It is a main event billed as two of the top professional unsigned MMA products from the state.

The Tri-Cities mixed-martial arts circuit will hit 2015 with an uppercut on Saturday, Jan. 10, with Apex Fights 4, presented by Valor Fights, at the Dickie Warren Dome on Sullivan Central’s campus.

The climax of the event pits Hampton’s Adam “Primetime” Townsend (11-3) against “Relentless” Craig Johnson (7-3).

“They’re arguably the two best unsigned fighters in the state,” promotor Tim Loy explained in an interview with CarterCountySports.com. “It’ll be a great fight. It is near his backyard so going in, Adam would probably be the consensus favorite but Craig is a tough fighter. The fight is at 170 lb. and Craig has fought up to as much as 200 and this is Adam’s first time at 170, normally fighting at 140-140. We’re excited about this event and the location we’re at, it’ll be a great night of MMA.”

Apex features a loaded pro/am card with three professional fights with 15 amateur bouts.

In the other pro contests, Happy Valley product Dustin Long (5-1) against Dameon Melton and Steve Thomas, a product of team Oxendine from Johnson City, makes his professional debut against Alan Stewart from KMMA.

Townsend and Long represent D-Evil, the fight team based from Evolution Sports Gym, while the card itself features a bevy of fighters from across the state.

With Elizabethton, Johnson City, and Kingsport gyms amongst the representatives, the Tri-Cities is a hot-bed when it comes to MMA, Loy said.

“It’s a huge event we are looking forward to,” he added. “The Tri-Cities is a hotbed when it comes to the scene. The fighters have such a loyal fan-base and the gyms in the area are producing good fighters. It’ll be a good night with good fights and we hope it’ll be able to strengthen the gyms for people to see what type of talent comes from each facility.”

JCMMA, Team Oxendine, Bushido and D-Evil are the likes of the local gyms sending fighters to the octagon.

Tickets are going fast for the event. They can be purchased by contacting a favorite fighter or by one of two websites

ValorFights.com

localmmatickets.com

“It is always hard to guess the attendance before an event,” Loy said. “But I’d be disappointed if it is no less than 1,200.”

Doors for the event open at 4 p.m. with the main card set to start at 6 p.m.

***

CarterCountySports.com caught up with John Moorehouse, owner of MMA-Insider, Tuesday night. MMA-Insider is the leader of mixed-martial arts coverage in the Tri-Cities, along with covering events on a national scale. Moorehouse, a veteran MMA journalist for the past 3 and 1/2 years, took time to discuss Apex Fights 4, Townsend vs. Johnson, Long vs. Melton and what’s ahead on the MMA circuit.

(The audio interview with Mr. Moorehouse by CarterCountySports.com was conducted while in attendance of Unicoi County High School/Sullivan South High School basketball games. While Moorehouse can be heard, periods of the interview will have background noise from the contests)

AUDIO: Click here

You can visit MMA-Insider by visiting them online

Website: mma-insider.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MMAdashInsider

Twitter: @MMAdashinsider

***

Match Card

Main Event

Adam “Prime Time” Townsend
vs
Relentless Craig Johnson

Co-Main Event

Dustin Long
vs
Dameon Melton

Pro-Featured Fight

Steve Thomas
vs
Alan Stewart

Amateur Card

Amateur Main Event: Apex Featherweight Championship

Jon Smith
vs
Joey Mullin

Angie Dugan
vs
Christal Martin

Jim Lord
vs
Joey Pelletier

Jackie Abshire
vs
Paula Riddle

Billy Combs
vs
Jesse Richardson

Arron Meadows
vs
Nick Baker

Michael Horton
vs
Devyn Chambers

Brock Walker
vs
Brandon Ivy

Daris Reynolds
vs
Tomas Hill

Rodrigo Gonzalez
vs
Dakota Pell


Kenny McCoy
vs
Robby Calahan

Blake Neurenberg
vs
Aaron Milloway

Preliminaries -4:30 p.m.

Gary Burke
vs
Dylan Stout


Roger Mullins
vs
Thomas Miller

Preston Schick
vs
Ryan Moore


Scott Farmer
vs
Jackson Griffith