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Keeney, Stork and Blackburn win at Cagesport XV | SLIDESHOW
Cagesport XV, held July 16 at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, featured mixed martial arts action involving 20 Northwest fighters. The event was sponsored by Brian Halquist Productions. Here's a recap of the evening's fight card. (View photos by Federal Way resident Todd Dearinger in the slideshow above or by clicking here.)
• Main event: In the interim heavyweight championship, Kyle "The Kodiak" Keeney of Lacey easily defeated Josh Bennett of Camas, Wash., with a rear-naked choke in round 2. Keeney (12-5) put a serious whooping on Bennett (9-10) in the first round. Keeney, a former state high school wrestling champ, barely broke a sweat after slamming Bennett to the floor, then kept him against the cage for the rest of the round. More of the same continued in the second round until Bennett tapped out. "How about that, guys?" Keeney told the crowd, noting that he was supposed to fight Nick Braker, who pulled out due to a blood infection. "Why does this champ keep ducking me for the title? Step up, be a man and hand it over."
• Semi-main event: Richland fighter George Stork (6-5) defeated Tacoma's Justin "Dangerous" Davis (14-10) by TKO in the second round. Stork dominated Davis from the opening bell, and Davis was bleeding from the forehead and eye almost right away. Davis appeared winded at the start of round two, and Stork relentlessly pounded his head until the ref called the fight due to strikes.
• Light heavyweights: Lakewood's Eddie "Onespeed" Blackburn (10-5) defeated Bothell's Justin Gardner (10-6) with a north-south choke in the first round. Blackburn entered the ring to a chorus of cheers from the hometown crowd. The two fighters were grinding it out before Gardner tapped out.
• Bantamweights: Corey Roska of Portland defeated Puyallup fighter John Dawson with a rear naked choke in the first round. The brightly-tattooed Roska (2-1) had the edge throughout the fight, eventually forcing Dawson (1-3) to tap out.
• Featherweights: Craig Jackson of Bellingham defeated Tacoma fighter Brad "Carbomb" Nordquist with a guillotine choke in the first round. Jackson (3-1) was in control of the fight from the opening bell and warded off attempts by Nordquist (7-21) to bring him down.
• Featherweights: In one of the best and by far bloodiest fights of the night, Omar Avelar of Moses Lake, Wash., defeated Scott Brown of Missoula, Mont. Going the three-round distance, both fighters were a bloody mess with multiple gashes on their heads and faces. It looked as though they got spray-tanned with blood, and at one point, the fight was paused so the fighters could wipe away some of the blood. Brown (1-1) kicked like a horse when on the ground, but the constant punching pressure from Avelar (5-2) ended up making the difference. Judges scored the fight 30-27 in Avelar's favor.
• Welterweights: Darrell Fenner (4-4) defeated Ernesto Toscano (1-1) in a fight that went the three-round distance. Fenner, of Eugene, Ore., kept up the pressure by holding Toscano, of Pasco, against the cage for much of the first and third rounds. Despite a few surprise kicks and takedowns by Toscano, judges scored the fight 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 in Fenner's favor.
• Featherweights: Will Hunt (1-3) of John Day, Ore., defeated Seattle fighter Jorey "The Reaper" Taylor (0-3) after applying a vicious arm bar that led to a tapout halfway through the first round. Audience members could be heard yelling "break his arm" as Hunt held on to Taylor's arm while the two rolled around the ring.
• Featherweights: Ryan Mulvihill (2-2) of Spokane defeated Everett's Tim Abell (1-1) with a rear naked choke in the first round. Abell's face was red and bulging when he tapped out at 1:55 as Mulvihill applied the choke.
• Welterweights: Wes Golden (4-1) of Lakewood defeated Everett's Josiah Mitchell (0-1) after going the three-round distance. Golden was bleeding early, and the two fighters pounded it out. Judges scored the fight in Golden's favor with scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.