Former two-time state champion wrestler and 2011 Gulf graduate Ladarious Jackson has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world of mixed martial arts, and his latest victory was no exception.
At Monday night’s AmericanBattle.com Championships at the Renegade Bar in West Palm Beach, Jackson won a unanimous decision in the 165-pound weight class over Luis Morales, moving his career record to 4-0 since getting into the cage for the first time.
Jackson trains with Gator MMA and Team Assassin, a program also represented Monday by former state qualifier and 2008 Ridgewood graduate Dean Stupar. Making his in-cage debut at 125 pounds, Stupar lost a unanimous decision to Marcos Gomez.
Abby Velazquez, another Team Assassin member training in Port Richey, also made his debut. The Puerto Rico native won by technical knockout in the second round over Steven Diaz.
Jackson has already earned a title shot at Battle of Tampa V at the Cass Bar in Tampa on Nov. 30 against Robinson graduate Michael Bentley, who is also doing well at 4-1.
Jackson is scheduled to fight at least once more before November. Team Assassin will take a contingent of fighters to Operation Octagon XXI in Sterling, Va. Jackson will join a card headlined by fellow Team Assassin member and former pro wrestler Craig “Pitbull” Pittman.