New York Style Throwdown III

Richard Williams (left) works with fighter Nicholas Salantri during a workout session. Salantri, representing Golden Cobra gym will be taking on Miles Mansell, representing Xayaveth Muay Thai Gym, on Saturday October 17 at the New York Style Throwdown III for the Amateur Muay Thai Arizona State Middleweight Title. There will also be other fighters from the Verde Valley competing in the New York Style Throwdown III event held at Vinnie’s in Cottonwood. (Photo by Greg Macafee)

Richard Williams (left) works with fighter Nicholas Salantri during a workout session. Salantri, representing Golden Cobra gym will be taking on Miles Mansell, representing Xayaveth Muay Thai Gym, on Saturday October 17 at the New York Style Throwdown III for the Amateur Muay Thai Arizona State Middleweight Title. There will also be other fighters from the Verde Valley competing in the New York Style Throwdown III event held at Vinnie’s in Cottonwood. (Photo by Greg Macafee)

COTTONWOOD- On Saturday October 17th, Golden Cobra Center of Fitness and Vinnie's New York Style Pizzeria will present the New York Style Throwdown III with IKF Muay Thai and Kickboxing Championships. With 10 scheduled fights, seating will start around 5 p.m. The first fight between Manuel Roberson of Dragon Eye gym in Cottonwood and Gino Mendivil of Justo's Gym in Tempe will start at 6 p.m.

Usually gym's located in the Verde Valley are forced to travel for fights to gain exposure, with this event held in Cottonwood seven fighters from the Verde Valley will be get a chance to make a name for themselves. Manuel Roberson will be the first.

Two more Verde Valley fighters will be squaring off in the third match of the evening. Matt Sotto of Golden Cobra Center Fitness will be squaring off with Angel Gonzales of Dragon's Eye gym in Cottonwood. The fight will consist of three, two-minute rounds.

In the fourth fight of the night, Jacqueline Montijo of Larson's Fight Team in Camp Verde will be facing off with Nikki Cordova of 2 Knuckle Sport MMA in Surprise. This fight will be one of the three international rules matches of the night. Montijo's teammate will be the next to fight.

12-year old Adam Hines of Larson's Fight Team will take on Dylan Spangler of Power MMA out of Phoenix. This match-up will consist of three one-minute and 30-second rounds. The seventh fight of the night will include another Verde Valley fighter. 28-year old Michael Garcia of Larson's Fight Team will take on a fighter out of Flagstaff.

Saturday night will be headlined by two title fights. The Main Event will have 12-year old Corey Hines, representing the MMA lab in Glendale, taking on Ray Allen Jr. representing the Kings MMA and Muay Thai gym out of Houston, Texas. This fight will be for the Junior Amateur Muay Thai U.S. Cruiserweight Title and will consist of five, one-minute and 30-second rounds.

In the semi-main event, 21-year old Miles Mansell representing Xayaveth Muay Thai Gym in Phoenix will face off with Nicholas Salantri of Golden Cobra Center Fitness for the Amateur Muay Thai Arizona State Middleweight Title.

Salantri a fighter based out of the Verde Valley got into fighting with help from his father who is a 7th degree black belt. Salantri, a second degree black belt himself, thinks that gives him a strong base for any type of fighting style.

The 33-year old who walks around at 190 and fights at 165 has won close to five in a row. After losing a few before his win streak, Salantri feels like making the adjustment from fighting at 190 to 165 made a big difference.

"At the beginning I was fighting at 190, it's not like they were better than me, they were just pushing me over because they were a little bigger," Salantri said. "Now when we make the weight cut to 165 it makes things a little easier, I am a big strong man striking at 190 and then I go to 165 and it's that much easier."

Along with the help and encouragement from his instructor, Salantri believes that he is a couple fights away from making the step to the next level, with hopes of continuing his career in Muay Thai and MMA at the professional level.

"I feel I am ready to go, I train everyday sometimes five times in one day, it's something like 26 workouts a week and I am on the same schedule every day, so I feel like I am ready to go," Salantri said. "I feel like I am ready to go pro in Muay Thai which is pretty cool especially in Arizona. I think there is something like 200 MMA fighters that make money and I think there is only one Muay Thai striker in Arizona, so it would be cool to take that step."

Salantri plans on making the jump in both MMA and Muay Thai and believes the situation he is in helps set him up for success even more. A former protégée of the Olympic Development Program in soccer, Salantri received Division I and Division II scholarship offers. His soccer background gives him a little extra power in his kicks which can come in handy in the ring.

Salantri also trains with former UFC fighter Steve Judson out of GD Jiu Jitsu in Prescott and spends his weekends with Richard Williams at Golden Cobra. Salantri seems to be in the perfect mindset as he pursues his goals of taking the next step. His title fight on Saturday will sure set the tone as he gets set to move forward.

Along with the fights at New York Style Throwdown, there will be special appearances by Sensei Walt Larson, Hanshi Nico Fernandez, Sensei Sam Plunkett and Spanky Spangler, so grab your popcorn and get your seat early as it is sure to be exciting. For fighter info or general info contact Richard Williams at 928-300-0281 or email at cobrajet65@netzero.com.

-- Follow Greg Macafee on Twitter @greg_macafee and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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