International and Local Fighters Converge in Edmonton for Fan Expo
Edmonton, AB – There is no doubt that Edmonton is a Canadian hotspot when it comes to combative sports. All you have to do is go to your bar or restaurant on a Saturday night when there is a UFC event or a high profile boxing match scheduled. If there is a fight event on pay-per-view, the place is guaranteed to be packed – mostly consisting of males between the ages of 18-35. Boxing has been a main stream sport for over a century. Mixed Martial Arts is currently the fasting growing sport in the world and the success of the UFC is placing MMA into the sporting world mainstream.
There is simply no better boxing breeding ground anywhere than right here in Edmonton. Great names from the past like; Al Ford, Ken Lakusta and Scotty Olsen, have paved the way for current local stars; Jelena Mrdjenovich, Kris Andrews, and Adam Trupish. These great boxers are able to fight in their hometown because of the local boxing promotions and their dedication towards putting on great boxing cards for Edmonton fans.
Even though MMA does not have the storied past that boxing has, it is rapidly growing in popularity. Many people do not realize this, but there are no less than 6 professional MMA promotions in Edmonton alone! MFC, Aggression MMA, Heat XC, KOTC, MFC, and Unified MMA all call Edmonton their home. These Edmonton based promotions have produced many stars including Ryan Ford, Tim Hague, Victor Valimaki and Ryan Jimmo.
With the emergence of the Edmonton MMA scene, and the already established past and solid presence of the Edmonton boxing scene, there is a tremendous need to make the players in the Edmonton area more recognizable and available to local fans. The Edmonton Fight Scene (EFS) was formed to create a bridge between the fight fans of Edmonton and their favourite local fighters. Not only is there the local boxing and MMA promotions, but amateur boxing and Muay Thai (professional and amateur) are also very popular in the City of Champions. Athletes in these sports are becoming local celebrities and deserve to be recognized as well.
Following the success of the first ever combat sports Fan Expo held in Edmonton, Alberta last August, Edmonton’s 2nd Annual Fan Expo will take place on March 27th at the Shaw Conference Centre.
“We had excellent feedback from both attendees and exhibitors from the first expo,” says Jason Bouwmeester, one of the expo organizers. “We’ve taken the feedback to heart and have expanded the show to ensure an even bigger and better show than last year. Not only are we bringing in UFC level fighters, we have also arranged for Alberta Amateur Boxing to set up an amateur boxing fight card in our center ring.”
UFC Hall of Famer and MMA legend Dan “The Beast” Severn will be the main draw at the Fan Expo. Current UFC fighters Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann and Alberta’s own Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald will also be on hand to meet and take pictures with fans. A big addition to the Fan Expo is Edmonton’s own Ryan “The Kid” McGillivray who will be featured on the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter 13 reality series produced by the UFC.
The list of local fighters rounds out with veteran UFC fighters Tim “The Thrashing Machine” Hague and Victor Valimaki; as well as professional boxers Tye “Big Sky” Fields and Jelena Mrdjenovich; and local MMA stars MFC Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (currently ranked 22nd in the world), Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford, Shane “Shaolin” Campbell, “The Afrikan Assassin” Mukai Maromo, and Kurtis “The Hammer” Higgins.
“Edmonton has seen some major changes in the MMA scene as of late, but the interest in combat sports in Edmonton goes beyond just MMA and there are both strong boxing and muay thai followings in town,” Jason states. “You can tell by the involvement of local companies that this goes beyond just fan interest as well.”
In recognition of his boxing achievements, Edmonton Fight Scene will be surprising local boxing legend Allan Ford with a Canadian Boxing Federation Title (keepers belt) at 4:30pm. Fighting between 1962 and 1982, he rose from the amateur ranks to become ranked 3rd in the world lightweight division. He has previous been placed on the City of Edmonton’s Boxing & Wrestling Commission Honor Roll and has been inducted into both the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. When Ford was a boxer, fighters typically did not keep their belts and the Edmonton Fight Scene would like to present him with his very own keepers belt.
“Exhibitor booths are filled and we have over 45 combat sports related vendors and exhibitors committed,” adds Ken Franczek. “If you are in any way related to combat sports in Edmonton – fighter, fan, or vendor – this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.”
Also on hand will be local MMA promotions MFC, AggressionMMA, and Unified MMA; KO Boxing promotion and a variety of gyms and training centers and other combat sports/fitness related companies. As well, be among the first people to see the new Edmonton Rush/Randy Couture monster truck.
Edmonton Fight Scene is thrilled to have 100.3 The Bear and Team 1260 on board again this year, as well as a new addition to the radio market in Edmonton with their sister station Virgin 104.9. Yukon Jack, host of 100.3 The Bear’s morning show and MMA fan, has also agreed to come on board and be the guest host for the Fan Expo.
The excitement and hype is only growing these last few days before the show – guest host 100.3 The Bear radio personality Yukon Jack is promoting the show on The Bear this week. Dan Severn will be at Saint Pete’s Men’s Club on Saturday, March 26th for UFC and Martin Kampmann will be at Union Hall on the 26th for the televised UFC event as well.
The Fan Expo itself will take place at the Shaw Conference Centre on Sunday, March 27, 2011 from 1pm – 7pm.
General Admission Tickets are priced at $20 and are now available. Tickets can purchased online at http://go.fightscene.ca/tickets or at the door on Sunday.