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New Jersey's popular long-time MMA fighter Nick "The Brick" Mauriello (4-2) has a tough fight ahead of him if he is to win his first title belt… but doing things the hard way is how he likes it.
"I definitely don't pick the easiest things to do," admitted Mauriello. "I guess I love stressing myself out, so fighting and being a corrections officer is the perfect mix."
28-year-old Mauriello, who splits his time between cage fighting and working as a guard at the Northern State Prison in Newark, will face Pennsylvania's Frank Doyle (3-1) for the vacant EFC Super Welterweight Championship in the co-main of The Darwish Brothers Presents: "Extreme Fighting Championships: MMA MANIA" on Saturday, May 18, in the Xanadu Theater at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
In the other co-main event, New Jersey's Montsir "Monster" Mohammad (2-2) will face New York's well-regarded Christopher Vallaro (5-2) for the EFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Tickets for "Extreme Fighting Championships: MMA MANIA" are priced at $46, $67, $100 and $125 Cageside and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000, at the EFC website: www.efcmma.com, or at the Trump Taj Mahal box office on fight night.
"It's a mentally draining and challenging job, just about every day," continued Mauriello about his chosen career. "You might have an altercation with an inmate or have him challenging you to a fight, but because I like to stress myself out, I'm a lot stronger in the mental aspect of the game. Plus I've been around as a fighter a lot longer. I've been training with world-class guys for years. A lot of my opponents are just getting into MMA. I've been doing it since 2005. My first fight was in 2006."
Training out of the American Martial Arts (AMA) Fight Club in East Whippany, New Jersey, Mauriello says he's become a very versatile competitor since he and a friend watched a UFC and decided to give it a try.
"I started out in April 2005 in BJJ. Me and my buddy from College watched the UFC on TV and we wanted to start doing it. We started with Jiu Jitsu. Little by little, I got into Muay Thai and then boxing and wrestling and then incorporated it all together and now I'm a well-rounded fighter. I'm ready wherever the fight goes. I'm good on my feet and on the ground. My goal is to be as well-rounded as possible I don't favor any aspect of the game. I train for everything equally."
Mauriello, who scored a quick victory at the last EFC event in March, says his training went well and he's expecting victory against Doyle.
"He (Doyle) looks like a tough kid. He's big for the weight class and a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu. He's a ground fighter, but likes to throw down too; he's pretty well-rounded. It should be a good fight, but I think my wrestling will dictate where the fight goes. I should be able to beat him."
So what would it mean to 'The Brick' to win his first MMA title belt?
"It means everything to me. This is one of the goals I've set for my life. I want to be a champion. Eight years of hard work and dedication will pay off if I win this belt. No one is going to be able to take this away from me."
The hard roads often lead to the best places.
Doors open at 7 pm and the first bout is at 8 pm. All bouts subject to change.
For more information on the EFC or our fighters, visit our official website: www.efcmma.com.
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Source: Big Media Buzz