Raymond “Noodle” Strohl, Billy White and Chris Shaneyfelt each had fights this past weekend in the 3FC 15 bouts in Pigeon Forge.
Strohl defeated Nick Baker, an independent from Newport, by an arm bar in the third round.
“He had me in that triangle, and I was pretty comfortable for a minute,” Strohl said. “Then he started throwing big bombs. I started to go white for a minute, and I told myself not to give up.”
Baker controlled most of the first round after a big kick to start the fight.
While Baker kept Strohl in the triangle, he didn’t extend his hips for the full lock, as the Elite Martial Arts fighter was able to survive round one with the bell.
However, Baker did manage to land some shots on the Campbell County native.
“I thought he’d hit hard, but he hit a lot harder than I thought,” Strohl said. “I thought he was going to knock me out. I just kept pushing through and came out with the win.”
The win gave Strohl a .500 mark, as he gained his second win in a row.
Early in the third round, Strohl managed to take down Baker and land numerous thundering blows.
As Baker attempted to block the shots, Strohl made his move.
“I saw it there,” Strohl said. “He was flaring up trying to block my punches, and his arm was sticking straight out. I just went for it.
“His arm was bent at first, and I was just trying to straighten his arm out. I got it straightened out, I could get my hips up, and he tapped out. It felt pretty good.”
However, Strohl did have a momentum booster from the fight before his.
White and Shaneyfelt had a tough battle, as the two Campbell County natives battled each other during the preliminaries on Saturday.
White took the knockout in the first round, giving Strohl some momentum going into the first round fight against Baker.
“Once Billy won his fight in the first round, my momentum jumped up,” Strohl said. “I just told myself that (Elite Martial Arts) had to go 2-0.”
White won the preliminary fight with six second left in the first round.
Two big head kicks knocked Shaneyfelt to the mat early, as a third ended the fight late in the round.
However, both White and Shaneyfelt said something was different about fighting someone you knew.
“The difference about it was that he was one of my friends,” Shaneyfelt said. “At first, it was hard for me to think about giving it my all. I didn’t want to hurt him. When I got there, my mindset changed.”
For White, he really didn’t have time to think about the fight, after taking the bout on two days notice.
A fellow Elite Martial Arts competitor had to bow out of the fight after an injury.
“It’s always weird fighting someone you know, especially if you hurt them to win,” White commented. “It’s always odd to see them out and about, because it’s always in the back of your mind that you all fought. It’s always a little weird fighting someone you know.”
After working with Jeremy Bill of Overdrive MMA, White said his kick had gone up in power.
He used those new techniques to take down Shaneyfelt.
“I kicked him hard, and my foot was hurting after the first one,” White said. “He was tough. He was a lot tougher than I thought he would be. He took three big kicks. I know they were hard, and he was tough just to get up from the first one.”
For Shaneyfelt, however, the fight was something he would do again in a heartbeat. After all, he said the fight was simply fun.
“It was fun, believe it or not,” Shaneyfelt said. “He was more explosive than I figured he would be. It was an experience that I’ve never experienced, fighting one of my friends. Fighting as good of a fighter as him, it was intense.”
To both fighters, the experience was a new one.
Although Shaneyfelt came out on the wrong end of the fight, he said there’s not going to be any bad blood between the two.
“When I see him out in town, I’ll probably feel a little awkward about it,” he said. “There won’t be any hard feelings about it. We got in there, we did what we had to do, and I know we both gave it our all. It would still be in the back of my mind a bit, but I’ll still look at him as a friend as I did before the fight.”