By Ray Hamill — Fight night returns to the Bear River Casino this weekend, with 12 MMA showdowns on tap, including several featuring local fighters.
And for the first time, the Hard Fought Productions event will feature four title fights, with Eureka fighter Andrew Guisa’s welterweight battle against Kaes Ishun topping the bill.
“We’re excited,” promoter Brian Wilson said. “It’s our last show of the year, and it’s a big show for us.”
Guisa, a former Eureka High wrestler who fights out of the Lost Boys gym in Arcata, is 5-2 after a recent loss at the Bay Area Combat fights, and will be looking to get back to winning ways against Ishun.
Ishun, who fights out of San Francisco and comes into the showdown at 4-3, will be looking to upset the hometown hero and claim the vacant 170-pound belt.
Lost Boys in action
The eighth fight night at the Casino will feature three other title fights, with Guisa’s Lost Boys teammates Jacob Hodge and Tyler Watkins each also in action.
Hodge, out of Hoopa, will challenge title holder Eddie Davilla at 155 pounds.
Davilla, from Point Arena, is 5-2 and has plenty of experience in the cage, while Hodge will be looking to keep his perfect run going, coming in with a record of 3-0.
At 135 pounds, Watkins will be defending his belt against challenger Raymond Mazyck out of Portland, Ore.
Watkins comes into this bantamweight showdown at 3-1, while Mayzyck is 2-2.
“We always try to get a lot of local guys on the cards,” Wilson said.
Hard Fought Productions invited the Institute of Combat fighters to compete, but the other Arcata gym declined.
‘Best entertainment’ around
Tickets for Saturday’s event are still available through the casino, and Wilson advises anyone interested to get them ahead of time.
“They may or may not be available at the door,” he said. “We tend to sell out.”
The fight nights generally attract crowds of more than 1,000.
“I believe we’re the most entertaining sport event in the area, especially now that Humboldt State football is no longer here,” Wilson said.
Light heavyweight title fight
The night’s action will also feature a first-ever light heavyweight title fight, with Ukiah’s Dylan Seer and Sacramento’s Kasey Sanders battling for the vacant 205-pound belt.
Four other Lost Boys will also be in action, including Austin Moore, who won recently at the Bay Area Combat fights and will be looking to keep his streak going.
Moore, who travels down from Crescent City to train with the Lost Boys, is 4-0.
Hoopa’s Fletcher McCovey will also be in action, making his debut at 150 pounds, as will Antonio Ramundi at 170 pounds.
Eureka’s Eric Smith (0-1) will also be in action in a light heavyweight fight, looking for his first win.
Orion Cosce to help out
Neither of the Cosce brothers, Louis or Orion, will be in action at the fight night, as was originally hoped.
According to Wilson, who also runs the Lost Boys gym, it’s always been difficult to schedule fights for the two local pros, because no one wants to fight them.
Louis will be back in action sometime early in the new year, while Orion will be fighting in Wisconsin next month.
Orion, who fights out of the Sacramento area now, will be on hand this weekend to support his Lost Boys teammates.
“He will be at the fights this week,” Wilson said. “He’s going to come help some of the guys out.”