The only fighter to win Alaska Fighting Championship title belts in three weight classes is retiring from the AFC so he can take over as owner.
Nic “Naptime” Herron-Webb and his wife, Misty Thomas-Gedig, bought the mixed martial arts promotion from longtime owner Sarah Lorimer and will make their debut as owners at Wednesday’s AFC 149 at the Alaska Airlines Center.
“Keep the truck rolling,” Herron-Webb said of the couple’s plans. “We don’t have to change the wheels, but we’ll shine it up a little bit.”
Neither Herron-Webb nor Thomas-Gedig are strangers to the AFC.
Herron-Webb made his AFC debut in 2008 and made his last cage appearance for the promotion in 2018, when he won the 185-pound championship. He’ll go out on top, because he said he won’t fight in his own promotion.
Thomas-Gedig has spent several years assisting Lorimer and is familiar with the business side of the AFC.
“Nic fought for me and Misty was my right-hand woman for the last eight years,” Lorimer said. “They know the business and I wanted it to go to them.”
As a fighter — he isn’t ready to call himself “an ex-fighter” quite yet, saying he might fight in other promotions — Herron-Webb has a significant expertise, according to Jared Cannonier, the UFC’s 10th-ranked middleweight who went straight from the AFC to the UFC.
“Nic has experience in the MMA world,” Cannonier said. “As a promoter you have to study the fighters you put on the card. You have to know fighting, so in that sense it will be good to have a fighter (who is) match-making.”
Cannonier will be at Wednesday’s fights at the Alaska Airlines Center, but he won’t be fighting — he’ll be there to sign autographs and meet fans. He’s coming off what Herron-Webb said is the biggest victory in history for an Alaska fighter, a TKO over UFC star and former champion Anderson Silva at last month’s UFC 237.
Herron-Webb has fought in several promotions, including the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter. He is 20-8 in multiple weight classes, with AFC titles at 155, 170 and 185 pounds. He is the reigning 185-pound champion but will give up the title now that he owns the promotion.
“We’ve done a lot of groundwork,” he said of Wednesday’s card. “I’m just ready for it to happen. There’s a little bit of nerves, but mostly we’re excited and ready for it.”