By Abbey Snow
A large, enthusiastic crowd filled the CasaBlanca Event Center Saturday, Sept 16 to watch the ‘Mayhem in Mesquite XII’ mixed martial arts amateur fighting championship hosted by Mesquite Gaming and Tuff-N-Uff.
The founder of the event is Director of Player Development at Mesquite Gaming, Ely Prussin.
“When I first started this event, I was focusing on different things that would draw people to CasaBlanca that were unique or new to the community,” said Prussin. “Now that we are at twelve events later, I can see it has done pretty well.”
Prussin mentioned that he has been to the big professional MMA fights, and because of the expensive ticket cost not everyone can experience a live MMA fight. By creating ‘Mayhem in Mesqute,’ he hoped many would have the chance to attend a live MMA fight at an affordable price that still delivered top-notch action. He was fortunate to secure Tuff-N-Uff The Future Stars of MMA, who is the largest amateur mixed martial arts organization in the Nation for the event.
Tuff-N-Uff was formed in 1994 to promote combat sports. They have developed relationships with some of the biggest names in the Martial-Arts world and made history on several occasions. They realized the need for an amateur MMA program where students could hone their skills and demonstrate them in front of a live audience in a safe environment.
Spectators filled the event center hyped up and cheering on the fighters during the action-packed rounds.
“We had a pretty diverse and exiting card last night,” said Prussin. “We had fighters from Australia, Chicago, New Mexico, and many areas. One fighter came from St George who had a lot of supporters there to cheer him on.”
James Hoff (AKA Jackpot), is from Jackpot, Nevada and competed in the fourth bout against Nathan Holbrook. He said he became interested in MMA fighting while learning how to kickbox with a friend.
“While we were sparring, he knocked me out with a kick to my head,” explained Hoff. “After I woke up, I was immediately in love with the sport and have been hooked ever since. The reason why is I was amazed at how fast he could take me out, and wanted to be able to do the same thing. When he did that, it was so quick and efficient that I told him he needed to teach me how to fight like that.”
Hoff started participating in boxing and Jiu-Jitsu tournaments to be prepared for MMA competitions. Before Saturday, he had only participated in one MMA cage fight, and was exited to compete for the second time.
“I am married with a third baby on the way,” said Hoff. “My whole family is very supportive and I have friends from Jackpot that have come to cheer me on as well. I really appreciate all of the love from my family; they have been awesome.”
The sport has rules and safety precautions as well, mentioned Hoff. He said they know what they can and can’t do, and have to control the different tactics they use during the fight.
Prussin said the event turned out a great success and is looking forward to the next one.
“We were running two events a year before, but now we have added a third event because of popularity,” said Prussin. “Basically, there is one in the spring, fall, and now one at winter time.”
For further information on Tuff N Uff, visit tuffnuff.com, or find them on Facebook.
The winners of ‘Mayhem in Mesquite XII’ are as follows:
Bout 1 Winner – Denis Actis :15 sec 1st TKO
Bout 2 Winner – Lochie Eadie (debut) (Unanimous decision/UD)
Bout 3 Winner – Kenny Hale (debut) UD
Bout 4 Winner – Nathan Holbrook 1:20 1st
Bout 5 Winner – Josh Remington 1:46 1st TKO
Bout 6 Winner – Zachariah Thorne 1:56 1st (Rear naked choke/RNC)
Bout 7 Winner – Enrique Cervantes :7 3rd TKO
Bout 8 Winner – Zach Raue-Holbrook (debut) :16 1st (guillotine choke/G Choke
Bout 9 Winner – Rodney Rampersad (debut) UD
Bout 10 Winner – Clay Matza 2:00 2nd TKO