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Pennsylvania Underground >> 3 From PA Enter Draft

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10/23/07 11:55 PM
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Joseph Cunliffe
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Edited: 24-Oct-07 12:00 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 7802
From www.MMAinPA.com: The IFL held try outs over the weekend in New York that attracted about 150 fighters from 20 states, including at least three from Pennsylvania. Jim Bova and Diego Jimenez from Team RGDA affiliate Anthracite Combat Club in Schuylkill Haven, and Mike Willus from Pittsburgh, made the journey seeking an opportunity in the lightweight division, which had the greatest number of fighters aspiring to make the draft. Each fighter made it past the first round, which included "wrestling takedowns and defenses, grappling, which prohibited the use of a closed guard, and sparring sessions with punches, kicks, knees, etc.," according to Bova. They were two minute rounds performed in front of IFL officials, including Dragons coach Carlos Newton and IFL Co-Host Bas Rutten. After the eliminations, 13 lightweights advanced to the finals. Each was pitted against another finalist to compete in a two round MMA fight. Bova fought first and won the fight in round two with some ground and pound, while team mate Jimenez lost a hard fought battle and Willus beat his opponent by armbar in about 30 seconds. Willus dominated the division tapping out all opponents, "I am hoping maybe my submission ability stood out in a field of mostly brawlers," he said. Bova and Willus normally fight at 155 pounds, while Jimenez at 145 pounds. A try out was conducted the previous weekend in California and the final try out will be this weekend in Chicago. In all, some 60-70 athletes, including Bova and Willus, will be in the final draft pool.

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