Friday afternoon I rode down Interstate 35 to Wichita, Kansas with Chris Page. Chris has been training with the Hillbilly Fight Team for less than two months. He weighed in at 161 pounds for his catchweight bout with Doug Edwards. Edwards, ranked top 20 in the kickboxing world, weighed in at 159. Five hundred souls crowded into Doc Howard’s for 12 bouts on Winter Brawl’s pro/am card. Page and Edwards were the main event for the evening.
Promoter, Jeff Page, filled a card with men from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. Two of his sons, Jeremiah and Jeffrey, competed on the card as amateurs. We ran into Bellator commentator, Sean Wheelock, who officiated the evening’s only professional boxing bout. Sean wore a chest mounted camera for a Bellator feature about his life in and out of the fight game. He was proud to see us Bellator boys thumpin’ strangers.
Chris Page has lived most of his life between Wichita and Kansas City. He enlisted in the United States Army following graduation from Park Hill High School. Two years of enlisted service and wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Page moved on to mixed martial arts. He has struggled along his path to professionalism, but appears to be on track following his early first round submission victory on Saturday.
Page used his wrestling background and new found fitness to make Edwards’ kickboxing obsolete. He took his opponent’s back following a huge suplex and finished things with a rear naked choke at 1:12. I had the night off from action, but served as point man from the corner. He looked damn good in his Hillbilly Fight Wear and weighed 184 pounds following his work that evening.
Chris Page is one of four professional fighters from around Kansas City who have shared a cage with a world champion. On short notice in October of 2010, Page took a fight against mma newcomer, Michael Chandler. Chandler moved on to become Bellator World Lightweight Champion with his brilliant finish of Eddie Alvarez.
Page is far from gone at age 26 with a 3-6 record. Brian Davidson finished Jens Pulver at a Titan Fighting Championships event last year. James Krause fought Donald Cerrone years back in the WEC. Brad Imes lost a split decision to eventual World Light Heavyweight Champion, Rashad Evans.
This game is not about wins and losses to those inside looking out. This game is about resilience and fortitude. This game is a personal battle of choices and lessons. Discipline is the goal and glory is the reward. Chris Page felt that glory on Saturday night and he will feel it again very soon.
My opponent has changed for my April 7th bout in Branson, Missouri. Brandon Gaines has agreed to tangle at 205. This will be my first light heavyweight bout in over two years. We expect a large, vibrant crowd for this Midwest Ultimate Cage Fights promotion. Kim Couture, Jeri Sitzes and several Bellator veterans round out this card. Make the trip to the Ozark Mountains for a thumpin’ good time.
The good doctor is gaining momentum week after week. His message of individual liberty is good for the community. Go on, give him a listen.
Our gym is undergoing renovations. Cage panels and mats are on the way. Nearly 1900 square feet of mat await you. KC Premier is just off Interstate 29 in Riverside, Missouri. We are organized up front and free in the back. Thump a stranger.
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.