Canadian Grassroots: Rites Of Passage 3
Canadian Grassroots: Rites of Passage 3
By Kelsey Mowatt
Lethbridge hosted Rites of Passage 3 Saturday night at the Roadhouse Nightclub, which marked the latest of numerous MMA and kickboxing cards that have now been held in the city over the last few years. The Rites of Passage event is the sister card of Rumble in the Cage, formerly known as the Roadhouse Rumble, which has held twelve cards in Lethbridge since the year 2000. Rites of Passage is an event designed to showcase young or inexperienced fighters, a chance for fighters to gain some experience before moving onto the Rumble in the Cage.
"The Rites of Passage came about because we decided to do a show to give the beginner fighter, in both MMA and Kickboxing/Muay Thai a chance to showcase their talent in front of a smaller crowd," promoter Gayle Sabey says of the show’s concept. "It is just as it sounds, a Rite of Passage, growth of a green athlete into a seasoned pro fighter. We try to stick with the majority of fighters having under four fights for this card, with the exception of the main event. These green fighters are sometimes more fun to watch because they don’t really know what to expect when they step in the cage, the just let their hands fly. "
Typical Rites of Passage events have drawn around 500-600 people, while the Rumble cards, with more experienced fighters competing, usually draw an attendance of around 2,000. Lethbridge is also home to several local gyms such as the Canadian Martial Arts Centre and the Progressive Fighting Academy, which have trained numerous fighters up to the professional ranks, many of whom have fought consistently on the Rumble events. Notable MMA veterans that begun there career in Lethbridge include Jesse Bongfeldt and Justin Tavernini, who still continue to fight for the promotion.
Rites of Passage 3 featured twelve fights in total, including five MMA fights combined with seven kickboxing matches. The Canadian Martial Arts Centre team impressed, winning nine of the ten bouts their fighters were in.
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