Interview with Nicholas Stephenson above
The regional mixed martial arts action has picked up some steam after going through a rough stretch with the Covid-19 pandemic. Art of War Cage Fighting had been rolling along and putting on quality shows at several locations in Pennsylvania but after their 17th event on February 8, 2020 they were put on a long pause as were the hard-working, grinding, lesser known fighters who build the talent pool for places like the UFC. Let’s put all of that behind us and move into the current and relish that AOW and much of the regional events are back on path and ready to provide a venue for many. Right now there are more fighters prepared and ready to fight than there are opportunities. The regional scene has some catching up to do and Art of War Cage Fighting President, Mike Bickings plans to oblige. For the Saturday May 22nd AOW18 event, the state limited the fight card to a total of eight fights and limited seating capacity, but upcoming on July 31st, Art of War 19 will be back to full capacity both in the arena and on the fight card.
But first, let’s set you up with Art of War Cage Fighting 17 from The Sportsplex in Feasterville, PA. Headlining the card will be returning AOW middleweight champion Johnny Garbarino (5-1 3KOs) as he welcomes Rob The Young King” Sousa (3-0) into his den. “Garb” has a huge following and his fans will be in attendance making their presence felt. Garbarino seems to get better with each fight and takes on an undefeated Sousa who has finished two of his three opponents with submissions. In the co-main event, AOW Heavyweight champ defends against the more experienced, very tough, Gavin Nickel. This will be a slugfest.
In another featured fight, Martinez BJJ‘s Nicholas Stephenson makes his second career walk out to the cage to tangle with Daniel Yakobov. Stephenson was solid in his debut despite losing on the judge’s scorecards. This will be the debut for Yabokov. MyMMANews caught up with Stephenson as fight week crept in. You can see our interview on the link above.
Nick is an inspiration. He has gone from an unhealthy lifestyle of smoking and eating and has lost over 150 lbs. He gives all of the credit to his friends insistence on joining the Northeast Philadelphia institution at Martinez. Will Martinez leads by example being a Bellator veteran and an accomplished grappler. Will takes it personally that every one of his students are as prepared as possible whenever they step in to that cage or on a mat. Martinez has a total of 3 fighters on the card so their team will have a busy night.
Commentator for Art of War Cagefighting. More than 10 years experience in the PA/NJ regional MMA circuit. Commentator/post fight interviews. Television/media/event production.
The story of the fighter is what Bob loves about the sport. From the lowest level, to the highest, he only cares about the two warriors who do battle once the cage doors close. Everything else is secondary. Without their blood, sweat, and tears, he would not be here enjoying every minute.