Atlas Fights is bringing MMA fighting action to DeRidder when they present “The D’Town Beatdown” event on March 2 at the Beauregard Parish Covered Arena.

The show’s co-promoters Glen Mattina Jr., and James Sharp held a press conference at Cecil’s in DeRidder on Wednesday with fighters that will be featured on the show.

“We want to bring a great event to the people of DeRidder,” Mattina Jr. said. “For the first time in many years, we will be bringing MMA to DeRidder. We are glad to have such good support from the community. I am very honored to partner with James, who was born and raised in DeRidder, to bring Atlas Fights down here to put on a high-quality professional show.”

James Sharp is a DeRidder native who had a successful career as an MMA fighter, and now promotes MMA shows around the country.

The main event will see Ediane “India” Gomes take on Roberta “Crush” Samad. Gomes boasts an 11-4 record and has the distinction of facing two future UFC champions, having faced off against Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey.

“Gomes is coming to fight, and coming to win,” said Mattina. “She is on her way to the big time, and has had fights against the biggest names in the sport.”

Her fight with Rousey was notable because it was Rousey’s professional MMA debut. She is currently signed to Invicta FC, an all-female MMA promotion that is considered to be a gateway to the UFC.

Her opponent is rising star Roberta “Crush” Samad is best known for her time signed to Bellator MMA. Samad boasts a 4-1 record heading into the main event against Gomes. Samad is from Cincinnati and is climbing high in the global MMA ranks.

The Co-Main Event will see Louisiana native Joshua “The Flash” Langley take on Melvin Lopez for the Atlas Fights Flyweight Championship.

Langley has a 4-0 undefeated amateur record going into the fight. His opponent Melvin Lopez, has a 2-1 amateur record winning his last two fights by unanimous decision.

“These guys will put it all out there in an exciting fight for the title. It’s going to be five rounds between two tough competitors,” said Sharp.

Fighters in attendance at the press conference gave their thoughts on their upcoming bouts on March 2.

Nicko Commisiong, 24,  (6-3) is headed into his 10th amateur MMA fight when he takes on Cole Magbee. He said that he does not take any fighter for granted and was very focused heading into his fight with Magbee.

“I never look past a fighter. I take every fight I’m in seriously. I’m thankful for this opportunity, and I’m looking to make the most of it,” he said.

Commisiong described his fighting style as “karate based’ although he has also added Muay Thai to his repertoire. “I’m confident in my hands, and I throw a lot of kicks. It’s a real flashy style, but I only use the flashy stuff when I know it’s going to be effective.”

Two fighters in attendance at the conference will be making their respective MMA debuts on March 2. Both are 18 years old and have been training very hard.

Jordan Smith is a Senior at South Beauregard High School and said that MMA has been a passion of his for a long time. Smith has experience in kyokaido karate, muay thai and amateur wrestling.

“This is my debut fight, I plan to come out strong. The training has been intense, but I feel like I’m ready,” Smith said.

Smith named Connor Mcgregor as a fighter that he likes to watch. “I like his fight style, not so much what he does outside the ring. I really like his striking.”

Smith spoke about his time on the South Beauregard High School Wrestling Team, a relatively new program that is the only one of its kind in Beauregard Parish, “Our wrestling program is fairly new at our school. Wrestling is a tough sport for high school athletes and we have a good group of guys this year on our team. No one understands how much endurance it takes to succeed in wrestling.”

Smith will go head to head with Anthony Noriega on March 2.

The next young fighter making his debut at the event is Colin Richard. Richard will be making his debut against Dominick Green. Richard also has a wrestling background, having wrestled for Barbe High School in Lake Charles.

“I’m really excited for the fight, I can’t explain in words how happy I am. I’m just ready to get in there and show everyone that this is what I’m made for,” Richard said. During the press conference, Richard said he was going to “keep punching till the ref says stop.”

Richard spoke about his MMA heroes and who he likes to watch. “I like Colby Covington, and Tony Ferguson. I like guys like that to push the pace and bring their opponents down mentally and physically,” Richard said.

Commissiong, Smith and Richard all train at the Performance Evolution Gym in Lake Charles. William Leeds, an assistant coach at the gym, was in attendance at the conference and spoke to the media.

Leeds is a former MMA fighter himself and said that coaching is a different experience from fighting. “It’s so different because you want to help so much, but there is only so much you can do as a coach once you're at the actual fight,” he said.

Leeds expressed his excitement for the show and said that those who have never experienced live MMA before should come out and see for themselves.

“It’s so much better to be there live and in person than to watch on TV,” he said.  “I’m proud of our guys on this card, and I think it’s going to be a great show.”

Rounding out the fighter portion of the conference was a Leesville native who is looking for his first big win in the MMA cage.

Austin Chandler trains under Chris Champagne for Zero Mercy MMA in Leesville. Chandler lost his debut fight by unanimous decision, but he feels that this upcoming fight is going to go differently.

“I have more experience and training since then. I’m also a lot less nervous,” said Chandler. “I want to do the best I possibly can in MMA. I want to take this as far as I can take it. Everybody wants to be the UFC champion”

Chandler described his passion for MMA as only someone with a true love of the sport could. He spoke about his heroes Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell being the reason he got into MMA in the first place.

“Anderson Silva was my idol growing up. He came into UFC and dominated everybody. He knocked out some of the best fighters in the world and made it look easy. Chuck Lidell was this crazy tough brawler, and I’ll never forget when he beat Tito Ortiz.”

Chandler said that he won’t be as nervous as he was during his first fight. He said that he will be more focused, and ready to fight. “I’m going to stick to the game plan this time, and keep my cool,” he said. Chandler will fight Earnest Singleton at the big event.

The following is the complete card for the event:

Main Event: Ediane "India" Gomes vs Roberta "Crush" Samad

Co-Main Event: Joshua "The Flash" Langley vs Melvin Lopez (Flyweight Title)

Cole Magbee vs Nicko Commiosong

Daniel Martinez vs Daniel Figueroa

Anthony Noriega vs Jordan Smith

Colin Richard vs Dominick Green

Nate Nusbaumer vs Emilio Gonzalez

Justin Angona vs Jawaski Bethly

Darren McQueen vs Aaron Gondola

Austin Chandler vs Earnest Singleton

Kendall McKinney vs Zach Fruge

Juliano Mixon vs Shawn Ducre

Jody Oliver vs Brad Conn

 Tickets can be purchased online at www.atlasfights.com.