MMA returns to North Platte and the D&N Event Center on Saturday as Midwest Championship Fighting presents St. Patty’s Beatdown IV.
The 10-fight card has plenty of local flavor, with 13 of 20 fighters hailing from North Platte or the surrounding area.
Local fighter and fan favorite, Ryan “Main Event” MacDonald headlines the night, putting his perfect 3-0 record on the line against Corey Roberts (2-2), of Omaha, at 135 pounds.
When the matchup was announced in January, MacDonald described Roberts as being tough as nails and as having one-punch knockout ability.
“I hope Corey comes prepared and we put on a show for the fans,” MacDonald said.
In his last bout on Oct. 24, MacDonald defeated Turrell Galloway via unanimous decision in Mitchell, but hasn’t had an MMA fight in his hometown since making his professional debut a year ago.
“I have such incredible support in [North Platte], it almost feels like I’m letting people down when I fight anywhere else,” MacDonald said.
With the fight now just one day away, MacDonald says he will try to relax and not overthink things.
“It’s just a waiting game at this point,” MacDonald said. “It may sound strange, but I like to do something other than focus on the fight, like go bowling or play laser tag. If you’re just constantly thinking about the fight, you’ll psych yourself out and waste your energy.”
Also on the docket, fighting for the Amateur Heavyweight Championship at 265 pounds is North Platte native and current Phoenix resident Jason Windham against North Platte’s Braden Erdman.
The two combatants are familiar with each other.
“We know each other from high school and I have no problem with [Jason], but as soon as we get in that cage and the door closes, he’s my enemy,” Erdman said.
Erdman is grateful to fight in his hometown after an injury forced him to sit out of this same event last year.
“It was disappointing when I couldn’t fight last year, so I’m super excited,” he said. “I’ve had a great training camp and I’m treating this like any other fight. I want to get in there, show off what I’ve been working on and give the crowd a good show.”