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MMA: mixed results for Albuquerque fighters

Albuquerque-based MMA fighters went 1-for-2 Saturday on the sport’s big stage — 2-for-3, if one includes former Albuquerque-based fighters.

Jordan Espinosa, a product of the storied West Mesa wrestling program who trains at Luttrell-Yee, fell victim to an Alex Perez triangle choke in losing by first-round technical submission — so labeled because Espinosa lost consciousness and did not actually tap out — on a UFC card in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Espinosa is now 14-7, and has lost two in a row. Perez is 23-5.

“I now know what it’s like to go unconscious during a fight,” Espinosa posted on Facebook. “… These last two fights have been rough, but I’ll be back. There’s a lot worse things on this earth than losing a fight.”

In Inglewood, California, featherweight Aaron Pico (5-3) snapped a two-fight losing streak with a second-round knockout of Daniel Carey (7-4).

Pico, a California native, trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink.

The decisive blow was a left hook — more a forearm than a fist or elbow— that flattened Carey. Pico added some blows on the ground, unnecessary as they were.

On the UFC card in Raleigh, middleweight Bevon Lewis (7-2) defeated Dequan Townsend (21-10) by unanimous decision.

Lewis, a former Jackson-Wink fighter, informed UFC commentators that he has left the famed Albuquerque gym and now trains in Georgia.

In the main event of the UFC card, heavyweight Curtis Blaydes (13-2) defeated former UFC champion Junior dos Santos (21-7) by second-round TKO.

In the main event of the Bellator card, featherweight Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (22-2) won a title in a fourth promotion — Strikeforce, Invicta FC, UFC and now Bellator — with a victory by fourth-round TKO over Julia Budd (13-3).


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