MMA is about to get another contender in the ever growing world of fighting promotions. Yamma Pit Fighting is going to be a lot different than most. First off, it is being run by Bob Meyrowitz, who was the major force behind the original UFC. Now back in my day, when i first discovered UFC via the local video store, it was basically a tournament of tough guys from various disciplines, or hell even some that had no discipline, they were just good at fighting in bars and such. The tournaments were great fun to watch, but did have some problems, the main one being, fighters who would would get hurt and couldn't advance to the next round, thus causing replacement fighters, and unfair advantages and disadvantages throughout the tournament.
Well, Yamma is bringing back the tournament format for the first time in years, and Yamma has gone with a new surface for this tournament, which will both make things more safe for fighters to continue on in the tournament, and keep the action non-stop. Basically the surface will be a bowl like structure, which will keep fighters from being pressed up against the cage for long durations during the fight, and force continued action. The tournament, will crown the first ever Yamma heavyweight champion, and will even feature former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Ricco Rodriguez. So we get a tournament, which were always fun years ago, and we get a champion right away off the first show, and hopefully that will mean no weight divisions in Yamma, which in my opinion, just take away from the excitement of MMA. On top of the 8 man heavyweight championship tournament, Yamma gives us 2 "Masters Superfights." Now this is another cool concept, that will take 2 big name fighters, some even from the golden era of UFC, and have 1 big grudge fight, to settle a score, resolve an issue, or maybe even start a new feud of sorts. Originally on this card, we had the return of "The Russian Bear" Oleg Taktarov, who was one of the legends of the original UFC, taking on Don Frye, who is also a legend from that era. Unfortunately, Don Frye had to back out of the fight due to an injury, so Mark Kerr, who is another UFC tournament winner, will now take on Taktarov, in Oleg's return fight. Also, Butterbean was scheduled to battle "Big Daddy" Gary Goodridge in the other Masters Superfight, but Goodridge cannot fight due to a loss in Korea he incurred a couple of weeks ago, so Butterbean will now battle Pat Smith, who some may remember for his impressive performances in the earlier UFC tournaments.
All the changes to the Masters Superfights, and even a few to the tournament, dont look good on Yamma, but I personally hope they can get past it, and give us a new MMA product to those of us who aren't fans of the super strict rules and regulations that UFC, and a lot of other MMA promotions go by. The tournaments were action packed years ago, and I'm sure they still can be. The early tournaments allowed small guys to showcase their skills, and take out guys twice their size, so why can't that still happen? And why not let some of the older guys that paved the way for UFC, get in the cage and prove they can still go, instead of being pushed aside for the latest young star. Yamma will hopefully blow the doors of opportunity open for guys to come in and prove themselves, tournament style, and give MMA fans a product based on pure excitement. With the people that created the early UFC behind this, I hope they pull it off, and Yamma tournaments will be a force in MMA, that will bring in many big name fighters, and contend with UFC, EliteXC, etc.
For more information, including the full fight brackets, check out YammaPitFighting.com.