Canadian Forces soldiers fight for our country in Afghanistan, but local mixed martial artists who want to fight for our soldiers have to do it in Quebec.


On Saturday, Ottawa-based Wreck MMA will be holding their first event, a 12-fight extravaganza called Fight for the Troops, at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau.


A portion of the proceeds from the event – up to $10,000 according to Wreck MMA president Nick Castiglia – will benefit Soldier On, a charity that helps injured Canadian Forces personnel remain functional and independent.


“We have people over in Afghanistan fighting for our country,” said Castiglia. “The goal is to help raise awareness to help soldiers that are injured in the line of duty.”

Castiglia said even the Department of National Defence has offered its support.

Even though it’s for a good cause, “prize fights” are illegal in Ontario under the Criminal Code, except for boxing matches.

Castiglia said he hopes events like Fight for the Troops helps convinces the government that it should be legalized in Ontario.

The main event is the match-up of Sean Pierson and Fabio Holanda.

However, Castiglia said local MMA aficionados are excited about the match between Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts instructor Mark Holst moving up to a heavier weight class to take on Nabil Khatib, the owner and head instructor of Team Bushido MMA.