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Cortez shines in Titan’s Cage 7 co-main event

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Cortez shines in Titan’s Cage 7 co-main event

Jason Cortez Jr. has seventh-ranked bantamweight Nico Lozada in a precarious position as he winds up for a straight right. Cortez advanced his record to 4-0 as an amateur mixed martial artist with ...

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POSTED April 17, 2014 12:50 a.m.

East Union graduate Jason Cortez Jr. and Nico Lozada didn’t take long to get acquainted in a co-feature bout for The Titans Cage 7 event held at McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento this past Saturday.

The two combatants met in the middle of the octagon right away, with Cortez winging a right hook and Lozada going low with a kick. Soon after they were on the mat with Cortez in full control.

Whether it was from a stand-up position or on the ground, the former East Union High wrestler had his way en route to a unanimous decision victory. It was mild upset for the now 4-0 Cortez, who faced the seventh-ranked bantamweight (125-135 pounds) in the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization.

“I don’t like to wait around, I usually like to come in right away, get in the guy’s face and push the pace,” Cortez said. “It’s only a 6-minute fight, so I want to make as much happen in that short period of time.”

Plenty did happen, including two warnings from the referee. Cortez was warned for stomping on his opponent in the first round, and in the second Lozada (2-1) was admonished for a kick to the groin.

Cortez was otherwise able to put his full repertoire of skills on display. The kenpo and jiu-jitsu specialist imposed his will in the second round, starting off a flurry of punches that backed Lozada up to the cage. Cortez continued the assault with a series of ground-and-pound strikes until the final seconds.

“I watched his tapes and had a good feeling that there wasn’t much he can threaten me with,” Cortez said. “It was a good time to show everyone the striking and boxing I had been working on.”

Also on the card, Cortez Martial Arts and Charles Gracie Jiu Jitsu stablemate Roque Reyes unanimously outpointed Colusa’s Santino Valdez. In the other co-main event, Sierra graduate Oscar Castro (5-1) won by unanimous decision against Cameron Quigel (4-1-1) of Stockton. Castro entered the event ranked No. 8 in the light heavyweight division.

As for Cortez, he doesn’t plan on fighting again for the rest of the year. With his general education courses at Modesto Junior College out of the way, he is enrolling at Fresno State in July to pursue a degree in business administration.

Cortez said he will try out for the wrestling team if Fresno State reinstates the program. If not, he will seek out a gym in the area to continue his training.

“I would love to (go pro) eventually, but as of right now they don’t make that much money,” Cortez said. “I’m going to get my degree first as a backup plan.”

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