Knopp retains middleweight title

CageSport MMA returned to the Emerald Queen Casino on Saturday night, highlighted with a main event featuring top Northwest middleweight fighters, Brent Knopp and Cory Devela going at it for the CageSport middleweight championship. Ten fights took place throughout CageSport XXVIII including a featured women’s bout where Amy Cadwell was able to improve her record to 3-0 with a first round victory over Jessica Doerner (5-3) via rear naked choke.

During the show, it was announced that Halquist Productions’ Battle at the Boat will be bringing in ESPN 2's Friday Night Fights on January 10th to feature comeback boxer, Zahir Raheem, as he continues his quest to become a world champion.

After nine exciting fights took place at CageSport XXVIII, the highly anticipated matchup between former Burien resident and current Kirkland resident Brent “Mankill” Knopp (5-0) and Cory “The One” Devela (7-6) began as the filled up showroom released loud back-and-forth chants of “Cory” and “Mankill”.

The first round of the championship fight was primarily controlled by Devela who came out fast and was all over Knopp, pinning him against the cage and throwing a plethora of shots, while being able to eventually get the fight to the ground. While on the ground, Devela came close to locking in a rear naked choke that would have ended the fight, but an intense hand battle prevented Devela from getting anything secured. Back on their feet with limited time left remaining in the first, Knopp threw a devastating hook that dropped Devela to the canvas, but right as Knopp moved in to take advantage, the bell sounded, and the fight continued on to the next round.

In the second and third round, lots of power was on display as both Knopp and Devela continuously exchanged, leaving the fans in attendance in complete awe. As the fight went on, it was obvious that Devela was gassing out rapidly and as more time went by, the momentum quickly shifted to Knopp. In the fourth round, Knopp was able to finish Devela as he pressed the fight and forced Devela to the ground. Devela who had nothing left in the tank couldn’t stop the relentless pursuit by Knopp and the referee stepped in at the 2:37 mark to stop the fight. Improving to 5-0, the victory marked Knopp’s first official defense of his middleweight title.

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