Fighters from all over East Texas will compete in TJC’s second annual MMA fundraising event April, 12.

The event will allow fighters to compete in an official MMA, mixed martial arts match, sanctioned by Combaters Sports Division and will support TJC and an MMA training after-school program.

Having competed internationally and in the Marine Corps, Dometrius Hill, dean of students at TJC, is passionate about the sport and helped organize the matches.

“Our target amount (of money raised) will help fund the journalism program,” said Hill. After the goal is met, the remainder of proceeds will fund Hill’s Martial Arts Schools.

“With my martial arts schools, we support an after-school program for kids that live below the poverty line, where we feed them and provide them clothes that they need,” said Hill.

MMA is a very competitive sport and takes a lot of training to be successful.

“In order to compete in any combat sport where you’re using your entire body, especially mixed martial arts because since you’re competing in so many different areas they have to have an amazing level of conditioning and cardio,” said Wade Pomeroy, who has been training MMA fighters for 23 years.

“First and foremost they have to be an athlete, cardio and conditioning is at least half, maybe more, of the training that they do in preparation for a fight. Its a lot of exercise, a lot of conditioning, and a lot of cardio in order to get them where they have the stamina for the three minute rounds,” said Pomeroy.

There are also requirements for a fighter before he is allowed to compete.

“At our gym they have to have a minimum of three months training to fight, but the state requires a minimum of month before they can fight,” said Pomeroy. “They can train at our gym two hours a night, Monday through Thursday and again on Saturday.”

Along with the event being hosted by TJC and some students fighting in the event, TJC journalism students will be producing the event, teaming with television station CBS 19 in Tyler, to broadcast it as a sports program on TV.

“CBS 19 agreed there is a need for people who can actually come into the workforce already knowing how to produce a television show, cut and edit a live sporting event. Those guys get hired right away,” said Hill.

“The MMA event is a really exciting opportunity for my students, in particular,” said Rachel Jennische, a communications professor at TJC. “They’re having the opportunity to film it, using four cameras and they’re going to switch it as if it’s a live production.”

Students will take the roles as a director, producer, three camera operators, an audio person and custom designed graphics. There will also be assistants helping during the show.

Broadcast students also will be involved.

“Broadcasting students will also be producing public service announcements that will air during the commercial breaks for TJC by TJC students,” said Jennische.

After the students have finished editing the event will air a week later.

“When we’re finished, both the CW and CBS have agreed to air it at a later date. So this will be really our big debut for our students and let people see all that TJC media students can do,” said Jennische. “This our first time to do a multi-camera production and we’ve jumped in feet first.”

The event is expected to draw an audience of about 2,000 and raise over $20,000.

The event will take place at The University of Texas at Tyler on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. The cost of admission will be $10 for students with a valid ID and $20 for adults.

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