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Ross vs Summers – Elite Level Amateur Ladies Collide
Ross vs Summers

There is only one flaw in Hannah Summers’ game plan against Sydney Ross. 

But, it’s a big one.

Summers has been preparing to take on Ross, a Gorilla House Gym fighter from Altoona, Pa., at a 130-pound catch weight in the 247FC’s Brawl in the Burg 3 on March 14. Summers, who fights out of American Top Team Longwood in Orlando, Fla., has a background in striking and Muay Thai, and she has been working a lot on her ground game over the last year. She feels confident in her ability to counter Ross’ wrestling pedigree. Summers also knows that her standup game is her strong point. And, depending upon how her fight with Ross goes, Summers may soon make the jump from fighting as an amateur into the professional ranks. 

In no short terms, Summers (4-2-1) has her path forward planned out—including exactly what she expects to happen after her bout with Ross (4-3), even if her affable nature lends itself to an oversimplified result.

As the 26-year-old Summers said, “I’m just looking forward to meeting another badass woman in this sport…The winner has to buy the first round.”

And this is where that flaw comes into play.

Said Ross, “I’m actually 20. So, I’m not actually of drinking age yet. But, I really respect [Summers] for saying that.”

That’s just the way that Summers is though. Her ability to celebrate with her opponents (once business has been concluded) comes from her upbringing in Oregon, and was developed through years of comradery in rugby.

Hannah Summers – Rugby to MMA

Born and raised in Portland, Summers started playing rugby on her high school club team when she was 15 years old. She then went on to stints with Oregon Rugby Sports Union in the Women’s Premiere League, as well as with a women’s senior team, the Portland Pigs. Summers played the Lock position. It was her job to win the ball, be a strong ball carrier, and support players on the attack. And, it was during her time with the Pigs that Summers found her most recent calling.

As Summers tells it, that’s when a local rugby legend (and Muay Thai fighter) Robin Valli Woods opened her own Mixed Martial Arts gym, and extended an invitation for Summers to give it a try. Summers accepted, and retired from rugby a year ago to focus exclusively on MMA. However, Summers’ experience on the pitch also helped to ease her transition into a cage.

“Because of [rugby] I know how to drive forward. And, I know how to bite my mouth guard and go for it when I need to.

“I was a natural at it,” Summers continued, speaking of her time at Valli Woods’ gym. “Hence, my standing game became killer.”

Sydney Ross – Rasslin’, BJJ and Judo

Summers’ striking will run up against an experienced wrestler in Ross, who grew up fluent in various martial arts, and who will simply do what she does best come the first bell.

“I just like doing things that are hard, and to push myself,” said Ross. “I like forcing myself to get better.

That is a path that Ross began walking very early on in her life. Around the age of five, Ross’ father began putting her into martial arts like Taekwondo to not only get her some exercise, but also to give her a base for self-defense later on in life. From that starting point, Ross then found her way into varsity wrestling at Hollidaysburg Area High School as a sophomore in 2015-2016. Ross wrestled at 132-pounds, and went 2-9 while competing against male wrestlers all season. 

Adding to her grappling arsenal, Ross has picked up brown belts in both jiu-jitsu as well as judo. But, she has also worked to sharpen her all-around skill set at the Gorilla House Gym. Still, her strategy often centers itself around her ground abilities.

“I’ve fought girls of all different types of bases and backgrounds. I don’t try to change my game plan around the person.”

Ross vs Summers – Love the Tough Fights

Ross wants a hard fight. Like Summers, she want to test herself against the best women in the sport. Yet, that is a path that Summers has already been down in her amateur career, as she went up against Oregon’s first female jiu-jitsu black belt, Amanda Loewen, in March of 2019—lasting five rounds, and developing confidence in her ground game before finally giving up a rear naked choke to Loewen in the final minutes of their fight.

And that is why Summers values her matchup against Ross’ skill set so much. It gives Summers a chance to see just how much she has developed in the past year. And, it will serve as a litmus test on whether or not Summers is ready to turn pro.

“Every time [Loewen] took me down, it was because I threw a (expletive) kick,” Summers said. “If you can get me to the ground now, then hats off to you.”

Ross vs Summers

Continued Summers, “I’m hoping [Ross will] help me with any tweaks that I need to make before taking that leap to the last level… This fight is going to really determine for me whether I take that step now. I’ve always wanted to be a professional athlete. And, maybe, this is my chance…I’m so close to making it a lifelong dream come true.”

Still, Summers concedes that with her strong points, as well as Ross’, passing that test could come down to the smallest margin of error.

“This is going to be an awesome matchup, “ Summers said. “It could be one miniscule thing that makes a difference.”

Added Ross, “If I see a takedown, I’ll take it. If [Summers is] coming in striking, I’ll stay there.…As long as I know my reads right and fight smart, I’ll put on a good performance.”

This IS going to be an awesome matchup! And it is certainly one that is a must-see! Get your tickets now right here!

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De Jesus vs Simmons – Big Things Ahead
De Jesus vs Simmons

Both John de Jesus and Jamey Simmons feel that they are ready to take the next step in their professional mixed martial arts careers. The only problem is, each would have to go through the other to take that step.

Simmons and de Jesus are set to square off in Brawl in the Burgh 3’s main event on March 14. And, while both featherweights recognize that the 247 title is on the line, neither is prepared to let their dream of making it to a national stage take a hit—particularly given how confident they are in their own abilities heading into the match.

Simmons (6-2 as a professional) comes into the championship fight with a strong wrestling background. The 145-pound fighter out of Milwaukee’s Pura Vida BJJ & MMA has been wrestling since he was three years old, continued that career into high school, and now works with other high school and Division III collegiate wrestlers in his region to improve their own wrestling game. 

“I’ve wrestled my whole life,” Simmons said. “I’m a student of the sport.

“I’d say my strongest point is taking you down. I think I’m hard to take down, and I’m hard to get out of position. I hand fight well too.”

Yet, this is just the thing sort of background that de Jesus, a fighter out of Pittsburgh’s The Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness has taken years to train and prepare for.

As de Jesus (12-8) said, “Back in the day I used to think…I used to look at a wrestler and think that I couldn’t do too much because he’s going to take me down. Nowadays I just go up and wrestle the best in the area so that I can have the confidence to do what I want.”

De Jesus then went on to speak specifically about Simmons when he said, “I know [Simmons is] going to try to wrestle-(expletive) me. He’s going to try to lay-and-pray, and aggressively hug me because he doesn’t want me touching him with my fists and shins. But that’s just not going to happen.”

De Jesus continued, “I’ve been going up against some of the best wrestlers in the area. I might even take his ass down.”

De Jesus credits his upbringing with American Top Team in Florida with providing a base for his skill set. But, de Jesus is also quick to note that his move to the Pittsburgh area has allowed him to polish those skills—particularly when it comes to the ground game.

“Now, I’m just sharpening everything, getting better at everything, leveling-up everything,” de Jesus said. “My ground game has gone through the roof. Pennsylvania is one of the best states in the United States for wrestling, so I’m over here getting better every day—day-in and day-out.”

However, to think that Simmons is a one-dimensional athlete would be, as he says, foolish. Simmons has taken great strides to improve his striking game since he first turned professional in 2017. And, he has a pair of back-to-back knockout wins on the strength of his right hand to prove it.

“I definitely look to land that power shot more than any other shot. If I can set up, get that angle and take that right-hand shot, then I feel like that’s my ticket to putting somebody to sleep,” Simmons said. Simmons then went on to say that, despite de Jesus’ reputation as a deceptive striker in his own right, if de Jesus is only looking for Simmons to wrestle on March 14, that de Jesus very well might in for quite the wakeup call.

“I would say that if that’s what my man thinks, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening,” Simmons said. “I think that my hands have come a long way in the last 3 ½ years.”

For his part, de Jesus is well aware of Simmons’ right hand. Yet, that doesn’t stop the Pittsburgh fighter from having faith in his camp and in his own abilities leading up to this fight.

“He’s coming off of two knockouts. Of course you have to respect that. He knows how to put people out,” de Jesus said. “I just believe in myself that much to know that: I’m going to do whatever I want, stuff everything that he does, make him look silly while he’s doing it, and finish him.”

In the end though, both de Jesus and Simmons want the same thing. Each fighter believes that he is ready to take the step onto a bigger stage in the world of MMA. Each fighter has seen others in their gyms take that plunge. And, each knows that winning this fight is their next step to getting there themselves.

“At the end of the day, my mentality is that I’m getting to Bellator— that I’m getting to the UFC,” said de Jesus, who trains with, and at the gym of, current Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter and 247FC alumnus Khama Worthy. “Another finish, and keep doing what I’m doing. That’s all it is. Keep grinding, and keep looking good while I’m doing it. And eventually, one of [those promotions] are going to have to call me.”

Or as Simmons, who trains in the same gym with UFC fighters Montel Jackson and Ode Osbourne, said, “I’m hoping that this win gets me onto Dana White’s Contender Series. I think this is my shot…It’s going to be a good show.”

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Jake Schilling – A Terror… a Fireball, a Hurricane

It was only when Jake Schilling got laid off that he was really able to get work.

Schilling, who will fight on Saturday’s Brawl in the Burg 3 professional card at a 150-pound catch weight, has a day job in construction. He works in masonry, and he works outdoors. So, when November rolled around, weather worsened, and work slowed, Schilling was let go. And so, Schilling (1-0) turned right around and made preparing for his fight against Shawn Tarlton (0-0) his full time obsession. 

“I’m just staying in the gym. Just staying busy in the gym…Just paying my bills., living modest. I think just being a martial artist, this lifestyle is a really modest lifestyle…When you first start out, you’re not making a lot of money, so this is just for the love of the game—for the love of the sport.”

Schilling continued, “It’s about trying to prove my worth. Trying to prove to myself and to others that I can do it…When it’s all said and done, I want to leave this earth with people saying, ‘Wow, that kid did that. He chased his dream.’ That’s why I’m here.”

For Schilling, the path to “here” started when he was 14 years old. That’s when, at a friend’s urging, Schilling walked into the Pittsburgh Fight Club gym in Robinson.  At the time, Schilling was just a scrawny, little kid. Or, at least that’s how Khama Worthy recalls the 14-year-old Schilling. 

Worthy—who would later go on to own the gym, rename it The Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness, and break into the Ultimate Fighting Championship himself—remembers that despite a lack of size back then, Schilling still had some power behind his frame. Power, and determination.

“He’s known for his heart more than anything. He’s willing to compete, and he’s willing to do anything to get a win,” Worthy said of Schilling. “He’s always been an extremist when it comes to training. If you want to get shit done, you go in there with Jake, because he’s going to try to kill you.”

Jake Schilling

Said Schilling, “People would go to parties on Friday nights, and I was at the gym on Friday nights. It’s just something that I fell in love with.”

Shilling took his first amateur mixed martial arts fight just a month after turning 18 years old. And, he fought early and often for the next two-and-a-half years. Schilling’s plan was to turn pro by the time he was 21 years old. Four months before Schillings’ 21st birthday, he had racked up a 7-1 amateur record.

Everything was going according to plan—until it wasn’t. Somewhere along the way, Schilling began to lose his focus.

“I don’t talk too much about it, but I had a big gambling problem,” Schilling said. “I was in and out of the casinos a lot. I was wasting a lot of time and giving up training sessions just to try to make more money. I was just too caught up in numbers…My mind just wasn’t there. I was doing the wrong things, and I was spending the wrong time in the wrong places.”

Yet, it was the gym and the appeal of the MMA lifestyle that kept calling to Schilling, and also helped him find his focus once again. 

Schilling finished out his amateur career on a 1-1 split between 2017 and 2018. Then, at 25 years old, Schilling fully got his plan back on track by taking his first professional fight. It happened at the Rivers Casino, in Pittsburgh, a place that Schilling knew all too well. He won by rear naked choke in the first round. But, for Schilling, the victory was also about so much more than just having his hand raised.

“Winning at the Rivers Casino felt so great, because I lost a lot there,” Schilling said. “I felt like I was taking a part of my life back. And now I’m taking my next step.”

That next step brings Schilling to the Printscape Arena in Canonsburg on Saturday night, where he will face off against Tarlton. Tarlton did not respond to interview requests. But, Schilling believes that his game plan for handling the Stars and Strikes MMA fighter from Westland, Michigan, is solid.

Jake Schilling

“Just stay active with my standup. I’m really looking to utilize that in this fight,” Schilling said. “I know [Tarlton] is a ground guy, so he might want to hit the ground at some point. My goal is just to stay up. But if it hits the ground, I’m confident in my game.” 

If the fighters do stay on their feet, Schilling will be at his most dangerous. But, Schillings’ teammates at The Academy also give him a lot of credit as an all-around martial artist as well.

“He’s got one of the best right hands in the game around here,” Academy fighter John de Jesus, who headlines the Brawl in the Burg 3 card, said of Schilling. “He’s a strong wrestler…and I train with that savage week-in and week-out.”

Added Chaka Worthy, the younger brother of Khama, who also fights out of The Academy, “Jake, I think, is probably one of the most talented young guys that I know. Just pure, raw talent. He’s strong. He can stand up with you, and he can grapple with anybody.”

It’s a mix of abilities that may be put to the test against Tarlton, who was 6-1 as an amateur and won his final two matches with striking, but who also had three of his amateur wins come by way of submission. Still, it’s also a mix of skills that Schilling’s camp believes will result in a win—one way or another.

“He’ll apply pressure until people break,” Khama Worthy said of Schilling. “Keep your eyes out for him. Jake’s a terror…a fireball, a hurricane.”

Added Chaka Worthy, “Don’t blink, because [Schilling] might end it quick. It’s going to be very exciting.”

This card is FULL of amazing fights and this is one of them! Get your tickets now before its too late at our homepage!

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Shuman vs Mitchell – Respect and No Fear

Shuman vs Mitchell – Who Said That?

There used to be a voice inside of Jeromy Mitchell’s head that held him back. 

That voice would crop up in the middle of an MMA fight, and sow doubt in Mitchell’s mind. The voice, Mitchell said, talked him out of a lot of wins that he felt he should have otherwise had. And, it was a voice that the 145-pound Mitchell couldn’t help but hear during a 2017 amateur fight in Tennessee, when his nose was broken by his opponent’s punches in the first round. Blood was pouring out of Mitchell’s nose for much of the rest of that fight. And, after taking the loss by unanimous decision, Mitchell would require reconstructive surgery for a deviated septum.

But, that loss was also about the time that Mitchell decided to stop listening to the voice as well.

“I stopped thinking about how I felt, and started thinking about why I lost—the technical aspect,” the now 23-year-old Mitchell said. “I started thinking about the whys of it, not the boo-hoo me part… separated the emotions from it…I’ve mastered the voice in my head. That’s no longer an issue.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – Turning the Corner

Shuman vs Mitchell

Since clearing his head, the West Virginia featherweight has turned pro, won both of his matches, and established himself as a dangerous opponent on the ground—with 11 wins between his amateur and professional careers coming by way of a rear naked choke submission. Yet, it is his striking ability that Mitchell (2-0) would like to put on display as he heads into the co-main event of the 247 Fighting Championships’ Brawl in the Burgh 3 on March 14. And, he couldn’t have found a better or more willing match than in Pittsburgh-based fighter Fadi Shuman to do just that.

“He’s a very high-level, highly-respectable opponent,” Mitchell said of Shuman. “His style is very complimentary of mine.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – Three Sided Figures

Complimentary is a bit of an understatement, as Shuman (3-1) is also looking to show off his striking ability after he too has carved out quite a reputation for himself with a particular submission—as all three of his consecutive, professional wins have come either directly off of a triangle choke, or were set up by the triangle. As such, Shuman, who fights out of The Mat Factory, has also been working on shedding the illusion that he is just a grappling and submission fighter. Shuman cross-trains with other local gyms, getting in extra striking work at The Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness, and honing his Muay Thai at Stout Training.

“I always feel like my striking has been strong, but I haven’t been confident,” Shuman said. “I feel like a striker now.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – Two Great Grapplers Means Stand Up

Shuman continued, “I’m really looking forward to standing and striking with [Mitchell]…I haven’t had an opponent to stand and strike with—especially one where I have the height and reach advantage. I feel like it’s going to play into my advantage.”

However, it’s also an element of the sport that Mitchell feels plays to his background as well.

“I really want to showcase my striking,” Mitchell said. “But, I haven’t really had anyone who can hang in there with me long enough to showcase my striking.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – How I Got Addicted

Mitchell works and fights out of Advantage Martial Arts in Princeton, West Virginia. He began to develop his striking at an early age, as he had dreams of becoming a professional boxer. He started boxing when he was about 13, and amassed an 8-1 amateur boxing record. It was then that he decided to help out an MMA fighter who needed a partner for a sparring session. He was 18, and the other guy already had some eight MMA fights under his belt, according to Mitchell. Mitchell said that he took his sparring partner down and (go figure) secured a rear naked choke during the session.

“I had that sparring match, then got a MMA fight two weeks later,” Mitchell said. “I came out with a win, and I was addicted.”

Mitchell said that he has no idea how he keeps sinking in all of these rear naked choke victories. The best that Mitchell can figure is that, once a fight hits the ground, his opponent usually winds up giving him position for the choke under pressure from continued strikes.

“It tends to be what you try to run from that you run into,” Mitchell said.

Shuman vs Mitchell – This is Going to be a Tough Fight

On the other hand, while Shuman has a healthy respect for what Mitchell has been able to accomplish on the ground, he also feels confident in his own abilities should their fight hit the mat. Shuman has focused on escaping from back-takes in his preparations for the fight. And feels secure in his own jiu-jitsu.

“I’m really not too worried about anything on the ground. And that’s not arrogance,” Shuman said. “Everywhere I see him, I think I’m better. But I’m not underestimating him by any means. I know this is going to be an extremely tough fight.”

Added Mitchell, who believes that he will win no matter which way the fight goes, “[Shuman is] either going to give me the TKO, or he’s going to have to turn and give up a submission…Hopefully it’s not another rear naked choke. But, if it is, I’ll take it…At the end of the day, I don’t have to explain how I win. I just have to win.”

Still, tapping to a rear naked choke, or any submission, is not an option that Shuman plans on pursuing. Nor is letting Mitchell win by referee stoppage.

“If anybody thinks they’re going to TKO me or make me quit, then they don’t know me very well,” Shuman said. “[Mitchell is] literally going to have to kill me to make me quit.”

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Worthy vs Johnson – Another Striking War?
Worthy vs Johnson

Worthy vs Johnson – More Hours Please!

If Chaka Worthy could get 25 hours out of a day, he’d love it.

Worthy is always on the go. According to the 155-pound fighter from Pittsburgh, he gets about four hours of sleep a night, waking up at 5 a.m. to squeeze in a six-mile run and lift weights, before heading off to his day job as a social worker. Worthy said that he then logs another six miles on his lunch break before heading back to work. His night are spent at The Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness, working in eight five-minute rounds of sparring. Later on, he’ll head to LA Fitness to get another hour in on an elliptical machine and core work. Somewhere in between all of that madness, Worthy manages to spend some time with his young son and his girlfriend. And maybe, just maybe, take a moment to breathe. 

“It’s hectic, and I’m always on the go. But that’s what I like about fighting, if you keep grinding and grinding,” Worthy said. “It’s kind of weird, because I’m always busy and doing multiple things at the same time, but…You have to keep everything in its own focus, so that everything gets the right attention.”

Worthy vs Johnson – Nonstop Action

What has Worthy’s attention is a bantamweight showdown at 247FC’s Brawl in the Burgh 3 on March 14. Worthy comes into the bout at 3-2 as a professional fighter, while his opponent, Mike Johnson Jr., is 4-4. Both are coming off of second round technical knockout wins in their most recent fights. And, each fighter has a supreme belief in his own conditioning leading to victory.

“It should be nonstop action,” said Johnson Jr., who pointed out that he is able to log nearly nine miles in a one-hour run, and averages five miles of running a day during the week. ”There’s no reason for him to slow down, and no reason for me to slow down.”

Slowing down, Johnson Jr. went on to say, just isn’t his style. Fighting out of Stars and Strikes MMA just outside of Detroit, Johnson Jr. is looking forward to putting his cardio and aggressive striking to the test. Johnson Jr. said he’s been training more than five hours /day for the last three weeks. And, with a background in wrestling, he has no qualms about either standing and trading with his opponent, or with taking Worthy down and knocking out a win on the ground.

“I can change up the game at any moment,” Johnson Jr. said. “[Worthy] probably thinks he’s going to knock me out. I see myself knocking him out, or winning by unanimous decision.”

Worthy vs Johnson – “I don’t think anybody can strike with me “

Worthy, meanwhile, has a tactical game plan of his own. It starts by controlling the pace of the fight, continues by using his distance to strike, and ends with chipping away at Johnson Jr. until something gives way.

“If you just constantly work your game plan over and over, the openings are going to be there,” Worthy said. “Eventually, their cardio is going to slow down, or something is going to slow down, and the opening will come. You have to be patient.”

Worthy continued, “I think that I can just wear guys down…if you want to try to take me down it’s going to tire you out, because you’re going to have to pay to get me to the ground. And standing up, I don’t think that anybody can strike with me—anybody. I don’t think anybody wants to strike with me.”

That kind of strategy is just fine by Johnson Jr, who believes that he will strike moving forward, and keep Worthy backpedaling all night. After all, Johnson Jr. thinks that people don’t understand what kind of fighter he is yet. However, Johnson Jr. does plan on clearing up any misconceptions and aggressively introducing himself to Worthy, and everyone else in attendance, at the Brawl in the Burgh 3 event.

“If he fights like that, that’s on him,” Johnson Jr. said of Worthy. “A lot of people don’t know me. It’s whatever. They can get to know me on [March 14].”

Worthy vs Johnson is set to be an incredible bout at an awesome event, you don’t want to miss this! Get your tickets now at our homepage!

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Expectations Clear in Pippens vs Grybos Bout
Pippens vs Grybos

Both fighters are new to mixed martial arts and, as amateurs, Grybos (0-1) and Pippens (0-0) are getting set to square off on the preliminary card of the 247 Fighting Championships’ Brawl in the Burgh 3. But that doesn’t stop them from also understanding exactly what fans want. After all, they are heavyweights. They realize that people want to see them knock someone out. 

As Pippens remarked, “That’s what they say about heavyweights—it just takes one shot.”

Fortunately, both fighters seem willing enough to take that shot heading into their March 14 fight at the Printscape Arena in Canonsburg. Grybos comes into the match with a background in kickboxing, while Pippens just wants to put his striking on display. And, neither fighter has a plan to take it to the ground—if they can help it.

“Well, it starts standing up,” said Grybos, who plans to weigh in at 245 pounds. “So, we’ll start there and take it from there.”

Added the 255-pound Pippens, “I’m probably not going to look to take him down. I’m probably just going to strike.”

So, Grybos and Pippens seem to share a common strategy. But, the stories of how each got to this point also share similarities as well.

Pippens vs Grybos

For Grybos, it started some four or five years ago. That’s when he started watching MMA on television, and he took a shining to the sport. Eventually, Grybos’ interest found root in a middle school friend—Eric Strausser. Strausser owns the Mid World Fight Club in Bloomsburg, Pa. And, it was Strausser who first talked Grybos into training at his gym just to stay in shape. 

“I came to a kickboxing class and thought, ‘This is great. I love this,’” Grybos said. “And I just went from there.”

Pippens, meanwhile, was playing semi-pro football in his spare time when a friend also intervened. Pippens had a stint with the Pittsburgh Pride a couple of years back, but was finishing up a season playing for the Pittsburgh Seminoles last year (as a defensive lineman, offensive lineman, running back, and linebacker) when his friend, Edwin Vera, began to recruit him to The Mat Factory, in Lower Burrell, Pa. Pippens eventually gave in to Vera’s efforts. And that’s when Pippens got his first taste of grappling and wrestling this past July.

Pippens vs Grybos

“I finally went,” Pippens said. “I started training for a couple of weeks and thought, ‘This is for real. I can really fight.’”

And so, both Pippens and Grybos began to grow their skill sets. Each used the resources that they had around them, entering regional martial arts or grappling tournaments, and cross-training with other gyms in their areas.

Grybos has spent his developmental time working on keeping his striking strong through kickboxing—including a second round technical knockout in his United States Karate Alliance (USKA) debut in December. But, he has also been focusing on his wrestling and ground escapes, spending time with other heavyweight fighters at Williamsport’s Team Vicious, and putting his growing skills to the test in North American Grappling Association (NAGA) tournaments. Still, it is in his own gym where Grybos has developed a bit of a reputation for quickness and speed—despite his size and frame.

As his Mid-World teammate Dylan Harnish said of Grybos, “He’s one of the biggest guys in the gym, but he moves as if he’s one of us little guys.”

Pippens, meanwhile, has tried to develop in all areas—from his wrestling, to jiu-jitsu, to whatever he can pick up on from those around him. He spars with fighters from The Academy in Pittsburgh every Friday. And he goes to StoutPGH (also in Pittsburgh) on Saturdays to work on his Muay Thai.

“It’s been a big advantage,” Pippens said of his training across gyms, “I’m learning from all angles of the game.

Added Pippens’ Mat Factory teammate, and Brawl in the Burgh 3 co-headliner, Fadi Shuman, “[Pippens] is a killer inside the ring. He’ll throw a jab at 80-percent and take my head off…The guy is a sponge. He picks up everything that we show him. Grappling-wise, he’s gone leaps and bounds beyond where he was when he started.”

However, despite all of their efforts to branch out and expand their game, all roads could very well lead back to striking on March 14—standing up, where each fighter feels most comfortable, and where fans will likely want to see these two fighters square off the most. After all, as Pippens opined, it just takes one shot.

“Everyone loves a heavyweight fight,” Pippens said.

Or, as Grybos concluded, “I’m just excited to put on a show.”

Did you see our last fight preview article for this show?

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Allgeier vs Harnish – BitB3
Allgeier vs Harnish

“I’m not doing anything else” – Allgeier vs Harnish

Allgeier vs Harnish – Cam Allgeier is here because he couldn’t make his sixth grade soccer team. 

Allgeier, who came up through the Pittsburgh Public School system, tried out for the soccer team because his friends had done the same. But, due to what Allgeier attributes to a lack of foot-eye coordination, things just didn’t work out. That’s when a wrestling coach for the school noticed Allgeier in the hallway, and asked how things were going. Allgeier told the coach that he had been cut from the soccer team. So, the coach invited Allgeier to give wrestling a try.

“I thought, ‘I guess I’m not doing anything else, so I’ll go down and try it,’” Allgeier said.

Facing Adversity – Allgeier vs Harnish

Because of that moment, Allgeier (2-0) finds himself stepping into the cage on March 14 against Dylan Harnish (2-0) in the 247 Fighting Championships’ Brawl in the Burgh 3. As the would-be-soccer player-turned-wrestler squares off against a potent striker in Harnish. Each 20 years-old, the pair will fight in a 140-pound catchweight amateur bout on the show’s preliminary card. And, while Allgeier is aware of Harnish’s punching power, he is also used to fighting through adversity.

“I could have told you exactly how many lights were on the ceiling,” Allgeier said while speaking about his first season as a wrestler for Obama Academy.

In short, Allgeier spent a lot of time on his back his freshman year,finishing 6-7, while wrestling at 106 pounds. But then, Allgeier transferred to Baldwin High School, and started to find his way in the grappling game. Allgeier spent the next three seasons bouncing between three weight classes as he grew, before eventually settling into the 132-pound weight class for the majority of his senior season, when he was 19-15. 

I am not impressed by your performance – Allgeier vs Harnish

For his part, Harnish, is not impressed.

“I looked into [Allgeier’s] record. I think he was 45-45. That’s an average high school wrestler,” Harnish said. “I think I’m better than him everywhere.”

Harnish went through a variety of sports in his youth—just none of them soccer. But, after beginning jiu-jitsu around 11 years-old, and then mixed martial arts training at 15, Harnish feels that he has finally found his calling in MMA.

“I can see myself as the best” – Allgeier vs Harnish

Allgeier vs Harnish

“If I don’t think that I’m going to be the best in something, then I don’t want to do it,” Harnish said. “And, I can see myself as being the best in the world at this.”

Like Allgeier, Harnish is on a two-fight win streak. But unlike Allgeier, who claimed victory in his most recent fight with a submission, Harnish’s last win came by a technical knockout due to strikes against Matt Nicolls, in Philadelphia, in late November. And, Harnish prides himself on his standup game, as well as his striking technique—both of which the Mid World Martial Arts fighter from Girardville, Pa. believes will make a difference in his matchup against Allgeier.

Allgeier vs Harnish

“I take weird angles that I don’t think he’s ever seen before… he has to worry about a knockout more than anything,” Harnish said. “I think his only chance to win is to lay on top of me for three rounds.”

Allgeier vs Harnish is a fight you are NOT going to want to miss – these two are the future of Pennsylvania MMA for years to come! Who will come out on top? Get your tickets NOW at 247fighting.com!

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Joey Munoz vs. Yuli Vellifort- Co-Main Event

We are just five days away from the biggest event in our promotion’s history. On November 16, Brawl in the Burgh 2 goes down from the Printscape Arena in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. You’ve already got to know many of the fighters on this star-studded card (including the main event participants), and now it’s time to be introduced to the two men who will square off in the co-main event. Joey Munoz will battle Yuri Villefort in a matchup of battle-tested veterans with a lot of experience under their belts. These are two of the toughest fighters around and you are not going to want to miss this showdown.

Red Corner- Joey Munoz

Fans who attended our promotion’s inaugural event will remember the name Joey Munoz, and for good reason. He went the distance with our former lightweight champion and now UFC fighter Khama Worthy in the main event on that card. Despite battling some health issues on that night, Munoz took some of Worthy’s absolute best shots in that fight and kept coming forward. Anyone who saw that fight will not be the least bit surprised to learn that Munoz has never been finished by strikes in his entire MMA career. Making the trip to the Steel City from Nebraska, Joey Munoz is in a much better place physically now than he was back in April.

Joey Munoz
Joey Munoz had a courageous showing on our April card against Khama Worthy.

“I had dislocated my thumb on one hand and my first two fingers on the other hand. I made the mistake of taking another fight in June, thinking I was healed enough, just to re-injure both hands again. Spent a lot of time to take care of them and had them put back in place. I feel much healthier than I was before,” Munoz said. Along with his physical ailments, Joey Munoz learned a lot about his fight preparation during that fight. “It reminded me that no matter how good a fighter is, if you don’t take care of yourself during camp, it really shows on your performance. It made me sit back and look at my roots and how I kept healthy back then which was really good for me.”

“I’m looking to walk out of there with my hand raised”

Joey Munoz was originally set to take on Pittsburgh MMA legend Mark Cherico in this fight, but the opponent change hasn’t affected his preparation. “I’ve learned that opponents can change at a moment’s notice, so it’s nothing new for me.” When Joey Munoz took a bareknuckle fight on three days notice up two weight classes, it was a clear indication of his mindset as a fighter. Anytime, any place, anybody.

Stepping into the cage with a former UFC and PFL fighter presents Munoz with a unique opportunity in his still young career. “I’m definitely not looking past him; he has been around the fight game awhile and knows what he’s doing. Despite all that, I do believe a win over him will without a doubt put eyes on me and help me reach that next step in my career.” One thing is for sure. Based on his last two opponents here at 247 FC, there is no doubt that Joey Munoz will never shy away from fighting the best of the best.

“I’m looking forward to stepping in there with a very experienced fighter. I can’t wait to be back in Pittsburgh. And I’m looking to walk out with my hand raised and another tally chalked up in the win column.” Do not let the polite side of Joey Munoz fool you. He is one of the toughest fighters that you’ll see on this card, and you will not want to miss him in the co-main event.

Blue Corner- Yuri Vellifort

Across from Munoz on Saturday night will be another tough fighter in Yuri Villefort. Through 25 career fights, Villefort, like Munoz, has never been finished by strikes. This includes one fight in Strikeforce, two in the UFC, and two in PFL. Yuri Villefort comes into this fight with a lot of experience under the brightest lights.

The name Villefort might sound familiar to Pittsburgh MMA fans. Yuri Villefort’s brother (who also fought in the same major promotions as Yuri) Danillo Villefort is the owner of Indio Dojo, a gym in Pittsburgh which features two other fighters on this card. Having a brother who knows so much about MMA has had a huge impact on Yuri Villefort’s career so far. “Having my brother by my side is just a blessing. He fought in every major organization and trained with the best in the world. Because of him, so many doors have opened for me in different aspects of life,” he said. Due to the short notice nature of this fight, Villefort wasn’t able to make the trip up from Florida to train with Danillo ahead of this fight. But, he says the two talk often and remain on the same page.

The short notice nature of this fight is not something that concerns Villefort. “I’ve been consistent in rebuilding myself since my last loss. I was training everyday for a year, I just didn’t want to go around asking for a fight,” he said. “But when the opportunity knocked on my door, I took it because I knew I was ready.”

“My plan is to finish him – on the feet or on the ground”

Yuri Villefort was able to familiarize himself with Joey Munoz ahead of this fight, and he was impressed with what he saw. “He’s for sure a tough guy. But, my plan is to focus on me and finish him on the feet or on the ground.”

In this fight, Villefort recognized that there is a lot at stake for him and the future of his career. “I need to look good in every fight, that’s how you get back to the major promotions. But I’m enjoying the process of rebuilding and coming back a different version of myself. I’m far from done,” he said. Despite his major edge in the experience department, Yuri Villefort is taking nothing for granted in this fight. “I trained with a lot of different looks, hard rounds with tough guys all over. But, the beauty of fighting is that anything can happen when the cage door closes.”

What does Yuli Villefort want Pittsburgh fans to remember about him after the fight is over? His answer is very clear. “I’m going to make them remember a real fighter, fighting for his family legacy and true passion for martial arts.”

High Level MMA Action

Both of these fighters have so much in common coming into this fight. Each guy is polite in humble in his approach, but both are ready to take the other’s head off when the cage door closes. Neither guy has ever been knocked out, but they will each do their best to put the other one away. And each is looking to catch the eyes of the major MMA promotions in this fight. When it all goes down, something has to give. And you don’t want to miss it.

To order tickets to see Joey Munoz, Yuri Villefort, and the rest of our awesome fighters at #BitB2, visit 247fighting.com.

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John de Jesus vs. Ethan Goss- Main Event

With less than a week to go until Brawl in the Burgh 2, it’s time to take a closer look at the two men involved in the main event of the evening. 247’s inaugural featherweight championship will be on the line, as John de Jesus of Pittsburgh takes on Ethan Goss of Altoona. This battle of two of the top featherweights in Pennsylvania is the perfect main event for our action-packed year end fight card.

Red Corner- John de Jesus

John “Platano” de Jesus will be fighting out of the red corner in this all-Pennsylvania matchup. Coming into this fight as the number three featherweight in the state, de Jesus has fought for promotions like LFA and King of the Cage. He has a lot of experience competing against top competition, with 18 career fights under his belt so far.

John de Jesus, Ethan Goss

John de Jesus fights out of The Academy, the gym owned by current UFC fighter and our former lightweight champion, Khama “The Deathstar” Worthy. At the Academy, de Jesus trains with Worthy, Justin Patton, Jake Schilling, and Chaka Worthy. Between The Academy and The Mat Factory, de Jesus has really been putting in work in the wrestling department and feels great heading into this fight.

“I’m feeling great physically, faster and stronger than ever,” de Jesus said. “As for my mindset, I’m looking to do some real damage and show everyone what they must’ve forgot, that I’m a real problem!” As for training with the most successful fighter in western Pennsylvania (Worthy), de Jesus wants one thing to not be forgotten. “Khama has his days and I have my days; he’ll tell you the same. But don’t get it twisted, I’m the best fighter in the area, people just don’t know it yet. They’ll all learn really soon, believe that!” he finished.

“I 100% belong at the top”

John de Jesus feels really great about how he matches up with Ethan Goss in this fight. “I know that he’s a wrestler that thinks he can strike,” Platano said. “I’m going to be too fast, too strong, and my cardio is levels ahead of his. It’s going to be a good night.” De Jesus would go on to say, “I don’t care who it is. A fight is a fight and it doesn’t take much to turn off that switch. I respect him as a fighter and person. But I’m going to show him something that he’s never seen or felt before.”

Training with the Best

All of that said, de Jesus realizes just how important a win over Goss can be for his career. “It’ll get my career back on track. The end game is UFC or Bellator. I’ve been in this game for over a decade now,” he said. “I’ve competed against and trained with UFC and Bellator fighters. I know 100% that i belong at the top, I just have to put it together when it counts. But, first things first. Ethan Goss has to go to sleep!”

Confident and hungry is a combination that makes any fighter dangerous. Mix in the experience of John de Jesus, and you see why he’s the kind of guy we love to have fighting for the chance to be our promotion’s first featherweight champion.

Blue Corner- Ethan Goss

Ethan Goss is a name that original fans of our promotion will remember, and they know exactly why he’s worthy of fighting for this title. Back at our first ever fight card, Goss was victorious via second round submission in the co-main event on that night.

Ethan Goss, John de Jesus

He hasn’t fought since that night last April, and he feels the time off has given him some time to heal up and really improve his skills. “I was originally planning on fighting on the July card (Brawl in the Burgh) but I had a couple nagging injuries that we let heal up instead.” Earlier in his career, Goss would fight five or six times per year and even fought twice in ten days once. Now, he thinks a little extra time off isn’t a bad thing. “Honestly, I feel amazing everywhere. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m just in a really great place right now.”

Never satisfied

This might surprise anyone who watched Goss’ incredible performance back in April, but he actually wasn’t happy with the way he fought. He also knows he’s taking a huge step up against a fighter the caliber of John de Jesus. “Really I felt like I didn’t have that great of a performance in my last fight. So it definitely showed us some stuff that needed worked on and we’ve been working since. But you’re never done evolving as a fighter, which is what makes it awesome,” he said.

Training out of Gorilla House Gym in Altoona, Ethan Goss truly has some of the best coaches around. “My coaches are absolutely amazing,” he said. “They’re like the old school hard nose type of coaches. When you mess up, you’re getting yelled at. When you’re tired, you’re getting pushed harder and when you’re hurting, you’re being told to toughen up. I absolutely love that coaching style and click with them unbelievably.”

“A win over a guy like John looks great on my resume”

With western Pennsylvania being such a hotbed of MMA talent, it is no surprise that Ethan Goss has crossed paths with several guys from The Academy. Despite being friends with Worthy, Goss understands that business is business. “Khama and I get along great. But this is business and it’s nothing new to us as I’ve damn near fought every teammate he’s had that competes at 145. There’s no hard feelings between me and anyone at that gym,” Goss said.

As for John de Jesus, Goss recognizes that he presents some challenges as a fighter. “John is a tough dude who brings a unique striking style with him. He is very quick and rangy. On the ground, he’s definitely scrappy and looks hard to hang onto. I saw that he’s a purple belt and they don’t just hand those out, man,” Goss added. “It’s going to be an interesting matchup and a challenge but I feel that I am capable of beating any man at my weight class on any given night.”

Searching for Opportunity

Ethan Goss is aware that winning this championship can do big things for his future moving forward. “A win over John looks great on my resume. Hopefully it opens up another opportunity for Bellator, the Contender Series, or even ONE,” he said.

Both of these guys are truly top level martial artists, and we are beyond excited to watch them do battle. With a championship on the line, this intriguing matchup gets all the more exciting. To purchase tickets to see John de Jesus, Ethan Goss, and all the other great fighters on this card, visit 247fighting.com.

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Chase Boyde vs. Cody Reece: Battle of Unbeatens

In the main event of the amateur card of Brawl in the Burgh 2, Chase Boyde and Cody Reece are set to throw down for our inaugural amateur welterweight championship. This fight is a match made in heaven and we cannot wait to see it go down. Both of these fighters come into this fight undefeated, with nine combined fights between them. Someone’s “0” has to go, and it gets even more interesting with gold on the line.

Red Corner- Chase Boyde

Representing Pittsburgh in this fight, Chase Boyde is ready to fight for the first title fight in his young career. At just 20 years old, Boyde is already 4-0 with three of his wins coming via stoppage. Boyde’s top level jiu-jitsu skills make him a serious threat if/when the fight hits the mat.

“I started fighting because I was picked on at a younger age for being smaller and not being well off,” Boyde said. At age 15, he started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Rodrigo Junqueira. Due to financial problems, Chase Boyde had to make the switch to Fusion Fighting. There, he would win numerous jiu-jitsu tournaments, as well as his first two MMA fights.

Chase Boyde

After leaving Fusion Fighting, Chase Boyde would switch to Armezzani Jiu-Jitsu, which is where he still trains. Since making the switch, Boyde has won two more fights, one via knockout and the other by submission. It’s clear that jiu-jitsu has played a huge part in his MMA career. He is absolutely a dangerous threat in the submission department.

“I never really wanted to fight for a title”

Fighting for a title is humbling to Chase. “I never really wanted to fight for a title only having four fights,” he said. “But no one wants to fight me. I call guys out all the time and they just see me as the plague. Winning this title will put the target on my back that I need to get tougher fights,” he continued.

“Cody Reece is a huge name and tough opponent. In the south he’s ranked number one in three weight classes, but I’m gonna show him why the South came second in the Civil War.”

When it comes to fighting in front of a hometown crowd, Boyde is “Pretty jacked.” He added, “Pittsburgh fans are always loud and support their hometown guy so I’m pretty excited.” We are “pretty jacked” to be able to feature Chase Boyde on this card.

Blue Corner- Cody Reece

Across the cage from Chase Boyde on November 16 will be Cody Reece, who enters this fight with sky-high confidence and expectations. Like Boyde, he enters this fight undefeated. 5-0 at the young age of 22, Reece has two wins via submission and two more by way of knockout. Cody Reece is a well-rounded fighter and will be comfortable wherever the fight goes.

One thing Reece really enjoys about being an MMA fighter is being able to travel around the country to fight. “I was that kid that was the oldest in my family and had a father and mother that worked hard to put food on the table and a roof over my family’s head. We weren’t able to be that family that traveled a lot, so I wasn’t able to see new places until now because of MMA,” he said.

Cody Reece described his beginnings in MMA as “not the prettiest thing.” In college, he was a football player. But, when his father passed, Reece come home and help his mother take care of his brothers. “I started going down the wrong pathway. But with the help of my wife and MMA I was able to pull out of the darkest times and on the better pathway that I am on today,” Reece said.

“I want to be the best”

Cody Reece

Being from North Carolina, Reece is appreciative of the opportunity to be able to fight for a title in Pittsburgh. “It means a lot to me. It shows that I am a hard worker and that promotions are wanting the best fighters to fight on big cards. I want to be the best so that means I have to beat the best fighters.” That’s certainly the case being matched against Chase Boyde.

As for fighting in Pittsburgh, Cody Reece thinks he fits in well with the city, but doesn’t expect to have a lot of fans. “Pittsburgh is a blue collar city and I grew up in a blue collar family. I’m a family man; I have a little girl and a wife that works hard so I can fight for a living,” Reece said. “For me to have fans in Pittsburgh, I don’t see it happening. I am a young lion trying to take on a whole new territory. If Pittsburgh wants to cheer for me, then great. But I already have a title in a different territory.”

Reece is in no hurry to advance to the next stage of his career and go pro, though he thinks it will happen soon. “I can go pro now but I will take my time,” he said. “I’m very young in the fight game and when my coaches think I’m ready, then I’ll go pro. I have a goal age of 24,” Reece continued. “Right now I’m looking for hard fights, guys that are undefeated and guys that are true killers.”

Get your tickets NOW!

Both guys come into this fight ready to make a statement and show why they are the next big thing. There’s no doubt that this fight will feature action and fireworks. To purchase tickets to watch Chase Boyde, Cody Reece, and this massive card at #BitB2, visit 247fighting.com to order tickets.

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Quincy McCombs vs. Austin Toon Preview

With our huge year-end event now 11 days away, it’s time to take a closer look at two more fighters set to do battle at Brawl in the Burgh 2. Quincy McCombs takes on Austin Toon in an advanced amateur lightweight contest. Both fighters are coming into this fight humble but also ready to make a statement in front of the Canonsburg crowd.

Red Corner- Quincy McCombs

Fighting out of the red corner in this action-packed matchup will be Quincy McCombs. You might remember McCombs from his very closely contested split decision loss back at Brawl in the Burgh. In that fight against Pat Carrasquillo, McCombs had a lot of success on the feet and thought he should have had his hand raised after the final horn.

“(From that fight) I learned that you can’t leave anything in the judges’ hands. I thought I did enough and was more aggressive,” he said. Despite the loss, McCombs is not letting that affect his preparation moving forward. “That’s old news. I learned that anything can happen in this sport and it’s very interesting to me. It gives me even more drive to come out and put on a show for everyone that paid to watch all of us compete in a proper manner.” Quincy McCombs is more than ready to come out and put on a show, and bounce back from his controversial loss in the process.

One huge thing to note, this bout will be fought under advanced amateur rules, which excites Quincy. McCombs won’t be wearing shin pads or be limited with ground and pound. “High Quality” is relieved to fight under an advanced rule-set, instead of restrictive rules geared for novice amateur fighters.

“Long Days, Long Nights…”

To make a living, McCombs is a barber. Balancing training with a full-time job is one of the more challenging aspects of fighting. This is no different for McCombs, who has his eyes fixed on becoming the best. “Yeah (it’s hard), but I make it work,” he said. “Long days and long nights, but sacrifice is the main thing you do to result in success.”

As for his opponent, McCombs feels Toon is just another roadblock on his journey. “He’s another man in the way. The way he fights will make me overcome adversity and play it out like a game of chess” McCombs said. He went on to finish, “Each opponent I face is a key ingredient to my evolution. Come November 16, we’re gonna add a little more spice into my recipe of success.” As always, Quincy McCombs is humble and hungry to step into the cage and take care of business.

Blue Corner- Austin Toon

Standing across the cage from Quincy McCombs will be Austin Toon. Making the trip from Ohio for this fight, Toon is ready to put on a show at Printscape Arena and we couldn’t be more excited to have him.

Austin Toon enters this fight with so much inspiration and motivation from the people he loves most. At just 23 years old, Toon has three children who inspire him everyday to be better. Austin Toon got into wrestling in high school, partly as a result of being bullied as a child. He was always into UFC, Bellator, and WWE as a kid so martial arts have always been a major interest of his.

Toon started his MMA career off with a record of 2-0. He always finds inspiration from a friend to whom he promised he would keep fighting if she kept fighting. Unfortunately, just a few days after Austin Toon won his second fight, his friend passed away from cancer. Some rough times would follow, with Toon moving states, being out of training for awhile, and trying to find a new gym.

“Shortly after moving back, Wreckroom (the gym where Toon trained) closed. I spent several months out of an MMA gym and took a fight with pretty much no camp. I personally trained myself for that fight,” Toon said. Since that and in preparation to fight Quincy McCombs, Austin Toon has been training with Doug Benavides and has really started to see improvements in his game. Previously training with Mitch Whitesel, Toon really worked on his striking and wrestling. Now, working with Benavides, Toon is putting a lot of time into becoming a well-rounded martial artist by improving his judo and jiu-jitsu skills.

“Trying to Make Something of Myself”

Now that Toon is finally settled into his gym, he really feels like he has had time to sharpen his skills. “All I’ve been focused on for two years is trying to make something of myself. Not only for me as a person but also for my babies who need me.” While his kids can be a pain in the butt like all kids are, they provide Toon with so much inspiration.

Five years from now, Austin Toon mainly wants to just see constant improvement. “Five years is a good amount of time for some good improvements in my game. I could see myself at least at the pro level by then,” he said. “I’m busting my butt now to try to achieve those goals to get better.

As for his fight with Quincy McCombs, Toon is eager to see the improvements he has made. “This comes down to lessons learned to make me better. I’m hoping to turn things around in this fight and make something happen,” he said. “No matter what whether I win or lose, I always watch my own mistakes to see what I need to work on.”

These young fighters are dedicated to their crafts and making something of their MMA careers. We are thrilled for this fight, in what could easily be a fight of the night contender.

For tickets to the event to see Quincy McCombs, Austin Toon, and all of our other great fighters, visit 247fighting.com.

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Julian Flenory & Jarrion Manning- Remember these Names

With Brawl in the Burgh 2 a little more than weeks out, we are ready to take a closer look at two more young beasts that will be featured on the card. Julian Flenory takes on Jarrion Manning in a fight between two explosive athletes looking to make a statement. This contest has fight of the night written all over it, and will have the crowd at Printscape Arena on their feet from start to finish.

Red Corner- Julian Flenory

Fighting out of The Mat Factory, Julian Flenory will join two other teammates on the #BrawlInTheBurgh2 fight card. Due a rough childhood with many location changes, fighting is something that has been with Flenory for awhile now. “Fighting was almost an everyday experience living in Las Vegas, Nevada and Vero Beach, Florida,” he said. Julian Flenory has great passion for combat sports, but there was a different sport that he took up to help him get an education.

Clarion University

Flenory attended Clarion University and was on the football team. Clarion is also where he started training MMA. He feels his time as a football player will help him tremendously throughout his MMA career. “I think the strength and conditioning (in football) helped me a lot because I’m always the more explosive athlete in my match-ups,” Flenory said. As a football player, he weighed over 250 pounds and could squat over 600 pounds. Now, as a 185 pound fighter, he feels that he maintained a lot of that strength, making him a physical freak for his weight class.

Another way that Julian Flenory feels his athletic career will help him as a fighter is when it comes to handling pressure. He has played football in front of 6,000 fans and basketball in front of 3,000 fans, so he knows how to deal with a big crowd. “Hopefully one day I get to a setting of fighting in front of thousands,” he added. With his athletic background, Julian Flenory has all the potential of a star in the making.

“I’m an Electrifying Fighter”

Flenory feels his match-up with Jarrion Manning is full of potential to be a fun fight. “We’re two big, explosive athletes that have a lot of support behind us that not a lot of fighters have. I expect our fight to have a lot of noise and many in attendance for both of us.”

With such a huge opportunity in front of him, Julian Flenory recognizes he can make a statement in this fight. “The message I want to leave in fans’ minds after I win on November 16th is that I’m an electrifying fighter that puts it all out there. The fans will respect the dog in me from start to finish. They’ll see my abilities. That I have been working hard and see the start of a career of a future world champion,” he said. An explosive athlete, thrives under pressure AND coming into his fight looking to start a run towards a world championship. What more could fans ask for?

Blue Corner- Jarrion Manning

Standing on the opposite side of the cage from Julian Flenory will be 27-year old Jarrion Manning. Set to make his MMA debut, Manning is also a proven athletic beast and will not be intimidated by Flenory’s credentials. 12 years of football, and running track at Winthrop University, has adequately prepared Jarrion Manning to be an elite athlete. “Both experiences taught me what it means to push through obstacles both outside of my control and within. Being a martial artist takes a type of drive that needs to be honed. Growing up in sports has given me that drive,” Manning said. The athletic potential is really off the charts in this match-up.

“I’m Here to Dominate and Make a Career

Some people might think that 27 years old is too late to be starting an MMA career. Despite that sentiment, Manning actually feels he has an advantage by starting the sport later than most people do. “There are athletes like Yoel Romero and Daniel Cormier that made a killing into their 40’s. My body is tuned athletically and I’m a sponge when it comes to training. I use my IQ when I fight on top of that. I’m not here to BS brawl and injure myself. I’m here to dominate and make a career.” Manning thinks that the extra time to perfect his craft makes him a serious threat in the cage. We can’t wait to see him in there with Julian Flenory!

Training at Indio Dojo

Training out of Indio Dojo (like his teammate Dylan Dzikowski), Jarrion Manning is very pleased with his preparation ahead of this fight. “Sensei has been amazing. The team is stepping up and giving me good work. I wouldn’t be where I am or feel as confident as I do without them. I couldn’t ask for a better camp,” Manning said of his team.

When asked where he seems himself in five years, Manning had a confident answer. “I see myself with a belt from 247, and working my way to a title shot at the next level. The sky is the limit for anyone with enough heart, discipline, and skill to compete. I know I’ve got all three.”

Both of these young and hungry top-level athletes are excited for this fight, and we couldn’t be happier to have it taking place in our cage. You will not want to miss out on this fight between Julian Flenory and Jarrion Manning, as well as all of the other great fights that make up our year-end sh

Tickets are available right here on the home page at 247fighting.com.

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Justice Johnson vs. Dylan Dzikowski Preview

Brawl in the Burgh 2 is fast approaching! It’s time to take a closer look at the fighters being showcased on our promotion’s biggest event to date. We start with Justice Johnson and Dylan Dzikowski, both making their MMA debuts in the welterweight division. One of multiple matchups on #BitB2 featuring two fighters from Western Pennsylvania, this fight will surely have the Canonsburg crowd on their feet rocking Printscape Arena.

Red Corner – Justice Johnson

Justice Johnson

Making the trip from Morgantown, West Virginia, Justice Johnson will be representing Ground Zero in this fight. He’s currently the only fighter schedule to compete from Ground Zero’s Morgantown location , and he couldn’t be more excited. Johnson heard about 247 through his coaches and teammates, one of which fought at #BrawlintheBurgh back in July. Johnson and his coaches feel the timing is right to make his competitive debut. We couldn’t agree more and are thrilled to have him and Dylan Dzikowski throwing down.

Like most people in the western PA/West Virginia area, Johnson’s martial arts background is in wrestling. He wrestled all throughout high school and even worked out with the wrestling team for a year in college. Interestingly enough, Johnson can actually remember the specific fight that truly sparked his interest in martial arts. That fight was Georges St Pierre‘s title defense over Josh Koscheck at UFC 124 way back in 2010. Johnson had a vision for himself after watching that fight, and he’ll take the first step towards that vision at Brawl in the Burgh 2.

A Cage is a Cage – Justice Johnson

Like any young fighter, Justice Johnson has some nerves ahead of his debut fight. “Definitely a lot of nerves. But it fuels me, too. Gets me excited every time I hit the gym,” he said. At the gym, Johnson follows a very intense routine that he really plans on kicking into top gear in the next month. He lifts or runs in the morning, followed by jiu-jitsu in the afternoon, and tops his day off with either muay thai or boxing in the evenings.

As far as the fight goes, Johnson doesn’t feel that there is added pressure due to fighting a hometown opponent. “Pittsburgh is a cool city. I like it and I enjoy the people of the city,” he started. “But as far as the fight is concerned, I’m just stepping into a cage. It doesn’t matter where it’s located. The cage is the cage and that’s the only thing I’m thinking about,” he finished. 23 year old Justice Johnson is locked in and ready to impress in his debut.

Blue Corner – Dylan Dzikowski

Standing across the cage from Johnson on November 16 will be another young debuting fighter. 22 year-old Dylan Dzikowski is representing Indio Dojo in this fight. Fighting out of Canonsburg, Dzikowski will, without a doubt, be the hometown favorite in this fight. He thinks that fighting in front of a lot of friends and family makes his MMA debut a little more special, and it provides him with extra motivation to succeed.

Dylan Dzikowski

A bit surprising for someone in western PA, Dzikowski actually doesn’t have a background in wrestling. His athletic background is in football, track, and boxing. He can’t remember NOT being interested in MMA. Dzikowski also feels that his involvement in different sports make him more versatile of an athlete, and thinks a lot of the movements carry over to MMA and against Justice Johnson. Of course, the conditioning, commitment, and mental toughness required to play multiple sports will definitely benefit him when it’s time to step into the cage.

I Have the Best Coaches Around – Dylan Dzikowski

Also somewhat surprising for a debuting fighter, Dylan Dzikowski says he is not feeling many nerves ahead of the fight. He feels that his preparation has been on point, thanks in large part to his coaches. When asked about his coaches at Indio Dojo, Dzikowski kept it short and sweet. “I have the best coaches around. They are pushing me super hard.”

Dylan Dzikowski is pumped for his debut, and we are pumped to have both him and Justice Johnson on our 2019 year-end card. These two are coming to put on a show, and start their MMA careers out with one in the win column.

Be sure to get your tickets now to our final event of 2019. It’s been a heck of a year, and we know this fight and event is going to make a great cap to an amazing year!

Tickets are available now right on the homepage right here at 247fighting.com.

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Pittsburgh WMMA – Brawl in the Burgh!

When we had our inaugural fight card, Steeltown Throwdown, in April, we were hoping to represent Pittsburgh WMMA on the card. We were actually planning on Sydney Ross fighting on the card but things did not end up happening.

Women’s MMA is special. Pittsburgh WMMA is super special. Everyone knows it. Everyone asks if there are any female fights on the card. This time, at Brawl in the Burgh, that answer is a resounding YES!

Why do people love women’s MMA? Well, oftentimes, these are the fights that are the most memorable. There is something special about seeing two highly trained female athletes doing battle in the cage. This is not just coming from males, but females are just as passionate about women’s MMA.

A recent show that I was a part of prior to launching 247 FC had a couple women’s bouts and those were what everyone was talking about afterward. Actually, Sydney Ross was one of the fighters that everyone was talking about. People were so impressed by how she handled herself… and she was 18 at the time and it was her MMA debut! I’ll never forget my mom talking about how awesome that little girl was. Needless to say, my mom, who never watched MMA before in her life, is now a big fan of Pittsburgh WMMA.

Sydney is now at the ripe old age of 19 as she gets ready to do battle in her 5th MMA bout. Sydney has had her eyes set on MMA for a very long time. As a matter of fact, Sydney was absolutely heartbroken and devastated… she cried… when she heard Dana White say that women would never fight in the UFC. She was just shy of 12 years old at the time. Seems like just yesterday to an old man like me. Now I’m promoting Pittsburgh WMMA!

Pittsburgh WMMA

So Sydney will face her counterpart in Amber Blevins, who matches Syd’s 2-2 record. Just like Sydney, Amber came out of the gates fast, winning both of her first two bouts, submitting both of her foes in the first round. Then Amber faced some challenges that she came up on the short end of, and has been working on her game in the interim.

Both of these ladies have such a great future and neither one SHOULD be in a position to have a losing record, but one will walk away 3-2 and the other 2-3. Both girls will be desperate to stay on the winning side of things. I expect fireworks!

Meghan Williams is a mainstay in women’s MMA in Pittsburgh. I had the opportunity to meet and work with Meghan on that same card as well, the night that she picked up her first MMA win after losing two earlier decisions. She was finally not he winning end of one of those decisions.

Meghan is particularly excited for this fight because its the first time she gets to fight in front of the hometown fans with a ruleset that will be helpful to her… she will no longer have to wear shinguards and there is ground n pound allowed, as she now competes as an advanced amateur. She talked a lot more about that here.

Pittsburgh WMMA

Her opponent, Katie Perez, is on a tear. She won her first two fights by submission, then got caught in an armbar herself, and most recently got a HUGE win against a very highly ranked and regarded Alejandra Betancourt. This will be her first time on the Pittsburgh WMMA scene.

These two are going to be an absolute war!

Finally, we snagged another great local fighter. Even though she’s from West Virginia… Pittsburgh MMA fans have plenty of hometown love for Cheyenne Hall. Cheyenne has been applying her craft for a couple years now, and the full-time pharmacist, or as she’s known to her team, “Harmacist”, is eager to get her MMA career back on track. She has taken some Muay Thai fights but, ultimately, she desires to complete in MMA.

Pittsburgh WMMA

She is matched up against a Michigan Top Team newcomer, Mariam Salmassi. Coming from a big and tough gym like Michigan Top Team, there is little doubt that Cheyenne will have her hands full in this one!

So there you have it… our first foray into woman’s MMA and we have three huge and fantastic WMMA matches for you!

This night is going to be epic. Seriously, there are going to be people that decide they don’t have the money to go or other plans get in the way… and they are going to regret it. This is the show to be at and to check out. Just ask Meghan, Sydney and Cheyenne!

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McCombs vs Carrasquillo – Fight Preview

McCombs vs Carrasquillo – There’s an energy in guys as they get close to their fights. It’s a mixture of being excited, being a little nervous, and getting to their weigh-in weight.

When we did the photo and video shoot for Brawl in the Burgh, it was 5 weeks before the show. The guys are relaxed. They are getting good training in and are excited to do the promotional requirements.

But we are now 5 days out from the fights and guys tend to have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder. A little bit hungry, tired. They are putting in their last couple of days of preparation and getting ready for Friday’s weigh-in. McCombs vs Carrasquillo

McCombs vs Carrasquillo

Whats stands out most to me about McCombs vs Carrasquillo is the excitement both of these guys have to get this fight on! Quincy has fought all of his previous 4 fights in Ohio, so I can tell how excited he is to perform in front of his hometown crowd in Pittsburgh.

Pat, along with 247 Fighting Championships Lightweight Champion Khama Worthy, are the two 247 FC veterans on this card. He comes in with the experience of fighting in this venue, Printscape Arena, in front of this crowd and for this promotion.

McCombs vs Carrasquillo

Let me say this… both of these young men are young lions… a ton of talent, active and hungry. This is Quincy’s third and Pat’s forth fight of 2019.

Pat is coming off back to back wins after dropping a split decision in his MMA debut in February. Quincy is coming off his first ever defeat, in April, after starting his career 3-0.

McCombs vs Carrasquillo – both are salivating for this fight because they both just love this sport and want to learn and grow so much.

The texts from Quincy show his state of mind:

Quincy – I’m excited man. I’m looking forward to showing you my abilities.

Pat, on the other hand, is a man of little words. He seems so focused that there is nothing that can distract him. He has goals and that’s clear in this IG post with his friend and teammate (also on the card), Jahron Mendoza.

This is a huge fight that has plenty of implications. Both fighters, with a win, will be well positioned to be in contention to be 247’s first amateur lightweight champion. I’d love for one of these two to fight for that title on our November 16th card.

McCombs vs Carrasquillo – Come out and support these two in what I expect to be a great fight between two guys who are on their way to stardom!

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Hawkins vs Mendoza – Fight Preview

July 27th brings us Brawl in the Burgh. One of the matchups that has a great deal of buzz is Lyndon Eli Hawkins going to battle against Jahron Mendoza – Hawkins vs Mendoza. If you are looking for a standup battle, we expect this one to be just what the doctor ordered!

Hawkins vs. Mendoza

Lyndon Hawkins comes into this fight as a 34 year old fighter who made his amateur MMA debut in March. He took on a 3-0 fighter and came up short, losing a decision.

Not very traditional for an MMA debut in any sense, and non-traditional would be a great way to describe this modest, hard-working fighter out of Ground Zero Fighting Systems in Morgantown, WV. Lyndon Hawkins describes himself as “raised by television”, which was a “window to a world where problems could seem insurmountable but the characters would sometimes even run head on towards what seemed like sure destruction and somehow overcome incredible odds.” Hawkins vs Mendoza.

Hawkins vs. Mendoza

Lyndon did well in school and, coupled with his sarcastic personality, and being tall and skinny, did not always make for the best combination in Lyndon’s eyes. His smart attitude could lead to physical trouble, so Lyndon quickly learned that being physically tough was going to be important.

He was a student of the fight game as a youngster, learning as much as he could along with his brothers, and they all fell in love with training. All continue to train and fight.

Lyndon sees himself as the perpetual underdog. It is bullies that have led him to learn how to defend himself and give him his inspiration. Lyndon is always looking to challenge himself… to go after challenging fights and not look for a good matchup or what seems to be an “easy” fight. He is coming prepared to fight back on behalf of all the times he couldn’t or didn’t when he should have.

He is fighting for every time someone else didn’t or couldn’t stand up to the conflict – Hawkins vs Mendoza.

Hawkins vs. Mendoza

His opponent, Jahron Mendoza, or Jah Doza, is looking forward to his 3rd MMA bout. He lost his debut via decision in 2018 and has come back with 2 straight 1st round knockout finishes, one in MMA and the other a kickboxing bout. He fights out of WNY MMA & Fitness.

This brash young man lacks no confidence. “I’ll try my best to make this my third knockout straight… I’ll get the knockout unless he forces me to use my wrestling but since its not ground and pound its pointless because he’s not submitting me. If he tries to stand he’s done.. simple .. watch me.”

Hawkins vs Mendoza is a matchup between contrasting styles and personalities. What happens when the cage door slams on July 27th is going to be a part of this magical night. Get your tickets now to be a part of this fantastic and entertaining night!

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