Fight Night Fantastic for TSMMA
By Sensei Thad Campbell – (TSMMA Feasterville)
Hamburg Fight Night – 7/28/12
Team Tiger Schulmann invaded the small Hamlet of Hamburg, PA Saturday night. Fight Night in Hamburg, Pennsylvania has been a springboard for Team Tiger Schulmann’s young fighters for five years. Fighters like Sensei James Garzillo and Joshu Craig Alexander honed their skills in the promotion.
This time around Roger Garcia, Tim Kunkle, Ron Zacconi, Rachel Kendall, Greg Fonda and Brendan Cuttino all displayed great skills for the massed TSMMA crowd.
Kunkle started the night of kickboxing off with a clinic on setting up your cross. Using a beautiful uppercut to lift his opponents head and following with his cross, Kunkle dominated the first round leaving his opponent searching for answers in between rounds. Unfortunately he didn’t find any. Shortly into Round 2 Kunkle landed the combination again and the referee felt it was best to stop the fight. A TKO victory for Kunkle!
He was followed by fellow Bethlehem student Roger Garcia. He was obviously motivated by his teammate as he came out winging bombs early and often. This one wouldn’t make it to Round 2 as Garcia earned the TKO late in Round 1. Once again the referee saving further damage by stepping in!
Up next was Ron Zacconi making his competitive debut. That news would be met with skepticism by his opponent after Zacconi showed his skills for all three rounds. He used a solid jab to set up all his combinations and then followed with everything in the book including using body head combinations. Amazingly for a first time fighter he was even able to follow Shihan Simpson’s corner instructions perfectly. Zacconi won unanimously, sweeping all three rounds!
Joshu Greg Fonda of Allentown lived up to the high standard of his teammates early on. Like Zacconi he was using body head combinations and following with low-kicks. He was calm and composed throughout. In Rounds 2 and 3 Fonda continued the display of his technical ability. His opponent stopped trying to match his skill level and settled for bull rushing. Fonda dealt with it calmly circling and using combos to counter. He dealt with it but somehow two judges thought it was a bull rushing contest not a kickboxing fight. He lost a split decision after a great display of technique.
Rachel Kendall was up next facing a challenge in the form of a 6′ 2″ opponent. Giving up eight inches Kendall came out using push kicks and jabs to control distance and connecting with power punches bringing the crowd to its feet as it seemed she may finish the fight. Round 2 began with more of the same until her opponent began to get into a plumb clinch. Kendall absorbed one knee kick that may have stopped a lesser competitor and came back firing. The third round mimicked the second with Kendall fighting out of a clinch throughout. At the end both fighters had displayed great skill and it was fitting it would come to a draw!
Finishing up the event was Brandon Cuttino of Abington TSMMA. Joshu Cuttino has been a regular on Fight Night Cards for the last two years. His success earned him a shot at the title Saturday Night! Cuttino put in the work over the last couple months training with Team TSMMA daily in Elmwood Park and working closely with Sensei James Garzillo at his own school. All the hard work paid off for Cuttino who put on a clinic for three rounds. It started with conditioning as he used great movement throughout. It followed with technical skill. Cuttino was sidestepping and countering throughout. Finally it was power as he connected with crosses and hooks throughout giving his opponent pause. Cuttino wins the title belt with a unanimous decision!
It was a great night for Team TSMMA. Four victories including two TKO’s were impressive enough. Throw in a title belt and great technical displays even in a loss and a draw. A great job by everyone on the card and kudos to Shihan Simpson for the hard work in molding the Pennsylvania contingent that has been so successful for the last decade! Stay tuned as it will be a busy August in PA with two MMA Shows back to back! Congratulations to all the competitors!