Mixed martial arts on the Vineyard

Vineyard MMA athletes who competed at the North American Grappling Tournament at the Twin Rivers Casino in Rhode Island on Oct.15. From left to right: Nigel Smith, Scarlett Blair, Eli Hawkins, Igor Estrella, Luciano Fonseca, Andora JB Aquino. — Photo by Tom Corr

Coaches Eli Hawkins and Luciano Fonseca are having success with the newly opened martial arts center, Vineyard MMA, on Holmes Hole Road, Vineyard Haven. The gym is approximately 1300 sq ft. The programs that have been established at the gym are muay thai/kick boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, and MMA. Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu are the two marital arts that have brought the most success to the athletes that compete in Modern Ultimate Fighting Championships .

Eli Hawkins, gym owner and coach, is an MMA fighter who competes in Kickboxing/Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. He has traveled abroad and has trained and fought in Thailand and looks forward to competing in the International Muay Thai tournament there in 2012.

Luciano Fonseca is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt specialist. He has been studying Jiu-Jitsu since he was 15, competing in an international tournament and defeating the world champion. Last year he competed in several tournaments winning first place during the inaugural UFC in Massachusetts.

On October 15, six Vineyard MMA athletes competed in the North American grappling tournament at the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. All six finished in the money, first, second, or third. Overall, the team placed fifth in the GI Division and sixth in the NO-GI Division. The participants: Luciano Fonseca, Eli Hawkins, Igor Estrella, Scarlett Blair, Nigel Smith, Andora J B Aquino.

Classes for Vineyard MMA’s Kickboxing and Jiu-Jitsu are Monday through Thursday, 6 to 9 pm. A cardio kickboxing class meets Monday through Friday at 9 am.

For more information call 781-426-6692 or 508-338-0386. Ask for Eli or Luciano.