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Veteran MMA fighter Chad Vance is not ready to retire just yet

Charles City man will be a part of the Elite Fight League No. 6 card on Saturday in Cedar Rapids.

Veteran MMA fighter Chad Vance is not ready to retire just yet
Charles City resident Chad Vance, left, exchanges punches with John Poppie during their light-heavyweight main event as part of the Elite Fight League No. 5 card last May in Waterloo. The fight was supposed to be Vance’s “retirement” bout, but he has decided to be a part of the EFL No. 6 card, Saturday in Cedar Rapids.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Sometimes it’s best just to start over.

For veteran mixed martial arts fighter Chad Vance, that meant getting back on his feet.

He figured he was less than a minute away from doing just that during his light-heavyweight professional main event bout against John Poppie to cap the Elite Fight League No. 5 card held last May in Waterloo.

“I got some good blows in from the stand-up position,” said the 45-year-old Charles City man, who was making a comeback “retirement” bout after an extended hiatus.

“But then I let him get under me.”

After both fighters were pressed against the cage, Poppie eventually took the fight down to the canvas and went into pound-and-ground mode. Vance gamely was able to protect himself, but couldn’t get out from under Poppie.

“I heard them say ‘50 seconds left’ so I was just going to try to hold out,” Vance said. “He wasn’t hurting me.”

Still, Vance was in trouble with the bout being at the discretion of the referee, who eventually stopped it.

“I was hoping to go out with a win,” Vance said, “but if I was going to go out with a loss, I much rather it would have been with me getting soundly beaten.

“I’m not the only one who thought the fight was stopped too soon.”

Just a little more than two months after his last fight, Vance is set to get back into the octagon for another shot at retiring on a high note during an Elite Fight League No. 6 card as part of Black Stock Motorcycle Club’s customer and supporter appreciation event, July 13 at the company’s site at 611 2nd Ave., Cedar Rapids. The card is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Vance is due to face fellow MMA veteran Jon “Big Nasty” Tarrh fighting out of Terre Haute, Ind. — though MMA fight cards are more subject to change than boxing cards.

Though win, lose or draw, Vance will likely not “retire” completely from the sport in the near future. His son, Dakota, is a budding MMA fighter aspiring to follow his father into the professional ranks. The two train together.

Having the rare distinction of being on the same card as his father during the said May show,
Dakota won the second bout of his amateur career with a 22-second win over an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer.

Dakota’s previous debut win was even shorter as his two fights total have lasted less than 40 seconds.

The elder Vance believes his experience in the business will help his son go further than he did in the sport.

“When I first started, I was willing to fight anyone,” Chad Vance said, “but I didn’t stop to consider ‘Is this fight going to help advance my career, or is this just set up to help the other guy?’ “