Fists will be flying and legs will be kicking but Brock Larson won't be inside the steel cage.
Cagefighting Extreme VI, promoted by the mixed martial arts fighter from Brainerd, is scheduled next Saturday night at Brainerd Area Civic Center. Eleven fights are on the card, including Kyle Jensen and Jeremy Lange in main events and former University of Minnesota wrestler Jacob Volkman.
Larson is under contract for five fights with the World Extreme Cagefighting organization so he's unable to fight in Brainerd. He is trying to get a waiver to fight before his next WEC bout, which is tentatively scheduled in January on the VERSUS cable network.
Where: Brainerd Area Civic Center
When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29
Tickets: General admission $20, floor seats $30
Ticket outlets: Eclectic Cafe, Aitkin Outdoor Sports, Oak Lawn Tavern, Green Lantern, Koumei Dojo, Am Star and at the door
Ryan Murray vs. Justin Cox
Ottis Funk vs. Jesse Wallace
Jacob Volkman vs. Mike Plumm
Tim Koch vs. Aaron Benson
Dean Wynn vs. Caleb Wolff
Mark Waters vs. Travis McKalla
Ben Thorson vs. John Olson
Seren Marcahilio vs. Josh Glasby
RT Hicks vs. Thor Freeburg
Kyle Jensen vs. Jesse Evans
Jeremy Lang vs. Mason Heim
Larson's most recent WEC bout was Aug. 5 on VERSUS when he lost to Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit in a WEC welterweight championship fight. Condit stopped him at 2:21 of the first round, catching Larson in an arm bar that stopped the bout.
It was only Larson's second loss in 24 pro fights. He appeared to be taking it to Condit when the bout was halted.
"I don't think I overtrained but I think I got a little too consumed with the whole thing," Larson said last week. "I was eating, sleeping and drinking Condit for four or five months ... flying out to California, doing commercials.
"When it came fight day I was confident. I was positive I was going to win. The fight went the first minute and 30 seconds exactly how I envisioned it. I was closing the distance, getting the takedown, on top of him, punching him in the face, working for submission.
"I got a little overexcited. I lifted him up to slam him, but I couldn't lift him up quite as far as I would have liked. I kind of fell short, stumbled forward and lost my balance. That brought my arm out, and he caught the arm. Had I not tried to be a Barbarian, just picked him up and slammed him, I would have probably been all right."
Larson called the defeat "very humbling." He took pride in never being stopped. His only previous loss, to Jon Fitch in October of 2005, was by decision.
The victory was Condit's first by an arm bar.
"I would rather be knocked out than submitted because submission is my game," Larson said. "To get beat at my own game by a guy who's not as good on paper there as I am ... I had been ranked as high as fourth in the nation in submission grappling. To get beat by a striker, to get submitted by a guy who's not a grappler, is hard on the ego.
"I was glad they went to a commercial because I was beside myself. I was pacing back and forth in the cage, trying to keep my composure."
Larson suffered strained and torn ligaments in an arm and had to take about two weeks off from fighting. His rehabilitation included deep tissue massages.
"In two weeks I was back training," Larson said. "Now I've got a little back issue, some scar tissue pushing against some nerves. I've got to go in and get that scoped out."
Larson said the WEC has told him he will continue to be on TV as long as his fights are entertaining.
"They can't be squeakers," he said. "They've got to be pretty impressive fights. I've just got to do what I do. I don't think I've ever had a boring fight in my life because I go after it. Sometimes that's my Achilles heel. I'm aggressive.
"Basically, they told me win, lose or draw, as long as I'm exciting to watch they're always going to have me fight. Everybody is going to lose, I guess, but I would rather go out swinging."
CFX VI will be the first conducted in Brainerd under the auspices of the Minnesota Boxing Commission, which took over as the governing body of MMA events in July.
MMA shows had been banned in some Minnesota cities because they were not regulated by any organization. Some mixed martial arts shows were considered nothing more than street brawling in front of an intoxicated audience.
Event and promoter fees now have to be paid to the state to stage an MMA show. A doctor and ambulance must be on-site. Everyone from referees and judges to fighters and cornermen must be licensed by the state. Weigh-ins will be regulated. Fighters must pass blood tests for HIV and hepatitis.
Larson estimates the fees will add $4,000 to putting on a show.
"It makes it better for fighters," he said. "Promoters, it kind of busts their chops a little bit. It costs a lot more because you're paying the state to oversee everything."
MIKE BIALKA, sports editor, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 855-5861.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.