Sterling Tiger Steps in the Cage

By Ethan Robinson

Dylan Prelle’s double-leg takedown urged the widest reaction of the night.
Photo credit to at

On Saturday Oct. 1, one of SHS’s very own seniors made his mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fight debut.

Dylan Prelle travelled to Aurora for the “Kickdown” promotion. Having turned 18 just two days prior to the event, Prelle expresses that he may be one the youngest to ever fight in a promotion like this, perhaps in the entire state of Colorado.

Prelle had been preparing for this debut since July, his manager Paul Garcia at Garcia Sports lining him up for this fight based on weight and experience. Prelle has been fighting much of his life, starting wrestling in 8th grade, boxing in Sophomore year, and now partaking in MMA. Prelle has earned the nickname ‘Bad Boy’ from his sparring partners, for a brand of sports clothing and for his spirit in the fight. Least to say, Prelle was ready to make his MMA debut.

The event center was packed, kicking off with muay thai and going into MMA. Prelle’s fight was one of the few just before the main event. His opponent was Danny Eaton from Castle Rock, and was shorter but only slightly heavier.

Eventually, it came time for Prelle to face his enemy, and step into the cage. The debut fighter was sure to remain calm, aware that impending nerves may weaken his energy and so ruin his entrance into blows.

In the first round, Prelle went out there and dominated the striking. He came out swinging and cracked his opponent with a good punch. After spending time trading a few light jabs, Prelle then wrestled him to the ground and got him into a full mount position. He sat on the shorter man’s chest and dropped good solid blows on him like artillery. The frenzy was ended with the opponent turning his head and Prelle striking an illegal blow. The referee then pulled them back and returned them both to standing position.

The next round began with a flurrying exchange of blows. Prelle got a few locks in, landing his knee into his opponent’s stomach. Then, Prelle lowered and braced for a double-leg takedown, slamming his opponent into the ground. Prelle then got on top of him, trying to get around his legs, but his opponent in the process had reversed him and got on top of Prelle with a full mount. The punches went raining down on Prelle, but the referee was pretty fast on stopping the fight after that.

The opponent won by a technical knockout, with the referee stopping the fight because he thought Prelle was taking too many punches. Although, Prelle put up a really good fight, coming out rather unscathed while his opponent ended up bruised and battered. Many spectators and trainers saw Prelle as the real victor and believe the referee called the fight off too early.

Prelle has learned a lot from both this fight and his entire training.

“Winning and losing doesn’t really matter,” Prelle said. “When you think about it, it’s the experience that’s more important.”

Through boxing, Prelle learned to not just be in shape but to keep getting up and taking those learning experiences. His biggest inspiration is his father, who won a Golden Gloves tournament when he was younger. Prelle’s father has been pushing him since day one.

Prelle may pursue MMA as a career after high school, but definitely plans on maintaining it as a hobby.

But what’s closest on the horizon for the Tiger Cage Fighter? Possibly another fight on Dec. 3, where Prelle will emerge better and stronger, “that’s for sure.”

But no matter what, Prelle knows to stay resilient for all that’s ahead in life.

“You just gotta roll with the punches, and take what life gives ya,” he said.