By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

The Milwaukee-based North American Fighting Championship (NAFC) announced an agreement with the BMO Harris Bradley Center to start producing and promoting mixed martial arts shows.

The first collaboration will be NAFC "Mega Brawl" on May 31 with a tentative start time of 4 p.m. A pre-fight tailgate party is planned for 2 p.m. in the BMO Harris Bradley Center Atrium, as well as outdoors (weather permitting).

Inspired by the fact that the Roufusport Mixed Martial Arts Academy, one of the country's top producers of MMA talent, is located on North 76th Street, it made perfect sense for the BMO Harris Bradley Center to make the foray into what is often referred to as the world's fastest growing sport.

"Milwaukee is recognized as home to some of the very best MMA talent in the country, with great fans that love and follow the sport at every level," BMO Harris Bradley Center President and CEO Steve Costello said. "We couldn’t have a better partner than NAFC to produce our first big-time home-grown MMA event."

"We are creating an amazing setting for fighters and fans alike, and we look forward to welcoming fight fans from across the region when we showcase some of Milwaukee’s very best fighters for our inaugural fight on May 31 with close-up views at affordable prices. All cage-side and floor seats include VIP club access."

"I'm beyond excited," Roufusport's Head Coach and Founder Duke Roufus said. "This is a dream come true for myself as a coach, and for the rest of our team who are going to get opportunities to fight on this card. This is a very special place for us, the place that Anthony Pettis won Roufusport's first UFC Championship. Anthony's performance inspires the legion of new Roufusport athletes that are going to shine on May 3 and earn their way to the UFC."

NAFC has been a respected proving ground for fighters that have made their way to the UFC, the sport's premier professional promotion, including Sergio "The Phenom" Pettis, Dustin Ortiz, Chico Camus, Mike "Biggie" Rhodes and Joao Zeferino.

In the "Mega Brawl" Main Event, one of Roufus' rising fighters, Gerald "The Machine" Meerschaert III (17-6), is slated to take on star of the UFC's reality television show "The Ultimate Fighter-Season 16" in "Smiling" Sam Alvey (21-5), a Manitowoc native currently training in California.

Over a dozen MMA bouts are planned for the NAFC "Mega Brawl."

Tickets range from $35 to $125 and go on sale at and the BMO Harris Bradley Center ticket office at noon on Saturday, March 1. Private VIP Suites will also be available for group rental. For more information and fight card, please visit NAFC.TV.