Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Fight For Our Future II

Funds raised for Ronald McDonald House


Pierre Bibbs

Richard "Little Rocket Man" Hoops lands a punch that nearly knocked out his opponent JD LaSarte last Saturday.

The Milk River Pavillion was host to the second annual Fight For Our Future MMA/Boxing event. The event featured six matches filled with action, suspense, and excitement for a crowd of close to 200 people.

Fight For Our Future II was put on by KillEagle Productions to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House charity in Seattle Wash., to pay tribute to their hospitality shown to three-year-old Payton KillEagle and her father Wesley KillEagle Jr. of Dodson.

Payton was diagnosed with liver cancer at seven-months-old and started chemotherapy at eight-months-old in January of 2017.

Though the donation totals have not been finalized due to medical costs of the event (two fighters required a trip to the hospital), the event was entertaining according to KillEagle Jr.

"Well, I think we were able to put together a great fight card," he said. "We uncovered some hidden talents in some newcomers, and brought out some heart in some veterans! We were very happy to have the first ever bare knuckle MMA fight in Montana."

The winner of Montana's first ever professional bare-knuckle fight was Sean Ibsen of Team Wolfpack out of Great Falls. After the win, Ibsen revealed that he had ties to the Ronald McDonald Charity.

My son and daughter-in-law had to stay in the Ronald McDonald House in Missoula for two months," Ibsen said to the crowd. "This meant a lot to me and it was a great opportunity."

In the first co-main event, Warren Brockie of Fort Belknap defeated Jordan Perino, a fighter sponsored by Eaglechild Consulting Services and Enforcement. Brockie's knockout won Knockout of the Night.

Brockie found himself in trouble in the first round after he was taken down. Perino was unable to get Brockie to submit after having the upper hand for more than half of the first round.

"I controlled my breathing and took my time," Brockie said. "I figured that if I waited I could probably get it in the next round."

Brockie fought back hard in the second round and landed a pair of telegraphed punches that ended in a takedown and eventual stoppage by referee Ted Reiter.

"I wanted to fight because it was a cause for Wes KillEagle's daughter," Brockie said. "As a father to another father, it was an honor and privilege to fight for him. Much love and respect to him and his family. His daughter Payton is one of the toughest girls that I have ever seen."

The fourth match of the night featured Shaun Bell, a fighter out of Fort Belknap, who left retirement to compete at the event. Bell defeated Havre's Matthew Marcus by T.K.O.

"It feels like I never left," Bell said after his match.

Bell had previously fought on and off for about ten years.

"I was just here to have fun and help out the cause," Bell said.

The event has a special meaning to Bell because he and KillEagle have known each other since they were children.

"My kids call Wes uncle and there are a few of us that call each other brothers," Bell said. "We have been friends since we were in diapers."

Bell agreed to fight on short notice to take on Marcus who is new to boxing.

"It's not like I trained extensively for the fight," Bell said. "It was more like I jumped off the couch and accepted this. I don't want to brag about it because (Marcus) did a damn good job and I give him props to that."

After a period of intermission, Portland's Matthew Minugh of the Puyallup tribe was pitted against Xander Beston of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Beston had an initial take-down until he turned the tables with a reversal followed by powerful ground and pound punches.

Minugh would win the fight with a split second left in the first round locking in an armbar at 2:59. His submission was named Submission of the Night.

"I didn't go for it right off the bat because I wanted position before submission to make sure I was staying on top, but when I heard the ten-second bell, I knew I should go for something," Minugh said.

Rather than allowing the fight to go to a break which would allow his opponent a breather, Minugh rained down punches on Beston and then slipped in an armbar.

Minugh, the grandson of Al Minugh (Owner of Dodson's Town & Country) and son of Mack Minugh, is very familiar with the Phillips County portion of the Hi-Line.

"This is my family's old stomping grounds," Matthew Minugh said. "I used to spend summers here. When I was 20, I moved here and lived here for a couple of years, did a few jobs, and moved away."

When Payton and Wes stayed in Washington during Payton's treatment, Wes reached out to Minugh, who was unavailable to meet. Minugh would make up for the missed opportunity by signing up for the event.

"Wes knows that I love martial arts and that I have been training in jiu-jitsu at Lobo Jiu-jitsu Academy in Gresham, (Ore.) for about six-and-a-half years."

Minugh admitted that he doesn't typically do cage fights, but he was more than happy to help the cause.

"It was my first win," Minugh said. "I am not a cage fighter but it feels good to win one. That's for you, Payton!"

In the opening boxing match, Richard "Little Rocket Man" Hoops defeated JD LaSarte by way of a 30-25 judge decision. The match was picked for the event's Fight of the Night.

In the second match of the evening, Dodson's Phillip DeCelles defeated Aaron Skunkcap of Blackfoot Nation with a rear-naked chokehold at 1:33 after being taken down at the beginning of the fight.

Harry Three Stars won the third match of the evening, submitting Malta's David Getner by armbar. Getner had the advantage with a takedown that even featured a secondary crowd-pleasing slam, but Getner would fall to an armbar at 1:11.

The fights ended with a pair of fighters needing runs to the hospital which will affect the funds raised at the event. That and a smaller crowd means that the donation for this event may be smaller. Still, KillEagle was encouraged by the talent and the crowd that the event attracted.

"We didn't get the crowd that we got last year, and didn't raise near what we did last year, but we definitely have something to build off of for future events," he said. "We're already looking forward to the next event (not sure exactly when yet, but will keep people updated)."

He expressed gratitude to the warriors that battled in the ring and all that came through and supported the cause. He also mentioned that in the future he would be trying to put together a gym for those interested in training for future MMA events.


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