Elite Tuffman Fighting Championships in action Friday night in Troy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2007

It's not every day that you can just knock someone unconscious and get away with it.

Friday night, the Pike County Cattlemen's Building became home to the Elite Tuffman Fighting Championships.

Amateur fighters from all over the county were given the opportunity to step into the ring to see who the tougher man was.

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&#8220We started the fights because there was a lot of interest from local guys who had no fighting experience,” Combat Sports Elite President Dexter Hammond said.

&#8220Now we have a means for those interested to test their skills.”

Hammond said the contest has plenty of benefits for those involved.

&#8220It gives the fighter a chance to see how good they are, he said. &#8220And it gives people everywhere a chance to see some amateur boxing in the process.”

The fighters who signed up for the contest were placed in a tournament bracket based on weight.

The fighters then square off in three one-minute rounds.

Antonio Fanning met Jesus Martinez in the first match of the night.

Fanning downed Martinez 45 seconds into the third round.

Winners then move on to a second round of fights where cash prizes and championship belts are awarded to the winners.

The four winners from the weekend contest will be invited back to fight in the Ultimate Tuffman Fighting Championship in one year.

Nick Hawkins beat Kevin Lesinski with the first knockout of the night 54 seconds into the second round.

Donald Gibson recorded a judge's decision win over Zach Berry.

Alex Young defeated Maurice Smith 19 seconds into the second round.

In one of the night's feature contests, former cage fighting heavyweight champion Sammy &#8220Big Daddy” Collingwood met local favorite James Watson.

The two went toe to toe for only 21 seconds.

The end came when Collingwood connected with an uppercut to send Watson down for the count.

When asked what made him want to be a fighter Collingwood had just one simple answer.

&#8220I couldn't sing and dance,” he said.

Collingwood was certainly all business in the ring, but after his fight he revealed his secret for success.

&#8220I know that if I get out there and I get hurt I can't take care of my family,” he said.

Collingwood attributes all of his success in the ring to the support he gets from his family.

&#8220I would like to thank my wife, Lisa, and my son for standing behind me in everything that I do in the ring,” he said. &#8220I dedicate all my fights to my son, Zavinci, and my dad.”

Of course six days a week of training in every form of professional fighting doesn't hurt a bit, and Collingwood has another family at the gym.

&#8220Clyde Cato, Brandon Barren, Ivan Kaminski and all the people at Stronghold MMA help to train me and they all do a great job,” Collingwood said.

Josh Gilley defeated Joel Kain by a judge's decision in the second feature match of the night.

Joe Herring finished the night with a split decision victory over James McCorvely.

The next Combat Sports Elite event will be held on July 7 in Montgomery. The event will be the first cage match for CSE.