What: Caged Fury MMA Return of the Fury
When: Saturday, Aug. 24
Where: Farmington Elks Lodge, 801 Municipal Drive
Cost: $30 for general admission and $40 for ringside
More info: Doors open at 6 p.m. and fights start at 7 p.m. Weigh-ins to be held Aug. 23 at Rookies Sports Bar. All ages welcome.
FARMINGTON — Almost two years after his last show, Farmington's Russ Bradford is bringing back his mixed martial arts promotion.
Bradford's Caged Fury MMA returns to Farmington on Saturday with the "Return of the Fury" card at the Farmington Elks Lodge. Eight amateur fights are confirmed for the card, which is highlighted by the appearances of two active duty U.S. Army soldiers.
Bradford said finances were the biggest reason the promotion took such a long break, but he hopes to hit the ground running again this weekend with his first event since October 2011.
"It is not cheap to put on these events, but I love MMA and working with fighters," Bradford said. "I have kept plugging along to put on another event."
Several fighters from Albuquerque, Gallup, Grants and Raton will be on the card, as well as fighters from Colorado and Texas.
The main event is a 155-pound, lightweight fight between Dorian Dixon (3-3) of Rosales Karate in Albuquerque and Roy Kontos (3-0) out of El Paso, Texas, and the Army.
"I am extremely excited. This is huge for me," Kontos said. "I am ready to put on a good show. I am originally from Albuquerque, and I will have some people coming up to cheer me on. I feel a little bit of pressure being in the main event. I want to go out there and end it quick with something, but if it is a three-round war, that is fine with me, too."
Bradford called both main event fighters "bangers" who are going to look to finish the fight any way they can.
Also on the card is Kontos' fellow soldier Mike Cooper, who will battle Albuquerque's Saman Manavi in a welterweight (170-pound) fight.
"It is really cool to have two active duty soldiers coming up to fight out of Texas," Bradford said. "They are going to put on awesome fights. It is unusual to have two active duty guys on a fight card, and we are going to have the Aztec VFW escort them to the cage."
Fighters will weigh in Friday night at Rookie's Sports Bar in Farmington. Fights will range from the 135-pound weight class to 185 pounds on Saturday night.
Making his MMA debut on Saturday is Tim Hobson, a Farmington High student who trains at Master Kauvaka's gym in Aztec.
"Hobson just turned 18 a few months ago and will get in the cage for the first time. We are excited for his fight," Bradford said.
Four fighters from Wink's Gym in Albuquerque will also fight Saturday night. Their gym is operated by famed MMA trainer Mike Winklejohn.
Bradford hopes this weekend's event is the first of many more to come in the area, adding he would like to do three shows a year.
"I hope to start doing three fights a year," he said. "I hope to build a partnership with the Elks Lodge. It is a neat venue in the circular ball room. It can seat 450 people who can get a close up and personal experience."
Tickets for the event cost $30 for general admission and $40 for ringside. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the fights start at 7 p.m.John Livingston can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.