Cage Champs 41 - Event Recap
The Big Eagles Hall in Sullivan was swollen to capacity on Saturday with a standing room only crowd that stayed late into the evening.
Fans in attendance, including Bellator Champ Michael Chandler, were treated to the entire gambit of MMA: razor-thin decisions, gut-wrenching submissions, and devastating knockouts. At the end of the night three belts were handed out, some bruises and bloody lips were tallied, and almost everyone went home happy.
In the main event, two of the top amateur heavyweights in the region battled. The 6-foot-6 Travis Edwards defeated opponent, and crowd favorite, Nick Pohlman by KO, early in the first round and the stoppage was unpopular with the locals. Edwards, representing Capital Punishment out of Jefferson City, claimed the Spire Heavyweight Sectional belt and will move on to face Jason Ostowski in the first ever heavyweight state title at a date to be determined.
Highly-touted Heath Hildebrand from Pedigo Submission Fighting scored a rear naked choke victory over Kyle Kurtz. Kurtz took the fight on very short notice and looked solid despite the lack of preparation. Hildebrand came out of the gate brandishing heavy leather and Kurtz quickly took the fight to the ground. At one point, Kurtz had Hildebrand in danger with a kneebar/ankle lock, but Hildebrand - aided by coach Heath Pedigo - was able to maneuver out of the possible submission. Shortly before the bell in the second round, Hildebrand was able to take Kurtz's back and finish the fight. For his effort, Hildebrand took home a Spire welterweight regional belt.
Richie Fernow and Garrett Mueller energized the crowd with a fight of the night performance. The two bantamweights battled tooth and nail, each having to fight out of bad positions before Fernow was able to finally get the submission late in the second round. Fernow, from Berger's MMA claimed a Sire regional title and moved up the rankings. The win improved Fernow to 7-2, setting up a potential showdown with Ira Lukowsky or Fierce Taylor
Bob Dylan once wrote "Times They Are a-Changin" about the Vietnam war. Bo Kunz went to war on Saturday night and after 30 fights as an amateur, landed his first submission victory. This was the first fight for middleweight Kunz after switching his camp to St. Charles MMA. He submitted Jefferson City's William Bagby in the first round with a rear naked choke.
Dakota Nelson locked on a triangle and refused to let it go to defeat Kory Johnson in round one. Jason Spaw and Jeff Duncan battled to a decision with the young Rolla-based Spaw remaining undefeated.
Roy Davis scored a vicious knockout over Danny Wright. It was a very scary moment as the light heavyweight from Berger's MMA took several minutes to recover, bringing a hush to the crowd..
Justin Yacko nearly ended the fight with Demario Johnson with a guillotine, but settled for a victory with a triangle. An excited Yacko yelled "I'm back!" to the crowd before celebrating with his coach.
In preliminary action, Zach Teiberis and Kyle Henson started the night off with an action-packed brawl that Tieberis won by split decision. Dakota Bush and Aared Johnson both won their fights by TKO. Tommy Stairh had the submission of the night with a beautiful arm triangle and Bradley "Broccoli" Wells also defeated his opponent by decision.
Travis Edwards def Nick Pohlman by KO
Heath Hildebrand def Adam Glen by Submission
Bo Kunz def William Bagby by Submission
Jason Spaw def Jeff Duncan Jr by Decision
Roy Davis def Danny Wright by KO
Justin Yacko def Demario Johnson by Submission
Dakota Nelson def Kory Johnson by Submission
Bradley Wells def Tyler Flores by Decision
Tommy Stairh def Rod Miles by Submission
Aared Johnston def Brandon Fiske by TKO
Dakota Bush def Fahrudin Kostjerevac by TKO
Zach Teiberis def Kyle Henson by Decision
Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO
Fight Hard MMA | Sat, March 9th
Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, MO
Shamrock FC: 316 | Fri, March 15th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO
Shamrock FC: 317 | Sat, April 6th
Ameristar Casino, Kasnas City, MO