DES MOINES - It was billed as Michael McBride's toughest fight to date in the hype leading up to the Midwest Cage Championship's Thanksgiving Throw Down at Hy-Vee Hall last Wednesday evening.
Talk about false advertising.
Making his second professional and eighth overall appearance in the mixed martial arts cage, McBride - a Webster City native - left no doubt about his standing in the organization as he remained unbeaten with a first-round beat down of Nick "The Gentleman" Walker in the 155-pound lightweight division.
A natural 175-pounder, McBride spent eight weeks trimming 20 pounds off his lean frame for the fight, and it took only 1 minute, 33 seconds for him to dispense of the veteran Walker via a rear naked choke at MCC 44.
McBride exited the cage to thunderous applause from the large Webster City contingent sitting ringside. More importantly, he left without a scratch and barely sweating.
"I was actually extremely disappointed because I expected a lot more out of (Walker)," McBride, who is now 2-0 as a pro and 8-0 overall, said afterwards. "He's been in a lot of really tough fights and he's fought a lot of really tough guys, so I was hoping this would be an opportunity for me to work on a lot of different areas. But it's always end it when you can and that's what I did."
McBride, known for his jiu-jitsu and submission skills - he's forced all eight of his opponents to tap out - stood toe-to-toe with Walker during the opening minute as the two circled the steel. Walker caught a front kick by McBride and planted the former WCHS wrestler on his back, but instead of trying to seize the opportunity, Walker allowed McBride to get back to his feet.
And that may have been his biggest mistake of the quick bout.
"He could have jumped on top of me when he caught that kick, but I heard his corner guys yelling at him to let me stand back up," McBride said. "I guess word is getting out that most people don't want to mess with my submission game."
Just a few seconds after jumping back to his feet, McBride lunged into the legs of Walker and notched a takedown near the edge of the cage. McBride quickly secured Walker's back, tossed in a couple quick jabs to the face for good measure and then cinched in the choke to force his opponent to tap out.
McBride took home $1,000 for the quick night's work.
So what's next? McBride says he'll continue to travel to the Des Moines Jiu-Jitsu Academy to train, and he's looking to return to the MCC cage in either February or March.
"They've got another card in January, but I'll probably wait until the next one to fight again," McBride said. "A lot of it has to do with the weight cut; going down to 155 isn't really enjoyable, so doing it more than three times a year probably won't happen. The last eight pounds aren't a lot of fun.
"I'll just keep training and working because either you're moving forward or backwards. The opponents should keep getting tougher and tougher."
Also on the MCC 44 card, Nick DeWitt - fighting out of Jewell - utilized the ground and pound to score a TKO of Chris Fannon with 1:07 left in the third and final round of their welterweight bout.