Knockouts, submissions and bloody faces. The Showdown fights on Feb. 24 in the UCCU Center proved to be monumental for Mixed Martial Arts.
The fist-fest started with undefeated local fighter Jason South against undefeated Louisiana native Tim Ruberg.
“I won’t tap out,” was the promise from Ruberg before the fight.
With his promise at hand, he came out as the aggressor in the first round, striking hard and fast at the face of South and cutting him above the eye.
After the first round it was South’s turn to be on the offensive, taking the fight to his opponent and putting his words to the test. In the second round, South got Ruberg in a guillotine chokehold and held on tight.
And while South squeezed harder, Ruberg tried to get out instead of tapping out. Because of that, he passed out and lost the fight that got the crowd ready for a big night of fighting.
In a big crowd pleasure, local radio host Jan Jorgensen of 97.5 fm The Zone, took to the ring to fight Aaron Magro in a heavyweight fight.
“This fight will not go three rounds,” Magro told the fans. “One of us will get knocked out.”
The sell-out crowd was behind Jorgensen the entire fight, giving him much momentum. Magro came out of the gate in attack mode, trying to fulfill his promise he had made.
It was a back-and-forth battle of big blows to the head with Magro landing most of them. Jorgensen withstood the onslaught, absorbing them and coming back with some of his own.
Jorgensen remained patient through the first round waiting for his opportunity to strike. The opportunity came in the second round when he tied up with Magro and sent a bone-shattering knee to the bridge of his nose, knocking him to the ground.
Jorgensen pounced on his fallen opponent and attacked the head. The referee saw that Magro was defenseless and stopped the fight as the crowd erupted for Jorgensen’s win.
Another local radio host for The Zone, Sean “OC” O’Connell, took the ring to take on Trevor Carlson in the Co-Main event.
Like Jorgensen, the entire crowd was behind O’Connell in the fight, giving him an advantage and momentum throughout the back and forth battle.
Brutal haymakers were exchanged by both fighters, making the crowd cringe at each blow and grow with excitement of the thought of a knockout at hand.
The two warriors looked dead towards the end of the third round, trying to stand and make it through because of all the vicious haymakers to each other’s heads. Somehow both fighters miraculously stood and the fight went to decision.
In a 29-28 Judges decision, the fight went to the star of the event, Sean “OC” O’Connell and the crowd went wild for the local fighter and beloved radio host.
The Showdown Fights were all that was promised and was the biggest MMA event for the state of Utah, and with popularity growing, more Showdown Fights will be coming this way.
By Garrett Coleman