Trio Of Payson Fighters Win Prescott Event

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A trio of Payson Pankration fighters battled to victories in what is being called the biggest mixed martial arts show in Arizona history.

Bobby Gonzales, Randy Steinke and Garry Carney all won at the Rage in the Cage fight held July 26 at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

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Bobby Gonzales, Randy Steinke and Garry Carney all won at the Rage in the Cage fight held July 26 at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

During the evening, which featured 20 professional and amateur fights, Gonzales, who was fighting in the 168-pound class, defeated Rob Bursen in the first round.

"Rob proved too much for the Judo practitioner submitting him with a rear naked choke," Payson Pankration owner Wyatt Shepherd said.

With the win, Gonzales improved his overall record to 3-1.

The 155-pound Steinke beat Nick Hedrick in the first round to up his pro credentials to 4-1.

"After a heated exchange on their feet, Randy locked in a Anaconda Choke," Shepherd said.

Carney (200 pounds) was able to defeat Jason Wallace in the first round.

"Jason weighed in at 246 pounds, a huge size difference," Shepherd said. "After defending numerous take down attempts, Garry was able to transition to a choke hold called the Peruvian Neck Tie, tapping him out."

Joe Riggs, who has a 39-9 professional record, won the main event with a rear-ranked choke in the second round. The hold forced his opponent, Matt Dempsey to tap out.

Shepherd called the three Pankration victories, "a huge step for our school in getting recognition that we have some of the best fighters to come out of Arizona."

Rage in the Cage fights will be held Aug. 23 at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix and Sept. 13 at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson.

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