Freight Train detailed but not done after MMA loss

Aug. 28—By Mike Kays

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Alfred “Freight Train” Walker for about a year has taken not only himself but scores of others on the track of opportunity.

On Saturday night at the Civic Center, that opportunity was seized by his opponent in the featherweight division, Chuka Willis of Kansas City, Mo.

Willis used two takedowns, both in the first minute of the two rounds the fight lasted, and had total control of the match until capping it with a guillotine choke 2 minutes and 2 seconds into the second of three five-minute rounds.

“It is what it is,” Walker said, getting a cut above his left eye stitched up in his locker room. “I wasn’t expecting his takedown game to be as good as it was, to use it and control the match.

It was a game changer.”

Walker, 35, is now 9-6 in MMA after a 19-2 run as a kickboxer. Willis, who last time out beat the top-ranked fighter out of Georgia, improved to 12-6.

“I’m more of a stand-up guy and he was the better man fighting the way he wanted to and that’s one of the ways I’ve got to be able to get better,” Walker said.

Walker’s clock is well past some of those who were making amateur debuts. It’s also been ticking while he’s opened his own gym and spent additional time building and promoting his own cards. This was the third River City Fights series he helped promoter and trainer Ty Pilgrim with in the last year.

“I feel like I’m in tune (in the cage) but maybe not, obviously,” he said. “Maybe too many irons in the fire. I’m still learning and catching up, and he had the right game plan, and all that showed.”

Walker isn’t exiting the track though.

“I know I haven’t got too many more years of opportunity,” he said. “I’ve got a great team but maybe some pieces aren’t where they need to be now. I want to continue to get better and have the right people around me to get better.”

In the opening MMA match and first of eight amateur battles, Kyler Clapp of Edmond used her superior height and reach to keep Krista Camarillo of Altus at bay for a unanimous decision in a three-round women’s strawweight battle which served as the debuts for both fighters .

Another Muskogee fighter, in his debut bout, Darius Lewis was stopped 1:40 into the first round of his lightweight fight by Samuel Dawes of Coweta, who got his first win in three attempts. Lewis, a 2017 MHS grad and former wrestler, got a couple punches in before being taken to his back, then rolled over and lost leverage against his opponent at that point.

Michael Korves of Fort Smith landed a late right to the head of Keenan Houston of Fort Worth just after a break-up. Houston survived to the end of round 1 but spent the first 1:37 of the second round absorbing a constant assortment of punches until the bantamweight fight was stopped.

Another making his debut, lightweight Steven Ertle of Muskogee took 1:13 to defeat Jocob Lacy of Fort Worth.

“I wanted to work my stand-up game a little more. I’ve been in ju-jitsu a long time,” Ertle said.

Tyson Hume wasted little time in his debut. The Webbers Falls native and Warner Schools teacher who trains at Walker’s gym took 46 seconds to stop Ramon Duran, taking him to the canvas early and gaining submission in a flyweight battle.

“I saw my setup, he was backing up and as soon as he stepped in I went to my wrestling game, which I’ve been doing since I was a little kid and also did in college,” said Hume.

Ulisses Munguia of Jenks dropped Ramon Duran to the mat with an early kick, went on top and stayed there with punches until 1:54 of the first round of their welterweight battle, earning a TKO.

In the first of two fights to go the distance, Gerrick Rea won his cruiserweight bout by a unanimous decision over Zachry Noetzold. Rea, of Wagoner, won his debut with all three judges scoring 130-127. He fought off a height and reached disadvantage with his aggressiveness, but needed every bit of energy to do so. Notezold was another Fort Worth fighter.

“My goal with his advantage was to try to get inside kicks in and work inside and just being over-aggressive was the key for me,” Rea said.

The other distance-goer featured Brandon Conrad of Tahlequah, a one-time high jump state champion who won his debut at River City Fights 2, who lost a unanimous decision to Amador Barraza of Mexico in a welterweight tilt. The 30-26, 30-27, 30-27 score was boosted by Barraza’s throwdown putting him on top the majority of round three.

The first of the two pro matches ended with Steven Moore of New Mexico tapping out in 3:26 of the first round of his lightweight match to Jerry Mayes of Fort Smith, Ark. Mayes is 2-1 and Moore dropped to 3-3.

In a pair of grappling preliminaries, Zach Moore defeated Malik Thompson and Jack Shell defeated Cameron Veales.

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