Greg McErlain and Nadia Bilynsky Antrim Electric owners at Art of War Cage Fighting Photo by William McKee for AOW

Greg McErlain and Nadia Bilynsky (Antrim Electric owners) at Art of War Cage Fighting - Photo by William McKee for AOW

Philadelphia’s MMA support system is “Electric”

Joe ‘Bodybagz’ Pyfer is the latest professional mixed martial artist from Philadelphia to win inside the UFC octagon.

With his massive UFC 287 win over Gerald Meerschaert, the 26-year-old striker joins a who’s who list of combat sports athletes to hail from the City of Brotherly Love.

Names like Eddie Alvarez, Paul Felder, Sean Brady, Chris and Kyle Daukaus, Pat Sabatini, Bill Algeo, Jeremiah Wells, Sam Oropeza, Will Martinez, Jonavin Webb, and Andre Petroski, are just a few on the MMA side.

Names like Joe Frazier, Jack O’Brien, and Bernard Hopkins are just a few Philadelphia boxers to join the likes of the iconic film character Rocky Balboa.

While it is the fight in the ring or cage that the competitors must burden themselves, the support system that helps get them to fight night often times goes unnoticed.

They say, “it takes a village to raise a child,” but it also takes a team to build a fighter.  Not only do fighters need a team in the gym, but they could also use a support system outside the cage as well.

That’s where Antrim Electric comes in. Owners Greg McErlain and Nadia Bilynsky have been a rock for many of the fighters, both amateur and professional, in the Philadelphia combat sports scene.

Not only do they sponsor fighters, but they are one of the major sponsors of Art of War Cage Fighting and Ground Zero Grappling (promotions out of Philly) as well.

“I want to give a shout out to Mike and Deb Bickings and Art of War Cage Fighting, they really are one of the best promotions around and take better care of their fighters than anyone out there,” Bilynsky said.  Along with Antrim Electric’s event sponsorship, they also provide a “Power Performance of the Night” bonus to one fighter on each Art of War fight card.

Antrim Electrics specializes in residential and commercial generator installation, and commercial work, i.e., restaurant fit-out and finish work, warehouse/ industrial lighting, commercial electrical services, etc.  They also specialize in new construction and re-wiring of existing apartment buildings, service upgrades and new electrical services.

Matt Turnbull, a professional mixed martial artist fighting out of Martinez BJJ in Philadelphia, is not only sponsored by Antrim Electric, but works for the company full-time.

Turnbull, who has a fight with Art of War 30 on June 23, said, “Greg and Nadia of Antrim Electric have sponsored me for over 10 fights now. They go above and beyond what most sponsors do for their athletes and have undoubtedly made each and every fight camp as easy as they could for me. The local MMA scene as a whole is a better place because of Antrim Electric.”

Matt Turnbull AOW 30 Art of War Cage Fighting Antrim Electric

“The amount of dedication and time that fighters put into training, their diets, staying fit, etc. year-round, and then the work that goes into a camp and weight cut is unbelievable,” Bilynsky said when asked why Antrim Electric puts so much effort into supporting martial artists. “This is all ‘unpaid’ work for a fighter, they do it because they love the sport and have a passion. We are happy to be able to show our support and assist in any way we can when it comes to sponsorships and other support we provide to fighters,” she continued.

Not only are McErlain and Bilynsky supporters and fans of the work these competitors put in, but they are students of the game as well.

“I’ve always been a huge MMA fan, but didn’t start training until about 4-5 years ago,” Nadia said.

Nadia Bilynsky Antrim Electric Criszaida Adames
Nadia Bilynsky left training at Martinez BJJ

“I met Will Martinez (owner of Martinez BJJ) through work. I am a commercial real estate broker, and I helped him when he expanded the gym. At the time, Greg and I had a fighter from Ireland coming out to stay with us, and Will offered to let him train at Martinez while he was here. Greg and I quickly became good friends with Will. Greg started jiu jitsu training first, and about a year or so later I started taking private kickboxing lessons with Matt (Turnbull). At first, I was just taking lessons for cardio/fitness purposes, but I quickly fell in love with the sport and dove right into training,” she said. “I now train Muay Thai, BJJ, and recently started training MMA with Will.”

At Martinez BJJ, Bilynsky trains alongside one of the female athletes her company supports.  Criszaida Adames is a professional mixed martial artist with a 5-2 record.

“Antrim Electric helped me a lot during my MMA career,” Adames said. “Nadia really a godsend from heaven. She has helped me and continues to help me with personal stuff’ she just loves to help.”

Bilynsky, who will turn 40 in December, hopes to compete in a kickboxing bout before her birthday.

Nadia Bilynsky Matt Turnbull
Nadia Bilynsky training with Matt Turnbull

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