Most Butte Brawls are headlined by quick knockouts and fights that often don’t last past the early moments of the first round.
While Saturday’s edition of the Brawl did have its share of those moments, it was also a test of endurance as much as it was toughness thanks to three of the bouts on the undercard going the distance.
Only two of Saturday night’s nine undercard MMA bouts did not make it past the first round.
But the night's main event between Butte's Sam Rauch and Pocatello Idaho's Kerry Lattimer was not one of those fights.
Lattimer put his 155-pound lightweight title on the line against Rauch, the 170 champions who came down in weight.
Rauch was able to dodge nearly all of Lattimer's attacks early on, and was able to counter to gain the upper hand.
Halfway through the opening round, Rauch was able to to put Lattimer on the mat, then used his size and strength to his advantage.
Rauch landed a pair of heavy shots to Lattimer, who was on his knees, and then unleashed a flurry that forced the referee to step in and stop the fight, giving Rauch his second title.
In the night's co-main event, Anaconda's Monty Klistoff controlled Joey Murray for the full three rounds.
Klistoff used his strength to often gain top position, allowing him to either put Murray in holds, or land punches that Murray could only try to defend.
Klistoff continued that assault for three rounds and earned a unanimous decision win.
The night featured another title bout between Anthony Shurts of Helena and Gage Saunders of Great Falls at 145.
After a timid opening round, Saunders began to work the body in the second round, and landed a number of heavy shots to the ribs and kidneys. The body shots took their toll, causing Shurts to throw up in the ring. That forced a stoppage, and allowed Saunders to retain his title.
Andrew Huckeby and Ryan Ibsen squared off in what may have been the bout of the night, featuring non-stop action for three rounds.
Huckeby was challenged by the height of Ibsen, who stood 6-foot-4, holding at least a five-inch height advantage on Huckeby. Ibsen was able to use that length to keep Huckeby at bay, but when the taller fighter did manage to get inside, he made it count with a barrage of hits.
After 12 minutes of fighting, it went to the judges and Huckeby emerged with a unanimous decision.
Butte’s Dan Heick had the most impressive knockout of the night, dropping Derek Winslow of Missoula 12 seconds into the second round in the night’s opening bout.
After an opening round that was mainly spent on the mat, Heick dodge a kick, then countered with a viscious right hand that dropped Winslow and brought the crowd to its feet.
Butte’s Brandon Brisbo also impressed in an opening round win, connecting on an uppercut that led to a takedown, then guillotine submission of Eureka’s Lance Brannon less than two minutes in.
Wes Ogan made his professional debut, but had it spoiled by Andrew Cruz of Pocatello in the second round.
After a back-and-forth opening round that saw Cruz use his speed to put a number of holds on Ogan, the Butte fighter countered with some heavy shots late before the bell.
The second round imitated the first, but this time Cruz was able to get a hold of Ogan’s left arm and forced him to tap 1:46 into the round.
Other winners on the undercard were Butte’s Robert Lester, who made quick work of Randy Chippewa of Great Falls with a guillotine submission 34 seconds into their fight, Zack Dunning of Bozeman who submitted Alex Sexton in Round 1.
In addition the nine MMA fights on the card, the night featured a pair of women’s boxing matches.
Anaconda’s Teryn Green impressed fans by dominating Helena’s Nicole Geiszler from start-to-finish for a unanimous decision victory. Trilanda No Runner of Missoula was also a unanimous decision winner over Zaneta Sutherland of Rocky Boy.