Friday, March 30, 2007

Ellenberger, Schembri, Moore Confirmed for First MMA Show in Washington, DC

By John Buhl

Jake Ellenberger, Antonio “Nino” Schembri and Homer Moore are all confirmed to fight in the Mixed Martial Arts Championship’s (MMAC) inaugural event on May 12 at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. – the first sanctioned MMA event in the nation’s capital – organization promoter Omar Olumee said today.

Moore (25-7-2) – a frequent Rage in the Cage participant – lost to Evan Tanner at UFC 34, and has a decision win over Joe Riggs on his resume. He’s scheduled to fight Chute Boxe team member Nilson de Castro (10-8-1). In another featured bout, Schembri (3-4) – who has a 3-3 record in Pride FC, including a stoppage win over Kazushi Sakuraba – will face Amir Rahnavardi (9-7), a one-time IFL participant.

The fight card will also include Ellenberger (14-2), a top welterweight prospect with victories over Laverne Clark and Gil Castillo, and decision losses to Jay Hieron and Derrick Noble.

Olumee spent several months working with the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission to get the city to sanction the sport, and said the commission’s officials were already familiar with the sport and wanted to capitalize on its popularity.

“They had heard a lot about it from seminars in Las Vegas,” Olumee said. “They were interested, they just needed someone to approach them about it.”

According to Olumee, the event will be held in a ring and follow the unified rules of MMA.

“It’s going to be in a ring instead of a [cage]. They’re not ready for [a cage] yet.”

Having competed in a variety of combat sport competitions himself, Olumee said he wants to have a “first class” organization that can help develop the talent in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“I’ve been in [martial arts] competitions myself, so I have a fighter’s perspective,” Olumee said. “I want to make sure the fighters are taken care of, and to help the sport grow in this area.”


No comments: