Martial Arts Super Sport(MASS) put on its first ever show in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with the first ever MASS Featherweight Champion being crowned in a fight between hometown hero, Jim “The Kid” Hettes and Jacob Kirwan, both widely considered to be two of the best featherweights on the East Coast. Presented by MMA Melee, the fights took place at The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza and turned out a solid crowd to cheer on the local fighters from around the North East Pennsylvania region.
Filled with both Amateur bouts and Pro bouts, most of the fighters featured came from the NEPA region along with the Maryland and Virginia area. Aside from the Feathweight Championship Main Event, the Co-Main Event featured Rex Harris taking on Chase Owens. With 4 amateur fights and 5 pro bouts, the crowd was entertained throughout the night with Knock outs, submissions and even two entertaining decisions. A fight between Richard Patishnock and Diego Peclat ended in a split decision, that some fans felt could have gone the other way in favor of Peclat instead of Patishnock, with all the 3rd round behind a very close round to judge in the end. Peclat was able to come back from a very dominating first round by Patishnock with a dominating 2nd round, but was unable to get the judge’s decision.
The Main Event saw a spectacular display from Scranton’s Jim Hettes as he claimed the MASS Featherweight championship. Many that follow the regional MMA scene on the east coast, felt that both Hettes and his opponent Kirwan were considered to be the top of the food chain at 145 in the east coast region. The first round showcased a great mix of grappling from both competitors that saw Hettes almost land a few solid submissions on his opponent including a tight guillitone choke that Kirwan escaped from, showcasing his toughness and defense on the ground.
The 2nd round saw Hettes put the pressure on the Maryland fighter from the beginning of the round, landing several crisp combinations as his teammates cheered him on from around the cage and on the entrance ramp. The fight hit the ground with Kirwan on top after a takedown, but he was on the defensive as The Kid looked to secure a triangle, landing several hard elbows from the bottom before finally locking it up and securing the tap out victory at 3:58 seconds in the 2nd round.
With the win, Hettes improved his overall professional record to 8-0 and has only gone out of the 2nd round in 2 of those bouts, and finishing them all by submission. With the win, Hettes continues to prove his worth when it comes to the 145 lb division in the regional scene of MMA and many feel he could be called up to the UFC sooner rather than later.
Hettes almost had that opportunity back in November of 2010, when the UFC came calling for him to fight on the Ultimate Finale 12, but obligations to PA Cage Fight promotion caused co-owner Maury Nehme to deny the release from the promotion. While it was a hard decision by Nehme at the time, Hettes very well could be on his way to the big show, with rumors circulating that Joe Silva, UFC matchmaker had his eyes on the outcome of the fight.
While the night might have belonged to Hettes in the end, the MASS event was a huge success in the NEPA region, showing many tough regional fighters on both the amateur and pro circuit. For everyone in attendance, they were given a great night of fights, with hopefully, many more to come from the upstart NEPA promotion.
Here are the final results from the card, held on July 16th:
1. Dave Spadell Jr. Defeats Jeremiah Wells – KO – Rd 2 – 0:19
2. William Weber Defeats Anthony McGlynn – Unanimous Decision.
3. Steve Mytch Defeats Samo Beharovic – Arm Triangle – Rd1 – 1:20
4. Michael Zola Defeats John Ortiz – Armbar – Rd 1 – 1:18
5. Richard Patishnock Defeats Diego Peclat – Split Decision.
6. Jay Haas Defeats Nick Blesser – TKO (Elbows) – Rd 1 – 3:25
7. James Cianci Defeats Ryan Harder – TKO (Punches) – Rd 1 – 0:55
8. Rex Harris Defeats Chase Owens – TKO (Injury) – Rd 3 – 4:39
9. Jim Hettes Defeats Jacob Kirwan – Triangle choke – Rd 2 – 3:58