FALLON — One of the fastest growing sports in the country is mixed-martial arts.
On Saturday night, it was also the quickest part of the sixth annual Rural Rumble at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
None of the four bouts made it to the second round, including an early knockout posted by Gardnerville’s Gio Mackey in the middleweight main event.
Mackey sliced through Fallon’s Cody Downs in 31 seconds to improve his record to 3-2.
“It was pretty fun,” Mackey said. “I just didn’t think it would go that fast.”
The two stood toe-to-toe to open the bout, but Mackey landed a right hand to put Downs on the ground. The 6-foot-4 Mackey then straddled Downs and connected with a flurry of blows, cutting Downs under his right eye to win the fight.
“He got that first kick on me … he went for a counter and I got him with that right,” Mackey said. “It was pretty much done. I was hoping he would get back up so we could put on a better show.”
Mackay added that he has another bout lined up for Sept. 28 at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno.
Tim Nunes, coming off a thrashing from last year’s show, displayed his growth in the all-Fallon fight against Casey Diaz.
Both came out aggressive, but Nunes landed a crushing right cross to Diaz’s nose, which started to bleed, and was able to get the rookie to the ground. From there, the two grappled until Nunes was able to establish himself from the top position.
Seconds later, Nunes submitted Diaz with a keylock, where Diaz’s arm, in a 45-degree angle close to the body, was wrenched backward until he tapped out 34 seconds into the bout.
“I connected with my right, I saw his face blurt out and it didn’t register at first,” Nunes said. “I just saw that opening with his arm.”
The bout was redemption for Nunes, who was throttled by Daniel Reece in last year’s main event. Reece took Nunes to the ground and rained blows until the fight was stopped after 1:18 in the first round.
Nunes, though, said his nerves came into play, but was able to come out victorious.
“I honestly didn’t expect it to be that quick,” Nunes said. “I just wanted to give it my all.”
As for the other bouts, Dan Lewis smothered Quentin Owens of Fallon in 51 seconds.
Lewis took Owens to the ground and ended the fight with numerous blows to Lewis’ head.
Fallon’s Robert Smith was the lone fighter to reach the end of the first round but called a verbal tapout on himself after sustaining a head injury against Michael Sandidge.
Sandidge caught Smith with a blow to the back of the head midway through the first round, and Smith rarely engaged after the punch.