Two former Augsburg wrestlers featured on fight card
Andrew Hipps, Senior Writer
On Saturday night, Minnesota-based Seconds Out Promotions will be putting on its second combined mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing event. The event, called "Uncaged," will take place at the St. Paul Armory in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is set to get underway at 7 p.m.
The first combined MMA and boxing event put on by Seconds Out Promotions ("Evolution") took place on March 29 at the Myth Nightclub in Maplewood, Minnesota. The event drew around 1,300 fans. Seconds Out Promotions President Tony Grygelko expects around 2,000 or more fans for "Uncaged" on Saturday night.
"I think the format makes a lot of sense," said Grygelko, a former professional boxer who wrestled collegiately at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. "It was kind of experimental for us, but our first event was extremely successful. The biggest thing is that the fans seemed to really enjoy it. It should be another great night of fights."
"Uncaged" will feature three MMA fights and four boxing fights. Two former Augsburg wrestlers, Marcus LeVesseur and Rich Taylor, will be showcased in MMA fights. Some of Minnesota's top boxers will also be on the card, including Caleb Truax and Matt Vanda.
Marcus LeVesseur, who was a four-time undefeated NCAA Division III champion wrestler for Augsburg, will face Chaylen Raider, an MMA veteran with a 30-12 record. The 25-year-old LeVesseur, who carries a record of 12-1, is a rising star in MMA. He is coming off a dominating victory over Jessi Evans in Fargo, North Dakota on April 26. To see highlights from that fight, click HERE.
Rich Taylor, who is the reigning Brutaal champion at 145 pounds, will take on Bryant Clark, a fighter LeVesseur defeated on March 29.
"I feel very confident going into my fight on Saturday," said Taylor, who was a member of Augsburg's 2005 national championship wrestling team. "My game plan is to keep it standing, close the distance, cut off the ring, and look for the KO."
Rich TaylorTaylor is coming off an impressive victory over Austin Judge on March 15 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. Prior to wrestling at Augsburg, Taylor was a three-time section champion and state place-winner with a career record of 133-25 while wrestling for Como Park High School in St. Paul. He now trains at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy in Brooklyn Center, the same academy that produced former UFC lightweight world champion Sean Sherk.
"I'm just real excited about this fight," said Taylor, who owns a 5-1 MMA record. "It's my first time ever fighting in my hometown … and I'm going to give the crowd what they pay to see."
Grygelko has high praise for Taylor.
"Rich Taylor is a very talented fighter," said Grygelko. "He's real technical. He has been pretty dominant locally."
Undefeated rising star Caleb Truax and former IBA middleweight champion Matt Vanda will headline the boxing fights.
Truax, a former Upper Midwest Golden Gloves champion who owns a professional record of 5-0, will take on Jason Medina. The fight is scheduled for six rounds.
Vanda (37-6), a former IBA Americas light middleweight champion, will fight Bruce Rumbolz in the main event, which is scheduled for eight rounds.
"It's going to be a great fight," said Grygelko. "Matt Vanda always puts on the best fight in the state. The kid is super exciting. It's nice to have him back fighting in his backyard in East St. Paul. People are really excited. Anybody who follows Matt knows that he's the most exciting fighter in the Midwest. It doesn't matter who he's fighting, he will put on a great fight. He just has a way of getting everybody excited for the fight."
Tickets for "Uncaged" are priced at $45 for ringside, $35 for reserved seating, and $25 for general admission. Save money on box office fees, by purchasing tickets in advance at soboxing.com or by phone at 612.807.5547. Tickets can also be purchased by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcus LeVesseur (12-1) vs. Chaylen Raider (30-12): 155 Pounds
Rich Taylor (5-1) vs. Bryant Clark (3-2): 155 Pounds
Jimmy Gomez (7-2) vs. Joe Rico (0-0): 205 Pounds
Matt Vanda (37-6) vs. Bruce Rumbolz (21-16): 168 Pounds
Caleb Truax (5-0) vs. Jason Medina (N/A): 168 Pounds
Corey Rodriguez Minneapolis, MN (3-0) vs. Fred Thomas (0-7): 147 Pounds