PALMER — Alaska Combat Entertainment held its second show at the Palmer Train Depot Friday, Nov. 11.
“We had a really good time,” ACE owner Billy Christensen said.
Christensen said they gave out a lot of free giveaways to attending veterans in honor of Veterans Day on top of offering a discount for their admission.
“It was successful in that aspect,” Christensen said.
ACE recently changed venues in wake of the City of Wasilla’s decision to ban the Valley based MMA fighting operation from the Menard Sports Center.
“We thought our biggest problem would be parking but people just park everywhere in Palmer and walk,” Christensen said with a laugh.
Christensen said they have a great working relationship with the City of Palmer in addition to local businesses such as Klondike Mike’s who hosts the after party. He said they’re all feeling optimistic about everything moving forward.
“The warm welcome we relaxed in Palmer has been such a wonderful feeling. Doing businesses with them has been a treat,” Christensen said. Everybody’s been really cool and accepting and excited to have us. It’s a great feeling.”
Christensen said they have an all new opportunity thanks to the change in venue. ACE can now host local food trucks at the Palmer Train Depot during each event.
“Being able to have food trucks there is a game changer,” Christensen said.
This was the second ACE event at the new venue. Christensen said they sold out during the first show, and they’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the community so far.
“They had a blast. They said it was just a darn shame that Wasilla let us go. It was something real that people could count on. Palmer’s super happy about it so far. It’s just a shame it had to go like that,” Christensen said. “We try to find the silver linings in everything,” even if someone shuts the doors on us, we’re gonna open doors somewhere else.”
Christensen said that he’s thankful for the chance to keep ACE going strong with a bright future ahead of them.
“Nobody knew if we were continuing or not,” Christensen said. “This is our 11th year in the game. There’s no way we’re going to let something like that stop us. That’s what it’s all about. We did it.”
ACE enlists fighters from all walks of life, from casual locals looking to mark off bucket list items to serious athletes that dedicate themselves to the sport around the clock.
Christensen runs ACE with his wife Heather. He said their core mission is to support everyone that signs up, especially the young aspiring athletes in need of a positive outlet.
“I’m going to give them the platform. I’m going to give them the ability to do that. Who knows? They might make it all the way to the top,” Christensen said.
The next ACE event is scheduled for Jan. 20 at the Palmer Train Depot. Christensen said they will have fighters from across the state and they may even have the opportunity to invite fighters from the Lower 48.
“We’re gonna have some awesome fights,” Christensen said.
For more information, call 907-947-3464.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org