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Local MMA fighter suffers setback

Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch
Mixed martial arts fighter Dominic Mazzotta practices with boxing coach Paul Peterson on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, at The Mat Factory in Lower Burrell.

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By D.j. Vasil
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 12:41 a.m.

Lower Burrell MMA fighter Dominic “The Honey Badger” Mazzotta was eager to get back into the cage and fight after defeating Doug Hodges on Jan. 26 in his professional debut.

But his second fight will have to wait.

Mazzotta was scheduled to fight Jeremy Pender on April 20 in Canonsburg in the “Pinnacle Fighting Championship,” but Mazzotta is out four to six weeks with a knee injury.

Mazzotta tore his right meniscus last Wednesday while training for his current fight. According to Mazzotta, the injury occurred while he was wrestling with Isaac Greeley. Mazzotta said he was trying to get out of a single-leg takedown.

“I was screaming in pain and knew something was wrong when I couldn't move my knee, because it was locked,” Mazzotta said. “(Greeley) is a chiropractor, and he was able to unlock it a little bit. I told my mom that morning that I think my knee is going to go soon. I just hope it's after the fight.”

Mazzotta had meniscus issues in the past. He slightly tore the meniscus in August while training in Brazil. Then, a few weeks ago while he simply was walking up a flight of stairs, he reinjured it but was able to rehab to the point where he felt comfortable to compete.

The Pender fight likely will not be made up. Mazzotta's goal is to make a return July 20 at Stage AE for “Gladiators of the Cage.”

“I was disappointed and looking forward to this fight more than any fight I've ever had,” Mazzotta said. “I felt this was the best test for me.”

D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.

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