September is shaping up to be a big month for MMA in the DC area. Two of the bigger local MMA promotions, LOC Fights and OO Fights (formerly Operation Octagon), both return with events on September 14 and September 28, respectively. Even better, the OO Fights card on the 28th is preceded by a Thai Championship Boxing (TCB) event, which features Muay Thai kickboxing fights. All three of these events feature a full line-up, including title fights. Many local MMA schools, including Pentagon MMA, Vanguard Gym (both located in northern Virginia) and DC’s own BETA Academy, are well represented on each card, giving local fans plenty to cheer about.
Tickets are available online through each event's website.
LOC Fights takes place on September 14 at the Sports Network and Fitness in Manassas, VA. This event features 18 total fights, 15 of which are MMA fights. Three of the MMA fights are title fights. The main event features Robert Watley vs. Piankhi Zimmerman in a title fight at 155 pounds. Ahria Sorbi and Justin Jones square off in the co-main event at 145. Both of these fighters have strong striking skills and are looking to put on a show.
Three submission grappling contests round out the card, including a gi (kimono) match between two local BJJ brown belts, Dave Reeves and Josh Aguero. Reeves trains under BJJ legend Leo Dalla while Aguero trains with UFC veteran Aaron Riley. Fans who appreciate the technique and strategy that good grappling requires should get a real treat with this match.
Local fight fans that enjoy the striking aspects of MMA should come out and support TCB Fights. TCB fighters follow Muay Thai rules, which allow for punches, elbows, knees and kicks without the grappling of MMA. This event has a scheduled start time of 3:30 pm on September 28 at the nZone Sports Facility in Chantilly, VA. There are 11 scheduled fights on this card. The main event features Pentagon MMA’s Bao Khong vs. MMA Institute (Richmond, VA) fighter Roberto Ford. These two are experienced, skilled and quick as lightning, so this should be a great matchup. Click on the fighter's name to check out video of them in action.
Four of the eleven fights on this card feature women fighters. Fans who watched the season premiere of TUF from Wednesday night (featuring Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate) know that the women are often more exciting to watch than the men, so this should be a fun card. One of the women on the card is BETA’s Nikki Agguire, who is making her Muay Thai debut.
OO Fights follows the TCB event in the same venue on September 28 with a scheduled start time of 7:00 pm. One ticket gets fans into both events, making a ticket well worth the cost. OO Fights features MMA in the cage and is currently scheduled for 16 fights. Three of those fights are title fights, including the main event, scheduled for 185 pounds between JP St. Louis of Striking Unrivaled and Jonathan Liggans of Kaizen MMA. BETA’s Esrom Montesino is scheduled to fight Marc-Ari Lewis of Hagerstown BJJ for the promotion’s open 170 pound title following former title holder Kevin Kent’s decision to turn pro. Montesino lost his first MMA fight but has since followed with three dominating wins and is looking to lay claim to his first MMA title.
Kevin Chung of Premier Fight Center is making his return to OO Fights as the co-main event. Chung is 3-0 in his career, including two submissions and the 2011 “Fight of the Year” award for his fight with Josh Aguero. Chung is scheduled to meet Shane Albans from Pedro Sauer’s academy at 145 pounds. This fight is for the number one contender spot at 145, making this a fight not to be missed.
These events all feature amateur fighters who train in area academies. Coming out to these events is a great way to show support for DC-area MMA and possibly see a rising superstar in action. OO Fights, for example, has a history of its fighters moving on to the UFC, including TUF season 16 winner Colton Smith and TUF season 11 runner-up Kris McCray. Many of these amateur fighters have an eye towards a pro career and are looking to make a name for themselves in these events in order to make it happen.