courage11.jpg

Forget about finding a quiet room with a comfortable bed.

If you show up at Urbana’s Holiday Inn tonight, chances are good that comfort’s the last thing on your mind.

At 8:30 p.m., Courage Fighting Championships 11 kicks off. There will be fighting in cages, fighting among men, fighting among women and fighting for the CFC national championship.

Courage Fighting Championships, the full-contact brainchild of Decatur’s Jason Reinhardt, is a breeding ground for talented mixed martial arts fighters looking to climb the ladder into the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the major leagues of ultimate fighting. This is an ascent that’s familiar to the 38-year-old Reinhardt, who’s been practicing martial arts since he was nine years old and who held championship belts in numerous mixed martial arts organizations before making his UFC debut in November 2007.

The arrival of Reinhardt’s CFC fighters in Champaign-Urbana has caught the attention of hundreds.

“As of Monday, they had, I believe, sold 550 tickets,” says Chani Jones, sales and catering manager at Urbana’s Holiday Inn. Tickets go for $30, $50 and $75. The ballroom holds approximately 900 people, though there’s no official count on how many tickets have been issued for sale.

Tickets are going quick and can be purchased through the event’s sponsors: Andrae’s Harley Davidson; Hooters; One World Pizza; Kick Start Tattoo; and Dragonz Lair. They are not available at the Holiday Inn.

The festivities kicked off last night at Hooters, where the fighters participated in an official weigh in. The Holiday Inn ballroom doors open tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Why bring the CFC to a hotel ballroom?

“They have done (CFC fights) in other towns at Holiday Inns,” says Jones. But, she adds, the Holiday Inn in Urbana has never held an event quite like this one before.

Holiday Inn is located at 1001 Killarney Street in Urbana.