Tonawanda News — NORTH TONAWANDA – Following the success of the first legally-sanctioned mixed martial arts amateur fighting event in New York state in over 10 years, round two is set to begin Saturday.
The TNT Fight Series, put on by Victory MMA Gym and Fitness at Rainbow Roller Rink, is back and stronger than ever with a deep card of 15 three-round amateur fights scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
The first event was ground-breaking.
Back in May, the event snapped a more-than-a-decade-long state absence for one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Since then, the TNT Fight Series paved the way for four other legally sanctioned MMA amateur events across the state.
“I think the interest is still there,” said TNT Fight Series promoter Don Lilly. “We’ll find out Saturday night when the doors shut and the tickets are accounted for.”
Lilly projects a bigger crowd then the 800-plus that were packed inside the roller rink in May, possibly hitting near 1,000. With a card full of local talent, that could easily be the case.
Out of the 30 fighters, five are former Tonawanda High School wrestlers, including two sets of brothers – Scott and Kyle McGregor and Jesse and Cody Plotner – and Brian Piccolo, who is a member of the Tonawanda Wrestling Hall of Fame. Six are out of Victory MMA Gym.
Frank Scalzo went to Niagara Falls High School and will face KGB Clay on Saturday night.
“It’s five more fights. We’re doing 15 fights this time so it’s more bang for your buck,” Lilly said. “There are more debut guys who we’re giving the opportunity to get in there for the first time, so there’s going to be a variety of different levels of discipline ... You’re going to see the different classes of amateur."