Evolving from Washougal High School wrestlers to mixed martial artists, Nick Biron and Jess Moore have the opportunity to do something special Saturday.
On the same night, they could both become champions of their divisions in the Full-Contact Fighting Federation at the 10th anniversary of Rumble at the Roseland.
“If I was a fight fan, this is a show I wouldn’t want to miss,” said FCFF Co-owner Kevin Keeney. “We are so fortunate to be able to keep putting on shows and provide an avenue for these fighters to reach their hopes and dreams.”
Biron battles Darron O’Donnell of Knox, Ore., for the Heavyweight Championship. Biron stands at 6 feet, 4 inches, but O’Donnell is a few inches taller.
“It’s giant versus giant, which is the way it should be in the heavyweight division,” Keeney said. “What impresses me most about Nick is that he’s always ready. He’s not just some kid off the street looking for a fist fight. He’s always well-trained and well-versed. You can tell that he takes this seriously.”
Moore gets his long awaited rematch for the Featherweight Championship he lost four years ago. He challenges Sean Solitz of Redmond, Wash.
“I’m so glad Jess came back to this sport,” Keeney said. “He always draws a big crowd from Washougal and Camas.”
This is Moore’s third fight in three months since taking three years off to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington State University-Vancouver.
“It’s nice to be back out there. It’s what I love to do,” he said. “My family really pushes education. If fighting doesn’t go through, it’s nice to have something to fall back on.
“I could see myself doing something in the medical field,” Moore added. “So if I get beat up, I can stitch myself back up.”
Less than a year into his MMA career, Biron is already 7-0. Much like his days on the wrestling mats at Washougal High, Biron will do anything for the thrill of competition. Even step into a steel cage.
“I love how diverse it is,” he said. “You can stand and strike with somebody, or you can take them to the ground and try and finish them off. There’s just a lot of ways to win and a lot of ways to lose. You never know what the other guy is going to try.
“Getting into the cage is the hardest part,” Biron added. “But once you’re in there, that’s when the fun starts.”
Moore also thrives off that competitive fire.
“What I love about MMA is you can’t just be good at one thing,” he said. “Being good at wrestling is not going to get you very far. You have to be as well-rounded as possible. That’s what gets me really addicted to the sport, trying to work on all aspects of it.”
The bond between these two goes way back. Moore was a senior captain on the Washougal wrestling team when Biron joined as a freshmen. Six years later, the two Panther alums are sharing the same locker room again at these MMA fights.
“It’s amazing to see how much Nick has evolved in just the last few months,” Moore said. “From the first time I saw him fight in July to his last fight in December, he looked like a completely different fighter. It’s great to see a buddy you grew up with doing so well.”
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Biron said. “When he says something, I listen. He knows what he’s talking about.”
Biron and Moore are just five days away from fighting for their dreams on the same night. Win or lose, the journey to get here will always be special.
“There’s a lot of emotion that goes into a fight. Six weeks of hard work goes into that next 10 minutes,” Moore said. “I like the feeling you get when it’s all over. It’s a complete adrenaline rush. You just hope you’re the one getting your hand raised.”