Halquist Productions latest MMA event, Cagesport XVIII, featured a full night of professional MMA from the Emerald Queen Casino on February 25th. An enthusiastic sold-out crowd was on hand for the 10 pro MMA fights lined up and the fighters delivered with action and fireworks aplenty. For weeks leading up to the event, Cagesport fans were looking forward to a main event that had local star "Fast" Eddy Ellis taking on UFC veteran David "Hollywood" Hulett. However, Ellis got injured the Monday before the fight and instead of scrapping the bout, Len "The Liger" Bentley stepped up to face Hulett for the belt. When the bell sounded, there were a couple good standup exchanges before the fight went to the ground. Hulett had position and seemed to be looking to strike when suddenly he went for the ankle and secured a straight achilles lock that caught Bentley, forcing him to tap at 1:28 of Rd 1. With the win, Hulett takes home the CageSport Welterweight Title.
Ryan Mulvihill, representing Sikjitsu and the School of Boxing & MMA in Spokane, battled the White Buffalo Warriors Chanti Johnson in a featherweight matchup. Mulvihill came in looking for an immediate takedown. Johnson did well to sprawl and inflict damage on the feet. Mulvihill kept at the takedown attempts and when he finally got one, was accurate in his ground attack, opening a cut near Johnson's eye that the ringside physician had a look at. The fight continued into the 2nd round, and again Mulvihill looked to get it to the ground. Johnson was doing well landing strikes from the top when suddenly Mulvihill threw up a triangle attempt and locked it in, just like that, for the tap from Johnson and the finish via triangle choke at 2:50 of round 2.
In a lightweight matchup, Team Guerin's Julian "Juicy J" Erosa was simply too much for Sikjitsu's Jerome Jones, wearing him down with a relentless attack on the feet and ground. The end came at 2:32 of the 2nd round when Erosa transitioned from an armbar attempt to a triangle and secured the choke. Erosa continues to impress the CageSport crowd, getting yet another win at the venue, and moving to 7-0 as a pro. Rumor has it that Ryan Mulvihill and Julian Erosa will meet for the CageSport 145 lb Title at the next Cagesport happening April 28th. Expect fireworks!
Bad Company MMA's Jeff Hatton has been running through the competition in the NW 135 lb division and Corey Roska out of the Sportslab was no different. Hatton got the takedown, got Roska in a bad way and punished him from his back, and then eventually secured the rear naked choke that finished Roska at 2:42 of Round 1.
Two big 185 lbr's making their pro debuts were AMC's Brent Knopp and Dog Pound's Mike Kirkman. In the first round, Knopp came out firing, then closed distance and got Kirkman against the cage. The fight became a clinch battle for most of the round with Knopp getting the edge and taking the stanza. In the 2nd, Knopp got a quick takedown of Kirkman against the cage and he then proceeded to rain down punches that landed with intensity and knocked out Kirkman at 1:09 of Round 2.
Team Blackout's Jorey Taylor earned his first pro victory, after suffering 4 straight defeats, in emphatic fashion by knocking out AKA's Christian Ortiz at 58 seconds into their 130 lb contest. Taylor came out agressive, throwing leather as he drove Ortiz against the cage. Taylor executed a nice hip toss of Ortiz but on the ground it was Ortiz looking to setup the armbar submission from the bottom. Taylor had other ideas though, lifting Ortiz up high and slamming him to the floor, knocking him out.
White Buffalo Warrior's CJ Marsh and the Dog Pound's Scott Boehler had an entertaining 170lb bout that saw back and forth action, on the feet and the ground, from both fighters. As the fight wore on, Marsh clearly was causing more damage, opening up a cut on Boehler that forced a doctor's stop to the contest at 3:35 of Rd 2.
In a lightweight matchup, Harrison Bevens, training out of the Academy of Brian Johnson, took on Salaverry MMA/Roughhouse MMA's Dustin Praxades. The bout was fast and furious while it lasted with Bevens getting a nice takedown against the cage. Praxades was quick to the feet and there Bevens jumped on his back, looking for the submission. Praxades shook him off to the mat and looked to lands strikes from standing. However, a perfectly timed upkick from Bevens sent a stunned Praxades to the ground and Bevens made no mistake in getting his back and sinking the Rear Naked Choke at just under 2 minutes into the bout. Bevens moves to 4-0 with the win.
Warrior Camp's Sam Carney out of Spokane got his first pro win via a relentless ground assault that left opponent Casey Campbell beaten and bloody with the bout called via TKO Ref Stop at 3:07 of Round 2.
In the night's opening bout, Trevor Sojot out of Victory Athletics wasted little time in submitting Anthony Zender by Rear Naked Choke at just over a minute into the fight.
CageSport XIX is scheduled for April 28th at the Emerald Queen Casino.