Series of caged martial arts bouts will feature local fighters 

Local gym rats will come crawling out of their holes for a chance to touch gloves and go hand-to-hand at 7 p.m. Friday, when the Farmers Public Market plays host to the first monthly event in C3 Fights' 12-month "Contender Series: Local Heroes" tournament.

The mixed martial arts caged event will pit amateur fighters from local gyms throughout the state against each other in a battle to join the roster of C3's professional fighters.

"We're basically looking for guys with the potential to be great professional fighters and good citizens and representatives," said Ron Tripp, C3's president.

TOURNAMENTS
The local heroes will be divided into four weight classes, with individuals from each class fighting Friday night. Winners will advance throughout the 12 months of the tournament before one winner is crowned for each division at the November 2008 championship.

In addition to providing C3 Fights with additional fighters for its team, Tripp said the yearlong series also will give local fighters a chance to display their abilities while giving their communities a chance to rally behind them.

"There are so many different techniques and styles, you really can't grasp them all at once," said Charles Jones, a former Sooner wrestler and new C3 fighter. "It takes a little time to grasp them all. It's not just all takedowns and whoever can throw the most punches wins. Knowing these basics and techniques, I realize I couldn't really fight back when I was younger."

For more information, visit their site or call 364-3700. "Chris Willard

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