Purgatory Championship Fighting held their inaugural event on Friday, December 10th at the Erie Street Market concert hall and on the main card, ten professional fighters stepped in the cage to put it all on the line. Five of those men left with victories, all of them impressive and I had a chance to talk with each of the winners after their successful fights.
Andrew Huffman (winner by TKO: opponent didn’t answer the bell at start of 3rd round)
How it feels to get his first win:
It feels pretty good, I was pretty nervous coming in just because I didn’t want to drop two in a row. I was pretty mad he didn’t make weight. I had to bump up a weight class.
On avoiding the wrestling of his opponent:
I was keeping my distance, keeping him at bay with my jab, making sure my feet were out so I could sprawl more. Had to not let him get close enough to get the easy takedown.
Brandon Hance (winner by submission in the 1st round)
On weathering the early storm of his opponent, Matt Young:
I had to smile. I have a good time, I realize it’s coming but I got gas for days. USA [martial arts] gets me ready for everything so I’m ready for war.
On what rocked his opponent:
I know the knee kinda dazed him, that head kick. After that he didn’t wanna stand no more.
On his performance once the fight went to the ground:
I had to keep my hips low, thighs in tight and just ride it out. If he’s gonna keep bucking, I’m gonna keep swinging. He gift wrapped it [the rear naked choke] for me. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.
Matt Montalvo (winner by submission in the 2nd round)
On remaining undefeated:
It feels great. Every fight is a challenge for me. I have a great mindset. I train with people that have the same common goals as me. We think the same, we train equally hard. Whether it be him training me and by him I mean Ryan Stout and me taking that knowledge and utilizing it in the cage tonight. We’re always on focus and I have the thought process for my entire career. It’s one step at a time. I’m never utilizing every skill I have, I’m never showcasing it all because I want an elongated career.
Was he worried when his opponent was on top?
No, I knew he had good jiu jitsu so I kinda wanted to bait him. I knew he was gonna throw a triangle or arm bar up so I wanted to throw that by and gain side control and basically ground and pound him. I knew he was gonna be technical and I had to be dominant and tight on top and bait him, which I did.
On the disrespect he received:
We’re from the same area and we’ve actually trained together. Having common friends and people we’ve trained with and hearing some of the things he said. I told people this was gonna be a great fight, it was gonna be a battle back and forth. When I heard he said I didn’t have a chance and it was gonna be over with quick, that made me think “you know what? I gave you all the respect you deserve and I at least deserve that in return.” It was on then, so that’s what motivated me.
Tyler Beckley (winner by submission in the 1st round)
On his performance:
I felt pretty good. It was my first time cutting to 185 as a pro. I did it as an amateur, but having the 24 hours to put weight back on and stuff, it felt really good. That’s a good weight class for me as a pro when I get the time to put the weight on. It was nice. The cut was hard, I started a lot heavier than that (laughs) but when I got in there I felt really good. I felt light, I had good stamina if the fight went way longer and I was happy with everything.
On his use of the half guard to pound his opponent:
I kinda emulate that Randy Couture and Matt Hughes stance on ground and pound where I’m more content to stay in your half guard or side control instead of mount. As an amateur I’d go for arm bars from mount and really I could do more damage and control you and have you where I want you to be from that half guard position. He tried to elevator sweep me a couple times but I have good hips and no disrespect to my opponent but I knew after he tried to do it a couple times that it wasn’t going to work..
On fighting more often:
I had some good wars as an amateur. Before I really take that next step up in competition, me and my coach Gary Young have talked about it. He wants me to have a good, solid, longer fight where basically I get zeroed out. It would be a mental test more than a physical test.
When you only fight for one minute, you don’t get very much experience. In my next fight, I’d really like to find a guy who’s really durable and will make it a drag-out fight. That’ll really let me know what I’m made of.
Tony Castillo (winner by unanimous decision)
On his first win:
It feels good. Really, it’s just another fight but it is professional but really it’s just another fight like it is anybody else in my school.
On the submission attempts of his opponent.
Coming into the fight we knew he had respectable submissions and stand up. Vision is a good camp. Also I could tell he was good on the ground, we train that every day. That’s our motto, you know? “Sub somebody.” Even though you don’t sub somebody, you do know how to pass.
My background is wrestling so I tend to just fall back to it but wherever the fight goes I’m ready whether it’s standing, on the ground or submissions. I really just wanted the W. I hadn’t fought since December 5th, 2009 so I had a year off and my first fight back was my first fight as a pro. I had to get the jitters off a bit, but there’s a lot more work to be done. It’s an uphill battle from here.