Some of Minnesota’s biggest MMA stars are scheduled to fight this month with huge opportunities out of state. Lightweight Brandon Girtz, bantamweight John Castaneda, welterweight Tony Martin, lightweight Dan Moret, and Andrew Kapel are all preparing for featured bouts with top promotions. More info on each fight as well as video interviews below.
APRIL 13, 2018, JOHN CASTANEDA VS. MARC GOMEZ
John “Sexi Mexi” Castaneda (16-3), representing the U.S. is set to battle Marc “Lufo” Gomez (21-11), representing Spain in the main event of “Combate Estrellas I” at the Shrine in Los Angeles, California. The show will be televised on Univision.
Castaneda is coming off of a decision loss to Levy Salazar in the Copa Combate tournament finals last November. Earlier that night, Castaneda won a thrilling decision over Gomez to get to the finals. Now the two will meet in a highly anticipated rematch this Friday night. Castaneda has been training at the MMA Lab in Phoenix, Arizona along with Dan Moret.
APRIL 13, 2018, BRANDON GIRTZ VS. MICHAEL CHANDLER
Brandon Girtz of Forest Lake, MN (residing in Denver, Colorado) will step in on 3 and a half weeks notice to face Michael Chandler (17-4) at Bellator 197. Chandler was set to rematch unbeaten Bellator lightweight champion, Brent Primus, until an injury forced the champ to pull out.
The action takes place at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. live on the Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV). Girtz is on a roll after scoring a spectacular knockout of Luka Jelcic at last December’s Bellator 190.
APRIL 14, 2018 DAN MORET VS. GILBERT BURNS
Brooklyn Park’s Dan “The Hitman” Moret (13-3) will make his UFC debut against Gilbert Burns on April 14th in Glendale, Arizona. The lightweight fight takes place at the Gila River Arena and will be televised live on Fox 29.
The 31-year-old Moret has fought for LFA, RFA, Victory Fighting Championship, and now The UFC. Moret was victorious in his last fight, submitting Alonzo Martinez at VFC 59 in the first round. Moret has been training in Arizona at The MMA Lab to prepare for Burns.
APRIL 14, 2018, ANDREW KAPEL VS. KEVIN NOWACZYK
Two of the Midwest’s top middleweights will square off in Victory FC 60’s main event at The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. The April 14 fight between Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Andrew Kapel (12-6) and Kevin Nowaczyk (19-3) of Chicago, Illinois will be shown live on UFC Fight Pass. Kapel enters the fight having won 3 out of his last 4, all wins by knockout. Nowaczyk has won 7 in a row entering Saturday’s fight. You can listen to Andrew Kapel discuss the fight below.
APRIL 21, 2018, TONY MARTIN VS. KEITA NAKAMURA
Tony Martin (12-4) is ready to make his welterweight return after campaigning in the UFC’s lightweight division for the last few years. Martin (of Saint Cloud, MN and residing in Boston, Massachusetts) will face veteran Keita Nakumura (33-8-2, 1 NC) in Atlantic City (Boardwalk Hall) at UFC Fight Night 128.
Martin was on a three-fight win streak with the UFC before a split decision loss to Olivier Aubin-Mercier came in his last fight. Martin has been training at American Top Team in Florida to prepare for Nakamura.