, Port Arthur, Texas


May 19, 2014

David Estrada column: UFC appreciates what Texas brings

PORT ARTHUR —     "Texas has been very good to us so we’re going to come back,” said UFC President Dana White during the UFC 171 Dallas post-fight press conference in March.  With that, he announced the UFC's quick return back to the state with an event at San Antonio’s AT&T Center in June.

    Dana’s statements are true; Texans have flocked to UFC events that have been held in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and even a special UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Hood.

    To expand on Dana White’s comments about Texas being good to them, the UFC has been good to Texas, delivering memorable and even historic moments in MMA.  That was the inspiration to think back of such moments.  

    Here is a top five list of groundbreaking or memorable moments in Texas-held UFC events:

    5. MMA’s first Sports Illustrated cover: At UFC 69 Houston’s Roger Huerta battled it out with Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia.  One of the pictures from the event, a perfected-timed snapshot of Huerta kicking Garcia, made the cover of the nation’s premier sports magazine.  This May 2007 SI cover was titled “Too Brutal or the Future? Ultimate Fighting - America’s Fastest Growing and Most Controversial Sport.”

    It’s interesting that seven years later Ultimate Fighting (the UFC’s brand name for the sport of mixed martial arts) is no longer controversial.  It has surpassed boxing as the nations top combat sport.  There is an interesting side note: One can watch this bout on DVD or online and see the flash go off when this historic picture was made.

    4. Changing of the guard – Cro Cop defeated by Junior Dos Santos: UFC 103 Dallas' main event featured Vitor Belfort versus Rich “Ace” Franklin but the moment to remember was from the co-main event — Mirko “Cro Cop” versus Junior Dos Santos.  Dos Santos pummeled Cro Cop for two and a half rounds before he verbally submitted, resigning to defeat.  

    This 2009 bout marked the ascension of JDS who would later fight for and win the UFC heavyweight title.  It also marked the decline of the longtime PRIDE and K-1 kickboxing legend, Mirko Cro Cop.  

    3. The most blatant trash talk:  UFC 136 in Hoston was headlined by two UFC title bouts at lightweight and featherweight, but the event had what could be considered a third main event — a middleweight title challenger bout between Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann.  Sonnen was coming off of the improbable last- minute defeat at the hands of Anderson Silva after dominating Silva for four and a half rounds.  A victory was needed to get back on track for a rematch with Silva.

    Sonnen came through at the 2011 event by defeating Stann with an arm-triangle choke.  What transpired after the bout during the in-Octagon interview is what will be remembered.  When asked in front of the Toyota Center crowd how happy he was with his performance over Stann, Sonnen belted out “Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck!”  

    The arena erupted and the jumbotron panned to Silva who was sitting Octagon-side.  This brazen trash talk further fueled the Silva-Sonnen rivalry and eventually led to one of the greatest rematches in UFC history.

    2. UFC 166 as a whole:  This 2013 event held in Houston is widely regarded as one of the most exciting MMA events ever held from top to bottom.  The heavyweight main event rubber match between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos was one of the most riveting in years with Cain taking the 2-1 edge in bouts between them.  

    Diego Sanchez and Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez delivered in a bout turned slugfest in what many consider to be the 2013 fight of the year.  Hector Lombard and John Dodson added exclamation points with their knockout victories and Daniel Cormier demonstrated his versatility by being a heavyweight victor, Octagon-side coach for Velasquez, and Fox UFC television anchor.

    1. The greatest upset in UFC history:  To this day the improbable Matt Serra first round knockout of the then unstoppable Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69 is widely considered the biggest upset in mixed martial arts history.  The Toyota Center crowd was in a collective state of shock as the underdog Serra wobbled St-Pierre and pummeled him on the ground to end the bout.   

    Most MMA knockouts lead to fans raising their hands up and applauding.  This knockout led to fans raising their hands to their dropped jaws.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at

Text Only
  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

    July 23, 2014

  • Mid County knocked out of tournament

    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

    July 22, 2014

  • West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son

    July 22, 2014

  • Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County

    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

    July 21, 2014

  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

    July 19, 2014

  • West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar

    July 19, 2014

  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

    July 15, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog