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Three fighters from Team USA have been invited to fight Nov. 19 in Lavorno, Italy. Team USA fights under the umbrella of the Mixed Martial Arts Sport Federation, which is based in Schaumburg.

Rob Zbilski, president of the MMASF, said, “This is the first in a series of fights held overseas that Team USA will compete in. The invitation is a testament to the popularity of mixed martial arts in the United States. The enthusiasm and fervor of U.S. fans is now spilling over into the international arena. The sport of mixed martial arts is growing exponentially in popularity here and internationally. We are proud to represent the U.S. in this historic event.

“The MMASF is affiliated with more than 20 other countries, including Italy, the host of the Nov. 19 event,” Zbilski said. “The Italy fight is one of a series of competitions that will culminate in June 2011, with the Mixed Martial Arts World Championships in Odessa, Ukraine.

“The Nov. 19 event promises to showcase some of the world’s best young fighting talent,” Zbilski said. “The U.S. will fight to secure its status as a dominant power in mixed martial arts at a time when the sport is becoming increasingly global and more competitive. This is one of the ‘must see’ fighting events of the year.”

The fighters and coach traveling to Italy include Coach Joseph Donald Worden III, of Caledonia, Mo.; fighters Jason Alan Slattery, of Florissant, Mo.; Austin Mitchell Knight, of Farmington, Mo.; and Alexander Randle White, of Ironton, Mo.

Coach Joe Worden said, “When I received the phone call from Rob Zibilski, asking us to represent the U.S.A., I knew this was going to be huge. Working with the MMASF has been great and I can see even greater things in the future. This is just the beginning.”

Worden added that, “The fighters, including myself, believe highly in the team concept. Being on a team that represents our country is an honor and a privilege that we don’t take lightly. Win or lose, we want to represent the U.S.A. by showing respect, discipline and sportsmanship. As a coach, to help these young fighters reach their goals, is a big responsibility. It’s a fulfilling job, and something I take seriously.”

Zbilski added that, “In July, Team USA hosted and defeated Team World, which was comprised of teams representing Australia, Ireland and Poland. Team USA is always looking for the best, young fighters to fight in challenge matches to earn a tryout with the team.”

Team USA’s next challenge matches will be held Nov. 12 at Real Time Sports Bar in St. Charles, Ill. Team USA fighters Matt Paul, Jordan Mitchell and Devon Miller will be among the fighters that night.

Fighters interested in fighting for a spot on Team USA can contact the MMASF on Facebook at the MMA Sport Federation page.

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