Category Archives: North East MMA



CODY LAW vs KENNY CHAMPION / Featherweight Preliminary Bout / BELLATOR 254


On December 10, 2020 at the Mohegan Sun Arena two talented northeast area fighters will meet in pro MMA featherweight action at Bellator 254. 

Kenny “Rise of the Phoenix” Champion is an exciting fighter who is riding a strong three fight winning streak.  Champion is (2-0) in the cage as a professional with both victories coming by way of first round KO/TKO finish. Champion is a believer in hard work and he demonstrates it in every fight.  Kenny has smooth standup and accurate striking.  He is a smart fighter with good presence.  The Connecticut warrior has a background that includes Muay Thai and grappling.  He has sharpened his abilities with each fight and is ready for what many believe to be his biggest challenge to date inside the steel cage. With enormous challenges come enormous rewards.  Champion will be given the opportunity under the shining lights of Bellator to introduce a worldwide audience to the “Rise of the Phoenix”.

Cody Law carries serious skills.  He is a very well rounded fighter and brings a (1-0) pro record into the bout.  The Pennsylvania athlete made his professional debut at Bellator 250 with a big first round finish over Orlando Ortega via D’Arce choke.  Cody shined as an amateur producing a (5-0) record before turning pro in November of this year.   The twenty-five year old is riding the momentum of an impressive six fight winning streak and trains under American Top Team.  Cody wields stout wrestling and a tenacious attitude.  He has quick, hard effective hands in standup exchanges and can distribute a potent right.  Cody is dangerous on his feet and on the ground.  He made a solid impact on the Bellator scene in his debut and has shown he is clearly ready to evolve to the next level. 

KENNY CHAMPION vs CODY LAW set to collide at BELLATOR 254

This could turn out to be an important bout for both up and coming 145 pounders. Despite the featherweight matchup being scheduled as a preliminary bout do not be surprised if this fight produces as much excitement and energy as the main event. This fight has what it takes to be an explosive matchup, two hungry young guns eager to unload, and when the smoke clears we will find out who will walk away the winner.  It is fair to say both Law and Champion have what it takes.  Both have the tools to end it and neither fighter should overlook or underestimate the other.  There is little doubt both of these gladiators will leave it all in the cage come December 10, 2020.  Who wins this fight?  The lion with the greatest hunger. 



By – Thomas Vickers (MMA Journalist)




NORTH EAST MMA Media took the time to take a look into the amateur atomweights of the northeast.  In recent years the northeast region has produced some outstanding amateur atomweights who have moved on to have success at the professional level. Such atomweight standouts include; Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt, Marisa “Spider Monkey” Messer-Belenchia, Elise Reed, and Jillian “Lionheart” DeCoursey. Lindsey VanZandt worked hard as an amateur atomweight and has gone on to fight as a professional under such prestigious promotions as Bellator, Invicta Fighting Championship, and Rizin. Marisa Messer-Belenchia produced a strong (4-1) record as an amateur and has went on to make an impact among the pro atomweights with an appearance at Invicta Fighting Championship and wins with both CES MMA and Premier FC. Jillian DeCoursey was a dominant northeast amateur atomweight who finished her amateur career with an excellent (8 – 1) record. DeCoursey has moved on to fight under Invicta FC and Cage Fury FC as a professional. Elise Reed is a New Jersey fighter who finished her amateur career with an exceptional record of (7 – 1). Reed has built an undefeated (2 – 0) record as a pro. Reed made her pro debut with Bellator and recently won the Cage Fury FC vacant Strawweight Title with a split decision victory over a very tough and talented Jasmine Jasudavicius.

It may be sometime before the northeast fans see another batch of atomweights rise up from the northeastern region to equal the most recent class of Lindsey VanZandt, Marisa Messer-Belenchia, Elise Reed, and Jillian DeCoursey.  With that said the northeast does continue to generate tough amateur atomweights with real talent and some of these amateurs may very well become tomorrows future pro prospects.


Brooke Fahey has tremendous potential for a nineteen year old amateur.  She has become a strong presence among the northeast amateur atomweights. Brooke made her amateur debut in June of 2019 with a unanimous decision victory over Taylor Samarco at Maverick MMA 13. The New Jersey fighter went on to win the vacant Primal Fight Promotions amateur atomweight title via second round armbar submission against Rachel Penkower, a northeast atomweight competitor who carried more experience in the amateur cage. All of Fahey’s bouts have been with northeast regional promotions and two of her three victories have come by way of submission.  Brooke is currently undefeated with a (3 – 0) record and has quickly established herself as one of the top amateur atomweights in the northeast.


Alejandra Betancourt fights out of Kentucky and has built a (4 – 2) record as an amateur.  The thirty-five year old Alejandra made her debut back in February of 2015 with an impressive win at Valor Fights 20 over Linda Gray by way of KO/TKO in the second round. She has made two appearances in the northeast; coming up short against Marisa Messer-Belenchia at Reality Fighting in May of 2016 and a big win over Meghen Williams via unanimous decision at Pinnacle FC 17 in June of 2018.  In August of 2018 Alejandra won the BCM Promotions amateur atomweight championship title with a third round rear naked choke finish of a very tough Jennifer Hicks.  Alejandra brings talent and considerable amateur experience into the cage. 


Ariana Cruz fights out of Connecticut and has produced an undefeated (2 – 0) record as an amateur.  She made her debut in June of 2019 with a very close split decision win over Ariana Melendez under the lights at Reality Fighting. Cruz brings fierce aggressive energy into the cage.  She has demonstrated she can deliver fast hands, sharp punching, and knockout power.  Ariana debuted as a strawweight and fought at atomweight in her last bout proving she can perform at both weight classes.


Rachel Penkower has produced a solid (2 – 2) record as an amateur.  She made her debut in October of 2017 as a strawweight gaining a win over Fernanda Alvarado at Ring of Combat AM 26.  The twenty-two year old fights out of New Jersey and has had all of her amateur bouts with northeast regional promotions.  She has proven she can win at both strawweight (115lbs) and atomweight (105lbs).  Currently her only loss at atomweight was against Brooke Fahey the number one ranked amateur atomweight in the northeast. 


Amy Golding is an aggressive atomweight with a strong background in wrestling.  She entered the amateur MMA game debuting against Elise Reed who many believe is one of the best strawweights in the northeast.  Her win over Jennifer Hicks and her loss to Samantha Seff proves she does not shy away from a challenge.  Golding has faced some of the top fighters in the region.  The combined amateur record’s of her opponents (13 – 8) is a clear example of this fact.  Her amateur record of (1 – 3) does not give a true indication of what she brings into the cage.  Look for her to begin the climb upwards as her striking improves and her experience grows.

By – T. Vickers (NORTH EAST MMA Media)




The sport of yesteryear has returned to the spotlight. Bare knuckle boxing has grown tremendously in popularity over the past few years. Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is the first promotion to gain permission to hold a legal, sanctioned and regulated bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889. BKFC is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and headed by President and former professional boxer David Feldman. BKFC is based on the Broughton rules which had governed bare knuckle fighting in the 19th century, requiring combatants to “Toe the Line” which begins every round with fighters facing one another only a few inches apart.

“Most fighters are afraid to get hit by my kind of violence.  I am in the best shape of my life and I like to fight.” – Dan “The Bull” Bunyan

Deep in the dark cold north, a howling can be heard.  A young hungry bull salivating to bury his horns into BKFC. NORTH EAST MMA Media caught up with Dan “The Bull” Bunyan and discussed his desire to pursue the fast growing sport of bare knuckle boxing. Fighting plagued Dan Bunyan throughout his childhood. He explained how he had to overcome a lot while a youth, being unable to walk multiple times due to injuries, but he never gave up. Dan began training in combat sports several years ago. He believes he has the hands for Bare Knuckle. “I would be a perfect fit,” he explained. Dan has more than just heavy hands. He wields fists that bring wrecking ball devastation. At twenty-five years of age he fights out of New York ironically not all that far from the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame located in Belfast, New York. Bunyan has produced an undefeated record of (2-0) as an amateur MMA heavyweight, brutally finishing both opponents in the first round. Fight fans thrive on seeing scary punching power and Dan brings it every time.  When asked if he felt he could handle a BK heavyweight punch Dan responded by showing me a bloody photograph where he had been clocked in the forehead with a 10,000 pound excavator at full swing with its bucket.  “It never put me on my ass.  I just turned around and went back to work,” explained Dan. Bunyan has never been knocked out. He has never even been knocked down, not even in training. “Most fighters are afraid to get hit by my kind of violence.  I am in the best shape of my life and I like to fight,” continued Bunyan. Considering the carnage Bunyan can deliver he seems like a nature fit for BKFC. It is fair to assume he would definitely bring explosive hard hitting heavyweight action to BKFC and its fans. Dan believes signing with BKFC would change his life.

NORTH EAST MMA Media – What attracted you to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “Bare Knuckle is blood and gore, pure violence that don’t slow down.  That’s what attracted me to the sport.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – Who would you want to be your debut opponent if you got the chance?  And why? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “I want to fight the big names.  That’s how I get paid and earn a title shot.  I don’t get paid a lot for no names.  I get paid for big names. “

NORTH EAST MMA Media – It is my understanding you’re hungry for Arnold Adams.  Is this correct?  And if so why?

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “Adams and Stamps would be easy work because they run and can’t take punishment.  Adams grabbed my attention from trying to scare their announcer.  Shows me he doesn’t wanna fight tough guys, he wants to fight people that can’t fight. Adams’ time is over and I am the one to take his place.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – It is my understanding you broke the punching bag while working on your striking at Atlas in Glens Falls, New York.  Is this true? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “I broke the bag at Atlas jiu jitsu Glens Falls, New York and it never got put back up.  I became known as the one that broke the punching bag.  My jiu jitsu trainer Joe seen it first hand and his eyes widened and he was silent.  You can always ask Atlas who broke the punching bag, they gonna say me.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – Would you take on any of the BK heavyweights?

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “Sarro, Mir, Adams, Beltran, Shewmaker, Lopez, all interest me.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – It is my understanding that you would welcome with open arms a fight with the hard hitting Chris Sarro.  Is this true? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “YES.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – Some people feel Chris Sarro and yourself are two of the hardest heavyweight sluggers in the northeast.  Do you agree? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “I definitely agree that me and Sarro are hardest hitters to come outta the northeast.  I think a lot of fans would agree that me and Sarro are the two hardest hitters outta the northeast. A fight between Sarro and myself would probably be the most gory fight in BK history if it went the distance.”

Dan “The Bull” Bunyan is a beast that brings one hell of a show. “The BULL” clearly wants BKFC and he wants it bad.

Article by – T. Vickers

Below are two brief videos of Dan “The BULL” Bunyan.