hunter Jones “at center stage” for a battle of two big-swinging heavyweights. Jones came out the gates strong, landing some heavy strikes, pressuring the much bigger Metzger to the cage. Metzger landed some big shots of his own, but Jones followed it up with a big strike of his own which sent Metzger reeling. Metzger recovered very quickly and landed a shot that sent Jones to the mat. He followed that up with raining shots until the referee stopped the contest. Joshua Mezger announced winner via first-round TKO.

Debuting Pros Showcase in Co-Main Event

Donavan Beard vs Jessie Henry

The bout started out with both fighters looking to land kicks. Donavan Beard scored with the first aggressive move of the night, catching a Jessie Henry kick and driving him into the cage. Beard took Henry to the ground after the cage work. Beard landed a nice elbow while in the top position, but Henry showed his ground skills, almost locking in an armbar. Round two started similar to the first with both fighters throwing leg kicks. Beard, again, caught a kick and scored a takedown. The round ended similar to the first round with both fighters on the ground and Beard landing shots in the dominant position.

Round three saw a bit more stand-up striking to start out in which Beard was getting the better of the exchanges. Beard scored yet another takedown making the first half of all three rounds mirror themselves. Henry attempted a wrist lock from the bottom but couldn’t quite lock it in. Henry showed his solid ground skill, reversing positions to take the top. Beard kept active and eventually took Henry’s back. With about 90 seconds left, Beard ended up back in the top position similar to the other two rounds to end out the contest. Donavan Beard announced winner via unanimous decision. 

Welterweight Title Main Event Goes the Distance

Steve Jones vs Josh Lee (professional welterweight title match)

The main event of the night saw champion Steve Jones defend his welterweight title against Josh Lee. Both fighters came out just looking to get their range. Jones made the first offensive move, pressing Lee to the cage, but Lee came out swinging. Jones was able to use his defense to stay out of the way and end the round landing his own shots. The first couple minutes of round two saw both fighters using their strike skills. Lee shot in for the takedown, but Jones shoved him off and kept up his striking display. The round ended with Lee sustaining a few cuts.

The third and final round of the night saw Jones land his first takedown of the night and work in nice elbows while on top. This round, differing from the second round, saw Jones dominate on the mat with his striking and control. This round saw Jones display why he is the AKA champion and will remain so. Steve Jones accounted winner via unanimous decision.

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