8th annual High Desert Brawl brings in a huge crowd
|Sparky Lively roars in joy as he successfully beat his opponent to the point where the referee had to jump in and stop the fight at the 8th annual High Desert Brawl.|
June 12, 2012 — The eighth annual High Desert Brawl was once again a crowd favorite as the community came out in masses to support the Iron Pit Fight Team that came away with several wins Saturday, June 2 at the Diamond Mountain Casino and Hotel.
“Overall, I was pleased with the event. I was kind of worried there for a few because the stands weren’t that packed and then all of a sudden, people started pouring in,” said Rudy Valentine, owner of the Iron Pit Fight Team. “I was kind of bummed that we had so many fights get cancelled. It sucks for the fans because we want to give them a good show, and it’s just unfortunate that we had fights get cancelled. That’s how amateur MMA is though. If something comes up the fighters will back out at the last second. I’m just thankful that we could find a couple of people that didn’t mind stepping up and filling a fight at the last second.”
There were only seven fights this year, in years past, there had been 10 or more fights for a single event, but this year there were numerous cancellations.
Even with the cancellations, Valentine, and everyone involved with the High Desert Brawl, put on a great show for the fans.
Elgin Cannon was the announcer for the show and got the crowd pumped and ready for the first fight of the night.
Throughout the evening, Cannon kept the crowd laughing and entertained while waiting for the next fight to begin.
Joey McKernan took the fight cage first for the Iron Pit Fight Team against Jesus Rodriguez.
This was McKernan’s debut fight for the Iron Pit Fight Team.
With the crowd on McKernan’s side and him getting off a couple of nice strikes, it looked like he would do well in his first bout, until he got caught with an arm bar and was forced to tap out in the first round of the fight.
|James Geary, from Iron Pit Fight Team, unleashes a series of crucial blows to his opponent, which would ultimately get the referee to stop the fight.|
The second fight of the night pitted another debut fight for the Iron Pit Fight Team.
Daniel Ohotto was up next for the Iron Pit Fight Team, taking on Jesse Davis.
After the first round of the fight, and both fighters nice and bloody from heavy blows to the face from each other, it looked like this was going to go the distance, until Ramirez caught a winded Ohotto with a fury of punches and got the win with a technical knockout (TKO)
“Ohotto showed a lot of heart. He was the youngest male fighter we had compete tonight, and I think it showed. I just hope he keeps going and doesn’t give up and trains a lot harder to be better,” said Valentine.
The third fight of the night pitted yet another debut for the Iron Pit Fight Team.
Autumn Norton went up against Billy Edney.
What a fight it would end up being as numerous people dubbed this the fight of the night.
With the entire cage roaring from all the people cheering Norton on, Norton slammed Edney to the ground where she would then begin to pummel Edney’s face.
Norton won her debut fight in the first round due to a TKO (strikes to the face).
“I’m excited for Autumn,” said Valentine. “She has the potential to be one amazing fighter and now has a lot going for her. If she trains and strives hard for this, she can be better than most of my best guys that I have fighting for me.”
With the crowd going crazy after Norton’s win, it was time for a 15-minute intermission.
The fourth fight of the night pitted two fighters that both train for the Iron Pit Fight Team.
Aaron Frohrib took on Daniel Cooper in the first and only kickboxing fight of the night.
This fight would be a brawl, as the fighters hammered away at each other until the bell rang, ending the first round.
The second round came along and Frohrib’s amazing cardio started to show in the second round as he got a referee stoppage due to strikes to the body.
Frohrib took the win late in the second round.
“Both of these guys should be proud of themselves. Like I said earlier, we had several fighters back out of fights. When that happens I try to do whatever I can to get people to fill the spots, and that’s just what these two did,” said Valentine after the fight was over. “I called these guys three days prior to the event taking place, and both of them were willing to come down here with little time to prepare. And I think they put on a great show for you guys.”
The fifth fight of the night pitted two more people who train for the Iron Pit Fight Team.
In the first heavyweight bout of the night we had James Geary go up against Damion Strength.
Geary, who has been fighting and training more than 14 years, showed his experience in the ring, ending the fight with a brutal ground and pound (TKO) in the first round of the fight.
“This was yet another short notice fight. I’m so happy there are certain people out there I can call up and would love to come help me out and put on a great show for the fans. Thanks James, and Damion,” said Valentine.
The sixth fight was the second heavyweight bout of the night.
Russell Harrington, who trains with the Iron Pit Fight Team every once in a while, faced off against Mike Branson of Team Quest, of Redding.
This fight was yet another brutal brawl and quickly went to the ground. Branson got Harrington to the ground and was showing everyone how good his ground game really is.
Despite Branson’s great ground game, Harrington tried fighting it off and got the fight back up.
Branson quickly realized that in order to beat Harrington he would need to get the fight back to the ground because Harrington’s punches were too much for Branson.
The fight went back to the ground where Branson proved superior, and ended the fight with a submission in the first round of the bout.
“Thanks for everyone coming out. I want to say thanks to my fight team, and my sponsors. I also want to thank my opponent, man that guy hits like a freight train. A couple more punches like that to my head and it would’ve been lights out,” said Branson after his fight with Harrington.
The last fight of the night, and the main event of the evening, pitted one of Iron Pit Fight Team’s finest, Sparky Lively against John Kimbell of No Excuses in Idaho.
The fight started with Kimbell coming out and unleashing a furious combination of punches.
Lively picked him up and slammed him to the ground.
As the crowd roared in cheers for Lively, Kimbell tried to sneak in a leg lock.
Lively shook it off and quickly got out of it, and the fight was now in his hands.
Lively released a serious of ground and pound hay makers to Kimbell’s face and body and after about a minute and a half into the first round the referee stopped the fight and awarded Lively with the victory.
With the victory, Lively ends his amateur career and will be moving to San Bernardino, Calif. with his eyes on the professional world.
“Sparky has the potential to do something big with his life in the MMA world. He has a long road to go to get there, but if he strives for it, there is nothing that will be able to stop him from achieving whatever he wants,” said Valentine.
“I just want to thank all of the fans who came out and helped support the Iron Pit Fight Team,” said Valentine. “Also, a big shout out to all of the sponsors of the event, and everyone who volunteered their time to help put this on. Without you guys none of this would have been able to happen.”
The ninth annual High Desert Brawl is scheduled for Saturday, September 9.
“This fight should be bigger, and have more people fighting. The cool thing about this event is that I have about four kids’ fights that really get the crowd pumped. I’m really looking forward to the fights in September,” said Valentine.