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RANGELY — Richard and Elizabeth Benton had plenty of reason to cheer last Saturday. Doubly, so.
The Bentons, who live in Rangely, had two grandsons compete in the Mixed Martial Arts Cage Wars in Grand Junction.
And both boys did well, making the grandparents quite proud.
“Both of my grandkids won,” Richard said.
He and his wife were attendance, cheering on their grandsons.
Jason Brenton, 21, who was making his professional debut, was a winner of one of the main events, beating a competitor from Greeley in fairly quick order.
“Jason’s was the big match,” Grandpa Richard said. “It was something else to watch. He slam dunked that ol’ kid. That kid he fought didn’t have a chance.”
Grandson Josh Kissel, 20, also won, beating a participant from Grand Junction.
“Josh’s match went three full rounds,” Richard said.
The boys’ grandfather said the sport of mixed martial arts has grown on him.
“I didn’t think it would catch on,” Richard said. “But, boy, it did.”
Both of the cousins grew up in Rangely. Jason now lives in Grand Junction, and Josh lives in Fruita.
Grandma Elizabeth cheers on her grandsons, but, most of all, she doesn’t want them to get injured.
“She thinks it (cage fighting) is all right,” Richard said, “but she worries about Jason or Josh getting hurt.”
Both Jason and Josh competed in the “Rampage in the Cage” event July 12 in Meeker. Jason won by knockout, while Josh, in his first mixed martial arts fight, made it to the third round before “tapping out.”
Richard, who played sports himself, said grandson Jason would be returning to Gunnison, where he will compete in track at Western State College of Colorado. He holds the state record in Class 2A in the triple jump, from his days at Rangely High School.
“Jason’s way better (as an athlete) than I was,” said the proud grandfather.
Meeker’s Jason Renninger and Tyler Zong both lost their matches last Saturday.