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Ground Force Fights

April 11, 2019 - 11:36am

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Quentin Marozzi, a resident of Caledonia, can't wait to defend his MMA title in the 135-pound weight class in the Throwdown at The Downs on June 15.

"I am pumped," Marozzi said. "I'm ecstatic. I'm ready to go. I'm so honored to be here to do what I do. It's what I live for."

Batavia Downs is once again teaming up with local mix martial arts promoter Richard Mitchell and Ground Force Fights.

"Oh man," Mitchell said, "obviously last year's show was big, big. This year is going to be bigger. We're going to have 15 to 20 flights again and a lot of exciting fighters. There will be at least five title fights, maybe more."

Local fighters on the card so far include Peter Flanagan, Kenny Hale and Steven Kleckler.

Heavyweight Jon Marconi returns from Canada to defend his title.

Shotzie Doran, from Rochester, is also fighting.

"Honestly, I just love fighting and I'm just humbled by the entire experience, so I'm happy to be here, happy to be a part of it," Doran said.

Marozzi said he's looking forward to taking on the challenge of a fighter who comes to MMA from wrestling.

"He's really tough," Marozzi said. "He's undefeated. I'm looking forward to really going out there with a wrestler. Most wrestlers I've fought have a really good jaw. So we're going to test his jaw and see how good it really is. He's a good guy. He's humble and he's respectable so he's going to be a good opponent. It's going to be a good time."

Marozzi said he's also pleased to be fighting again in one of Mitchell's events.

"He takes care of his fighters," Marozzi said. "He cares about the fighters in the ring and out of the ring, in their lives and at camps. He's not like a lot of promoters who really just care about the fighter to showing up. He actually cares about his fighters. He's the best promoter I've fought for and I've had like 15 fights."

“We are excited to have Ground Force Fights back at Batavia Downs,” said Henry Wojtaszek, CEO/president at Batavia Downs Gaming. “After the success of last year’s event, we began talks almost immediately on putting together another event here in June of 2019. We’re looking forward to another great night of fights that will entertain the passionate MMA fans of Western New York.”

Tickets are on sale now at bataviaconcerts.com. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 for General Admission and $55 for VIP seats closer to the cage. Lawn chairs (which are normally permitted for other Batavia Downs events) are NOT permitted for this event. There will be limited chairs and bleacher seating available.

Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the event for $15 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines.

Photo: Quentin Marozzi, Richard Mitchell and Shotzie Doran.

June 24, 2018 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in mma, Mixed Martial Arts, Batavia Downs, Ground Force Fights, sports.

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In the main event at the "Throwdown at the Downs" mixed martial arts event, with 24 fighters on the card, Tom Shelby, of Le Roy, who came into the fight 2-0, was KO'd in the second round by Yuri Panferov.

Panferov, now 3-0, claimed the Ground Force Fights Cruiser Heavyweight title.

Shelby was hurt early in the second round when Panferov wrestled him to the mat against a cage wall and landed a couple of punches to Shelby's head (see two pictures below). Shelby got up and continued to fight but with less energy.

Panfervo landed a punch (above) that sent Shelby down and the referee immediately waved off the fight. Shelby was attended to by a ringside doctor and Mercy EMS personnel but walked from the ring on his own, bloodied but alert.

Paid attendance was 700.

UPDATE: The official results of the fights:

  • Gray Hendershott wins over Zak Sucharski by armbar in the Submission grappling match;
  • Jason Pilkenton over John Gear Gart via Round 1 TKO, 1:11 kickboxing match; 
  • Eric Bonner over Maxeron Dorn via unanimous decision;
  • Anthony Gugino over Kenny Hale via Round 1 Submission 1:17;
  • Brendan Kennedy over Steven Kleckler via Round 1 Submission 1:03;
  • Marcus Dunn over John Doyle via unanimous decision;
  • John Piersma over Benjamin Horton via Round 1 TKO 2:10;
  • Tim Cronk over Alex Carroll via Round 1 Knock Out :15 Heavyweight title fight;
  • Mark Murray over Bert Forney via Round 2 TKO 2:53 Lightweight title fight;
  • Jon Marconi over Travis Streeter via Round 1 Knock Out  :14 Super Heavyweight title fight;
  • Brad Vargasson over Matt Norstrand via Round 2 Submission 1:11 Middleweight title fight;
  • Yuri Panferov over Tom Shelby via Round 2 Knock Out 2:59 Cruiser Heavyweight title fight. 

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Local favorite Matt Norstrand, who entered the ring at 3-1, before his Middleweight title fight against Brad Vargasson (5-4). Norstrand, who seemed in control of the fight during the first round, tapped out early in the second after Vargasson got him in a stranglehold (third photo below).

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Mark Murray and Bert Forney. Murray claimed the Lightweight title.

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John Marconi celebrates with his fans his KO victory seconds into the first round over Travis Streeter. Marconi is now 3-4 and the Ground Force Fights' Super Heavyweight champion. Streeter is 1-1.

May 24, 2018 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, mma, Mixed Martial Arts, Ground Force Fights.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced that Ground Force Fight’s “Throwdown at the Downs” event will take place on Saturday, June 23rd. A press conference in the Batavia Downs Lobby with local fighters from the event will start at noon on Friday, May 25th.

“We are excited to host our first MMA event on the track,” said Henry Wojtaszek, CEO/president at Batavia Downs Gaming. “Ground Force Fights has a history of putting on exciting shows and we’re pleased to be providing a new space in which they can entertain the passionate MMA fans of Western New York.”

Bouts include: Tom Shelby of Le Roy vs. Yuri Panferov of North Haven, Conn., for Cruiser heavyweight Title; Grady Wall of Bergen vs. Xi Lau of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for the flyweight title; and Quentin Marozzi of Caledonia vs. Teshay Gouthro of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, for the bantamweight title.

“Partnering with Batavia Downs is something we’ve talked about for a long time,’ said Richard Mitchell, owner of Ground Force Fights. “We’re looking forward to putting on our first outdoor show and invite the public to come root on the many local fighters who will be taking part in the event.”

Tickets are $35 for General Admission and $55 for VIP seats closer to the cage. Tickets are on sale now at bataviaconcerts.com

Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; event starts at 6.

Lawn chairs (which are normally permitted for other Batavia Downs events) are NOT permitted for this event. There will be limited chairs and bleacher seating available.

Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the event for $15 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines.

December 17, 2016 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in mma, sports, Mixed Martial Arts, batavia, news, Ground Force Fights.

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It's only been a few months since it became legal to hold mixed martial arts events in New York, and one of the first such events in the state drew a sellout crowd in Batavia tonight at the Quality Inn and Suites.

Le Roy resident Richard Mitchell, owner of Ground Force Fights and himself a former professional MMA fighter, was the event's promoter.

First three photos, Mark Murry vs. John Gearhart. Murray won at 1:30 in the first round due to strikes.

In the dual main events, Morgan Cavanaugh vs, Eddie Ortiz Junior. Ortiz won at 1:55 in round 1.  Tom Shelby beat Nick Phelps at 1:55 in round 1.

Previously: Local promoter bringing one of the state's first MMA events to Batavia

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Two photos above, Sean Keough vs. Yuri Panferov. Panferov won at 1:15 in round 1 after a verbal tapout by Keough. 

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