UWC bantamweight Mike Easton got a write-up in the Washington Post's best sports blog, "DC Sports Bog" by Dan Steinberg. Steinberg generally doesn't tread the waters of MMA, but this piece is MMA-friendly and presents Easton as the quinteseential DC sports representative:
I don't usually write about MMA fighters in this space. But I'll make an exception for a guy who lives about two miles from my house; who trains to go-go music (Rare Essence and Junkyard Band!), roots for the Caps and D.C. United and met his trainer at a Cluck-U Chicken in P.G. County; whose father went to Howard and teaches visual art at Duke Ellington; and who plans to enter his fight this weekend to the strains of "Bustin' Loose."
"It's Chuck Brown, baby," Mike Easton explained to me over the phone. "It's the Godfather of Go-Go. Since we're fighting in D.C., I had to give the fans some Chuck Brown. Had to."
The fight isn't technically in D.C., but it's close enough. Easton's biggest opportunity to date will happen Saturday night at the Patriot Center, a meeting with former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Chase Beebe. Easton, 5-1 as a pro, will be introduced out of Temple Hills, but he's "all D.C.'ed up," as he put it, from growing up in Anacostia to moving near H.D. Woodson to childhood boxing lessons with his father at Orr Elementary.
What's thrilling for me is that as MMA's profile and the profile of its top prospects grow in DC, more attention is paid to the traditions and values of the city itself (and this process is repeated in whatever city is also fortunate enough to have significant media presence and tier one fighters). Thus far in MMA's growth and evolution, there have been virtually no fighters in DC with any kind of media fingerprint who were also credible talents. Easton appears to be the first, giving DC 's customs some healthy and light-hearted exposure.
For those new to Easton, there's obviously more to the story including his excellent grappling pedigree, but this is fantastic information for the casual DC sports fan unaccustomed to following any sort of MMA local or otherwise. Read the whole post.
Disclosure: I am an employee of UWC, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I would like to point out, though, that I desperately want MMA to be successful in Washington, D.C. I am fortunate enough to have resources to potentially affect that growth and success, so I choose to make use of them. I have witnessed the development on MMA in DC since 2004 and, by far, the UWC is our best hope for having a meaningful professional organization call DC home. My goal is to grow MMA in this area and in the UWC, I have found a product that has the capability to do it well.