Photographs courtesy of Epic Fighting, Cathy Panado Photography
Video courtesy of Epic Fighting and InsideMMA
Live, local fights are back in San Diego Friday, September 26 as Epic Fighting begins their 26th chapter with a stacked card of amateur MMA bouts, which includes some of best local talent from around the area.
Epic Fighting CEO Jason Stewart, matchmaker Heather Hyatt and the Epic Team are bringing exciting fights to the fans, live music, popular food vendors and loyal sponsors to the Four Points Sheraton in Kearny Mesa for Epic 26 in what will be an entertaining night for fight fans of all ages.
If you haven’t been to an Epic Fighting event yet, there is no better time than now to check out what all of the hype is about. With ticket prices ranging from general admission to VIP table seating, Epic Fighting truly excels at giving fight fans a complete experience that has a little of something for everyone.
The Epic Experience…
So what is Epic Fighting all about? At their core, Epic Fighting strives to bring the best local MMA talent to the cage while giving fans an experience worth the price of admission.
Epic CEO Jason Stewart elaborated on the experience he aims to bring to the local fight fans. “The goal of Epic Fighting is to create an experience unlike any other of its kind. We are proud of the fact that fan have returned again and again for our unique experience,” Stewart explains.
After enjoying the pre-fight atmosphere, eating fresh local food and meeting other fight fans, the doors will open to a massive ballroom, outfitted with lights, music and a large cage where the action takes place. After speaking with CEO Jason Stewart in the weeks leading up to Epic 26, Stewart opened up about some of the pre-fight activities that will be going down.
“We are excited to bring some talented musicians to Epic 26 and are pleased to announce that the popular Spanish/Reggae band Melapelus will be performing live. Also, our national anthem, which is the real start to the evening, will be performed by American Idol singer Draeh Jirnae, who has performed for the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Lakers.” Stewart explains.
The Epic experience is just that; an experience, but don’t be mistaken, when the fights start the fun really begins.
The Epic #26 fight card is shaping up to be a stacked slate of MMA bouts with newcomers to the cage and Epic veterans who have made their name known inside the Epic cage.
With popular San Diego gyms, such as Victory, The Arena and San Diego Combat Academy represented, it is almost certain that the action will be exciting, non-stop and well worth the price of admission.
“I am really looking forward to the 170lb bout between Diego “Crazy Eyes” Rivera from Victory. He is taking on wrestler Anthony Peairs who has become a complete mixed martial artist as of late,” Jason Stewart Epic CEO explains.
Also, look for some very talented fighters from the north to make a statement as Bas Rutten’s MMA Academy, Team Quest and 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu head south to San Diego for an evening of MMA action.
Fighters to watch…Don’t Blink!
Bruce Smith (3-0) – With UFC veteran Chris “The Crippler” Leben in his corner and one of San Diego’s premier gyms, Victory, as your second home, Bruce “Swift” Smith looks to return to the cage with a vengeance. Smith, a talented grappler who has taken the next step to becoming a vicious striker, will make his long awaited return to the Epic cage as he goes to battle against tough, battle-tested fighter Ryan Lilly (4-5) of Bas Rutten Elite MMA for the vacant 145lb Epic Title. Smith, who was scheduled to fight at Epic 25, has been waiting for his return for nearly 10 months and with a new trainer in his corner, is ready to fight.
“I am so ready to get in there,” Smith explains. “Camp is going really well and with Coach Leben in my corner I feel like my game has improved,” he adds.
Harlem Dillon – Epic 26 will feature the debut of Englishmen Harlem Dillon, a highly-talented kickboxer from across the pond who has come to the States to train mixed martial arts under legendary grappler and UFC veteran Dean Lister. Dillon, who also trains out of Victory, has developed a knack for the ground game and recently earned his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Lister’s tutelage. Dillon looks to make his name known inside the Epic cage as he takes on ground specialist and striker Andreu Mendoza from The Fight Academy in a light heavyweight bout.
Christian Leon (1-0) – In his first fight, the 24 year old featherweight, made his presence known and became an instant highlight when his KO victory over Dale Soto in round one went viral and was picked up by the popular MMA radio show InsideMMA featuring Kenny Rice and former fighter Bas Rutten. Leon, who trains out of The Arena, in San Diego will take on Joshua Marer (0-3) from Team Fury and looks to add to his resume with another victory inside the Epic cage. Check out the video of Leon’s KO victory, which was featured on InsideMMA.
— Inside MMA (@InsideMMAaxstv) September 16, 2014
Devin Taylor (4-1) – In the second title fight of the night, Devin Taylor from The Arena MMA looks to defend his 155lb title and earn his fifth win inside the cage. Taylor, who won the title in May 2014 at Epic 24 over Chris Carradus, took up MMA at a late age, but has been able to rely on his unique athletic ability to advance his overall game.
“I didn’t have a true marital arts background. I was just athletic. I ran track, played baseball and basketball. My natural speed is what helped me. My name is “High Speed” now. Being quick on the court and being fast in track and having a big heart is what has helped me in MMA,” Taylor explains.
Taylor is excited to get in the cage and defend his title, however, an opponent has not been finalized. He knows that staying ready is key and it doesn’t matter who ends up facing him in the cage at Epic 26. For Taylor, being part of Epic Fighting has been something he is truly grateful for.
“I have been with Epic for some time now and I love it. Every show Epic has is great. They put more and more into the fighters, the shows are getting bigger and the promotion looks great,” Taylor tells us.
In addition to these three fighters, the Epic 26 fight card includes several other bouts and fighters that should make for an entertaining evening of action.
Epic newcomer Karlee Pangilinan (2-0), who made his Epic debut at Epic 25, returns to the cage for his second bout with Epic and faces newcomer Ricardo Warken. Pangilinan is a vicious striker who made an instant statement at Epic 25 with a huge knockout of Desmond Jackson in round 1.
In addition, Michael Thomas (2-0), returns to the cage coming off a unanimous decision victory over Isaiah Grant at Epic 25. Thomas, a dominant wrestler, controlled his last fight perfectly and looks to add to his resume with another victory at Epic 26.
The fight card includes title fights, two Flyweight bouts, three Bantamweight fights, three Featherweight matches, and a handful of Lightweight, Welterweight and Light Heavyweight bouts before the Heavyweights cap off the night.
The complete fight card can be found here and is updated regularly. http://camo-mma.org/amateur-mma-events/E762/Epic-Fighting
Sit back and enjoy…
We are now one week away from Epic 26. The Epic Team is ready. The fighters have trained diligently to put on a great show and follow their dreams to MMA glory. It is time for the fans to jump on board, buy tickets and prepare for an exciting night of fights.
“Epic Fighting hit the MMA scene hard with a classy and sexy approach to MMA. We wanted to create an event that pleased the younger crowd, while making the average middle age couple feel comfortable,” Stewart explains.
Be sure to check out the Epic Fighting website now http://www.epicfighting.com and get your tickets. Follow Epic Fighting on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EpicFight and Twitter @EpicFighting to find special discount codes for your tickets. The doors open at 6pm PT, Friday, September 26, with fights starting around 7pm PT. Epic 26 is an event for all ages, parking is free and tickets can be upgraded at the door if capacity permits.