The AM Ford Fight always provides good bang for a fan’s buck.
But sometimes the under card bouts can provide as much excitement as the more-hyped main events.
Last year Laura Coombs had fans on their feet for her tilt early in the evening, which netted the Trail fighter the Fighter of the Night honours.
Wesley Neil flashed his potential with a series of devastating kicks against Spokane’s David Kohl for a big under card win in 2005.
And on the biggest night in Pride Gym’s history, when the club took the action into the Cominco Arena for the first time in 2006, Cody McKenzie introduced himself to the Trail crowd.
Currently under contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) circuit, McKenzie scored the club’s first win of that memorable night and whipped the crowd of over 2000 fans into a frenzy with a dominating display against Aaron Watson.
So there’s no doubt fans will want to find their seats early on Saturday when the first bell rings at 7 p.m. at the Cominco Arena.
“We have some great fights set,” said Pride Gym trainer Glen Kalesniko.
Although Coombs won’t be on the card this year, Kalesniko says another female fighter – Nelson’s Chelsea Brough – could produce the same kind of excitement.
“She’s the new girl,” said Kalesniko. “She fought in Lethbridge (in February) and had Fight of the Night.
“She puts on a great show. She just brawls – straightforward, stays in her zone and throws bombs.”
Perhaps the allure of the early bouts in the lack of experience, and fear, in many of the combatants. Strategy tends to go out the window as the eager fighters look to land the big blows.
“When you see good punches thrown the crowd loves it,” agreed Kalesniko.
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The preliminary card often features some intriguing matchups.
The veteran Ron Forry always goes all out when he steps in the ring.
“Ron likes to trade punches,” said Kalesniko.
Chris Luening is coming off a big win in Spokane. Saturday he takes on a fighter out of Calgary.
Other fighters scheduled on the under card include C.J. Bagg, Nathan Johre, Sandy Bagg, Bill Cameron, Curtis Ready and Cranbrook’s Sheldon Doll.
Cameron will get his first taste of MMA fighting after two years as a Muay Thai fighter.
Ready’s will be the lone Muay Thai bout this year.