Dragon Promotions Enters the World of MMA October 25th
Orlando, Florida - Dragon Promotions is entering the world of combat fighting! On October 25th, 2014, DP will be producing its first MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) competition with 26 talented fighters stepping into the Octagon! The event is fittingly called COMBAT NIGHT and Dragon Promotions is teaming up with Little Big Man, LLC in co-promoting the event in Orlando, Florida. The MMA Fights will be hosted by one of the hottest clubs in Orlando at TIER NIGHTCLUB, making it also the first time MMA will take place in Downtown. "We are very excited to broaden our horizons to a new sport and industry. Mixed Martial Arts is fast paced and exciting, and after a year of research and development on our end, we feel it's one of the fastest growing sports in the world. MMA is the new era of fight entertainment, and is providing great new opportunities for Dragon Promotions", said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions. 12 fights will be on the card including a Light Heavy Weight Championship bout between Bryan Cromer vs Sammy Elisis in the 205 lb class. Doors open at 5:00pm with the fights starting at 6:00pm. In addition, a percentage of the door receipts will be donated to the Fight for Autism charity and a Breast Cancer Awareness charity.
A wide array of people came out to support awareness for the Philippines relief efforts
"Our goal was not just to raise money, but keep awareness to the rest of the world that the Philippines still needs our help. To my knowledge, this was the only sports benefit in Orlando for Typhoon Haiyan. And perhaps the only tennis benefit event for the Philippines in the United States", said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.
A combination of word of mouth and a massive social media push filled the tennis field up quickly. Impressively, players came representing several American communities with Koreans, Vietnamese, Hispanic, South Americans, African Americans, Anglo Americans and Filipinos. Cash and prizes were awarded to the top finishers.
"I am very pleased to have my district involved with Dragon Promotions in this great charity event for the Philippines. The Typhoon Haiyan was a terrible disaster, but it's great to see local businesses and the people of Orlando come together to show support for a foreign nation through the spirit of sports", said Commissioner Daisy W. Lynum of Orlando District 5.
Orlando Commissioner Daisy W. Lynum initiates the event at the opening ceremony. Players enjoyed the sunny & gorgeous 80 degree December weather!
The tournament itself had intense competitive play with numerous close matches that yielded exciting play. Avalon Park's Aaron Pobocik and Dan Wiernik went undefeated in their division until they met West Orlando's Vic Augustine and Nestor Alvarez in the quarter finals. Down 2-7, Alvarez/Augustine made a tremendous comeback to win 9-7. But they had to withdraw in their semi-final match from fatigue to the only team that had beaten them before, which was Eastwood's Glenn Montenegro and Omar Rivera. On the top bracket, Vietnamese wizards James Nguyen and Hung Do shutout their first two opponents 6-0,6-0. They then re-matched with Puerto Rican duo Carlos Galindez and Omar Ammouni in the quarter-finals in a well fought match with Nguyen/Do prevailing 8-6. The teenage pairing of Tayjhon McGee and Gabriel Muniz edged out Quang Bui/Quynh Van 7-5 and the youngsters won a closer than it looked 8-4 quarter-finals win over former Timbercreek High #1 Michael Vo and Chris Ngo, a former national junior USTA finalist. In the division finals, the fans were treated to a show as McGee/Muniz played a fencing back and forth match with the crafty Nguyen/Do team, leading on their serve throughout the match. In the 15th game,Nguyen/Do broke their serve and forced a tiebreak.
At the 8-8 tiebreak game, the fresher legs of McGee/Muniz edged out Nguyen/Do 7-4.
Omar Rivera with his consistent backhand. James Nguyen thinking fast on his feet in the semi-finals.
The finals pitted the two division winners of McGee/Muniz of North Orlando versus East Orlando's Montenegro/Rivera. Both teams were undefeated. McGee/Muniz seemed to be the overwhelming favorite as they won the tougher division and they had youth on their side with their combined ages of 33 years versus the 75 years of Montenegro/Rivera. True to the predictions, the teenagers used their speed, Muniz's powerful serves and McGee's dynamic forehands to rattle off the first 3 game wins in a row, and it seemed like it would be a short finals. But then Montenegro (originally from Dumaguete City, Philippines) and Rivera ( originally from Puerto Rico) fought back with heart and determination to evolve the match into an exciting finals! With the cheers of the crowd behind them, the older team made it to 7 games forcing the match to be extended to a race to 9 games win by two. But the battled hardened McGee/Muniz held their nerves together and edged out the East Orlando veterans to win 9-7 and clinch the championship.
Gabriel Muniz's serve and Tayjhon McGee's forehand proved to be a deadly combination
"I like chicken", said Tayjhon McGee in the closing ceremony champions speech to some laughter when asked how he felt about the win. The 15 year old McGee is one of the nation's top junior players and will be enrolling full time to a Florida tennis academy in March to pursue a professional career.
"I was surprised at how good they (Montegro/Rivera) played. I wasn't expecting that and it became a really close match. Now we get to celebrate with some Seito Sushi!", said Gabriel Muniz. Gabriel is currently 18 years old and represents West Orange High School as their #1 tennis player. Seito Sushi Baldwin Park was one of the event's main sponsors.
Muniz's champion's speech with organizer Charlie Williams. Muniz, McGee nibbling on their trophies along with Tennis Hall of Famer Tom Sweitzer, Montenegro & Rivera
In the Ladies Division, Vista Lakes Maryann Ballelos and Kim Han went undefeated to the finals with wins over Becker/Crews 6-3, Laqui/Sanchez 6-1, and after the re-draw another win in a re-match with Laqui/Sanchez in the semi-finals. Jacksonville's team of Camila Becker (originally of Chile) and Amanda Crews took the long route to the finals after their first match loss. They regrouped and won over Thuy/Yillah 6-1, Fiestan/Van Reken 8-2 in the semi-finals, to set up a Orlando versus Jacksonville championship match. Becker/Crews was able to win the first game and held a 4-0 lead in the finals, but the consistent play of the experienced team of Ballesos/Han enabled them to overcome the deficit and win the tournament 8-5.
"The Typhoon Haiyan Tennis Tournament was so much fun! We are really glad we came" said Crews in the closing ceremony.
James Nguyen who placed 3rd in the event and Kim Han who won the ladies division both graciously donated their prize earnings back to the relief efforts for the Philippines.
The event was sponsored by international companies such as www.RealRealCool.com, Dragon Promotions, and Pool & Billiard Magazine. Local Orlando businesses Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park, DC/AC Air Conditioning, Florida Game Room, Dynasty Auto, Coach Jerry Fekete, and Savannah Manor were all contributors. Donations can still be made direct for the ABS-CBN Foundation at http://184.108.40.206/abscbnfoundation/ and also the Philippine Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org.ph . "It's terrific to have seen so many people get behind this event for the Typhoon Haiyan relief. I'm very happy to see the Orlando Tennis Centre utilized in such a positive manner, and promoting good health and goodwill through tennis", said Tom Sweitzer, Director of the Orlando Tennis Centre. The money raised will be sent to the Philippines #1 TV network ABS-CBN that has set up its charity Sagip Kapamilya as well as the Philippine Red Cross.
The finalists of the Typhoon Haiyan Tennis Tournament. Rivera, Montenegro, Muniz, McGee, Sweitzer, Becker, Crews, Ballelos, Han, Williams.
Contact or call (407) 246-4469
Visit www.DragonPromotions.com and Follow the event on www.facebook.com/internationaltennis