Domination and destruction

Elsie Zwicker powers past Texas opponent, wins first title belt

An emotional Elsie Zwicker stands Saturday after winning the King of the Cage, women’s 125-pound Super Fight title belt at the Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc. Zwicker (6-4) defeated Jessica Kennett in the main event at KOTC Wrangler. Enlargephoto

Journal/Bobby Abplanalp

An emotional Elsie Zwicker stands Saturday after winning the King of the Cage, women’s 125-pound Super Fight title belt at the Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc. Zwicker (6-4) defeated Jessica Kennett in the main event at KOTC Wrangler.

With the Towaoc crowd standing, screaming their support with a deafening roar, Elsie Zwicker was the calm in the center of the cage.

There was little sign that the 125-pound powder keg was about to ignite. Little did her opponent, Jessica Kennett, know the punishment and pain that was about to be inflicted upon her.

Zwicker — calm, cool and in control — tapped her fists together as the referee signaled for the fight to begin.

The fuse was lit and Zwicker went TNT on Kennett. Launching herself at her opponent, Zwicker landed a straight right hand to Kennett’s head.

The laws of physics took over. Kennett stumbled backwards and Zwicker continued her forward motion. Attacking.

Fast and furious, Zwicker assumed immediate control of the 125-pound King of the Cage, Wrangler, Super Fight title bout Saturday night at the Ute Mountain Casino.

Zwicker slammed Kennett to the mat and started the ground-and-pound part of the beating.

Left elbow, left elbow, punch, bam, bam, bam. Vicious and ruthless. It’s the only mentality of the cage. Only the strongest will win.

“That’s my strategy,” Zwicker said about starting fast. “Dad has always told me, if you want the best seat in the house, you gotta get there first.”

Dad is Sheldon Zwicker, one of Zwicker’s trainers.

After rudely planting Kennett onto the mat, Zwicker had a great seat and could control the fight.

“There’s no waiting around to see what’s going to happen. It’s just get in and get it done.”

With five-minute rounds, Zwicker’s fast start was designed to try and get the fight stopped as quickly as possible.

She showed no mercy and the crowd was delirious. This is her crowd. Five times she’s fought as a professional for the appreciative Towaoc crowd, and five times she left the cage victorious.

Saturday night would be her sixth victory in Towaoc to push her pro record to 6-4.

Dominate and vicious, Zwicker gave the hometown fans plenty to cheer about during the night’s main event.

Zwicker, her powerful shoulders and lean arms rippling, controlled Kennett on the ground. Right hand — bam! Repeat, repeat, repeat. Zwicker pounded the El Paso fighter’s head. Kennett kept her hands up and many of the blows glanced off.

Zwicker then went to the mid-section. Two right hands to the ribs. The head and face could wait.

The crowd’s roar peaked with every punch, every elbow, every knee from Zwicker.

Then with an odd sudden shift, Kennett gained the advantage. She rolled Zwicker onto her back and the crowd let out a collective groan.

In the world of Mixed Martial Arts fighting, momentum and control is as vulnerable as a trailer house in a tornado.

Could Zwicker actually be in trouble?

But the tornado in this cage was Zwicker and she was about to again go hurricane on Kennett.

This was one storm that the Texas fighter would not weather.

In a matter of seconds, Zwicker rolled Kennett back onto her back and the punishment ensued. The crowd’s momentary concern vanished like smoke in the wind.

A hard right elbow to Kennett’s side. Two knees to the side, Kennett was in big trouble as Zwicker thrashed punishment.

It was hard to believe that Zwicker could be even more aggressive.

A left to the side of the head, a right to the face, Kennett’s eyes were closed and she was in full-blown survival mode.

Right hands hammered the woman like a revved up piston. Six, seven, eight, nine, 10 punches, all connecting, pulverizing the virtually defenseless opponent.

The referee jumped in and stopped the vicious attack with 35 seconds remaining in the first round.

It had been a year since Zwicker had fought, but she brought the same strategy to the cage that she always does.

“Whatever the first shot may be — kick, punch, elbow — whatever it is, the quicker you get in and do damage, the more likely it is that you’re going to take the fight from the start,” she said.

From that first right hand to the final ferocious barrage that ended the fight, Zwicker controlled every second of the fight except for the very brief moment when Kennett gained a slight advantage.

As the crowd continued to salute her with cheers and applause, Zwicker allowed the calmness to return.

She went to her battered opponent and hugged her. It was a gutsy effort for a fighter making her pro debut, but she was no match for the McElmo Canyon powder keg.

Zwicker’s love of the sport is about respect.

Inside the cage, the brutality is the fight. But afterwards, it’s about respect for the 29-year-old mother of four.

“You treat people with kindness and if you don’t have respect for your opponent, then I hope you do get beat,” she said, offering a small smile.

Zwicker loves performing in front of the home crowd.

“These are my people, many people get nervous about having everyone they know watching them fight but I don’t, it feeds me,” she said. “These are my people, I’m here to put on a show for them.”

Dominate, ferocious, unmerciful and ruthless. It was quite a show.

Elsie Zwicker lands a right hook on Jessica Kennett Saturday at the Ute Mountain Casino in the King of the Cage, Wrangler main event. Zwicker won the fight by first round total knockout to win the KOTC, women’s 125-pound Super Fight title. Enlargephoto

Journal/Bobby Abplanalp

Elsie Zwicker lands a right hook on Jessica Kennett Saturday at the Ute Mountain Casino in the King of the Cage, Wrangler main event. Zwicker won the fight by first round total knockout to win the KOTC, women’s 125-pound Super Fight title.

Elsie Zwicker has the upper hand Saturday on Jessica Kennett in the King of the Cage, Wrangler main event at the Ute Mountain Casino. Zwicker won by first round TKO. Enlargephoto

Journal/Bobby Abplanalp

Elsie Zwicker has the upper hand Saturday on Jessica Kennett in the King of the Cage, Wrangler main event at the Ute Mountain Casino. Zwicker won by first round TKO.