Harrington (8-2) defeated Bobby McIntrye (3-2) by first-round triangle choke (2:25) to defend his lightweight crown, but it wasn’t easy as McIntrye seemed to control the fight from the start.
Harrington had to overcame a big right and a painful-looking takedown before escaping a crucifix. The title appeared to be McIntyre’s for the taking, but a determined Harrington was able to walk out of the cage with the belt.
“I told him to keep his head up,” Harrington said about what he told his opponent after the bout. “He’s going to be a champion one day, just not today.”
Gonzales won the vacant SFL America Light Heavyweight championship with a second-round TKO of Thomas Hoeper.
Hoeper and Gonzales went right after each other from the opening bell with both fighters landing several solid punches in the first round that brought the sold out crowd to their feet.
Hoeper, at 6-foot-7, found early success by taking advantage of his superior reach, but an vicious right from Gonzales (8-1) seconds into the second round immediately changed the title bout’s flow, leading to the referee stoppage soon after.
In the featured undercard bout, Spokane’s Daniel Swain (12-5-1) overcame a very pro-Drew Brokenshire crowd to defeat the hometown fighter via triangle choke in the third round (2:04).
After an evenly match first round, Swain gradually took control of the fight’s tempo.
“The fight went great,” said Swain. “Everything I want to do happened after that first round.”
Brokenshire, a resident of Tacoma, fell to 11-3 with the loss.
Dylan Potter, making his professional debut, kicked off the undercard by defeating Chris Aparicio by arm-bar submission at the 1:34 mark of the first round.
Lyndon Hirai also scored a win in his first career pro fight, connecting on a series of knees to the mid-section of Allan Nickolauson before the referee stepped in to stop the 135-pound bout 2:41 into the first round.
Also registering a first-round KO victory was Jeremie Montgomery (1-1), who ended his featherweight contest against Jadon Johnson with a barrage of punches. The last strike came a mere 1:26 into the first round and sent Johnson to the mat for good.
In a battle of 120-pound females, Jenny Liou (3-3) defeated Heather Denny (1-1) with a first-round arm bar (4:01).
Lightweight Thomas Pierce put away Jesse Hardenbrook with a rear-naked choke in the second round (2:21).
MMA returns to the Emerald Queen Casino on Dec. 12 with SFL 45.
SFL 44 Full Results
- 155 – Justin Harrington (8-2-0) d. Bobby McIntyre (3-2), triangle choke, first round, 2;25
- 205 – Alfonso Gonzales (8-1) d. Thomas Hoeper (1-2) TKO, second round, 1:29
- 145 – Daniel Swain (12-5-1) d. Drew Brokkenshire (11-3), triangle choke, third round (2:04)
- 120 (females) – Jenny Liou (3-3) d. Heather Denny (1-1), arm bar, 1st round, 4:01
- 135 – Lyndon Hirai (1-0) d. Allan Nickolauson (0-1), TKO, 2nd round (2:41)
- 145 – Jeremie Montgomery (1-1) d. Jadon Johnson (0-1), KO, 1st round (1:26)
- 155 – Thomas Pierce (1-1) d. Jesse Hardenbrook (1-1), rear-naked choke, 2nd round, 2:21
- 175 – Dylan Potter (1-0) d. Chris Aparicio (0-4), 1st round, arm bar