A Northwoods mixed martial arts star realized the dream of his lifetime when he was awarded an impressive $25,000 professional fighting contract during the televised King of the Cage World Amateur Championships held Saturday, Oct. 19, at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Frank Schuman, a Lac du Flambeau tribal member sponsored by Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, was among 40 mixed martial artists from across the nation who competed in the event that awarded a total of $250,000 in contracts to just five of the participants. Contracts were awarded not only on fight results, but by online fan favorite voting.
“This is an unbelievable chance for Frank and the four other winners. Knowing that their careers have a real plan and that their first 15 fights have guaranteed national television exposure, they have put themselves as the frontrunners for the next 10 years of MMA. Sponsors, trainers and national fame all come far easier with this kind of opportunity,” Terry Trebilcock, president of King of the Cage, said.
Schuman fought a challenging match against Julio Casillas of Worthington, Minn., in what turned out to be one of the hardest fought match-ups of the night. Casillas ended up winning the match inside the cage.
However, Schuman received an overwhelming wave of support from fans voting online. He led all the fighters with more than 6,000 votes, finished fourth in performance of the night by King of the Cage officials and tied for ninth place from the ringside officials. The combination of these three factors put him in fourth place overall, thus awarding him one of the $25,000 contracts.
Schuman has trained in mixed martial arts since he was five years old. After a few years in the mixed martial arts program at the Lac du Flambeau Youth Center, he began training at Sixel’s Fight Club in Sugar Camp under the guidance of renowned martial artist Dave Sixel, an 8th Degree Black Belt in Pankration (a form of combat sport invented in ancient Greece that includes a variety of fighting techniques). Schuman has been fighting competitively since he was 17.
“This is a dream come true for me to see my hard work and training rewarded with a professional contract and the opportunity to continue to prove myself inside the cage. I want to thank all of my friends and fans who voted for me and helped me reach a goal I’ve had since I was a kid,” Schuman said.