Fury FC 53 Recap: White signs Ogden and Holmes to UFC

The last Fury FC event in Denver had UFC President Dana White in attendance in the hopes of finding future UFC talent as part of the “Lookin’ for a Fight” television series.

The card was stacked with prospects and fun fights.

Albert Trujillo vs. George Martinez

The first fight on the main card featured two flyweights: Albert Trujillo, who entered the fight with a pro record of 5-2, and George Martinez, who sported a 4-1 record. When taking a look at their relatively short pro careers, you can see that both of them were coming off a loss to another pair of bright prospects in Phumi Nkuta (4-0), who beat Trujillo; and LFA’s Carlos Mota (6-0), who finished Martinez.

Round one started out with Martinez showing great boxing and overall good striking. Fans could see his confidence rising and at about 90 seconds into the fight, he started looking for a takedown, despite clearly dominating the striking. After Trujillo got out of the first takedown attempt, Martinez stayed on him and threw him to the ground, immediately looking to take the back and get his hooks in.

It seemed as though Martinez was nearing a finish.

But Albert Trujillo didn’t sit still and escaped the back position, getting back to his feet. Martinez stayed on him, trying to get him right back down. The 5’2” American escaped again with similarities to the game of UFC vet John Dodson.

The fight continued with Martinez winning in the striking again and getting a couple takedowns, though Trujillo still did a great job of getting back up.

At the end of the round, Trujillo managed to reverse a position, spinning to Martinez’s back and punishing him with strikes as he got back up. Trujillo then controlled him in the clinch until Martinez went for a flying triangle, landed on his back and ended the round shelled up, getting pounded on.

In between rounds, Dana White made his way cageside.

The second round was mostly Trujillo having a lot of control in the clinch and on the ground, mixed with aggressive strikes. He also started talking to his adversary. The fight was clearly one round a-piece.

In the third and last round in this flyweight contest, Trujillo showed dominance on the ground, taking Martinez’ back, mounting, ground-and-pounding him, all the while talking nonstop.

As expected, Albert Trujillo won by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). The 29-year-old out of California bounced back from his loss and now has a record of 6-2 with three of his wins coming against fellow prospects.

Since the flyweight division in the UFC is still in a state of building, I think he deserves a call-up to the big show, either on short notice or with a camp against one of the lower level flyweights.

Clayton York vs. Tuco Tokkos

The next fight on the card took place at light heavyweight, featuring 31-year-old Clayton York (5-1), who makes his return after last competing in February of 2019. In his last fight he faced Julius Anglickas, who is the fourth-ranked Bellator light heavyweight contender.

Clayton stepped into the cage opposite of Tuco Tokkos, a 27-year-old who trains out of Sanford MMA, has a brown belt in BJJ, and owns a pro record of 5-2.

After trading a couple of strikes to begin the fight, the muscular York shoots in for a single leg takedown, switched it into a double leg, and got the taller Tokkos down to the canvas. He tried to immediately take his back, but the fighter from London did a great job at keeping the left leg of York outside. York slowly slid off his back, losing position, until Tokkos was on top of him.

After spending about 90 seconds on the bottom, York got up, but his head was still in the control of Tokkos. He used this control to threaten a standing guillotine, as they were both back standing. Going back down to his knees, he adjusted his grip and had York in a front D’arce choke position. Tokkos tightened the choke and Clayton York collapsed on the floor seconds later.

It was an impressive showing by Tuco Tokkos, who celebrated his win with teammate Brendan Allen. In his post-fight interview the Brit told Dana White: “Come on, Dana! If you want someone genuine, get the f****** papers out, mate!”

Ty Flores vs. Myron Dennis

The next fight on the main card was another light heavyweight bout between Ty Flores (8-3) and and Myron Dennis (18-8).

The 27-year-old Ty Flores competed on the Contender Series in 2020. He showed his toughness in that fight and took Dustin Jacoby to a decision. Jacoby got signed by the UFC and has a record of 4-0-1 in the promotion. One of the other losses in his career came to UFC welterweight contender Geoff Neal, indicating a strong strength of schedule.

Myron dennis is a 32-year-old journeyman, who’s last two MMA losses came to UFC fighters Fabio Cherant and Ryan Spann.

Round one started standing, with both fighters landing shots until Myron Dennis got caught off balance and Ty Flores moved into top control. He controlled Dennis until he got up again, with Flores landing more and heavier strikes in the stand up. He ended the round with a strong takedown.

Myron Dennis lost the first round and sported a nasty cut over his eye.

The second round was all stand up despite a couple of takedown attempts from Flores, which he did not get and did not need, since he was pretty much dominating Dennis on the feet.

Round three was more of the same, with Flores dominating the fight standing up and shooting for a couple of takedowns. This time, he was successful with the attempts and could then decide where the fight took place.

Ty Flores won a dominant 30-27 decision. If not signed to the UFC, a fight with the the winner of the fight before, Tuco Tokkos, could make sense.

Joseph Holmes vs. Jhonoven Pati

The following fight took place at middleweight, as Joseph Holmes fought Jhonoven Pati.

Holmes is a very interesting case. He was on the Contender Series Episode 6, just over a month ago. He won his fight (as expected) against Shonte Barnes in the second round by rear-naked-choke, extending his record to 6-1.

Dana White did not sign him that night, but immediately gave him the shot to fight at this event.

He fought Jhonoven Pati, who had a 6-5 record going into the fight and missed weight by 0.4 lbs. Pati was also on Contender Series a season earlier, losing to Jamie Pickett, who got signed to the UFC and stands at 1-2 in the organisation. After the Pickett fight, Pati went back to the regional scene earlier this year at AKA 16, where he lost against Chauncey Foxworth.

The fight started out with Pati landing a nasty spinning body kick to the growing of “Ugly Man Joe.” The next two minutes were Holmes landing great body kicks and great boxing combinations on Pati. Then he threw a vicious left-right combination, with the right putting Pati down and out.

Joseph Holmes says in the post-fight interview, that he should be in the UFC and Dana White agrees, signing the James Krause prodigy right after the event.

Kenneth Glenn vs. Arut Pogosjan

The next fight was a lightweight bout between 36-year-old Kenneth Glenn (10-7) and Armenian fighter Arut Pogosjan (8-3), 33.

In the first round, Pogosjan was pressuring by always going forward, winning most of the exchanges and hurting Glenn at the end of the round with a nice left that landed straight at Glenn’s eye.

The second round was more of the same: Pogosjan landing more and cleaner than his opponent.

The third round was closer, with Pogosjan not pressuring as much and Glenn landing a bit more. Still, Pogosjan was winning the round.

Arut Pogosjan defeated Kenneth Glenn by unanimous decision (30-27 x3).

Edwin Chavez vs. Andrés Quintana

The following fight on the card was a featherweight bout between Edwin Chavez Jr. (5-1) and Andrés Quintana (18-3). Quintana missed weight by 2.4 lbs.

The 30-year-old Andrés Quintana beat Chavez Jr. in the striking in the first round. He had his hands low and showed quick hands and good head movement.

The second round was similar, with Quintana finding even more success and Chavez wearing the damage in the shape of a bloody nose.

In the third round, Chavez has some moments despite getting dropped by a left hand, making the fight a war in the last minute of the round.

Andrés Quintana improved his record to 19-3 by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) .He added a good bounce back win to his record and his already very impressive resume.

Jose Johnson vs. Mo Miller

The co-main event had Jose Johnson (12-7) competing against undefeated Mo Miller (6-0) at bantamweight.

Mo Miller was the second fighter on this card that had a win on this year’s season of the Contender Series. He won by unanimous decision, and many people thought that he deserved to get a contract that night. The training partner of Stipe Miocic is a strong wrestler, who already beat two good prospects on the regional scene before earning the win in front of Dana White.

His opponent, the 26-year-old Jose Johnson, also competed on the Contender Series in 2020, losing to Ronnie Lawrence, who got signed and stands at 1-0 in the promotion. Johnson bounced back, beating Dre Miley, but getting knocked out on the last Fury FC/”Lookin’ for a Fight” by Mana Martinez, who got signed to the UFC subsequently.

The fight started and the difference in body types was evident, Johnson being a gigantic bantamweight at 6’0” with a long and skinny body, while the 5’8” Miller instead muscle-bound and compact.

They exchanged a couple kicks before Miller shot in for a takedown and immediately took Johnson’s back. Johnson managed to escape the position and get back to his feet. Miller struck him with an elbow off the break and just took seconds until he shot in again. He tried the same thing, taking his back and trying to choke Johnson, but he just had one hook in.

Mo Miller improved his position by here completely taking his back, but Jose Johnson did a good job of staying calm and escaping the position with about one minute left in the first round.

“Mo Show” Miller attempted one more takedown, but it got stuffed by Johnson.

Round two started with Jose Johnson landing some solid kicks. Miller shot in again, almost getting reversed this time, but impressively scrambling to top position.

Johnson threw his long legs up and is successful with locking in a triangle. Mo Miller did not defend it well and ended up submitting.

It was a big underdog win from Jose Johnson and very frustrating loss for Mo Miller.

JJ Okanovich vs. Trey Ogden

The main event of the evening saw JJ Okanovich battle Trey Ogden for the Fury FC lightweight championship.

JJ Okanovich is 31 years of age and trains at the American Kickboxing Academy. He is coming off of a good win against formerly undefeated Anthony Romero, making a good case to get signed if he was to win the title.

Trey Ogden is 32 years old and on a two-fight win streak in his own right, training under the tutelage of James Krause at Glory MMA & Fitness.

The round started off with Trey Ogden controlling the striking, until he took JJ Okanovich down with about half of the five minutes left. Okanovich went for an armbar that Odgen managed to escape and he scrambled back to top position, remaining the rest of the round on top landing a couple of elbows.

It was a clear first round for Odgen, winning on the feet and on the ground.

The beginning of round two was very similar to the first, with Trey Ogden getting the better of JJ Okanovich in the striking and taking him down after just over one minute in the round.

He did a great job at controlling and improving position on the ground, right in front of his cornermen, the aforementioned James Krause and UFC fighter Jason Witt.

He transitioned from a strong mount to an arm-triangle choke, immediately sliding to the side to finish it. Shortly after, JJ Okanovich was out cold.

It was a very impressive performance by Trey Ogden, who deservingly will get his opportunity to fight in front of Dana White again, as he earned a UFC contract right after his win