BONE MMA- Preview

| August 27, 2013 | 20 Comments

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Friday, August 30, 2013 BONE MMA showcases their inaugural event at the JFK Coliseum in Manchester, NH. BONE MMA is the creation of Ryan Fennelly and Eric Tseronis. Mass-mma.com had the chance to speak with Ryan about the upcoming event and from what we heard from him we are excited and hopeful for their venture. Unfortunately, though, Ryan has already learned the ugliness of some of the politics in the local MMA scene. Those politics have contributed to his fight card dropping from 11 fights to a total of  7. More on that later……..

Fight Card Final Bone MMAWith AFO in the tank and previous promotions like GFL and Triumph disappearing from the ranks of MMA promotions, you have to wonder why anybody would want to throw their hat into the ring. Promoting is a tough business AND many forget that when they jump in. They think their passion can carry them through, but when the bill collectors are knocking, passion does nothing for you. After speaking with promoter Ryan Fennelly I found not only a passionate fan and student (BJJ), but a solid business guy with a decent business sense.

First, why a new promotion? Well, Picture this. You’re at an AFO show hanging out backstage with buddies from your fight team who are getting ready to fight. They are scheduled to fight first and third. The guy who’s fighting second on the card, from another camp, is sitting close to you, hands wrapped, signed off and he’s waiting for his shot. It’s his first fight and he’s jittery as hell. You have a conversation with him. You can tell he’s nervous, but ready to get in the ring and he’s looking forward to show what he can do. Then the handler walks up to your camp and tells your fighter (#3), “Let’s go, you’re next”. Fighter #2 and his trainers say, no we’re next. The reply is “sorry, you’re fight is canceled”. That happens right? But then a commission member says, “You didn’t know? I knew 6 hours ago?”  This story, although sad is true. Ryan was the guy that was hanging with his buddies from Team Burgess.  Someone knew 6 hours in advance and yet no one was notified? Ryan is a professional business owner and understands this is not how things should be run. His thoughts ran from  “What a shitty, unfair thing to do to a fighter, “that’s about as disorganized you can get” to “I can do a better job”. This situation would be the catalyst for the promotion that he and Eric Tseronis would call BONE MMA.

As of our last conversation with Ryan, the card currently has 7 fights, down from 11 (don’t worry the dirt is coming), consisting of 3 professional and 4 amateur. When asked about his top two picks for the night, he said they should all be good, but, he was looking forward to the 170lb ammy fight between JT Harold (Team Pitbull) and Paul Gaffney (Team Link Hooksett).  He thinks this could be one of the most exciting bouts of the night. Both fighters may finally be matched up with someone of equal skill and strength.  JT Harold at 3-0 is ranked #4 on our most recent amateur ranking list. Gafney at 2-0 is ranked at #11. Harold is Gafney’s toughest opponent to date and a win over Harold could move him up a few slots. If anybody remembers the “Slam heard round the world” that Gaffney put on Tollison Lewis at NHFL back in February, I have to agree with Ryan. This is going to be an exciting fight. I’m hoping for a brawl.

The Shop’s RJ Letendre exits his amateur career ranked at #1 on our polls and makes his pro-debut. He was originally scheduled to face Clinton Plotner, but it seems Clinton forget he was supposed to train for the fight. Instead RJ will face Keenan Raymond. Keenan at 1-0 is coming off a fresh 2nd round submission win at CES. I don’t think anybody can call this fight and this is going to be one to watch.

The main event of the evening is between Taylor Trahn 3-0 from Team Link and Phil Parrish 1-0 from CNYMMA.  Ryan mentioned that Phil may only show one professional MMA fight, however he has a significant amount of boxing matches under his belt. Two out of the three fights for Trahn have gone to a decision. Parrish’s first fight ended in a TKO :34 into the first round.  I’d say Trahn is not going to want to keep this one standing.

All in all it looks like Ryan, pulling double duty as promoter and matchmaker, has done a decent job putting some fan friendly fights together.

NOW HERE’S THE DIRT: The rumors are that Matt Peterson of NEF, who I now officially dub the Darth Vader of the local MMA scene (insert imperial march music here) has been playing dirty pool by allegedly telling fighters that if they fight for any other promotion they will not fight for NEF. We’ve heard this from multiple sources and it seems sort of silly to me. This isn’t the UFC. In my opinion, this has caused BONE MMA to lose some of their original intended fighters. I guess Matt feels the 37 bouts he has scheduled for next month’s NEF X is not enough and he needs as many as he can get. Hey Matt, any clarification on this would be great appreciated.

On a more positive note, for anyone that wants to hang out after the fights, have some fun and maybe greet the fighters, there will be an after party at the Social 24 in Manchester, NH. True to their form of wanting to take care of their people, BONE MMA is also putting up the fighters at the hotel at absolutely no cost to them. WHAT? I think this is a first. It’s really cool, but I would like to offer a word of caution to Ryan and Eric. Remember the IFL? They wanted to take care of the fighters too. Their hearts were in the right place, but they blew through 40 million dollars faster than a striped-ass jaybird. Watch your expenses my friends. Best of luck on this promotion.

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  1. New England’s Year end Awards “Thread of the year” : Mass-MMA.com | December 15, 2013
  1. Bonnell says:

    Things are about to get interesting at Mass-MMA. McGreevey, the modern day “Biggie” of the original is now writing for us. I see a lot of articles coming that just “tell it like it is”.
    Nice first article, looking forward to more.

  2. McGreevey says:

    Thx Dan. Great to be on board with Mass-mma.com.

  3. loco lobo says:

    Good luck to the guys from Bone MMA , Who the hell puts 37 fights on in one night ! McGreevey should put some color on this site !! Great job guys !

  4. Nick says:

    I hope this show succeeds. I had no idea the guy promoting this show was the one who Promo Pete screwed over. We need more NH MMA as it seems like its been forever. Matt P seems like a good dude and puts on a good show. I hope this is either a miscommunication or false as it is exactly what we don’t need. I hate hearing of anyone trying to “own” fighters. I mean UFC/Bellator is one thing. This is what leads to fighters getting called up to big shows, winning big money, and then owing part of it to some local guy who had them “under contract”. As a NH guy I occasionally travel to ME for NEF and I go to most NH shows. I’m pretty confident they are not picking from the same pool of fans and therefore shouldn’t be screwing each other over.

  5. Bonnell says:

    Maybe Matt Peterson can comment here? I , as well as two other writers of mine have tried to contact Matt And Nick from NEF in regards to commenting on this as well as the use of Combat Zones Twitter account for their personal use for the NEF tweets and promotional material they were tweeting out via the combat zone twitter.
    It could all be a misunderstanding or it could be one promotion cutting off another. Without their side of the story we can only speculate. But, they have been called, text, and emailed many times for comment by myself, and Billy Rondan.

  6. McGreevey says:

    Loco, good question. Who does put 37 fights on a card in one night? Well, that would be NEF. Of course assume some fights will drop off due to injury, personal issues, etc. Notice I didn’t say due to fighters fighting on other promotions because they can’t!! or should I say they allegedly can’t. But, let’s say 20% of the fights drop out. That leaves about 30 fights. Let’s do the math. Many promotions use the “free marketing” concept of using the fighters to sell tickets. On average how many tickets can a fighter sell? Actually, first we know from experience that if a fighter can not sell tickets, he probably won’t get on and NEF card anyway. Back to the math. Let’s look at 3 different numbers for average sales of 30, 40, and 50.

    30 fights = 60 fighters x 30 tickets = 1800 tickets
    30 fights = 60 fighters x 40 tickets = 2400 tickets
    30 fights = 60 fighters x 50 tickets = 3000 tickets

    Not a bad way to fill the house and a very legit way to sell tickets. Just don’t tell a fighter they can’t fight anywhere else. They are doing you more favors than you are doing them. Without the fighters you have no show.

  7. Mike Hunt says:

    If you want to really ensure success make sure you don’t use any pros either. Wouldn’t want to have to actually pay the fighters. Just ask that Karen Wish from western Mass.

  8. Mike Hunt says:

    No, Wish…………..as in “Doesn’t Karen WISH the checks from the last show didn’t bounce!”

  9. DysqoDave says:

    karma dude….

    Ray Wood tore his ACL and is out of the NEF Main Event vs Joe Ping

  10. coachyoung says:

    My name is chris young i’m the owner and head coach of youngs mma. I realize most of you probably have no idea who I am but I have been fighting/cornering all over new england since ’99. Over the years I have had my fair share of dealings with shaddy promotions. My dealings with the NEF have been anything but shaddy. I have had fighters on every NEF card to date and matt and nick have always conducted themselves as professionals. Let me offer my take on the situation. My guess is that matt is simply trying to protect his card and the fighters on that card. Many fighters these days are looking to cram as many fights in as quickly as possible. this leads different promotions to book fighters for fights weeks apart from one another.Inevitably some of these fighters get knocked out or otherwise injured leaving them unable to compete in there next event schedule for the following week. With commissions cracking down on the suspensions this kind of situation is only gonna get worse. Now if I’m not mistaken the NEF event in Sept. is 23 days after the Bone MMA event which means any fighter ko’ed would be under a minimum of a 30 day suspension. So why would Matt want to book a fighter for his event who is taking a risk above the normal risks associated with simply training for a fight? Most likely what was meant was if the fighter was going to fight in august for Bone mma matt would not book them in sept. because of the elevated risk to his card. Of course this is just an educated guess based on my dealings with Matt. I want to add that I enjoy this site and others of its kind. I believe this kind of chatter is for the most part good for the sport and entertaining to boot. But the comments regarding Rays injury being some how karma to punish the NEF was in bad taste. And before I get bombarded with the stop being a baby comments realize this. Rays injury is severe and is going to need some major surgery hes looking at a very long recovery period. This was devastating news to the whole youngs mma family. I would like to think it would be treated as such by all of you as Ray was poised to make a major impact on the featherweight div. and always put on a show. Instead it was used as a cheap joke. Thats me “telling it like it is”

    • McGreevey says:

      Coach Young,
      Thanks for posting. First, let me say that I think that that Ray Wood’s injury is terrible. Not only for him personally, but for the sport as well. I love watching Ray fight and think he’s one of the better up and coming guys. I would never personally make a joke out of his or anyone’s injury. Hopefully he heals well and makes a complete comeback. We wish him the best.

      You bring up a good point about fighters booking multiple fights and we have discussed that in length before. I never liked that practice, but it does happen, will probably continue to happen and really what can you do about it? You are correct, a promotor can protect his card, but isn’t that typically what you do when you book an extra 4-5 fights on the initial roster? 37 fights? That’s a little extreme don’t you think? Plus, although you have a valid point I don’t think, from what we’ve been hearing, that is the case. The perception is there’s a bully on the playground and he’s not playing fair with the other kids (promotors). It’s my ball (fighter) and I’m going home (f*ck all you other promotors). It would be great if Matt could make a comment. That’s all we’re asking for. He’s a politiican and a representative in the Maine House of Representatives. He should understand that. If he sits silent this thing is just going to blow up.

      Lastly, of course we know who you are. I hope you continue to be a contributor on this site. Fresh insight from those that have been around the game for awhile is a good thing.

  11. DysqoDave says:

    Chris, obviously my comment was not about ray. It totally sucks for him and team. Tough road ahead for him, not just for fighting, but the work / family impact.

    Actually matt should be relieved. I mean ray wasn’t a huge draw ( else he would have been fighting on the bellator card up there – that’s a joke in case you can’t read sarcasm), and ping, though a good draw is miles away from a home base. These 2 also are the highest salaries on the card!

    In all honestly 30+ fights is a joke. Judges don’t want it, refs, commissions, writers, etc. Its way too much. I don’t know the details of what matt said to whom, but he didn’t need to go after what seems to be every guy. If matt ‘took’ 5 fights from the bone card, its 5 fights he didn’t need.

    • McGreevey says:

      Don’t get me started on the Bellator thing. That was ridiculous. Ray should have represented Maine and it should have been a great opportunity for people to get to see his talent. The ridiculous excuse NEF (Nick and Matt) made about ticket sales was completely laughable. Instead of putting your best up and coming Maine fighter on the card to Showcase Maine talent on a national venue, you have 5 guys take 5 losses (or close to that. They all lost anyway). Not a good showcase for Maine. The only saving Grace for Maine was Marcus and unfortunately the fans didn’t really get to see him fight because his opponent decided not to get back up. Marcus would have destroyed him anyway, but it would have been nice to see.

      Dave, good point with regards to Refs, judges, commission, writers, etc. How many fights do they normally work? 12-15? Isn’t that what their pay is based on? Is NEF willing to double the pay for the officials if they have to work twice as much? AND how safe is it for a REF to officiate that many bouts? I love our local guys, but MacDonald may get a little punchy after 10 or so. Judges too? How good are their observation skills going to be after fight 20?

  12. WOW!! An article approaching 20 posts. That could be a site record!!

    As far as me getting “a little punchy after 10 or so” I’ll admit some nights are longer than others. If you are questioning my stamina, you should go check with your mother as she can vouch for that! KIDDING KIDDING!! (just couldn’t pass that one up 🙂 )

    I thought this was about BONE. Hopefully they have a great showing. Promoting is super tough and these guys seem to be trying their best. If you like watching MMA you should try to support every local show you can. Competition is what drives promotions to try to put on a better show for the money.

    As far as all the other nonsense, I’ve said it before about online arguments being like the Special Olympics. Even if you win…………….

  13. Ꮃhat’s up, just wanted tօ mention, I lovᥱd this blog post.
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