Niagara Gazette

Sports

February 2, 2013

Niagara Falls native earns first MMA championship belt

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Lilly said that since Scalzo joined the Victory team his grappling skills have continued to evolve. He has finished his last two opponents with submissions and he attributes a large portion of his success to his coach: Eric Herbert (Tonawanda).

"(My coaches) push me and I have so many training partners that are hungry to get better," Scalzo said. "Eric Herbert is the best training partner I've ever had. He's a hard-worker and works with everybody. He's very encouraging, motivating and I couldn't ask for a better coach."

Scalzo's win over White didn't come easy. He went into the fighter's home town and dominated the fight, and Lilly said it was a complete complete performace for Scalzo, who won the standup in the first round, scored a take down in the second and then locked in the guillotine a minute into the third round to secure the win.

The entire Scalzo family was sending Frank messages before and after the fight, and he said he takes family and friends with him everywhere he fights. He said it feels like all of them are in the cage with him because of how supportive everyone has been.

"Even when they're not in the crowd, I feel like they're there with me — like they are there in the cage yelling and encouraging me," he said. "Even for my last fight, I was definitely not very popular in that arena because it was White's home town, but people were texting me, calling and posting stuff on Facebook. It was motivating to have them on my side."

Scalzo plans to fight one or two more times as an amateur before turning pro sometime in May, but when he finally decides to make the switch, he'll be ready. He's usually ready for anything.

Contact sports editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.

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