Blood from open cuts streamed down the face of Oakdale Mixed Martial Arts Academy Fighter Justin Smitley like war paint as he was hoisted up by his brother Brad McDonald after a thrilling three-round battle in the main event of the Art of War Stand and Deliver fight card on Saturday.
Third-round hammering punches and elbows from Stockton’s Adrian Diaz bruised and confused the facial features of Smitley, but only added to the scoring-chaos of a fight where Smitley seemed to control two rounds, but got dominated in the third.
One judge scored the fight for Smitley (8-7-1), but two ruled equal stanzas by the professional fighters to force a majority draw in the last of 18 electrifying bouts at the Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown.
“I’ve had a lot of fights, and this isn’t my first bloody one,” Smitley said afterwards. “I don’t feel anything, but I just get tired.
“Anytime you win the first two rounds they are going to come at you hard in that third round and I was expecting it. I just wish I had a little more gas.”
Smitley was one of seven Oakdale MMA fighters to make an appearance on the card, and rounded out a 4-2-1 showing by the locals. Oakdale High graduate Buddy Wallace (5-1) struggled mightily in his unanimous decision loss to Mike Parsons (4-0) in the middleweight title fight, but fellow Mustang grad Michael Gall made a triumphant AOW MMA showing to claim the vacant 125-pound amateur title.
Gall (5-4) peppered Daniel Crumley of Madera (4-2) with constant strikes and takedowns to handily steal a unanimous decision win in the final amateur fight.
“This was the first fight where I could honestly say I was even on both my feet and on the ground,” Gall said. “I had a lot of family and friends here for this one.”
Rising Oakdale MMA star Kelly McGill (2-0), a Gregori High senior, won her second amateur fight with a 55-second technical knockout of Porterville’s Chelsea Davis. McGill clobbered Davis early, then gripped her in a tight standing guillotine choke before the referee could call an end to it.
Oakdale MMA’s La Vang (2-0) also won an easy unanimous decision over Larry Gunter, while Salvador Bacera (2-0) hung on to best Abel Perez. Their teammate, Mike John (4-3), was bested by Cesar Gomez and a savvy arm-bar.
An appearance was also made by Oakdale’s Jacob Westhaven, who fights for Pure Heart MMA of Modesto and graduated from OHS in 2003. Westhaven used to weigh 310 pounds, but changed his diet and exercise habits and weighed in at 181 pounds for his showdown with Steven Abshire on Saturday. The Mustang graduate won his bout with a tight guillotine choke after a close bout of standing exchanges.
“I could feel that it was tight, and I just squeezed,” Westhaven said. “I have got to give credit to my coaches.”