This Is Where It Begins In Combat Sports

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By Dan Sears

Every fight, you learn every time.”

A quote heard often in combat sports and from all spectrums of kickboxing, grappling, Muay Thai, MMA, pro boxing. I leave pro wrestling out of the equation because that is entertainment and a script determines the outcome, though they also learn every time.

Brandon Quinn provided me with that quote, a 19-year old kickboxing amateur from Wallingford, Connecticut and no different from others he seeks to improve, an emphasis for fighters on all levels. Quinn will compete and join 29 other fighters at the MAK Promotions Dangerzone2 amateur event next Saturday evening at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center.

It will be about me and not worrying about my opponent focusing more on me,” Quinn said this week. In late September, Quinn in front of a capacity crowd with family and friends made his amateur debut, a sloppy kickboxing encounter that resulted in a draw after three-two minute rounds.

That fight was a learning experience and there will be more because Quinn, like so many others next Saturday, has the opportunity. Michael Kulp, the promoter also says, “I get to have a platform where I give these amateurs a platform to showcase their skills.”

The event again will feature kickboxing, grappling, and MMA competition, all taking place in a cage that is called their Dangerzone. Sanctioned by USMTA, official governing body of amateur events and supervised with the New York State Athletic Commission, 15 contests are scheduled and subject to change. Medicals for fighters need to be approved and a weigh-in could change some plans. Regardless, MAK Promotions adheres to all policies and safety standards for the fighters.

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So fighters such as Quinn will get another opportunity as Kulp and the promotion continue to expand. Already in the works are plans for four more events this year, and possibly moving out of the Armory to another venue. Though the Armory provides a good setting and is cost effective, expanding the product to other areas is always the goal of a promoter on this level.

Every promoter has a day job,” Kulp said to me in September. “You are not quitting your day job, you are doing it for the love of the sport.” But for the fighters this is their job in between attending college and working fulltime as laborers or training others in the gym..

The platform with Dangerzone is other promoters sharing fighters on their events. Scouts will also attend and seek that potential and upcoming competitor for one of their events and provide more opportunity. They are seen around the venue or in the locker room area, and Kulp has no issue with other promoters attending Dangerzone. This is a small and vibrant fight community and working together benefits all. A few years ago, Kulp assumed control of the promotion from John Carlo, his former trainer who retired and a new name was established.

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The opportunity continues and based on Dangerzone in September, next Saturday fans will not be disappointed. There are three MMA title fights and new championship belts will be unveiled as amateur fighters look to take that next step.

Stephen Persaud, the 26-year old amateur from Paterson, New Jersey will be looking to defend his title and oppose Wallace Alves, artist who made his Dangerzone debut in September and won by early submission. Alves from nearby Yonkers, NY, native of Brazil, is ranked 15h in New York out of 201. He has won 80 percent of his fights via submission.

I think fight wise it’s still the same fight whether it’s belt for belt, ” said Persaud. “Makes it for more fun, more hype around the technique and training is the same. Feeling strong, love this matchup. He (Alves) should be a good fighter. It better for me, great for me”

Thai will be his second time competing at the Armory, some on the card are returning while others will be at Dangerzone for the first time. This is where it begins in combat sports.

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Perhaps the next Jon Jones, a well recognized UFC champion? They all have goals and will continue their quest next Saturday evening in Newburgh, New York at the Armory.

Can’t attend stream the event live on pay-per-view at $10.00:

Ticketsource.us Log on to Dangerzone 2

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter) @Ring786 Facebook.com Rich Mancuso

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