There’s one constant in this world that is day in and day out guaranteed to remain the same regardless of what transpires in life. That guarantee is, your family will always remain your family regardless of circumstance or situation. Whether you see eye to eye or refuse to be involved in one another's life, it still remains that a family connection never disappears.
One of the most debated topics fight fans argue is the willingness to fight a family member, best friend, or teammate. No matter if the opportunity is for a World Title or for a million dollar purse, both sides of the fence often stand very strong by what they believe in.
One New Mexico promotion will test the boundaries of this controversial subject.
Evolution Combat Sports Championship, better known simply as Evolution, is a Clovis, New Mexico based MMA organization owned by brothers Martin and Sam Singleterry. Their upcoming event on December 10th, 2011, EVOLUTION 2 will be the sixth card promoted by the two brothers. They break up their cards into big and smaller events much like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) does with their numbered PPV cards and their "Fight Night" cards. Evolution Combat Sports titles their events as "Evolution" and "Friday Night Fights."
The promotion has featured such fighters as Ultimate Fighter 14 participant Diego Brandao, Jackson's MMA fighter Heather Clark, King of the Cage Champion Tim Means, rising prospect Jeremiah Cullum who is younger brother to former KOTC champ and current Dream fighter Abel Cullum, one of New Mexico's most popular female fighters Angelica Chavez and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion and undefeated prospect Rafael "Barata" de Freitas.
The promotion is known for an unorthodox approach to their events as they try to gain steam and attention in such an obscure area. The creative and unique approaches have provided regional fight fans plenty to talk about and the promotion provided a thriller in their last card when headliners Rafael de Freitas and Joshua Montoya fought to a razor thin split decision that was jam packed with action.
On this particular night however, the main event won't be featuring a match between two well known names unless you follow the states regional scene. The main event will be what may be one of the first times in MMA that two brothers fight inside the cage proving once again that the promoters know how to grab the attention of fight fans.
For more info and personal thoughts and reaction, follow me after the jump.
As fight fans and MMA blog enthusiasts, we’ve all either seen or taken part in discussions regarding whether teammates should fight teammates. Whether the topic sparked from AKA teammates Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch stating they wouldn't fight one another or Greg Jackson's long time rule of teammates never fighting teammates, the conversation always had a side that advocated this belief and one side who’s opinion differed greatly.
The side that opposes argues that fighting someone you trained with day in and day out wasn't something that should be done. The reasons vary from not wanting to break the ‘sacred hoop’, shedding blood with a teammate, to not wanting to hurt someone they train with for money or a belt.
The other side argues that two fighters who participate in physical combat everyday with each other should have no problem doing it and getting paid and that this sport isn't a team sport.
Opinions flare from people who insist they would hit their own brother for a million dollars to why would you let something you do anyways deter a career.
In most cases the scenarios are hypothetical. Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck have never had to make the decision and most people who offer their opinion who say they could never be in the position to carry out what they claim they would do, i.e., fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.
At one point two adopted brothers, Ken and Frank Shamrock appeared to be taking their bad blood into the mixed martial arts world however, that fight never manifested.
For two brothers Jeremiah Paco ‘The Punisher’ Castillo and Angel Castillo, this situation will become reality in a 130-pound catch weight bout on EVOLUTION 2.
Paco, the heavy right handed elder brother brings in a ton of experience fighting in promotions ranging from King of the Cage to Shark Fights. The younger brother Angel Castillo, who has much better ground, will be making his pro debut after an impressive amateur career.
Yet, I don't think their records or background create the main topic on this one. This is a fight that will go deeper then most conflicts between two fighters and
“Well, from what both brothers have told me, it’s your typical long standing sibling rivalry except we’re talking about two country boys that are trained fighters so the situation is elevated. Both are great guys but I think they have certain objections to one another’s lifestyle choices and from what I gather, their personalities clash when in close proximity of one another. Primarily, they frequently quip about who is the better fighter……which has escalated into actual fighting on more than one occasion,” Evolution Combat Sports Owner Martin Singleterry explains, “A few months ago I caught wind of them wanting to settle their differences in the cage and I immediately contacted them about it. After some discussion, we all agreed and the contracts were signed shortly after. We are considered as the premier organization in the state so they had no problem trusting us to carry this out properly.”
Being in the position as a promoter this can be a very controversial to walk the thin line between martial arts and fighting. Some people will be swayed to feel like fighting your brother is something that is not supposed to happen. That fighting a family member is breaking some sort of sacred vow. Most people enter fights with a fire in their eyes, with the mentality to knock your opponents head off and to even inflict bodily harm to earn you a victory. Is it worth it? Is having your hand raised and having a “W” in your record worth the cost, when that cost is often hurting and even injuring someone who is your relative, a family member, a brother?
Martin Singleterry offers his opinion on the topic. “I feel great about it! It’s sensational and somewhat controversial but no matter the opinion, it’s a fight that lots of people are interested in. Shoot, if I’m not mistaken, I think we’re the first in MMA history to do it. Our reputation is based on quality events with good, fair fights and even though this is a rare obscure occurrence it’s a good fight. We can’t forget that MMA is a sport, a very rough sport but a sport nonetheless. Evolution is a great organization and we operate and abide by the NMAC sanctions so, it’s much better to do it this way, in a controlled environment than continue letting them endanger themselves by smashing each other into concrete steps and what not.”
And he ends by sharing some of his personal ideology. “Most everyone knows my trademark saying, “cut us open and you’ll find three things, M.M.A.”. We love the sport and work hard to do it justice. We are a respected and trusted organization and would not pursue this fight if we thought it would be detrimental to MMA. Therefore, I have no qualms about putting anyone with equal abilities in the cage…..even brothers.”
I have always felt that fighting someone in this situation would force the individual to hold back in some way. In the case of Fitch and Koscheck I firmly believe that neither would be able to fight 100% the way they would when facing other opponents. Would they be able to unleash ground and pound if they had each other hurt? Would Fitch be able to crank back on an arm bar that could break his teammates arm or vice versa if Koscheck had a knee bar and was about to blow the knee of Fitch?
The answer for at least one promoter is a definitive yes. “It’s more than just simple smack talk between fighters; this is a real situation with deep conflict. I firmly believe once it’s over, they will lay a lot of their differences to rest regardless of the outcome. If you’re wondering what level will they engage, then I can assure you they’re going to try to beat the hell out of each other to win.”
For more on the event, visit the promotions website.
Fight fans, what are your thoughts on the issue? We have discussed the teammate vs. teammate topic enough, how about a real life brother against brother fight?