Originally Published: January 19, 2015 6:02 a.m.
There's no escape next Saturday as unforgiving steel surrounds 26 fighters brawling in 13 matches for Rage in the Cage 175. The second longest running Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion, Rage in the Cage has had 174 sanctioned events since 1998 and the Prescott MMA Academy will have four local fighters appearing in next week's 175th event.
One fighter, Danny Hilton has been fighting in MMA for about five and a half years and is set to compete against Ray Robinson. Hilton said he's looking forward to testing himself in the cage as he's coming off an injury and being out for almost a year. He also dropped a weight class from lightweight to featherweight.
Marcus Brodit, who is facing off against Ernesto Levya, has been fighting for almost four years after spending four previous years boxing.
Brodit said he's looking forward to the fight.
"I just want to put on a show and show the hometown crowd what we're all about at Prescott MMA," Brodit said.
The academy's third fighter facing an opponent in the cage, Nicholas Salantri, has been doing MMA for six months, but has been practicing other forms of martial arts since he was 6 years old and has a second-degree black belt.
Salantri said he's looking forward to showing what he can do, calling the competition "the ultimate test."
He said MMA will make a person find out more about themselves than anything else. Salantri will be squaring off against Valentin Armenta.
Hilton echoed Salantri, saying the competition makes him better as a human being.
"Every day I get to overcome fears and anxieties in my head," Hilton said, referring to the competition, which he said is what he's looking forward to the most about the fight.
A fourth fighter from the local academy, Kevin Barberena, may not have a fight scheduled for Jan. 31, but he will be in his fellow fighters' corners, coaching them.
Robert Rose, owner of the Prescott MMA Academy, said the competitors have been training well over two months and is very proud of them.
"I think these guys are going to do really well," Rose said. "At the very least they're going to put on a good show, but I don't see how they lose any of their matches."
Rage in the Cage 175 begins at 6 p.m. in the Prescott Valley Event Center, located at 3201 N. Main St. Doors open at 5 p.m.
Tickets are $30, $45, $78 and $100 for reserved seating and $20 for general admission. For more information about Rage in the Cage 175, visit www.rageinthecage.com, call 866-443-8849 or visit the box office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from noon to 8 p.m. on the day of the fight.
For a seating chart or to buy tickets, visit www.prescottvalleyeventcenter.com/events.
For more information about Prescott Valley MMA Academy, call Rose at (928) 642-7412.