A special energy ricocheted around Sacramento’s McClellan Conference Center on December 8, 2018 for the sixth installment of Panda Cup Promotions. Maybe it was the anticipation of one day filled with three weekends worth of action? Maybe it was five championship affairs to wrap a bow on the evening? Maybe it was witnessing the venue swell to capacity with many of Northern California’s passionate fanbase? Maybe it was knowing Panda Cup 6 would be my final event playing Clark Kent, reporting on athletes whom I revere as superheroes, for the upper half of “The Golden State?” Maybe it was a combination of all the ingredients swirling together as a hearty, combative stew?
In a span of twelve hours, thirty-one matches met before a sold out show of 2,300-plus people. Thanks in part to Panda Cup’s promoters: Bubba Sorgman, Anthony Bivins, and Eric Miller, the day, one which could have been riddled with issues, ran like a well oiled machine. Panda Cup 6 launched their mayhem marathon with a handful of bouts featuring youth practitioners; rolled into the afternoon with approximately a dozen high-caliber grappling contests, and crossed the finish line with a full slate of amateur mixed martial artists sprinting from their corners at the referee’s behest.
Before a fresh batch of bruisers appeared beneath Panda Cup’s spotlight, a tribute was paid to the recently departed Cal Worsham, a pioneer who paved the way for present-day MMA to flourish as it does in our neck of the woods. Due to Worsham’s efforts, I have been afforded an opportunity to earn the best seat in the house as a member of the media; the promoters can provide a profitable platform; and the competitors can seek prosperity as martial artists.
Ten bells into honoring the untimely passing of Worsham—at only fifty-five years-of-age—an eerie silence in the lull of the loud clangs tickled my skin. I was reminded of how important it is for NorCal’s tight-knit community to continue rallying together and supporting the budding prospects—now more than ever!
The five belts punctuating Panda Cup 6 couldn’t outshine the grace and professionalism displayed by each C.A.M.O (California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization) licensed competitor. Whether victorious or not, the determination from each corner was more than admirable, winning over the hearts and minds of those in attendance or watching the live stream on NorCal MMA’s Facebook page (link here); moreover, their true championship pedigree melted everyone into a puddle when asked to reflect on such a memorable moment during the post-fight interview with former UFC star and Panda Cup commentator Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith.
Julius Wright vs. Sal Osorio for the Panda Cup Lightweight Title
Michael Howard vs. Erin Hunter for the Panda Cup Flyweight Title
Ron Monahan vs. Anthony Lopez for the Panda Cup Cruiserweight Title
Jeslen Mishelle vs. Joy Pendell for the Panda Cup Women’s Lightweight Title
Diego Bigelow vs. Samuel James for the Panda Cup Featherweight Title
My Parting Gift
Leading in to December 8th, I discussed, on multiple occasions, my departure from MMA media—at least the day-to-day concern for meeting deadlines—began at the conclusion of Panda Cup 6’s main event. I printed my perspective on acting as a self-actualized “journalist” in a previous blog, entitled: 54 Reasons Why MMA Media Isn’t for Me (link here); however, Panda Cup’s promoters, by inviting me into their cage and presenting me with a pair of gloves signed by the mixed martial artists on the card, showcased why such a gig can be so seductive.
I greatly appreciated the kind words of Jim Cooley, the most recognized ring announcer in our region—as well as anyone else who praised me, either online or in person—for what I produced at norcalmixedmartialarts.com and on all of NorCal MMA’s social medias (@norcalfightmma).
Panda Cup 6’s Results:
Kylee Donaldson defeated Alexis Hazelton by way of unanimous decision
Alyssa Sanchez defeated Adrianna Capatano by way of majority decision
Leo Alamilla defeated Mason Kutylowski by way of unanimous decision
Johan Alamilla defeated Jose Blancos by way of arm bar in round 3
Lauryn Miller defeated Raylen Ballesteros by way of arm bar in round 1
Kaiden Devoto defeated Aiden Huggins by way of rear-naked choke in round 1
Michael Mallot defeated David Mitchell by way of submission
Spencer Jeha defeated David Ellis by way of submission
Skyler Souza defeated Kody Vogels by way of heel hook
Brady Wicklund defeated Austin Hardt by way of knee bar
Scott McFarlen defeated Christopher Viveros by way of key lock
Tati Alvarez defeated Ali Sun in overtime
Nick Dillman defeated Marcel McCain in overtime
David Ellis defeated Kacey Sanders by way of kimura
Charles Jelks defeated Nick Sharp by way of arm bar
Hector Morales defeated Jesse Reyes by way of Kimura
Julius Wright defeated Sal Osorio by way of unanimous decision
Michael Howard defeated Erin Hunter by way of unanimous decision
Ron Monahan defeated Anthony Lopez by way of TKO in round 1 (:55)
Jeslen Mishelle defeated Joy Pendell by way of unanimous decision
Diego Bigelow defeated Samuel James by way o fTKO in round 3 (2:12)
Tristan De Mena defeated Israel Solis by way of unanimous decision
Brandon Boulden defeated Dakari Turner by way of unanimous decision
Cesar Moreno defeated Brian Dao by way of unanimous decision
Victor Flores defeated Tobias Green by way of unanimous decision
O’Shaughnessy. McVeigh defeated Alexia Luna by way of TKO in round 1 (:54)
Matt Chapman defeated Aaron Gagnon by way of TKO in round 1 (1:20)
Katarina Legorreta defeated Jelena Hampton by way of split-decision
Sergio Torres defeated Michael Christianson by way of unanimous decision
Israel Castillo defeated Adam Carignan by way of unanimous decision
Terrance Saeteurn defeated Wyatt Barnett by way of TKO in round 2 (:17)