Friday’s night’s STRIKEFORCE Challengers headliner, former Olympic wrestling silver medalist Matt “The Law” Lindland, and two other popular area fighters took part in a workout at Team Quest Martial Arts and Fitness just days before the event to be broadcast live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Lindland (21-7) from nearby Eagle Creek, Ore., faces “King” Kevin Casey (3-1) of Hawthorne, Calif., at Portland’s Rose Garden Arena on Friday night. Welterweight prospect and former Oregon State wrestling star Nathan Coy (8-2) of Portland takes on promising, unbeaten welterweight Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (6-0) of St. Louis. Also appearing on one of the five SHOWTIME televised fights is Portland’s Pat “Bam Bam” Healy (22-15), who will face rising star Bryan Travers (13-1), of Bakersfield, Calif., in a lightweight bout.
Here’s what the three had to say after their open media workout:
“We want all the local Portland MMA fans to come out for an exciting show on Friday night. You can stay home and watch it on SHOWTIME but we want you to come out and experience what a big MMA show is all about.
“I’d love to see signs and the fans getting into it. The louder it is and the more excited people are the better.
“I think there are a lot of gyms around and it’s an incredibly competitive market but I’d really love to see more fans come out and experience a live event. Until you’ve been there you really can’t make a decision about it. You might find that’s it’s truly something that you might enjoy or at least appreciate it for what it is.”
“We’re excited about this fight. It’s like a dream come true; fighting in our hometown. We’ve been fighting here for some time and it’s just an honor for us.
“I think I was considered a prospect when I got into the sport. I’m established now and ready to prove to the fans of MMA that I’m one of the top-notch fighters. I think I’m worthy for a shot at the belt and I want to fight for a title.
“This is home for me, being in the gym. It’s so comfortable to me. It’s what it’s all about.”
“It’s funny because my friends were just asking me about two weeks before they announced the fight when I was going to be fighting here next. I told them, ‘Man, just don’t count on it anytime soon.’ And then at practice one day Matt just said ‘They’re having a STRIKEFORCE fight here and you’re on it so spread the word.’
“I haven’t been able to find too much on my opponent. It should be an interesting bout. I think his style matches up with mine so I’m just going to push the pace on him and see what he’s really made of.”
Tickets are on sale at the Rose Garden Box Office, all participating Safeway/TicketsWest outlets, or by calling (877) 789-ROSE (7673). They also can be purchased online at www.ComcastTIX.com and STRIKEFORCE’s official website (www.strikeforce.com).
Rose Garden Arena doors will open for the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event at 5:15 p.m. The first preliminary card bout will begin at 6 p.m. and the first main card bout will begin at 8 p.m.