WCMMA in Action at a CT Casino
Copyright © 2012-2025 by


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 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 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;

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

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.

Preview: Premier FC 25

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/07/18

Premier FC will return to the Chez Josef restaurant in Agawam, Massachusetts on March 10 with a main card that will include two women's professional bouts.

The main event will be a 135-pound bout between Sarah Payant (2-4), who trains with Gladiator BJJ, and Jessica Borga (5-2 amateur record). Payant, who previously fought on the main cards for Premier FC and Reality Fighting, also competed on two preliminary cards for Bellator. Borga, who fights with Champions MMA, will be making her professional debut but has a 5-2 amateur record.
The prior fight will be a 120-pound bout between Destiny Quinones (0-0) of Next Level MMA and Lisa Blaine (2-0) of Ultimate MMA.
There are three more professional fights on the main card.
Rodolfo Barcellos (0-0) of Xtreme Ambition versus Myles Reid (0-2) of Old School in a 170-pound bout.
Jesus Cintron (0-0) of Old School will fight Reginaldo Felix (2-1) of Link in a 185-pound fight.
Alex Ortiz (0-0) of Golden Falcon will fight Keenan Raymond (3-5) of RCBJJ in a 155-pound fight.
The preliminary card will include seven amateur bouts.
Jason Showers (2-6) of Xtreme Ambition will fight Aaron Reverdez (1-1) of Juniko in a 165-pound bout.
Kenny Champion (2-3) of Golden Falcon will fight Justin Kristie (2-2) of Ultimate MMA in a 140-pound bout.
Jideofor Ojukwu of SSSFwill fight Yu Ji of Radical in a 185-pound bout.Both competitors are 1-0.
Billy Goff (1-1) of Dexter Vale Tudo will fight Harrison Adamo (no record provided) of Ultimate MMA. Goff's contracted weight is 160 pounds and Adamo's is between 150 and 155.
Kevin Braga (0-0) of SSSF will fight Blaze Robinson (0-2) of Ravenous in a 130-pound bout.
Austin Schalla of Dexters will fight Chris Almestica of Link in a 155-pound bout.
Anthony Benevides of Ultimate MMA will fight Nick Fernandez of Battlecrew MMA in a 180-pound bout. 
Premier FC's previous event, which Chez Josef hosted in November, included three amateur title fights. 
One of the contenders, Pat Casey (1-0) of Link, recently competed at Bellator 194. Casey, who lost Jesse Kosakowski (5-0 amateur record) in a welterweight amateur bout during the Premier FC event, defeated Tyler Hamilton (1-1) in a professional lightweight bout by decision during the Bellator event in February. Casey has a 7-2 amateur record.
We will post more information on this event as it approaches.

Bellator 194: Results

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 02/18/18

By Brian Woodman Jr. and John Fulcher

(Feb. 16 -- Uncasville, CT) 

A heavyweight bout between Matt Mitrione (13-5) and Roy Nelson (23-15) headlined Bellator's latest event at the Mohegan Arena this weekend in the second fight in the organization's 2018 Heavyweight Grand Prix bracket.
The main event ended with Mitrione winning by majority decision, with one judge scoring at 28-28 and the other two scoring it 29-28. It was the second such decision of the evening -- a bout on the preliminary card between light heavyweights Jarod Trice and Walter Howard ended with one judge scoring the fight 28-28 and the other two awarding it to Trice by 29-27 (Howard lost a point after accidentally poking Trice in the eye during the second round).
The main card opened with a bout between Tywan Claxton (2-0) and Jose Perez (0-2). Claxton, who leaned toward southpaw strikes, used his elbows to advantage, securing a TKO at 3:39 in the second round due to unanswered strikes.
During the next fight, Vadim Nemkov (9-2) hobbled Liam McGeary (12-3) with repeated lower leg kicks and secured a TKO victory at 4:02 in the third round after the referee waved the fight off. McGeary, renowned for his grappling game, tried to take Nemkov's back during the second round but was limping badly by the third round and appeared to clearly resign the fight before the referee ended it.
Heather Hardy (2-1) and Anna Julaton (2-4), both of whom are preparing for a future boxing match with each other, faced each other next in a women's flyweight fight. Hardy won by unanimous decision. 
Julaton, who resisted a rear naked choke attempt from Hardy in the first round, wound up in her opponent's closed guard a few times during the fight. Hardy reversed her position on the ground during the second round and attempted a leg trianle submission and a rear naked choke.
During a lightweight bout that opened the preliminary card, Patricky "Pitbull" Freire (!9-8) secured a first round TKO of Derek Campos (19-7) at 2:23 in the first round with punching.
Pat Casey (1-0) defeating Tyler Hamilton (1-1) by unanimous decision in a lightweight bout. 
Kastriot Xhema (2-1) punched his way to a first-round TKO at 3:52, defeating Peter Nascimento (0-1) in a 165-pound catchweight bout.
Marcus Surin (5-1) submitted Dean Hancock (3-2) of Danbury, CT with an arm triangle choke at 4:50 in the second round of a lightweight bout. Hancock gradually began more aggressive during the striking that started the first round, at one point unleashing a kicking and punching combination, but the tide shifted in Surin's favor as the fight went to the ground. Surin took Hanock's back twice, eventually securing the choke.
Trice and Howard went back and forth during the fight that followed, with Trice attempting to land powerful single shots and Howard using his reach advantage to throw straight overhand jabs, sometimes switching from orthodox stance to southpaw. Trice attempted a double-leg takedown during the third round but Howard sprawls out of it. Trice eventually brought Howard to the ground, but the latter reversed his position and got up. Trice, clinging to Howard's leg, got him down again and attempted ground-and-pound from the side -- Howard got back to his feet and the fighters exchanged blows again with Trice landing a high straight kick to the face.
Regivaldo Carvalho (5-2) made short work of Tom English (6-9), knocking him out at :17 in the first round a featherweight match.
Mike Kimbel (1-0) of Waterbury, CT scored a TKO victory over fellow Connecticut resident Geoffrey Then (0-2) at 1:03 in the first round of a Bantamweight fight. Kimbel landed a left to Then's Jaw and a right to the side of his head before going to the ground and attempting an arm bar. Kimbel dropped hammerfists on Then before the referee waved the fight off.
Ross Richardson (1-0) defeated fellow lightweight Ron Leon (0-1) by TKO at 1:41 in the second round by dropping bombs from the bully mount while supporting himself with one hand placed on the ground. Richardson was in and out of Leon's guard during the first round, at one point dropping punches and elbows.

Bellator 194: A Look Ahead

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 02/05/18

Bellator 194 will be coming to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on Feb. 16 and the main card looks promising.

The main event, a bout between Roy "Big Country" Nelson (23-14) and Matt Mitrione (12-5), will mark the start of the promortion's latest Heavyweight Grand Prix. But the rest of the card does not suffer by comparison -- the co-main event is a lightweight bout Patricky Pitbull (18-8) versus Derek Campos (19-6), while Liam McGeary (12-2) will battle fellow light heavyweight Vadim Nemkov (8-2)

But a women's flyweight fight between Heather Hardy (1-1) versus Ana Julaton (2-3) may be what really grab's people's attention. The fight will proceed a boxing math between the two that will occur at a later date.

The main card will also offer a featherweight bout between Tywan Claxton (1-0) and Jose Antonio Perez (0-1)

The preliminary card as of press time is:

Lightweight: Marcus Surin (4-1 ) versus Dean Hancock (3-1).

Bantamweight: Mike Kimbel (0-0) versus Geoffrey Then (0-1).

Welterweight: Vinicius De Jesus (5-2) versus Jesse McElligott (5-3).

Lightweight: Tyler Hamilton (1-0) versus Pat Casey (0-0).

Featherweight: Regivaldo Carvalho (4-2) versus Thomas English (6-8).

Catchweight: Peter Nascimento, in his professional debut, versus Kastroit Xhema (1-1).

Lightweight: Ross Richardson (0-0) versus Nick Giulietti, both in their professional debuts.

More information will be posted in the next two weeks.


Lion Fight 40: Three title fights, including debut of North American title

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 02/04/18

By Brian Woodman Jr., with contributions by Marc Karmelowicz

(Jan. 3 - Mashantucket, CT) 

Three title fights went to decision at Foxwoods Resort and Casino during Lion Fight 40 --  Lion Fight’s latest Muay Thai event. One of these was for the company’s first North American belt. Five of the other six professional bouts on that evening’s card ended in knockouts.

Lion Fight also announced that it would host its next event on April 7 in London.

Brett Hlavacek (19--5) won the company’s first North American title, defeating fellow light heavyweight  Elijah Clarke (7-2) after five rounds that went to a split decision. The fight began cautiously with Clarke alternating between southpaw and orthodox stance, but the pace gradually increased as the fight progressed. Both fighters exchanged a variety of strikes with Hlavacek attempting a lot of elbows. There were a few instances in which Clarke attempted a high kick and Hlavacek would attempt to kick his standing leg out from under him. Two judges awarded it to Hlavacek by 48-47while one scored it 49-46 for Clarke.

During the main event, Chip Moraza-Pollard (7-0) successfully defended his cruiserweight belt with Lion Fight against Slava Alexeichik (30-9). Moraza-Pollard, who recently won another belt from the British promotion Muay Thai Grand Prix during Lion Fight 39, looked relaxed as he and Alexeichik stalked each other during the first round. It went back and forth as the fight progressed, with Alexeichik leaning more toward punching and Moraza-Pollard working on his opponent’s legs. The pace increased as the fight continued, with Moraza-Pollard applying more pressure with punching combinations and trying to trap Alexeichik against the ropes. Moraza-Pollard landed a knee and a spinning back elbow during the fifth round that prompted the referee to count to eight as Alexeichik recovered. The fight ended with both fighters practically in mid-punch and tempering their actions. Moraza-Pollard earned a unanimous decision victory.

During the co-main event, Lerdsila PhuketTopTeam (195--31-5) earned a unanimous decision over Alexi Serepisos (40-11) during a lightweight title fight. Although both fighters landed strikes, Lerdsila had a visible edge and appeared far more relaxed -- he seemed to be standing still as he inched toward Serepisos before exploding with strikes and clinching attempts. The first round ended with Lerdsila clinching with Serepisos and in the middle of attempting a knee and the second with him landing straight kick to the body. Lerdsila threw Serepisos to the ground a few times during the bout with the latter returning the favor once. The fight ended with a striking exchange. Two judges scored it 50-45 and one scored it 49-46.

During the first professional fight, Tom Evans (1-3) knocked out fellow middleweight Johnny Adams at 2:00 in the first round with a punching and kicking combination. Doctors subsequently examined Adams, who making his professional debut that evening, while a visibly upset Evans looked on. Evans announced after the fight that it would be his last fight.

The next professional bout was a middleweight fight between Cody Laskar, who made his professional debut, and Brian Bogue (1-1). Laskar, who appeared more dominant earlier in the earlier rounds, pressured Bogue through much of the fight and won a unanimous decision. Bogue became more aggressive as the fight progressed and increased his pace during the striking exchanges.

Mike Triana (2-0) dominated the lightweight bout that followed, knocking out Johnny Lindor (2-2) at 2:56 in round four. The referee briefly stopped the fight in the second round after Lindor sustained a kick to the cup -- the round ended with Triana landing a high side kick and a few punches. There was another stoppage after Triana punched Lindor to the ground in the third round -- it ended with Triana clinching and kneeing Lindor. The fifth round began with Lindor catching one of Triana’s kicks and throwing him. Toward the end of the fight, Triana knocked Lindor down twice – the second time, courtesy of a punching combination and a knee, ended the fight.

Julio Pena (5-1), in what he announced would be his last fight, won a lightweight bout against Issac Tijerina (1-2) by TKO at 1:35 in round two. Tijerina opened the fight with a high kick, trying to keep distance between himself and Pena while periodically closing in on him. But Pena brought him to his knees with a flurry of punches and the referee nearly counted him out before the bell saved him. Tijerina went for a spinning elbow early in the next round, but Pena later brought him down with a straight jab that ended the fight.

P.J. Sweda (3-2) won the middleweight bout against Chris Mims (1-1) that followed with a TKO at 2:59 in round three. Sweda was bleeding from the face at the end of round one, but during the fight kept throwing uppercuts followed by a knee – a strategy that eventually worked and sent both men to the canvas. Mims threw lots of elbows and at one point caught one of Sweda’s kicks before he threw him, but had a bloody nose by the end of the fight.

Steve Walker (3-0) defeated Cole Fetzner (1-1) by TKO at 1:42 in round two. Walker knocked Fetzner to the ground in the first round and the referee counted to eight before the fight resumed. Walker ended the round with an impressive punching combination. Walker opened the second round with a series of high side kicks, later unleashing punches that prompted a ten-second count and ended the fight.

The card opened with a trio of three-round amateur bouts on the card.The first was a light heavyweight bout between J. Luck Henry and Ross Levine that ended in a split decision -- the fight ended with two judges scoring the fight 28-29 I favor of Henry and one scoring it 29-28 in favor of Levine. The next was a middleweight bout between Jurrrell Laronal and Shaun Schubert that ended with Laronal winning by majority decision -- one judge called it a tie while the other two scored it 28-29 and 27-30. The third was another middleweight bout -- it ended with Aaron Ortiz defeating Connor Fenton by unanimous decision.

A chat with Scott Kent of Lion Fight

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 02/03/18

Scott Kent, the CEO and president of the Muay Thai promotion Lion Fight, had straightforward advice for prospective promoters considering a future in combat sports.
"You are not going to make a lot of money during the first few years," he said. "I have been in this business for eight years now. I was lucky. I had good investors. You have to love the sport."
Foxwoods Resort and Casino will host Lion Fight 40 tonight, Feb. 3 as of this writing and the event will be special to the organization, according to Kent. Tonight's main card will include a fight for a North American title -- the first time the organization has held a bout of this nature. He plans to have a North American ranking system within the next four months.
"One of our original ideas was that to really grow our American fighters and try to give them a greater opportunity to get a belt," said Kent. "It allows them to build a fan base and to build their careers up before competing against European and Asian fighters that may have considerably more experience."
He described fighters from Thailand that have more than 400 career fights. It is the national sport of Thailand, he said, and they often start at a younger age -- they do not distinguish amateur from professional bouts, he said.
"This is how you become a rock star in Thailand," he noted, adding that many viewers do not always understand the depth of the talent.
He anticipated that in six or seven more years audiences would see Americans competing with the top tier of European and Thai fighters.
He admitted the sport was not getting as much publicity in the United Stares as he would like but that MMA has boosted the profile of combat sports in general. 
"We are still swimming upstream against the MMA media but the fan base is there," he said.
Due to the stand-up fighting nature of the sport, he observed, there were less lulls in the action than in MMA. This made up more entertaining to casual spectatos who may not fully understand or appreciate the nuances of MMA's ground game.
He acknowledged that there are discussions to make it an Olympic sport in 2020 but nothing has been confirmed yet.
He said Lion Fight is actively courting fighters from organizations on both coasts to participate in qualifiers. He is willing for Lion Fight to promote other shows but is focused on pushing the brand, he added. He said the brand would be expanding its presence and social media and online video streaming.
Lon Fight is also in negotiations with a new television partner and details were forthcoming, he added.
Lion is also planning another London show in partnership with Muay Thai Grand Prix on April 7 and another Foxwoods show later that month (the organizations hosted Lion Fight 39 in London last year). Kent hopes to promote a Paris show during the summer.
"There are groups in Australia whose fighters are interested in us," he said.
He commented on the growing number of MMA fighters that are switching to competition under one style. He referred to Chip Morrazo-Pollard as an obvious example.
He said that although California has traditionally yield several American Muay Thai competitors, the North East was growing -- particularly Massachusetts. He said interest in Connecticut has grown due in part to the Foxwoods shows.

Lion Fight 40: A Look Ahead

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 01/28/18

The Muay Thai organization Lion Fight will feature three title fights on its next card at Foxwoods Resort  Casino in Mashantucket, CT. One of these fights, a light heavyweight bout between Brett Hlavacek (18-6) and Elijah Clarke (8-1), will be for a North American title – the first time Lion Fight has put up this kind of belt for any weight class, according to information from the company.
The other two title bouts on the Feb. 3 card are for world belts.
The main event is a cruiserweight title fight between Chip Moraza-Pollard (6-0) of Plymouth, MA and Slava Alexichek (30-8) – a Siberian native currently living in New Zealand.
Moraza-Pollard won the organization’s first cruiserweight belt at Lion Fight 37 last summer, defeating Paul Banasiak by unanimous decision. He later defeated Jordan Smith at Lion Fight 39 in London in November and won the Muay Thai Grand Prix cruiserweight belt.
Alexichek won King in the Ring’s cruiserweight title during a one-night tournament in New Zealand last year, defeating three other fighters.
The other title bout is a lightweight fight between three-time world champion Lerdsila PhuketTopTeam (186-31-5) and New Zealand native Alexi Serepisos (40-10) – the latter is making his debut in the organization and like Alexichek is a veteran of King in the Ring.
Alexichek won King in the Ring’s cruiserweight title during a one-night tournament in New Zealand last year, defeating three other fighters.
Lion Fight spokespersons stated that Lerdsilla, who has held belts in three weight classes, achieved a 100-fight winning streak. He knocked out Jacob Hebeisen in the second round at Lion Fight 36 in April of last year at Foxwoods with a side kick to the jaw.
The main card includes three more professional fights. Julio Pena (4-1) will fight Issac Tijerina (1-1) in a lightweight bout. P.J. Sweda (2-2) will fight Chris Mims (1-0) in a middleweight bout. Steve Walker (2-0) will fight Cole Fetzner in a super cruiserweight bout. 
The preliminary card will include three professional fights. Johnny Lindor (2-1) will fight Mike Triana (2-1) in a lightweight bout. Cody Laskarm making his professional debut, will fight Brian Bogue (0-1) in a super middleweight bout. Dustin Carrollm also starting as a professional, will fight Tom Evans (0-3) in a middleweight bout.
The event will begin with three amateur matches, each of which will last three rather than five rounds. Connor Fenton will fight Aaron Ortiz in a middleweight bout. Jurrell Laronal will fight Shaun Shubert in another middleweight bout. J. Lucky Henry will fight Ross Levine in a light heavyweight bout.

Reality Fighting 100 Grappling Results

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 01/17/18

By Brian Woodman Jr.

(Jan. 6 -- Uncasville, CT) 

In addition to an impressive MMA card, Reality Fighting's 100th event included a preliminary card with grappling bouts. The bouts, dubbed "grappling super fights" during the event at Mohegan Sun Arena, could only be won through submissions.
The card opened with a bout between 11-year-old Lorenzo "the Lion King" Bocachica of the Carlson Gracie gym and 12-year-old Dylan "the Villain" Kollar of the gym  Kipp's Basement. Like most of the bouts on the under-card, it ended in a tie.
C. Ryan Quinn, who trains under Renzo Gracie, won the sixth bout with a heel hook. He defeated Sanad Armouti of Florian BJJ.
Jon Manley of Manley MMA secured a leg triangle choke in spectacular fashion, submitting Chris Palmquist of Lauzon MMA during the seventh bout. Manley jumped in the air and got his legs around Palmquist's neck.before bringing the fight to the ground.
Gabriel Souza of Casa Jiu-Jitsu defeated Carlson Gracie student Chris Simmons with an ankle lock during the tenth bout. Both men wore a gi during the bout, which was fought under BJJ rules.
Walter Smith Cottito of Team Link submitted Frank Latna of DCBJJ with a head-and-arm choke during the eleventh bout.
The other bouts all ended with no one securing a submission. These were, in relative order;

Nicholas Caggia of K Dojo versus Jeremy Woolfolk of Strikezone MMA.
Nicole Powers Shattuck of Abusado versus Sarah Pucci of Callandrelli MMA.
Matt Allen of Calandrelli MMA versus Vinnie Brightman of Carlson Gracie.
Aaron Tyvie of Gracie Seymour versus James Cook of Crossroads BJJ.
Andrew Tevay of Gracie Seymour versus Ed Carr of Team Link.
Pete Jeffrey of Tri-Force versus Kirkor Papasian of Strikezone.
Damien Ruffy of Team Link versus Jeff Emil Haddad of Ascension Athletics.
Kevin Quigg of Martinez BJJ versus John Beecher of Soca BJJ.
Matt Santos of Santos BJJ versus Nate Lamotte of Burgess MMA.
Dan Simmler of Abusado versus Oz Pariser of Soul Fighters.

Update on Reality Fighting Jan. 6 event

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 01/04/18

Reality Fighting released an updated listing of MMA bouts for their next card since we last posted information on the event. The main event will still be a heavyweight title fight between the former Reality Fighting belt holder, New Britain's Parker Porter, and New Jersey resident J.A. Dudley.

As of press time, the other bouts on the card are; 
  • Randy Francis versus Kenneth Rayside (145 pounds, amateur)
  • Jordan Riley versus Arslan Otchiyev (145 pounds, amateur)
  • Austin Schalla versus Redd Pottinger (170 pounds, amateur)
  • Ron Marshall versus Gio Fiasconaro (225 pounds, amateur)
  • Tracy Baldwin versus Anastasia Bruce (115 pounds, amateur)
  • Harris Bonfiglio versus Tim Flores (125 pounds, amateur)
  • Matt Bienia versus Nate Ghareeb (155 pounds, amateur)
  • Billy Goff versus Steve Morrell (170 pounds, amateur)
  • William Knight versus Franklin Johnson (225 pounds, amateur)
  • Hugh McKenna versus Jesse James Kosakowski.(170 pounds, professional fight)
We will publish further updates as they develop.

Reality Fighting 100 -- MMA coming to Mohegan Sun on Jan. 6

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 12/31/17

The highlights for Reality Fighting's next MMA event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT include three amateur title fights and a potentially impressive main event -- a heavyweight title fight between former Reality Fighting belt holder Parker Porter (7-4) and New Jersey's J.A. Dudley (8-17, according to But the grappling super fights sharing the the organization's 100th card, including a bout with UFC veteran Gabriel Gonzaga, could make the evening even more interesting.

Gonzaga, who currently trains with Squared BJJ, will grapple with Ray Sherwood of Ultimate MMA. 
Parker, a Southington native who trains at Underdog BJJ in Hartford, lost the organization's belt to Gonzaga in 2011 at Mohegan Sun. He has also fought twice with Bellator at the resort, losing by first-round TKO to Josh Diekman in 2013 but submitting Eric Bedard by second-round submission about two years later.
William Knight was originally scheduled to make his professional debut against Mark Glover of Team Bomb Squad. He will instead fight Franklin Johnson in an amateur 225-pound bout.
The amateur title fights include; a 155-pound bout between Matt Bienia (5-1) and Nate Ghareed (5-1), and a 125-pound bout between Tim Flores (3-2, according to and Harris Bonfiglio (2-2, according to
Jesse James Kosakowski (5-0 amateur record), who is making his professional debut, will fight Hugh McKenna (1-1) -- a Long Island-based fighter and undefeated amateur who earned his professional career win with Bellator. Joe Giannetti, who is undefeated after six fights, will fight Dan Dubuque (4-2) in a lightweight bout.
Destiny Quinones, in her professional debut, will fight Danielle Hindley (1-0, according to of South Shore Sportsfighting in a strawweight bout. Quinones is currently an amateur belt holder with Reality Fighting.
Pat Casey (7-2, according to, who lost to Kosakowski at Premier FC 24 by a fifth-round rear naked choke in an amateur bout, will fight Redd Pottinger (statistics not available). Casey won two amateur titles while fighting for Premier FC in 2017.
The other MMA bouts on the card include;
  • Steve Morell versus Bill Goff (both 0-1, acording to
  • Arslan Oticheyev (4-4-1, according to versus Jordan Riley (2-2, according to
  • Murat Keshtov versus Rob Best (statistics not available).
  • Austin Schalla (1-9, according to versus Harrison Adamo .(2-1, according to
  • Kenneth Rayside (1-10, according to versus Randy Francis (2-3, according to
  • Traci Baldwin versus Anastasia Bruce (statistics not available).
  • Ron Marshall versus Giovanni Fiasconaro (statistics not available).
The other grappling matches scheduled for the event include;
  • Marco Alvan of Team Link versus Lee Richardson of Underdog BJJ.
  • Dan Simmler of Abusado versus Oz Parisher of Soul Fighters.
  • Mat Santos of Santos BJJ versus Nate Lamotte of Burgess MMA.
  • Mario Ramos of Dragon's Lair BJJ versus Kevin Quigg of Martinez BJJ.
  • Pete Jeffrey of Tri-Force Training Center versus of Kirkor Papasian of Strikezone.
  • Ed Carr of Team Link versus Nolan Dutcher of Dutcher Martial Arts.
  • Chris Simmons of Carlson Gracie versus Gabriel Souza of Casa of Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Frank Latina of DCBJJ versus Walter Smith-Cottito of Team Link.
We will be posting more information regarding this event on our blog as Jan. 6 approaches.

(Editorial Note: Reality Fighting provided the fight card information and a portion of the statistics).

Premier FC's latest event includes three title fights

by Brian Woodman Jr. on 11/10/17

The organization Premier Fighting Championship is presenting its next event, Premier FC 24, on Nov. 11 at Chez Josef in Agawam, Massachusetts. The smaller, more intimate setting makes an interesting site for MMA events and tomorrow evening's event looks promising with a card that includes three amateur title fights.

The card will offer 11 confirmed fights, including five professional bouts.
The title fights include; a 155-pound bout between Antoine Caparotta (4-2) and  Nick Giulietti (3-1); a 145-pound bout between Malek Mahmoud and Miguel Cuevas; (both 3-0) and a 170-pound bout between Jesse Kosakowski (4-0) and Pat Casey (7-1).

The professional bouts include;

  • Jahmel Parkinson versus Victor Irwin , both debuting, at 205 pounds.
  • Mike Hansen (1-3) versus Reginaldo Felix (1-2) at 185 pounds.
  • Geoffrey Then (0-1) versus Magdiel Matias (0-0) at 135 pounds.
  • Kastriot Xhema (1-1) versus Keenan Raymond (3-4) at 160 pounds.
  • Kemren Locinov (5-4) versus Gil Penheiro (2-3) at 170 pounds.
The remaining amateur bouts are;

  • Jason Showers (1-5) versus Chris Almestica (0-1) at 165 pounds.
  • Christian Robinson (0-2) versus Randy Francis (1-3) at 145 pounds.
  • Yu Ji (0-0) versus Josh Jones (2-1) at 185 pounds.

Connecticut's Exclusive MMA Coverage

For Connecticut Residents Who Love MMA - Exclusive News Coverage of MMA in CT