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YAMMA Pit Fighting’s new tournament concept and other plans revealed

When Bob Meyrowitz’s new YAMMA Pit Fighting promotion made the announcement earlier this week that they’d be promoting a single-night heavyweight tournament on April 11 in Atlantic City, it raised a lot of eyebrows.

While California approved the use of single-night four-man tournaments last year, most commission states frown upon the single-night tournament concept. New Jersey would be one of those states, having never sanctioned a single-night MMA tournament.

To be honest, a lot of people thought YAMMA was blowing smoke in stating that its tournament had been approved by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. But after speaking with the NJSACB, I learned that there was some method behind the madness. As it turns out, no fighter involved in the tournament will be in a position where they have to fight more than a combined total of 19 minutes.

In my latest article, I take a look at Meyrowitz’s new venture and reveal some additional details publicly for the first time. Some of those details include the explanation as to how YAMMA’s tournament concept will work along with plans for the promotion’s “Masters Division”:

The plan for the promotion’s first tournament, which will consist of eight heavyweight fighters, is to hold four first-round fights that will consist of a single round of five minutes (per fight). After the first round is concluded, the winners will have to pass a medical exam to advance to the semifinals.

In order to provide sufficient rest, a “Master’s Fight” will take place in between the first round and the semifinals. Meyrowitz said he would elaborate on the Master’s concept as a later date, but has learned that “Master’s Fights” will essentially be “Legends Fights” with veteran combatants familiar to older fans. One fighter under consideration is none other than Russian heavyweight Oleg Taktarov, the winner of UFC 6.

Taktarov was one of the UFC’s marquee names during Meyrowitz’s tenure. He recently returned to competitive mixed martial arts last year at the age of 40 after not fighting since 1998.

After the first Master’s Fight, the tournament semifinals will be held, once again one round lasting five minutes. There will be more physical exams and another Masters Fight before the final, which will be three three-minute rounds.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

  • Rln says:

    I don’t think it’ll be too long before YAMMA and WAMMA unite and fighters will be competing for the official “Affliction Signature Fight Gear BOBAMMA Heavyweight Champion of the World” title. I wait with abated breath for this to happen.

  • jaydog says:

    I skimmed the article looking for references to the new fighting surface. Did I miss it? The masters fights are alright by me. I’d like to see Bas and Rickson or Mo Smith and Mezger. Breaking up the tourney is rational. But, a relatively fresh fighter against a guy who barely advanced is always going to be dubious. I guess the trampoline and the alligators even things out in that dept.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Jay, the surface is addressed in the article.

  • vic says:

    it’s there jay

  • jaydog says:

    So, I flunked today’s quiz. Thanks for breaking ground with these details. For the rest of you non-readers:

    “But the name “YAMMA” is a Russian term that describes a new fighting surface that the promotion plans to introduce, Meyrowitz said. While details are vague, those who have seen the schematics say the fighting surface resembles an actual pit, hence the term.”

    The idea of sloped sides is interesting, because fighters often spend to loong hugging against the ropes/fence. I mean, look was empty swimming pools did for skateboarding. Now, if someone can pull a 720 that includes a crescent kick to the temple, I think we’ll have a major draw.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    What I picture is the same kind of mat used for Chuck Norris’ World Combat League (except with a smaller circumference) with a fence around it.

  • Evan says:

    “What I picture is the same kind of mat used for Chuck Norris’ World Combat League (except with a smaller circumference) with a fence around it.”

    Thats exactly what I was thinking but perhaps a tad higher.

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    I’m thinking its going to be liek what Frank Shamrock wanted with his promotion.

    That being an actual pit, with the crowd raised above it… kinda like the collisseum.

    I’m not sure how that impacts the fighting style, it probably doesn’t and he’s just gonna come out with some douche bag reason. The best thing they could do with this promotion would be to make it like the seniors circuit and relive the old days. I forsee someone like Chuck Zito getting involved.

  • KnuklHed says:

    Depending on the slope of the sides, the “YAMMA” could have a huge effect on fighting styles. Look how much trouble some of the Pride guys have had changing rope to chainlink.

    Imagine getting rocked and stepping back on an uneven surface when you’re already having trouble standing up. Now instead of stepping back and shaking it off gravity’s gonna be pulling you right back towards the next one. Or the effect it’ll have on the ground game, switching your hips is gonna do different things depending on position on the slope, or trying to maintain mount facing down hill.

    On the CNBC feature on MMA Rorian said they had considered plexiglass cages surrounded by sharks. That was the Meyrowitz UFC folks. Expect that sort of sensationalism with the financial backing of the crew behind the Dew Tour. It’s all about the spectacle, and suckering people in to pay for it.

    They’ll get some fighters, and they’ll adapt their game to it, and someone will figure out a way to use the new surface to his advantage and decimate the competition for a while. But is it because he’s such a great fighter, or figured out how to play that particular game.

    The “YAMMA”, coupled w/ progressively shorter rounds (w/ what 10-20 minute breaks) might speed up the pace of the fights a little, but is it really going to produce better quality fights? No. They’re banking on curiosity to draw a slice of the money pie away from the established promotions. And yep, I’ll watch it. Once. If I can find it free on Youtube.

  • danpy says:

    theres a pic of the pit on the yellow flyer on the left…looks like an blow up jolly jumper.

    i hope the fence is electric.

  • How do I find out if they are going to have a HWT TOURNEY? And how do i get ahold of them?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Loren, if you read the article, it states that the tournament scheduled for April 11 will be a heavyweight tournament.

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  • dojotube says:

    Yamma pit fighting, in my opinion, turned out to be a spectacular event. I sat ringside watching the event which proved above the hype. One thing I didn’t notice was the push into the cage entrapment to just beat the crap out of someone. This environment was not conducive to that. As a lifetime martial art enthusiast I felt that it showcased more skills and gave the wrestler a fighting chance. The 28 degree angle of the dojotube surrounding seemed to bring people back to the ring. It also seemed to maximize take downs. A slighter degree angle may decrease that scenario. All in all I think we watched more exciting fights. Let’s hope Bob Meyrowitz has the insight to bring in big named fighters that would attract more viewership and ultimately be good for the sport. We’ve got interviews with every fighter after their victory and some clips you just can’t see anywhere else at Dojoe.


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