WEBSTER CITY - Sick, injured, it doesn't matter. Throw an opponent in front of Michael McBride and he's going to do what he does best.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
McBride, a 26-year-old Webster City native and resident, continued to turn heads and draw loud cheers inside the mixed martial arts cage Friday night at Midwest Cage Championship's MCC 46 card at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.
McBride needed just 51 seconds to slap on a rear naked choke that forced Matt Rider to submit in their 165-pound catch weight bout that served as the card's co-Main Event. McBride improved to 3-0 as a professional - he's won all nine of his career fights, the first six as an amateur - and all three have ended in the first round.
McBride and Rider were set to face off in a 155-pound lightweight clash that served as a prelude to the title fight between MCC lightweight champion Johnny Case and Demi Deeds, but they fought at 165 after Rider informed promoters that doctors wouldn't allow him to cut the weight to reach 155.
And that didn't sit well with McBride.
FRIDAY: It's been nearly 15 months since the Daily Freeman-Journal first profiled Michael McBride and his journey in the world of mixed martial arts. Since then quite a bit has happened for the now 26-year-old Webster City resident. Read all about the journey and what is next for McBride in the next Progress section that will hit newsstands on Friday.
"Yeah, I wasn't real happy," McBride said. "I had made the cut and that got me real fired up for the fight."
McBride was dealing with his own issues in the weeks and days leading up to the fight. He tore cartilage in his rib cage while training in Arizona approximately four weeks earlier, and two days before the fight he came down with a respiratory infection that left him in a weakened condition.
"This was a big step up, so I decided I'd work through the injury and then I got really sick," McBride said. "Friday night in the locker room I just laid there because I didn't want to waste the little energy that I did have, but on my way to the cage I wasn't feeling sick anymore."
Rider caught McBride with a right hand early on, but the Webster City fighter quickly wrapped up Rider in a body lock and tossed him to the canvas. A few punches later McBride cinched up the choke and Rider had no choice but to tap.
"I do think (Rider) was the toughest opponent, especially on paper, that I've had," McBride said. "Normally I'm really good with visualization and I always picture myself winning, but it wasn't that way with this fight. I just had a really bad feeling all last week, so I was just ready to be done with this fight and move on."
Case, a longtime training partner of McBride, retained his title with a second-round TKO of Deeds. McBride is arguably the No. 1 contender for the lightweight belt, but he's said he won't step into the cage against Case.