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Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Power Ranger a no show

Former TV star opts out of cage fight

Alejandro Gonzalez

Issue date: 6/21/07 Section: Sports
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SATURDAY June 23, 2007 - Keenan Curry (right) won his first professional mixed martial arts fight Saturday  at the Williamson County Pavillion in Marion. Ryan Rendleman ~ Daily Egyptian
SATURDAY June 23, 2007 - Keenan Curry (right) won his first professional mixed martial arts fight Saturday at the Williamson County Pavillion in Marion. Ryan Rendleman ~ Daily Egyptian

Before his scheduled cage match, Jason David Frank -- formerly known as Tommy on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers -- signed autographs. When it came time to fight, though, he was nowhere to be found.

On Saturday, The Williamson County Pavillion held the Illinois Cage Fighting even, showcasing mixed martial arts and kickboxing.

The highlight of the event was supposed to be a fight between Ron "the badger" McMasters and Frank. Unfortunately, this fight never took place.

Jim Thomas, the president of the Fists of Glory, the organization that hosted the event, said Frank thought he would get booed by the crowd because the fight was a non-scoring boxing event instead of a mixed martial arts competition.

"I tried to tell him to stay around and fight, but he just left and blazed," he said.

Before he left, Frank said he expected to fight with mixed martial arts rules, not just boxing. The reason the rules changed was Frank's opponent, Ron 'The Badger' was only trained in boxing.

Frank said he left for numerous reasons.

First, he didn't like that his fight was changed to hands-only instead of mixed martial arts.

Also, he said it was changed to an exhibition fight, in which both fighters are winners. Frank wanted a win or loss fight.

"Either I win the match or I get my butt kicked," he said. "If I knock someone out and we both win and we both get belts, that's meaningless."

Frank said the promoter blew the event out of proportion by using the Power Ranger celebrity status too much.

"I skipped out on a Power Ranger convention to come out and fight and everything just changed," he said.

Some fans at the arena were upset Frank didn't fight. After all, he was the headliner.

Josh Chilbress, 21-year-old from Marion, said the only reason he attended the event was to see the former TV star.

"I was pissed off," Chilbress said. "I want my money back, man. Back in the day, he was my favorite Power Ranger. He was awesome. This is ridiculous."

The audience did get to see Frank at ringside as a trainer for two of his friends. Both of his friends won their first fights.

Andrew Trammel, a 22-year-old from Kansas, fought for three full rounds in the cage against one of Frank's friends.

Twenty minutes after the fight, Trammel was throwing up in a garbage can. He said he never prepared for the fight until he received a flier on his car about the event.

"I probably could've done better if I had got in shape a little bit, stopped smoking and actually trained a little bit," he said teary-eyed with his face splattered with vomit.

Like most of the fighters, Trammel was an amateur. Many fighters said they would continue to fight in cage matches, even if they lost. Trammel said he wouldn't.

"I ain't in shape for it," he said. "I felt like I was going to pass out and throw up. I was getting dehydrated."

Frank's other friend Jason Felton, 24-year-old from Houston, said he was upset after the fight against Trammel. He trained for the fight for a little less than a year and he runs a martial a school.

"If I had just knocked him out, I'd feel a lot better," he said. "When the last fight was announced, nothing was mentioned about Frank. The main event changed."

Keenan 'Keen Kong' Curry, a 26-year-old from Fort Wayne, was one of the fighters in the main event. He said he grew up watching the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and he owned several of the toys.

"I would've liked to see [Frank] fight. He put Vaseline on my face so he's a cool guy," Curry said. "I wish I could have seen him in action but it's OK. I forgive him."

Daily Egyptian writer Alejandro Gonzalez can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 256 or

agonzalez@siude.com.


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Viewing Comments 1 - 4 of 4

Don S

posted 6/25/07 @ 9:08 PM CST

He seemed like he was upset to have miss the convention, and that if he known all this would happen, then he should've just attended the convention. But I don't blame Frank when he says the fight would have had no point if both would be winners. (Continued…)

Steve B

posted 7/19/07 @ 1:31 AM CST

I don't blame him for dipping out, he was deceived into what he was really fighting. It's an integrity issue with Jim Thomas pulling the old bait and switch on JDF. (Continued…)

crom2004

posted 8/28/07 @ 7:59 AM CST

First off he is Jason David Frank not The Green Ranger. Give him the respect he deserves. I know he won our hearts as Tommy but that was a while ago. He is by far one of the best martial artists in the country. (Continued…)

Sunita

Sunita

posted 9/20/07 @ 2:49 AM CST

Hey Jason, you're my favorite Power Ranger. Hopefully, I can see the next match. Find me on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/sunxtek. It's your cousin, remember a while back? Once you get another match invite me please. (Continued…)

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