Google+ Followers

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Custom Fighter #MMA #Amplify #BocaRaton #Miami

What happens when two hard workers wind up in the same room.

Every fighter has a story. Joey “The Grizzly” Leccese’s began when he was 18 years old and Florida’s professional hockey team, the Panthers, invited him to train with them. He later went on to get battered and bruised for a couple minor league teams, until he suffered the concussion that changed everything.

“The doc said I’d suffer from fatigue, memory loss, and migraines for a while,” Joey says, “but I didn’t believe him.”

Birth of a Fighter

Following a year of these post-concussion symptoms, Joey finally believed his doctor. To fight off symptoms, he took his physician’s recommendations and got into high-aerobic kickboxing. Joey’s natural affinity for fighting that was honed in the hockey rink made him pick up kickboxing with ease. In fact, he was so good so fast, he wound up eligible for the amateur nationals.

Despite this success, it didn’t sit well with Joey.

“I had no desire to do it any more,” Joey says. “Kickboxing wasn’t fighting. It was just points. I wanted to take you down, elbow you, stomp on your feet. That’s fighting.”

Hungry to get into some real fights, Joey made his way into mixed martial arts (MMA). His initial success whet his appetite for more, and this hunger opened the door to joining one of the pre-eminent MMA gyms in the country: Imperial Athletics. Home to former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, Imperial is fast becoming one of the hotbeds of MMA superstars.

It Just Fit

While The Grizzly has been training and working to get more professional fights under his belt, he’s also on the lookout for sponsors. Whereas countless individuals have given Joey moral support, Freddie Pena was the first to put his money where his mouth is.

The owner of Bowtie South, Freddie builds about a dozen custom cars from the ground up each year. Like The Grizzly, Freddie fell into custom cars as a career. For a couple years, building custom cars was Freddie’s hobby. But his attention to detail and ability to create cars above and beyond any others in Florida made people notice. So after being hounded to get into the business, he finally opened the doors to Bowtie South.

Five years after starting Bowtie South, Freddie met Joey through a mutual friend. And before their first conversation ended, Freddie was ready to put his business’s name and reputation behind The Grizzly—before Joey even asked for his financial backing.

“This is the first time I’ve put my name on anything,” Freddie says. “But it was an easy choice. Joey has a good head on his shoulders, is serious about what he does, and has surrounded himself with some of the best trainers in the business. He’s really got what it takes to be successful, so backing him was a no-brainer on my part.”

Now that Bowtie South is providing financial support, Joey can spend more time in the gym getting prepped for his next big fight, while Freddie and the boys at Bowtie South root him on from ringside. With each day bringing The Grizzly closer to his goal of being the fighter to beat in MMA, it’s only a matter of time until his dedication pays off.

Interested in backing Joey “The Grizzly” Leccese or learning more about his road from hockey to MMA? Find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or drop him a line at (864) 320-7277. He’ll get with you between workouts.

And if you’re ready to get the custom car of your dreams, contact Freddy Pena and Bowtie South at (305) 403-1533 or You can also learn more about Bowtie South at, or by liking them on Facebook.

Written exclusively for The Club by Daniel Brantley, who is a lover not a fighter (though he does love a good MMA match). Drop him a line at, find him online at, or follow his MMA-loving life at

Need help making sense of social media in a manner that fits your budget, or do you want to plug into 40,000 of our peers? Contact Amplification, Inc. and follow along on Facebook