Niagara Top Team Co-Owners Matt DiMarcantonio (left) and Chris Prickett. Photo by Andy Cotterill
Niagara Top Team Expands Into New Location
By Andy Cotterill
Niagara Top Team continues it’s rise as one of Canada’s top mixed martial arts teams with its move into a huge new facility.
Co-owners Matt DiMarcantonio and Chris Prickett opened their first location in the spring of 2019 in the basement of a strip mall. Known affectionately by members as the “Red Dungeon,” the smallish, dark space attracted numerous top tier mixed martial artists seeking high-level coaching. Their student base grew as well, with thriving adult and children’s classes running every day of the week.
Then, less than a year into their existence, Covid came and threatened it all. But unlike many other gyms in Canada who were forced to permanently close their doors, Niagara Top Team not only survived…it prospered, and in the past few weeks moved from their beloved dungeon into a huge new facility.
Located at 325 Welland Avenue in St. Catharines, Ontario, the building formerly hosted Evolve MMA, and it features over 7000 square feet of floor space with two large mat areas totalling 4500 square feet, a large weight training area, a full sized boxing ring, heavy bags aplenty, and an upstairs with change rooms and showers.
“We outgrew the other location.” said wrestling and nogi coach Prickett. “Things were getting tight, and we had an opportunity to meet with the previous owners here and make a deal, and it all worked out.”
It certainly did.
A few moments after we concluded our chat, I moved to the edge of one of the mat areas and found myself an accidental witness to a humerous and wonderful interaction between DiMarcantonio and Prickett, who had been approaching from different directions. As if choreographed they stopped, turned in unison together to see students covering every inch of their new gym, before looking at each other while shaking their heads and smiling, then both say at the same time…”we need a bigger space.”