AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - King of the Cage is coming to the CSRA May 11. It’s a big deal for local Mixed Martial Arts fans and fighters in the area as this is one level below paid paper view fights. 24 fighters from all over the country will showcase their skill in 12 fights. Five of those combatants are from right here in the CSRA.
Many fighters have undefeated records on the line, as well as a $25,000 one-year contract with King of the Cage that one amateur is going to walk away with. Four of the local fighters have the chance to snag that. Malcolm Wellmaker, Augusta native, said, ""Performing in front of my friends and family in my home town means a lot, winning means more, so if I was to win something like a contract with king of the cage, it’d mean everything… more than everything.” Wellmaker has been training for two and a half years, and has racked up a 3-0 record. "It’s so huge. The name is so big, and the stakes are so high. It just makes everything that much more valuable and sweet. Just from the higher organizations that will be seeing me perform for the first time is definitely a good opportunity, and definitely something I will take full advantage of,” he said. In addition to fighting, Wellmaker is also in his fourth year of a five-year local pipe-fitter apprenticeship.
Wellmaker is not the only undefeated local amateur vying for the King of the Cage contract. 31-year-old Jennifer Waters sits at a 2-0 record, and 18-year-old Joel Faglier also has a 2-0 record. “There’s great talent on the card. I’ve got great friends on the card, and I know the contract is going to go to the best fighter. Whoever that is, I’m blessed to have the opportunity,” said Faglier.
This contract is a big deal for anyone, but for Faglier, the opportunity to fight on Saturday is a little more special, as he gets to fight alongside his older brother, Jason Faglier, Jr., who already fights at the professional level. Joel said, “To be there with my brother, standing on that stage, not just holding his titles like I always was, awestruck as always, but now I get to be on that level with him.” Jason, who has a 6-3 record, added, “I’ve been competing for a long time, and he’s been there since the beginning. The fact that we’re able to compete on the same stage together is a dream come true for sure.”
In addition to softer training and focus on cutting weight, the fighters are out promoting themselves to the community as well. “Working out, going and talking to someone about the benefit of Martial Arts and what we’re doing and then getting right back to it, and that’s what we’re doing this week,” said Waters. Waters has been studying various forms of martial arts since she was a child. The Edgefield native is a kick boxing champion, martial arts instructor and recently adopted a child.
For one of the local fighters, it means showing everyone what she’s got for the very first time. Alexa Wiechert, former kick boxer said, “No MMA fights. This is going to be my first one. I’m super excited to put on a show and just make everyone proud, and have all my family and friends there. It’s going to be exciting.” Weichert is a pre-nursing major at Augusta University.
The group is all working toward the same common goal.
They plan on reaching their goals with the discipline, motivation and love for the sport that they’ve gained through training and fighting.
The athletes have a final weigh in Friday afternoon before competing Saturday night.