Matt DiMarcantonio

Proud NTT Members with their new belts awarded by Professor Jorge Britto

BJJ Promotions

BJJ Belt Promotions

Last night was a huge one for Niagara Top Team, as Professor Jorge Britto of Jiu Jitsu For Life Team awarded belt promotions to a handful of members, including NTT co-owners Matt DiMarcantonio, who received his coveted Black Belt, and Chris Prickett, who received his Brown Belt.

Also awarded belts were professional mixed martial artists Anthony Romero and Zack Powell, who earned their Black and Brown belts respectively.

Congratulations to all of our determined athletes who have put in countless hours on the mats and who are seeing the fruits of their labours…we’re proud of you all!

Matt DiMarcantonio (left ) and Chris Prickett

Niagara Top Team Expands Into New Location

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.”

NTT Opening Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

10 June, 2019

Niagara Top Team Opens in St. Catharines

ST.CATHARINES, ON – Elite level training in Mixed Martial Arts and Wrestling have come to the Niagara Region with the opening of Niagara Top Team, located at 491 Merritt Street, St. Catharines.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is an amalgamation of numerous combat sports that was popularized in North America by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993 when it asked the question, “Who would win in a fight between different fighting styles, like boxing, wrestling, and jiu jitsu?”

Co-owners Matt DiMarcantonio and Chris Prickett each bring a wealth of experience to the area that they both feel had previously been missing.

DiMarcantonio is a veteran of 19 professional MMA fights and is a top 10 ranked Canadian featherweight, while Prickett is currently an Assistant Wrestling Coach at Brock University and former Canadian National Wrestling Champion and member of the Canadian National Wrestling Team, Olympic Alternate, and bronze medallist in both the Commonwealth and Pan-Am Games.

The idea behind Niagara Top Team (NTT) evolved over the past 2 years when the pair found themselves traveling together around the NE United States with the athletes they trained.

“There is a need for high level coaching in the area,” said Prickett, “Matt has 19 professional fights, and the next in the area is Anthony Romero with 5 and he trains with us as well, so there’s not really another gym that offers that elite level coaching for MMA other than us.

Although Niagara Top Team provides the type of training needed by high-calibre professional athletes, DiMarcantonio notes that for him, it’s also about paying it forward and helping regular people and kids.

“We’re not just a competitive professional gym, we want to bring that family environment in here with the kid’s and adult program and really build that up.” DiMarcantonio says. “I’m getting a little bit older now, just had a kid, have a family, so why am I still in martial arts? What is my purpose? I’m trying to think bigger than myself. Maybe my goal is to pass it on the next generation? All these years of traveling around the world, it’s time to pass it on.”

“The goal is to build that confidence inside them, not just as athletes, but in everyday life,” DiMarcantonio continues, “walk with your chest out and not be scared. In MMA you learn more than just techniques, you learn about yourself and how you deal with life.”

Prickett finishes. “I think that just because it’s a kid or an adult who doesn’t desire to be a professional MMA fighter or a world champion, they should expect to have the best coaching and learn techniques that have been tried and tested and proven.”