The Quest Continues


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Old Forge's Sean Oliveri continued his quest toward becoming a professional mixed martial arts fighter last month by beating Anthony McGlynn in a unanimous decision at the Woodlands Inn and Resort in Wilkes-Barre.

Balanced Combat, a mixed martial arts training facility in Old Forge, had two other fighters represent them in Cage Fight 15 last month. Bill Bidwell, of Taylor, lost to Brandon Van Hoesen in his amateur debut. Matthew Erfman, of Duryea, went the distance but lost to Samuel Senuk.

The results weren't what Joe Anastasi envisioned going into the event. He is the owner and chief trainer at Balanced Combat. While he was happy that Oliveri won, he thought Oliveri had a chance to end the fight earlier. Things happen fast in the cage and game plans must change.

Anastasi said all three fighters got away from the game plan during the course of the fight, adding that getting into a cage and fighting someone is a difficult task. All the fighters have strengths and weaknesses, along with a combination of different skills needed to compete.

"I think they could have done better," Anastasi said. "While Sean (Oliveri) won ,we feel he was the superior fighter and was hoping he wouldn't need to get the decision."

Anastasi said the aftermath of a fight is to go right back to work with his fighters. He said he would talk about the fight with each fighter and start training again quickly. He said the key to a fight is to be able to take what was learned and apply it during the fight.

Another win for Oliveri helps his reputation among amateur fighters in the area.

He now has a record of 4-1 and has the ultimate goal of turning professional.

Bidwell is now 1-2 in his young career and Anastasi said he is very talented.

Brendan Dolan is 1-0 so far and he was scratched due to an injury.

Erfman, 0-1, made his debut and went the distance. He plans on joining the Air Force and wanted to step into the cage before he left. He has a wresting background at Pittston Area and the fighter he faced he wrestled against in high school.

All of the trainers at Balanced Combat are considered experts in their skills are either from Old Forge or live in Old Forge. The trainers who work with the fighters, including Anastasi, are: Johnny Roland, Sal Diaz and Al Cleary.

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