Hard Knocks (HK) Fighting's HK 31 at Spectra Place on March 2 featured several local fighters, two title bouts, a record-setting fight and several other bouts.
Estevan's Mike Geib opened the event by picking up his first mixed martial arts victory in four attempts. He defeated Jordan Jones (0-1) from Brandon, Manitoba, via technical knock-out (TKO) at 1:59 of the second round in a light heavyweight contest. The referee stopped the fight after Geib landed several blows to Jones.
The next bout featured two local middleweights making their HK debuts: Eric Gedak and Mike Keating. Gedak picked up the victory at 1:29 of the first round via tapout after he secured a guillotine submission hold on Keating.
Greg Alberts (1-1) lost via unanimous decision to Danny Mayham (1-0) of The Pas, Manitoba, in a welterweight clash. The two battled for three rounds.
Tyler Traub lost to Jordy Correia of Thompson, Manitoba, in a match between two lightweights making their MMA debuts. Correia defeated Traub via TKO at the 1:56 mark of the first round.
Travis Heibert (1-0) energized his hometown crowd by defeating Zachary Atkinson (0-2) of Winnipeg with one second remaining in the second round in a welterweight clash. Heibert won by submission due to strikes in a lightweight fight. Heibert drew a rousing applause after surviving a predicament earlier in the round, and generated more cheers when he forced Atkinson to submit.
The biggest ovation of the night was reserved for local favourite Felix Jimenez, who improved his record to 3-2 with a first round TKO of Leroy Johnson (2-1) from London, Ontario in a heavyweight clash. Jimenez scored the victory 44 seconds into the first round after repeatedly clobbering Johnson. Fans chanted "Felix, Felix" after the fight.
Former Estevan resident Josh Heinz improved his record to 2-0 with a knockout victory over Brandon's Lee Ruff (0-2) in a catch weight fight of 195 pounds. Heinz, who now resides in Lethbridge, Alberta, felled Ruff at 1:59 of the second round.
In the first title match of the evening, David Swanson (4-1) of Winnipeg defeated Chris Chapman (4-2) of Red Deer, Alberta, via split decision to win the HK lightweight belt. The bout went five rounds, and Swanson had the edge on two of the three judges' scorecards.
Chapman seemed convinced that he had won the fight, and was stunned when Swanson was declared the winner. Swanson celebrated with his supporters after he was presented with the strap.
Devon Smith (6-1) of La Ronge won the light heavyweight title, defeating Kevin Lagasse (3-2) from Brooks, Alberta, in the final fight of the evening. Smith was declared the winner by TKO after the first round when Lagasse couldn't continue due to a shoulder injury.
Smith is also HK Fighting's heavyweight champion.
The record-setting fight came when Travis Triskle (3-1) of Kenora, Ontario, knocked out Randell Martell (2-5) of Saskatoon in five seconds in the first round – the fastest knockout ever recorded in 31 HK events.
The other fights saw:
*La Ronge's Austin Smith (1-0) defeated Humboldt's Damon Steadman (0-3) by TKO at 2:46 of the second round in a heavyweight tilt.
*Andy Jack (3-1) from Winnipeg defeated Ethan Cornect (2-1) of Brandon by armbar submission at 2:17 of the third round in a 150-pound catch weight fight.
*Dave Dalrymple (2-0) of London defeated Harold Brun (1-2-1) of Kenora at 1:26 of the third round via triangle submission in a lightweight fight.