The Sun City has its fair share of attractions and events to offer to El Pasoans. If one searches hard enough, there is always something to do. This past September, El Pasoans were given the chance to experience something that has been gaining popularity in the last decade: a mixed martial arts championship. HERO FC is the MMA promotion company that made the event possible. Hero FC Best of the Best VI took place on September 26, 2015 at the El Paso Coliseum.
Alex Hernandez, the champion of the main event, walked away with a 50,000 dollar contract. Hernandez defeated fighter JR Sotelo in the first round with a rear naked choke. Hernandez attempted the rear naked choke twice, but Sotelo was able to slip out both times. The third attempt was executed successfully by Hernandez, leaving him with the championship win.
Though there were many fights that entertained El Pasoans the night of the event, the most notable were Hayward Charles against Bubba McDaniel and DJ Fuentes against Paco Castillo. Charles, a veteran fighter for HERO FC, had some trouble in the first round with McDaniel. Charles appeared to be overwhelmed by McDaniel’s experience and strength, but was able to collect himself and force McDaniel into submission with an anaconda choke in the second round. Charles retained his title as Middleweight Champion with his win over McDaniel.
Fuentes and Castillo went into the cage prepared to do damage. Both fighters landed a significant amount of hits. Although Castillo was able to avoid a few spinning kicks attempted by Fuentes, the excessive strikes from Fuentes are what prompted the referee to stop the fight. Fuentes later stated in an interview with HERO FC that his leg had cramped up at the start of the fight and that it was difficult to maneuver and strike accordingly. That did not stop Fuentes from defending his Bantamweight title belt. Fuentes was able to retain his title and go home with a win.
Cain Velasquez, who is a former UFC Champion, made an appearance at the event. The legendary fighter signed autographs and gave fans an opportunity to take photographs with him.
The HERO FC Championship in El Paso gave the community a taste of live action mixed martial arts performed by professional fighters. While HERO FC may have been a guinea pig in its effort to bring professional fighting to the city, it may have opened up a new opportunity for El Pasoans to experience a completely different type of entertainment.