By Ray Hamill — Some of the best local MMA talent will be in action at Saturday’s Bear River Casino fight night, and for at least one fighter, it might be one of the last opportunities local fans will get to see him up close and personal.
According to fight promoter and local MMA trainer Brian Wilson, fighters like Orion Cosce, who headlines this weekend’s event, and his brother Louis will be in high demand and will soon out-grow the local venues.
“Orion and his brother Louis are at an exciting part of their careers,” Wilson said. “This could very well be the last couple of times we see them locally. There’s a lot of interest in them. This time next year they’re probably going to be fighting at a higher level.”
Louis headlined the last fight night at Bear River in early May, winning his fight in just eight seconds with a devastating performance.
Orion will fight veteran Justin Baesman at 171 pounds on Saturday, in what will be his third fight in five weeks, as he looks to go to 5-0 as a pro.
Earlier this month, the 25-year-old got the better of Joseph Kropschot with a third-round TKO in San Francisco, an impressive win that turned some heads, according to the promoter.
“That guy Orion just beat was a big deal in the Bay Area,” said Wilson, who trained Cosce at the Lost Boys Gym in Arcata.
As for the fight night, Wilson is expecting another sellout at the 1,000-plus seat venue, with a packed card full of local favorites, including Cosce who will be fighting for the first time as a pro in Humboldt County.
“Orion is a big draw,” Wilson said.