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Missoula MMA staple Lloyd Mix ready to step back into cage for title opportunity

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Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 15, 2024

MISSOULA — The Garden City is hosting mixed martial arts action this weekend at the Adams Center as Montana MMA promotion Fusion Fight League comes to town.

Headlining the card is Missoula's own Lloyd Mix, who will take on Gage Saunders for the Fusion Fight League welterweight title.

"It's a nice little homecoming for me," Mix said. "I mean, I don't have to stress about the weight too much and I get in there and perform. Just excited and it's against really good competition too so I'd be grateful to have a five-round war just as good as I would have to have a one-round knockout."

Mix is a pioneer of Montana MMA, having made it from the Treasure State to larger shows and promotions, like Bellator, where he fought some of the sport's most dynamic talents including Michael Chandler and Patricky Pitbull.

But to hear himself called a pioneer lights a fire under him, because the way he sees it, he's still got plenty left to give in the sport.

"That puts a chip on my shoulder. You can ask any of these new guys up in here, I'm ready to go at any moment of the day," Mix said. "So pioneer thing kind of gets me because everybody always mentions the age. "I've lost my hair since getting into fighting, but you know, the juice is still there. And I'm just glad I got enough juice to perform in front of a hometown crowd."

"For him to come into Bellator and make a splash like he did, nobody expected it but us," one of his coaches, Matt Powers, added. "I just think that he's done a phenomenal job with MMA in Montana. He's the first one to take it on a big screen, or not so much a big screen but on a bigger venue.

"When people outside of Montana knew who he was. It really was kind of neat. He paved the way for what Tim Welch and Sean O'Malley are doing."

The 39-year-old Mix is 15-7 as a pro MMA fighter, but this will be his first bout in almost eight years. In between, he's dabbled in bare knuckle boxing where he's found success, but when contacted to step back in the cage, Mix found that spark to fight in MMA light back up.

"I'm proud to be one of the guys who you know, started doing it at first, but it's also really heartwarming to see it going on and on now and like the talent that we have here in Montana," Mix said. "I always knew we have the talent here. And like it's just cool that it's, you know, it's getting spotlighted."

Mix competes with Missoula Kickboxing, previously known as the Dogpound Fight Team, and his head coach, Conall Powers, trains with him frequently, and looked up to him from an early age.

"Lloyd has his own style. He's really creative with the striking his movements," Conall said. "I don't try to impede on anything like that. I'll let him flow I let him do his work, he's a great athlete. And you know, he's he has so much experience in the game that I don't really try to I do a little critiquing, but overall, I let him do his own thing. You know, he's, he's a very experienced and he's, he's weathered in the game.

"I remember being like nine years old, watching him on TV fight, you know, and then growing up watching him training with him. And then to the point where we're actually sparring each other. You know, this is a man who almost submitted Michael Chandler, who is in the UFC, who is going to be fighting Conor McGregor. You know? He showed that it's possible in a small town like Missoula."

All eyes will be on Mix come Saturday night in Missoula, and he's ready for his opportunity to get the FFL belt put around his waist in front of the hometown crowd.

"He has the belt and he's a little bit bigger than me," Mix said. "He actually, you know, messaged me, and like, I'm honored to think that, you know, he would want to get a piece. I'm really excited to get out there, show my skill set, and, you know, doing it in front of the people I love the most, you know, the 406. We're coming back home."