Universal Combat Championship returns with UCC 5 on Thursday, June 28, at the Teaneck Armory located at 1799 Teaneck Road, in Teaneck, New Jersey.
UCC's last event, UCC 45, took place back in April of 2011, and fans have been inundating promoter Chris Sblendorio with requests for another show. UCC 4 was a standing room only affair, and treated fans to some of the finest professional MMA available on the East Coast.
Sblendorio has been busy running live music events, which was the cause for the delay in bringing back MMA, but he knew the time was right for a return.
"After hearing from a lot of people, we felt that it's time to get refocused on the UCC and start bringing it back," he explained.
And it's back with a vengeance. Like the first four UCC events, this card is stacked with top MMA talent.
"We have Kenny Foster and Rene Nazare from Bellator," Chris said. "They're both Bellator semi-finalists at 145 and 155. We're very excited to have both of them fighting on this show. And their opponents are pretty tough too. Kenny is fighting Maratbek Kalabekov, from Greg Jackson's camp. He's 14-2 in Russia, I believe, and this is his first fight in the U.S. We also have Mike Stewart from the Ultimate Fighter."
In addition, there is a lot of local talent on the card that is sure to bring in the fans, as advanced tickets show. Not only that, there are a few musical surprises in store for fans, which is also creating a buzz.
"Ticket sales are going great," Chris said. "In addition to booking a fight card, I also booked DJ Yonny and David S. from 92.3 Now. They'll both be DJing at the event. That's actually helped out ticket sales a lot because the event gets promoted on 92.3."
Sblendorio's idea to combine music and MMA is a unique and successful formula. He tends to think outside the box, or in this case, the cage. Even his choice of date is unique. Most promoters limit their events to Fridays or Saturdays, but Chris picked a Thursday date for this show.
"I have a very different business model than other promoters," he explained. "I'm totally comfortable with doing a fight on a Thursday. I've actually kicked the idea around before. With the mix that we have set up, it's a great situation. Obviously, the key MMA demographic is 18-35 male and female. If you ask most nightclubs or even bars for that matter, they do better on Thursday nights than they do on Fridays or Saturdays. "
The Teaneck Armory venue is also an interesting choice, one that offers New York fans an easy commute.
"This is a new location for us," Chris said. "It's easy to get to from New York. It's right along two major highways, 80 and 4, and on top of that there's a ton of parking at the venue."
With his new focus on the UCC, Sblendorio sees big things for the promotion's future, including an expansion overseas.
"Part of the reason I put the event on a Thursday is that we're actually working towards something long term like a television deal possibly," he said. "I'd like to get to television within the next year with our format. The format we're going to start using is going to include music and fighting, whether it be DJ's or live performance rock bands or something along those lines. We're also very close to coordinating a deal in Germany. We're looking at doing a possible fight in Germany in November. That's kind of what our plans are for the future, just keep expanding. We're looking at doing a show in Philadelphia probably in the late fall, and we're looking at a couple of European dates as well."
Spendorio's unique approach to MMA and his stacked cards are sure to keep MMA fans happy all over the world. For ticket information and the complete card, visit UCCFights.com. Doors open at 7:30PM at the Teaneck Armory, June 28, 2012.