For local Mixed Martial Arts competitors, there isn't as much of an avenue for fighting locally.
Jamestown, N.Y.'s Gaffar Adam - with some help from Sugar Grove's Paul Waite - is trying to change all that.
The duo has teamed up with the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena and AG Combat Sports Promotions to host an all-day Karate and Grappling Show this Saturday. After the completion of those two events, a 7:30 p.m. Kickboxing event will cap off the festivities.
Adam and Waite hope this is just the start of something much bigger.
"I grew up in the Martial Arts and always wanted to showcase it a little better in our area," said Adam. "We have a lot of talented people in our area and little to no local events for them to compete. This is something I've been working to put together for the past 7 or 8 years and just now, with UFC and things like it becoming more popular, we've got to the point where we feel we can pull it off."
According to Waite - who will also serve as the head referee for the grappling event - the event will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning and mats will be set up all across the area that usually holds the arena's ice surface.
"Those tournaments will run simultaneously throughout the day until completion," Waite said. "After they've completed, we have a Kickboxing show planned with five undercard bouts and a main event."
Waite said this tournament provides many local fighters a chance to do something that is nearly impossible in this area - fight close to home.
"I know in my experiences that most of the time I'm competing I'm traveling four hours to Mansfield or Akron, Ohio, and that takes a lot out of a fighter," said Waite. "We wanted to bring something here that would allow fighters from local gyms the chance to compete in front of their friends and families."
If Adam has his way, it's something the fighters will have the chance to do for a long time to come.
"Hopefully, this will be the first of many local fights in the area. We're hoping to create the Southern Tier Martial Arts League. Our eventual goal for next year is to have regional or league championships for several different divisions of combat sports. The league would hold several fights within say a two-hour radius and fighters can earn points toward a regional title in whatever their choice of discipline. Hopefully, Saturday is just the beginning."