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Marinoble's fighter Griffin wins MMA welterweight pro belt

He KOs veteran Jara 52 seconds into first round
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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PLACERVILLE - Max Griffin waited three hours before it was his turn to step into the cage Saturday night and took just 52 seconds to win his first professional mixed martial arts championship belt.

Griffin (4-0), fighting out of Marinoble's in Roseville, knocked out veteran Jaime Jara (32-11-1) with a right hand to the chin to capture the West Coast Pacific welterweight title. It was the ninth and final fight and the co-main event on the West Coast Fighting Championship "Bruvado Bash" card at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.

Most of a packed house stuck around through eight fights and a two-song set by a heavy metal band to watch Griffin stop Jara, who has won multiple championships.

"This is great. This is the best outcome it could have been: 52 seconds, first-round knockout. It couldn't have went any better; not a scratch on me," said Griffin, who lives in Citrus Heights and celebrated with about 20 friends.

Griffin thanked Jara, saying, "He's an MMA legend, seven-time world champ. He's a veteran, and I mean, I'm 3-0. No one thought I could beat him. It was a blessing I got this opportunity to fight him and prove what I could do."

Dave Marinoble, Griffin's coach and a three-time world kickboxing champ, said the plan was for Griffin to work stepping to the left against Jara, a southpaw, "maybe throw a couple light strikes" and try to catch Jara "with a good shot coming in. We aim to the chest. Usually, when the guy's coming in, they duck down and it hits them in the chin."

Jara first went down about 20 seconds into the fight but rose quickly before Griffin could pursue the opportunity. Griffin threw two kicks to Jara's lower right leg before landing the right. The referee stopped the bout immediately.

Griffin made his way around the ring to celebrate, acknowledging the cheering crowd.

Griffin was happy to box, the only fighter to show that preference on the night.
"When I fight, it's kind of surreal. I have certain stuff I want to do," he said. "I didn't want to go to the ground. I wanted to keep it where I wanted it and take him out, destroy my opponent. That's my game plan."

Marinoble said since Griffin came out of the fight clean, he'll pursue another fight "as soon as possible," They're looking at a Fight Republic bout in Nevada this month.

WEST COAST FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP

Bruvado Bash at El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville

Mike Pearsons, Lodi, def. Tramain Smith, Sacramento, at 1 minute, 5 seconds (triangle choke), middleweights. Keni Renta, Sacramento, def. Anthony Charnell, Sacramento, 3:14 (triangle choke), lightweights. Junior Villanueva, Merced, def. Adam Porter, Sacramento, 4:10 (rear naked choke), featherweights. John Macalolooy, Union City, def. Alex Perez, Lemoore, unanimous decision, bantamweights. Andre Fili, Sacramento, def. Vaymond Dennis, Susanville, 1:51 second round (arm bar), featherweights. Derrick Burnsed, Sacramento, def. Nolan Sules, Placerville, :34 (guillotine). Darin Cooley, Manteca, def. Mike Christensen, San Jose, 2:39 second round (triangle choke). Anthony Ruiz, Coarsegold, def. Jared Torgeson, Eqhardt, Wash., unanimous decision, to win the West Coast Pacific light-heavyweight championship. Max Griffin, Citrus Heights, knocked out Jaime Jara, North Highlands, :52, to win the West Coast Pacific welterweight championship.

For more pictures of the event, read Wednesday's edition of the Roseville Press Tribune.