Bruises, welts and championship belts

Hours before making their mixed martial arts debuts, two fighters listened to officials explain the rules for the night’s bouts.

Hours before making their mixed martial arts debuts, two fighters listened to officials explain the rules for the night’s bouts.

“I’m ready to get out there, and I feel excellent,” said Chuck Cooper of Team Cannon, while punching a fist into his other hand.

“I’m just here to break some faces,” said Daniel Perkins, an independent fighter from Clackamas.

The energy was palpable as spectators filled their seats surrounding the octagonal caged ring. All chatter died down as Brad Pitt’s voice filled the room: “Gentlemen, welcome to Fight Club.”

After the “eight rules” sound bite from Fight Club, Kevin Keeney stepped into the ring with a microphone in hand. Keeney, co-owner and matchmaker for the Full Contact Fighting Federation, served as announcer for the FCFF’s Rumble at the Roseland 51.

“Fight fans: Are you ready?” he asked the crowd in a booming voice, and they cheered as the first bout got underway. Bouts lasted for three minutes and could go for as many as three rounds. Most bouts on Saturday ended in tap-outs or technical knockouts called by referee Kelly Whitlock.

The first five bouts pitted a blend of debuting fighters and up-and-comers against one another, as the cage became a blur of kicks, punches and grappling moves. Victors were interviewed by Keeney following the bouts, with most giving short answers punctuated by heavy breathing, though some did a victory back flip.

The sixth bout featured female fighters Janna Piper of Touch M Up MMA and Idaho independent Maygen Sato. Both entered the cage with two wins and a loss on their records, and they threw fists, feet and knees into one another—both standing and grappling—until time ran out in round three. Piper was awarded victory by a panel of judges.

“She’s a tough girl, very powerful,” Piper said of Sato. “I feel pretty good about the win.”
Two bouts later, super heavyweights Jason Baker of Alive MMA and Hood River independent Tim McAlexander—both of whom weighed in at over 270 pounds—climbed into the cage. They exchanged several punches to one another’s faces, while Keeney yelled to the crowd, “The big boys are getting after it, just like we wanted ’em to!” Baker kept landing blows to win by TKO in the first round.

Championship bouts followed the super heavyweights. Jake Zeliff, a Grants Pass independent who entered the light heavyweight championship undefeated, was powerfully knocked out by Kevin Fox of Touch M Up MMA just 31 seconds into the first round—prompting spectator Tyler West to scream “he straight f***ed him up!” so enthusiastically that the crowd nearby laughed in appreciation.
The main event
Lightweight champion Jake Morris of Team Quest entered the night’s final bout with a 6-0 record to defend his belt against Clint Patterson of Alive MMA, who had been undefeated when his bout with Morris was scheduled. Patterson lost two bouts in the interim, but said he felt good heading into his bout with Morris.

“Jake’s an experienced, capable fighter and I came prepared for this fight,” Patterson said. “I’m going out there to win.”

And that’s what he did. The bout went into a second round with Morris sporting a bloody nose as the two exchanged quick strikes and powerful grapples before Patterson gained the advantage and Whitlock declared him the victor.

“Clint is a phenomenal fighter and great wrestler, and he did exactly what he said he would during his training for the bout…he’s the evolution of MMA,” said Jeremy Barber, Patterson’s coach. “Much respect to Jake Morris as well. He’s beaten two of my fighters, he’s definitely skilled and he had a great run.”
The next FCFF event, Caged on the Coast 2, is scheduled for June 26 in Lincoln City at Chinook Winds Casino Resort. The next Rumble at the Roseland is slated for July 17.

The Ring Girls speak!
FCFF Ring Girls Courtney and Kristi presented victory medals and championship belts to the winners of bouts, in addition to making laps around the ring in short shorts and tight tops while holding numbered posters to reflect the upcoming round. Both said they enjoy working at FCFF events and with the crew.

“We have developed like a family, we travel together and work together—it’s a very satisfying and wonderful feeling,” said Courtney, who has been involved since the inception of the FCFF in 2001. “It’s fantastic getting to interact with the crowd.”

Saturday was Kristi’s first night as a Ring Girl, and she said she enjoys presenting the winners with their rewards and seeing an excited crowd.

“My favorite part is seeing the crowd get into it and get so excited,” Kristi said. “I would love to keep being a Ring Girl and see that sort of excitement again and again.”