So, I take it everyone is scratching their heads, wondering what is the buzz from 2016 to also carry on into what’s going to be happening in 2017!!! If by chance you weren’t in the Local MMA fight scene or if you’re wondering what’s next for the top three best MMA fight promotions in the area, or some may even say the region, this Article is about that subject.
I’m starting off with a quote from Warrior FC’s Promoter, Jimbo Collins: “You can’t go wrong with any of the promotions involved in this article. Hardrock is one of my closest friends and we have done so much together in MMA, maybe we will do something with Hardrock and Warrior soon. I just met Tim Loy at my last event. He helped me fill fights and has been really cool. I look forward to following Valor and Hardrock as we all continue to grow.”
The “New Looks” of these three promotions are the CAGE! Hardrock, Valor and Warrior FC have “gotten their cage game up!” The styles of these cages are impressive; Hardrock’s cage switching from a traditional hexagon to a full circle, 20 ft. fast past cage. Speaking with Brandon “Hardrock” Higdon about the memorable fights that have taken place in his promotion in the cage, he stated: “Brandon Howard vs. Jason Bryant from Hardrock MMA 57 was one of the worst cuts and most blood I’ve ever witnessed in person. Blood was literally spraying out of the cut. The fight was just brutal.” That brutal fight ended 3:15 into the 1st round due to the pulsing wound declaring Brandon Howard the winner and Veteran of many great fights; he left us in March 2015 – RIP brother.
As we turn the corner into the New Year, Brandon Higdon’s goals are to help develop and grow fighters. The goal for his professional fighters is to help them perfect their craft in his cage and to continue helping them, as he has others, make it into the next level with such promotions as Bellator, UFC and many more organizations.
This cage specifically catches my attention that Brandon purchased this year. In my opinion, the cage creates a close and fast pace fight where wall work will $$BE or SEEM$$ faster pace and equally beneficial for both grapplers and the foot work of a stand-up artist. I really just love the thought of the excitement that brings for the hungry fighters as well as fans that enjoy an active fight. You can personally see the new cage in action: Hardrock 84, Saturday February 4th 2017, in Shepardsville, Ky. If there is anyone that may be interested in Hardrock’s show, please feel free to check out his webpage www.hardrockmma.com. Also, if you’re interested in fighting in Brandon’s cage he suggest that you “Just text me or email me at hardrockmma.com. We run lots of events and are always looking to add new fighters.”
Blending everything accordingly, we move on from the Promotion above to Jimbo Collins’ purchase of their new cage. Jimbo Collins is creating a larger platform and bettering his showcase of a more diverse style in the sport. In my mind, those 90 degree angles of his previous square cage were easy to be cut off and pined up against, a wrestler’s delight. The new cage measures 24 ft. from corner to corner, but 22 ft. from panel to panel, which will be short lived due to his sights on getting the Absolute Action MMA’s cage better stability and stronger base. Jimbo is quoted: “The floor of the Absolute Action MMA cage is wooden planks and more sturdy than the plywood we have been using.”
Both cages are creating much of a big difference from the square cage that was a converted boxing ring measuring 22 ft. Warrior FC’s square cage has been the battle ground where the wars of the some of Kentucky’s finest have fought. Jimbo Collins relives one of the best fights in that cage saying “In the square cage I’d go with Matt Metts vs. Brandon Bell probably where a 5 round fight battle was won in the light weight division.” Matt Metts, training out of Reaction MMA, earned the Warrior FC Lightweight Belt, never counting out Brandon Bell’s success in Warrior FC’s cage. Bell has shown he is a true warrior in the cage many times throughout his reign as the Middleweight Champion, Welterweight Contender and meeting Metts at Lightweight! Jimbo Collins is the pioneer of Kentucky MMA and has a lot of great match ups coming to Kentucky showcasing regional talent in 2017. If you aren’t excited about that then you better check your pulse. Speaking with Jimbo Collins he added: “I’m excited to see the growth of these young fighters in our region. We have some of the best fighters in the world right here in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio & Virginia; several other surrounding States as well.”
Growing and becoming ever so great always includes evolving talent and if think you have what it takes to be that next talent in the region, Jimbo Collins suggests: “Blood work!” This seems to be a real issue; get the blood work and show us you’re serious. I understand there are some very successful independent MMA fighters; but, get yourself involved with a legit fight team and trainers. There are plenty of great teams around. Don’t get left behind! Go for what is burning deep down inside and take Jimbo Collins’ advice; he has seen and worked with much talent.
Warrior FC’s promotion just closed out their 130th event!!! The next show that will be coming to the Knott County Sportsplex will be Saturday, March 4th, 2017 – Where the young buck and Viper Pit’s own! Ken Beverly takes on the impressive and undefeated Nick “The Haymaker” Baker!!!!
Being geographically correct we started talking about Hardrock MMA show, showcasing talent as north as Florence to Louisville and Shepardsville, KY. To Warrior FC’s creating and developing the middle of Kentucky from Hazard, Corbin and Somerset Kentucky. As we go down, hit the border and go south where Valor fights take charge in Eastern Tennessee as promoter Tim Loy takes on more of the South East area including Knoxville, Nashville and “Good ole Gatlinburg” with his just recent cage going onto his all amateur card known as APEX (Chattanooga Tennessee January 21st) holding the National UMMAF Qualifier.
This is actually a thought: he may be plotting to use his new cage, a huge circular cage, that offers a next level feel for talent. “The new one is a 30 ft. circle with a 3 ft. catwalk around the outside for 33 total feet.” The new APEX cage has displayed a lot of Southern talent and great names have battled in this cage. Tim Loy’s top fight and he quotes: “Sid Wheeler vs. Kendrick Miree. Hands down Blood, Sweat, and Tears from both guys, literally over 5 rounds; the mat was brown afterwards.” This was Sid Wheeler’s Title defense win in the middle weight division ranking the young hopeful 19th in the South East Region winning via submission 4:32 of the 5th round, Battling the Blackzilians prospect. Talking with Tim Loy he also added that his hair is better than mine, which I can’t deny but when you see me in person and look down, just remember those shoes are on point, whatever I may choose to wear.
What are the other things that are new for Valor Fights you may be interested in? You get a two for one deal on this one where David Robins is the new Amateur Matchmaker; feel free to contact him for any interest in getting your talented fighters into the promotion. When he’s focusing on fighting himself you can feel free to contact me, Ben Sergent, and/or Tim Loy, himself! Also, look for Valor fights to stretch out their wings to Georgia in 2017. The Valor Fights Production will continue February 11th, 2017, in Nashville Tennessee as the Promotion offers amateur/professional Mixed Martial Arts bouts, as well as amateur/professional Muay Thai ruled bouts.
In closing statements, be sure to note that the Premier MMA Championship just a hair south of Ohio, still based out of Kentucky, is building quite the momentum as a strong young Promotion developing their creation as I spoke to Promoter, Billy Donovan, who stated that 2017 is going to be a busy year: “Right now the schedule is Feb 11th, April 8th and May 27th, all at the Radisson Hotel, Cincinnati Riverfront in Covington, Kentucky, (on the river directly across from downtown Cincinnati). I have an agreement with them on a handful of other dates after May, as well and waiting to get them on the KBWC calendar.” Premier MMA Championship purchased Lexington’s own Bluegrass Brawl’s cage, which I know very well and have been at home in 4 times of my fight career.