Top Dawg brings fighting back to Kokomo

Written on 11/29/2023
Patrick Munsey

This article is brought to you by Turning Point System of Care. We are so grateful for the generosity of Symposium of Kokomo and the Ann Darby McCann Trust for supporting Turning Point and recovery in our community!

Step aside, Colosseum Combat. There’s a new “dawg” in town.

Top Dawg Fight Club has emerged from the ashes of Kokomo’s mixed martial arts scene to bring professional and amateur fighting back to the city. Its first show, “Genesis,” takes place this Friday night, Dec. 1, at the Carver Community Center, 1030 N. Purdum St.

According to Top Dawg co-owner Joel Contreras, his promotion developed following the dissolution of Colosseum Combat by promoter Mark Slater.

“Mark put out that he was getting rid of his cage and getting out of show business,” said Contreras. “Me and a partner of mine, Keair Ross, are trying to bring it back to Kokomo and just continue on for everyone to come see local fighters and just support the community.”

Ross explained that he had been a fighter in Slater’s promotion for nearly eight years and turned professional just before the pandemic in 2020. The timing wasn’t great. Now he’s getting into promotion himself.

“As the pandemic hit, everything kind of shut down,” said Ross. “The MMA business in Indiana took a little hit. It was real hard to find venues and talent that was actually going to show up. Mark just decided he wanted to take a step back, because he had been into it for over a decade.

“He's gonna take a break. He definitely enjoyed it. He was hoping somebody local would step up and take care of the business. He said he wouldn't mind if somebody started something new around here, so that's where we came in.”

The “Genesis” event will feature 12 fights. The main event will feature professional heavyweights Jordan “IronMan” Mitchell of Marion, Ind., and Victor “Bonez” Jones from Kalamazoo, Mich. Also featured on the card is Kokomo native and local favorite Cuba Evans taking on Trey “Friokage” Cook of Indianapolis.

“That should be a big seller right there,” said Ross. “We have pretty much a full lineup. We’ll have action-packed fights. And we're gonna be doing this quite often, every quarter.”

Tickets for “Genesis” are $30 in advance and can be obtained by reaching out to Top Dawg through its Facebook page. Tickets will be available at the door for $35. All VIP tickets are sold out. Doors open at 5 p.m., and fighting begins at 6 p.m. Information about Top Dawg Fight League is also available on the Facebook page.