The Vancouver based fight promotion, Prime Fighting, closed the books on another successful event this past Saturday night. Prime Fighting 9 took place at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield, Washington and the fans that were lucky enough to be in attendance witnessed the first steps of some of the brightest young starts in the Pacific Northwest. The exuberance of young fighters is often on full display come fight night, but the scene at Prime Fighting 9 was mostly intense and focused. As I walked around the dressing rooms before the fights, a few of the fighters were already pacing with nervous anticipation. The emotion shown from the fighters on this card were very real. On a night when so many of these young athletes made their debut as professionals, it was clear that these fights meant more than simply wins and loses. If this card represents what you can expect to see in the future from Prime Fighting and their athletes, we are in for a treat.
This card was full of finishes as 7 of 9 scheduled bouts ended by TKO or submission. There was a lot to like about this card, below are my top moments from the night. And don’t forget, if you missed this event you can see it on Comcast SportsNet Northwest next week. It airs on March 19th, 23rd, and 24th. Set your DVR’s!
- Rogue Combat Academy Comes up Big
Rogue Combat Academy (RCA) truly shined at this event. With two fighters making their professional debuts the stakes were high for the Central Point, Oregon gym. That being said, from the minute their first representative, Tristan Lindi, stepped into the cage it was clear that the coaches from RCA had a game plan and he was following it to a tee. He used a dominant wrestling game to overwhelm and smother his opponent for nearly three full rounds before getting the stoppage. Following the victory, I spoke to Lindi who said,
“It went pretty much how we planned it. He checked a kick of mine early and that effected my movement so I just went back to dominating on the ground. My cardio felt great and even with the five-minute rounds I could have kept smashing. I felt great.”
If Lindi’s performance was dominant his teammate, Austin Vanderford’s was perfect. There was no more dominant winner on the card than Vanderford. With his coaches giving him instruction, he put on a ground and pound clinic that left his opponent a bloody mess. The debuts of these two fighters could not have gone better and the corner work from RCA was direct, vocal, and most importantly absorbed by the two young athletes.
- Another Star Emerges from Gracie Barra Portland
The Gracie Barra fight team is never lacking in talent but there is another star in the making at this gym and his name is Johnny James. At just 22 years old, James is still a bit raw but this young man definitely looks the part getting off the bus. In any other world, he would probably be playing football but fortunately for fight fans he stepping into the cage instead. He had a very dominant performance on Saturday landing a series of leg kicks that seemed to only get harder as the fight went on. The kicks eventually caused his opponent to lose so much mobility that he got an easy takedown and eventually the stoppage. James did show his inexperience early with some looping and out of range striking but he began to clean up those issues as the fight wore on. He will undoubtedly continue to blossom under the tutelage Fabiano Scherner, Ian Loveland, and crew.
- Steven Southern and Kevin Boehm Have a War
Steven Southern of Vancouver Elite MMA and his opponent, Kevin Boehm of Art of War MMA, had a fight that truly set the bar for the rest of the professional bouts on this card. Southern came out like a man on fire; he was landing his strikes from range, inside, and even in the clinch. Southern made a mess of Boehm early when he landed a blow that clearly broke the nose of Boehm. Through a round and a half this fight appeared to be nearly wrapped up for Southern. That, however, was not the end of the fight and Boehm made a truly valiant effort to in trying to swing things back his way. Boehm leaned heavily on his wrestling in the latter moments of the fight and if not for some crafty submission attempts by Southern he may have turned things around. However, the damage done early was too much for Boehm to overcome as Southern took home the decision. Great performance from both fighters and Boehm’s tenacity certainly won over many in attendance. A bloody and exciting affair.