Frank Crane Arena is transforming into a battlefield next month.
The fighters won’t be equipped with swords or shields, but instead will defeat their foes by the sheer force of physical strength and wit.
They’ll demonstrate their prowess in the arena during Battlefield Fight League 8: Island Beatdown, May 28.
Jay Golshani, Battlefield president, said this event has the deepest talent card seen in B.C.
Top mixed martial arts fighters Denis Kang and Jesse “JT Money” Taylor faceoff in the main event. Kang and Taylor are ranked in the world’s top 30 middleweights.
“Kang is widely considered the best fighter to fight out of B.C.,” said Golshani.
With a well-rounded fighting style that keeps his opponents guessing, Kang has won bouts around the world. In Korea and Japan, Kang went undefeated for 23 fights. He’s also credited as being an integral part of MMA’s rise to prominence in B.C.
Fans will get a chance to see the match they were denied when injury struck Kang only 10 days before he was supposed to face Taylor in the Battlefield League 7, March 26. Kang suffered a bicep tear and was forced to withdraw.
The co-main event features Nanaimo’s Graham Spencer versus Bruno Capdeville.
John Punt, Nanaimo Impact MMA trainer, said Spencer is an aggressive fighter and is a “100 mile an hour grappler”.
“He’s not a passive counter-fighter. He’s in your face,” said Punt.
Spencer is one of four Nanaimo mixed martial artists entering the battlefield. Ryan Ballingall, Jer Kornelson and Eli Wyse will also fight on their home turf during the event.
Punt said Ballingall has a boxer’s hands-on style. Kornelson is well-rounded and Wyse is aggressive.
Fighting on home ground means a little bit more pressure to perform for the fans, but Punt said it also has its perks.
“They love it and it’s a big advantage to fight in your own town,” he said.
The Nanaimo contestants have been training hard through an eight-week process leading up to the event. They are among 13 participants from Vancouver Island.
As well as being entertained, fans will also get some relief on their pocketbooks as ticket prices have been reduced 20 to 30 per cent. Golshani said tickets were reduced for the people who paid to watch Kang fight last time but didn’t get to because of his injury. Bleacher seating varies in prices, but Golshani said all floor seats are $99.99.
As a special treat to fans, Battlefield Fight League will stream the preliminary fights live to selected pubs in the city. Negotiations with owners are still in progress and are expected to be finalized next week.
Battlefield 8 tickets go on sale Monday (April 18) and are available through fighters, Fuel Supplements at 440-2980 Island Hwy, Pure Self Defence Studios at 1722 Bowen Rd. and online at www.ticketscene.ca.