Local fight fans can expect a packed night of action at the upcoming Cher-Ae Heights Casino fight night, with 17 fights scheduled for the inaugural event.

The Combat on the Coast will take place on October 12 and will feature a mixture of MMA and kick boxing fights.

And according to promoter John “Juan” Thompson, interest in the event has been everything they could have hoped for, as well as showcasing just how much the sport has grown on the North Coast.

“We had a full card right away,” he said. “We had a ton of people interested in fighting.”

Thompson’s Institute of Combat gym in Arcata will have several fighters in action, along with fighters from Humboldt Jiu Jitsu in Arcata and Redwood Muay Thai in Fortuna.

Thompson also has numerous fighters from the Bay Area and elsewhere on the card, and is confident this is just the beginning for the new fight night, with plans on expanding the event with professional fights in the future.

“I have a lot of pros that want to get in on the show also, so we’re definitely going to do some pro fights soon,” Thompson said. 

Submitted photo – From left to right, Tyson Miller, John “Juan” Thompson and Cass Bell

Journey Walker, who fights out of the IOC, is included on the card and will compete in an MMA fight, as will teammate Gabriel Smith.

Hoopa Valley’s Jacob Ford is also on the card and will compete in a kick boxing bout, as will Smith’s twin brother Israel.

Humboldt Jiu Jitsu will be represented by Ingryd Velasco, while Redwood Muay Thai will have two fighters in action in kick boxing, Reese Gallup and Tim Hayden.

The Institute of Combat’s Josh Colegrove, Austin Moen and Valarie Andrews will each also be in action.

“We’ve got a handful of people locally and they want to put on a good show,” Thompson said. “We have a stacked card and you can expect some really good fights. We’ve got a lot of people coming in from the Bay Area from well-known gyms.”

Tickets for the event are available through the casino web site or at the casino, as well as through the IOC in Arcata or from any of the fighters.

IOC pro MMA fighters, Cass Bell and Tyson Miller, will each be on hand at the event to greet and meet local fight fans.

“We’re just very excited to kick off our first event and we appreciate all the support from everybody locally,” Thompson said. “And we’re super excited for what the future holds.”

Bell, who recently improved to 4-0 as a pro MMA fighter, will be back in action soon, possibly before the end of the year, according to Thompson who trains the Arcata native.

Miller, who is 1-0 as a pro after his successful debut at the recent Bellator event, is expected to fight again sometime early in the new year.


Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.