Thursday Jun 24 2010
MMA at the Placer County Fair
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
Local fighters to battle on Fair stage Friday night
Live from the Placer County Fair Grounds on Friday the octagon of mixed martial arts will feature the finest local fighters in the Pound for Pound Fighter 5. The California Mixed Martial Arts Organization Inc., Pound for Pound Fighter and Coaching Kids MMA Club out of Rocklin will present the new amateur league at this year’s Placer County Fair. Allen and Mary Garcia and partner Mario Gomes represent the Coaching Kids MMA Club in Rocklin as their local fighters train for the event. “We have our own league now called Pound for Pound and once these kids are out of the amateur level we introduce them to the professional level,” Allen said. If they’re good enough maybe they’ll go to the Olympics for the sport.” While MMA is not yet an official Olympic event the sport is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing. Garcia himself played an essential role in beginning the first amateur league in the CAMO. Now governed and regulated, CAMO has held five previous amateur MMA events in the state. The California State Athletic Commission was a welcome force joining the Garcia’s and Gomes along with Pound for Pound to create such events like Friday’s fights. “Me, my wife and my partner have campaigned to make this a legitimate amateur program so you can’t just walk off the streets and fight,” Garcia said. “We’re the first year and the first people to start a league like this. We’ve governed the most shows in Northern California. I’ve had all the professional fighters at the big stage and what our gym does is ask that those guys come down and help with the kids.” Essential to CK’s fundamental operation as a gym is creating a positive after-school program at its location in Rocklin. Encouraging and promoting core values such as honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect, CK turns no child away and operates as a non-profit organization out of the pockets of its owners. “It’s a much different attitude than you would get in most gyms,” said lightweight fighter Adam Farmer. “We definitely like to be able to give back to the kids. Everyone around here knows that helping others is going to help yourself in the end.” Out of Auburn at 5-foot-10-inches, weighing 155 pounds at the age of 23, Farmer is a 2004 graduate of Del Oro High. In the lightweight division Friday he will fight his second match of his amateur career. With a wrestling background and hard work ethic built from his own business as a farrier (making and fitting horseshoes), Farmer combines what he calls standard American dirty boxing with his jujitsu techniques. “I’m excited to get another chance to go out there and showcase my skills,” Farmer said. “I’m also excited the opportunity to do it in front of my friends and family since it’s a local event. I plan on going out, fighting hard and putting on a good show.” Joining Farmer will be gym mate Ryan Hatfield of Sacramento. Hatfield ‘The Kid’ will fight his first amateur bout as a 5-foot-9, 145 pound, 20- year-old featherweight. Graduating from Mira Loma High and currently attending American River College in pursuit of a career as a paramedic, Hatfield and his boxing background is eager to take his first curtain call. “I just want to keep my head under control and do what I’ve been taught to do,” Hatfield said. “From what I’ve seen my opponent is a little bigger than me, but it’s not a problem. A lot of my family and friends will be there to support me and the fight is close to our home gym, so to say the least I’m excited. The past week I’ve been resting a bit, but every day we go hard and fast and spar.” It will be a night of debuts in amateur MMA fighting set in one of the biggest events in Roseville’s annual calendar. The Garcia’s and CK staff are sure to be ringside along with many other local fans ready to gawk at the spectacle put on at this year’s Placer County Fair. For more information on the Coaching Kids MMA Club the gym is located at 2208 Sierra Meadows Dr. No. 1 in Rocklin. Coach Al can be reached at 743-4302 and Coach Gomes at 416-1717.