Robert Mrotek, owner of Inner Strength Martial Arts studio in Superior, recently won his first professional mixed martial arts title in a fight in North Carolina. He competed in the Maximum Fighting League for the welterweight title against Donovan Mickie (10-0), a brown belt in Brazilian jujitsu. Mrotek, with a 6-2 professional record heading into the bout, claimed the title by submission in 3:43 in the first round.
“It has been my dream since I was five years old to win a world title, ever since watching Bret the Hitman Hart win the world title,” said Mrotek, who began studying martial arts as an eight-year-old. “It’s a dream I have been chasing for well over 18 years now.”
Mrotek also offers instruction in mixed martial arts. Four students from Inner Strength Martial Arts traveled to Champlin, Minn. May 15 to compete in the 2010 Greater Midwest Submission Hunt, a Brazilian jujitsu tournament.
Kevin Peterson ended up competing in eight matches. He took second place in no-gi division, losing in the finals by one point, and took fourth in the gi division. Max Thompson took first in the gi division, and second in the no-gi division, losing in the finals by two points. Noah Buhr took second place in both the gi and no-gi divisions. Mike Kari also competed but did not place.
“Mike Kari was in the most stacked division of the tournament, fought hard, but didn’t end up placing this time around,” Mrotek said. “All four students worked very hard.”
Local mixed martial arts students will be in action again Saturday at Black Bear Casino in Carlton, Minn. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. with fights beginning at 7 p.m.
Twenty-one fights are on the card, headlined by a battle between Wisconsin’s No. 1-ranked fighter, James Warfield, and Minnesota top-ranked fighter, Ashkan Morvari, for the Fearless Fighting Championship Lightweight Championship.
Also on the card are eight students from the Inner Strength Martial Arts studio. Local competitors are Ryan VanPuymbrouck, Ryan Miller, Nick Spina, Anthony Herman, Kevin Peterson, Robert Murphy, Marzett Turner and Scott Follett.
Cris Cyborg, Strikeforce Women’s Champion, will also attend as a special guest. She will teach a private muay thai kickboxing seminar Saturday at Inner Strength Martial Arts for all of the women that train at the gym.
More information on Saturday’s event, Fearless Fighting Championship 4, can be found online at www.fearlessfightingchamp.com.