MMA fights headed to Montagne Center

MMA fights headed to Montagne Center

Texas Rage in the Cage Amateur Association has held many mixed martial arts bouts in Beaumont, but for the first time ever, they will hold a MMA show in the Montagne Center on the campus of Lamar University in Beaumont on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the event are $40 or $25 and can be purchased at the Montagne Center box office or online at montagnecenter.com.

Several local amateur fighters are set to compete, including two from American Top Team-Beaumont, Jeff Stockdale and Tavoris Bottley.

Stockdale, 25, a graduate of West Brook who served in the Marine Corps, looks to improve on his 0-1 record. He made his amateur MMA debut last September at a Texas Rage in the Cage event in Beaumont.

“Jeff has a great work ethic,” said ATT-Beaumont trainer Mike Berryhill. “His skills have improved since he’s been with us. He has a wrestling background and is ready to go. He has a sour taste in his mouth from his last fight, so he is ready to get in the cage and get after it.”

Stockdale will fight Jeremy Miller, of Houston, at the 155-pound weight class. Miller will be making his cage debut.

Bottley, soon to be 28, will fight for the first time after years of training at ATT-Beaumont. “Tavoris has been with us a long time,” said Berryhill. “He’s lost over 50 pounds. This guy has been ready to fight. He’s a well-rounded fighter, but likes to stand and bang. As long has he sticks to the game plan and doesn’t second guess himself, he will be fine.”

Bottley, who served in the U.S. Army, will make his debut against Max Trevino (0-2) of Laredo.

Other locals slated to fight are heavyweights Andrew Kimler (0-0) of Texas Punishment Crew of Beaumont vs. Josh Ferguson (0-0) of Woodville, and Dominique Robinson (1-2) of Beaumont vs. Albert Martinez (0-0).

The main event will be for the 155-pound TRCAA title with Juan Gonzalez vs. Jose Flores.

Williams set for UFC tryouts

Beaumont’s first pro MMA fighter, 28-year-old Cody “Wolverine” Williams (4-4) is headed to Las Vegas on April 15 to participate in a tryout for UFC’s reality show “The Ultimate Fighter.” Season 18, which will start later this year, will feature both male and female fighters (bantamweights, 135 pounds) and will be coached by UFC female world champion Ronda Rousey. The tryouts will take place in the Palace Station Hotel.

“This is a lot I’ve been working for,” said Williams. “This is what you put in all those hours of training for.”

“The Ultimate Fighter,” which debuted in 2005, has launched the careers of more than 100 UFC fighters and has produced past champions such as Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, Michael Bisping and Matt Serra. Bantamweights were most recently featured on The Ultimate Fighter 14, where John Dodson emerged as season winner.

According to Williams, registration begins at 8 a.m. followed by a full day of skill assessment. At the end of the day, those chosen to move forward will do so in a casting call setting.

“I’ve expanded my grappling vocabulary and am getting as many different looks around town at other gyms as I can,” said Williams. “I went to a grappling tournament last weekend and have being trying to amp up my game. I feel as if I am in great shape and I am definitely ready. This is a great plateau for me and opportunity for national exposure.”

When asked why he should be picked to be on “The Ultimate Fighter,” he quickly responded, “Have you ever seen a boring Cody Williams fight?” Nope, I haven’t.

“In all seriousness,” he said, “I think I am well spoken in front of the camera, and it doesn’t hurt that I am an exciting fighter.”

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