Mixed Martial Arts

Local MMA fighter crowned CAMO state champion


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Dupree Stewart of the Institute of Combat in Arcata has become the first local fighter to win a California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization state championship after a big win at Visalia last week.

Stewart improved to 5-0 in the cage with a third-round submission of Shane Christie in a 170-pound state title showdown at the 559 Fight Night 92.

“He did great,” trainer Juan Thompson said. “It was back and forth and Dupree just got on him in the third round and he finished him.”

According to Thompson, the ever-improving Stewart has benefitted tremendously from being a student of the sport.

“The biggest thing that you hope to see (from fighters) is that they focus and listen between rounds, and he’s really good at that,” Thompson said. “Dupree is an athlete, but he definitely listens.”

Stewart has been with the IOC for two years but only began fighting last year, and he has had an immediate impact in the sport.

“He catches on quickly,” said local MMA legend Cass Bell, who also trains with Stewart at the IOC. “He’s fast and explosive and he’s willing to learn, which is awesome.”

Bell admits winning a CAMO state title was one of his main goals before he turned pro, but something he was unable to accomplish.

But he’s proud his teammate finally got that breakthrough for the North Coast.

“To get that state title, that’s super exciting,” Bell said. “I’m super stoked for him.”

Categories: Mixed Martial Arts, MMA

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