By David Hughes
TERRE HAUTE — I admit that I’m hesitant to write about mixed martial arts coming to Terre Haute again.
Twice in the last year, I’ve pumped up cage-fighting cards that ended up not happening. I’m certain the people involved in organizing those cards had the best of intentions, but last-second problems always seemed to disrupt their plans.
Now another promotional group, Courage Fighting Championships No. 10 presented by MMA veteran Jason Reinhardt, has an “ultimate fighting” 15-bout card scheduled for Saturday night at the Zorah Shrine Temple. Advertisements say doors will open at 6:30, with the first fight to start at 8.
I know what you’re thinking. But Reinhardt said don’t worry, reminding us that he already ran one successful show at the Shrine Temple last June.
“I’ve been promoting a long time [about 10 years] and I’ve never, ever canceled a show,” emphasized Reinhardt, a Decatur, Ill., resident who owns a 20-1 pro record as an MMA fighter. “These fights are going down Saturday night.”
Reinhardt mentioned that fans can check his Web site — jasonreinhardt.com — if they want to make sure he’s a reputable promoter and fighter.
“I have a good relationship with these guys,” he continued. “I’m a fighter first and a promoter second. Me being a fighter, my No. 1 priority is the fans. Without the fans, you don’t have a fight card.”
Although Reinhardt won’t be fighting on Saturday’s card, he said there will be one Courage Fighting world title and three Courage Fighting national championships at stake. Those bouts are slated for five five-minute rounds inside a six-sided steel cage, while the remaining bouts consist of three five-minute rounds.
Battling for the 155-pound pro world title will be Joe Pearson, representing Miletich Fighting Systems out of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Glen Hanson of Bloomington, Ill. Pearson (26-9) is probably best known for competing in the PRIDE Fighting Championships.
Hanson owns a 12-4 pro record, Reinhardt said.
The national championships will pit Terre Haute’s Dustin Neace (20-10) vs. St. Louis’ Jake Corry (8-0) in the 155-pound pro division, Chris McDaniel (5-6) of Springfield, Ill., vs. Tyler Combs (7-2) of Ohio in the 160-pound pro division and Daniel Hopper (5-3-1) of Mount Vernon, Ill., vs. Kyle Grey (5-0) of Bettendorf, Iowa, in the 155-pound amateur division.
“Records don’t mean much,” Reinhardt pointed out. “Styles make fights.”
Reinhardt also said that noted MMA fighter Spencer “The King “ Fisher has agreed to serve as guest referee for some of Saturday’s bouts.
Tickets can be obtained in advance by calling Reinhardt’s father, David Reinhardt, at (217) 620-0944 or by calling the Shrine Temple in the daytime today at (812) 232-8232.
General-admission tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door, while floor seats are $30 apiece and ringside seats are $40 apiece.
David Hughes can be reached by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.