MMA fans brave bad weather to attend Titans of the Cage #22
Grayson County H.S. played host to Titans of the Cage #22 this past Saturday evening in Independence. With the bleachers full and all of the floor seating sold out, Airel Sturgil sang the national anthem and the state sanctioned event got underway right on time.
The main event of the evening featured one of the top 145 lb. fighters in the region, Doug Williams of Team SWMA in Wytheville, taking on one of the best 155 lb. fighters in the region in Brandon Eldridge of Advantage MMA in Princeton, WV. After five rounds of technical, back and forth fighting, it was Doug Williams earning the hard fought decision.
Logan Hurley representing Team SWMA of Wytheville became the new TOC flyweight champ when he stopped Halifax Fight team top contender, Brandon Perkins after one round, when Perkins was unable to answer the bell for round two. Grayson County native and fan favorite Jaylee Long made his MMA debut before his hometown crowd who came out big in support the Team SWMA member as he faced off with Wes Pennington of Rural Retreat. Long put together a combination of punches near the two minute mark of the first round scoring a knockout victory and bringing the crowd to their feet in appreciation.
Jeff Morris of advantage martial arts in Princeton became the new middleweight champion defeating Kyle Johnson in the second round by rear naked choke. Kathy Hatfield, also of Advantage martial arts, defeated Joy Miller in the second round by standing guillotine choke to become the new women’s flyweight champ. Other notable area fighters competing included the following; Austin Cooper (Team SWMA) defeated Jeremy Caviness (Backyard Brawlers) by second round TKO, Ray Ray Holston (Team SWMA) defeated Daniel Parsons (YGMMA) by round one tap out due to strikes. Zion Tomlinson (Team Legion) defeated Clay Anders (Team SWMA) in second round by referee stoppage; Tyler Carrico (Team SWMA) defeated Damon Heath of Saltville by second round TKO.
Other bouts included; Stacy Dalton of Austinville defeated Michael Warner of Princeton by round one verbal submission, Antwon Curtis (Modern gladiators) of Roanoke stopped Cody Prior of Covington with only three seconds left in the first round by rear naked choke. Jake Lineberry (backyard brawlers) defeated Ian Sword (Absolute Jiu-Jitsu) by second round Ezekiel choke, while Dylan Smith (Elite grappling) of Lebanon, scored the KO of the night with a 19 second KO of Daniel Boyd (Team Phoenix) of Greensboro, NC.
The event also included some grappling expo bouts. Kayden Walters, daughter of Wayne and Denise Walters of Ivanhoe took on Jeremia Caviness, son of Jeremy and Misty Caviness of Hillsville in a crowd pleasing expo grappling bout. Both Kayden and Jeremia are youth students at Ring-Combat Sports in Wytheville. Also, Riley Grubb (4 years old) and Leah Cooper (5 years old) are both members of the “tiny titans” program at Ring-Combat Sports in Wytheville and they won over the crowd as they showcased their grappling skills in an expo grappling match during intermission. Also in adult grappling expos Brandon Williams (Team Phoenix) and Jeromy Mitchell (Advnatage MA) grappled to a draw, Jacob Coller (Uprise MMA) defeated Jake Barnett (YGMMA) by choke and Josh Cook (Halifax fight team) and Joseph Semones (Grayson County sandman Jiu-Jitsu) also grappled to a draw.
Maggie Borchrevink of Independence served as ring girl for the event while Rick Caruso of Princeton, WV handled the ring announcer duties. The next event is slated for Saturday, April 7th at Pulaski County high school, where titles will once again be on the line and a whole host of area fighters will be competing once again. The event on Saturday night benefitted the Grayson County athletic department. Visit www.titansofthecage.com or search for Titans of the Cage on facebook to keep up with all the latest news and to learn more about the event.