September 23, 2018—Instead of the standard Martial Arts or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program offered at Castro’s Martial Arts in Tracy, California on a Sunday afternoon, Julio Castro, owner of the academy and head coach to a flourishing crop of Pankration competitors, has, instead, cleared several Sundays throughout the remainder of the year, put on a promoter and matchmaker hat, and created Battle of the Best (BOTB), a platform for his students—along with an assortment of other schools scattered throughout the region—to mix their respective dojo’s instruction into a supervised scenario that’s as real as it gets.
The second installment of BOTB not only showcased the incredible toughness and talent of each USFL (United States Fight League) certified participant, but it also acted as a reminder of how early the quest to follow your dreams begins.
Cyrus Povvor vs. Raul Rosas for the BOTB 115-Pound Title
At the top of the sixteen fight card, Cyrus Povvor and Raul Rosas pressured one another for the entirety of three rounds in hopes of becoming the first owner of a BOTB belt. In a Fight of the Night performance, Rosas, representing Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance, claimed the title and Castro’s own Povvor was plagued with a loss on his record; however, everyone stuffed inside BOTB 2’s sold out show or watching NorCal MMA’s live stream on Facebook (link here) felt as though they walked away the winner after witnessing each of their valiant efforts.
Other Kids With Championship Aspirations
Lea Bivins, a decorated member of the Pankration community, bounced back from the burden of defeat at Panda Cup 5 just in time for an upcoming episode of the UFC’s Documentary, UFC 25 Years In Short, which airs each week on UFC Fight Pass as a way of paying tribute to MMA’s beginnings. Featured in Episode 21, Bivins, in addition to many other young ladies who train out of House of Moons in Orangevale, will offer a youthful glow into the direction women’s MMA is trending. Following a flawless arm bar victory—worthy of a NorCal MMA’s Submission of the Night—it’s safe to say, at least for anyone not standing across from Bivins, the future is bright.
Before stepping into BOTB 2’s cage—twice, Travis Boyles paid homage to one of his favorite mixed martial artists, Benito Lopez, by mirroring the patented hairstyle of “The Golden Boy.”
— norcalfightmma (@norcalfightmma) September 23, 2018
Inspiration can work both ways. Lopez quickly countered, as UFC fans have already grown accustomed to from Team Alpha Male’s highly-touted bantamweight while inside the Octagon, with how Boyles’ sentiment resonated, stating in a Tweet: “This video made my day! These kids inspire me as much as I do them!”
🙏🏽This video made my day! These kids inspire me as much as I do them! https://t.co/Yzi38txsYH
— Benito Lopez (@Savage_530) September 23, 2018
NorCal MMA Performances of the Day
Fight of the Day: Cyrus Povvor and Raul Rosas
Submission of the Day: Lea Bivins
Technical Decision of the Day: Elijah Andrew Gomez
BOTB 2’s Complete Results
Raul Rosas defeated Cyrus Povvor by way of unanimous decision
Lea Bivins defeated Alyssa Sanchez by way of arm bar in round 1 (1:43)
Jeffery Luminado defeated Nicholas Galvan by way of unanimous decision
Travis Boyles defeated Leo Alamilla by way of unanimous decision
Kylee Donaldson defeated Alexis Hazleton by way of triangle in round 2 (1:14)
John Perera defeated Rodrigo Soriano by way of rear-naked choke in round 2 (:20)
Phoenix Lopez defeated Mason Kutylowski by way of split-decision
Travis Boyles defeated Vishnu Raghav Sridharan by way of arm bar in round 2 (1:29)
Elijah Andrew Gomez defeated Leo Alamilla by way of technical decision in round 3 (1:19)
Christopher Garcia defeated John Perera by way of arm bar in round 1 (:53)
Julio Castro Jr. defeated Josh Lopez by way of split-decision
Kaiden Devoto defeated Lilly Dizon by way of unanimous decision
Ryder Seriosa defeated Kolton Silbernagel by way of unanimous decsion
Anthony Wahhab defeated Kyle Ettinger by way of split-decision
Gabriel Hernandez defeated Scotlin Seifert by way of technical decision
Hannah Silbernagel defeated Julissa Alvarez by way of arm bar in round 2 (1:25)
The next battle within the walls of Castro’s Martial Arts to determine who is the best-of-the-best will be on October 14th—BOTB 3.