Name: Matt Frevola
Fighting out of: Gracie Tampa South
Undefeated lightweight, Matt “The SteamRolla” Frevola has been flawless in both his professional and amateur career. The 26 year old Long Island native’s fan friendly style is aptly summed up by one of his sponsors, clothing brand “No Judges Needed”. Frevola’s constant search for the finish has led him to a 92% finishing rate and captured the attention of the national MMA community.
This Saturday January 21, Frevola will competing at Titan FC 42 live on UFC Fight Pass. The Florida based Titan FC, serves as one of the main feeder organizations for the UFC. Frevola’s journey in the fight game has brought him to the brink of stardom, but his path to success has been lined with trials and tribulations through out and each time the kid from Huntington overcomes another obstacle he moves one step closer to the UFC octagon.
As a child Frevola was always involved in multiple sports baseball, football and even a couple years of taekwondo. If there was a physical challenge to be met, young Matt was game. When he reached high school Frevola began wrestling at Harborfields High. In Long Island wrestling is a way of life, a way of life that would give Frevola the fundamentals for his future career in combat sports.
Graduating high school in 2008 Frevola went on to attend his local junior college where he excelled in football and lacrosse. A year or so in to his collegiate life the speedy linebacker’s life would take an unexpected turn. One day while grappling with friends in a dorm room, Frevola shot a double leg on his buddy only to end up unconscious moments later. His friend told him he used a guillotine choke that he learned in his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Matt was intrigued by this “Jiu-Jitsu” and immediately went out and joined a BJJ gym.
A couple months after beginning his training in BJJ Frevola would pack up and move down to Florida where he would attend Tampa University to continue his pursuit for a degree in criminology. Once settled in Florida Matt searched for a gym to continue practicing BJJ. His search led him to Gracie Tampa South where he met head coach, BJJ Black Belt and UFC veteran Matt Arroyo. With five months of BJJ training and a lifetime of wrestling under his belt Frevola started sparring with the GTS fight team and so began his life as a mixed martial artist.
Frevola was addicted to his new sport, he began competing and winning in NAGA grappling tournaments and with in a few months of walking thru the doors of GTS Frevola was prepared to take fights as an amateur.
His first two bouts went off without a hitch, two fights and two first round submissions. Wanting to stay active and keep his momentum building he booked another fight for the following month. While in camp for his third amateur bout Frevola received news that team mate Josh Best had been forced to withdraw from a title fight in Costa Rica and his head coach Matt Arroyo wanted him to step in for his injured team mate.
The opportunity was huge but the title fight in Costa Rica was scheduled for one week after his previously booked match. Arroyo came up with a solution, he instructed his young fighter to win his fight quickly so he could fight again on the following week. Frevola did as he was told and picked up his third consecutive first round submission. Leaving the fight unscathed he was ready to compete for his first amateur title one week later.
Frevola and the GTS team headed South to take on the Costa Rican champion on his home turf. The local champ was Daniel De Leon a rising prospect in his own right, he was 9-0 with multiple first round stoppages. De Leon won the early exchanges, but Frevola displayed undeniable resilience and heart coming back in the third round to pull off the victory, adding another submission to his growing resume.
After the Costa Rica trip Frevola returned home and resumed training with the GTS team which included muay thai coach Dan Rawlings. Rawlings introduced Frevola to the art of 8 limbs and Frevola was hooked. Inspired by Rawlings Matt next traveled to Thailand where he fought in his first professional muay thai fight. Frevola found success in yet another sport winning his muay thai bout via second round knockout.
Over the next year and a half Frevola would add five more victories to his amateur record including a defense of his Costa Rican Fight League title. Also around this time he began working with Jeff Baily a world renown BJJ black belt at Baily’s gym, Gracie Clearwater.
Following his ninth win a knockout over Neal Powell, he received an offer to make his pro debut for the World Series of Fighting, one of the top three largest promotions in the country. He accepted the fight with little hesitation and started getting paid to do what he loved.
Frevola’s opponent for his pro debut was Josh Zuckerman a veteran of the Miami based Fight Time Promotions. It may have been a larger venue but the outcome was the same, Frevola submitted Zuckerman with a armbar/triangle choke in the first round to pick up his first win as a professional.
With the wins piling up Matt was having trouble finding someone to fight, after multiple opponents pulled out of fights at the last minute, he was finally able to get one to stick. His opponent was Mike D’Angelo who trains at his family’s gym Fight Zone MMA in Fort Myers. The SteamRolla rolled over D’Angelo collecting his first professional knockout in yet another first round finish.
Two wins later brings up to date and now Frevola will face his most difficult test to date in American Top Team fighter and TUF: Brazil 4 alum Raush Manfio who owns an 8-1 record with six of those coming by way of knockout. Frevola recognizes he has a tough test ahead but isn’t too concerned with what Manfio will do in the cage. Frevola believes his cardio and conditioning will allow him to push a pace that will break Manfio and when he drops an F-Bomb (right hand) on Manfio the Brazilian fighters night will come to a painful end.
Here you can check out Frevola “Steamroll” Ja’Far Fortt in his fifth amateur bout. (Fight Starts at 4:50)