Locals bringing mixed martial arts to Clovis

CNJ staff photo: Gabriel Monte Duffy Simmons practices a knee strike at the Force of One Gym in Clovis. Simmons said he is anxious for his first fight at Saturday’s Evolution Combat Sports mixed martial arts match at the Curry County Events Center.

Gabriel Monte

Martin Singleterry and his brother, Sam, are ready for a fight. The two aren’t fighting people but the perception that there is nothing to do in Clovis. And they’re hoping for a knockout after Saturday’s event.

The brothers are promoting a mixed martial arts event 8 p.m. Saturday at the Curry County Events Center.

The Singleterrys formed Evolution Combat Sports two years ago to promote mixed martial arts fights, in which fighters use punches, kicks and submission holds to overpower their opponents.

The event features 19 fights, 10 professional and nine amateur, commentators and a live online broadcast at www.gofightlive.tv

“(People) deserve a chance to realize that something good can happen in Clovis. If they are willing to show up,” said Martin Singleterry, who works as a base contractor. “We are putting our best foot forward. It is not easy at all. We’ve stayed up all night (to plan). We want to make sure this goes off very well.”

The Singleterry brothers are not fighters, but mixed martial arts fans since its inception as a sport in the early 1990s.

“(We’re) the ultimate armchair quarterbacks,” Martin Singleterry said. “We’re walking encyclopedias of MMA. It’s our lifestyle now.”

The two recruited matchmaking help from MMA veteran Eric Krucevic.

“He knows the sport inside and out,” Singleterry said.

The event also features local competitors.

Pete Bouton trains at the Fitness and More gym in Portales.

Saturday’s fight will be his second. Bouton, 22, began MMA training four years ago.

An Eastern New Mexico University student from New Jersey, Bouton said he enjoys the organization Evolution Combat Sports provides compared to other promoters he fought with.

“So far, I like everything they’re doing,” said Bouton, a wildlife and fishery science major. “It’s way more organized.”

Harvey Park and Duffy Simmons train at Force of One Gym in Clovis and will also be fighting in the amateur card.

Harvey Park, a former Melrose football and basketball player, says he is excited about his first fight.

Park, 24, a Navy veteran, started training in mixed martial arts a year ago while stationed in Bremerton, Wash., after a friend told him he had a talent for the sport.

When he returned to the area in October 2009 he continued his training.

“I feel confident,” said Park, the former receiver and defensive back for the Melrose Buffaloes. “We’ve been training a lot. A lot of hard work. Hard work pays off.”

Simmons, 32, a civilian employee at Cannon Air Force base, said he wrestled in high school. He said started studying martial arts eight months ago and signed up for the fight two months ago.

“This is more like a gauge to see where I’m at,” he said. “I just want to get in the ring, do what I do and see how I do.”

Martin Singleterry said he hopes their company inspires more MMA gyms to form in the area.

The Singleterrys have sponsored an MMA referee workshop that drew in 20 people.

“Our goal is to create an industry related to MMA in Clovis,” he said.

Martin Singleterry said other fights are planned out of town.

Fast facts

What: Evolution Combat Sports

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Curry County Events Center

Streaming video: www.gofightlive.tv

Information: www.evolutioncombatsports.com