Tennesee’s Valor promotion jumps head first into their 2016 schedule this weekend, as Valor Fights 30 will be the first of three events in six weeks for the organization.
Taking place at The International in Knoxville, Tennesee, the fight card features 17 bouts and is headlined by a lightweight contest between Nick Gehrts (4-2) and Steve Haag (1-0). You can check out the full fight card here.
If you’re still on the fence about whether you should check out the event, we put together five reasons below that should help you make up your mind.
If you like your MMA with a side of kickboxing, then Valor is the promotion for you. The festivities will be kicked off with an amateur kickboxing bout between Roy Strunk and Alan Gilmore at a catchweight of 195 pounds. Adding in the kickboxing is a unique aspect that not many promotions feature, so you’re guaranteed to see some good standup in at least one fight on the night.
This fight card is jam packed with 17 bouts but there aren’t many that are just card fillers. The amateur card is deep and features the likes of former flyweight champion William Bolduc (6-5), who returns from an injury in a bout against Kacee Leekley (0-1).
Featherweight Nick Baker (3-2) comes from Virginia and looks to build off of a 32-second TKO stoppage over Eric Lance at Apex Fights 9 in December. He’ll face Damien Hamlin (3-6) from Kentucky.
Also, Justin Goodin (4-1) could be looking to secure a heavyweight title shot with a victory over Gavin Walker (1-1). He’s won two in a row in the first round and is ranked No. 8 in the BluegrassMMA Rankings. Walker could also be looking at a title shot with a victory here.
On the pro side of things, a couple of sneaky good fights will kick things off before the two featured bouts. Nick Collins (0-6) looks for his first win as a pro as he takes on the always interesting Josh Cate (7-9) who has laughed in the face of people who say he should retire.
Knoxville MMA’s Jason King (1-1) has a tendency to put on exciting fights, and many think he and William Ewers (1-0) will put on a show in a favorite for fight of the night.
If you can’t make it to Knoxville, the event will be streamed live on ValorFights.com for a price of $12.99. Valor puts on a high quality stream and their commentators Casey Oxendine and Adam Townsend are knowledgable and easy to listen to.
Two amateur titles will be up for grabs, as Benjamin Rowland (5-0) defends his heavyweight title against North Carolina’s Tyrone Garner (2-3), and Freddie Walker (3-1) defends his bantamweight title against Austin Childers (6-1).
Rowland is known as a big power puncher and the Kentucky native has finished four of his five wins via knockout or TKO. He won the title with a decision over Kyle Jessee in December.
Knoxville MMA’s Gehrts is just 20 years old and is quickly becoming a star on the Tennessee MMA scene. He possesses a confidence that many top fighters have, and he has shown a well-rounded game with both jiu-jitsu and wrestling skills as well as the ability to knock opponents out. His flying knee over Augusta Tindall will be on his highlight reel for the rest of his career, and it showed an added wrinkle to his game that opponents must respect.
Gehrts has a tough out here in Haag, also a good grappler and wrestler who won his pro debut with an omoplata. This is an intriguing matchup and the winner will have a signature victory on his record.