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January 16, 2013
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Carlson claims WFC title

South Tahoe fighter Corey “The White Mamba” Carlson is one step closer to pro, and now he has a new title to prove it. Carlson captured the World Fighting Championship by submission in 1:33 against Justin “Diehard” McClain on Saturday at Montbleu Resort, Casino & Spa. It was a quick bout, nothing new for an Escobar Training Grounds fighter, but that doesn't mean it was easy. Carlson fought for the title through ripped rib cartilage, but at the end of the night the shiny belt wrapped tightly around his waist was all the comfort he needed. McClain struck first. He caught Carlson on a kick and took him to the ground.“I never would have expected to land a round kick and then be taken down right after,” Carlson said. “I was hoping I could angle up, but he was tough dude. He knew what he was doing.”Once he hit the ground, Carlson immediately became a wrestler. He knew his training would carry him through to the win, so he relied on it and concentrated on breaking McClain's choke. “I have great training partners and coaches because it's a team sport. My trainer Cory Escobar's knowledge of situational technique is just immense,” Carlson said. “I can rely on it. I get in there with no negative thoughts. I just trust my skill and trust him.”Carlson pushed to get out of the choke and heard his cartilage pop. He kept pressing, and the crowd started chanting his name. “Yeah, I heard that, and it pumped me up,” Carlson said. Carlson busted out of the hold, and went to an armbar to finish McClain.“It was amazing. This is what we've worked to do, and it took some time and effort,” Carlson said.It took six years, one knee surgery, a lot of soul searching, and buckets of sweat to be exact, but Carlson is now within reach of his pro dreams. “It just goes to show that the hard work I'm putting in is really paying off. It's not just something you can do overnight,” Carlson said. All totaled, four South Tahoe fighters came away with the win Saturday, including three fighters who train at High Sierra Stranglers. Chris Corcores, Leo Rodelo and Jordan Kramer, who train under Chris Eggleston, all dominated their fights. “We train so hard together just the fact that we all came out with a W is an amazing feeling,” Cocores said. “But for some reason I had a feeling it was going to work out like that.”Cocores fought in the bout preceding the headlining fight. He has a background in stand up, but it was hard to tell when he took control of the fight from the ground. Cocores won by submission in round one with an armbar. “I like to keep it standing if I can, but we train ground so much that I knew I would be fine when it went there,” Cocores said. Cocores has now won his last two fights, and wants a chance at a title fight of his own in the not so distant future. “I just want to keep progressing,” Cocores said.Cocores' training partner, Rodelo was the only fighter to go the full three rounds. He won by unanimous decision, but it wasn't an easy three rounds. “That weight cut yesterday was tough, and I really felt it in the second round, but I just went back to my skills,” Rodelo said. “I just tried to not make any mistakes. I've been doing this a long time so it was just instinct.”Fellow High Sierra Stranglers' fighter Kramer took down a guy who looked twice his size in two rounds. It was Kramer's first fight, but he wasn't intimidated. He picked his opponent up and dropped him to the ground to open round one. It wasn't a bad way way for the High Sierra fighters to start out the night.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jan 16, 2013 01:33AM Published Jan 16, 2013 01:20AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.