Young gloves: Mount Doug grad to open night of UFC veterans at AFC 13: Natural Selection

Local talent will set up a night of UFC veterans at AFC 13: Saturday night fights at Bear Mountain Arena

Karel Bergen (5-1) (R) lands a stiff left hand on Adam Smith (4-0) in one of the main event matches at the Bear Mountain Arena at Armageddon Fighting Championship 8

Karel Bergen (5-1) (R) lands a stiff left hand on Adam Smith (4-0) in one of the main event matches at the Bear Mountain Arena at Armageddon Fighting Championship 8

Alexi Argyriou was ready.

He’d been training in mixed martial arts for several years, the last two of them with an agreement to join the pro ranks of the Maximum Fighting Championship in Edmonton once he gained enough amateur experience.

But two weeks out from his scheduled debut at Aggression Fighting Championship No. 7 from Nov. 5, 2011, the 18-year-old dislocated his knee cap during training.

Needless to say that fight never happened.

“I was very excited and felt prepared until that happened,” Argyriou recalled this week.

One year later, the Mount Douglas secondary grad is back on track. It took a month before he could train after the knee injury, and two-and-a -half months to return to full fitness. He made his long-awaited debut in April, a dominating win over Guy Gauthier in 67 seconds at AFC. No. 8.

And now he’s ready for his second fight on Saturday (Nov. 3) at AFC No. 13: Natural Selection at Bear Mountain Arena. He’ll share the same cage as UFC veterans John Alessio and Kendall Grove.

“This fight’s going to be another step up in competition,” Argyriou said. The Camosun College student will fight Andy Jack of Winnipeg. “He only has one more fight but he’s 23 years old.”

Both will stand in at 155 pounds or less at today’s (Nov. 2) weigh-in at the Shark Club.

Three years ago Argyriou made a pact to fight professionally in the MFC, but it was verbal only.

“The idea was, get four or five wins, hopefully 5-0, and then go to the MFC,” Argyriou said.

But since then the locally spawned Armageddon Fighting Championship, run by Darren Owen and Jason Heit, has merged, expanded and rebranded as the Aggression Fighting Championship out of Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary. Athletes such as Argyriou now have a local option of equal or greater status to the MFC, should they choose to pursue prize fighting.

“To be able to have your friends and family at the event is such a benefit,” Argyriou said.

Theirs is the first of the night, one of three amateur status bouts. The card is co-headlined by Alessio vs. Dave Mazany and Ultimate Fighter winner Grove vs. Ariel Gandulla.

Argyriou will be joined Saturday by fellow Zuma Gym fighters Diego Wilson and Ryan Janes, also fighting. Tickets are available through AggressionFC.com, Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, Sports Traders, Island MMA, Zuma Gym, or at the door.

Doors at 6 p.m., fights at 7 p.m.

AFC lineup

John Alessio (34-16) vs. Dave Mazany (10-4), 160 lbs.Kendall Grove (15-10) vs. Ariel Gandulla (8-7), 185 lbs.Diego Wilson (6-1) vs. Loius Fisette (4-1), 135 lbs.David Perron (4-1) vs. Dan MacIver (6-2), 185 lbs.Ryan Janes (4-1) vs. Keto Allen (6-5), 185 lbs.Tristan Connelly (3-3) vs. Myles Merola (9-7), 155 lbs.Bill Fraser 3-6 vs. Miles Arnstead (0-0), 180 lbs.Alexi Argyriou (1-0) vs. Andy Jack (2-0), 155 lbs.Dillon Brown (7-1) vs. Jonny Williams (1-0), 150 lbs.Steve Best (1-3) vs. Guy Gauthier (2-1), 145 lbs.

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