By Michael Canfield
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lewiston’s Billy Quarantillo is now the King of the Cage Welterweight World Champion.
Quarantillo won the title in dramatic fashion after his opponent, Ryan Fillingame, was unable to answer the bell at the start of the third round. With loud chants from the crowd of “Billy! Billy!,” Quarantillo was aggressive both standing up and on the ground. Quarantillo seemed to control the fight and nearly had several submissions.
“He’s a tough, tough kid,” he said, referring to Fillingame after the fight.
Quarantillo said the crowd “meant the world to him,” and thanked those in attendance for supporting him. He said he was “thrilled” to win the title at home.
Another crowd favorite, Joe “Son of a Legend” Taylor, announced as “the pride of Lockport,” won a unanimous decision over Alejandro Santiago. Taylor was clearly the aggressor during the fight, stalking down Santiago and hitting the Chicago-based fighter with a mix of punches and loud, cracking kicks. The fight never went to the ground, and Santiago showed visible signs of abuse from the barrage throughout the course of the fight. Despite having Santiago hurt several times, Taylor was cautious and stuck to his gameplan.
“I’m still a rookie,” he said after the fight, which pushed his professional record to 2-0. “I had a lot of patience and just took my time.”
Taylor said he’s going to take a vacation and then get back to work, watching film of the fight and getting back to the gym.
“I need some time to myself,” he said.
In the first title fight of the night, Solomon Renfro, who hails from Cleveland but fights out of Buffalo at WNY MMA, won a unanimous decision over Tate Nelson (Alabama) to secure the King of the Cage Amateur Welterweight World Championship belt.
Starting with a flurry of kicks and punches, the fight fell into a pattern where Renfro was the more aggressive fighter, attempting several times to knock Nelson out. For his part, Nelson attempted several armbars and chokes, but Renfro was able to thwart his attempts. The fight was momentarily stopped in the third round after Renfro delivered a high kick to Nelson’s head, drawing the ire of the referee. Renfro continued to carry the action to Nelson, punctuated by slamming Nelson to the mat dramatically several times.
After the fight, Renfro, who said he’s dedicated his life to MMA, said he’s ready to turn pro.
“I’ll smash all the pros and knock them out,” he said.
In the night’s fourth fight of the night, Welland, Ontario’s Anthony “The Genius” Romero won at 1:27 of the second round, forcing his opponent, Justin Perry (North Carolina) to submit from an arm triangle choke. Romero, fighting at 155 pounds, spent most of the first round trying to break through Perry’s guard, and was able to get onto his back in the second, leading to the choke.
North Tonawanda’s Eric “The Bull” Herbert made quick work of his opponent, Victor “Bonecrusher” Jones (Detroit), earning a stoppage due to strikes at the 2:07 mark of the first round. After the fight, Herbert said he wanted to fight for a title in Niagara Falls.
Former Niagara-Wheatfield lacrosse standout Evan Printup lost his fight at 155 pounds to William Ferguson. Printup, who fought in the events’ second bout of the night, landed several big shots on Ferguson before the fight went to the ground.
Ferguson gained the advantage, and held on for an armbar, making Printup tap out at the 2:46 mark of the first round.
Lockport’s Joe Taylor, left, fights Chicago’s Alejandro Santiago in a King of the Cage event Saturday night at the Seneca Niagara Events Center. Photo by Paul Battson.