Pitt rising sophomore wrestler James Lledo started his amateur MMA Career Saturday night at Brawl in the Burgh 12 at Event Center at Hollywood Casino at the Meadows. He took on Derrick Brown II out of Philadelphia, P.a. and dominated the match, winning by submission (armbar) in just round 2.
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“I went in there, trying to stay as calm as I could and once I got in the ring, it was all gas, no brakes,” Lledo said. “That was the story of the fight. It just didn’t stop, and that’s what I pride myself in.”
Lledo announced his decision to fight as an amateur in MMA last month, fighting out of the Stout PGH gym. Lledo continues to train for wrestling at Pitt, while also committing time to work out at Stout. He intends to fight as an amateur during college and then go professional once he finishes his wrestling career at Pitt.
Lledo completely took control of the fight from the beginning, as he started off with a huge takedown of Brown. He then held down Brown inn a chokehold, giving him no opportunity to respond.
Towards the end of the first round, Lledo got up and allowed Brown to respond. Brown threw a weak punch, and Lledo almost immediately picked him up and threw him right back on the ground, holding him there to the ringing of the bell.
Brown started the second round with a weak punch that Lledo avoided and pushed him to the ground. Unsatisfied, Lledo demanded Brown for a better fight, as he signaled with a hand motion to get back up.
After Brown rose to his feet, Lledo ducked a punch, delivered one to Brown’s head and then picked up for another takedown. Lledo managed to get him another chokehold and within 28 seconds, won the match by submission (armbar).
Lledo said that he used his training and wrestling experience to prepare for this fight, but once he got in the ring, he felt completely dominant. Lledo also said that he had no technical plan, rather, mentally prepared by choosing to go right after Brown and be relentless.
“Well I focused a lot on my training, my wrestling and using all the techniques that I know to make sure that I was going to go in there and do whatever I wanted,” Lledo said. “There was definitely pre-fight nerves, but once I was in there, I felt unstoppable.”
Lledo plans to fight one more time this summer before Pitt wrestling begins this fall, but did not announce when that fight would come.