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‘TACTICAL VIOLENCE’

MMA pro Persons among 3 victorious Mantecans

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‘TACTICAL VIOLENCE’

Marcus Gaines, bottom, tries to fend off Manteca’s Mike Persons in their middleweight title bout at Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown this past Saturday.

NORMAN DURKEE/Ready Ent. Designs


POSTED August 6, 2013 12:23 a.m.

Three Manteca mixed martial artists added ‘W’s’ to their résumés in Saturday’s “Tactical Violence” show put on by Art of War Productions at Chicken Ranch Casino of Jamestown.

Mike Persons improved to 5-1 in his professional career while retaining his middleweight (185) title. Darrell Balatayo prevailed via first-round stoppage in his amateur debut, while Cortez Martial Arts Academy stablemate Jason Cortez Jr. triumphed in his third bout.

Persons was successful in defending his title and avenging his only professional defeat. The 29-year-old lost a unanimous decision to Clayton McKinney in Nick Diaz’s inaugural WAR MMA event on June 22. Persons rebounded Saturday with a split-decision victory over Marcus Gaines (11-22) of Fairfield. It was one of five pro matches on the card.

Balatayo and Cortez Jr. won in similar fashion.

The 18-year-old Balatayo was in control of Humberto Tavarez early on in their bantamweight (135) and ended it with a rear naked choke in 1 minute, 8 seconds. Cortez Jr. (3-0), 20, took down Jay Jay Santana in the opening moments and stopped him with an arm triangle in 58 seconds.

Brandon Hafer and Roque Reyes, also representing Cortez Martial Arts, didn’t fare as well. Hafer was on the short end of the night’s quickest stoppage, as Sal Bacerra won by technical knockout in 22 seconds. Reyes, suffered a fifth straight defeat at the hands of Mike John, who earned an amateur featherweight belt with his first-round submission in 2:39.

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