I’ve never been much of a mixed martial arts enthusiast. The majority of my friends are avid MMA fans, and they don’t hesitate to order pay-per-view events throughout the year to watch their favorite fighters in action.
Gary Winslow, the younger brother of one of my best friends, Tom Winslow, is a professional fighter out of Ellensburg.
But even though the MMA craze has gained momentum over the past seven or eights years, I had only attended three MMA events — one in Yakima and two in Tacoma — until I covered CageSport XXVII on Oct. 5 at the Emerald Queen Casino. I was there to cover Cory Devela’s fight against Byron Sutton in the 185-pound division.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The whole evening was a blast.
Devela’s fight was the eighth of the night, so I had an opportunity to relax in the media section and enjoy the first seven fights. During that time, I met and sat alongside John Boyd of Yakima, and we discussed each of the fights in great detail. We even predicted who would win each matchup.
Boyd earned bragging rights as he predicted four of the first seven winners.
Devela’s fight against Sutton didn’t last long. The referee stopped the bout at the 3:11 mark of the first round, and Devela, of Sumner, walked away with a convincing TKO.
I posted live Tweets throughout the fight, even though the match reminded me of watching Mike Tyson’s boxing matches as I grew up in the late 1980s and 1990s. The fight itself was significantly shorter than the introductions of the combatants.
Devela will have a much tougher test when he steps into the Octagon against CageSport middleweight champion Brett Knopp on Dec. 7 at the Emerald Queen Casino. It will be Devela’s second fight since he stepped away from MMA in 2010.
I’m looking forward to seeing if Devela can build on this momentum. I won’t miss out on the extravaganza at CageSport XXVIII.
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.