SPORTS: Area fighters gear up for Mixed Martial Arts battle at 7 Cedars Casino on Saturday night

BLYN — Two Port Angeles fighters will step into the ring for the first time at 7 Cedars Casino in a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event Saturday night.

The pair will be part of six MMA fighters from the North Olympic Peninsula taking on members of the Rough House Gym of Bremerton in the cage warrior combat MMA fight event called “Throwdown in Jamestown II.”

Four of the Port Angeles-Sequim contingent belong to the Mano A Mano fight team from Port Angeles.

A 6-foot-8 heavyweight giant, Anthony Stovall of Mano A Mano, will participate in his first fight in the cage along with fellow teammate Jacob Davis, who will battle at 155 pounds.

Stovall will take on Bremerton’s Ray Mohawk while Davis will fight Sean Wilson of Rough House Gym.

“I try to match our fighters with fighters of similar experience,” Mano A Mano coach and founder Jordan McLaughlin said.

Davis may have a tough match because his opponent has a 2-0 record and will be stepping into the cage for the third time.

But McLaughlin says two fights doesn’t give someone that much of an advantage over someone stepping in the ring for the first time.

McLaughlin and fellow coach Joe Sablan of Mano A Mano train their fighters to get ready for their live cage matches and then will take the corner to coach during the matches.

McLaughlin, 27 years old and 5-2 in MMA matches, will fight his final amateur bout at the casino in June before turning pro.

“I used to fight and coach at the same matches but I don’t do that anymore,” McLaughlin said. “It’s too hard to fight, and then take the corner for other fighters.

“It’s hard to get other fighters ready to fight, and also to get myself ready to fight.”

Also fighting for Mano A Mano on Saturday night are Leo Blanton and Greg Warren, who both will be competing in their second bout each.

Blanton, 1-0, will take on Brad Foist of Bremerton while 0-1 Warren fights Scott White of Rough House Gym.

The area fighters will have three rounds of 3 minutes each. Knockouts and technical knockouts are a common part of MMA fights.

Mano A Mano currently has 15 fighters. They compete all over the state and around the country, mostly in the Western states, McLaughlin said.

The main event includes Sterling Ford (7-4) against a fighter to be named while the second main fight will beDustin Praxedes’ pro debut against Abel Trujillo, and a title bout for AJ Weber defending his crown against Garrett Burns.

There will be eight other matches.

Also in attendance to meet, greet and sign autographs at Saturday’s fights are Ultimate Fighting champion Keith Jardine “the Dean of Mean,” who is featured on “The Ultimate Fighter 2,” and Demico Rogers, also featured on Ultimate Fighter in Season 10.

Doors open in the casino’s Event Center at 6 p.m. with the first fight starting at 7 p.m.

Jardine and Rogers will be signing autographs from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and during the two intermissions.

There will be 10 bouts with the preliminary fights lasting until 9:15 p.m.

The semi and main events go from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets cost $40 general admission and $75 reserved seating.

The casino also will have a Cage Fight Weigh-in Party on Friday beginning at 6 p.m.

Seventeen of the 24 fighters will weigh-in Friday.

The party features opportunities for photographs and autograph signings as the fighters qualify to meet their respective weight class.

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