By Mike Maltais

In keeping with the attention-grabbing wildfire theme that has swept the valley of late, Twisp’s Gunnar Doggett left his opponent in a pile of smoking bones on the cage fight mat at the Warrior Camp Mixed Martial Arts tournament at Liberty Lake on Saturday (Aug. 2).

Doggett, a 2012 graduate of Liberty Bell High School and two-time state wrestling champion, fought Cornell Chunn, a 6-foot, 2-inch Warrior Camp boxer with a three-win, one-loss amateur record.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Doggett said of his debut MMA appearance. That particularly applied to his opponent, since Doggett was scheduled to meet Jason Rose of Upland, California, a member of the Joe Camacho Team. Rose was a no-show, so Chunn stepped in to fill the card.

Chunn also stepped into some solid blows from Doggett, who sparred with his taller, more experienced opponent until he recognized an advantage late in the first round.

“After I punched him, he leaned into me really hard and I that’s when I realized I could use his weight to get him down and into a leg triangle,” Doggett said.

Doggett wrestled Chunn to the mat, wrapped his legs around Chunn’s head and arm and choked him into a tap-out just before the end of Round 1.

Doggett described his opponent as a “pretty heavy hitter; he caught me once with his fingernail and I got a pretty good cut from that.”

Schoolmates Mikey Michael and Kjell Johnson and brother Haydn Doggett served as Doggett’s corner men.

Doggett is now working on building his amateur record and will fight again at Edmonds Community College on Sept. 6.