MMA fighters put their pride on the line

B.C. was well represented at Battle for the Border: Redemption on Saturday night at Western Financial Place.

Cranbrook fighter Mike Seguin

Cranbrook fighter Mike Seguin

It’s safe to say that B.C. came out on top of the cross-border rivalries at Battle for the Border: Redemption.

Western Financial Place played host to the sequel to Cranbrook’s first MMA event, as fighters from B.C., Alberta, and the U.S. put their pride on the line to go to war inside the cage.

Out of the seven fighters representing B.C., only lost one their bout against a cross-border opponent.

“Couldn’t have planned it any better,” said Mike Corrigan, who coaches all the Cranbrook fighters out of House of Pain. “Except for Jesse’s fight. Nerves got the better of him.”

The event featured three amateur cards, as locals Jesse Cuthill, Mike Seguin and Adam Wills represented House of Pain and got into the cage with their opponents, preparing the way for the professional and headlining bouts.

Cuthill, who was making his debut inside the cage, got the show started with a matchup against Tom O’Connor, a fighter out of Progressive Fighting Academy in Lethbridge.

It was an aggressive start for both sides, however, O’Connor pounced when Cuthill lost his balance, securing a rear-naked choke a minute and a half into the first round.

That turned out to be the only loss of the night for those representing Cranbrook and B.C.

Mike Seguin was up next, challenging Robert Nelson, in what was one of the best fights of the night. The two went to the ground for practically all three rounds, as each struggled to gain position and find a way to apply a submission hold.

After three rounds, the judges awarded a split decision to Seguin, who improved his record to 2-0 after winning his debut at the first Battle for the Border last September.

Local Adam Wills and Connor Derry finished out the amateur portion of the event, with the Cranbrook fighter coming out on top after a furious stand-up battle.

The two went through all three rounds, rarely hitting the ground as they jabbed with their fists and landed kicks on the body. After the final bell rang out, the judges gave a split decision to Wills, improving his record to 5-1.

The professional card began after that, with Sheldon Doll going up against Dan Walders out of Calgary. Walders went down early and Doll took advantage, applying an Arm Triangle submission hold 26 seconds into the first round for the win.

Brandon MacArthur then continued B.C.’s win streak of the night, taking down Jordan Murray with an Armbar submission halfway through the first round.

The crowd, already riled up, got behind Rob Roy for his fight with Derek Clark. Roy and Clark engaged in a stand-up battle early in the opening round, each looking for the knockout punch.

Clark went to the mat and Roy gained position, working the ground and pound before the official called the fight in favour of the B.C. fighter via knockout.

Roy then jumped the cage and ran through his throng of supporters on the floor and in the stands in celebration.

The co-main event featured an all-female matchup between Charmaine Tweet and Amanda Bell. Tweet came into the event representing Regina with a record of 3-3, and had faced the current bantamweight UFC champion Ronda Rousey in the past.

Tweet ended up victorious over Bell with a Rear-Naked Choke submission in the first round, after holding off on some ground and pound from her opponent.

Derek Boyle made his return as headliner for the second time in the Battle for the Border series, taking on another American fighter, Eben Kaneshiro for the main event.

Boyle controlled the fight right from the beginning, working some aggressive stand-up while gaining position when Kaneshiro took the bout to the mat.

Boyle worked his ground and pound on Kaneshiro throughout two rounds before getting the win via technical knockout.