Posts tagged: New Jersey

Asylum Fight League, Gaining Success and Recognition

Asylum Fight League (AFL), the premier amateur MMA promotion on the East Coast, is quickly gaining fans and a growing reputation in the MMA world with each event. The promotion’s success is largely credited to martial arts school owner turned promoter Carl Mascarenhas.

AFL Fight Action

Following New Jersey’s decision to sanction MMA competition, Mascarenhas opened his first promotional company named New Breed Fighters. In 2008, Mascarenhas had a falling out with his business partner in New Breed and decided to go in a new direction with his promotional efforts, thus spawning Asylum Fight League.

Asylum Fight League was established as a promotion “created by fighters, for fighters.” Mascarenhas is the president and promoter of AFL, as well as a retired MMA fighter and former World Champion Kickboxer. He participated in three World Cups with the U.S. World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) team, winning gold in 1995.

Mascarenhas created AFL as a training ground for amateur fighters of the Northeast region to build their records and gain recognition as potential professional-level athletes while getting the respect and understanding of businessmen who have been in their shoes.

AFL has promoted events since April of 2008 and has gained considerable popularity, routinely drawing sell-out crowds in major venues, such as the Trump Marina Casino. AFL promotes events in the New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. Of the promotion’s last six fights, three were held in Atlantic City along with the last event, which took place at the Trump Mariana on Feb. 27.

Carl Mascarenhas

The legalization of MMA competition in Pennsylvania, which took effect on Feb. 27, 2009, proved extremely favorable for AFL in exposure, recruitment of fighters, buildup of fan base, and expansion of venues and sponsorship. AFL held its first event in Pa. on Oct. 17, 2009 at The Arena in Philadelphia. Its next event, Asylum Fight League XXVII, will take place at The Legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia on Sat, Mar. 13 at 7 p.m.

In addition to putting on displays of MMA competition to an audience at venues, the AFL also provides a live online stream of its events at or

AFL has been very effective in marketing itself to sponsors and advertisers. The promotion has a detailed sponsorship plan, which has attracted numerous sponsors, including Everlast, The National Guard, Sirius Satellite Radio, Ring of Combat, Knockout Athletics and others.

The league promotes events featuring a variety of different weight classes (13) ranging from super featherweight (126-129.9 pounds) to absolute (250 pounds and above). Of the 13 weight classes, there are six titleholders. The other weight classes currently have vacant titles.

The success and gained notoriety of the league have had effects on its talent and led to changes in the promotion. Due to the number of its fighters turning professional, AFL has recently decided to promote cards featuring both amateur and professional bouts. At AFL XXI, the promotion’s debut in Philadelphia, the card featured four amateur fights and four professional fights.

Asylum Fight League Promo Videos

AFL’s next events are scheduled for Mar. 13 in Philadelphia and Mar. 20 at Club Abyss in Amboy, N.J.

Matt Rappaport

U of Combat Writer: Matt Rappaport

U of Combat Writer: Matt Rappaport

Matt Rappaport is an MMA and boxing analyst covering national and local events. He covers a broad range of topics from the business side of the fight world to video games and fighter analyses. Matt has been actively boxing since 2007. In high school, he trained at the Knights of Columbus Boxing Club in South River, New Jersey. He is now a sophomore at Penn State majoring in communications, where he is also on the boxing team and trains under head coach Jack Rohrabaugh. In addition to being a U of Combat intern, he also writes freelance as a boxing analyst for The Jersey Journal; a Hudson County (North Jersey) newspaper. There, he has covered everything from the state championships to world title fights.

Something for everyone at Atlantic City's New Breed Fighters XXIV event

The New Jersey Athletic Control Board will host New Breed Fighters XXIV on August 15, 2009 at the Resorts Atlantic City Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and fights start at 6:40 p.m.  The 18 fights include several title matches, as well as weight classes ranging from super heavyweight to super featherweight, along with fighters from New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Pennsylvania. Ticket prices start at $42 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or online.

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Matchmaker M. Scott Morgan can be contacted at (856-719-9625).

Fight card:

Kevin Santos (0-0) vs. Phil Cornelius (0-1)
Scott Hubick (0-1) vs. Chris Heagy (0-0)
Oscar Arizmendi (0-2) vs. Mike Bell (0-1)
Derrick Ferrer (0-0) vs. Greg Quarantello (0-0)
Andre “ECW” Benevento (0-1) vs. Kyle Jergensen (0-0)
James “Shrapnel” Chappell (2-0) vs. John Hollister (2-2)
Joseph M DeLuca (0-0) vs. Casey Adams (1-2)
Ismael Ruiz (0-0) vs. Dave Colabella (2-0)
Mario “Taxi Driver” Rodrigues (0-0) vs. Paul Felder (0-0)
Tom “Peligroso” Piotrowski (0-0) vs. Jeremy Uy (0-0)
Chris Meihle (0-0) vs. John Gartiser (1-0)
Steve “Ugly Knuckles” Sierra (3-3) vs. Jared Picariello (3-0)
William Mayorga (1-1) vs. Mike Mcdonough (1-0)
Chris “The Cobra” Edmund (1-0) vs. Dave Miller (0-0)
Bobby Shea (0-0) vs. Sergio “The Savage” DaSilva (0-1)
Khalil “Ong Bak” Malamug (1-1) vs. Bienvenido Diaz (1-0)
Phil Doig (3-2) vs. Dan Cion (3-1)
Elvin Rodriguez (4-2) vs. Chris “The Body Beautiful” Wing (6-1)


The North American Grappling Association (NAGA) is holding their 10th annual grappling tournament this weekend; Saturday August 1st & Sunday August 2nd at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Doors open at 8 AM both days. Tickets will be available at the door and can be purchased at $60 front row seat tickets are sold out. However, $30 & $40 general admission and floor seats are still available.

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Adult Divisions Schedule Saturday August 1st:

10:30 AM – No-GI Women, Master, Director, Executive & No-GI Absolute

11 AM – No-GI Novice Grappling Divisions

11:30 AM – No-GI Beginner Grappling Divisions

12 PM – No-GI intermediate Grappling Divisions

12:30 PM – No-GI Expert Grappling Divisions

2 PM – GI Divisions – White through Black Belt

8 PM – MMA Fights

Kid & Teens Divisions Schedule Sunday August 2nd:

10 AM – Rules Meeting

10:30 AM – No-GI Grappling Divisions

* GI Grappling Divisions Will Begin When No-GI Divisions Are Complete

10 Things you should know about MMA

With the world of Mixed Martial Arts growing more popular by the day, there are many misconceptions about the sport.  Here’s setting the record straight.


10.  MMA has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks.

Around 600 BC, the Greeks started a new sport in their ancient Olympic Games.  This new sport, Pankration (meaning “all powers”) combined the elements of wrestling and boxing into one sport.  Similar to today, matches were fought in rings and were won by knocking your opponent unconscious or through submission by the opponent raising his hand.


9.  Many believe that fighters fast to lose weight in days before an event, but most chose to lose it in a healthy way.   Fighters often lose the weight inflatable tents through different ways.  Some use diet and exercise, while others go sweat it out in the sauna.  Seemingly, most fighters are dedicated to a healthy and natural diet all year, as to avoid the last minute weight loss.


8.  Some fighters say the biggest mistake you can make is not being humble.  In an interview with MMA frenzy, Cole Miller said that not being humble often leads to a humiliating loss, making a fighter want to rethink his career choice.


7.  MMA is a team sport– a fighter’s team, staff and trainers are the force behind the fighters.  They’re the people closest to the fighter; after spending hours a day in training, they’re often thought of as family.  Fighters and coaches often give their all to each other, which has been a winning combination in the world of MMA.


6.  UFC champs gets to keep the belt.  UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez supposedly tried to sell his belt on Ebay in 2008 to raise money for a local school.


5.  The first publicized “MMA” event was in China in 1909 between British boxer Hercules O’Brien and Chinese martial artist Huo Yuan Jia.  The fighters had a hard time agreeing to the rules of the match, but they decided that whoever could knock down the other would win. 


The 2006 movie Fearless, is loosely based off of this fight and focuses on Yuan Jia’s life, who is arguably one of the most famous Chinese martial artists of all times.


4.  Thought Cub Swanson got knocked out quickly in June 2009 by Jose Aldo?  His eight seconds before knockout is a century compared to the knockout of Lautaro Tucas by Chris Clements in three seconds back in 2006.


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3.  UFC continued to grow in popularity in the mid 90s, when they promoted their fights as “the bloodiest fighting you’ll ever see.”  Critics referred to it as “human cockfighting.”  Interestingly, the sport’s death rate is extremely low; its death count is currently being debated.  Some reports, for example state there are no deaths in the sport’s history, others, such as, say one death has occurred. 


2.  MMA is one of the most regulated sports in the world.  With numerous rules and judges, in addition to set time limits and amount of rounds, the league’s concern for the fighters’ safety is most important.  The regulation system is under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts and includes over 30 rules.  Many of these rules are similar to those used in Olympic events.


More precautions are taken with fighters than with many athletes from other sports.  Medical teams are present at every fight, and fighters often receive MRIs both before and after fights.


1.  MMA fighters have been successful collegiate athletes and Olympic athletes; the first ever being Mark Schultz, who received a gold medal in wrestling during the 1984 Olympic Games.  Schultz fought one MMA fight before returning to coach wrestling at the collegiate level.


Other Olympic athletes and MMA fighters include Rulon Gardner, Kevin Jackson and Kenny Monday.  Most have only fought in several matches.


To learn about the misconceptions of the dangers of UFC, click here.

To read more about the quickest knockouts, click here.

From UFC 1 to 100: Evolution of the UFC

To see athletes of different or similar fighting practices challenge each other – that has always been the goal behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

That goal has come a long way since the UFC’s conceptual development in 1991. The original concept was a single event tournament to discover the world’s best fighting style. The tournament aired in 1993, and was a mini-success, with nearly 90,000 Pay Per View buys. At the time the tournament aired, the entire concept of “mixed martial arts,” as we know it today, did not really exist. The tournament placed athletes of only one fighting art against each another, pitting boxers against Karate, and wrestlers against jiu jitsu and everything in between. Most times, fighters did not know what to do to handle the other opponent as they had never faced someone of that particular art, and the matches were often lacking in entertainment value. Another problem also existed. There were no weight classes, usually setting opponents together with huge size differentials. While this proved to be entertaining at times, this was not practical, especially if the UFC had any desire to be a legitimate organization.

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Due to its success, the UFC became a recurring tournament, but many aspects of the tournament needed to be addressed. With a tag-line that read “there are no rules!” and “fighting techniques” such as hair pulling, groin strikes and head butting allowed; the UFC had to revamp it’s entire concept if there was any hope in becoming a permanent fixture in the sporting community.

The tournament had aired five times but in 1995, it started to gain negative popularity, attracting wide press coverage from all over the nation, most of it very unfavorable. Political action was quickly taken against the UFC, and Senator John McCain led the campaign, calling the UFC “human cock fighting.” It was dropped shortly after by major cable and pay per view providers, and in 1997, 36 states had banned no-holds-barred fighting. The UFC was launched into the abyss of sports, thought by many to never be seen again.

However, in response to all the criticism, and much to the surprise of many, the UFC began to cooperate with state athletic commissions. The transformation of the UFC into a legitimate sporting event began to take place. The rules were revamped, eliminating the “dirty” aspects of the tournament like hair pulling, groin shots, and head butting, as well as putting an emphasis on the core elements of the UFC as we know it today; striking, grappling, and punching. With UFC 12 came the introduction of weight classes, UFC 14 mandatory gloves, UFC 15 the banning of strikes to the back of the head and neck, and UFC 21 the introduction of 5 minute rounds. By 1999, the UFC had evolved into a full-fledged sport, almost ready to be accepted by both politicians, and the sporting community. With UFC 28 in 2000, the final step was taken in legitimizing the UFC as an athletic organization, and the New Jersey State Athletic Commission sanctioned the event.

In 2001 the UFC was sold to Zuffa LLC and Dana White. With UFC 33 in September of that year, came it’s returned to main stream cable television and PPV. With effective advertisement and a partnership with the Spike TV network in 2005 for the development of the currently running show, The Ultimate Fighter, now in season 9, the UFC quickly gained mainstream popularity.

On July 11th, UFC 100 is scheduled to take place, and will mark a very important milestone for the UFC. Sixteen years and 100 events since its creation in 1993; from a no-holds-barred tournament with sumo wrestlers and kick boxers to what it is known as today. The card will be headlined by Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar. Ten other fights are on both combined main, and undercard, for an event that is sure to out do the last; something the UFC seems to accomplish with all their recent events.

Despite much adversity, the UFC is the quickest growing sport in American and a far cry from its early no-holds-barred days. It is no longer just a tournament but a multimillion dollar organization and mainstream sporting event. The fighters that participate in the UFC are no longer athletes of two very different fighting arts. This current generation of fighters has a very mixed array of skills, and study everything from wrestling to Jiu Jitsu. The UFC is beginning to reach global audiences, and recently held its first event, UFC 99 early this month, in mainland Europe. With good fights, smart advertising, and entertaining television, the UFC’s future is very bright.

Challenge of Champions XXVI – June 7, 2009

The Challenge of Champions is an annual grappling & fighting event featuring  over 1,800 competitors spanning all age groups.   This year’s event will kick off at 9:30 AM on June 7 at the Raritan Center (directions).  

Registration to compete in this year’s event is currently closed.  However, spectators are welcome.

Asylum Fight League: Championship Series 2

Asylum Fight League, an amateur mixed martial arts circuit based in New Jersey, will be heading to the Raritan Expo Center (directions) on June 6th for Championship Series 2.  This will be Asylum’s second show to include a mix of combat sports, including wrestling, grappling, and MMA.  The schedule is as follows:

Wrestling – 9:30 AM

Grappling – 11:00 AM

MMA Fights – 8:00 PM

Event tickets can be purchased here.


Not familiar with Asylum Fight League?  Check out current Asylum Lightweight Champion Jose Villanueva from Tiger Schulmann MMA take on Donald Koch at Asylum’s “Battle at Fort Dix” event held on February 21, 2009.

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