In his corner, Spc. Kenneth Dewey readied himself to fight a teammate.
This wasn’t an elimination fight, though. This was the middleweight championship fight at the 2013 III Corps and Fort Hood Combatives tournament Saturday night at Abrams Physical Fitness Center.
“It was the best man wins,” Dewey said. “And, that’s how it went. And, he got me and I couldn’t get out of it.”
Dewey lost to teammate Pfc. Branden Lavey by first-round submission, but Dewey, Lavey and their teammates from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment celebrated the one title that eluded them all last year, the post tournament title.
“Last year we came in runners up and I told the coach, ‘Next year, I want to win this thing,’” said Col. John B. Richardson, regimental commander. “He brought the team together. They trained hard, worked hard, developed a bond and I think it all paid off at the end.”
Third Cavalry Regiment finished with 404 team points. The 41st Fires Brigade, last year’s champion and the runner-up in 2011, finished second with 335 points and 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division finished third with 305 points.
The 3rd Cavalry Regiment, which held a 314-240 lead over 1st Brigade going into Saturday’s championships, had six combatants fighting on the final day, including three in division championship fights.
Pfc. Lucas Greenwalt came back after a blistering start to defeat Spc. Adekunle Okusaga, 62nd Signal Battalion, for the welterweight championship. Both fighters landed punching flurries in the opening 30 seconds of the match, but after the initial outburst, Greenwalt closed the gap, took Okusaga to the mat and began wrestling. Greenwalt then mounted Okusaga from behind and attacked the back of his opponent’s head until the referee stopped the match late in the first round.
“He got me with the first punch, knocked me to the ground really hard and then I got back up and just did what I did best and just wrestle,” Greenwalt said. “I took him down and ground and pound, baby.”
Dewey actually held the advantage early as the two wrestled on the mat, but Lavey’s switched position secured the submission, one of just three in 16 fights Saturday.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” Dewey said losing to a teammate. “At least one of us won and we represented the team (together).”
Also from 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Pvt. Benjamin Craig defeated Pfc. Mayra Llamoas, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, by referee stoppage in the first round of their third-place bantamweight fight. Pvt. Joseph Rash won third place in the cruiserweight class after his first-round technical knockout of Sgt. 1st Class Wilder Smith, Carl R. Darnall Medical Center.
Pvt. Tyler Garrison lost to Spc. Jesse Wood, fighting unaffiliated, by referee stoppage in the first round of their third-place welterweight fight.
“The difference was they put about two more months of training into this year,” Richardson said. “And, I think there’s an element of pride involved. They just lost by a hair last year and they wanted to come back and make a difference this year.”