Lethbridge Exhibition Park was entertained by an eclectic combat sports show that featured multiple disciplines being showcased. Mixed Martial Arts dominated the bulk of the card but Combat Jiu Jitsu had a spotlight shone on it from Rumble in the Cage (RITC). RITC 60 also aided a great cause with proceeds from the show going to the local Military Family Resource Center.
Taylor Pinchak (0-0) vs Rylie Marchand BLUE (0-0)
Amateur Bantamweight tilt…Taylor peppering Rylie but Marchand responds by shooting in for a takedown. Secures takedown after working for it and Rylie is in side control. Elbows and knees to the body from side control. Rylie is raining down strikes from mount and is landing big shots to end the fight with a few seconds remaining. Marchand wins by TKO at 2:48 of R1. Super impressive performance by the teenage Marchand. Marchand seems destined for a bright future in combat sports if the quality of this performance becomes a microcosm of her career going forward.
Colten Canturk (0-0) vs Russ Long BLUE (0-0)
-Yet another bout that showcases how far Amateur MMA has come in the last few years. Big right from Canturk, Colten tries to follow up with a takedown but Long scrambles and gets back control. Wild early sequences in the first minute. GnP steady coming from Long and it was enough to elicit a stoppage as Canturk couldn’t find a way out of the position. Long wins in the opening round.
Sebastian Lopez vs Connor Derry
-This bout kicked off the Combat Jiu Jitsu portion of the card. There was hand fighting and jockeying for head positioning early on….Sebastian secures the back of Derry after the early back and forth grind…..Lopez goes from back and seemed to be working for a spider web position but Derry scrambled and is now in Sebastian’s guard……First four minutes of a ten minute round haven’t featured much in the ways of striking until Connor gets up and stars smacking Derry a bit with Lopez exchanging some palm strikes in return. Derry is in side control, works for an armbar, and Lopez briefly entertained a standing guillotine. Things are picking up as the bout passes the halfway mark. Derry gets a single leg takedown and gets to side control right away. Derry to mount and smacks him a bit but Lopez uses butterflies to get back to a guard position. Dogged determination from Derry though as he blasts through the guard into side control. Derry landing some heavy palm strikes with two minutes to go. Sebastian looking to actively smack off his back but Derry is the one who continues to gain the more favorable outcomes from the sequences. Lopez shoo sup for a triangle in the waning seconds after a palm thrust exchange. Respect shown after the bout. The bout was ruled a draw.
Eric Stevens (1-2) vs Josh Hopkins BLUE (0-0)
-Middleweight amateur bout…..Early hands being exchanged with both feeling things out a bit. Hopkins cracks Stevens with a heavy punch but Eric wears it well and seems unaffected. Hopkins slips in an uppercut but Barnes gets off a big combo in his own right; showing off the boxing on his end. Hopkins still plows forward though and gets a combo going in response.
-Round #2…..Hopkins puts together a combo and the two link up in a Greco Roman position. The over-under folk style position would be broken an both men resume slinging leather. Eric with a brief takedown and another takedown soon after where he gets the back. The round ends with Stevens getting his grappling going and working for submissions.
-Round #3….Hopkins with the hands but Stevens is working to close the distance. Hopkins connecting on quite a few punches to Stevens head. Absorbing a lo of punches at a a high connectivity rate but Stevens is still trying to initiate close quarters wrestling exchanges. Stevens lands some big punches of his own and gets a takedown. Another TD by Stevens and the fight ends with him in tp control. Winner by UD is Eric Stevens.
Dan Kovalchuk (3-1) vs David Garcia BLUE (1-0)
-Welterweight amateurs were next on the docket with Kovalchuk connecting on early punches and pressing Garcia to the cage. Kovalchuk gets the takedown and is in side control. Maintaining a strong pace and being active is Kovalchuk’s key to success so far. Kovalchuk attempts a triangle after getting into a scramble initiated by Garcia. Kovalchuk gets the tap with a few seconds left. Dramatic finish and the slightly bloody Kovalchuk. Winner by triangle choke at 2:56 of R1 is Kovalchuk. Couple fired up screams from Kovalchuk as the Offspring blares in the background.
Logan Geldreich (0-0) vs Semir Ali BLUE (0-0)
-The Amateur Featherweights went at it in a “blink and you missed it” kind of affair. Semir gets a quick takedown and Ali postures up with GnP, gets the back, and secures the mount after an RNC attempt. Logan is eating big punches and the ref halts the action with Ali getting the TKO win at 0:45 of R1. Impressive performance from Semir Ali.
Aaron Anctil (1-2) vs Jose Zavala BLUE (0-1)
-lightweight amateur fighters went at it……TD from Antcil after a striking rush from Zavala. Zavala has his butterflies going from a guard position…Back to the feet… Five year absence for Anctil not seeming to show in his composure….Zavala has the back of Anctil…
-Round two – Zavala’s approach seeming kick centric with Anctil getting the hands going… First half of the round has mostly showcased the kickboxing dimension until Zavala and Anctil get in a compelling grappling exchange towards the end of he round. Anctil gets the best of the situation though and slams his foe, gets his back, and secure a rear naked choke at 2:01 of R2. Anctil hugs his opponent from behind; tender embrace after choking him aggressively
Travis Clarke (1-1) vs John Moore BLUE (1-1)
-Middleweight Amateurs went at it with both looking to secure their second win. Clarke a bit more mobile, Moore is methodical, and both are patiently feeling things out. Moore has been throwing kicks and Clarke has been pursuing folk style positions. Moore cracked Clarke with a left hand and while Clarke was dropped, he got up quickly. Moore lands a punch and gets the better of a grappling exchange to end the opening frame.
-Round #2 – Big body shot to Clarke and he registered it big time…..Moore did not follow up right away on his handiwork though. Moore ran at Clarke with the pressure seeming to cause Clarke to break. Moore cracked Clarke, Travs hit the deck, and Moore wins the fight by KO at 1:52 of R2.
Gerra Gossen (1-3) vs Tom Theocharis BLUE (1-2)
-The 170 lb Pros were next to wrap their hands and don the RITC gloves. Theocaharis is pouring it on with the hands, Gossen turtles up, and the ref halts the beating. Theocharis put the volume and pressure on immediately and won by TKO at 0:46 of R1.
Tim Tamaki (17-28-1) vs Delane LaMere BLUE (6-3)
-Featherweight Pros were the next feature at RITC 60. Tamaki with the leg kick…Partisan crowd in favour of Tamaki…..Both men lock up with LaMere being pressed against the cage. Tamaki got the TD and is in LaMere’s guard…..LaMere trying to throw up a triangle, Tamaki passes to side control, and takes LaMere’s back for the RNC submission win. Multiple years away from the cage did no reflect in Tamaki’s performance. Tim got the finish and the partisan crowd was elated.
Spencer Rohovie (12-9) vs Jeremy Henry BLUE (5-7)
-The RITC 60 Main event bout is in the Lightweight division with RITC vet Rohovie coming back after a multi year absence from the cage. Henry with the big leg kicks early on….Rohovie gets the best of a scramble and ends up in the guard of Henry. Rohovie connecting on some GnP punches….Transition into a guillotine choke and elicits a tap from Henry. Rohovie wins the main event of RITC 60 at 3:03 of R1.
RITC 60 has ended but eyes are already getting focused on the next event. RITC 61 is set to go April 2019 per the RITC 60 announce team. Rumble in the Cage closed out 2018 on a great note and local combat sports media has to be chomping at the bit for the promotion’s return in the new year. The next card is a high stakes Ammy/ Pro card with the Amateur National Championship finals going. As a country radio host, I loved the use of Small Town Throwdown as the track for RITC’s video package. Rumble in the Cage does a great job bringing that big fight feel though and if all goes well, LMM’s Dylan Bowker will be posted up cageside for the next installment. Ready to take in some great MMA action with the RITC warriors going at it with the backdrop of uproarious applause courtesy of the Rumble Nation.