SALEM, NH—Chris Foster has won fights in the first round before and knocked out opponents in previous matches, but none came as quickly as his KO of Taylor Trahan in the main event of Combat Zone MMA in the sold out Sports Club at Rockingham Park on Friday night.
Foster (8-3), invading from Middletown, CT for the “Thanksgiving Throwdown” dropped Bethlehem, NH’s Trahan in just 19 seconds as the Combat Zone veteran was knocked out cold with a rapid and deadly two-punch combination.
“It was a left uppercut and then a right strike,” said Foster. “I came in here with a job to do and I walked out with the win.”
Trahan dropped to 5-2 with the loss.
In other action, North Andover, MA native Pete “The Rock” San Antonio, who started his successful amateur career 17 fights ago in the Combat Zone cage at the racetrack, returned from his New York training base for his first pro bout and gave his legion of ardent supporters in the house a spectacular homecoming celebration.
San Antonio and Ricky “Savage” Sylvester, who relocated from Lowell, MA to Orlando, FL, waged an intensely competitive and ferocious battle while displaying superior mixed martial arts skills before San Antonio was able to execute the triangle choke in 2:34 of round 2 and hand his opponent his first loss.
“He’s strong, strong as an ox. His hands aren’t just powerful, they’re quick. I was going as hard as I could to end it as fast as I could,” said San Antonio, who needed stitches to repair the cut Sylvester had opened over his right eye. “It was my grappling and my conditioning that made the difference. I could definitely feel the crowd carrying me in the fight and lifting me up. It means everything to me to win this fight in front of so many of my family and friends.
San Antonio (1-0) dedicated his victory to Erica Clark, one of his two friends from the local area who died recently from a heroin overdose.
“I really miss her and I’m proud to win this fight for her,” he said.
In another pro bout, Vovka “KGB” Clay from Amherst, NH and Team Triumph utilized better take downs and his superior ground game to triumph in a back-and-forth featherweight battle with John Santos of Derry, NH and Team Fury.
Clay, who prevailed by virtue of a rear naked choke in 2:58 of round 2, remained undefeated at 2-0 and Santos evened his record at 2-2.
In the first of the four pro fights on the night, middleweights Tim Caron from Team Burgess in Manchester, NH and Egyptian native Ibrahim Eid of New York City were taking their first step up from the amateur ranks but Caron required only 1:08 of round 1 for the victory by rear naked choke. Eid was compromised by an unintentional kick below the belt early on and didn’t seem to have much punch afterward.
Caron, who had Plymouth State University and former Manchester Memorial High School wrestling coach Randy Schieding and well-known pro Nate LaMotte in his corner, advanced to 1-1.
In amateur action, the 150 lb. spirited and hard-fought battle between Danny Abad and Lloyd Fernandes got the crowd engaged throughout, but ultimately Boston’s Fernandes won the rounds and the 30-27 unanimous decision with his superior ground game. Fernandes upped his record to 3-2 and Abad, representing Chainsaw Army in Watertown NY, slipped to 2-3.
In a battle of featherweights, Jesse Gutierrez from Norwood, MA impressed the crowd and the judges, who awarded him a unanimous 30-27 decision victory over 18-year-old Ryan Kane from Wareham, MA. Gutierrez utilized hard kicks, spinning leg kicks, and more powerful striking as he controlled the fight while improving to 4-2. Kane, who showed guts and determination, evened his record at 2-2.
For his efforts, was named the amateur fighter of the night and was awarded the trophy from sponsor Chang’s Tae Kwan do America in Methuen, MA.
Dylan Lockard improved to 2-0 by submitting the previously undefeated Josh Harvey (2-1) with a triangle choke hold in 1:48 of the first round of three for the lightweight amateurs. Harvey, fighting out of Bangor, ME, went for the takedowns twice with success, but Lockard, from Derry, NH, was able to escape the second, execute his move, and in a matter of seconds force his opponent to tap out.
In the first amateur fight of the night, Sean Seaburg (1-1) from Haverhill, MA evened his record by submitting Methuen, MA’s Kristian Lombari, who dropped to 0-6, via Americana in 1:15 of the first round of three scheduled for the match at 185 pounds.
Next up a pair of 153 lb. first-timers entered the cage and the more aggressive David Brown from Gilford, NH emerged with his first win on the basis of better kick-boxing, striking and take down skills than Jeff Beal (0-1) from Townsend, MA. Brown notched the technical submission in 1:08 of round 2.
Combat Zone 52 returns to Rockingham Park on January 31, 2015.
145 lbs- Chris Foster (Middletown, CT) def. Taylor Trahan (Bethlehem, NH) by KO :19 round 1
155 lbs-Pete San Antonio (No. Andover, MA) def. Ricky Sylvester (Orlando, FL) by triangle choke 2:34 round 2
155 lbs- Vovka Clay (Amherst, NH) def. John Santos (Derry, NH) by rear naked choke hold 2:58 round 2
185 lbs- Tim Caron (Manchester, NH) def. Ibrahim Eid (New York, NY) by rear naked choke 1:08 round 1
150 lbs- Lloyd Fernandes (Boston, MA) def. Danny Abad (Watertown, NY) by unanimous decision
145 lbs-Jesse Gutierrez (Norwood, MA) def. Ryan Kane (Wareham, MA) by unanimous decision
155 lbs- Dylan Lockard (Derry, NH) def. Josh Harvey (Bangor, ME) by triangle choke 1:48 round 1
153 lbs- David Brown (Gilford, NH) def. Jeff Beal (Townsend, MA) by technical submission 1:08 round 2
185 lbs- Sean Seaberg (Haverhill, MA) def. Kristian Lombari (Methuen, MA) by Americana 1:15 round 1