Combat sports notes: Lovato rewarded for her persistence - Albuquerque Journal

Combat sports notes: Lovato rewarded for her persistence

Amanda Lovato, left, reacts after the announcement of her victory by unanimous decision on Friday over Kara Marie Vislosky in an MMA fight in Kokomo, Indiana. It was Lovato’s first pro combat-sports victory in 10 MMA and boxing contests. (Courtesy of ADAM HARTSOUGH/HARTSOUGH PHOTOGRAPHY)

After at first not succeeding, Amanda Lovato didn’t merely try, try again.

She tried, tried, tried, tried, tried, tried, tried, tried and tried again.

Friday, on try No. 10, she succeeded.

Lovato, 30, an Albuquerque MMA fighter and an occasional boxer, defeated Kara Marie Vislosky (1-2) by unanimous decision in an atomweight (105 pounds) fight on an MMA card in Kokomo, Indiana.

It was Lovato’s first combat-sports victory as a professional after nine non-winning fights – 0-7 in MMA and 0-1-1 as a boxer – and more than seven years after her MMA pro debut.

Having her hand raised, she said in a phone interview, was an emotional moment.

“I’d been on the hunt for it for a while,” she said. “So it was almost a surreal moment to be like, ‘Hey, I finally did it. I finally got that first pro win.’

“It was just a really big accomplishment for myself.”

Lovato trains in Albuquerque at FIT-NHB. After going 3-1 in MMA as an amateur and having won a few amateur boxing and kickboxing bouts, she began her pro combat-sports career in 2014 and has fought off and on since then. The closest she’d come to victory before Friday was a draw in a four-round boxing match against Briana Sanchez two years ago in Tucson.

What kept her going for seven-plus years through losses and inactivity?

“Honestly, it’s something I’m very passionate about,” she said. “I kind of just stumbled along fighting, trying to lose weight when I had become extremely overweight. It’s just really challenging and it has overall made me a better person.

“On paper my record shows that I’m kind of a sucky fighter,” she said with a laugh. “But I just know that I have so much more potential than my record shows.”

Thus far, 2021 has been her busiest year as a pro; Friday’s fight was her third of the year. She’s hoping there’s more to come, possibly with Colosseum Combat, the Kokomo-based promotional company that staged Friday’s card.

“Hopefully I can get one more in before the end of the year, if the timing’s right,” she said.

Vislosky, Lovato’s Friday opponent, is from Merrillville, Indiana, some two hours north of Kokomo. But, Lovato said, “I think I kind of stole the crowd after the second and third round. So, hopefully, they liked me enough to bring me back.

“We’ll see what’s next. I’m kind of open for whatever.”

UPCOMING: MMA welterweight Jalin Fuller, (5-0) who trains in Albuquerque at Duke City MMA, is scheduled to face Ryan Charlebois (3-0) Friday on an LFA card in Vail, Colorado. The card will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Fuller is 3-0 on LFA cards, most recently defeating Trenton Vines by first-round TKO on March 12 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

CATCHING UP: Mongolian MMA fighter Batgerel Danaa, who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink, defeated Brandon Davis by first-round TKO Saturday on a UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Danaa (10-2), nicknamed “Steppe Storm,” has won three fights in a row, all three by first-round TKO and all three coming since he began training at Jackson-Wink. He’s 3-1 in UFC competition.

TORRES OUT: Albuquerque welterweight boxer Josh Torres has withdrawn from promoter Teresa Tapia’s scheduled Nov. 20 card at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero.

Torres (23-7-2, 14 KOs), who was to have fought the main event, fractured an ankle on Thursday while doing roadwork.

While not technically the main event, the main attraction of the Nov. 20 card is an exhibition bout between retired world champions Marco Antonio Barrera (67-7, 44 KOs), an International Boxing Hall of Famer, and Jorge Ponce de Leon (45-7, 35 KOs).

BORG ILL: Albuquerque MMA fighter Ray Borg has COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw from a scheduled Oct. 29 fight in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“I have been extremely sick the last week and have not even been able to get out of my own bed,” Borg posted on social media.

Borg (14-5) was scheduled to face Brazil’s Vinicius de Oliveira (16-2) on a UAE Warriors card.


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