CXF 8: Cali Kings – A recap of the non-tournament bouts

California Xtreme Fighting presented CXF 8: Cali Kings, featuring the first round of an eight man tournament to crown the CXF Lightweight King of Cali. In this recap, I take a look at the non-tournament bouts from CXF 8. If you’re an MMA fan who has been bored by the UFC lately, you’ll want to check this show out.

This event was streamed live on the Fite TV app. For wrestling fans, there’s a vast array of content to choose from. For us combat sports fans, it has tons of MMA, grappling, and striking events. The cost of the show was $15, and so far I’ve been able to watch the replay without any problems. I highly recommend fans of MMA check out future CXF events the Fite TV app if they carry their events again.

Judges at cageside were Larry Landless, Ron McCarthy Gene LeBell. All bouts were sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission.

Milton Arguello (Pro MMA Record: 0-1) vs. Chris Mendoza (Pro MMA Record: 0-0)

Arguello came into this looking to earn his first professional MMA victory. Mendoza came into this making his professional MMA debut. Both fighters were caught up in a clinch early on that allowed Arguello to score a takedown on Mendoza. Arguello would proceed to take the back of Mendoza. He would use this to set up a Rear Naked Choke that put Mendoza to sleep at 1:13 of Round 1. Good stuff by Arguello in this one. While Mendoza lost the fight, he deserved a lot of credit for showing huge heart by not tapping out in his pro debut.
Milton Arguello defeated. Chris Mendoza via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:13 of Round 1 (Referee: Frank Trigg)
Milton Arguello improves to 1-1, Chris Mendoza falls to 0-1.

Pious Enilolobo Jr. (Pro MMA Record: 1-0) vs. A.J. Bryant (Pro MMA Record: 4-2)

The start of the fight saw Enilolobo work over Bryant with some kicks in the first minute. Enilolobo would use a Superman Punch to set up a takedown and then take the back of Bryant, who was able to defend against Enilolobo’s grappling. Enilolobo scored a second takedown and began working for an Armbar on Bryant. A.J. Bryant was able to defend against Enilolobo’s submission attempts though, and made a comeback by landing several strikes before putting Enilolobo away via TKO in the first round. This was a really fun scrap. Bryant looked really well rounded during the fight with his grappling and striking. Great win for A.J. Bryant.
A.J. Bryant  defeated Pious  Enilolobo Jr. via TKO (Strikes) at 3:45 of Round 1 (Referee: Mike Beltran)
A.J. Bryant improves to 5-2, Pious Enilolobo Jr. falls to 1-1.

Leon Shahbazyan (Pro MMA Record: 4-0) vs. Gabriel Green (Pro MMA Record: 4-2)

Both fighters came out swinging in the first round, with Shahbazyan being pressed up on the cage by Green. Green would unleash a flurry of punches on Shahbazyan, while Shahbazyan landed strikes from a Thai Clinch. As the fight progressed, Green landed several punches but was dropped by Shahbazyan during a striking exchange that saw them both end up on the ground. Referee Frank Trigg called a brief timeout for an accidental strike while both fighters were grounded.

After both fighters were reset in Shahbazyan’s guard, Shahbazyan locked in a deep Triangle Choke on Green, and was able to turn into a Mounted Triangle Choke. Despite Shahbazyan having it locked in, Green was able to escape the submission attempt. Green would continue to move forward during the striking exchanges, throwing punches and a knee to the midsection that dropped Shahbazyan for a first round finish.

This was another fun bout and was the best non-tournament fight on the card. Both guys had a wild and exciting brawl. Gabriel Green was able to weather the storm of Shahbazyan’s offense and came through with a great victory. Despite being defeated, Shahbazyan had a really impressive performance. Hats off to both fighters for this one.
Gabriel Green defeated Leon Shahbazyan via TKO (Strikes) at 3:23 of Round 1  (Referee: Frank Trigg)
Gabriel Green improves to 5-2, Leon Shahbazyan falls to 4-1.

Sergio Perez (Pro MMA Record: 1-0) vs. Isaac Velasco (Pro MMA Record: 1-3)

This was a really quick bout. Perez scored a takedown on Velasco in the opening minute of the fight. He would then use that to get a Rear Naked Choke for a submission victory in less than two minutes. Perez had a near-flawless performance here with tons of patience and poise. He did a great job at working his game plan and controlling Velasco’s back to set up the submission. Very impressive stuff.
Sergio Perez defeated Isaac Velasco via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:50 of Round 1 (Referee: Mike Beltran)
Sergio Perez improves to 2-0, Isaac Velasco falls to 1-4.

Kyle Estrada (Pro MMA Record: 4-3) vs. Benji Gomez (Pro MMA Record: 6-7)

The pace of the fight was a lot slower than the other bouts. Both fighters had an extended feeling out process throughout the first two rounds. Estrada controlled the center of the cage for most of the bout, while Gomez used footwork to look for openings on the outside. Both fighters received a warning from referee Fraak Trigg midway through the second round for the lack of action in the fight. Gomez would try to steal the second round by throwing wild shots and attempting a takedown before it came to a close.

Both fighters came out more aggressive in the final round. While Estrada continued to control the center of the cage, Gomez was able to be more active and landed some strikes. The final minute of the last round saw Gomez land some strikes and finish the final round more aggressively than Estrada.

Andrew’s Score: 29-28 for Estrada. I thought he won the first two rounds by controlling the fight and stick with an intelligent game plan. The second round could’ve gone either way, but I had it in favor of Estrada. Gomez had an impressive third round. Despite the loss, this one could’ve gone either way.
Judges’ Scores: 29-28 for Estrada
Kyle Estrada defeated Benji Gomez via Unanimous Decision (Larry Landless: 29-28, Ron McCarthy: 29-28, Gene LeBell: 29-28) (Referee: Frank Trigg)
Kyle Estrada improves to 5-3, Benji Gomez falls to 6-8.

Edmen Shahbazyan (Pro MMA Record: 2-0) vs. Dejon Daniels (Pro MMA Record: 0-1)

The opening moments of the fight saw Shahbazyan rock Daniels with a punch. Shahbazyan would take the fight to the ground shortly after this. He would work over Daniels with some heavy ground and pound for the most bout before referee Mike Beltran put a stop to it. The fight was controlled by Shahbazyan the entire time, who had a great performance here to earn a quick victory.
Edmen Shahbazyan defeated Dejon Daniels via TKO (Strikes) 2:58 of Round 1 (Referee: Mike Beltran)
Edmen Shahbazyan improves to 3-0, Dejon Daniels falls 0-1.

Overall thoughts

While Estrada vs. Gomez wasn’t the sort of fight that would appeal to most fans, the non-tournament fights on CXF 8 were very entertaining. As I said above, Leon Shahbazyan vs. Gabriel Green fight was the best non-tournament fight. Both guys showed tons of heart. Both fighters deserve tons of credit for going out there and putting on a show.If you’re the type of MMA fan who feels the UFC has been lackluster recently, I highly recommend you check this show out.  The people over at Team Lights Out and Bash Entertainment have a really great product with CXF.

The CXF 8: Cali Kings replay is available now the Fite TV app.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Adam Woods for offering to help with coverage tonight. Adam is the host of the 2 Guys, 1 Phone vlog with Bellator, CXF, and Combate Americas veteran Marcos Bonilla. Follow Adam on Instagram and Twitter.

Check back tomorrow for a look at the tournament bouts from CXF 8: Cali Kings.

About the Author

SoCal's favorite son. Won 1st Place in my division at the 2013 Gracie Worlds. 2019 East San Fernando Valley Water Champion. Keyboard Warrior.