Editor's note: Last week we began our coverage of the local combat sports scene with Dwayne Davis' cover story, "Jump, Punch and Score" (seeVol. 22, No. 3). This week we offer Davis' first installment of what will be a regularly recurring feature on these themes entitled "Pugilistics." Enjoy.
And here we go. Launching a new topic to the masses requires careful planning.
What is the best way to introduce a new product while keeping those already interested fully engaged?
One tried and true method is the infomercial. Unfortunately for us, Billy Mays of OxiClean fame died. His main competitor Vince Offer of Slap Chop hilarity was last seen fighting with prostitutes in Florida.
So you are stuck with me. The good news? Everyone is familiar with the belt ranking system. Beginners in a martial arts discipline wear the white belt.
On the other end of the spectrum is the black belt, a.k.a. the experts. In between, depending on the school and lineage a variety of colors can be awarded. Let's tab purple as a nice middle ground.
Hopefully this will allow basic breakdowns for what the fight community calls "noobs" as well as more hardcore information for studied readers.
Friday Night's Alright for Fighting was an episode of the Gilmore Girls. Friday Night Fights is a long running boxing show on ESPN2.
Local promoter Dale "Apollo" Cook hopes his Xtreme Fight Night strikes a balance between entertainment and pure athletic prowess.
XFN 8 takes place inside The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa on Friday, July 27. The first fight is scheduled for 7pm.
A trademark of his Xtreme Fight Night brand is the special guest. This event will be no different.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson captured America's imagination during his prime fighting career. His howls and metal chain are legendary.
He merged a vicious fighting style and larger-than-life personality to earn top billing in the MMA world. His knockout of Chuck Liddell at UFC 71 guaranteed his place in history.
His exploits also landed him a starring role in the 2010 The A-Team remake. While the movie disappointed, his performance was spot on.
He will be on hand for pictures and autographs. A word to the wise, Rampage is notoriously a moody guy. He is either all smiles and giggles or a "what are you looking at" guy.
His next scheduled fight in the famed Octagon is October 13 at UFC 153 in Brazil. So his demeanor should be pleasant since the weight cutting will not have commenced.
Do people buy tickets to these events to see the local fighters or because of the big name special guests? The easy answer is a little bit of both.
It is an interesting debate. The true answer may depend on which local fighters will do battle as well as the name recognition of the special guest. Or a little bit of both.
Several names on this fight card are familiar.
The McDougal brothers are fighting, but not against each other. Chase and Brandon would be matched against each other if this were Japan. However they battle separate opponents in T-Town.
Heavyweight bouts can go either way. The match either features devastating power or two big sloppy looking guys who run out of energy early. Haze Wilson and Bryan Porritt represent Tulsa against outsiders in their respective matches. Hopefully these big boys can bring it for three rounds, if necessary.
Jarrett Rouse is scheduled for another kickboxing bout. His record is 18-0. The Dewey product is nicknamed "The Legacy" for good reason. His local paper chronicles his journey and rightfully so.
A woman's mixed martial arts bout is scheduled between Kathina Catron and Katy Collins. The females never disappoint.
Several local rising stars hope to add another notch to their win total. Andrew Todhunter, Jesse Chaffin and Cherokee heavyweight boxing prospect Wes Nofire highlight a scheduled 16-bout card.
The co-main events should be a nice capper. Last week Randy "Boom Boom" Blake was featured on the cover of UTW.
This Friday he puts his entry into the K-1 tournament on the line when he faces Aaron Winterle. Blake will be giving up size but should be able to utilize his speed and quickness advantages.
His ISKA World Championship is not on the line, but his undefeated record will be.
"Right before my fight he came over," said XFL Light Heavyweight Champion Myron Dennis. "He was talking to me saying, 'I like your style because you are calm.' He wished me luck and said Godspeed. Out of all the special guests, he seemed like the coolest and the most down to earth."
Dennis (6-1) was referring to UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones. Only at Xtreme Fight Night could something this surreal take place for a local fighter.
His belt will be on the line against Amarillo fighter John King. King is a formidable opponent. He traded in his arena football pads for a fight career. He is athletic and known for his relentless approach.
"I'm pretty much fighting blind on this fight," said Dennis of the lack of fight footage. "He is built like a black Captain America."
Why not just use the Black Panther as the comparison? "I don't like Black Panther. He is one of my least favorites."
Dennis is your new breed of fighter. His standup is crisp. His submission game is underrated. He recently took second in the NAGA tournament which crowns regional grappling experts.
Dennis trains under the tutelage of Kentrick Coleman at Academy of Martial Arts in Oklahoma City.
"It is pretty much like Tulsa adopted me. All of my fights have been out there. More people know me in Tulsa for fighting than they do in the city because of the good job the XFL has done promoting me."
Dennis is one of the few full-time fighters on the local scene. He trains strength and conditioning in the morning and two MMA classes in the evening. Lucky for him, his wife Christina supports his passion and dedication.
The 23-year-old fighter wants to win, but he also wants to entertain. Although standing and trading power strikes with a guy equal to his size can be dangerous, he would not have it any other way.
"I like to take that risk because it puts on a good show and I like to fight."
Visit hardrockcasinotulsa.com for ticket information.
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