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ARCHIVED STORYÂ Â Â Â SPRING 2013
Gagliardi to fight Ward in June at Mohegan
Domenic Gagliardi from Bristol, CT, during a Reality Fighting event.
By Brian Woodman Jr.
Â Â Bristol native Domenic Gagliardi (4-2), who trains at New Century Kenpo Karate in Plainville, will fight Jason Ward (2-2) in a middleweight bout during the next Reality Fighting event at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville on June 8. More details on the event are availableÂ on this website'sÂ blog.
Â Â Not only is Gagliardi fighting to get a second shot at the Marlborough-based organizationâ€™s middleweight belt, he said, but he also has a cause in mind.
Â Â Five-year-old Drew Fowler, whose family is acquainted with Gagliardi, was diagnosed with a brain tumor called Optic Giloma, according to information posted by his relatives atÂ gofundme.com.Â Gagliardi said he intends to use what he earns from the event to help Drew.
Â Â Ward, who trains in BJJ, Boxing and Muay Thai at Westchester Mixed Martial Arts, began competing with Reality Fighting as an amateur about three years ago, submitting 190-pound Dain Dixon with an armbar in the third round of their fight on August 6, 2010. He previously won an amateur bout for the Asylum Fight League in June of that year.
Â Â Â He has since competed in five professional fights for Reality Fighting at Mohegan. He was knocked out by Dwight Grant in the first round during his first professional fight in May of 2011, but defeated Erik Sommer later that year.
â€‹Â Â During the following year he defeated Michael Berby, sustained a no contest against Jesse Peterson and lost to Roger Zapata due to referee stoppage/technical knockout. All three fights ended in the first round.
Â Â Gagliardi last fought on Feb. 25 of last year at Mohegan against Reality Fighting middle-weight champion Alexandre Moreno. Moreno, who has trained with Gabriel Gonzaga, choked out former high school wrestler Gagliardi in the first round of their bout.
Â Â Gagliardi previously fought at Mohegan in May of 2011, submitting Mark McLaughlin with a rear naked choke during a Reality Fighting event.Â
Â Â Gagliardi sustained a previous loss fighting for ICE Fighter in 2008 against welterweight Tod Solek.
Â Â â€œI had taken a break for awhile because between my job and just time with my family and friends it seemed that I was focusing so much on fighting that I was kind of tuning out the world outside the gym,â€? said Gagliardi. â€œBetween 2011 and 2012 I had trained for five fights in which three fell through due to my dropouts and no shows. By my last fight I was just plain tired. It's not easy juggling a full time job and training any chance you get and by the time my last fight came I felt I hadn't put in the training time I needed to fight a guy who's job is to go to the gym. After the fight I was very disappointed and my first reaction was that I wanted to hop back in and get a win before I took a break, but friends an trainers steered me towards just focusing on my job n down time. It only took about 3 to 4 months and in that time I was always training but more just having fun with it.
His fight purse will go toward fundraiser, he says
Â Â â€œI did work on a few things and actually started training up in Manchester at Bushido BJJ. I had been training with a lot of new and very tough guys and in that time I got the itch to fight again. I had called a promoter to fight in Atlantic City for Ring of Combat back in January. They had set me up with a few fighters but for some reason those also fell through. At the last minute I got a call from them to fight three days before the event but between the weight cut and getting my medical done in time there was no way it could happen.Â
Â Â â€œThen I had tried to sign with Warrior Nation, which was also in January, but they canceled the entire event. It's funny because when I wasn't interested in fighting I was getting calls from lots of promotions look for me to fight and then when I want to fight I couldn't get a fight.â€?
He tried other organizations without success, he said.
Â Â â€œNobody was able to fit me on the card. Finally I got a call from (Reality Fighting) to fight Jason Ward. Without even thinking I accepted the fight. I want another shot at the title and I don't care who I have to fight to get there.â€?
Â Â Â â€œIn the midst of all this my mother was babysitting for Drew. She told me about his situation and I felt it would be a good way to earn money for the cause. He's in a fight that he can't lose so figured I'd take my fight purse and percentage of ticket sales and put it towards his fundraiser. I know how people feel about donating money so I figured this way not only would you be able to see great fights but help Drew with his fight. I'm not putting a goal on how much I want to earn because honestly I really have no idea what the ball park figure will be by the end. I'm hoping itâ€™s a lot and I'm hoping it helps.â€?
We have archived aÂ previous interview withÂ Bristol native Domenic Gagliardi: "Bristol resident Gagliardi reflects on fight career