Friday’s card will feature Lawrence’s Rodrigo Almeida (9-2) as well as North Andover’s Anthony Loycano.
George, much like Kattar, was a former fighter. After a loss to UFC veteran Dan Lauzon, the 29-year-old entrepreneur – he also owns a tree and craning company – bought Combat Zone from its founder, Bruce Marshall, and had operated the business for a decade before selling to the Kattars.
“Calvin and Jamison are the right people to take over Combat Zone and I am excited that they will take it to an even higher level,” George said. “Their intricate knowledge of MMA and invaluable hands-on experience from the perspective of a fighter and as businessman make them the perfect team. I could not have found anyone better to continue Combat Zone’s established tradition of excellence.”
Kattar is taking a hands-on approach in his new venture, hand-delivering tickets for his fighters to sell and finding another hidden benefit in the process.
“It’s been cool, I’ve been doing a lot of cross-training at these other gyms,” said the 14-2 Kattar. “I’ve been driving tickets to the guys for them to sell, and a few times when I’ve dropped them off I’ve stuck around and did a training session. The sport is really a tight family and I already had a lot of contacts, but now I’m starting to grow those contacts as a promoter.”
He continued, “It is different than just being a fighter, though. Other gyms and fighters need to trust me as a promoter that I’m going to treat them right.”
That’s where Kattar’s experience as a fighter comes most into play.
“I’ve worked for great promoters and I’ve worked for horrible promoters,” he said. “Being a fighter, I know, from a fighters standpoint, what makes a good promoter. You need to treat the fighters right, and it’s all just little things. I remember how much I enjoy just having orange slices available after a fight, something small like that means a lot to guys. If you treat the fighters right then they’ll want to keep coming back, and that will trickle down and guarantee you have great shows all the time, which is what the fans want.”