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MMA fighters to engage in Orem 'Showdown'


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OREM -- Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing sports in America, especially in Utah. The McKay Events Center in Orem is hosting a big event Friday night for local fighters.

It's an MMA Showdown, and the main event features two native Utahns.

Josh Burkman is a UFC veteran who is attempting a comeback after neck and back injuries almost ended his career. Kaysville's Jake Paul has dreams of fighting in UFC, and a win over Burkman would help him get closer to that goal.

What makes this fight really intriguing is how much Burkman and Paul don't like each other.

"Usually when I fight it's all business, but Josh made this one personal a little over a year ago when he stabbed me in the back," Paul said. "What better way to settle it than some good old-fashioned fistacuffs?"

"As soon as I started hearing Jake Paul running his mouth, it made me train a little bit harder," Burkman said. "The bottom line at the end of the day, I'm a better fighter and I'm tougher than Jake Paul, and that's what people are gonna see on April 9."

Burkman and Paul will fight in the main event, but there are other fights on the undercard as well. The main event starts at 7 p.m.

Another MMA event this weekend is also a big deal for Utah. UFC 112 takes place Saturday night in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where Utah native Damarques Johnson is scheduled to fight.

E-mail: jjensen@ksl.com

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Jeremiah Jensen

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