Ultimate fights return

ROCHELLE SQUIRES -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 2:08 PM ET

The downside to fighting in a darkened, eight-sided cage is there's nowhere to run.

The upside is your combatant can't escape your wrath either, says Ultimate Cage War promoter Krzysztof Soszynski.

"There's no escaping in a cage. In a ring, you can run away or slide under the ropes. But in an octagon cage you either get your opponent or he gets you," said Soszynski, who is lining up 24 fighters for tonight's Caged Inferno: Ultimate Cage Wars at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

The 6-foot-1 Polish-born fighter is also preparing to get in the cage with a fierce opponent tonight.

"I'll be fighting Ricandaeu Francois from Montreal," Soszynski said, noting his 6-foot-6 opponent is "really good" and the fight is being touted as the main event. "It's my first time fighting him and if I beat him I'll be at the top of my weight class in Canada, or at least in the top five."

Caged Inferno: Ultimate Cage Wars features amateurs from Winnipeg and across Canada in the mixed martial arts event being promoted by TCW Extreme Entertainment.

It will be the second of its kind in Winnipeg.

WILL SELL OUT

The first event, held last October, was a sell-out and organizers are anticipating tonight's event will also sell out.

"The VIP tables are completely sold out and we're down to about 800 seats left through Ticketmaster," said Soszynski, noting this event will be bigger, louder and meaner than the first. "We've added two giant screens, a ramp for the fighters, more lighting and bigger sound."

University of Manitoba student Jeff Sutherland is psyched for his match against Bill Boland.

"I've been training about six hours a day for this fight. Lots of cardio, lots of technique," said the 22-year-old Winnipegger, who has won both of his previous matches.

"My first cage fight was in 2001, when I was 17. For that one, I was nervous. I was only 135 pounds at the time," said the 5-foot-10 fighter, who weighs 145 pounds.

Sutherland is looking forward to getting back in a cage, where there's "lots of adrenaline, lots of intensity, but no fear."

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $25.


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