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Upstart fight night enters Oregon ring

Oregon's first dalliance with sanctioned professional mixed martial arts will be Saturday at the Oregon National Guard Armory, 10000 N.E. 33rd Ave.

It's called Sport Fight Revolution, and is promoted by famed fighters Randy Couture and Matt Lindland and their coach, Robert Follis. There will be 12 fights on the card, starting at 7 p.m.

'We worked very hard to get online with the state police and get the rules approved,' says Couture, a top competitor in Ultimate Fighting Championship, which usually stages events in Las Vegas. 'The sport is getting a big following in Oregon, and this kind of legitimizes it.'

Two more events are tentatively scheduled for March 19 and April 17.

Says Jim Cassidy, executive director of the Oregon Boxing and Wrestling Commission, which licensed the Sport Fight LLC promoters and adopted mostly Nevada rules: 'It's all new to us, and we'll just monitor it. We're not going to regulate it per se, but sit back and watch how they perform.'

Ñ Jason Vondersmith