Jacksonville Daily Progress
In its 80-plus year history the spotlights of the Shreveport (La.) Municipal Auditorium have illuminated musical legends such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Hank Williams.
On Dec. 8 those floodlights will be shining on, among others, two young ladies, both 16-year-old Cherokee County residents.
One, 16-year-old Skylet Bobbitt of Rusk, who is already a proven star in the junior mixed martial arts ranks. Bobbitt, who trains at Jacksonville MMA, is the current Asend Combat Louisiana Junior MMA (125-lb.) title holder.
On Ascend Combat's “Seasons Beatings 4” Ultimate Cage Fighting card next Saturday night will be a fight that will have Bobbitt (10-2) putting her title belt on the line when she faces Kourtnie Goodman, a Jacksonville High School student, who trains out of the Rusk MMA facility.
The bout will be Goodman's first.
The two fighters are very familiar with one another as Bobbitt's father and trainer, Joshua Bobbitt, once trained under Goodman's trainer, Steven Garza, who owns and operates Rusk MMA.
Regardless of the outcome of the bout, both sides have ample respect for one another, although both will giving 110-percent to come out victorious next week.
“Kourtnie (Goodman) is probably the best fighter in the area, so it should be a good fight,” Joshua Bobbitt said. “She's trained by Steven Garza, so we know Skylet will be getting a true test and we will have to work hard to be able to keep the (title) belt.”
Garza said that throughout his long career he has never had a fighter that has had an opportunity to win a title belt in their first bout.
“Kourtnie (Goodman) has just wanted a chance to fight, so when this opportunity came up she had to take it,” Garza said. “It is an incredible opportunity.
“Kourtnie is a strong fighter and she has been training against the guys and is in great shape and she will be ready. Of course we are all familiar with one another and we respect Sky and Joshua a lot. ”
Skylet Bobbitt, has been fighting for eight years.
She won the title belt about a year ago and next week will be the first time that she has had to defend her title.
Several potential opponents balk at entering the octagon against Miss Bobbitt, probably due to her impress record, according to Joshua Bobbitt.
Miss Bobbitt said that her strategy will be simple.
“I'm just going to go out and do what I do,” she said in a mid-week interview. “I'm going to try to win standing up, because she (Goodman) is a way-better grappler than I am.”
According to Garza, it has been Goodman's success in several grappling and related competitions that has vaulted her into the junior MMA scene and made her a threat to de -thrown Skylet Bobbitt.
Joshua Bobbitt served up this comparison between the two young ladies.
“Sky and Kourtnie have wrestled each other and Sky won by one point,” Joshua Bobbitt said. “This is the biggest fight either one of these girls have ever been associated with. There could be 3,000 people there, plus it will be streamed live on the internet. It should be a hell of a fight.”
Kim Addison of Ascend Combat said the fight will match Skylet Bobbitt's power game against Goodman's ground attack.
“In 11 years in the business I have never seen a 16-year-old girl knock another girl down like Skylet did last year,” Addison said. “She had incredible power.”
“Kourtnie has been trying for two years to get (booked) into a fight, so I feel she is ready and she comes from Team Fury (Rusk MMA) and their fighters have good backgrounds. Kourtnie will bring a UFC ground and pound type attack.This fight should match two fighters with opposing styles.”
Skylet Bobbitt, who trains three nights a week and runs several miles every day was not afraid to go out on a limb and make a prediction.
“I'm going to knock her out,” she said. “She's good, so it probably will come in the second round.
“If I lose this fight it is really going to hurt to have to hand the belt over, so I'm really going to bring it.”
Spoken like a true champion.