Brad Causey prepares with coach Mike Pert at Trail’s Pride Gym Wednesday. The Mixed Martial Arts fighter has been training for the past eight months for Caged Rage 5: Rapture

Brad Causey prepares with coach Mike Pert at Trail’s Pride Gym Wednesday. The Mixed Martial Arts fighter has been training for the past eight months for Caged Rage 5: Rapture

Pride fighters can’t wait to get into cage

More than a few bells will get rung Saturday, as Castlegar’s Element Club and Trail’s Pride Gym kicks off Caged Rage 5.

More than a few bells will get rung Saturday, as Castlegar’s Element Club and Trail’s Pride Gym kicks off Caged Rage 5.

Nine fighters from Pride Gym are on the 12-fight card with Trail’s Brad Causey taking on Portland’s Daniel Swain in the night’s big match.

“It’s a great event, and the return of Brad alone is worth the money, he always puts on a great show,” said Pride Gym coach/owner Glen Kalesniko.

In last year’s Rage 4, Causey was set to fight Adam Thomas but the Abbotsford fighter cancelled due to injury just days before the fight.

Causey is 8 and 1 as a professional but has not fought in a year and a half due to some bad luck.

“There’s been two cards where my opponents got hurt and two times when I was suppose to fight where I got hurt . . . so we’ll see after the first round how rusty I am,” said Causey before training Wednesday.

Causey’s opponent is no slouch either. Swain wrestles for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby and is undefeated in eight Mixed Martial Arts fights. While it is apparent what Swain’s approach will be, Causey is not about to switch tactics to accommodate the grappler.

“I prepare the same way for every fight. I don’t try to mix styles, I just train the way I train and go in there and try to win.”

Pride Gym is known as a “stand up gym” and Causey’s past opponents have tried to take him to the ground but with little success.

“I’d like to get in there and have somebody just throw out all the ground game and just sit there and slug it out.”

It’s great for the fans, says Causey, but realizing that likely won’t be the case, he sees the match as either being a quick knockout victory or a long drawn out grind. In any case, the fight should cap off an entertaining series of under cards.

“I think it will be a real battle, but Brad’s strength and punching ability will be the difference,” said Kalesniko.

Cage Rage 5 will also see Fruitvale’s Jordan Knippleberg take on Brenden Frost from Kelowna. Both fighters are stand up strikers that should make for a great fight, a “real crowd pleaser,” he added.

Pride Gym’s River Jones will put her undefeated 4 and 0 record on the line, as she goes against Portland’s undefeated Robin Woods.

Trail fighters historically have enjoyed success at these events and Kalesniko attributes it to hard work from both his fighters and his coaches Corey Caldwell and Mike Pert.

“No gym trains harder than Pride’s fighters, they are very well prepared,” added Caldwell.

Local fighter C. J. Bagg (Pride Gym) takes on Penticton’s Mark Dolbie, Mark Hutchinson (Pride) goes toe-to-toe with Dusty Kramps of Calgary, Chelsea Bronaugh from Nelson fights Kayla Brown of Oregon, Mike Wicentowich (Pride) versus Michael Correl from Portland, the always-exciting Chris Luening (Pride) goes up against Langley’s Craig Mclean and local boy Tyler Mcauly grapples with Tomas Kenny of Grand Forks. In addition, Sheldon Doll of Cranbrook goes against Adam Smith from Langley, Chilliwack’s Millers Rogers takes on Shae Erickson of Calgary and Wade Apps from Chilliwack faces Oregon’s Levi Roan.

Tickets start at $39.99, doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Element Club Bar and Grill in Castlegar.