It has been a rough road for the state of Louisiana to get MMA back on its feet since the COVID pandemic. American Kombat Alliance (an organization of Bishop Fight Promotions) put on the state’s last MMA event of 2020 with AKA 12 back in November 2020. AKA was also first back to the table in Louisana, putting on AKA 13 this past weekend, as Louisiana has slowly begun to allow MMA back into the state. As expected, the organization seems to get better and better with each passing card. This also marked the UFC Fight Pass debut of the organization. Four amateur bouts aired on the AKA Facebook page along with five professional bouts airing live on UFC Fight Pass.
Four Amateur Bouts
Marcus Maxwell vs Mitchell Jagger
Mitchell Jagger used his kicks well to begin the contest. Marcus Maxwell was not to be outdone and landed a big rick hand before shooting in for a takedown. The referee saw too much fence grabbing by Maxwell and stopped the action for a full reset. Continuing to pressure, Jagger scored another takedown and used the last 45 seconds to keep pressure from the top position. As opposed to the start of the first round, both fighters let go a bit more freely to start off the second. After throwing a leg kick, Maxwell immediately shot in for the takedown. Jagger worked his way to the top position and eventually was able to slip his way around to the back of Maxwell. With the body lock in place, Jagger tried a few times to secure the rear-naked choke, but he was unable to score with it.
The third round looked to be Maxwell’s for the taking. He landed a big right hand that sent Jagger reeling to the cage. He followed it up with a big knee and jumping into a north/south position on the grounded Jagger. Jagger definitely preferred to have the bout on the ground and survived the rest of the round with his groundwork. After the bout was decided, Jagger was announced the winner via unanimous decision.
Logan Long vs Bradyn Lowery
When bantamweight collide, there is the tendency to see a lot of action in a very short amount of time. That is exactly what we got when Logan Long and Bradyn Lowery collided. The second the bell rang, both fighters were fully engaged. Long to be in control of the first few seconds, but Lowery remained composed and went for the arm. The second attempt at the armbar proved to be fruitful, allowing Lowery to lock in the quick, first-round armbar submission. Both fighters looked good in the short amount of time they were in the cage. Lowery showed a lot of poise and it helped him secure the victory.
Jakori Savage vs Chris Roppolo
The AKA cage always rattles when the heavyweights take to action. This matchup was no different. AKA newcomer Jakori Savage looked to have the makings of a hot, upcoming prospect displaying his striking against the always-dangerous Chris Roppolo. Standing at a towering 6’6″, Savage poured on the striking early, showing his solid jab. Roppolo looked a bit hesitant at first to engage with the bigger foe, but picked his shots wisely and struck when he could. Early into the first round, Savage opened up a cut over Ropollo’s left eye, continuing to land big shot after big shot. Holding the center of the cage, Savage continued to hammer in his big shots, rocking Roppolo. With just seconds left in the round, Savage sent Ropollo reeling to the mat and survived just long enough to hear the bell.
Kicking off the second round, Roppolo looked to still not be fully recovered. The LSU football National Champion, Savage, continued to keep the pressure on Roppolo, eventually leading to Roppolo shooting in for a takedown. The fighters returned to their feet quickly. Savage landed shots that sent Roppolo to the base of the cage. After a few unanswered shots, Savage was announced the winner via second-round TKO.
Colton Loud vs Logan Sanders
The matchup between featherweights Colton Loud and Logan Sanders started out as two fighters with very similar attributes. After both displaying solid striking, Loud was able to earn a quick takedown and get the top position. Using the fence wisely, Sanders was able to return the bout to the feet. Showing his takedown skills as well, Sanders earned a takedown. After getting back to their feet, Loud secured yet another takedown. Both of these fighters looked to be of the same mold and ability, which always makes for a great clash.
The second round saw more solid striking to start off with Loud landing a solid front kick followed by a series of stiff Thai knees. Both fighters eventually ended up on the mat with Loud taking the top position. Working through his progression on the mat, Loud eventually got the full mount, resulting in Sanders turning, thus allowing Loud to get the back. After a rear-naked choke attempt by Loud, Sanders was able to flip back over, getting his back on the mat. The round ended with Sanders trying to lock in a leg-lock and Loud throwing strikes.
Similar to the first two rounds, both fighters start out with solid striking. A quick low-blow by Sanders halted the action for a minute. After the reset, both fighters wrapped up and ended up on the mat with Loud landing on top. Sanders looked much more active on the bottom, landing and throwing multiple shots. Sanders used the rubber guard from the bottom a lot to keep Loud close to him. With about 30 seconds left, Loud shot for a guillotine choke from the top but to no avail. When the cards were read, Loud was announced the winner via unanimous decision.
Main Card-Professional Fights
Carlos Hurtado vs Jessie Henry
The UFC Fight Pass portion of the show started out with a quick stoppage. Standing at 6’6″ as a welterweight, Jessie Henry also has the height advantage to which he uses to his advantage. Carlos Hurtado rushed in to try and neutralize the reach, but he was unable to land any of his strikes. Each time Hurtado rushed in, he was greeted with heavy strikes by Henry. One of those shots eventually dropped Hurtado. After rushing in and landing a few shots, the bout was eventually stopped with Henry earning the first-round TKO stoppage in just 49 seconds of action.
Charles Williams vs Loren Thibodeaux
There could not have been a better lightweight bout to have in this position of the card than the extremely strong and tough Charles Williams battling the solid all-around work of Loren Thibodeaux. After both fighters finding their range rather quickly, Thibodeaux was able to ground Williams and keep some pressure on him. It was a “wash, rinse, repeat” system as Thibodeaux would take Williams to the mat but the very powerful Williams returning the bout to the feet. The first round saw a lot of Thibodeaux trying to keep the pressure on top of Williams, but Williams using his strength and skill to not allow Thibodeaux to land anything destructive or lock in any submissions.
After some solid leg kicks, Thibodeaux was able to get the matchup back to the ground and get his control again. Williams powered his way up again. After a nice combo of strikes, Thibodeaux shot in but was stuffed by Williams. Just when Williams was figuring out how to prevent the takedown, Thibodeaux was able to get the matchup back to the mat. After a mostly-dominant performance on the mat by Thibodeaux, the fight returned to the feet with about 30 seconds left. With round three underway, Thibodeaux grabbed the single-leg, securing the takedown. With plenty of time to work with, Thibodeaux was able to get the back of Williams. While trying to work in his submissions, Thibodeaux shouted out loud what many of us could see, “He’s strong! He’s strong!” Both fighters made it the full 15 minutes and when the cards were read, Thibodeaux was announced the winner via unanimous decision.
Craig Grove vs Chris Crosby
In a 175lbs-catchweight bout, Craig Grove put on an absolutely amazing performance against the ever-dangerous grappler Chris Crosby. As Crosby would hope, the majority of the first round saw the bout on the mat. Crosby was on the bottom mostly but looked composed waiting for his shot. Grove showed he can be just as dangerous on the mat, bloodying the face of Crosby. As round two took off, Crosby was looking for his takedown opportunity while Grove was looking for his big strike. Near the end of the round, Crosby was able to get the bout to the mat but Grove returned to his feet. Just prior to the end of the bout, Grove landed a huge left hook which rattled Crosby.
Crosby started out round three with a flurry of strikes, picking up the pace. Grove threw a big spinning back elbow which, if it would have hit its mark, would have been a knockout blow. Crosby looked a lot more aggressive this round, sensing he was probably down two rounds on the judges’ cards. Nearing the end of the third round, the fighters returned to the mat but it was Grove who locked in the guillotine choke from the top for the win.
Rey Trujillo vs Jesse Butler (C0-Main Event)
This bout will go into the halls of infamy in AKA’s history as Rey Trujillo and Jesse Butler engaged in an absolute bloody battle. Butler held the center of the cage early showing off his solid striking skills. Trujillo was able to wrap up Butler but could not get the takedown. Butler ended up with Trujillo clinched on the cage and it might be at this point when Butler opened up a cut on the forehead of Trujillo. After Butler scored a trip-takedown, the two returned to their feet with Butler landing a dropping shot, which leads to both fighters going to the mat. The blood is really starting to pour at this point. Butler was working on a rear-naked choke to which Trujillo’s forehead looked like a fountain pouring out blood. After returning to their feet, the fighters had extremely poor footing from all the blood leading to a stoppage in the action in the first round with about 40 seconds left. After some time for the doctor to check on Trujillo’s cut and time for the blood to be wiped up, the round continued with Trujillo holding on.
Cleared to continue, Trujillo came out strong showing the warrior that he is. Just seconds into the round and Trujillo’s cut was back open. Butler threw a nice jab-cross combo, leading to the fight going to the mat with Butler in control. The blood was so bad that neither fighter could really get any traction. Somehow Butler was able to lock in an armbar to earn the second-round submission victory. Though he suffered the loss, Trujillo showed his warrior spirit and won many fans that night.
Cody Freeman vs Colin Wright (Featherweight Champion)
AKA featherweight champion Colin Wright took to the night’s main event to defend his crown against a very dangerous opponent in Cody Freeman. After some back and forth striking, Freeman scored a big takedown. Wright immediately pushed his way backwards to get his back to the cage. After Freeman got the better of the groundwork, the fighters returned to their feet. The two fighters spent some time on the cage eventually leading to the fight returning to the ground. Freeman was able to work his way to the champion’s back and locked in the rear-naked choke. The night’s closing moment saw Freeman crowned the division’s new champion. Afterward, Freeman stated one belt was a bit light and he wanted to add more gold to his collection.