Four amateur fighters from American Top Team-Beaumont will travel to Louisiana on July 16 to compete at Global Fighting Alliance 13 at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, which is approximately 150 miles from Beaumont.
“We will be ready,” said head trainer Mike Berryhill. “These three guys have been training very hard for eight weeks or so. These are going to be exciting fights.”
Josh Kemp, 26, has an amateur record of 4-2 and will fight Clay Burns (5-1) at 135 pounds. “He is one of my first MMA students,” said Berryhill. “We’ve been training MMA for four years and he has been with us from the beginning. He goes far and beyond what he is asked to do. Josh is a very intelligent fighter and is real big into the diet and fitness portion of the training. He also help’s out with day classes here and is just a big asset to this camp.”
Kemp’s, whose last fight came in December, said MMA has helped him straighten out his life. “I was street fighting before I found MMA,” said Kemp, a Beaumont native. “With the help of this school and the family atmosphere, it really straightened me out.”
Kemp said it’s been awhile since he last fought, but believes he will have a big advantage over his opponent come Saturday — conditioning.
“I want to test his wind,” said Kemp. “If he hasn’t worked as hard as I have, then he will have a problem keeping up.”
Martin Walker, 32, will fight Taylor Hilger (2-3) at 145 pounds. “Martin is like a scientist in the cage,” said Berryhill. “He is real methodical and studies his opponent.”
Walker is also a native of Beaumont and has been training with ATT-Beaumont for two years. “I love the competition,” said Walker. “No two fighters are alike so it’s like a chess match. I’ve been training hard for the last eight weeks so I am really pumped up about this fight. I love this sport and I enjoy learning everyday. Even from mistakes and losses, there is something to learn and always room for improvement.”
Walker says his strength is his stand up game and can trade with the “best of them.”
Josh Cooper, 31, will be fighting for the second time as he puts his 1-0 record to the test against Justin McClain, who is also 1-0, at 135 pounds.
“Josh is driven and has a great work ethic,” said Berryhill. “He has a willingness to learn and get better. He’s only had one fight and he won by submission.”
Added late this week was Ryan Spann (4-1) vs. Nick Washington (4-0), who is the No. 1 contender for the GFA 180-pound title.
Advance tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at the venue or online at gfafights.com. The fights begin at 7 p.m.
ATT-Beaumont is also the home of fighter Cody “The Wolverine” Williams, who recently turned pro and won his first fight by submission at an IXFA event earlier this year.
According to Berryhill, Williams’ next fight could come in September with the promotion Legacy Fighting Championships in Houston.