Falon Ring makes his MMA debut
Falon Ring, left, made his MMA debut last month.
Falon Ring’s goal of fighting in the cage was reached last month at March Mayhem. The 18-year-old Yup’ik kickboxer, in his MMA debut match, took on the 28-year-old “King of the Cage” veteran. Walking out to Disturb’s song “Down with the Sickness,” Ring immediately attacked from the sound of the bell to land a flying front kick to the face of his opponent, said the kickboxer’s father Robert Ring after the March 10 bout in Gallup, New Mexico. He then went on to overwhelm his challenger and brutally impose his will, ending the match in just over 2 minutes into the first round with a rolling triangle choke. Southwest Fight News (swfight.com) called it the Fight of the Night.
At 16, in his first title fight, Ring defeated an older, stronger opponent in a five-round decision to claim the International Kickboxing Federation bantamweight championship belt in July 2010.
In May Ring won a lightweight jiu-jitsu championship belt in Texas and claimed titles in two separate divisions at Southwest Grapplefest IV in New Mexico.
Ring was born in Anchorage and lived in Alaska before his family moved to New Mexico when he was 6. He doesn’t remember much about the Last Frontier, yet he still calls it home.
“I still consider myself an Alaskan,” Ring told The Drums in 2010.
His mother Sophie Evan-Ring’s parents are from Napaskiak and St. Mary’s. His father Robert is an Ahtna Athabascan from Chitina. And his great-grandfather is the late Native leader William Tyson of St. Mary’s, a renowned Yup’ik dancer and Catholic deacon.
In addition to competing, Ring is a jiu-jitsu instructor at Mean 1 MMA & Fitness. He attend New Mexico’s Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute this summer.
(Editor's note: The former headline on this article was incorrect. Ring won his first kickboxing title in 2010. Recently he made his MMA debut. The headline has been changed.)