Trent Ernst, Editor
Jason Bradley’s knockout at the 1:40 mark of round 1 against Dan Bradshaw brought an end to the second annual Fivestar Fight League’s event in Tumbler Ridge.
Organizer Justin Donally says the fights here are already becoming one of the most notable events the league puts on. “This is my twelfth event with Fivestar,” says Donally,” and Tumbler Ridge has the loudest, craziest fans of anywhere we go. We love going there and going to come back next year.”
Bradley’s knockout also put Tumbler Ridge’s fighters at four and oh, which Donally says is also an incredible record.
The event saw nine matches over the evening, five kickboxing and four mixed martial arts fights. In addition to Bradley’s win in the 230 lb catchweight kickboxing match, Chris Pittman defeated Travis Lussier in a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in the same weight class.
Local favourite Phil Dufresne won his heavyweight kickboxing match via TKO. Donally said it’s always fun to watch Dufresne fight. “Phil is a personal friend,” says Donally. “He’s a great guy, he’s funny and he has a lot of talent. He walked in with a big smile, making faces and he had a lot of fun in the ring. He’s like a folk hero in Tumbler Ridge. It’s insane how ballistic people go for him. He’s like Robin Hood.”
During Dufresne’s match, a large group of locals had cutouts of his head mounted on Popsicle sticks that they waved about.
Finally, Corey Mackie defeated Patino via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in the Kickboxing Featherweight class.
About 750 people showed up for the fights, which is about the same number as showed up last year, which Donnally says is amazing for a town this size.
One of the most unique parts of the Tumbler Ridge event was the golf tournament that happened before the fights. Donally says they like to do something in each community beforehand. “We’ve had charity poker tournaments before, but this is the first golf tournament.”
The planning for the event began about three months ago. “It’s a lot of work. Tumbler Ridge is…well, it isn’t easier, but it’s different. It’s easier to get in touch with right people,” says Donally. Then there lining up sponsors, making sure all the paperwork is ready. Dealing with provincial commission, need to fly in officials from Vancouver and many more things needed to make the event a success.
One of Tumbler Ridge’s greatest strengths, says Donally, is its spirit. “I couldn’t say enough good things about the support we get there,” says Donally. “From businesses to people helping set up the cage and sell tickets.
Rumble on the Ridge results
Jason Bradley def. Dan Bradshaw via KO at 1:40 of Round 1 – Kickboxing 230-pound catchweight
Chris Pittman def. Travis Lussier via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)– Kickboxing 230-pound catchweight
Dylan Lielke def. Joel Morin via Submission at 0:46 of Round 1 – MMA Featherweight
Phil Dufresne def. Peter Merkley via TKO at 1:44 of Round 2 – Kickboxing Heavyweight
Alex Martinez def. Othmar Joos via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 0:47 of Round 1 – MMA Middleweight
Corey Mackie def. Grey Patino via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Kickboxing Featherweight
Brent Auger def. Jay Kelly via Submission (Armbar) at 2:35 of Round 1 – MMA 200-pound catchweight
Matt Kertesz def. Timber Bigfoot via KO at 1:55 of Round 3 – Kickboxing Middleweight
Ryan Hatt def. Jacob Moore via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-26, 29-26) – Kickboxing 165