Foster wins title to close out Cagesport at SunDome | Sports


Local MMA fans had no shortage of action on a big night for Yakima Valley fighters as Cagesport made their Yakima SunDome debut on Saturday night.

Only one of the eight fights reached the third round, capped by Richard Foster’s second-round submission to win the heavyweight title from Sua Tuani. Foster, who lived in Selah and Yakima while training full-time with the late Rich Guerin for more than 15 years, avenged an earlier loss to Tuani by arm triangle before celebrating with Guerin’s wife, Julie, and his daughter Cameron.

“We don’t often have pro fights here in Yakima,” said Foster, who lives in Goldendale but spent a lot of time preparing for Saturday’s fight by training alongside police officers in Yakima. “So being able to come back here and fight here is just a dream come true.”

Another hometown fighter, Charon Spain, came out full of energy and hit hard from the opening bell of his fight against Bobby McIntyre. After narrowly escaping two first-round submission attempts, Spain got a knockout with a hard takedown less than two minutes into the second round.

The casual boxer who spent most of his childhood in Yakima and now works as a store manager at Just Sports in Valley Mall drew perhaps the biggest cheer of the night during his introduction. After the victory, he reveled in a seemingly endless line of fans wanting hugs and photos, some of whom were wearing t-shirts he had specially designed for the fight.

“It was so energizing and so amazing,” said Spain, who dislocated his little finger and needed stitches on a cut on his forehead after what was dubbed Rich Guerin’s fight of the night. . “Loved every second of it, especially with the fanbase support I have here.”

Another former MMA Yakima fighter, Luis Iniguez, won his second CageSport title by defeating Albert Tadevosyan in the only bout decided by the judges. The Pasco native won via split decision after a grueling five rounds featuring quick action on the court and several big punches from both men.

“It was just a matter of willpower, just pushing,” said Iniguez, who also holds the welterweight title. “In the exchanges, I think I caught him a lot cleaner than he did to me.”

Another winner, Juan Figueroa, recalled visiting the SunDome many times as he grew up in Sunnyside before moving to Mt. Vernon at age 11. He still has lots of family and friends in the Lower Valley, many of whom have come to see him. fight Josh McPherson in a heavyweight bout.

After a takedown, Figueroa got a quick knockout by punching his opponent until the referee quickly ended the fight. He said he would be ready to fight next week and wanted to come back to Yakima for another opportunity.

“There’s no other way to explain it, we’re just a completely different race in 509,” Figueroa said.

A long history of accomplished combat sports athletes from the Yakima Valley includes Cameron Guerin and Julian Erosa, both of whom stepped into the cage to be recognized by adoring fans. Guerin never lost during his four-year career at Davis and won two NCAA titles at McKendree, among many other accolades.

Erosa has won four of his last five fights in the UFC, highlighted by a fight of the night split decision loss to Steven Peterson last February. He trained at Yakima MMA with Foster, Spain and fellow fighter at Saturday’s event, Wyatt Gonzalez. Erosa has played the majority of his professional matches for CageSport.

“The fact that CageSport is here in Yakima comes full circle, so that means everything,” said Erosa, who built his resume by winning two titles with CageSport. “Rich was my coach for so many years and he was like a father figure to me and Julie a mother figure to me.”

Along with the fights came the big announcement of the return of Yakima MMA to provide local kids with a supportive place to learn from experts in several different disciplines. Foster said he looks forward to being a part of it and doing what he can to build on Yakima’s MMA legacy.

Results: Aasin Liberato d. Ikona Mamiya, 1st. TKO; Quenton Hansen d. Dylan Blakesley, 2nd. submission (arm bar); Adland Benson d. Nick Mills, 1st round. submission (guillotine); Juan Figueroa d. Josh McPherson, 1st round. TKO; Kris Ruffind. Wyatt Gonzalez, 2nd. TKO; Charon Spain d. Bobby McIntyre, 2nd round. TKO; Luis Iniguez d. Albert Tadevosyan, split decision; Richard Foster d. Sua Tuani, 2nd. submission (arm triangle).

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