Local Sports

April 25, 2014

Hope headlines MMA card with middleweight title fight

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Warrior FC will be coming to the Corbin Civic Center on Saturday and will feature mixed martial arts talent from the surrounding area.  Among that talent will be United Martial Art's instructor Scott “Ebenezer” Hope, who will be competing in a main event fight for the promotion's 185 pound title.

This will be Hopes first fight since suffering a 2nd round TKO loss late last year, and the seasoned martial artist is prepared to return to action with success. 

“I gotta get back in the win column,” said Hope, who lost for the first time since 2006.  “I can't be sitting on a loss.”

Hope viewed his recent defeat as a learning experience rather than a moral setback. 

“It reminded me of what I was doing wrong,” said Hope, who acknowledged that his cardio, a factor he said affected his last performance, has vastly improved.

The title fight pits Hope versus Brandon Bell, who fights out of Harlan Country.  The 29-year old middleweight hasn't fought since 2010, a factor Hope believes will play to his advantage. 

“My biggest advantage is his inactivity,” said Hope, who also believes he will hold a submission advantage over Bell, whose last two losses have been by submission.  “My submission game is gonna be a problem for him.” 

Practicing martial arts for a good part of his life, Hope attributes the competitive nature of cage fighting as the reason he loves the sport so much.  “I was hooked at an early age,” said Hope, who has no plans to stop training anytime soon.  “I can't imagine life without it.”

Also fighting on the fight card will be Hope's teammate and girlfriend Alannah Arnett.  Though she has been training for 14 years, this fight will be the 22-year old's cage debut. 

“I feel great about it,” said Arnett about her amateur debut.  In preparation for the fight, Arnett has been training regularly.  “A lot of cardio, doing what I do.  It's repetition more than anything.”

Training since she was eight, Arnett has experience in kickboxing and grappling competitions.  She also holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a four-stripe white belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and is a member of United Martial Arts. 

“It's one of the best atmospheres,” said Arnett, who praised her coaches and teammates.  “The guys always volunteer to help you train.”

Arnett's will be facing off against Elizabeth Richardson, who is also making her cage fighting debut.  Arnett said her strategy for the fight is to “dominate the whole time, that's my only goal.”  According to Hope, this goal is very obtainable for Arnett.

“She's gonna be able to pull this out,” said Hope, who praised the talent of his student/girlfriend.  “Her submission game is better than any of the girls around here.”  Hope went on to predict that Arnett would win the fight by a first round submission due to an armbar.

Like Hope, Arnett feels life without fighting isn't worth much. 

“It's almost like I need a punch in the head every few days,” said Arnett.  “It's a part of me.”


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