By Marla Jones, Sports Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org
RAINSVILLE, Ala. — On Saturday, July 14, 2018, mixed martial arts fans were treated to the first ever Alabama Fighting Championship (AFC) event in Rainsville.
Spectators were entertained with arm bars, submission holds and knockouts similar to what you would view on television in the biggest rings in the world.
AFC promoter Sam McAlpin began talks over six months ago to bring championship fighting to Rainsville. Fighters jumped on board and a 12-match card, with two title matches being presented.
Portions of the fight night proceeds were presented to Reese Colburn. Colburn is a 13-year old, with strong family ties to Rainsville, who was born with a congenital heart defect. The money raised will aide in payment of medical expenses. Colburn, presented the championship belts to winners. Trevor Peek, winner of the main event of the night, presented his belt back to Colburn.
Colburn, also received a USA Wrestling Team jacket, proudly worn by fighter, Chad Finnerty. Finnerty formerly wrestled at the University of Purdue and was a member of the USA team. Finnerty, age 38, was the oldest fighter on the card. He boasts a career record of 192-8. He pinned his younger opponent, Trent Anderson, age 25, to the delight of every dad in the arena. Finnerty surely built a fire under everyone over the age of 30, to chase your dreams no matter your age.
In the only women's event on the card, Morgan Hickam, mother of three, won against Danielle Wynn in a split decision.
A few recaps from the night include:
Heavyweights, Gage Green and Jimmy Dean started the night. Dean won the fight in the first round with a choke hold.
In the 150-pound division, Alonzo Jose and Mark Young squared off in a explosive match. Young of Black Lion Studios, won by knockout in the first 20 seconds of the first round.
The 155-pound division featured Garrett Sharp and Corey Pergo. In a back-and-forth battle, Pergo was caught in a rear naked choke hold and was forced to tap out with only 15 remaining in the match.
The match that will be talked about for months was between Greg Hopkins and Trevor Peek. Peek, who hails from Ider, came in as the hometown favorite. The battle was an intense back-and-forth between two competitors who refused to give up. As fans were on the edge of the seat in the fourth round, Peek brought down Hopkins with a left hook that knocked Hopkins out. The hit will be a topic of discussion but Peek’s actions after the fight is what made him a true winner. He presented Reese Colburn with his first title belt. Peek then took the microphone and gave his testimony of God’s saving grace.
Promoter, McAlpin is in talks to bring back the AFC Championships fights back to our area in the near future. You can count on Southern Torch to be there, every step of the way.