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Coming up we have a lightweight MMA rules bout between Jacinto Cruz (ranked 643 p4p, 1226 weight class) and Ricardo Esponosa (ranked 89 p4p, 179 weight class). Both fighters will be looking to make this an exciting fight for the fans, I'm sure!

175 cm
22
160
5 - 0 - 0
181 cm
22
163
6 - 2 - 0
Good wrestling
Excellent MT
Cardio machine
Good wrestler
Decent boxing
Good gas tank

Shadow Realm Apparel
Furnace Performance šŸ”„

Furnace Performance šŸ”„
Conviction


Ladies and gentlemen. This fight is 5 rounds, for the lightweight championship of the world!
Introducing the champion to my left, fighting out of the red corner.
With a record of 5 - 0 - 0, fighting out of Montreal, Jacinto Cruz!
And introducing the challenger to my right, fighting out of the blue corner.
With a record of 6 - 2 - 0, fighting out of New York, Ricardo Esponosa!
The judges for this bout are Matti Vanhoillinen, Marco Blurström and Tarja Halkonen.




The bell rings for round one and we are underway!

Cruz pushes Esponosa up against the cage in a clinch.
Esponosa fails to pull guard.
Cruz scores with a nice hook to the head.
Cruz tries to land a shot to the body but it's blocked.
Cruz lands with a left to the head.
Cruz doesn't land with the attempted body shot.
Still in the clinch, Cruz scores with a nice short uppercut.
Esponosa tries to pull guard but Cruz forces him back to his feet, against the cage.
Esponosa jumps guard but Cruz stands there with Esponosa around his waist. Esponosa gives up and drops back to his feet. We remain in the clinch.
Jacinto Cruz has stuffed three takedown attempts in the round now. That's going to take a lot out of Ricardo Esponosa.
Esponosa goes for a takedown in the clinch but Cruz prevents it.
Esponosa looking for a takedown.
Cruz can't find room to land a body shot as Esponosa controls the action.
Cruz tries to throw a body punch but Esponosa avoids it by throwing Cruz back against the cage.
Cruz working on landing some head shots here - that one got through nicely.
We've had a slow start to the round here - hopefully the action picks up.
Cruz misses with a punch to the body.
Cruz throws a head punch that misses.

Esponosa has picked Cruz up - he's going for a ride! Esponosa dumps his opponent to the mat with a thud and settles into half guard.
The crowd are loving this. Great action here.
Esponosa is trying to control the action in half guard but Cruz is working away on the bottom, looking perhaps to get back to full guard.
Cruz is in a tricky position but he's been working on his transitions down at League of Shadows MMA, so we'll see if he gets out of it.
Cruz is trying to get back to full guard.
Cruz trying to control from the bottom.

That's one minute gone in the round.

Esponosa is working for a kimura from half guard. He's really concentrating on the hold and it's allowed Cruz to slip a leg under and get back to full guard.
Esponosa tries to free his leg and advance position but Cruz is retaining full guard.
Cruz is trying to keep Esponosa in close.

Cruz working from the bottom, still in full guard. He's managed to get a loose triangle. Esponosa doesn't seem to be doing much to defend here, obviously he feels comfortable in the position. Esponosa manages to throw the legs off his shoulder and he's back into guard - no problem.
Esponosa won't allow Cruz to sweep him here.

That's two minutes gone in the round.
Neither fighter has done anything of merit for a good minute or two here and the crowd are not happy about it.
Esponosa throwing strikes from guard but Cruz blocks nicely.
Esponosa throwing shots from guard but he's hitting more mat than opponent.
Esponosa slows down the pace of the fight for a moment. He'll need to remain active if he doesn't want to see the fight stood back up.

The referee decides to stand the fighters back up.

Cruz rushes Esponosa and pushes him back against the cage in a clinch.
Cruz swings away with an uppercut that misses.
Esponosa jumps guard but his hands slip and he falls flat on his back. Well, he's made himself look a right mug there, as Cruz walks away with a smile on his face. Esponosa gets slowly back to his feet and shakes his head.
Esponosa looks to clinch
and Cruz counters with a nice leg kick.

That's three minutes gone in the round.
Esponosa takes a solid shot to the body. That one hurt him but he's trying not to show it.
Esponosa waving his hands out in front of him, looking to distract Cruz.
As Esponosa backs away, Cruz returns fire with a leg kick that just misses.
Esponosa misses with a hook. Cruz ducked under it nicely.
Esponosa shoots in for a double leg but Cruz sprawls well. That's going to sap some energy.
Cruz stuffs the takedown attempt from Esponosa. Esponosa gets slowly back to his feet.

Cruz gets in close and instigates a clinch.
Cruz tries to land a shot to the body but it's blocked.
Cruz throws a punch but it's blocked by Esponosa.
Cruz misses with a punch to the body.
Esponosa jumps guard but Cruz turns him against the cage and keeps the fight standing.

Esponosa has picked Cruz up - he's going for a ride! Esponosa dumps his opponent to the mat with a thud and settles into half guard.
Cruz is staying active underneath Esponosa, who seems content to just control the action from this position.
Esponosa not throwing his punches with enough precision this time.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
Esponosa lands a big shot. The thud that echoes around the arena is like music to the fans' ears.
Cruz is doing well to control the position and prevent Esponosa from advancing to side control.

Cruz is looking to sinch up a guillotine here but Esponosa pulls his head out easily.
Cruz tries to get to full guard but Esponosa has control of the leg.
Esponosa wants to take a breather but Cruz is having none of it.
Esponosa has the superior BJJ but he's also working some ground strikes into his gameplan.
Esponosa thows a huge punch but Cruz dodges it nicely.
Esponosa thows a huge punch but Cruz dodges it nicely.
Fantastic stuff here - a very entertaining period of action, which has drawn cheers from the crowd.
Cruz won't allow Esponosa to pass to mount.
And that is the end of the round. The fighters go back to their corners.

Jacinto Cruz dominated that round.
That's the end of the interval. I'm sure that seemed a lot quicker than a minute for our two fighters! Back to the action.


Cruz clinches with his opponent.
Cruz tries a body shot but Esponosa blocks it.
Esponosa has been looking to improve his clinch game in recent weeks. Cruz seems to have the measure of him in the clinch so far, so let's see if Esponosa can turn it around.

Esponosa is trying to trip Cruz. He has hold of a leg but Cruz is hopping around, keeping his balance for the moment. Esponosa persists though and gets the takedown into guard.
Cruz is trying to keep Esponosa in close.
Esponosa trying to control the position from guard on top but Cruz is wriggling around, looking for whatever he can.
Esponosa sitting in guard, not really doing much.
Esponosa trying to control the position from guard on top but Cruz is wriggling around, looking for whatever he can.
We've had a slow start to the round here - hopefully the action picks up.
Cruz is trying to control the position but Esponosa postures up.

That's one minute gone in the round.
Esponosa wants to control from the top but Cruz keeps moving.
Esponosa sitting in guard here, content to control.
The referee claps his hands together and tells the fighters to work.

The ref stands the fighters back up due to a lack of activity.
Cruz defends well against a solid takedown attempt from Esponosa.
Esponosa throws a hook to the side of Cruz's head but Cruz sees it coming and ducks under it beautifully.

Cruz closes the distance and pushes Esponosa back into the cage.
A shot in the inside from Cruz.

Esponosa jumps guard.
Ricardo Esponosa has got the better of the ground game so far.
Cruz sneaks a leg through and gets to half guard. That was like a knife through butter how easily he passed Esponosa's guard.
Esponosa wants to control but Cruz is keeping busy.

That's two minutes gone in the round.

Esponosa looking to work for a kimura from the bottom.
Esponosa regains full guard. Nicely done.
The fighters are pressed up against the cage, both looking to find a bit of space to work.
Cruz seems content to control from guard here. He's going to have to remain active though if he doesn't want to get stood back up.

Esponosa throwing his legs up looking for a triangle.
Cruz looking to pass the guard.

That's three minutes gone in the round.

Esponosa is looking for a triangle but Cruz pushes his legs off easily.
Esponosa being controlled here, momentarily.
Esponosa wants to control the position but Cruz says "no thanks buddy" and passes to half guard.
Esponosa is looking to improve his position.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
The crowd are showing their displeasure at the lack of action as loud boos ring out around the arena.
Esponosa has no desire to be mounted, so is trying to control. Cruz is working away from the top position though.
Esponosa slips a foot under and gets full guard. Nice work.
Cruz stopping the sweep attempt from Esponosa.

Esponosa looking for subs off his back but Cruz has passed one foot through into half guard.
Cruz controlling the pace.
And that is the end of the round. The fighters go back to their corners.

That was a close second round but I would say that Jacinto Cruz will probably get the nod.
The corners get their ten second warning. Both fighters stand from their stools and stare each other down, ready to get back to the action.


Esponosa feints and then dives in with a takedown. That was a long way out but the feint bought him enough time to close the distance and complete the takedown. Now we'll play guard for a bit and see who can get the better of that position.
Cruz avoiding any damage from the ground and pound.
Esponosa trying to control but Cruz is working from the bottom.
Esponosa pushing down on Cruz's thigh, trying to pass to half guard. He's managed it... Nice work.
Esponosa throwing shots but Cruz is blocking nicely.

Esponosa is looking for a kimura but he's never going to get it from there.
We've had a slow start to the round here - hopefully the action picks up.
Cruz is refusing to be controlled, as Esponosa sits in half guard.

That's one minute gone in the round.
Esponosa stalling.
Cruz wants to get back to full guard.

Esponosa is looking for a kimura. It's pretty deep but Cruz still has the half guard so he's probably OK. Oh, Cruz has exploded into a beautiful escape there and after a quick scramble, he's ended up in side control on top! Nice work!
Esponosa is trying to improve his position.

That's two minutes gone in the round.
Cruz working away.
Cruz in side control, just content to control the action for now.
Esponosa tries to buck Cruz off but Cruz is having none of it.
Cruz is staying tight to Esponosa's torso, preventing him from escaping.

That's three minutes gone in the round.
Esponosa is looking for a sweep.
Cruz controls the position.
The referee must be thinking about standing these guys back up.
What's Esponosa going to do here then? He's in a bit of a pickle.

The referee has stepped in and called for a break in the action. We'll restart on the feet.
Cruz lands a head shot.
Esponosa takes a thudding leg kick, right into the meat of the thigh.
Cruz stuffs the takedown.

Cruz clinches.
Cruz lands a shoulder strike that jolts his opponent's head backwards.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
Esponosa goes for a takedown attempt but Cruz pushes him away and we're back to fighting at a distance.
A nice leg kick lands there from Cruz.
Cruz lands an overhand left. A wild punch that just about connected.
Cruz throws a hook to the body but it doesn't connect.

Cruz gets a clinch.
Cruz is really dominating this fight. Is there anything that Esponosa can do to turn this around?
A short right from Cruz.
Wooooo! Give it up for these two warriors! They are putting on a show!
Cruz scores with an uppercut up the middle.
Cruz lands with a quick shot inside that doesn't really do much damage.
Cruz struggles to land a body shot inside as Esponosa controls his hands.
Esponosa jumps guard but Cruz turns him against the cage and keeps the fight standing.
Jacinto Cruz has stuffed three takedown attempts in the round now. That's going to take a lot out of Ricardo Esponosa.
The crowd thankful this round is nearly over.
Esponosa tries to pull guard but Cruz forces him back to his feet, against the cage.
Cruz lands a shoulder strike that jolts his opponent's head backwards.
Esponosa tries to jump guard but he falls flat on his backside. Cruz smiles and moves away.
No luck with that takedown attempt from Esponosa.
Cruz is looking for a counter combo.
And that is the end of the round. The fighters go back to their corners.

Jacinto Cruz clearly takes that round.
That's time! Back to the action!

A chopping leg kick lands by Cruz.
Esponosa takes a shot right to the liver - Bas would have been proud of that punch.
Esponosa dives in for a single leg takedown but Cruz sprawls and the fighters end up clinched against the cage.

Cruz clinches with his opponent.
A body shot lands from Cruz.
A hook to the body from Cruz.
Cruz is leaning against Esponosa and scores with a nice uppercut to the body.
Esponosa takes a shot to the head.
Esponosa tries to pull guard but can't drag his opponent to the mat. Cruz just stands there and leans against the cage.
Esponosa prevents a body shot from Cruz.
We've had a slow start to the round here - hopefully the action picks up.
Cruz cracks Esponosa with a nice body shot.
A quick uppercut on the inside from Cruz.
Esponosa is absolutely dripping with sweat - he looks exhausted.
Esponosa jumps guard but his hands slip and he falls flat on his back. Well, he's made himself look a right mug there, as Cruz walks away with a smile on his face. Esponosa gets slowly back to his feet and shakes his head.
Jacinto Cruz has stuffed three takedown attempts in the round now. That's going to take a lot out of Ricardo Esponosa.
Cruz lands a nice shot that snaps Esponosa's head back.
Cruz lands a nice leg kick that just misses Esponosa's sensitive parts.

That's one minute gone in the round.
Esponosa shoots in but no luck this time.
Cruz connects with a leg kick.
Cruz connects with a jab.
A slow jab from Esponosa misses its intended target.
Cruz scores with a big left there. The judges will like that one.
Cruz turns his hip over beautifully as he lands a nice leg kick.
A good leg kick by Cruz.

Cruz has taken the fight to the clinch.
Cruz tries a body shot but Esponosa blocks it.
Cruz tries a shoulder strike but it doesn't do any damage.
Cruz misses with a hook from the clinch.
Still in the clinch, Cruz scores with a nice short uppercut.
Esponosa jumps guard but Cruz turns him against the cage and keeps the fight standing.
Cruz lands a shoulder strike.
Wooooo! Give it up for these two warriors! They are putting on a show!
Esponosa is trying to pull guard but Cruz has him pressed against the cage.

That's two minutes gone in the round.
Cruz lands a nice looking hook to the body, against the cage.
Good body shot from Cruz.
Esponosa drops down looking for an ankle pick but Cruz pulls his leg out and moves away.

Cruz pushes Esponosa up against the cage in a clinch.
Cruz digs a right hand into Esponosa's ribs. Those have got to be taking their toll on Esponosa's gas tank.
Jacinto Cruz has scored more points in the clinch so far.
Good body shot from Cruz.
A nice left hand lands by Cruz.
Cruz lands with a good tight uppercut to the head.
Cruz softening up his opponent with strikes, against the cage.
Nice body punch from Cruz - that landed with a thud.
Cruz lands a right hand.
Cruz lands with a right to the head.
Cruz doesn't land with the attempted body shot.
Cruz lands a nice shot to the body.
Cruz struggles to land a body shot inside as Esponosa controls his hands.

That's three minutes gone in the round.
Cruz has a couple of punches blocked by Esponosa.
A nice right hand lands inside from Cruz.
Esponosa tries to pull guard but can't drag his opponent to the mat. Cruz just stands there and leans against the cage.
Cruz lands a body punch - he's looking to wear down Esponosa.
Cruz working on landing some head shots here - that one got through nicely.
Esponosa has Cruz pressed up against the cage and is working for takedown. Cruz manages to improve position though and keeps the fight standing.
Cruz misses with a body punch.
A short body shot lands from Cruz as the two fighters clinch.
Cruz lands a left hand that snaps the head of Esponosa backwards.
Cruz goes for a body shot but it's blocked.
A short right hand to the side of the head by Cruz.
Cruz lands with a short shot to the head.
Esponosa is working on a leg, looking for a takedown but Cruz is defending well.
Cruz lands a hook to the side of the head.
A left hand lands to the body for Cruz.
Cruz lands a left hand.
This has been an exciting period of action!
Cruz lands a body punch in the clinch.
Cruz goes for a body shot but it's blocked.
Cruz is working Esponosa over against the cage.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
Cruz lands a right uppercut that snaps the head of Esponosa backwards.
Still in the clinch, Cruz scores with a nice short uppercut.
Esponosa is trying to pull guard but being pressed up against the cage enables Cruz to keep the fight standing.
Cruz pushes Esponosa back against the cage and lands a hook to the side of the head.
Esponosa tries to pull guard but can't drag his opponent to the mat. Cruz just stands there and leans against the cage.
Cruz tries a shoulder strike but it doesn't do any damage.
Esponosa blocks an uppercut.
Cruz lands with a good tight uppercut to the head.
Cruz lands a right hand that snaps the head of Esponosa backwards.
Cruz lands with a light punch inside.
A short uppercut from Cruz.
Cruz lands with a light punch inside.
Cruz lands with a short shot to the head.
Cruz lands punches inside but they're not really causing much damage.

Esponosa is rocked!
The crowd applaud the fighters' efforts here as the round comes to an end.
Cruz tries to throw a body punch but Esponosa avoids it by throwing Cruz back against the cage.
Esponosa jumps guard but his hands slip and he falls flat on his back. Well, he's made himself look a right mug there, as Cruz walks away with a smile on his face. Esponosa gets slowly back to his feet and shakes his head.
Cruz with a nice calf kick.
Esponosa throws a looping left and ducks down for a takedown. He's got his arms around Cruz's waist but Cruz gets an underhook and avoids the takedown by throwing Esponosa off to one side.
And that is the end of the round. The fighters go back to their corners.

Jacinto Cruz had his way with Ricardo Esponosa in that round.
The corners get their ten second warning. Both fighters stand from their stools and stare each other down, ready to get back to the action. So, we enter the final round. Let's see if either fighter can bring us a finish, or whether we're going to the judges scorecards.

Esponosa looks for a takedown but Cruz sprawls well.
Esponosa's leg has a nasty welt from taking a succession of leg kicks. That must be slowing him down.
Cruz throws a feint and then finishes with a kick to the body.
A good leg kick by Cruz.
Cruz digs a good body shot into Esponosa's ribs.
Cruz fakes with a right hand and throws a good leg kick, right into the thigh. That had to hurt Esponosa.

Cruz rushes Esponosa and pushes him back against the cage in a clinch.

Esponosa decides to pull guard.
We've had a slow start to the round here - hopefully the action picks up.

Esponosa throws his legs up looking for a submission but Cruz uses it to pass to side control.
Cruz in side control, just content to control the action for now.

That's one minute gone in the round.
Esponosa wants to control but Cruz postures up.
Esponosa tries to bench press Cruz off him but Cruz keeps the position.
Esponosa keeps trying to improve his position.
A lull in the action here.
Esponosa is looking to reverse the position.
The ref warns both fighters not to hold the cage as they work up against the meshing.

That's two minutes gone in the round.
Neither fighter has done anything of merit for a good minute or two here and the crowd are not happy about it.
Cruz moving around in side mount but really he's just happy to control for now.
Esponosa tries to bench press Cruz off him but Cruz keeps the position.

That's three minutes gone in the round.
Esponosa tries to slip a leg under to move to half guard but Cruz presses down on the leg and jumps into full mount!
Cruz tries to control but Esponosa wriggling away.
Jacinto Cruz is fighting for a decision here - he's started to take the cautious approach.
Esponosa is desperately trying to improve his position but Cruz has a good base and remains in mount.
Esponosa is still trying to improve position.
Cruz tries to stand up but he's trapped just for the moment.
Cruz takes a little breather and maintains the position. The referee will be looking for him to stay active from such a dominant position though.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
Esponosa tries to hold on but Cruz postures up.
Esponosa is looking to get to half guard.
Esponosa sneaks a leg under to get to half guard.
Boooooooooooooooooooo!!! God, this has been a terrible round. Come on you two, sort yourselves out!

Esponosa with the active half guard here but Cruz passes nicely into side control.

And that's the end of the fight!
Jacinto Cruz showed his dominance in that final round.
Well I reckon that's a shut out for Cruz, winning every round. Will the judges agree? They are the ones who matter, even if they are often depressingly incompetent. Over to the ring announcer for the scorecards.

Ladies and gentlemen, after 5 rounds of action, we go to the scorecards for a decision.
Judge Matti Vanhoillinen scores the fight 50:44
Judge Marco Blurström scores the fight 50:44
Judge Tarja Halkonen scores the fight 49:45

In favor of your winner, by unanimous decision... Jacinto Cruz!

Jacinto Cruz retains his lightweight title!
Ricardo Esponosa was interviewed post fight and said 'We’ll get it next time '.
S C
A
G S C
B
G S C G energy
A | B
hype
A | B
pop
A | B
mgr
A | B
FIGHT
RATING
43%
 
 
 
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