MMA Heavyweight title to be decided at AeroFest - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

MMA Heavyweight title to be decided at AeroFest

MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Jon Madsen says this weekend's AeroFest festival is a great idea for a great cause.

Madsen is one of several MMA fighters in town for AeroFest at the Brookley Aeroplex beginning tomorrow and ending on Saturday. AeroFest will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

A member of Titan FC, Madsen (8-1) will take on Chase Gormley (11-4) for the Heavyweight title which is one of four title bouts on the card.

Other title bouts include: Pat Healy (30-20) vs. Kurt Kinser (8-0) for the Lightweight Title ; Desmond Green (14-3) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (13-2) in the Featherweight category; and Walel Watson (13-7) vs. Brett Johns (10-0) for the Bantamweight title.

Friday's fights will be the first nationally televised MMA event in Alabama since the formation of the Alabama Athletic Commission. The main card bout will take place at 10 p.m. CST and will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network.

For Madsen, who received his undergraduate degree in Business and Health Administration from South Dakota State University, participating in an event benefiting Wounded Warriors Project is a first.

“This is my first time participating in a benefit such as this one, but events like this one definitely puts things in perspective,” he said. “I sacrifice time with my family because they're back in Minnesota and I'm fighting out of Colorado. However, when you think about what our servicemen and women sacrifice, it puts everything into perspective. They are a big reason we have our freedom.”

Working odd jobs after college, Madsen joined the MMA ranks in 2007 . He was a cast member of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights fighting for Team Rashad, and made his official UFC debut at the Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, where he fought cast mate and teammate Justin Wren and won by a split decision.

A decorated high school and college wrestler, the Doland, South Dakota native claimed a National Wrestling Title as a freshman at SDSU.

“After college I was working some odd man jobs when I figured I might as well use my wrestling training and try my hand at MMA,” he said. “A lot of the MMA fighter are former college athletes; wrestling is the best background. At this level everybody is at a certain level, you have to be well-rounded.”

Suffering only one injury during his eight year MMA career, Madsen says the biggest misconception about MMA fighters is the same thing that attracts viewers and fans to their fights.

“The biggest misconception is that all of us are violent and uneducated. Eighty percent of MMA fighters have college degrees,” he said. “The biggest attraction to what we do? The violence and the blood. People want to see the action.”

Training anywhere from two to three times a day six days a week, Madsen has utilized the Moorer Branch of the YMCA downtown while in Mobile.

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