Power Ranger to fight in cage
Issue date: 6/19/07 Section: Other Sports
He doesn't fight monsters anymore. Now, he fights in a cage.
"I just like to fight," Frank said. "It's always been in my blood."
It's true. Frank has been training in Karate and mixed martial arts since he was 5-years-old and has opened four karate schools.
Now Frank is scheduled to fight against Ron 'The Badger' McMasters June 23 at the Williamson County Pavilion in Marion.
The fight will be one of 14 fights in the Illinois Cage Fighting event.
Each fight will last three rounds. The event will also spotlight 13 contests between other amateur fighters.
After years of restrictions from fighting because of contracts with Disney, Frank is now getting a chance to show his skills. But Frank said he's doing this for more than the rush in a fight.
"It's not just fighting, it's the training and preparation before you fight - the training, the sparing," he said.
Frank won his two previous bouts, but he said fighting is something he wants. It's not necessary for him.
"I don't need to fight for money like all these other guys," he said. "I just do it because I like to."
Although Frank will get paid, most amateurs don't receive money for fights, said Jim Thomas, president of Fists of Glory, the organization sponsoring the event.
"If they get paid, they become a professional," he said. "Different guidelines. These are amateurs."
Mark Ratner, Ultimate Fighting Championship vice president of regulatory affairs, who is not involved in the June 23 event, said the sport is becoming more mainstream.
Ratner said when UFC - the largest promoter of mixed martial arts in the world - first began it was no-holds barred, but the athletic commission would not accept it as a sport.
Political pressure was also thrown on the sport. Sen. John McCain (R-Az) coined the UFC as "human cockfighting" in 1998, which caused fights to be outlawed in many states. The rules were added so the sport could be sanctioned.
Ratner said the UFC continues to expand across the globe thanks to regulation of the sport. The UFC is waiting for a law to be signed by Gov. Ron Blagojevich that would regulate the fights throughout the state. UFC would then be allowed to hold fights in Illinois.
"The sport is blowing up," Ratner said. "Most of young males know about the sport, whereas they might not know so much about boxing."
Alejandro Gonzalez can be reached at email@example.com or 536-3311 ext. 256