COSTA MESA – The first edition of Fight Club OC for 2012 got off to an inauspicious start Thursday when it was announced that the main event pitting heavyweight boxers Alexander Flores and Yohan Banks was canceled because Banks was experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The cancellation moved the 137-pound bout between Jose Hernandez of Fort Worth, Texas, and Jaime Orrantia of Los Mochis, Mexico, to the main event.
The bout went the full six rounds and likely didn’t disappoint the 1,300-plus who filled the Hangar in the OC Fair & Event Center.
Hernandez was the faster, busier boxer for the most the fight and came away with a victory by unanimous decision. Hernandez (12-5-1) waited for openings and then threw rapid combinations, scoring with many of them. Orrantia (26-25-5) displayed heart, taking solid shots to the head but staying on his feet.
The hybrid card featured three boxing bouts and one mixed martial arts fight.
The three-round, 116-pound boxing match between Abigail Castaneda of Santa Ana and Maria Ruiz of Houston also was a crowd pleaser, but for more than just the fight itself. An 11-year-old Mariachi singer entered the ring ahead of Castaneda and serenaded the fighter as she entered.
Castaneda (2-0) then threw most of the punches en route to a victory by unanimous decision.
In another boxing match, Johnny Worthy (154) of Ontario scored a bizarre knockout over Eric Mendez of Hawaiian Gardens. Late in the third round, Worthy was clearly winning the fight but didn’t seem to be hurting Mendez too badly.
Suddenly, without being hit, Mendez went down on one knee for several seconds and got back up. Mendez took a knee again 27 seconds in the fourth round, prompting his corner to stop the fight.
In the lone MMA match, Anaheim’s Darren Smith (155) won by tap-out over Corona’s Mike Arelliano. Smith (4-1) did much the damage by delivering punches to Arelliano’s face while he was on his back.
Smith also body-slammed his opponent on another occasion and ultimately put a stop to the fight with a rear-naked choke at 2:25 of Round 3.