A Mixed Martial Arts event is coming to Cranbrook.
After a few years of plowing through red tape and regulations, a local production company gotten the ball rolling for an event in September that will feature a number of local MMA fighters in the octagon inside the Rec Plex.
Billed as the 'Battle for the Border', local fighters from around the region will face off against rivals from across the Albertan border in a number of professional and amateur bouts on September 8, 2012.
Isaac Hockley, who has worked to get an MMA event in the city for a couple years, has partnered up with Jody McInnes to form HM Productions Inc, which is doing the work behind the scenes to settle all the details.
"It's been a long process, but we are very happy with the end result," Hockley said. "It's an event that the people here have been wanting to see for a long time and it's taken over two years to make it happen.
"We really wanted to put on a high class sporting event-something that the fans and the fighters would be excited to be a part of-so it was important to take the time necessary to make sure the event is a huge success."
Hockley enlisted the help of Mike Corrigan at Rocky Mountain Academy of Martial Arts in landing the services of Big John McCarthy, who will officiate the all of the matches.
McCarthy has been involved as a referee with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) since it's early days and founded C.O.M.M.A.N.D., which is a training and certification school for MMA officials.
Local professional fighters on the cards include Sheldon Doll, Brandon McArthur and Curtis Blackmore. Other fighters include Derek Boyle out of Sparwood, Shon Cottrill out of Fernie and Jordan Tracey.
All fighters will be paired up against an opponent from Alberta, but Corrigan hasn't finalized the cards yet, according to Hockley.
Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday, July 20, at the Cranbrook Rec Plex box office. Tickets for VIP tables can be purchased by contacting HM Productions directly at 250-420-7043.
While HM Productions is promoting its first major event in Battle for the Border, the company wants to branch out and bring in other kinds of entertainment.
"We were born and raised here and we want to bring some high-level entertainment to the area," said Jody McInnis. "HM Productions will be bringing in the artists and events that the people want to see. It's something that has been in the works for a long time and now we are finally ready to move forward."
Hockley says he's already been in contact with Brad Lukowich, a local professional hockey player who has connections in the music industry, to get the inside track on getting some bands and artists into Cranbrook.