Bringing the fight home again
Vail CO Colorado
VAIL ” If it comes once, it’s a novelty.
Twice, and it’s still not quite a commodity.
But come tonight, Extreme Fighting will have become a regular in the Vail Valley.
For the third time in just over a year, Dobson Arena will host a mixed martial arts event when the first bout of BattleQuest5 gets underway at 7:30 p.m.
And unlike the two previous shows, this one will be of, by and for the locals.
Carlos Carvahlo of Inyodo Studios, who partnered up with Sven Bean for the two previous local MMA shows that were under the Ring of Fire name, is putting on tonight’s show. Four fighters from Carvahlo’s gym, Inyodo Studios, are on the 10-fight card.
“BattleQuest is an old fighting league in Denver that was created five years ago,” Carvahlo said. “The idea of BattlQuest was to be the farm (system) for Ring of Fire.”
After the league was in limbo for a few years, Bean and Carvahlo came to an agreement where Bean took ROF and Carvahlo took BattleQuest.
“We came here, and we’re here to stay,” Carvahlo said.
In addition to tonight’s fight, Carvahlo has another Vail event planned for July. BattleQuest may be heading to Las Vegas before coming back to Vail, although the fight is still in negotiations. Then, on Aug. 12, Carvahlo will be hosting a fight in his native Brazil, and he’ll be bringing some fighters from his gym.
In early January, Jon Manley came out to Vail from the East Coast in search of snow. Manley found the snow, and a gym soon after.
“When I first found out (about Inyodo), I was a little skeptical,” Manley said. “But I came in and Carlos is a brown belt, and I’ve been in four different gyms and he’s he best coach I’ve had yet.”
Manley, who has fought in one MMA bout before at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncastville, Conn., was looking for another fight.
“I won my first won in 32 seconds in the second round,” Manley said. “I knew I would love it.”
In addition to his heavy training regiment, Manley gets plenty of time in on the mountain.
“I still do, I just don’t go as hard,” Manley said. “No jumps or anything like that.”
As the fight drew closer, Manley had to cut down on his mountain time to about four days a week, as to not interfere with the nearly full-time training.
While Manley has only been in one professional fight, he’s been in plenty of other tussles.
“I have a twin brother who also fights MMA. I must have been in about 50 full-out brawls with him,” Manley said.
For the past few months, Manley has had quite a formidable training partner in Chris Harvey.
At last year’s Colorado state wrestling tournament, Harvey, the Eagle Valley graduate, won the 4A 160 class title, closing out a tremendous high school career.
Harvey has been training with Carvahlo and Jason Field, absorbing all the martial arts techniques to add to his repertoire.
“He’s really aggressive and always in really good shape,” Manley said. “It brings the intensity up. I like to train with him.”
Along with Harvey, local Edwin Rodrigues will be making his MMA debut.
Rodrigues, who lives in Edwards, doesn’t have any street fight experiences, either, but has excelled in Tae Kwon Do and Jjujitsu.
“I started Tae Kwon Do about two years ago,” Rodrigues said. “My friend kind of talked me into it.”
Rodrigues cut his teeth in some martial arts tournaments, and thinks this may help him ignore the distractions of a big fight.
Josh Easton will be the Inyodo’s fourth fighter. The Edwards gym, despite drawing from a small population, has seen considerable success, both at tournaments, and with the signing of one fighter, Donald Cerrone, to the UFC circuit. Field will be in the corner with Inyodo’s fighters.
The card features eight amateur bouts, which will have three, three-minute rounds. The two pro fights have three, five-minute rounds.
“I can’t wait, I just want to get it done,” Manley said. “I want to get in there and hurt him.
“In my first fight I thought I was going to get angry, like when you get in a street fight. But when you are in there you aren’t angry. You just don’t want to lose.”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.