Photo courtesy RUF

Ringside Unified Fighting will put on a pro-am mixed martial arts (MMA) fight card, titled “RUF 38 Valentine’s Day Massacre,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Glendale Civic Center, 5750 W Glenn Drive.

Fifteen fights between local athletes will take place inside the Civic Center, with various styles and experience levels.

Jason Martinez, who does fighter relations and matchmaking for RUF, said he is excited to show off the card. He said there are several fighters that are getting their first public match and others looking to move up to professional levels.

He said, regardless of the winners, the fans will enjoy a treat regardless of their familiarity with fighting sports.

“I’m pumped for people who are experiencing a live fight for the first time, as it’s so much more intimate and exciting than if they’ve just casually watched on TV or something,” Martinez said.

“And for those who are more familiar, we’re putting on a card that showcases how much talent we have around here.”

RUF started putting on local MMA fights to try to fill a vacuum.

His daughter, a competitive jiu-jitsu fighter, always had to travel from his home on the west side – Martinez lives in Avondale – to Phoenix or the East Valley to compete. He noticed a lot of other young fighters or training groups had the same problem.

RUF held an event at Carl Hayden High School in West Phoenix last June, which garnered a lot of attention from local fight fans. The group also held a jiu-jitsu competition at the Glendale Civic Center in November.

Martinez hopes RUF’s Glendale fights can become a conistent fixture, to help grow the sport even more in this part of town.

“I want people in Glendale and other cities around here to be sitting there thinking, ‘Hey, I wonder when RUF is coming back to the Civic Center. I want to go see more fights,’ because they had a fun time here,” Martinez said.

Doors for RUF 38 “Valentine’s Day Massacre” open at 5 p.m., with the first fight  at 6. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Tickets start at $38.