While the World Fighting Federation may be young as a promotion, it brings a wealth of experience and history with it to Tucson, Ariz. at its latest event, "The Battle For The Belt."
Owners Al Fuentes and Thom Ortiz are well-known in the fight game and their experience and history give them an edge that helps them produce one of the finest fight productions in Arizona.
Staged at the gorgeous outdoor venue The AVA Amphitheater, and stacked with some of the best local fighters that can be found, "The Battle For The Belt" has the local fight crowd in a frenzy with anticipation.
This card has it all, local favorites, great match ups, star power in attendance, oh and some of the finest ring girls you will ever see.
Speaking of star power, none other than the No. 1 contender to the UFC Heavyweight Championship, Cain Velasquez, will be in attendance supporting this event. His presence alone is indicative of what a top-shelf organization the World Fighting Federation is.
Cain has roots at Arizona State University, where Thom was head coach for many years. Now many years later, they find themselves together again at the American Kickboxing Academy.
Thom and Al also met at ASU when Thom was a Sun Devil wrestling coach and Al was a mental performance coach.
Thom and Al both have deep roots with many of the most respected gyms and fighters in the world, and they understand the finer points of this game.
It is always encouraging seeing a man of Cain's stature in MMA supporting a regional up-and-coming promotion like the WFF.
Last time out, Al and Thom had Ryan Bader, C.B. Dollaway, and Efrain Escudero in attendance as supporters of their inaugural event. They have a strong reputation with fighters and it shows in the support they receive.
Speaking of fighters, you may not recognize all of these names, but there is a strong chance that some day you will. Some of these athletes are taking the first steps of their MMA careers as the next generation of fighter to change the sport.
The game is in a constant state of evolution, and the foundation of change is being laid at events like this one.
The WFF has two fighters competing that local fight fans will be sure to remember. Nate Vorel and Anthony Birchak as a duo put on the fight of the night last time out.
To put that into perspective, there were 14 fights, eight T/Kos, four tapouts, with two decisions.
For those of you without a calculator, that is an eighty five percent finish ratio. That's right kids, Vorel and Birchak put on the best show out of all of that.
While they wont be competing against each other it is encouraging to know that fans can count on their high-octane relentless games to be displayed with other athletes.
In the co-main event local trainer, coach, gym owner, oh and a favorite amongst fans, Joey "Boom Boom" Rivera will face off with the very well seasoned R.J. Gamez for the WFF 170 pound title.
Rivera is a man who lives, eats, and sleeps MMA at his gym Apex MMA. Gamez is a man with an extensive resume in the game.
Both men are talented and if the electricity of Rivera's fan base and his skill rival a portion of his last fight in the WFF, the atmosphere will be explosive.
Rivera is a highly respected local individual in the game of MMA. His skill level reflects his dedication to all things MMA and it is hard to bet against him.
In the main event there are two heavyweight WFF fighters who are very proud, very confident, very capable athletes. It just so happens they both won their first bouts in the WFF and now they find themselves competing for the promotion's heavyweight title.
Estevez Jones has shown surprising agility for a heavyweight and knockout power. His feet give an opponent something to think about as he has a fluid Muay Thai style of attack.
He is strong and aggressive making him very dangerous which is reflected by his flawless 4-0 record with three knockouts.
Standing across the cage from him will be another local favorite in George "The Brown Bomber" Castro.
Castro brings with him a small legion of fight fans who are rabid to see him win. Last time out he gave them what they wanted: dropping his opponent with a devastating right in the first round.
Castro knows where he wants to fight and doesn't mind if anyone else knows. He wants to bang and he wants you to bang with him.
Judging by the last performance of Jones, he might just oblige Castro. That is a nice set of ingredients for a volatile fight that is going to get rough.
At the end of the day, the staff at the WFF take great pride in what they do. They are not rushing their efforts, but rather making all the right choices at all the right times.
For example, working with the honorable Pascua Yaqui Tribe who allow the WFF to operate under the "the unified rules" of MMA.
This, in turn, allows for the sound development of fighters with an approach that allows them to fight under the most common rules of the sport.
Pascua Yaqui Boxing Commissioner Ernie Gallardo called the WFF "a class act" and described Thom Ortiz as "an honorable man and great role model".
Al Fuentes and Thom Ortiz have a great thing going with the WFF, and they work very hard to bring an elite product to their fans.
As that elite product continues to deliver it builds a certain level of quality that is associated with the WFF brand. Not every organization can do that, but it is obvious these gentlemen are well on the right track.
For more information about the World Fighting Federation, their competitors, or their lovely Cage Girls, visit their website wffmma.com