AOF launches amateur MMA in Ybor with a bang

While professional MMA has been sanctioned by the Florida Boxing Commission since 2005, amateur MMA was illegal until only recently. On July 7, 2010 FBC made it possible for MMA promotions like AOF to host amateur events by approving the International Sport Karate Association as sanctioning body for the sport in Florida.

Most of the fighters on the 9-bout card last night made their debut in the cage with their friends and family cheering them on. Although there was no paycheck to be earned the experience was vital for any fighter wanting to go pro later.

[image-1]Donald Lipscomb and Jayson Jones squared off in the main event for the  much coveted AOF championship belt. It did not take Jones long though, to land a fateful right that knocked Lipscomb out cold in the very first round which earned Jones the 170-lbs regional title along with the AOF belt.

The other fighters on the card also showed remarkable stand-up as well as ground fighting skills resulting in four wins via submission, two via TKO, two via decision in addition to the impressive KO in the main event.

Complete AOF Amateur MMA at the Ritz fight results.

Since nothing spells success like a packed venue and an enthusiastic crowd cheering at the top of its lungs the Tampa-based mixed martial arts promotion, Art of Fighting, seems to be off to a good start with her brand new  Amateur MMA at the Ritz series that was launched Friday night at an almost sold out Ritz in Ybor, Fla.

"We plan on having the amateur MMA events every two to three months, always here at the Ritz," said Nick Smith, co-owner of AOF. "Tonight we are crowning the very first AOF amateur champion in the main event."

Watch the fight photo slide show after the break.

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