Locals do well in the cage

MEEKER — The event was billed as “Rampage in the Cage,” the first mixed martial arts fight to take place in Meeker. Several local fighters competed in the event, which was sanctioned by the Colorado Boxing Commission, in front of more than 400 people in the indoor arena at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds.
The most experienced of the 16 fighters was Rangely High School graduate Jason Brenton, who now resides in Grand Junction. Brenton won his 13th fight as a licensed amateur by knocking out Tyler Zong of Meeker in the first round of the fourth bout.
“Overall, it went really smooth,” Brenton, whose fight name is Show Stopper, said. “I wanted to keep the fight on our feet, to keep it exciting, throw some kicks and get a knockout and that’s what happened.”
Brenton is currently 13-1 in amateur fights, holds four belts, including the Ring Side world championship he won last year in Kansas City, Mo., and plans to turn pro in August.
Brenton, the current 2A state triple jump record holder, became an all-American this year in the same event by placing in both the indoor and outdoor national meets while at Western State College. He is now focusing on becoming a professional in mixed martial arts.
“I moved to Grand Junction when school got out so I could start training more,” Brenton said.
Brenton will return to defend his Ring Side world championship in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 5-9 and make his professional debut in Grand Junction Aug. 16.
“I’ve fought so many times now, it’s hard to get amateur fights,” Brenton said. “I’m training in Grand Junction at 8th Street Gym and Impact Boxing so I can compete at the professional level.”
Arguably, the most crowd pleasing bout on the card was between Meeker’s Barney LeBlanc and Craig’s Eli Buckner. The pair fought hard for three, three-minute rounds before LeBlanc was awarded a unanimous decision by the three judges.
“I finally felt like I fought a controlled fight, dictating the pace and not just brawling,” said LeBlanc, who has now been in the cage three times.
LeBlanc used what he called the “bale bucker” to weaken his opponent.
“I tied up his arms, then started bucking some bales,” LeBlanc said, lifting his knee quickly and powerfully to describe the move.
Rangely graduate Josh Kissell also made it to the third round before “tapping out” in his first mixed martial arts fight and Meeker’s Noah Renninger “tapped out” in the final bout of the evening.