Garnes tastes first MMA victory
Published 8:14 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Chris Garnes of Suffolk has only been training in mixed martial arts for a short while, and he has experienced a couple of losses in the ring, but he broke through with his first victory on Saturday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk.
In the Spartyka Fight League 20: Fight for the Warriors event, he went the full nine minutes against Damian Bobbit in the 155-pound weight class and won by unanimous decision.
“Someone said he got the first round, and then someone else said it was up in the air, but I controlled the other two rounds by wrestling with him,” Garnes said.
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The 18-year-old Garnes was excited to get his first win in the ring.
“It means a lot,” he said. “The team that I’m with taught me a lot, and I can see that already.”
Garnes is part of Team Hollowpoint, which is headed up by Demar “Hollowpoint” Holloway, 29, who has five years of MMA fighting experience and is a graduate of King’s Fork High School.
Before Garnes was on the team, he took on Holloway in the ring in his inaugural fight.
“I got TKO’d in the second round,” Garnes said.
But Holloway, who currently holds a 27-6 record, noticed something special about Garnes, who he calls a “baby-faced assassin.”
“His heart in the ring was different from everybody else’s,” Holloway said, so he shook Garnes’ hand after the fight and raised his hand to the crowd along with his own. “Ever since then, I told him I want to train him.”
Garnes said he became involved with mixed martial arts when a friend decided to do it, but Garnes, who had watched fights on TV, said his motivation for getting involved was a love for the sport. Holloway saw this in him.
“My heart is just in the sport, and I can recognize when someone’s heart is in the sport,” Holloway said.
Team Hollowpoint does not have a home base yet, so for now, Holloway, Garnes and teammate Nick Peters meet at each other’s houses to train.
“He’s been coming a long way,” Holloway said of Garnes.
Garnes got knocked out in the first round of his second fight, but owned most of the fight on Saturday against Bobbit.
Holloway said what helped him win the fight was his cardio, his technique and listening to instructions.
“When I told him to do something, he did it,” Holloway said.
Bobbit enjoyed a significant height advantage, so among other directives, Holloway said he told Garnes, “As soon as you feel comfortable, take that shot, take him to the ground.”
Garnes said, “I just had to get him to the ground, and that was it.”
Also on Saturday, Holloway defeated Chris Gardner in the 170-pound weight class by submission in the first round, and Peters defeated Orlando Wade in the 155-pound weight class by submission in the first round, as well.
In two weeks, Garnes fights again in Roanoke, and then on Sept. 5, he has a fight in Chesapeake.