Written by John Archibald, Resolution Sports
I was able to make it out to Extreme Cage Fighting 7: Total Domination this past Saturday night, and I left very impressed with a martial arts show that I would highly recommend to anyone who calls him/herself a fan of combat sports.
Despite the fact that mixed martial arts is still not legalized in the State of the New York, that component remained the only part of Extreme Cage Fighting that was amateur in nature. First off, ECF 7 was held in a gem of a venue located in Queens, the Melrose Ballroom. Possessing a profound light and audio system, the Melrose Ballroom creates a great environment that has both a floor setup with the cage and a corresponding balcony overlooking it on the second floor. Both floors also have their own bar and concessions as well.
Back on the topic of professionalism, the ECF takes extra steps to ensure the safety of its fighters, many of which that are not done by other amateur organizations. All ECF participants have complete physicals and bloodwork done prior to competing, and the promotion takes out full MMA insurance for all combatants on its show. The ECF also employs professional cutmen to work corners, with an ambulance and certified EMTs on site at all times. Additionally, the ECF is fully sanctioned by the Professional Kickboxing Federation.
The ECF is led by Christian Defiris, a martial arts veteran who thoroughly understands the sports landscape. Most importantly, Defiris is a promoter who clearly cares about those athletes who participate on his card, as evidenced by his strong attention to medical and safety details. Another unique component includes his giving a gift package to all of the fighters, which includes items that are provided by ECF sponsors.
In terms of the action at ECF, the promotion shows a nice mix of the martial arts from show to show, presenting MMA, K-1, Muay Thai and grappling matches. The competitions themselves are competitive and give opportunities to combatants throughout the region, providing quality entertainment for all spectators at the same time. You can also find some well accomplished fighters in attendance to check out the ECF, including professional kickboxer and rising heavyweight boxer Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who was seated cageside on Saturday night.
While it may currently be an amateur show, the ECF is surrounded by professionalism. The promotion has clearly set the stage for itself to become a full-blown professional show once the MMA ban in New York is eventually uplifted, but martial arts fans do not need to wait until then to go see what the promotion is all about. The ECF already has its next card booked at the Melrose Ballroom when it presents Holiday Havoc 2: Redemption on Saturday, December 5th. I highly encourage all martial arts fans to check it out for themselves. You can definitely expect to see me there again.