Article by Ted Czech
Tickets on sale now for Matrix Fights 6, this Friday in Philadelphia!
In the past two years, Matrix Fights has solidified itself as the pinnacle of fighting organizations in Philadelphia, showcasing the top talent from the toughest schools along the East Coast, and launching the careers of many prospects looking to vault into the big leagues of Mixed Martial Arts.
Fridayâ€™s card, held at Matrix Fightsâ€™ home, the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall, will offer more of the same jaw-dropping action as in past shows â€” only better â€” promises Matrix Fights promoter Jimmy Binns Jr. In addition to a fantastic array of amateur talent, fans will be treated to four professional bouts, a feat rarely seen in Pennsylvania.
â€œI just wanted to do a really bang-up card,â€ Binns said. â€œI think weâ€™re really starting to take it to the next level. I think weâ€™ve put our foot down as being the premiere organization in Philadelphia.â€ At the core of Matrix Fights is Binns, who began in the fight game under the tutelage of his father, a former boxing attorney and commissioner, and brothers Phil and Ric Migliarese, who, as Relson Gracie jiu-jitsu black belts, run Balance Studios, one of the East Coastâ€™s most prestigious MMA academies.
The main event at Matrix Fights 6 is sure to tear the house down as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Wilson Reis â€” who now calls Philadelphia home â€” meets super-aggressive Cody â€œThe Wolverineâ€ Stevens, who trains out of The Fight Farm in Ohio. Reis (13-4), fought nine times for Bellator Fighting Championships, competing in the seasons 1, 2 and 4 featherweight tournaments and the season 5 bantamweight tournament. Reis was also the EliteXC featherweight champion. More recently, he served as coach with Team Cruz during The Ultimate Fighter Live on FX. â€œI think he still has a lot left; heâ€™s had a tough run,â€ Binns said of Reis. â€œHe expressed that he wanted to fight in Philadelphia, wanted to fight for us. I was humbled by that.â€
Stevens, (9-4), stepped up to fight Reis on very short notice when original opponent Billy Vaughn bowed out due to an unexpected medical issue. Stevens presents a varied attack â€” he has a tight clinch game, aggressive take-downs and a very active and dangerous guard. In his last fight in March at Big Guns 10, Stevens worked from his guard against Anthony Durnell, opening up a cut on Durnellâ€™s head with elbows and then locking down a guillotine for the tap-out in round one.
Adding an international feel to the event is the appearance of undefeated Ben Reiter, an American-born University of Penn wrestler, who now calls Peru home. In fact, all of Reiterâ€™s fights were under the Inka Fighting Championship banner in Peru. Reiter (5-0) is also co-founder and director of Put Them First, a non-profit charity that advocates and advances the education of children in Third-World countries. â€œHeâ€™s a tough fighter,â€ Binns said. Several years ago, the two together at a pub in Philadelphia; earlier this year, they got back in touch with each other. Binns found out Reiter was now fighting, and signed him to Matrix Fight 6, he said. Reiter takes on the 4-6 Tyson Triplett Sr., who hails from Indiana.
Making his pro debut is New Jerseyâ€™s Julio Arce, who had fought at Matrix Fights III in October 2010 as an amateur, beating Shark Bait Gutierrez by unanimous decision. Arce, who trains out of Tiger Schulmannâ€™s academy, went undefeated as an amateur, winning six fights by submission, four by decision and one by TKO. Arce also possesses a boxing pedigree, having won the Golden Gloves 141 title in New York in 2011. Arce takes on Kenneth Nagle, an 0-1 pro out of Pennsylvania.
In the cardâ€™s only female fight, two pros with a ton of experience, Munah Holland (4-1) and Carina â€œDammâ€ Goncalves (11-6), will face each other inside the Matrix Fights cage. The bout is an intriguing one, as Holland, a Tiger Schulmann fighter, favors striking as her main weapon, while Goncalves, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, sees the ground as her go-to style.
The venue Matrix Fights calls home, the Sheet Metal Workersâ€™ Union Hall, is the ideal location to stage such an intense and exciting event. Exemplifying the determination and ingenuity of Philadelphiaâ€™s labor force, the union gives homage to projects and unionites of the past with its museum, while the main hall provides the perfect theater for an intimate sporting event. The hall is large enough to hold hundreds of rabid fans, and every seat is guaranteed to put fans close to the action.
The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. at the hall, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia. For directions to the event, click here. To order tickets, click here, but donâ€™t wait until the night of the event, and then show up at the door to purchase tickets â€” most Matrix Fights shows have sold out!
Weigh-ins are Thursday at 5 p.m. at Sugar House Casino and are open to the public. The after-party will be held at Delilahâ€™s and Zee Bar.