Cass Bell broke with tradition on Saturday night.
This time he won in the first round instead of waiting until the second.
Making his fourth trip to the prestigious Bellator events, the Arcata native ended his bantamweight fight against Isaiah Rocha at the 1:21 mark of the first round.
“He did everything he was supposed to,” Bell’s trainer John “Juan” Thompson said from the SAP Center in San Jose where the fight took place. “Everything we worked on. Everything went according to plan.”
Bell, who won his three previous Bellator fights in the second round, improved to 4-0 as a pro.
It was his most emphatic win yet.
“Cass caught him with a left hook and he dropped and Cass pounced,” Thompson said. “He choked him out. His opponent passed out.”
Bell’s teammate Tyson Miller, a former Eureka High wrestler, also won his fight at Bellator 226 on Saturday night, defeating Albert Gonzalez in a 180-pound catchweight fight.
Miller, who was making his professional debut in the sport, won with a first-round TKO, breaking his opponent’s leg while checking a kick.
“I’m definitely happy with the way he fought,” Thompson said. “He listened and he followed the game plan.
“It was shaping up to be a great fight.”
Both Miller and Bell fight out of the Institute of Combat in Arcata.