Two locals win MMA fights Saturday

Coaches, fighters and supporters of AntDawg’s USH Dawgpound Fight Team. Back row, from left to right: Angel Figueroa, Nathan Figueroa and Gill Barry. Bottom row, from left to right: Anthony Figueroa, Brianna VanBuren, Antonio VanBuren, Adin Duenas, Anthon

Brianna VanBuren, 18, and Adin Duenas, 23, representing Antdawg’s USH! Dawgpound Fight Team, took a bite out of the competition Saturday night at Proving Grounds 8, hosted by Fight Academy Pasadena.

The trip to Southern California proved well worth it for the young fighters, who entered the California Amateur Martial Arts Organization – sanctioned (CAMO) event with identical 2-0 records.

Duenas, a Gilroy High wrestling alumnus (2005 and 2006 Central Coast Section champion and third at state in 2006) and 2010 Pac-10 champion while at California State Fullerton, broke down his opponent Jose Pinzon in the first round of the combatants featherweight face off.

Duenas, who pushed his record to 3-0, put Pinzon into a D’Arce choke hold (Jiu Jitsu), forcing him to tap out, team manager and assistant coach Angel Figueroa said.

VanBuren, took on the Fight Academy’s own Crystal Lizama, 26, in the evening’s flyweight main attraction.

Though the crowd support tilted heavily in Lizama’s favor, Figueroa said, VanBuren, a southpaw, earned a third round technical knockout victory to boost her record to 3-0 as well. Her other victories include a first-round submission and a unanimous decision.

“It was a great event held inside of Pasadena Fight Academy gym,” Figueroa said, adding that the Gilroy contingent, albeit small, in attendance provided a lift for the local competitors.

VanBuren and teammate Benji Amezquita (6-3), who is currently ranked No. 6 in the state and holds two 145-pound titles, according to the CAMO rankings, are set to fight July 22 at the Saddlerack in Fremont. Tickets for that are available at Antdawg’s USH training facility – 8540 Church Street – inside Gilroy Health and Fitness.

The Dawgpound Fight Team is headed by professional MMA fighter Anthony Figueroa. Two other fighters – Jose Perez (2-2) and Antonio VanBuren (2-0) are also on the amateur circuit in pursuit of professional careers.

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