The Pit is getting ready to rumble.
University Arena has seen its share of concerts, men’s and women’s NCAA tournament basketball games and boxing bouts.
Now, mixed martial arts will debut Aug. 13 when MMA Fight Pit presents “Genesis” — a 10-bout fight card that can be viewed live nationally on Pay-Per-View by MulitVision Media.
Co-founders Torry Crooks and Nick Montoya roped MMA fighter Tommy Truex, from the Jackson-Winkeljohn camp, to set up matches.
Crooks said Albuquerque has been beckoning for MMA.
“It really equated to a mandate from the masses, and the MMA community here realizes that we have the best fighters in the world,” he said. “They’re really eager to see them display their skills on a grander stage.”
The main event will feature Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Houston Alexander and Razak Al-Hassan, who will duel in a light heavyweight battle. The 135-pound co-main event pits local fighter Coty “Ox” Wheeler against UFC fighter Jens Pulver.
Wheeler said he is anxious to be a part of The Pit’s first MMA event.
“This is a big night for New Mexico,” he said. “I’m very, very happy and proud to say that I can be a part of this to open up The Pit and fight a legend. I’m fighting a really big name, and I’ve watched Pulver since I was a kid.”
The fight card will also feature other local, notable fighters.
Angelica Chavez and Lenny Lovato will fight opponents on the card. In the only women’s fight of the night, Chavez will attempt to stay undefeated when she faces Diana Rael in a 105-pound title match.
Chavez hasn’t fought in her home town for two years, and she said there is no better Albuquerque venue to fight at than The Pit.
“I think it’s a good time in my career for this fight,” she said.
“I’m really excited to show what I have again. I think all the guys are going to have great fights, but I’m telling you the girls are going to steal the show.”
Lovato — known as “the Godfather” — is also an Albuquerque-MMA local favorite.
He will look to earn his ninth career win in the cage with a brawl against Junie Browning.
Lovato said it’s been too long since he stepped into the cage.
“I took a little hiatus and got a little fat,” he said. “But the weight is coming off good, and I’m just pumped to get in there and do what I do.”
MMA Fight Pit’s “Genesis”
$34 and up