Bully Gang fighters win three; Harnden takes PCCF title

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Sweet Home-Lebanon’s Bully Gang defeated three of their four opponents during Friday night’s Pacific Coast Cage Fights event at the county fairgrounds; and Chris Harnden won the 135-pound title fight.

Harnden, 3-2, had the biggest fight of the night for the Bully Gang, defeating independent fighter Brandon Pettigrew of Eugene for the 135-pound title belt 2:47 into the first round.

“It was a little bit better fight than my last fight,” Harnden said. He referred to last month’s fight in Salem where most of the bout took place in wrestling holds on the ground.

“We got on the ground,” Harnden said, but the fight was up and down, providing solid entertainment for the spectators.

“He’s strong,” Harnden said. “He got me in a choke that normally is a lever or a handle.”

Harnden thought he was actually choking in that hold, he said, but he couldn’t quite believe it.

“I thought, am I really choking or just panicking,” he said. He reached up to the top of his head and felt his blood veins popping out. “Yeah, I’m choking.”

Harnden was able to escape the hold and then throw Pettigrew, and then he put a triangle and arm bar on Pettigrew. Pettigrew managed to slip out of the triangle, but Harnden’s arm bar hyper-extended Pettigrew’s arm. That’s when Harnden felt Pettigrew tap out.

“He outwrestled me,” Pettigrew said. He found a lot more fight than he expected in Harnden. “I’m bigger than he is, but he’s strong.”

At 185 pounds, Allen Davis of Lebanon kicked the night’s fights off by knocking out Travis Napier of Northwest Training Center in 10 seconds, winning his first cage fight.

“I think it was all right,” Allen told one of his teammates afterward.

“Dude, I don’t even remember the … fight, bro,” his opponent told him.

“There were four punches,” Davis said. “Four punches later, he was down.”

Davis didn’t remember getting hit, he said. He saw Napier swinging at him, dodged it and punched Napier with a left, right, left and right to finish it.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “Like I’ve won the lottery, and that’s before I went out.”

Davis wanted to especially thank his wife for her support, he said. It enables him to train and fight.

At 155 pounds, Tristan Hendrickson of Lebanon didn’t do quite as well in his first cage fight. Darel Caven, 2-2, of Downings defeated Hendrickson near the end of the third round when the ref stopped the fight giving Caven a win by technical knockout.

“The guy’s got experience, and he’s got a good right hand,” Hendrickson said. “I respected him, and I trained as hard as I could. We went up and had some fun.”

“The kid’s got mad respect,” Hendrickson said. He was stronger in boxing while Hendrickson was stronger in wrestling and jujitsu. Caven did well on the ground, but Hendrickson had a “100-percent advantage on the ground.”

Circling and throwing punches early in the fight, Hendrickson took Caven to the floor and took control of the fight. The fight ended with the two fighting on their feet.

Hendrickson threw a punch, and Caven caught him with a right jab, Hendrickson said.

Shorty Weikel, 155 pounds with a 2-0 record, won his second cage fight in the first round, defeating Ben Daniels of the Iron Warriors of Eugene by technical knockout.

“I was going into my swing on him,” Weikel said. “I saw his swing rise. I ducked and took him to the ground. After that it was pretty much my game – Attack, attack, ruthless.”

Weikel pounded on Daniels until the ref stopped the fight.

On Aug. 11, Chris Ensley lost a title fight in Portland to Sean Siefke in about 2.5 minutes, Bully Gang owner Cory Graham said. The ref stopped the fight.

“I’m real happy,” Graham said. “This team is progressing. Bully Gang is putting it on the map. This team is getting a lot of recognition.

“I’m proud of these guys. They work hard every day (training three to four hours four to five days a week).

“I’ve got probably the toughest guys you could ask for in the Valley.”

Graham wanted to especially thank Shane Ullrich, owner of the American Barber Shop, who helps sponsor the team.

The team may fight for up to four titles at the next Capital City Cage Fights event on Sept. 29, Graham said. Among those will be Nathan Rice, whose fight was canceled Saturday, going up against Ryan Miller of Team Spartan.

The Bully Gang is now training in the old McCammon Furniture building and is continuing to seek sponsors.

For more information about the Bully Gang, call Graham at 401-5515.