Vinnie Mannino of Knockout Cancer Takes a Leap of Faith with Tuff-N-Uff MMA Charity Event

Now in its third year, “Round 3: Knockout Cancer for Candlelighters’ Kids” is an MMA event created to help raise funds and awareness for Candlelighters’ Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada. This year’s event will be held Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the Pearl Concert Theater inside Palms Casino Resort, the biggest venue the event has ever had.

One of the event’s creators, Vinnie Mannino, came on MMA Fight Corner recently and spoke about the MMA charity event that’s raised $30,000 in just two years for children’s cancer.

The event was first held at Xtreme Couture’s gym in Las Vegas, NV, but has since outgrown the venue.  This year, Mannino went bigger getting the event sanctioned by the Nevada State Atheltic Commission for the second time and managing to put together a fight card complete with 15 bouts featuring Tuff-N-Uff fighters on the card.

The original concept for raising money for the Candlelighters came about when Vinnie and his friend Pablo started training in MMA and decided to fight each other. Vinnie thought outside of the box and decided if he and friend were going to test their skills against each other, that they should do it for charity. Since Pablo and Vinnie were training at Xtreme Couture, they held the first event there as an exhibition.

“The fighters are just lining up, they’re raising their hands going ‘We want to participate’. A couple fighters that we had on the card last year were personally touched by cancer, whether it was a family member, or their own battle. It’s absolutely staggering, the statistics with cancer, in particular with kids,” Mannino said.

With a bigger venue to fill then ever before, the foundation is hoping to pack the house. “You gotta have faith, you’ve gotta take a leap of faith and we really want to take it to another level,” Mannino said.

America’s Fight Town, Las Vegas, has stepped up in several ways to give back to the Candlelighters. Mannino said that current and former MMA fighters like Forrest Griffin and Ken Shamrock may make appearances at the event. There will also be a silent auction in which the UFC has donated memorabilia that can be bid on at the event to benefit the cause. Even the NFL is involved, St. Louis Rams running back, Steven Jackson and Dallas Cowboys running back, DeMarco Murray may even autograph jerseys and contribute as well.

The Tuff-N-Uff fight card features:

A 145 lb title defense: Roman “Babyface Assassin” Isbell vs Tom Cruz
A 125 lb tournament title: Bryce “Wu Tang” Harley vs Shai Lindsey
A 205 lb title defense: Prentice Williams vs Khalil Rountree
A 170 lb title eliminator: Josh Bleeker vs Jeff Roman

There will also be welterweight and middleweight tournament semi-finals featured on the card and a women’s MMA bout also. For the full fight card visit: TuffnUffTV.com

Also performing at the event will be DJ Baby Chino, fresh off his appearance on Nickelodeon’s “Figure It Out”. He’s 9-year-old DJ who is known as “The World’s Youngest DJ”. The event will also be hosted by Chet Buchanan from 98.5 FM’s morning show, “The Morning Zoo.”

To purchase tickets, please visit the Pearl Box Office, call 702-944-3200, visit any Ticketmaster location, call 1-800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. There are two pricing tiers $30 for general and floor seats for $5o dollars. Proceeds go to the Candlelighters’ Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada.  Doors open at 6pm at the Pearl at the Palms Hotel & Casino. For more information about this great event, contact Candlelighters’ Childhood Cancer Foundation at 702-737-1919 or visit www.candlelightersnv.org.

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