Giovaughn “Gio” Mackey knows he won’t be the crowd favorite Saturday night during his Mixed Martial Arts bout at the sixth annual Rural Rumble in Fallon. The 29-year-old Gardnerville fighter merely wants to take care of business in his middleweight bout against Fallon’s Cody Downs.
“My conditioning is good, I’m really strong, man, I love it,” Mackey said of his Rural Rumble debut. “It’s going to be fun.”
The professional boxing, amateur mixed-martial arts event begins at 7 p.m. at the Churchill County Fairgrounds. All of the MMA bouts are scheduled as three rounders.
Mackey is ready to rumble as he looks to improve his 2-2 MMA record against Downs, who won his Rural Rumble bout last year. Downs only needed 38 seconds to win that bout, as he closed with a big right cross to the eye of Robert Lloyd.
Mackey, who stands 6-foot-4 and expects to step into the ring weighing 185 pounds, is looking forward to the challenge Downs presents. In the process, he hopes to put on a show that will win the crowd over as well.
“I watched one of his fights and he was doing the stand-up, so it just might be blow-for-blow,” Mackey said. “I love standing up more than I do going to the ground. Going to the ground is fun and all, but I like to give the crowd a good show, and you know, I just want to go blow for blow until someone gets knocked out. That’s what I really love, and the crowd loves that, too.”
Mackey’s last bout, a non-sanctioned fight against Daniel Reese on June 29 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno was stopped in the second round by doctor’s decision.
“This will be my first time working with Gio and I am very excited,” said Terry Lane, CEO of Let’s Get It On Promotions. “He is a talented fighter and I am thrilled for him to be on the card. ‘Fallon Fights’ is all about giving opportunities to the young and hungry fighters who live and train in Northern Nevada.”
Why MMA? Mackey smiled in pointing out he has been a long-time fan.
“I’ve always loved it,” he said. “Then when I got into it, I lost my first fight, but I still loved the crowd and I got a lot of respect out of it. I had a great time just doing it and my entire family fully supports me. I love the competition, I just think it’s awesome, man.”
Mackey’s ultimate goal is to make it to the big time as a Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitor. He views Saturday night as just another step in the right direction.
“It’s right in my lane to get there,” he said. “I’m hoping I just keep winning so I can go pro, get a title shot and hopefully get a pull to the UFC.
“I’d love that,” he added. “That’s definitely my dream, and I’m going to keep pushing myself to the limit till I can’t go anymore.”