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Mixed martial arts bouts on post Saturday
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Looking to do something different and exciting for Father’s Day? How about watching one of today’s hottest extreme sports live, right here on Fort Stewart?

A Father’s Day Knockout for fans of mixed martial arts is planned for Saturday at Newman Gym on post. Club Stewart has partnered with Redline MMA of Pooler for the event. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the fights start at 7 p.m.

"It’s the fastest-growing extreme sport in the world," Club Stewart assistant business manager Reginald Bunting said. "It gives you the best of both worlds — for the boxing enthusiasts, it has that portion in it, and for the (fans) into wrestling, it has that portion in it … and the martial arts captivates a lot of people."

MMA is a full-contact combat sport that combines Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mai tau, kickboxing, wrestling and boxing.

Bunting began organizing the MMA competition three months ago. Abe Stem with Redline assisted Bunting by recruiting amateur fighters to compete.

"Abe Stem is our ‘matchmaker,’" Bunting said.

"Abe trains all our fighters," MMA co-owner David Roush said. "Of 10 (Father’s Day Knockout) fights, eight or nine are our guys. The rest are recruited from other gyms."

Roush said 50-60 people on average train at Redline MMA in Pooler. They have a number of strong, amateur fighters who compete once or twice a month, he said.

According to Bunting, the Father’s Day Knockout will consist of 14 individual fights broken down into three five-minute rounds.

"Some of them won’t go that long; some will be over very quickly," he said.

So far, 28 competitors are signed up for the event, Bunting said. These fighters range from 135 pounds to 185 pounds. The winners in each weight class will receive a Father’s Day Knockout 2010 medal, he said.

Bunting said several fighters from the Hinesville area will compete, including Chris Brinkley, Josh McGee and Chris Scott.

The Club Stewart assistant manager confirmed more than 300 advance tickets have been sold. He is confident attendance will be good.

"Tickets will be sold at the door right up to when the knockout starts," he said. "The event is open to the community (outside Fort Stewart)."

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children ages eight and older. Children seven years old and younger will be admitted free. Cage-side seating costs $15 per person, Bunting said. Tickets are available at Club Stewart, the Hunter Club and at the Redline MMA gym in Pooler.

"It is something for a father and the family to do … just to celebrate Father’s Day at a reasonable price. There’s not a lot of places you can go to enjoy live entertainment at a reasonable price these days," he said.

Bunting said youngsters also can watch the fighters practice at Newman Gym from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. A pre-event evening with music, karaoke, free food and prize giveaways, including Nintendo Wiis and recliners, will be held from 5-9 p.m. Friday, he added.

For more information or tickets, call 368-2212 or 665-0331.

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