By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Three Oakdale MMAs Battling At Event
Bellator 156
Friday night, June 17, Oakdale MMA fighters, from left, Chris Buron, Ryan Tobar and Justin Smitley are all scheduled to be a part of Bellator 156 at SaveMart Center in Fresno. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

The hard hitting world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is heading to the SaveMart Center for Bellator 156. Three of Oakdale MMA’s own are scheduled to appear at the event on Friday night, June 17 in front of a sold out crowd in Fresno.

Lightweight Ryan “The Executioner” Tobar will be clashing with Luis Jauregui in the octagon in a preliminary battle. Tobar is a veteran at Oakdale MMA and has trained in Oakdale under the tutelage of Professor Tom Theofanopoulos. The swift Tobar holds an impressive professional record of 3-2 and looks to improve on that mark.

“I am a finisher. My fights have ended in a knockout or submission. I don’t let the fight go into the judge’s hands,” said Tobar on his upcoming fight.

Tobar is coming off a big endorsement deal with Team Hayabusa.

“Team Hayabusa is the best in the world. They sponsor some of the best athletes in the world from Cain Velazquez to George St. Pierre, everybody knows who they are. Hayabusa can be found on the top MMA fighters in the world and I am excited to be a part of it. It gives me more confidence to know that people see potential in me, especially a company like that,” Tobar said of his endorsement.

Although he is a seasoned veteran in the cage, Tobar remains humble in his journey to Bellator.

“Knowing where I started and to see where I am now, just makes me want to see how far I can really take this. I started off watching WWF (the former World Wrestling Federation, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment); and jumping off the dressers and wrestling with my brothers at a young age, to where I am now, fighting on one of the biggest stages. If you were to ask me if I would be doing this professionally ten years ago, I’m not sure I could have told you yes with a definite answer. I am very blessed to have made it this far.”

Also on the card is undefeated Chris Buron. The 145-pound Buron holds a 5-0 professional record and is taking on Paul Ruiz, who enters the battle with a 6-3 record. The well-traveled Buron began his MMA journey with Oakdale in 2009.

“I am a puzzle, a very difficult puzzle inside the cage, meaning my opponent is going to have a difficult time trying to figure me out. I have the ability to adapt to how the fight is going very quickly,” Buron explained. “So I cannot say that I have a set way of fighting, I can win this fight with my jujitsu, wrestling or box him up. It’s just a matter of him picking his poison.”

Fan favorite Justin “Bushido Kid” Smitley was thrown a curve ball on Monday, June 13 as he was informed that his scheduled fight had been cancelled. As of press time, Smitley and Bellator were looking for a potential replacement.