Trail’s Pride Gym flexed its superiority in the cage once again as its stable of fighters completely dominated Cage Rage 5: the Rapture, on Saturday in Castlegar.
With a capacity crowd at the Element Night Club, Pride Gym fighters triumphed in every fight they entered except for one draw.
“All the fights were great,” said Pride trainer Glen Kalesniko. “I didn’t know what I was going to get . . . but the match ups were awesome, the fights were really exciting and the people really liked it.”
After an 18-month layoff, Pride Gym’s Brad Causey shook off the rust and won on a technical knockout against Simon Fraser University wrestler Daniel Swain to improve his professional record to 9-1.
Swain applied his grappling skills and initiated a couple take downs, but Causey’s strength was the difference in the end, as he turned the tables in the second round, gaining a dominant position on the ground and finishing Swain off with a series of devastating blows.
River Jones of Trail also continued her unbeaten streak, winning a unanimous decision over collegiate wrestler Robin Woods of Portland.
Woods tried to tie up Jones by pinning her against the cage, but the Pride fighter countered.
“She tried to take me down,” said Jones. “But mostly she wasn’t really doing anything actively, she was just trying to neutralize me and hold me against the cage.”
Jones applied her strike plan, punishing Woods with knees and blows to the head and mid-section, before reversing it, regaining cage control and scoring points with take downs.
Fruitvale’s Jordan Knippelberg made short work of Brendan Frost of Kelowna, forcing him to tap out after applying an arm bar 50 seconds into the match.
C. J. Bagg (Pride) also came back against a bigger and older fighter, Mark Dolbie, bloodying the fighter with numerous blows, before initiating the seldom used arm-triangle choke.
Trail’s Mark Hutchinson overpowered Dusty Kramps, as he took him to the mat and finished him with a rear naked choke, one minute and 30 seconds into the first round.
Chris Leuning (Pride) beat Craig MacLean in a unanimous decision, Tyler McAuly (Pride) fought to a draw with Scott Hebert and Miller Rogers defeated Shae Erickson.
Three U.S. fighters pulled out at the last minute, and despite organizer’s efforts to find opponents they were forced to alter some cards, relegate others to exhibition and cancel three of the planned MMA bouts.
“It’s too bad, but we pulled it off and I was really impressed with my team,” said Kalesniko.