in-ten-si-ty: exceptionally great concentration of power or force
ex: one MMA event, 14 matches, 12 stoppages, nine in the first round, one knockout cage girl
When you turn the corner and the bright lights of Shane Dunagan's XCFC shine true in the New Mexico desert sky, you know you have arrived.
On any given weekend, Lordsburg may not have much to offer, but this past Saturday night Dunagan's event XCFC Intensity turned this quaint little town on its ear. To be honest, he outright shut the town down.
The Xtreme Courage Fighting Championships are fast paced, hand picked, and decisively managed amateur fights. No stone is left unturned, no amount of integrity forgone when Shane makes his matchups and coordinates his events. That showed tremendously during his most recent event.
The numbers already mentioned speak for themselves. All the matches were very competitive, and the victory and defeat found in that cage rang loud and true for all those in attendance.
It started with the opening match and never stopped all the way through the final championship battle, one of three championship fights on the card. In the first fight of the night, two warriors made sure they would be a tough act to follow.
At 135 pounds, Truman Jones defeated Javier Borjon by one of only two decisions all night. It was not for lack of effort to end the fight on either warrior's part, though.
These two fellas put on one hell of a show that really set a tone for the entire evening. In a back-and-forth absolute war, the two exchanged position, and blows with few lulls in the action.
Jones wound up gaining the edge and winning some of the smaller battles to take home the victory. While Jones may have notched another W onto his belt, the true winners in this one were the fans in the stands.
No one knew the night of fights that would follow, but this fight was indicative of a special night of MMA that had yet to unfold.
Another fight worth mentioning took place between Ernie Mendoza and Gaberiel Varela at 205 pounds. While it wasn't the most competitive fight all night, the talent level of one man was so impressive, it wouldn't be right not to mention his performance.
Ernie Mendoza, at first glance, looked like a man who knew his way around a cage. He looked like a man who was ready to maybe move on to making his pro debut after another fight or two. We are talking about a guy who controlled 98 percent of every move made during his match.
Even when he lost dominant position for a split second, he found way to regain his composure and get back on top. A superior grappler, Mendoza displayed an obvious understanding for control and aggression, as evident by his utter puppeteering of his opponent to keep him where he wanted him. That does not account for his striking prowess.
He finished his very game opponent at the midway point of round two by TKO due to strikes. He had taken his back, flattened him out, and just pounded his way to victory.
Needless to say when I turned to Dunagan and expressed my amazement with this amateur's talent level, Shane floored me with the news that this was his amateur debut.
Ernie, you had me fooled. If you're reading this, sir, my hat is off to you, and I for one cannot wait to see what you can accomplish in this sport. Wow, man, you're the real deal.
Sometimes as a regional MMA reporter, you become familiar with this fighter or that fighter. Gabe Dominguez is a guy that has held my attention in that aspect. It is bittersweet to know that two of the most exciting fights I've seen under the XCFC banner involved this man.
Sadly, both were memorable knockouts, one of which he delivered, the other of which he received. The ying and the yang of this sport shone through in two memorable expressions that ring so vividly in my memory.
The glory of victory that showed him pacing and standing over his previous opponent, with the look of a challenged bull in his eyes. And most recently the pain and heartache of defeat when he rolled over and stared at the ceiling after being dropped by the Extreme Super Heavyweight Champ Cisco Valenzuela.
Either way, Dominguez is a warrior I admire. Not the most technical fighter, but a warrior, which in and of itself is its own badge of honor.
Cisco Valenzuela put Dominguez away quickly and decisively this time out. Not unlike most expected with two Extreme Heavyweight bangers, these two came to the center of the cage, guns a-blazing. Cisco, as it turned out, had the heavier firepower Saturday. And rightfully so—he didn't earn that belt on accident.
The bombing run of both fighters lasted only 15 seconds. The whirlwind of punches commenced, and ended with Dominguez slumped up against the cage and Cisco with is hand raised a few moments later. When the big guys got to throwing hands, it is inexplicable how loud and intense that crowd was.
Cisco went on to relinquish his title and vow to drop down in weight and seek more competitive challenges moving forward. Only the truest of fighters will make such a sacrifice to make themselves better.
At the last XCFC event, Gabe Garcia stepped up to the plate and called out a man they call Zeus. Zeus, or Jesus Padron, holds both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles for Dunagan. And Garcia wanted one of them, and made his intentions clear—he wanted to fight the best Dunagan had, and Zeus was it.
Garcia got his chance to hold his own with Padron when they squared off for Zeus's heavyweight strap. It took Padron one minute and 21 seconds to show Garcia how he not only held two belts in the XCFC, but how he had done so without ever going farther than the second round.
Garcia looked sharp on his feet, but Padron quickly took the fight down, gained the mount, pressed Garcia up against the cage and sunk in a vicious key lock to end the fight in short decisive fashion. Just another day at the office for Padron, who remains undefeated as an amateur.
Someone better pick this guy up soon. He is going to make waves in this sport; it's just a matter of where once he turns pro.
All in all, every fight had moments worth mentioning, but the downfall of 14 amazing fights is a writer has to set up triage and discuss the ones that had the biggest feel to them. Suffice to say, one freelance journalist will be counting the days to the next XCFC event.
Thanks to Shane, his family, his crew, and all the fighters that made this such a memorable night of MMA. You all deserve a lot more credit than you get for what you do.
For more information on supporting or competing for this amateur promotion visit xcfc.us, information and event dvds available