Salem, NH- Mixed Martial Arts fans won’t want to miss the long-awaited return of two of the region’s most exciting fighters, Brent Kinberger and Dan Bonnell, when they resume their storied professional careers in the Combat Zone MMA stacked 14 event card – All or Nothing- on Friday, April 4 in the Sports Club at Rockingham Park.
“I’m as prepared as I’ll ever be. I’m as ready as I’m going to be,” said Bonnell (11-9), who hails from North Andover, MA and matches up against Derry, NH’s John Santos in a professional bout at 150 pounds. “I’m excited and we’re going to put on one of the best fights of the night.”
“I’ve been fighting off the temptation to get back in the cage for a while. I’m excited about this fight,” said Kinberger (5-3), who is from Manchester, NH and will battle Mervin “Marvelous” Rodriguez (5-7) from Newark, NJ in the eagerly anticipated main event at 155 pounds.
Kinberger, an electrical engineer with the world-renowned innovation technology company DEKA, last fought almost four years ago and Bonnell has been involved in the scene from the other side of the cage as an MMA journalist with massmma.com
and other online publications during his 18 month layoff.
Although he hasn’t been engaged in competition for the record, Kinberger has remained fit and fight ready through his association with Team Link, where he serves as the sparring partner and a trainer for the studio’s team of successful and highly ranked amateur and pro fighters. Team Link’s Perry “Filthy” Filkens has used his services as he has skyrocketed through the ranks and up to Bellator.
“Brent is training very well. He’s strong, His timing and his speed look good. His reactions are good and his flexibility is back. He’s had a very good training camp, and I see a lot of good things from him going into this fight,” said Ed Carr, the driving force behind Team Link “We’re all looking forward to Brent’s comeback.”
Said Bonnell, “A fighter is never retired. Even Michael Jordan retired but then came back. I’ve always been involved in the martial arts and I’ve always been going to the different studios, including Renzo Gracie New Hampshire and Team Triumph in Nashua. There are a lot of young guys training there who are tough, tough guys and I’ve been rolling with them. I still have it.”
Although Santos (1-1) is taller and larger than Bonnell and is aggressive in the cage, Bonnell has plenty of firepower as well.
“He is a striker and I’m more of a wrestler. His game plan is going to be to keep it standing where I want to go to ground,” he said. “This is going to be a really fun fight that people are really going to want to see.”
The other pro event figures to be highly as competitive and entertaining as well, with Cheyenne Vasquez (2-0), fighting out of Lawrence, MA, battling the always tough Eddie Brito (3-5) from Derry in the middleweight division.
Eleven other evenly-matched and intense cage fights featuring the marquee amateur fighters from the Merrimack Valley and across the Northeast make this a night not to miss, and one of the most intriguing amateur match-ups on the under card figures to be the featherweight title fight between Jake “The Gorilla” Pilla and Paulo Alves DeSousa.
Pilla, from Billerica, MA and Alves De Sousa from Malden, MA bring identical records of 2-0 and an arsenal of mixed martial arts skills to the bout, and only one can exit the cage still undefeated.
Doors open at 6:30 PM and the first fight kicks off in Rockingham’s Sports Club at 8 PM. Tickets for the event are $40 for general admission, $50, $75, $90 or $120 for ringside seating and parking is free. Tickets may be purchased at www.combatzonemma.com
Fans are invited to the weigh-in, where they have the opportunity to meet their favorite fighters and get their autographs. This free event will be held on Thursday, April 3 in the Sports Club beginning at 6 PM.
The updated card, which is subject to change, is:
155lbs Brent Kinberger 5-3 (Manchester)
Mervin Rodriguez 5-7 (Newark, NJ)
150lbs Dan Bonnell 11-10 (Haverhill, MA)
John Santos Pro: 1-1 (Derry, NH)
185lbs Cheyenne Vazquez 2-0 (Lawrence, MA)
Eddie Brito 3-5 (Derry, NH)
145lbs Jake Pilla 2-0 (Billerica, MA)
Paulo Alves DeSousa 2-0 (Malden, MA)
145 lbs. Michael Fagan 0-0 (MA)
Josh Harvey 0-0 (Bangor, ME)
170lbs Tim Loughran 1-0 (MA)
Roger Williams 0-0 (Cortland, NY)
155lbs Jeff Beal 0-0 (NH)
Mike Bulger 0-0 (VT)
135lbs David Bradbury 1-0 (VT
Carl Langston 1-3 (Windham, ME)
170lbs Claudio Rene 1-0 (Lawrence, MA)
Corey Bowehall 1-2 (Watertown, NY)
185lbs Kristian Lombari 0-3 (Methuen, MA)
John Ryan 0-0 (Nashua, NH)
145lbs Danny Abad 1-2 (Watertown, NY)
Dan Lynch 2-0 (Plaistow, NH)
170lbs Brett Trahan 9-2 (Burlington, VT)
J.T. Harold 3-1 (No Andover, MA)
145lbs Aaron Lacey 3-0 (Bnagor, ME)
Matt Tullos 5-0 (Dedham, MA)
135lbs Alec Wilson 0-0 (MA)
Jordan Yantin 0-2 (Methuen, MA)