Joe Camacho and Fabricio Camoes weigh-in for tonight’s ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series event. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Streaking Bao Quach of Irvine, Calif., will seek his seventh consecutive victory in a fight he took on two day’s notice when he faces Doug Evans of Anchorage, Alaska, in one of the five Showtime-televised fights tomorrow/Saturday on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series (live on Showtime, 11:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at Table Mountain Casino at Friant, Calif.
Quach (12-8-1) is a replacement in the 145-pound match for Wilson Reis, who failed to turn in his paperwork on time to the California State Athletic Commission.
In his ShoXC debut on Jan. 25, 2008, at Atlantic City, Quach registered an impressive, upset three-round unanimous decision over Bobby McMaster (8-3) of Boston Mass.
Other televised fights include: undefeated Jared Hamman (10-0) of San Bernardino, Calif., vs. once-beaten Po’ai Suganuma (8-1) of Hilo, Hawaii, in the main event at 205 pounds; Shayna “The Queen Of Spades’’ Baszler (10-4) of Sioux Falls, S.D., vs. Japan’s Keiko “Tama Chan’’ Tamai (16-14) at 140 pounds; Fabricio “Morango” Camoes (9-4) of Brazil vs. Joe Camacho (10-11-3) of Los Angeles at 160 pounds; and Giva “The Arm Collector’’ Santana (10-0) of Irvine, Calif., vs. Matt “Luke Duke’’ Lucas (9-0) of Phoenix, Ariz., at 185 pounds.
Non-televised bouts: Promising Melanie La Croix (1-0) of Los Angeles vs. Melissa Vasquez (3-2) of Ft. Wayne, Ind., at 140 pounds; Jaime Iracheta (debut) of Fresno, Calif., vs. Brent Cooper (1-0) of Irvine, Calif., at 185 pounds; Telly Sanders (debut) of Fresno vs. Roberto Vargas (1-0) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., at 165 pounds; Yasser Pezzat (debut) of Fresno vs. Luke Riddering (debut) of San Luis Obispo, Calif., at 265 pounds; Tony Lopez (5-2) of Huntington Beach, Calif., vs. Terrell Dees (2-1) of San Francisco, at 265 pounds; and Devin Howard (1-0) of La Habra, Calif., vs. Lucas Gamaza (1-0) of San Francisco at 175 pounds.
The Showtime fights are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of Baszler-Tamai, which is slated for three, 3-minute rounds.
Non-televised fights are scheduled for three, 3-minute rounds with the exception of the Howard-Gamaza and Dees-Lopez fights, which are set for three, 5-minute rounds.
What the fighters had to say:
“The day after I beat Aaron Rosa in my first fight on ShoXC, they had a homecoming party for me and my players gave me a Gatorade bath. To get doused like that was definitely surprising and very cool. I still coach football (at the University of Redlands) but train mostly in Los Angeles in the off-season.
“I feel I’m coming into own, that my striking is way better and that I’m defending better. My takedown defense and getting up from the ground has improved a lot, too, but it all has to do with my training.
“I actually feel better for this fight than I did against Rosa. I don’t know if anyone could tell but I gassed in that fight because I was not 100 percent going in. That is not the case this time.
“The fighting game is still new to me. I never planned on getting into MMA. I wanted to be a coach so I could develop athletes into players and men. But I was looking for something else to do in the off-season, and this just came along. I got involved and it just took off.
“I am willing to take a risk, make a mistake and do what it takes to win a fight. I never have a real game plan. For me, it is all about adapting and making my opponents do what they don’t want to do. I want to make them as uncomfortable in there as I can.
“I’m constantly thinking and trying to stay focused. The more intense I am beforehand the better. It gives me confidence. I try to break down guys energy-wise any way I can. I know I’m going to take a few punches along the way, but I can feel when I break somebody’s will. Once that happens, I turn it up an extra notch.
“I may not be the most naturally talented fighter, but I have a lot of overall skills and, just like in football, I go as hard as I can until the whistle blows. That’s the way I train and fight. I give 100 percent 100 percent of the time.
“I constantly attack. I am not a defensive kind of guy. There is no way I will quit in a fight. You are going to have to knock me out or choke me out.
“I don’t like to sound mean or like a tough guy; in fact, some say I am too nice. Well, I am glad they think like that.’’
“Hamman is very aggressive, likes to get into your face and is undefeated, but I feel I’m a little stronger and a little more technical. He has a lot of heart, but so do I, and that may be what it comes down to.
“I do MMA because it is fun. Some guys do it because they are angry at the world, and that is fine if that works for them. But two things I always try to do in a fight: one is to perform, the other is to have fun.
“I fell into MMA by accident when I lived in Japan. I’d always been a gym rat and wrestled, but I had nothing to do in Japan and got so bored, I started working out. And, now, here I am.
“I am looking forward to a great fight.’’
“I am more excited about making my debut in America on Showtime that I have ever been before. I want to grow up with EliteXC.
“I am not worried about the layoff. I always train and fight with tough guys in Brazil. My cardio is excellent. I am prepared to fight 15 minutes very easily so I am ready.
“I believe to be successful you need to have desire. It’s how hard you work, what you do in training that makes the difference inside the cage, whether a fight is hard or easy on you.
“Skills are important, of course – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is my strong point, but desire, for me, is the key.
“I work hard because I know you need to be a complete fighter in MMA. You need to learn and know all the disciplines for the various styles of opponents. I got the confidence to compete in MMA from my experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which I started when I was 14.
“Camacho has experience and is a good standup fighter, but I do what suits me best, so I am going to try and take him to the ground. I feel my ground game is excellent, but I can fight standup too.
“I may surprise everybody and knock him out.
“I competed in my first tournament at 17 – it was bare knuckle and I and went almost three full 10-minute rounds (actually 27 minutes) before losing.
“It’s an honor to be given an opportunity to fight on this card on Showtime. I work very, very hard and now I have a change to showcase my skills on a major platform.
“I know he is going to try and take me down. Well, let him try. He’s not the only one in this fight with a black belt. I have one, too. I am ready to go and spring the upset of the night.’’
“Respect for women’s MMA is growing all the time and I am very happy for that, especially where I live in Sioux Falls where fans are getting smarter and more and more have accepted what I love to do.
“But I want to be most exciting fighter in all of EliteXC. I want to be the one they tune in to watch on Showtime. I want to be exciting and put on a great show and leave an impression. I want to give the crowd something to talk about later. I am here to make a point.
“Before, I felt like it was just an honor for me to fight on these shows. But, now, I believe this is my world and that the girls I’m fighting are coming into my world. I am a lot more aggressive than I used to be. Now, I take control. I’m no longer passive like I once was.
“I’ve won all my fights by submission and I feel I’m going as good now as I ever have. I’m comfortable on the ground and in my standup. I’ve been on a new weight training program and feel a lot stronger. The way I feel now, the only way I will lose is if I do it to myself. I won’t submit. Submission defense is one of my greatest strengths.
“Tamai will look to try to do a lot of fun things, but she won’t have fun for very long. There’s nothing she does that I am not better that. I want to set the pace and land often and hard. Once I get her on the run, I’ll go in for the kill. Whether it is a short fight or a long one, my advice to those watching is: don’t blink.
“Saturday is my dad, Skip’s birthday, so I am dedicating this fight to him.’’
“I love to entertain the fans and pump them up. I love to get the crowd going. One major difference between fans in Japan and the United States is the fans here get involved in the fights right away.
“But I am not going to change. I am willing to take risks to put on a show. I want everybody to get their money’s worth.
“I feel I am better than my record shows. A lot of my recent fights have been against opponents much bigger than me.
“I’m very familiar with Shayna and know she is an excellent fighter. This is going to be a very tough fight, but I have my confidence.’’
“I coach MMA in the first YMCA in the U.S. to do it – in Queencreek, Ariz. My whole family teaches. My dad was a wrestling coach. My passion is to be a coach. But I learn from my students, too.
“I have a lot of respect for Santana and know he’s extremely good on the ground, but I am ready for him. My cardio is great. I can go 15 minutes with no problem. My gameplan is such that if I need to adapt, I am able to.
“I know I have to neutralize his Jiu-Jitsu, but it is hard to hold me down. I’ve competed against and have a lot of experience against world-class Jiu-Jitsu guys.
“This is a great matchup and a pivotal fight for both of us. The key for me is to play it smart and adapt when I have to. I just want to keep going and fight for the world title.
“I don’t expect it to be my toughest fight, but it might be. But I expect to win. I do not plan to let him put my arm on his mantle.’’
“This is going to be a very good fight between two fighters who are unbeaten. I’m not saying it is going to be easy, but I am confident I will win.
“I like to take my time and be patient. People know what I can do from the ground and on my back, but I never just say I’m going to take a guy down. I work very hard on being a versatile fighter. I want to take it to the ground, obviously, but I can win a standup, too. But people won’t realize it until they see it.
“Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is still involving in MMA – there are a lot of different things going on – and you may see it in this fight.
“I think it’s going to be a quick fight and that I am going to overwhelm him. He is taking this fight on short notice, so I want to get him into deep waters as soon as possible.
“I plan to come out very aggressively and try and take him down, and then throw punches from all angles until I get through his guard and the referee pulls me off.
“I am not looking past Bao, but if I can apply pressure and stay on top of him early, I don’t think he can be a serious threat to me. I feel very good about this matchup. He’s strong and tough, but I think I’m a little better at every level. I don’t think he can beat me anywhere.
“I like to use wrestling, but I have put a lot of emphasis on my standup. It had been my weakness but now it is getting better and better.
“Coming from little shows in Alaska to this kind of fight on ShoXC is thrilling for me. My wife is having a huge party at our house. I know a lot of folks back home will be watching.
“At first, I didn’t think I belonged at a higher level in MMA, but I proved myself to everyone, including me. I now have confidence and know there is a place for me. I feel great and fighting at 145 is perfect for me.
BAO QUACH :
“I’m in the gym seven days a week, always in training and in shape and I always want to fight, so I took this fight. Evans has fought a couple good, tough fights, but I think I can pick him apart and beat him even on short notice.
“Although I’ve been winning and my confidence is good, I know I can still improve and do more things – although in this fight I may not be able to do as much as I could if I had more time to prepare.
“But I have worked really hard and I feel I have become a much better all-around fighter. Still, I don’t think I get the respect I should because of my record. The negative comments I read about me only serve to motivate me more.
“I always go into a fight feeling I have something to prove. But I win this, on two days’ notice, and that will get people’s attention. It may even make them change their opinion of me.’’