Dave Koenig couldn't have given a better example of how far he’s progressed in the cage while picking up his second career win at Brawl Inc. Clash At The Clarion on Saturday.
Koenig, of Branson, submitted Shawn Bales, of Grove, Oklahoma, only :59 into their heavyweight matchup.
Their fight followed the same script as Koenig’s mixed martial arts debut in October, 2015, only with an entirely different finish. Koenig lost his first fight when he was submitted by Christopher Gideon after being taken to the ground.
This time around, Koenig (2-1) took Bales to the ground, only to have Bales roll on top of him. Not deterred, a composed Koenig got a hold of Bales’ right arm and locked him in a kimura.
“I was depending on my jiu jitsu,” Koenig said. “My adrenaline went quicker than I expected it would. But I had a feeling my ground game would pull me through. I wasn’t going to deviate from that. I go between my ground-and-pound and my jiu jitsu, but jiu jitsu is always there for me.
“I got him in the kimura hold and ‘hipped’ him over and I was going to keep holding on to that.”
“It was good to see him pull it off,” said Rick Koenig, Dave’s father and coach at Koenig Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. “It always makes me feel good to see him do jiu jitsu because it’s what we specialize in.
“He’s been in that same position a million times with a lot more skilled individuals, and I’m not trying to take anything away from (Bales). I didn’t really see any threat at all. It was just a matter of where Dave was going to take him.”
For Bales (4-8), a former Cage of Honor super heavyweight champion, it was his sixth straight loss, with all but one of the setbacks finishing in the first round.
Koenig wasn’t taking anything for granted and came out with vengeance. He took two mighty swings at Bales that missed, before taking him down.
“I was trying to end it quick,” said Koenig, who had a :46 TKO at RFA 46 in December. “That’s my gameplan. End it fast and end it hard. It went a little longer than I hoped."
The fight was the card’s co-main event. Koenig’s first two fights were on undercards.
“It was a little nervewracking to wait, but I had a good feeling about the outcome with all my training,” he said. “I went kind of catatonic. I don’t think about anything. I go numb until the fight starts.”
With two wins in two months, Koenig wants to maintain a busy pace. He’ll take part in a jiu jitsu tournament this coming weekend.
“I don’t need rest,” Koenig said. “I’m planning on a lot of victories. If I can take out more skilled opponents, it could lead me to the top. But I’m in no rush. I’m just happy I get the matches I do and am looking forward to my next one. This feeling is more intense than any other feeling you will have doing anything else. I’m flying on a cloud right now.”
The Branson Fight Club’s John Bui lost in his cage debut, as Aaron Schlossler, of Cape Girardeau, caught him with an arm bar at the 2:06 mark of the first round in a featherweight fight.
Schlossler improved to 2-0.
The Brawl Inc. lightweight belt now belongs to Jed Queen, of Mountain Grove. Queen submitted Andrew Seigsmund, of Springfield, with a kimura at the 3:41 mark of the first round.