Robbins’ Dillon to Fight in Bull City
Jason Dillon knows a little something about the reality of combat.
On June 5 in Myrtle Beach, the 27-year-old Robbins native, who goes by the nicknames of “Red Bull” and “Turbo,” improved his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) record to 2-0 by knocking out an opponent in just 13 seconds.
His next fight is scheduled for this Saturday in Durham at the Bull City Brawl, where he’s on the card taking on Kernersville’s Scott Fierle in a 155-pound bout.
“Jason is one of my top fighters,” said Roy Marsh, who coaches Dillon and is co-owner of the Martial Arts Academy of Southern Pines. “In his fight last month, he set the Carolina Fight Promotions record for fastest win. The guy he fought was actually an instructor at a school. He was a black belt in jiu jitsu and a second degree black belt in karate. I think the official time now is 13 seconds on Jason’s win.”
A North Moore graduate of 2000, Dillon trains in Fayetteville and Southern Pines with an organization called Team ROC, which stands for “reality of combat.” The team is the largest MMA organization in the Carolinas and boasts a stong military presence.
Dillon says he’s been training in MMA since he joined up with Marsh about three years ago, although he’s been fighting on the amateur level for more than a decade.
“I first started messing around with boxing when I was 16,” he said. “I’m from Robbins, and there was never a legitimate gym set up there, so it was mostly me and friends getting together and just boxing.”
Dillon still lives in the house in which he grew up in Robbins with his wife, Jennifer, and two boys, Ashton and Jordan. He trains six or seven days a week and also teaches at a studio called Robbins MMA on Virginia Street.
He says the competition is what draws him to MMA, which is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. MMA actually comprises multiple disciplines. Team ROC specializes in Gracie jiu jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing.
“I enjoy every single aspect of it,” he said. “It’s a thrill. I don’t really know how to put that in words. It’s a test. It’s about being totally in the moment. Just go in there and get in that zone.”
Marsh says the chance to cross disciplines is what he thinks draws fighters to MMA.
“What happens with mixed martial arts is that guys who have a background in one martial art, they want to expand beyond that,” he said. “Whether it’s a wrestler who wants to do boxing for a while or somebody has boxing and says I want to start jiu jitsu, and then when he gets a bigger background says, ‘Hey, I want to do something that puts all these things together, rather than go fight one weekend in a kickboxing match and another weekend in a jiu jitsu match.’ MMA puts it all together, so I think that’s the thrill.”
Dillon is quick to credit the people around him for his success. One of his instructors is Larry Hughes, the only professional MMA fighter in Moore County and a current titleholder in the Battlefield Fighting Championship. Meanwhile, Dillon trains with fighters such as Brandon Garner, one of the top-ranked featherweights in the world, and Jason Palacios, one of the top fighters in North Carolina.
“He’s got a couple of good advantages,” said Marsh of Dillon. “He’s young, and he’s definitely atheltic enough. He’s got a lot of good training partners, and any coach will tell you they’d rather have a guy who listens over an athlete. With Red Bull, I’m pretty blessed, because he’s athletic and he listens.”
Although Dillon says he doesn’t know much about this week’s opponent, he does feel he’ll be ready by the time he steps into the octagon.
“There’s so much that goes into it that by the time it comes, you just feel ready and confident,” he said. “The biggest part is just being focused and knowing that you put in the hard work.”
As far as how far he’ll go with MMA, Dillon says he’ll take it as far as he can go with it, although that’s not the focus right now.
“The goal right now is to take it one fight at a time and just go from there,” he said.
His coach is a bit more forward-thinking.
“I’m sure he’ll go pro,” said Marsh. “He’s got the potential to take it pretty far.”
Saturday’s event will take place at the Armory in Durham beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at etix.com or at the MAASP’s downtown office, located on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Broad Street in Southern Pines.
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