Johnson City Press: Local Mixed Martial Arts fighters have challenges ahead

Local Mixed Martial Arts fighters have challenges ahead

Jeff Birchfield • Nov 12, 2018 at 6:38 PM

Hampton's Adam Townsend will be traveling halfway around the world for his next Mixed Martial Arts fight, while Johnson City's Dustin Long will be headed to an old fight capital in Atlantic City.

Townsend (19-5), who has fought in Australia and China in recent fights, will go to South Africa to face Mark Hulme (6-2) in the headline fight for the Brave 19 promotion on Dec. 8.

Townsend won his last fight, a unanimous decision over Kieran Joblin in June. Prior to that, he lost a majority decision to Arbi Agujev, in which legendary UFC figure John McCarthy served as the referee. Townsend has won five of his last six fights overall and has ended 13 of his 19 career wins by either submission or knock out.

He plans on an aggressive style in the welterweight fight against Hulme, who has a four-fight winning streak coming in. Hulme's last outing was a first-round submission over Ukrainian fighter Vadim Shabadash.

Townsend has been working on his jiu-jitsu game as well as his boxing and kickboxing. He has been successful with the jiu-jitsu training with the rear naked choke, but doesn't want to necessarily take the fight to the ground.

"This guy likes to grapple so I may try to keep the fight standing with this guy," Townsend said. "I'm going to try to knock him out"

The former high school football star is also excited to be fighting in a place called the Super Bowl at Sun City Arena.

"I've been to a bunch of different places, but I'm finally getting to play in the Super Bowl," he said. "I've been main eventing throughout my pro career, which is pretty crazy. This guy is 6-2 with some decent wins, but I think my experience is going to help me. There are few people with 25 pro fights."


Long (8-4) will face Kyle Daukaus (7-4) at Ring of Combat 66 on Saturday in Atlantic City.

It will be Long's first MMA fight since May 2017. He has fought in the boxing ring three times over the past year, while two scheduled MMA opponents pulled out of fights over the last couple of months.

Long feels confident going into the matchup, although like Townsend, he will be in the opponent's home territory.

"Adam fought up there before, and I thought he whipped the guy, but they robbed him of the decision," Long said. "It would mean a lot to beat a hometown player on a big show. But, it's also a big opportunity as they have sent more people to the UFC than anyone."

Long, 36, continues to fight the best competition available. While there have been opportunities to pad his record, he has opted instead to go after the bigger fights, even in the tougher environments.

"It takes such a toll on your body to get in shape to fight," Long said. "I wouldn't put myself in that position for a meaningless fight against someone I know I will beat. If I was 20 and trying to build my record, but I'm in my 30s, so if I do fight, it's me challenging myself."

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