Austin Springer grabbed the first Main Event Sports Productions professional mixed martial arts championship on Saturday.
The Vancouver fighter used a guillotine choke hold to finish off Dylan Atkinson of Gresham in the main event of an MMA show at the Red Lion Inn at the Quay. The win in the matchup of 135-pounders makes Springer the first bantamweight champion for The Main Event Sports Pro Series.
Springer said he started to get into a rhythm about midway through a first round that saw the fighters exchange takedowns.
“I used hands, knees and kicks and tried to remain elusive and make things difficult for him,” Springer said.
The winning move was when Springer caught Atkinson with a knee to the stomach. Atkinson tried to counter with a takedown, but Springer was able to control Atkinson and apply the choke hold.
Springer (5-0 as a pro) said he has a couple of offers to fight again in March or April.
A sellout crowd of 650 watched the pro-am show. Main Event Sports Productions president Nic Kuning said that more than 100 fans were turned away.
The knockout of the night was awarded to Ricky Simon of Vancouver, who stopped Alex Eastman of Ellensburg in the first round of his professional debut at 135 pounds. Simon was unbeaten as an amateur.
A five-round amateur 125-pound fight won by Luke Smith of Vancouver over John Heilman of Longview was chosen fight of the night.
Submission of the night was awarded to Brandon Kesler of Kelso, who needed only 27 seconds to beat Clemente Bosch of Vancouver in a 185-pound professional fight.
In another professional bout, Zane Behrend of Portland defeated Jake Thomas of Vancouver.
In the other amateur fights: Andrey Zaytsef of Vancouver beat Thomas English of Portland; Veronica Wickersham of Gresham defeated Becca Fieken of Rainier, Ore.; Amin Kajtaz of Vancouver defeated Kory Cox of Chehalis; Kody Kramer of Vancouver defeated Kiel Heckler of Vancouver; Travis Trent of Vancouver defeated Brandon Anderson of Longview; and Jake Marshall of Portland defeated Dave Robison of Vancouver.
Main Event Sports Productions plans to host three more shows in 2014, probably at larger venues, Kuning said.