Former Southeast running back expected to compete Saturday

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The competition at Osage has 15 matches scheduled.

The fourth mixed martial arts competition held in Cape Girardeau this year will take place Saturday at the Osage Community Centre with former Southeast Missouri State running back Adrian Porter among the locals expected to compete.

Hosted by Pitbull Combative Sports in Sikeston, "Absolute Fighting Challenge: Survival of the Fittest" will include 15 matches.

Other local competitors include Coty Kellison of Cape Girardeau and a pair of Sikeston residents, according to Don Davis of Pitbull Combative Sports.

Davis said one of the main goals of the event is to show spectators how organized mixed martial arts has become over the past decade and a half.

"We want to show that it's not the cock fight it was 14 years ago," said Davis, who added that the sport has developed more rules over the years prohibiting practices such as head butting and kicking opponents in the groin area. "There is no Joe Bob off the street after he's had four or five beers. These guys are training year round."

Local fighter Nate Taylor said the sport requires rigorous workout routines. Taylor, 23, holds a 7-0 record in the light-heavyweight division but the Sikeston resident will not compete Saturday. He typically trains six days a week for a total of 18 to 24 hours. He does this while also working as a health-care provider.

"It's such a challenge," said Taylor, who practices at Pitbull Combative Sports. "When I first got into it, it was to get in shape and have some fun. I love the competition and the atmosphere."

Like many martial arts fighters, Taylor's training includes wrestling, judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He also does weight cutting the day before the fight to qualify for his weight class. Taylor said this practice is common in the sport.

Taylor added that it is done by running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle inside a sauna the day before a match. He said he drops close to 20 pounds right before the weigh-in and then gains it back during the next 24 hours leading to the match by eating carbohydrates so he can fight at his normal weight.

Saturday's event will take place at 7 p.m. with the doors opening an hour in advance. Tickets can be purchased at various rates starting at $21. Eight-person tables cost $320. Tickets are available by calling (573) 200-9050.

The card will include participants from Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas.

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