Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2022. 3:00 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Pro FC, Belize’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league, says that its successful event over the weekend has signaled the return of MMA to Belize.
Pro FC 4 was held at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex on Saturday, January 29, with a full card of Belizean fighters.
There were a total of six regular matches and a championship bout for the 145 Featherweight title. The event started off with a bang as Jevan Rubio knocked out Patrick Lanza 38 seconds into the second round of the first fight.
The second fight was Jaylen Perez vs Kaylen Smith (both 15-year-olds). Perez won by unanimous decision after a commanding performance. Unfortunately, the third fight ended in a disqualification 1:28 seconds into the first round after David Blanco hit Marvin Garcia in the back of the head with an accidental punch that left Garcia with temporary blurred vision. Pro FC says that Garcia has since been checked by a physician and is okay.
In the next fight Juan “Mighty Mouse” Hernandez defeated Shahil “Flako” Solanki by Split decision at the end of round 3. Jared Ramos would then go on to defeat Thomas Godfrey by Split Decision at the end of their third round as well.
James Mejia defeated Travis Pollard with a powerful right hand and nine follow-up shots to the face, causing the referee to stop the fight and declare him the winner by TKO at 2:59 in round 1.
In the championship fight, Frank Vasquez defeated Rahyeem Lambey by TKO at 2:27 of round 5. While both men put on a solid performance, trainers say Lambey seemed to run out of stamina at the end of the fourth round, while Vasquez appeared to come into the fight round like a lion being set free from a cage. In the end, Lambey told the referee he was unable to continue.
Silvino Riverol, President of Pro FC, said that the event was held at half capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, but was well attended and had a good following online. He said that the league intends to use that momentum to continue the growth of MMA in Belize, which was severely hindered due to lockdown restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
“The event on a whole we expect this thing to get bigger and bigger and to become the biggest sport in Belize to follow what is happening in the rest of the world. You know MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world,” Riverol said.
He added that one of the major goals of Pro FC is to recruit more youths, so they can have an opportunity to train in martial arts, learn discipline and use the platform to get noticed by MMA promotions outside of Belize. Riverol says that the hope is youths who so choose will be able to make an honest living doing legal fighting.
“At the end of the day the goal of Pro FC is to have them represented in MMA promotions all over the world,” Riverol added.
Pro FC is hoping to host its next event, Pro FC5, sometime in March. This event will see the return of fighters from Central America and two championship bouts.
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