Age has no boundaries for this cage fighter

March 29, 2014
Patrick Flagg at his day job, Urka Auto Center

Patrick Flagg at his day job, Urka Auto Center

War on the Shore mixed martial arts competition

Baymont Inn. April 12.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

AMBER TWP. — Cage fighting might seem like a sport for young men, but one Ludington man is changing that. Patrick Flagg is 51-years-old and has been active in the sport for the past two years. He’s very likely one of the oldest cage fighters in the state; technically, the sport is called mixed martial arts.

“Two years ago my oldest son, P.J., told me he wanted to take up cage fighting,” Patrick says. “I told him I would support him as long as he trained and it took seriously. His first fight was in August of ’12. I was watching some of the fights and couldn’t help but think of all the training I had had over the years. I wrestled competitively in high school and when I was in my ‘30s I got a black belt in Tang Soo Do, a form of Korean martial arts.

“I was watching two guys fight and I turned to my son and said, ‘I could beat them.’ And, my son said, ‘then why don’t you, Dad?’”

On the advice of his then 21-year-old son, Patrick decided to give it a shot.

“I thought about it for a couple of months then I started training. Because of my age I met with my doctor and we came up with a plan that included a strict diet and an exercise plan.

“A year ago I had my first fight in Alma. I won by a TKO (technical knock out) in the second round.”

Patrick’s record is 3-1.

Being more advanced in age than most of his competitors has its advantages and disadvantages.

“There are definitely some advantages to being younger. They are faster and stronger. But, with my age comes experience and patience. The younger fighters burn a lot of energy in the first 30 seconds to a minute. They wear out quickly.”

No matter the age, the competition is fierce in the cage, but respectful.

“I’ve actually become friends with each of my opponents after every fight that I’ve had. After I lost I became good friends with the guy I lost to. I even assisted him at his next fight. There’s just a respect among fighters.”

Patrick trains locally with Freedom Martial Arts in Pere Marquette Township. He also trains with a group known as Team Pain in Mt. Pleasant. “Team Pain is truly a group of misfits,” he says. “We train each other, there is no one teacher.”

The fights are typically at least an hour away from Ludington, if not further. He says he’s had a lot of his friends and many of his customers at Urka Auto Center, where he is a salesman, say they would like to watch him.

He decided to bring a match to the Ludington area.

“I started asking around to get recommendations on promoters. I wanted a good promoter who would put on a good, fair show.”

He found Dawg House Promotions of Cedar Springs, which has organized “War on the Shore” for April 12 at the Baymont Inn at U.S. 10 and Brye Road.

“There should be around 15 fights,” he says. “They are all amateur fights. Some are first time fighters and they will be evenly matched. You won’t see a beginner with someone who has had several fights.”

He says some of the fights will be quick. “Fifty percent of the fights will probably end in the first round, most due to submission. A small percentage will go the full three rounds. Those are the most exciting.”

General admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. They can be purchased at Urka Auto Center or the Baymont Inn. For more info, see Dawg House Promotions’ Facebook page here.




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