State representatives will step on the scales Monday in advance of matches Tuesday in the “I-70 Grudge Match,” a charity mixed martial arts competition that promoters hope will be just the first in Jefferson City. Proceeds from the event will go to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund.
Representative Keith English, who has a background in MMA, was originally set to face fellow House Democrat Brandon Ellington. Ellington is recovering from an injury, however, so English is scheduled to take on Republican Representative Rick Brattin.
English says there is a sense of rivalry in the match.
“Representative Brattin’s very energetic, being a Marine,” says English. “For me, I’m doing it for the kids. Children of Fallen Soldiers has been dear to me. My mother served 33 years in the military, and working with a lot of the members [in the legislature] that are veterans themselves, this will be a great event for both sides of the aisle to come out and support a charity.”
Brattin says there is no animosity involved.
“Not at all. I like Representative English. Great guy, good man,” says Brattin, but he adds, “I’m in it to win it … I don’t like to lose and I’m sure he doesn’t so I’m sure it’s going to be the real deal.”
There will be a somber ceremony Tuesday as well, when some veterans and some children of fallen soldiers will accept the check to the charity.
English says the fights Tuesday night are sanctioned by the USA Mixed Martial Arts Federation. He and representative Brattin have had to be cleared medically to participate, must make weight and must have their blood pressure at a safe level in order for the fight to take place.
Theirs will not be the only matchup.
“There will be some serious fights here for belts,” says English. “The winner of both the featherweight and the lightweight will be able to challenge a UFC fighter.”
There could be 13 fights in all on the card, including what’s being billed as the night’s Special Feature between Representatives Glen Kolkmeyer and John Mayfield.
The event is Tuesday at 7:30 at the Capitol Plaza Convention Center.