Brawl in the Burgh 10 lit up the Monroeville Convention Center.
The fights brought the heat. The crowd lost its mind.
The night perfectly represented why we do what we do at 247 Fighting Championships.
Khama Worthy’s hometown return is impossible to ignore. He methodically stalked Jeremiah Scott and picked his shots, capping the night with a savage TKO victory.
If you needed a reminder, Worthy served it up with a smile. Yeah, the dude’s still pretty damn good at fighting.
And before Worthy took the cage, Justin Patton got back in the win column with the rarely seen Von Flue choke, sending Josh Armstrong to an early naptime in Round 1 of their professional tilt.
Huge as those moments were, they also mark the kinda talking points you can expect from a traditional event recap.
With this post, though, I’d rather go behind the scenes and surprise you. Cool?
Here are five takeaways you didn’t expect to read from Brawl in the Burgh 10:
Chris Dempsey’s Coaching
The Mat Factory’s Chris Dempsey is an impressive dude and an impressive fighter. We’ve known this for years, as he climbed the regional ranks all the way to the UFC and Bellator cages in his professional MMA career.
Now, Dempsey primarily focuses on grappling tournaments and coaching –– and what a transition it’s been.
Besides tearing up mats across the nation, Dempsey is fully coming into his own as a coach on fight night. He’s always present with his Mat Factory teammates, but it seemed like he took a noticeable step forward at Brawl in the Burgh 10.
Dempsey got his guys ready and offered perfect in-fight advice –– none better than this bit during Edwin Vera‘s showdown against Awstin Martinez.
Midway through Round 1, Vera slid into mount, but Martinez tied up and prevented his opponent from posturing.
“Press on his face and punch. Press on his face and punch!”
Dempsey’s instructions were clear and concise, and clearly, Vera got the memo:
It’s such a small detail, and it’s not a mind-blowing technique by any means. But Dempsey recognizing the moment, knowing his fighter, and having his fighter respond instantly with positive results proves he’s finding his groove in the corner.
That was awesome to see.
Gavin Teasdale’s perfect MMA debut
Gavin Teasdale entered his Brawl in the Burgh 10 matchup against Tyler Fry shouldering mountains of hype and high expectations.
Teasdale, a four-time PA state-champ wrestler, is exactly the type of blue-chip prospect MMA promoters and fans alike love to see make that jump into the cage.
But with hype comes pressure. And with pressure come nerves. And with nerves inside that steel cage often comes paralysis –– mental, physical, or both.
Not for Gavin, though.
Now, if you watched in person or if you caught the PPV/replay, you might be surprised to hear me call this debut “perfect.” After all, Fry debatably did more damage. Fry came closest to finishing the fight, both on the feet and on the ground. Fry attacked and attacked –– even from his back –– while Gavin opted for pressure and control.
Here’s the equalizer: Gavin trained MMA for two and a half months when he made that walk Feb. 5. That’s like … 75 days of actual MMA training.
What he needed, more than anything, was cage time. He got all six possible minutes of it. Check.
He needed a dangerous opponent who could threaten him on the feet and on the ground. Check.
He needed to flash those wrestling instincts and adapt them to MMA. Check.
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A quick victory would’ve proven little. In fact, a quick, easy win might’ve made Gavin think life inside the cage would be a breeze.
Instead, this hard-fought, close decision proved to Gavin that he can do this –– but there’s plenty of work to be done.
As a fighter and as a competitor, I’m positive the experience only motivated Gavin to get back into Indio Dojo, push forward, and figure out how he can prevent the fight from going to the judges’ scorecards next time.
That’s a perfect debut.
Jeremiah Scott & Carolina Kickboxing Academy: Pure Professionalism
Khama stole the show at Brawl in the Burgh 10. There’s no denying that.
But we gotta talk about his opponent, Jeremiah Scott, and that entire Carolina Kickboxing Academy crew.
They rolled six deep into the Monroeville Convention Center for this one, which might not seem crazy until you consider the logistics. That’s six plane tickets. Six meals per mealtime. Three hotel rooms. Etc. etc.
It’s a whole lot to manage from the jump.
Now, factor in this detail: Their connecting flight to Pittsburgh got canceled due to the winter storm.
For a brief moment, the entire crew was trapped in Baltimore (of all places … terrifying, I know) and it was unclear to us if they’d be able to make it to the fight.
That fear lasted about 30 seconds.
Jeremiah rented a car, the crew piled in, and they braved the snow and ice to get to Monroeville, make weight, and put on a show for the fans.
They literally could have pulled the plug (with good reason!) a half dozen times from South Carolina to Pittsburgh, and they never blinked.
That’s professionalism. That’s what we love to work with here.
Notice anything different inside the Monroeville Convention Center for Brawl in the Burgh 10?
If you’ve been to a previous show at that location, you definitely did.
Due to another event happening backstage, we had to set up a little differently for Brawl in the Burgh 10. The runway came from a different angle, and the cage was a little more off-center from the main entrance than usual. All this meant the table layout and numbering system were different, too.
In addition, see those black-and-blue curtains to the far right in this picture?
Those were the fighters’ dressing rooms. Usually, we section off fighters and coaches behind the double doors near the concession area, but we had to get creative due to that other event happening backstage.
Here’s another insider nugget for you: The Monroeville Convention Center recently installed a new fire detection system, and our smoke machines don’t play nicely. If you were at Brawl in the Burgh 9, you probably remember.
Yeah. That sucked.
For Brawl in the Burgh 10, we had to cut out the smoke and instead go heavier with the lights during fighter walkouts. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s what we had to do. We’re continuing to find a solution there.
These notes represent just a small sample of the hundreds of little things we have to consider –– and they all add up to the finished product you saw on fight night. Thankfully, our team is outstanding and can adapt to these situations on the fly.
Rob Thomas at R/T Audio and his team always kill it with the in-arena sound. Mike Moran, Michael Sorg, and E2A Productions handle the PPV/video with style. Luke Payson and Ryan Cavanaugh are showing off some awesome chemistry and growth in the commentary booth. We’re proud of the element they bring to the show.
Our cage/setup crew led by Brian Smith is always quick and efficient. They’re crucial for fight night.
Which leads us to our final point…
It’s Only Getting Better
We’re learning. We’re growing.
Sure, we’re proud of Brawl in the Burgh 10. That was an awesome night of fights in front of a packed crowd that left us buzzin’ well after the final bell.
But there’s so much work to do –– not just for us at 247 Fighting Championships, but for Pittsburgh MMA as a whole. And that’s where things get ultra exciting.
The scene is electric right now, and we’re going to continue to prop up and spotlight gyms, fighters, and coaches to propel us all forward. We believe Western PA can be a special place for combat sports.
Furthermore, we believe it’s well on its way.
We’re not alone there, either. Look around, and you’ll see fighters such as Dalton Rosta, Steve Mowry, and Cody Law tearing it up in Bellator. Josh Fremd just got signed to the UFC (full podcast with him here). With Khama’s win over Scott, another big-time promotion could come knockin’.
Still not sold?
Hear it from Fremd himself –– a guy who’s lived the exact journey we’re trying to help facilitate:
Buckle up, friends.
It only gets better from here.