N  I  A  G  A  R  A      G  A  Z  E  T  T  E      niagara-gazette.com

MMA: GI's Weiser going for knockout at 'Mayhem'

By Brandon Koch Niagara Gazette

NIAGARA FALLS — Former Grand Island High School football standout Eddie Weiser has the ability to deliver a knockout blow whether it is on the football field or inside the octagon.

Weiser made his Mixed-Martial Arts debut in an amateur bout March 20 in Irving. Ironically, it wasn’t a knockout punch from the 2007 Golden Gloves winner that ended the fight in the second round, but instead, Weiser took the match by way of submission.

The 6-foot, 205 pounder will get another shot at a highlight-reel knockout, this time on a much grander stage. Weiser will be featured in the seventh installment of Raging Wolf’s Mayhem in the Mist: The Series in a three-round match up against Kyle Rozanski on May 8 at the Seneca Niagara Casino.

Rozanski, a 6-foot 170 pound up-and-comer, has a background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so it is no secret he may look to take the fight to the mat. Regarless, though, Weiser is looking to deliver the coup de grace, said trainer Don Lilly.

“He’s really going for that highlight reel knockout that would put his name on the map and show people what he is all about,” said Lilly, co-owner of Victory Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness in Tonawanda.

Weiser said he was a bit nervous going into his first match up because all he was thinking about was ending the fight in one punch.

This time around, he admitted, he would like to stay calm and pick his shots.

“There were some things I wanted to do with my hands [in the last fight],” Weiser said. “I just wanted to knock him out. This time i want to be more calm and let my hands flow.”

Lilly added that he continues to see improvement in Weiser’s ground game, so taking the fight to the mat isn’t exactly the worst case scenario for the youngster.

Weiser, 19, has gained a great deal of experience training under wrestling coach Boyd Ricthie of Buffalo Catch Wrestling. Ritchie has introduced a form of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu—an aggressive style or Jiu-Jitsu that results in a ground and pound, Lilly said.

“I think his first fight was a huge learning curve for him,” he said. “Since we have had him training under us for the past six months, I know he is picking up and learning day-by-day—new stuff and techniques to get him ready for this fight.”

Weiser, who garnered SUNYAC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors for his efforts with the Buffalo State College football program, will be joined by Erik Herbert, co-owner of Victory, on the event’s fight card.

Herbert, 23, will take part in an amateur championship match, which he earned from a victory back in January at the casino. Lilly said the two have been helping each other in the ring for the past month as sparring partners preparing for their next matches.

“We have a group of six guys, but these are the two in this gym that have a possibility to go somewhere from this gym,” Lilly said.

Nonetheless, Weiser acknowledged he has trained fervently, knowing he expects a contingency of supporters at the event, he said.

“It’s great. I look forward to it,” Weiser said. “It motivates me to train a lot harder knowing my friends and family are going to support me. I love it. I’m going to put on a good show for them.”

The event gates will open at 4:30 p.m., with the preliminary bouts beginning at 6 p.m. and the main card starting at 7 p.m.