by Merrick Parnell
Special to the Sounder
Combat Games’ “Battle at the Bay” was an action-packed night of mixed martial art fighting at the Swinomish Casino in Anacortes on July 11.
It was a night that was highlighted by the stellar performances of two Orcas Island fighters: Andy Nigretto and Colt Hausauer.
Hausauer appeared in the co-main event of the evening as a professional against Sedro Wooley’s Jesse Nutting.
Hausauer, a veteran of the cage, looked to use his speed early, as both fighters circled looking for an opening After several strikes were exchanged, the fight went to the ground as both fighters combatted for a submission.
Hausauer’s patience paid off when he was able to sink in an arm bar, which earned him the win by tap-out with less than 2 minutes into round one.
“My game plan was to stand and strike until mid-round,” Hausauer said. “I knew when I threw punches he would shoot in on me. He shot in faster than I thought, so I took him to the ground. I finally got the monkey off my back, with the win.”
With a large contingency of enthusiastic island support, Nigretto faced off against Curtis Hagg in the top-billed amateur fight. Nigretto entered the bout with a 1-1-1 record.
He went to work quickly, landing several big punches on his opponent, each strike provoking a huge cheer from the crowd. Nigretto continued to control the bout, landing several more big hooks that followed precise jabs. At the 1:57 mark in round one, with the crowd on their feet, Nigretto landed a haymaker that earned him the knockout victory. The event center erupted into a deafening roar, as Nigretto raised his arms in triumph.
“I don’t have a lot of experience as a fighter, but I can do a couple of things pretty good though, and my left hook is one of those things,” Nigretto said. “I loved every second of that fight, and winning by KO with all my fans from the island there to watch and going nuts was beyond amazing.”
Nigretto’s win impressed all in attendance, especially the Combat Games promotion, which is regarded as one of the top fight promotions in the Northwest.
“I thought Andy Nigretto vs. Curtis Hagg was the fight of the night,” said Combat Games MMA CEO Joe DeRobbio. “The crowd was electric; you could feel the energy in the room. Andy imposed his will over a much bigger opponent.”
Nigretto and Hausauer will continue to train with Orcas Fight Camp, and Hausauer hopes to contend for the 172-pound title in the near future.