It took months of rigorous training and precise preperation for Dustin Moore going into his fight on Saturday night, but it was all worth it after a first round guillotine choke out on Jose Marin. Especially on his mom's birthday.
“It felt great man,” said Moore about winning his match against Marin from Salinas. “I had a lot of pressure on me but I was able to pull through and perform.”
But it wasn’t just the pressure of the local fans that came to watch Moore fight on Saturday. His mom Sandra was also in attendance and celebrated her birthday by watching her son choke out his opponent on Saturday night.
“That was honestly one of the most important parts for me,” said Moore about having his mom in the crowd. “I really wanted to do well for her and come home safe so she didn’t have to worry.”
The crowd looked eager to watch the fighters duke it out in the octagon as they piled into their seats with buckets of buttered popcorn and cups of cold beer. A DJ was set up to play music throughout the event and a jumbo screen hung along the curtains on the stage showing video clips of the fighters before they made their way to the ring.
“This is cool man,” said Ted Bullock of Santa Cruz. “I like to watch UFC and I think it’s cool that we have something like it in Santa Cruz.”
As for Alex Rocha from Watsonville, he hopes Showdown in Surftown will come back for a second time.
“I liked it,” he said. “There was a lot of action.”
Hundreds of people showed up to the Showdown in Surftown at the Civic Auditorium on Saturday night for the first ever MMA event in Santa Cruz.
Several local fighters included Juan Ortiz from Watsonville and Marco Del Real from Santa Cruz. Ortiz was able to take his opponent Garried Mitchell via TKO, however, Del Real was upset by Oakland native Karl Mitchell.
Mitchell mentioned after the fight that the match was dedicated to his friend who was recently shot on Friday and to his deceased mom.
"RIP mom," he said.
There’s no doubt the event was a big success and promoter Francis Farley from Farley’s Kickboxing may have his eyes set on the next Showdown in Surftown pretty soon. Moore also agrees with the idea.
“Definitely,” he said about a possible return. “I think the show was really well done and professionally, it couldn’t have been any better for a first show. It can only go up from here.”