When Anthony ‘Homicide’ Howard and Jose ‘El Toro’ Navarro met in 2014 at Hoplite Fight Productions (HFP) 4: No Judges Required, the scorecards, ironically, sealed a conclusion to the contest; however, in the rematch at Izmatik Fighting Championship 1 on September 9, 2017, they are confident: the officials scoring the event won’t be necessary.
Round after round, Howard and Navarro emptied their toolboxes in order to regularly reverse one another and rally their offense when inches of space became available. A split-decision in favor of Howard granted him the vacant HFP Flyweight Title, sparked a heated rivalry with Navarro, and generated tremendous anticipation for the upcoming rematch.
Since HFP 4, these gladiators from ‘The Golden State’ have accumulated hours in the gym, wins in the cage, and belts wrapped around their waist.
Navarro has excelled in the amateur ranks under the watchful eye of Thrive MMA in Madera. Following the unfortunate loss against Howard, Navarro collected the No Limit Fighting Championship Flyweight Title by knocking out his opponent in twenty-seven seconds. It’s been nearly a year and a half since Navarro last stepped in a cage, but he’s so corroded with vengeance that cage rust will be a non-issue at Izmatik FC 1.
Earlier this year, Howard added to his trophy case of MMA gold when he defeated Freddy Mendez at Cagebound Fighting Championships (CFC) 3 for the vacant CFC Strawweight Title. As a product of Last Stand Fight Team in Sonora, Howard’s small stature doesn’t confine his lofty dreams of standing alone at the top of the lighter weight classes. In a reunion with Navarro, the killer known as ‘Homicide’ will, once again, look to play the role of matador.
The first three rounds of Howard versus Navarro were a judge’s nightmare, but those in attendance of Izmatik FC 1, at the Merced Fairgrounds, will exit the venue with dreamy memories of violence produced in the promotion’s premier main event.