Debut scores knockout

Eventful evening ensues with a couple knockouts during debut of Fight Club OC.

February 25, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Luis Salgado sat in the corner, battered and bruised. He still wore a big smile because he remained undefeated.

After the mixed martial arts fighter's second match of his career, Salgado delivered what the crowd at the Fight Club OC wanted Thursday night. He knocked someone out.

He raised his fists and pumped them to the 1,568 fans, making the money they spent to get into the Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center worthwhile. Most fans root to see someone go down hard.

Fight Club OC finally delivered one in its debut in front of a sold-out crowd in Costa Mesa.

In the fifth fight on a seven-bout card, Salgado landed a right uppercut shot, sending Ozzie Alvarez to the canvas. Salgado not only won the 185-pound fight at the 2:35 mark in the third and final round, he punched his ticket to another venue the next day.


"I told him if he knocks [Alvarez] out, I'm going to give him my two Laker tickets [for Friday's game]," said Sam Choi, one of Salgado's trainers out of All In MMA in Buena Park.

"He did it with [25] seconds left."

Salgado earned the tickets. He promised Choi and the rest of his team that his next fight would not last as long.

Someone joked that Salgado might not be able to walk around at Staples Center. His thighs looked like a painter had just brushed blue and red strokes on them.

The pain did not matter to Salgado.

"I know we made history. I know I hold down the first knockout here at the Hangar, so I'll hold that dearly in my career," Salgado said. "I'll try to [have] a [better] showing next time around, maybe a first-round knockout."

Salgado hopes to get another shot at one of the upcoming cards Fight Club OC will feature this season.

No fighter went down in the opening round of any of the five boxing and two MMA bouts on Thursday. Salgado was the only MMA fighter to record a knockout. Brent Urban of Dallas, Texas, produced the lone one in boxing, knocking out Joseph Jones in the second round of a four-round cruiserweight fight.

The overall event, brought to the fans by promoter Roy Englebrecht of Newport Beach, still floored those in attendance.

Many of the loyal fans that followed Englebrecht's "Battle in the Ballroom" for the past 26 years at the Irvine Marriott enjoyed the new venue. The Hangar is bigger, making for a larger crowd, as well as 10 luxury suites.

Englebrecht stopped by ringside to let some know that each of the luxury suites sold out. MMA fighter Isaac Gutierrez said there was not really a bad seat in the Hangar.

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