Nevan Driehuis, AKA

Nevan Driehuis (r) opens up night with decision win.

AKA 21 Play-By-Play Results

American Kombat Alliance had another amazing show with AKA 21. The event took place on Friday, June 17, 2018, in the Lake Charles Civic Center. The Lake Charles Civic Center was home to UFC 22 in which Frank Shamrock defended his UFC light heavyweight title against Tito Ortiz in the 1999 Fight of the Year. The nine-fight card featured the Performance Evolution Fight Team of Lake Charles putting on a show. We also saw the crowning of a new AKA amateur bantamweight champion.

Marco Esparza vs. Nevan Driehuis (125lbs)

18-year-old flyweight prospect Nevan Driehuis looked to kick off the night’s card for the home team, PE Fight Team, against Marco Esparza. Already with a win under his belt, Driehuis grew confident in the cage very quickly. With the action starting out at a furious pace, Driehuis did a good job of mixing up the lower body strikes with the upper body, keeping Esparza off track. Driehuis reeled off a nice three-strike combo with Esparza rebounding with his own combo with a knee. After Driehuis pins Esparza to the cage, he was able to get a trip takedown. Esparza was able to get back to his feet quickly only to be taken down again with a slam takedown.

Round two saw both fighters reel off early combos. Continuing his pattern of mixing his shots, Driehuis landed a headkick followed by a 1-2 combo. Earning another takedown, Driehuis wrestled Esparza down to the dominant position. Esparza eventually flipped the ground control, taking the dominant position on the mat. After returning to their feet, Esparza picks up the action on his end, pressuring Driehuis to the fence and getting a takedown. After returning to their feet, Driehuis was able to take Esparza to the mat again. The round came to an end with Esparza attempting a rear-nake choke.

Though both fighters looked a bit tired to start the third round, the combos were still flying on both ends. After Driehuis slipped on a takedown attempt, Esparza took his back while looking for the rear-naked choke. Driehuis was able to break the lock by Esparza, leading to Esparza locking in a body lock. With a short amount of time left, Driehuis broke free and locked in his own rear-naked choke. To no one’s surprise, Driehuis was announced the winner via unanimous decision.

Nevan Driehuis, AKA 21
Nevan Driehuis (r) opens up night with decision win.

Fabian Reyna vs. Sipho Nkosi (125lbs) 

The second bout of the night saw two more flyweights go to battle. Fabian Reyna took to action against Sipho Nkosi. Both strikers took different approaches with Nkosi throwing heavy hooks. Reyna had more of a boxer’s approach with steady, on the mark strikes. Some grabbling on the cage saw Reyna earn the takedown but Nkosi ended up in the more advantageous position. Reyna is able to attempt the rear-naked choke but Nkosi quickly escapes and takes the advantage on the mat. Reyna is able to secure the body triangle and attempt again the rear-naked choke. The majority of the first round was spent on the mat.

Round two started off with Nkosi working his knees and striking. It’s obvious from the early going he would rather this contest remain on the feet. Reyna continues to press Nkosi and gets the takedown. Nkosi was able to show some ground skill of his own locking in a triangle choke. Reyna was able to break free and eventually set in a rear-naked choke until time ran out in the round. Round three saw both fighters attempting to land their combos early. Seeing he’s having more success on the mat, Reyna shoots in and scores another takedown. With Nkosi landing on the bottom, he attempts a guillotine choke. Nkosi should a lot more of his ground game but it was not enough to earn the win. When he came time for “Dynamite” David Hardy’s announcement, Reyna was announced the winner.

Jordan Mays vs. Colin Richard (125lbs)

Our third fight of the night saw the last of our three flyweight bouts at AKA 21. Representing PBA Hardhitters out of Baton Rouge, you know Jordan Mays will bring in exceptional striking. With Colin Richard representing the home-town PE Fight Team, you know he will enter the cage a well-rounded fighter and with exceptional cardio. It was obvious early on that Mays had exceptionally sharp striking along with his seven-inch height advantage. Realizing quickly this is not the fight he wanted, Richard scored a big takedown to change the momentum of the contest. After losing his position due to a referee decision, Mays showed his ground defense, sprawling a potential Richard takedown. Round two saw Richard work the early takedown, knowing he had a huge advantage on the mat. The majority of the round saw Richard keep that control and land his shots.

The third and final frame saw Richard look for the early takedown as in other rounds, but to no success. After failing to shoot in again for the takedown, Mays actually took the back of Richard, who slipped on a takedown try. He’s able to land some shots before the two end up pressed on the cage and Richard eventually taking control. Our third flyweight contest saw our third decision with Richard being announced the bouts’s winner.

JT Hamilton vs. Henry Milner (145lbs)

A change in weight class for our fourth bout, the featherweights took to the AKA stage. Fighting out of College Station, Texas, JT Hamilton traveled onto enemy turf to battle Sulphur’s own Henry Milner. After the exchanging of a few leg kicks to test their range, Milner scores first with a takedown. Hamilton returns to his feet quickly and pressed Milner to the cage for control. While Milner attempts a takedown, Hamilton sprawled and gets the back of Milner. With about 1:15 to go in the round, Hamilton attempts to secure the rear-naked choke. With about 10 seconds left, Hamilton started to drop down shots to end the round.

Milner opened up round two with a big right hand before the fight goes to the mat. Hamilton eventually earns the full mount. Milner, in an effort to escape, gives up his back and is flattened by Hamilton. While on the mat, Hamilton eventually locks in the rear-naked choke to take the second-round submission win.

Ray Jones vs. Hunter Smith (170lbs) 

The finishes would start to come as we moved up in weight class. Our next contest saw the welterweights clash with “Sugar” Ray Jones coming into town to battle PE Fight Team’s Hunter Smith. Both of these fighters came in as dangerous strikers leading everyone to believe the judges would not be needed. Neither fighter disappointed in that regard. Both fighters used the majority of the first round to test out their opponent and find their striking range, without becoming a victim of their opponent’s.

Round two saw Smith continue to use his leg kicks from round one to weaken the lead leg of Jones. Jones started to open up and landed some big shots but this also engaged the striking of Smith. Smith landed a few big hooks that ultimately led to the end of Jones’ night. Smith’s performance had you on the edge of your seat just waiting for his barrage of striking to reign down. Smith improves to 4-1 with three of those victories coming by knockout. Could there be a title shot in Smith’s future after his performance?

Hunter Smith
Hunter Smith scored a big knockout in the welterweight division.

Ben Brown vs. Keegan Williams (170lbs)

The welterweight action continued with PE Fight Team’s debuting fighter Keegan Williams battling another debuting fighter in Ben Brown. As expected with two debuting fighters, both came out looking for the big finish with heavy strikes. Williams is able to score a trip takedown but Brown ends up on top in the better positioning. After several shots reigning down on Williams, the referee is left with no choice but to stop the contest and declare Brown the winner via first-round TKO. Both of these young fighters will come out better and better each appearance.

Willie Sims vs. Nic Schwan (185lbs) 

Black belt Nic Schwan took to the AKA cage next to compete with Willie Sims in the middleweight division. Schwan goes for the takedown early and eventually gets the trip. Sims ends up on top and actually lands a volume of shots from the top. This works into Schwan’s favor as the black belt locks in the kneebar, leading to Sims verbally submitting. It was a quick first-round submission win for Schwan.

Tank Harris vs. Jason Slaydon (HVWY)

It was time for the heavyweights to take center stage in the night’s co-main event. After a bit of the fighters sizing up their opponent, looking for their range, Tank Harris shoots in on Jason Slaydon, getting the takedown and putting the pressure on top. Harris took to the half guard and was landing ribs shots to Slaydon while he was looking to take full mount. Harris was able to get Slaydon’s back though and attempt a rear-naked choke. Slaydon was able to flip over and take the top position on Harris. Just before the round ends both fighters return to their feet and look gassed from their exchange.

Round two saw a few leg kicks being exchanged. This was mostly a time for the heavyweights to regain their composure heading into the bout’s final round. Slaydon was heavy on the thigh kicks to Harris in order to take away his base. Harris was throwing heavy shots but they just were not finding their mark. Harris was launching the jab but it was coming in too slow, giving Slaydon time to fade away. He was also turning to the strong side of Slaydon, putting himself in danger of a knockout blow. With the end of the round coming up, both fighters throw the heavy shots they have left in them leading to the final bell. When the decision was read, Slaydon was announced the winner.

John Garza vs. Denzel Rosaroso (135lb Vacant Title)

The night’s main event would see the crowning of a new AKA amateur bantamweight champion. John Garza stepped into the main event light against the undefeated Denzel Rosaroso to crown a vacant champion. The contest started out with both fighters exchanging strikes before fighting for possession tied up on the cage. Garza was throwing strikes in volume with some of them finding the mark. Rosaroso was picking his shots a bit better, scoring a better landing average. The round comes to an end with both fighters working for the advantage while tied up on the cage.

Both fighters came out firing in round two, both finding some success. Rosaroso earned the trip takedown, taking the back of Garza. After some cage work, the two disengage and began to exchange strikes again. Near the end of the round, Garza lands a takedown of his own. Round three saw Garza go heavy on the faints in an attempt to open up for the shoot-in takedown. We have more grappling on the cage before another disengagement followed by some striking. Garza returns to his feet almost instantly after a quick takedown by Rosaroso.

Championship Rounds

The championship rounds saw both of these fighters still letting their shots go. Garza was doing a good job comboing the body kick to the jab. To counter, Rosaroso was landing the more powerful shots. Garza is able to takedown Rosaroso near the cage and take top position for the ground advantage. After returning to their feet, Garza is not getting the better of the striking exchanges. With about five seconds to go, Rosaroso earns a takedown to end round four.

The fifth and final round saw both fighters showing off their cardio, still reeling off heavy striking exchanges. Garza was continuing to launch head-kicks but none really finding their mark. Garza unleashed a nice cross to which Rosaroso followed up with the a similar big cross. With back and forth striking exchanges, Rosaroso earned a quick takedown. After returning to their feet right away, With a very close fifth round, the judges decided John Garza was the winner and new bantamweight champion.

 

 

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