Picture a more raw version of UFC and you’re somewhere close to what YAMMA pit fighting is supposed to be about.
The new league, debuting tonight at a pay-per-view event at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., pits masters of mixed martial arts against each other in an unforgiving tourney of power and endurance. YAMMA is the brainchild of Ultimate Fighting Championship founder Bob Meyrowitz, who had the idea to return to the raw origins of mixed martial arts. Battles take place in a ring — the full details of which are to be unveiled on fight night — devised to keep matches continuous and more explosive.
“There are a few differences between YAMMA and UFC,” says Barrie, Ont.-based former UFC champ Gary “Big Daddy” Goodridge. “But the main difference to be concerned with is that there’s no division weight class. A 300 lb. fighter can be paired up with a 200 lb. fighter.”
The event will feature an eight-man elimination tournament to crown the YAMMA champion. Each match is one round and lasts five minutes. The championship round will be a tougher test of mettle as the two remaining fighters face off for three five-minute rounds of merciless blood-spattering action.
Along with the tournament, YAMMA will hold two masters superfights, where legendary battlers will showcase their skills and experience. Among the masters superfight contenders is professional boxer, kickboxer, WWE veteran and mixed martial artist Eric “Butterbean” Esch, who has held the IBA World Super-Heavyweight Championship and the WWA World Heavyweight title. At 5 ft., 11 in. and 390 lbs., Butterbean has a mixed martial arts record of 11 wins, 6 losses, 1 draw and 4 knockouts.
His opponent will be mixed martial artist Pat Smith, who replaces Goodridge. Goodridge was forced to pull out of the event after a March 30 loss in South Korea was recently determined a knockout. According to rules of the New Jersey Athletic Commission, a fighter must be inactive for 30 days following a KO.
Smith, a native of Denver, Col., made his name in UFC’s early years with some notable bouts, including defeating Ninjitsu fighter Scott Morris. Smith is currently on a hot streak, winning five of his last six MMA matches.
>> For more, visit www. yammapitfighting.com.