Several amateur prospects showcased their ability on a Tuff-N-Uff card at the Orleans on Friday, but a gruesome injury stole much of the spotlight.
William Kowalski used his muay thai skills to pound on John Gettle for the better part of two rounds, but Gettle caught Kowalski in a keylock and snapped his arm just before the bell to end the second round.
"If you ever take a twig and break it in half and feel that pop. That’s just what it sounded like," Gettle said. "It just went through me. I could feel it. I think everybody heard it. I heard it and I felt it."
Video of the injury was put up on the Internet almost immediately.
Medical workers needed about 10 minutes to stabilize Kowalski’s arm and remove him from the ring, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
"Fortunately, from what they tell me, it was a clean break and he should be ready to fight again within three months," Tuff-N-Uff president Barry Meyer said. "He’s already asking for a rematch."
Meyer said it was probably the worst injury any fighter has suffered on one the organization’s approximately 20 cards.
It’s fortunate for Kowalski that the injury occurred in Nevada, where amateur promoters are required to provide insurance for the fighters.
Meyer said Tuff-N-Uff provides $25,000 in insurance on each fighter on its amateur cards. He said it’s not like that in every state.
"Some don’t even have medical doctors or do any checking," Meyer said.
The injury was a disquieting footnote to what was a solid card overall.
Chris Holdsworth again proved to be one of the top amateur prospects in the area with a first-round TKO over previously unbeaten Gor Mnatsakanyan. Holdsworth dominated Mnatsakanyan to defend the organization’s 135-pound title.
It was likely the 23-year-old Las Vegan’s final amateur bout.
"I think it might be time for me to start looking at some pro organizations," Holdsworth said. "That’s my fifth (amateur) fight all ending in the first round and I’m very happy it ended that way."
Tuff-N-Uff hosts its next amateur card March 26 at the Orleans. That event will feature Ryan Couture, the son of UFC star Randy Couture.
■ WHAT LUCK? — Brian Bowles instantly made a name for himself in August when he knocked out Miguel Torres to win the World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight title.
Torres had been considered the best fighter in the organization and one of the best in the world. Bowles has heard detractors say he landed a lucky punch.
The unbeaten Bowles, 29, disagrees with that notion.
"I don’t exactly know what a lucky punch is," he said on a conference call. "I mean, you’re out there fighting and you’re throwing punches, and you’re trying to punch somebody, and you hit them, then I don’t know how that’s lucky."
Bowles will defend his title for the first time against Dominick Cruz at WEC 47 on Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.
Torres will fight Joseph Benavidez on the card, which also features former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion Jens Pulver.
The card will air live on Versus (Cable 38) starting at 7 p.m.
■ MAINSTREAM EXPOSURE — UFC lightweight champion and native Hawaiian BJ Penn helped CNN cover the potential tsunami Saturday.
Penn appeared on the network to describe what he and his family were seeing as they watched the water from a safe distance on high ground. CNN also used the live stream from bjpenn.com to show the waters of Hilo Bay.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509.