Combat sports notes: Triumphant weekend for state’s athletes

Las Cruces’ Joscelyn Olayo-Muñoz on Saturday defeated Maleah Rodriguez of Vancouver, Washington by unanimous decision for the Female Junior 101-pound championship, capping an outstanding week for Las Cruces amateur boxers at the USA Boxing Nationals in Lubbock, Texas.

Olayo-Muñoz, nicknamed “Jos the Boss,” is one of four Las Crucens who won titles in Lubbock – joining Samantha Ginithan (139-pound Elite), Aleeza Mata-Hill (Elite 156) and Laela Carreras (Bantam 60).

It was a good weekend in general for New Mexico combat-sports athletes.

On Friday in Commerce, California, Albuquerque MMA fighter Chris “Breezy” Brown (10-4) defeated Mexico’s Alfonso Leyva (6-1) by first-round TKO (kick to the liver) to claim the LFA welterweight title.

That same evening, longtime Las Crucen Austin Trout (36-5-1, 18 KOs) defeated Mexico’s Jose Sanchez Charles (20-3, 12 KOs) by lopsided decision in the main event of a pro boxing card in Hidalgo, Texas.

All three judges scored the bout 80-72, giving all eight rounds to Trout.

Trout, a former WBA junior middleweight champion, now lives and trains in Houston.

Olayo-Muñoz, in defeating Rodriguez, displayed her signature aggressiveness, hand speed and accuracy in dominating the bout. Four of the five judges gave the 15-year-old Las Cruces boxer all three rounds, 30-27. The fifth judge scored it 29-28.

It was Olayo-Muñoz’s 14th national title. She was voted the outstanding Female Junior Division fighter of the tournament.

Ginithan, in defeating Dallas’ Briana Carrera for the 139-pound title, entered the final round with the decision in the balance. Her strong finish provided the edge she needed in gaining a 3-2 split verdict.

Mata-Hill defeated Madeline Days of Granite Bay, California by unanimous decision for her 156-pound elite title. Carreras defeated Hawaii’s Lorena Kaleiopu for the 60-pound Bantam title.

LUTTRELL-YEE IS GONE: One of Albuquerque’s more successful and high-profile MMA gyms is shutting down.

“As of (Monday), Luttrell-Yee MMA is no more,” Ray Yee, with Chris Luttrell the gym’s founders, said in a video posted Tuesday on Facebook.

For Yee, the occasion for the post was more about his own decision to retire from the sport.

“I am retiring from MMA coaching and cornering,” he said.

In fact, Yee said, he’d been retired since July 2, when fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone retired in the Octagon after losing to Jim Miller. Yee was cornering for Cerrone that night in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Cowboy taking off his gloves in the UFC was a bittersweet moment,” Yee said, “But you know it was time. For me, 20 years in the MMA game has been amazing.”

Yee said he posted the video in an attempt to answer questions that had cropped up about his status.

In his post, and during a phone interview on Friday, Yee said nothing about Luttrell’s future or that of Luttrell-Yee’s partner Adrian Almeida other than “it’s a clean break. There’s no ill feelings or anything like that. The relationship ran its course.”

On Saturday via social media, Luttrell told the Journal his focus is on the Cleveland High School prep wrestling careers of his twin sons, Roman and Reagan.

Roman Luttrell won the Class 5A 106-pound state title last earlier this year as an eighth-grader.

Among Luttrell-Yee’s more successful fighters:

Flyweight Jordan Espinosa (15-10), a West Mesa state champion wrestler who had six fights in the UFC; featherweight Andres Quintana (19-5), a Roswell native who had success on the Combate Americas circuit; Santa Fean Jerome Rivera (10-6), whose success on the LFA circuit and on Dana White’s Tuesday Contender Series earned him a UFC contract.

Luttrell and Yee also worked with now-retired Brazilian UFC flyweight contender Claudia Gadelha, who briefly lived in Albuquerque.

By no means, Yee said, is he retiring from martial arts.

“Moving on,” he said, “I’m gonna focus on teaching more, focusing on the martial arts that have brought so much to my life in the last four decades and just being a good dad and a good husband.”

Yee said he intends at some point to establish a gym on Albuquerque’s West Side “that’s gonna be one of a kind, and I’m super excited about everything moving forward.”

He plans to continue the stunt work he’s done for movie and TV productions.

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