Local MMA pro Orion Cosce gave the fans what they wanted to see at the Bear River Casino fight night on Saturday, winning the main event against Wally Wester on a third-round TKO to take his record to 6-0.
It was a fitting farewell for the local hero, and a former Hoopa High wrestler, who appears destined for bigger things and unlikely to fight here on the North Coast again.
Cosce was facing his biggest test yet as a pro fighter, according to his trainer and fight night promoter Brian Wilson, and he passed with flying colors.
“It was a pretty competitive fight, and I think he won every round,” Wilson said. “This guy was a true test for Orion. This is the best fighter he’s faced and he answered the test.”
Cosce’s career has been building momentum over the past couple of years and Wilson believes big things are in store for him and his brother Louis, another up-and-coming local star who is also 6-0 as a pro.
“They’re the best fighters in the area, and two or three years from now they’re going to be among the best fighters in the world,” Wilson said. “We’ve been treated getting to witness them here.”
The two brothers have played a big role in the success of the Bear River fight nights and establishing the sport at the local level.
“Orion, he’s definitely a guy who has helped build this show for us,” Wilson said.
Saturday’s fight night was another huge success, according to the promoter, and another sellout, with last minute standing room only spots quickly taken.
More importantly for the fans, it was an entertaining night of action with all 10 fights close affairs.
“It was a great night of fights,” Wilson said. “It was pretty epic.”
Another local fighter, Jacob Hodge, lost his fight to Christian Agosto on a second-round triangle choke.
Hodge is another wrestler from Hoopa who Wilson believes has a bright future in the sport, along with his brother Robert, who was also scheduled to fight on Saturday before his opponent backed out at the last minute.
Wilson believes Jacob will learn from the experience.
“I think every time these guys lose and have to face that adversity, it’s a learning experience,” he said. “They’re getting better every day, win or lose.”
It was Cosce, however, who once again stole the show, and Wilson says he’s proud of what the local pro fighter has achieved.
“Orion started when he was a teenager, and just to see him now, a man excelling, it’s been special to watch,” the fight promoter said.
Saturday night was the first of four scheduled fight nights at the local casino and hotel this year.
“It was an amazing night, and we’re grateful for all the continued support,” Wilson added.
Chris Roman, a former local MMA fighter who was scheduled to fight, also had his opponent back out at the last minute.