Three new state champions were crowned at Warfare MMA 12.
However, Myrtle Beach resident Tomar Washington stole the show Friday night.
Washington defeated Bobby Gurley (3-4) with an exlposive first-round knockout in the 215-pound division just 36 seconds into the fight.
"I don't plan for anything to happen, I just go for it," said Washington, who improved his professional record to 6-2-1. "If I see it, I go for it. I'm well-rounded with punches, kicks, jujitsu and I started out boxing and everything. I [saw] an opening, a little crease, and I just took him down."
Washington, who usually fights at 205 pounds, had to put on 10 pounds to make weight for the fight. Being shorter than Gurley and fighting at a lower weight class, Washington didn't have much leverage.
"I had no advantages over him," Washington said. "I fight at 205, he fights heavyweight. We ended up meeting at 215 so I actually had to gain weight and he lost a little bit of weight. So I actually had no advantages. He's 6-4, I'm 5-10. So he had a reach advantage and he had the weight advantage. The only advantage I had was motivation; I like to finish fights."
And he did just that in front of his hometown crowd.
"To be honest, it's really tough [fighting in Myrtle Beach] because it's almost like preparing for a wedding," Washington said. "You got this person that wants to sit here, and another person wants to sit here. I have to get this many tickets, that many tickets so there's so much pressure. Plus, I work at the House of Blues so of course if I lose here, I'm never going to hear the end of it from my boys, like 'you got your butt kicked!' so it's one of those types of things."
Washington isn't too worried about what happens next, but will be ready if he's called upon.
"Whatever the good lord lets me do, that's what's up for me," Washington said. "I don't know. If I get a call from the big leagues, I'll go for it. If I don't, I'm happy. What a lot of people don't know is that I'm the first professional fighter out of South Carolina. So there's a little history, I've been doing it for a while. I've been to Brazil and different places like that. If a fight comes up [I hope] everything works out, but I'll go for it."
North Myrtle Beach wrestling coach wins decision
Myrtle Beach resident Amos Collins has only two professional wins under his belt.
Both of them have come against Somner Martin (1-4).
Collins, who is the wrestling coach at North Myrtle Beach, defeated Martin by unanimous decision after a three-round bout in the 155-pound division to improve to 2-4 in his professional career.
"I knew it was going to be a tough fight the whole time," Collins said. "It's just kind of a relief to get it out, get it over with and be on top with the win."
There was pressure on Collins going into the final round because he wasn't sure if he had the round advantage or if he was tied with Martin. But Collins got it done.
"Going into the third round I was like, 'I have to do something to get this third round my way,' because I felt like it was 1-1 going into the third round," Collins said. "My coaches didn't really tell me anything so I just figured it was tied going into the final round."
After the fight, Collins gave his family a big hug and thanked the crowd for the support.
"There's more pressure for me fighting in front of my hometown because I really want to perform for them," he said. "I finish fights for them because they're the ones who love me and support me. I was out of town last month and fought and I didn't feel any of that kind of stuff. But it's great fighting in front of your hometown fans and that's why you rise to the occasion."
Collins believes Myrtle Beach will continue to deliver more and more MMA events.
"This is a great town for mixed martial arts, it's on the up-rise," he said.
Brown makes professional debut
Derrick Brown was looking to make an impression in his first professional fight.
The Myrtle Beach resident did just that.
Brown defeated Cliff Thompson (3-2) by submission via guillotine choke during the second round in the light heavyweight division.
"I'm just happy to get the win," Brown said. "He's a great wrestler and it was a great test for me as I make my steps being a pro now. "... I think my striking and being able to keep my distance gave me the advantage and I was ready for his wrestling."
Brown got Thompson into the guillotine early on, but Thompson escaped it and Brown finished him with it the second time around.
"He defended the first guillotine good and he defended the second one pretty well," Brown said. "I noticed he was crouching and trying to use his power so I decided to hang on to him and hold on tighter. He was carrying all my weight and trying to power out and after that I got him to tap out."
Brown is eager to get back in the octagon now that he's a pro.
"I go to my next pro fight and hopefully I'll be 2-0," he said.
Scott outlasts Weeks to claim title
Myrtle Beach resident Jeremiah Scott can call himself a champion now.
Scott defeated Bart Weeks after a five-round majority decision to win the vacant Warfare Featherweight (145) State Title.
"It was just a great fight," Scott said. "I'm glad Weeks picked up the fight with me because I knew it was going to be a great scrap. He wanted to come and knock me out; he came throwing some bombs. But I was able to weather through it and get that belt."
After losing the first round, Scott won the last four rounds to claim the victory.
"The first round I threw a push-kick and he caught me with an overhand right and knocked me on my ass," Scott said. "But anytime he hit me really hard I was able to get myself back together really quick, take over the round and pull through."
Scott has big plans for his MMA career.
"Just keep fighting and hopefully move on to bigger fight companies like Bellator and make my way to the UFC. I'm not going anywhere, this is all I do. I love it," he said.
Bushaw falls short in title fight
Myrtle Beach resident Brandon Bushaw was in tough waters going into the final round.
Unfortunately for Bushaw, he couldn't escape.
Me'Shack Adams defeated Bushaw by unanimous decision after a grueling five-round fight to claim the vacant Warfare Bantamweight (135) State Title.
Adams had the round advantage going into the fifth and final round, and Bushaw knew he had to either knock Adams out or make him tap out.
“I had to knock him out or submit him,” Bushaw said. “I knew I was down at least three rounds to one. I went in and threw some heavy hands and went for a couple arm bars but wasn't able to get the finish.”
Bushaw gave his opponent credit.
“He was athletic and he was strong,” Bushaw said. I think he maintained a little better position. And I probably should have worked out of that a little quicker, but hey, he’s a strong, athletic, fast kid and it was an honor to fight him.
“ I went out and gave it my all but came up a little short. It was a good fight. I’d like to have the title around my waist, but two go in and only one wins.” It wasn't a total loss for Bushaw, who said he learned from the defeat.
“You learn more from a loss than you do from a win,” he said. “So I just go back to the gym, work on my shortcomings from this fight and get ready to roll.”
Little River resident Tresean Gore said he didn't want another loss after being defeated in his last bout.
Fortunately for Gore, he came out on top at Warfare 12.
It was a quick fight as Gore laid a rear naked choke on Brian Harris in the first round and made him tap out for the submission win in the 185-pound bracket.
“He gave me his neck,” Gore said. “I realized his neck was wide open so I went for it. I was patient and didn't try to rush anything.”
Gore saw what advantages he had early on against Harris and was trying for a knockout.
“I knew I had a lot of reach on him,” he said. “I knew he was going to wrestle me and didn't want to stand up. I wanted that knockout, but a win is a win and I’ll take what I get.” Training for six hours a day took a toll on Gore’s body, but it paid off with the victory.
“I trained hard for this fight,” Gore said. “I was expecting three rounds, a full fight. I got it done early and it didn't need to go that far.” Gore is already looking forward to his next fight.
“I’m going to get back into the gym and go even harder,” he said. “Like I said before, I don’t want to lose again. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen.”
Happy to be fighting in Myrtle Beach, Gore has dreams of one day fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“I’m not stopping,” Gore said.
In other action, Ronald Stallings Jr. (185) defeated Josh Williams by third-round knockout in a professional bout, Cody Jones (170) defeated Joseph Son by unanimous decision to defend his Southeast Regional Title, James Rumley (170) defeated Wes Evans by first-round TKO to win the vacant Welterweight Title, Rodney Jordan (155) defeated Mike Curry by first-round submission via guillotine choke, Travis Holloman (160) defeated Kreed Bateman by second-round TKO, Jarrod Miller (145) topped Aubrey Rion by first-round submission on a rear naked choke, Jeremiah Scott (160) defeated Bart Weeks via majority decision, James Rumley (170) defeated Wes Evans via first-round TKO, and Cody Jones (170) defeated Joseph Son by unanimous decision.