It’s been a long wait for the mixed martial arts enthusiasts at Trench Tech Inc., one of the CNMI’s premier martial arts gyms, and sadly, that wait is not yet over, according to Trench Tech owner and operator Cuki Alvarez.
They haven’t had a proper show in over two years and circumstance hasn’t been kind recently. “The last time we had a show was before [Super] Typhoon Yutu,” said Alvarez. “And Yutu messed up our whole infrastructure, and Saipan was shut down for more than a year… And what happened after that?”
COVID-19, of course.
Trench Tech’s MMA matches are a display of pure human strength and agility, showcasing fitness and fighting prowess on a level rarely seen outside a ring. Those fights are sheer excitement incredibly popular. “Whenever we have a show, we pretty much sell out the house,” said Alvarez.
Which is the problem at the moment. “We still want to have [a show], but we’re at the mercy of social distancing, as packed as mixed martial arts fights are. Events in the octagon are, by necessity, close-in viewing, and really, the audience is a primary component of those events, soaking up intrigue and build hype in return. Without attendees, an MMA match just isn’t the same. Current restrictions mean that gathering that many cheering people just isn’t possible.”
So, the MMA community—fighters and fans—continue to wait. The moment they get word that the restriction is lifted, we’ll see a comeback for the ages. The MMA community is ready and eager. In the meantime, Alvarez’s gym is training every day, getting strong and teaching its members to love martial arts for the joy of the sport. Trench Tech is staying active and in the game with youth MMA classes, which started just last month, and yoga classes for adults and kids.
The CNMI hasn’t had an MMA event since Trench Tech hosted the Rites of Passage 23: Beatdown held in April 27, 2018 at the Marianas Business Plaza.