With time on his hands since improving to 7-1 as a professional mixed-martial artist, and a desire to breathe some hometown mountain air, Bayfield High School alumnus Kevin Wirth arrived in La Plata County early Thursday morning after an 11-hour drive from his current San Diego, Calif., digs.

“I’m working with some people to try to hook me up with what’s next; my name’s in the hat for a Bellator fight in a couple of months, and also for another fight with the (Legacy Fighting Alliance),” he said. “So we’ll see which one of those two works out; I’m pushing for Bellator, hopefully, but it’s going to be one or the other in the next couple of months.”

In the meantime, training and the daily grind in general will proceed more or less as usual with the occasional pause – including a scheduled guest-instructor appearance this Saturday at Durango Martial Arts, where any and all interested can work on their ground game, standup attack or both.

“I plan on an hour grappling and an hour of striking, not really sticking to one thing I consider my stronger suit,” said Wirth. “I always kind of try and show, teach the stuff that works for me; I don’t know how else to do it. I learn, and then I have to actually go fight and see if it works, and if it works, I feel comfortable teaching it as something I believe in.”

The dual-discipline clinic is to begin at noon and end at 2 p.m., and is $25 for one hour or a discount $40 for two.

“I’ve been gone for like the last year and a half, doing nothing but training and fighting, so I’m using it as an opportunity to stop by, teach everybody all the stuff that I’ve learned,” said Wirth, who turned 32 in June. “Durango Martial Arts is a place that I started coaching at a while ago, before I moved, and it’s something that I really like doing.”

Most recently able to defeat Carlos ‘El Rey’ Puente, Jr. by second-round submission in a catchweight test May 25 at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 75 in Coachella, Calif., inside Spotlight 29 Casino, Wirth proved his “Mr. Nice Guy” moniker applies mostly outside the cage as he prevailed despite fighting well above his regular 125 pounds.

Wirth, who currently represents San Diego-based The Arena, fought 15 pounds over his weight class but was still able to get the win.

“It wasn’t my favorite fight,” said Wirth. “I fought this fight at 140, and he was quite a bit bigger than me. Wasn’t the best at imposing his skill, but he was really good at imposing his size so I got really tired. But I was able to finish him; I don’t know how well I’d be able to keep up if it went the full 15 minutes.”

“It went pretty good,” he said. “The skill level was no different, but the weight is something I’m going to have to get used to for sure.”

GOING ONLINEWirth also noted he’s in the process of designing a website geared toward a more holistic approach to MMA-oriented cross-training. That is, in addition to detailing techniques and maneuvers, other aspects such as movement and nutrition will be explored. He stated the site – to be called digitaldojo.com – currently has an Aug. 24 launch date.

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