Marc Leier defeats Tyler Zong in last fight
Results from Saturday's "Rampage in the Cage" fights:
Josh Clift/Ross Rienau/TKO/1
Sean Bryan/Kevin Lewis/TKO/1
Matt Marchbanks/Andrew Yates/Disqualification/2
Brandon Crespin/Juan Magna/Decision/3
Mark Niemi/Dan Hudak/Submission/2
Zack Harvey/KC Smith/TKO/1
Sean Bryan/Josh Clift/TKO/1
Marc Leier/Tyler Zong/Submission/2
All it took was a tap to make a room explode.
With Marc Leier gripping Tyler Zong in a move known as “the guillotine,” a few taps from Zong’s right hand against Leier’s side made more than 200 people in the Moffat County Ice Arena explode with cheers.
Leier, 39, of Craig, retired victorious.
The oil field worker and bantam-weight mixed martial artist needed two rounds to get the 22-year-old Zong, of Meeker, into submission during Saturday night’s “Rampage in the Cage” event.
When the fight was over, so was Leier’s ring career.
And Leier couldn’t have written his ending any better, he said.
“With my dad, my family all here it was just perfect,” he said. “I love my family, and they were with me the whole time.”
Ray Leier drove 19 hours from Los Angeles to watch his son fight for the first time.
“It was scary,” Ray said. “But he made me very proud. I know how hard he worked for this, and it’s nice to be able to share this moment with him.”
Leier said the strain training put on him was enormous, but his wife, Katie, was with him through it all.
“Most days, you get off work at 5 or 6 p.m., then go over to the gym and peel off your slicks and get into shorts and train,” he said. “Most nights, I wouldn’t get home until 9 p.m., and she’s there waiting with a smile.
“What more could you ask for?”
With a Sunday fishing trip planned, Ray said he wished the fight would have ended earlier.
“He told me the fight would be over in 30 seconds,” he said. “Marc just didn’t mention it would be the first 30 seconds in the second round.”
In the first round, Zong managed to pin Leier on the ground for a minute.
But Zong was unable to make his move, so Leier made one of his own.
“He made a couple of mistakes,” Leier said. “And I was able to capitalize. We old guys, we have to take our time.”
Leier was able to “ground and pound” away on Zong before the bell rang.
“As soon as the second round started he charged me, which I knew he would,” Leier said about Zong. “He played right into my hands, literally. I was able to get him in the guillotine, which is my MO.”
After his fight was over and the bantam-weight championship belt was secured, Leier was given what he wanted all along.
Karrie Booth, Holistic Health & Fitness co-owner, presented Leier with a large batch of cookies after he had been named winner.
“The last time I fought, as soon as I was out of the cage, the first thing I said was ‘Give me some cookies,'” Leier said. “When I’m training, I can’t have any sugar.”
There were eight fights Saturday night.
In the night’s first fight, rookie fighter Josh Clift needed 49 seconds to register a technical knockout of Meeker’s Ross Rienau.
“He’s got a hell of a right,” Clift said about his opponent. “He just about got me, but I feel like I did alright.”
The fight was Clift’s first.
“It was a little sloppy, but I connected a few times,” he said.
Clift said he trained for four months and would train more for the next fight.
Even with the training, he still was nervous before the fight.
“I calmed down the second I was in the ring,” he said. “As soon as we touched gloves, I was ready.”
In his second fight of the evening, Clift lost to heavyweight champion Sean Bryan by technical knockout in an evenly matched slugfest.
Craig’s Mark Niemi, 25, might have been in a different weight class, but the results still were positive.
He managed to get his opponent, Dan Hudak, into submission by way of the guillotine.
“The guy was really heavy,” he said. “I usually am in 150 (pounds), but I had to add some weight quick to get up to 165 for the fight.”
With the added weight and a strong opponent, Niemi relied on experience.
“This was my fourth sanctioned fight and his first,” he said. “He was a good hitter, good wrestler, but I was able to get him in a jujitsu move.”
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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