Two dozen MMA fighters provide plenty of action in ‘Mayhem in Mesquite XVI’

MESQUITE, Nev. — Saturday night’s “Mayhem in Mesquite XVI” featured plenty of action with mixed martial arts fights staged inside the CasaBlanca Events Center at CasaBlanca Resort.

Sadie Ault (top) grapples with opponent Kaycee Pearce, “Mayhem in Mesquite XVI,” Mesquite, Nev., Dec. 15, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Included on the evening’s card were several fighters from St. George and Southern Utah, including some who were making their debuts with “Tuff-N-Uff: The Future Stars of MMA.” Four of the 12 fights featured women fighters, and the last two bouts of the night were title fights with a championship belt on the line.

Following are short recaps of Saturday’s action, with bouts listed in chronological order:

The evening’s first fight featured two women in the 125-pound category. Kaycee Pearce of Idaho Falls forced Sadie Ault of St. George to tap out under an armbar submission hold 1 minute and 28 seconds into the first round. Pearce improved her record to 3-0 with the win, while Ault dropped to 1-2.

Next, in what turned out to be one of the most action-packed fights of the night, 145-pounders Brandon Honsvick of Hurricane and Tylor Kates of St. George, both of whom were making their debut, traded flurries of punches and kicks for three full rounds. Although Kates appeared to gain the upper hand during the second round, Honsvick finished strong in the third and ended up winning by unanimous decision.

Next, at 190 pounds, Cameron Cooper of Las Vegas outlasted Bailey Hogan, a fighter from St. George making his debut. Cooper won on a technical knockout (TKO) when the referee stopped the fight midway through the second round (0:56 into the round). Cooper improved his record to 2-1.

Another female matchup then followed, pitting newcomers Elizabeth McMullin of Tucson, Arizona, and Brandi Buckley of Las Vegas in the 145-pound category. Buckley opened a bleeding cut at the top of McMullin’s forehead in the opening seconds of the fight, but McMullin eventually prevailed, scoring a TKO win near the end of the first round, with 1:41 having elapsed.

Brandon Honsvick (top) of Hurricane battles opponent Tylor Kates of St. George, “Mayhem in Mesquite XVI,” Mesquite, Nev., Dec. 15, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

In the next fight, Joshua Tolbirt of Hurricane, making his debut at 155 pounds, faced Zane Darlington of St. George. The pair battled evenly during the first round, but 24 seconds into the second round, Tolbirt suffered an apparent injury to his lower right leg after being taken down by Darlington. Darlington was declared the winner by TKO, improving his record to 2-0, while Tolbirt was transported from the arena on a stretcher.

The evening’s shortest fight came next, as 205-pound fighter Joe Hurst III of Hobbs, New Mexico, applied a rear naked chokehold to opponent Chris MacLockette of Las Vegas, forcing him to tap out just 46 seconds into the first round. Hurst improved his record to 2-1, while MacLockette, who was making his debut, fell to 0-1.

The seventh contest on the card featured two women in the 110-pound weight class. Tamika Jones of Las Vegas and Heather Allen of Cedar City battled for three full rounds before Jones was declared the winner by unanimous decision. Jones picked up a win in her debut fight, while Allen’s record dropped to 1-2.

Next came a fight in the 130-pound category, as Eraj Aliev of Las Vegas was matched up against Hyrum LaBaron of St. George. Both fighters remained on their feet for most of the fight, trading punches and the occasional roundhouse kick. LaBaron managed to knock Aliev a bit groggy with a blow to the head late in the third round. Following a short timeout during which Aliev was cleared by a doctor to continue, he was able to withstand a late barrage of punches from LaBaron as the final bell sounded. Aliev emerged as the unanimous winner on the judges’ scorecards, thereby improving to 1-0 after the debut win. Meanwhile, LaBaron’s record dropped to 1-1 with the loss.

David Lopez celebrates after defeating Bronson Sabado in the flyweight (125-pound) title match, “Mayhem in Mesquite XVI,” Mesquite, Nev., Dec. 15, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The ninth fight of the night was the fourth and final female matchup, with Allison Goodwin of Tucson and Antinicia Ragges of Las Vegas each making their debut at 115 pounds. After three evenly fought rounds, Goodwin was declared the winner by unanimous decision.

Next, at 140 pounds, Vance Elrod of Las Vegas defeated Morgun Colledge of St. George by TKO midway through the first round. Elrod landed a decisive kick to Colledge’s torso, causing the fight to be stopped at 1:03 into the opening round. Elrod’s record improved to 3-3, while Colledge’s fell to 2-3.

The final two fights of the night were both title fights. The first of those was in the 125-pound flyweight category, where Bronson Sabado of Las Vegas battled David Lopez of Costa Mesa, California. The pair remained upright and traded punches throughout most of the first round but started to grapple in the second, eventually ending up on the mat, where Lopez applied a rear naked chokehold that forced Sabado to tap out with 1:11 elapsed in the second round. Lopez’s record improved to 8-1 with the title win, while Sabado’s overall record dropped to 7-9.

The final fight of the night featured Bryan Battle of Charlotte, North Carolina, who was bringing his 8-1 record at 205 pounds for a light heavyweight title defense against challenger Billy Elekana of Las Vegas, who came in to the bout with an overall record of 4-0-1.

Bryan Battle (left) pushes opponent Billy Elekana up against the cage fence during the light heavyweight (205-pound) title match, “Mayhem in Mesquite XVI,” Mesquite, Nev., Dec. 15, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Early in the first round, Battle pushed Elekana up next to the chainlink fencing surrounding the cage and pinned him there while delivering a series of punches and knee kicks. Although unable to break loose, Elekana responded likewise, getting in numerous short punches of his own.

The second and third rounds played out in similar fashion. At least three different times, the referee pulled the fighters away from the fence and brought them back out into the middle of the mat. On one such occasion, Elekana managed to drop Battle to the canvas with a hard punch, followed by a series of raining blows that only stopped when Battle managed to push Elekana up next to the fence again.

As the third and final 3-minute round came to a close, both fighters appeared tired. In a split decision by the judges, Elekana was declared the winner, thereby becoming Tuff-N-Uff’s new light heavyweight title holder.

“We’re excited to end 2018 with such an exciting event like Mayhem in Mesquite,” said Ely Prussin, director of player development for Mesquite Gaming and founder of Mayhem in Mesquite. “The popularity of MMA is growing, and thanks to our great partnership with Tuff-N-Uff, we’re able to give fans some thrilling fights.”

The featured fights presented by Tuff-N-Uff will air on beIN SPORTS Saturday from 7-8 p.m. MST.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • Kilroywashere December 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I was sitting in the front row last time, and the fights were short and sweet. Some ended too early due to refs calling it over. But this is not hardcore UFC, so I get the safety issue. Missed out on this one. Should have gone, but I was so disappointed last time. Uhgg. Hit & miss. Never know.

  • Jake December 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Uhhh, you might want to re-watch some of the footage on here before you publish your article. Zane and Josh did not battle evenly. I asked Zane not to throw too many strikes or punch Josh. I spar with Zane often and his skill level is much higher as you can see from the quick takedown and control on the ground. I’m not here to bash your article, but be careful when you write stuff like this when there are those of us who do know what’s happening in the ring. Josh really should have never stepped in there and he’s lucky Zane is a nice guy who didn’t want to hurt him.

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