Glenwood’s Rodgers notches kickboxing win in GJ
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Tyler Rodgers said he wants to polish his stand-up game, something he doesn’t always get a chance to do when taking mixed martial arts (MMA) fights.
So last Saturday’s High Desert Rumble in Grand Junction was a breath of fresh air for the Glenwood Springs High School graduate. Set up with a kickboxing match, Rodgers made the most of a chance to work on his stand-up skills, scoring a three-round decision over Colby Lilly of Moab, Utah.
“I won all three rounds,” Rodgers relayed. “I killed his legs pretty good. Other than that, it was just a fight.”
A third-round kick to the Lilly’s spleen also helped Rodgers’ cause.
“That made him fall over a little bit,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers, who trains with High Desert Martial Arts in Grand Junction, improved to 2-0 in kickboxing matches. The 20-year-old is 4-2 in MMA bouts in his brief fighting career.
In MMA showdowns, Rodgers runs into many a fighter with a background in wrestling. That keeps much of the action centered on the mat.
“I want to work more on my stand-up game right now,” he said. “Honestly, I just like hitting people. With MMA, you get a lot of wrestlers. [I want to work on] striking instead of wrestling right now.”
Rodgers formerly trained with Art of Defense in Glenwood Springs. He recently switched to the Grand Junction outfit and makes the hour-and-a-half trip west on Interstate 70 four times a week to train.
Rodgers hopes all that time spent driving – and training – translates into a bright future in fighting.
“Hopefully I’ll keep fighting for a while,” he said. “Someday I want to make a name for myself, maybe open my own gym, martial arts school.”
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.