Cory Devela made a triumphant return to mixed martial arts with a resounding victory Saturday night against Byron Sutton of Everett during CageSport XXVII at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma.
Devela, a 2002 Sumner High School graduate, pummeled Sutton and registered a TKO at the 3:11 mark of the first round.
Devela slammed Sutton to the mat in the first minute and connected with multiple punches to Sutton’s face before the referee stopped the fight. Sutton was bleeding profusely following Devela’s onslaught.
“I’m like a bull,” Devela said. “You see the blood, you want more of it. It turns you on. It’s weird, I know, but it really does.”
Devela said completing the early takedown and getting Sutton on the ground was part of his game plan. Devela placed in the top eight during the Mat Classic state wrestling championships when he was in high school, and wrestling is one of his strengths in MMA.
“That is what I do,” Devela said. “I love that position. I love that throw. I did that one on Joe Riggs (in 2007), the same kind of throw. Anybody that hasn’t watched the film and has seen that, that’s their own fault.”
Devela didn’t show any ring rust despite fighting for the first time since 2010.
“It feels like I never left,” he said. “It’s in my blood. I love to do it. It was hard to walk away for those three years. I was so excited to be out there. It definitely brings back a lot of memories.”
Devela plans to fight for the middleweight title against Brent Knopp at CageSport XXVIII this December.
“I want that 185-pound CageSport title,” he said. “Today was another stepping stone in the right direction. I have great sponsors. I love those guys for sticking behind me, even though I’m just starting off fighting again.”