By Ray Hamill — Local MMA fans and fighters have been dreaming of this day for a while, never faltering in their belief it was only a matter of time.
On Tuesday night, brothers Orion and Louis Cosce, former Hoopa High wrestlers, will both fight on the same card at the Dana White Contender Series in Las Vegas, with a potential UFC contract up for grabs.
And when it comes to the world of MMA, one of the fastest growing sports on the planet, it doesn’t get any bigger than the UFC, and that makes this the biggest night in Humboldt MMA history.
It’s actually a pretty big step for a small community like ours, and a testament to how quickly the sport of MMA has taken a foothold here on the North Coast.
Hopefully there are bigger days to come, and if you believe anybody who has followed the Cosce brothers on their journey, there most definitely will be.
For now, however, a chance to compete for an invite to the biggest party of all is something to savor on its own, and both fighters have worked extremely hard for this moment.
Trainer Brian Wilson, who works closely with the brothers at his Lost Boys Gym in Arcata, has believed in them for a long time, saying repeatedly it was only a matter of time before they each got the opportunity to compete at this level.
It’s difficult to get noticed in a lot of sports here in Humboldt County, but as the Cosces — and several others before them in a variety of sports — have shown, it’s certainly not impossible.
And now their success will surely lead to more success here on the North Coast, opening the door and paving the way for a generation of young stars in the sport, in much the same way Cass Bell has done.
An invite to the internationally-televised Combate Americas in Stockton late last year got Louis noticed.
Another devastating performance — he has ended all six of his fights in the opening round — earned him some respect at a higher level, and that was enough to secure an invite for him and his brother to the Dana White Contender Series.
And now they have to take care of business, something anybody who has followed them closely believes they will do.
It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for both of these young fighters, a chance to put themselves and Humboldt County MMA on the UFC map.
And that makes this the biggest night in Humboldt MMA history.