Brutaal MMA returns to Holiday Inn
A pair of amateur titles are on the line on Saturday night when Brutaal Genesis returns to Austin for another mixed martial arts show at the Holiday Inn Events Center.
The nine-fight card is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and will be available at the door. Matchmaker Nick Gamst said VIP seating already is sold out, but he expects general admission tickets to be available the night of the fights.
Pacelli graduate Nate Williamson is fighting in the night's main event. And he'll be fighting for a title.
Brutaal Genesis has a 165-pound belt, and Williamson has the chance to keep it in Austin. He'll be facing fellow standout Nick Porras.
Williamson is unbeaten as an amateur. He's officially 6-0, though he's had several unrecorded fights in Iowa. In five of his six fights, Williamson has finished his opponent in the first round.
Porras offers a stiff challenge, though. He's 6-1 as an amateur and is training with jiu-jitsu standout Nate Kleinfeld at Next Level Combat in the Twin Cities. Porras' lone loss was in a controversial split decision against Kyle Todd.
Amateur fights feature three-minute rounds, and Williamson's fight will be five rounds. Non-title fights are three rounds.
"I think this is an incredible fight, one of the better amateur fights I've put together in the last few years," Gamst said. "Nate Williamson is just a freak athlete. He's just so naturally good. Nick Porras is the same. And he's fought better competition. Nick has never taken on an easy opponent. It's a great test for both guys. I would guess that both won't be amateurs for much longer. I think Nate needs to get with a big gym before he does that, but he's got the talent to go very far. I see this as a fight that's going to go all five rounds and be exciting every step of the way."
The Brutaal Genesis 145-pound amateur title also is on the line Saturday night. Champion Chris Karge of Albert Lea will defend his strap against Aaron Courtright, who trains at Impact Martial Arts in the Cities.
Karge is 5-2, and he's coming off a knockout win over Luke Warndahl, a victory that gave him the title.
Courtright is just 2-1, but his lone loss was in an impressive performance against standout Ryan Sweezer.
"This is another fight I love," Gamst said. "Karge hits hard, very hard. He's very tough to finish, too. Nobody finishes that kid. But I think this is a fight that could end in the blink of an eye. Aaron Courtright is a kid who brings it, and he's always exciting. These two will come in swinging, and I think the fans will love this fight."
Austin High graduate Thomas Herrera also returns to action Saturday. He will square off against newcomer Howard Buie of Iowa.
Herrera (4-2) is looking to bounce back after a loss to Lee Ickler in June.
"Howard Buie stepped up and had no questions about fighting a tough kid like Thomas in his hometown," Gamst said. "He's ready to fight. I don't know much about his background, but he jumped at the chance. Thomas has all the work ethic, now he just needs to put it together in the cage."
Austin's Andrew Lenway, Steve Cole and Ash Majek also are scheduled to compete Saturday.
Cole squares off against Eric Huisenga in a heavyweight showdown, while Lenway faces Albert Lea's Dalton Selner. Majek is making his MMA debut against Deveon Clark, who trains with UFC veteran Brock Larson at the Get Sum Compound in St. Cloud.
"I know Lenway has been working very hard, and I expect him to be the best we've ever seen him," Gamst said.
Former Albert Lea wrestler Dustin Samudio is making his MMA debut Saturday against Dale Walters, who is looking for his first win (0-3).
There's a female fight on the card, too. Dietra Brandel of Iowa will meet newcomer Michelle Beniek of St. Cloud at 120 pounds.
"I love the fight card," Gamst said. "There's a little something for everyone. We've really never had a bad show in Austin. The venue is great and the fans always support us there. It's still one of my favorite places to do shows."