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Great Performances at Mystic Lake Casino, Driller MMA Event


Three Cellar fighters entered the cage on Saturday night as Driller MMA returned to Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN. In action from our team was Caleb Merth, Ben Locken, and Katie Anderson.

Caleb Merth was the first one up for the team. He challenged tough amateur veteran, Cipriano Sanapaw. Sanapaw actually missed weight the day before so Caleb was giving up size and experience to his opponent. The first round started off well until a mistake on the ground caused Caleb to give up the mount to Sanapaw. He then had to fight his way out of a very dangerous armbar. But when the round ended, Caleb started over fresh and the fight became all Caleb Merth. He landed strong low kicks and crisp punch combinations that damaged the taller fighter. In the end, Caleb got the win by split decision. Caleb improves to 4-0 as an amateur and is now the #1 contender for the Driller MMA 135lb belt.

Ben Locken was next to the cage as he took on Ben Miller from Illinois. Locken had two opponents pull out of the fight during fight week and luckily Ben Miller was willing to step up on short notice. The two had actually fought before, more than a year ago, with Ben Locken winning by first round TKO. Ben Miller was never happy with the stoppage and had been petitioning for a rematch ever since. This match was mostly a striking battle. Locken came out landing some great punches and body kicks before dropping Miller to the mat. As Miller lay on his back Locken landed some great leg kicks to the open guard of Miller before backing away and forcing a stand up. The same situation repeated itself with Locken flooring Miller once again and again forcing the standup. With another barrage of punches, Locken dropped Miller a third time, but this time he followed him to the mat and threw some nasty ground and pound to get the TKO finish at 2:26 of the very first round.

Finally, Katie Anderson entered the cage as one of the featured female fights of the evening. Katie faced Rachelle Cook from Michigan. This was an exciting match for the fans, but a tough one for the judges. The entire fight was on the feet with back-and-forth action. It seemed like whoever was attacking was winning the fight at that moment. Katie used her footwork to land some great punches and vicious low kicks that marked up the thigh of Cook. Rachelle tried to press Katie to the fence using her boxing. We thought Katie won the fight with her low kicks causing a lot of damage to the lead leg of Cook, but the judges went the other way. Katie lost by split decision: 28-29, 29-28, and 28-29. It was still a great fight for Katie and she earned a great amount of experience. She’ll be back even better and stronger in her next match.

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