WEST HAVEN — The Gym will feature 11 mixed martial arts fights in a Total Mayhem-promoted card that starts at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The co-main events feature Ogden pro fighters Craig Mock, who fights Lolo Tuiaki in a heavyweight fight, and Patrick Reeves, who will face veteran Steve Sharp of Salt Lake City in a kick boxing match.
Other local fighters on the card include Ogden’s Cisco Alcantara, who will fight Isaac Caraballo, Ogden’s Shawn Conroy, who meets Richard Urias, and Fernando Corona, who meets Carlos Henrique, Sooksan Simpleman, who fights Parris Swain, and Augustin Espinoza versus Jai Santos.
Rounding out the night are matches between Jesse Clark and Kevin Allred, Andrew Cruz and Skyler Frasier, Tyler Rackham and Bryce Edminster, and Justin Louis and Richard Winger.
For the highly regarded Mock, it’s his first time back in the cage since being upset last summer. Mock tore his right MCL while competing, and had to slowly rehab.
However, a few weeks ago, Mock tested his knee at the North American Grappling Association’s Utah tournament in Salt Lake City, and it passed. He won the advanced division no-gi super heavyweight crown. His opponent in the NAGA final weighed close to 400 pounds, which will serve the 235-pound Mock well against Tuiaki, who may tip the scales at 300-plus pounds.
“I’ve been doing a lot of boxing and a lot of cardio and conditioning to prepare,” Mock said, adding that his cardio progress was key to his NAGA win.
In his corner will be professional heavyweight boxer Billy Zumbrun, whom he spars with, and MMA pro Dave Foley. While training, Mock has sparred several six-minute rounds daily to get ready for the scheduled three, five-minute rounds. It’s a busy life for the ex-Utah state prep wrestling champ. He spends two hours a day commuting to and from Evanston, Wyo., where he works.
For Ogden’s Reeves, a chance to fight Sharp, 28-14, literally fell into his lap a week and a half ago after Foley, slated to fight, hurt his back in training. The veteran Reeves, 15-19, has logged big wins in the past, including a stoppage of tough southern Utah pro Drayton Woods at a previous Total Mayhem card.
To quickly prepare for the three rounds, three minutes each fight, Reeves has been running a lot and doing mitts in the ring for 20-minute stretches. Foley and Chris Fisher will be in his corner.
“(Sharpe’s) leg kicks are my biggest concern. He likes to throw bombs,” Reeves says. However, he’s confident. “I think my boxing has come around a lot.”
The 180-pound Alcantara recently defeated boxer Valente Tinajero, taking a turn at MMA, in one of the best matches of 2011. He doesn’t know much about opponent Caraballo but says that he “is coming for a knockout or a stoppage … and is ready for anything.”
The 180-pounder Conroy is undefeated, 2-0, with both wins via stoppages in under a minute.
Clearfield’s Simpleman has won several local MMA bouts but will be looking to reverse a two-fight losing streak.
The Total Mayhem promoters have teamed up with Stop the Silence, Stop the Violence, Team Ashleigh, featuring South Ogden’s Ashleigh Bambrough, who has become an advocate against domestic violence after suffering it at the hands of a former boyfriend.
Also at the card will be TV news personality Big Budah.
The Gym is at 2805 S. 2025 West, West Haven. For more information, go to mmatotalmayhem.com. Tickets also are available at Smith’s Tix.