Intensity at Caged Fury 17 keeps fans on edge
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 00:04
Caged Fury 17, the latest installment of professional mixed martial arts action to storm Morgantown, took place Friday night at the Mylan Park Expo Center.
Brought to fans by the North American Allied Fight Series and Simons Promotions, Caged Fury 17 featured all of the excitement and exceptional athleticism that has made mixed martial arts one of the fastest-growing sports in America.
At the top of the fight card was a middleweight title fight between the undefeated but relatively untested Travis Clark and seasoned veteran Hector Urbina.
This matchup was finished nearly as soon as it started.
Urbina’s experience and quick thinking proved to be the difference in this main event fight, as he saw a small crack in Clark’s defense and took it, securing the fight-ending guillotine choke just 16 seconds into the first round.
"I think I stunned him with a punch early," Urbina said. "When we clinched, he just didn’t feel very strong and I got his neck and started cranking."
The night’s co-main event saw West Virginia product Nathan "Bam" Bryant take on Pittsburgh Fight Club’s Adam Milstead.
For Bryant, this matchup offered a chance at redemption for a loss he suffered in his last fight in Morgantown on Jan. 28 at Caged Fury 16.
Unfortunately for "Bam," Milstead had no intentions of letting this happen.
Milstead, a former light-heavyweight fighter, had an obvious speed and athleticism advantage in the fight, and he was able to land hard punches and kicks at will against Bryant.
Utilizing an effective game plan, Bryant was able to bully Milstead against the cage and force clinch situations where the Pittsburgh fighter’s speed was not a factor.
This technique dried up midway through the second round, however, as Milstead caught Bryant with a hard right hook while the two fighters were scrambling for position.
The punch put Bryant on his back, and Milstead followed with more ground and pound until the referee halted the fight.
"It was a little added pressure being in his backyard, but I’m just glad to get in and get out with the victory," Milstead said. "I felt great, and I’m here to stay at heavyweight."
Promising Wheeling, W. Va., bantamweight fighter Ronell Green suffered a similarly disappointing loss in his matchup with submission specialist Richard McDole.
Green, who impressed in his professional debut with a first-round submission victory at Caged Fury 16, found himself in precarious positions from the onset of his fight with McDole.
Early in the round, McDole secured a tight armbar, which had Green’s arm on the breaking point. Somehow, Green was able to escape the submission, but his arm was clearly damaged.
Showing his heart and determination, Green landed some hard shots after escaping that appeared to daze McDole. But he couldn’t capitalize on the moment, and McDole recovered and locked in another armlock, this time for good.
Green, who suffered a dislocated elbow as a result of the submission, was forced to tap out with just seconds left in the first round.
While Bryant and Green suffered disappointing losses in their featured bouts, the Mountain State was represented well by Wheeling fighter Chris Goldbaugh on the undercard portion of the event.
Goldbaugh, who is known primarily as a ground fighter and submission specialist, showed off an improving stand-up game in his matchup with the hard-nosed Adam Sepulveda.
After failing to get the fight to the ground early, Goldbaugh turned to his striking, a game plan he didn’t expect to employ.
"I heard he had a granite chin and heavy hands," Goldbaugh said after the fight. "I really didn’t want to stand up with him, but it worked out."
Using hard elbows and knees, Goldbaugh was able to drop Sepulveda in the first round and earn the technical knockout victory.
"It was the first time I ever ended a fight standing, so I feel great about that," Goldbaugh said. "I’m always working hard on my striking, so it’s great to see that pay off."
With fantastic fights and an enthusiastic and rowdy crowd reaction, Caged Fury 17 proved the beautifully violent sport of MMA is in the Mountain State to stay.