DULUTH - Tonight's mixed martial arts fights at Wild Bill's of Atlanta - billed "A Fight for Charity" - will provide more than thrills for those in attendance, they will help provide a better Christmas for needy metropolitan Atlanta children.
"I've been wanting to do this for years, but no other venue got it," said co-promoter David Oblas. "Wild Bill's got it, they understood and they wanted to be a part of it."
Wild Bill's is a regular venue for MMA events and tickets normally range from $25 for general admission to $100 for a cageside VIP table. Fans can get in tonight by donating a new, unwrapped toy at the door. All donations will go to the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign.
Oblas has promoted MMA events all over Georgia and said this show will be the most widely attended in the state in the last decade. And one of the most meaningful.
"I always wanted to do fights that matter," he said. "A lot of promoters put Fighter A vs. Fighter B - and I love the fight game - but I just wanted to do something that gave back. I thought this would be really cool."
Oblas said they expect a record crowd and may have to do something they've never done before - turn people away at the door.
"The place holds ... probably 4,000, 4,200 people," he said. "And we fully expect to sell it out."
Even if you're not a fight fan, Oblas said, you can still donate to Toys for Tots. From 6 until 11 p.m., about a dozen active-duty Marines will be out front collecting toys.
While those Marines stand that post, Sgt. Darrell Parodi will be preparing for his second professional fight. The 26-year-old from Camp Lejeune, N.C. will face Kamrin Naville of Valdosta Martial Arts in the main event.
The card will include nine amateur and three professional bouts.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and fights start at 8:30 p.m. For more information, call 404-626-2126 or log onto www.fullthrottlemma.com.