#LocalMMA Monday: NAAFS & Driven MMA

June 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Local / Regional MMA, News

The first installment of IntimidationMMA.com’s #LocalMMA Monday features perhaps the biggest name in all of Local MMA, as the co-branded NAAFS/Driven MMA organization kicks us off. Based out of Canton, Ohio, the North American Allied Fight Series was founded in 2005 as “Gladiator Fighting” with current CEO Greg Kalikas in conjunction with veteran kickboxer Duke Roufus. NAAFS in the FlatsSince then, the organization has promoted more than 125 live events in the Midwest and has become one of the most respected amateur leagues in the country.

Kalikas’ NAAFS developed into a powerhouse on the local scene, holding the majority of their events in Canton, Akron and Cleveland before eventually branching out from events in Northeast Ohio to hold events all over the state. Then the organization was one of the first promoters to hold an event in West Virginia when the state regulated MMA in 2012. Over its nearly decade as an organization, the NAAFS has come to be known as a leader in amateur MMA, women’s MMA, and producing top talent for the UFC, Bellator MMA and other national organizations.

Stipe Miocic UFCThe list of names that have competed inside the NAAFS cage reads like a who’s who of MMA, including current welterweight top contender Matt Brown, current UFC heavyweight contender Stipe Miocic, women’s MMA star Jessica Eye, UFC veterans Jason Dent, Forrest Petz, Ben Rothwell, Dave Herman, Phil Davis, Donny Walker and more along with current TUF 19 star Dan Spohn, former Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion Daniel Straus, Bellator knockout artists Brian Rogers and many more.

In addition to its top names, NAAFS has come to be known for featuring women’s MMA, spearheaded by the first woman of Ohio MMA, Jessica “Evil” Eye. Eye competed in the first women’s bout in NAAFS history, headlined the first all-female card, became the first female amateur NAAFS champion, and became the first female to headline a card featuring men for the organization as well. NAAFS has also featured other top female talent, including Aisling Daly, Carina Damm, Rebecca Heintzman, Jessica Zomcik, Tamikka Brents and more.

Donny Walker NAAFS ChampionOn top of all of this, the NAAFS is one of a limited number of Local MMA promotions to co-promote events with Bellator MMA having worked together  on Bellator 51 in Canton and Bellator 66 in Cleveland, Ohio and Bellator 71 in West Virginia.

While the pro fighters brought fans to NAAFS events, it has been the astounding amateur talent that has kept them there. The NAAFS National Amateur Series is a true proving ground for amateur fighters who want to make it to the next level, and many top names have claimed NAAFS amateur gold before turning pro. Those names include Isaiah Chapman, George Comer, Nick Duell, Jessica Eye, Jerrell Hodge, and many more.

“It is hard to deny the resume that the NAAFS has built in the past decade,” stated Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing, LLC. “Now with Driven MMA they put on the cards that everyone else in the Midwest looks at and wishes they could duplicate. Few organizations have done more to further Local MMA in the USA, especially East of the Mississippi, as the NAAFS.”

The organization promotes many must-see events, including the annual “Fight Nite in the Flats” and “Rock N Rumble” summer events at Jacobs Pavilion in Downtown Cleveland, as well as their annual “Night of Champions” to award amateur titles.

John Hawk & StrongStyle wearing Local MMAIn 2014, the NAAFS became an all amateur series, with the berth of a new wing of the organization, Driven MMA. Driven MMA debuted in March 2014, and Driven MMA One was the biggest MMA card to hit Ohio in years. The event featured an all-pro lineup that showcased top fighters, including Bellator MMA veteran Dan Hornbuckle, UFC veteran Rodney Wallace, former NAAFS champion Frank Caraballo, and rising local stars like Chapman, Comer, Kyle Rozewski and more.

Now, the two wings will team up for the first time, as Driven MMA presents NAAFS: Fight Nite in the Flats 10 this weekend in Cleveland. The card features both professional and amateur talent, and it is headlined by Frank Caraballo taking on UFC veteran Tommy Hayden in a featherweight match-up. Also included on the card are several familiar names for Ohio MMA fans including Chapman, Rozewski, Hodge, RJ Buck, Dave Lastafka and more.

 

By David McKinney
Intimidation Interactive Media Staff Writer

Intimidation Clothing to serve as presenting sponsor of NAAFS Fight Nite in the Flats IX in Cleveland, Ohio

Intimidation Clothing is pleased to announce the sponsorship of NAAFS: Fight Nite in the Flats IX in Cleveland, Ohio. The 2013 version of Fight Nite in the Flats, the largest annual MMA event in the state of Ohio, will be held on June 1st, 2013 at the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in Cleveland, Ohio.

NAAFS Fight Nite in the FlatsIntimidation Clothing, a sponsor of every North American Allied Fight Series (NAAFS) event for the past three years, will be in attendance at the Fight Nite in the Flats event for the 4th consecutive year selling at the event with the Intimidation brand to been seen and heard all over the venue.

The Intimidation brand, a company known for taking care of their fighters, savvy marketing and sponsoring many of the biggest names in MMA in the Midwest, will sponsor a variety of great fighters at the Fight Nite in the Flats VIII event. In addition to the #1 ranked amateur female fighter at 145 lbs in the world, Jessica Zomcik from Evolve MMA, Intimidation will sponsor fellow amateur fighters Dave Lastafka and RJ Buck from Strong Style Martial Arts and Sammy Callari from GriffonRawl MMA.

Jessica Eye MMA - BellatorAlong with the four amateurs, and likely more to come, Intimidation will also be sponsoring pro fighters George Comer and Jason Dent of GriffonRawl MMA in Mentor, Brian Camozzi of Factory X Muay Thai near Denver, Colorado, Forrest Petz and Maxim Grishin from StrongStyle Martial Arts in Independence along with #1 ranked 125lb pro female fighter Jessica Eye from Strong Style in non-title bouts. Eye, currently under contract with Bellator MMA, will make her first return to the cage since her December upset victory over Zoila Gurgel at Bellator 83, which propelled her to the top ranking in the women’s 125-pound division. Intimidation will also sponsor Nick Duell in the NAAFS Welterweight title fight as well as both fighters in the NAAFS Lightweight Championship fight – Torrance Taylor and Terry Blackwell.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of lifestyle apparel & combat sports training gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA and a growing national presence. The Intimidation brand is regularly featured on multiple sporting events on SpikeTV, AXS TV, SportsTime Ohio, MTV2, FUEL TV, The Comcast Network, Comcast  SportsNet and EpixHD as well as MMA highlight shows on Spike TV, AXS TV and more. In addition to over 110 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts and sweatshirts for men, women and children and is also known for their premium-quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts. Intimidation products can be found for sale online at IntimidationClothing.com and fans can follow the marketing wing of the Intimidation brand, Intimidation Interactive Media, @IntimidationIM. Follow Intimidation Clothing on Facebook and @IntimidationMMA on Twitter.

Intimidation Clothing to sponsor 12 amateurs at NAAFS Caged Fury 15 in Cleveland, Ohio

October 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Event Sponsorships, Fighter Sponsorships, News

Intimidation Clothing is pleased to announce the sponsorship of 12 amateur fighters on tonight’s NAAFS: Caged Fury 15 card in Cleveland, Ohio. The Caged Fury event, which features the semifinals of the 2011 NAAFS amateur series, brings many of the top amateur fighters in the Midwest USA together in the highly competitive world of MMA. Isaiah Chapman MMAThe NAAFS event, which itself is also sponsored by Intimidation, will also feature pro sponsorships of Jason Dent and Adam Milstead in addition to the 12 ammys and takes place at the IX Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

“The NAAFS has a reputation for developing MMA talent and consistently produces many of the best fighters in the Midwest,” said Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing. “We are thrilled to sponsor fighters from many of the top gyms in the region as we continue to show the country how serious our company is in the MMA apparel industry.”

Intimidation will be sponsoring 2010 NAAFS Amateur Bantamweight Champion Isaiah Chapman (pictured) as well as the following amateurs fighters from different gyms in the region: Featherweights Russ Blretrick & Sean Serfass, Lightweights Josh Kallai & Kenny Jackson, Middleweights Cory Bresson, John Burbol, Steve Burton & Dave Lastafka, Light Heavyweight Tommy Deroia and Heavyweights Jeff Hughes & Jay Olson. The 12 amateur fighters have a combined 65-19 record and represent six different gyms in the region with seven of the 12 fighters coming from Evolve MMA in Medina, Ohio.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA. In addition to over 50 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium-quality MMA fight shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation on Facebook and follow Intimidation Clothing on Twitter @IntimidationMMA.

Intimidation Clothing to sponsor 10 amateurs at NAAFS Rock ‘N Rumble in Cleveland, Ohio

August 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Event Sponsorships, Fighter Sponsorships, News

To some in Northeast Ohio, Intimidation Clothing‘s sponsorship of just two fighters at NAAFS Rock ‘N Rumble may come as a bit of a surprise. Intimidation announced their sponsorship of George Comer last week and the sponsorship of Terry Blackwell earlier today, and now makes it official that they will also sponsor 10 amateur fighters on the Rock ‘N Rumble card.

John Burbol MMA“The NAAFS has a reputation for developing MMA talent and consistently produces many of the best fighters in the Midwest,” said Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing. “Sponsoring individuals like Reggie Parks, one of the classiest fighters you will ever meet, or Mark Cherico, a fighter with a ton of potential to be a star, is a no-brainer for our company. We are thrilled to sponsor fighters from many of the top gyms in the region as we continue to show the country how serious our company is in the MMA apparel industry.”

Intimidation will be sponsoring the following amateurs fighters from different gyms in the region: Mark Cherico, Dave Lastafka and Joe Goyette. In addition, GriffonRawl MMA fighters Reggie Parks, John Burbol (pictured), and Ryan Lose as well as Evolve MMA fighters Kenny Jackson, Josh Oppenheimer, Steve Burton and Jeff Hughes will also be sponsored by Intimidation. The 10 amateur fighters have a combined 55-22 record and represent five different gyms in the region.

The NAAFS Rock ‘N Rumble event will begin at 6 pm ET on Saturday night, August 27th at the Jacobs Pavilion in The Flats in Cleveland, Ohio. Fans can find out more on the official NAAFS Rock ‘N Rumble 5 page.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA. In addition to over 50 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium-quality MMA fight shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation on Facebook and follow Intimidation Clothing on Twitter @IntimidationMMA.