Combat Zone 79 is set to be a thrilling night of mixed martial arts action, featuring some of the most exciting up and coming fighters in the sport. taking place at the Encore Casino Boston. This event promises to deliver non-stop entertainment and high octane fights.
Adding to the excitement is the much anticipated return of the hit show "Dana White's Lookin' for a fight". President of the UFC Dana White Himself will be in the building to scout some new action and if the fighter capitalize, hand out a potentially life changing contract that night.
With all the buzz behind this event we wanted to catch up with one of the people putting this event together. Jerome Brashears is the Matchmaker over at Combat Zone and he was nice enough to take a break from this busy month and give us his take on this historic event.
Jerome, why don't you introduce yourself to the readers.
" Hey Jeff, Appreciate you taking the time to discuss the upcoming Combat Zone 79 event. My name is Jerome Brashears and I'm the matchmaker for Combat Zone MMA. I've been with the promotion since 2018 and have loved every minute of this mma journey."
How did you first get into MMA?
"I first started watching the UFC in the early days and after watching the sport for a few years decided to start Jiu Jitsu in 2013. After watching some teammates at the time fight mma..I decided to start training striking in 2017 ( Muay Thai and Kickboxing). Training is a passion of mine and a huge part of my lifestyle so I'm in the gym on a weekly basis."
Do you remember when you first heard of Combat Zone?
" I first started going to Combat Zone events in 2015/2016 to watch some teammates compete in mma fights. Always had a good time and I eventually got curious on what goes on behind the scenes to put these events together. I knew someone who was working with Combat Zone at the time and they were able to put me in contact with Calvin Kattar ( Combat Zone Owner ). I started as an intern where I was doing behind the scenes work like setup and helping run the weigh-ins."
Matchmaking is one of the most important jobs in the industry . It's an art to be able to build fighters and tell stories by matching them up with the correct opponents. Tell us a little about what goes into Matchmaking for CZ
"Matchmaking is one of the most exciting and sometimes stressful jobs in mma. Watching a fight card come together week by week is the best feeling and no one is more excited come fight night than me when I get to sit cage side and watch as a fan. Networking and building relationships with coaches, managers, and fighters is the most important aspect of matchmaking. Over the years I've been able to work with gyms all over the country and even in Canada. I cross train a lot at gyms in NH and MA so it helps me meet the fighters on the amateur/pro level and train with them. Visiting various gyms helps coaches to get more comfortable with me and I get to improve as a martial artist. It's a Win Win"
UFC top Contender Calvin Kattar is a big part of Combat Zone as well, tell us a little of what it's like working with him.
"Combat Zone MMA is a family run company. So I'm very grateful to Calvin for allowing me to take on such a big role in his company. I had zero experience matchmaking and my first couple shows I was learning on the job. Calvin was always patient with me and allowed me to grow in the role of a matchmaker. Our last show in November was our biggest to date and we were completely out of tickets weeks before the event which was nuts. Big things are coming for Combat Zone and there's no one else Id rather matchmake for than Combat Zone and Calvin Kattar."
CZ 79 goes down on March 15'th. The big news surrounding this event is the fact UFC president Dana White will be in attendance. Tell us how this opportunity has motivated the crew at CZ.
"The team is beyond excited to have UFC president Dana White cage side to watch the event. If you would've told me in 2018 that I would be building a fight card for the president of the world leading promotion in MMA to watch I would have never believed it. We are so close to the event and it honestly doesn't feel real yet. It'll probably hit me come fight night. This is a massive opportunity for all of us and everyone has been working so hard to put this show together. Its been 7 days a week nonstop since the show was announced. "
CZ 79 has announced some major fights. Give us a Dana white style "Here's a few you might not know about" and tell us about 2 or 3 fights we should keep an eye on.
"Combat Zone 79 is absolutely stacked from the first fight to the main event. As a fan of New England regional mma, there some really good matchups between New England fighters.
Kicking off the card is Saheeb Jackson ( Tri-Force MMA 2-0 ) vs Mike Jolicoeur ( KTA Nashua 2-1). This fight is going to be some high level amateur mma.
Trevor Gudde ( Citadel 4-3 ) vs Mike Bezanson ( Burgess 2-0 ) is a matchup of the two biggest welterweights in New England. Both of these guys are huge. And the way these two fight its very unlikely it goes to decision.
Kylie O'Hearn ( Citadel 2-2 ) vs Fernanda Araujo ( Defensive Edge 2-1) has fireworks written all over it. Anyone that's seen Kylie fight knows she is a straight up savage and Judo black-belt Fernanda is going to bring the fight to her. "
What can the fans expect from Combat Zone 79?
" With very little tickets left fans in attendance should expect a packed house and energized crowd. So many great high level fights on this card. Anyone in attendance will be part of an historic mixed martial arts event for the New England Region. I absolutely cannot wait for March 15th!"
Thank you for your time Jerome and best of luck with CZ79!
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