Bellator Fighting Championships held tryouts this past weekend for the chance to earn a spot on an upcoming New Jersey fight card. The open tryouts took place Saturday, July 16, at Daddis Fight Camps in Cherry Hill, N.J.
After all was said and done, 28-year-old former University of Buffalo All-American Kyle Cerminara (1-0) and 30-year-old Mtume Goodrum (0-2) of New Jersey were the two professional MMA fighters selected.
Cerminara, a light heavyweight fighter, made a successful pro MMA debut in April with a unanimous decision over Ariel Sepulveda (3-5) at “CFFC 7: No Mercy” in Atlantic City.
Cerminara spoke about the opportunity to fight for Bellator:
“This is just an outstanding chance for me to take my game to the next level and compete on the big stage. With my wrestling background, the more action I can get the better, so I’m looking forward to winning what I need to win to get a spot in the next Light Heavyweight Tournament, get a shot at the title, and become the new Light Heavyweight Champion. If I didn’t already have my eyes on the title, what’s the point of competing?”
Goodrum, a lightweight fighter, had a successful run as an amateur but has dropped both his pro bouts via decision. His most recent fight took place in May with a unanimous decision loss to Tom Marcellino (3-0) at “CCFC 8: Seek and Destroy”.
Although Goodrum is winless in his pro MMA career thus far, his talent was too much for the Bellator brass to overlook. Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said, “Regardless of records, pedigree or back-story, the best are awarded the spots.”
Goodrum was ecstatic about being selected and shared his thoughts:
“I’m really at a loss for words right now. My excitement level is just off the charts right now, and I just have to thank Bellator for this opportunity. I’m going to make the most of it.”
The tryouts also saw for the first time two female MMA fighters compete for a spot on a future Bellator card. Jamie Lowe, wife of UFC veteran Waylon Lowe, and Bridgette Narcise of New Jersey, both took part in the tryouts.