NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WFXG) - Saturday, May 10 is fight night at SRP Park. 24 fighters from all over the U.S. have trained hard for the evening, and it all came down to one moment on Friday afternoon: the weigh-in.
It was the moment of truth, where the athletes put all of their training on the line, or rather the scale. Hitting the correct weight ensured they could put their training to the test. Missing the weight put the fate of the fight in the opponent’s hands. One thing each athlete who cut weight had in common is that they were hungry. Malcolm Wellmaker, local fighter, said, "Hangry: that’s the perfect word right there. For months, and months. Hangry for months.”
The weight cut is what some said is the hardest part of preparing for a fight. Local professional fighter, Jason Faglier, said, “There’s not a way I could explain it to you that you’d understand, unless you went in and tried it.” Faglier was one of many who had to cut as much as 20 pounds. It’s something that pushes their bodies to the limit in every way. Faglier’s wife, Amberly, said, “I’ve watched them go through the ringer, and it’s pretty stressful to watch, but you have to keep motivating them because it’s all mental.”
Amberly is also a fighter, but could not compete at Rumble on the River II due to a shoulder injury. She instead, cheered her teammates and husband on. Unfortunately, he was three pounds over his weight. That’s something that could break anyone. Jason Faglier said, “It’s very heartbreaking when you hear you don’t make it.” Fortunately, his opponent still wanted to fight. Faglier said, “That’s how you know my opponent is in it to fight.” It was something the whole team was excited about. Amberly said, "I was really happy when they decided to take the fight.”
After all five local fighters made it past the weight hurdle, they were looking forward to one thing before the fight tomorrow night. Joel Faglier, who will be fighting in his first nationally televised fight, said, "I’m looking forward to some shrimp Alfredo pasta, or chicken. Either one would save me right now. I’m so hungry.” Jason added, “Get some bread sticks, pasta and get a belly full.” A meal at Olive Garden, their before fight ritual.
It will be the team’s last supper before an evening many are looking forward to. Terry Trebilcock, Owner of King of the Cage, said “12 fights. Two female fights. I’m really excited about it, and I think the people here are really in for a treat.” The top local talent ultimately lead King of the Cage to the CSRA and put a $25,000 one year contract on the line. It adds another level of excitement for those athletes who qualify for it.
Joel said, “For me, it’s the exposure, making connections, meeting new people and putting on a good show for everybody.” Another local amateur, Jennifer Waters, added, “I’m going to be punching. I’m going to be kicking. I’m going to be moving. I’m going to be spinning. I’m going to be taking her down and pounding on the ground. So it’s going to be an amazing show, because people are going to be wondering where this girl came from.”
Standing in front of the baseball field that will be transformed into the King of the Cage, it got real for the athletes. Wellmaker said, “It gets more and more exciting. The stakes get higher and higher, and you start getting the butterflies and nerves, but it’s for you to go in that cage and make everybody proud.”
Cheers from the audience decides who gets the contract, and with four local amateurs, it’ll be tough. Trebilcock said, “As big as the crowd could be and as big as the local participation could be, who knows, you might see two contracts.” That plus an undefeated heavy weight champion going head to head with the fighter dubbed the ‘knockout artist’ will make for one exciting night at Rumble on the River, and a great start for more fights to come to the area.
Fighting starts at 7 o’clock. Tickets are still on sale. You can purchase tickets here.
The event is rain or shine.