MMA gets hairy

Arena Rumble draws loyal following

Ernye may be 5, but he knows his mixed martial arts.

“He goes to every MMA event there is around here,” said Ernye’s caretaker, Michele Hertz of Garfield. “He likes when the crowd gets loud and obnoxious. He pants and gets excited, kind of like he’s doing right now.”

It bears noting Ernye – pronounced Ernie – is a Shih Tzu-Pomeranian mix.

Ernye sat a weak Frisbee toss away from the cage for Arena Rumble, a 14-fight mixed martial arts card held Saturday at Spokane Arena.

Hertz and her husband, Dan, were in attendance to support their friend, Spokane’s Lyle Beerbohm, who entered the night undefeated (22-0) for his bout with Kyle Martin at 160 pounds.

Beerbohm’s result was unavailable at press time, as well as results from fights featuring Coeur d’Alene’s Trevor Prangley, Spokane’s Ben McCombs and the co-main event touting Jeremy Horn and Jason Guida. Late results will be in Monday’s paper.

Area fighters competed in 10 of the 14 fights, highlighted by Josh Queen’s stunning knockout of Brad Imes in a heavyweight bout. Imes dominated much of the first and second rounds, and Queen appeared to be arm weary when the final round began.

Queen pressed Imes against the cage, however, and a sweeping right hand caught Imes on the top of the head and knocked down the Missouri native.

Carmen Cassella knocked out fellow Spokanite Matt Williams with a stiff left hook in the second round of their 185-pound fight.

Spokane’s Mike Hanks bloodied Brazilian jiujitsu specialist Sidney Silva in a fight at 155 pounds, but the three judges awarded Silva a 29-28 victory on each scorecard. The decision elicited widespread boos among the fans.

Fighting at 185, Tyson Jeffries of Gresham, Ore., submitted Will Noland of Nine Mile Falls, Wash., with a triangle choke in the second round.

Zach Lari of Coeur d’Alene lost to Honolulu’s Tyson Lam via unanimous decision at 135 pounds in the night’s opening bout. Coeur d’Alene’s Arley George lost to Hawaiian Ricky Wallace at 150 pounds.

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