A live and ready crowd of fight fans were on-hand at the BlueWater Resort & Casino Amphitheatre in Parker on May 18, as the King of the Cage MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) promotion presented the evening’s action-packed card “River Wars.”
The 10-bout showcase featured three fighters from Blythe: brothers Brooks and Bryce Callaghan and Adrian’s Boxing Gym stablemate Tray Black.
Black’s bantamweight bout versus Christopher Meyers opened the event, with the 140-lbs tilt seeing the game opponents in a rough-and-tumble match-up to get the evening started. The first round saw the pair exchange strikes on the feet before grappling to the ground, where Meyers attempted a triangle choke until the close of the bell.
The second round saw Meyers and Black on the ground again, with the Blythe native sweeping and reversing the position. On top, Black slammed Meyers’ second triangle submission attempt, while staying busy with raining shots to end the close of the second stanza. The third round saw Black reversing a Meyers takedown again, landing shots, maintaining positional control and staying heavy with strikes until the final bell.
The judges’ scorecards called the bout 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27 for the unanimous decision victory in favor of Black.
The older Callaghan, Brooks, also found success in his three-round light heavyweight (205-lbs) tilt versus Lake Havasu City, Ariz.,-based Tim Livingston. Callaghan and Livingston grappled back-and-forth before the former’s reversal toward the latter half of the first round. Livingston threatened with a submission from the bottom for the duration, before the close of the bell.
In round two, an aggressive Callaghan came out strong to gain top control and landed an array of heavy shots on Livingston which led to the referee stoppage TKO (Technical Knockout) via strikes win at the 1:25 mark.
The co-main event featured the younger Callaghan, Bryce, face-off against Parker-based standout Ryan Shatto at a catchweight of 150-lbs.
Both fighters came out to exchange strikes early, followed by Shatto getting the better of the grappling position and controlling top position. With full mount, the Mixxed Bloodz MMA product rained shots down on Callaghan forcing referee to call the bout at 2:02 of round one.
“This goes back to Pop Warner,” noted Shatto in his post-fight comments.
In the cards main event, a fun action-packed first round saw both fighters looking for a finish early. The end came in the second round when local and former King of the Cage welterweight champion Sam Liera sunk a neck crank into opponent Frank Schuman to finish the fight at the 4:17 mark via tap out submission.
The full King of the Cage “River Wars” May 18 results are as follows:
• Tray Black def. Christopher Myers via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
• Joseph Gabaldon Jr. def. Justin Musgrove via tap out submission (rear naked choke) in 1:49 of round 1.
• Brandon Rivera def. Pacen Scogin via TKO (unable to answer the bell) at 3:00 of round 2.
• Brooks Callaghan def. Tim Livingston via TKO (strikes) at 1:25 of round 2.
• Luigi Bisconti def. Tommie Ochoa via TKO (strikes) at 2:19 of round 2.
• John Russell def. Matthew Gutierrez via submission tap out (guillotine) at 2:10 of round 1.
• Christopher Tahbo def. Mashonte Mailboy via tap out submission (Americana) at 1:15 of round 2.
• Vincent Arredondo def. Jesus Moreno via TKO (referee stoppage on advice of cage-side physician) of Round 2.
• Ryan Shatto def. Bryce Callaghan via TKO (strikes) at 2:01 of round 1.
• Sam Liera def. Frank Schuman via tap out submission (neck crank) at 4:17 of round 2.