Local MMA fighters to compete at event

Published 10:39 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The local mixed martial arts showcase, WAR IV, will take place on Saturday with 12 fights at the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel wellness center.

What started in 2007 as a group of local fighters traveling to events in places like Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla., has grown into a local mixed martial arts showcase.

On Saturday Warrior Promotions and Team Titan will hold their fourth event, WAR IV. at the PCI wellness center at 444 Lynn McGhee Drive.

“The sole reason to create the promotion in this area was to get our local guys recognized,” said Jim Jernigan, co-founder and coach of Team Titan. “We rely on sponsors to keep us alive and it’s hard to do that when you’re not competing locally.”

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The event is growing, Jernigan said, mentioning the last event, WAR III, almost sold out all 600 of its available seats.

The event will consist of 12 scheduled fights, which will bring fighters and fight teams from a four-state area to fight local fighters.

The card includes three local Team Titan members including Kyalo Coleman, from Monroeville; Dallas Scrubs, from Uriah and Matt Cooper, from Bay Minette.

The event will also feature one pro fight in the 265-pound weight class, Lester versus John Ivey and the main event, which will feature Alex Harrell and Trey Slaton fighting for the title in the 125-pound weight class.

The team, which has traveled all over the region and has a team record of 70-7-1, has six fighters and nine members. The team hasn’t just helped the local MMA community, but also folks just looking for a workout routine, said co-founder Craig Helton.

“When we started forming the team we had to travel to train,” Helton said. “We decided we’d start competing and we competed against some of the best teams in the southeast and came out on top.”

The success of the team has brought about a loyal following, Helton said.

Team Titan even has one member on the verge of fighting professionally, Jernigan said. The team will compete in Atlas Fights at Imperial Palace Casino in Biloxi on March 2 and Perdido native Justin Ramer will compete for the 145-pound title at that event.

“Depending on his performance in this next event – it will decide whether he goes pro,” Jernigan said. “If he does he’ll be the first pro turned out of Team Titan.”

Ramer is 9-1 as a fighter and has a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do.

“The goal is to have him in the Bellator Fighting Championships by 2014,” Jernigan said. “That’s a stepping stone to becoming an (Ultimate Fighting Championships) fighter.”

Gates open at 6 p.m. for WAR IV with the fights beginning at 7. Tickets are available at the wellness center or from Team Titan at 251-359-5608. Tickets range from $50 for a ringside table seat to $25 for general admission.