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Y.C.'s Morford lights up Galaxy Fight Night II
Local light heavyweight wins belt
Kory Morford may have had little left in the tank, but it didn't matter. He wanted the belt.
The Yuba City light heavyweight's impressive take-down defense and near fight-ending choke from the bottom position in the second round was enough to hold off Karl Stallcop of Sacramento in Saturday's main event of Galaxy Fight Night II.
Once again, Morford's wrestling proved to be too much for his opponent.
After picking up a victory over Memo Vasquez in Galaxy Fight Night I in November, Morford illustrated strong technique from the ground to earn the decision victory, the light heavyweight belt and a title-defense fight against Sacramento's David Hamilton in Galaxy Fight Night III.
Morford got an early takedown in the first round, muscled a double reverse, overcame a slam to the ground and spent the final minute on top of Stallcop.
He earned points with the judges with leg kicks in the second round, but it was the wily choke from full guard that brought the capacity crowd at the Pepsi Indoor Arena to its feet.
Stallcop's right arm and head were sealed for nearly 40 seconds, before Morford was forced to let go. The round ended with chants of "Kor-y" from his hometown.
Both fighters demonstrated good take-down defense in the third and final round.
Even though Morford was pressed up against the cage late, his ability to take no damage from Stallcop earned him the win.
The fights began with the same sparks it ended on as Jason Pfeffer of Sutter dominated Tommy Snyder with a number of strikes, but the action ended when he fell into a triangle choke in third round.
A controversial second fight ended at the expense of Yuba City's Josh Perillo.
A scrappy first two rounds revealed no clear winner, but Perillo took charge in the third with control from the top. The split decision, however, went to Sacramento's Cesar Gutierrez.
Edwin Arambulo's standup earned him a decision win over Vincent Martinez, who was clearly overmatched on his feet.
Arambulo, of Yuba City, landed various punches throughout the three rounds and dictated most of the pace, even when Martinez earned a takedown, little damage was done and the fighters were stood up.
The stunner of the night was when Sean Nelson, of Yuba City, ended Kasey Sanders' night very quickly.
Sanders immediately took Nelson down and had him pinned up against the cage, but Nelson took advantage of a compromising position from the bottom and submitted Sanders by choke just more than a minute into the fight.
Sacramento's Team Alpha Male sent Idris Wassi into the cage against Joseph Sumner in the fifth fight of the evening, and while the first two rounds resulted in little damage being done to either fighter, Wassi stole the show in the third.
Wassi landed several big hooks and jabs, and eventually a flying knee to the chin of Sumner in the final round, which earned him a split-decision victory.
Aside from the main event, the co-main event provided fans with the most evenly matched battle in the cage when Sacramento's Hamilton and Yuba City's Zachary Garza locked horns.
The fight was a three-round, stand-up chess match that was packed with a flurry of punches from both men.
Both fighters continually exchanged punches, and even though Garza landed the punch of the night - a counter that knocked Hamilton to the ground in the second - it was Hamilton who landed the cleaner ones in the first and third rounds.
Hamilton took home his second win at Galaxy Fight Nights and will get a chance at the belt against Morford when Galaxy Fight Night returns.
CONTACT Bryan DeMain at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4789. Find him on Facebook at advarsitysports or on Twitter at @ADbdemain