Spartyka

Courtesy Spartyka Fight League

The SFL XX TOAST 2015 is shown at Old Dominion University’s Ted Constant Convocation Center. Several area active-duty military members will compete in the amateur mixed martial arts competition Aug. 12 at the center.

Those who love mixed martial arts (MMA) are in for a feast on Aug. 12. Spartyka Fight League (SFL) returns to the Ted Constant Center for SFL 30 – TKO For The TA-TAs, an amateur MMA event that looks to raise awareness for the Breast Cancer division under the American Cancer Society.

General admission tickets and VIP tables are available at www.constantcenter.com/events/detail/spartyka-fight-league-30

SFL is the premier MMA group in Virginia. This is the 30th event hosted by the six-and-a-half- year-old company.

SFL 30 is sanctioned by the Global Combat Alliance (GCA), the brainchild of Jimi Partyka, an active-duty Senior Enlisted Leader at Center for Security Forces Little Creek who will be transitioning out of the military in 2018.

Yiorgo (Y): Who and what should the fans expect to see Aug. 12 at the Ted?

Jimi Partyka (JP): We are very excited and humbled by the support we always receive here in the Hampton Roads area and especially from our military families, and that’s why on the day of the event we will be giving $5 off with a military ID Card. This event in particular has several fighters who represent several branches of our military.

As of now, we are on track for five big title fights and probably a grand total of 15 bouts all together. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with preliminary matches starting at 6:30 p.m. and the main card starting at 7 p.m.

I’m very excited to announce that our main event will feature two branches of our military going at it toe-to-toe. In the 170LBS title bout, former Marine Shawn Brooks challenges the champion Mitch Aguiar, active-duty Navy Sailor.

The co-main event will be a 115LBS title fight with female combatants Christy Tyquiengco taking on the champion Tara Graff.

In the 155LBS Interim Title Bout, Demar Holloway takes on Juston Campos, who is an active U.S. Air Force Airman.

The 145LBS Title Bout features Kasim Ruffin going after the active-duty Navy Champion Andres Encinales. This will be the last fight for Encinales stateside as he is transferring to Bahrain. He is determined to leave as the champion.

And in the Catchweight bout, Tony White will battle Luke Hunsaker.

The card, of course, is subject to change as people do tend to get injured.

Y: You come from a three-generation military family and between your grandfather, father and you, you have a combined of almost 70 years of service to our country. Thank you for that. With your family in the Army, why did you join the Navy?

JP: I was a military brat. My dad was stationed in Germany. I wanted to serve my country and give back. That Navy recruiter was a good salesman. He called himself “Dan, the Man.” I grew up on an Army base all my life, and I did not even speak to an Army recruiter. He offered me E-4 and $1,000 signing bonus to be a rescue swimmer. My buddy David Jones and I signed up on the buddy program. It has been a good experience and I have enjoyed it overall. I enjoined giving back and hosting different events. Normally we do events that honor the military: Wounded Warriors, Gold Star families, this is one of two events with this one the American Cancer Society. Breast cancer affects both men and women, people in and out of uniform. It’s pretty cool to raise awareness for them and raise some funds. I enjoy giving back while serving.

Y: Tell us about Spartyka Fight League.

JP: Spartyka Fight League initially started as a clothing line. We did a charity event supporting Wounded Warriors, and I saw a need to do something on a professional level for MMA. In September 2010, we set our mission statement of becoming the top promoter of amateur mixed martial arts events in Virginia. We attract the area’s best amateur MMA talent by organizing high-quality MMA events in Southeastern Virginia. Through organized, professionally hosted competition, these athletes can practice their art before adoring fans that appreciate, admire and respect their physical fitness and competitive mindset.

We do not cut any corners. Ted Constant is the premier venue in Hampton Roads, and our belts are triple-plated, custom-made, and the fighters get to keep their belts, even if they lose. So in Saturday’s event, there are five title bouts; that’s a lot of money just there alone. We cater the event and so much more. There is a lot of overhead, and it’s a very professional event.

Y: What the accomplishments you’re most proud of so far?

JP: We have been in the market for six and a half years, with this being our 30th event. That is not really common for amateur MMA. Also working with GLORY 19 and GLORY 32 here, as well as GLORY San Diego, Vegas and Denver was amazing, and we did a TV show with Sky 4. We will also have this event streamed live on FITE TV. With what we have done with MMA and the consistency of the events and the professional level that they have been done, we have been able to have bigger organizations like GLORY and UFC look at this market, we are very proud of those accomplishments.

Yiorgo is a Hampton Roads arts, entertainment and sports writer. A stage, TV and movie actor, he is also an educator, motivational speaker, writer, storyteller and columnist.

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