SLOAN, Iowa | Seventeen bouts and plenty of fanfare were part of the first Elimination Cage Boxing event at the WinnaVegas Casino Resort on Saturday afternoon.
Fighters from across Siouxland and even into neighboring states climbed into the cage looking for a $1,000 payday and a chance to fight on TV during the next King of the Cage event.
Jalin Cordell got things started in the first of six bouts at 160 pounds. Each fight was scheduled for three one-minute rounds, but Cordell needed just 55 seconds before he knocked out Jack Carlson.
“It was my first fight ever so I was a little nervous,” Cordell said. “I have been a fan of it and so I figured I would just try it. I kind of figured one of those hooks would be there … and it was relieving (when he went down). I told him to stay down.”
Kurtis Ellis from Illinois knocked down Justin Mote in the first round and continued to land punch after punch for three rounds, but Mote refused to give in. Ellis would get the unanimous win 30-26 by all three judges.
“All I can do is thank my Combat Club family for that because I train with some of the best fighters from central Illinois,” Ellis said. “They kick my butt every time and I am not even the best boxer in my gym but they prepare me for this.
“I thought I was going to finish him in the first round, but he was a tough guy and took a lot of hits.”
Ellis has a 2-3 record in MMA and now 1-0 in cage boxing.
Ellis, and several other fighters like him, was a big reason KOC owner Terry Trebilcock decided to have this first cage boxing event.
“It shows that there is a lot of potential great athletes in this market coming up and the fact is we ended up with 44 athletes that wanted to come compete for our first attempt at this show,” he said. “That is every exciting and promising.
“We have already found potentially some great prospects both in boxing and the MMA world. We had about 50 applicants but we did have a couple guys that came in with 40 and 50 amateur fights and we just couldn’t allow that to happen.”
One of the fan favorites was Winnebago, Nebraska’s Eugene Frazier, who earned a unanimous decision over Ira Godfrey at 190 pound. Frazier, who used a flurry of offense to begin each round to secure victory, is an employee at WinnaVegas.
“I have fought one time before in the ring and I just went out there and did my thing,” he said. “(The win) made me want to cry, you know?”
Championship bouts are set for 2 p.m. Sunday. The audience will vote for the best fighter of all weight classes after all of the winners are determined. That fighter earns the right to come back to compete in a King of the Cage competition in October.