Ariel Beck, Sam Rauch thrill at Butte Brawl

By Sean Eamon

If you didn’t know, now you know.

Those were Butte mixed martial artist Sam Rauch’s parting words for the crowd Saturday at Butte Brawl 18 at the Butte Civic Center as he returned to his hometown with a submission win against Kalispell’s Andrew Howk in a headline match.

Rauch took the ring with a cleanly shaven head, marching out to Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” Unfortunately for Howk, Rauch cut him down.

The fight opened with a Rauch attack and takedown. Sam “The Man” wrapped his hands around the back of Howk’s neck in an attempt to get his opponent to lean over for a quick knee, but Howk fell to the side.

“I wanted to stand up a little bit,” Rauch said. “I was hoping to clinch him and knee him to the face.”

Once they fell to the ground, they jostled for a few seconds before Rauch took position for a ground-and-pound, holding his fist high in the air for a couple extra seconds as the Butte crowd cheered.

Rauch then went on to stretch out Howk’s arm to score a submission win by arm bar.
“I really didn’t want to submit him,” Rauch said. “I have so many submission wins. He was tough. I had the arm bar and he didn’t tap.”

The fight was Rauch’s first in Butte since 2009. He went to Colorado for a few years to work with famed kick boxer Duane Ludwig. Now he’s back and looking to start his own gym.

Rauch said he was glad to see all the fighters from different clubs helping each other out behind-the-scenes with wraps and general encouragement.

“Having good support and having the crowd behind you,” Rauch said. “Everybody here is willing to help. Everybody has that comradery in Butte.”

In the night’s other co-headline event, Streets of Butte fighter Ariel Beck stormed to the octagon to score a technical knockout against Colorado’s D.J. Morrison. The two met previously in professional boxing matches, which Beck won.

The two women started the fight with fists flying, but eventually took it to the ground, then back up again as Beck made a reversal and an escape. Once they were in, Beck put the beating on Morrison and the referee had to step in.

“She’s a boxer originally. I kinda expected it to stay up,” Beck said. “We clinched and we had to do what we had to do. Eventually it went up.”

The Deer Lodge native drew a thunderous cheer as she took the ring, clearly a favorite fighter of Butte fans. She thanked everyone that helped her along the way after the win.

“My team, my support, they are everything,” Beck said.

The bloodiest fight and arguably the most exciting came from Butte native Joey Murray and Belgrade’s Brandon Little Coyote.

Little Coyote started the fight knocking Murray down in the opening seconds with a big right hand, putting Murray on his back. Murray eventually recovered back to his feet, then after trading shots with Little Coyote fell again as a result of a barrage of punches by the Belgrade fighter.

Little Coyote moved in to try a guillotine submission for more than a minute, but it never panned out. Murray escaped and eventually claimed the win with a rear-naked choke hold.

“I fought this guy before and won,” Murray said. “Apparently he caught me with a right.”

When Little Coyote couldn‘t get the guillotine to work, it was a turning point for Murray.

“I knew if I hung in there long enough I’d get out,” he said.

After the fight, Murray’s face was dripping with blood. He felt his training with Montana MMA of Bozeman helped.

“We go through a lot of brutal conditioning,” Murray said. “I’m one of the coaches there and this is my chance to put my money where my mouth is.”

Zack Markwick of Bozeman’s Montana MMA was able to take the amateur lightweight belt from Butte fighter Anthony Curtiss. The Lion Pit fighter had a big takedown right away, but eventually succumbed to an arm bar.

Butte’s Lion Pit did see a successful showing from pastor and team leader Zach Anderson. He was able to score a submission win with a guillotine in the first thirty seconds against Three Forks fighter Mathew Sanders.

“I knew he was going to shoot for the takedown,” Anderson said. “The plan was to keep a low stance, chop him and stop him.”

Anderson took his time as he positioned himself perfectly for a textbook guillotine to make sure he ended the fight the way he wanted.

“One thing I’ve learned about submissions is not to overdo it too soon,” Anderson said.
Anaconda 185-pounder Jered Lunceford avenged a loss to Sidney fighter Cody Williams Saturday night. He was able to pull a couple of reversals to eventually score an arm bar to end it.

The fight was a great showing for Lunceford, known for his great boxing ability. The fight almost immediately went to the ground and he held his composure as the two battles through a few reversals until the Anaconda man ended up the winner.

Butte's Monty Klistoff (yellow trunks) battles Brad Spencer.

Butte’s Monty Klistoff (yellow trunks) battles Brad Spencer.  (Nick Hawthorne photo)

Monty Klistoff fought for a win out of the Lion Pit and for Goosetown Training Club against Brad Spencer of Great Falls. Klistoff had two takedowns then ended the fight with a knockout in the first round.

“I was going to try to box him around,” Klistoff said. “Once I saw I had success with ground and pound, I just kept going.”

Klistoff credited Anaconda High School wrestling coach Joey Casey and Anaconda Golden Gloves trainer Chris Eamon for helping him train in the victory.

Butte standout puncher Gary Brackett fell against Justin Rodriguez of Spokane in the opening minute to a submission. Rodriguez worked his way around Brackett’s punches to avoid any punishment.

The longest fight of the night came between Alex Sexton of Butte’s Lion Pit and Streets of Butte fighter Andrew Huckeby. The two young fighter battled through three rounds with Huckeby notching a takedown in each round to help secure the win.

“I was trying to stand,” Huckeby said. “He ended up throwing a lot of hooks, so I was getting under him.”

The Streets of Butte fighter did not throw any right hands while standing up in the first round, so when the second round started he threw a few and it had Sexton off balance.

“He wasn’t really expecting right hands in the second round,” Huckeby said.

Anaconda heavyweight Chris LaTray notched the first victory of the night for a local fighter in the fourth scheduled bout. He was able to knock out Bozeman’s Zach Cross at the 1:22 mark of the first round.

Saturday’s bout was the best LaTray has looked and despite an early stumble, he took position for a ground-and-pound to end the fight in seconds.

Anaconda brawler Marcus Lussy lost a tilt against Jack Woods of Spokane in the first round. Woods took a beating to the face, but managed to land a triangle choke two minutes, 57 seconds into the fight.

Butte’s Jake Fournier fell against Nampa, Idaho’s Robert Weeks at 130 pounds. Weeks held on to a guillotine choke for most of the opening round until eventually getting Fournier to tap out at the 2:10 mark.

In the opening fight of the night, Bozeman’s Talon Herbert was able to score a win with a rear-naked choke submission against Brady Hunzeker of Butte at the 3:22 mark. Herbert earned the first points of the fight with a takedown, then held his position until the rear naked became available.

Butte Brawl 18
At the Butte Civic Center

170 – Talon Herbert, Bozeman (Montana MMA), def. Brady Hunzeker, Butte (Lion Pit), by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:22 of first round.
130 – Robert Weeks, Nampa, Idaho (UMAS), def. Jake Fournier, Butte (Lion Pit), by submission (guillotine), at 2:10 of first round.
170 – Jack Woods, Spokane (Warrior Camp), def. Marcus Lussy, Anaconda (Goosetown), by submission (triangle choke) at 2:57 of first round.
HVY – Chris LaTray, Anaconda (Goosetown), def. Zach Cross, Bozeman (Montana MMA), by knockout at 1:22 of first round.
155 – Andrew Huckeby, Butte (Streets of Butte), def. Alex Sexton, Butte (Lion Pit), by unanimous decision in three rounds.
185 – Monty Klistoff, Butte (Lion Pit), def. Brad Spencer, Great Falls (Wolfpack), by knockout at 2:40 of first round.
185 – Jered Lunceford, Anaconda (Goosetown), def. Cody Williams, Sidney (SCC), by technical knockout at 2:28 of first round.
195 – Justin Rodriguez, Spokane (Cascao Jiu Jitsu), def. Gary Brackett, Butte (Streets of Butte), by submission (triangle) at :56 of first round.
165 – Zach Anderson, Butte (Lion Pit), def. Mathew Sanders, Three Forks (Freestyle), by submission (guillotine) at :30 of first round.
140 Amateur Title – Zack Markwick, Bozeman (Montana MMA), def. Anthony Curtiss, Butte (Lion Pit), by submission (arm bar) at 1:05 of first round.
155 – Joey Murray, Bozeman (Montana MMA), def. Brandon Little Coyote, Belgrade (Freestyle), by submission (rear naked) at 4:28 of first round.
125 – Ariel Beck, Butte (Streets of Butte), def. D.J. Morrison, Colorado, by technical knockout at 2:30 of first round.
170 – Sam Rauch, Butte (Grit), def. Andrew Howk, Kalispell, by submission (arm bar) in first round. 2 comments

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  • Chris Eamon
    April 26, 2015, 11:21 am

    Great article – Thanks for covering. It was a great card. –

  • george orcutt
    April 26, 2015, 8:12 pm

    Thanks Sean for a great article. It makes my day when Martial Arts has a positive impact and view in our community. Master Sensei Orcutt


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