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Mixed martial arts wasn’t what Mackens Semerzier wanted in his life. Having started wrestling at age eight and pursuing Brazilian jiu-jitsu after the military, Semerzier had the talent to excel in MMA.
When a national Muay Thai and MMA tournament came to south eastern Virginia, people at the Linxx Academy dojo in Virginia Beach were curious about Semerzier. Was has going to fight? His response to the inquiries was simple. ”I’m not doing that,” said Semerzier. ”I’m not letting people kick me in the face. That’s crazy.”
But the curiosity of his peers persisted on the martial artist…and an MMA fighter was born. ”They kept asking and asking. I don’t want them to think I’m scared so I’ll just do this one tournament.”
In his match at the WKA Nationals, Semerzier faced a previous year’s champion, Brent Hess. Pressure mounted on Semerzier, being in his first amateur MMA event and having UFC legend Jens Pulver watching the match. Keeping focused on his bout, Semerzier won by decision. ”It was a scrap,” he said. ”It was the only win amateur or professionally in which I won but didn’t finish the guy.”
So was this going to be Semerzier’s last fight?
“…then you win the tournament and everyone is happy then they ask you, ‘When’s your next one?’”
Having a strong military background helped the MMA fighter with his career. Being a former Sergeant in the Marine Corp, the high intensity training he received was a crucial part in his preparation for MMA.
“I think military training has helped my martial arts as far as putting things in perspective…as far as fighting goes.”
“We like to build things up and make them the worst things ever in life. There are a lot of things going on that are way worse than what we are doing. People putting themselves in danger on a daily basis. If they can run at guys shooting at them head first, then you can can fight someone with gloves on with referee and rules. It’s not that big of a deal.”
“That and the commitment to training. If you know that training is gonna produce results…if you don’t train hard, some day you are gonna pay for it. Especially in the Marine Corp, you get what you put out.”
After years of training in martial arts, Semerzier’s career began to take off. People began to take notice.
Semerzier finished opponent after opponent, then the WEC called. His good fortune continued winning four times in the fight promotion. When the UFC bought out the WEC, the they were impressed enough with Semerzier to sign him to a contract to fight at the highest level.
It was there that Semerzier faced his greatest adversity. Semerzier recalls his first fight when he faced Alex Aceris in the octagon. In the first round, Aceris caught Semerzier with a punch to the face and ended up breaking his nose. Not wanting to back down, Semerzier gritted his teeth and went for the attack.
“I just went on auto pilot again.”
Semerzier clinched Aceris is a crushing bodylock which constricted his opponent from moving. ”Once I grabbed him he started making noise,” said Semerzier.
Smelling blood, Semerzier went on full assault.
“I said, ‘ah man, I’m not letting this guy go.’ It’s like a dog on a bone.”
After getting to Aceris’ back, Semerzier slapped on a choke and ended the fight.
Semerzier’s next two bouts in the UFC wouldn’t be as successful. A loss by submission in his second bout against Peralta and a no contest in his third would eventually cost him his spot at the organization.
Although not currently at the UFC, Semerzier still presses hard on his training. Taking days off for him is not an option.
“I train a lot of jiu-jitsu at Linxx. I train as much as possible, just keeping it playful…you have to open up your game and you can do stuff but you have to fail at it so you know that you shouldn’t not try this in a fight…if it happens in the training room it’s all good.”
“I like to play and just have fun and show different things. You know…give up positions, even to higher belts and just try to survive in those positions and just realize that you can’t tap everybody out. You shouldn’t be able to tap everybody out. Eventually you might catch them once or twice, but not consistently. If you can, you probably need to find tougher training.”
Semerzier’s latest fight was in November 2012 at Combat Sport Challenge in Richmond, Va. ”I was super comfortable. I knew I wasn’t gonna get stopped, he wasn’t gonna hold me down in any positions.” Semerzier’s training and instincts allowed him to finish his opponent in the second round by an “alligator” choke.
As far as Semerzier’s future plans, Semerzier kept things in perspective. ”I’d like to keep doing it as long as I can do it at a high level. as long as I can keep it playful and keep having fun doing it, I’d like to continue to fight. But once it becomes stressful to me or becomes a super job where I have to worry about feeding myself on the way I perform, I’ll be done with it.”
At UFC on Fox 6 in Chicago this past Saturday, Glover Teixeira took on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in headline bout.
In the first round, Rampage got off to a terrible start when he was easily taken down and quickly exposed his back. Teixeira, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, went immediately to Rampage’s back and put the hooks in. Rampage fell on his side and Teixeira worked for a head and arm triangle. While still on Rampage’s back, Teixeira released his hooks, and Rampage got up to his feet. The two broke apart and Teixeira landed a punch. Rampage then shot in for a takedown, but Teixeira defended and allowed Rampage to run by him. Teixeira, from behind, then landed a punch to Rampage’s face. The two squared off again and Teixeira landed another punch that put Rampage on the ground. Rampage got up but was in trouble. Trying to shake off the cobwebs, Rampage played defense, then threw a couple of combinations and made it past the first round.
Teixeira again got off to a quick start in the second round by hitting a double leg takedown and landing in Rampage’s open guard. Rampage went to half guard and started to sit up, working to turn the position into a single leg takedown. Teixeira, feeling Rampage’s increasing leverage, stood up to avoid the position reversal and the two began standing. After exchanging some punches, Teixiera landed a strong upper cut and stuffed another takedown attempt by Rampage. Teixeira mixed up his striking combinations and landed a couple of damaging shots to Rampage’s body. The round then ended.
In the third and final round, Rampage came out with a sense of urgency and an active style. Teixeira started off with a big left hook that caught Rampage. Teixeira shot in for a single leg and put Rampage on his back. Teixeira ended up in Rampage’s half guard and dropped some hammer fists. Teixeira then threw some elbows, but backed off and let Rampage get up. Rampage started throwing some wild punches, hoping to connect and turn the bout into a street fight. Rampage shot in for a takedown, but then backed out with no success. Teixeira connected with a left hook that hurt Rampage, then connected a head kick. Teixeira shot in and scored a single leg takedown on Rampage. Rampage got right back up, but started showing major signs of fatigue. Teixeira shot in for a double let takedown and then immediately hit full mount with about 28 seconds left. Teixeira threw punches from the top position trying to setup an armlock and the round ended.
The winner by unanimous decision was Glover Teixeira.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Mackens Semerzier, a UFC veteran and mixed martial arts fighter based out of Frank Cucci‘s Linxx Academy of Martial Arts in Virginia Beach, interviewed with MMAinDC.com. Find out Semerziers thoughts on the UFC, what motivates him to fight, and who his favorite fighters are!
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The first mixed martial arts event of 2013 for the Barbarian Fight Club promotion took place this past Saturday at the Fredricksburg Fairgrounds. 14 amateur MMA fighters show cased martial arts styles such as Muay Thai, wrestling, and ground grappling at the 6 year old MMA fight organization. Fighters primarily from camps in Virginia and West Virginia came to test their skills in the no holds barred event. The story of the evening was The Cave MMA, which fielded five fighters, going 3-2 on the evening, but coming up short on the heavyweight title bout.
The Cave MMA started out with previously 0-4 fighter Julius Talley. Talley’s strategy for his bout with Thih “Young Dragon” Rolan was to keep his wind up and keep on his feet. A few seconds into the fight, Talley came in with a jab and a right cross that hit Thih on the face and sent him reeling against the cage. Thih tried to come back with a low kick, but Talley kept the punches coming. After a flurry of ferocious punches to the face, Thih was knocked out cold, and the referee called a stop at 14 seconds into the first round.
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Barbarian Fight Club 2013 mixed martial arts event took place at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds this past Saturday. The fight promotion with alumnus such as The Ultimate Fighter Colton Smith, showcased 14 mixed martial arts fighters competing for bragging rights and a step towards pro careers. Check out the results and the highlights from the event!
1. Chastin Collier (independent) defeats Daniel Wise by first round rear naked choke.
2. Julius Talley (The Cave MMA/Fredericksburg, Va.) defeats Thih Rolan by first round knock out.
3. David Stone (The Cave MMA) defeats Ryan Grigsby (Overthrow MMA/Woodbridge, Va.) by unanimous decision.
4. Bryan Sagar (The Cave MMA) defeats Christopher Isani (Overthrow MMA) by first round rear naked choke
5. Caleb Ratliff defeats Dillon Bromley (The Cave MMA) by second round guillotine choke.
6. Nicholas Shelton defeats Rob Hudson (Spartan MMA/West Virginia) by first round rear naked choke.
Heavyweight Title Bout
7. Stephen McBride (Spartan MMA/WV) defeats Louie Buttice (The Cave MMA) by second round tko.
Watch Slams and Highlights!
WINCHESTER, Va. – The co-main event of the Lights Out Combat MMA event in Dec. 2012 featured MMA fighters Darnell Murphy (6-1) of Team Lloyd Irvin against 2-2 fighter Karsten Desario. At stake for the co-main event was the LOC 145 lbs championship belt.
Due to a last minute drop out, the title fight almost didn’t happen. A replacement to fight Murphy was found just five days before the fight.
Murphy said, “I couldn’t just think that he was an easy walk over fight.”
“And that’s what I like to think of all my opponents…they’re the next toughest opponent in line.”
WINCHESTER, Va. – The main event of the Lights Out Combat Apocalypse MMA event from Dec. 15, 2012 featured Misfits Martial Arts jiu-jitsu fighter Joe Bauserman against Freedom MMA’s Ryan Burroughs. On the line for the high stakes bout was the 185 lbs LOC title championship.
Bauserman, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt based in Winchester, Va. under Brad Souders and Rogerio “Tatu” Taborda, used his mixed martial arts skills to take on the quick and nimble Ryan Burroughs. “I knew he was a good wrestler,” said Bauserman. “I knew he would be hard to take down so I trained in striking a lot. I wanted to strike with him. I figured he would be afraid to go to the ground with me. He did not want to hit the ground so I worked my striking really hard.”
Throughout the first two rounds, Burroughs used a “hit and run” strategy to try to throw Bauserman off his rhythm, backing up and dancing around the cage while throwing combinations try to catch Bauserman off guard. “I just was getting tired from chasing him,” said Bauserman “He was moving really well. My corner was telling me to create lateral movement and create angles and try to cut him off instead of chasing him so much. So I tried to do that, and eventually I got him close enough to the cage to take him down.”
“When I took him down, I just kept pulling his hips off the cage. He kept turning away to try to get to his feet. When he turned away I just took the opportunity to slide to his back.”
Bauserman, using his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills, got his hooks in, flattened his opponent, and slid on a rear naked choke for the finish.
“It’s a great day to be a Misfit,” said Bauserman.
Watch highlights of the bout!
WINCHESTER, Va. – The Lights Out Combat: Apocalypse event was held on Dec. 15, 2012 at the Winchester Sportsplex facility. The event showcased seven mixed martial arts bouts, two submission wrestling matches, and a Muay Thai bout. Check out the submission highlights from the mixed martial arts fights!
Former Manassas, Va. Colton Smith was featured in an article in CNN. Colton Smith recently won season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter! Check the article on CNN!
On Saturday evening, Colton Smith showed the world what athletes the U.S. Army can produce by winning The Ultimate Fighter 16 competition. Smith, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, captured a six figure contract with the UFC and a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The mixed martial arts fight between him and Canadian Mike Ricci of Tristar Gym, was mostly a one sided bout, where Smith dominated with his relentless wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu attacks.
In round one, Colton Smith started with a low single leg takedown that put Ricci on his knees. Ricci responded with some elbows, and the two got back up to their feet. Smith hit a takedown from a body lock, then Ricci got back up. Smith would not let Ricci out that easily, and while in the standing position, got behind Ricci with one hook in. Ricci went down to his knees and Smith got two hooks in. From here, Smith threatened a rear naked choke and started to mix in some punches from the back. Ricci then escaped and got back up, hoping to get away. Smith then got another clinch with Ricci and hit another takedown. The round ended with Ricci on his knees, and Smith landing knees from the top.
WINCHESTER, Va. – The Lights Out Combat: Apocalypse 2012 mixed martial arts event was held this past Saturday at the Winchester Sportsplex facility. The event featured 10 matches, including seven mixed martial arts fights, two submission wrestling matches, and one Muay Thai bout. Check out the results from the event!
Mixed Martial Arts
Daniel Miller defeats Deandre Jackson by first round modified neck cranck
Robert Bane defeats Brian Martin by first round armbar submission
Joey Cox defeats Opponent by first round rear naked choke submission
Clayton McGlothin defeats Adrian Edwards by first round TKO
Stephan Tanner defeats Thomas Schacter by first round guillotine submission
MMA 145 Title Bout
Darnell Murphy (Team Lloyd Irvin) defeats Karsten Desario by unanimous decision
MMA 185 Title Bout
Joe Bauserman defeats Ryan Burroughs by third round rear naked choke submission
German Sals (Fifty/50 BJJ/Marcelo Garcia) defeats Josh Aguero (Pedro Sauer Team) by heel hook submission
Billy Shannon (Atos Jiu-Jitsu / Tony Passos Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) defeats Garrett Beck (Abmar Barbosa/Robert Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu) by brabo choke submission
Nathan Miller defeats Dave Chung by split decision
The Ultimate Fighter 16 finalists were shown on Friday evening at the TUF semi-finals. Former Manassas, Va. fighter and current Army Ranger, Colton Smith, will take on Team Carwin’s Mike Ricci for right to be called “The Ultimate Fighter”.
To advance to the finals, Colton Smith was forced to fight his TUF teammate on Team Nelson, Jon Manley.
In the first round, Colton Smith wasted no time throwing punches and clinching with his opponent. At around the 2:55 minute mark, Smith hit a takedown from the clinch and landed in the butterfly guard. A half guard battle ensued, and Smith tried to hold his opponent down, trying to set up a brabo choke with elbows from the top. Manley eventually got up from half guard, and Smith again got Manley in the clinch. Smith hit a few knees, and for the last minute of the round, Smith held Manley against the fence, picking his shots, wearing down Manley with knee strikes to Manley’s legs.
Smith came out in round two again getting straight to business, running in with punches and clinching his opponent. Smith again scored a takedown to which Manley got back to his knees and got back up, only to land in Smith’s standing clinch. The two broke and Smith bided his time to go back in. At the right moment, Smith ran in again with a right and clinched his opponent. This was a reoccurring theme in the second round, where Smith would close the distance and shutdown Manley’s striking game. Smith’s grappling prowess kept Manley from threatening a kimura arm lock, which was one of Manley’s few offensive attacks in the round. In the final seconds, Smith countered a Manley takedown with a throw, and landed in full mount on top of his opponent. Smith reigned down a few punches and elbows before the end of the round.
In the third and final round, Manley came out with a sense of urgency, knowing that he was down two rounds to zero. Smith played a defensive game, dancing around the ring, playing with his opponent with head movement. At around the 1:40 mark, Manley threw a punch that hits Smith in the face. Dana White remarked, “That’s the first punch he’s landed the whole fight.” Manley continued his pursuit of Smith the rest of the round, scoring a few punches. Close to the end of the round, Smith hit another takedown and Manley got up immediately.
Smith won the bout unanimously and Jon Manley showed tears after the bout. After winning the fight, Smith paid tribute to his fellow soldiers overseas, saying that fighting in the cage is “easy” compared to the work they do overseas.
Smith said of his fights in the octagon that, “I had a sense of accomplishment going 4-0 in 6 weeks time, but I knew the objective wasn’t complete until I am crowned THE NEXT ULTIMATE FIGHTER!”
On Saturday, Colton Smith will take on Mike Ricci to decide who will be named The Ultimate Fighter. At stake is a contract to fight for the UFC, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and big time sponsors. Smith said of the opportunity, “I don’t fight for the money or fame per say I fight for the challenge!”
Watch Smith on UFC on FX this Saturday.
Team Lloyd Irvin’s Mike Easton came up short on his quest for a UFC title shot losing a unanimous decision against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Raphael Assuncao this past Saturday. This last UFC was broadcasted free the same evening as the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez bout on Pay-Per-View. The Mike Easton bout was featured in the UFC prelims during the evening.
In round one, Mike Easton pressed forward most of the round, trying to pressure Raphael Assuncao. Assuncao played a defensive game, picking and shooting his counter strikes, and landing effective counter punches while Easton came out with aggressive strikes. At around the 1:00 mark, Assuncao shot in attempting to turn the corner and take Easton down, but Easton defended and ended up pinned against the cage. Assuncao threw in some knees strikes to Easton’s legs until the two separated.
Raphael Assuncao came out in round two using hopping side kicks to try to take Mike Easton out of his game and break his rhythm. At around the 3:00 mark, Assuncao landed a punch directly on Mike Easton’s eye, sending Easton back peddling and struggling to see out of the eye. The two continued to fight as Easton visibility wiped his eye several times. The fans began to boo the fight due to a perceived lack of action. After a brief exchange, Easton was kneed in the groin and the two were separated by the referee. No points were taken away and the referee began the fight again. At around the 53 second mark, Assuncao landed a front kick to the face. Easton tried to shoot in, but was stuffed by Assuncao’s takedown defense. Assuncao landed another front kick to the face with under a minute left in the round.
Assuncao successfully landed counter punches throughout the match and made Easton more timid about coming in. In the third round, Easton came in with a sense of urgency knowing that he was behind on points. At around 3:15, Assuncao tried to shoot in again, taking Easton down briefly, only for Easton to spring back up on his feet. At this point, the crowd began to get louder with its booing. In the last two minutes of the bout, Assuncao continued to land good counter shots, and Easton defended a couple more of Assuncao’s takedown attempts.
MANASSAS PARK, Va. – Disciple MMA is known for its UFC and Bellator fighters, but also training at their academy are a young crop of amateur fighters. This past Saturday, Disciple MMA fielded three MMA fighters at OO Fights XXII at the Manassas Park Community Center.
For Patrick Parker, training at Disciple MMA made the difference in his fight. As a former independent with an 0-4 record going into the bout, Parker spent the last six months at Disciple MMA learning a new system. A power slam and a choke in the first round gave Parker the first win of his career. “I took two years to tighten up my jits and it worked out,” said Parker.
Carlos “El Nino” Davila (0-2) was up next with his bout against Ontario BJJ’s Broderick Rene (1-1). For most of the bout, Davila closed the distance and stayed close, trying to hit a takedown. After an exchange of blows, Davila shot in again and went for the single leg. Rene met the takedown attempt with a sprawl. A reshot attempt exposed Davila’s neck and Rene sunk in an arm-in guillotine choke, finishing from the guard.
Last up was Anthony Cordero (6-2) against Daniel Moreno (8-2) of Team Zamora. Cordero started with a couple of hard leg kicks. The two exchange some blows, then as if springing a trap, Cordero threw a powerful overhand right that knocked out his opponent. Cordero went in to finish the job and landed a few hammer fists before the referred stopped the fight. After the bout, a scary moment occurred when Moreno could not get up on his own and had to be carried off in a stretcher. “I actually wish the referee stopped it a little bit earlier,” said Scott Howard, Cordero’s MMA coach.
Check out the first round stoppages in this video!
In this interview with GracieMag, pro MMA fighter Mike Easton (13-1) talks about his preparation for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), his upcoming opponent (Raphael Assuncao), how he met Master Lloyd Irvin, and a dream matchup with UFC interim champion, Renan Barao. Watch Mike Easton on Fox at 8:00 PM EST.
MANASSAS PARK, Va. – Fighting in the UFC is a dream that many fighters pursue. Getting to the big show means paying your dues in challenging bouts early in your career. For Josh Aguero, one more small step in the pursuit of this dream had been completed on Saturday at the OO Fights XXII MMA event. In the co-main event, Josh Aguero squared off with an MMA fighter from Integrated Combat Sports in Langston, Pa. for the OO Fights amateur Bantamweight title.
Josh Aguero’s camp consisted of training for nine weeks in different dojos to hone his skills. His mentor, UFC veteran Aaron Riley, pushed him at the Yamasaki Springfield academy, testing his limits daily. Riley said of his student, “A lot of it was mental training for this match too, but we already physically push him hard with conditioning and technical.” As a brown belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Aguero kept his training consistent at the Pedro Sauer academy in Sterling, Va. Time training was also spent at the Yamasaki academy in Woodbridge, Va.
But using his jiu-jitsu was not his first plan of attack.
“My game plan was actually to use more standup,” said Aguero.
The fight didn’t go as planned. It started when Michael Serrano started off the bout with a flurry of punches. “He actually kind of rocked me a little bit with one of the punches, and that kind of made me hesitant to want to strike with him a little more,” said Aguero.
Aguero then shot in on Serrano, who met his shot attempt with a sprawl. After getting to their feet and tying up, Josh Aguero went to Serrano’s side and got the takedown. From there, it was the methodical grappling that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is known for. After passing the half guard and going to mount, Serrano turned over and gave Aguero is back, giving Aguero the win by rear naked choke.
“It looks like he executed a very good game plan, almost a flawless game plan tonight,” said Aaron Riley.
As one of the highlights of the evening, Josh Aguero was awarded “Fight of the Year” by OO Fights. Aguero said of the honor, “They gave me fight of the year for my second MMA fight against Kevin Chung,” a bout that Aguero lost by decision. “It was a great honor, I honestly do not remember the fight because I got hit with a knee in the first round and fought on instinct for two more rounds. I’m glad everyone liked the fight.”
Watch the first round choke!
MANASSAS PARK, Va. – After two years away from fighting in the mixed martial arts cage, Shurron Thompson made his return to MMA fighting at OO Fights XXII this past Saturday at the Manassas Park Community Center. Shurron Thompson headlined the 12 bout amateur MMA card in the middle weight title bout and last fight of the evening. The challenger for the title was Eric Kronstadt, a tough Shingitai Jiu Jitsu practitioner who held a 5-0 undefeated record before his collision with Thompson.
Thompson currently trains with Team Debello out of Warrior MMA in Fredericksburg, Va. and is undefeated at 5-0. Being a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corp, Thompson balances his MMA training with his duties in the military.
“Being in the military you know, it’s kind of hard focusing on being a fighter 24/7,” said Thompson.
In preparation for this bout, Thompson worked on his boxing skills, judo, and jiu jitsu. “For me it was a lot of technical work and a lot of conditioning,” said Thompson.
In his bout with Kronstadt, Shurron Thompson was able to put Kronstadt on the ground three times with punches that left Kronstadt dazed and looking for answers. Thompson, a counter puncher, was ready for the bout because of his training.
“A lot of that stuff is a lot of things we worked on with my boxing coach, Raphael (Santiago).”
Check out Shurron Thompson’s first round KO!
MANASSAS PARK, Va. – OO Fights XXII was held a the Manassas Park Community Center and Sportsplex this Saturday. The mixed martial arts event feated 12 amateur MMA bouts including two title fights. Check out the results from the event!
1. Brian Karanikas (Tech MMA) defeats Joshua Whitlow (Ontario BJJ) by first round guillotine choke
2. Matt Schellenschlager (Maryland BJJ) defeats Shawn Joffe (Royal Martial Arts) by first round choke
3. Patrick Parker (Disciple MMA) defeats Keith Henhawk (Ontario BJJ) by first round choke
4. Anthony Giacchina (Maxum BJJ) defeats Alex Kotacka (Independent) by first round arm triangle
5. Broderick Rene (Ontario BJJ) defeats Carlos Davila (Disciple MMA) by first round arm-in guillotine choke
6. Ardit Hysa (OBX MMA) defeats Matt Dotson (Tech MMA) by unanimous decision.
7. Rob Watley (Royal Martial Arts) defeats Ravon Dixon (MMA Institute) by unanimous decision
8. Matthew Ferguson (LA Boxing) defeats Brett Jenkins (Freedom MMA) by third round guillotine.
9. Anthony Cordero (Disciple MMA) defeats Daniel Moreno (Team Zamora) by first round KO.
10. Scott Noble (MMA Institute) defeats Francis Grant (LA Boxing) by first round KO (kick).
11. Josh Aguero (Aaron Riley MMA) defeats Michael Serrano (Integrated Combat Sports) by first round rear naked choke.
12. Shurron Thompson (Team Debello) defeats Eric Kronstadt (Shingitai Jiu Jitsu) by first round KO.
The “Next World Champion” is a reality TV show produced by Lloyd Irvin. The show features Team Lloyd Irvin fighters and competitors, along with affiliates and associates.
In this show, Washington, D.C. native Mike Easton talks about his upcoming bout in the UFC. Mike Easton began martial arts at the age of 7 training in Tae Kwon Do and achieving a black belt. He began training in mixed martial arts (MMA) at the age of 16 when he first met Master Lloyd Irvin at a restaurant. He is currently 3-0 in the UFC and pushing towards a title shot.
Also featured on the show was Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and MMA fighter, DJ Jackson. DJ Jackson competed and won a world title at the 2012 IBJJF No-Gi World Championships in the black belt division. Highlights of his match with Clark Gracie were shown. Watch BJJ black belt JT Torres’ controversial match with Augusto Mendes in the finals of the lightweight division, in which an advantage is awarded to Augusto Mendes in the final seconds of the match.
Also in on the show are Mike Van Arsdale, Marcos Avellan, Keenan Cornelius, and Jimmy Harbison.
STERLING, Va. – On Oct. 13, 2012, Craig Pittman stepped into the cage at Operation Octagon XXI to face off against yet another opponent in his long career. Not many people in the Washington, D.C. area know who Craig Pittman is, but his background in Vale Tudo and professional wrestling make him a person to be noted.
Pittman is best known for his appearance in the 1995 Japanese Vale Tudo, which featured one of the most decorated Vale Tudo fighters of all time, Rickson Gracie. As a tournament style “No Holds Barred” event, there were no weight classes, and the fighters werei required to fight multiple times in a night if they won their matches. For Pittman, after winning his first match, he was on a collision course with Rickson Gracie in the finals. However, the heavyweight Pittman ran into a 150 lbs shooto wrestler named Yuki Nakai, who while being mauled in the match, slapped on an armbar that submitted Pittman in the semi-finals of the Vale Tudo.
Pittman’s history in the ring traces back before his Vale Tudo fights. Before taking up MMA, he was known as Sergeant Craig Pittman in the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) organization. It was there are Pittman took on the likes of Ric Flair and Sting. Pittman also appeared in Pay-Per-View events such as Slamboree and the Great American Bash.
Watch Craig Pittman fight at the 1995 Japan Vale Tudo Open!
The Ultimate Fighter episode 10 featured two quarter final bouts in the Team Carwin versus Team Nelson match up. The second quarter final bout featured Colton Smith, a former Manassas, Va. fighter, against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Igor Araujo. Actions leading up to the bout became heated when at weigh ins, Araujo nudged Colton Smith with his forehead during the stare down. Araujo then shoved Smith twice after Smith taunted him, then attempted to try to kick him when the two were broken up.
In the two round match up, Colton Smith dominated the rounds by taking Araujo down to the ground, passing the guard, and landing short elbows to Araujo’s face. Araujo’s attempts to escape were mostly limited to getting to his knees and rolling to attempt knee bar submissions, which never threatened Smith. Smith’s ground and pound began to take effect in the second round when Araujo would cover up while Smith launched punches to the face.
After the victory, Colton Smith exchanged hugs with Araujo and continued his upbeat attitude. Smith will now fight in the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The only female match of the evening at Warrior Challenge 21 was a boxing exhibition match between MMA fighter Krissy Barrett and boxer Monica Lopez. Lopez, who appeared to be at least a foot taller than Barrett, would go against a smaller fighter who kept on swinging. Watch the tenacious Krissy Barrett survive against a much larger fighter in this classic David versus Goliath matchup.
Watch the female boxing video!
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – For Noel Smith BJJ Martial Arts School in Glen Burnie, Md., expectations in mixed martial arts fighting are held high for all MMA fighters. After six to eight week camps with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, boxing, and wrestling training, fighters expect to have a good outcome at an MMA event. At Warrior Challenge 21, the American Top Team affiliate came home with a victory and some lessons learned from their two MMA bouts.
For Justin “Big Country” Faithful, an opportunity to show improvement from his last bout presented itself at Warrior Challenge.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The mixed martial arts event Warrior Challenge 21 was held at the Palace Nightclub this past Saturday featuring eight MMA fights and a female boxing exhibition match for an evening of entertainment in northern Va. The MMA event featured MMA fighters primarily from out of the D.C. area such as Pa. and W. Va., however, did feature some local talent from Md. and Va.
The MMA event was dedicated to the birthday of the United States Marine Corp and Veteran’s Day. Co-promoter and MMA fighter Elder Ramos, stated that “…this event is to all the warriors that are out there that sacrifice their lives every day for us to have our freedom.”
This evening the Warrior Challenge 21 was held at the Palace Nightclub in Woodbridge, Va. Check out the MMA event results:
MMA Main Event
Piankhi Zimmerman (Creative Combat/Washington Wrestling Club) defeats Robert Begley (Noel Smith BJJ, Glen Burnie, Md.) by first round KO.
MMA Co-Main Event
Paul Almquist (Pennsylvania) defeats Tim Jones (Stafford, Va) by second round rear naked choke
Zach Nolan defeats Jeff Smith (Charles City, Md.) by first round rear naked choke
Justin “Big Country” Faithful (Noel Smith BJJ) defeats Tyron Layug by decision
Monica Lopez defeats Krissy Barrett by decision
Mixed Martial Arts
Garrick Evans (Game Tight) defeats Brandon Vernalli (Pennsylvania) by second round knock out (knee)
Mark Krumrine (Total Domination, Pennsylvania) defeats Gary Billups by second round referee stoppage
Casey Bush (Team Tap Asleep, Pennsylvania) defats Brad Sheaffer by TKO strikes from mount
Darius Campbell defeats Wayne Cephas by decision
An exciting bout on the Shogun Fights VII card pitted Kyle Sefcik of MMA and Sport Academy in Damascus, Md. against Micah Terrill of BJJ Conquest in Crofton, Md. Sefcik drew the crowd’s attention with his unconventional strategy of charging in at his opponent repeatedly and attempting superman punches and spinning backfists.
In the first round, Sefcik started off by jogging around the cage, then charging straight at his opponent. Terrill was on alert, and caught Sefcik on his way in with a jab. A spinning backhand attempt by Sefcik led to a takedown attempt, which Terrill defended. Terrill followed up with a left and put Sefcik on the ground. The action slowed as a half guard struggle ensued, and Terrill eventually let Sefcik stand up. Sefcik ran in and got a body kick on Terrill. Terrill responded with a hard right leg kick, to which Sefcik acknowledged. The action continued as the two went toe to toe swinging for the fences. Sefcik got the better of the exchange with a couple of good punches and a takedown that put Micah on his back. Micah responded with a hip bump sweep from the guard and ended up in the mounted position. Terrill almost sunk in a rear naked choke, but Sefcik defended. Terrill then made Sefcik pay with punches from the mount.
BALTIMORE, Md.-On Oct. 20th, Shogun Fights VII made a return to the 1st Mariner Arena as the premier mixed martial arts event in the state of Md. The event featured 11 pro MMA bouts with fighters primarily from the Md. and Va. region. Appearances by Renzo Gracie and Donald Cerrone highlighted the evening. The main event featured Frank Lester of Baltimore, Md. against Caleb Ball of Smokin’ Fist Fight Team in Alexandria, Va.
In preparation for the mixed martial arts event, Frank Lester trained at Jackson’s MMA. Ball made his preparations in Alexandria, but also took the fight on short notice.
STERLING, Va. – Fighting is what Charles Kessinger dreams about. On March 2011, while living out that dream, he faced a game fighter at a mixed martial arts event in his hometown of Fredericksburg, Va. After Kessinger won the first and second round, his opponent sensed that he was behind and needed to make a move. Kessinger found himself on the defensive in the final round and went to the turtle position to cover up. Meanwhile, his opponent started to unleash desperate shots.
And that’s when it happened.
Shogun Fights is Maryland’s largest mixed martial arts event promotion. Check out the MMA results!
1. Adi Alic (Ground Control-Baltimore) def. Mike Young (Practical MMA) by first round knock out
2. Cole Presley (Clinch Academy) def. David Perez (FIT NHB) by first round knock out
3. Christian Leonard (Technical MMA) def. Brent Hess (Mikido MMA) by first round knock out
4. Dave Daniecki (Ground Control) def. Najim Wali (Kaizen MMA-Fairfax, Va.) by unanimous decision
5. Nate Grebb (Crofton BJJ-Crofton, Md.) def. Rubin Martinez (OC Fight Club) by second round triangle choke
6. Cody Bakery (Clinch Academy/Ferocity MMA) def. Ryan Mackin (Ground Control) by doctor stoppage after second round
7. Ryan Berry (Team Top Notch) def. Marshall Thompson (Top Flight MMA/Evolve Academy-Md.) by unanimous decision
8. Dan Root (Ground Control) def. Brian Van Hoven (Gold Medal Grappling-Woodbridge, Va.) by second round rear naked choke
9. Rob Sullivan (Baltimore BJJ/Team Balance) def. Gustavo Keisler (Evolve Academy-Gaithersburg, Md.) by unanimous decision
10. Kyle Sefcik (MMA and Sport Academy) def. Micah Terrill (Crofton BJJ) by guillotine in the third round
11. Frankie Lester (Team Quest) def. Caleb Ball (Smokin Fist Fight Team-Alexandria, Va.)-Ball could not answer after second round
STERLING, Va. – For mixed martial arts fighter Jon Delbrugge, it was business as usual in the cage at Operation Octagon XXI this past Saturday. Delbrugge of Crazy 88 BJJ and Team Lloyd Irvin faced off with Steven Wampler of MMA Institute in the co-main event of the pro card.
The fight didn’t last long, with Delbrugge easily taking Wampler to the ground with a double leg takedown. Delbrugge, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who closed out his division with a teammate at the 2012 Brazilian National’s, used a basic knee cut pass with some ground and pound to pass his opponent’s half guard twice. “I probably drilled it thousands and thousands of times,” said Delbrugge. The drilling paid off, as his opponent went to his belly and Delbrugge slapped on a rear naked choke for the win.
STERLING, Va.-The Operation Octagon XXI (OOFights) amateur main card featured a 155 pound title bout pitting undefeated Team Yamasaki-Woodbridge fighter Jonathan Escalona against Pure Performance fighter Francisco Isata this past Saturday. The bout was one of two title fights on the main card and gave each fighter an opportunity to continue working towards a pro career.
In preparation for the bout, Escalona trained under the tutelage of his mixed martial arts coaches, Francisco Salguero and Joe Cunningham. Escalona said of his training that he did “a lot of jiu jitsu sparring, a lot of ground-and-pound sparring, a lot of stand up sparring, and intense cardio stuff.” Escalona remarked, “they put me through hell to fight.”
STERLING, Va.-The Vanguard Gym mixed martial arts team fielded four fighters on Operation Octagon’s pro-am card featured at the Dulles Sportsplex this past Saturday. The fighters were Elder Ramos (pro fight), Christian Banghart (main card), Vince Holland (undercard main event), and Marco Mendoza (under card). Vanguard Gym went 3-1, with the only loss coming from Mendoza’s unanimous decision loss to Daniel Gray of Capital MMA.
1. Zenon Herrera (Team Assassin) def. Keith Flowers (KTMA MMA) by first round rear naked choke.
2. Abdul-Malik Ahmad (Silat VA) def. Alex Kotucka (Independent) by first round TKO.
3. Abby Velasquez (Team Assassin) def. Jaime Salazar (Pure Performance) by second round TKO.
4. Robert Bane (Independent) def. Bidhar Thakur (Mikido) by first round TKO.
5. Daniel Gray (Capital MMA) def. Marco Mendoza (Vanguard Gym) by unanimous decision.
6. Daniel Cornett (Kaizen MMA) def. Frederick Walker (BJJ Conquest) by second round rear naked choke.
7. Sterling Biscoe (KTMA MMA) def. Chad Wiggington by unanimous decision.
8. Kristen Murphy (Capital MMA) def. Katie McClay (Jerakan MMA) by second round TKO.
9. Vince Holland (Vanguard Gym) def. Umit Kernal (Kaizen MMA) by majority decision.
10. Christian Banghart (Vanguard Gym) def. Shawn Carter (Jerakan MMA) by first round rear naked choke.
11. Steve Adame (Gold Medal Grappling) def. Pierre Amon (MMA & Sport) by decision.
12. Eric Kronstadt (Shingitai Jiu Jitsu) def. Nick Mansburger (Premier Fight Center/Leo Dalla)
13. Tony Dabbondanza (BJJ Conquest) def. Jonathan Vineyard (Capital MMA)
14. Jonathan Escalona (Yamasaki Academy-Woodbridge) def. Fracisca Isata (Pure Performance)
15. Craig Pittman (Team Assassin) def. Tony Horn (EMIT MMA) by unanimous decision
16. Gary Sheppard (Tech MMA) def. Sean Croushom (Premier Fight Center/Leo Dalla) by first round rear naked choke.
17. Charles Kessinger (The Cave MMA) def. Bryan Robey (DC Boxing and Fitness) by first round TKO.
18. Elder Ramos (Vanguard Gym) def. Jeremy Boardwine (The Hive MMA) by first round heel hook.
19. Jon Delbrugge (Crazy 88) def. Steve Wamplert (MMA Institute) by first round rear naked choke.
20. Devon Mosley (The Cave MMA) def. Willie Floyd (Gold Medal Grappling) by split decision.
21. Terrell Hobbs (MMA Institute) def. Neil Johnson (Discple MMA) by rear naked choke.
Results from first 11 bouts:
Steve Adams (Gold Medal Grappling) def. David Weller (Capital MMA), 2min 59 seconds, 2nd round TKO
Paul Cavanaugh (Southern Maryland BJJ) def. Tyson Kellerman, split decision
Samir Fareed (Gold Medal Grappling) def. Brandon Wheeler (Maguilla/Hagerstown BJJ), unanimous decision
Lashawn Alcocks (Wright’s Carolina Karate) def. Tommy McDonnell (Bowie MMA), 21 seconds, 3rd round, TKO
Reed Miller (Vanguard Gym) def. Cody Carter (MMA Institute), 3:20, 1st round tapout (read naked choke)
Cameron Smith (BETA Academy) def. Alex Coates (Team Infamous), 40 seconds, 1st round, tapout (armbar)
Jordon Needham (Top Notch) def. Jonathan Vinyard (Capital JJ) , 1:14, 2nd round, referee stoppage
Willie Floyd (Gold Medal Grappling) def. Perrin Carter (Coalition MMA), 2:45, 1st round, tapout (guillotine choke)
Mike Pope (Vanguard Gym) def. Spencer Strube (Clinch Academy), unanimous decision
EJ Mecklenburg (BETA Academy) def. Shawn Kama (Team Infamous), 21 seconds, tapout (rear naked choke)
Mike Ledman (Southern Maryland BJJ) def. Duy Le (Vanguard Gym), 3rd round, tapout (rear naked choke)
* Results contributed by C. Moskal
Corporal Kelsey De Santis will attend the Marine Corp Ball with Justin Timberlake in Washington, D.C. In October 2010, De Santis fought a mixed martial arts bout at Operation Octagon in Sterling, Va. Check out De Santis in the camo shorts.
STERLING, Va. – Corporal Kelsey De Santis fought a bloody bout with Kristen DeBruycker (Pedro Sauer Team) at Operation Octagon 13 in northern Virginia. DeSantis was recently featured on CNN when she asked Justin Timberlake on a date to the Marine Corp Ball in Washington, D.C.
ZACH DAVIS’ “THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER” PARTY – WEDNESDAY
On April 13, Zach Davis of Evolve Academy/Team Lloyd Irvin will host another Ultimate Fighter party at a location to be announced in Montgomery County, Md. The party will start at 7:30 p.m. and will feature free give aways, such as TapOut shirts, to people that come and show their support. Up coming details about the party will be on his site at www.zachdavismma.com.
SHOGUN FIGHTS 4 RETURNS TO BALTIMORE, Md.
Local D.C. metro fighters are scheduled to fight at the largest MMA show in Maryland on April 30, 2011 at 1st Mariner Arena. Current local D.C. area fighters are Dustin Pague (MASE Training/Tony Passos BJJ), Jason Morris (Evolve Academy/Team Lloyd Irvin), Marshall “The Unknown Warrior” Thompson (Evolve Academy & Warrior Gym), Adrian Belcarris, and Dean Lavin (Team Assassin).
Dustin Page made a strong performance in his last appearance at Shogun Fights 3, winning by first round TKO via strikes.
In his last appearance at Shogun Fights, Jason Morris was coaching Zach Davis in his final fight before the Ultimate Fighter. Now, Morris will step in the cage as a fighter and take on Cole Pressley of Clinch Academy.
Marshall Thompson continues his comeback to MMA after battling injuries. The former WKA National MMA champion (2007) will take on Siyam Yousefi in a 135 pound bout.
* Update: Added Adrian Belcarris and Dean Lavin (Team Assassin)
FIGHTING OUT OF TOWN
Week-in and week-out, local fighters go out of town to compete in other fight shows. Please wish these fighters good luck on their road trip endeavors!
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
April 8 – Atlantic City (New Jersey) – Ring of Combat XXXV – Elijah Harshbarger, Gold Medal Grappling (Team Lloyd Irvin)
Live Stream: View Event
April 9 – Akron (Ohio) – NAAFS – Proving Ground MMA Series 4 – Rosanna Garcia, Evolve Academy (Team Lloyd Irvin)
April 12 – Thailand (Patong) – Aaron Jimmerson, Fairfax Jiu-Jitsu
April 17 – Thailand (Kohsamui) – Rene Rodriguez, Fairfax Jiu-Jitsu/Yamasaki-Springfield
April 29 – NYC – WKA Fight Night – Hiro Perera, Fairfax Jiu-Jitsu
ELITE FIGHTING CHALLENGE 8 AFTERMATH
This past weekend, the EFC 8 MMA event was held in Lynchburg, Va. After the fights, I caught up with E.J. Mecklenburg of BETA Academy/Team Lloyd Irvin who won a decisive first round victory over Josh Clark of the Strikers Union Fight Team in North Carolina. Mecklenburg’s quick take down and ground-and-pound resulted in a broken nose for Clark and a first round submission by way of choke. After the bout, Clark engaged Mecklenburg in conversation about the fight. When asked about their brief discussion, this is what Mecklenburg had to say:
“The guy that I fought came up and we were talking. I wasn’t sure exactly what he was trying to do. It was casual at first, then…I don’t know if he was trying save his ego or egg me on…he was trying to put something out there like he wanted to fight again, and he actually said he wanted a rematch and that ‘I would be the guy leaving with the broken nose next time.’ I thought it was kind of childish, kinda silly, especially after it was a pretty decisive win in my mind. I told him that if he wanted it that bad, he could take the four hour trip up to D.C. and we can have one…I don’t know exactly what was going through his mind, but it was really weird. I don’t think it was the most respectful thing to do after getting smashed like that.”
BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU AND SUBMISSION WRESTLING HIGHLIGHTS
Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championships
The Abu Dhabi World Pro Championships will be held during the period of April 8-16 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center in the United Arab Emirates. Severals competitors from local teams have won pro-trial tournaments to earn sponsored trips to the World Pro Championships. The tournament is open to all competitors, however, pro-trial winners qualify for sponsored travel and lodging.
Black Belt, Ryan Hall, Fifty/50 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BRASA Team)
Brown Belt, Jimmy Harbison, Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts Academy
Purple Belt, D.J. Jackson, Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts Academy
Purple Belt, Kenneth Brown, Evolve Academy (Team Lloyd Irvin)
Blue Belt, Pere Briggs, Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts Academy
Blue Belt, Megan Lomonof, Fifty/50 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BRASA Team)
Please send any corrections or additions to MMAinDC.com via the “About” page.
New Yamasaki Academy Location In Woodbridge, Va.
Yamasaki Jiu-Jitsu black belt Joe Cunningham will be the head instructor at the new location. Classes run Monday through Saturday and will include BJJ, no-gi grappling, and mixed martial arts.
13546 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192
For more information, call: (703) 261-9657
Editor’s Note: Thank you to everyone who contributed information for this article.
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Elite Fighting Challenge 8 was held this past weekend in downtown Lynchburg. The event featured amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) fights in a cage. Some of the teams that had fighters in the event included Team RAM (Pedro Sauer Team), Hybrid Training Center (Ribeiro jiu-jitsu), BETA Academy (Team Lloyd Irvin), and MMA Institute (Rick McCoy).
Check out the photos from the MMA event. Click on the thumbnails to read available captions.
Warning: Some of the photos may contain graphic images of blood.
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Elite Fighting Challenge 8 was held at the Lynchburg Armory on April 2, 2011. A packed house filled the chairs at the event for the amateur mixed martial arts fights. Teams from Maryland to North Carolina came to compete in the MMA event. The headliner for the evening was a title bout between Hybrid Training Center’s Lee Rahlien of Virginia Beach and BJJ Conquest’s Micah Terrill (Crofton, Md.).
The event was fueled with strong representation from the Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts (Team RAM) in Lynchburg, Va. Leading the team was the crowd favorite, “Big” Matt Coleman. Coleman, a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with experience in training muay thai, took on Steve Odum of the Striker’s Union Fight Team in North Carolina. The bout ended quickly in the first round when Coleman caught his opponent with an upper cut, eventually putting him on the ground. Coleman followed up with ground work, ending with a transition to an armbar. “It was a lot quicker than I anticipated, but I’m not complaining,” said Coleman. ”They’re tough guys,” he said.
E.J. Mecklenburg of BETA Academy and Team Lloyd Irvin in Washington, D.C. quickly disposed of his Striker’s Union opponent, Josh Clark, in the first round. The former D-1 wrestler from American University shot in for the takedown, eventually putting his opponent on his back. A guard pass with a transition to the mount resulted in a reign of strikes that bloodied his opponent. “I told my coaches I want to make him bleed and I want to tap him out,” said a frustrated Mecklenburg, who had a previous opponent back out on him at another fight event last week. The match ended when Clark bellied down and tapped out from a choke. ”It kinda worked out that way,” said Mecklenburg.
The fight of the night went to Lee Rahlien and Micah Terrell in the final bout of the evening. Rahlien and Terrell battled back and forth, trading punches toe-to-toe, gambling to see who would connect. First it was Terrell connecting with a punch to put Rahlien down, then Rahlien returned the favor. The two would battle fiercely up standing and on the ground, drawing blood during the course of the action. “I definitely took a lot of damage, more than I have in any other fight,” said Rahlien. After fighting on the fence, Rahlien eventually hit a takedown and ended up in side control. An americana armlock sealed the win for Rahlein with a tap out by Terrell.
Other Team Highlights:
* Hybrid Training Center went 1-1 and captured the championship title
* Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts (Team Pedro Sauer) went 4-0
* Striker’s Union Fight Team from North Carolina went 0-7
* MMA Institute had two opponents back out but went 1-0 on the evening with a KO from a head kick.
NORFOLK, Va. – M-1 Global Challenge XXIV was held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University on March 25, 2011. The promotion is well known in the MMA world for its partnership with Fedor Emelianenko. The main card was broadcasted live on Showtime during the evening.
Watch highlights of George Sheppard, Alexander Sarnavskly, Jason Norwood, Vinny Magalhaes, Magomed Sultanakhmedov, and Jose Figueroa!
Related M-1 Global Challenge XXIV Articles:
M-1 Global Challenge XXIV – Virginia Fighter Highlights
M-1 Global Challenge XXIV – Quick Results
Calendar of events in April for the martial arts community in D.C., Va. and Md. Mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission wrestling events!
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS AND GRAPPLING TOURNAMENTS
4/16 The Good Fight: Virginia Open!
Description: Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling tournament for kids and adults.
5700 Warhill Trail
Williamsburg, VA 23188
4/23 Warrior Fighting Championship: Rumble In The Cage
LYNCHBURG, Va. – EFC 8 was held at the Lynchburg Armory on April 2, 2011. The mixed martial arts event featured ten amateur MMA fights including one title bout. The results of the extevent are as follows:
1. Mike Lawrence (MMA Institute) defeats Ethan Gunter by second round knock out (head kick).
2. Jeff Murphy (Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts) defeats David Affong (Strikers Union Fight Team) by unanimous decision.
3. Tim Sloan (Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts) defeats Wesley Yates (Strikers Union Fight Team) by guillotine.
4. Joey Baer (Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts) defeats Brett Cannon (Strikers Union FIght Team) by TKO (strikes) in the third round.
5. Marck Busse (IFCA MMA Academy) defeats Andrew Lowell (Strikers Union Fight Team).
6. Matt Coleman (Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts) defeats Steve Odum (Strikers Union Fight Team) by arm bar in the first round.
7. Tony (BJJ Conquest) defeats J. Pinchpezk (Hybrid Training Center) by TKO in the first round (strikes).
8. Brian Amy defeats Demetrius Nayler (Strikers Union Fight Team).
9. E.J. Mecklenburg (BETA Academy/Team Lloyd Irvin) defeats Josh Clark (Strikers Union Fight Team) by first round choke.
MMA TITLE BOUT
10. Lee Rahlien (Hybrid Training Center) defeats Micah Terrill (BJJ Conquest) by americana arm lock.
STERLING, Va. – In the last three fights at Operation Octagon 14 this past weekend, team Vanguard Gym and Team Infamous won their bouts against their opponents. Vanguard Gym fighters Mike Pope and Aubrey Hummer used wrestling to pin their opponents on the cage and never let them have the distance to throw consistent shots. Pope and Hummer, who have never wrestled before coming to Vanguard, kept smothering their opponents keeping them from winding up for consistent strikes. Pope retained his lightweight championship with a unanimous three round decision and Hummer’s bout ended in the second round with strikes.
Migo DeOcampo of Team Infamous took on Jay Wilcox of Contact Sports Club in a 155 bout. DeOcampo used a choke from the back to finish his opponent. Although his hips were not in conventional position for a rear naked, his opponent tapped and the bout ended.
Lightweight Champion Mike Pope versus Jessie Mitchell of Royal Martial Arts:
(big slam at 40 seconds into the bout)
Aubrey Hummer versus Bryan Robey of Gold Medal Grappling:
Migo DeOcampo versus Jay Wilcox:
[flagallery gid=2 name="Gallery"]
STERLING, Va. – The Operation Octagon 14 production was held at the Dulles Sportsplex facility this past weekend. The event featured mixed martial arts teams from the mid-atlantic region such as Vanguard Gym, Fairfax Jiu Jitsu, and Gold Medal Grappling. The highlight of the event was Mike Pope’s lightweight title defense against Jessie Mitchell of Royal Martial Arts. Check out the photos from MMAinDC.com.
Note: On the bottom right of the window, the FS button means “FULL SCREEN”. This will make the viewing go faster because you can see more thumbnails. The button SL will play the slide show automatically.
STERLING, Va. – Operation Octagon 14 was held at the Dulles Sportsplex facility on March 26, 2011. The event featured amateur mixed martial arts fights in a cage. MMA teams from the mid-atlantic region came to fight for trophies and to gain more experience in the art. At stake for the main event was the Operation Octagon lightweight title, which featured the current champion, Mike Pope of Vanguard Gym, against Jessie Mitchell, Jr. of Royal Martial Arts in Maryland.
In the title bout, Pope took charge of the fight from the start, clinching his opponent, and slamming him on the ground. The rest of the fight featured Pope taking his opponent down, passing or fighting in the guard, and attempting submissions from the mounted position. Mitchell, who shows signs of talent, chose not to fight at certain times, only doing the minimum necessary to avoid submissions on the ground. Even when being put in bad positions and taking punches to the face, Mitchell, at times, talked to Pope during the match. After winning the fight, Pope said, “I don’t have to hate him…to knock his block off, and he doesn’t have to hate me.” He also added, ”It’s about being a martial artist. We grow better as people every day.”
Vanguard Gym would go on to dominate the other three matches, where Duy Le, Reed Miller, and Aubrey Hummer each finished their opponents. Le and Miller finished with triangle chokes in the first round. Hummer finished his opponent in the second round via strikes from the back mount. The convincing wins put the team at 4-0 on the evening.
Fairfax Jiu Jitsu fielded two fighters in the event, including Josh Kearney and Greyson Jones, which resulted in a win and loss on the score cards. Up first, Josh Kearney battled Steven Adams of Gold Medal Grappling for one and a half rounds. At the start, Kearney came out strong and took his opponent down, achieving the back mount and attempting a rear-naked choke. Adams defended and slipped out of an armbar attempt and ended up in the mounted postion. Kearney went to his back and escaped and the round ended. In round two, the controversy occurred. After a takedown by Kearney, Adams reversed the position and began attacking his opponent from the top position. Kearney landed some up kicks to his opponent and eventually ended up on his knees. While searching for the takedown and still on the ground, Kearney was kicked flush in the face by Adams, which halted the bout. Kearney was unable to continue, and the bout went to the score cards. Based on the action up to the point of the stoppage, Kearney was awarded the win.
Fairfax Jiu Jitsu MMA Coach Bill Easlick commented on the incident: ”I’m definitely a little disappointed…Looking at the tape now…I just think that the other fighter just made a bad mistake in the heat of the moment. I don’t think it was malicious…He probably should have been disqualified for that.” Easlick also commented on the outcome of the bout saying, “It happened to turn in favor of Josh…I’m happy he was winning up to that point, but frustrated that the fight ended like that.”
For Greyson Jones of Fairfax Jiu Jitsu/Yamasaki, the battle with Gold Medal Grappling’s Willie Floyd did not go as planned. Floyd, a game fighter who also has muay thai experience, traded blows with Jones in a back and forth first round. The key moment in the bout occurred in the second round when Floyd caught Jones with a strike that put Jones on the ground in survival mode. Floyd continued the assault and the match was ended by the referee for the TKO. Easlick made no excuses and said of his fighter that he got pulled into a brawl, which is not his usual style of fighting.
The results for teams that had two or more fights were as follows:
Team Wins Losses Win Percentage
1. Vanguard Gym 4 0 100%
2. Fairfax Jiu Jitsu 1 1 50%
3. Gold Medal Grappling 1 2 33%
4. Contact Sports Club 0 2 0%
Colton Smith, a pro MMA fighter from Vanguard Gym, discussed his team’s formula for success: ”We are a complete school…We have a nutritionist come in. Coach (Doug Esposito) sends some of the guys away for strength and conditioning for CrossFit certification.” When discussing the strategy of his teammates, Smith said, ”We have good striking and we don’t use it that often because if you don’t have to why do it. Take it to the ground and finish it, so that’s kind of our philosophy.”
NORFOLK, Va. – The M-1 Global Challenge XXIV event was held at the Ted Constant Center on the campus of Old Dominion University this past weekend. The event featured 11 professional mixed martial arts bouts including local and international fighters. The promotion was highlighted by the two title bouts featuring Tyson Jeffries against Magomed Sultanakhmedov for the middleweight title, and Jose Figueroa against Artiom Damkovsky for the lightweight title.
For local pro fighters in Virginia, the event provided huge opportunities to fight in an MMA promotion partially televised on Showtime.
Rick McCoy’s MMA Institute fielded five fighters in the event, starting with former ODU wrestler Bryan Lashomb. Lashomb took on Marcus “Menace” Daniels of Viet Le’s Team Assassin in Alexandria, Va. The two met in a previous bout as amateur MMA fighters, where Lashomb won by TKO stoppage. Still, McCoy’s team took Daniels very seriously. “We know he’s dangerous at any time,” he said. Being well prepared for the fight, Lashomb shot in for a takedown and began landing powerful shots from the standing position. A series of punches ended the fight in 57 seconds of the first round. “We pretty much know that every guy Bryan fights he’s going to out wrestle,” said McCoy. “His boxing is actually really good now.”
The MMA Institute would finish the evening going 3-2 with additional first round wins from George Sheppard and Jessie Riggleman of Harrisonburg, Va.
Colton Smith of Vanguard Gym in Manassas, Va. made his pro debut at the event against MMA Institute’s Brian Nielson, a former collegiate wrestler from Liberty University. Smith dominated the bout starting with a takedown on Nielson. Nielson briefly got up to his feet, only to be taken down again. Smith said, “He circled towards my power into the corner and immediately opened up my door for me.” After achieving the mounted position, Smith reigned down punches putting his opponent in survival mode. He ended the fight with a rear-naked choke in the first round with less than a minute to go. To Smith, the dominant control throughout the bout was not expected. “I knew that Brian was tough,” he said. “I was very surprised at how I controlled the pace of the fight.”
In the only women’s bout of the evening, Bethany Marshall of MAMMA’s Boys in Yorktown, Va. took on Stacy Grant of Virginia Beach, Va. Marshall had several submission attempts in the first round and put Grant in many bad positions. Grant was given another opportunity to use her muay thai skills when the first round ended. In the second round, Marshall went on her back and slapped on a heel hook to end the bout at 1:39.
In his ninth pro bout, two time All-American collegiate wrestler Johnny Curtis made short work of his opponent, Bobby Gurley, in 36 seconds of the first round. Curtis said of his bout that it was a body shot to the liver that made Gurley fall down. “I heard him make a bad sound. He was in pain,” he said. Curtis followed up with punches and the bout was stopped.
Popular opinion among the fighters was that the promotion was one of the most professional MMA events to be held in Virginia. Although the seating stood at about half capacity, the opportunity for the locals to be included in an international MMA event in partnership with Showtime was a boon for the fighters. Colton Smith said, “It was a great venue. They treated us awesome. The fight and the production was good. I’d love to fight for them again.”
More M-1 Global Challenge XXIV Articles:
M-1 Global Challenge XXIV – Video Highlights (Maincard)
M-1 Global Challenge XXIV – Quick Results
STERLING, Va. – Operation Octagon 14 mixed martial arts fights were held at the Dulles Sportsplex facility on March 26, 2011. The MMA event featured 10 amateur bouts headlined by Mike Pope’s lightweight title defense against muay thai and MMA fighter Jessie Mitchell, Jr. of Royal Martial Arts (Maryland).
OPERATION OCTAGON QUICK RESULTS
1. Jonathan Hughes of MASE Training defeats Kendall White (independent) by second round armbar submission.
2. Josh Kearney of Fairfax Jiu Jitsu defeats Steven Adams of Gold Medal Grappling by decision after illegal kick to the face (soccer kick) in the second round.
3. Duy Le of Vanguard Gym defeats Somsak Saykosy of Royal Tiger MMA by first round triangle choke submission.
4. Willie Floyd of Gold Medal Grappling defeats Greyson Jones of Fairfax Jiu Jitsu in the second round by TKO (strikes).
5. Josh “Cobra” Brown of Complete Fitness defeats John Attia of Rock Hand MMA by first round submission (rear naked choke).
6. Chris Elliot of Southern Maryland Jiu Jitsu defeats Joe Ryan of Gold Medal Grappling in the second round by armbar submission.
7. Reed Miller of Vanguard Gym defeats Damien Mickey of Contact Sports Club in the first round by triangle choke submission.
8. Aubrey Hummer of Vanguard Gym defeats Bryan Robey of Gold Medal Grappling in the second round by TKO (strikes).
9. Migo DeOcampo of Team Infamous defeats Jay Wilcox of Contact Sports Club second round choke submission.
OPERATION OCTAGON LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE BOUT
10. Mike Pope of Vanguard Gym defeats Jessie Mitchell, Jr. of Royal Martial Arts by unanimous decision.
NORFOLK, Va. – The M-1 Global Challenge XXIV fight event was held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University on March 26, 2011. The event featured 11 pro-MMA bout highlighted by two championship bouts. The results of the event are as follows:
1. Bryan Lashomb (MMA Institute-Richmond, Va.) defeats Marcus Daniels (Team Assassin-Alexandria, Va.) via first round TKO (57 seconds).
2. Bethany Marshall (MAMMA’s Boys-Yorktown, Va.) defeats Stacy Grant (Hybrid Training Center-Virginia Beach, Va.) via second round heel hook submission (1:39).
3. Colton Smith (Vanguard Gym-Manassas, Va.) defeats Brian Nielson (MMA Institute) via first round rear-naked choke (4:19).
4. Johnny Curtis defeats Bobby Gurley by first round TKO by strikes (36 seconds).
5. George Sheppard vs. David Derby by first round TKO (1:50).
6. Jessie Riggleman defeats Jason Hillicker by first round guillotine (3:13).
7. Alexander Sarnavskly defeats Beau Baker (MMA Institute) by second round rear-naked choke submission (2:32).
8. Jason Norwood defeats Mojo Horne by three round unanimous decision.
9. Vinny Magalhaes defeats Jake Doer by first round TKO by strikes (1:47).
M-1 GLOBAL MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT
10. Magomed Sultanakhmedov defeats Tyson Jeffries by second round TKO (3:07).
M-1 GLOBAL LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT
11. Jose Figueroa defeats Artiom Damkovsky by second round TKO (2:28).
More M-1 Global Challenge XXIV Articles:
Team Leo Dalla Wins Adult Team Title at U.S. Grappling
The team results for the tournament that past weekend were posted today on U.S. Grappling’s website. The results are as follows:
Team Leo Dalla included affiliate academies in Woodbridge, Manassas, Crystal City, and Stafford. The “Big Brothers” team was largely composed of a contingent of competitors from Vanguard Gym. BJJ black belt Doug Esposito, owner of Vanguard Gym said, “…I am very excited and happy to be part of the team that took the lead on both Team and School points! The guys worked very hard training for this event, and they deserve all the credit for getting out there on the mat and finishing their matches!”
As part of his comments about the rankings, Esposito also offered these thoughts: “I also think it is notable that all the other schools and teams in the top three are either directly linked to Dalla, or are second generation influenced by Dalla’s lineage, coaching, and teaching.”
Esposito’s thoughts reflect the history of BJJ in the D.C. metro area, in which Mario Yamasaki and Leo Dalla were the first BJJ black belts to bring Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the area over 15 years ago in Rockville, Md.
Team Assassin Gears Up For M-1 Global Challenge XXIV
Viet Le’s Team Assassin in Alexandria, Va. will send Marcus “Menace” Daniels to make his pro debut at M-1 this Friday on March 25, 2011. Daniels started MMA as a self trained fighter and eventually joined Team Assassin. He completed his amateur career with a 8-4 record and was 2-1 since joining the Luiz Palharez BJJ affiliate. He describes his style as explosive and entertaining. “I surprise myself a lot of times. I don’t really have a game plan when I fight. I just go for it,” he said.
His bout at M-1 will be against MMA Institute’s Bryan Lashomb, whos bout against Yamasaki Academy’s Alejandro Zea at Operation Octagon won him the 135 pound title in 2010. Daniels’ bout with Lashomb will be a rematch in which the “Menace” will look to get his first win against the hometown favorite from Old Dominion University. “His style of fighting was very pressure oriented. It will be another fight that is extremely interesting and definitely not one that is meant to keep anyone bored at any given time,” said Daniels.
Locals Represent at Pan-Am Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Teams from all over the area will send competitors to compete in every belt division in Irvine, Calif. According to the brackets on the IBJJF website, these were the black belts from the D.C. metro area:
Ryan Hall, Adult, Featherweight, BRASA Team
J.T. Torres, Adult, Lightweight, Team Lloyd Irvin
Daniel Ives, Adult, Middleweight, Team Lloyd Irvin
Tony Passos, Masters, Middleweight, De La Riva Jiu Jitsu
Nakapan Phungephorn, Masters, Medium Heavy, Team Lloyd Irvin
Leo Dalla, Senior 1, Big Brothers
Noah Booth, Senior 1, Big Brothers
Noelie Danforth, Senior 1, Takeyoshi Ikehar
David Trader, Senior 2, Dave Trader BJJ
Doug McGiffin, Senior 3, Yamasaki Academy
On Friday, March 25, 2011, M-1 Global Challenge XXIV will be held at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The main card, featuring title bouts for two championship belts, will be aired live on Showtime. M-1 Global is an international MMA organization best known for its representation with former world champion, Fedor Emelianenko. In addition to the main card, the pro-fight show represents huge opportunities for fighters on the undercard, which portions may be televised.
From Doug Esposito’s Vanguard Gym in Manassas, Va., Colton Smith will make his pro-MMA debut on the undercard at 170 pounds against MMA Institute’s Brian Nielson from Richmond, Va. Smith’s last MMA fight was at Barbarian Fight Club on January 15 earlier this year in which he won with a rear-naked choke in the first round. Now, he looks to make his pro debut at the second largest MMA event in Virginia. “It feels great and I’m ready for it,” he said.
After a successful 5-1 amateur career which began in 2008, Smith has made changes to his training regiment in preparation for his pro debut. He said, “The past 8-10 months I’ve definitely taken it a lot more seriously. My nutrition is the biggest thing that has changed. I cut down to 170 from 197 pounds. I have a nutritionist. My strength and conditioning has changed.”
Smith, who trains year round also said, “I was always pretty good at each discipline of the fight game, but it was hard for me to put them all together. Just recently, I’ve been able to put them all together in the gym against some very tough opponents.”
Smith’s support also comes from his family and his work. He cites the long hours necessary to put into training and getting the proper amount of rest. He said, “My family has really supported me on this.” As a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, he says his work is also very supportive, “I’m still active duty military. My bosses definitely support me 110%. In fact, they are going to be at the fight in Norfolk.”
When looking back on his start in mixed martial arts, Smith said, “I’m 23 years old and I’m still young, but it’s been a long road.” He adds, “I’m definitely prepared. I believe I train like a pro so I’m going to fight like a pro.”
Watch M-1 this Friday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.
* Photo at Premier Fight Center used with permission from C. Smith.
It was around 2003 when I was at a Grappler’s Quest event in New Jersey when I used to train at Evolve Academy. One of our competitors was locked up with another grappler in the middle of a match when our guy threw up. Mike Moses, the head instructor of Evolve, went up to the other competitor and said, “You don’t really want to win like that, do you?” The other guy said with a tough look, “Nah, let’s continue.” When the match restarted, Jay hit a take down, and went on to win the match.
Next up from Evolve was Zach Davis. Davis was a young guy, just out of high school. He was still a white belt at the time, but moved deftly. He wrestled at Montgomery Blair High in Silver Spring, Md. and brought a good base to his game. He had a tall and long frame with good athleticism. The kid was gifted, and he had heart. He was taking on another wrestler in a non-advanced division and one of his first moves was to put his hand over the other guy’s eyes. The other guy didn’t like that, and tried to poke Davis in the eye. The two went on, continued the match, and it was on…
I left Evolve about a year later and focused on my work in D.C. However, during the recent interviews I’ve had with Davis, he’s maintained the same humble attitude and “yes, sir” type of respect that he always had on the mats. He walks around now with a BJJ brown belt, but with the same type of humor, same kind of demeanor. As a graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park, he always had goals.
Now, after years of training, Davis makes it to The Ultimate Fighter. If you go to Evolve, you’d see why. When he trains, he just grinds it out. No complaining and no questioning his coaches…just complete focus. He teaches classes and sets an example in the ring. He battled back from an eye injury that the doctor’s said he would never return from. In the early days when we would roll, he would always push hard. From what I can see, nothing has changed.
Watch Zach Davis of Evolve Academy and Team Lloyd Irvin on The Ultimate Fighter on March 30, 2011 on SpikeTV.
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Barbarian Fight Club “Sacrifice” event was held at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds this past weekend. The main events included four title bouts for amateur titles, including one women’s title bout. Two of the titles were captured by The Cave MMA, a mixed martial arts camp based in Fredericksburg, Va.
NON-TITLE BOUT NEWS
Cameron “The All Natural” Hoback made his return to the cage against D’Andre Whitley. After coming off a loss from Vanguard Gym stalwart, Bradon Reinhardt at another MMA promotion, the Abercrombie and Fitch model from Virginia made a statement submitting his opponent quickly in the first round by rear naked choke. Hoback said, “He started gassing, I could hear him…That’s when I really got more confident out there.” Hoback trains with his uncles and cousins in wrestling in Blue Ridge, Va. and considers himself a self-trained fighter. He refers to his family camp of wrestlers as “New Breed”.
Viet Le’s Team Assassin, a Luiz Palhares BJJ affiliate in Alexandria, Va., returned to Barbarian Fight Club after an excellent performance in the previous BFC. In this event, the team was unable to find consistency with wins and went 1-3, with one loss resulting for a disqualification from an illegal elbow. The winning bout came from 18 year old Joey Marino, a former high school wrestler with approximately four months of MMA training. A slam in the second round from Marino put his U.S. Marine Corp opponent on his back where he never recovered. Marino continued with strikes from the back mount and won by referee’s stoppage. “I give him another year, and he’s gonna be solid,” said Le. When asked about his team’s overall performance, Le said, “I’m always proud of guys because they have the heart and dedication.”
Watch the video for highlights of the title matches.
FREDRICKSBURG, Va. – The Barbarian Fight Club “Sacrifice” event was held on March 12, 2011 at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds. The amateur event featured 19 bouts of mixed martial arts fights and had competitors from primarily the mid-atlantic region.
The show was highlighted by four Barbarian Fight Club title bouts including one women’s title match.
In the 145 pound title match, Charles “All Out” Kessinger of The Cave MMA took on defending champion Nate “The Outlaw” Miller of Team Assassin in Alexandria, Va. After winning the first and second rounds, Kessinger was hit by an illegal elbow in the spine by Miller while in the turtle position. The match was stopped and the title was eventually awarded to Kessinger by way of disqualification. Kessinger had to be taken to the hospital, unable to move on his own. Matt Douglas, Kessinger’s trainer, said that his condition has improved since the fight.
In the BFC 155 pound title match, Zach “The Irish Hitman” Murphy of The Cave MMA defeated Scott “The Weapon X” Cox of Knock M Out Nation by armbar in the first round. The fight was dominated by Murphy from the start, using the clinch, and grappling to control his opponent. A greco-roman takedown and an armbar from the mount ended the bout.
In the women’s title fight, Gabrielle Holloway of Warrior MMA in Culpeper, Va. took on Vickie “The Victorious” Berkshire of The Cave MMA in the only women’s bout of the evening. In the second round, Berkshire continued to throw strikes and follow Holloway. Holloway initiated a clinch and the two exchanged positions against the fence. Holloway then scored a takedown and landed directly in the mounted position. After throwing strikes from the top, Holloway ended the fight with a rear naked choke.
In the final match of the evening, the heavyweight title bout featured Robert Mycyk of Team Wildside in Yorktown, Va. against Kris “Lights Out” Lewis (independent). A quick tie up and takedown from Mycyk led to a transition and strikes from the mount. Lewis’ inability to defend himself led him to turn over on his back, where Mycyk applied a choke for the win.
Title Fight Results
145 pound title
Charles “All Out” Kessinger (The Cave MMA) defeats Nate “The Outlaw” Miller via disqualification (illegal elbow to the spine).
155 pound title
Zach “The Irish Hitman” Murphy (The Cave MMA) defeats Scott “The Weapon X” Cox (Knock M Out Nation) via first round armbar.
Women’s 145 pound title
Gabrielle Holloway (Warrior MMA-Culpeper, Va.) defeats Vickie “The Victorious” Berkshire (The Cave MMA) via second round rear naked choke.
Men’s Super Heavyweight title
Robert Mycyk (Team Wildside-Va.) defeats Kris “Lights Out” Lewis (Independent) via first round rear naked choke.
1. Travis Bush (Emit MMA-Va.) defeats Earl VanNatter (Independent) by second round TKO strikes from the mount.
2. Shawn Joffe (Royal Martial Arts-Md.) defeats Joel “The Batman” Singhas (Cima Studios) by first round tap out by strikes
3. Geo Mendoza (The Cave MMA-Fredericksburg, Va.) defeats Hunter Gadomski (Independent) by three round unanimous decision.
4. Robert Sullivan (Team Balance-Baltimore, Md.) defeats John Delany (Independent) by first round TKO.
5. Shane Fowler (Emit MMA) defeats Michael Henry (Independent) by first round TKO in 23 seconds.
6. Joey Marino (Team Assassin-Alexandria, Va.) defeats Vick Alpizar (U.S. Marine Corp Fight Team) in the second round via TKO by strikes
7. John Calloway (Independent) defeats K.C. “The Train” Holliman (The Cave MMA) via first round TKO by strikes (15 seconds)
8. Brandon Williams (Pilsung Martial Arts-Va.) defeats Tyler James King (Team Assassin) via first round rear naked choke.
9. Brandon Browning (KSA Boxing Team-Va.) defeats Nick Teter (Independent) via first round TKO from mount strikes.
10. Charles “All Out” Kessinger (The Cave MMA) defeats Nate “The Outlaw” Miller via disqualification (illegal elbow to the spine).
11. Zach “The Irish Hitman” Murphy (The Cave MMA) defeats Scott “The Weapon X” Cox (Knock M Out Nation) via first round armbar.
12. Cam “The All Natural” Hoback (Independent) defeats D’Andre “Frost Long Fang” Whitley (Team Assassin-D.C.) via first round rear naked choke.
13. Brandon “The Creature” Smithson (The Cave MMA) defeats Daniel Motley (Independent) via first round referee’s stoppage due to submission.
14. Arthur Parker (Hulstine Athletics) defeats Dale “The Lucky Charm” Arnold (The Army of Darkness-N.C.) via split decision.
15. Zach Roseboro (Pilsung Martial Arts) defeats Will “Silencer” Smith (Team Scorpion-Culpeper, Va.) via unanimous decision.
16. Gabrielle Holloway (Warrior MMA-Culpeper, Va.) defeats Vickie “The Victorious” Berkshire (The Cave MMA) via second round rear naked choke.
17. Joe “The Grim” Slaughter (Emit MMA) defeats Travis Davidson (Arma of Immortalis-Front Royal, Va.). Davidson did not answer second round bell due to doctor’s stoppage.
18. Stephan Tanner (U.S. Taekwondo) defeats Joe “Giddy Up” Jackson (The Cave MMA) via first round TKO via strikes.
19. Robert Mycyk (Team Wildside-Va.) defeats Kris “Lights Out” Lewis (Independent) via first round rear naked choke.
Calendar of events in March for the martial arts community in D.C., Va. and Md. Mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission wrestling, free yoga, boot camps, free martial arts movies, and capoeira demonstration.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS AND GRAPPLING TOURNAMENTS
3/5 U.S. Grappling
Description: Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling tournament.
Patrick Henry High School
12449 West Patrick Henry Road
Ashland, VA 23005
3/12 Barbarian Fight Club: “Sacrifice”
Description: Mixed martial arts (MMA) fights!
Doors Open: 6:30 PM
2400 Airport Ave.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
3/19 U.S. Grappling Submission Only
Description: Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling tournament. Matches are decided only by submission, not points.
21610 Atlantic Boulevard
Sterling, VA 20166
3/25 M-1 Global Challenge Series
Description: Mixed martial arts fights!
Ted Constant Convocation Center
4320 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
3/26 Operation Octagon XIV
Description: Mixed martial arts fights!
Event Start: 7:00 PM
21610 Atlantic Blvd.
Sterling, VA 20166
3/26 OneWorld MMA: DC Max 5, The Legacy Fight Series
Description: Mixed martial arts fights!
33 Patterson St. NE
3/26 Onslaught Fights: “Breaking Point”
Description: Mixed martial arts fights!
Sportsplex Indoor Sports and Event Cneter
221 Commonwealth Court
Winchester, VA 22602
FREE YOGA IN DC
Free Yoga: Sunday Salutations with Lululemon
Weekly on Sundays, 12:00pm
Georgetown Waterfront Park
Lululemon Athletica, 3265 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
FREE FITNESS BOOT CAMPS IN DC
Free Boot Camp Fridays
Georgetown Waterfront Park
3100 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Weekly on Fridays, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Free Boot Camp Sundays
Weekly on Sundays, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Georgetown Waterfront Park, 3100 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
FREE MARTIAL ARTS MOVIES
3/18-19 and 3/25-26 Thai Film Festival in DC
Description: Thai movies with english sub-titles. Includes some movies with martial arts.
Royal Thai Embassy
1024 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20007
3/6 Carnaval Celebration at Cafe Atlantico
3/6 Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
405 8th St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
BETA Academy, a mixed martial arts, muay thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy affiliated with Team Lloyd Irvin sent 13 athletes to the World Kickboxing Association Nationals in Hampton, Va. last weekend, and 11 came back with medals.
Battling with muay thai, mixed martial arts, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors from all over the country, the BETA athletes stood out.
“I am so proud of what we have accomplished. Our success is not by accident. We had a game plan going into this event,” said academy head instructor Nakapan Phungephorn.
The four muay thai gold medalists were John Goldman, Mereb Andemichael, Kale Blessum, and Carrie Moskal. Andy Tran and Mike Batenga also won gold medals in mixed martial arts and grappling, respectively.
The wins didn’t come easy. For example, gold medalist Carrie Moskal got her first chance to fight in the ring, but she was also presented with another reality: after cutting nine pounds, she found out there was no one in her weight class to fight, so she had to rehydrate to bulk up again.
Danny Chacon participated in the mixed martial arts event and battled with a tough opponent in the semi-finals. “I heard he was a brawler…Kru Nakapan told me to keep my hands up.” As the match went on, Chacon began to see an opportunity. “His nose was bleeding and whenever he was about to punch, he would take a big gulp,” he said. “Everytime he took a big breath, I knew he was going to punch.” Chacon won the match by decision, but suffered damage to his right elbow and was unable to continue. He was awarded the silver medal for his efforts.
Kale Blessum fought his first muay thai match a month ago at a show in Sterling, Va. and ended up losing by decision. Back then, he received a point reduction for illegal knees to the groin and was on the receiving end of a spectacular flip over the top rope when he was pushed over in the plum. Blessum used that humbling experience as motivation for putting in more work in the gym. This time, when it counted, he was able to use the plum to dismantle his opponent in the finals and win the gold medal.
Andy Tran, the youngest of the BETA competitors who juggles a schedule that includes a full load at Catholic University, teaching kids martial arts, and training in grappling and muay thai, took gold in one of the lightest weight classes. Using his wrestling skills, he used single leg takedowns to get his larger opponents on the ground to take their power away. “(They were) trying to muscle me out too much…especially since I was a lot smaller…” said Tran.
After the event, the fighters went home, licked their wounds, and took President’s Day off of training. When asked about next steps for his team, Nakapan said “This is the beginning of a legacy for BETA Academy/Team Lloyd Irvin and I assure you that you haven’t seen anything yet.”
[flagallery gid=3 name="Gallery"]
Editing Assistance By Dan Friedell
We continue with part two of Professor Chad Lebrun’s interview:
“Back when I fought, I went to the (Renzo) Gracie Academy for jiu-jitsu, Ray Longo for striking, and trained with wrestlers at a college,” said LeBrun. “I kind of incorporated all that now into our system.” Before training under Renzo in N.Y., he recalls his first fight at an old abandoned warehouse in Atlanta when he trained under Jacare. “There was barely electricity,” he said. The first fight he recalls finishing in under a minute using a basic Brazilian jiu-jitsu formula. This included the takedown, mount, elbows to the head, and the tap out. Gloves were used, but were very thin at the time. There was no standard for equipment back then.
Later in his martial arts career, LeBrun got into promoting mixed martial arts shows. He is currently a partner in the BattleFC MMA promotion based in Fredericksburg, Va. When asked about what got him started in promoting MMA, his answer was straight forward. “MMA has gotten watered down a lot,” he said. “I don’t like shows where they just let everybody fight.” His thoughts were that he wanted to put on a quality show where fighters are prepared to compete. “Anybody can be strong, but you got to be technical, too.”
Currently, LeBrun also teaches a combative system to the military with a partner company.
He started teaching his system eight years ago when he was asked by a student who worked for the FBI. “If there are multiple attackers, what are you going to do,” said LeBrun. “I took all the real world experience that I had…I grew up in a bad area…I got in a lot of fights. I was never a bully…but I consider it work related experience now.” LeBrun also gained experience as a bouncer working security. Some of the other tactics that he teaches are hand cuffing, weapon retention, and weapon defenses.
LeBrun maintains his commitment to training and learning the latest techniques. He still trains and teaches at his academy. In the past, he has trained at the Fairtex Gym in San Francisco doing three-a-days with his friends and teammates.
When looking back at his training in martial arts, LeBrun remarked, “it has changed my life…everything I have in my life I owe to martial arts.” For those that are interested in martial arts, he says, “if you want something bad enough, you will make the time…find a qualified academy that you enjoy.” Currently, his goals in martial arts run much deeper than creating the fighters. “For me to make someone a good fighter who is strong and athletic…that is easy…I want to make good citizens for society.”
HAMPTON, Va. – The World Kickboxing Association (WKA) Nationals were held on February 18-20 at the Hampton Coliseum. The event was held as part of the Hampton Sports Festival. Amateur competitors from different parts of the country came to compete and make a name for themselves in muay Thai and mixed martial arts. Smaller tournaments were also held for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling competitors.
The WKA Nationals are known to many as the proving ground for up-and-coming amateur fighters. At stake was the right to represent the United States at the WKA World Championships in Germany.
The new two day format for the tournament events facilitated a successful operation of the large brackets for each martial arts discipline. The majority of the muay Thai and mixed martial arts finals were held on Sunday. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling divisions were completed on Saturday. The event was headlined by seminars by Rob “The Dutchman” Kaman and Roberto “The Spider” Traven.
One of the teams from the DC metro area included Nakapan and Melanie Phungephorn’s BETA Academy, which produced six gold medals, four silvers, and two bronze medals. The Team Lloyd Irvin representative academy in NW Washington, D.C. was composed significantly of novice division fighters, and had only been established two and a half years ago.
Good sportsmanship was displayed throughout the event, however, the seriousness of the competition was evident during Carlos Lopez’ (MASE Training) match with Alaa Ismail (Sitan Gym). During the match, the Sitan Gym coaches became vociferous with remarks that Lopez was overqualified for the beginner division. Team MASE Training led by Scott Howard felt that they stayed within the guidelines of the beginner division and wanted to be cautious about entering a tournament they had not attended in five years.
In the absolute division of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament, MMA fighter LeVon Maynard (purple belt) of Global Martial Arts Academy defeated Kris Moe (blue belt) of Linxx Academy to win gold in the open. An exhibition match with purple belt Rachel Demara (Evolve Academy) was held with a novice Brazilian jiu-jitsu practioner to give the new grappler an opportunity to compete with someone closer to her weight class. Kris Moe, who went on to win two golds and two silver medals on the day, said of the grappling event that “we all had a chance to compete with new guys, not just the same guys from the same local schools.”
Goodwill was also displayed at the tournament. Hiro Perera of Fairfax Jiu Jitsu (Herndon, Va.) was called by his muay Thai associates in Pittsburgh and helped the team prepare for the fights. While helping his associates at the event, they were approached by an independent fighter who had no one to corner him. They went on to assist the fighter by providing their support as corner men during the fight.
It was late one evening…a typical day in the blog business. I needed to wrap up a blog entry and post it on the server. After making some final edits and some photoshop touch ups, I was ready to hit the send button.
Then it happened.
The site was down. The site could not be reached. The blog could not be accessed. What is going on? I have to update the blog. There IS no other option. You update five times a week or you die. End of story. I’ve never missed a day except for Christmas and Thanksgiving since the six months of this blog’s existence. The service is down. I make a phone call. Godaddy, pick up.
(The following is my recollection of part of the conversation…)
Me: Hey there, this is Reggie. Yeah, my Wordpress site is down. I can’t login and update it. Can you check into it? I gotta make my update.
Help Desk: Sure, what’s the name of the domain?
Help Desk: Ok let’s see…MMA in DC…wait, is that like Ultimate Fighting?
Me: Well, yeah but I focus mostly on locals. Whoever is in the area is who I like to write about.
Help Desk: Hmmm…So what can you do in MMA? Is it really no rules?
Me: There are rules, like you can’t kick to the groin, bite, or poke someone’s eye out. It is a limited set. They wear gloves and they go at it.
Help Desk: Ok, so how much do these guys in the UFC make?
Me: Well, on the lower end, around $5,000.00. That’s without sponsors. On the higher end, like a Brock Lesnar, $500,000.00 or more. But with sponsors, you can get a lot more. GSP was in a Gatorade commercial.
Help Desk: So, if I wanted to get into MMA, what would I have to do?
Me: You really gotta find out what style you are comfortable with. Some people go in and just say that they want to fight in the UFC or they want to start out with MMA. You really gotta find a style like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay thai, wrestling, or judo and start with that. Get comfortable with it. Learn positions that you feel good about. Then, maybe after a year or so, start branching out. Start cross training and learn other arts. You need something to lean on. I started with jiu-jitsu. Other guys started with wrestling or muay thai. No one knows everything. Go with what you are comfortable with.
The conversation went on and on…about 15 minutes. He needed a place to research styles to train in, he had more questions about the martial arts. He also talked about his desire to get into training. Well, it turned out to be a good phone call. I guess a heartening call. On top of that, we got the site working and I was able to update my blog. Thanks, Godaddy, for talking the language of a customer.
As a martial arts practitioner for over 20 years, Professor Chad LeBrun has put everything he has into martial arts. The current owner of the Lab MMA and business partner of the BattleFC promotion considers martial arts a lifestyle. LeBrun first saw the UFC in 1993 when it was better known as “No Rules Fighting.” He never looked back.
“I saw Royce Gracie…I fell in love with jiu-jitsu,” said LeBrun. His first start in Brazilian jiu-jitsu began when he trained at Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti’s academy in Atlanta. As a boxer, he did not start out as a fan of traditional martial arts. At his previous boxing gym, the karate guys would not spar with the boxers and focus more on kata, he said. But when he started jiu-jitsu and muay thai, things changed. “I learned to respect the traditional values…the bushido code. I try to live my life by those codes…but I still try to keep with things that are realistic and practical.”
After training at Jacare’s, he later moved to New York at the advice of a friend and trained at Renzo Gracie’s academy. “That’s when I started fighting professionally,” he said. He explained that in the early days of mixed martial arts, the fights were just one 30 minute round. “You could head stomp, head butt…” he said. He was also fortunate enough to meet Dana White at Renzo’s academy.
Later in his career, he decided to start his own academy in his hometown of Fredericksburg, Va. His intent was just to try to find more training partners and be a better fighter. When he first opened up, the focus was just fighting. “When guys would come in we would just beat the crap out of each other and nobody would come back.”
He eventually received his brown belt and black belt from Leo Dalla and Lloyd Irvin. He considers Master Lloyd also a business mentor who has taught him many things about his business. His academy now provides mixed martial arts, MMA striking, boxing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the students. “If you are in a bad mood when you come in, I guarantee when you leave you aren’t gonna know what you were upset about,” he said. “If someone is trying to choke you, the last thing you are gonna think about is your own problems.”
[To be continued]
On February 12, 2011, Bradon Reinhardt (3-0) defeated Cameron Hoback by rear-naked choke at the BattleFC MMA event in Fredericksburg, Va. to win the Middleweight Title. Hoback accepted the challenge and displayed heart as a last minute opponent due to other fighters dropping out of the event. However, his lack of preparation and inexperience showed when Reinhardt took him down at will and controlled him on the mat. Reinhardt said that he respected Hoback for stepping into the cage with him.
Reinhardt’s start in martial arts began in 2007 when he saw Matt Hughes fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship while at a restaurant. The Manassas product went out and started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at a smaller gym in northern Virginia. Fueled by a passion to get into the ring, he eventually pursued training with Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Doug Esposito at Vanguard Gym at the advice of a friend. “I rolled with Doug and got beat up pretty bad,” he said.
He would then start training ardently at Vanguard Gym and compete extensively as a white and blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments. He competed in events such as the Copa Nova, U.S. Grappling, and the Mundials (World Championships). He currently holds the rank of purple belt and teaches kids classes at Vanguard. “It is pretty fulfilling…it is a way of giving back,” said Reinhardt.
When asked about his team, he said “one of the things that all the guys take seriously is when they step into the ring they are representing themselves and the team.” Reinhardt also has a special relationship with cohort and MMA fighter Colton Smith, who will go pro later this year. After initially butting heads as aggressive training partners, they now call each other brothers. Reinhardt expressed disappointment that Smith’s opponent did not show up for his fight at BattleFC, leaving the event organizers scrambling and Smith without a fight. As a training partner, Reinhardt said of Smith that “He’ll get on the mat with you and give you everything he’s got,” and that “I feel sorry for anyone that has to fight him.”
Reinhardt’s training consists of muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, and wrestling at Vanguard Gym. Special trips are made with Smith out to Iowa to wrestle with Johnny Curtis. When discussing his Vanguard Gym teammates, he said “…We take it very seriously. Anyone that gets in the cage with any of us is always going to have a fight ahead of them.”
“This is my dream…I live it, I eat it, I breathe it. It’s all I think about…I train every day,” he said.
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – One of the featured match-ups at the BattleFC Valentine’s Day Massacre was the 135 lb. championship bout between Joshua Anderson of Ferocity MMA (Baltimore, M.) and Varon Webb of White Lion MMA. Anderson was the defending champion looking to take on a tough and experienced opponent from North Carolina.
Using a well-rounded game that featured his wrestling skills, Anderson was able to impress the judges enough to gain a win by split decision. “He was tougher than what I thought he was going to be,” he said.
Anderson currently trains in cage jiu-jitsu under Josh Dreiband. He believes in working a well-rounded game and incorporates striking into his training. As a former wrestler in high school and college in New York, he trains daily while working in the auto industry. “I train about six hours a day,” he said.
His plans are to pursue fighting full time. “That was my last amateur. I’m going pro,” he said.
Check out the photos from the BattleFC MMA event:
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The BattleFC Valentine’s Day Massacre was held at the Fredericksburg Armory on February 12, 2011. The event featured nine bouts by competitors primarily from mixed martial arts academies in Virginia. The venue was near full capacity and was headlined by two BattleFC Championship Belts. The crowd was tame but vociferous when their fighters took center stage. A clean and well ventilated facility provided an opportunity for amateur mixed martial arts fighters to showcase their skills.
For the middleweight title, Bradon Reinhardt (3-0) of Vanguard Gym in Manassas, Va. faced of against Cameron Hoback (independent). The battle was dominated by Reinhardt from start to finish with Hoback using his wrestling skills to try and keep off the mat. The first round ended with Reinhardt locking in an arm-triangle choke onto his opponent when the bell rang. At the start of the second round, Reinhardt picked up where he left off in the first round and took Hoback down. Reinhardt kept the pace fast and a winded Hoback was later back-mounted and submitted via rear-naked choke.
When asked about his training background, Hoback said that he wrestled since the eighth grade and in high school. He stated that he has had limited training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and capoeira. As a last minute match up for Reinhardt, Hoback said he accepted the fight because he is a self-trained fighter and that it would give him an opportunity to train himself more in MMA. The last minute decision afforded him three days to prepare for the bout.
“I knew that if I could fight him, it would be an opportunity…I learned so much just at this one fight so I took it. To be the champion you have to beat the champion, and he is definitely one,” said Hoback.
As part of a stable of fighters from Vanguard Gym, Reinhardt drew upon the deep knowledge and experience of his coaches and teammates. However, the champion remained humble when discussing his win. “I feel great about the win…I never, ever, underestimate anyone I step into the cage with. I train 100% to my capabilities to prepare for that person. I believe that nothing is deserved, you have to earn it. You have to get in there and earn the food on your plate…”
In the lighter weight championship title fight, Josh Anderson of Ferocity MMA (Maryland) defended his title against Varon Webb of White Lion MMA. A three round battle resulted in a split decision in favor of Anderson.
1. Justin Rodgers (The Lab MMA, Fredericksburg, Va.) wins via second round TKO against Will Smith (Team Scorpion, Maryland)
2. Duy Le (Vanguard Gym, Manassas, Va.) wins via unanimous decision over Cody Baker
3. Jonathan Vinyard (Capital Jiu Jitsu, northern Va.) wins via second round TKO over Jordan Harthman (Ferocity MMA)
4. Stan Myaskovsky (Capital Jiu Jitsu, northern Va.) wins via first round rear-naked choke over Daniel Lucas
5. Rick Rueda (KAFN MMA-Richmond, Va.) wins via unanimous decision over Dominique Buck
6. Jason Denk (Quantico-Marines) wins via TKO over Chris Warden (Team Scorpion, Maryland)
7. Dezmond Calimpong (Blueridge Martial Arts) wins by second round KO over Dale Steward (KAFN MMA-Richmond)
8. Jonathan Anderson (Ferocity MMA, Maryland) wins by split decision over Varon Webb (White Lion MMA)
9. Braden Reinhardt (Vanguard Gym) wins by second round rear-naked choke over Cameron Hoback (Independent)
Success has been a common theme in the last two Operation Octagon events for the MMA Institute. Winning all three of their muay thai bouts at the Thai Championship Boxing event in January 2011 and capturing two Operation Octagon MMA titles in October 2010 has showed strong performances in the event series. Hard work in preparation for the fights is the philosophy of Head Trainer Rick McCoy.
“All our classes are geared for fighting,” he said. “Some of my guys put in five or six hours a day.”
Rick McCoy brings a wealth of experience to his team. He first got his start in martial arts in judo in the third grade, then went on to wrestle for almost 10 years before starting in Brazilian jiu jitsu (1995). He fought in Vale Tudo (now known as mixed martial arts) and received his black belt in BJJ from Kazeka Muniz. He is currently based out of the MMA Institute Headquarters in Richmond, VA with several other locations also producing fighters. “Between the four MMA Institutes, we have over 100 fighters,” he says.
When asked about his team’s success, McCoy credits his coaching staff for their breadth and depth of knowledge in different arts. Coaches for disciplines such as Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay thai, boxing, and wrestling are provided. As an example, he mentioned that “the boxing coach just does one on one coaching with the fighters,” he said. “I have a great coaching staff.”
Strength and conditioning is also a major part of the program. He takes a straight forward approach and states that it is all about hard work.
Part of his MMA training philosophy comes from his roots in jiu jitsu. He believes heavily in training with the gi for MMA fights. He states that, “I know for a fact that the best grapplers in the world do gi work.” He is also a big believer in matching his fighters up with tough competition, especially at the amateur level. As an example, he mentions that at Thai Championship Boxing, “they all had tough fights…Having them fight tough fights are important.”
ELKRIDGE, Md. – A powerfully built Burmese man winds up and throws a kick into thai pads while others in the room look on. The controlled power in his strikes are evident, but it is more than just fighting that this pro MMA competitor is interested in. It is teaching.
Coaching and fighting is Aung La N Sang’s way of life at Crazy88 BJJ Martial Arts Academy. The soft spoken fighter started in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Team Carlson Gracie and also started training muay thai at the age of 18. Sang was familiar with martial arts in his homeland of Burma where the style known as “Leithwei” was well ingrained in the culture. Picking up muay thai came naturally to him due to the similarities of the arts.
Seven years of training muay thai and also training in BJJ has brought success to his career. He states that his current MMA record is 12-5, where he has also won fights by submission.
At Crazy88, Sang’s philosophy for teaching new students is to keep it simple. He starts with the stance and basic movement, then later shows basic punches and combinations. He avoids throwing too much technique at them so as not to confuse them. “I start from the ground up,” he said.
Crazy88 owner Julius Park discusses future plans for the muay thai program and aims to increase the activity of the team. Part of his plan is to add a full cage and ring at Crazy88.
When asked about the classes, muay thai student Maureen Tully from Hanover, Md. said, “I love the classes here… they are very focused on each individual’s progress. They have basics for the folks that are just starting out and they can handle the folks who have been here for a while so they can mix it up in one class.”
Calendar of events in February for the martial arts community in DC, VA, and MD.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS AND MUAY THAI FIGHTING
2/12 BattleFC – Valentine’s Day Massacre at the Armory
Description: Mixed Martial Arts Bouts!
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
2/12 Spartyka Fight League, SFL II: The Return
Description: Mixed Martial Arts Bouts!
Virginia Beach Field House
2157 Landstown Road, Virginia Beach 23456
2/18-2/20 WKA North American Combat Sports Championships
Tournaments for MMA, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Submission Wrestling
Description: Winners get a chance to compete at the WKA World Championships! Guest seminars by Rob “The Dutchman” Kaman and Roberto “The Spider” Traven!
Hampton Roads Convention Center
1610 Coliseum Drive
2/18 Valley Fight League, VFL 30 MMA in the Valley
Description: Mixed Martial Arts Bouts!
711 Millwood Ave
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU & SUBMISSION WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS
2/5 Abu Dhabi 2011 World Pro NJ
Description: BJJ tournament qualifiers. Winners will win an all expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi to compete in the Abu Dhabi World Championships. $4000.00 to winner of Brown/Black Belt Absolute division.
Jersey City Armory
678 Montgomery Street
Jersey City, NJ
2/18-2/20 WKA North American Combat Sports Championships
Tournaments for Brazilian Jiu JItsu, Submission Wrestling, MMA, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing
Description: Winners get a chance to compete at the WKA World Championships! Guest seminars by Roberto “The Spider” Traven and Rob “The Dutchman” Kaman!
Hampton Roads Convention Center
1610 Coliseum Drive
FREE YOGA IN DC
Free Yoga: Sunday Salutations with Lululemon
Weekly on Sundays, 12:00pm
Georgetown in Washington DC
Lululemon Athletica, 3265 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
FREE FITNESS BOOT CAMPS IN DC
Free Boot Camp Fridays
Georgetown Waterfront Park
3100 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Weekly on Fridays, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Free Boot Camp Sundays
Weekly on Sundays, 8:00am–9:00am
Georgetown Waterfront Park, 3100 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
ELKRIDGE, Md. – On a Sunday in January, a large amount of students came to classes to train “>Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai to get a good work out and learn self defense. Fighters sharpened their skills as the sounds of strikes reverberated off the walls. The training occurred at the Team Lloyd Irvin affiliate academy known as Crazy88 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Current owner Julius Park (a BJJ brown belt) originally started Crazy88 as a way for him to get more training in. The Cornell graduate was working two jobs and was looking for more days to train closer to Elkridge and reduce commute times. A suggestion from Master Lloyd Irvin to start his own school resulted in the start of Crazy88 BJJ in 2005.
Fast forward to 2011 and Crazy88 is a bustling academy with programs in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay thai, mixed martial arts, and childrens self defense. The 9000 sq. ft facility has 3 large training rooms of similar size and almost fully covered mat spaces. Clean entry ways and rest rooms can be seen by visitors before their entrance into the large mat rooms. One mat room is partially fenced and has heavy bags and thai gear for muay thai and MMA. In a third large room, more training space is available along with barbells and dumb bells for the students. Separate rooms for changing are also available.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu program consists of regular students looking for a good work out and serious competitors who travel to international tournaments to compete. When asked about his team’s accomplishments, Julius mentioned successes in 2010 such as three world medalists and a silver medal in the Pan-American Championships, all in the adult divisions. Competitors such as John Delbrugge (double bronze, Purple Belt Weight & Open Division in the Mundials) and Evan Gideon (first place, Blue Belt division, Mundials) have made their marks and will look to compete at tournaments outside of the country in 2011. Julius also highlighted his team’s success at the 2010 Chicago International Open and the program’s proven track record for building successful home grown competitors with no prior grappling experience.
Julius is equally committed to the success of his muay thai program which was started two years ago. The students on Sunday worked with muay thai instructor and pro MMA fighter Aung La N Sang. Sang brings 7 years of muay thai experience and has a 12-5 pro record in MMA. When asked about muay thai at Crazy88, Sang stated that “…we’re dedicated, so just watch out for us.”
The mixed martial arts program also supports regular classes and fight team competitors. Prospective students who are interested in learning MMA can participate in regular classes and fight team competitors can train in rigorous environments. When asked about MMA training, Julius commented that there are some schools that just put guys in without the proper training. He sites requirements for his students who want to fight in MMA to compete heavily in grappling tournaments and muay thai smokers. For fighters like John Delbrugge, the two years of preparation paid off when he won his first MMA bout at Absolute Annihilation (2010) in the first round. “We want you to be prepared,” said Julius.
With all the success that he has experienced with his academy, he wanted to thank Master Lloyd. “That’s because he helped me a lot,” he said. “At the end of the day…we are just trying to have better lives because of (martial arts)…but in order to do that, sometimes we have to put ourselves under stresses and go under training…the end goal was never just fighting.”
GAITHERSBURG, Md. – The fight team at Evolve Academy is busy this winter and will feature four fighters in the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) North American Championships in Hampton, Va. on February 18, 2011. One of the fighters is Calder Wilson, last year’s first place winner of the Junior’s K-1 Division at the WKA Nationals.
Wilson takes the MMA class and does SoldierFit conditioning at Evolve Academy to supplement his fighter training for the WKA Nationals. When asked about the MMA class, he stated that it “helps me learn different combinations. Different ways to surprise them.” He also stated that the instructors “kind of pick apart my strengths and weaknesses so they make me better.”
Watch the video as Master Mike Moses teaches the MMA class how to defend against the overhand right.
GAITHERSBURG, Md. – The popularity of the UFC has brought public interest in mixed martial arts to an all time high. The promotions and the hype of these events often bring misconceptions to fans who may not know mixed martial arts practioners that can clear up these misconceptions. Master Mike Moses, a Vale Tudo fighter from the mid 90′s and now the owner of Evolve Academy, trains his fight team and interacts with new prospects on a daily basis. Part of his job as head instructor is being brutally honest.
Promoters in the early 90′s in the U.S. presented MMA as “no rules fighting” where fighters could kick below the waist, take their opponents down, and choke them until they “tapped out.” Some MMA promoters even marketed the fact that people were protesting about their events. This was a tactic that turned against the sport when some states started to outlaw the events. Some of the opponents of MMA viewed the events as “street brawls” with no rules. When asked about the view of MMA being a “barbaric” event, Master Moses started out by saying, “MMA is a sport so there are rules and regulations…” One of his examples included a comparison between boxing and MMA. “When you are in the cage, you have one person in front of you,” he said. “Yes, they have a lot of options, whether they are punching, kicking, kneeing, going to the ground, or clinching, but that’s what makes it safer than boxing where you stand toe to toe and hit each other in the head multiple times…these are things that make our sport relatively safe.”
Some people see TV shows such as the Ultimate Fighter and think that you have to fight in the Octagon if you want to train in MMA. This could be a deterrent to people that have an honest interest in MMA as self defense or just getting in shape. When asked about this issue, Master Moses stated, “a lot of people do my personal defense system which is MMA for the streets and they never want to fight, and we have people in here that are doing fighter training but never want to get in the ring because they have families and jobs but they want to train with the fighters…you see guys in here that aren’t fighters that are in fighter training.”
Major highlights of the UFC are watching the knockouts and the submissions on fight night. Many fans flock to MMA schools to try to be MMA fighters to be able to do these feats. Some of these fans don’t quite understand what the risk is when you step into the cage. Master Moses responded to this issue stating “I tell everybody…You gotta be prepared to die…It is a sport to where we are trying to make physical contact with each other and you can get hurt, but the risk for these shows are minimal just because how much protection there is for the fighters.” He points out the usage of referees who are trained to identify potentially dangerous situations and stop the fight, but also caveated that although a fighter’s coach may stop the fight, the coach may not be well qualified. “The main risk is if you aren’t at a qualified school that understands that there are steps and stages for people before you step into the cage.” He points out that in his program it is a year long process before even being looked at if you have no prior martial arts experience of significance to MMA fighting.
When asked what he says to new prospects who want to fight but don’t have any knowledge of his training systems, he stated “You either start as a white belt or you go to a different academy…You aren’t going to fight for me unless you are prepared…My whole thing is keeping you safe.” He says that he has seen a lot of guys that say they want to fight, but don’t want to start with the foundations of his programs and show humility. For these people he says, “Right away that tells me I can’t train you…if you can’t put on a white belt, I can’t coach you.”
Results of Colton Smith’s first pro bout in M-1 Global!
The current Barbarian Fight Club Middleweight Champion earned his title the old fashioned way through hard work and perseverance at Vanguard Gym in Manassas, Va. Colton Smith is 5-1 as an amateur MMA fighter with all five of his wins ending in the first round. The only blemish on his record was a split decision loss in his title defense at Operation Octagon. Smith makes his drive evident in training and in the ring using the motivation he receives from his family and the military to push through the fight.
“I’m a Staff Sergeant in the Army,” said Smith, who is currently stationed at the Pentagon. He found time while serving on deployment all over the world to teach grappling to his fellow soldiers after starting wrestling at an early age in Iowa and training at the Relson Gracie Academy in El Paso, TX. “I started wrestling when I was 4 years old,” he said.
He credits his military training for much of his success in mixed martial arts. “It’s helped me a lot with my intestinal fortitude to drive on…to persevere through everything…” he said. His role in the military also gives him the drive in the ring to fight hard through his matches. “I try to stay honest as much as possible for my soldiers. That’s my biggest drive in the military…setting an example for my soldiers who are underneath me.”
Smith also talked about the importance of his family. He credits his wife (Megan) for supporting his efforts when he is focused on training. “She really supports me…the rest of my family as well…my mother, my father, and my siblings, they all come to my fights,” he said. “When I get a little bloody they don’t like it but that’s what I do…”
His plans now at age twenty three are to go pro in MMA, a plan that Doug Esposito (his coach) also expressed for later this year. “I believe I am ready,” said Smith.
Smith also pointed out his one year old son and his brother (Braden Reinhardt) as very important motivators in his life. He said of his son that “If he wants to wrestle or do any kind of combat sports I’m totally behind him.” Reinhardt also fought on the Barbarian Fight Club card defeating his opponent by TKO in the first round. “He fought on the card at 170…he destroyed his opponent…he’s a big motivator for me,” said Smith.
Smith also wanted to thank his current sponsors, RangerUp.com, Bulldog Demolition, and Woodbridge Chiropractic.
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Barbarian Fight Club 2011 event was held at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds on January 15, 2011. The last fight and co-main event of the evening pitted Keyon “Hands of Stone” Wilkins (5-2) of Team No Limit MMA in South Hill, VA against Daniel “Yeager-Bomb” Yeagley (6-8) of Emit MMA in Fredericksburg, VA. On the line for the bout was the BFC Featherweight Championship Title.
Yeagley pulled guard in the 1st round and attempted submissions on Wilkins from the bottom position. Wilkins defended and throughout the rounds began to wear down Yeagley with strikes, takedowns, and ground and pound. Wilkins avoided continued submission attempts and was never swept by his opponent. He continued to attack by striking his opponent on his feet and on the ground. The fight was controlled by Wilkins for most of the bout. In the last minute of the fifth and final round, Yeagley threatened an arm-in guillotine choke on Wilkins, but Wilkins defended to hold off the submission until the horn was rung. The bout ended with Wilkins the victor and the Featherweight Champion.
Title Bout Quick Results:
Bantamweight Title (Co-Main Event of Evening Show)
Nate “The Outlaw” Miller (Viet Le’s World Karate-Alexandria, VA) wins by 1st round TKO over Joe “The Menace” Stringfield (Combat Sports Management)
Middleweight Title (Main Event of Matinee Show)
Colton Smith (Vanguard Gym-Manassas, VA) wins by 1st round rear naked choke over Gary “The Goat” Wilkins (Team No Limit MMA)
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Doug Esposito’s Vanguard Gym participated in the Barbarian Fight Club 2011 MMA Event at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds on January 15, 2011. The event featured two shows including the matinee and main card in the evening. MMA fighters from all over the US faced off in a packed house. Vanguard Gym was represented by Colton Smith (5-1) and Bradon Reinhardt (2-0).
Colton Smith headlined the featured fight in the matinee show with the BFC 185 lb Championship Title on the line against Gary “The Goat” Wilkins of Team No Limit MMA (South Hill, VA). Wilkins took the fight on short notice after Smith’s original opponent backed out of the fight.
The promoter was on stage during the weigh-ins asking if anyone would fight Smith and Wilkins responded that he would take the fight. This was Wilkins’ first fight in MMA. Smith later said, “I looked him in the eye and he was serious about it. He definitely didn’t back down. I’ll give him that much.”
On fight night, tensions reached a peak as the fighters stood infront of each other while the referee explained the rules in the hexagon. “He kind of dug his forehead into mine,” said Smith. “It got me pumped up.” At the start of the match, Smith shot in quickly for the takedown and put Wilkins on the ground. Smith used strikes after gaining the mount to make his opponent turn and put on a rear naked choke for the win and title. The fight ended at approximately 2 minutes in the first round.
Vanguard Gym Fighter Bradon Reinhardt faced off against Jose De La Rosa of Team Hammer (Pennsylvania) later in the evening. Reinhardt clinched his opponent after some brief strikes were thrown and took him down. He moved to the mount and reigned down strikes until the bout was stopped at approximately 2 minutes into the first round.
When asked about his MMA team’s performance, BJJ Black Belt Doug Esposito stated, “I’m really proud of Colton and Bradon.” The next steps for the team included plans to go to the next level. “Colton’s entry to the pro ranks later this year is going to shake things up in his weight class, and Bradon has some amateur belts on his to do list this year before he follows on the pro ranks,” said Esposito.
WASHINGTON, DC – The MMA Millionnaire Blueprint event held on January 6-9, 2011 attracted approximately 300 attendees from all over the world. MMA fighters, competitors, and school owners went to the event to learn Master Lloyd Irvin’s marketing and operational strategies for running a successful business. Here are some of the pictures from the historic event!
HERNDON, Va. – Fairfax Jiu Jitsu has an MMA class that is held throughout the week for both fighters who are serious about competition and students who just want to stay in shape. Bill Easlick is the head MMA instructor of the general classes and the MMA fight team. Watch Matt Nielsen, Bryan Lane, and the rest of the team as they conduct controlled sparring and grappling rounds.
WASHINGTON, DC – Master Lloyd Irvin presented the 2010 Marketer of the Year Award at his MMA Millionnaire Blueprint event at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel on January 8, 2011. Candidates from the local area were Julius Park of Crazy88 BJJ and Nakapan Phungephorn of BETA Academy. Representing New York was Justin “Chim Chim” Garcia of Jungle Gym and Marcos Avellan of the Freestyle Fighting Academy in Florida. The winner was selected by secret ballots casted by approximately 300 conference attendees from all over the world.
Master Lloyd began by discussing the hard work that the candidates have done throughout the year and the seriousness of the award taken by the Titanium and Platinum Mastermind groups. He also mentioned that there’s “been a lot of trash talking” among the friendly business associates. The stakes were high and there was no second place. Top honors received full bragging rights and the title of Marketer of the Year.
The competitors battled it out in a line up that could have passed as a pro grappling division. Each participant gave a 15 minute presentation describing success stories and lessons learned as head instructors and business owners of their respective academies. The gauntlet was thrown down well before the event and continued at the start of the presentations with Nakapan Phungephorn first on deck. Friendly ribbing and trash talk accompanied the descriptions of value added marketing processes and solutions for increasing sales. Each candidate took turns describing humble beginnings starting their organizations. Julius Park described his start up when he saved up left over grant money originally intended for graduate school to buy mats and start his own business. Marcos Avellan held nothing back when he described how he battled back from depression and alcohol use to lead a current school system of over 1000 students.
The presentations were completed and the ballots were casted in for tabulation. Each presenter was met in the grand hall during the break by martial arts school owners hungry for knowledge about how they got their schools established. Separate circles formed around candidates and each looked like a rock star surrounded by fans and groupies eager to hear more about their experiences. One candidate was even sought out for business advice while in the restroom.
Master Lloyd received the results and awarded the title based on a landslide victory to Justin “Chim Chim” Garcia. The outspoken martial arts coach from the Bronx won the crowd with his presentation skills starting with his philosophy about getting things done. During his presentation he described how he mailed a set of “brass balls” to an associated to help motivate him to take tough action. “One day I just felt compelled to mail it to him,” said Garcia.
The New Yorker continued his presentation by passing out marketing material used for student retention, development, and future sales. Maintaining integrity was also an important part of his work. “If you use devious tactics you will get devious students,” he said. During an interview he stated that since joining the mastermind group he has increased value by $30.00 per student. Garcia currently has two locations with a tiered program for developing instructors. He also has two different tracts for students who are serious about fighting or just want to get in shape.
After years of competing in brazilian jiu jitsu and submission wrestling tournaments, the Abu Dhabi competitor stated that “Marketing is not competition championships.” He noted that his delineation between mat skills and running an effective business was helped by his participation in Lloyd Irvin’s Mastermind Programs stating “master minding is what I needed to do. That was the missing link.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Lloyd Irvin’s MMA Millionnaire Blueprint event was held on January 6-9 2011 at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in southwest DC. The event was billed as a superconference for martial arts academy owners focused on reaching or exceeding their goals of financial success. The four day seminar attracted approximately 300 fighters, competitors, and school owners from the US, Canada, and international countries such as Serbia, China, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The event also drew UFC, Olympic, Abu Dhabi, and BJJ World Championship title holders and competitors to the DC metro area.
The conference goers were educated and trained for four days through presentations that included marketing strategies, operational tactics, and details of first hand experiences from Lloyd Irvin, Marcos Avellan, Vicki Irvin, and Bill Glazer (Lloyd Irvin’s Marketing Mentor). Mastermind consultation was given by panelists such as Julius Park, Nakapan Phungephorn, and Justin “Chim Chim” Garcia. Aspects of accounting and legal protection were also discussed as integral parts of MMA organizations.
One of the highlights of the event included an interview with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz. Cruz started by discussing obstacles he encountered early in his career such as working out at a gym where he felt the coaches did not recognize his “heart and desire”. Some basic components of training were not readily available to him at that time, such as having a partner to hold mits for him. He stated that he coached himself through his first nine fights and often learned by sparring and shadow boxing without any technical instruction. Lloyd Irvin, Cruz’s jiu jitsu coach, stated that he “is hungry for knowledge” and that “he is probably one of the most humble guys out there.”
The general response to the event was overwhelming. When asked by the presenters, the crowd of participants repeatedly affirmed that they would have paid significantly more than the original fee to attend the event had they known the value they would have received. Results of the workshops started trickling in before the conclusion of the event. For example, it was announced over the microphone that MMA fighter and academy owner Muhsin Corbbrey directed his staff in Georgia to implement the tactics learned from the workshops and successfully signed several new students to his academy. The international respect was also evident at the conference. For example, Sean-Dean Carelse from the United Kingdom stated that “This is probably the best event I’ve ever been to…We got basically gold for nothing.”
An additional highlight was the presentation of the 2010 Marketer of the Year Award to Justin “Chim Chim” Garcia of Jungle Gym (New York). This honor was awarded based on votes from the attendees of the conference.
CHANTILLY, VA – Ashley Weakley is the first female pro MMA fighter out of Team Leo Dalla and LA Boxing in northern Virginia. Her goal is to reach the elite level of women’s MMA and fight in Strikeforce. Check out this short video as she works out in a training session with her coach David ‘Fluffy’ Reeves. This MMA workout includes shadow boxing, pad & bag work, ground and pound, and strength and conditioning.
CHANTILLY, VA – The American flag is lit over the side of the boxing ring as the sun peaks into the gym. It is an early Sunday morning at LA Boxing and Ashley Weakley warms up for her work out. The female MMA fighter nicknamed “Baby Tyger” leaves her 4-1 amateur record behind and prepares for her pro debut on April 1, 2011. The Victory Fight Championship is her next event and she is a pioneer of sorts in the area. Breaking the ranks of the pro female MMA divisions is an accomplishment unto itself and it took a lot of hard to work to get there.
Her MMA coach David Reeves walks next to the matted area and signals the start of ring work. He wears a shirt that has the Team Leo Dalla insignia, a brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) team of which Weakley is also a part of. The 5’8″ 135 lb female fighter enters between the ropes and hops into the ring. She then begins her shadow boxing with jabs and crosses, followed by kicks and knees. After a round of shadow boxing, she leaps into the air doing burpees and sprawls. The sound of the bell reverberates off the walls, and a short rest period ensues. Then the process repeats.
Her MMA coach says that it’s time to do some pad work. He signals punches and kicks, counters and movement. Adjustments to technique are made, and she takes the corrections well. Reeves pays special attention to form, and does not let any details go unseen. Controlled muay thai strikes are exchanged and the rounds come to an end.
She proceeds to the side of the ring and approaches the heavy bags. At a short distance, muay thai combinations are thrown and the thumps against the bags can be heard from around the gym. Gym goers look to see who is hitting the bags, and they see that Weakley’s training is in progress.
She begins the ground and pound session with the use of heavy bags. Using BJJ knowledge from Team Leo Dalla, she bounces off the heavy bags using the “knee on belly” position, and throws strikes from the top position. Side mounts are practiced using flying knees to the bags. She springs off the ground and lands squarely with knees with the intent to punish her opponent. The strikes dig into the bags and she continues until the bell.
Weakley practices heavy bag lifts in the final round, arching her back and slamming the bag on the ground in an effort to burn out cardio. Her coach quietly has a trash can placed on the side of the mat for the fighter. His intent is serious when he says to her that defeat in MMA sometimes happens, but “we will never lose because we are tired.”
HERNDON, Va. – On a Saturday of the winter month of December, Bill Easlick, the mixed martial arts head coach at Fairfax Jiu Jitsu, has his team out on the mat for warm up. The class knows him as the head MMA instructor, and the students run through the warm up drill. As a native from the state of Ohio, Easlick has been through Division I wrestling at Kent State, MMA fights in caged rings, and grappling at BJJ & Submission Wrestling tournaments. When making a decision to move from his native state back to Virginia, Easlick was asked by his friend David Jacobs to participate in the operation of a new location for Fairfax Jiu Jitsu in 2007. “We’ve always been great friends,” said Easlick.
In a unified motion, the Fairfax Jiu Jitsu fighters and students at the MMA class steadily jog around the fenced area used for sparring. One fighter after another aimed to warm himself up with constant movement. Slowly, the temperature began to rise as the cold of winter pressed against the high walls of the training compound. In preparation for the ensuing sparring session, each fighter prepared his focus, loosened his limbs, and bounced around the edge of the mat.
The floor was protected with pristine mats that had endured the battles that many people never get to see. Most spectators that witness the melee at mixed martial arts events only see the end result of long and arduous training camps. Few fans see the blood and sweat on the mat after a vigorous evening of training. The evidence of sparring disappears at the end of the training sessions, as the mats are cleanly washed with soap and disinfectant. “We believe in training hard and making each other better through that,” said Easlick.
At the sound of the bell, the warriors commence their training. In a controlled atmosphere designed by the instructor, one group of fighters spar in MMA, another group practices no-gi grappling (on the ground), and the third group practices “dirty boxing.” Quickly, the temperature rises in the facility. Each fighter focuses on using technique and pushing their own cardio limits. Sweat beads down the head and body of the competitors, and no talking could be heard. Only the sounds of grunts from competitors climbing the mountain with their future goals in mind. When the sound of the bell blares in the room, the fighters switch partners and/or stations to work on different skills.
Matt Nielsen, the muay thai coach who fought in Japan, spars with the fighters. While training with the MMA students, muay thai strikes from many angles come from Nielsen. While using controlled strikes, he focuses mainly on the technique. Spinning elbows, knees to the body, punches to the head…what could be lit with deadly force is constrained to motion through control.
Bryan Lane, the Welterweight Champion of Operation Octagon, engages in MMA sparring with his teammates. His precision shows when he lands throws and takedowns in a controlled way. Signs of his hard work are evident, showing the tenacity that won him the Operation Octagon title. “Coaching wise and teammate wise, this is a good group of people and they have plenty of resources…” said Lane.
When asked to describe his MMA team, Easlick went on to describe the importance of transitions. “I believe my guys are very good and they have a great understanding technically of transitions…they mix in striking and grappling together,” said Easlick. As an examples, he went on to say, “When they are in the clinch it is not just limited to a muay thai clinch or a greco or wrestling, they are able to dirty box, and use muay thai and maybe hit a judo trip…into a wrestling single leg…it is a big transition game.”
HERNDON, VA – In the suburbs of northern, VA, lies the martial arts academy known as Fairfax Jiu Jitsu. Owned as a partnership by local martial artists David Jacobs, Mark Jones, and Sam Kim, the 10,000 sq. ft martial arts facility has programs and classes for developing fighters and students in brazilian jiu jitsu, mixed martial arts, muay thai, and capoeira.
Stationed at the entrance of the training complex is the NHBGear.com MMA store, owned by Fairfax Jiu Jitsu partner and BJJ practitioner Sam Kim. NHBGear.com is known for hosting the jiu jitsu forum where many knowledgeable jiu jitsu practioners discuss news about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, submission grappling, and other related topics.
After passing by the dressing rooms, the guests notice that the mat space is divided into two separate large training areas. Both areas have sizable mat space, with one room having a partially fenced area for MMA practice. Both rooms have areas for matted wall space to partially simulate a ring and octagon environment. Future plans for increased amounts of training equipment include the addition of a ring and more strength & conditioning equipment. Currently, practitioners of the striking arts make use of the heavy Fairtex bags and available muay thai pads.
As BJJ black belt instructors, David Jacobs and Mark Jones each provide over 10 years of experience in brazilian jiu jitsu and coach students in the Yamasaki Jiu Jitsu affiliated program. Jacobs, a well respected grappler with a long list of grappling achievements, recently released a video on YouTube analyzing a guard pass used by UFC fighter Mark Bocek to pass Dustin Hazelett’s rubber guard at UFC 124. Also included in the curriculum is a no-gi grappling class taught by Jacobs. Mark Jones is the Head Instructor of the Children’s Program and has, among his achievements, won gold in the Pan American Championships in 2005 and 2006 (Brown Belt Masters & Senior divisions).
Producing regularly successful fighters is no easy task. For mixed martial arts, Bill Easlick, a former MMA fighter with a 2-1 record, is head coach and instructor of the MMA fight team and MMA class. Easlick has coached successful fighters such as Bryan Lane, Hiro Perera, and Kasim Nawaz. As an MMA coach, he states that his overall team’s record is 17-5.
To prepare fighters for the ring and provide students with more options for striking arts, Muay Thai classes are offered. Thai Boxing Instructor Matt Nielsen, a veteran of the Navy, began training in Muay Thai over 15 years ago and won 3 matches in Japan. Since 2004, he has been traveling to Thailand to train at famous camps such as Fairtex Gym and Sinbi Muay Thai to bring back training techniques to Fairfax Jiu Jitsu.
Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art characterized by rhythmic instruments, aerial movements, and martial arts techniques, is also offered at Fairfax Jiu Jitsu. Yara Cordeiro, a Capoeira instructor with over 12 years of teaching experience, has taught Capoeira at international workshops around the world. As a practitioner of over 25 years, Cordeiro has published three books and competed at the national and international level of Capoeira.
* Sources for martial arts experience include interviews and Fairfax Jiu Jitsu website at http://www.fairfaxjj.com/instructors.html
“Vin Diesel” took his opponent down and pounded him in the mount to win his match in the Absolute Annihilation MMA event. Well, not really “Vin Diesel”, but someone who resembles the action movie star. Three years ago, EJ Mecklenburg walked into the Yamasaki Academy with a shaved head, and the rest is history. “From the day I walked in the door, Master Fernando (Yamasaki) called me Vin Diesel,” said EJ. “Once you get your nickname, you’re stuck with it for life…that’s the one they gave me.”
EJ entered into the ring for the first time at Absolute Annihilation. After months of training, the hard work payed off with 1-0 start to his amateur MMA career.
“I was just excited. I was just stunned that it was over so quickly,” said EJ.
As a former collegiate wrestler at American University and Western Maryland, EJ has competed in various Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Submission Wrestling tournaments in the US. Some of his wins include 3rd place in the 2010 Pan American Championships (207 weight class, blue belt division), and 3rd place in the No-Gi World Championships (202 weight class, blue belt). EJ is a strong believer in competing in tournaments, stating that “competition really shows your growth.”
His start in BJJ started three years ago when a co-worker walked in with a Yamasaki Jiu Jitsu (YJJ) shirt. After a conversation with his co-worker, EJ decided to go check out the Yamasaki Academy in Rockville, MD. “I just walked in one day and started training the next… and never stopped going,” said EJ.
When asked why he decided to step in the MMA cage, EJ stated that fighting had been on his mind for a long time and that he was always looking for new challenges. “I got tired of talking about doing it and just did it,” he said.
Not to take any time off, EJ was at the Yamasaki Academy on Monday training for up coming BJJ tournaments. He also plans to continue working on his muay thai under Instructors Sergio Cabrerra, Scott Drummand, and Diego Peclat, all at the Team Yamasaki camp.
“I’m grateful for everyone that put in time to help me for this. Everyone was just awesome,” he said.
On Dec. 18 at the Absolute Annihilation MMA event, Jon Delbrugge shot in immediately at the beginning of the round and took his opponent down. After establishing the mount, his opponent scrambled off his back and got on to his feet. Delbrugge, still on the attack, executed another takedown and established the top position. From the top, Delbrugge began firing strikes, which led to a referee stoppage of the bout (TKO) at just under two minutes.
“I’m not out to hurt anyone…but I do know what kind of sport this is…He would have done the same to me,” said Delbrugge. “I talked to him in the morning and he’s okay.”
Training in martial arts at Crazy88 (Elkridge, Md.) is what Delbrugge has been doing for the past two and a half years. In high school, he was primarily a football and hockey athlete, with a brief stint in wrestling in his senior year. While in college at a Division II football program and pursuing a shot at the NFL, he found another calling: mixed martial arts.
“Right before my senior year, I found jiu-jitsu…I found jiu-jitsu because I wanted to do MMA,” said Delbrugge.
In order to pursue MMA, he left college and started training at Crazy88. The academy, run by Julius Park, started Delbrugge training in its Brazilian jiu-jitsu program. It was there that he started his competitive martial arts career. Among some of his wins in BJJ were a bronze medal at the Pan American Championships (purple belt weight and open division), gold at the U.S. Open in Santa Cruz (purple belt absolute), and gold in the brown belt division of the NAGA World Championships (N.J.).
“I absolutely fell in love with the gi,” said Delbrugge.
Getting ready for his MMA bout was not without it’s challenges. Delbrugge currently follows a rigorous training program to make himself ready for the ring and other combat sports events. For his MMA fights (in which he is 2-0), a detailed schedule of up to three training sessions a day was used. Training at Crazy88 (BJJ, MMA, and muay thai), strength and conditioning with Advanced Sports Performance, and training with the pro team at Team Lloyd Irvin headquarters in Camp Springs comprised the work load for his last fight. As a brief comment about his work in Camp Springs, Delbrugge stated, “it is brutal.”
For future plans, he plans to stay as active as possible. In addition to his training for competitions, he is a full time instructor at Crazy88. “I’m always going to be in the sport training and teaching because that is what I am. I am an instructor and I’m a student of the game…I want to be involved in this for the rest of my life.”
With the his planned participation in the European Open Jiu-Jitsu Championships for early January 2011, Delbrugge took no breaks from training even after his fight. A series of international jiu-jitsu tournaments will be coupled by his training in muay thai and MMA. “Towards the end of 2011, we’re gonna try and squeeze in some more MMA fights,” he said. “Also in 2011, I will be spending a few months in Thailand.”
When asked about his team, Delbrugge remained humble and said, “I truly believe if I was not a part of Crazy88 and Team Lloyd Irvin, there is no way I would be close to where I am now.”
MANASSAS, VA – In the cold winter night of December 18, 2010, the first bout of the Absolute Annihilation MMA event was set between Peter Petties of the Fight Craftsman Gym in Columbia, Maryland and Ricky Rom of Team Fight Junkies (Georgia). The match up set the pace for the event with some quick action in the first round. After a brief clinch, Petties scored a double leg takedown that landed Rom on his back. Working in and out of Rom’s half guard from the top position, Petties used strikes to keep his opponent down and looking for answers. After a barrage of punches from the top position, the referee ended the fight for the TKO.
Watch Petties as he uses his ground and pound to end the fight in the first round.
MANASSAS, Va. – The early part of the Absolute Annihilation show on December 18, 2010, brought on Crazy88 MMA Fighter Jon Delbrugge (Team Lloyd Irvin), against Robert Ruby of Dauntless MMA. A quick takedown from Delbrugge at the beginning of the 1st round set the pace as Delbrugge controlled the match and launched a flurry of punches from the top position to win the fight by TKO. Watch the video to see the referee’s stoppage of the fight in the first round.
MANASSAS, VA – On December 18, 2010 the East Coast Combat Club held the MMA event, “Absolute Annihilation”, at the Prince William County Fairgrounds. Among the fighters were Team Yamasaki MMA competitor, Edward “Diesel” Mecklenburg. Check out the fight footage to watch Mecklenburg reigning down punishment in the first round.
GAITHERSBURG, MD – As old man winter descended upon the DC area, the students of Evolve Academy looked for news ways to keep in shape. The participants in the Primal Skills class were looking for a mix of styles, to keep them in shape during the holiday season.
From the beginning, the instructors kept the pace fast, but measured for each individual. MMA fighters could prepare for their fights, and regular students could get their workout. The coaches offered plenty of motivation.
After a brisk warm up, the pace quickened with wrestling drills and jiu jitsu movements to start working the legs. After the drills, the students were instructed to do pad rounds using timed interval training. “We did a bunch of different punch and kick sequences,” said Brooke Carrier, a student at Evolve.
The instructors then peppered in rounds of calisthenics and kept the students guessing.
The next phase showed the instructor setting up multiple stations for the students. Jumping squats, rope exercises, hill climbers, and agility drills would headline the exercises. Each student was pushing to get to the next round.
“The instruction is excellent…I love the class,” said Martin Clark, a Primal Skills student.
The finale had the students doing body weight exercises on heavy bags and practicing “ground and pound” tactics. Students looked to finished not just for themselves, but as teammates.
GAITHERSBURG, Md. – On the day before Thanksgiving, Mike Moses and his instructors watched as the Evolve Academy students clawed their way to the end of fight try-outs. Participants stood breathing with chests expanding and stomaches curling like at the end of a hard fought match. After the most difficult part of the event, Master Moses addressed his students, and laid out the expectations.
“Probably the most important attribute to a fighter is the mentality. Mental toughness,” said Zach Davis. Davis, a product of Mike Moses’ systems, is a mixed martial arts fighter with a pro record of 4-1 from Evolve Academy. Under the tutelage of Master Moses, Davis would step into the ring for the first time in 2006.
Many training sessions and fights froms the academy fighters would contribute to the body of knowledge that currently shapes the fight try-out process. Master Moses requires the input from his students to help make the fighters successful. “Whenever we go through a fight, we go through what worked and what didn’t work…and what we can improve,” said Davis.
Upon completion of the try-outs, the students quietly listened as the head instructor and coaching team addressed them one by one. When asked about the new crop of fighters in the making, Davis provided the insight that he learned from his instructor: “The main thing is that they need to be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices.”
Operation Octagon 13 on October 30, 2010, brought impressive fights to the Dulles Sportsplex in Sterling, VA. One of the bouts featured Junior Nascimento of Team Yamasaki vs. Vanguard Gym stalwart, Josh Crabtree. A light footed Nascimento used kicks, takedowns, and elbows against his opponent to win the match. Crabtree battled to the end, always coming back to bring the fight.
During the weekend of November 6, a pre-reception for the grand opening of Capitol Hill Martial Arts and Fitness Academy was held by business owners Nyjah Easton and Rita Floyd. Among the guests at the reception were fitness trainers (D’Angelo Kinard), martial artists, chefs, and fine arts painters. Easton and Floyd were most proud of an article in DC Magazine that featured them as entrepreneurs in the DC area.
November 18th brought the seminar of jiu jitsu World Champion, Andre Galvao, to Jeff Gordon’s MMA Academy in Gaithersburg, MD. Before the seminar, BJJ Brown Belt and academy owner, Jeff Gordon, taught the regular brazilian jiu jitsu class to his students. Here, Gordon shows an elevator sweep as his students look on.
In the suburbs of northern Virginia (Manassas), two martial artists from Vanguard Gym train for up coming bouts. A day of training consisted of strength and conditioning, grappling, sparring, and teaching muay thai classes. The hard work pays off as Reed Miller wins his debut at Operation Octagon.
Head Instructor of Capoeira, Carlos Lopes, teaches the acrobatics class at BETA Academy of Martial Arts. Estagiario Lopes’ Capoeira affiliation is with Oficina da Capoeira, which is an international association based in Brazil. Every other Friday, BETA Academy hosts an open Roda for Capoeira teams in DC, NoVA, and MD. At the open rodas, the capoeira practitioners form a circle and use instruments to play musical rhythms while the students and instructors partner up and practice their moves.
On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, Fight Team Try-Outs were held at at Mike Moses’ Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg, MD. The event was for students who were serious about fighting in mixed martial arts and muay thai events. Getting through the event does not offer any guarantees, but only creates an increased expectation to work harder.
During the event, hearts and wills were tested by doing continuous strength and conditioning exercises and martial arts activities. Instructions from Master Moses were very specific and delivered with intensity. Only one opportunity was given to listen. With coaches hustling, students grinded through various drill activities and physical challenges. Although in a very fatigued state, the participants were expected to maintain their focus and execute after each direction.
Under the watchful eyes of the coaches, the participants were tested against their limits. As the training intensified, the students would rely heavily on mental toughness to get through the evening.
After doing grueling exercises and challenges throughout the session, the participants were lined up at the end of the event. Master Moses addressed the students and layed out expectations from him and his coaching team. Moses, a veteran of the Marines, felt his students’ conditioning was above and beyond what it takes to be in the military. He noted to his students that this was just the beginning.
Listed below are a calendar of events. These include Mixed Martial Arts events (DC & VA), grappling tournaments (VA & NJ), free yoga events (DC), and a documentary of a man’s trip to Brazil (DC Theater).
Warrior Fighting Championship: The Second Coming
Saturday, November 27, 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Reva Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company
Fight Card: http://www.warriorfc.biz/November_27_Fight_Card.php
Documentary in Brazil: Waste Land (2010 Sundance Film Festival-Winner Audience Award of Best Cinema Documentary)
Friday, December 2, 2010
Documentary of a man’s trip back to Brazil to the world’s largest garbage dump on the outskirts of the city of Rio de Janeiro. He takes artistic photographs of the “catadores”, the inhabitants who pick recyclable materials.*
E Street Cinema, Washington DC
* Source: http://www.wastelandmovie.com/synopsis.html
Sahaja Yoga Meditation: Free Yoga Class
Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 7:00 PM
West End Neighborhood Library
Circle Yoga: Free Yoga Classes
Saturday, December 4, 2010, 12:30 to 1:30 PM
3838 Northampton St. NW
US Grappling – Submission Only
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Patrick Henry High School
Grapplers Quest: 2010 World Series of Grappling
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Asbury Park Convention Center
Asbury Park, NJ
DC Max 4: Legacy Fight Series
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Fur Night Club
Warrior Fighting Championship
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Copa Nova: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Winter Championships
Saturday, January 8, 2011
* picture used with permission from DC Max
Josh Tyler made his pro fighting debut at Shogun Fights 3 in Baltimore, Md. Using his wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills, he was able to take his opponent down and assert his will. Tyler was a former wrestler at Old Dominion University and was 7-0 as an amateur fighter. MMAinDC.com caught up with Josh Tyler after Shogun Fights 3 to hear more from the man himself.
MMAinDC.com: What camp do you fight out of and where do you train?
TYLER: I fight out of the Yamasaki Fight Team and I train in Mechanicsville, Va. at the Yamasaki Training Center. We are under the Yamasaki school based out of Rockville, Md.
MMAinDC.com: Who are your instructors?
MMAinDC.com: Describe your training background in martial arts.
TYLER: I first started about 3 years ago. I had been wrestling since middle school and once I finished competing at the college level I wanted to continue. I felt that MMA was a great avenue to pursue that. So the guys that I was actually wrestling with were training in MMA and fighting pretty well so I followed in their footsteps and started training in muay thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu…coupled that with my wrestling background…after about 6 months I had my first fight.
MMAinDC.com: What did you do for your preparation for this fight?
TYLER: For this fight it was basically what I do for all my fights. I do five days a week of cardio, weightlifting twice a week, and trained two to three times a day. For this fight I did a training camp in which I stayed in Rockville for an entire week just to get some extensive sparring in. We have a lot of guys come up for that purpose…did a good session there, that was pretty much the preparation.
MMAinDC.com: What was your strategy for this fight?
TYLER: Again, it is pretty straight forward for most of my fights. The game plan is to get the take down and work from there. Get the pass and finish. We got the submission via choke hold. That is really what I like to do. I like to strike. I work that a lot. I feel like if I get the guy on the mat, I’m going to finish a lot faster that way.
MMAinDC.com: Describe the ending of the fight.
TYLER: I took the guy down, passed his guard, and stepped over to mount…worked to try and get some strikes. I was looking to open him up with some elbows and he turned and bellied. Once he rolled to his belly, I put the double hooks in, and worked the rear naked choke and finished it there. Basically, once I got the forearm past the elbow that was it. Instead of the traditional rear naked choke, it was more like a (Dan) Severn type choke.
MMAinDC.com: What are your future plans in fighting and/or competing (e.g. Brazilian jiu-jitsu)?
TYLER: Hopefully I’ll be fighting again in March or April. I’d like to get at least 2 more pro fights so that when they do the next Ultimate Fighter television show I’ll be able to try out for that. Basically, just to fight and compete and work my way up…make it a career, make it into the UFC, and go from there. This is what I’d like to do for a living. Whatever it takes to get there is what I’m willing to do. At the moment I’m a highschool wrestling coach so I’ll be pretty busy working with them over the winter months so that’s why it will be so long until my next fight. Once that’s done, hopefully then I’ll start gearing up for the competition. Maybe mid March and then maybe show them again at the end of April.
I have competed in some jiu-jitsu tournaments and some boxing tournaments as well. If we feel that something like that was going to help in preparing for another fight I’m 100% open for doing that because I believe it will improve those areas by competing in those areas…a lot of that has to do with scheduling…I’m open to all of it. But it is based on really the schedule.
MMAinDC.com: Is there anything else you want to say?
TYLER: I really want to thank my teammates for coming in and working out with me. A lot of these guys have full time jobs and a lot of them took time off work to make it into the gym and work out with me in preparation for this and all my other fights. So without them, I really couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t compete because I wouldn’t have anyone to work with and nobody could push me. These guys are phenomenal…making me the nail in training so I can be the hammer when I fight…so I really appreciate all they’ve done in that area for me.
Shogun Fights Related Articles:
Shogun Fights 3 Recap
GAITHERSBURG, Md. – Zach Davis is a pro mixed martial arts fighter who knows adversity. Fighting out of Evolve Academy and Team Lloyd Irvin, Davis’ second round win over Diego Peclat in Shogun Fights 3 showed that he is back from his long layoff from fighting.
A year ago, after training 8 weeks for a fight, Davis went through a routine eye examination and received startling news. “The doctor said I had a torn retina” and “they would not clear me to fight”, said Davis. After going to several doctors, he was told that he needed to have surgery immediately. Davis said, “the doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to fight again.”
Fast forward to Shogun Fights 3. After a year off from fighting in the ring, Davis was finally cleared to fight by the doctors.
The training for this bout did not come easy. In order to prepare himself for the battle, Davis changed his whole diet. He worked out twice a day doing conditioning in the morning, and MMA training in the evening. This included a regiment of conditioning, striking, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. The training was done under the watchful eye of head instructor, Master Mike Moses and Coach Jason Morris. Making modifications to his strategy for the fight was also a very important part of his preparation. “My opponent changed about 2 weeks out from the fight…so my strategy changed”, said Davis.
While fighting in the second round, Davis said “I tried to stay on top and keep him down.” Eventually, Davis was able to move to the back, and sink in the choke.
When asked about his future plans, Davis said, “I’m living the dream right now…and am happy as hell to get back in the ring”. Davis stated that he is working with his fight manager and wants to “fight as much as possible.”
When asked if he had anything else to say, Davis remained humble and said that he wanted to “thank everyone” that supported him, including his family, Team Evolve, friends, medical professionals, fans, and everyone else who helped him with his come back to the ring.
MORE ZACH DAVIS ARTICLES ON MMAINDC.COM:
Zach Davis’ early days in Grapplers Quest
Davis talks about what it takes to make it onto a fight team
Photos of Davis at Shogun Fights 3
BALTIMORE, Md. – On Saturday, Nov. 13, Shogun Fights 3 was held at the 1st Mariner Arena. Shogun Fights is professional mixed martial arts (MMA) organization based out of Baltimore, Md. The event had celebrity appearances from MMA fighters such as Donald Cerrone, Leonard Garcia, and Mike Brown. Pro-MMA fighters from teams such as Ground Control, Team Lloyd Irvin, Team Yamasaki, and MASE Training came to compete in the event.
The action started out fast with the first five fights ending in the first round. Four of those fights ended by submission.
The heavyweight match featured 6’4″, 310 pound Ryan McGowan of Team Ground Control (Baltimore, Md.) vs. 350 pound Bob Favors (Triple Threat MMA). McGowan pinned his opponent to the fence to control the fight. A vicious knee to the body of Favors ended the fight by TKO in the first round.
Mike Baldwin (Grunge MMA) def. Mitch Bates (Clinch Academy), Armbar, 1st Round
Dan Root (Ground Control) def. Tony Galeano (Cavalcanti Jiu-Jitsu), Arm Triangle, 1st Round
Josh Tyler (Yamasaki Academy) def. Chauncey Gnagway (Damage, Inc.), Choke from the back*, 1st Round
* Tyler called this a “Dan Severn Choke”
Ryan Machin (Ground Control) def. Tim Wade (Star City Fight Club), Rear Naked Choke, 1st Round
Dustin Pague (MASE Training) def. Brett Thomas (Damage, Inc.), Tapout due to strikes, 1st Round
Dave Daniechi (Ground Control) def. Elder Ramos (Gold Medal Grappling), Unanimous Decision, 3 Rounds
Zach Davis (Evolve Academy) def. Diego Peclat (Yamasaki Academy), Rear Naked Choke, 2nd Round
Binky Jones (Ground Control) vs. Nick Bleser (Star City Fight Club), NO CONTEST due to unintentional knee to the head of Bleser by Jones while on the ground. Doctor’s stoppage.
Gerimyale Adkins (302 BJJ) def. Russell Shiflett (Ground Control), Unanimous Decision, 3 Rounds
Frank Lester (Team Quest) vs. Kevin Killian (Chi Delta Submission Judo), TKO Strikes, 1st Round
Ryan McGowan (Ground Control) def. Bob Favors (Triple Threat MMA), TKO Strikes, 1st round
Check out Shogun Fights related articles:
Current UFC Fighter (on The Ultimate Fighter 2011) — Zach Davis makes his comeback to the cage
Yamasaki Training Center fighter wins in first round at Shogun Fights 3
WASHINGTON, DC – Capitol Hill is the home to a new Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training academy. Local martial artists Rita Floyd and Nyjah Easton are the owners of Capitol Hill Martial Arts and Fitness Academy (MAFA). Both are competitors on the Team Lloyd Irvin competition team based in Camp Springs, MD. According to Rita Floyd, this is “the only women owned martial arts academy in the world focused on women and children’s Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”
The grand opening festivities occurred over the first weekend of November. Some of the introductory classes taught during the weekend included children’s self defense classes by Nyjah Easton, women’s strength and conditioning by D’Angelo Kinard, and other traditional martial arts offered to adult female students.
Nyjah Easton has been training martial arts since the age of 7. After attaining her brown belt in Tae Kwon Do, she pursued training at Team Lloyd Irvin Headquarters in Camp Springs, MD. Nyjah is a decorated grappler that has won many titles in her competitive career. She became the first Team Lloyd Irvin competitor to win a World Championship. This was accomplished in 2008 in the female Purple Belt division. In 2009, she won a Silver Medal in the Pan-American Championships in the Female Brown and Black belt division. Nyjah currently holds a brown belt under Master Lloyd Irvin and has been teaching kids classes for 10 years.
Rita Floyd first started her martial arts training in Kung Fu where she earned her black belt. She later started training with Team Lloyd Irvin in Muay Thai, followed by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As a competitor in the female blue belt division, she won Gold in the 2009 New York Open and Silver in the 2009 World Championships.
When asked about the future of the academy, Rita Floyd stated that the vision was to “be the epicenter of mixed martial arts for women and children. We want to integrate traditional styles into mixed martial arts.”
One of the classes offered is called MMA Fitness. This is an MMA fighter style work out for women. Rita stated that they “took out the rough edges” so that hobbyists could also take part in the training. Other classes offered are Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Kids and Adults. Tai Chi and Yoga classes are offered specifically for adults.
The children’s classes are for kids in the age range of 3 to 17 years old. Kids will also have opportunities to learn how to use kung fu weapons.
When asked about plans for growth, Rita Floyd stated that they will work towards expansion, “coming to a neighborhood near you.” Rita also stated that “had it not been for Team Lloyd Irvin, Nyjah and her would not have met” and that “We are very very thankful and proud to represent the Team Lloyd Irvin name.”
MAFA is located at 1443 D St. SE, Washington, D.C. Nyjah Easton and Rita Floyd are available for private lessons. To contact them, visit their website or call (202) 455-4662 and schedule an appointment.
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STERLING, VA – We start out with the women’s Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai fights followed by Men’s Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts. The winner of each bout is listed first.
Women’s Mixed Martial Arts Bout: Kelsey DeSantis (Team Gideon) vs. Kristen DeBruycker (Pedro Sauer Team)
Women’s Muay Thai Bout: Mary Irey vs. Devon Fore
Muay Thai: Tim Nguyen (MMA Institute) vs. Jessie Mitchell (Royal Martial Arts)
MUAY THAI TITLE FIGHT: Carlos Lopez (MASE Training) vs. Eric Russi (Gordon MMA/Pedro Sauer Team)
Mixed Martial Arts: Casey Watson (The Cave MMA-Fredricksburg, VA) vs. Matt Stemmler (Gold Medal/Team Lloyd Irvin-Woodbridge, VA)
Mixed Martial Arts: Chris Barker (Gold Medal/Team Lloyd Irvin) vs. Jonathan Hughes (MASE Training)
TITLE FIGHT Mixed Martial Arts: Bryan Lashomb (MMA Institute) vs. Alejandro Zea (Team Yamasaki)
STERLING, VA – The mixed martial arts (MMA) action in Virginia continues as competitors kick, punch, elbow, and slam their way towards victory. Watch the local MMA teams battle it out for supremacy and bragging rights in northern VA. The highlights include bouts with Samir Farid (Gold Medal Grappling/Team Lloyd Irvin), Junior Nascimento (Team Yamasaki), Reed Miller (Vanguard Team), Jonathan Escalona (Team Yamasaki), Duy Le (Vanguard Gym), and Jahtee Harper (Team Yamasaki). If you don’t watch the whole video, check out the kick at 1:03 by Samir Farid.
Congratulations to all the competitors. They all worked hard and left it on the mat.
STERLING, Va. – On October 30, 2010, Operation Octagon Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai fights were held at the Dulles Sportsplex. The Mixed Martial Arts fight card presented 16 total MMA fights with 6 title bouts. The results of the title fights are as follows:
145 Lbs Champion – Casey Watson (The Cave) over Matt Stemmler*
170 Lbs Champion – Bryan Lane (Fairfax Jiu Jitsu) over Dirk Hurrin
185 Lbs Champion – Michael Nielson (MMA Institute) over Andre Adams
140 Lbs Champion – Umaer Haq (MikiDo) over Terrell Hobbs
155 Lbs Champion – Mike Pope (Vanguard Gym) over Donny Ooton
135 Lbs Champion – Bryan Lashomb (MMA Institute) over Alejandro Zea
* Highlights not shown in the video
More MMA and Muay Thai highlights later this week.
STERLING, VA – On October 30, 2010 (Saturday), the mixed martial arts and muay thai event, Operation Octagon, will be held in Sterling, VA. Some of the local academies that will be participating are Team Yamasaki, Gold Medal Grappling (Team Lloyd Irvin), Pedro Sauer Team, and Vanguard Gym.
When asked about his team’s preparation, Doug Esposito (Owner of Vanguard Gym), had this to say:
“Everyone has been training hard for their opponents at Operation Octagon 13! There are some exciting match-ups and all of our guys’ fights promise to be action-packed. Mike Pope (never a dull fighter) has a lightweight title fight, Duy Le (Mr.Distance) is looking for a win to go to 3 and 0 at 145lbs, Josh (Superman) Crabtree is stepping back in the cage against a very tough opponent at 185, and Reed Miller is making his debut in a catchweight bout at 150. Everyone has been preparing and can’t wait to lay it on the line this Saturday night!”
Watch Team Vanguard as they train for the mixed martial arts event.
STERLING, VA – Professor Pedro Sauer is internationally known for his technical style of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, but did you know that he also has a world class Kali program at his academy? Meet Guro Bryan Mossey – Full Instructor of Kali at the Pedro Sauer Academy. Guro Bryan has been a martial artist for over 27 years and has teaching credentials in martial arts such as Muay Thai (under Surachai Sirasute), Filipino Martial Arts (Dan Inosanto), and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (Purple Belt under Pedro Sauer). In addition to his martial arts background, Guro Bryan was a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and an IDPA Competitor Sharp Shooter. Guro Bryan brings his impressive resume and experience to his Kali classes at Professor Sauer’s Academy.
The class curriculum is based on the Lacoste System. Kali is usually known for the Kali Sticks, as popularized by Guro Dan Inosanto in Bruce Lee’s, Game of Death. During this particular class, Guro Bryan focused on area 7, which is known as “Empty Hands”. While describing some characteristics of Kali, Guro Bryan noted that “it all comes from the blade.” He stated that when you are learning techniques using a knife, you are also learning techniques that can be used with empty hands. Guro Bryan is adept at teaching “Panantukan”, which he noted as “Filipino Boxing”.
While teaching his class, Guro Bryan was able to assess each student’s needs and customize the workouts. Among the class participants was Kristen Debruycker, a dedicated martial artist who will have her first Mixed Martial Arts bout in Operation Octagon on Oct. 30, 2010 (Sterling, VA). During the class, Guro Bryan used his extensive experience in Greco Roman and Freestyle wrestling to customize her drilling to include takedown transitions from the stand up position.
As Guro Bryan demonstrated the moves, the direction was clear and concise. After the instruction, the students drilled the moves while Guro Bryan patiently watched and coached them along.
Below are some pictures from the Kali class.
WASHINGTON, DC METRO – Want to get insight on the dedication it takes to be a great Mixed Martial Arts Fighter? Read this article by D’Angelo Kinard (Advanced Sports Performance). D’Angelo is a Strength and Conditioning coach with 13 years of experience in personal training. He has trained professional athletes, models, champion bodybuilders, Redskins Cheerleaders, and recovery patients. Some of his credentials include Certified Master Trainer (American Muscle and Fitness Training Institute), Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified Group Exercise Instructor (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America). Also on his resume is Strength Coach at Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts Academy (LIMAA), where he is a Red Belt in Thai-Jitsu under Master Lloyd Irvin.
Advanced Sports Performance Article:
The rise of MMA in the last few years, particularly the UFC, has inspired many to dream of one day fighting in the octagon. MMA fans, with their branded t-shirts and hats, have helped the sport grow by leaps in bounds, yet many fail to appreciate what it really takes to reach the elite level. WHAT THEY DON’T SEE is the sacrifice and struggle of most MMA fighters.
MANASSAS, Va. — Mixed martial arts coach and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Doug Esposito, discusses his martial arts background, his martial arts facilities in northern Va., and his student class programs (muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, CrossFit).
Highlights of the Vanguard Gym MMA team training in Manassas, Va.
Interview Highlights from the Vanguard Gym MMA team.
Article 1 of 2.
Article and video contributed by Andres Meraz:
After months of rigorous training, the Evolve fight team stepped up to the challenge of stepping into the Octagon in order to test their skills. This Saturday, four battle tested warriors stepped into the cage in Manassas, VA, and four warriors came out victorious. The first Evolve fighter, Dave Posin, made his MMA debut by completely picking apart his opponent in a 2 round war, which ended due to referee stoppage. Dave did a great job avoiding takedowns from an experienced wrestler as well as gaining control of his opponent in order to deliver what proved to be very effective knees. Not only did Dave do a great job his first time in the cage, but he set the pace for the team to come out and dominate.
Gus Kiesler was the next fighter to prove himself in the cage. After loosing a tough battle in his MMA debut at the WKA nationals, Gus came out ready for war. His opponent was also an experienced wrestler who constantly looked for the take-down. Gus stuck to his game plan and kept the fight standing in order to deliver some powerful blows. After almost going the distance, Gus mounted his opponent and rained down what seemed like endless strikes, which eventually led to a referee stoppage in the 3rd round.
Then came Danny Farrar, who also made his MMA debut on Saturday. Danny easily faced the most adversity that night to eventually pull out a win. He fought an opponent who came in 10lbs overweight and whose record changed from 0-0 to 2-1 and after a little research 4-3-1. Although his MMA coach, Zach Davis, advised him not too fight, Danny stepped up in order to test himself and showed a great amount of heart after being taken down and placed in what seemed like a fight ending arm triangle. Danny did not want to accept defeat and eventually found himself out of the submission and on the winning side of a rear naked choke in the 1st round. After seeing his opponent tap, the crowd went wild, knowing the challenges that this fight presented for him.
The last Evolve team member to step into the cage was Jason “J-Mo” Morris. After suffering a defeat last weekend at the EFC show due to a triangle, Jason stepped up to improve his record to 5-1. J-mo looked to work his BJJ after setting the pace for the fight with his constant strikes and vicious take-downs and eventually secured the last Evolve victory via choke from the mount in the 3rd round.
All four Evolve fighters stepped up to the challenge that is stepping into the cage and all four fighters proved that they have what it takes to come out victorious. This show also was a great demonstration of the unity of the Evolve team, which easily drew the biggest crowd to The Danger Zone.
The four Evolve Academy mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters were:
Jason (J-Mo) Morris
All won by either fight stoppage or tko.
-Results from Virgil Ocampo
This weekend on September 18th (Saturday), Danger Zone fights will be held in Manassas, VA. This event is being promoted by UFC Veteran, Dan Severn. Some of the locals that will be competing are 5 fighters from Evolve Academy (Gaithersburg, MD).
According to the Danger Zone website, here is the location of the event:
The New Manassas Park Community Center
99 Adams Street
Manassas Park, VA 20111
The doors open at 7 PM and the fights start at 8 PM.
Tickets cost $30.00 for bleacher seats and $60.00 VIP seats.
Good luck to all the competitors.
GAITHERSBURG, MD – There is NO REST for those who LOVE martial arts. On Labor Day, Master Mike Moses decided to maximize his students learning potential by holding an Evolve Academy seminar. The focus of the martial arts seminar was self defense on the streets. Master Moses demonstrated many moves and offered words of wisdom to his students to try to keep them out of unpredictable situations on the streets. Attendance was full, and people thanked him during and after the seminar for helping them learn street defense.
Among the awesome techniques that were shown was the “Long Overhand Punch”. If you have ever seen Chuck Liddell fight, then you know that this one has knockout potential. Check out the video above to see Mike Moses teaching the long overhand punch.
GAITHERSBURG, MD – Master Mike Moses, owner and head instructor of Evolve Academy of Martial Arts, provides details of his handling of a recent security altercation with a protester while in the line of duty of personal security work. Master Moses works in the protective services industry and provides physical security to his clients. During his martial arts career, Master Moses has fought in Mixed Martial Arts and competed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Submission Wrestling tournaments throughout his career. As a former marine, Master Moses is a life time martial artist and physical security expert.
Master Mike Moses is the founder and head instructor of Evolve Academy of Martial Arts in Gaithersburg, MD. I met Mike about 15 years in Virginia Beach at FDC Academy. At the time, he was a Thai Boxing instructor studying BJJ under the tutelage of Frank Cucci, Pedro Sauer, and Kazeka Muniz. Even before he moved to Maryland, he had a stellar martial arts career.
When Mike was fighting back in the mid 90′s, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was different. Vale Tudo teams had one goal: To prove that they were the toughest guys around. There was no money in fighting. There were no sanctioning bodies for safety. There were no sponsors trying to make money off of fighters. People wanted to be like Royce Gracie.
Frank Cucci established the first Vale Tudo Team in Virginia Beach and Mike was one of their toughest competitors. Other teams would challenge them and they would fight due to rivalries. No titles, no money.. just rivalries. The Internet was in its infancy, so getting information on an opponent was sometimes impossible. Mike fought with a gi, and sometimes while injured. He never backed down from a challenge.
After spending time in Virginia Beach, he eventually moved out of the area to start a Thai Boxing program at an academy in Maryland. After spending time building the program, he decided to start his own school. That is when he formed Evolve Academy. I had the pleasure of training at Evolve for about 2-3 years. A friend of mine suggested that I go back and check things out. Watch the video above to see what I found…
Thanks to Virgil Ocampo for some of the photos in the video.
In 1996 a Brazilian Black Belt was asked to help referee the first BJJ tournament in Virginia Beach. He and another black belt helped out, and everyone had a good time. Fast forward to 2010. The Black Belt now has 2 successful academies under his name, and is a legend in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). His name is Master Leo Dalla. Master Dalla is known for his vast knowledge and willingness to help others. He is described as a relaxed person with a friendly demeanor. When class is in session, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighter, Ashley Weakley shows up. Check out some of the footage from the evening below.
With the Shine MMA event planned for Sept 10, 2010 at the Patriot Center (Northern, VA), the scrutiny mounts on the fight promotion.
Article from MMASpot.Net:
Todd Margolis is one of my old BJJ instructors from Evolve Academy. Todd received his BJJ black belt from Pedro Sauer. A former Maryland resident, Todd was a Maryland Wrestling State Champion, a multiple time Grapplers Quest champion, and multiple SuperFight champion. He also won Silver Medals in prestigious tournaments such as the Pan-Ams and the Abu Dhabi North America Trials. Todd was one of Nakapan Phungephorn’s main training partners. Here is some footage of his MMA fight from earlier in 2010:
Todd is a head instructor at Freestyle Fight Club in Medellin, Columbia.
Howard University Alum and former DC metro resident, Rhadi Ferguson, won his fight debut in 11 seconds via TKO. Rhadi “The Judo Machine” Ferguson is a former Olympian in Judo. If you don’t know Rhadi, check out this video:
Mixed Martial Arts in DC news blog. The latest news in MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Judo, Wrestling, Capoeira, and MORE in DC, Virginia, and Maryland.