Ryan Jensen calls them the “old dogs.”
They’re the guys who have been around mixed martial arts in the Omaha area for years.
And they’re the ones who will be on full display Saturday night at Victory Fighting Championship 39 at the Ralston Arena.
Jensen headlines the card in a bout against Rudy Bears out of Kansas City. Houston Alexander and Jason Brilz — local fighters and training partners of Jensen’s — are also on the card.
All three Omahans have fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championships. In fact, the last time the three were on the same card was the UFC’s Omaha debut in 2008.
“We’re back at it,” Jensen said Thursday.
As is the VFC, which nearly sold out its last event — the first in Omaha after a long relationship with the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.
Jensen said that night was a big reason he asked to be on Saturday’s ticket.
“After I saw that show and that promotion, it was done just as well as the UFC fights,” Jensen said. “That was exactly why I wanted to get on this card.”
VFC owner Ryan Stoddard said the event was nearly sold out as of Friday.
“There will be 5,000 people here Saturday night,” Stoddard said from Ralston Arena. “I thought I would have a hard time going bigger and better than the December event, but here we are.”
Alexander’s opponent is veteran Dennis Reed of Illinois. Reed has more than 100 professional fights on his record.
Brilz will face Josh Bryant, who fights out of Oklahoma and was on a Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter television show.
Stoddard said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the winner picked back up by the UFC if they win in impressive fashion.
Also on the card is a title match between LC Davis, current holder of the bantamweight (135 pounds) belt, and Dominic Blanco out of Scottsbluff.
Davis was supposed to fight Ryan Roberts, who won the 145-pound crown at VFC 38. But Roberts had to pull out of the fight after injuring his knee last week.
UFC superstar and Millard South graduate Jake Ellenberger will be at the event, doing commentary from cageside.
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