MMA is thriving in the state of New Jersey, and there's a brand new promotion on the scene.  Krush promotions presents its first show this Friday night, June 1, at Jackson Liberty High School in Jackson, New Jersey.  I am pumped to be MC of this show, and the card is stacked.  I'll have more about this event in a day or two, but for now click on the poster above to check out the Krush website and order tickets. This is yet another show that is not to be missed!


Are you Dead Serious about MMA?  If so, you do not want to miss this Saturday's Dead Serious MMA event, which will once again be held at the Rahway Rec Center in Rahway, New Jersey.  The last show, back on April 7, was amazing, with a standing room only crowd and subs and knockouts galore.  And the Dead Serious show at the end of last year closed out the year with a bang. It may have been the best card of the year.

Promoter Frankie Perez definitely knows how to put a show that keeps people talking.  He and his family put on shows, have a great clothing line, provide cage rentals, DJ services, you name it.  His son Frankie Jr. is a very talented up and coming fighter who is undefeated and fighting at Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat in June.  And his daughter Chantelle placed in the Abu Dhabi world trials.  So yes, they are indeed Dead Serious.

I spoke to Frankie the other day and he's pumped for this card.  Many great schools will be represented and you are guaranteed to be amazed at the action.  Tickets always go fast for these Dead Serious shows, so click here to gets your now:  Dead Serious MMA 4 tickets.

I will once again be hosting the show, and I am psyched!  Let's all get Dead Serious on May 26.  See you in Rahway!



The Extreme Fighting Championships once again lived up to its name by putting on yet another great show.  Thirteen fights took place last Saturday night, including an EFC heavyweight title tilt, and all of them were...extreme.

In the main event, Gil "Blackout" Isabel defeated the very tough Ray "Scorpio" Bartee by rear naked choke to win the vacant EFC heavyweight crown.  It was a fast paced, exciting fight, and both men landed bombs on the feet.  On the ground, however, Isabel took control and displayed a very high skill level.  In the second round Gil was able to sink in the choke to secure the title victory.

The matches on the card were all very well thought out, and the fights were excellent.  The crowd roared as some of the finest fighters on the East Coast punched, kicked and grappled their way to victory.  You know an event is a total success when most of the crowd is still there after the last fight.  And that's what happened on Saturday night.  After Gil Isabel won the title, fans mobbed him and were reluctant to go home, despite having enjoyed 13 fights.

In just their fourth outing, EFC is already proving to be one of the East Coast's finest promotions.  The Darwish brothers, Hani and Walid, know how to put on a show, and each one has been more memorable than the last.  I am already looking forward to the EFC card, and can't wait to "come on down" to the show.  And I can tell you that the fans in attendance feel the same way.  They will be talking about this events for months.

In addition to being a promoter, Hani Darwish is an MMA trainer at his own school, named appropriately enough, Extreme Fight Club. Some of his students were on the card, but there were no easy matches for any of them, including the new champ Gil Isabel, who will look to defend his belt in the near future.

Who are we?  EFC!  Remember the name, you'll be hearing a lot about this promotion in the future.  Here are the official results from May 19th's card:


Get your tickets now for May 19th's big EFC event in Nutely, New Jersey.  EFC has been selling out their venues, and the fights have all been spectacular.  I am very much looking forward to hosting this show, which takes place at Nutley High School.  The Darwish brothers put on a great show, and the fighters all come to fight.  Tickets are going fast for this show, so click on the poster above, or check out for ticket info.  See you in Nutley!


Helster MMA held their second show last Saturday night at the famed Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey.  Not only was the place sold out, fans had to be turned away because the venue was over-capacity.  That's the kind of crowd that every MMA promoter would love to see show up.  And the lucky fans who made it inside were treated to 15 great fights, including 4 title tilts.  So it was a great evening for everyone, myself included.  As ring announcer, it's always great to be before a big crowd, and Helster MMA delivered the crowd, and the fights, in a very successful outing.

As always, New Jersey's Nick Lembo was on hand to preside over the event, and his team of officials did their usual outstanding job.  When it comes to officiating, New Jersey is as good as it gets, and whether it's the UFC or Bellator or a smaller local promotion, Nick and his staff perform spectacularly.

Speaking of spectacular, the fights in cage were exactly that.  We had subs and KOs galore, and 4 new champions were crowned.  This sets up some very interesting title possiblities for Helster's next show, which is scheduled for October.

This card was totally stacked and it was fun watching the fighters bring out their best in the cage.  Sharif "Bamm Bamm" Jones, The Philadelphia Bad Boy, was back in action and he didn't disappoint.  Jones stopped his opponent in round 2, and he is definitely on the radar for a Helster title shot in the future.

All four titles were vacant so we crowned 4 new champions at this show.  Jimmy Cerra took the Helster 147 pound belt with a rear naked choke victory over the very tough Mike Padilla.  Cerra wasted no time enjoying his championship by macking with one of the cage girls.  To the winner goes the spoils!

In the 168 pound division, Jamie Allebach wasted no time in securing the title by securing an arm-triangle submission against Mike Pastor.  It took Alleback just over a minute to get the win, and he looked  very impressive.  He's another guy to keep your eye on.

Scott Krampetz and PJ Palmer went toe to toe for three rounds in the 154 pound title fight.  Krampetz put on a gutsy performance, but Palmer was on his game and PJ walked away with a unanimous decision and the Helster strap.

In the finale, Jordan Stiner was able to lock up a kimura in the second round against highly skilled Bill "Kick" Borawski.  Stiner looked great in winning the belt, and I look forward to see him, and all the champions, defending their titles in the future.

The show itself was run very well.  No detail was overlooked, and I had a great time MCing.  Carl and Karen did a bang up job on this event, and I'm sure that October's show will be even bigger and better.  Now is the time to take notice of Helster MMA.  Like the fighters they showcase, they bring it each and every time out.

Here are some pics (courtesy of Kevin Wuchter...check out the complete collection at and the official results of all bouts from last Saturday's card:


After several sold out action packed MMA shows Extreme Fighting Championship is back Saturday, May 19, 2012 with EFC IV “Showdown”. Featuring some of the best New Jersey and New York amateur MMA fighters “Showdown” is sure to be a hit with fight fans of all ages. The May 19th event to be held at Nutley High School in Northern New Jersey will feature a fight card of nothing less than spectacular. Hani Darwish has selected seasoned MMA fighters from various fight camps including Extreme Fight Club, AMA Fight Club, Kurt Pellegrino MMA, Jungle Gym, Carmine Zocchi MMA, Lion Heart MMA, Guererro BJJ and Renzo Gracie NY.

This showcase of rising talent will make for a night of exciting fights.  “I’m really excited about this event!  We’ve been getting an unbelievable response from the fighters and the fans!  Everybody on the card is very evenly matched so it has the makings of an all out war written all over it!” says Hani Darwish, the organization’s president and long-time New Jersey fight promoter.

With yet another anticipated sold out event, fans are urged to obtain tickets in advance to May 19th. Tickets are available for sale via all fighters on the fight card, at Extreme Fight Club on 10 Squirrelwood Road in Woodland Park, NJ, or by visiting the website at Vendor and sponsor packages are also available for EFC IV “Showdown” with various options and can be custom built for any company by contacting EFC at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or calling (973) 653-5449.



Helster- Ultimate Cage Fighters returns to action on Saturday, May 12, at the Starland Ballroom located at 570 Jernee Mill Road  in Sayreville, New Jersey.

This is the second outing for the Helster promotion, which is quickly gaining recognition as one of the East Coast's top amateur fight leagues.  In creating Helster MMA Fight League, promoter Carl Knapp felt he could take the local MMA scene to the next level.

"I've been involved in martial arts and mixed martial arts for awhile," Knapp explained,  "and my partner Karen has been involved in mixed martial arts and for a long time.  We went to some amateur shows and after watching some of these shows, we thought that this is something that we would be interested in doing, and something we could improve upon.   We kind of had a vision to do the amateur shows bigger and better.  That's not a knock on anybody out there.  We just thought we could do a good show, a good promotion that would give amateur fighters a chance to fight in a professional atmosphere, and really give them a shot to showcase their talents.  That's the way it got started."

Their first show, held last October, was a smashing success.  This one should be even better.

"I think the promotion is growing well," Carl said.  "This is our second show and it's significantly bigger than the first show was.  In terms of the quality of the fighters and the schools we've been drawing for this second event, we're really happy with the way that's come along.  We have another show scheduled for October, and the goal is that that show will be even bigger than this one. "

The card for the May 12 event is stacked with fighters from some of the best camps in the area.  And titles will be on the line.

"We've got a full card, sixteen fights," Carl said. "We have four title fights, and the guys fighting for the titles are all experienced and well rounded.  Some of these guys have six fights plus, so we're excited about that.  It's hard to find amateurs with that kind of record.  We have been actively seeking out the highest caliber fighters in the area. We've got some of the top schools competing;  schools from all over the area, New York, New Jersey, a couple of PA schools will be represented.  We have fighters from Renzo Gracie PA, Renzo Gracie Holmdel NJ, Renzo Gracie/Silver Fox,  Ocean County Jiu-Jitsu, AMA Fight Club, Nick Cattone's school, Fusion MMA.  We're really happy with the turnout on this one."

The participation of so many top schools is telling.  Helster – Ultimate Cage Fighters is all about creating a high level experience for the fighters, and the fans at their shows.

"What we're really trying to do is to make each show bigger and better," Carl explained. "We want these fighters to get a first class experience when they fight for us.  We don't spare any expense on these shows.  We spend a lot of money, but it's really all about promoting the fighters and giving them the chance to get out there and get in front of a big crowd with the lights and the cameras and the ring girls, and really have a first class experience.  For fighters looking to work their way up the ladder and turn pro, we think this is a great spot for them to start and get a feel for what it's like under the big lights."

Not only do the fighters have a great time at Helster MMA events, the fans do too.  And for this event, they are coming back in droves.

"We're gonna have  a packed house," Carl said.  "At this point it looks like we've got a thousand-plus coming.  There's going to be a lot of energy in the building, a lot of action.  And it's going to be a good time for everyone. "

For more information about Helster MMA Fight League, visit their website at or for tickets visit or call Karen 215-527-9712.


Rub a dub dub, Jim Miller in the tub.  New Jersey born UFC title contender Jim Miller has a unique way to cut way before fights.  He soaks himself in a tubful of very hot water to eliminate the water in his body.  It seems to be an effective way ot cutting weight while maintaining his energy levels, so whatever works is the way to go.

Jim is facing a very tough fight against Nate Diaz.  The fight is scheduled for five rounds, and the winner will be a very good position to fight for the title.  Diaz is guaranteed a shot if he beats Miller, but Jim may have to prove himself yet again if wins.  To me, that's absurd, but it is what it is.

I think Jim will look great against Diaz, and believe he'll be victorious.  His standup is very unrated, and his ground game is as good or better than Nate's.  Watch out, Nate Diaz, there's a bad man on the rise!

Check out this video of Jim soaking off the pounds.  Funny stuff, and very interesting.



Tom DeBlass made his UFC debut in Sweden recently, taking on Cyrille Diabate at UFC on Fuel 2.  Tom took the fight on very short notice, and he was coming off an injury, but the former ROC HW and LHW champion made no excuses for the majority decision loss.  He learned a lot from the experience, and I have no doubt he'll come roaring back in his next UFC fight.

I ran into DeBlass, as I often do, at the Ring of Combat last week, and he was kind enough to grant an interview.   Since I had forgotten the mic (as usual), this interview can be described as "in your face."  We talk about the Diabate fight, and also about Tom moving to the UFC's middleweight division.  Nothing is scheduled as yet, but UFC middleweights are on notice: Tom DeBlass is coming!

Here's the video:


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