Fighters unite for fundraiser

by Jan 6, 2012SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi0 comments

Event organized to help promoter’s wife diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease





                Kickboxing and MMA (mixed martial arts) fighters are known for their punching and kicking, but a group of local fighters should also be known for their hearts.  A benefit event has been organized to help an area couple. 

                Ron Smith is the owner of Tribal Wars Promotions and is active in the MMA community as both a fighter and a promoter.  His wife, Donna, was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and is already having to use braces, canes and a wheelchair. 

                Fighters from Cherokee, Sylva, Franklin and Asheville are banding together to help Ron and Donna in their fight. 

A nine-fight event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7pm at the Birdtown Recreation Center.  Tickets are $15/advance purchase or $20 at the door and can be obtained by calling 736-2806. 

                “Ron and Donna are very dear friends and a big part of the local MMA community,” said Danaea Makemson of The Paleastra Combat Sports Club, LLC in Sylva.  “We all want to help.  It was a natural choice for us to put on an event in their honor.  All of the proceeds will go to them to help with the financial burden of the disease.”

                “In addition to benefiting Ron and Donna, this event is also an opportunity for many first-time fighters to gain competitive experience for a great cause.” 

                A total of nine fights are scheduled including five MMA fights, two boxing matches and two kickboxing bouts.  The fighters include:  James Kanott, Cheyenne Arneach, Tom Ward, Landon French, Cory Cook, Danny Thomas, David Pinkerton, Rodriguez Mitchell, Kendrick Jackson, Mason Grey, Patrick Stewart, Charlie Lewis, Patrick Smith, Josh Blankenship, Mike Kinsman, Jason Bird, and Evoc Silano.

                Professional MMA fighter and EBCI tribal member Dan “The Handler” Hornbuckle is also slated to make an appearance at the event.