Last Saturday night, the Texarkana Arkansas Convention Center hosted Peak Fighting’s PFC 24. The prefight atmosphere was lively. The buzz in the ballroom only increased as families filed in to witness what would unfold. The account that follows was not written by a sports journalist but rather by an event enthusiast. As a result, specific details that one might expect in a traditional sports article may not have been recorded. For complete results and fighter info, consult the Tapology page for Peak Fighting.
The first bout featured “Crimson” Zack Horton vs. Louis Bustos. The opening contest was fought primarily from the ground for all three rounds. Horton controlled most, if not all, of the action resulting in a unanimous decision. When asked “what’s next” by Brad Robertson the in-ring post-fight interview, Horton said, “Winning.”
The second fight of the evening between Zaid Simmons and Jacob Jowdy ended faster than it would take one to read this paragraph. Eighteen seconds into the bout, after a brief feeling-out period, Jowdy countered with a hard right kick to the head of Simmons who was attempting to land a body shot with his left, leaving him open to one of the most brutal kicks of the evening that ended the fight immediately. In post-fight comments, Jowdy said he was here to make a statement and wasn’t at his best. Then Robertson inquired, “What’s next,” to which a reserved Jowdy replied, “More work.”
Fight fans love the chant the name “Rocky.” PFC 24’s third contest offered ample opportunity for supporters of Mathew “Rocky” Scoggin to do just that. The bout between Drew O’Brien and Scoggin was mainly a one-sided affair with Scoggin ending the contest at the 2:33 mark of the first round with a triangle choke. The enthusiastic fans of Scoggin switch their chant from “Rocky, Rocky” to “Tappity-Tap, Tappity-Tap.” When asked what’s next, the victor replied, “I deserve the belt – It’s mine.”
The fourth bout of the evening was between two hometown fighters: Sammy Martinez and “The Golden Child” Jacoryon Larry. With the evening’s largest “pop,” or fan reaction to a fighter’s ring entrance, Larry was greeted with hugs and high-fives from friends, fans, and family. The Golden Child controlled most of the action during this contest. He landed a stout overhand right that shuttered Martinez to the canvas resulting in a KO victory. Larry directed the first of his post-fight comments to Peak Fighting’s promoter extraordinaire Jonny Ross, stating, “Jonny, I want a belt.” Larry went on to say, “I told you, I’m the wrong one to play with,” adding words to the effect that people can’t just walk in off the street and expect to compete at this high level. The victor exited the ring with great adulation from his fans; He was taking pictures and shaking hands all the way back to the dressing room.
After Larry’s victory, it was time for intermission. All five theater-style screens are showing past event highlights while Peak’s sound system fills the air with upbeat popular tunes. At the Texarkana Arkansas Convention Center event lobby, just outside of the ballroom where PFC 24 is occurring, fight fans are perusing the concessions. BBQ sandwiches, pizza, nachos, chips, and candy are offered as well as an adult beverage station with a variety of beer, wine, and mixed drinks. Of course, spectators have had ample opportunity to find refreshments with a similar beverage station located inside the ballroom.
The first fight of the Main Card between Jesse Sanderson and Colton Loud was an exhibition of upright wrestling, with Loud scoring many elbow and knee strikes in the clinch. Sanderson secured the back of Loud who went to the ground and squirmed his way around to a seated position delivering punches with both hands to Sanderson’s face. The fight was stopped, and a blood-soaked Colton Loud had his hand raised in victory.
The next fight provided more excitement from start to finish than any other of the night. Erique “Supafly” Owens wearing yellow and black trunks and Sterling “Money” Ingram in all grey trunks traded punches and kicks furiously with Ingram employing a flying knee on occasion. A description of the competitor’s trunks is included because this is a fight that fans will want to watch if/when it is made available by Peak Fighting. The audience appreciated the action, offering the most audible adulation between rounds of any contest of the night. Mid-way through the third round, Ingram launched a flying knee attack sending both fighters to the canvas. Ingram got to the back of Owens and submitted him with a rear-naked choke. In the post-fight interview, Ingram was asked about his opponent’s constant pressure, and he responded, “Pressure makes diamonds.”
To see the latest highlights and entire bouts, check out Peak Fighting’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/c/PeakFighting
Jesse “The Tornado” Tafoya vs. German “El Macho” Orplnedo was the last fight before the co-main event. Orplnedo likely traveled the greatest distance to participate in PFC 24. His fan base was vocal and enthusiastic. Seconds into the first round Tafoya, living up to his moniker, landed a tornado-esque spinning backfist that Orplendo never recovered from. Thirty-five seconds into the contest Tafoya submitted his opponent and was declared the winner. In a post-fight interview, when asked his thoughts about the fight, Tafoya said, “I love this shit! Let’s go!”
Before the start of the co-main event, this reporter bumped into the father of Natalya Speece. The gentleman who only wanted to be referred to as “Pappa Pain” said, “We have been behind Natalya all the way from the start.” He also acknowledged that Peak Fighting had put together an incredible event.
The first fight of the two all-female main events was Chantel “Killa” Coates vs. Jessica “The Sourpatch Kid” Sotack. At the press conference, Sotack was asked if this fight would be as brutal as her previous bout at PFC 22, specifically, “Will there be blood?” to that, she said, “Yes.” This was not to be the case. Both fighters largely waged a defensive battle with few aggressive striking attacks or takedowns. The most notable strike of the fight was a left hook from Coates midway through the second round. Coates was declared the winner by decision.
Desiree “Dirty Dez” Yanes vs. Natalya “The Beast” Speece was the final bout of the event. Both fighters appeared to be ready and were active at the start of the contest. Yanes connected with a hard right-cross opening a gash on the face of Speece. This injury was too severe, and the fight was stopped with 4:37 remaining in the first round. Speece seemed as though she wanted to continue, but fight officials had seen enough. Yanes was asked about her plan coming into the fight, stating that she was anticipating more wrestling but, “I’ll take a KO any day, baby.”
Event promoter Jonny Ross was asked about his thoughts on PFC 24, saying, “My thoughts are we had some amazing fights with some brutal knockouts. That’s what happens when you have such high-level fighters. People don’t realize how high-level these fighters are, to be honest. We have such a high-quality roster and are proud to have them.”
Mr. Ross was then asked when Texarkana could expect to see the next Peak Fighting event.
“Not sure when we will be back in Texarkana. With so many arenas trying to book Peak Fighting, they are seeking us to fight in their 5000-10000 seat arenas. It’s hard to fight in smaller venues like we have here. Texarkana needs events, but some of the places where you can have events aren’t the easiest to deal with.”
Ross when on to say, “Love having events here in Texarkana because it’s near my home. Well, it is Peak Fighting’s home, so it’s nice to see people you know at the fights. But out-of-town markets are begging us to come put our show in their town. Those venues just know what we’re bringing and know how to work together with stuff like promoting the event and just going out of their way to make the shows easy and amazing. That’s hard to turn down, and we can only handle so many events a year. This is a high-level show with our footage being on ESPN+ at times. These venues and cities see that and want us so their city and venue can get that kind of exposure. I would say 75-80% of ticket sales are from over 4 hours away every time we fight in Texarkana.”