Extreme fighting returning to Tucumcari

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Blood War is the title of the Desert Extreme mixed martial arts event coming early next month in which several local fighters will return to the steel cage to test their skills and entertain the crowd.

“I’ve told the guys that being an exciting fighter is important if you want to succeed in this sport,” said John Cullum, founder of Cullum Ground Fighting, of Tucumcari.

“The guys always fight hard and I would take a hard fight and a loss over a boring win sometimes.”

Cullum Ground Fighting will have four fighters in the event. Cullum’s junior bantam weight champion Abel Cullum of Tucumcari will defend his title against Thomas Urquidez of Roswell. In their most recent match Cullum first won the title April 8, 2006 from Urquidez.

“I have become a better fighter since our first match,” said Abel Cullum. “I train seven days a week and my progression as a better fighter has come from the coaches and my training partners. Their skill levels are constantly improving and they are pushing me to be better each time. I hear that Thomas has been training hard for this fight and I am not going to take this fight lightly.”

Two other fighters, both from Tucumcari, with the Cullum Ground Fighting are scheduled for a title fight.

Robert Vargas will fight the bantamweight champion Richard Montano of Socoro and Joe Vargas will take on the lightweight champion Gabino Morantes of Albuquerque. Abel Vargas will also be competing in a non-title fight against an unknown opponent at this time.

John Cullum has high expectations for this fight concerning attendance and how additional title holders could impact his organization.

“I am hoping that with our team holding more titles that it will mean more events like this coming to Tucumcari,” said John Cullum. “The added people that come to the events will bring money into town and help the businesses. They have helped us a lot since we started and we are very grateful.”

When:5 p.m., Feb. 2 at the Tucumcari Convention Center.

What: In mixed martial arts, the fight is held in a steel cage for the protection of the audience and the fighter. A fight ends either via knockout, submission hold or a referee determining one fighter cannot reasonably defend himself.

Other info: Before the fights the Tucumcari Convention Center will be sponsoring a tattoo contest. The contest will be open to all who attend the fights and the winner will be determined by the audience’s applause.