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Victory out of reach for local MMA fighter

Springer’s bout with Erosa stopped in second round

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter
Published: October 19, 2016, 10:37pm
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Julian Erosa’s length made it a short night for Vancouver’s Austin Springer at Prime Fighting 8.

The Prime Fighting 145-pound mixed martial arts championship bout on Oct. 8 was stopped in the second round when Erosa got control of Springer’s arms and was able to land a series of strikes to his head.

Springer was disappointed the fight was stopped 3:15 into the second round, but understood the decision from referee Steve Newport.

“With my arms being so trapped I couldn’t defend myself at all,” Springer said. “He made a correct decision.”

In the co-main event at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield, Jake Smith of Vancouver won the Prime Fighting welterweight belt with a first-round techincal knockout over Eric Ramsey.

For Springer, the loss to Erosa came down to the Yakima fighter using his longer reach to gain leverage. Springer said that after reviewing the fight several times, he believes he won the first round and was winning the second round until Erosa was able to catch him in a bad position. Erosa is 6 feet tall and used that reach advantage to control both arms of the 5-foot-8 Springer on the sequence that led to his technical knockout.

Springer said he became too kick happy after landing several kicks in the first round, forgetting to throw punches before attempting several kicks. The result was a foot injury that might have contributed to Springer trying to grapple more in the second round.

After losing the Prime Fighting featherweight bout and missing an opportunity to advance his professional fighting career, Springer said he will likely look for a chance to fight again in January or February. He is currently taking EMT classes and hopes to become a firefighter.

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“It’s a bummer losing,” Springer said. “But I’m not defined by a loss and I’m not defined by a win. It’s the journey that counts.”

Prime Fighting 8 at the Clark County Event Center was better for several other Vancouver fighters.

Smith won the Prime Fighting welterweight (170 pound) title by beating fellow Vancouver fighter Ramsey by first-round TKO. Smith and Ramsey trained together six years ago when they were starting in the sport.

Smith, a 2009 Heritage High School graduate, said he was prepared for a lengthy bout and was surprised he was able to finish it in the first round.

“It was a proving point for myself,” Smith said, calling the match against Ramsey “the scariest fight I’ve taken.”

Smith (5-1 as a professional) might get a chance to defend his Prime 170-pound belt in February.

“I like it. I’m ready to defend my belt and to prove that I am the best 170-pound fighter in the Northwest,” Smith said.

In a light heavyweight match, Nick Biron of Vancouver beat James Waller of Chicago by technical knockout in the third round.

In the first of seven professional fights on the card, Adam Fugitt of Eugene, Ore., beat Armin Kajtaz of Vancouver in 171-pound fight.

In the first of four amateur fights, Ryan Macedo of Vancouver beat Paul Goetschius of Yakima by unanimous decision in a 145-pound fight.

Prime Fighting will next — Prime Fighting 9 — is scheduled for Feb. 25 at the Clark County Event Center.

Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter