Great Falls MMA Icon Leo Bercier fights for final time Saturday at ICF 27
Card also features MMA star Joe Riggs taking on Billy Martin
Saturday night in Great Falls nearly all eyes will be on the Pacific Steel and Recycling Four Seasons Arena as one of the Electric City’s most beloved hometown stars participates in his final match as a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter. Leo “Bushido” Bercier squares off against Jeremy Spelts in the headline bout at ICF 27.
Bercier, 36, is retiring after 18 years of fighting and more than 20 professional victories. Local media is reporting that his overall record is likely around 150-50.
Saturday’s action begins at 7:30 p.m. The matches are co-organized by 221 Industries and Fusion Fight League.
Terrill Bracken, owner of Fusion Fight League, said he’s looking forward to seeing how Leo does against Spelts, and how the crowd reacts to seeing him battle for the final time.
“I have been lucky enough to watch Leo fight for a long time,” Bracken said, “He had his first fight in Billings with Fusion several years ago on a card with Tim Welch. I have so much respect for Leo because he is a true mixed martial artist — he doesn’t make excuses or cause drama and he respects everyone until he is shown disrespect.”
Bracken said that not only is Bercier respected in the octagon, but outside of it also.
“Outside of the cage is is so courteous and friendly and has an intellect that transcends most college graduates. Inside the cage he is calculating and ruthless. He has the ability to walk through shots that would drop anyone else and when his patient observation leads him to find an opening, he turns people off like light switches. It’s always amazing to watch.”
While the match may be celebratory in nature for the crowd, Bracken said he doesn’t expect that Spelts will let Leo walk over him whatsoever.
“Jeremy Spelts does not plan on making Leo’s night easy, that’s for sure,” he said. “He’s in incredible shape and is a really good striker himself. It’s going to be a competitive match.”
Aside from Leo’s farewell, there are several other big fights on the card, as well.
UFC veteran Joe Riggs takes on Billy Martin in a 185-pound match that would likely be top billing on most other cards.
Bracken said Joe had expressed interest in being on the card to show respect for his former training partner.
“Joe wanted to be on the card to show respect to Leo because they trained together,” he said.
Great Falls favorite Delane Lamere also will be taking on Michael Kuehne out of Kalispell to round out the professional fights.
As for the amateurs, there will be nine local fighters including Cody Vukasin, Collin Lee and Glen Cislo. Vukasin is coming out of retirement to battle for his first title against an up-and-coming amateur Shane Fichter fighting out of the Grindhouse in Billings.
Bracken said up and down the card there shouldn’t be a bad fight among them.
“I guarantee it will be the biggest show Great Falls has EVER seen. We are pulling out all the stops. We have a waiting list a mile long with fighters wanting to be on this card,” he said.
For those unable to make the fight, it also will be aired on Pay Per View, which you can find more information about ordering here.
If you are able to attend, though, looking through the audience you’ll likely to see a who’s who of Montana MMA icons. Bracken said he knows several people who will be there already such as Tim Welch and Jared Torgeson, but imagines there will likely be many more notable fighters sprinkled in the crowd as well.
“I can’t imagine any serious fight fan not coming to watch this,” he said.
Tickets are $20 in advance and can be purchased at Cody’s Cars, Alias Smith & Jones and the Sting. On the day of the event admission will be $25 at the door.