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Spectacular Finishes Punctuate Hidden Talent’s ‘Who’s Next 4’

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Rollie Baguisa

Energy MMA’s Rollie Baguisa

by Matt Lo Cascio

Hidden Talent MMA returned to the Lake County Fairgrounds Saturday night with a championship bout that featured a fight inside – and outside – the cage.

Inside the cage it was Combat Do’s Carlos Hernandez Jr. defending his flyweight title against Energy MMA’s Angel Cabrera. Hernandez Jr.  shook off an early Cabrera takedown and followed up a series of knees with 1-2 combo that dropped Cabrera. Hernandez Jr. moved in for the finish, but referee Otto Torriero beat him to it and waved off the fight. The end came at 2:25 of round one, and Hernandez Jr. remains the champion.

But after Hernandez scored the TKO, a fight broke out in the crowd and several fans were injured in the process. Hernandez Jr. hopped the cage fence and ran into the crowd before the decision was announced. One cageside official told me he should have been disqualified for leaving the cage before a decision was rendered. Another official said they were unfamiliar with such a rule.

Hernandez told the ref he went out into the crowd because he was concerned about his mother. The fan melee came at the end of the night, so it did not spoil what was a terrific event with some standout performances.

Jordan Broome, Energy MMAEnergy MMA’s Jordan Broome was one of those standouts, using his length and a diverse striking game in finishing Heleodoro Briceno in the second round.

Broome made the crowd erupt in round one with a head kick that rocked Briceno, then followed that up with a spinning back fist and an uppercut that stunned Briceno again. In round two, Briceno ate a steady diet of right hands then got caught in a standing guillotine. Broome pulled him down and into his guard to finish the submission.

“I wanted to keep my distance, I knew he was a grappler. It really wasn’t my goal to submit but it was just there,” Broome said.

Energy MMA’s Rollie Baguisa repeatedly used an overhand right that would have made both Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson nod in approval. The combination of speed and power from that punch was too much for opponent Mike Richards to handle, and Baguisa scored a pure knockout at just :32 of round one. He got the crowd in a frenzy by landing a few of those bombs, a chant of “Rollie! Rollie!” interrupted when the last right hand sent Richards stiff to the canvas.

Mike Miranda, Black Tiger Muay ThaiBlack Tiger Muay Thai’s Mike Miranda displayed power and accuracy with knee strikes that spoiled the trip east for Miletich Fighting Systems’ Patrick Milder.

Miranda hurt Milder in round one with a well-placed knee to the body. Miranda took Milder down and into side control, but he lost position and Milder wasted no time in taking Miranda’s back and sinking in a rear-naked choke. Miranda was able to defend and get back to his feet. The round ended and Milder slumped to the canvas in his corner breathing very heavily, while Miranda looked calm and fresh.

Miranda came out in round two and again landed beautiful knees to Milder’s midsection that dropped the fighter to the mat. Miranda seized the moment and cinched up a guillotine that ended the fight just :20 into the round.

Jonathan Quinlan dominated Victor Gonzalez over three rounds, showing a solid mix of striking, speed and ground skills.

Quinlan dropped Gonzalez in round one when he perfectly countered a kick with a right hand, then made getting to mount look easy. Quinlan then caught Gonzalez in a standing guillotine at the end of the round.

In round two, Quinlan ducked under a left hand and shots on Gonzalez, completing a double-leg and again getting to mount. He posted up and unleashed a series of left and rights that scored. Gonzalez survived the round, but Quinlan had won both frames.

In round three, Quinlan again caught a Gonzalez kick and sent him to the ground, resuming his ground and pound and yet again getting to full mount. He won via unanimous decision in impressive fashion.

Click here for complete results from Hidden Talent MMA’s Who’s Next 4.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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