The headliner for this event will showcase Champion Zarrukh Adashev vs challenger DeJean Davis for the ISKA 135lbs East Coast KickboxingTitle. This event will take place in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. and will also be shown live on UFC FIGHT PASS. Tickets for this event can be purchased at MSG.com. Doors will open at 6pm, with fights to begin at 6:30.
In October Amanda Ginski won a silver medal at the WAKO World Games Championship, offer to challenge the Ray Longo trained Jennie Nedell. Ginksi, trained by WAKO USA president Rob Zbiliski having much success along her WAKO USA kickboxing journey, will challenge GLORY veteran in Nedell, who is the New York State 135 Champion, Intercontinental 140 Champion, and Battle of Millenium 135 Pro Kickboxing Champion, holding a professional record of 13-3.
I recently caught up with KJ Kordick with WAKO USA, Action Martial Arts Magazine, and Kickin it with KJ, to get her thoughts on this new development for their WAKO USA fighter Amanda Ginski, fighting for a different promotion at this level, for the first time. Kordick explains WAKO globally & WAKO USA spends a lot of time developing young talent to become world-class kickboxers and compete for the WAKO USA team, in Global WAKO related events, such as the Pan American Kickboxing Championships, The World Games Championship in Birmingham, Alabama in July of 2021 which is a I.O.C. event.
Kordick states she is speaking of her own opinion and knowledge and isn’t speaking on behalf of any organization, WAKO or WAKO USA. She states the reason this bout for Ginski is such a big deal is because Ginski was able to get a big fight in Louis Neglia’s promotion without having to sign an exclusive contract, which is usually mandatory in upper-tier promotions which then limits that signed fighter from competing for any other fight promotion other than the promotion signed under. As a WAKO USA fighter you do not get paid by WAKO USA because WAKO USA is one of the countries not allowed to receive government funding, which doesn’t afford WAKO USA the ability to be able to pay it’s kickboxers. WAKO USA fighters in certain situations can have their travel, lodging or fees to be paid for fighters, at certain events/situations but as far as the day to day living expenses outside of competitions WAKO USA fighters are forced to figure out themselves with some working 3 or 4 jobs at time just to be able to pay bills, maintain training and compete for their country. Some fighters get outside sponsors to help pay some of their bills so they are able to work less, enabling them to train more, and training more as a fresher athlete in training. Kordick goes on to explain a problem that seems to arise eventually, is that once WAKO USA. get their fighters trained to world-class levels or to be some of the best in the world, upper-tier fight promotions come in and snatch up these fighters we have invested in, by offering them good money for exclusive only contracts, prohibiting those same fighters from being able to fight for our country in WAKO USA events. This results in taking that talent away from representing, our WAKO USA team.
Kordick: “This is a big deal because it really hurts our organization when it comes to representing our country at the World Games, as well. Amari Boyd just recently signed an exclusive deal with GLORY, resulting in Boyd no longer being able to compete for the WAKO USA team now, as long as he is under contract with Glory.”
Kordick continues to say that WAKO USA still has many great fighters to compete at the most recent World Games that did very well, especially Amanda Ginski earning a silver medal.
Kordick: “I have to say a lot of these fighters get these bigger exclusive deals because of their hard work and dedication, also. It’s a combination of things. I do believe the WAKO coaches are top-level, and some of the best. The fighters get the best training, but then have to go where the money is. That’s the sad fact of what makes the world go around. That’s what bothers me. So much. Am I happy Amari went to Glory? Yes I am! Am I happy he couldn’t compete at the World Games? No. Ginski was able to recently win a silver medal because STG Logistics sponsored her, so she could work less and train more fresh, for more hours, and it showed in her overall performance. Imagine what kind of team we would have if we still had Amari Boyd, Troy Jones, and Richard Abraham just to name a couple of the ones WAKO USA lost. Kuchlong Kuchlong also just signed with Glory. Now, does that mean he doesn’t get to go to our next WAKO USA event? I don’t know. As much as I am happy for him, I am also sad. He has put in a lot of hard work, the money is good, I don’t blame him. I asked Ray Mercer what he considered his biggest accomplishment, and he said it was winning his Gold medal for his country. So, will these fighters who left WAKO, later have regrets? Competing in the World Games is unique and a privilege. It’s a conversation it seems no one wants to have, like it’s taboo, like it’s not right. But, how do we make it right? There has to be a way to break through these boundries so that we have the best of the best, to represent Team USA. I feel it really hurts the World Games and what the World Games is about because you are not getting the best of the best. You are getting the best of the fighters who chose not to sign exclusive contracts. In my experience, this is what I’ve seen, noticed and learned. Ginksi has worked 3 & 4 jobs to be able to compete in a nonprofit just so she can represent her country. There has to be a way where everybody gets the best of the best, and everybody gets what they want. That’s what I’m trying to do. For Louis Neglia who is a big promoter in the business, to step up & support what I’m trying to do, to me it’s making history. That’s why it’s important. He’s gonna be the first one with Rob Zbilski.”
Ginksi’s pro record is 4-0-NC winning a silver medal at the World Championship this October, and a Gold medal at the Pan American Championships in 2018. When FightBookMMA reached out for comment from Amanda Ginski and others this bout vs Nedell, they shared this,
Ginski: I’m extremely appreciative of this fight offer. Any opportunity to step into the ring to fight pursuing my passion means a lot to me, especially at MSG. Getting bouts outside of WAKO USA are just as important, and give me another opportunity to get more ringside b /experience, improving my game by utilizing the weapons I have, and working in the things that need improvement. Nedell, is the reigning champ of Combat at the Garden & a tough competitor. I look forward to sharing the ring with her, and having a great fight!”
Jennie Nedell: “I started training to lose weight, then fell in love. I took my first fight after a month of training. I lost my dad in the 9/11 twin towers & threw myself into the sport as an outlet. Amanda is an established fighter as well, so it’s going to be a great fight.”
Ginski’s coach Rob Zbilski: “I think this is a great opportunity for Amanda. She is coming off some very big wins this year & this will help prove she is one of the best in the world.”