The future of local MMA prospects is here.
And the next step in their journey takes place Feb. 5 at Brawl in the Burgh 10.
It’s a beautiful thing.
MMA in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region is as strong now as it’s been in years. (And this holds true despite a certain virus lingering and complicating life at all levels.)
For us at 247 Fighting Championships, the MMA prospect pipeline is particularly interesting and encouraging. Obviously, we want to put on the best fights possible for our fans.
Spoiler alert: That mission’s just a little easier when blue-chip athletes make the transition to MMA.
Brawl in the Burgh 10 marks the perfect representation of this fact, as several debut or one-fight MMA prospects are ready to throw down.
For starters, four-time PIAA champion wrestler Gavin Teasdale makes his MMA debut Feb. 5 in Monroeville. Wrestling fans know Gavin well. He’s one of just 13 wrestlers to ever take states all four years, putting him in elite and rare company.
Now, Teasdale’s building his MMA skill set with Danillo Villefort at Indio Dojo, making him a hyper-intriguing prospect to watch when the lights go down at the Monroeville Convention Center.
Teasdale discussed this opportunity and more with Luke Payson on MMA Fancast ahead of his showdown against Central PA MMA’s Tyler Fry:
It’s not just Teasdale on this card, either.
Another former Division-1 wrestler out of Clarion University, Evan DeLong, looks to make it 2-0 in his young career at Brawl in the Burgh 10 when he faces Teixeira MMA’s Kenyon Moore (2-0, and yes, it’s that Teixeira).
DeLong’s wrestling was on full display in his MMA debut back in August at Flood City Fight Night, and now he hopes to show off the new tools he honed with Isaac Greely and company at the Mat Factory out in Lower Burrell.
And that highlights the real beauty of our current MMA prospect situation.
The sport is evolving, and the blue-chip prospect of yesterday isn’t the same as today’s. We’re getting not just elite one-sport athletes but elite fighters, and that makes future fight cards all the more intriguing.
In Pittsburgh, training options are at an all-time high. If you want to start your MMA career, you can pick exactly where you want to go –– and top-notch instructors and training partners will greet you there.
Take Craig Perry for example.
Perry, a former hockey player, saw Khama Worthy compete inside the legendary UFC Octagon and realized a future for an MMA fighter in Pittsburgh was a real possibility. He signed up at the Academy, and his career is in motion.
Despite little combat sports experience, Perry debuted at the age of 19 at Brawl in the Burgh 9 back in October and looked slick and polished on the feet. He didn’t boast the combat-sports pedigree of some other guys mentioned in this article, but his skills inside the cage impressed everybody who tuned in, live and at home.
(P.S. Both Worthy and Perry are back in action Feb. 5 at Brawl in the Burgh 10. You don’t want to miss this fight card, friends. Get those tickets today.)
Perry actually lost that Brawl in the Burgh 9 fight via split decision to another top-quality prospect in Scorpion Fighting Systems’ Sean McGuire, but McGuire’s coach, James Gray, shared a message with us immediately after the fight:
“That kid is good.”
Hard to disagree –– but the fun doesn’t stop there.
Julian Flenory (2-0) makes his 247 Fighting Championships debut at Brawl in the Burgh 10 after beginning his career with two straight knockout wins. He faces debut heavyweight Matt Vanderhoff in a fight that almost certainly won’t go the distance.
Mike Kocjancic (0-1) out of American Top Team – Happy Valley squares off with another local prospect in Sam Wahby (1-0) in a perfect showcase of the current landscape unfolding for us.
Ready for a cherry on top?
This is all to say nothing of the homegrown advanced-amateur prospects you already know and love on this Brawl in the Burgh 10 fight card.
Syd Ross fights for a title. Cam Allgeier fights for a title. Edwin Vera brings the heat in advanced amateur action (Ju heard?).
Good luck picking the fight or the prospect you’re most excited to see.
Better training in Pittsburgh and beyond attracts better prospects, then those prospects put in work with each other, sharpening skills and raising the bar for everyone around them.
It’s a snowball effect, and Pittsburgh is rolling right now.
If you’re not on board yet, now’s the time.
It only gets better from here.
Our next Brawl in the Burgh 10 prospects article digs into the advanced amateurs… Stay tuned.