COSTA MESA – It isn’t often that a fighter has to get up off of a table to win, but that’s what Jacob Rosales did.
Rosales, a recent graduate of La Habra High, fell through the ropes in his lightweight MMA fight with Jake Albinio at Thursday’s Fight Club OC at The Hangar.
After a moment that surprised the crowd of 1,482, Rosales (3-2) climbed back into the ring, and when the fight restarted, finished off Albinio for a third-round stoppage.
Albinio ended up on the floor.
“He went for a single (takedown) and he lifted me up, I held on real tight, went through and rolled him over to the floor,” Rosales said. “It felt good.”
Rosales, who had success throughout the fight with his striking ability, went back to what worked to end the fight, landing a barrage of punches that sent Albinio to the canvas, forcing referee John McCarthy to stop the fight at 2:53 of the final round.
“I felt like I was stronger than him,” Rosales said. “I didn’t really use my reach as much as I wanted to. I hit him as hard as I could. I dropped him in the first round. I didn’t get too tired in the third, but I was a little bit fatigued. But I pushed through, rocked him, dropped him and finished him.”
Rosales made his professional debut at The Hangar last year and then lost two consecutive fights, including one at RFA 33. He was able to get back on the winning track in May with a three-round unanimous decision victory on a Combate Americas card.
“I knew he was going to be a brute,” Rosales said. “I knew I could hit harder than him. I wanted to use my distance. I knew I hurt him, I just had to keep calm and not get frustrated.”
In the boxing portion of the card, it was a good night to be making a professional debut as both Alfredo Hernandez (Riverside) and Mauricio Gomez (Santa Ana) won their first fights.
Gomez won by unanimous decision over Guadalupe Arroyo (Huntington Beach). The two had met two years ago in the amateurs with Arroyo winning twice.
“The confidence came from my coach (Hugo Vargas),” Gomez said through an interpreter. “It was a mental thing. He always inspires confidence. We wanted the fight. We knew we could beat him.”
Huntington Beach’s Adam Stewart improved to 2-0 with four-round decision over Rafael Rios in another boxing match.
The next Fight Club OC show is set for Aug. 25
Story by Damian Calhoun @firstname.lastname@example.org