The American Mixed Martial Arts Fight League, noted for its commitment to fighters and fans, returns on Saturday, November 3, with Fight Night 5. As always, the show takes place at the Newtown Athletic Club, located at 120 Pheasant Run, Newtown, PA, and will feature amateur and professional mixed martial arts.
The AMMAFL has been growing rapidly and is now one of the top promotions in Pennsylvania.
Promoter Jim McCann explains: "We started off as a relatively small show, just so we could establish ourselves as truly a professional organization, not only for the fans but for the fighters. And I believe absolutely we've done that. Every time out, the show gets bigger and better and we've had nothing but positive feedback from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission to the fighters to the managers to the fans, from the venue to the show, from the vendors--it's been great, a great experience."
The experience will continue and Jim and co-promoter Patrick Byrne look to take the AMMAFL to the next level.
"Coming forward into next year, we are looking to move into some bigger venues, perhaps some and some other areas that we're currently negotiating with," Jim said. "We've been in discussions with some pretty big names, some past stars of the UFC and Pride that have expressed interest in fighting for us. We certainly will have some nice surprises coming in 2013."
Right now, however, both men are focused on Fight Night 5.
"We're going to bring back some of the fighters that have fought in our shows in the past," Jim explained. "Couple of guys have put on some great performances. We've also been speaking with some of the top camps in the greater Philadelphia-New Jersey area and we're going to be bringing forth some of their up and coming stars. We expect to have a great show from soup to nuts."
Women fighters will also be featured on the card. The AMMAFL has been ahead of the curve in putting on women's MMA bouts.
"Now everyone around us is also trying to put on a women's bout," Patrick observed. "Just like we did in our last show. Even the UFC is looking into it and Bellator is too. I think the women are going to make it big and bring in the MMA world into a whole new level."
Women face unique challenges in the MMA world, not the least of which is finding training partners.
"There's not that many women in the gym--but I think you're going to see that grow—and with that said most of your women fighters actually have to spar with the guys," Patrick said. "So they have to learn the techniques better and faster than the guys just to keep up and spar with the guys."
For Fight Night 5, Patrick and Jim plan on doing more of what they've been doing: making fighters feel like stars. Jim McCann is a former fighter himself, so he knows how difficult a road that is.
"I did fight," Jim said. "I know what it's like to show up at an event and not have my opponent show up. Or they switch someone out on you. Or the accommodations were [terrible]. I came from that perspective. And I wanted to try and make our show fighter friendly, so they wanted to fight for us and pursue us and say, hey, I just enjoy that show and I like fighting for those guys, they treat me well, my opponent was exactly who they said it was, they gave me all the right information, they made sure my paperwork was processed, there were no surprises for me. And that's what I want the guys to say and they sure do appreciate it."
"I think also what the fighters like," Patrick added, "is that we have the biggest cage around. We have a 30-foot cage. The fighters can use the sauna rooms, the weight rooms, the day before the fight or the day of the fight if they still have to cut some weight in the morning or anything else. Not really any other organization does what we do."
It is not only what Jim and Patrick do, it's where they do it.
"We hold it at the Newtown Athletic Club," Jim said. "It is actually the fifth largest athletic club in the United States. It's a great place. It is approximately a 150,000 square foot facility with over ten thousand members. It's simply gigantic. It's very fan friendly, a state of the art facility. So it's really a great place for us to put on shows. There's not a bad seat in the house!"
Still, it takes more than a great venue and commitment to the fighters to make a great show. Jim and Patrick have worked hard to get where they are.
"It's been a heck of a learning curve," Jim and Patrick explained. "There's no Promoting a Show for Dummies book that's out there. It had taken some time to learn all the ins and outs and develop relationships with all the people in the industry. What we like to pride ourselves on is our professionalism. We get back to people immediately when they call us. We're upfront and honest with them on every aspect of what we do. I have fighters out there fighting in different shows--it's a very tough business to be in and not everyone is so professional, not everyone gets back to you, and not everyone is truthful. We try to do that. And quite honestly, the feedback has been great because the fighters and the managers appreciate having us be straightforward with them. And we actually probably do that to our own fault, quite honestly. But we are proud of that and want to continue to do that and not pull any surprises on anybody when something is coming up."
The card for Fight Night 5 is in the preliminary stages, but it's already coming along nicely.
"We're working on the card right now," Jim and Patrick said. "Contacting everybody on our gigantic checklist and making sure we don't drop the ball. Now we're just making sure that we have everything so that this show can be the absolute best show that we've put on. I'm absolutely convinced we're on the path for it to be a completely successful show. "
As fans of any AMMAFL Fight Night can tell you, they are treated like royalty at the show.
"For Fight Night 5, our VIP section will include, all food and beverages are included and we're even going to have servers come around and take your order and bring it to you, We feel if you are in the VIP section than you should be treated like a VIP," Patrick said. "You don't have to get up and leave your seat."
Chances are, however, you will leave your seat as you cheer on your favorite fighters with standing ovations.
If any fighter would like to try to get on this card or a future card please contact Jim McCann or Patrick Byrne
For ticket information, please visit the AMMAFL website at www.AmericanMixedMartialArtsFightLeague.com.
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