The Global Fight League is putting on its North Shore debut Saturday night in Peabody, and the featured bout in this Mixed Martial Arts show puts two local fighters in the ring for a re-match.
Peabody's Rico DiSciullo and Salem's Matt Doherty -- bantamweights at 135 pounds -- last clashed in November with Doherty coming out the victor after the third round. Both amateur fighters are highly ranked in their weight class, according to NortheastMMA, which has DiSciullo at No. 2 and Doherty at No. 4.
Saturday's contest kicks off at 7 p.m. at on Route 1, Peabody and while the two locals are the main attraction, league officials are hoping to squeeze in as many as nine fights that night between up and coming MMA stars in New Enland.
Latitudes says it will be closing the club for regular workouts at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The MMA program should run from 7 p.m. - midnight.
You can go here for tickets or more information or buy tickets at Latitudes. General admission is $35 in advance and $40 at the door; Latitudes members are offered a special discount for $25. Parking will also be $10.
Mayor Ted Bettencourt said league officials first approached his office, seeking the OK to have a crowd of more than 1,000 for the night and serve alcohol at Latitudes. He said no to the alcohol and the maximum crowd size was whittled down to 800 packed inside the club.
In the past, local wrestling or boxing organizations have rented out school gymnasiums to hold matches, particularly the , but none of them could handle this big of a crowd.
GFL CEO Scott Millette told the Salem News in an interview that the professional facilities available at Latitudes were a main part of the draw -- Saturday will have large screens for the audience, lights, instant replay and more. He added that the league hopes to have regular North Shore events going forward and do some filming at Latitudes, along with fitness training.
The Salem News also reports that Doherty trains with Team Pradal Serey in Lynn and has become known as one of the tougher local bantamweight fighters. He won the New England Golden Gloves tournament in the welterweight class last January.
DiSciullo trains with Team Sityodtong, a muay thai kickboxing team based in Somerville that also trains in Beverly, according to the Salem News.