Fort McMurray has Prestige
Fort McMurray is getting an MMA promotion – Prestige MMA. The organization, headed by Sandy Bowman and Chad Rice, will hold their first event at the Casman Center under the supervision of the Fort McMurray Mixed Martial Arts Association on September 19th.
Rice and Bowman founded the fight promotion “primarily for the love of the sport and to showcase the talent and hardwork that goes into being a professional MMA fighter,” according to Bowman who also runs Bowman’s Martial Arts in the city. Bowman and Rice are just the two to pull it off. Sandy has been involved in Martial Arts for 32 years and runs two gyms in Fort McMurray. His partner Chad is the planner. Bowman states that Rice “has a passion for taking on big jobs (like the design of their state of the art martial arts facility), planning them, and being proud of the end result.”
The two reside in Fort Mac, which is famous for its oil sands. The city has a growing population which currently numbers around 65,000 and is expected to top 100,000 in a couple years. Its MMA scene is currently led by MFC fighter Dwayne Lewis and his coach, the afore-mentioned Sandy Bowman. Lewis’ Fort McMurray fans are an army that travel 5.5 hours to Edmonton to cheer on their local fighter.
Now Fort McMurray MMA fans will be able to cheer their favorite fighters on at local Prestige MMA events. Sandy Bowman sees a huge market for live MMA in Fort Mac. He says,
The appetite for all sport is huge in fort McMurray from our minor hockey and ringette to our fort McMurray Oil Barons (junior hockey team). In the last few years, I have brought mixed martial arts to the plate in Fort McMurray. The community response has been incredible! Even when we have our guys competing out of the city, no matter where we go, Fort McMurray is there to support our fighters.
As for the fighters scheduled to appear, there will be a blend of local favorites and outside veterans in a card that will be topped by Canada’s #5 ranked Lightweight Brad Cardinal (9-5) taking on former The Ultimate Fighter cast member Ritchie Whitson (6-1). Cardinal has not lost since 2008 and has beaten Kurt Southern and another former TUF fighter Allen Berube. Whitson appeared on TUF: USA vs UK where he beat Paul Bird to get into the TUF house but then lost to eventual winner Ross Pearson in his subsequent fight.
Asked which fight is the one he is most looking forward to on the debut Prestige card, Bowman cannot make up his mind. He states, “With the help of a lot of my friends that are managers and promoters that I have supported over the years, I’ve put together a card where I’m excited for every fight and I couldn’t pick a winner in any of them!!”
As always, Top MMA News encourages fans to support their local promotions like Prestige MMA. It sounds like the Casman Center should sell out, so get your tickets early for this one.