Wednesday October 10, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- With sports enthusiasts around the country likely spending their Saturday in a recliner to see Major Leaguers go deep or college football players miss wide right, a couple of Brattleboro residents will be doing some swinging and kicking of their own.

And neither will stop until their opponent taps out.

Michael S. Baker II and Aaron "Lumberjack" Black will each compete in a Mixed Martial Arts fight on Oct. 13 at Leo Keefe Gymnasium in Rutland.

"First Strike dictates the fight with heavyweights. Based on that, anyone can win on any given day. I fight to win, but victory is not a guaranteed thing," said Baker, 34, who will face Manuel Campos in a heavyweight matchup.

Baker (0-1) is schooled in boxing, kickboxing, kung fu, akido and ju jitsu. He trains at Gym Flex FItness in Bellows Falls with Team Pro-pain.

Saturday’s event, which will be put on by Xtreme Combat Promotions, will be the professional debut for Black. He is the 2011 Northern New England Golden Gloves Champion and has also won a pair of amateur 205-pound MMA titles.

"The Lumberjack" will face Jeremy Perdue on Saturday.

"Aaron is the picture of physical strength, conditioning and speed, and to the opponents that have faced him during his amateur career, the 6-5 athlete presents a tall, menacing, ferocious competitor," said fight promoter Cathy Fitzgerald, who added that Black has extensive training on the ground and on his feet.


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Black, a native of South Carolina, relocated to Brattleboro and has found a home with Contender’s Gym in Swanzey, N.H. He also spends time training at Rail City MMA in St. Albans, United Fighting Arts Institute in Burlington and with the Northeast Assassins in Burlington.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or by calliing 802-254-2311, ext. 163.