(Photo by Scott Welton, Staff)
KENNETT -- Fight fans in Kennett were treated to a full night of mixed martial art action Saturday at the Absolute Fighting Challenge IX.
A fundraiser with proceeds from the cage-fight event going to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a AFC IX "Fight for Life" was viewed by a packed house.
The event opened with a middleweight division contest between Dale Minner of the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis and Doug Edwards of Caruthersville MMA. Minner was the victor.
In the second fight, Tommy Masterson of Team Pitbull MMA in Sikeston defeated Willie Ashley of Caruthersville with a guillotine choke in the first round of their light heavyweight match.
The third bout ended in a first-round victory by Calvin Cunningham of Team Xtreme who used a guillotine choke to defeat James Michael of Memphis, Tenn., in their middleweight division fight.
After weathering a series of brutal body slams, T.J. Kitchen of Team Xtreme finally got his legs into position for a triangle choke and forced a submission from Josh Jager of the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis to win the lightweight division match.
In the fifth fight of the night, Dustin Dane of Stoutland defeated Mark Roberts of Caruthersville MMA with a juji-gatame armbar in the second round of their heavyweight contest.
In the sixth fight, another heavyweight match, James Evans of Team Pitbull MMA scored a TKO win over James Jones of Steele from Caruthersville MMA in the first round when he secured a mounted position and rained down a barrage of punches, resulting in the referee stopping the fight.
Jesse Beal of Caruthersville MMA then scored a quick win in the first round using a guillotine choke to defeat Matt Vuletich of Kennett in their welterweight fight.
A light heavyweight match followed in which Toby Horn of Kennett forced a submission from Chad Morrison of Perryville using a rear naked choke.
Jim Roaten of Memphis, Tenn., next defeated Billy Turner of Kennett in their middleweight division fight using a guillotine choke despite receiving a nasty forehead cut and bruises in the opening exchange of blows.
In the next fight, also a middleweight division contest, Jody Chambliss of Team Pitbull MMA used a rear naked choke to win over James Ineal of Wood River, Ill., in the first round.
Visibly gassed by the second round, light heavyweights Nick Tucker of Caruthersville MMA and Lane Gilbow of Blytheville MMA disappointed fans by agreeing to stop their fight in the third round and call the match a draw.
After a flurry of punches from both competitors to start the fight, a rear naked choke applied by Paul Gaddis resulted in a win over Ryan Walker of Dexter in the first round of their middleweight division match.
In the only featherweight bout of the night, Barry Howard of Blytheville MMA scored a win over Ben Harrison of Caruthersville MMA with a rear naked choke after 45 second in the first round.
In the main and final bout of the night, a heavyweight fight, Ray Clayton of Team Xtreme defeated Thomas Forcythe of Wood River, Ill., after getting to Forcythe's back in a mounted position and forcing a TKO call from the referee with a series of strikes.