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MMA in CT

Fight card for CES March 29 show

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/27/19

CES (Classic Entertainment Sports) will be putting on its next show on March 29 in Hartford, CT; the first time that an MMA show has been hold in Connecticut off of one of the Indian reservations. The Connecticut Convention Center at 100 Columbus Boulevard will host the event.

Although the sport became legal in Connecticut in 2013, it wasn't until two years ago that the statutes were modified to make insurance less daunting to promoters, according to certain sources.
Sources with CES released a card for the event, which will include a featherweight bout between Trenton, Jersey-based fighter Tim Dooling (7-4) and area favorite Matt Bessette (22-9) -- a UFC veteran who fights out of Stafford Springs. Bessette, who has also competed in Bellator and Reality Fighting, trains out of Underdog BJJ in Hartford.
The main event is a world championship welterweight bout between Renzo Gracie student Jeremiah Wells (6-1) and Vinicius De Jesus (7-2) of Team Link in a middleweight bout.
The other title fight on the card is a bantamweight bout between Tony Gravely (16-5) and Darren Mima (10-7).
Caio Magalhaes (10-6) of Bethel, CT will fight Eric Spicely (10-4). Magalhaes trains of Teixiera MMA.
Manchester's William Knight (4-0), who trains out of Thornoton MMA, will fight Carlton Little (7-6) in a light heavyweight bout.
Dan Dubuque (7-2) of Waterbury will fight Antonio Castillo (10-8) in a featherweight bout.
Two Meriden residents that also train at Underdog will be on the card; Justin Valentin (2-0), will fight Jason Huntley (5-8) in a flyweight bout; and Carlos Rivera (1-4), who will fight Mike Diorio (1-3) in a middleweight bout.
Another fighter that trains at Thornton, Gil Pinheiro (0-2) of Naugatuck, will fight debuting professional Tom Connolly in a lightweight bout.
Female fighters Hilarie Rose (2-1) and Rosa Acevedo (4-3) will compete in a strawweight bout.
The card also includes a middleweight bout between Fabio Cherant (3-0) and Marquis Allen (1-2).

March 16 AMMO Results

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/24/19

(West Springfield- March 16)

The Big E again hosted AMMO Fight League's now-traditional St. Patrick's Day weekend event. A 170-pound bout between Connor Barry and Jesus Cintron capped the event, which ended at :29 in the first round.
Barry landed a straight high front kick early in the fight that brought the fight to the ground. He subsequently started to ground and pound until the referee waved the fight off, securing him a victory by TKO.
Harris Bonfiglio secured a submission victory via kimura over Robbie Leroux during a 135-pound bout that served as the co-main event. Bonfiglio landed a high side kick almost immediately and wound up on top as the fighters went to the ground. During the stand-up that followed, Leroux caught another kick by Bonfiglio and lifted him high before dropping him. But Bonfiglio wound up on top and secured the submission about two minutes into the fight. Leroux appeared to have an injured arm afterward.
Jon Manley's 170-pound bout with Jeremie Holloway was cancelled. He instead grappled with Placido Carl Santos during a match that preceded the two main events. Santos submitted Manley with a rear naked choke at 3:17.
The main card opened with a 115-pound fight between Dan Cormier and Matt Lyall. Cormier submitted Lyall at :50 in the first round with a D'Arce choke.
The second fight was a featherweight bout between William Smith and Bradley Sustad. Although Sustad caught a high kick by Smith and threw him, the referee waved the fight off after some ground action at 1:23 in the first round. A ringside doctor determined that Sustad sustained a broken arm and officials declared Smith the winner by submission.
The evening's other MMA bouts were all amateur fights that marked the undercard. The main preliminary bout was a featherweight championship bout between defending champion Randy Francis and challenger Kenny Champion -- the bout went to an unanimous decision with champion winning the belt.
Both fighters generally exchanged cautious back-and-forth strikes during the first three rounds. But Francis looked battered by the middle of the fourth round as Champion began adding knees to the exchanges. The judges scored it 49-47, 49-46 and 49-45.
The referee briefly stopped the fight during the fifth round after Champion sustained a strike to the groin. The exchanges continued and both fighters were hammering each other in the body as the fight ended.
The undercard opened with a 145-pound bout between Anthony Alvarado and Charra Phon. Although Phon got progressively more aggressive and attempted a few submissions, the fight ended with a split decision in favor of Alvarado.
The next fight was a 125-pound bout between Blaze Robinson versus Jonathan Cocoma (125 pounds). The referee waved the fight off at :10 in the second round with Robinson winning by TKO.
Featherweight Nate Ghareeb generally appeared more dominant during his bout with Aaron Hughes. He brought Hughes down with a kick during the second round and began throwing punches. The referee waved the fight and Ghareeb won by TKO at 1:30.
Welterweight Sage Philippe used lower leg kicks and clinching with knees during he first round of his fight with James Thomas. But Thomas took his back as the round ended. 
During the second round, Thomas caught a kick by Philippe and pushed him backwards before attempting to punch his way into controlling the pace of the fight. But Philippe used lower leg kicks to get Thomas off balance before bringing the fight to the ground. Philippe eventually took Thomas's back and punched him before the referee waved the fight off, winning the fight by TKO.
Women's flyweight Glory Watson grounded-and-pounded her way to a unanimous decision win over Alyssa Marini. Although Marini attempted what appeared to be a leg triangle during the third round, it was not enough.
The evening opened with grappling matches. These included kid's matches such as a match between "Spidey Girl" and Avaleen Crowley that ended in a draw.
The other outcomes were as follows;

Andrew Kimball submitted Andres Esparza at 7:30.
Danielle Hindley submitted Nicole Shattuck at 1:24.
Jeff Haddad and John Stapleton ended in a draw.
Charles Soffen submitted Logan Diaz at 2:59.
Gianna Daniele submitted Ryan Sousa at 3:21.


AMMO Fight League St. Patrick's Day Event Card

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/14/19

The Big E in West Springfield will host AMMO Fight League's next event, the St. Patrick's Day Blood Bath, on March 16 at 1305 Memorial Avenue in West Springfield, MA.

The event will start at 5 PM and will include professional and amateur bouts as well as professional fights.
One of the main bouts, a 170-pound fight between Jon Manley and Jeremie Holloway, was canceled. Promoter Bill Vigil announced on Facebook that AMMO cancelled the bout after Holloway sustained injuries following a head-on car collision and was hospitalized. Manley will instead compete in a grappling match with Placido Carl Santos.

The other professional bouts on the card as of press time are; 

Connor Barry versus Jesus Cintron (170 pounds).
Robbie Leroux versus Harris Bonfiglio (135 pounds).
William Smith versus Bradley Sustad (140 pounds).
Dan Cormier versus Matt Lyall (115 pounds).

The amateur bouts are; 

Randy Francis versus Renny Champion (145 pounds).
Glory Watson versus Alyssa Marini (125 pounds).
Sage Philippe versus James Thomas (170 pounds).
Nate Ghareeb versus Aaron Hughes (145 pounds).
Blaze Robinson versus Jonathan Cocoma (125 pounds).
Anthony Alvarado versus Charra Phon (145 pounds).
Arii Fernandes versus Donovan Torres (145 pounds).
Joel Velez versus Brandson Dean (165 pounds).

The grappling matches include;

Gianna Daniele versus Ryan Sousa
Charles Soffen versus Logan Dias
Jeff Haddad versus John stapleton
Nicole Shattuck versus Danielle Hindley
Andrew Kimball versus Andres Esparza

Bellator 216 results from Feb. 16 at Mohegan Sun Arena

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 02/20/19

Spokespersons for Bellator and reports from Sherdog.com provided the following information.



Michael 'Venom" Page (14-0) defeated fellow Englishman Paul Daley (40-17-2) by unanimous decision and secured his next slot in the promotion's Grand Pix bracket for the welterweight class. Grand Prix format for that weight class. Page will fight Douglas Lima (30-7) at Bellator 221 on May 1.

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (38-11-2 with one no-contest) defeated Roy Nelson (23-17) in a heavyweight bout by unanimous decision.

Cheick Kongo (30-11-2) defeated Vitaly Minakov (21-1) in a heavyweight bout by unanimous decision.

Yaroslav Amosov (21-0) defeated Erick Silva (20-10 with one no-contest) in a welterweight bout by unanimous decision.

Valerie Loureda (1-0) defeated Colby Fletcher (1-3) in a flyweight bout by TKO with body kicks and punches at 2:55 in the first round.

Demetrius Plaza (1-0) defeated Andrews Rodriguez (1-1) by unanimous decision in a welterweight bout.

Justin "the Fort" Sumter (7-2) submitted Reginaldo Felix (5-3) with a rear naked choke at 3:27 in the second round of a lightweight bout.

Kemran Lachinov (8-2) defeated Kastriot Xhema (2-3 with one no-contest) by technical submission (knee bar) at :58 in the second round of a 165-pound catchweight bout.

Tyrell Fortune (6-0) defeated Ryan Pokryfky (6-6) by TKO (punches) at 2:21 in the first round of a heavyweight bout.

Vinicius De Jesus (7-2) defeated Rudulpho Barcellos (1-1) by TKO (punches) at 3:46 in the first round of a welterweight bout.

Jesse  Kosakowski (3-0) submitted Rodolfo Rocha (1-2) at 3:05 by rear naked choke in the second round of a middleweight bout.

Nekruz Mirkhojaev (4-2) submitted Patrick Casey (4-1) by neck crank at 1:18 in the third round of a lightweight fight.

Bellator 216 preview

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 02/15/19

Mohegan Sun Arena will host back-to-back Bellator cards this weekend -- Bellator 215 on February 15 and Bellator 216 on February 16.

A preview of Bellator 215 can be found on our blog here.
Bellator 216: MVP versus Daley will feature a star-studded main card and a preliminary card with faces familiar to area MMA fans.
British fighters Michael 'Venom" Page (13-0) and Paul Daley (40-16-2), who is perhaps infamous for his firing from the UFC, will headline the event in a welterweight bout that will determine advancement in Bellator's Grand Prix format for that weight class. 
MMA legend Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (37-11-2 with one no-contest) will fight fellow heavyweight and fan favorite Roy Nelson (23-16) in the evening's co-main event. UFC veteran Cheick Kongo (29-11-2) will fight Vitaly Minakov, who is on a 21-fight winning streak, in a heavyweight bout. Yaroslav Amosov, who is currentlky on a 20-fight winning streak, will fight Erick Silva (20-9 with one no-contest) in a welterweight bout. A flyweight bout between Valerie Loureda, who will make her professional debut, and Colby Fletcher (1-2) will round out the main card.
Connecticut fighters Jesse Kosakowski (2-0) and Kastriot Xhema (2-2 with one no-contest) will appear on the preliminary card. Kosakowski will fight Rodolfo Rocha (1-1) in a middleweight bout. Xhema will fight Kemran Lachinov (7-2) in 165-pound catchweight bout.
The rest of the preliminary card includes;
  • Heavyweight: Tyrell Fortune (5-0) versus Ryan Pokryfky (6-5).
  • Lightweight: Patrick "Gorilla Ninja" Casey (4-0) versus Nekruz Mirkhojaev (3-2).
  • Welterweight: Vinicius De Jesus (6-2) versus Rudulpho Barcellos (1-0).
  • Lightweight: Reginaldo Felix (5-2) versus Justin "the Fort" Sumter (6-2).
  • Weltereight: Demetrius Plaza (professional debut) versus Andrews Rodriguez (1-0)

Waterbury's Mike Kimbel on Bellator 215 main card; other Connecticut fighters in prelims

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 02/15/19

Mike Kimbel (2-0), who trains out of Waterbury, will fight John Douma (3-1) on February 15 during a bantamweight bout on Bellator' 215's main card.

The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville will host the fights. A heavyweight bout between Matt Mitrione (13-6) and Sergei Kharitonov (29-7 with one no-contest) will headline the event.
Kimbel, who clinched AMMO Fight League's amateur featherweight title in 2017, is a veteran of Premier FC and Reality Fighting that has already fought in two Bellator events -- Bellator 194 and Bellator 207.
A welterweight bout between Logan Storley (9-0) and John Pascu (18-9) will serve as the co-main event. The main card also includes a bantamweight fight between Eduardo Dantas (20-6) and Toby Misech (12-6), and a 175-pound catchweight fight between Austin Vanderford (6-0) and Cody Jones (6-2).
Two Connecticut fighters will appear on the preliminary card as well. Pete Rogers (3-4), who previously appeared in three previous Bellator events, will fight Jason Rine (1-4) in a featherweight bout. Bill Goff (1-0), a veteran of Reality Fighting, will make his second Bellator apperance during a welterweight bout with Ryan Hardy -- the latter will make his professional debut that evening.
The rest of the preliminary card includes;
  • Heavyweight: Steve Mowry (5-0) versus Darion Abbey (professional debut).
  • Featherweight: Amber Leibrock (3-2) versus Amanda Bell (5-5).
  • Middleweight: Pat McCrohan (3-2) versus Jason Markland (professional debut).
  • Atomweight: Tabatha Watkins (3-0) versus Lindsey VanZandt (4-1)
  • Featherweight: Matt Probin (3-0) versus Ali Zebian (1-0)
  • Flyweight: Zarrukh Adashev (1-1) versus Ronie Arana (0-2)

Reality Fighting coming up

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 01/03/19

The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT will host Reality Fighting's first MMA event of the year. The Jan. 5 event's main bout will be a catchweight fight between Johnny Campbell, who fights as a bantamweight, and flyweight Johnny Lopez. But other highlights include three title fights and an undercard that includes UFC veteran and Hartford-based fighter Matt Bessette in a grappling match.

The title bouts will include; a featherweight fight between Miguel Cuevas and Jordan Riley; a lightweight fight between Eddy George and Matt Bienia, and a flyweight fight between Tim Flores and Edwin Solis.
According to information provided by Reality Fighting, there are nine more bouts on the main card as of this writing. These include; 
  • Andre Belcarris versus Harris Bonfiglio.
  • Ron Arana versus Justin Valentin.
  • Randy Francis versus A.J. Abate.
  • Amus Guyton versus Billy Goff.
  • Jeremy Woolfolk versus Matt Tappero.
  • Ken Rayside versus Nick Giuletti.
  • Nuridini Abrar versus Markus Cintron.
  • Johnny Santos versus David Walsh.
  • kurtis Froling versus Jeff Grant.
Bessette, who fought as a lightweight with Reality Fighting and a featherweight with Bellator, will grapple with Kirkor Papasian earlier that evening, according to information from the promoters.

Other grappling matches scheduled include;

  • Nick Enzor versus Matthew Cocchia.
  • Aaron Harris versus Evan Flores.
  • Joe Leonard versus Chris Palmquist.
  • Curtius Ward versus Imre Pogacsas.
  • Gregory Jarvis versus Jim Hevner.
  • Mike Montgomery versus Andrew Tevay.
  • Andrew George versus Jeff Roberts.
  • Matt Allen versus Frank Latina.
  • Svenja Juffernbruch versus Katlyn Doran.
  • Danielle Gambardella versus Nicole Powers Shattuck.
  • Pete Jeffrey versus Tiago Alves.
  • Casey Lamonte versus Alex Wyzatecki.
  • Brandon Seibold versus Jeff Emil Haddad.
  • Fernando Sabenca versus Pete Hailer.
  • Sebastian Berti versus Kurt-Chase Patrick.
  • Scott Gierlich versus Dana Haigh.
  • Erin Lamonte versus Kristen Gardner. 
  • John Beecher versus Eric Marandino.
  • Diogo Araujo versus Ryan Quinn.
We will post more information shortly. 

Results for Bellator 207 at Mohegan Sun

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 10/13/18

Bellator spokespersons provided the following results for Bellator 207, which Mohegan Sun in Uncasville hosted on October 12. Nicola Faraone of Far One MMA also contributed to the story.


The Main Card

Ryan Bader (25-5) earned an unanimous decision over Matt Mitrione (13-5) during the main event that evening -- a semi-final mat ch for the organization's Heavyweight Grand Prix.. Two judges scored it 30-25 and one scored it 30-24.

Sergei Kharitonov (29-7 with one no contest) knocked out Roy Nelson (23-16) using knees at 4:59 in the first round of a heavyweight bout.

Lorenz Larkin   (20-7 with one no contest) earned an unanimous decision over Ion Pascu  (18-9) in a bout to determine who would secure an alternate spot in the organization's Welterweight Grand Prix. All three judges scored at 29-28.

Corey Browning (4-2) won by TKO by punches over Baby Slice  at 2:08 in the second round of a lightweight fight.

Mandel Nallo (7-0) used knees to secure a TKO win over Carrington Banks (7-2) at :57 in the second round of a lightweight bout.

The Preliminary Card

Mike Kimbel (2-0) of Waterbury, CT earned a TKO win over Alex Potts (1-1) of Worcester, MA through punching at:06 in the first round of a bantamweight bout. The time of the win is tied with the organizational record.

Janay Harding (4-4) earned a TKO victory over Sinead Kavanagh (5-3) following a doctor's stoppage at the end of the first round a featherweight bout.

Andre Filho (10-1) defeated Javier Torres (10-5 with one no contest) by majority decision in a catchweight fight (both fighters were listed at 170). Two judges scored it 29-28 and won scored it 28-28.

Sarah Click (2-2) of Buzzard's Bay, MA earned an unanimous decision win over Kristi Lopez (2-1-1) in a flyweight bout. All three judges scored it 30-27.

Vinicius de Jesus (6-2) of Stamford, CT earned an unanimous decision win over Tim Caron (9-3) in a middleweight bout. Two judges scored it 29-28 and one scored it 30-27.

Alexandra Ballou (1-0) of Bethlehem, CT defeated Lisa Blaine (2-1) by TKO using elbows at 3:28 in the third round of a flyweight bout.

Pat Casey (4-0) earned an unanimous decision win over Kastriot Xhema (2-2 with one no contest) of Greenwich, CT in a welterweight bout. All three judges scored it 30-26.

Kemran Luchinov (7-2) earned an unanimous decision win over Sean Lally in a catchweight bout (both fighters were listed at 170). Two judges scored it 30-27 and one scored it 29-28.

Lisa "Insane" Blaine on Bellator, Premier

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 10/09/18

As Lisa "Insane" Blaine (2-2) looks forward to her flyweight fight with Alexandra Ballou (0-0) at Bellator 207 on October 12 at Mohegan Sun, she said that age was not going to get in her way.

"I am 39 and honestly in better shape than many 18-years-olds," she said. "I am about to face a 26-year-old."
Blaine, who trains at Ultimate MMA in North Haven with Marissa and Andrew Callandrelli, said she began training at age 34.
"I am a huge fan of the sport and finally decided to try it for myself," she said. "I just wanted to look back when I was 99 and say 'hey, I did that.'"
Her main goal was to compete in one amateur bout. She did not anticipate going professional, she said, let alone fighting twice with Bellator.
She started off with the Renzo Gracie in West Haven and changed gyms a few times during the last five years, including Speed School in Milford.
"I started with BJJ," she said. "But for some reason striking came more naturally. I love striking."
She described her ground game as her weakest point and added she was improving it.
Although Bellator has not yet signed her on a permanent basis, she said, she added that they approach her and other area fighters when they come to Connecticut to draw a local audience.
She praised Premiere FC owner Kathryn Wesch, who she said has given her the toughest opponents that she has faced in both amateur and professional bouts.
"All four times that I have lost have been in Karyn's cage," she said.
She admitted that of all her opponents, she would like a rematch with Destiny Quinones, whom she described as a friend and former training partner. She added that that her mind was not totally into their catchweight fight during Premier FC 28 in March, which she lost by decision. She noted a large weight drop, sickness and a back injury in training camp as major distractions. 
"I am not taking anything away from her," she said, praising Quinones's execution of her game plan.
Blaine praised Tammy Worrick, whom she out-struck in the second round of their flyweight bout at Premier FC 23, for fighting at an older age. 
She also credited Ana Julaton praised her Boxing ability. She added this was why she focused on keeping their flyweight bout at Bellator 185 last year on the ground, enabling her to win by decision.
"Hannah Goldy, the nicest i have ever met that has punched me in the face," she said regarding her next flyweight opponent at Premier FC 26, "I  have never had my face busted up like that before." 
Blaine, whop conceded that she bruises easily, last that fight by decision.
She currently works third shift as a machine operator when not spending time training or with her girlfriend.
"Honestly, it kind of sucks," she said. "I am tired and age does play into it."
Her long-term goals include starting her own gym and teaching women's self-defense, adding that she obviously can't fight indefinitely.
"You can all you want but you can't fight age," she said. But she urged prospective fighters not to be discouraged.
"No matter what you age you are, whatever it is that you dream, just go for it," she said.

Q&A: Bellator veteran Dean Hancock

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 09/12/18

We chatted with Danbury’s Dean Hancock (3-2) in May prior to his cancelled Reality Fighting catchweight bout with Anthony Giacchina (2-2) on May 4 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Hancock was coming off a second-round loss by arm triangle choke courtesy of fellow lightweight Marcus Surin (3-1) at Bellator 194. But Hancock, who has fought in five Bellator events as of this writing, expressed optimism regarding the future.

 Q: When did you start pursuing your MMMA career?

 A: I started to really pursue it with the goal of turning pro in 2013.

 Q: Did you start with general MMA training or a particular style? What styles have you trained in?

 A: I did karate as a kid from ages five through 15, wrestled from ages 12 through 18, and did random NAGA and boxing events growing up.

 Q: Where have you trained?

 A: I started karate at Tiger Schullmann’s, then when i decided to pursue MMA I started at ATT CT  (American Top Team Connecticut) and now I train at Glover Teixeira's training center and Champs Boxing Club.

 Q: Will you be fighting on more Bellator cards?

 A: I plan to fight for Bellator as long as they'll have me, I'm not looking past May 4th.

 Q: What are your future goals in the sport?

 A: My goal in the sport is to make a comfortable living doing what I love.

 Q: Do you have a career apart from MMA?

 A: I currently work in a group home for teenage boys that have been removed from their homes.

Pat Casey -- the Gorilla Ninja speaks

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 07/10/18

Pat "the gorilla ninja" Casey has been pleasing area in MMA fans with his performances as an amateur with Premier FC. But Casey (3-0), a Massachusetts-based fighter who held two amateur belts with the organization, made a statement earlier this year in his professional debut at Bellator 194. He is now on the undercard for Bellator 207 on October 12 at Mohegan Sun Arena, where he will face Kastroit Xhema (2-1) in a welterweight bout. We had a chat with him and hope you enjoy it.

Nutmegmma: Are you contracted to fight in any more bouts for Bellator?

Casey: As of now it was just a one-fight deal with Bellator but we will see what the future holds.

Nutmegmma: Will you still be competing in Premier FC? If so as an amateur or a professional?

Casey: It's possible that I will fight for Premier again I am not under contract with any promotion so as of now I can fight for whoever wants me one their card. Any fight I take now has to be pro once you fight pro you can no longer fight ammy.

Nutmegmma: Do you anticipate fighting again in Reality Fighting or other area organizations?

Casey: Reality is also a possibility I have a lot of potential fights for many promotions on the table myself and my management team will make the best decisions we can for my career.

Nutmegmma: To what do you credit your victory over Tyler Hamilton?

Casey: I credit my victory to a whole lot of relentless hard work, dedication and laser focus. If I'm not training I'm thinking about training. Fighting and getting better as a fighter is on my mind virtually every waking second of my day.

Nutmegmma: Do you have a career apart from MMA?

Casey: Outside of MMA I am a teacher for high school students with autism.

Nutmegmma: Which gym did you start at? Where do you currently train? Are there other gyms that you would like to mention?

Casey: I've trained at Team Link in Ludlow with Marco Alvan, Hector Arvelo and Jason Franklin for the majority of my career. Before Team Link I did some training with Jason Franklin and he was the one who encouraged me to join Team Link.

Nutmegmma: What style did you start with? What do you consider your core form? What do other styles do you train in?

Casey: I came in to MMA with no real background in other forms of fighting. I boxed for fun on occasion but I learned everything together. My style is aggressive but very adaptable I can employ many styles to win fights. You name it I probably train in it.

Nutmegmma: Are there particular fighters that you admire?

Casey: I don't really admire other fighters I admire people who serve others for a living. People like teachers, fire fighter and soldiers. Those are the kinds of people I admire.

Nutmegmma: Do you have any advice for aspiring fighters?

Casey: If you want to be a fighter make sure it's something you love, surround yourself with people with a similar vision as you and understand it's not always fun. There is a high level of sacrifice that comes along with being a serious fighter.

(Editor's note: he secured his most recent win at Premier FC 26).

Unofficial Results for Premiere FC 26

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 06/17/18

(Sheraton Hotel, Springfield, MA -- June 16)

William Knight defeated Terrance Jean-Jacques during the man event at Premier FC 26. He opened the second round with lower leg kicks and eventually finished the light heavyweight fight with a furious punching combination and one high side kick -- although Jean-Jacques was still standing, the referee waved the fight off at 2:35 and Knight won by TKO.

First-round finishes marked most of the main card. Marisa Belenchia submitted Grace Nowak with a kimora at 4:58 in a 108-pound catchweight fight. Pat Casey submitted Jesus Cintron with a rear naked choke at :22 in a 185-pound fight. Alex Ortiz used ground-and-pound to secure a TKO of Mike Taylor at :39 in a 155-pound fight.

The main card opened with a flyweight bout between Hannah Goldy and Lisa Blaine. Blaine won by unanimous decision.

The evening's first professional fight, a featherweight bout between Jeremy Reipold and Jason Rine, ended with the latter winning by submitting his opponent with a guillotine choke at 2:35 in the first round.

The evening opened with a 155-pound amateur bout between Harrison Adamo and Jason Showers. Adamo submitted Showers with a rear naked choke at 2:41 in the first round.

Randy Francis grounded and pounded Omaree Alamo during the flyweight amateur title bout that followed, prompting the referee to wave the fight off at 1:15 in the second round. Demetrios Plaza earned an unanimous decision win over Angelo Richardson following their amateur welterweight title bout. Yi Ju earned a TKO win on the ground against Holland Ahern at :27 in the first round during a light heavyweight title bout. Billy Goff defeated Chris Almestica with ground-and-pound striking at 1:48 in the first round of a lightweight amateur title fight.

(Editor's note: We would like to thank JD DePrato for his contributions to this story.

Some thoughts on Premiere FC 26 -- Part One

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 06/15/18

Light heavyweight William Knight, coming off a first-round knockout of Tom Velazquez on May at Mohegan Sun during the most recent Reality Fighting event, will be headlining Premiere FC 26 on June 16. His opponent, Terrance Jean-Jacques, is undefeated as an amateur, according to www.tapology.com but will be making his professional debut. Knight, a veteran of amateur fights in Reality Fighting and Premier FC (he held the latter's light heavyweight title) could have an edge based on the sheer number of bouts he has had. 


The 108-pound  catchweight fight Marisa Belenchia and Grace Nowak could also prove interesting. Nowak lost to Belenchia by decision during an amateur atomweight bout during the recent Reality Fighting event. Will a rematch as professionals motivate Nowak to strive for a more decisive result?

Pat Casey is bringing broad experience to his 185-pound fight with Jesus Cintron. Not only has Casey started his professional career promisingly with two decisions won at recent CES and Bellator events, but he held the amateur middleweight and welterweight titles for Premier FC (he lost the latter last year to rising star Jesse Kosakowski). Cintron, who is relatively new to the organization, lost by TKO to Reginaldo Felix during a professional middleweight bout with Premier FC earlier this year. 

We will post more on Premier FC's next event shortly.

Premier FC comes to Springfield, MA on June 16

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 06/15/18

(Editor's note: We will be adding information on comments on this event as the weekend progresses.)


The Sheraton Hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts will host Premiere FC 26 on June 16 and the evening has potential.
Apart from the main event, a light heavyweight between William Knight and Terrance Jean-Jacques, the undercard will feature four amateur title bouts.
Karyn Wesch, the president and CEO of Premier Fighting Championship, said the hotel will host the promotion's bouts for the duration of the year. It is a larger venue than the Chez Josef restaurant in Agawam, MA, which traditionally hosted the organization's events.
Wesch, who is also a licensed matchmaker, has worked with Bellator, CES and the now defunct World Series of Fighting. She added that one of her goals was for the forthcoming MGM Springfield casino to be a future site for the promotion's events.
The main card also includes; a 108-pound  catchweight bout between Grace Nowak and Marisa Belenchia; a 185-pound bout between Pat Casey and Jesus Cintron; a 155-pound bout between Mike Taylor versus Alex Ortiz; and a flyweight fight between Hannah Goldy and Lisa Blaine.
The promotion scratched a 185-pound bout between Wes Hall and Tom Brink from the card. Wesch said Hall did not pass medical compliance for the event.
The title fights include; a lightweight bout between Billy Goff and Chris Almestica; a light heavyweight bout between Yi Ju and Holland Ahern; a welterweight bout between Demetrios Plaza and Angelo Richardson; and a flyweight bout between Omaree Alamo and Randy Francis.
The undercard also includes two other amateur bouts -- a featherweight fight between Jason Rine and Jeremy Reipold, and a 155-pound bout between Harrison Adamo and Jason Showers.

Updated Fight Card for Reality Fighting on May 4

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 05/02/18

The Marlborough-based MMA promotion Reality Fighting is presenting its next event on May 4 at the Mohegan Sun Arena and will again feature two cards -- a grappling card in which competitors win by submission only and a main card with MMA bouts. 

The main bout will be a catchweight fight between Anthony Giacchina and Danbury's Dean Hancock, according to information posted on www.tapology.com. Both fighters are Bellator veterans that have been fighting professionally for under four years.
Other potential highlights include an atomweight title fight between Grace Nowak and Marissa Messer-Belenchia.
The grappling portion of the event will include a match between Jon Manley and Oz Parisher. Manley is coming off an unanimous decision victory over Ryan Sanders on March 17 during AMMO Fight League's St. Patrick's Day event at the Big E in West Springfield, MA. 
Manley also made a visible impression on spectators at Mohegan Sun during Reality Fighting 100 on Jan. 6. He secured a triangle choke in spectacular fashion, defeating Chris Palmquist in a grappling match.
Palmquist will grapple with Pete Jeffrey of Tri-Force MMA on Friday.

The rest of the card includes;

MMA:
Daniel Konrad versus Jesse Kosakowski
William Knight versus Tom Velazquez
Eddy George versus Joseph Alvarado
Robbie Thompson versus Yuri Panferov
Elias Morales versus Billy Goff
Jordan Riley versus Kenneth Raysid
Justin Valentin versus Harris Bonfiglio
Armus Guyton versus Sean Evans
Andre Belcarris versus Chris Disonell

Grappling:
James Gillette versus Aaron Tevay
James Cook versus Jeff Roberts
Kirik Jenness versus John Beecher
A.J. Abate versus Michael MacGregor
David Cabrera versus Brandon Polcare
Vinnie Brightman versus Frank Latina
Luis Diaz versus Damian Ruffy
Erin Lamonte versus Nicole Shattuck
Keith Florian versus Marc Giove
Cesar Alvan versus Spencer Smalley
Jeremy Reiphold versus John Naples
Chris Simmons versus Isaiah Vicens
Kifkor Papasian versus Tiago Alves
Diogo Araujo versus Andrew Tevay

Q&A with Lion Fight's Mike Triana

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 04/21/18

As of this writing, Mike Triana of Worcester, MA has a 3-0 professional record in Muay Thai. Tonight, April 21, he will face Tyger Banks (4-1) of Cinicinatti in a lightweight professional bout on the main card of Lion Fight 42 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT. We had a chat with him about his background and future.

Q: When did you start training in Muay Thai?

A: I started to train twice a week in the morning in August of 2013.

Q: Why did you choose this particular sport/style?

A: I started Muay Thai for fun at a local gym near my mother’s office. At the time I was thinking of joining the military.

Q: Where do you train?

A: Team Link Muay Thai, Worcester MA.

Q: How long have you competed in Lion Fight?

A: Three years.

Q: What is your regular job?

A: I teaching classes at my gym, do personal trainings and drive UBER.

Q: Have you trained in other styles?

A: I studied Tae Kwon Do for three years when I was 11.

Q: Have you competed in MMA or other combat sports?

A: I did a few Tae Kwon Do tournaments.

Q: Is there a particular fighter that you admire?

A: Cosmo Alexander. I met him during my first year of training – I started to follow his fights and training through social media. Other fighters I admire are Anuwat, Nong-O, Pinca. There are just so many amazing fighters. But those are some of the ones I mainly follow.

Q: What is the next step in your fighting career?

A: I’m always aiming to be the best that I can be. I’ll keep training hard and fighting bigger names in the sport, represent the people that follow me at my best and become a world champion.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring fighters?

A: We all have been where you are. We all started with the basics and have worked on them every day since. Keep learning and just enjoy the journey.

Lion Fight coming to Foxwoods April 21

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 04/19/18

The Las Vegas-based Muay Thai promotion is presenting four title fights during its next event, Lion Fight 42, which Foxwoods Resort Casino will host on April 21.


Two of the title bouts will feature fighters competing for continental belts. Eddie Abosolo (9-1) will battle Amadeu Cristiano (52-17) for the North American middleweight belt in the evening's co-main event while Steve Walker, who is coming off a three-fight winning streak, and Olivier Fairtex (7-3) will compete for the North American super cruiserweight belt.

Antonina Shevchenko (40-1) and Claire Baxter (19-14) will compete for the women's super lightweight belt in the main event.

Super lightweights Carlton Lieu (7-3) and Jafar Tashev (2-0) will compete for the belt in Lion Fight's sister organization -- the British promotion Muay Thai Grand Prix. 

The other matches include;

Dwayne Holman, in his professional debut, versus Soap Am (1-1) in a super lightweight bout.

Julian Ngyen (1-0) versus Shawn Ellis, in his professional debut, in a super welterweight bout.

Amine Ballafrikh ( 9-4) versus Nick Haines (10-5) in a super featherweight bout.

Mike Triana (3-0) versus Tyger Banks ( 4-1) in a lightweight bout (Jonathan George was Triana's original opponent, according to information provided earlier).

Ricardo Mixco, in his professional debut, versus Evan Jays (2-1) in a featherweight bout.

The evening will open with two amateur middleweight bouts. The first is between David Agbodji and Shaun Shubert. The other is between Hector Acosta and Miguel Cadiz.

A welterweight bout Eric Rocha versus Chris Mauceri appears to no longer be on the card, according to the latest information from Lion Fight's publicist.






A chat with Wes Hall of AMMO Fight League

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/17/18

Enfield native Wesley Hall (4-0-1 amateur record) will be making professional debut against William Knight (8-1-0 amateur record) in a 205-pound bout tonight at the Big E in West Springfield. It will be the co-main event and one of two-professional fights on the main card for AMMO Fight League: House of Pain.

" I originally started off boxing and wrestling way back when and really stuck with that for a while.," he said regarding his background, acknowledging these forms as his current foundation.. "It wasn't until probably my late teens or early twenties that I diverted  my attention to other styles. I tried Muay Thai shortly as well as BJJ. I enjoyed it but I found Sento and other reality based martial arts more appealing."
" I originally trained at the P.A.L (Police Activities League) in Manchester. Great program they had there -- all good people. As I got older I transitioned to AMAA (American Martial Arts Academy) in East Longmeadown, MA for a little bit. Then when I lived in New York I trained at  Westchester Fight Club --  another great place. Since I moved back I've drifted here and there to various training academies but I found what works best for me is cross-training with individual people from reputable establishments and backgrounds."
He was complimentary of his opponent.
"I think Knight brings a hell of a lot to the fight. His ground game has proven to be pretty significant and he's not the guy you want to stand there and brawl with," said Hall. "He always seems to have a solid game plan laid out for his fights, its definitely going to be a war. I'm very honored to have the chance to go up against Knight, he's a hell of a fighter and his record backs that up - not to mention that he's a giant dude! But I'm going to bring my will -- this fight means a lot to the both of us and its all about who wants it the most. My style can be difficult to read -- II have a good sense to identify a weakness and exploit it, and from what I've seen Knight and I have to very different techniques, which I think is going to be the recipe for one Hell of a fight. "
More information on the event can be found at AMMO's Facebook page.

A chat with Ryan Sanders

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/14/18

Ryan Sanders refers to the UFC's Connor MacGregor as one of the fighters that he emulates. 

"His trash talking is a great psychological strategy," said Sanders, adding that he loves how it compels opponents to attempt to finish him and leaves them vulnerable to counter-striking.
And like that brash UFC star, Bangor, ME native Sanders seems to take pride in exuding a little cockiness.
Sanders, who is currently 15-8, expressed confidence that he will win his 170-pound fight versus Jon Manley in the main event at AMMO Fight League 4: House of Pain at the Big E in West Springfield, MA on March 17 (rather appropriately on St. Patrick's Day) before dominating his weight class in New England and moving to the national stage.
He described himself as an MMA competitor that grapples and Manley as a grappler that fights -- a dynamic that he contends will give him an edge.
"MMA fighters don't mind getting hit -- grapplers do mind," he added.
He reflected on how he used to train with Marcus Surin but stopped due to a disagreement. He now trains with Young's MMA and works part-time in the hospitality industry.
He began in the sport by training in general MMA rather than starting with wrestling or BJJ, although he admitted that grappling was "his passion." He has since branched out into emphasizing straight boxing and general striking for balance, he said.
"Many wrestlers and others come in the trainers need to break them of bad habits like giving up your back," he commented.
He also acknowledged the UFC's Brian Ortega as a fighter he emulates.
"He finishes fights," Sanders simply said.

Nick Newell wins in first comeback fight

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/10/18

Milford native Nick Newell, perhaps best known for competing in the World Series of Fighting, earned a first round win during the main event of Legacy Fighting Alliance 35. Newell submitted Sonny Luque by neck crank at 2:10 in the fight, which occurred on March 9.

Newell announced his retirement from fighting in 2015, expressing an interest in media. He is also known for overcoming a congenital defect -- he was born without a left hand, which has not stopped him from achieving a 15-1 professional record (his one professional loss was to Justin Gaethje in 2014 at WSOF 11).
We will post more information on the fight on our Facebook page.

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