Greenwich MMA Hosts Glove Up Greenwich on September 30

Hook, jab, cross, hook, jab, cross! Keep pushing!” Kastriot Xhema urged one of his clients as he absorbed her punches with a strike pad during a recent workout in the ring at Greenwich MMA. Kas, who’s the owner of this MMA (mixed martial arts) gym, grew up in town and trained as a Bellator MMA fighter, earning wins at Madison Square Garden and Mohegan Sun. Earlier this year he opened his new gym in central Greenwich, where many of his clients train not to fight but to gain strength and overall fitness. Through group workouts and one-on-one sessions he has helped all ages.

“Every kid should do some form of martial arts,” he says, having seen firsthand the benefits for high school athletes and younger kids. “For me, it keeps me calm and humble. It’s good for confidence, and you never know when you may need it.” 

Now Kas is giving back via a large charitable boxing event to be held in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on September 30. He is partnering with Michael Vranos, Wall Street executive and philanthropist, in creating Glove Up Greenwich, which will feature nine sanctioned boxing fights in a twenty-by-twenty-foot ring, shown on a Jumbotron. Food trucks and drink vendors will be on hand to serve spectators. 

The event benefits several organizations: Greenwich United Way, The Rowan Center, GEMs, Byram Volunteer Fire Dept. and Glenville Volunteer Fire Department. “The idea is to raise money for local charities, support first responders while also raising people’s awareness of mixed martial arts,” Kas says. “Expect an action-packed, exciting event with lots of adrenaline.

”Glove Up will include some celebrity fighters. A “private equity” fight and police vs. fire are also in the works as well as a surprise musical performance.

Tickets are available for reserved seating or general admission via Eventbrite.

Greenwich MMA is located at 173 DavisAvenue; gloveupgreenwichct.com

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