Sioux Falls, SD
The list of states that have not sanctioned MMA events continues to dwindle, as South Dakota is preparing to host its first MMA fight night, Friday night, at the Sanford Pentagon.
South Dakota will hit the ground running in mixed martial arts, as its first MMA sanctioned event will feature the Resurrection Fighting Alliance.
"A lot of good fights. I mean, this is a stacked card. Exciting. You're going to see some finishes. You might see some fights go the distance. But, I mean, you're in for a real surprise and a great treat," fighter Aaron Brown said.
RFA 17 will feature 12 bouts and 24 mixed martial artists, including ten from South Dakota.
"Instead of having to drive to three or four other states, coming out of pocket to live their dream, this gives them a chance, an opportunity, to live their dream living inside their hometown," UFC fighter Josh Thomson said.
A native of Idaho, Thomson understands what South Dakota fighters have endured.
"Idaho was a state that didn't legalize it for a long time, when I was younger, when I first started training. So, I had to drive to Montana, drive to Washington, and other states, sometimes coming out of pocket it cost me more to actually get there and fight than I actually made," Thomson said.
The locals will look to use RFA 17 as a springboard to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and a number of UFC fighters will be in attendance to help them succeed.
"The fact that Anderson Silva and Robbie Lawler, and Josh Thomson, and Cat and C.B. are going to come here to help promote the sport, and making sure that it's done the right way, it's just huge. I'm so grateful that they'll take the time our of their busy schedules to do that," David Martin said.
The event will begin at 6:30 Friday night at the Sanford Pentagon. The final six bouts, including two title fights, will air live on AXS-TV. Tickets are still available at www.ticketmaster.com or the Pentagon Box Office.