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Tobar Delivers Pro Debut Saturday In Jamestown
0731 MMA 1
A highly anticipated pro debut by Oakdale resident Ryan Tobar is an intriguing storyline behind an upcoming Art of War Productions card. IKE DODSON/THE LEADER

Ryan Tobar has aspirations so high that he has to sleep in an Oakdale loft just to keep up with them.

The Modesto native who moved to Iowa when he was six, returned to the Central Valley six months ago, and now stays in a loft at the dazzling new Oakdale Mixed Martial Arts Academy.

The home of Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Michael McDonald is a proven mecca for local talent and the perfect launch-point for Tobar’s promising professional career.

It all begins Saturday, Aug. 3, in the first of five pro fights on the Tactical Violence Fight Card for Art of War Productions at the Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown. The event also features 16 amateur bouts, a total of six Oakdale MMA fighters and Oakdale High graduate Buddy Wallace (6-1), who fights for the 170-pound title against Jeremy Ybarra of Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male.

At 155 pounds (lightweight) Tobar squares off with Steven Cartwright (1-3), an experienced fighter who is 1-1 in his last two AOW bouts.

He’s certainly not taking the debut lightly.

“I know he has had four professional bouts, and he’s already a bit of a journeyman,” Tobar said of Cartwright. “He’s always willing to fight some good guys, and he comes ready to fight.”

Tobar said he feels his striking is the strongest aspect of his game, but is comfortable with anywhere the fight takes him. It’s a level of confidence that comes from invaluable sparring with Oakdale MMA fighters that range from 135-pound McDonald to 205-pound Angel DeAnda.

DeAnda has generated his own fame through the Tachi Fight Palace, and earned a highly anticipated showdown with world-renowned kick boxer Tyrone Spong in the main event of World Series of Fighting 4 in Ontario on Aug. 10.

McDonald is fresh off a UFC title loss to Renan Barão of Brazil (No. 9 in the world, pound-for-pound rankings by ESPN), but fights Brad Pickett on Aug. 17 during the UFC on Fox Sports 1 card in Boston.

McDonald and DeAnda will be the corner coaches for Tobar on a night that also includes McDonald’s brother, Justin Smitley (8-7), in a main event against Justin Farmer (3-2).

Oakdale MMA amateurs Mike John, Sal Bacerra and La Vang will also fight on the AOW card.

For Tobar, the night represents an opportunity to showcase the spoils of a prestigious 10-3 amateur career and staple his name onto the California fight game. The slugger claimed both Iowa Extreme Challenge and Illinois Extreme Challenge state championship belts, but found himself in a conversation with Oakdale instructor Tom Theofanopoulos after an impromptu move west.

He instantly absorbed the chemistry of the Oakdale fight team, dubbed ‘Team Last Stand’

“Tom and I just really hit it off,” Tobar said. “He’s really helped me out so much, and the new gym that we have is just awesome.

“I have trained in other world class gyms, but this one is just as nice, and it provides more available one-on-one with coaches. It really is the best gym I have ever been to.”





Justin Smitley vs. Justin Farmer

Buddy Wallace vs. Jeremy Ybarra

Mike Persons vs. Marcus Gaines

Johnny Marez vs. Ray Cervera

Ryan Tobar vs. Steven Cartwright



Luis Jauregui vs. Kyle Burks

Mike John vs. Roque Reyes

Thomas Thongseng vs. Dan Oseguera

Jay Jay Santana vs. J.J. Cortez

Anthony Torres vs. Alan Ybarra

Sal Bacerra vs. Brandon Hafer

Cesar Gomez vs. Bill Peck

La Vang vs. Edgar Loza

Eric Gomez vs. Mario Geronimo

Joel Trujillo vs. Kayanno Yorrie

Humberto Taveraz vs. D.J. Balatayo

Johnny Miranda vs. Jesse Cordero

Tanner Arebalo vs. Dillon Baker

Ernie Lopez vs. Vitor Terra

Justin Ford vs. Steven Abshire