McBride wastes no time in winning his first MMA pro title

WEBSTER CITY – Michael McBride got into another fist fight Friday night, and like so many of his other tussles the Webster City mixed martial artist walked out of the cage without a scratch on his body.

There was something new for him to add to his fight wardrobe upon his exit, however – a championship belt.

McBride, a Webster City resident, claimed his first professional title in only his seventh fight during the Midwest Cage Championship’s MCC 55 card at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. He won his second straight bout and improved to 6-1 overall with a first-round submission of Paul Hunhoff in the co-main event that saw the promotion’s 155-pound lightweight crown up for grabs.

Fighting for McBride has never been about winning belts, although that is an added bonus. He just wants what all combatants want – a shot in the UFC. He may have taken another big step towards that goal with the latest win.

“I don’t know if (winning the MCC lightweight title) was ever really the plan. My plan was to keep getting bigger fights and if that meant a title fight along the way then great,” McBride said on Monday. “Some big names have had this belt and I’m just looking to do what they did, move on to the UFC.”

The lightweight crown was vacant because of former champion Johnny Case’s call up to the UFC. Case, one of McBride’s closest friends and training partners, won his UFC debut on Saturday when he put Kazuki Tokudome to sleep with a guillotine choke in the first round in Tokyo, Japan.

Fellow current or former UFC fighters Jeremy Stephens, T.J. O’Brien and Joe Brammer also held the MCC lightweight belt at one time.

McBride only needed three minutes to force Hunhoff’s hands and about the only damage he suffered were a couple inadvertent kicks to the groin before he tossed Hunhoff to the canvas for good.

“I don’t think I got punched once … that’s hard to ask for, to get in a fist fight and not get punched,” McBride said. “Pre-fight he said he knew it was going to be a tough fight and was prepared for a 25-minute war. I was prepared for that also, but I was planning on stopping it short of that.”

After unleashing a couple of hard punches to Hunhoff’s ribs, McBride caught his left arm and cranked it behind his back. From there he cinched up a Kimura – a type of arm lock that puts pressure on the elbow and shoulder joints.

Hunhoff (4-4) – the winner of back-to-back fights entering Friday’s clash – fought off the pain for as long as he could, but eventually had to tap out. McBride said he started to have doubts that Hunhoff would submit in the moment; the Sioux Falls, S.D. fighter is teammates with Doug Jenkins, who McBride choked out in June, 2013. Jenkins refused to tap when McBride sank in an arm-triangle choke and eventually went unconscious.

“I knew it was tight right away, but he almost sat up and out of it at one point,” McBride said. “I didn’t think he was going to give up … I didn’t know if he was going to let me bring that arm home or what.”

McBride has won all six of his fights by submission and only Jenkins has made it out of the first round.

Now it’s on to training for the Oct. 17 Bellator 129 card, which will take place at Mid-American Center in Council Bluffs. The event will be televised on Spike TV. McBride’s opponent has yet to be determined.

Training for the Bellator fight got underway on Monday, but after that McBride says he’ll go on hiatus.

“I know I have to take a little time off after that no matter what,” McBride said. “I have to get back to some family life.”

As for the MCC title, McBride says he’s open to defending it, but he also hopes to get the call from the UFC sooner rather than later.

“I’m still looking at it on a short time line,” he said. “I want to make the Big Show as soon as possible. Right now the Bellator fight is on my horizon though.”

Tickets for the Bellator show are currently on sale, ranging in price from $25 to $80. They can be purchased by going to www.bellator.com.