Courtesy Mike Yellowplume
Mike Yellowplume, 34, and Nick Brown, 35, own Built For Battle a company that trains MMA fighters

Northern Arapaho Friends Bring MMA To Their Community

Sam Laskaris

 "It kind of helped me to see what was out there," he said. "It helped me grow and see a lot of things."

Yellowplume currently works at his tribe's diabetes center, which includes a small weight room where he helps to train people in the basics of boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu. And Brown works for a tribal employment rights company. Both hope that one day the MMA aspect of Built For Battle will become a full-time venture. "I see it getting really big," Brown  said. "This sport can really take off. It just comes down to getting the older generations to see it is more of a sport than just a fight."

Built For Battle staged its first MMA event in January and its second card in early April. Both of these events were held at the local community centre. A couple of hundred people attended these events. Their goal is to stage a card at the Wind River Hotel and Casino, which has a events center that can accommodate about 500 spectators.

The Built of Battle Crew (courtesy Yellowplume)

In order to operate pro events, the pair must be sanctioned by the MMA commission. So, instead of joining the Wyoming Combat Sports Commission, the pair have discovered they can simply form their own commission, which would prevent them from handing over a percentage of their revenues.

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"If we start our own [commission], we don't have to pay anybody else," said Yellowplume, who will soon begin organizing board members, a prerequisite to getting their own commission.

The next scheduled Built For Battle event is a boxing card, set for June 26. That event will be held in conjunction with the Eastern Shoshone powwow.

Like Yellowplume, Brown is confident their company can prosper. "We've got traction," he said. "I'm hoping within the next two to three years we will be well-established."


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