When I first moved to Austin, I was a bit surprised how inactive the combat scene was here. There is plenty of high caliber gyms within the area so I expected a bit more events. Coming from the Valley, I got accustomed to the frequency of events in boxing and MMA so this was a big change for me. The other big change was the lack of legit taco places they have here in Austin. You’re not fooling this Mexican, Austin!
Anyways, I’ve been looking for an event to cover and luckily enough BOH promoter, Nael Chavez, granted me the opportunity to cover his event. Chavez is a man of many hats. He is a husband and a father, a minister with his own church, judo blackbelt, a veteran, a businessman, founder of the non-profit Enlightened Warriors, an amateur fighter (Chavez was victorious by armbar on May 14th) and a promoter. It was quite humbling researching a man that has accomplished so much.
In my research of the man, I discovered he had a great tactic that helps the fighters and also his promotion, BOH. It’s an old-school pro-wrestling approach where each fighter will get a percentage of the gate determined by the amount of tickets sold. Promoters aren’t always willing to give their fighters a cut of the gate, especially on an amateur show. Being a fighter, Chavez, understands the sacrifices that each fighter goes through in order to compete and what is being sacrificed while chasing a dream. BOH(Belt of Honorius) is not only a launching pad for the future MMA stars of tomorrow but the root cause is much deeper than a profit- it’s to help fund his non-profit- Enlightened Warriors. In an interview with TXMMA.com, Chavez had this to say about his non-profit:
Enlightened Warriors is for boys & girls aged from the 5th to 9th grade. The Enlightened Warriors curriculum teaches youth about self-esteem, leadership, teamwork, and good grades through the lens of physical fitness and MMA. This program is donation-based and we have chapters in Waco, Austin, Leander and Mexico.
If you get a chance, click on the link and make a donation- no matter the amount- to Enlighted Warriors so that the program continues operating for the youth of Austin.
The event held a total of 11 fights that featured local fighters from Austin and the surrounding area. Being completely new to the MMA scene in Austin, it was a treat to be introduced to new hungry fighters at the start of their careers. The fighters had plenty of supporters in attendance at the Austin Roller Rink which felt like it was at capacity- I didn’t see a single seat available.
The judges had an easy night with only four fights going to the cards. The quickest victory of the night belonged to the charismatic Nathan Stanton. Stanton was able to take Dufrene down to the ground and rained down punches on his opponent till the man in black stepped in to stop the contest. Another notable fight was Waylon “The Bulldog” Bronstrup taking on Benny Serrano. At the weigh-ins the day before, Serrano stepped on the scales nearly 10 pounds over the contracted weight of 170 pounds. This lead to an intense faceoff between the two with Bronstrup looking at Serrano with bad intentions. It seems Bronstrup used this as fuel entering the cage because as soon as the bell rang, Bronstrup locked onto Serrano, took him to the ground, and finished Serrano off with a guillotine. In a show of class and respect for his opponent, Bronstrup extended his hand to help Serrano up and then embraced Serrano with a hug that signified that things we’re “all good” between the two.
All 22 fighters deserve a great deal of praise for stepping in the cage to help sharpen their sword. Some fighters got their hands raise, some may have ended the fight looking at the lights, but each fighter gave it all they could. I hope to see these fighters evolve into stars and look forward to covering their paths to success in the future.
- Steven Pauda over Zach Martinez by TKO in the 1st (1:15)
- Alex Aguilar over Paul Welsch by Submission(RNC) in the 2nd (2:37)
- Waylon Bronstrup over Benny Serrano by Submission(Guillotine Choke) in the 1st (0:49)
- Timothy Cozart over Eric Martinez by Submission(RNC) in 1st (1:40)
- Nathan Stanton over Brandon Dufrene by TKO in the 1st (0:41)
- Jon Leal over Steve Cordell by Unanimous Decision
- Joshua Hill over Micah Prewitt by TKO in the 1st (1:16)
- David Rivera over Jose Juarez by Unanimous Decision
- Stetson Horne over Wesley Cole by Majority Decision
- Emily Riggieri over Hannah Winslett by TKO in the 1st (2:45)
- Sean Clements over David Ramirez by Unanimous decision