MONROEVILLE, Pa. — Pitt wrestling duo of redshirt juniors Geoff Magin and James Lledo came out victorious in their amateur MMA fights at Brawl in the Burgh 17 at Monroeville Convention Center Saturday night.
Magin faced off against undefeated Ohio fighter Nick Nash in the Advanced Amateur Light Heavyweight Title, featuring three rounds that were three minutes long.
He came out with intention early in the first round, picking Nash up, slamming him on to the ground and staying on top of him. Nash would respond, trying to drive Magin into the cage and preventing him from delivering any shots. The two delivered a few shots towards the end of the round to make things a little more interesting.
Magin and Nash thew punches at each other to start off the second round. Nash looked like he’d delivered a few good shots, but Magin stood strong and drove him to the ground. Nash would get up and hold Magin against the cage, but didn’t get many good shots in on Magin. The two again delivered some punches at the end of the round before the bell rang.
Nash once again held Magin up against the cage for a good portion of the initial part of the third round. Magin continued to defend shots, but found himself underneath Nash and in need of a good move to salvage the match.
With Nash’s arm around his neck, Magin got out of it and then on top of Nash. Magin then held Nash’s head in a chokehold and prevented Nash from landing any shots to finish off the match.
The first and third judges scored the match 29-28 in favor of Magin and the second judge scored it 29-28 in favor of Nash, giving Magin the Advanced Amateur Light Heavyweight Title.
— Dominic Campbell (@DOMISMONEY) July 16, 2023
“It was a good fight, he was a lot tougher than I expected,” Magin said post fight.”I was definitely more skilled than him, but he had a toughness that brought the best out of me. I was really impressed by how he kept pushing forward even though he was getting hit a lot. I took him down early in the first round, he kept pushing forward. I was really impressed with that, but overall, skill wise, I was leaps and bounds ahead of him.”
Magin said that he felt most comfortable throughout the fight when it came to striking. He said that Nash “couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn” and that he didn’t suffer many blows throughout the bout. Magin spent a good amount of time with Nash holding him against the cage, but he said that he didn’t suffer much damage.
Nash didn’t present himself as a great wrestler, which worked well for Magin in the fight. Magin has not only been training MMA, but also working throughout the summer with Pitt wrestling to improve his game and defeat opponents who might not be as strong in that area.
“Defense wins fights,” Magin said. “I was working on my counters a lot off of open space or in the pocket, whatever. I wanted to be more technically sound in those areas. I felt like for everything that he had, I had an answer for, especially on the feet. I felt I couldn’t get hit and I hit him at will. My jab was pumping. I was hitting a lot of blitzes on him and he was just eating them.”
Magin is now 3-1 in his amateur MMA career and 2-0 this calendar year. He will wrestle for one more season and then go pro next spring. He said post match that he’ll try to compete in Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) or Cagebound Fighting Championship (CFC) and then eventually, end up in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
“I don’t care at all about the belts,” Magin said. “Especially at amateur it doesn’t mean anything. Next steps moving forward are turning pro in the spring after this wrestling season and I’m really looking forward to competing and being able to support myself with the sport I love.”
Lledo had somewhat of a less eventful fight than Magin. He easily took down his opponent, Manuel Bell, winning his fight in just 29 seconds on arm triangle.
James Lledo wins his fight in an Anaconda arm triangle just 30 seconds into the first round of his fight against Manuel Bell. Stays undefeated and is 3-0 in his career pic.twitter.com/JZdvfwEHCG
— Dominic Campbell (@DOMISMONEY) July 16, 2023
“I definitely wanted to stand up more and get some more strikes, but that takedown was there and I had to get it,” Lledo said. “We drill that arm triangle a lot. It just came naturally. Nothing to be upset about. I’m really happy.”
Lledo, now 3-0, has completed his novice fights and is moving on to the advanced stage. The novice fights include three rounds lasting two minutes and have restrictions on ground-and-pound fighting. Moving on to the next level of fighting, Lledo is ready to take on more challenging fighters and take his game to the next level.
“It’s a great feeling, but I’m ready to move on and take these shinguards off and beat someone’s face in on the ground,” Lledo said.
Both fighters will try to schedule one more fight before the Pitt wrestling season gets underway, which starts in the fall.