Saturday night at the Southeast Expo Center, the world famous Toughman contest had its championship evening to find the toughest locals. Also pressing the action were Extreme Cage Combat 8.0 cage fighters, achieving victory in a multitude of ways from within the octagon cage for the second day in a row.
Beginning the night off with a little live music, the event proved to be just that, eventful. Matt Borges came out of the blue corner as the fights began in the cage. Borges swung at his opponent, Derek McGlohn, but it was Borges’ ground game that controlled the first part of the fight.
McGlohn was the one holding onto Borges’s neck when the bell rang to end the first round though, after McGlohn took Borges’s back with a strong ground game.
Borges started off the second round striking, teeing off with uppercuts and looping hooks. Borges was declared the winner of the first match of the night by pulling guard and synching up McGlohn’s neck with a guillotine.
The second fight was in the cage as well between Tyler Haddox and Tim Lingo. A counterpunch was the first shot landed in the fight when Haddox landed with a cross. After the fight went to the ground, a struggle on the ground became a struggle standing before Lingo fell backwards to land Haddox underneath him, but Haddox was already taking Lingo’s back. Haddox won a first round submission by rear naked choke.
Putting the big gloves on, Albert Watles and Chester Schach met in the squared ring for a Toughman boxing match. Watles landed a high percentage of power punches in the first round, mostly haymaker uppercuts. Taking a lot of shots from a precisional puncher, Schach failed to defend well enough to convince the referee that the fight was worth continuing. Watles won a first round TKO in the first Toughman match of the night.
Clayton Coleman and Zack Dietrick made each other’s acquaintance in the octagon for the next fight. After what looked like angry handshakes for the first 20 seconds of the fight, Dietrick finally introduced himself with a takedown.
Battling for position from a sprawl position, Dietrick looked to have gained the advantage with his ground game before Coleman finished the first round by hounding Dietrick with astounding grounding-and-pounding from side control. Dietrick blocked with his one free arm until the end of the first round.
Dietrick counterpunched to knock Coleman back to start the second round, but both continued to throw big shots before Coleman failed at securing a takedown. Both continued to throw shots with ferocity until Dietrick caught Coleman with a shot that left Coleman bleeding, bludgeoned and beleaguered as the second round came to an end pronouncing Dietrick the winner of the night’s fourth fight.
Michael Mendoza and Matt Gonzales, both making the trip to the McAlester cage fight from Texas, had the shortest fight of the night. Mendoza threw a couple of jabs before Gonzales fed him a knee seasoned with knock out power less than three seconds into the fight. The first round knock out went to Gonzales.
Back in the Toughman ring, Luke Mitchell and Rey Benavides did a pain dance together. Benavides showed more speed and landed more shots to start the first round.
After Benavides was standing again, Mitchell then rushed his opponent into a corner and ended the second round with bully body shots.
Benavides kept up the punching process, but Mitchell kept forcing himself into his opponent with a flurry of different punches until the end of the fight when he won a split decision.
Another Toughman fight followed between Jamie Parker and Brett “B-Dub” Welker next. Parker jabbed a little to start the seventh fight on the night. Welker’s movements insinuated that he was closing off the ring, but he didn’t throw nearly as many punches as Parker in the first round.
Welker threw big looping hooks in the second round, but still didn’t match Parker’s output. Moving around and taking shots to land shots, Parker’s energy was partly squandered, missing as many as he hit with. Welker was content with counterpunching the rest of the fight and was rewarded with the second split decision in a row.
After a brief intermission, Tolu Agunblade won a unanimous decision fighting out of the yellow Toughman corner. He would advance to the championship light heavyweight Toughman competition later on in the night... and win it.
The other Toughman championship went the way of hometown hero, former winner on the night and fighter out of the black corner, Luke Mitchell.
Having celebrated his fifth year anniversary the night before, Mitchell celebrated his toughest man in town crown by defeating Phillip Greaney.