Mixed Martial Arts

Two local favorites take center stage as Bear River fights return

By Ray Hamill — Two popular local fighters will take center stage this weekend, on a Bear River Fight Night card that features numerous North Coast fighters.

The third fight night of the year at the local casino, and No. 15 overall, will take place on Saturday night and promoter Brian Wilson of Hard Fought Productions is expecting another sellout, especially with 10 locals scheduled to fight.

“This is a big local card, so we’ll have a sellout,” said Wilson, who also trains many of the local fighters at the Lost Boys gym in Arcata. “I always expect the fights at this level to be exciting.”

Topping the bill are a couple of local favorites, who will compete in two of the three pro fights on the card and the two main events.

The hard-hitting Austin Mitchell (1-0) is back at Bear River for the first time since before COVID and will face off against Richard Carlson in a 170-pound showdown.

“Austin’s explosive,” Wilson said of the local fighter, who splits time training between Arcata and Crescent City. “He’s a hard worker, and every time I watch him I expect to see fireworks.”

Another Lost Boys fighter, Ross Lopez, will also feature in a co-main event when he takes on Kevin Gonzalez in a 145-pound fight.

Lopez has had to be patient for his pro debut, with the pandemic and some late cancelations pushing it back a couple of years.

But he’s ready and eager for the big debut.

Photo by Karla Rivas – Ross Lopez in action in a kickboxing fight earlier this year.

“Ross is a very skilled fighter,” Wilson said. “He’s a very well-rounded fighter, and his timing is down. He’s looking good.”

The card will feature 13 fights, including two kick boxing fights, with doors opening at 5 p.m. and the action getting started at 6:30.

Several other Lost Boys will also be in action, including Samuel Gonzalez, who is 1-1 and will fight at 145 pounds, Nate Cruz (1-1, 125) and the Hoopa duo of Jacob Hodge (4-2, 155) and Shannon Albers (0-1, 145).

Austin Chase will make his debut at 185, while Titus Ballet will compete in kick boxing at 185.

Two other locals will also compete in kick boxing bouts, both out of the Redwood Muay Thai in Fortuna.

Gerardo Salas will fight at 155 and Caleb Harrison will fight at 145.

Leave a Reply