Sellout Crowd Set to watch Amateur MMA Event at Rivers Casino

It's a first for the Rivers Casino in Schenectady, an amateur Mixed Martial Arts event that is expected to draw a sellout crowd today.

Professional MMA fighter Tommy Marcellino, of Amsterdam, has been helping to promote it.

He tells WGY it means a lot for Cage Wars to stage this at a casino, the first for the company.

"When you're dealing with a casino, everything runs smoothly, they do some of the stuff, and they have connections that are hard to get, as far as media and reaching out, they make it more mainstream."

There will be 18 bouts in all.

Cage Wars President & C.E.O. Tim Rankins tells WGY these fighters have more heart than glory, and all have an excellent future ahead of them, with some of them soon going pro.

"We're going to see guys out here with a lot of heart, going for it, these are amateurs, they don't get paid to be out there, so they're fighting for the love of the sport, and they'll be a lot of action."

Casino officials say this was the quickest sellout they have had since the casino's opening.

Rankins adds that with a larger space, they could have sold more tickets.

"We talked to other promoters, the defining moment is when you get a casino deal, once you get into a casino, the marketing and the budgetary limitations are off, so it opens up to a lot of people who weren't familiar with us before."

He also adds that it is great to be able to be in New York, where legislation ensures that things are safe.

"Before that, it was kind of like the wild wild west, people were having fights without blood work, which is really unsafe, because if one person is bleeding in the cage, everybody might be susceptible to Hep C or H.I.V., we leveled the playing field, and made it much safer for everybody."

Photo: Getty Images

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