SOMERTON, Ariz. – A fourth IMCA division joins the programs each night of Cocopah Speedway’s fourth annual Winter Nationals.IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, along with IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, vie at Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7 and Feb. 13 and 14 shows. The Somerton speedplant becomes the first track in Arizona to sanction IMCA Stock Cars in 2015. Feb. 6, 7 and 13 Modified features pay $1,000 to win and a minimum of $200 to start while the Valentine’s Day main event pays $3,000 to win and a minimum of $300. All four races are Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying events. Stock Cars race for $500 to win and a minimum of $100 to start, Northern SportMods for $400 to win and a minimum of $60, and Hobby Stocks for $350 to win and a minimum of $50. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional and Allstar Performance State points, but no track points, will be awarded. There is no entry fee or pill draw fee in any division any night and pit passes are $30 each night. Pit gates open at 2 p.m., the grandstand opens at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and military personnel, $5 for children ages 6-12 and free for six and under. The Winter Nationals bowling tournament is Tuesday, Feb. 10 at Cocopah Wild River. The fanfest party and car show is at the same location beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12. More information is available online at www.cocopahspeedway.com or by calling 928 344-1563.
As he continues to gain experience and seasoning, Menifield is going to be a handful because he trains with a great team and receives excellent coaching, so now it’s just a matter of getting reps, learning and seeing if he can reach is full potential.For Craig, it’s another example of the holes that still exist in his game and the elements he needs to improve in order to become a contender. His striking isn’t at a point where opponents need to fear it and when he can’t initiate grappling sequences, he’s severely compromised and left grasping at straws.Now, Menifield looks like a legit prospect who could emerge as a contender over the next 12 to 18 months, so this is far from a terrible loss. That being said, he’s struggled to find consistency and needs to keep working to sharpen his striking in order to create easier opportunities to grapple.UFC Minneapolis official resultsFrancis Ngannou def. Junior dos Santos by TKO (strikes) at 1:11 of Round 1.Joseph Benavidez def. Jussier Formiga by TKO (strikes) at 4:47 of Round 2.Demian Maia def. Anthony Rocco Martin by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28).Vinc Pichel def. Roosevelt Roberts by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).Drew Dober def. Marco Polo Reyes KO (punches) at 1:07 of Round 1.Alonzo Menifield def. Paul Craig by KO (punches) at 3:19 of Round 1.Ricardo Ramos def. Journey Newsom by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).Eryk Anders def. Vinicius Moreira by KO (punches) at 1:18 of Round 1.Jared Gordon def. Dan Moret by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).Dalcha Lungiambula def. Dequan Townsend by TKO (strikes) at 0:42 of Round 3.Amanda Ribas def. Emily Whitmire by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:10 of Round 2.Maurice Greene def. Junior Albini by TKO (punches) at 3:38 of Round 1. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThen the weekend arrived, the action kicked off and the fights did, in fact, exceed expectations, with athletes like Eryk Anders and Jared Gordon scoring crucial victories and newcomers Amanda Ribas and Dalcha Lungiambula impressing on the prelims before the main card got started.In the final preliminary card fight of the night, Ricardo Ramos delivered one of his trademark spinning elbows that landed flush and left everyone wondering how the hell newcomer Journey Newsom remained conscious:THE SOUND!🔊This man has a chin of granite!!! #UFCMinneapolis pic.twitter.com/mmWw9z0JUT— UFC (@ufc) June 30, 2019And then once the more familiar names took the stage, business picked up.Yeah. It was that kind of night.Here’s a look at what transpired on the main card and the impact those results could have going forward.Francis Ngannou blasts Junior dos Santos for third straight first-round finishBy his standards, Ngannou’s victory over dos Santos on Saturday took a long time, but in reality, it was another blistering effort from the menacing knockout artist.After trading leg kicks with the former champion early, Ngannou connected with a clubbing right hand after dos Santos over-committed to his own strike, sending the Brazilian to the canvas. A quick flurry followed and the fight was stopped.The whole thing took 71 seconds or 10 seconds longer than it took Ngannou to earn his last two victories combined.TOO MUCH! TOO POWERFUL! #UFCMinneapolis pic.twitter.com/IHvyzuQ4v1— UFC (@ufc) June 30, 2019What it means: A year ago next week, Ngannou dropped his second straight fight in a confusing, frustrating effort opposite Derrick Lewis. Still rattled from his loss to Stipe Miocic, “The Predator” couldn’t pull the trigger and people were left wondering if the feared knockout artist would ever be the same.A year later, Ngannou has shown that he’s back to being the more dangerous striker in the division, registering three victories in eight months in a combined two minutes and 12 seconds.Given his recent form, there is no question that Ngannou should face the winner of the upcoming heavyweight rematch between Daniel Cormier and Miocic, which is slated for August.While this is sure to be a disappointing result for dos Santos, who was hoping to earn his own title shot with a win, he remains a fixture in the upper tier of the heavyweight division and should continue to serve as a truth machine for anyone looking to earn themselves a place in the title picture.Joseph Benavidez finishes Jussier Formiga, calls for a rematch with Henry CejudoBenavidez earned the first victory in the history of the UFC flyweight division, and Saturday night he added another one to his resume, finishing Formiga in the co-main event.The divisional stalwart suffered a cut near his eye early in the opening round that seemed to mess with his mojo in the first, but after getting the bleeding stopped between rounds, Benavidez put his scrambling skills on display in the second before finding his range and taking the fight to the Brazilian. After a pair of tremendous exchanges where he avoided giving up his back to Formiga, Benavidez hurt him with a head kick and swarmed for the finish, unloading a series of blows that ultimately ended the fight.Your No. 1️⃣[email protected] #UFCMinneapolis pic.twitter.com/xLFcru2ebU— UFC (@ufc) June 30, 2019What it means: Benavidez dubbed himself “Joey Two-Times” following the win, explaining that he’s beaten Dustin Ortiz twice and now Formiga twice and he’s focused on beating current champ Henry Cejudo for a second time whenever “Triple C” is ready to return to the cage.The flyweight fixture rightly pointed out that the matchups Cejudo lobbied for following his win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 made no sense and that he’s the only opponent that makes sense and anyone who argues otherwise is crazy. Benavidez is 9-1 in his last 10 fights, with his lone loss coming in his return to the cage following an ACL repair.He’s beaten the champion and been a good soldier throughout his career; give the man his title shot.Even though the win should have a major impact on the top of the division, the loss doesn’t change anything for Formiga. He’s been one of the best flyweights in the world for nearly a decade and he’s still the third-best fighter in the division today.There are just two guys who are clearly better than him and there is absolutely no shame in that.Demian Maia shuts down Anthony Rocco Martin, earns 21st career UFC winAgeless grappling ace Maia moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time UFC wins list Saturday, using his tremendous top control to salt away the first two rounds against Martin and secure the victory.This was classic Maia, patiently working his way inside, initiating the clinch and smothering Martin for the majority of the first 10 minutes. One of the only changes to the pattern came when referee Vance Swerdan stood the Brazilian veteran up from mount late in the second round.What was surprising to learn is that one of the judges actually scored the fight a draw, 28-28, awarding Martin a 10-8 frame in the third for marching forward and landing one, maybe two good punches the entire round. MMA judging remains terrible in so many places.Still [email protected] #UFCMinneapolis pic.twitter.com/OPydoY66PY— UFC (@ufc) June 30, 2019What it means: In addition to moving him ahead of Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping in the record books, this win reminds everyone that despite his age and still fairly recent three-fight skid, Maia remains a menace for anyone hoping to move up the welterweight rankings.Martin looked frustrated when the result was read and it’s totally understandable — he’s going to watch this one back and kick himself because he was too tentative over the final five minutes. When he finally pulled the trigger, he stung Maia and started to really press forward, but it was far too little, far too late and you have to wonder if that’s something correctable or indicative of how far the mouton-chopped Martin can go in the welterweight division.If I were a betting man, I would say it’s correctable and we see more urgency from Martin next time he’s in the same position and even earlier in the fight. Being aggressive is what helped him earn four straight wins heading into this one and while his hesitation was warranted and understandable, you have to play to your strengths and Martin didn’t on Saturday.Vinc Pichel bounces Roosevelt Roberts from the ranks of the unbeatenRoberts started quickly, outworking Pichel on the feet by working behind a long jab and clean right hand. But after a slow first, the TUF 15 veteran changed it up and looked to grapple, taking the fight to the unbeaten prospect and earning a clean sweep of the scorecards.Everything came down to the second round, where Roberts continued to have success with his hands, but Pichel made things grimy and finished the frame in full mount. It wasn’t the festival of violence fans are used to from Pichel, but it was a savvy effort from another fun member of the lightweight middle class.All the way FROM [email protected] with the UD #UFCMinneapolis pic.twitter.com/iWHd3SqlRP— UFC (@ufc) June 30, 2019What it means: There aren’t a lot of takeaways here for Pichel, as he’s a tough 36-year-old whose place on the roster is secure and who always delivers. He’s a finished product and fun to watch and this was another reminder of those facts.What is really going to be interesting about this one is how Roberts learns from it going forward.He entered with a perfect 8-0 mark and two wins in the UFC, but got outfoxed by a savvy vet who saw and opportunity and exploited it. He has a solid foundation and there are obvious reasons to like his upside, so now it’s just about how he responds to the first loss of his professional career.The framework is there for Roberts to blossom into a solid, consistent talent in the packed lightweight ranks. How he responds to this first interaction with adversity will tell you a lot about whether he’ll reach those heights in the future.Drew Dober swarms Marco Polo Reyes in most impressive effort of his careerDober may have entered Saturday’s contest off a loss, but his bout with Beneil Dariush earlier this year taught the affable veteran that he has the goods to hang with the best fighters in the lightweight division. His aim was to turn that confidence into a dominant effort, not only on Saturday, but going forward.Mission: Accomplished.Good morning! Good evening! And good night! 🌙@DrewDober #UFCMinneapolis! pic.twitter.com/mT2Wy3eBtC— UFC (@ufc) June 30, 2019What it means: Dober is not only one of the most likable, thoughtful dudes in the sport, but he’s also morphing into an all-action, always entertaining addition to the lightweight division in the Joe Lauzon mold.He might not ever reach the Top 15 because the 155-pound ranks are ridiculously deep and competitive, but he’ll be a fixture in the next tier for the foreseeable future, especially if he keeps delivering performances like this one. Dober was light on his feet, countered everything Reyes offered and swarmed as soon as he had him hurt, wrapping up the best performance of his career in just 67 seconds.Reyes looked like he fell awkwardly, so first and foremost, here’s hoping his knee and/or ankle are intact and there is no real structural damage. As far as his place in the division, he’s in a weird place because he’s now 1-3 over his last four, yet he’s still one fight to the good in the UFC.Given the depth of the division and his willingness to engage, “El Toro” should get a chance to bounce back and snap his current two-fight skid.Alonzo Menifield clubs Paul Craig, remains unbeatenWhen Craig couldn’t drag Menifield to the ground, he started throwing spinning kicks. The first one was blocked and when he went back to the well, Menifield slipped off to the side, eluding the strike.When Craig landed with his back flat to the canvas, the Fortis MMA product uncorked a series of clubbing right hands that put the Scottish light heavyweight to sleep and kept Menifield in the win column.If you make a mistake… @AlonzoMenifield will knock you out!!! #UFCMinneapolis pic.twitter.com/jni9qziRxP— UFC (@ufc) June 30, 2019What it means: Now 9-0 as a professional with seven first-round stoppage wins — including two on the Contender Series and two more since arriving in the UFC — the 31-year-old Menifield is quickly establishing himself as one to watch in the light heavyweight division.He showed solid takedown defense and good awareness, avoiding going to the ground with Craig and not even entertaining the idea of engaging with him on the canvas until the closing sequence of the fight, and his power is undeniable. Anticipation for UFC 239 has been high since the International Fight Week pay-per-view card started to come together, but before the action shifts to Las Vegas, there was a quality fight event in Minneapolis to contend with on Saturday.Headlined by heavyweights Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos and boasting a wide array of intriguing and entertaining pairings, this weekend’s return to the Target Center felt poised to be one of those events that doesn’t carry a ton of buzz, but ends up being filled with exciting performances and meaningful results.