When Todd Bevan began his Mixed Martial Arts career, all he wanted was a chance to see how he stacked up against the best in the sport.
Saturday night in Charleston, W.Va., the Bridgeport High School graduate will get his chance when he competes in a Brazilian Ju Jitsu Superfight during the Abu Dhabi U.S. Nationals Gi and No Gi at John Adams Middle School.
Bevan's opponent is somewhat of an unknown around here as Vinicius Lemes is being flown in from Brazil just for the fight.
BRIDGEPORT’S Josh Baker, left, and Todd Bevan, right, recently returned from Sacramento, Ca., where they trained for two weeks at Team Alpha Male, an elite Mixed Martial Arts Training Center. They are pictured with Urijah Faber who has an upcoming UFC?Championship fight. Bevan has a fight Saturday night in Charleston, W.Va., in a Brazilian Ju Jitsu Superfight against a fighter that is being flown in from Brazil.
"I really don't know much about him," the 155-pound undefeated Bevan (3-0 as pro and 8-0 as an amateur) said during a training session at the Bull Pen Fight Club in East Wheeling's Nelson Jordan Center. "I know he weighs about 190 which is quite a bit more than me. I've been trying to eat everything in sight to get close to that weight.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," he continued. "All of my sparring partners are bigger than me, so that's a plus. I expect him (Lemes) to be at the top of the food chain. Ju Jitsu is their national sport over there. It originated in Brazil. I'm sure this guy is one of those guys that lives in the gym."
Bevan said this opportunity arose just after he and stablemate Josh Baker returned from Sacramento, Ca., where they spent two weeks training with some of the best MMA fighters in the world at Team Alpha Male.
"When I got back from California I was just looking to compete. This offer was on the table and I jumped at it. He's a highly accomplished fighter from what I've been told. He's a Brown Belt, which is just one level from the highest ... Black," Bevan, who is a 4 stripe Purple Belt (one below Brown), offered.
He said his two weeks at Team Alpha Male have really prepared him for Saturday night.
"I learned a ton out there," he noted. "I was like a big sponge ... soaking up as many techniques that I could from some of the best fighters in the world."
During he and Baker's trip to the West Coast, they trained with the likes of Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez, both of whom were recently featured on the UFC Countdown Show on FOX last Sunday and have championship fights upcoming.
"We were out there training when FOX was there taping the show," Bevan explained. "In fact, Josh was in the background in one scene."
As far as Brazilian Ju Jitsu goes, Bevan has several forms of winning championships at his parents home in Martins Ferry, including a couple of Samurai Swords and numerous plaques and medals.
The two will battle for 10 minutes unless one submits before the time limit. However, points are awarded for takedowns, according to Bevan.
"This kind of fight favors my style more than cagefighting," he admitted. "I'm more of a grappler than a striker, but I would much rather win by submission than take my chances with the judges decision. There are a lot of different interpretations of points in a match like this. I rather leave no doubt as to who won."
According to promoter Butch Hiles, this is the first time this event has been held in the Mountain State.
"They've held events like this in Ohio before, but this is the first in West Virginia," he said during a telephone call earlier this week. "The ADCC is starting to branch out a little bit. We've worked hard to get this event here."
North can be reached at email@example.com