Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
Wilmington, Massachusetts - Oddly enough this story starts by turning back the clock to the infancy of MMA here in New England and centers around one of the most influential names in New England combat sports history. Boston based businessman; Joe Cavallaro may very well be the reason for the rise in MMA's popularity, not only in New England but expanding his reaches to the international market. Cavallaro began his storied rise in the MMA community back in 2003 when his client; Bangor, Maine's Marcus "The Irish Handgrenade" Davis (23-11, 9-6 UFC) made the transition from Boxing to MMA, by 2005 Marcus was welcomed to compete on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter and by 2006 Marcus would make his UFC debut, reeling off 6 straight wins to begin his tenure in the UFC before early 2008.
Marcus would go on to compile a 9-6 record with the UFC before his departure in 2011, along his side each step of the way, his manager Joe Cavallaro was laying the groundwork for his own expenditure into the promotional side of the sport. Although Cavallaro found great success promoting his own athletes into other mainstream promotions; Marcus Davis joined fellow Ultimate Fighter (Season 1) competitor Kenny "Kenflo" Florian (14-6, 12-5 UFC) and Canadian Middleweight Patrick "The Predator" Cote (23-11, 10-11 UFC, fought Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title at UFC 90 in 2008) in the UFC, while others like Mike "The Beast" Campbell (13-4, 1-2 WEC) and Danny "The Upgrade" Lauzon (17-6, 0-3 UFC, 1-0 Affliction) made their own marks on the global MMA canvas, Cavallaro was looking for something more to bring to the New England MMA world.
After achieving great success and building relationships with some of the sports most influential individuals, Cavallaro decided to try his luck as a promoter, launching World Championship Fighting in 2007. World Championship Fighting, or "WCF", would go on to enjoy similar successes to that of Joe Cav's managerial career, promoting 11 events between September of 2007 and June of 2011. With a business model established around promotion and development of their athletes while offering a top notch fan experience, WCF grew into New England's most popular Mixed Martial Arts promotion. Holding their events at the Shriner's Auditorium, just north of Boston in Wilmington, Massachusetts, Cavallaro and his matchmaker; Rick Caldwell, would turn out some of the most entertaining fights the region has ever seen, while jumpstarting the careers of New England MMA legends.
Dan Lauzon, Mike Campbell, John Benoit, Dan Bonnell, Greg Rebello, Jon Jones (yes that Jon Jones), Calvin Kattar and many others can all point to WCF for helping launch their careers. However in June of 2011, Cavallaro became focused on other business ventures and made the tough decision to step away from the sport he loved to focus his efforts into real-estate. Although Joe's business life came with it's own share of distractions, Cavallaro could never quite separate himself from the MMA community he had woven himself into over the better part of the last 20 years. Joe Cav would become a regular face in the crowd at other regional shows as his fandom towards the sport never seemed to waiver.
Cavallaro realized, after several years away, that his thirst for MMA could only be quenched if he had his hands wrapped around the sports inner workings. I personally have had many phone calls with Joe Cav over the past four or so years, and it's obvious that his passion for the sport had been reignited. Cavallaro went back and forth on the idea for sometime, before reapplying for his promoters license in the State of Massachusetts in 2021. With the proper licensing now in place, a cage now purchased (WCF previously held fights in a boxing style ring), and a date with their home venue, the Aleppo Shriners Auditorium, as well as a newly branded, up with the times concept, the only thing left to do was start putting together a fight card.
Now re-branded into Combat FC; Joe Cavallaro and matchmakers Rick Caldwell and Krystyne Curtis have began to plot their return to New England. With early reports of a fight card centered around some of the best local talent in the region; Combat FC 1 will indeed take place June 17th from the Aleppo Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, Massachusetts as Joe Cavallaro makes his long awaited return to the New England MMA scene with a mixture of professional and amateur MMA bouts, to be announced in the near future, at Combat FC 1. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale within the coming days and can be purchased by going to the newly launched website combatfc.tv.
New England MMA fans can follow us here at NewEnglandMMA.org for all the latest and exclusive news surrounding the Combat FC launch, latest matchup announcements and correspondence from the promotion as they get ready to once again take the New England MMA scene by storm. We also have some insider information regarding a "huge announcement" from the promotion in the coming weeks which we will share with our readers and followers as soon as we get the "green light" from the Combat FC team. We look forward to welcoming Joe Cavallaro and his team back to the New England MMA landscape and working closely with the promotion moving forward.