Archive for July, 2009
This weeks video is Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino vs. Kazuki Okobo at MFC 5: USA vs. Japan which took place in Atlantic City, NJ in November of 2005. Kurt was fighting for American Top Team (Florida) at the time, but now you can find him training at his own school in Belmar, NJ.
Kurt Pellegrino will be fighting Josh Neer on August 8th at the historic UFC 101: Declaration in Philadelphia.
Paul Rosner, founder of the USKBA, passed away this past weekend. To fans he should always be remembered for his tireless devotion to martial arts, being a major part of the driving force that sanctioned Amateur MMA in NJ, along with countless other martial arts. He was a great ambassador for our sport, and a friend to many. He will be missed.
Our thanks go out to Mr. Rosner for all he has done for MMA, and our thoughts & prayers go out to his friends and family.
“You don’t just become Forrest Griffin overnight,” said Professor Romulo Bittencourt, 3rd degree Jiu Jitsu black belt and head instructor of Renzo Gracie Newark. This statement despite being obvious, illustrates the main theme of Unplugged Fights’ new concept in promoting amateur mma.
“Many people watch the UFC, but no one thinks to question how these stars got there,” said EB Lustado, co-founder of Unplugged Fights Entertainment, and because of this they are seeking to bridge the knowledge gap between everyday Joe and MMA pro. Amateur fighters will be chosen as part of a “Combine Team” coached by Professor Bittencourt and his striking coach Adriano Silva. The “Combine Team” members will be filmed by a camera crew leading up to their fights on september 12 at Essex County College. “These guys have been training for years and having to go to work too,” said professor Bittencourt, “now people will get to see how an everyday person deals with training for a fight.”
The camera crew was on hand for the first “Combine Team” open call at the Team Bittencourt Headquarters in Newark, NJ. These tryouts were designed to find fighters who are ready to have their abilities and personalities showcased to the world. Amateur MMA veterans Jeremy Denardo, Wayne Hargrove, Steve Romanides, and Claydson Passos competed alongside 15 other participants to determine who would get a chance to be part of the card on September 12.
The first step of the tryout involved hitting pads with Kyokushin Karate expert Adriano Silva, who then evaluated the competitors on a 3 point scale. The grappling portion was judged by Professor Bittencourt who asked competitors to grapple from several starting positions and then evaluated them. For the sparring portion the participants were matched up by similar skills and weight, and then engaged in light sparring for a 3:00 round, focusing more on grappling then striking.
Although the cameras may have gotten to some of the participants, Arthur Rofi, a student of Romulo Bittencourt, enjoys the attention, “I’m a people person man, I love it. I hope the camera gets to follow me every where.” Despite the fact that these competitors won’t find out for another week whether or not they made it, they all shared Rofi’s appreciation for the opportunity,
“This show is going to be big. Every chance we get to fight is another chance we get to display our skills, so it would an honor to showcase myself on a show like this.”
With some new talented fighters, another “Combine” on the way, and shows in September and October, they are definitely making good on EB Lustado’s goal of “Promoting and supporting the sport on the East Coast”.
Keep checking in at NJMMAToday.com for updates on upcoming News, “Combines”, Press Events and Fights from Unplugged Fights.
If you have an interest in fighting for Unplugged Fights contact: firstname.lastname@example.org