MMA match up comes to downtown Tampa - WNCN: News, Weather

MMA match up comes to downtown Tampa

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Ralph Garcia, Delaney Owen and Christian Reed with Gayle Guyardo Ralph Garcia, Delaney Owen and Christian Reed with Gayle Guyardo
Delaney Owen and Christian Reed Delaney Owen and Christian Reed
Martin Vergara (left) Martin Vergara (left)
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Some of the top Mixed Martial Arts headline fighters are making their way to Tampa Bay area for a huge match up this weekend in downtown Tampa.

Tampa's downtown Hilton is the venue for Saturday night's match up expected to draw nearly 2000 spectators.

"You have a light show, there is a cat walk, music - it's just like fighting for the UFC, it's everything to set up an amateur to go to the pros," said Christian Reed, a champion amateur fighter from Tampa.

Reed is gearing up to defend his flyweight champion at Saturday's night's fight.

Many of the local MMA fighter trying to go pro juggle jobs, school and intensive training trying to get a break in the fast going sport.

"I started Marshall Arts when I was 9 years old and boxing when I was 14, my parents got me into it, I'm very passionate about it," said MMA fighter Martin Vergara.

Vergara is another champion fighter who will take center stage at this weekend's fights.

There is also a growing trend of female fighters getting into the sport like champion fighter Delaney Owen.

"I'm kind of unassuming, people will ask me if my championship belt belongs to my boyfriend, and I say no that's mine!" said Owen holding the heavy belt that almost overshadows her tiny frame.

Trainer Ralph Garcia works with many of these young athletes, and says they wouldn't have a chance at going pro without local and national sponsors like Alibi Whisky signing on to support these match ups.

Not only do they sponsor the show they sponsor the fighter too, Garcia said. So look for these future pros this weekend in Tampa, because ultimately some local fighter might just be heading to the UFC.

For tickets and more information you can click here.

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