Team Pennsylvania won four of the six bouts en route to a 14-6 victory over Team New Jersey in the inaugural MMA Pro League event Saturday night at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Bantamweights Joseph Penafiel, Cody Hier and Zedekiah Montanez, and middleweight Rafael Celestino earned the wins for Pennsylvania. Bantamweight Claudio Ledesma and heavyweight Kevin Sears posted wins for New Jersey.
“MMA needs innovation and something new to excite the fans and help bring the masses to our sport,” Team Pennsylvania coach Daniel Gracie said in a statement. “I think MMA Pro League and this team concept is exactly what will help bring that added attention and take this sport to the next level.”
Penafield opened the card on FloCombat.com with a unanimous decision over Turpal Khamzayev. Hier earned a second-round TKO over Gabriel Ruiz, Montanez defeated Mike Pagano by unanimous decision and Celestino did the same against Emmanuel Walo.
For New Jersey, Ledesma and Sears netted unanimous decisions over Andre Bernardo and Ahmed Samir, respectively.
“I was glad to do my part for my team,” Ledesma said in a statement. “I’m a little mad that I wasn’t able to stop him, though. I hit him with everything but the kitchen sink, but I just couldn’t finish him.”
On Friday night, Las Vegas-based Legacy Fighting Alliance staged its first show in Atlantic City with LFA49 at Golden Nugget Atlantic City.
In the main event, middleweight Sean Brady took a three-round, unanimous decision over Gilbert Urbina. The co-feature saw middleweight Jonavin Webb win a unanimous decision over Tanner Saraceno.