By Jon Bracone
Many in the Fairbanks community were out mingling and soaking up First Friday’s artistic side downtown. But some chose to go to the Carlson Center to enjoy an evening of mixed martial arts.
Solid as a Rock Fighting Championship held its second event within the past six months at the Carlson Center on Friday and it was a smashing success. The main event ended in such devastating fashion that it gained attention from mainstream media outlets. Both Yahoo Sports! and AXS TV covered the evening’s highlight knockout that has garnished over half a million hits on YouTube.
Collin Reuter from Fairbanks, with an official fighting record of 11 wins, one lose and one draw, abbreviated as (11-1-1), faced Gerald Fike (7-2-1) of North Pole in the evening’s main event. Reuter and Fike fought each other to a draw in 2010 and leading up to this rematch, Reuter said he was aiming to take Fike out in the first round.
“The main event was insane! Having the fight end 26 seconds into round one by way of one of the craziest knockouts I’ve ever seen was a perfect way to end the night!” said promoter Scott McAfee.
It only took 26 seconds for Reuter to land an overhand right that had Fike unconscious before his body hit the canvas. What made this fight-ending knockout, or “KO”, unique is how Fike’s body landed. Falling backward in a reverse U-shape and then spiking on his head, Fike was unconscious for over two minutes. A cage side spectator described the knockout as “like watching a Humpback whale doing a backwards dive.”
Reuter tried to explain his reaction, “The walk-off KO, there’s no way to describe it. It’s a calm that comes over you after months of training, stress and pain. In one moment you just know it’s over and soak in the moment.”
Reuter won the Solid as a Rock welterweight title in his fight against Fike. As of now it’s unclear whether Reuter will defend that title, drop down in classes to lightweight or leave the promotion entirely to fight for out of state shows. When asked about his future plans Reuter said he is already training for his next bout. “My next fight will be at 155. I’ll probably fight once in Anchorage…then move on to some bigger shows out of state that has contacted me.”
In the co-main event, local fighter Billy Zimmerman fought against the highly touted Frank Watts of Anchorage. Watts and Zimmerman fought in what turned out to be a back and forth high-energy grappling and Jiu jitsu contest. At the end of the 15 minutes Watts had his hand raised by way of split decision.
“I feel that Solid as a Rock FC has established itself. We’ve done back to back cards. While both were great, we really stepped it up with the second show and we set a precedent for professionalism and entertainment,” said McAfee. “In the future, people can expect the same quality even they’ve seen twice now. However, we aim to keep improving and making the show better for the fans.”
The next Solid as a Rock FC event is tentatively set for some time in April.