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Duke City’s Page Hungry for Title Shot

West Mesa Grad To Fight Saturday

All signs point to Damacio Page doing big things in World Extreme Cagefighting very soon.

For one, it took the West Mesa High School graduate all of 18 seconds to finish his last fight against Marcos Galvao in March.

“It’s always enjoyable to have a quick knockout and get a knockout bonus,” Page said. “It’s exciting when it happens, but it’s short-lived because you know you have someone else behind you coming up.”

Truer words may have never been spoken, because in the fight before Page finished Galvao, Page lost to Brian Bowles at WEC 35 via guillotine choke. Bowles has since gone on to shock the mixed-martial arts world when he defeated Miguel Angel Torres for the bantamweight (135-pound) championship in August.

Bowles dropped Torres in the first round, ending a six-year, and 16-fight unbeaten streak of a fighter who was increasingly being mentioned in top overall pound-for-pound discussions.

To borrow from college basketball, Page’s fighter RPI seems to have risen by virtue of a quality loss to Bowles. Not that the Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter is happy that the guy who beat him went on to beat the champion.

“I had mixed emotions because I wanted to be the first to beat Miguel. It’s my only loss in the WEC and I hope he (Bowles) holds onto the belt,” he said. “When I come back for the belt I want to fight him.”

For now, Page must focus on Will Campuzano (6-0), who replaced Akitoshi Tamura as his opponent at WEC 43 when the Japanese fighter was scratched because of injury just a little more than a week ago.

“It’s a little bothersome,” said co-trainer Greg Jackson of the change, “but whatever — a fight’s a fight. It’s part of the business.”

The WEC card takes place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Saturday night.  The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 2, but was postponed when Ben Henderson, the main event opponent of Page’s Jackson-Winkeljohn teammate Donald Cerrone, suffered an injury.   

Page (11-4) must guard against going for yet another early knockout in his upcoming fight.  

“We spend time on other things than relying on that big punch,” said co-trainer Mike Winkeljohn.

Campuzano is making his WEC debut, but Jackson said that the fighter from Dallas has heavy strikes and a good triangle choke.

Page says his explosiveness, strength and conditioning have all improved in this training camp. He thinks the “big punch” to which Winkeljohn refers can get better as well.

“I already hit hard, but I want to hit harder,” he said.

DODSON: John “The Magician” Dodson lost by split decision to Pat Runez at the Ultimate Warrior Challenge in Washington on Saturday.

“It was a close split decision,” Jackson said. “He was winning the fight, but he hit the wall.”

Dodson, who also trains at Jackson-Winkeljohn, had won his previous fight at Duke City MMA Series II at the Albuquerque Convention Center in July.

Dodson has engaged in talks about joining the WEC’s 125-pound weight class when it expands to a flyweight division sometime in 2010. Jackson said the recent loss shouldn’t affect those plans.  

CONDIT: After a brief stint training with the likes of Jamie Varner, Ryan Bader and C.B. Dolloway at Arizona Combat Sports, Carlos Condit has returned to the Land of Enchantment. Jackson said the UFC welterweight moved back to Albuquerque last week and called about training at Jackson-Winkeljohn.

“He’s an amazing fighter, got a lot of heart. In his last fight he came out with the win after getting knocked down,” Jackson said. “He called and asked to train here, and I said yes.”

Condit, who defeated Jake Ellenberger at a UFC Fight Night last month,  previously trained at Albuquerque’s FIT-NHB gym before leaving for Arizona.

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