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Fighters honor Georgiana man’s memory

Barbara Merry’s husband, Cecil, was a blue-collar truck driver who loved wrestling.

“If there was a fight on he was watching it,” she said.

Cecil was from Texas. The couple met in Mobile and was married for 35 years and had two sons.

He died on July 12 at the age of 55.

Cecil Merry battled kidney cancer for two years, said Barbara.

“There was a (mixed martial arts) fight on the night before he died and he was able to watch it,” she said. “He just had a love for the sport. It’s very clean sport, very entertaining.”

Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport, which allows for all types of fighting styles, including karate, boxing, and wrestling.

Their son, Justin, a Georgiana High School graduate, became interested in mixed martial arts, and trained under David Koda at Yoshukai Karate in Montgomery. He fought in a pair of fights before his father died.

Justin’s MMA brothers and sisters then paid his deceased father the ultimate respect: fighting a trio of professional bouts in Montgomery in Cecil Merry’s honor.

On Aug. 1 at the Alcazar Shriners Temple, Koda’s Dragon Fist Promotions presented Total Annihilation, a mixed martial arts cage event. Fighters Rachel McGill, Willie Collier, and Matt Langston all fought for Cecil.

All three won.

A picture of Cecil Merry was included in the program. He’s arm-in-arm with his son Justin and granddaughter, Taylor.

“Cecil would have been so proud,” said Barbara.