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Top sports moments: Clinton Fouse wins Gladiator Challenge featherweight title
Last December, 19-year-old Colusa mixed martial artist Clinton Fouse lost for the first time in his young career.
He hasn't lost since.
He fought four times in 2012, collecting four victories, and ended his year with a dominant first-round victory in the Gladiator Challenge featherweight division title fight on Nov. 24.
Fouse (5-1) caught Michael Duenas with a strong left hook and won the belt just 2-minutes, 17 seconds into the first round while representing Urijah Faber's fight team, Team Alpha Male. Faber, the former World Extreme Cagefighting champion and current Ultimate Fighting Championship contender, was in Fouse's corner for the title fight.
"It was really cool, it was nice. (Faber) brought a bunch of people from his gym to watch me fight," Fouse said.
Only one of Fouse's opponents in made it out of the first round in 2012 and he demonstrated his developing repertoire of skills in each of his fights.
Fouse began the year with a 14-second knockout of Chris Long in March and earned his first submission victory with a guillotine choke less than 2 minutes into his fight with Dave Williams in June. He punched his ticket to the title fight with a technical knockout of Tony Dominguez in the second round of their September fight.
A growing mixed martial arts community in Colusa County provides Fouse with training partners and the Gladiator Challenge with some of its biggest draws when it comes to Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln.
Six other fighters with ties to Colusa County fought in Gladiator Challenge events in 2012; David Covarrubias, Keil McGrath, Kevin Montejano, Ronald Parnell, Santino Valdez and Alex Zuniga.