Sports

Cagesport MMA: Springboard for Washington fighters

Kirkland fighter Chanti Johnson forces the tapout on Branden Hempleman as the ref stops their fight during the Cagesport MMA event May 15 at Emerald Queen Casino. - Todd Dearinger, For The Mirror
Kirkland fighter Chanti Johnson forces the tapout on Branden Hempleman as the ref stops their fight during the Cagesport MMA event May 15 at Emerald Queen Casino.
— image credit: Todd Dearinger, For The Mirror

Local fighter Chanti "The Brooklyn Knight" Johnson defeated Branden Hempleman at Cagesport MMA, held May 15 at Emerald Queen Casino.

In the seventh fight of the 10-bout event, Johnson improved his record to 6-2 (with 4 KO's) by forcing Hempleman (2-1) to tapout with a rear naked choke at 2:30 into the second round.

"Who wants to see me fight for the title," Johnson asked the crowd after the victory before leaping to the top of the cage and striking a pose.

Johnson and Hempleman delivered one of the better-matched fights of the evening. They fought cautiously in the first round, trading jabs and kicks. In the second round, the action heated up after Johnson delivered a kick to the Hempleman's upper leg, sending him to the mat. The fighters grinded it out until Hempleman's tapout.

Johnson has won his past two fights by knockout at Emerald Queen Casino. Originally hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., he trains with the White Buffalo Warriors out of Kirkland.

Cagesport was organized by Brian Halquist Productions, which brings four MMA events and five boxing events each year to the casino. Nearly all bouts involve local fighters, and more than 100 local fighters are trying to make the next event, said owner Brian Halquist.

"We're not the UFC or Strikeforce," Halquist said. "We want to be used by (local fighters) as a springboard. We want to get as many local kids as we can and develop their following locally. Those kids that do well will be able to go on to bigger and better things."

To learn more, visit www.halquistproductions.com

Results

Results from Cagesport MMA, held May 15 at Emerald Queen Casino:

• Jaris Beirer (2-0) def. Brent Warner (3-3), rear naked choke, first round

• Tony King (1-1) def. Jared Torgeson (4-2), arm triangle, third round

• Charlie Shaw (2-0) def. Josh Snodgrass (0-3), rear naked choke, first round

• Tim Welch (3-0) KO'd Jose Rico (3-4), 0:34 in first round

• Sterling Ford (8-4) def. Chris Ensley (5-8), rear naked choke, first round

• Dave Courchaine (4-3) KO'd Joey Erickson (6-2), 2:38 in first round

• Chanti Johnson (6-2) def. Branden Hempleman (2-1), rear naked choke, 2:30 second round

• Carmen Cassella (6-6) def. Calvin Horton (3-1), unanimous decision

• Patrick Prescott (2-0) def. Tyson Johnson (4-1), unanimous decision

• MAIN EVENT: Matt Kovacs (5-3) KO'd Corey Williams (18-6) in the first round. Kovacs is the Cagesport MMA heavyweight champion.

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