There aren’t many chances for mixed martial artists to fight at home and win or lose a trio of local fighters enjoyed every second of it.
Julio Colquhoun won his MMA debut and Steve Arens won his heavyweight bout, while Dustyn Malinowski lost in his MMA debut at Xtreme Cage Wars Fighting Championship 50: Redemption.
Colquhoun got the night started off right for the locals as he won his first MMA bout when he beat Lloyd “Death” Valley from Geraldton, Ont. via submission early in the first round.
“It was amazing to win my first fight — especially at home. The crowd got me going. It was the best thing I’ve done so far in my life,” said Colquhoun.
“I felt really big, like a monster, with that crowd behind me. The crowd helped me a lot. They boosted my confidence.”
Colquhoun won an exchange of punches to start the bout and took Valley to the ground. He was able to land some heavy shots while Valley was on the ground. Some more good work on the ground by Colquhoun led to Valley tapping out 59 seconds into the first round.
While Malinowski lost his debut to 34-year-old Jeremy Bruin from Medicine Hat, the 19-year-old did himself proud.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” said Malinowski. “My mentality is always to win, but I tried to tell myself to relax, it’s a learning experience. I wanted to leave my pride and my ego at the door.
“I can still have my head held high. I went out with a bang. I could hear Moose Jaw cheering for me.”
Malinowski lost after he was cut above his left eye. Malinowski felt he could continue, but the referee said he heard Malinowski say that he couldn’t see.
“I don’t recall saying that,” said Malinowski who said his eye was swollen shut when the bout was called.
Arens won his third fight, but fell into an old habit against Saskatoon’s Damon Steadman.
“He caught me really good with one of his first shots. He dropped me to my knees,” said Arens. “That seems to happen: the first punch I get hit with I drop to my knees for some reason. It’s happened three times now.
“It gets me in the mood and gets me going.”
Arens recovered from the early blow and was able to force Steadman to submit with about 40 seconds left in the first round after a lot of grappling.
Arens was happy to get the submission at home.
“It feel great to win at home. It’s nice to win like that. There’s no doubt,” said Arens. “It was a really hard fight.
“It’s what I’ve been working for for the last year. To get a win, a decisive win at home, it gets me one step closer to the next level.”