Getting into the cage

Published 10:14 am Friday, November 27, 2009

ASHLAND, Ky. — If you are a fan of mixed martial arts cage fighting, the Ashland National Guard Armory is the place to be Saturday night.

Spartan Fighting Championship II —Action in the Cage will sound the bell for its second round of MMA fighting action tomorrow night at the armory, located at 2519 Lexington Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Fights start at 8 p.m.

“This is our second event,” said Ironton resident Casey Compston who will be making his debut in the ring. “Our first one was Oct. 30 and we had close to 1,000 people show up.”

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“This is MMA/cage fighting, just like you see on pay-per-view, only amateur,” Compston added.

Compston, along with Pedro native Zach Wilds and Portsmouth resident Tim Queen, are all trained by Aaron Stephens, owner of SVT Martial Arts and Fitness in Flatwoods, Ky.

All three local fighters will find their way into the cage during the event, which features amateur fighters from across Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Stephens, who has been involved in MMA fighting and training for 15 years, noted that it takes time to mature in this style of fighting, but that a by-product of extensive training is discipline.

“They train anywhere from six months to a year or more before they’re ready to fight,” he said, adding that a matchmaker sets each bout based on individual records and experience.

“They try to make sure you aren’t too far out of your talent level,” Compston added. “The goal is to try to keep things as even as possible.”

Ten fights, with participants determined by weight class, will take place. Each bout consists of three rounds lasting three minutes each.

General admission tickets cost $25. VIP tables, which seat six people and include food and beverages, cost $250.

To order tickets or to learn more about Spartan Fighting Championship II, visit