Central Valley High School grad Raul Godinez remained upbeat after dropping his Mixed Martial Arts debut at the War Fighting Championship Saturday night in Modesto.
"It was a big learning experience," Raul said. "I'll be back in the cage soon."
Unable to stuff Shane Torres' takedown attempts in the second and third rounds, Godinez was forced to fight off his back.
Torres of Capitola ended up winning by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
"He didn't work for any submissions," Godinez said. "He kind of just held me down. It was frustrating being on the ground. He didn't want to stand up and throw punches with me. It was a smart decision on his part."
Godinez bloodied Torres' nose in the first round.
"I felt pretty strong," Raul said. "I was keeping him away. I blocked a couple takedowns. I got him with some good shots. We rolled around on the ground the last two rounds."
The California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO) promotion featured a total of eight fights with Godinez and Torres facing off in the 135-pound bantamweight division.
Raul enjoyed competing in front of a host of family members and friends at Modesto Centre Plaza.
"It's a feeling you can't describe," he said. "Once you step in the cage, adrenaline kicks in. It's kill or be killed in there. In boxing, you take your time."
Godinez and Torres are both new to the sport of MMA.
Raul has a background in boxing.
He compiled a 9-4 record at the amateur level.
Shane has a brown belt in jiu-jitsu.
His strengths are grappling and ground combat.
"Going into the fight, I knew takedowns were going to be crucial," Godinez said. "I need to work on my takedown defense. "
Godinez had to cut 20 pounds leading up to the fight.
"I had plenty of energy," said Raul, who trains at Dynamic MMA in Modesto. "He really didn't hit me too much. I got nicked a little bit."
Godinez plans to return to the Octagon in December.
"I should have another fight coming up," he said. "I want to keep the momentum going."