JAMESTOWN - Gaffar Adam brought karate and grappling to the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena on Saturday and topped it off with the first kickboxing event in the area in recent memory.
The nine-fight card featured fighters from Chautauqua County, Olean and Warren, Pa.
"We have a lot of talented local guys in Jamestown, Dunkirk and Warren," said Adam, owner of Gaffar Adams Karate Academy. "We are trying to give them an event where they can showcase their talents around their friends, rather than travel two or three hours away."
Photo by Rob Tucker
At top, Marcus Cuevas of Westfield, left, squares off with Tyler Sanders of Frewsburg, Saturday night at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
The grappling tournament brought in competitors from 10 different schools, coming from as far as New Jersey. Meanwhile, the karate tournament had 12 different schools compete.
"The tournament ran really smoothly," Adam said. "It ran well. It was efficient for our first event. The competitors really liked it."
The kickboxing event was sanctioned by the Southern Tier Martial Arts League of the American Fighting Alliance.
Chris Howard of Western New York Self Defense was a happy camper as four of his fighters put together solid performances.
Western New York Self Defense, located in South Dayton, featured 7-year-old Jaiden Miller and 8-year-old Craig Howard.
Miller fought Gaffar Adam's Tyler Eckman while Howard took on Adam's Ethan Shields.
In the undercard, WNY Self Defense's Kevin Bailey earned a second-round knockout of Cody Berione while Mike Schimek won via technical knockout over Jason Maybach.
"I was really happy with their performance," Chris Howard said of his fighters. "They had real clean strikes and didn't tire themselves out. I was happy with crisp punches and defense. No one got caught."
Howard was most happy with the fact he was only a mere 30-minute drive from being home at the end of the night.
"It's great to be in Jamestown," he said. "We are happy to be here. It's a short drive. We are used to driving hours and hours to fight. It's great to be here locally and receive cheers. When we are in Ohio or Pennsylvania, we get booed."
Westfield's Marcus Cuevas, who trains under Joe Pagan, earned a first-round technical knockout over Tyler Sanders.
"It was an outstanding performance," Pagan said. "Marcus focused on what we talked about. I told him to work the body shots. We have been working it all along and it worked."
Like Howard, Pagan raved about having the event in Chautauqua County.
"This is actually nice," he said. "I wish we had a bigger crowd. But, hopefully, the word will get out and we will have bigger crowds in the future. I'd love to get more guys here. We go to Ohio, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. It's nice being close to home. Everything went well and the show was nice."
Adam noted he is hoping to have three or four shows a year in Jamestown.