How it all began

George, Steve Baxley, Coach Johnny Trawick, and Dray Burch
Photo by Susie Helms with Knockout Images

UFC ® Ultimate Fighter Championship is no stranger to the Dothan area. In 1997 Dothan hosted UFC® 12 which marked the first UFC appearance of Vitor Belfort “the Phenom”, who just won the title of Middleweight Champion in UFC® 103 beating Rich Franklin “Ace”, Sept.19, 2009 in Texas in a pay-per view match.

With the growing popularity of the UFC, many of the area fighters were fighting in “back alley” type venues without rules or safety guidelines. Many of these fighters were trained at the Wolfpack MMA(Mixed Martial Arts) school. Dothan local, Steve Baxley owns Steve Baxley’s Wolfpack MMA, where he has been teaching full time since 2004. Steve has over 27 years of MMA experience. He was aware of the fights but concerned about his students fighting without supervision or safety measures.

In May of 2009, the Wolfpack MMA dojo became the location for fights and the Southeastern Fight League was born. The fights drew a large crowd and soon he had to look for a bigger location to have the fights. Steve acquired a building on Brannon Stand Road and opened the Southeastern Fight Center. The Southeastern Fight League has hosted 10 fights this year.

Fighters from these fights are MMA athletes going on to careers within the sport. One of the fighters, Dray Burch, from the Southeastern Fight League, will have a professional debut on October 3, 2009 in Tallahassee, FL at The MOON. Burch has been training with the Wolfpack for the past three years. His amateur record is 10 wins and 2 losses. Burch’s future professional fights will be televised events.

Steve Baxley and his business partner Paul Grise, from Kentucky have plans on making the Southeastern Fight League a well know name within the UFC. Grise and his associates in Kentucky have been promoters for big MMA shows in Kentucky and Tennessee for several years now. The Wolfpack Pro Team has in the works for a MMA fight promoter (a former major boxing promoter) to have the Southeastern Fight League MMA fights televised. The Southeast Fight League is the premier fight league in Southern Alabama and the only one in this area connected to a legitimate pro promoter.

Baxley has a fantastic team; Mr. Grise, Coach Johnny Trawick (trainer of 3 World Champion Boxers and a Hall of Fame Boxing Coach) his staff of MMA trainers, fighters, and corner men. The Wolfpack Team has already started to get the attention of some well known celebrities. George Foreman, two time heavyweight boxing champion’s son, who is also a MMA fighter, has asked for one of the Wolfpack for a possible fight in the future.

MMA is growing so fast in this area that Baxley is moving his dojo, Wolfpack MMA to a new location in the Fountain Plaza on the Ross Clark Circle. It will be twice the size of the present location. If you are interested in the classes they offer, call (334) 677-2002 or visit the web site www.mmadothan.com.

The next fight night will be Saturday October 10th 8:00 PM at the Southeastern Fight Center, Brannon Stand Road, Dothan, Alabama. Open call for fighters. For fight information call (334) 794-1150 or visit the web site www.southeasternfightleague.com .

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