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Ultimate Fighting Championship athletes honor veterans

people posing for photo

UFC Fighters “Rebel Girl” Ashlee Evans-Smith and “Smile’N” Sam Alvey pose with 821st Security Forces Squadron members, (left to right), U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Yusef Rogers, Airman 1st Class Jeri Locklear, and Senior Airman Porchech Shropshire at Thule Air Base, Greenland, Nov. 11, 2021. The UFC fighters visited Thule AB as part of Armed Forces Entertainment’s first “MMA Caged Crusaders Tour” since March 2019, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Svendsen, 821st Security Forces Squadron)

Woman fighting

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Williams, 821st Support Squadron, demonstrates the clinch technique on UFC fighter Ashlee Evans-Smith at the Fitness Center on Thule Air Base, Greenland, Nov. 11, 2021. The Airmen and Guardians received instruction from the UFC fighters on a variety of fighting fundamentals to include Jiu-Jitsu, grappling and takedown defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Svendsen, 821st Security Forces Squadron)

Men fighting

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brandon Gaskins, 821st Security Forces Squadron, grapples with UFC Fighter “Smile’N” Sam Alvey during the mixed martial arts clinic at Thule Air Base, Greenland, Nov. 11, 2021. Gaskin’s Jiu-Jitsu black belt experience made him an even match for the professional fighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Svendsen, 821st Security Forces Squadron)

“Smile’N” Sam Alvey and “Rebel Girl” Ashlee Evans-Smith, Ultimate Fighting Champions fighters, visited Airmen and Guardians at Thule Air Base, Greenland, Nov. 11, 2021.

Sam Alvey has been part of the UFC since 2014 and a professional fighter since 2008, with 50 professional fights.  Ashlee Evans-Smith has also been part of the UFC since 2014, and has accumulated 11 professional fights.

The 821st Air Base Group hosted the UFC fighter’s tour of the base while facilitating time with Airmen and Guardians. Alvey and Evans-Smith were able to dine with service members, conduct a live interview with Thule’s Polar Playbook sports radio host, receive live-fire training at the security forces squadron’s indoor shooting range, and visit sights around the base and near North Star Bay.

Service members were able to participate in a mixed martial arts clinic hosted by the UFC athletes at the fitness center. Airmen and Guardians received instruction on a variety of fighting fundamentals to include Jiu-Jitsu, grappling and takedown defense. The UFC athletes also took time to answer questions about fighting, training, nutrition and recovery, and took photos with participants and spectators.

The trip was courtesy of Armed Forces Entertainment’s “Mixed Martial Arts Caged Crusaders Tour,” which had been postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Armed Forces Entertainment was established in 1951 to provide free, quality, live professional entertainment to U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families overseas, with priority to personnel living in remote and isolated locations, ships at sea, and those supporting contingency operations.

Armed Forces Entertainment will be back at Thule AB with comedy shows in December and January, as well as their February NFL Pro Blitz event with former NFL stars.

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