MMA fighters local and abroad tasted victory and felt the agonizing sting of defeat during fight night at the Memorial Arena for Battle for the Border 3: Nations Collide.
Amateur and professional fighters went to war inside the octagon in the event, which was organized by Isaac Hockley and Jody McInnes of HM Productions.
There were four amateur bouts, highlighted by the main bout between local fighter Donovan Hack and Ryan Rohovich out of Prince Albert in Saskatchewan—both of whom were undefeated and put their 4-0 records on the line for a welterweight title.
Rohovich took the win in the third round by submission after taking Hack to the ground in the third round and applying a rear-naked choke.
“We were really happy with the fights,” said Hockley. “We were a little upset for Donovan, it was a little heart-wrenching watching him take his first loss, especially in front of his hometown where everybody is cheering for him.
“That was hard for us to watch, but it’s just going to make him a stronger fighter and he’s going to go back to the drawing board.”
Hack trains with the House of Pain out of the Rocky Mountain Academy of Martial Arts.
Another local fighter in Dustin Luke won his first-ever bout less than 30 seconds into the first round, winning by KO after punishing Yuri Gromochikhin with a flurry of punches.
Hockley said Gromochikhin has a reputation as a tough heavyweight fighter.
“That kid wasn’t a slouch,” Hockley said. “He just won a jujitsu tournament a few months back and he’s nicknamed ‘Butterbean’ for having a hard chin…but Dustin went through that chin pretty quickly.”
Wesley Bowman defeated Josh Freisen by unanimous decision to start the night, and Clayton Schira was able to connect against Herman Neufeld in the third round, winning by TKO in the other amateur event.
On the professional card, the night was highlighted with another local fighter who won his first event.
Adam Wills, who also trains out of House of Pain with RMAMA, beat Cleve Bentley out of Kelowna, applying a Guillotine in the first round at 2:20.
“Adam Wills—wow, what a fight that was for his pro debut,” said Hockley. “He beat a tough kid and that was exciting to see how well Adam did.”
In the co-main event, Alfonso Gonzales defeated Mike Kent via TKO late in the first round, while Cody McKenzie submitted Mark Dobie with a rear-naked choke halfway through the first round in the other co-main event.
Rounding out the pro card was Jordan Tracey’s submission of Dan Amyotte with a rear-naked choke late in the opening round.