BattleQuest 5 lights up Dobson Arena
VAIL – There was no belt at stake, but Chris Harvey fought the title bout Saturday night. After his opponent walked into the ring, Harvey appeared from backstage and walked towards the ring wearing a red Eagle Valley wrestling shirt.The packed Dobson Arena on hand for 10-bout BattleQuest5, a mixed martial arts event, erupted, shouting, “Harvey, Harvey, Harvey.””I had never felt like that in my entire life,” Harvey said.Soon after the bell rang, Harvey went at his opponent, Jesse Henley with a barrage of punches. With every punch that Harvey landed, the crowd went wild. Henley got some shots in throughout the round. Near the end of the three minutes of the first round, Harvey landed two more punches that again brought giant cheers.Early in the second round, Harvey had Henley against the ropes, bleeding from his right eye. Henley was able to weather the storm, and kept his guard up for another barrage of punches. Following a takedown that landed both fighters outside the ropes, the official called for a restart in the center of the ring with Henley on top. Henley held his position, and unleashed a flurry of punches, most of which Harvey blocked.With Henley still on top and punching Harvey, the official called the fight.
“It’s a bummer to lose, but it only makes you better,” said Harvey, who won a state wrestling title last year. “My (trainer) said if it was a pro fight, they wouldn’t have stopped it.” In his first mixed martial arts fight, Harvey, who fights with Inyodo Studios in Edwards, showed poise and put on a show for the home crowd.”I didn’t know what I’d see,” Harvey said of the his giant cheering section. “My heart grew bigger from it.”Harvey, who will be wrestling next fall at Mesa State, will continue fighting in the meantime.
After his match, Jonathon Manley was all smiles.”I have no bruises on my face, no cuts – I feel pretty good,” said Manley, who fought for Inyodo.During the first round of his fight against Jordan Vigil, Manley was on top for most of the time as the two grappled and spent little time on their feet.Early in the second round, Manley connected on a pair of punches, then took Vigil down and quickly choked him out for the win – the second of his amateur career.”I didn’t feel in trouble the whole fight,” Manley said. “I had a height advantage, a boxing advantage, but I was better on the ground, too, so I stayed where I was comfortable.”Manley’s winning move, a guillotine jump-guard, was the same he had used in his previous fight. “I was looking for a triangle choke (in the first round), but couldn’t get any of it,” Manley said. “In the second round, he came through, had his head down, and I said, ‘Fine, I’m taking it.'” Vigil, who was in his first fight, thought that Manley would have used his height advantage while standing.”He caught me by surprise, taking me to the ground,” said Vigil, who was in his first fight, and had only been training for two weeks.The next time Vigil fights, it will be in his hometown of North Platt, Neb.Manley, who came to Vail in January for snowboarding, will be heading back to Massachusetts where he’ll continue to train.”I’m leaving Wednesday – this is my end of Colorado, so it was perfect,” Manley said.
Josh Eaton, also another local who came out to Vail for snowboarding, had been training at Inyodo for six months before Saturday’s fight. “It was something I wanted to get into,” Eaton said. “I was lucky to have the opportunity to.”Eaton went up against Tommy Thompson, who was 3-0. Early in the first round, Eaton put Thompson in a headlock, but then Thompson moved on top and put Eaton in a choke hold to win at 1:45 of the first round.
“He got me in half guard, which I knew was going to happen, and I just couldn’t execute, ” said Eaton. “The first fight for me was getting over the nerves. I got in there and I was really stiff. In training, I’m a different guy – I’m much looser.”Eaton’s father, Jeff, came in from Maryland for the fight.”What I like about what this has done for my son, and I’m sure every other fighter, is the internal discipline,” Jeff Eaton said. Although Eaton had a good time watching, he was still a bit nervous.”That’s your son out there. I don’t care how old they are – it’s your family,” Eaton said.Following the Eaton Thompson fight, the first of the night, Inyodo’s Edwin Rodrigues took on Clint Lippoldt. The two battled for the first round, and by the end, both looked fatigued.”Your body gets heavy,” Rodrigues said.In the second round, Lippoldt landed a few solid hits and drew blood. Later in the round, Lippoldt was on top and landed a few more blows before the official called the fight at 2:50 of the second round.”I wasn’t about to quit,” Rodrigues said. “I’d rather get knocked out than quit. What I was proud of is that he’s ranked higher than I am in jiu jitsu, and had three submissions and I escaped from those, so I feel good about that.”
As soon as the fight between Noah Wilson and Cody Donovan was underway, the heavyweights were rumbling. After they tapped hands, Wilson came out from his corner with a flying knee.”I’m a jiu jitsu guy,” said Donovan. “My plan from the start was to go to the ground, so a big knee means an easy shot for me. He was able to stand back up that one time, I took him aback down, made a few strikes and put him in a choke.”Donovan won in 50 seconds.The next match, which was between Jesse Brown and Brandon Thatch, went to the second round, where Thatch won at 1:09 of that round.
“I knew he was a grappler and was going to shot in on my legs,” Thatch said. “So I was going to sprawl and ground and pound it from there.”Before intermission, Brad Fox forced Alfredo Corona to tap out at 1:22 of the first round.Harvey and Henley opened things up after intermission, and then came the two pro bouts on the card.In the first round of their five-minute, three round fight, Nick Mamalis and Eric Buck moved deftly around the ring, attacking with quick knees and punches. Mamalis ended the fight 41 seconds in the second round with a fierce shot to Buck’s forehead that forced him to tap out.And almost as soon as the title bout began, Rocky Johnson took Ben Henderson to the ground and choked him out cold.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.
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