When I drive north on Interstate 29, it’s usually for a short return trip to my childhood home of Maryville. But on this Friday I-29 took me much further north for a pro/am MMA event in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Dan Lewis, the owner of Tri-State Cage Fighting, invited me up Thursday afternoon as part of a telephone conversation. Dan has been promoting mixed martial arts events for nearly a decade, starting at his bowling alley in Sioux City.
He has promoted, sponsored, matched up and announced household names such as Chad Reiner, Houston Alexander, Jeremy Horn and Josh Neer. On this night there was only one name that struck a chord with me: Jason Purcell.
A veteran of 80 some fights, Jason has been in the cage with nearly every light to middleweight fighter in the midwest. He met his demise early in round 1 to a young opponent, but was game and entertaining as ever.
Less than 500 souls filled Lancaster Events Center for a nine-fight card. There were three professional bouts that were all worth the drive from Kansas City.
I had planned on attending to watch my last opponent, Dallas Browning, do work inside Dan’s cage. A last minute injury forced Dallas’ opponent to back out. Instead, I did what is commonplace for me at a mixed martial event, I sold Hillbilly Fight Wear.
My brand has never been north of St. Joseph, so this was a reach for our business. Nonetheless we were received greatly and made enough sales to pay for the product sold and some gas. We even squeezed in some gas station grub for the long drive home, arriving at nearly 3 a.m.
I always meet some interesting souls and definitely have some honest conversations. At the end of our evening I sold an “Obama Would Tap to Strikes” window sticker to a black fella with gold in his grill.
Every educated MMA fan understands what that statement is proclaiming. It’s not a racial statement, but rather a character judgement. That is what is awesome about this sport, and that is why Hillbilly Fight Wear takes the stand.
We say what everyone is thinking in plain respectful English. I call it thumpology, and I stand by my premise. In an economy like the world is currently experiencing, what more cost effective way to settle community issues? Thump a stranger.
Saturday I had time to squeeze in a workout, visiting Impact Fitness in Riverside. This locally owned gym is functional and welcoming. They even hung a heavy bag from the steel structure. I hang upside down with it in my guard and do situps. It’s a fun ride.
Later that evening we attended a fundraiser for RaJa’s Children’s Haven, a place for immune deficient children who have fought cancer. I donated the profit from our HFW sales to the organization. It was a pleasure to be involved and I look forward to participating in future events for RaJa’s and their kids.
Next weekend we are in town for One Zero Eight Promotions at Ararat Shrine Temple. My training partner, Brett Rounkles, will compete in his second amateur kickboxing bout. Brett is a 17-year-old senior at Park Hill South High School.
He hopes to bring home a state wrestling title this year along with his first MMA victory in February. For some reason, a man must be 18 years of age to participate in combat sports; regulations. We will sell Hillbilly Fight Wear of course and head back to Jerry’s Bait Shop in Lenexa for another Fight Team after party.
I do not have a fight booked, but I am always looking. It will be nice to step back in a cage at over 200 pounds. It’s been nearly two years and three straight losses under 200. Sometimes you gotta try things out to find yourself. Keep thumpin’ my friends. Life is a cock fight and we must be game.
Brian Imes’ “The Human Cockfighter Blog” takes readers inside the mind and life of a pro mixed martial arts fighter. It is part of ProMMAnow.com’s ongoing series of content written by individuals involved in the MMA industry. Follow Brian online at Twitter @HillbillyFightW and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/brian.imes1.