Michiana Fight League’s mixed martial arts will hold an amateur cage fight in South Bend on Saturday, Aug. 2.
Fighters trained in martial arts, wrestling and kick boxing will step into the cage to try to beat their opponents in 15 different fights across weight classes.
Northridge High School graduate Tyler “Spider Monkey” Hufnagle (8-0 in his fights) and Plymouth High School alumni Ricky “Mr. Snuggles” Miller (10-3 in his fights) both train about 30 hours per week at Midwest Martial Arts in Osceola, and each has his own cycle of preparation before a big fight.
"Friday I almost can’t sleep at night because I’m running scenarios over and over in my head,“ said Hufnagle. ”I bottle everything up till the fight, and then I let it all out in the ring.“
Hufnagle got the nickname ”Spider Monkey“ for his long, lean 6’6” frame. Miller got stuck with “Mr. Snuggles” when he lost a bet – yes, really.
"I’m just going to come in, be mean and not let anything scare me,“ Miller said. "I’m going to go in, punch (my opponent) in his mouth, show him I’m there to have fun.”
Tickets to the event start at $30 and are available by phone, online or on the day of the show. Doors open at 4 p.m. Saturday, and the fight begins at 6 p.m.
Check back on Monday, Aug. 4, for a story that takes a deeper look into the minds of these fighters as they work to turn pro, as well as photos from the fights. Have questions about mixed martial arts you want us to ask? Tweet them at or email them to reporter Emily Taylor (@emrotayl or firstname.lastname@example.org) or photographer James Buck (@jamesbuck or email@example.com).