Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Piece of MMA History: BAMA Fight Night

Say "BAMA Fight Night" to any East Coast old-schooler and they might smile and get a far-away look in their eyes. Some may even wax nostalgic. "BAMA Fight Night?" they might say. "That's where Matt and Nick Serra had their first fights. Man, those were the days." In 1996 the UFC was on the verge of being banned and Japan's Pride FC had not yet been born, while in New Jersey, Bayside Academy of Martial Arts owner Dan Miragliotta organized his first of many Fight Night events. Want to see your training partners step into the ring for a Shootfighting tournament or an NHB bout? Well, if you lived in the Tri-State area, Fight Night was the only game in town. It was where everyone came to get their feet wet. Thanks to the efforts of a rival promoter, this institution's swan song was Fight Night 20 in April of 2003 - an event that saw Carmine Zocchi and Glenn Ortiz both win via heelhook while Judah Ciervo and Billy Craparo had a complete slugfest. And though the list of competitors who went on to make names for themselves is but a fraction of the size of the list of fighters never heard from again, one thing is undeniable: BAMA Fight Night made a definite mark on MMA history.