Our photographer friend Jason Wright was in attendance at Friday’s LFC 43: Wild Thang show at the 8 Seconds Saloon in Indianapolis, and provided us with some exclusive shots from the main event — Eric "Butterbean" Esch vs. Deon West — as well as a rundown of the fight. More photos after the jump. Enjoy.
Deon West is introduced as an MMA fighter specializing in "Twinkie boxing" and "Little Debbie wrestling". No kidding. The announcer is barely able to keep a straight face. West has a pro record of 2-2.
These guys have a combined weight of just over 800 lbs. I’m standing on a little shooting perch attached to the side of the cage and all I can think about is how big of a jolt I’m going to get if these guys go hard into the fence. I really don’t want to fall off my little platform. Maybe Butterbean will land one of those big haymakers I watched him land so many times back in his boxing days so I can avoid the embarrassment of being launched from my platform.
The horn sounds and it takes less than 30 seconds for West to push Butterbean hard into the fence across the cage from me. I was right, the whole thing shook like an 8.3 earthquake just rocked the joint. It was a good thing I was anticipating it. West picks up the big ‘Bean and slams him hard. That was an impressive lift! Bean lands on his back in half guard and covers up. Bean spends the remainder of the round on his back getting pounded on by West, who gets side control and even takes the Bean’s back at one point. It looks like it might get stopped, but Bean does enough defending and throwing the occasional strike or knee to keep the ref at bay. That was a very one-sided beating. 10-9 or even 10-8 West.
West is totally gassed and tries to quit between rounds, but his corner won’t let him. He keeps shaking his head ‘no’ and it looks like the ref is going to stop it before the bell, but he reluctantly answers the bell and the fight continues.
Round 2 starts and Bean sees that West wants to quit. He swings for the fences, but never connects enough to do any real damage. Every time Bean comes in wildly swinging, West ties him up and bullies him into the fence for some lazy clinching. Damn, someone needs to spackle West’s crack before he gets confused with a plumber.
Bean throws some knees while he’s pressed up against the cage, but they don’t appear to have much on them, probably due to the resistance his legs encounter from his own gelatinous body. The ref finally separates them. Rinse and repeat for the remainder of the round — Bean comes forward swinging wildly, West ties him up and puts him into the cage, the ref separates them. The crowd boos.
Round 2 ends. West is totally gassed and determined to quit before the 3rd round starts, even though he may have this one in the bag. This time West is persistent. He overrules his corner and quits due to exhaustion, even though he was never even close to hurt. (I guess that’s what you get when you train at the Hostess gym.) Christmas comes early for Butterbean, as he is given the gift of an unearned "W", improving his MMA record to 16-8-1.
Earlier in the evening, Butterbean’s son Caleb "Baby Bean" Esch brought his 1-2 record into the LFC cage against 0-2 local Danny Surface. Unfortunately for the Esch family, "Baby Bean" got manhandled and tapped out due to strikes just over a minute into the very first round, leaving his pro MMA record at a dismal 1-3.