Wednesday, 03 July 2024 15:25

Saratoga-Based Elite Fighting Promotions Holds First Event

Elite Fighting Promotions is holding its first official event at the Saratoga Springs City Center on July 13. Image provided. Elite Fighting Promotions is holding its first official event at the Saratoga Springs City Center on July 13. Image provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Don Walton was criss-crossing the country, chasing after the next opportunity to compete in combat sports. Vermont. New York City. Indiana. Delaware. He was always on the road, and tired of it. Then he had an idea: how hard would it be to launch a fighting promotion at home in Saratoga Springs?

To answer that question, he called Jay Ingleston, a former fighter and promoter who had booked Walton in the past. The more the duo thought about it, the more convinced they became that Saratoga needed its own fighting promotion; one that could offer more variety of competition.

“It’s an honorable product that we’re trying to give to the community,” Ingleston said. “We want these guys to have a showcase for their skills. That’s why I started this. That’s why I started fighting. I didn’t care if I won or lost. It was a respect thing, and it was the honor of going out and testing yourself.” 

Although it wasn’t officially under the Elite Fighting Promotions banner, Walton and Ingleston held an event in March that, to their surprise, sold out. Hundreds of people strolling around Broadway bought tickets the day of the event, proving to Walton that Saratoga is indeed a fight town.

“Clearly there’s a demand and we hear what the people are saying, so we’re going to bring it back again and again,” Walton said.

“Saratoga will show up for you if you give them a product or brand to latch onto,” added Ingleston.

The plan is to start putting on three to four shows per year, starting with the first official Elite Fighting Promotions event at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Saturday, July 13.

 

 

The main event, with a Bantamweight MMA title on the line, will be Christian Alvarez versus Edward Brown. Alvarez is from Troy, and Brown hails from South Carolina. The co-main event, a 180-pound Muay Thai bout, will be Albany’s Logan Samarija versus Buffalo’s Malik Abdus-Sabr. 

For Walton, it was important to book fighters from all over the country, many of whom he met while on the road. He believes that spectators ultimately care more about seeing a good show, and are less concerned with where the fighters come from. 

“A lot of amateur-level shows rely on local fighters selling the tickets,” he said. “For us, it’s just good quality.”

The July 13 card includes ten fights total, including Muay Thai bouts, MMA bouts, and a grappling match. Event sponsors include Druthers Brewing and Northern Lights Dispensary. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the fights begin at 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.elitefightingpromotions.com/events. 

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