My brother made his amateur MMA debut last Saturday night in Watsonville, Ca. This Rugged Life was on the scene to cover the action.
Amateur Mixed Martial Arts action came to the Monterey Bay last Saturday night for the C.A.M.O.-organized "Coastal Collision" in Watsonville, Ca. Bryan Schatz entered the cage as the third event of the night, squaring off against Eduardo Carrillo out of San Jose, Ca. The two met at an agreed-upon catch-weight of 145 pounds, with Schatz possessing a slight reach and height advantage over the shorter Carrillo.
The bell rang for round 1 and the two touched gloves before squaring off. After a brief feeling-out period that saw both fighters land hard shots, Schatz took the action to the ground, closing the distance and shooting for a double leg take-down that turned into a vicious slam that brought the crowd to their feet. After the scramble, Schatz ended up in Carrillo's guard, and both traded several blows to the head and body. While competitive, the first round went to Schatz.
The second round started as a mirror image of the first, with both fighters showcasing their extensive experience in the stand-up arts of boxing and Muay Thai. Trouble came shortly into the round when Carrillo landed a beautiful left hook, right hand combo that caught Schatz on the way in. The right hand wobbled Schatz, but his instincts took him into a clinch to buy time. Carrillo went on the attack for most of the rest of the round, leading with hard right leads and scoring with knees to the head at the end of his combinations. The barrage left a large welt under Schatz's left eye. The bell rang, and the 2nd round was a wide one for Carrillo.
Schatz's corner worked on the eye between rounds, applying liberal amounts of vaseline, and their fighter bounced off the stool to start the 3rd round. He then looked over at the crowd and grinned. Carrillo came out hard and aggressive for the last round, looking to finish off his opponent. Schatz had recuperated well between rounds, and fired back with straight punches down the middle. Halfway through, Schatz landed another hard slam to his opponent, changing the course of the round, and perhaps the fight. The two combatants grappled for the balance of the round, both looking to finish the other with a submission but lacking the time to put one in place.
In what had clearly been the most exciting bout of the evening, the three judges scored a split decision victory for Carrillo. Where most fights have a clear winner and loser, with the victor being elevated and the defeated knocked down a peg, this was the type of fight that saw both participants elevated just for their participation in it. It was a very solid, back and forth type of fight that saw both men in danger at numerous times, and both men fight back with tremendous heart and courage.
On a personal note, I am very proud of my brother for accomplishing what has been a long-time goal of his, fighting bravely against a very skilled opponent, and being a gentleman both before and after the bout.