Titles are officially back as of Rumble in the Cage 62.
In the main event and light heavyweight title bout, Neil Berry (now 9-9) wasted no time claiming the strap in his hometown of Lethbridge, Alta., submitting Anton Tokarchuk (now 4-3-1) early in the first round with a kimura.
Berry said the winning submission was a move he was working a lot heading into the contest, and one he had high hopes would get the job done.
“I wanted to get to north-south and attack that arm. I pictured it before the fight for awhile and I’m so happy it went down like that,” said Berry in an interview.
“That position is a very strong one for me, and I knew it would be a good place to be against him.”
This was Berry’s first career title win, after falling short to Teddy Ash at Unified MMA 37 in his first attempt earlier this year.
Berry said he couldn’t be happier to have a belt around his waist after 18 professional fights, and said there was no better place to do it than in his hometown and for Rumble in the Cage.
“It feels absolutely amazing; it’s my hometown, all my friends and family are here,” said Berry.
“It’s been such a wild year since last September when I took that first fight back after nine years off. This year’s been absolutely amazing and I’m super happy I was able to get a title in my hometown and my home venue.”
In the co-main event and featherweight title bout, Tim Tamaki (now 19-28-1) also took home his first belt after a hard-fought unanimous decision over Chris Day (now 5-7).
In a contest where Tamaki was finding success on the feet and Day succeeding on the mat, Tamaki said the matchup was as tough as he was expecting coming in.
“He was really tough. It went how I thought it was going to go, except I didn’t think I would be on my back as much as I was,” said Tamaki in an interview.
“I knew it was close, but I felt I had done enough to win a decision. I have so much respect for his gym and I knew he was going to be tough everywhere.”
After nearly 50 professional fights, this was Tamaki’s first shot at a championship, while also being contested in his hometown.
Tamaki said he’s thrilled to have won his first title, and even more proud for it to have happened for Rumble in the Cage.
“It means so much to me to get this on the Rumble. There was just so much hard work in this and I fought my ass off for it for sure.”
All Mac Donald
Steven Mac Donald (now 4-0) wasted no time securing his fourth professional win, knocking out Phil Towler (now 1-1) 1:09 into the first round after peppering him with shots up until the knockout blow.
Mac Donald said right from the opening bell he could feel Towler was hesitant to stand and trade with him, and ultimately fed off that.
“I could feel he was tentative right away. He had nervous energy and he wanted to get that takedown right away,” said Mac Donald in an interview.
“As soon as I hit him the first time I could tell he didn’t like it. Then, I found the groove.”
Mac Donald said he accepted this fight on just three days notice after Towler’s original opponent, Dan Juricic, was forced out of action.
Short notice or not, Mac Donald said he’s always fight-ready and his life has become one big training camp.
“I train all year-round. I quit my job eight months ago and I’m just training all-out now until I get to the UFC. And it’s not if, it’s when,” said Mac Donald.
Although he didn’t endure any damage from Towler’s offence, Mac Donald did break his thumb on one of the shots he landed.
And while Mac Donald will need some time to heal his thumb injury, he said he will be ready to fight Jan. 25 for Z-Promotions: Fight Night.
“They (Fight Night) just signed me,” said Mac Donald.
“I want the belt. So whoever has the belt, that’s who I want to fight.”
In earlier action, Sebastian Lopez, Evan Piercey, Frank Allen, Justin Grey, Jon Norman, Shannon Clark, Peti Siulua, Taylor McDougall, and Adam Zekry all left Lethbridge victorious.