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College MMA Challenge and US MMA OPEN Start New Season July 19 on Paddy's Beach in Misquamicut RI

Jim Hughes and Legendary MMA fighter Royce Gracie have ten schools throughout New England. Their MMA Event promotion division, headed by Perry Siegel, joined with the Famous Paddy's Beach Restaurant in Misquamicut to host a Grappling Tournament on Saturday, July 19th at 8:00pm. The event is part of the US MMA OPEN and the College MMA Challenge which gives new talent a foothold in MMA, the fastest growing sport in the world.

West Hartford, CT, July 15, 2008 --( This Grappling Tournament is a unique combination of competition, education, and entertainment. New Haven Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach Dustin Rhodes says "In our everyday classes we teach people from all walks of life how to defend themselves, in real life situations. This Grappling Competition gives students the ability to hone their skills and put their knowledge to the test. Its a lot of fun to do, and a lot fun to watch."

According to Rhodes, the Paddy's Beach Tournament is focused on one of the foundation skills of MMA, known as grappling. Grappling is similar to wrestling except competitors work to make their opponents give up or "tap" using submission holds. It is safe because there is honor in tapping out. "It is like giving your opponent a compliment on their skill level, and, it is very action packed and exciting," says Rhodes, who also competes in professional MMA events.

High point holders of the Grappling Tournament at Paddy's will be invited to step up to higher levels of competition in amateur MMA where they will have an opportunity to hone their skills even further in full scale MMA shows.

Paddy's has hosted four Grappling Tournaments. Competitors in the series have gone on to amateur level MMA finals and have even been offered professional fight opportunities.

Jeremy Pavlik, a student at the University of Connecticut and president of the UCONN Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club competed in prior College Division events at Paddy's. As a high point holder, he was invited to the College MMA Challenge Championships in Holyoke MA where he put on an impressive performance. He won the College Division and was crowned the first ever College MMA Challenge Champion.

David Sugihara is another up-and-coming competitor who got his start at Paddy's Beach. He was among the high point holders to step up to the next level and square off in the amateur MMA Championships held in Massachusetts. Sugihara was crowned the US MMA OPEN Champion and has also been offered an opportunity to compete in a professional level show.

Video from the CHampionships may be seen at or

Perry Siegel, Director of Events for the College MMA Challenge and US MMA OPEN says "This is a historic event series. It is the only step by step logical process, from beginning to end, to help people live their MMA competition dreams starting with everyday training and extending all the way up the ladder to the possibility of pro fighter status. Up until now, you either had to already have a big name to get in the game or you have had to figure out how to become a reality TV star to get into pro level MMA. We have created the first and only logical and reasonable step by step process that anyone can participate in . Two of our tournament participants went from zero to licensed pro-fighter in less than a year. Of course, with the explosion of MMA in the media, our television production unit and live gate show gives advertisers an opportunity to get in on the new 'Gold Rush' of MMA as well."

College MMA Challenge and US MMA OPEN starts its new season this weekend. Watch these up-and-coming competitors Saturday night, July 19, at 8:00 PM at Paddy's Beach in Westerly RI.

for further information on Jim Hughes and Royce Gracie New England MMA go to or

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