MMA in CT
Here are the results for the grappling bouts that opened Reality Fighting's June 1 event at Mohegan Sun.
A world cruiserweight title fight between Massachussetts-based Chip “the Surgeon” Moraza-Pollard (10-0) and Kongjak Po Baoin (160-72-8) will headline Lion Fight 56 – a live Muay Thai event that Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT will host on June 8.
Moraza-Pollard, a former MMA fighter, is the organization’s current belt holder and defended his title in February against Juan Cervantes (30-9-1) in Los Angeles during a February event. He also knocked out French fighter Remy Vectol during his last visit to Foxwoods.
Po Baoin, who has competed in six weight classes, will make his Lion Fight debut this weekend.
The co-main event will be a North American continental title fight. Defending belt holder Amine “the Lion” Ballafrikh (11-3) will fight Ricardo “the Scorpion” Cruz (42-11-1) for a lightweight belt.
The other fights on the main card include a super featherweight bout between Michael “Iron Boy” Triana (5-1) and Joseph Mueller (6-2), and a super cruiserweight bot between Doug Holland (2-0) and Tafon Nchukwi, who will make his professional debut that evening.
Cody Laskar (2-0) and Chase Walden (3-2) are scheduled to fight in a professional middleweight bout on the preliminary card
Spokespersons for Lion Fight confirmed that Dan Cormier’s professional debut that evening has been cancelled due to a medical issue involving his opponent.
The scheduled amateur preliminary bouts include
- A super middleweight bout between Elvin Johnson and Aaron Ortiz.
- A light heavyweight bout between Nahom Demissie and Flavio Brito.
- A heavyweight bout between Zeal McGraw and Chris Lapriore.
- A featherweight bout between John Ladisa and Hector Delerio.
- A welterweight bout between Sienna Milton and April Canavan.
- A light heavyweight bout between Dominico McIntosh and Rob Ovalle.
- A flyweight bout between Marija Kelly and Madelyn Grimaldi.
Spokespersons for Reality Fighting confirmed that there will be three title fights on the card during the organization's June 1 event, which Mohegan Sun will host this weekend.
- Jose Lugo versus Johnny Campbell.
- Andy Kurzkonki versus Serhii Boychun.
- Randy Francis versus Mike Placentini
- Ashley Barret versus Traci Baldwin.
- Zachery Watson versus Johnny Santos.
- Ariana Melendez versus Ariana Cruz.
CES featherweight champion Bruce Boyington (16-11) of Young's MMA in Maine will defend his belt against Waterbury's Dan Dubuque (8-2) during the five-round main event at CES 56 o Friday evening. Dubuque trains at Danilo Cherman Nova Uniao, according to information from CES.
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.
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.
Spokespersons for Bellator and reports from Sherdog.com provided the following information.
Mohegan Sun Arena will host back-to-back Bellator cards this weekend -- Bellator 215 on February 15 and Bellator 216 on February 16.
- 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)
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.
- 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)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 "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).
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.
(Editor's note: We will be adding information on comments on this event as the weekend progresses.)
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.
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.