Aside from being a major highlight of the Butte County Fair, Nor Cal Combat 7 gives Gridley residents another reason to get excited. Tonight’s edition of Northern California’s premiere amateur Mixed Martial Arts event will showcase seven local fighters. Nor Cal Combat is a product of Orsua and Byrne Fight Promotions, created by Brannon Byrne and John Orsua.
Byrne also manages and coaches six of the fighters on tonight’s card with the help of Lance Andes. One of the fighters from Byrne’s club will headline tonight’s 13-bout card.
The main event, featuring Team Byrne’s Johnny Terry, has NCC’s Media and Marketing Manager Adam Sharrock more excited than ever about tonight’s card.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’m looking forward to Johnny’s fight,” he said. “The kid has not an ounce of quit in him and has earned this opportunity to fight for this title. He’s been the heart and soul of Team Byrne and throws every punch like it’s his last.”
Terry (2-3) won his last fight at NCC 6 just moments into the second round by TKO.
“He lit up his opponent like I’ve never seen,” said Sharrock about Terry in his fight against Whitley. “When he was immediately granted a title fight in front of his home town on the biggest stage we have, I knew this was a dream fight in the making.”
Terry was scheduled to fight Cody Walsh who was crowned NCC Flyweight Champion at Nor Cal Combat V, but Walsh vacated his title after sustaining an injury. Terry was then scheduled to fight Jesse Davis for the open Flyweight belt, but Davis dropped out at the last minute. Now, the local fighter will take on Justin Parsons (1-0) from Anderson, CA.
Sherrock mentioned he is also looking forward to the final fight of the night, featuring Team Byrne’s Dakota Sisk. Dakota will take on a very experienced Idris Wasi. Dakota has a 2-1 CAMO record, but has several other matches under him while fighting at casinos.
“Sisk’s opponent, Idris Wasi, is a hard hitting machine, and I think Dakota matches up with him perfectly,” Sherrock said. “Expect a lot of boxing and mat work in this one.”
Dakota agreed that Wasi is a “heavy hitter,” but he isn’t worried at all.
“I’ve seen him fight here and at Galaxy. He has no ground game,” Dakota said. “He just sits there. He’s a boxer, kickboxer—a stand-up guy.”
To prepare for the so-called “heavy hitter”, Dakota says he’s been focusing on his stand-up and blocking.
Dakota’s last fight was against Brent Hatcher a year ago at the Butte County Fair. Dakota won the fight at 00:27 in Round 3 by TKO, but both fighters were awarded a medal after being named “Fight of the Night.”
Page 2 of 2 - Also on the card, local favorite Joe Ruggirello. Ruggirello is heading into the fight coming off two wins via TKO, and will face Nico Lozada (1-0). Ruggirello says he saw Lozada compete at NCC VI. When asked about his upcoming opponent, Ruggirello simply stated, “I’m not too worried about him… I’m 100% confident I’m going to win.”
Pending a victory, Ruggirello hopes to face current NCC Bantamweight champion, Benito Lopez. Lopez (6-0) gave Ruggirello his only loss.
Team Byrne’s Thomas Graham will also be on NCC 7 card. Graham posts a record of two wins, and one loss. Normally a middleweight contender, this is his first time cutting to the lightweight division. His opponent will be David Anthony Garcia (2-2) from Tulane.
“I don’t know much about him,” Graham said. “I know he comes out quick, but that’s about it.”
Graham says he plans to use his height advantage and his reach against his much shorter opponent. According to the CAMO website, Garcia stands at about 5’0”, while Graham is a solid 6’0”.
“I’m just going to standup and fight,” said Graham. “Use my reach, my kicks, my height advantage.”
Deniko Sisk, older brother of Dakota, is also confident about his upcoming match. Deniko will take on Van Jones (0-2). At the time of the interview, Deniko was unaware of who his opponent was but made it clear it didn’t matter.
“I don’t care about it,” he said. “I don’t look him up or nothing. They all do, I just do my thing.”
Deniko (1-1) lost his most recent fight, at NCC III, to current undefeated Lightweight champ Jason Powell. He has taken the past year off from scheduling any fights, which has him well-rested and excited for tonight’s match.
Rounding out the group of Team Byrne’s fighters is Jose “Chepo” Rivera. Rivera will take on another local fighter, Kevin Ford.
Rivera’s last fight, at NCC IV last year at the Butte County Fair, ended in a no contest, according to Sharrock. In the match before Rivera’s, one of the fighters was injured and transported to the hospital by the only ambulance on site. CAMO’s rules state that if there is no ambulance on site, the fights must be stopped. They also state that if a fight is stopped for more than 7 minutes, then that fight must be ruled a no contest. Rivera’s fight had to be stopped midway through Round 2 and was eventually ruled a no contest because of this.
Sharrock stated that Rivera is in prime shape and eager to get back inside of the cage. His last match has left him hungry and ready for his next opponent.
With this many local fighters, this is not an event you are going to want to miss! Come support your hometown! This should be the best showing of Nor Cal Combat yet!