With MMA making a strong return on the regional scenes during the hope-end of these tough COVID times, another heavyweight from the South is looking to make his name widely known in the MMA world. Justin Angona, fighting out one of the South’s premier fight teams, Gladiators Academy, is seeking his second amateur heavyweight title when he goes for the gold Saturday, September 12, 2020, in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Returning to MMA and Winning The Bayou FC Championship
2012 was Angona’s last battle in a cage before a seven-year hiatus. Due to relationship and family issues, Angona had to shelf his MMA career. After getting his life back on track it was time to re-enter the gym. Angona stated the return to MMA was therapeutic for him. With his first action in seven years, Angona entered the Atlas Fights cage and earned a first-round submission. The “bug” was back and Angona was ready for full-time war. In his next bout, three months later, he would square off with a monstrous foe with a shot to grab the vacant Bayou FC Amateur Heavyweight Championship.
First Bayou FC Title Fight
Bayou FC 38 in June 2019 was the site of Angona’s first clash with Samson Riso of Texas. After an extremely close back and forth battle, the matchup was ruled a split draw, leaving the title up in limbo. After the first bout, Angona told me, “I feel like I robbed myself. I could have very well ended it with a submission a number of times, but I was greedy and wanted a stoppage. My skill level is better. I felt like I controlled the first round really well. I have more experience then he does obviously. My first fight date backs from 2012. So I feel like I have some adjustments to make but worried I’m not.” The rematch was almost immediately scheduled to take place two months later at Bayou FC 40.
Securing The Championship
Not wanting to let the judges’ decide his fate again, Angona entered Bayou FC with a clear mission: end the bout as early and emphatically as possible. 2:20 into the first round and that’s exactly what Angona accomplished. A devastating knockout ended Riso’s chance for gold and began Angona’s push forward. That was August 2019 and over a year later in September 2020, Angona will seek his second championship, this time for Atlas Fights.
Seeking More Gold
On FiteTV, Justin Angona will seek his second championship as he battles against an extremely tough opponent in Jeffery Johnson at Atlas Fights 56. The event will take place in Biloxi, Mississippi, and headlines the amateur portion of the card. In preparation of the bout, Angona has been training with professional heavyweight champion Brandon Hebert at Gladiators Academy of Crowley. This will no doubt be Angona’s toughest task to date. Johnson is a multi-time IBJJF gold medalist and an extremely talented BJJ brown belt. These are two of the top amateur heavyweights in the Gulf Coast and will make for fireworks Saturday night. For Angona, its more than a title, it’s a way to continue building himself to be the man he wants to be as a fighter and a father.