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Desert Rage to introduce first MMA team fight
Desert Rage making MMA history with its 11th event Saturday at Quechan
The event will feature the first two-on-two MMA match, introducing a team concept to a historically individual sport. The teams will be Yuma native Doug Fisher and teammate Johnny Cabrera against Lewis Steele and Michael Thompson from Calipatria, Calif.
“I think a lot of guys in this town grew up in a kind of environment where it's OK to wrestle two on two and play fight,” said Desert Rage president Chance Farrar. “We're maintaining the integrity of the sport with MMA rules, but we're having a team fight.”
Farrar said the rules will be slightly skewed to accommodate the extra fighters but will be set up for something MMA fans have never seen.
“Essentially when one person is knocked out, submitted or disqualified, they will be removed from the contest and the fight will continue, potentially a two-on-one situation. I think more than likely that corner will probably throw in the towel, and we'd advocate it, but it's at the discretion of the fighter in the corner and that's not anything we're going to prevent from happening.”
After the fighter is removed, there will be a one-minute break, much like a round. Other than that, there is no time limit and the match will go until completion.
“We used to do it growing up all the time,” Farrar said. “We've done a couple trial runs here in the gym, and it's crazy. But it's exciting. I think when people see it, they're going to love it, and they're going to want to see more.”
The under card that begins at 6 p.m. features four fights, all with a Yuma native.
“We like to highlight Yuma locals, but we attract talent from all over the Southwest,” Farrar said.
Some of those local fighters are Edgar Garcia, Kevin Gastelum, Alek Garcia, Doug Fisher, Zack Surdyka, Kevin Nicasio, Wade Olson, Jeff Higgins and Justin Beard.
The Heavyweight Eliminator will pit two Yuma natives against each other: Chai Martinez against Joe Ochoa.
The main card at 7 p.m. will consist of three fights, including the championships for 145, 170 and 185 pounds.
The official weigh-in for Desert Rage XI will take place today at 5 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Matt Carstens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6880. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSMattCarstens.