Manatee County gets taste of mixed martial arts at The Hall in Palmetto

Palmetto to host ASAP Fighting Championship bouts

jlembo@bradenton.comJune 21, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The phenomenon that is mixed martial arts is making its way to Manatee County.

In the eyes of Andy Glenn, it has been a long time coming.

"It seems to happen everywhere," Glenn said, "but Bradenton."

Friday's ASAP Fighting Championships won't take place in Bradenton. Instead, The Hall in Palmetto will play host to the event, which gets under way at 7 p.m. and is set to feature eight to 10 amateur fights.

"It's really good for the area," said Glenn, who owns Champions MMA Bradenton.

Glenn also is an official who works MMA and boxing matches, and he met another official, Peter Rogers, when one of Glenn's fighters went to Connecticut for a bout at Mohegan Sun.

Rogers also is the CEO of ASAP Fight League and has been promoting fights for 25 years.

"He has family on Anna Maria," Glenn said of Rogers, who is based in Connecticut and Rhode Island. "I talked to him about putting on a show, and we really

wanted to bring cage fighting down here."

Rogers is a former MMA fighter as well.

"I think it's a good fighting area; I think it's going to be a good draw," Rogers said of Manatee County, "and I think it's going to be good for the area.

"I know Andy really well, and he helped me out a lot. When I came down here, I called him and he introduced me to a lot of contacts."

Friday night's event will be for amateurs, who must have at least five bouts on their résumé before turning pro.

Four of Glenn's fighters will be in action: Shea Butler, John Knowles, Sajen Melcher and Jake Surriano.

"I wanted to get as many as I could on the card," Glenn said.

The idea, Rogers said, was for Friday night's fights to run the gamut as far as weight classes.

"We've going to have guys as light as 125, 135 pounds," Rogers said, "and we're scheduled to have to 300-pound guys, which will be quite interesting."

Glenn and Rogers said the feedback from the community has been positive, and as of Wednesday night, around 400 tickets had been sold. Rogers said The Hall seats around 800 people.

Tickets are $30 for ringside seats and $20 for general admission. Glenn said the VIP tables, which cost $250, have sold out.

"Sometimes, you can feel it," Rogers said. "I really think we're going to sell this place out."

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