MMA and UFC style fighting is definitely gaining in popularity.
Ronda Rousey and her run had a lot to do with that but all you have to do is look at the buzz that was created by the recent Conor McGregor fight in UFC 246, a match he won by TKO just 40 seconds into his bout with Donald Cerrone.
Locally, New Line Cagefighting has brought MMA, kickboxing and boxing to the southern West Virginia Coalfields in the past couple of years with events held in Williamson.
This weekend, it’s coming to Logan for the first time ever with New Line Cagefighting 4 at the Chief Logan Lodge and Hotel.
The event is set for Saturday, Feb. 8 with a 7:30 p.m. bell time.
“This is the first time ever that the sport of MMA has been to Logan County,” said Logan native Keith Noe, one of New Line Cagefighting’s founders and promoters.
A total of 17 bouts are scheduled for the card, including MMA, kickboxing and boxing matches. Eleven MMA fights are scheduled.
In the 145-pound weight class, Logan’s Dakota Booth (0-1) is slated to fight Desean Kiser (0-0) also of Logan.
Logan’s Zachary Dehart (0-0) will be making his MMA debut in a match against Skyler Mauller (0-2) of Crooksville, Ohio in the 155-pound weight class.
Also in the 155 division, Gilbert’s Bobby New (0-0) takes on Stoney Totten (0-0) of Charleston in the debut for both fighters.
In the 265-pound MMA weight class, Logan’s Justin Bartram (0-0) is set to square off with Kevin Miller (1-0) of Tunnelsville, W.Va.
In the 145-pound division, Sam Kinker (3-4) of Vincent, Ohio, faces Dustin Spencer of Knox, Indiana, in a title match.
David Mullins (0-0) of Lenore is scheduled to fight Ronnie White (0-2), also of Lenore in a 175-pound MMA match.
In the MMA heavyweight class, Matt Workman (0-0) of Dingess is matched up against Ryan Hall (0-1) of Delbarton.
Then in the 165-pound class, a title match is on the line, pairing Ryan Blankenship (2-4) of Oceana against Andrea Wiliams (2-10) of Summersville.
In the 155-pound division, Madison’s Zach Craddock (1-0) takes on Devin Stanley (1-0 of Matewan.
Also in the 155 class in a title bout, Ryan Stell (2-0) of Phelps, Kentucky, squares off with Densel Chapman (2-1) of Delbarton.
The MMA heavyweight division also has a title bout featuring Brandon Boggs (3-0) of Madison against Mikey Mitchell (2-2) of Harts.
Three boxing matches are on the card as well.
In the 200-pound weight class, Lukas Spaulding (1-0) of Paintsville, Kentucky, is set to do battle with James Ralston (0-0) of Parkersburg.
Josh Bowling (0-1) of Pikeville, Kentucky, faces Daylan Jemerison (1-2) of Logan in the heavyweight division.
Then in the heavyweight title match and one of the highlights of the evening, Chapmanville’s Adam Dingess (9-1) takes on seasoned boxer Mikey Furnier (31-7) of Portsmouth, Ohio.
Three kickboxing bouts are also scheduled.
In the 147-pound kickboxing weight class, Jacob LeMaster (0-0) of Paintsville, is scheduled to fight John Hensley (0-0) of McCarr, Kentucky.
Tim Blackburn (0-0) of Van Lear, Kentucky, faces Mark Ulbrich (0-0) of Berryville, Virginia in the 140.
Then in the 157, Mark Faherty (2-0) of Beckley squares off with Luke Lago (0-0) of Hurricane.