Written By Hurtsbad MMA Analyst Luis Romero
It is easy to say that Mixed Martial Arts, thanks to the effort put forward by the UFC, the sport has become the fastest growing sport in America and even the world. This holds true to a certain extent as the popularity has yet to be noticed in one of the biggest boxing countries in the world, Mexico.
Hurtsbad had the opportunity to talk to promoter Gustavo Pohl of Mexico Fighter based out of Hermosillo, Sonora, which is one of the only MMA organizations in Sonora. As we talked to Gustavo He gave us the details on their upcoming fight card for July 14 in Hermosillo as well as the state of MMA in Mexico, and the mission behind Mexico Fighter.
Gustavo Pohl gave us the details of the event happening on July 14 as Mexico Fighter LHW champion Ivan “Chapo” Guillen will take on Pride Veteran Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch in the main event. In the co-main event Arizona fighter and Bellator veteran Kobe Ortiz will be fight against an opponent to be announced soon.
Gustavo told expressed importance of having fighters who are veterans of the sport to stir up the MMA community in Sonora. For this reason he is pitting Ritch against Chapo, also he was working on setting up a great fight between Kobe Ortiz vs. War Machine formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver.
The latter match fell through due to the fact that War Machine is in Vegas serving a one year jail sentence. Gustavo said that fights like these have to happen to bring the popularity up and start establishing an MMA base in Sonora as at the moment their events has seen about 3000 spectators on average but they are aiming at 5000 before taking the Mexico Fighter cage on the road.
We also talked about the state of MMA in Mexico as well as in Sonora. Gustavo gave us insight on how Sonora unfortunately is still in its infant states. The majority of the talent in Mexico is located in Baja California and the state of Chihuahua where they scout talent for their shows as well as getting fighters from California, Arizona, and some from Sonora.
Gustavo and Mexico Fighter’s goal is to make Sonora a breeding ground for new Hispanic fighters to make waves in the sport and that is the reason they have joined up with some ex-executives of ZUFFA to bring MMA to Sonora. Gustavo says that Hispanics in MMA are almost non-existent with exceptions including fighters like Cain Velasquez, Dominick Cruz, Efrain Escudero, and Roger Huerta in main stream MMA.
Mexico Fighter at the moment is the top organization in Sonora at the. With other competitors not really living up to regulation and having unsanctioned fights, Mexico Fighter is bringing legitimacy to MMA in Sonora.
Gustavo along with the Mexico Fighter staff is looking to expand in their brand across all of Mexico to grow the sport in a country ruled by boxing; they are not only stopping there as they have an interest in bringing Mexico Fighter to Arizona as well which they say is an area with plenty of talent.
Gustavo also let Hurtsbad know that not only do they have the promotion in Hermosillo but they also run a MMA gym called Mexico Fighter Gym where they have BJJ, boxing, and Vale Tudo classes as they are making new champions on their mats.
Organizations like Mexico Fighter are great for the expansion of the sport. With a platform for fighters to compete the interest in MMA will continue to grow. At the moment Mexico Fighter will be holding an all amateur card in their gym on June 1. Then July 14 will be the pro card headline by champion Ivan “Chapo” Guillen, Shannon Ritch, and Kobe “The Stunna” Ortiz. This event will serve as a helping platform to get fighter to the next level as it been reported that ZUFFA will be sending a Strikeforce scout to the fights. This is one small step for Mexico Fighter but a giant step for MMA in Mexico.