AFC to return with outdoor fights in June and AFC alumnus to cast for ‘Ultimate Fighter’
The Alaska Fighting Championship is emerging from pandemic-induced hibernation with the help of a few igloos and a fighter above the Arctic Circle.
On hold since its last event on March 11, 2020 – just before COVID-19 concerns put an end to indoor sports worldwide – the AFC will return in June with an outdoor event, the co-owner said on Tuesday. from the AFC, Misty Herron-Webb.
No date has been set yet, but the event will take place at the Inlet Tower hotels on West 12th Avenue – the same location where alfresco dining was made possible this winter through the use of ‘Inlet igloos. “.
Each of the domed structures is large enough to accommodate a group of six for dinner. Come fight at night, the igloos will provide premium seating for combat fans in addition to a general admission viewing area, Herron-Webb said.
Also in June, Aaron Phillips, 30, of Kotzebue, will become the latest AFC veteran to appear in “The Ultimate Fighter,” a reality TV show that puts several mixed martial arts fighters in the same house and follows them as they train and compete for a UFC contract.
In his TUF application, Phillips said he was self-taught because Kotzebue didn’t have a mixed martial arts gym, “so I have Rocky IV most of my training camps.
“Beating people who do this for a living and training a lot more regularly gives me joy.”
Phillips is one of eight middleweights (185 pounds) that is part of the show’s 29th season, which begins June 1 on ESPN +. The show will also feature eight bantamweight (135 pounds).
He’s 5-2, with six of his fights in the AFC. He had his first fight outside the AFC on Dec. 17 in Pennsylvania, where he lost a Cage Fury Fighting Championships bout via a second round knockout.
Of his six AFC wins, three are by submission and two by KO.
Because filming for “The Ultimate Fighter 29” has already started, Phillips and the other contestants are not allowed to speak to the media. Joey Torres, a sports agent who represents Phillips at Dodge Sports, shared excerpts from a written biography that Phillips provided to “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“The biggest challenge of my life has always been to pursue this dream with limited resources,” Phillips wrote. “I live in such harsh cold conditions, with no real place to train, but outside, in my parents’ shop or in my living room.”
Phillips gave examples of what this looks like:
“After work, I usually head to my parents’ house for my workouts in their shop. I make sure I get there early enough to start the radiators so that they are warmed up enough to be able to use them.
“Throughout my day I usually watch videos of drills or techniques that I can practice or work on because I don’t have the normal job in combat gyms with a team environment. . “
Phillips is Inupiat, and is believed to be the first Alaskan native to appear on “The Ultimate Fighter”.
Other Alaskans who appeared on “The Ultimate Fighter” include Lauren Murphy (TUF 26), Terrence Mitchell (TUF 24), Gina Mazany and Colleen Schneider (TUF 18), Andy Enz (TUF 17), Nic Herron-Webb (TUF 16), Richie Whitson (TUF 9) and Sam Hoger (TUF 1).
Only two of them won fights – Herron-Webb and Whitson.
Herron-Webb, who won AFC titles in three weight classes, retired in 2019 to buy the AFC with his wife, Misty. On Tuesday, Misty Herron-Webb said she hopes the June fights at Inlet Towers will be the first in a series of outdoor events.
“We would like to do one every month, but we play it by ear,” she said.