Anchorage cagefighter Andy Enz, who was bounced from last year's Ultimate Fighter reality show, is getting an even bigger opportunity to show what he can do in the octagon.
Enz, 22, recently signed a four-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the biggest, baddest mixed-martial arts promotion on the planet.
Enz, the Alaska Fighting Championships' reigning middleweight champion, is scheduled to make his UFC debut Feb. 1 in Newark, N.J. According to a report from Fox Sports, he will face Clint Hester.
AFC promoter Sarah Lorimer said contracts vary, but typically a first-time UFC fighter earns $3,000 to show and another $3,000 for a win, she said. The prize money escalates for champions and top contenders -- Demetrius Johnson, who twice fought in the AFC, earned $250,000 for the recent defense of his 125-pound title, Lorimer said.
Enz, a 2010 Service High graduate and a student at UAA, is 7-0 in and the AFC's reigning middleweight champion. He made his AFC debut during his senior year at Service, shortly after finishing fourth at the Class 4A state wrestling championships at 215 pounds.
The son of a boxing coach, Enz grew up boxing and wrestled in high school. "He's a well-rounded fighter," Lorimer said.
Last year, he was among 32 fighters selected for The Ultimate Fighter reality show on FX. So was Hester (9-3 overall, 2-0 in UFC fights).
Enz was eliminated after losing his first fight -- considered a training bout, not a real match -- to the show's eventual runnerup, Uriah Hall, who has since moved on to the UFC.
Enz was one of the only fighters to hold his own against Hall, which earned him respect in the mixed-martial arts world. When it became known that he broke his arm early in the bout yet continued to battle, his reputation grew.
"He was eliminated in the first round, but he got a bout agreement," Lorimer said.
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By BETH BRAGG