King of the Ring card royal treat for MMA fans

Chris Anderson of Comox Valley MMA (top) defeated Ken Harvey of Port Hardy via a round two ground-and-pound TKO. Photo by Lisa Petterson -
Chris Anderson of Comox Valley MMA (top) defeated Ken Harvey of Port Hardy via a round two ground-and-pound TKO. Photo by Lisa Petterson
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There was plenty of thunder in the Thunderbird Hall on Saturday during King of the Rock I, a full night of amateur mixed martial arts in Campbell River.

Featuring a plethora of Vancouver Island fighters, including several from Comox Valley MMA, the card was part of an event put together by promoter Lisa Petterson of Courtenay to raise money for B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Along with ticket sales to the card, money was raised by raffling autographed items and the KOTR ring girls’ Bikini Blackmail promotion. Petterson said the card sold out the 450-seat Thunderbird Hall, and with money still coming in, her first-ever promotion so far has raised about $4,500 for Children’s Hospital.

“I was thrilled with the way everything turned out,” said Petterson, adding that Neil Melanson, who trains UFC great Randy Couture, told her it was the best-organized card he had seen in five years. Melanson conducted a Sunday clinic and Petterson said he was so impressed by the area and the people he told her he would be back for KOTR II.

Saturday’s main event featured Chris Anderson of CVMMA against Nick Austin (independent, North Vancouver) in a 170-pound welterweight MMA tilt. Anderson (now 3-0) predicted he would win the three-rounder at the 1:30 mark of the first round and was true to his word as Austin tapped out just one minute into the fight as a result of a guillotine choke. Anderson was crowned King of the Ring, with his crown complementing his colourful mouthguard that had the word king spelled out on it.

Petterson said the two were scheduled to fight a year ago in Vancouver, but Anderson opted to participate in a card in Cumberland. Since then there had been a lot of jawing between the two, and Anderson had dedicated his last four months of training to silencing Austin. “He was determined,” Petterson said of Anderson.

One of the co-mains featured Bronson “Bulldozer” Petterson of CVMMA in a 185-pound catchweight MMA bout with Jonathan Dubois of Coquitlam. Petterson improved to 5-0 when the referee stopped the fight at 2:07 of the first round with Dubois on the canvas doing his best turtle impersonation. The aggressive “Bulldozer” dominated all the way en route to earning his KOTR crown.

The other co-main was a 195-pound catchweight MMA clash between Black Creek’s Kory Larsen (Island Warriors, Campbell River) and Derek Mrak (Canada’s Best Karate, Victoria). Mrak took the win and the KOTR crown when the ref stopped the fight at the end of the second round with Mrak raining punches on Larsen, who was on the ground.

Promoter Petterson said the Fight of the Night was a 215-pound catchweight brawl between CVMMA’s Kerry Holloway and Darren Cheekenew out of Team Karma, Vancouver. It was the MMA debut for both men, and after a back-and-forth battle Holloway won via a third round ground-and-pound stoppage. Holloway earned a $600 katana sword from Drake Combat Sports of Vancouver for his efforts.

Opening the card was Max “Kick Like a Truck” Tuck of CVMMA against Allen George (McVitties Extreme Training, Duncan) in a 155-pound lightweight MMA bout. George won by unanimous decision.

Other bouts involving Comox Valley MMA competitors included Chris Anderson (no relation to the main eventer) defeating Ken Harvey (independent, Port Hardy) via round two TKO ground-and-pound stoppage in a 170-pound welterweight MMA bout. Dylan Brown had to bow out of his 165-pound catchweight MMA tilt with Andrew Lewis (McVittie’s Elite Training, Duncan) on a doctor stoppage after round one due to a cut over his eye suffered in a take-down.

Johnny “The Sleeper” Wilson was scheduled to fight Chris Cenname (Dragon’s Den, Port Alberni) in a 145-pound featherweight MMA match but Petterson said Cenname’s medical records were not in order and Wilson instead staged a 155-pound muay thai exhibition with Oren Hanscomb (Island Warriors).

Ryan Hewitt (independent, Port Hardy) was scheduled to meet Brayden Harper (Pure Self Defense, Nanaimo) in a 150-pund lightweight MMA match but instead put on a submission grappling exhibition with Alex Zieske (Team Havoc, Kelowna). In a 165-pound catchweight MMA bout, Zack Zachariah (Island Warriors) defeated Kaylin Johan (independent, Salmon Arm) with a rear naked choke at 2:38 of the first round.

RING NOTES Petterson said the Saturday night card gave local businesses in Campbell River a solid economic boost ... there were several promoters in attendance and two expressed interest in setting up future fights for main eventer Anderson ... KOTR II will be staged in the cage this summer and details of KOTR III, the final card in the series, are TBA ... Chief Ian Campbell of North Vancouver emceed ... sanctioned by the Vale Tudo Martial Arts Society of British Columbia, the event featured traditional native dancers plus judo and grappling exhibitions ...

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