After six days of motorsports, the Food Maxx Arena facilitated a different kind of horsepower on Thursday - the authentic kind. The annual California Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association rolled into the Stanislaus County Fair to the delight of a packed grandstand, welcoming local and not so local competitors to chase nearly $5 million in prizes.
It only took 1:31 for "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez to finish Dan Price on Saturday, recording his fourth professional victory via first round stoppage and fifth overall. In his second fight in three weeks, Gonzalez defeated Price by way of a Darce choke, delighting the fans at the Sutter County Fairgrounds in Yuba City.
Three weeks ago "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez scored an exciting TKO victory over Lamar Reed in his fourth professional Mixed Martial Arts bout, maintaining an undefeated record and a string of victories via stoppage. Instead of resting on his laurels, Gonzalez (4-0) will be competing in his fifth professional fight against Dan Price (5-3) tonight at the Sutter County Fairgrounds in Yuba City.
Professional debuts are usually planned months in advance, giving fighters ample time to train and prepare themselves for their opponent as well as their introduction to the highest level of Mixed Martial Arts competition. Turlock's Ty Costa has been fighting for two years but he's only had two weeks to get ready for today's 145 pound fight with Mario Soto. Still, the former Bulldog wrestler exhibited a calm confidence as he wrapped up his training on Thursday, making it clear that he intends to win.
The cage sat in the middle of the room, under vaulted ceilings and bright lights, occupied by modern day gladiators and surrounded by spectators. Those in attendance at Stockton's Memorial Civic Auditorium gathered to watch Mixed Martial Artists fight, eager to see strikes, submissions, and if they were lucky, blood. Split between the balcony and the floor, a sizeable group of Turlockers sat in anticipation, waiting for Brandon "The Fireman" Bettencourt and "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez to make their way into the cage.
"Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez is ready to step into the cage once again, as he should be. On Friday, Gonzalez (3-0) will take on Lamar Reed (1-0) at the Stockton Memorial Civic Center as part of Up and Comers 10. Six months removed from his last fight, Gonzalez is looking for his fourth professional win as he continues to further his MMA career.
Escalon's Eric Holmes made a valiant dash for the front in the late going of Saturday's Pick-N-Pull 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Stockton 99 Speedway, but was ultimately forced to settle for a hard earned second place finish behind young gun Dylan Kwasniewski.
It was a homecoming of sorts on Monday night for former Pitman High standout baseball player Bradin Hagens. Hagens, a current member of the Visalia Rawhide, was back in the Valley to face the Modesto Nuts.
With some of the toughest rodeo animals in the West - and cowboys of the same caliber - the 61st annual Oakdale Rodeo promises competition, thrills, and a showcase for some of the top rodeo riders.
Ish Monroe has been fishing practically his entire life. As the Hughsonite grew up, joined the workforce and enrolled in college he would still turn to his favorite passtime to relax. The simple act of throwing a line in the water from his boat was enough to make him happy.
Soccer fans rejoice; Turlock is now home to its first professional sports team, the Turlock Express. In their first year at the professional level the Express (6-3) are in second place of the Professional Arena Soccer League's Western Division and undefeated at home. Turlock will try and extend their perfect record at home Friday when they host the Tijuana Revolucion at the Turlock Indoor Soccer facility.
Since he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos, Turlock's Tom Brandstater has had a career of uncertainty. Less than a year after signing a four-year contract, Brandstater was waived by the Broncos when they drafted Tim Tebow and acquired Brady Quinn from the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 season.
As people sat at tables and slot machines trying to earn a quick buck on Saturday, Lewis Gonzales was downstairs earning his money, fighting fellow welterweight Justin Baesman at Oroville's Gold Country Casino and Hotel.
In a small town like Turlock, that rarely garners national attention and where time moves at a steady pace, people are quick to claim any source of pride they can find. Recently, the ascension of Tom Brandstater, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Mendonca to the professional level of their respective sports has become the main source of pride for many Turlockers.
The Oakland Raiders have suffered another 4-12 season in 2013, which was good for last place in the AFC West.
Why fix it if it isn't broken?
The Los Angeles Raiders. Sure, it's better than the San Antonio Raiders, but it still doesn't sound quite right.
Life is good for Colin Kaepernick.
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