Concord's Alley ready for MMA bout in ManchesterBy LYNNE SNIERSON
Special to the Union Leader
February 15. 2018 10:36PM
Nick Alley had an angel riding on his shoulder this week, and he has faith the guardian will watch over him when he climbs into the cage to take on Peter San Antonio in the pro MMA main event of Combat Zone 65 “Supremacy” at the Manchester Downtown Hotel Saturday night.
On Tuesday morning, while test driving a customer’s car for his employer at the Bonneville & Sons auto dealership, he was hit by an alleged drunk driver. When the tow truck crew arrived to pick up the totaled car, they and other witnesses were amazed that he was able to walk away from the crash without suffering serious injury, or worse.
“I was beyond lucky. I did have an angel watching over me, that’s for sure,” said Alley (3-2-0), who lives in Concord and trains with the all-star roster Team Link in Hooksett. “Maybe it was my dad.”
Eric Alley was killed in a motorcycle accident in September 2015 when he was just 55 years old.
“He liked to watch fights with me but he never wanted to watch me fight in person. But for this one, he would have been there in a heartbeat and there was no way anyone could have stopped him,” said Alley, who kept and restored his dad’s 2008 Harley Davidson Street Glide as it is was the elder Alley’s only possession. “It’s all connected in some way and I know he’s going to be there for me.”
Alley, 27, began his MMA career in 2011 and rose up through the amateur welterweight ranks in Combat Zone events, but once he turned pro he competed for other promotions, including the renowned Bellator. Ever since Combat Zone, which used to hold events at the now-demolished Rockingham Park, returned to the Manchester hotel, the popular and respected Alley has been in the background, working the corner for his teammates’ fights.
Now it’s his turn to step into the limelight in front of his legion of ardent supporters.
“It’s awesome. I knew this was a possibility and now I’m counting my blessings. I grew up in Pembroke but I’ve been around Manchester my whole life,” he said. “I’ve wanted this for a long time, and especially because I was able to walk away from the accident, it’s like it was meant to be. I’m grateful for a lot things.”
Alley looks to reverse a two-fight skid, although his record is deceiving as he has never ducked a fight while welcoming the toughest possible opponents. He comes into this bout against the very tough and relentless San Antonio (1-2-0) in prime condition.
“I work 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at my regular job, and I train in the mornings before work, during lunch breaks, every evening, and on weekends,” Alley explained. “All aspects of my game are where I want them to be. My mindset is totally positive. I just got into an accident where I should have gotten really hurt but I feel great. My very first thought was that I am still fighting, no matter what. I’ve never felt this good, and this Zen, before a fight.”
San Antonio, who is a firefighter and paramedic in Utica, N.Y., but is originally from North Andover, Mass., will also have a strong base of support in the crowd. He has 20 combined fights as an amateur and a pro, and half of them have gone the distance.
Alley knows this will be all-out war.
“Pete’s as tough as nails. Always. Anyone who has seen him fight knows you need a baseball bat to get him out of the cage,” he said. “What better way to fight in the main event than with the two us together in there, with each of us fighting in front of our friends and family and wanting to make a great showing. He’s going to bring out the best in me. It’s the perfect storm.”
Tickets for Combat Zone 65 range in price from $40 for general admission to $120 for ringside seating and may be purchased at www.czmma.com, where the full fight card may be viewed, or by calling co-promoter Jamison Kattar at (978) 361-6772. Doors to the hotel’s Armory Room open at 5:30 p.m. and the first fight begins at 7 p.m.
The card which is subject to change, is:
135 pounds: Fouad Shahin 0-0 (Wakefield, Mass.) vs. Corey Palmer (Manchester)
155 pounds: Andrew Kamakas 0-2 (Portsmouth) vs Joe Siejkowski 0-1 (Concord)
135 pounds: George Ferrera 0-0 vs Dan Ward 0-7 (Haverhill, Mass.)
150 pounds: Aaron Croft 0-0 (Wakefield, Mass.) vs Brian Cosco (Revere, Mass.)
145 pounds: Matt Brady 1-0 (Portsmouth) vs Tom Pagliarulo (Plaistow)
195 pounds: John McNeil 2-2 (Nashua) vs Caynen Wills 1-0 (Lowell, Mass.)
168 pounds: Mo Al Kanani 3-0 (Saco, Maine) vs Justin Boraczek 3-0 (Haverhill, Mass.)
155 pounds: Ramano Medina 3-0 (Manchester) vs Chris Mehu 3-2 (Nashua)
135 pounds: Rob Fuller 2-4 (Colorado) vs Jake Pilla 5-2 (Billerica, Mass.)
165 pounds: Pete San Antonio 1-2 (North Andover, Mass.) vs Nick Alley 3-2 (Concord)