Local MMA superstar and CageSport heavyweight champion, Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton (12-2), is off to show the entire nation where he got his fight moniker from, officially signing last week with the world’s leading MMA promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Hamilton becomes the latest MMA fighter from the Northwest that has fought on previous CageSport cards, gaining credibility, and moving on to the major leagues of mixed martial arts.
Hamilton, residing in Newcastle, WA, will meet submission specialist, Oleksiy Oliynyk (48-9-1), who will also be making his UFC debut when the two step into the cage on June 28th at the AT&T center in San Antonio for “UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens.”
Training out of the prestigious Jackson’s MMA gym in Albuquerque, NM along with the reputable Seattle area gym, Ivan Salaverry MMA, Hamilton is riding a six fight win streak including two CageSport heavyweight title fights where he impressed the sold out Emerald Queen Casino showroom with two first round knockout victories. After defeating Bill Widler for the vacant CageSport title in December of 2012, Hamilton’s management team reached out to the UFC, giving them a name that has a real chance at becoming a top contender among UFC heavyweights.
Following Hamilton’s latest victory, an impressive unanimous decision over Darrill Schoonover at Canada’s leading MMA promotion, MFC 39, The UFC decided to give a real look at the local MMA star and officially offered the contract in which Hamilton enthusiastically agreed to.
“We’re always excited when one of our champions moves on,” said promoter, Brian Halquist. “Exposing the west coast’s best up and coming MMA fighters is the whole idea of CageSport. Anthony is now our third champion to move on following Trevor Smith to the UFC and Lloyd Woodard who went on to Bellator. CageSport currently has other champions ready to move on and we couldn’t be more excited about their future in MMA.”
Hamilton will be following the footsteps of many other prominent Northwest area MMA fighters who have moved onto the big stages of MMA after gaining national attention fighting for the west coast’s leading MMA promotion, CageSport. Notable names that have moved on include UFC stars: Miesha Tate, Bryan Caraway, Sam Sicilia, Trevor Smith, and Michael Chiesa.
Other prominent fighters to move on include Spokane fighters, Josh Rettinghouse and Lee Morrison. Rettinghouse signed with the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) after defeating Jeff Hatton via unanimous decision at CageSport 26 while Morrison signed on with Europe’s leading MMA promotion, M-1 Global following his victory over Julian Erosa at CageSport 25.
CageSport MMA returns to the Emerald Queen Casino on Saturday May 3rd where featherweight champion, Drew Brokenshire (9-1) will challenge lightweight champion, Justin Harrington (6-0) for the CageSport lightweight title in the five round main event of CageSport 30. Brokenshire has hinted that this could possibly be his last regional fight before stepping onto the national scene.