Sunday, June 25, 2017 This Week's Paper

Roll with the punches

// Ford, Vidonic headline CageSport victors

Two fighters on the verge of mixed martial arts stardom clashed at the Emerald Queen Casino on July 14 at CageSport XX, as Sterling Ford won by technical knockout in the second round over James Marohl in the co-headliner fight to cap the 10-bout event.

The two lightweights began the night’s final battle by exchanging a flurry of blows early in the first round, as Marohl came out aggressive against Ford, who hails from Spokane.

“He was throwing haymakers, caught me with one,” said Ford, whose professional record moved to 14-5. “He was going for the (knockout) shot like I expected.”

Ford recovered from a devastating blow early in the second round to deliver a few crushing blows that left Marohl flailing and desperate, as the fighter from Longview was ultimately subdued by TKO in the second round.

“He’s a really tough guy,” Ford said of Marohl. “I didn’t figure he was going to be able to take a punch that good, but he took good punches.”

Up-and-comer Patricia Vidonic was able to outlast Everett’s Sally Krumdiak – the crowd favorite – in the co-headliner fight earlier, landing a devastating set of punches at the end of the first round and capping the fight with a flurry of punches and elbows in the final 10 seconds.

“When that 10 seconds hits, you unload,” said Vidonic, who got the win after all three judges scored the fight 29-28 in her favor. “You go all-out for it no matter what. I just kept my hips sunk in and made it to the end. It feels really great to be able to go up against Sally. She’s a veteran; she’s been doing this twice as long as me. It felt really nice to get out there and dominate. And I appreciate her sportsmanship too, she’s a very good competitor.”

Krumdiak had a solid takedown in the first round and landed a big right hook in the third, but was bloodied by an elbow to the face in the second round by Vidonic, who hails from Billings, Mont.

The undercard featured an intriguing set of storylines as well, as Yakima’s Gustavo Lopez began the night with a TKO victory in his first professional fight over Seattle’s Jorey Taylor. Beau Hamilton also got a victory in his professional debut two fights later, gutting out a victory over Tacoma’s Calvin Horton with a couple of solid takedowns.

“It was a little scary, he was like 6-foot-6,” said Hamilton, who won by decision, with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27. “We were very well-prepared, my ground game we thought would make the difference, and that’s what happened…I thought my wrestling just really broke him.

“Getting a win like that over a big guy like that, it makes me really want to go out there and do it again as quickly as possible.”

Hawaii’s Trevor Sojot also provided a nice storyline, submitting Cory Vom Baur via guillotine less than one minute into the bout – Sojot’s last professional fight.

Enumclaw’s Justin Harrington was impressive in later defeating Levi Peaslee by TKO in the third round, as Harrington’s barrage of punches in the second round did serious damage.

Benny Vinson followed with a reverse-naked-choke submission of Chris Wheaton in the first round, and Yakima’s Shaine Jaime submitted Everett’s Omar Cruz in the second round.

Spokane’s Jerome Jones and Everett’s Byron Sutton engaged in a three-round battle, as Sutton connected with a few blows in the third round and overcame a bloodied Jones on the score sheet, as all three judges scored it 29-28.

Kirkland’s Brent Knopp – a huge crowd favorite – overcame a serious gash above his left eye early in his bout to defeat Darrio Mobley in the final undercard fight, winning by TKO midway through the second round.