LAYTON -- Fighting for a good cause has become Sean Powers' goal.
The 22-year-old used his passion for mixed martial arts on Saturday to benefit his autistic brother and the transition school he attends.
Powers, a professional MMA fighter who co-owns Legion Athletics, coordinated a fundraiser at the gym for Vista Education Campus in Farmington. The school gives disabled students between the ages of 18 and 22 the skills to aid their transition toward independent adulthood.
Sean's brother, 21-year-old Justin Powers, describes himself as high-functioning autistic. He enjoys participating in MMA, though not at a competitive level.
"If you fight with my school, you fight with me," Justin Powers said. That's the self-created motto he uses to defend his fellow students against bullying at school.
Justin is working toward becoming a chef or a baker. In addition to his classes at Vista, he works for Thyme & Seasons restaurant in Bountiful and will soon start at Golden Corral as well.
"Autism has been in my family for a long time, and it is very close to my heart," Sean said. "We wanted to see if we could get money for (Justin's) school for equipment."
The main event for the fundraiser was Sean's exhibition match against Steven Siler. MMA is a full-contact combat sport that involves many fighting techniques including boxing, wrestling and kickboxing.
The event also featured a silent auction, prizes, games, a live reptile display, massages and boxing lessons.
Vista Education Campus Principal Glaucia Brown was very grateful for Sean's efforts.
"It's wonderful to bring more awareness to autism. It provides Justin, his brother, with an opportunity to participate. I just think it's outstanding that a young man like Sean would think outside himself and spread the opportunities for people," Brown said.
Brown plans to use the event's proceeds to buy devices such as iPads that will help improve communication and social interaction for students with autism.
"(Sean) knows that it's good to do good. It comes back to you," said his mother, Jayna Powers. "He's always had that little piece of him that if somebody needs help, he wants to help them."