Aggressive in Alberta: Victoria MMA merges with Edmonton, Calgary

Victoria’s Armageddon Fighting Championship merging with pair of Alberta MMA organizations to form Aggression Fighting Championship

Robert Drysdale has signed a four-fight contract in the newly expanded AFC

The Armageddon Fighting Championship is expanding with an aggressive move into Alberta – literally.

The AFC, Victoria’s top mixed martial arts organization and one of the most stable outfits in B.C., is aligning with Aggression MMA of Edmonton and AX Combat of Calgary under the new brand Aggression Fighting Championship.

It’s a deal with immediate benefits and a long-term goal to be Canada’s No. 1 MMA league, said Armageddon co-founder Darren Owen.

“We’re as big as we can get in Victoria. Now we can pool our resources and move into other cities across Canada,” he said. “

Working hand in hand with professional fighter Jason Heit, Owen, a former Victoria Rebels football player, spent years doing the heavy lifting needed to get Armageddon off the ground. Owen and Heit finally got the green light from Colwood in 2009 to begin hosting the “extreme fighting” events that the city of Victoria wouldn’t allow.

This Saturday (April 14) is the eighth Armageddon show, but the merger won’t impact what fans see just yet. Vengeance still has a card built almost exclusively around Victoria- and Island-produced talent.

“Moving forward we’re going to become a national brand,” Owen said. “We’re trying to become the biggest MMA brand in Canada and attract the best fighters in Canada.

“(Once we reach that goal), the AFC title-holder will either be the best free agent fighter not in the UFC, or is Canada’s top fighter for that weight class.”

Going forward, the events will continue in numerical succession from AFC No. 8 this weekend, to AFC 9 in Edmonton on June 8 and AFC 10 in Calgary on June 15. (Coincidentally, Aggression just did their eighth show, while AX has only held two, so it’s the best compromise as the trio of brands become one.)

Branding is a key piece of the puzzle for the AFC’s success going forward, as the burgeoning organization seeks to be broadcast on TV.

“We feel we are closer now to the opportunity of securing a live TV deal, which is fundamental to our growth,” Owen said.

Atop the list of immediate returns is the pooling of fighters.

Since AFC 1 at Bear Mountain Arena in August of 2009, Armageddon has featured dozens of fighters, with a specific core of national-ready talent. Victoria’s Derek Medler leads a group with Diego Wilson, Nick Driedger, Ryan Janes, Karel Bergen and others who will benefit with a chance to fight within the AFC’s suddenly expanded weight classes.

The merger is a great opportunity for fighters to fight more often, Owen said. “Some guys want to fight five to six times a year, and now they can.”

The AFC also has two of the top non-UFC welterweight (170 lbs.) fighters in Canada, with Medler and Edmonton’s Ryan Ford. Ford has a history of training with Zuma Martial Arts in Victoria.

Armageddon also brings Robert Drysdale, who is perhaps the new organization’s top name. The Brazilian jiu jitsu expert is a multi-time world champion and has coached UFC champions. His MMA campaign began with the AFC and he just signed a new four-fight deal, Owen said.

As exciting as the new venture is, the AFC has its challenges, too. AFC is in a battle for Edmonton-based fans and fighters, with the Maximum Fighting Championship, run by boisterous promoter Mark Pavelich. The MFC was recently struck with a tough blow, however, losing its TV deal when Shaw dropped cable’s HDNet last month.

sports@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

More than 900 new units planned for Langford Lake development

Council still has to sign-off on rezoning application

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

Art has become a lifestyle for local resident

Coast Collective’s latest exhibit celebrates all things late fall

Deadline looming for youth transitional housing

Province says funding for 10 units not available at this time

Island athletes compete at Dragon Boat Championship in China

Eight paddlers will be part of team representing Canada Oct. 18-23

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

EDITORIAL: It’s time to change the sexual assault conversation

The words “Me Too” are taking social media by storm this week,… Continue reading

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Event puts pets in the picture for Halloween

Pets West holding Halloween party Oct. 29 at its Broadmead Village location

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read