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July 7, 2016


[Combat Zone Press Release]

SALEM, NH (July 7,  2016)-- The Sports Club at Rockingham Park is sure to be rocking when Nuri Shakir and Will Santiago- two of the Northeast's most exciting, dynamic, tough and talented professional MMA fighters- meet for the first time in the cage for the main event of Combat Zone 59 "Rock On" with the vacant Pro Welterweight belt at stake.

Nuri "The Shark" Shakir, who hails from North Andover, MA and is employed as a microbiologist, has become legendary in fight circles for his heart, talent and skills while building a 19-21 record over the course of his pro career. Also highly esteemed as a coach for the mixed martial arts, the owner of Gate City MMA in Nashua, NH will carry the standard of his gym into the cage.

Santiago (5-3), who is a respected community organizer working with troubled youth in his hometown of Lawrence, MA, earned his reputation in the cage by going undefeated as an amateur and then made a successful comeback from injury suffered earlier in his pro career. "The Brown Bomber", who represents F5 Fight Team, comes into Combat Zone 59 fresh from two dominant and consecutive first round victories.

"This is an amazing match. We've got two well-known local pros, who have made their names known quite sometime ago, coming head-to-head. Will is known for a one-and-done style of striking while being almost impossible to push around in the cage. Nuri is a legend in New England MMA and is nowhere near done with his career yet. This will most likely play out with WiIl looking to catch Nuri with a big overhand as Nuri looks to return the favor as he's one of the craftiest strikers I've seen in MMA. If the fight goes against the cage we will see Will's intelligence and brute force against Nuri's quick submissions and slick defense. This fight will be worth the cost of admission alone," said Ryan Fennelly, Combat Zone matchmaker.

Combat Zone 59, the longest running MMA promotion in New England which has called Rockingham Park home since 2009, will be held at the venue for the final time as the racetrack has been sold and will be shutting its doors for good at the end of August.

"I'm very excited for this match up. Both guys are veterans of the sport and equally deserving of this opportunity. This being our last show at The Rock we wanted to go out with a bang and with this fight as our main event. We feel it's going to deliver just that," said Combat Zone co-owner Calvin Kattar.

Doors to the Rockingham Park Sports Club open at 5:30 pm on August 5 and the first fight goes off at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $40, $50, $75, $90 and $120 and may be purchased at or by calling co-owner Jamison Kattar at 978-361-6772.
The top amateur fighter of the night will take home the trophy from Chang’s Tae Kwan Do America in Methuen and Lawrence, MA.

The full card will be announced at a later date.