Hometown Brawl

Ever since MMA superstar Gina Carano made her national television debut on Elite XC last year, female fighters have garnered a bit more attention. But women have had a place in MMA much longer than that, according to Elite Promotions' Jeff Gibson, a South Florida fighting organizer. "I've been working on doing women’s fights for 5 or 6 years now," he says. This Thursday, his Elite Promotions is partnering with Xtreme Indoor Carting to create Xtreme Fight Nights, a professional MMA event that will include, among a host of great fights on the card, the MMA debut of South Florida pro female boxer, Yvonne Reis.

Reis is a veteran of the boxing circuit, having notched 21 pro bouts in her career. But her background is in martial arts, where she holds three black belts - her transition to MMA has been a long time coming.

The card will also feature American Top Team's Marcos Da Matta in a WFO title fight against Tallahassee's Chris Thorn. Da Matta is one of ATT's lead Jiu-Jitsu instructors, sporting a lightning fast ground game and the ability to dictate the tempo of a grappling match that's on par with top UFC fighters. He's also never lost a pro fight, and since he's spent a large portion of his career training competitors rather than getting in the himself ring, he's still relatively fresh at 5-0.

The exciting night of fights will be punctuated by some celebrity appearances as well: Gibson says Miami street brawler-turned-MMA poster child Kimbo Slice will be in attendance, as will his nemesis, Seth Petruzelli, whose Orlando gym is entering a few fighters into the fray. The action starts at 7 p.m. at Xtreme Indoor Carting, located at 5300 N. Powerline Rd. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets run $25 to $50. Get them at xtremefightnights.com, or by calling 800-963-0668.
Thu., May 14, 7 p.m., 2009

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John Linn