It’s been months in the waiting, but the HAVOC Fighting Championship 12 has finally arrived in Red Deer.
After the June show was abruptly canceled because the promoters had several fighters drop out and they simply didn’t want to put on a poor show for the hometown faithful, Ryan Machan is happy the MMA event is set to go Friday at the Sheraton.
“It’s been up and down this year for sure. It’s just hard to find fighters. We’ve got a solid card now and everybody is here. No problems now, we’ll have 10 fights (on Friday),” Machan said.
Three of those fights will be title bouts including, Jett Grande (3-0) and Sean Michaels (3-1) for the amateur lightweight title, Justin Basra (3-0) and Randy Turner (8-6) for the bantamweight title and Grayson Wells (3-1) is looking to retain his pro heavyweight belt against Dustin Joynson (3-0).
“Jett Grande fighting for the amateur title, he’s fought for us his entire career. I’m looking forward to seeing him progress and see how he does in a title fight,” Machan noted.
“Grayson (Wells) has been fighting with us since day 1, he’s defending his heavyweight belt. It’s going to be a finish. It’ll be a good way to end the night.”
Wells, 39, who trains out of Toshido MMA in Kelowna said he’s excited about another title defense and is ready for whatever sort of bout Joynson wants it to be. He is also undefeated as a heavyweight in his career.
“It’s going to be a good battle, I know Dustin, he’s tough, comes from a pretty good camp but I’ve been training pretty hard since September, looking forward to showcasing my skills,” Wells said.
“Hopefully it’s a brawl. I’m prepared to go five rounds, so we’ll see what happens. I like the old-fashioned brawl.”
Wells and Grande aren’t the only local names fight fans will recognize on the card, as Sean Carroll (0-0), Peter Janssen (0-1), Chris Chapman (2-1) and Brent Keryluke also train in Central Alberta.
“It definitely does, a lot of these guys are homegrown here. Everybody sees their name and they recognize it from school or work, so they come out to check them out,” Machan said.
December also marks the fifth anniversary of HAVOC, and Machan said while there have been some hard times over the years, he’s really just happiest to see the fighters grow and progress, as well as obviously putting on a good show.
“We started out when MMA wasn’t even popular in Red Deer, it took us five years and we’ve built it up and we continued to put shows on through the recession and stuff,” he said.
“We’ve got a great support system in Red Deer and we’re happy to have the support we do. We have fighters that have been fighting with us since day 1.”
The first fight of the night is set for 7 p.m., with doors at the Sheraton opening at 6 p.m.