The Outlet helps members plug in to meet their goals
DEXTER — For more than two years The Outlet has provided a mixed martial arts (MMA) training center for all abilities, including those actively competing, others looking to take part in fitness programs related to the sport and children starting out in martial arts such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). The Outlet Mixed Martial Arts Training Center now has several champions in both MMA and BJJ.
Kristy Rizzitello, who operates The Outlet along with her husband Angelo at 322 Dover Road (Route 7), said the accolades include Justin Witham winning the flyweight (125 pound) New England Fights (NEF) championship in November. “He’s the champ, he won the belt and will be defending in June,” Rizzitello said.
“Sarah Matulis is our first female winner,” Rizzitello said as Matulis stepped into the octagon at the same card where Witham won his title. “She won her fight as well, that was last fall,” Rizzitello said, saying Matulis also has lost 100 pounds since first coming to The Outlet.
Zack Adams, who owns Guardian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and offers classes through The Outlet, along with Angelo Rizzitello, Matulis and Mark Domenech traveled to a North American Grappling Association competition and the group came back with some more titles.
On Nov. 3 Witham captured the vacant flyweight championship at NEF 31 in Portland, defeating Nate Boucher via a third round decision.
“That was the goal right there,” Witham said about winning the biggest title of his MMA career. He said the win by decision “was not my proudest fight but it got the job done.”
“I’m happy for my kids,” Witham, a father of two, said. “For me the biggest goal was to make my kids proud of me and to accomplish something that big was very nice.”
Witham said he has been training in MMA for more than four years. “My son was born and I made the decision to make him proud of Daddy, not just proud of Mommy because she reached her goal of being a teacher,” Witham said.
“His four-year-old has grown up here,” Rizzitello said.
“Next year my four-year-old will get involved here with what Zack does, jiu-jitsu,” Witham said.
Witham will defend his flyweight championship on June 16 against Ryan Burgess. The title will holder will enter on a three-match winning streak in what will be the third meeting between Witham and Burgess. In June 2015 Burgess won via an unanimous decision after three rounds, and in February 2017 Witham earned a submission victory at the 1:50-mark of the second round.
At NEF 31 Matulis made her MMA debut, like Witham also fighting as an amateur.
“I have lost 100 pounds now,” Matulis said, with the weight loss coming in the last two years working out at The Outlet. “I had my first fight back in November, which I won which was fantastic.”
In the women’s bantamweight (135 pounds) division Matulis earned a KO/TKO win over Chelsea Elizabeth in the opening round.
“When I started it was literally for weight loss and for fitness and once I started I enjoyed it so much it built to a goal to fight,” Matulis said.
She prepared for the bout over the course of a number of months, including a fight camp with intense training. “It increased my drive and solidified my love for the sport,” Matulis said.
“It was an amazing experience and I did well with a TKO in the first round,” she said. “It’s pretty neat to have your first experience with mixed martial arts in a crowd of 1,000 people.”
Matulis said she balanced her training with being a mother to three young children and her full-time job. She is now taking a break but hopes to fight again.
“I was not surprised I won,” she said. “I went in trusting myself and the training, and I was very happy with it.”
“It’s been super exciting with Sarah as well to reach her goal,” Rizzitello said. “There was a commitment and a goal and her family supported her.”
She said last month The Outlet’s Stacy Lupo competed at NEF 32 and he defeated David Hart by KO/TKO at the 1:20-mark of round one in their 155-pound match.
“He won his match as well,” Rizzitello said, with Lupo using a knee to the side of his opponent to earn the victory.
Also last month a contingent from The Outlet took part in a North American Grappling Association competition outside of Boston.
“I won the expert middleweight title,” Adams said. He said Angelo Rizzitello earned a gold medal in his division, Matulis came in first as well and Mark Domenech earned a silver medal
“We try to focus on getting 1 percent better every day, we have seen that 1 percent change lives,” Adams said, for both those training for BJJ fights and those taking part in the discipline to exercise. “You are competing against yourself rather than everyone else.”
Adams said Matulis and both Kristy and Angelo Rizzitello have moved up a belt ranking in the last year.
Kristy Rizzitello said The Outlet schedule features various nights for different martial arts, which are supplemented with cardio classes. “We welcome people to come in to try things,” she said, with memberships available on a monthly basis.
“We tell people the hardest part is to walk through that door,” she said. “We look forward to new new members and students trying things out.”
“We average 40 to 60 members and that’s been consistent since day one,” Rizzitello said. “We have no limits on our classes and we run all year as well.”
For more information on the The Outlet Mixed Martial Arts Training Center, please call 924-5144 or go to https://www.facebook.com/theoutlet.biz.
Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
THE CHAMPS ARE HERE — Zack Adams, left, and Justin Witham are both title holders, representing The Outlet Mixed Martial Arts Training Center in Dexter. Adams’ belt came with his victory at a North American Grappling Association competition outside of Boston last month. Witham is the reigning New England Fights flyweight champion, having earned the distinction in November.
Photo courtesy of The Outlet Mixed Martial Arts Training Center
BRINGING BACK SOME HARDWARE — Four competitors who train out of The Outlet Mixed Martial Arts Training Center in Dexter combined to earn three medals and one title at a North American Grappling Association competition in Massachusetts last month. From left are Angelo Rizzitello, Sarah Matulis, Zack Adams and Mark Domenech.