YAMMA Pit Fighting on Tuesday announced that Mark Kerr has been tapped to face Oleg Taktarov in the promotion’s premier event on April 11 in Atlantic City, N.J.
Like Taktarov, Kerr is an Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran. He replaces Pat Smith, who replaced Taktarov’s original opponent Don Frye. Smith was removed from the fight card following recent legal troubles. Frye withdrew from the bout due to surgery to repair an injured shoulder.
The event also features an eight-man, one-night tournament. YAMMA announced that former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez has been added to the tournament.
The promotion also detailed “The Yamma,” its new fighting surface. The Yamma is a circular pit, shaped almost like a bowl, with a circular flat bottom that rises up around the edge. In this ring, if a fighter is pushed backwards towards the fence, he moves up the lip, gaining both a height and leverage advantage over his opponent. From this position, the fighter on the lip can use gravity and leverage to reverse his opponent, and take the fight back into the center without a break in the action.
“There has been a lot of speculation about the Yamma; some people thought it would have a moving floor, spikes or even live alligators,” said Bob Meyrowitz, one of the founders of YAMMA. “But the Yamma isn’t about flashy gimmicks; it’s about the evolution of a sport and how the traditional ring can be altered to accelerate that evolution.”
The April 11t fight card is as follows:
MASTERS SUPERFIGHTS (Two Five-Minute Rounds)
Oleg Taktarov vs. Mark Kerr
Eric “Butterbean” Esch vs. Gary Goodridge
EIGHT-MAN HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT
(One Five-Minute Round & Championship is Three Five-Minute Rounds)
Marcelo “Pato” Pereira