The Schmo interviews the new UNF lightweight champ Chris Padilla / Photo credit: Joey Krebs

UNF 7 took its illustrious place among the most dynamic fight promotions on Saturday, May 13, 2023, served with eight sizzling fights on fire at Commerce Casino in Commerce, California.  

It was Christopher “Taco” Padilla who cooked up the ultimate taco sauce for his victory. Up Next Fighting 7 proving that good fights like salt and pepper are an added essential condiment to a delectable feast,  so  precision and execution of MMA shows is without any taste in comparison.  

UpNext Promotions has come out oven hot against competition in becoming the most active and most popular regional MMA brand in California. With capacity crowds, quality production and visionary entertainment, along with well-matched, its fan-friendly fights have become a staple meal for its fans. 

Fight fans at the Commerce Casino were served with its second catered installment  of a two action-packed weekend of fight night with  its delicious mix of  cooked dish comebacks, hot one-shot TKO stoppages, and championed next level performances on the table, table, table.

UNF 7 featured two title bouts  on its 8 bout card and musical performance by none other than Latino hip hop rap legend, Mellow Man Ace who spit fire rhymes on the mic with initials which stood for what else MMA.

Highlighting the weekend’s festivities was the UNF 7’s main event where cage fighter Christopher “Taco” Padilla  whose record  stood at 12-6 of Gardena, Calif. authored a dominant three-round submission victory over Serob “Gulo” Minasyan (15-2) of  Team Oyama hailing from Irvine, Calif.  Saturday Night was alright for fighting  in becoming this seasons inaugural UNF lightweight champion.

The two formidable fighters as expected exchanged blows via their stand up game for much of the first round, where Minasyan staggered Padilla only for a moment. Padilla later figured out  Minasyan’s game plan by nullifying his strength and power inevitably stuffing his attack like a turkey backed against the cage and later dropped him to the canvas where Taco maintained dominant control  for much of the fight.

The second round saw Padilla increase his hot oven like strength as Minasyan retreated to be protective of his vanities of his 7-fight win streak, and only a legacy which began to promptly fade in the background. The longer the fight went on,  the more dominant Padilla took control as Minasyan was taken into deep waters,  passing the first round for the first time in five fights. 

The fight came to a conclusion at 3:02 of the third round as Padilla was able to lock up Minasyan with a submission hold via a rear naked choke. Padilla was overcome with emotion in earning his second straight victory inside the prestigious UNF cage.

In the co-main event, Chase “And Cooper” Gibson (12-6) of Los Angeles insured his  emotional second-round TKO victory over  the previously undefeated Ganbat Bayasgalan (4-1) of San Francisco at 2:27 with a relentless ground-and-pound featherweight  fight.  The fighter from the city by the bay, had no answers  and was  defenseless  in his  bout.

Gibson had no fight rust, despite being in the cage  for the first time in nearly a year instead delivered an impassioned  inspirational speech to fans at his post-fight interview with a testimonial that shared all the many obstacles that the fighter had to face and overcome in order to secure his lone victory.

In a featured Rising Stars match, Jairee Baker (6-1) made another successful defense of his UNF Rising Stars lightweight title against Kameron Fardad (2-3), earning a second-round stoppage via punches. Baker announced after the fight his intent to turn professional.

Mike Segura (11-7) of Laguna Beach, Calif. overcame a rocky first two rounds in order to earn a standing guillotine victory over Devon Brock (10-7) of South Central Los Angeles in a lightweight bout that lacked action before its surprising finish. The two fought in a standup position most of the time but traded single strikes with Brock’s hands being quicker and more effective.

Brock had a 20-18 lead on all three scorecards and just needed to get to the final bell, but one moment of lost focus allowed Segura to lock in a standing guillotine finish at 2:42 of the final round which rocked Brock.

UNF favorite Dion Young of Gardena, Calif. kept his perfect record secured, moving to 5-0 over Alessandro Rodriguez (0-1) of Las Vegas with a second-round TKO at 3:12 in their welterweight bout. William Elliott (4-2) of Bridgeton, NJ earned a three-round unanimous decision over Steve Mora (2-2) of Coachella Valley in their bantamweight bout.

Garrett Williams (1-0) of Los Angeles forced Adam Garcia (1-2) of Newport Beach, Calif. to tap out to a rear-naked choke at 3:33 of round 2 in their lightweight bout.

Anthony Romero (1-1) of Los Angeles stopped Bryen Dao (2-2) of Norwalk, Calif. in the third round of an exciting fast-paced featherweight war that had the crowd on their feet. The first cut is the deepest pace was quick from the start as Romero rushed Dao and both men became bloodied before the bell sounded to end the round.

Each man had the upper hand at different points of the fight, and the two each traded low blows before Dao was minus a point for another low blow in round 2. Romero had Dao reeling around the cage, which forced referee Milan Ayers to stop the bout at 4:39 of round 3.

In early evening action, Garrett Williams (1-0) recovered from an early barrage of punches, kicks, takedowns, and a rear naked choke submission attempt by Adam Garcia who turned the tide and scored the V by Rear Naked Choke at 3:33 of round 2.  While William Elliott improved to 4-2 with a decision victory over Steve Mora (2-2)

Fans who missed UNF 7 can watch its replay on Up Next Fighting’s exclusive streaming service, Starfund.Stream.

Up Next Fighting returns on Saturday, July 1st with its latest enticing entree main event pitting Cisco Rivera against Albert Morales.

For more information on Up Next Fighting, follow @upnextfighting on all major social media platforms.