Site Network:

Amateur UFC Night goes Wrong

For the first time, DeVos Place hosted a Mixed Martial Arts event Saturday night, “The Best of the Best” amateur cage fighting.

DeVos Place was set up for 2,500 fans to experience vendor booths, concessions and 15 fights.

“This is a top-notch facility,” said Scott Engwall, 46, of Hudsonville, who also has fought in the cage before. “This is what every fighter wants.”

The initial excitement slowly began to fade when the fights, which were slated to begin at 7:30 p.m., were pushed back to 9 p.m. because of a problem with the fight card.

The card was cut to seven fights, with one of those decided by default.

“When I bought my tickets, I was told there would be 15 fights,” said Engwall, who spent $115 on two VIP tickets for he and his wife Amy. “I came here to watch 15 fights, and I can tell you one thing, there probably won’t be anymore fights here.”

Amy Engwall was just as disappointed as her husband. “I’m very disappointed,” she said. “I was expecting a lot more. And it is too bad, because this is such a nice place.”

The rest of the crowd began to voice their displeasure as boos began to shower the cage, and many of the approximately 450 fans headed for the exits before the night ended.

One of the fighters who the promoters pushed as the night’s main event was 32-year-old Holland fighter Ruben Esparza, who plans to turn pro shortly.