MASSENA - A local Kaged Kombat champion who has traveled to the Saratoga Springs area for his matches will get an opportunity to fight in front of hometown fans this Saturday.
Brett Hart, a local champion in the 155-pound class, will defend his title when Kaged Kombat Fighting Championships presents Rise of the Warrior, a night of amateur Mixed Martial Arts action at the St. Lawrence Centre Arena.
Kaged Kombat bills themselves as the Capital Regions premiere Mixed Martial Arts event, with amateur-only events in Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls and amateur and professional events in Vermont.
We have been putting on Kaged Kombat for a couple of years now, said Chat Beatty, an MMA instructor and promoter for Kaged Kombat.
He said fighters like Mr. Hart have been making the three-hour-plus trip from their Akwesasne location for their matches.
The majority of these fights are in the Saratoga Springs region, Mr. Beatty said.
Last year they asked Mr. Beatty to consider the possibility of staging an event in the Massena region.
Im very excited for Massena, he said. We have at least one title fight. Brett Hart is the current 155-pound champion. Hell be defending his belt against Bruce Richards from Vermont. It should be an exciting fight. Hopefully Brett will be retaining his belt in the Massena and Akwesasne area.
Nine fights are currently scheduled for Saturday night, with fighters from clubs throughout New York.
If we end up with nine, I will be very happy, he said.
The audience will see action inside a cage, much like they would find on television with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Itll look just like a UFC cage except theirs is octagon and ours is a hexagon, Mr. Beatty said.
Fighters follow the rules of Mixed Martial Arts, he said, noting fighter safety is their top priority with medical personnel at ringside and other precautions.
We follow the unified rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Its a disciplined, well-overseen sport, he said.
They certainly take the sport seriously and have all the safeguards in place with referees and an ambulance on-site. They dont want to hurt the sport, said Erich Ober, general manager at the St. Lawrence Centre Arena.
Mr. Ober said this is an event theyre looking forward to staging on Saturday.
Its something that weve been looking for, but they actually sought us out as well. We always wanted amateur MMA here. Were excited to have it here, he said.
Tickets are available at the St. Lawrence Centre Arena starting at $30 for bleacher seating. Floor seats, front row, and ringside table seats are also available.
The ice will stay at the arena and will be covered for the floor seating, according to Mr. Ober. The glass will also be removed from the boards so bleacher spectators can see all the action.
We have approximately 400 (tickets) available for floor seating. Our bleacher seats hold about 1,200, he said.
Mr. Beatty said they would like come back to Massena for future events after Saturdays matches.
If we get support from the community, we will be back in the fall, he said.
The doors open at 6 p.m. and the action begins at 7 p.m.
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