AMHERST - Amherst has an absolute lock on the next big mixed martial event to hit the Maritimes as Absolute Fighting Canada presents the Brawl at the Border on May 9, at Amherst Stadium.
"This could be the biggest event to ever come to Amherst," said fight promoter Jason MacKay. "Amherst Stadium provides a great view of the cage and it can hold up to 3,000 people, so it's a great venue for MMA."
The event will have 12 fights in all, with the main events showcasing local fighters.
"Our showcase fights include John Hachey, Justin Bourgeois and Josh Strickland," said MacKay.
Hachey has a record of 3-0, Bourgeois is at 2-2 and Strickland is at 2-3.
With the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and TV show's like The Ultimate Fighter, mixed martial arts has been front and centre in the minds of sports fans in the last few years - and nowhere is that more true than in Eastern Canada.
Whether it's sold-out shows like UFC 97 at the Molson Centre in Montreal or sold-out shows in Trenton or Halifax, mixed martial arts is growing every day.
"The great thing about mixed martial arts is it attracts attention to all different fighting styles," said MacKay. "A fighter goes into the cage and the one with the best set of tools comes out the winner."
And for people who think mixed martial arts is a bunch of goons beating each other up, MacKay hopes they come out to the fight to judge for themselves.
"MMA is much safer than most sports. In MMA if you get knocked out the match is stopped," he said. "In many other sports if you get knocked out you're encouraged to battle through it."
Whether it's been a mixed martial arts show in Moncton, Halifax or New Glasgow, fans have traveled from throughout the Maritimes to see these events and MacKay expects it will be no different for Amherst.
"It will be a big boost to the economy," he said.
Advanced prices for the event are $25 for the licensed section and $20 for the non-licensed section. Prices at the door will be $35 and $30 respectively.
Floor tables are also available with silver tables costing $350 and gold tables costing $450. Each table holds six people.
Tickets are available at Dooly's in Amherst.