The Chupacabra Challenge


The bass rumbled through the speakers and could be felt by everyone at the event. Screaming fans would stand up to cheer on their favorite fighters as they were being announced, 2 enormous big screen TV’s showed highlights of the fights as well as live UFC fights that were going on at that very moment.  Lights and lasers similar to those found in a dance club flashed all over the cage, beautiful ring girls walked around the octagon, and a smoke machine clouded the air to make a solid presentation for the fighters who were about to enter the caged octagon!

On Saturday May 24th Travis Tarpein put on The Chupacabra Challenge at The OS Sports complex aka “The Bubble” on Brady Street in Davenport, Iowa.  A crowd of about 450 people cheered the entire night from the sold out VIP tables and most of the available chairs.  Clothing vendors displayed their fight inspired merchandise available for sale and Rudy’s Tacos sold all types food perfect for a fight night.  Ten fights scheduled for 3 rounds each kept the crowd entertained as the fighters demonstrated their hard earned skills in the cage.

Nicaragua native Rudy Gray displayed strong kickboxing skills as he controlled his opponent during their two round match.  A strong leg kick to Sean Kilpatric’s head followed by a solid right punch to his face was enough to knock Kilpatric out in 1:20 of the 2nd round.  Gray said he has been kickboxing for 20 years and recently finished 6 years of service with United States Marine Corps, Gray decided to try his skills in the octagon because of his passion that he has for the sport.  Gray hopes to continue training, competing, and teaching others at Tarpein’s training facility in Moline, Ill.


The main event between crowd favorite Christopher Marcelino Herrera of Bettendorf and Prentice Wheeler quickly brought the crowd to its feet.  When the bell rang to begin the fight the fighters attacked each other quick and hard, beginning with Wheeler’s solid hit to Herrera’s head.  The two locked up and brought the fight to the ground where Herrera’s solid ju-jitsu skills helped him gain control of Wheeler and put him in a position to begin punishing Wheeler by throwing punch after punch to his body.  The referee stopped the fight at 1:58 giving a knock out credit to Herrera and improving his record to 2-0.

Travis Tarpein and Ron Turscak, the two men behind the Sasquatch Tournament and The Chupacabra Challenge; put together a great show for the spectators.  Besides being a fight promoter, Travis Tarpein runs his own dojo in Moline, where 7 of the cards fighters trained.  The event was a true success with the fighters demonstrating months of hard training, discipline, and a respect for themselves and their opponents that truly helps this new sport succeed.

Chupacabra Challenge Results

• Justin Dean defeated Eric Vo by decision
• Steve Lawrence defeated Ben Ledbetter by tap out in the 1st round
• Rudy Gray defeated Sean Kilpatric by TKO in 1:20 of the 2nd round
• Kyle Goodsman defeated Andy Hursh by tap out in 1:03 of the 1st round
• Maurice Page defeated Dale Heiser by TKO in the 1st round
• Adam Schumacher defeated Chris Lane by tap out rear naked choke
• Phil Ledbetter defeated Brent Bradley by TKO in 1:30 of the 1st round
• Jordan Dean defeated Marcus Green in a split decision
• Bruce Rosenbaum defeated Randy Meade by tap out in 2:58 of the 1st round
• Chris Herrera defeated Prentice Wheeler by KO n 1:58 of the 1st round

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