Story and Photo by Brandon New ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Royal Oak Music Theatre hosted King of the Cage “Civil War 2” on Saturday night. The card featured two title fights sharing headline billing.
In the main event, heavy-handed Brandon Hunt retained his middleweight title by defeating ground ace Angelo Popofski. Hunt landed a big blow early in the match, leaving Popofski a bloody mess. The champ continued to throw punishing shots until his arm was raised in victory after a second round TKO.
The co-main event was a catchweight bout for the KOTC Superfight title. Lightweight champion Dom “I hate you so much” O’Grady moved up in weight to 165 pounds to face gritty veteran Gabe Rivas. O’Grady, who turns 29 the prior Monday, gave himself an early birthday gift in the form of a second KOTC title.
Fighting in front of his hometown crowd, the lightweight champ used his considerable height and reach advantage in the stand-up before taking Rivas to the ground for the submission victory via rear-naked choke in the second round.
Despite his nickname, the captivated audience showed a lot of love for O’Grady.
Sean Baker, a training partner of O’Grady’s, was matched against a very dangerous Chad Herrick. In April of this year, Herrick lost by split decision to UFC veteran Joe Doerksen in a fight many felt Herrick had won.
The first round was a very close battle fought predominately on the ground. Only a few seconds into round two, Baker landed a hard knee that dropped Herrick, forcing the referee to stop the fight, awarding Baker the TKO victory.
The knockout of the night came courtesy of Mike Hernandez, who needed only 36 seconds to stop Dan Langbeen. Hometown favorite Daron Cruickshank looked impressive once again as he finished Anthony Smith by TKO in the first round. Victor Torres defeated Roy William by TKO and Adam Kelso won his fight against David Savere by rear naked choke.
The highlight of the undercard was Eric Moon, as he dominated Mitch Filer with ground and pound before sinking a guillotine to win in just 59 seconds. Fortunately for the fans there was only one match that went to the judges as Damon Dyer took a unanimous decision victory over Billy Ward.
Bully Beatdown veteran “Bad News” Ben Lagman was scheduled to be on the card until an opponent could not be attained for him. Jeff Kugel, who recently defeated Eric “Butterbean” Esch in just 40 seconds, was also forced off of the card. The six-foot-seven-inch super heavyweight contracted Chicken Pox, putting his KOTC debut on hold.