The Universal Combat League is gearing up for the organization’s next event. On Saturday night at Haymarket Square, the UCL will host its third mixed martial arts event this year.
The previous two shows were held at the Riverfront Community Center, but the fighters will be outdoors this time in downtown Leavenworth.
The Battle of the Centuries will feature four bouts featuring professional fighters and 15 amateur fights. The fight card is filled with 12 fighters from the Leavenworth area. Two of the fighters, Willie Mack and Chance Thackston, are professionals.
John Kiser is the promoter of the event. After the previous two events were sellouts, Kiser is optimistic that the third rendition will have 2,000 people in attendance.
“This is going to be the biggest event in the Kansas City area this year, period,” Kiser said. “This is legit. This isn’t bush league and it is going to be a heck of an event.”
The event will be co-headlined by Jason Witt vs. Justin Smith and Scott Heston vs. Jeff Sveum. Witt is the third-ranked fighter in the Midwest and his opponent is a former All-Big Ten linebacker who was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster that won Super Bowl 38.
The idea for these fights started last year when Kiser wanted to host a show in his hometown of Leavenworth. For the first fight, Kiser said he initially had trouble filling the fight card, but now fighters are waiting for the next round of UCL fights.
Kiser feels like the Midwest atmosphere is what has helped this be a success.
“The big part of it is the Midwest,” Kiser said. “You get on the coasts, and there is so much other stuff and more people. The smaller populations enjoy this type of stuff. Just like how we have the loudest stadium in the world (Arrowhead Stadium). Our fans are top notch.”
Kiser said that ticket sales have been going well so far. General admission and VIP tickets are still available, but only a handful of open seating tickets are left. The Elite VIP tickets are sold out.
Kiser will begin planning the next fight after Saturday’s show. He hopes to find a venue on the Kansas side of the metro.
He also would love for Leavenworth to eventually get a gym that can be used for MMA training, boxing and similar sports as well as fitness and self-defense classes.
Tickets can be found on the organization’s website, www.uclcombat.com
General admission tickets are $15, open seating tickets are $25 and VIP tickets are $50.