SALEM, NH — Jason Perrin, the undisputed top-ranked amateur in the Northeast’s 135 pound division, looks to advance his MMA career when he steps into the cage as a first time pro on Friday night in Combat Zone’s “Summer Beatdown” at Rockingham Park.
The 21-year-old, who hails from Nashua and represents the powerhouse Team Triumph BJJ based in the Gate City, will be pitted against Quincy Humphry in the bantamweight division for the co-main event on a nine-fight card highlighted by the main event between Lucas “The Golden Boy” Cruz (8-2) and Jeff “Candyman” Anderson (8-8).
Perrin, 5-1 as an amateur, lost his first fight in Combat Zone 40 and then compiled a streak of five successive and impressive wins while rising quickly through the ranks. His last bout, when he prevailed in Combat Zone 47 on January 31 in a split decision over then No. 1 ranked 125-pounder Kenny Murphy in an intense battle of sheer will, skill and determination by both fighters, was his most stellar.
“After that fight, John (Fain, Team Triumph’s driving force) and I sat down and looked at the 125 and 135 pound divisions and who I had fought and we talked it over,” said Perrin, who will save the celebration of his recent milestone birthday until after fight night. “I’ve been with John for five years and he’s the best in the business. He felt it was time for me to go to the next level, and I agreed with him.”
Perrin doesn’t know much about Humpfry (0-0), who hails from Saginaw, MI and now fights out of Wai Kru in Boston, as he also comes in to the cage with a clean slate.
“I’ve seen a few of his fights on youtube but I really don’t know much about him other than that he’s really aggressive and likes to throw and swing. He likes to attack and come at you. But I’m ready. I’ve been in training camp for 10 weeks and I’ve got my game plan,” said Perrin, who also holds down a 50-hour per week job in the shipping and receiving department of a local office machine supply company. “My striking is the best part of my game and my hands are the most fluid thing, although I feel that my game is well-rounded.”
So is Perrin. Although he played football for a couple of years while a student at Alvirne High School, his talents were better suited to the stage.
“I was a theater kid and I always will be,” he said. “I was in it from the time I was nine until I was 17. I was even under contract to a Boston (talent) agency and went to New York and California several times on calls. But I gave it up because as I got older I was told I looked too young. Plus, in acting, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.”
It looks like Perrin, no longer subject to the whim of casting directors, is now right where he belongs.
“With fighting, I have more control over my destiny,” said. “I can’t wait until Friday night to get into the cage.”
Doors open at 6:30 pm and the first of the 10 pro and amateur fights presented by Combat Zone, the longest running MMA promotion in New England, taps off at 8 PM. Tickets are $40, $50, $75, $90 and $120 may be ordered through www.czmma.com or calling co-promoter Jamison Kattar at 978-361-6772. Parking is free.
The weigh-in will be held on Thursday, June 26 in Rockingham Park’s Sports Club and the event is free and offers the public the chance to meet the fighters and their camps.
The full Combat Zone card, which is subject to change is:
155lbs Lucas Cruz (8-2) Somerville, MA vs. Jeff Anderson (8-8) Lincoln, RI
145lbs Walter Smith-Cotito (2-2) Milford, NH vs. Rodrigo Faria (0-0) Windham, ME
125lbs Jay Perrin (0-0) Nashua, NH vs. Quincy Humpfry (0-0) Allston, MA
145lbs Austin Davis (0-0) Bethlehem, NH vs. John Santos (1-1) Londonderry, NH
170lbs Justin Boraczek (2-0) Haverhill, MA vs. Scott Coburn (0-1) Haverhill, MA
138lbs Kim Russell (1-1) Windham, ME vs. Rebecca Moore (0-0) Marlborough, MA
145lbs LJ Scarcella (1-0) Somerville, MA vs. Mike Scappachio (0-0) Plaistow, NH
185lbs Kristian Lombari (0-4) Methuen, MA vs. Thomas Cheviot (0-0) Allston, MA
155lbs Brian Cosco (1-0) Revere, MA vs. James Squires (1-0) Somerville, MA