By Ray Hamill — One week after the biggest fight in UFC history, the Humboldt County MMA community is gearing up for a busy weekend of its own.
On Saturday night, six local fighters from two different gyms will be action at a pair of events.
The Lost Boys and Institute of Combat clubs, both out of Arcata, will have fighters on hand at the Rogue Fights in Redding and the Bay Area Combat Fights in Vallejo.
For the IOC, Journey Walker (155 pounds), Colton Smith (135) and Tyson Miller (190) will each be making their competitive debuts in Redding at the Win-River Resort and Casino.
And, according to team trainer John “Juan” Thompson, all three wanted to test themselves against more experienced fighters.
“All these guys wanted to pick tough fights,” Thompson said. “It’s the first fight for all three, but they all wanted guys who had fought before.”
Miller will also fight up a weight class, against Kacey Joe Sanders, who, according to Thompson, has had eight fights already.
Walker will fight Andrew Nadig, while Smith will fight Tony Nguyen.
“They’ve been putting in a lot of hard work in the gym and these guys really love what they do,” Thompson said of the IOC trio.
All three have also benefitted from having local pro MMA fighter Cass Bell in their corner.
The Arcata native, who recently won his second pro fight at Bellator 206 in San Jose, has been busy preparing his IOC teammates for their competitive debuts.
“Having Cass in there is huge,” Thompson said. “Especially with them seeing someone from this area make it to such a big show.”
Lost Boys heading to Vallejo
Ross Lopez of Lost Boys was also originally scheduled to fight at Redding, but had to withdraw after suffering a hand injury in training.
Lopez is still planning on fighting at the upcoming Bear River Casino Fight Night on Nov. 17.
In the meantime, three of his teammates will be in action this weekend in Vallejo — Tyler Watkins (145), Austin Moore (185) and Andrew Guisa (170).
And according to Lost Boys co-owner and head instructor Brian Wilson, all three are looking good.
“They all look strong,” Wilson said. “They’re all hungry, and they’re all lean on weight, so there’s not going to be any tough weight cuts.”
Watkins (4-0) and Moore (3-0) are both unbeaten, while Guisa (5-1) is just 22-years-old with huge potential, according to Wilson.
“These guys are all coming into their own,” Wilson said.
All three are also expected to turn pro within the next 18 months.