Two Payson Martial Arts Fighters Going Pro

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pair of Rim Country mixed martial arts fighters are about to test their skills on the professional fight scene.

Randy Steinke will debut Oct. 13 at the "Rage in the Cage" bout at the Cliff Castle Casino, near Camp Verde.

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Randy Steinke will debut Oct. 13 at the Rage in the Cage bout to be held at the Cliff Castle Casino near Camp Verde.

Mike Bonnette was slated to also appear that date at Cliff Castle, but had to withdraw, due to a training injury.

He will now debut Nov. 17 at the All Powers Combat show at the Tonto Apache Reservation gymnasium south of Payson. Both Steinke and Bonnette will represent the Payson Pankration Martial Arts School and will be sponsored by Rim Sight and Sound.

Steinke is a strength and condition coach at the school, who specializes in Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing. Bonnette , nicknamed "No Mercy," has also built a reputation in the Jiu-jitsu skills.

The upcoming mixed martial arts event to be held at the Tonto Apache gym will be the first held in Payson, Pankration owner Wyatt Shepherd said.

"The event will also be the first of many events to take place in Payson," Shepherd predicts.

Shepherd, Heath Bebout and Josh Rumsey are the founders of the sponsoring All Powers Combat organization.

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Mike Bonnette will debut Nov. 17 at the All Powers Combat show to be held at the Tonto Apache Reservation gymnasium south of Payson. Both Steinke and Bonnette will represent the Payson Pankration Martial Arts School and be sponsored by Rim Sight and Sound.

"Our goal is to make All Powers the best martial arts show in Arizona," Shepherd said.

During the Payson event, Steinke and Bonnette will be taking on opponents from the Southwest Mixed Martial Arts School in Tempe.

The highlight of the bouts will be the appearance of International Fight League star and Scorpions team member, Chad "Gravedigger" Griggs. He will fight Eric Garcia in the main event.

Frye, a native of Sierra Vista who trained last winter in Payson, is a former Arizona State University wrestler. He combines both boxing and wrestling in his martial arts approach.

He is also a two-time United Fighting Championships heavyweight champion.

His appearance at the Tonto gym prompted Shepherd to declare, "we are bringing some of the best fighters in the world to Payson."

Next on the agenda for the Pankration team is an appearance Oct. 27 in Las Vegas, at the world Jiu-jitsu championships.

For more information about the local mixed martial arts school, call Shepherd at (928) 978-0631.

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