Bjorn Rebney. Photo courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships.
CHERRY HILL, NJ. (July 18, 2011) — Bellator Fighting Championships has become synonymous with excellent scouting and signing some of the best undiscovered talent the sport has to offer, and that reputation was on display Saturday as Bellator crowned two winners at their latest open tryout, which took place at Daddis Fight Camps in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Former All-American Kyle Cerminara and Mtume Goodrum were selected and will fight for the promotion at an upcoming area event.
This year has been a whirlwind for Cerminara, who began his professional MMA journey in January. Having wrestled for nearly his entire life, the former University of Pennsylvania coach knew he still had the drive and desire to compete. MMA was the perfect fit, and Cerminara hasn’t looked back.
“This is just an outstanding chance for me to take my game to the next level and compete on the big stage,” said Cerminara. “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?”
A native of Southern New Jersey, Mtume Goodrum came to Bellator’s open tryouts a relative unknown, and left with a chance to compete at a major event on one of MMA’s biggest stages. Goodrum put on an impressive display of striking and grappling during the tryouts, and his skills were too strong for the Bellator brass in attendance to ignore.
“I’m really at a loss for words right now,” said Goodrum shortly after learning he had been named a co-winner. “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.”
History was also made at Bellator’s open tryouts, as two women competed for a spot on a future undercard. This marked the first time multiple women had participated in a Bellator open tryout. Jamie Lowe, wife of long-time UFC veteran Waylon Lowe, impressed the judges, while Bridgette Narcise represented her New Jersey-based Dojo.
“Our team saw some really exceptional talent come to Saturday’s tryout at Daddis Fight Camps,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Our tryouts are no different from our tournaments, the best come and regardless of records, pedigree or back-story, the best are awarded the spots. Our team felt that Kyle and Mtume put on fantastic performances and I’m excited that both will have the chance to display their talents at a major Bellator event.”