DES MOINES - In the days leading up to his brawl with Michael McBride, Doug Jenkins made it clear that he would rather die than tap out.
A bit dramatic? Perhaps, but Jenkins lived up to his pre-fight statement Friday night at Hy-Vee Hall during the Midwest Cage Championship's MCC 48: McBride vs. Jenkins.
It still didn't matter though.
Jenkins refused to tap when McBride, a Webster City native and resident, cinched in an arm choke in the second round, but seconds later he went to sleep and the referee stopped the 155-pound lightweight division main even fight.
McBride, the undoubted No. 1 contender for the MCC lightweight championship, improved his professional record to 4-0. All four bouts have ended by either submission or referee stoppage.
"He held true to his word," McBride said on Saturday, less than 15 hours after his most recent victory. "I'm definitely still on that high of feeling good from the win, but I'm sore."
In his first fight as the sole headliner, McBride - a jiu jitsu whiz kid - continued to open eyes with his methodical, no-nonsense approach. He controlled Jenkins (9-6) - easily his toughest opponent to date - in both rounds and never found himself in trouble.
"Both rounds went pretty similar. We had some brief exchanges on our feet, but I was able to take him down and control him in both rounds," McBride said. "I really picked my shots. I went for a lot of submission attempts and had a lot of close submissions."
The beginning of the end came when McBride tossed Jenkins to the canvas in the second round. McBride seized full mount before moving over to the side for the arm choke that put Jenkins to sleep.
"He still didn't tap out, he just went limp," McBride said. "I knew this fight was definitely a big step up on paper, so this should get me noticed. As my career is advancing, every fight has more pressure ... it feels like everybody expects you to win."
McBride continues to hold firm on his thoughts regarding the MCC lightweight belt. He won't fight title-holder, training partner and close friend Johnny Case, who was once again in his corner Friday night.
The goal for McBride has always been to get his shot at the UFC - the mecca of mixed martial arts. More convincing victories, not a belt, are what he feels will take him to that next level.
"Johnny was there; he walked me out (Friday night) and that's the only time you'll see us in the cage together," McBride said. "I don't think that having the belt is necessarily a bonus because, at the end of the day, they look at the wins and losses. The title definitely gets recognition, but I don't think that's all they look at."
McBride hopes to return to the cage sometime soon, perhaps as early as August. As for who he'll fight next, he'll leave that in the hands of MCC.
"If I can get this weight cut thing down, I don't want to take much time off because my body feels good," he said. "Hopefully they'll throw something at me and I'll see where it lines up.
"They already started talking about (the next opponent) and it's kind of up in the air right now. They could possibly bring in a big name or possibly line me up with someone else. I don't know right now."