Vengeance visits Kokomo on Friday

Written on 04/17/2024
Patrick Munsey

Top Dawg Fight League brings MMA action

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Once upon a time, Kokomo was a mixed martial arts hotbed. Colosseum Combat filled the Kokomo Event Center several times a year, and the fights were livestreamed to large audiences. Then, the event center closed, and the MMA promotion faded away.

Top Dawg Fight League is hoping to resurrect MMA locally, and its next event takes place this Friday night at the Carver Community Center, 1030 N. Purdum St. Organizers Joel Contreras and Keair Ross have put together the card for “Vengeance.” Doors open at 5 p.m., and the fighting begins at 6 p.m.

“We started here in Kokomo,” said Contreras. “My business partner Keair Ross and I are both from here, and we took over Colosseum Combat from Mark Slater. He wanted it to continue, and we are doing it.

“We're slowly but surely starting out, and Vengeance is our second show. Literally, all we want to do is give back to the community, and we're looking to later down the road doing something with the youth.”

For now, it’s all about the fights. Vengeance will feature 12 bouts, including three that feature combatants local fans may recognize. Ralph Trejo, Cuba Evans, and Ross all will compete.

“They are really good guys, good fighters,” said Contreras. “We’re trying to get more local fighters. That’s what we really want. We will go with people from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and all that, but we really want to get all the ones we can get from Indiana first.”

Once Top Dawg has re-established the MMA audience locally, they will look to expand. Contreras mentioned the possibility of holding shows in Logansport, Lafayette, or even Tipton as a possibility as the promotion grows. The move is rather necessary, as Kokomo is short on suitable venues for an MMA event.

At the same time, Top Dawg is working to grow its brand sufficiently to resume livestream pay-per-views similar to what Colosseum Combat offered. Until that time, fans will just have to experience Vengeance in person.

Tickets are $30 if purchased before the show, and $35 at the door. Top Dawg does offer VIP seating at $60 a ticket in advance and $70 at the door, but this section is already sold out.

And for those who truly want to experience as much mixed martial arts as possible, Top Dawg will hold a weigh-in event on Thu., April 18, at Cooper’s Pub, 113 E. Sycamore St., from 5-8 p.m.

Cooper’s also will be the location of the Vengeance after-party on Friday night, featuring DJ Larry the Producer. Those presenting their Vengeance ticket stubs will enter the party for free. Otherwise, there is a $5 entry fee for the after-party.

For more information about the fight card, ticket sales, and promotions, contact Top Dawg by calling 765-251-8024.