Ogden mixed martial arts professionals Jon Neal and Patrick Reeves are preparing for key bouts in May. On Friday, Neal headlines the Total Mayhem pro/am MMA card at the Ogden Marriott, and Reeves fights undefeated Lance Palmer on May 10 at the Showdown MMA card in Orem.
For Neal, 4-0, who fights Curtis Johnsen, 8-5, it's his first fight in two years. Injuries and other setbacks have kept the 24-year-old prospect's career in neutral. In Johnsen, he fights a tough veteran on a two-bout winning streak.
"I'm trying to get started, getting fights one after the other," says Neal. To continue his career, Neal, trained by Brazilian Aldo Oreggia, works a graveyard shift, sleeps during most of the day, and trains in the evening before heading back to the graveyard shift. He works out with local pros, including Jordan Chandler and Clinton Williams.
The fight with Johnsen is at 155 pounds. If all goes well, Neal hopes to have an opportunity to move up in MMA by 2015. He cites participation in Bellator, the World Series of Fighting and the UFC as his chief MMA goals.
It's been almost five years since the former Ogden High School wrestler took, as a personal challenge, an MMA fight against Eric Williams in Total Mayhem's first card. He won, and hasn't lost since.
For Reeves, a veteran who has won nearly half of his 30-plus pro bouts, his May 10 fight against the undefeated Palmer is a chance to follow up on his last fight, a huge win over Daniel Stratton in Vernal that netted him the Utah featherweight title. The Ogden fighter often finds himself in a tough spot, with fights falling through. He's a tough hurdle for many young fighters, who often prefer easier bouts.
In Palmer, Reeves has drawn one of the top prospects in the nation. "I know he's an all-American wrestler from Ohio State and trains with Team Alpha Male and will be in great shape," says Reeves. "I'm an underdog in this fight but I like that and this fight will be at 145 pounds," a weight Reeves feels comfortable at, he adds. Reeves also thanks local pros Jarret Kelton, Dave Edgell, Justin Roberts, Dave Foley, Cody Udy and Cory Terkelson for helping get in shape for the Palmer bout.
At the Marriott card in Ogden, the semi-main even matches local Kensei Sato (5-4) against Riley Earl (1-1). Undefeated Ogden amateurs Miles Welk and Ryan Lund are also scheduled in separate bouts. Welk fights Gerardo Leon. Lund takes on Elias Lanau. Other bouts include Matt Nestico versus Dominic Gero, Brandon Rease versus Tyson Roberts and Eti Palu versus Braeden Percival.
The Friday night Total Mayhem card, at 247 24th Street in Ogden, starts at 6 p.m.
General admission tickets are $20 and are available via SmithTix.
Total Mayhem plans a June 29 outdoor card at Ogden's Lindquist Field that will feature Davis County's Sean Powers, who recently won on a Bellator card.
For information on the May 10 Showdown card in Orem that involves Reeves, go to http://www.showdownfights.com.