With the rise of professional MMA, worldwide, Amateur MMA events have been gaining in popularity around the world. UFC Hall of Fame member, Ken Shamrock spoke briefly to the crowd at an amateur event in Reno, Nevada, last year: “Thank you all for coming out and supporting these amateur fighters. They are the future of the sport and they have to start somewhere.” Shamrock has three sons who fight on the Amateur MMA scene.

One of the most prestigious of these events is held monthly in Reno, Nevada: Rick Collup’s Ultimate Reno Combat. The largest MMA sanctioning body in the world, ISCF (International Sport Combat Federation), has voted this event: “The Number One Amateur Event in the US”. ISCF President, Steve Fossum said: “Although they are Amateur fighters, each and every one is respected as any pro fighter would be. All fighters are required to have blood work, pre-fight physicals and each one is given fight gloves for the event.”

The voting was conducted by ISCF who had fans, officials, fighters and referees visit different events around the country and asked them what they thought was the best; including regulatory issues, fighter safety, entertainment value, and venue choice. ISCF has gone as far as to say that Ultimate Reno Combat “puts a lot of PRO MMA Events to Shame!” ISCF has used this promotion as a model for other states’ Athletic Commissions, such as California’s, to stage their own events.

The promoter, Rick Collup, was a former Pro-MMA fighter who began the events in 2009. He started hosting these shows based on memories from his days as a fighter:  “I had to travel all over the country to train and to fight on my own dime. Back when I fought, they paid you, but they didn’t pay your expenses. You had to pay to fight. Now, all these local people don’t have to travel.”

Ultimate Reno Combat 33 held its 34th Event on Friday, May 18, 2012.Highlights included Brandon Costa regaining his Light Heavyweight Belt and Connor Visman winning submission of the night.

Here are the results:

Undercard (3 rounds)
125 lbs: Isaiah Wright defeated Christopher Montenegro by Unanimous Decision.

205 lbs: Gary Williams defeated Idris Wasi by Unanimous Decision.

170 lbs:  Connor Visman defeated Michael Grimes at 28 seconds in round 1 due to armbar

140 lbs: Glenn “Will” Hodges defeated Modesto Castro by split decision.

185 lbs: Matt Wilson defeated Cesar Portillo at 27 seconds by TKO.

150 lbs: Jeramie “Jake” Johnson defeated Joshua Toledano via KO by head kick in 4 seconds of the second round.

205 lbs: Giovaughn “Gio” Mackey defeats Jamal Williams at 2:38 in round 2 via TKO

185 lbs: Justin Richards defeated Lawrence Gray by split decision.

160 lbs: Melvin Washington defeated Matthew Wright by unanimous decision,

125 lbs: Daymond Bland defeated Spencer Roberts in round 2 at 1:31 via Rear-naked choke and became the new Flyweight Champion.

Main Event 5 Round Title Bouts

185 lbs: Anthony Hernandez defeated Randall “Buddy” Wallace at 1:43 in round 2 by Rear-naked choke and is the new Welterweight Champion.

205 lbs: Brandon Costa defeated Brad Robasciotti at 2:10 in round 1 TKO to regain his title as Light-Heavyweight Champion.

Several alumni from this promotion have gone on to successful pro-careers, including Scott Rosa who recently TKO’d UFC veteran James Irvin in the second round at 1:38 at a Gladiator Challenge Event in California.