Gardnerville MMA fighters battle in Reno
David Park and Ray Carnwright held their own against younger and more experienced fighters at “Fight to Win 113” held at the Reno Ballroom last Saturday.
Park and Carnwright represented Team Fujii/ Machado Jiu Jitsu of Gardnerville in the event.
A local favorite and prominent Douglas County rancher, Park is one of the few national competitors who still competes at 52. Park battled a much younger Sourikone Nhigsavath in their 160 pound weight class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submission match. The match was a single, six-minute round.
Carnwright is a Marine Veteran with several tours in Iraq. Carnwright was a fight and combat instructor during his military years. “Ray is a very dedicated, hardworking and down to earth person and one of the team leaders of Team Fujii in Gardnerville,” said George Fujii, owner and head Black Belt at Team Fujii/Machado Jiu Jitsu in Gardnerville.
Carnwright has been training and competing with great success over the last 4 plus years.
Park was the aggressor in his match and pushed the pace. Both men battled for position and for the takedown. Nhigsavath was able to catch the submission near the last minute of the match for the win.
Carnwright made a solid showing going head to head with a more experienced Zack Felkins in the 170 pound bout.Felkins is known for being a dangerous leg attacker and Carnwright weathered his attack with great defense and pushed the pace but eventually got caught in an unorthodox choke ending the match.
Park played football at Douglas High and wrestled and was a three time zone champion and silver medalist at the state tournament in 1985. Park also wrestled and attended college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He was also inducted into the Douglas Football Hall of Fame.
In the last few years Park has competed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and MMA Cage Fights for Team Fujii/ Machado Jiu Jitsu in Gardnerville, and has had some gold medal performances.
“Mr. Park is just plain tough!” Fujii said. “He’s ready for anything and can go toe-to-toe with all challengers no matter what age or rank.”
During one tour in Iraq Carnwright, a military gunner, was injured in a vehicle convoy accident in Iraq and was severely injured and spent the major part of a year in the hospital.
“Ray has come a long way since he was released from the hospital and has spent several years rehabbing and training to build up his body to eventually become a serious competitor. He is a great success story.” Fujii said. ”He credits Jiu Jitsu and his teammates for helping him comeback from such a horrendous injury.”
West Coast Martial Arts/ Machado Jiu Jitsu have been the leaders in Jiu Jitsu and MMA in Gardnerville since 1989. For more information, call 775-782-8343.