Thunderbird Arena on Saturday February 12th was host to King of the Rock, a new fight series featuring amateur MMA fighters from several local martial arts clubs on Vancouver Island plus a few guest fighters from BC mainland gyms. The fastest growing sport in the world continues to grow and has now found its way to Campbell River with a capacity audience at Thunderbird Hall.
In a run up to the fight night, the King of the Rock Card Girls had been about town posing with local personalities in skimpy swim-wear and held an event called ‘Bikini Blackmail’. Prints were auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Paramount Music Hall on January 29th, and in just a few hours, the charity fund raiser collected close to $4000 for BC Children’s hospital.
The fighters met up for the weigh-in on Friday night. While weigh-ins are often a behind the scene event, there were no major issues, and everybody made weight. Gerry Gionco, Vancouver’s longest running fight promoter, who was on hand, said it was one of the most smoothly run weigh-ins he has seen in Amateur fighting.
The Saturday night Amateur MMA event was sanctioned by the Vale Tudo Martial Arts Society of BC. Neil Melanson, known for being the grappling coach of Randy ‘The Natural’ Coture, and upcoming UFC fighter Gray Maynard was the invited celebrity guest. The event began with a warm welcome to all fight fans from Campbell River Band Cheif Ian Campbell, and a traditional Salish welcome dance and drum song.
The audience was also in for two 32” flat screen giveaways, and there was a samurai sword for the fight of the night. Action in the ring started with a youth mma demo from Campbell River’s Pure Self Defense.
Things got going hard in an impressive first fight that would go to the judges decision, in the first mma fight for both fighters for 155 lbs lightweight Max ‘Kick like a truck, tuck’ Tuck from Comox Valley MMA vs. Allen George McVittie’s Elite Training Duncan. George worked his way out of rear naked chokes at least a couple of times, really a great showing for both fighters during the full three rounds.
In a 165 lbs Catchweight MMA fight between Zack Zachariah of Island Warriors in Campbell River and Kaylin Johal Independent, Salmon Arm BC, Zachariah would win by rear naked choke at 2:38 of round 1. Also a first fight for both fighters, it was a a fast nervous fight, and Zachariah’s coaches kept telling him to calm down. He managed to dominate Johal, and when he did finally work with his corner, he improved his moves and managed to make his control turn into submission.
Chris Andersen Comox Valley MMA went against Ken Harvey, an independent from Port Hardy for a 170 lbs welterweight MMA bout. Andersen got it by a declared TKO in round 2 due to unreturned blows, by referee stoppage.
A 215 lbs Catchweight MMA between Kerry Holloway Comox Valley MMA against Darren Cheekneew, Team Karma, Vancouver would end in round 3 with Holloway winning by referee stoppage due to unreturned blows, ground & pound.
A 165 lbs Catchweight MMA matchup between Dylan Brown Comox Valley MMA and Andrew Lewis from
McVittie’s Elite Training, Duncan would end after the end of the second round by stoppage by doctor, when Brown got his forehead cut open when open when he hit the mat during a takedown. Brown was taking control and may have taken the fight if it had continued.
In a 155 lbs exhibition Muay Thai match, Johnny ‘The Sleeper’ Wilson from Island Warriors Campbell River took on Oren Hanscomb also of Island Warriors.
Kory Larsen of Island Warriors Campbell River took on Derek Mrak Canada in a 195 lbs Catchweight MMA fight. Mrak has shown his mettle in previous matchups at Summer Slugfest and at Seeing Red and close to the end of round 2 would work Larsen into a corner of the ring from the top position to bring an end to the match by TKO from referee stoppage.
Referee stoppage at 2:07 of round1ended the 185 lbs Catchweight MMA fight between Bronson ‘Bulldozer’ Pettersen out of Comox Valley MMA and Johnathan Dubois from the the mainland.
In the main event of the evening Chris Anderson Comox Valley MMA tapped out Independent fighter Nick Austin from North Vancouver BC by guillotine choke in round 1.
Fight of the night goes to Kerry Holloway.
Winners of the Flat screen TVs: Ryan Nickelson, Todd Stewart.