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Gonzalez defeats Peak in St. Patty's BeatdownTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Jay Huff
Travis Peak has the upper position on Chilo Gonzalez early in the match but couldn't hold on.
Photo by Jay Huff
Jason Jensen and Trent Scheele mix it up.
Photo by Jay Huff
Jason Windham and Daniel Ludwig
Photo by Jay Huff
Vigil and Jimenez
Photo by Jay Huff
Brandon Bringewatt and Jaimie Szafradja

A night of MMA fighting at North Platte's D&N Event Center proved to be a great success with a card of 15 bouts that kept the capacity crowd focused on the action in the cage.

The event center was packed with fans and the fight card was crowded with local fighters, plus some fighters who returned to their roots after moving on in their MMA careers.

Tagged the "St. Patty's Beatdown" and presented by Midwest Championship Fighting, 13 amateur and two professional bouts filled the card.

In the first professional fight -- the co-main event -- Cody Land, originally from Brady and now fighting out of Omaha, improved his record to 8-3-0 (win-loss-tie). Land used an arm bar to force Denver's Brett Hodgen to submit in the first round.

Hodgen's record now stands at 0-1-0.

In the main event, Chilo Gonzalez of Aurora, Colo., defeated Travis Peak of Alliance in 3:14 of the first round, with a submission. Gonzalez got Peak to tap out to a rear naked choke. Gonzalez' pro record now stands at 19-14-0. The loss moves Travis Peak to 9-3-0.

To see a rare double knockdown in the Kerwin Sherrill v. Derek Thompson fight, click on the video at lower right of the Bulletin's front page. Both fighters went down at the same time. The 185 pound fight is shown in entirety. Film production by MMA the Zone.

Getting started

A 145-pound amateur fight opened the show with Eric Mecham of North Platte submitting Blake Baney of Grand Island in the first round with a rear naked choke. Early in the round Baney attempted a takedown, but Mecham showed good wrestling skill by spinning around and getting Baney's back. After a few seconds, Mecham got the choke hold and Baney tapped out.

Mecham now holds a record of 1-1 and Baney is 0-1.

In the second amateur fight, both fighters made their MMA debut. In the 185-pound class, James Shulte of Hastings defeated Zack Helton of North Platte with a rear naked choke in the first round. The win brings Shulte to a record of 1-0 and Helton to 0-1.

The next fight featured two fighters in their first MMA bouts. Mike Valesquez of North Platte defeated Steve Richards of Kearney with well-placed strikes, scoring a technical knockout in the third round. Dominating the fight and showing signs of fatigue after two three-minute rounds, Valesquez found the strength to finish Richards.

Tough battle

In a closely matched 145-pound fight, Roman Reyes got the win in what was probably the closest fight of the night.

Reyes won the most points from the judges to get a majority decision over Kolby Howell of Grand Island. A bloody Howell made an impressive sustained effort throughout the fight, attempting several times to get Reyes to submit. Reyes evaded those attempts and fought hard all the way, earning the win. Reyes' record now stands at 2-1 and Howell is 0-1.

Originally from North Platte and now fighting out of Lincoln, Jason Windham brought his record to 1-1 by knocking out Danny Ludwig of Kearney in the first round. In the 225-class fight, Ludwig was gettng up from a takedown when Windham caught him with a hard right that staggered him. Keeping the pressure on, Windham landed several more hard blows before the referee halted the fight. Ludwig is 0-1.

Double knockdown

In the 185-pound class Derek Thompson of North Platte scored a technical knock out in the first round over Kerwin Sherrill of Grand Island. From the outset, both fighters started quickly and fought hard.

The crowd got to see a rare double knockdown when both fighters simultaneously landed hard right hands and hit the canvas. Thompson recovered first and dominated until the referee stopped the fight. Thompson is 1-0 and Sherrill is 0-1.


The big boys at 215 pounds squared off in a hard-fought battle, with Brandon Bringewatt of North Platte getting a unanimous decision over Jamie Szafrajda of Kearney.

Takedowns and heavy blows from both fighters made it a hard-won victory but the judges gave it to Bringewatt with all three scoring it at 29-28. That brought Bringewatt's record to 3-0 and Szafrajda to 0-1.

A 155-pound bout ended quickly with Mike Baur of Kearney defeating Anthony Cox in the first round with a triangle choke. Cox's record is now 1-1 and Bauer moves to 1-0.

Clayton Lemmer of Grand Island took the victory over Mark Hooper of North Platte in a 145-pound matchup. Hooper was fighting well until Lemmer trapped him against the cage late in the second round and landed a vicious series of elbows to Hoopers ribs and chest. At the bell, Hooper walked to his corner in a lot of pain and collapsed before the third round. He couldn't begin the third round and received medical attention from the fight doctor. Lemmer goes to a 1-1 and Hooper falls to 2-1.

In a tough 155-pound bout, Erik Jimenez of Grand Island earned a majority decision over Jordan Vigil of North Platte. Both fighters worked hard throughout. Vigil landed more and harder strikes but Jimenez scored better takedowns. Although Vigil dominated the third round, it was too late. One judge scored the fight a draw. Another gave Jimenez a 29-28 score and the other gave him a 30-27 margin, and the decision went to Jimenez. His record is now 1-0 and Vigil is 0-2.

A second round TKO gave Justin Thompson of North Platte a record of 2-0 and the victory over Rodney Petersen (0-1) of Atlantic, Iowa in their 185-pound matchup.

Thompson took Petersen down in the first round and showed a good ground game landing hammer fists to the head as well as elbows to the chest. In the second round, Thompson got another takedown and used head strikes, causing Petersen to stop protecting himself and the referee stopped the fight.

The first of two amateur main events featured women. In her MMA debut, Allison Lantz of Denver went three rounds with North Platte's Mercedes Timmerman and took a unanimous decision win in the 145-pound class. Lantz' record now shows 1-0 and Timmerman is 1-2.

In a 185-pound feature amateur bout, Jason Jensen of North Platte gave Trent Scheele of Greeley, Colo. a tough start to his MMA career. It was Scheele’s first fight and he gave a good showing. But, Jensen took the unanimous decision after three rounds to bring his record to 2-2.

The next Midwest Championship Fight (#7) will be held on Saturday, June 8 outdoors at North Platte's Wild West Arena.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/17/2013
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