North Platte native Adam Lee survived an early onslaught from Gatlinn Smith to win in the first round of the main event of MCF 24: The St. Paddy’s Beatdown on Saturday at the D&N Event Center.

The bout began with Smith, a native of Harlan, Iowa, knocking down Lee. Lee got back up and landed a shot at Smith. But Smith got Lee in a guillotine choke hold. Smith went to the ground to tighten the hold.

It was a mistake. Lee got out of it, worked his way on top of Smith and pummeled him with a number of punches until the fight was stopped.

It was the first time Lee has fought in front of his hometown fans and he told them in the post-match interview that they pumped him up.

“You guys are so loud,” said Lee, who has won two of his first three fights with the other being a draw. “I love it.”

Lee’s comeback was fitting for how the night of fights went. The original main event between MCF veteran Blayne Richards of Omaha and Nolan McLaughlin of Colorado, the only professional bout scheduled, was scratched because one of the fighters failed to make weight.

Another highlight was the mixed martial arts debut of Marcus Vigil. Vigil, also of North Platte, made an emphatic statement by knocking out Sheldon Long of Ogallala in just 12 seconds.

North Platte native Jareb Huerta won his fight over Jerod Padilla of Colorado with a rear naked choke hold. Huerta celebrated by opening a can of Busch Light and he had some words for Padilla’s supporters.

In the lone women’s fight of the night, Kyrsta Openshaw of Wallace lost her debut fight to Vanessa Flores of Kearney. Flores dominated the fight but Openshaw showed a lot of resiliency. She lasted until the third round when Flores won with a rear naked choke.

In the second to last fight of the night, the two most seasoned fighters on the card, Isaiah Robinson of Omaha and Gabe Trinidad of Denver, went the distance with Robinson getting the split decision victory.

There were 13 fights on the night in the 11th St. Paddy’s Beatdown for MCF.

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