Frankie Festa VS. John Antanitis Set For Pinnacle FC 15:

The crown jewel of every fight card is a grudge match between two local guys that for whatever reason can’t wait to punch each other in the face.  It’s just what the people want to see, sure you care about technique and shit like that but let’s be real, worldstarhiphop exists for one reason and it’s not because of the unsigned artist videos.  Sometimes you just wanna see two guys try to hurt each other and who has the highest likelihood of doing that? Not the innocuous “its all good bro” surfer type this sport is now seemingly full of I’ll tell you that.

So if not them then who?  Mortal to-the-fucking-death Facebook enemies, that’s who.

If you’re doing it right, a true real deal grudge match doesn’t happen every show -it can’t- because if that’s the case you either live in a town full of assholes or you’re just making shit up. These match ups take time and energy and social media to birth into a semi rage filled, semi curious situation ending with one guy getting his hand raised in glorious victory. December 17th, live and direct from the Teamsters Hall in Lawrenceville, Pinnacle FC will bring you not only the biggest regional grudge match of all time between Mark Cherico and Antonio Castillo Jr, but John Antanitis and Frankie Festa will also settle their personal beef inside the same cage, on the same night.

To be completely honest, I don’t know much about Festa other than he’s a local kid repping Stout training center who has made most of his career fighting on Ohio shows but I do know that for whatever reason, he and Antanitis seem to be having more problems than Suge Knight’s defense team.

Things peaked recently when Festa sent the dreaded but familiar “I’m sorry but I am going to have to pull out because of ___” text to his manager who then defaulted to us and somehow word got back to Antanitis almost instantly.  A few minutes later I am getting messages about Festa’s “withdrawal from the contest” -In my best McGregor accent- followed by a series of nevermind “it’s back on” type rhetoric. Apparently, Antanitis leveraged the fight back into reality using Facebook and what my grandmother would describe as colorful language and what I would call, everyday type talk. I didn’t actually see any of this so I can only tell you what I heard.   Long story short, the fight is back on and with a renewed fervor as these two are annoying each other into actual paid for fisticuffs.  Antanitis had a pretty strong amateur career having only dropped one bout since 2010 (a recent split decision loss) and prior to that a decision loss to now UFC heavyweight Adam Milstead.  No shame in that one, obviously. 

Festa went 6 and 1 as an amateur and has done the whole professional thing before starting back in June with a decision win over Tony Dipiero.  Even though Festa has the edge in the professional experience column, he doesn’t hold the same resume as Antanitis who has fought and beat some of the better guys in the area.

Because I am a shitty promoter and bad with dates and math, this fight is way closer than I thought and with that being said, tickets are literally running out already and I didn’t even order the DJ yet.

So Mike if you’re reading this, I need you December 17th - thanks bruh.

Get your tickets soon because this is a small venue and you don’t want to be that guy stuck standing outside the venue forced to watch the stream on your phone trying to convince your pissed off girlfriend that you know somebody who works for Pinnacle and they’re gonna hook you up.

Then when we don’t hook you up,  you do what any other normal human being who feels like they’ve been slighted does and go to Facebook and leave us a shitty review like Rowanda Shampley (sounds legit).  Then after you leave us an unflattering review, we also do the super normal thing like track your IP address back to your house through your local ISP and figure out where you and your people live, pass around pictures of your mother and siblings all the while listening to Jeezy's "bout that time" on loop promising to hit you in your face upon entry of the next event.  Don't play like you aren't coming to the next event, we both know you ain't missing this shit.  

Lesson learned bros. 

Don’t be Rowanda Shampley, get your tickets soon.

Bill Hutchinson Has A New Opponent For This Wednesday:

To say that finding a fight for Bill Hutchinson is tough, is kinda like saying that fire is hot, or if you end up on The Steve Wilkos show, you’re life may be a bit of a mess.

Yeah, no shit.

After about 3 “nahs”, 2 changes of heart, 4 ”forgot I had something to do that days”, 1 “I’ll do it but I want 40,000 and a pic with Dan Bilzerian” and 5 straight up ghosts, we finally have a concrete opponent for Bill Hutchinson this Wednesday.

But first, our sponsors: KP Builders, Allegheny Crane Rental, Faster, Fit Crunch, Wayne Crouse, and Allegheny Ophthalmic and Orbital Associates.

Ok, sorry about that last part brought to you by Fit Crunch, we legally have to do it otherwise Faster and KP Builders won’t love us so much and that means no more of this type of thing.  Wednesday night, Bill Hutchinson will be taking on Jairo Vargas (6-1) in a main event, gladiatorial style affair that will probably change at least one of them forever.

5 of Vargas’ 6 wins are by stoppage and his style is built around pressure and pushing the fight.   I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen young William ply his trade but I could literally use the exact same sentence to describe him. In fact, because I am in a rush, I will:  Bill’s style is built around pressure and pushing the fight.

How unoriginal am I getting?  

“STU used to be good but he’s been really mailing it in lately”

The truth is somewhere between “half-assing alot lately” and  this site was never very good to begin with.  

Anyway, this is the biggest fight night of the year and Hutchinson’s first foray into the sub 140 (that means less than) pound category, if you miss this one, I don’t know what to tell you.  This is definitely rounding out to be our biggest boxing event thus far and I haven’t even spent one second to sit back and admire our work because these dummies don’t really want to fight. Seriously, who turns down thousands of real deal American dollars, travel pay and a free trip to Pittsburgh?  Try roughly anyone south of 147 pounds anywhere from say here to Florida and back.  At least it’s in the books and we can move on to the face punching.

How about a quick recap just for fun: Gregg Rudolph is making his professional debut, Gerald Sherrell and Sam “The Butcher” Suska are back in action along with Richie Cantolina throwing down with Scott Perhach in our amatuer main event, Josh Fremd squaring off with Kyle Holt, Llewyn McClamy, Jordan Russos, Sniper and Deon Goodlow.

Yes, all in one night.  

Quit fucking around and get your tickets reserved asap because the fight is only a few days away.

Here is the card being held at The Teamsters Temple at 4701 Butler St. Wednesday night:

Main Event

Bill Hutchinson Jr. 10-2-4 PA vs Jairo Vargas 6-1 137 lbs

Co-Main:  

Gerald Sherrell 4-0 PA vs Raymond Terry 5-2 Lynchburg, VA 160 lbs

Sam Suska 4-3 PA vs Donte Adams Lansing, MI 170 (yes the MMA Donte Adams)

Gregg Rudolph debut PA vs Larry Stampley (0-0) 168 lbs

Featured Amateur Bouts:

Rich Cantolina Cherico Martial Arts vs Scott Perhach Brownson House Boxing 160 lbs (Open)

Jordan Roussos Conn Greb vs Chris Young OH Heavyweight (Open)

Lewelyn McClamy Conn Greb vs Isaac Chatman OH 141 lbs (Open)

Kyle Holt vs Josh Fremd 190 lbs 3-2 minute rounds

Deon Goodlow Conn Greb vs Chris Sims OH 155 lbs 3-2 min rounds

Ramil Islamov Cherico Martial Arts vs Nyziah Taylor OH 70 lbs 3-1 minute rounds

Dom Mazzotta Has An Opponent For Pinnacle FC 15 In December:

So the other day I was sitting and thinking about my life as a promoter and I got this great idea.  I don’t know if it was the THC vape pen I got from my man over in the east end or if I’m just a combat sports genius, but here’s what I thought, I think.  

You know what would be awesome (I’m saying this to no one in particular), what if Mark Cherico and Dom Mazzotta fought on the debut of our new city series in December.

That would be pretty cool.

Fast forward 2 weeks and some odd days later and here we are; Dom Mazzotta (11-1) is set to take on the #1 rated fighter from South Carolina Solon Staley (11-4), who also happens to be ranked 13th in the entire southeast region including Miami and Atlanta.

It just so happens that Mazzotta is ranked #2 in Pennsylvania and #2 in the northeast at bantamweight.  So what we have here folks is a good ol’ fashion shoot-out between two highly ranked, highly visible prospects and all for the low, low price of $40 a ticket.  I know, I know I just keep getting better at this shit, thank you. 

Mazzotta is riding an 8 fight win streak and has ended all but one via submission.  It’s getting harder and harder to find guys that this kid can fight so make sure you show up before those $40 tickets end up being $400 and a flight to Vegas where you half fight the whole time with your girlfriend because you’re “too drunk” to be in public and should stop “quoting Kevin Gates memes”.

“No one else gets it”.
“Trust me people get it”
“How is it possible you’re mad right now?”
“Seriously, we’re in Vegas, Dom’s fighting in like 2 hours, we won $35 dollars on slots and I’m still wearing pants, call it a win”.
“Oh so now you’re not going to talk to me all night, cool way to ruin the trip like ten minutes in”

….

Yeah, soo... get your tickets before all that happens - and don’t roll your eyes at me fuckers, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Mark Cherico is finally squaring off against Antonio Castillo Jr. and if that’s not enough to tempt you, you probably don’t care that much about any of this and only read it because your friend convinced you to check out this article cause the guy “writes like we talk”.

The fight will be held at the Teamsters hall in sunny Lawrenceville and the address, which I apparently forgot last time, is 4701 Butler st PGH, Pa 15201.  

 

 

Pinnacle Boxing Championships 4: Card and Other Stuff

Pinnacle Boxing Championships returns 11/23 (the night before thanksgiving) to the Teamsters hall in the now extremely non-threatening Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lawrenceville.  This card will feature all of your favorite pugilists including Sam “the Butcher” Suska, Gerald “G5” Sherrell and headlined by local stand out Bill Hutchinson.

This card also features the professional debut of the Lumberjack Gregg Rudolph.  You might remember him from a thing on Facebook or that time anyone you’ve ever met asked if you knew him. Yes, he was called out on social media by a guy(s) who said he wanted the fight which here at the Pinnacle lab we love to see, but when we actually attempted to make said fights happen well they all had their reasons to say no.  We specialize in conflict resolution strategies and should you have a conflict you decide to take public don't be surprised when a chat bubble pops up within the hour offering you an opportunity to resolve said conflict.  At this point it is what it is and Gregg is now officially booked to take on Coy Lanbert a veteran of over 20 professional bouts.

This event will also feature some of the top amateurs in the area including Richie Cantolina taking on Scott Perhach and Josh Fremd squaring off against Kyle Holt in a holy shit did I read that right affair.  

Here is the card below brought to you by our sponsors KP Builders, Allegheny Crane Rental, Faster, Fit Crunch, Wayne Crouse, and Allegheny Ophthalmic and Orbital Associates:

Main Event:

Bill Hutchinson Jr. 10-2-4 PA vs Hakeem Watkins 5-2 Whitehall, Ohio 137 lbs

Co-Main:  

Gerald Sherrell 4-0 PA vs Raymond Terry 5-2 Lynchburg, VA 160 lbs

Sam Suska 4-3 PA vs Donte Adams Lansing, MI 170 (yes the MMA Donte Adams)

Gregg Rudolph debut PA vs Coy Lanbert Summerville, SC veteran 168 lbs

Lemont Johnson PA vs TBA 154 lbs

Featured Amateur Bouts:

Rich Cantolina Cherico Martial Arts vs Scott Perhach Brownson House Boxing 160 lbs (Open)

Jordan Roussos Conn Greb vs Chris Young OH Heavyweight (Open)

Lewelyn McClamy Conn Greb vs Isaac Chatman OH 141 lbs (Open)

Kyle Holt vs Josh Fremd 190 lbs 3-2 minute rounds

Deon Goodlow Conn Greb vs Chris Sims OH 155 lbs 3-2 min rounds

Ramil Islamov Cherico Martial Arts vs Nyziah Taylor OH 70 lbs 3-1 minute rounds

 

Mark Cherico Vs. Antonio Castillo Jr. Set For 12/17 IN Lawrenceville:

I’ve been doing this fighting shit for awhile now and for all things relative to this particular world, my career has been surprisingly notable.   Surprising to me at least but I am more familiar with my past that you so it’s easier for me to compare my early expectations to my reality. What’s even more surprising is that I have been quietly sitting on a huge matchup that over the years we have pushed and proposed, suggested and offered all the while kinda expecting it to never actually happen.

 

Until now.   

 

Yes, bros some of you have guessed correctly. We just fuck around and lined up Mark Cherico to fight Antonio Castillo Jr. for December 17th at “who cares what weight they are fighting” in Lawrenceville which is literally in Mark Cherico’s back yard.  I’ll do you one better, the venue that these two will face off in arguably in what is one of the most visceral, real-life grudge matches in regional history also played host to Cherico’s high school graduation.  

 

There have been a few of notable beefs over the years but none of them have quite the same “oh shit” type of feeling surrounding them as the tangible dislike shared between Castillo Jr. and Cherico.

 

The social media “back and forth” has been real, often and brutal with both guys launching the most biting, hurtful shit about one another they could come up with.   The topics went way outside of the traditional opponent digs and desperation takedown jabs and into each other’s personal lives and even included a few strays at yours truly.

 

Now these two are contractually slated to finally settle their personal problems the good old fashion way, locked in a steel cage with 15 minutes to do as much damage to one another as humanly possible for some cash and way more importantly, the opportunity to get a crack at one of those people in your life you just don’t fucking like.

 

In a way, these guys are really lucky.  It’s not often you get a chance to hit someone you just genuinely don’t like hard in the face as many times as you can for a couple thousand dollars without fear of jail or retaliation.  This is the type of animalistic score-settling that humans have been sorting out for thousands of years. It started with glove slapping duels, went to meeting at high noon in the center of town,  continued on when we met at the flagpole after school and has now finally arrived with a few thousand “Facebook live” views and a circular cage inside of a union hall.

 

The odds of this thing popping off before it should are high, which is fun for you to think about but yet another variable in the weirdest job of all time.  I literally have to make sure that the guys I am paying to try and kill each other, only do so in the appropriate space and time coupled by the fact that, legally speaking, they need to occupy the same space at the same time.  I don't know if you ever paid much attention to our weigh in photos but it’s not exactly like we’re mobbed up with security in case one homeboy decides he wants to start the party early.

Fun times this fighting shit.

Anyway tickets will go on sale eventually and be available yadda yadda I’m the worst promoter of all time. Shout out to Nichole Castillo for yet again doing a bang up job and putting this one together.

 

 Tell me this didn’t make your night a little better though, and for that I very humbly say “You’re welcome fuckers”.

Pinnacle FC 15 Set For 12/17 In Pittsburgh

I haven't posted much lately because to be perfectly honest, I am half disinterested, half disgusted, half too busy to fuck around and write some half-assed, probably misspelled post spouting half truths about how great everything is.

Because truthfully there just isn’t that much great stuff going on right now in the local combat sports world.  At least in my half-assed opinion.

With that amazing introduction leading us into this next un-bastardized literary stanza I am happy (in theory) to announce that Pinnacle FC will be making its 15th appearance at the end of the year and we are heading back to the city of Champyins.   

Our next event will be 12/17 at the Teamsters Hall in the hipster capital of the world, Lawrenceville.   This is a small but fantastic venue right in the heart of the city and has played host to countless fights over the decades, including one or two featuring yours truly.

The venue is the smallest we’ve used so tickets will be extremely limited from the start.  I don’t have a ton of details for the card as of yet but I will tell you that I am going to keep things simple.  8-10 great match ups that I give a shit about and it’s a wrap.  Because let’s be real here, no one really cares to see two underskilled out of towners windmill 30 seconds of sloppy shit at each other before gassing and holding on to each other like the final scene in Titanic.

Bloomfield native and regional star Mark Cherico will be back in action against a to-be-announced opponent and we are also working on bringing Dom Mazzotta back in pending his contractual situations.  Pinnacle has survived and thrived over the years because we put the product first and everything else (like paying ourselves) second.  That company ethos as carried over into our boxing division and the results have been outstanding.   My point is, if you make a Pinnacle FC card in the future, you are probably one of the better athletes in the area.  Keeping in mind we’ve played host to multiple UFC level fighters and directly helped shape the careers of current stars like Cody Garbrandt and developing prospect Adam Milstead.   You could say that we have an eye for talent. 

As I mentioned previously, Lawrenceville is the official hipster brain center of Pittsburgh and If you’re not sure on what to wear so that you can avoid the quiet, judgey scoffs of the "locals", just check out Richie Cantolina or Mark Cherico’s Instagram pages for some of the latest fashion forward advice.

Tickets and other stuff will be available eventually, but I figured I would let yinz know what we have coming dahn the line.

 

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Care About the Pinnacle FC 14 Amateur Card

So you all know and are familiar with most of the faces from the pro portion of Pinnacle FC 14, but what about the amateur card? Why should you care about these guys? Well, I'm here to tell you why. Check out my breakdown below.

5-FloCombat

If you follow Pinnacle FC on social media, you may have discovered that this event will be streamed live on FloCombat. They've kind of taken over the MMA streaming world, and the amateurs on this card will get the opportunity to be seen on a large stage.

4-New Academy blood

Ross Holub is just 18 years old, but he'll come in representing Mark Cherico's Academy in his first MMA bout. But this won't be the first time he's seen live combat sports action, as he already has a few Muay Thai smokers under his belt. Word is he's very well rounded and an exciting prospect. He'll be taking on Ryan Blankenship out of West Virginia, who already has three MMA bouts under his belt.

3-Heavyweights

It's not very often that you see exciting young heavyweights in the sport, but that's exactly what we have to kick off the night. Tylor Gregg and Dakota Lemaster will be throwing down. Gregg made his debut earlier this year, winning via knockout in just 34 seconds. That's what we like to see.

2 - Gregg Freaking Rudolph

It's been awhile since we've seen The Lumberjack inside the Pinnacle FC cage, but he's been keeping busy knocking guys out with the heavy gloves and eating donuts. Now, he's back and ready to pounce on yet another foe. But he's got a very durable and strong foe in front of him in Shadi Gharfeh, who has a 5-to-1 experience edge over him in number of MMA fights. Don't blink when this one starts. In case you missed Rudolph's last Pinnacle FC fight, watch it here.

1-Title Fight

We did a full breakdown of this fight earlier in the week, but Anthony Romero and Mike Walters are set to do battle for the Pinnacle FC lightweight title. Two other guys have held that title: Nick Browne, and Chris Humes-Mitchell. Browne is now 6-0 and wrecking fools from every angle, and Humes-Mitchell is 3-0 and pretty much doing the same.

You've got two guys here who are under the age of 20 that we'll be seeing fight for a long time. So get used to their names.

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Mark Cherico vs. D'Juan Owens

The beard is back. That's right - Mark Cherico returns home to Pinnacle FC tomorrow night for the first time in a year and a half. He's set to take on veteran D'Juan Owens, a well-rounded upset-minded cage fighter who is coming in looking to steal Mark's fans.

The bout takes place in the lightweight division - as Mark steps up for the first time in his career. Owens has bounced from 145-170, so 155 falls right in line for him. I honestly don't think the weight really matters here, because these are two consumate pros looking to put on a show.

Let's get to the breakdown:

5-Owens is a spoiler

D'Juan Owens has spent a good portion of his career going into an opponent's backyard and picking up the win. And that's exactly what he plans to do here. He even recently told me, "After I beat him I'll definitely leave PA with some new fans." That doesn't sound like the words of a guy who is planning to lose.

4-Making MMA great again

Let's face it: none of us want to live in a world where Mark Cherico isn't fighting professionally. While that day will come at some point (insert lame line here about Father Time being undefeated), I think we all hope that day doesn't come for a long time.

Cherico is a rare breed in that he knows how to market himself and has since Day 1. He's not afraid to put himself out there and sometimes say crazy things and sometimes piss some people off. But I think it's safe to say that everyone in the Pinnacle FC brass is happy to have him back home.

3-Hip Hop Chess

I'll be honest, I had never heard of hip hop chess before. But Owens is the head of the East Coast wing of the Hip Hop Chess Federation, which blends martial arts, chess, and hip hop to help the youth of today navigate this crazy world. Not only is that an awesome organization and idea, but it also speaks to the mindset of Mr. Owens in that we can expect a cerebral fighter who is always thinking at least a few moves ahead.

2-This Cherico is a fun Cherico

Mark admitted that about two years ago, the whispers that he was headed to the UFC at any moment got to him. And he started fighting in a different way. For the first time in his career, we saw him fighting safe and taking wins via decision. But that all changed with a loss. No longer did he have to worry about protecting that undefeated record or answering the "why aren't you in the UFC yet?" question at every turn. 

What he did do was take some time to reflect, and change back to the fighter that we all grew to love. He's an aggressive guy who is strong as an ox and will throw you on your head and the choke you out. 

1-The Breakdown

Owens is athletic, extremely well-rounded, and is not afraid to stand in the middle and trade for 15 minutes. Both fighters have a common opponent in Nathan Landwehr. They both won, but Cherico was able to get the finish while Owens took a decision.

Owens likes to bounce around on the outside, but he throws a lot of power shots. Owens has five wins via (T)KO and five via submisison, so that's about as well-rounded as you can get. He also likes to throw a bit of flash into his game, routinely busting out the old spinning roundhouse kick and occasional spinning backfist. Pretty much what you'd expect from a former breakdancer. Just three of his ten losses have been finishes, so he's also tough to put away.

Cherico is more than just a blast double, get to mount, beat you up, and choke you out kind of guy these days. He's put a lot of work into his striking, both with boxing coach Bob Meese and Muay Thai coach Dann Cucuta. In his fight against Landwehr, he was more willing to stand and trade than I had ever seen him before, and he was actually winning the fight on the feet against a pretty polished striker.

With that being said, he still has his incredible strength and power to fall back on, and I think that he'll need to whip out all of his tools in this fight. Owens is dangerous everywhere and it's a good test for both guys.