Mixed Martial Arts: Brainerd's Larson to host card at Armory Saturday
Brock Larson understands the point of view of those that oppose his occupation.
The Brainerd High School graduate is aware of recent events that have given Mixed Martial Arts fighting, especially in the Brainerd lakes area, a black eye.
But Larson, who owns the Warriors Alliance in Brainerd and is part of CFX promotions, will continue with his Saturday card at the Brainerd Armory that was scheduled before an alleged assault on March 18 that involved a member of another local MMA group.
Larson contemplated canceling the event because of the alleged assault that made front page headlines. But the former UFC veteran felt the incident shouldn’t affect his business or the card.
“We have some of the local guys and a lot of guys that are in my St. Cloud gym,” said Larson. “It should be a good show.
“We’re back at the armory. The first show we ever did was at the armory and it was super energetic. It was a lot of fun.”
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $30 for front row seats, $25 for second row and $20 for general admission.
The main event will feature Carey Vanier vs. Bobby Ferrier.
Others on the card include Matt Lagou of Little Falls. He’ll battle Derek Smith.
While the event business is going well, Larson’s fighting career is slow going.
His last fight was March 4 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he submitted to Brazil’s Antonio Braga Neto in the first round because of a kneebar. According to both Larson and Neto, Larson had it wrapped up until a costly decision.
“I chucked him and I actually blew his knee out, which I didn’t know at the time,” said Larson. “He went down on his back and had a panicked look on his face and I knew it was on from there. I went after him and threw a couple of punches and somehow he got underneath me and got at my leg and knee barred me.
“He told me afterward that he got lucky because if I would have just stood back and had him stand up he was ready to tap. He said he couldn’t stand. He had to be carried out of the cage.”
The fight was part of the MMA Against Dengue 2 and was hosted by the Brazilian government to promote awareness of Dengue Fever. Larson said people who brought in old tires, in which mosquitoes lay their eggs and transmit the disease, were given free tickets to the event.
“They had truckloads of tires,” he said. “It was basically a free show for people to get rid of tires.”
Larson has lost his last two, and three of his last four, bouts. The 34-year-old 170-pounder owns a 33-7 career record and has some things brewing in Russia and possibly Japan.
“The U.S. is just so hard to get a fight,” said Larson. “The problem is I haven’t fought out of my own organization in more than two years. And, I don’t pay very well.
“It’s really hard to get a fight. Ring rust and age is kind of a problem. Basically for me I have to find something out of the U.S.”
Larson started his MMA career in 2002 and rattled off 15 straight victories. He didn’t immediately want to become a fighter, but was talked into it by a few friends. The places he’s been, the people he’s met and the business ventures that have opened up for him have made his decision a good one.
“The CFX, that’s where I started, but nobody would come to Brainerd,” Larson. “My first CFX was in 2004 and that was in Brainerd. The sport has just gotten crazy the last two years.
“I’m just looking at finishing my career out on top. I don’t want to get too many more of these losses and start becoming a stepping stone for guys. I’m not a good loser. I can’t handle losing very well. I have a hard time sleeping afterward.
“I have to get back to winning, but I don’t want to fight hacks either. I don’t want to beat up on guys that aren’t good. I want to keep fighting at a high level.”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.