MMA fighting comes to Utica for UFC Fight Night

For the first time ever, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is finally hitting the Adirondack Bank Center for Fight Night.

Posted: May 29, 2018 6:32 PM

Fight Night is gearing up to give Mixed Martial Arts fans a night to remember. If you’ve never been to a MMA fight, 5th rated Bantamweight contender Marlon Morales explains how the fighting works.

"You’re going to see 2 guys fighting you know, and fights like you can grapple, you can strike, you can go to the ground, you can fight on your feet, and that’s a lot of techniques and always a referee inside the cage, and if anybody in a bad spot he is ready to step in and stop you know. It’s very similar to boxing, but with the ground."

Now that you have a good idea of how it works, MMA Fighter Gregor Gillespie fills us in on what it’s like.

"It’s intense. You know I’m sure there’s going to be people having some anxiety issues on Friday night, whether they’re fighting or coaching or watching, but it’s a lot of fun, and they’re exciting, and it’s an action packed night from the bottom of the card to the top, and sometimes some of the fights that are overlooked turn out to be the best."

So you can expect some hard hitting excitement, but MMA Fighter Jimmie Rivera says if it’s your first time going, be prepared.

"Someone that’s never experienced it, I mean they’re going to see some blood, but they’re going to see some people go in there and do what they love and put on a show and make the fights exciting like myself. And really if they’re into MMA, if they’re in to any sport they’re going to enjoy the UFC and enjoy watching it.

Utica native Jadon Teneyque is ready to go head to head with some world class MMA fighters. He’ll be fighting them in his video game, but first he needs to get them to sign the box the game came in, and then there’s no holding him back.

"The combat and how the sport works. Like they have all of the techniques and fights that they always use in the fighters, like Judo and all these other types of fighting that everyone uses."

Rome MMA Fan John Signorelli is a huge MMA fan and just came out to show his support to the people who made it all possible.

"It’s had its up’s its downs, but it’s always been constant. The fighters have always been top of the line, you know what I mean. They’ve always been disciplined, the type of fighters that you want to see in the top promotion, and that’s exactly what this is. So to see them here, like I said phenomenal stuff."

This is the first time the UFC is bringing a fight to Utica, and fighter Jimmie Rivera knows what that means to the sport.

"It’s super important that it’s legal in New York. I mean you got the tristate area and you got New York State, and the best part about it is we get to go to all different places in New York and really show what UFC is about and what MMA is about."

Joe Griffo, (R) 47th Senate District fought hard to legalize the sport in New York, and says the MMA brings more than economic benefits.

"There also is going to be exposure for this community because people watch this and pay to watch this, so people will hear and know where the community is, and it continues to bring a variety of events to the area."

MMA Fighter Gregor Gillespie is a Rochester native, but has been to the area and feels like he’ll have a hometown advantage.

"I mean it feels like home. You know being anywhere off the I-90 feels like home. From Buffalo to Albany up to the Adirondacks it’s my safe haven you know. This is where I grew up. It feels good to have a hometown crowd."

When you show up to watch these world class fighters, you too can participate in a fight. The UFC donated $5000 to the Utica Food Pantry, and they’re asking the fans to help by bringing a non-perishable canned good to canned good to the Utica Auditorium, so remember to get your cans down here on Friday to the Adirondack Bank Center, and you’ll not only see some world class MMA fighting, but you’ll also get to participate in the fight against hunger.

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