Hoplite Fight Productions ‘Finished: No Judges Required’ mixed martial arts (MMA) event takes place on Saturday, July 18 at the Merced County Fairgrounds. Oakdale’s Last Stand will be strongly represented in the event. Two titles will be on the line when Oakdale’s Anthony “Homicide” Howard (3-0) takes on Jose Navarro (2-0) of No Limits MMA for the vacant Flyweight Title, and Brit Lippencot (3-0) clashes with Jacobo Longoria (2-1) of Flawless Victory MMA for the vacant Welterweight Title.
Howard, a Sonora resident, made his debut in October of 2013 when he knocked out his opponent less than 20 seconds into the fight. A wrestler during his youth, Howard turned to MMA in high school and was trained by Bill Theofanopoulos until professional Rolando “The Machine” Velasco took over training Howard recently.
“I’ve never felt this great or confident heading into a fight. I am comfortable on my feet and on the ground too. I don’t know a lot about (Navarro) but I do know I am feeling confident and looking forward to the fight,” said Howard.
Lippencot looks to keep his undefeated streak alive and claim the strap in the Welterweight bout. The Los Banos native trains in Merced and has a boxing background, but has been training in MMA for three years.
“I feel like there is more to me than boxing. I’ve been working on my kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so I feel confident in both standup and ground attack,” shared Lippencot.
He also credited Anderson Silva and local MMA legends Nick and Nate Diaz as his heroes in the sport.
Newcomer Daniel “Spasmodic” Wehner (0-1) of Oakdale will be entering the octagon in Bantamweight action. He will be taking on Brandon Bettencourt of Skrap Pack (0-1). Wehner was a successful wrestler for Modesto’s Grace Davis High School, where he finished in top five in section and went to state. He started training for MMA in 2014.
“Once I finished high school I started to get into MMA. In wrestling you can only go so far. In MMA every day is a learning experience,” said Wehner.
Wehner is just four months removed from his first fight, which went the distance and he fell just short, 29-28, in a decision.
“It was a close fight. I think he won because he got an early take down, but round three was mine. I’d like another shot at him,” shared Wehner.
Also representing Last Stand Fight Team will be Antoinette Bernal (3-3); Ricky Gonzalez (2-2) and Chris Burr (2-2).
Doors open at 4 p.m. and the action begins at 5 p.m. General seating is $35, V.I.P. seating is priced at $55 and cage side is $80. For more information and tickets contact Lori Theofanopoulos at (209) 847-9406.