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MMA: A notable return

Coty Milhausen un-retires to earn a big win Saturday at Willmar Civic Center

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Willmar's Coty Milhausen hops on top of the cage to celebrate after beating Vicente Flores Jr. in the first round of their lightweight bout on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — It had been more than two years since Coty Milhausen stepped into the cage to fight.

The 2011 Willmar High School grad stepped away from fighting. He was dealing with a divorce and was also dealing with two torn ACLs. His last fight was Dec. 15, 2018.

On Saturday, Milhausen “un-retired,” as he put it, and stepped back in the cage.

“I had a lot going on in life, so to hop back in three years later, there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Milhausen said. “Do you still got it? What’s it like? You haven’t done it so long you don’t know the feeling. I just didn’t know what to expect.”

He added: “A lot’s changed in my life since the last time I fought.”

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Milhausen’s return fight came Saturday in front of his home town at the Willmar Civic Center . He faced off with Vicente Flores Jr. for the Cage Fighting Xtreme Lightweight Championship in the co-main event.

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Willmar's Coty Milhausen (left) grapples with Vicente Flores Jr. during their lightweight bout on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

“There were a lot of butterflies,” Milhausen said. “Usually when I go and fight, I’m not the fan favorite. So to fight at home and to have everyone cheer for you, it’s a little weird to me.

“It was nerve-wracking because it’s the fight game and one punch can take you out and happen in front of everyone you know.”

With the Willmar crowd firmly behind him, Milhausen’s re-introduction to mixed martial arts proved fruitful. He made Flores submit to an anaconda choke in 44 seconds in the first round to win the championship and keep his undefeated record intact at 6-0.

“(Flores) woke me up with a pretty good jab and got my head to snap back. Then he tried bull-rushing me and taking me down,” Milhausen said. “I hit him with a snap-down, which is a simple wrestling move, then I hit an anaconda choke and puffed my chest out and extended ‘em and waited for the submission.”

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Willmar's Angel Pacheco (right) avoids a kick from Damion Hill during their lightweight fight on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

In the other co-main event of the nine-fight card, Willmar’s Angel Pacheco took on Damion Hill in a lightweight bout.

After Hill came out fast and with plenty of strikes, Pacheco was able to persevere and gain control of Hill on the ground. From there, Pacheco was able to lock in a rear-naked choke with a second to go in the first round.

Pacheco’s record improves to 4-1.

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Willmar's Angel Pacheco addresses the crowd after winning his lightweight bout with Damion Hill on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

CFX 49: CFX v. NSC

(at Willmar Civic Center)
Lightweight: Angel Pacheco first round submission over Damion Hill, 4:59
Lightweight: Coty Milhausen first round submission over Vicente Flores Jr., 0:44
Middleweight: Joey Hart vs Nick Kaaze, no contest
Welterweight: McCoy Tekautz first round submission over Mike Goettle, 1:10
Bantamweight: Lad Fisk first round submission over Patrick Kelly, 1:02
Lightweight: Tim Bender third round TKO/ref stoppage over Koel Seifert, 2:27
Middleweight: John Ivaniszyn submission over Jakob Ramert-Thompson (time unavailable)
Heavyweight: Lawrence Phillips first round submission over Derek Benoit, 1:08

Featherweight: Logan Benedict first round submission over Mike Wall, 0:27

CFX 49: CFX v. NSC at Willmar Civic Center Aug. 28, 2021

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