Butte Brawl heats up cold evening

A cold, winter version of the Butte Brawl heated up the Civic Center Friday evening, as a card of a dozen fights featured 13 Butte mixed martial artists.

Eight Mining City fighters came out on top of their bouts, led by main event headliner Jesse Newbreast whose first-round win over fellow Butte heavyweight Joey Jaquez upped his professional MMA record to 6-2.

It was the first professional MMA bout for Jaquez, who was fighting out of the Lion’s Pit and had established a 5-2 amateur record. Newbreast, representing the Streets of Butte club, fought off a wrestling attack from Jaquez and finished of his opponent from behind, ending the match via submission from strikes.

“I was hoping to win one on my feet,” Newbreast said after the match. “But hey, a win’s a win. I’ll take it however I can get it.”

Newbreast’s wife, Ariel Beck, had fought just minutes before, losing a tough split decision to Moscow, Idaho jui-jitsu specialist Jenny Liou.

“She fought a good one,” Newbreast observed. “But Liou came out and had a good plan.”

Beck drew arguably the biggest vocal support of any fighter on the night, and battled well in the loss. The first round saw brutal close combat, mostly on the canvas, with neither fighter gaining a marked advantage. Beck landed an effective kick-punch combination to open the second round, though Liou defended well once she came to her senses. The Moscow fighter held the advantage for most of the final round, and barely hung on for the win.

Joey “Tube Sock” Murray, another local crowd favorite, made quick work of White Sulphur Springs’ Jared Durkin in their 165-pound matchup, ending the contest at 1:48 of the first round with a technical knockout. Murray hurt Durkin when he drove a shoulder to the gut on a single-leg slam takedown, then hammered away from the top guard for the win.

The opening bout of the night was a kickboxing matchup between the Butte Lion Pit’s Eli Blouse and Rylan Moldenhauer of Great Falls. Both in their first fight, both spent energy quickly looking for an early end in the first round. Blouse connected with a solid kick to the ribs in second round as both fighters resorted to a slower, more deliberate style. Moldenhauer connected some solid fists to the face in the third round, enough to escape with a split decision.

Another bout between rookies, the second fight – the first MMA battle of the night – saw a slower start between Butte’s Monte Klitskoff and Brent Cline of Great Falls. The fighters circled slowly before Klitskoff scored a single that brought Cline to the deck. Once Klitskoff worked his way out of Cline’s grasp, a steady barrage of blows to the head brought a tap out three minutes into the contest.

Former Bozeman High wrestler Cole “Hondo” Gebhardt ran his MMA record to 3-0 with a quick submission win over Sidney’s Cody Williams, who fell to 4-4 with the loss. Williams came out quickly, taking Gebhardt to his back, but the bottom guard suited the Bozeman fighter well. Gebhardt applied a solid figure-4 leg lock on Williams’ neck, ending the fight just 56 seconds after it began.

In the final bout of the first session, Butte 140-pounder Steven Ellis evened his MMA record to 1-1 with a third-round submission victory over Canadian fighter Dakota Rutten. Ellis gave up some reach to the 6-foot-2 Rutten, but got off to a good start with a slam thanks to a sharp double leg takedown. Ellis got the takedown again in the second, but Rutten reversed the situation and controlled the remainder of the round. The fight, which was a bit of a chess match at times, ended very quickly at the 1:07 mark of the third when Ellis worked into an arm bar to put a sudden end to the fight.

A flurry of action opened the second session as Butte’s Anthony Curtiss debuted in a MMA bout against Cole Shanks of Lethbridge. Both fighters were very active, but both proved to be adept defensive tacticians as well. Though there was plenty of action, neither hurt the other through the first two rounds. Much of the difference in the eventual decision came in the third round when Shanks rolled to the top guard where he landed a half dozen undefended head shots on Curtiss. Shanks won the unanimous decision.

The biggest cheering section of the card wasn’t disappointed in the all-Butte 145-pound bout between Bobby Moreno of the Lion’s Pit and freestyle fighter David Heick. The fighters traded takedowns in the first round with neither taking a visible advantage. Moreno took Heick to the mat early in the second round, then ended the matchup via technical knockout 43 seconds into the stanza with a series of well-placed blows to Heick’s head.

The big boys finally made an appearance, as Butte’s Gary Brackett went toe-to-toe with Derek Gray of Great Falls in a battle of 210-pounders. Both men proved to be quick on their feet, though they were less than surgical with their punch selection. Non-connecting haymakers drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd, but it wasn’t until 1:56 of the first round that Brackett finally connected, and that was all it took. Gray crumpled into the cage, and the referee dove in to protect as Brackett went in for the unneeded kill.

The second session came to an abrupt end when Butte’s Alex Sexston ran roughshod over Great Falls fighter Cody Campbell for a 32-second TKO. Sexston remained coiled as the fighters circled inside the cage, then sprung when he saw the opportunity. A pair of knees to the head were followed by repeated bludgeoning fists as the referee intervened to save further punishment.

The third and final session of fights began much like the second ended. Streets of Butte fighter Wes Ogan displayed tremendous intensity in his speedy win over Brendan Martin of Great Falls. Ogan needed just 33 seconds to register a technical knockout of the overmatched Martin, as the match was ended on submission by strikes. 1 comment

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1 Comment

  • Yo Chi Boy
    December 7, 2013, 10:35 am

    good stuff, PR


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