SHEPHERDSVILLE -- It is hard to imagine an athlete turning professional at the age of 34.
But, it is also understandable if the individual is not quite ready to call it a day.
Being in the professional fight business since the age of 19, Billy Smith will enter the Mixed Martial Arts cage on Saturday, Sept. 21.
In front of the hometown fans, Smith will fight his first professional MMA bout.
After going 7-2 as an amateur since 2007, Smith will now battle in a professional bout.
James Douglas will be the opponent in the co-main event for the next Hardcore MMA card in Paroquet Springs Conference Centre.
"I was going to give it up but I couldn't," Smith said of his fight career. "I just couldn't."
As a result, Smith is hoping for a big crowd on Saturday night.
"It makes you want to go out and win more," Smith said of having a lot of fans in the audience.
For the most part, Smith said his fighting career has been a healthy one. He wouldn't continue if he felt his health was in danger.
It is the drive for competition that makes him continue.
"I just can't give it up," said Smith.
By day, Smith works in the concrete business with his brother. Another brother has been a big supporter through his pawn shop.
"The family has always been very supportive," said Smith.
On Saturday's fight card, there will be over 20 bouts, including seven pro fights.
There will be a raffle with proceeds going to the Fight Crime Against Children organization, which Smith has been a supporter since its inception by Christopher 2X.
As long as Saturday's fight comes out OK, Smith will be headed to New Jersey for a bout in October. And there are plans to put on another show in Shepherdsville next February.
Tickets will be available at the door or by calling Smith at 502-876-2574. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first bell rings at 7:30 p.m.