Mixed martial arts action returned to New Orleans yesterday, April 5th, with Bayou Fighting Championship 36. The card was packed with eleven exceptional matchups in which fighters represented several local Gulf Coast and Southeastern US gyms, including Gladiators Academy, NOLA BJJ, Team NKI, Headkicks MMA, BMAC, RONIN, Juggernaut, Gracie Barra Westchase and Soul Fighters.
The night featured an abundance of top-notch grappling and MMA excitement as seven of the eleven bouts included finishes, six ending by way of submission. And finally, fight fans got to witness the professional debut of an up-and-coming star of the sport in Tyrek Malveaux as he took on Jewel Scott in the main event.
Follow along as I recap all of the action from Bayou Fighting Championship 36 and showcase some of the most talented and promising young fighters emerging on to the regional mixed martial arts scene.
Jamal Peyton vs. Chris Crosby
Action started hot in this one, but was quickly cooled by a pair of takedowns, with Crosby able to maintain side control after his. Having delivered some ground and pound, it wasn’t long before Crosby locked up the armbar for a first-round submission victory.
Victor: Chris Crosby, 1st-round submission, 2:53, armbar
Ghazi Khan vs. Cody Verret
This fight opened with a great level change by Verret, as he secured a takedown and found himself in Khan’s guard. Khan tried creating separation by keeping his feet on the hips of Verret, and he created enough to stand up his opponent. After the fighters both returned to their feet, Verret locked up Khan’s head in his arms and delivered several heavy knees. Verret followed up with a trip and having Khan’s head already in his arms, secured the tap with a guillotine.
Victor: Cody Verret, 1st-round submission, 1:41, guillotine
Andrew Stirling vs. Ethan Wood
A quick level change and takedown by Ethan Wood brought this fight immediately to the canvas, and from there, it wouldn’t last long. Wood secured a high mount where he postured up and delivered a plethora of uncontested punches before looking up at the referee for the stoppage. The referee wisely obliged and called the first-round TKO.
Victor: Ethan Woods, 1st-round TKO, 1:14
Ali Bacqueri vs. Andrew Hains
Andrew Hains kicked off the fight trying for a single leg, and he switched it to a double and secured the takedown. Action was back up in no time, and after a few exchanges, Hains attempted another single leg, but it was to no avail. Ali Bacqueri started connecting with some combinations later in the round. It was a close one to call, but I had it 10/9 Hains largely due to the takedown. And for the first time, we were headed to the second round.
Striking really opened up for both fighters in the second, but Bacqueri seemed the fresher fighter, landing more consistently and at a higher volume. Hains worked hard for and secured another single leg takedown later in the round, but Bacqueri was quick to his feet. I felt that the takedown was not enough to steal the round from Bacqueri and his impressive striking, and I had it 19/19 going into the final round.
Again, Bacqueri appeared the fresher fighter, and throughout the third round he did a fantastic job with keeping the center of the cage his and keeping Hains at range. Hains did secure another takedown in the round, but Bacqueri clearly out-pointed him. As the final horn blew, the fight headed to the judge’s scorecards for the first time that evening.
Victor: Ali Bacqueri, split decision
Terrence Freeman vs. Ryley Klinger
The fighters locked up early in the first, and it was back and forth until Terrence Freeman secured a takedown and found himself in Klinger’s guard. Klinger had Freeman’s right arm trapped, so Freeman couldn’t deliver much ground and pound from the dominant position. With one arm secured, Klinger kept Freeman in danger of a triangle choke for most of the round, and transitioned to and nearly got the armbar. But, the round ended with Freeman on top and throwing punches. It was a difficult round to score, and I could had seen the judges going either way with it.
The second opened up with some nice exchanges, but Freeman locked up with Klinger and tried to take it back to the mat. While locked up, Klinger got in several big punches before the fighters separated. Later, Freeman finally got the takedown that he had been looking for, but because of the crafty jiu jitsu of Ryley Klinger, Freeman again couldn’t do much damage from the top. The action went back to a standup, and Freeman attempted a standing guillotine, but it wasn’t quite tight enough for the finish. Freeman got another takedown at the end of the round, and it was probably more than enough to award the round to him.
There were some nice exchanges to start the third, and similarly to the first two rounds, the fighters locked up again, but this time, Klinger was clearly in control. He delivered a few old school foot stomps to his incapacitated opponent, and the majority of the round was spent in this position with Klinger controlling Freeman against the cage.
Victor: Ryley Klinger, split decision
Jacob Small vs. Sawyer Thompson
This one opened up with a few big exchanges, but Sawyer Thompson unwisely went for a standing guillotine that allowed Jacob Small to get the easy takedown. From there, Small went from side control to full mount, and Thompson gave up his back. Shortly after, Small got in his hooks and locked up the palm to palm rear naked early in the first.
Jacob Small, 1st-round submission, 2:06, rear naked choke
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Logan Speyrer vs. Dusty Little
Logan Speyrer opened up with a vicious combination that sent Little to the canvas. Speyrer pursued, but Little was back up in no time. The fighters locked up, and Little lifted his leg appearing to try and take Speyrer’s back, but it was premature, and it allowed Speyrer to get the easy takedown. Speyrer landed in a judo side control, but again, Little was spry and back to his feet. However, this was all the better for Speyrer who had already clearly dialed in his range, and he delivered another dynamic combination that sent Little down. Speyrer ended the round on top, and it was clearly 10/9 Speyrer going into the second.
After some brief exchanges, Speyrer went for a toss but Little reversed it and found himself on top. However, Little let Speyrer right up, and it was to Speyrer’s content. Speyrer opened up and blasted Little back to the canvas, but this time, he would not let him get away. Speyrer pursued Little to the ground and forced him to give up his back. Speyrer got in his hooks and locked up the rear naked choke.
Victor: Logan Speyrer, 2nd-round submission, 1:31, rear naked choke
Coty Ziegler vs. Terrence Peterson
The hometown favorite Coty Ziegler made quick work of Terrence Peterson. After some opening exchanges, Ziegler got the fight to the ground and found himself on top and in control of Peterson’s head and neck. Ziegler locked up a guillotine and got the tap early in the first.
Victor: Coty Ziegler, 1st-round submission, 1:37, guillotine
Nicko Commising vs. Damon Vincent
Commising let Vincent get inside almost immediately and Vincent lifted Commising up and slammed him hard to the mat. Vincent maintained control throughout the round, clearly the more experienced wrestler. Vincent attempted a heel hook to close the round, but it wasn’t quite deep enough to cause any damage. I had it a pretty easy 10/9 Damon Vincent going into the second.
Vincent unloaded on Commising to begin the second round, knocking Commising to the canvas. Vincent pursued, delivering a few heavy punches from the top, but Commising recovered quickly and got back to his feet. Vincent did a good job of controlling Commising and keeping him busy with protecting his back. This led to a takedown and quick armbar attempt by Damon Vincent. Commising escaped and briefly found himself on top, but couldn’t generate much offense before the position was reversed and Vincent got to finish the round on top. I had it 20/18 Vincent going into the final round.
Nicko Commising finally seemed to settle in during the third round, and he secured an early takedown of Damon Vincent. Commising delivered some decent ground and pound from the position before the fighters got back to their feet. Vincent got Commising to the mat with a judo toss near the end of the round and it allowed him to end the round on top. That being said, I still think Commising got the round, but it was too little too late as Vincent had clearly won the first two.
Victor: Damon Vincent, unanimous decision
Ray Lopez vs. Brandon Grimmett
Lopez did a great job changing levels straight away and getting Grimmett to the mat. Lopez found himself in side control, and secured a mounted crucifix, delivering heavy elbows from the top. One of Lopez’s strikes, unfortunately, went to the back of Grimmett’s head, and action was stopped and the fighters were stood back up. However, Lopez immediately went for and secured another takedown. From the top, it wouldn’t be long before Lopez isolated one of Grimmet’s arms and locked up an arm triangle (or head and arm choke).
Victor: Ray Lopez, 1st-round submission, 3:09, arm triangle
Jewell Scott vs. Tyrek Malveaux
It seemed that this fight began long before the the referee commenced action, as both fighters stood dead center in the cage, face to face, head touching head, incessantly jawing at each other, ignoring the raucous roar of the crowd. The energy in the building was so thick that it could had been cut with a knife, as the cheers and chants grew for the hometown darling Jewell Scott. However, even though this would be Lafayette’s Tyrek Malveaux’s professional debut, he wanted it to be known that he would not be taken lightly.
As the first round began, both fighters took their time finding their ranges, picking and prodding from the outside. However, it would be Tyrek Malvaux to engage first, shooting in for and securing a takedown. Malveaux stayed heavy on top and took the piecemeal ground and pound that Scott would allow him. The round ended with Malveaux on top, and at that point, it had to have been 10/9 for the debutant.
The second round began with some exchanges, but Scott went for a toss that ended up getting reversed. Scott found himself on his back and with Malveaux in his guard. This time, Malveaux postured up and threw heavy punches, bloodying up Scott’s nose. Scott escaped and worked his way through the scramble, momentarily finding himself on top. However, the wrestling pedigree of Malveaux was too much, and he was off of his back in no time. In the next scramble, Malveaux got control of Scott’s neck and arm, locking up the anaconda choke for his first ever professional MMA win and the Bayou Fighting Championship Featherweight title.
Victor: Tyrek Malveaux, 2nd-round submission, 3:53, anaconda choke