Krebs Conquers Main Event, Croden Ends it Quickly

MMA, super boxing, and combat jiu-jitsu, all in one night, equals one heck of a show.

Rumble in the Cage 57 went down Saturday night at Exhibition Park in Lethbridge, Alta., and had everything from heavy knockouts to slick submissions, to all-out wars.

In the main event of the evening, it was Connor Krebs (2-1) utilizing his strong takedowns and ground-and-pound to hand Evan Piercey (2-1) his first loss as an amateur, earning the hard-fought unanimous decision in their lightweight bout.

Connor Krebs Evan Piercey
Connor Krebs in action against Evan Piercey at Rumble in the Cage 57. (Joel Griffith)

“I worked so hard for this. I’m training every day, Monday to Sunday, two-three times a day,” said Krebs in an interview.

“I knew I was getting into a tough fight tonight. That guy hits hard.”

Krebs was able to secure multiple takedowns throughout the three rounds, which certainly played a big part on the scorecards.

Piercey’s two wins were both by first round knockouts, so Krebs said part of his game plan was to limit his striking as much as possible.

“I knew he hit hard, so I wanted to drag him into deep waters, take him down, and avoid those big shots,” said Krebs.

“I think it did a pretty good job of that tonight.”

This was Krebs’ toughest test of his young career, and now that he’s secured the victory, he’s wants a title shot.

Krebs said he’s hoping to get on the XFFC 17 card in Grand Prairie, but is also fully open to taking any title opportunity across Canada.

“I’ll have them send me pictures of the title belts, so I can tell them which ones go with my suits.”

Quick Work Croden

The co-main event had plenty of intrigue leading into it, as both Melissa Croden (3-0) and Sierra Dinwoodie (3-1) had unblemished records heading into their 150-pound amateur catchweight bout, with all wins coming by finish.

But it wouldn’t last very long as Croden landed a vicious right hand that floored Dinwoodie just 20 seconds into the opening round.

Melissa Croden Rumble in the Cage 57
Melissa Croden celebrates her knockout victory at Rumble in the Cage 57. (Joel Griffith)

“When I went in there, I was as loose and relaxed as I could be,” said Croden in an interview.

”I was surprised; I was expecting it to be more of a fight than that.”

Croden said she’s now heading to New Mexico to train at Jackson Wink MMA Academy for two weeks, which she had already planned prior to this fight.

She said it’s tough to find female training partners in Calgary, so she’s heading south to gain a little more experience.

When she returns, she said her options are open for what fight she takes on next, including turning professional.

”I plan on going pro this year at some point, but if another amateur fight comes up, depending on the timing, I would be up for it,” said Croden.

”I’ve been in talks with Alaska Fighting Championship and Invicta, so hopefully start working my way in that direction.”

In other MMA action, Jake Maier earned a split decision over Richie Hall in their amateur catchweight bout at 175 pounds, while Dan Kovalchuk made quick work of Alejandro Castillo Dumas, submitting him by guillotine choke at 0:56 of the first round.

Jared Shipley also disposed of Sean Carroll in a heavy-handed affair, earning the TKO victory at 1:21 of the first round.

Sean Bone and Dustin Heintz emerged victorious in their respective super boxing matchups, while Mark Arreola vs Brandon Conway, Andrew Mavridis vs Kurt Spizwaka, and Izzudeen Atmeh vs Raj Mahil all ended in draws.

In the lone combat jiu-jitsu contest, Colton Boxell came out on top against Derek Gatz.