Another opportunity is on the horizon for pro fighters in the East Tennessee/Southwest Virginia region.
Two aspiring professionals who have enjoyed significant success at the amateur level are taking advantage of that opportunity.
MMA-Insider has learned that Billy Johnson will face Isaac Fine at Premier Fighting Challenge 8, the first pro-am show in the history of the PFC, on October 5 in Abingdon, Virginia. This will mark the pro debut for both Johnson and Fine.
It looks like a striker versus grappler matchup at first glance. Johnson, who went 4-1 as an amateur, just won the PFC Heavyweight Championship at PFC 7. He's also been a regular in amateur boxing. Fine, meanwhile, recently received his purple belt in jiu-jitsu. However, he also won a one-night title tournament at a Valor Championship Kickboxing event. Fine is actually undefeated in MMA or kickboxing since he began training at Fit Factory early last year.
One of Fine's teammates at Fit Factory also is slated to be on the card. Craig Johnson, who's currently unbeaten at 4-0, puts his unblemished record at stake against J.J. Stewart, an 0-2 pro from Team FAST in Coeburn. Johnson also is set to fight in Atlanta on August 24. If Stewart could upend Johnson, he'd become the first to beat the former Tennessee-Chattanooga wrestler in an MMA fight. Johnson, a former ISKA, X Series and Rising Fight League champion in the welterweight division, has never lost a fight either as a professional or an amateur.
A couple of amateur championship fights also have been booked, for vacant PFC titles. Harley Pertee (3-2, Mounainteer MMA) goes against Jessie McIntosh (3-1) from Team Syke-O to crown a new PFC Flyweight champion. In the heavyweight division, the PFC title vacated by Johnson will be decided between Jared Musick (2-2, Team Syke-O) and veteran amateur Jeffery Sparks (4-5, Team Execution).
Pertee, who trains and fights out of West Virginia, has been around for several years, and is a former 3FC champion in the bantamweight division. McIntosh has fought for Cage Brawl and the PFC in the past, but he's coming off a layoff of almost one year by the time this fight takes place.
PFC 8 goes down October 5 from the Washington County Fairgrounds in Abingdon.
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