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

The first round of the lightweight edition of CXF’s King of Cali tournament took place on Saturday night at CXF 8 in Burbank. The event was streamed live on the the Fite TV app and featured a classic battle between Richard LeRoy and Jalin Turner.

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. 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.

Dominic Clark (Pro MMA Record: 10-6) vs Roosevelt Roberts (Pro MMA Record: 2-0)

Roosevelt Roberts came into this tournament as a late replacement for Chris Culley. The opening moments of the fight saw Roberts establishing range on Clark with his striking. Clark would try to engage in a grappling exchange, but ended up being caught in a Standing Guillotine Choke that forced him to tap out early in the first round. Despite being a late addition to the tournament, Roberts looked on top of his game here.
Roosevelt Roberts improves to 3-0. Dominic Clark falls to 10-7. Roberts advances in the CXF King of Cali tournament.

Richard LeRoy (Pro MMA Record: 4-0) vs. Jalin Turner (Pro MMA Record: 4-2)

Both fighters started out the fight throwing some heavy strikes in the opening moments of Round 1. Richard LeRoy was in trouble early on when he was dropped by Turner with a standing knee  in the opening minute. Despite being dropped early, LeRoy kept throwing heavy strikes on Turner, but Turner was able to land some vicious strikes of his own in return. LeRoy would try to mount a comeback after being dropped a second time in the first round. Turner attempted a Flying Triangle on LeRoy, but would end up being hit with heavy ground and pound from LeRoy while in guard. The final minute of the first round saw LeRoy land some heavy elbow strikes on Turner from mount before the end of an amazing first round.

Josh Barnett enjoying the action at CXF 8. Photo by Adam Woods.

The opening of the second round saw LeRoy landing heavy shots on Turner. LeRoy would take the fight to the ground again after countering a kick from Turner. After passing to Turner’s mount, LeRoy landed some ground and pound before being swept into guard. LeRoy would press forward on Turner when the fight went back to a stand up battle, landing more strikes and using them to set up another takedown. The momentum would turn when the fight went back to standing exchange, as Turner began to land several strikes on LeRoy and started to push the pace. The final minute of the second round saw LeRoy drop Turner with a leg kick follow by him taking mount to finish the second round.

After two grueling rounds, both fighters came out at a slower, more methodical pace to start the final round. Turner would use his length and height advantage to keep LeRoy at a distance, but LeRoy would counter with some overhand punches on Turner. LeRoy would attempt an Armbar on Turner after he was taken down with a leg trip in the middle of the round. Turner would land a second takedown on LeRoy later in the round. In the closing moments of the bout, LeRoy was able to counter a takedown attempt by Turner to end up in mount. LeRoy would land a lot of strikes from there before referee Mike Beltran called an end to it.
Richard LeRoy improves to 5-0. Jalin Turner falls to 4-3. LeRoy advances in the CXF King of Cali tournament.

Thor Skancke (Pro MMA Record: 9-7-1) vs Darren Smith Jr. (Pro MMA Record: 11-7)

This was a rematch between the two fighters. They previously faced each other at CXF 2 in 2016 that Smith had wom. Smith control;ed the fight on the ground. He would land lots of ground and pound before referee Frank Trigg put an end to the bout.
Darren Smith Jr. improves to 12-7. Thor Skancke falls to 9-8-1. Smith advances in the CXF King of Cali tournament.

CXF Interim Lightweight Championship Fight – Joshua Jones (Pro MMA Record: 6-0) vs Shohei Yamamoto (Pro MMA Record: 4-2)

This was for the CXF Interim Lightweight Championship. Yamamoto landed a left hand as Jones came inside during a striking exchange in the opening moment of the fight. After Jones fell to the ground, Yamamoto swarmed him quickly to land flurry of punches referee Mike Beltran called an end to the fight in Round 1.
Shohei Yamamoto improves to 5-2. Joshua Jones falls to 6-1. Yamamoto advances in the CXF King of Cali tournament. Yamamoto also becomes the CXF Interim Lightweight Champion.

Overall thoughts

This was a really great way to start the first round of CXF King of Cali tournament. Every fight ended in a finish, and LeRoy vs. Turner was one of the best back-and-forth fights I’ve seen recently in MMA overall. Along with some fun striking exchanges, the grappling exchanges were really entertaining. Both fighters deserve tons of credit and respect for the amazing performance they put on in this three round war. And kudos to referee Mike Beltran for letting both guys put on a great scrap.

If you’re a fight fan, you need to check this show out on Fite TV app.

CXF has announced plans for future tournaments on their events, which is honestly really awesome. I really can’t wait to see what the promotion has in store for fans in the future. This should be something that’ll benefit the fighters. If SCU had an award for MMA Promotion of the Year, CXF would probably get my vote.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Adam Woods for offering to help with coverage tonight and providing the Josh Barnett photo. 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.

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.