Photo via TXMMA.com
In the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), the fight game is unforgiving and brutal.
Young fighters enter and exit almost in the same breath and the opportunity for success whips right by in the blink of an eye. Thousands of athletes enter into the fight game every year hoping to conquer their regional scene on their way to a big show and world title hopes.
In this young sport it is very easy to get caught up in the hype of records, gym affiliation and accolades. But the truth is, MMA is a combat sport where two fighters are locked into a cage and they both try and use their skills to come out on top after dueling hand to hand in a contest of both physical pain, emotional control and mental toughness.
The old clichés like "war of attrition" apply here as well as the beautiful display we often see from guys who have the intangibles. The guys who have heart, dedication and competitive edge, the qualities that no gym could teach and no person could develop.
Either you have them or you don't.
A very good friend of mine has been a staple of consistency in all three of those categories and has proved time and time again to be an inspiration to anyone who can appreciate a gritty, tough fighter with a knack for wanting to entertain all the fans of mixed martial arts.
For more on this young man, a photo gallery and more, follow me into the extended entry.
Joshua "The Destroya" Montoya is a Santa Fe, New Mexico native who at 21-years old has already amassed a 10-7 professional mixed martial arts record with some professional boxing experience and loads of grappling experience.
A fighter who has lived through the grind of mixed martial arts has studied previously under the tutelage of notable coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn and more recently under grappling ace Rich Chavez and some of Albuquerque's more recognized mixed martial artists.
However, the young Montoya for the most part trains in his own gym that is located in his home town. A gym affiliated with Best Way BJJ and American Top Team. While scheduled to receive his Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Andre "Dedeco" Almeida who has direct lineage to the famed Helio Gracie, Montoya has had his share of notable fights during his three year career.
None more monumental then the fight that took place on Dec. 1, 2011.
Frisco, Texas, was home to the fight promotion "Fight Game" of the Universal Fight League which housed its 32-foot circular cage inside the Dr. Pepper Arena. The co-main event of the evening would showcase the cities most beloved and recognized fighter Jason "Wild Thing" Sampson who was not only undefeated at 8-0 and the top ranked fighter in his state at the weight class but already defeated his opponent, Joshua Montoya, only months before in his home state, inside Albuquerque's famed venue "The Pit" for the inaugural "MMA Fight Pit" promotion.
Sampson would win the fight inside the first round via armbar in a very short and anti-climatic fight that saw the two fighters feel each out before a scramble that allowed Sampson to take advantage of a slight error on the part of Montoya.
Still, when the fight opportunity came just a little over two weeks before the scheduled date of the fight there was no hesitation to once again accept the fight in hopes the result would be different.
Sampson being undefeated was rumored to be courted by the big promotions with 1-2 more impressive wins and Montoya riding the longest losing streak of his career would be at a hypothetical cross road even though he was still so young.
The fight didn't necessarily go down as it would read on paper, from the Texas MMA site:
The event would see a surprise result in the co-main event of the evening as Joshua Montoya (Jackson's MMA) would come into his opponent's backyard and leave with the split decision in a rematch of their last bout which Jason won in New Mexico by submission this past August.
The bout saw a ‘fight of the night' performance for all three rounds as both fighters gave it their all while trying to one-up each other using their respective strengths. True to his "Wild Thing" nickname, Jason would come out like a fastball in the beginning while showcasing his ever-improving striking skills to take the early lead. Montoya would come back in the second round with his own striking prowess with deftly defending his opponent's grappling in an impressive display of takedown defense.
As the fight wore on, it would turn more and more into a standup battle as the two traded shots on the feet. The fight would seemingly come down to the third round with Sampson threatening a rear-naked choke at one point on the ground while Montoya would try and score points on the feet. In the end, two out of three judges saw it in favor of the visiting fighter, 29-28, 29-28, and 28-29 in favor on Montoya to give Sampson the first defeat of his career and Montoya his 10th win.
The fight would be an epic brawl between two very skilled fighters and Montoya was able to edge the highly-touted prospect in his home town earning the victory he knew was possible prior to his quick submission loss in August. With a roaring and shocked crowd who would be torn between satisfaction of a war and disappointment in their fallen star the 21 year old Montoya would now have a Cinderella Story to add to his memory book.
The fight was deemed to be so enjoyable and monumental that the fight would be dealt to Time Warner to be distributed to as many homes as possible. It would be an additional to Montoya's memorable but rarely seen wars that include a split decision loss to famed world champion grappler Rafael "Barata" de Freitas and a razor thin unanimous decision loss to another Texas native Francisco Barragan.
Montoya, sponsored by TrauMMA Combat and MMAmania.com, would share some pictures from the event taken both by his corner men and TXMMA.com.
A video will be added when it becomes available.
Hope you Maniacs enjoy a good upset story!