Pac Hosts Martial Arts Champ

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A talented World Mixed Martial Arts Association fighter is scheduled to showcase his skills from noon to 3 p.m., May 3 at the Payson Athletic Club.

Joe Hurley, a 24-year-old member of the Ken Shamrock Lions Den fighting club and a former King of the Cage lightweight champion, will demonstrate his brand of submission fighting in the PAC's aerobics' room.

PAC owner Keven Rush says he is hosting the event mostly because he has been impressed with the mixed martial art demonstrations he has watched both live and on videotape

"I think there is some real training value in the arts," he said.

The Lions Den club which Hurley represents has built a reputation as one of the top fighting teams in mixed martial arts history.

According to the sherdog.com website that covers submission fighting, Hurley -- a native of Walnut Creek, Calif. -- has an 11-1 record in mixed martial arts competition.

In a World Fighting Alliance Preview dated July 3, 2002, author James Hirth wrote "Joe has very accurate kicks, good hands and a solid overall stand-up attack."

Hirth also wrote that Hurley's "amazing (MMAA) win over Chris Breenan (Sept. 16, 2000) earned him a great deal of attention. Few thought Hurley could beat ‘The Westside Strangler' but to KO him with elbows on the ground was truly impressive."

In a follow-up World Fighting Alliance title fight April 29, 2001 against fellow lightweight Gil Castillo, Hurley lost by decision.

In a July 5, 2002, pre-fight interview at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Hurley said he has been fighting professionally for about six years and was attracted to the sport by the accomplishments of Ken Shamrock.

His goal, he said, is to earn prize money and bring recognition to the sport.

As a lightweight, Hurley is listed as 5 feet, 8 inches in height and tips the scale at 158 pounds.

According to Eric Nyenhuis, who is serving as press secretary for the fighter while he is in Payson, Hurley's visit will draw statewide attention to the Rim country.

There is no admission charge.

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