221 Industries’ “Campus Invasion” Fundraiser nets more than $20,000 for UGF Athletic Department
I’m going to type that one more time to let it sink in.
One Thousand, One Hundred, and Fifty people.
That’s how many people showed up to the fundraiser hosted by the University of Great Falls Athletic Department and 221 Industries on Saturday, December 5th.
This was no ordinary fundraiser. It’s official title was ICF 23: Campus Invasion.
221 Industries’ business is fights. MMA Fights, in particular. Started five years ago by 221 Industries CEO Cory Smith and others, the company has grown to be one of the best MMA companies in the state of Montana. Rival promotion companies for MMA look to emulate the success that 221 has achieved. 221 has found a business model and built a following nearly unrivaled in Montana.
But on Saturday, Dec. 5, 221 Industries gave back.
Enter Caleb Schaeffer, the UGF wrestling coach and athletic director. Looking for a fundraiser for the school’s athletic programs, Schaeffer had approached Smith about doing a show as a fundraiser. Schaeffer said he wanted to do something like this for a while.
“We have been trying to work this out for five years and we finally worked it out logistically, where we could have (the event) on campus, and make a fundraiser for the UGF athletic teams,” he said
“We’ve been planning it for a long time. Schaeffer wanted to pull the trigger on it, we got together a couple of months ago, and put it together,” he said.
Hence the creation of Campus Invasion.
Looking for a unique twist the two decided to make it an all amateur card, with one added twist.
Former UGF athletes would step into the ring with fighters from around the area. Of the nine matches, six of them featured UGF alumni, with one match pitting two UGF athletes against each other.
The tactic worked like a charm as the crowd was made up of several former and current UGF students who would chant “UGF! UGF!” when one of their own entered the six sided cage.
By merely having a side to root for, the crowd’s energy made the event electric, fun to watch, and fun to be part of.
All athletes donated their time for the fundraiser. Former Great Falls High and UGF athlete Chea Hollis headlined for the evening against Zee Featherland from Rocky Boy. By the time Chea entered the arena, the crowd was already pumped and loving it.
221 Industries ran the show at cost for UGF with all the proceeds going directly to the Athletic Program.
With the reputation 221 Industries had built, there were hopes for a stellar turn-out, and they didn’t disappoint. Though final figures were not available at the time of this writing a 221 Spokesman said that those 1,150 people generated more than $20,000 for the University of Great Athletic program.
Not bad for a single nights work.
Both Cory and Caleb expressed interest in doing another event in the near future.
Time will tell if that happens.
But for one night, everyone was a winner.
David Lopez (UGF) TKO over Dakota Ruthford in 33 seconds.
Lopez used his size and strength to gain an advantage over Ruthford, bull rushing him to the corner and then using his strength body slamming him to the ground before punching him to submission.
Sean Ibsen TKO over Mark Duncan in 26 seconds.
Ibsen took Duncan to the ground quickly using the most impressive maneuver of the evening, a german suplex which made this viewer worry about Duncan’s health. Luckily he was okay. However, once he had him on the ground Ibsen made short work of Duncan.
Ryan Martin (UGF) TKO over Brandon Scribner in 47 Seconds
Martin is a wrestler by trade while Scribner was looking to stay on his feet and box. Using traditional wrestling moves Martin got Scribner to the ground and actually looked like he was going for the pin, before he realized this was MMA. Using punches to his downed foe he quickly achieved the victory.
Braylin Larson TKO over Richard Kohlman in 42 Seconds
Larson and Kohlman looked to be heading towards a sparring match with both staying on their feet until Larson connected with a strong right handed punch which sent Kohlman down in quick order. Once down Larson made short work of a dazed Kohlman. Post victory Larson did flip which can be seen in the highlight reel in the video above.
Blake Green over Jason Gervaios after 1 round. (Could not answer the bell, Doctor Stoppage)
Within 16 seconds Green had Gervaios pinned against the wire, while
Gervaios was able to stay upright and get himself uncornered the body shots by Green finally wore him down and Green body slammed Gervaios to the ground at the 1 minute 30 mark. Once on the ground Green opened up a barrage of punches to the downed Gervaios who despite being cut open did not submit. After the bell rang and the fighters went to their respective corners, trainers wouldn’t allow Gervaios to continue.
Joseph Valercia (UGF) TKO over Cody Vukasin (UGF) in 50 seconds.
Valercia was a last minute replacement on the card, a wrestler by trade. He was going up against Vukasin, a basketball player by trade. Vukasin’s original opponent was supposed to be a boxer, and you could tell his training technique had been built on that. Vukasin attempted to use kicks and his lengthy reach to keep Valercia at bay. As a wrestler Valercia waited for the opportune moment, caught one of Vukasin’s kicks and then body slammed him to the ground. Once on the ground Valercia unleashed some brutal knees and punches to a downed Vukasin until he achieved victory.
(Editors Note: Kudos to both fighters for going through with the fight for the sake of the fundraiser. It’s never ideal to step into the ring when you haven’t trained, or step into the ring when you get a new opponent that you weren’t training for.)
Shawn Lau (UGF) TKO over Johnny Jackson in 37 Seconds
Lau was on the attack from the get go, using his wrestling maneuvers to corner Jackson and then getting him in a headlock as Jackson attempted to escape. Once Lau got Jackson on the ground the match ended quickly.
Brock Picard (UGF) Submission over Bryan Madploom in 1 Minute 17 seconds.
Picard went on the attack quick. Taking Madploom down to the mat within 10 seconds of the match beginning. Picard then unleashed a barrage of punches, as Madploom attempted to get up Picard went with a submission hold that eventually led to the victory.
Chea Hollis (UGF) 3 Round Decision over Zee Featherland
Zee Featherland was a last minute replacement on the card. She drove down from Rocky Boy to compete for the fundraiser. Her and Chea provided the best match of the night. Zee had reach and weight over Chea who had been training for a different opponent. Zee had experience but looked like her conditioning was lacking. This was also the only woman’s match on the card.
Round 1: Zee attempted to keep Chea at bay with kicks and her long reach. Chea caught her mid kick and took her to the matt within the first 20 seconds. Zee’s experience showed as she hooked Chea’s legs preventing her from getting leverage for punches. The remainder of the round had Chea slowly escape and place blows to the head and body of the downed Zee until the bell rand.
Round 2: Zee kept her distance from Chea this round using her length to her advantage and avoided being taken to the mat. Both women connected on some punches. Zee connected one to the bridge of the nose on Chea, who then charged blindly towards her, with Zee avoiding the close contact by sidestepping.. Near the middle of the round Zee looked a little gassed, which would be understandable, this is when Chea connected on a couple of punches. The two women were at a stale mate until the end of the round with neither coming out a clear victor.
Round 3: Chea got a hook of a leg within the first 10 seconds and drove Zee to the side of the cage. Zee was able to work her way up when Chea committed an accidental low blow which paused the match for a short bit. Once they reconvened Chea once again went in low and used her lower stance to take Zee down to the mat. Zee once again hooked the legs but her fatigue got the better of her and Chea was able to escape this time placing body blows with punches and knees now that she had leverage. The match ended as Chea was unleashing a barrage of punches yet Zee never yielding. Making for the most entertaining match of the evening, Chea won via decision.
6 Things I Think
- Only one match went past one round.
- Of the 9 matches only 3 of them lasted more than a minute.
- Amatuer matches are entertaining because at this level one combatant usually makes a mistake which leads to an “Ooooh!”, “Aaaah!”, or ouch moment.
- Over $20,000 raised!?! For a fundraiser?!?! I’m in the wrong line of work.
- Kudos to 221 Industries for putting on the event.
- Watch the highlight reel and story at the top of this story. It will make you more popular.