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The Voice of Reason by Chael Sonnen – A Personal Review

chaelSo I have just finished reading ‘The Voice of Reason’ by Chael Sonnen.  As is obvious to anyone who follows us at BritFights, writing is a passion of mine which is up there on the same level as reading and the crazy sport of MMA.

I am a writer, having interviewed quite a few of the UK fighters and even putting myself in rather embarrassing albeit enjoyable situations,  all in what I hope is written entertainment.  So suddenly, just yesterday, it clicked that my favourite (ever) fighter Mr Chael P Sonnen has written a book.

I am not a patient person when it comes to getting something I want, so immediately I downloaded The Voice of Reason on iBooks silently thanking an imaginary someone or something for the chance to start reading immediately.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still want a ‘real’ copy but I got what I wanted there and then and boy did that make my evening.

I will continue by saying that I started off in MMA as a fan and I will always be a fan despite now doing what I do.  Some say, it isn’t professional to be a fan as well as a writer but I personally think it is a good thing because I still have the passion for a sport I discovered far too late in life and I am constantly learning as I go.

So yes, I am a huge Chael P Sonnen fan and for all of the right reasons, but since reading The Voice of Reason, I am now hook line and sinker, totally blown away.  Not only is this guy a fantastic fighter, he is also one of the funniest, most intelligent people I have come across.    I will add now, this isn’t your usual bog standard book review and yes I give my opinion on things.  You have been warned.

From the foreword written by Jesus Christ himself, you begin to get an understanding of Mr Sonnen from the very first paragraph.  It reels you in and immediately I realise that being in the public eye in whatever field you are in, is not easy.  People always want something from you for their personal gain which in itself is not a bad thing but of course, people are never happy with what they get and always want something more.  This is my interpretation and I hope to God I am not wrong because I don’t want to be on the receiving end of Chael’s tongue!

Jesus stands aside and it is now down to Chael or Uncle Cha Cha to take over.  He tells us amongst other things that we need a pen, dictionary and map.  Well maybe I am more intelligent than I think because I didn’t need the dictionary to decipher any words and when I am interested my mind is focussed 100% so the only pen I used was my mental one!

Where do I start and indeed end in this, my first book review?  The Voice of Reason takes us on a journey inside the mind of Chael P Sonnen where he discusses MMA and fighting and the whole system of travelling and preparing for UFC fights complete with utterly brilliant character descriptions of his entourage which had me laughing rather loudly on numerous occasions.  And then we go on to the fantastic descriptions of weigh-in day and the outfits various fighters turn up in.  I had just got comfy on the sofa but had to sit up due to a coughing fit through laughter.  I can’t say too much because you have to read the book yourself.

The persona Chael presents suggests an abundance of arrogance, we hear the trash talking and see the twitter feeds but he really isn’t as arrogant as you may think.  He still takes the time to stop and talk to fans, signing photos and posing for pictures.  I always thought I’d be too scared to stop and speak to him in any capacity but now I’d be first in line.

Another great thing about Mr S is the way he is quick to say that he isn’t one of those who came from the wrong side of the tracks, someone who was abused or fell in with the wrong crowd.  He literally was a ‘normal’ lad, brought up by loving parents who did what a lot of kids do in the great USA – he wrestled.  And he loved it.  No sob story, no drama, just the determination and drive to dedicate to something he loved.

When it comes to American Politics, I have no idea – I won’t pretend I do but Chael talks of his one-time aspirations to go into politics and how he will now never be able to.  Something that maddens me!  Having read the story it is blaringly obvious that the stench was a complete and utter set up.  Rose tinted glasses you say?  Read it yourself.  As I said, politics is not my strong point but Uncle Chael can convey his message in plain English so that even I can understand the point.

As with politics, Science isn’t always my strongest subject but it is another of Chael’s.  I am however with him on the whole science of having a bullshit detector.  I’ll let you read yourself to find out the full implications but let’s just say the man speaks sense.

We go on to learn about social media and the media in general and as was pointed out by Jesus himself (remember the foreword) Chael does contradict himself insofar as hating social media yet having twitter!!!  But hey I forgive him!

It is very difficult to write a detailed review because I cannot mention everything in the book but have to pick out bits and bobs to comment on!  Well something we have a little in common is in the field of Sociology, granted I didn’t go to Uni as Chael did but it is a subject I excelled in at school.  I like the way Chael’s mind processes and breaks down information.  I am also loving the whole section on walk out music – I have a list of songs to listen to now and we will see if I agree with the whole section and don’t get me started on the film list!

Chael’s description of his fight against Anderson is fresh in my mind as I only watched it last night on YouTube.  Although I knew the result before watching it, I was still bouncing around on the couch with oooo’s and aaahhhh’s!  As Chael says, a split second cost him the fight which he undoubtedly won totally up to that point.  I now have the chance to excite myself beyond belief when I watch TUF in the early hours of the morning every week.  Obviously, I am excited about this for lots of reasons but also because the closest thing to Chael I have come across as a writer is our British undefeated Luke Barnatt who is going to be giving it his all.  Read my interview with Luke to see why I make the connection between him and Chael.

Sadly, Chael was also the victim of The Californian State Athletic Commission in a whole Steroid saga.  Again you may say I see this guy through rose tinted glasses but when it comes to Chael talking about his testosterone problem and subsequent medication, I found myself agreeing as a member of my family has the same problem.  It is so true that the media can ruin you as quick as they can make you.  I have never and I will never print anything about anyone that shoots them down in an angry tirade of words regardless of whether they are true.  But if I ever do, that person will never be named!

There are chapters that I have not mentioned, as I said, where do I draw the line?  But one of my favourites has to be the Santa chapter.  I absolutely love and can picture the scenes and it is one that made me smile and sad at the same time as I think this year was my last year of getting away with the whole Santa thing.  In fact Chael speaks of ancient times and how change is good in some ways and not in others.  Well I have to say the introduction of technology is fantastic but the Track Santa app is not!!!!  I have a fourteen year old who is too old for any of it but my nine year old is just on the cusp and every year since the kids were old enough to understand; Christmas Eve sees one of us hiding somewhere and ringing a bell.  The other adult then says ‘sshhhh’ and rushes out into the garden and says ‘quick I can hear Santa’s sleigh bells’.  The many years of the kids convinced they saw the sleigh head over the rooftops was wonderful.  This year however, my nine year old wanted to track Santa, leaving me unable to do the whole bell ringing because at that precise moment, my son was looking at the tracker and Santa was in Latvia or somewhere.  An example of change being bad Chael!

Another favourite chapter of mine is the one where Chael eloquently describes the whole feeling and emotion of fight night in honest and beautifully descriptive words.  When I read I like to feel I am there at the scene and this fulfilled my desires totally.

To be honest this isn’t your normal style of book review as I said at the beginning; it is MY style and love or hate my style, I am sticking to it as it hasn’t done me any harm so far.

In conclusion, I am in ‘love’ with the mind of this person, the total intelligence and logical thinking that is conveyed throughout the whole book in a clear and concise way.  The book made me laugh and in one place it also made me sad and it also showed me the real Chael P Sonnen. But above all else, it made me feel the moments and think about a lot of things I may not have bothered about before; that to me is not only a clever writer but also a clever person.  I could spend hours talking to Mr Sonnen on numerous subjects so if he ever wants to grant me an interview I will be here waiting?!

All that is left for me to say is The Voice of Reason is a must read for any fans of MMA or any fans of people who say it how it is.  Quite simply, go get it and more importantly, open your mind, be educated and enjoy!

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SS8 is where it’s at.

Check out the awesome SS8 Fight School on Canvey Island which caters for Men, Women & Kids. Train in MMA or BJJ.  Or take a Yummy Mummy Class which has already seen amazing results in 2012 and is set to continue in 2013.

Run by Diana Sigston who has a wealth of knowledge and experience, SS8 is the definitely the place to be in 2013.

For more information, please see the leaflet below and as it states let 2013 see a ‘Happy New You’!

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Fury MMA 7 Results

Carl Bullen attended Fury MMA 7 on behalf of BritFights.  Here is his review and the results.

Fury MMA 7, Bad Blood

Location: Coronet Theatre, Elephant and Castle, London

Date:18 November 2012

Fury 7, Bad Blood once again took place this weekend at the Coronet Theatre on what was a very cold, typical Sunday in November.

As the name suggests the venue is an old theatre with the cage located just in front of the stage where the stalls would have been with a large open standing area and then staging back to the hall so that everyone could get a view.

Following the pull-out of some key fighters and some reshuffling of the card the night kicked off with a very impressive quick finish from Dean Simmonds (BKK Fighters) who recently won the Featherweight title at WCMMA.

Results for the night are as follows:

MMA

Dean Simmonds defs. Jay Stone – 30secs of 1st rnd by submission (guillotine)

Nathan Shety defs. Rob Collins – 2mins 33 secs of 1st rnd by ref stoppage (rear naked choke)

Alec Connelly defs. Rayko Levitch – 2mins of 2nd rnd by submission (arm bar)

Ricky Moore defs. Curtis Stilwell – 20secs of 1st rnd by ref stoppage (GnP)

Jason Kenny defs. Ryan Woodford – 1min 48secs of 1st rnd by ref stoppage (GnP) – Charity fight

Paul Farrugita defs. David Vidler – Unanimous decision (30/27)

Cameron Else defs. Gary Duffy – 40secs of 1st rnd by ref stoppage (rear naked choke)

Co-main event

Brendan Cherry Vs. Jarvis Grey – semi-pro Welterweight MMA

Rnd 1 – explosive start to the fight with Cherry catching Grey straight away with a good kick.  The fight then rapidly went to the mat with Grey taking the mount, looking to land some heavy punches.  There is a quick rise to the feet before both fighters go back to the floor, which is where they remain until the end of the round.

Rnd 2 – Starts with Cherry immediately looking to make the most of his height/reach advantage and is keeping Grey at distance with some fierce push kicks, then quickly follows in with some massive Thai kicks, which Grey is struggling to defend.  Cherry then follows in with knees, kicks and punches with no response from Grey who looks hurt.  Ref jumps in to prevent any further damage.

Cherry defeats Grey by way of TKO (ref stoppage) in the 2nd round.

Main Event

Alex Montagnani Vs Paul Edmonds for the Fury Welterweight belt

Rnd 1 – Edmunds starts the fight quickest looking to shoot for Montagnani and pushes him back against the cage where Montagnani stands it upright and various exchanges take place between the two.

Edmunds looks to change levels again, but when this doesn’t come off goes straight back to his feet.  Montagnani forces Edmonds to the mat and gains the back where he immediately starts looking for the choke, but Edmonds is defending strongly so Montagnani goes to work with some big punches from either side, this onslaught continues relentlessly with no response from Edmonds so in order to protect Edmonds the ref steps I to stop the fight.

Montagnani defeats Edmonds by way of TKO (ref stoppage due to GnP) in 4mins 25secs of the 1st round.

There was some fantastic support for the last few fights with none other than Brad “One Punch” Pickett putting in an appearance, as well as Jamaine Facey and Grant Waterman and Max Nunes cornering for Montagnani.

A special mention goes out for the fight of Jason Kenny and Ryan Woodford, these guys competed in a charity fight on the night and had agreed to the fight at fairly short notice – they both went at one another with an intense ferocity straight from the start and whilst the fight lasted just short of 2 minutes was a full-on battle royal – well done guys, very entertaining fight, give yourselves a pat on the back.

WCMMA 7

Heading into London on a bitterly cold Saturday night, we were shivering as we entered the Troxy.  It was time for WCMMA 7 and the card was stacked with new faces and old favourites.  The crowd were there to support their fighters and at times the noise was deafening which is always good to hear, as WCMMA is an Amateur event but people still come out in force and make a lot of noise!

Here are the results:

Modestas Bukauskas v Adem Osman.  Bukauskas wins at 1m9s of R1 by KO.

Kieran Linestar v Jack Capper.  Linestar wins by UD.

Hamish McIntyre v John Ballie.  McIntyre wins at 1m4s by TKO (G&P)

Dominic Wooding v Zabi Sahabbi.  Wooding wins by UD.

Denzil Duncan v Silmak Aghili.  Duncan wins by MD.

Abdul Modarresi v Matt Brogan.  Modarresi wins by Arm Triangle.

Nicolas Michalewicz v Marcus Niole.  Michalewicz wins by MD (K1)

Barry Ryan v Ali Nazha.  Ryan wins at 53s of R2 by TKO (G&P)

Mo Lasladg v Mak Mwanza.  Lasladj wins by UD.

Jack Tyley v Wez Roche.  Tyley wins by UD.

Diniu Siviu Bacalet v Declan Maunsell.  Bacalet wins at 43s by Arm Triangle.

Charlie Brown v Rocky Thomas.  Brown wins by UD.

Maciej Sosnowski v Lee Davis.  Sosnowski wins by TKO at 20s.

Ben Manuwa v Pitbull.  Manuwa wins by TKO.

Joey Sanchez v Terry Campbell.  Sanchez wins by Guillotine.

Emrah Sonmez v Freddie Allen.  Sonmez wins by UD.

Scott Moore v Brendan Cherry.  Moore wins at 1.22 of R2 by TKO.

Dean Simmonds v Mike Maroudas.  Simmonds wins at 1m27s of R3 by Guillotine (Featherweight Title)

Josh Lappin v TJ Simmons.  Lappin wins at 1.29 of R1 by Triangle Choke (Bantamweight Title).

Thanks to George of love2fightuk.com for help with the results.

We spent the evening talking to Jason ‘The Assassin’ Radcliffe who has had to pull out of his fight against Ben ‘The Situation’ Callum due to a personal loss.  We also spoke to Calvin ‘JusCage’ Petrie who can’t wait to get back in that cage and put on another explosive performance.  So bring on 2013 we say because the guys are raring to go.

That’s it for WCMMA this year but it will be back next year so check out www.ucmma.tv for all the dates and news.

UWC 21 Review

Saturday 20th October and it was a wet, miserable night in Essex, the kind of night you want to snuggle up on the sofa and go nowhere but BritFights were attending UWC in Southend-on-Sea and forget the duvet and central heating, the heat was certainly on at Garons!

This was the first time we had attended a UWC event and we were excited!  The venue itself was superb, the layout of seating meant everyone could see from everywhere and gave the feel of a real sporting event.

On arrival we were sent through to the main area and found ourselves wandering around cage side.  We caught sight of Sean Carter and Luke Barnatt who were there supporting the BKK guys and we saw lots of new faces who we definitely want to hook up with for interviews in the future.  Stav Economou was there cornering the TSG fighters and we will soon be speaking to Stav so look out for this in the near future. 

The whole event was very relaxed and laid back and focussed totally on the sport, there was no hype but it wasn’t needed, the action was all that was needed.  Everyone was friendly and helpful and it was a pleasure to be so close to the cage whilst watching the events.  We were close enough to hear the thud of bodies hitting the canvas in the take downs and see the blood flowing freely from the elbows and punches.

If you are new to MMA and fancy having a watch, then we strongly suggest you get down to the next UWC event to take in some brilliant action where we felt the fighters were superbly matched, ensuring great fights.

Here are all the results:


Scott Holbrey (Medway Submissions) 0-1-0 v Nickie Owens (TSG Fight School) 3-2-0  Semi Pro Event scheduled for 2×4 min rounds.  Owens won at 2m41s of Round 1 via Tapout due to Arm Bar.


Scott Rogan (SOR Newcastle) Debut v Chris Matthews (TSG Thai Boxing) Debut K1 Event scheduled for 3×3 min rounds.  Matthews won at 2m50s of Round 1 via Verbal Submission.


Ryan Scott (TSG Fight School, Grays) Debut v Dan Whiston (Team Elite, Rochford) Debut  Semi Pro Event scheduled for 2×4 min rounds.  Scott won by Unanimous Decision.


Josh Dennis (Black Tigers) 2-0-0 v Joe Emmons (Southend Muay Thai) 4-0-0 K1 Event scheduled for 3×2 min rounds.  Emmons won by Technical KO.


Lukasz Kupneiwski (Team Tsuanmi) 1-0-0 v Dan Piper (TSG Fight School) 3-0-0 Semi Pro Event scheduled for 2×4 min rounds.  Kupneiwski won by Majority Decision.


Kim Thinghaugen (Valhall) 1-0-0 v Arnold Allen (BKK Fighters) 1-0-0 Pro MMA Event scheduled for 3×5 min rounds.  Allen won due to Doctor Stoppage. 


Charlie Leary (Team Crossface) 4-4-1 v Chris Richardson (MMA Clininc) 2-3-0 Pro MMA Event schedule for 3×5 min rounds.  Leary won at 2m21s of Round 1 Ref stoppage due to Ground & Pound.


Jason Cooledge (BKK Fighters) 5-3-0 v Hayden Critchfield (Team Crossface) 6-4-0 Pro MMA Event scheduled for 3×5 min rounds.  Cooledge won at 4m15s of Round 2 via Tapout due to an Arm Triangle.


Kes Mumba (Team Mumba) 2-2-0 v Wendle Lewis (Team Titan and Legacy MMA) 5-1-0 Pro MMA Event scheduled for 3×5 min rounds.  Lewis won due to Doctor Stoppage at 3m18s of Round 2.


Lorc Marty (Team Scorpion) 13-13-0 v Matt Ewin (Trojan Freefighters) 22-12-1 Pro MMA Event scheduled for 3×5 min rounds.  Ewin won at 3m3s of Round 1 Referee stoppage due to Ground & Pound.


Manuel Garcia 22-14-0 v Walter Gahadza (TSG Fight School) 9-0-0 Pro MMA Event Scheduled for 3×5 min rounds.  Gahadza won at 1m59s of Round 1 via Tapout due to Strikes.


Kevin Thompson (Team Machine) 13-4-0 v Ricco Rodriguez (Team Rodriguez) 48-18-0 Pro MMA Event scheduled for 3×5 min rounds.  Rodriguez won at 4m45s of Round 1 via to Tapout due to Armbar.

 

All the fights were well matched and therefore entertaining, showcasing both the stand-up and the ground game.  Right back to the start of the card, the fighters came and gave it their all.  The support the local guys received from the crowd was amazing, there is nothing quite like the roar you get from a home crowd.

It is hard to choose a Fighter and Fight of the Night as we feel everyone did a fantastic job but we settled on the following:

Fight of the Night:   Kes Mumba v Wendle Lewis.  After spending time trying to establish the reasoning behind Mumba’s repeated fall to the mat, we realised it was a move he was trying to execute and eventually did, locking Lewis’s leg.  It looked a bit dodgy for Lewis but he managed to escape the leg lock and ended up opening Mumba’s head with a flurry of elbows.  The cut was enough for the ref to stop the fight.  Another win for Wendle who was ecstatic to be back with a boom!

Fighter of the Night:  We were impressed with Walter Gahadza who adds another win to his undefeated record taking him into double figures.  We liked his aggression and hunger and know we will be seeing more of him in the future, plus an interview coming soon on BritFights.

We would also like to mention Arnold Allen who is definitely one to watch out for.  We were there at his debut and he didn’t disappoint in his second fight at UWC.  And we cannot close without mentioning Joe Emmons, we enjoyed his style and anyone who comes out to Bubbles is a winner in our book.

A really fantastic night hosted by Ian ‘the machine’ Freeman who got the crowd in Southend pumped and ready for action.  All we want to know is………..when is the next one?  For more information on UWC, please visit their website http://ultimatewarriorchallenge.co.uk/

All pictures will be on Facebook Suzy Athey.

The Assassin’s Shadow

Saturday afternoon in London’s East End and I make my way to The Troxy for UCMMA.  Only tonight, I am spending the evening shadowing Jason ‘The Assassin’ Radcliffe.  The intention being to get a feel for what it is like to be a fighter on fight night.

As usual, I am early and spend some time wandering around chatting to people until Jason arrives.  The card is stacked with great fights but we had a lot of time as Jason wasn’t up until after the break.  We were in the large room where the guys all get changed and although I have briefly been in the room before, seeing all the guys warming up and how they focus before a fight was an eye opener.

Some seem to relax and stay stress free, whilst others are constantly on the move.  I couldn’t sit still as I was very excited to be seeing a different side to an evening of MMA.

Jason appeared calm and relaxed early in the evening, listening to some music and drinking water.  He stayed in ‘civilian’ clothes for a long while and sat chatting to his coaches Danny (not Cyril) and Eddie.  I asked him how he was feeling and he said he was feeling really good and ready.

Up against Jimmy Millar, there had been some pre-fight banter at the press conference with Jimmy trying to kiss Jason in the stand off!  Thankfully Jason didn’t KO him there and then, saving all his aggression for the fight.

Looking around the room, lots of the guys were full of energy whilst warming up.  I assume channeling that energy into warm-up helps them focus for the task at hand.  Jason however, was still very calm and relaxed.
As the night moved on fighters came and went from the dressing room once they had fought leaving it a little quiet at times.  As it drew nearer for Jason to fight, Jason had his hands wrapped which is something I have never seen before and seeing the wraps going on, it was a gentle reminder that it wouldn’t be long until Jason made the walk to the cage.

Later in the evening, Jason and his coaches and managers and of course I went into the stairway so Jason could warm up.  He started off doing some pad work with his boxing coach which showed the power Jason has in his hands.  Jason was calm and very focused on listening to advice.  He then went on to do some grappling against the wall and I noticed later and again when I watched his fight back, that what he was told to do, he executed in the cage.  For me this was fantastic to see, because although I know how hard the guys train for fights, actually seeing an instruction prior to the fight and then seeing it in action proves that the techniques taught are taken in and used.  Jason then moved onto the ground game.  Obviously, these guys are tougher than me in every sense of the word but lying on cold concrete floors can’t be easy on the body!

Once the technical warm-up was over, we went back into the main room where Jason spent time stretching and having his gloves put on by one of his coaches, Eddie Kone (not Cyril).

By this time I was beside myself with nerves.  Yes nerves!  I wasn’t fighting but I felt the build-up of adrenaline and my tummy was flipping over.  I know many fighters experience different emotions before fights and deal with nerves in different ways yet Jason was still calm and relaxed whereas I felt quite emotional about the whole thing.  I spoke to Calvin JusCage Petrie, one of Jason’s team mates who said it was quite normal for a fighter to get all the emotions running through his body.  Yes the fighter but why was I feeling like a cat on a hot tin roof?

And so the time came for the walk down to the runway.  Jason still appeared calm but I noticed he had a subtle switch over and he appeared more focused and determined and definitely quieter.  I followed him to the runway and although I possibly could have walked down with him, I stepped to the side and instead watched him intently, as he intently watched his opponent who was at the cage door ahead of him.
It was whilst standing on the runway and walking down that Jason seemed to suddenly become a different Jason to the calm and relaxed one of the whole evening.  He didn’t take his eyes off of his target and then he started to walk.

As a writer, I have to stay neutral as I interview people from all camps but when you have spent time watching and getting inside the mind of the fighter for the evening, it is impossible not to want them to bring back the win.  The fight didn’t go past Round 1.  With a few early swings, Jason went for the take down almost immediately and spent time working Jimmy against the cage, going in low for the legs.  He eventually lifted and slammed Jimmy to the canvas and took control on top.  Here he launched a flurry of fists but Jimmy turned and gave Jason his back where again Jason used the ground and pound.  Jimmy was trying to use his strength to get Jason off but as soon as he tried to get to his knees, Jason spread Jimmy’s body flat until he finally got the first submission win of his career via Rear Naked Choke.

A very ecstatic Jason who knew that by winning this fight, he would take on Ben Callum for the title in December.  We went back to the dressing room and found Jason sitting in his chair all calm and happy with a medal adorning his chest.  Everyone was saying well done and the atmosphere was fantastic surrounding him.  It was an amazing feeling to have been with someone from the start of the evening right through to the joy of winning the fight.

I am sure not all guys are as cool, calm and collected as Jason on fight night but this is definitely the feeling I picked up on from him.  It is a good job someone stayed calm because I for one thought I was going to have a coronary at some points!

It was an enjoyable, interesting evening and although I missed a lot of the other fights on the card, I feel I gained a valuable insight into how it feels to be an MMA athlete; to train hard and focus all your attention on the main objective going back weeks and weeks before the actual night; to then arrive at your playground and prepare mentally and physically and to then go on and see all the hard work pay off.  But win or lose, I have nothing but respect for Jason and all the other MMA fighters who dedicate to this way of life.

Don’t miss the Title Fight between The Assassin and The Situation at The Troxy on December 1st for UCMMA 31.

Thank you to Jason and Sid of Mogul Management for allowing us this opportunity.

UCMMA 30

UCMMA 30 had a stacked card with some exciting fights lined up.  Walking around the arena, we could hear people commenting that this was the best card to date.  The atmosphere was fantastic.  We spent most of the evening with Jason ‘The Assassin’ Radcliffe doing an exclusive article which will be up some time soon but for now let us give you all the results and a little bit more.

We couldn’t wait for some of the guys on the undercard as they have proven themselves worthy of being professionals at previous events.  We were particularly interested in seeing Makunga Bunduku, Galore Bofando, Tommy King/Chase Morton and Spencer Hewitt.  But after attending the press conference we knew all the guys were up for it and they didn’t disappoint.

Martin Sheridan v Paul Kingdon saw Sheridan win by TKO at 1m19s Round 1.

Ben McGonigle v Dan Elie saw McGonigle win at 3m8s of Round 3 by TKO.  This fight was absolutely cracking with non-stop action from start to finish.  Both ended up battered and bruised but they gave the crowd exactly what they wanted and it was a pleasure to watch both Ben and Dan give it their all.  Ben McGonigle is fighting Dom Clark in December.

Steve Brand v Makunga Bunduku saw Bunduku win at just 57s of Round 1 submitting Brand by Guillotine Choke.  We liked Bunduku when we saw him fight at a previous UCMMA and our opinion is still that he is one to watch out for.

Chase Morton v Tommy King saw King win at 2m34s of Round 1 by TKO.  This was one we were excited about after seeing Chase at WCMMA and liking his style.  We know Tommy is a great fighter and both were banging hard.  Speaking to Chase after the fight he told us that he felt the only thing that let him down was his fitness and that he intends to work on it.  Chase says he really thought he could beat Tommy but says he has a lot of respect for him and would like to get a few more fights under his belt and then would love to fight Tommy again.  We hope we see this happen in the future and we are looking forward to following both their careers as the progress.

Umer Kayani v Colin Wilby saw Kayani win by Triangle Choke at 1m40s of Round 2.

Andy Cona v Jordan Wright saw Wright win by KO at 3m of Round 1.  Andy is always ready to step up and fight and he told us that people tell him he is crazy but as he points out ‘so is drinking too much or taking drugs’.  He went on to say that he loves fighting and it is far better that he is in the cage doing so.  Andy is up against Jamaine Facey at the next UCMMA.

Cameron Else v Spencer Hewitt saw Hewitt win at 3m57s of Round 1 by Rear Naked Choke.  Spencer told us after that it felt great to be back on top and that he was looking forward to his next fight and continuing the winning streak.

Robert Skujins v Galore Bofando saw Skujins take the win when Bofando was disqualified for an illegal knee.  We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of Galore as we think he is an amazing fighter with moves like we have never seen.  We are sure we will see Galore again soon and were pleased that we were able to watch him warming up before his fight.

With the undercard over and a short break in the show, we wandered around and found the atmosphere to be electric.  Being upstairs with the guys as they prepared was a great eye opener.  Some of the guys were calm and relaxed, even when warming up; others were hyped up to the max.  Word of advice; keep out of Chi Lewis Parry’s way when he is warming up – scary!

Onto the main card which was also stacked with seasoned fighters.

Aurelijus Kerpe v Andre McIntyre saw Kerpe win at 2m of Round 2 by TKO.  We really rate Andre as a fighter and are sure he will be back soon looking for another win.

Jimmy Millar v Jason Radcliffe saw Radcliffe win at 4m21s of Round 1 by Rear Naked Choke.  Radcliffe was ecstatic about his first submission win and he now faces Ben Callum in December for the Title.  There will be more about Jason in our special article coming soon.

Andy Monzolo v Louis King saw King win at 2m29s of Round 1 by TKO.  Louis made his MMA debut after rocking the UK1 scene and carried on his heavy handed approach in this fight.  We can’t wait to see Louis fight again in MMA.

Carl Kinslow v Paul Taylor saw Taylor win when the referee stopped the fight at 4m21s of Round 1 due to Kinslow’s cuts.  Taylor seemed very relaxed before the fight and after his big KO against Scott Saward he adds another win to his record.

Tomasz Czerwinski v Chi Lewis Parry saw Parry win by Unanimous Decision after the fight went the distance.

Dayman Lake v Darren Towler saw Towler win in just 48s of Round 1 by TKO.  Darren looked in good shape prior to the fight but blink and you would have missed it, he takes on Neil Grove next.

Luke Sines v Jake Bostwick saw Bostwick win by majority decision in a gruelling fight.  Jake said at the press conference that Luke was a great opponent and these guys put on a fight that had the crowd on its feet on numerous occasions.

On this occasion we are giving two Fight of the Night awards because we feel both are worthy.

Luke Sines v Jake Bostwick on the Main Card and Ben McGonigle v Dan Elie on the Undercard.

Our Fighter of the Night has to go to Jake Bostwick for battling hard and giving us a non-stop fight.  The second round saw Jake go back to his corner shaking his head but the final round saw him come out like he knew he wasn’t going to lose.  Well done Jake.

December the 1st sees the last UCMMA of the year.  Be sure to get your tickets in quick.

WCMMA 6 Review

Sat 8th September 2012 saw yet another hot night of action at London’s Troxy.  WCMMA arrived with a stacked card of 19 fights.  All Amateur fighters but in some cases, you would be hard pushed to realise this and I am sure a few of the fighters will be hitting the professional scene sooner rather than later.

Mr Entertainment Dave O’Donnell, CJ and Alex Reid were the trio of presenters with Grant Waterman once again delivering in his role as MC.  Jamaine Facey took time out from fighting to referee all 19 fights on the card and I have to say Mr Pain is definitely as entertaining and flexible as a referee as he is a fighter.
The Troxy was packed out and the crowd adorned with faces of the MMA World: Nick The HeadHunter Chapman, Andre McIntyre, Jake Brutal Bostwick and Jason Radcliffe to name a few.  All the aforementioned and plenty of others auditioned for the new reality show soon to hit the USA.

Warrior Island will see MMA stars battle it out on an Island for the chance to win $500,000.  The fighters auditioning were eager to tell us why they wanted to be a part of it and for some it was the money, the fame and the glory but for most it was just the chance to fight. So many of the guys live and breathe MMA and all they want to do is train and fight and of course, batter the life out of some Americans!  I can’t wait to hear who gets through.

Here are the results of the card:
Sam Courage 57kg (Ind Fighter) v Dinesh Deusali 56kg (Big Box) BW.  Courage wins by UD.
Aaron Myat 84kg (Ultimate MMA) v Chase Morton 82.4kg (Combat Company) MW.  Morton wins at 38s of R2 due to Ref Stoppage.
Nicholas Michalewicz 61kg (Bloodline) v Edwin Coox 66.3kg (Combat Company) LW UK1.  Michalewicz wins by UD.
Freddy Allen 68.3kg (Team Titan) v Billy Thompson 69.1kg (Lions Pride MMA) LW.  Thompson wins by UD.
Jack Costa 60.4kg (Ind Fighter) v Sam Walker 61.2kg (Lions Pride MMA) BW.  Walker wins at 36s of R2 by Guillotine Choke.
Joe Gilmartin 80.5kg (Guildford Academy of Martial Arts) v Nathan Jones 83.2kg (Combat Company) MW.  Jones wins by UD.
Oskar Fyzel 61.3kg (Ind Fighter) v Josh Lappin 61.5kg (Colloseum) BW.  Lappin wins at 34s of R2 by Guillotine Choke.
Silmak Aghili 82kg (Combat Company) v Charlie Brown 83kg (Team Gypsy) MW UK1.  Aghili wins by UD.
Noel Mahoney 76.2kg (Team Force) v Jake Racz 76.2kg (Combat Company) WW.  Racz wins by UD.
Barry Rand 84kg (Team Shed) v Earl Smith 82kg (Combat Company) MW.  Smith wins at 46s of R1 Ref stoppage due to GnP.
Harjeet Bhatti 82.5kg (Team Taurus) v Barry Ryan 83.4kg (Trojan MMA) MW.  Ryan wins by UD.
Roland Ogun 110kg (Ind Fighter) v Ian Andrews 106kg (Ind Fighter) HW UK1.  Ogun wins by UD.
TJ Simmons 60kg (Team Shed) v Pitbull 60.5kg (Ind Fighter) BW.  Simmons wins in R3 Tapout due to GnP.
Wayne Jordan 104kg (University Fighting Concepts) v Jamie Chang 115kg (Team Trojan) HW.  Chang wins at 65s of R2 due to Referee Stoppage.
Scott Moore 78kg v Lee Curtis 73kg (Children with Cancer UK) WW.  Moore wins by UD.
James Newman 69.3kg (Team Shed) v Manny Vilkas 69.6kg (Trojan MMA) LW.  Vilkas wins by UD.
Dean Smith 92.5kg v Calvin Petrie 92.5kg (Team Bloodline) LHW.  Petrie wins the Title at 74s of R1 by KO.
Eugene Foo 83.2kg (EKBJJ and Bloodline) v Michael Conrad (HOP) MW.  Conrad retains the Title by Majority Decision.

Looking back over my notes I have circled TJ Simmons as my Fighter of the Night and I stand by my decision but I have to say there were some awesome performances by many.  I want to give a special mention to Roland Ogun and Ian Andrews – to quote Grant Waterman, these guys were total warriors and Ogun’s kicks had me covering my eyes!

I also have to mention Chase Morton who has a swagger about him that oozes the entertainment value in the cage.  I am sure we will see him again and again.  As for Fight of the Night, again this was a hard decision but I think many will agree when I say Eugene Foo v Michael Conrad. These guys came for a war and provided entertainment from the start to finish.  It was definitely a hard one for the judges to call and could quite easily have been Foo with his hand raised.

Another thing I noticed was how the Gyms did very well overall.  Lions Pride MMA saw both their fighters win, Trojan MMA won all three and Combat Company got a clean sweep with five out of five wins.
Another night over leaving me buzzing with adrenaline and excitement as always.  Until UCMMA in October, watch this space as interviews are coming soon.

UCMMA 29 Review

It was a steaming hot night in London on Saturday August 18th 2012 and I don’t just mean the weather.  The Troxy temperature rivalled a tropical country and the place was heaving with fight fans.  Yes it was time for UCMMA 29.
With so many pull-outs on this card, we were left with five on the undercard and five on the main card but wow we had some good fights and ten was more than enough to get the crowd roaring – me included!
Starting out in MMA and reviewing events, it was easy inasmuch as I knew nobody so didn’t feel any emotion other than ‘wow what a great fight’ or ‘hmmmm, he could have done better’.  Nowadays, having got to know a few of the fighters by interviews or articles, it gets harder and harder to watch.
But watch is what I did and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the action at The Troxy.  It was lovely to catch up with Eddie Kone and meet Mrs Kone at last and to reprimand Jason Radcliffe; and fantastic to spend some time with Denniston Sutherland.  My first ever event at UCMMA, was spent sitting with Denniston and a year on, once again, I was lucky to have him right next to me.  It is quite amazing listening to a professional talk you through the fights as they happen as I am always looking to add to my knowledge.  And Denniston certainly has the experience and knowledge, even if he was sat in a jumper without a bead of sweat on his brow whereas the rest of us were fanning ourselves constantly.  Not so sure he is still Mad Max – more like Mr Cool!!
So the undercard kicked off and here are the results:
Ben McGonigle of Titan Forge making his debut v Ian Peters of Diesel Gym 1-3-0.  McGonigle wins in between Round 1 and 2 due to Doctor stoppage.
Sean Carter of BKK Fighters 2-0-0 v Dom Clark of Fight Science 5-5-0.  Dom had previously been unwell but chose to keep the fight on the card but went on to lose. Carter took the win by TKO at 2m 54 s of Round 1 and as usual had the crowd laughing at his antics!
Andy Cona of Addicted MMA 3-6-0 v Fadi Jamel of New Wave Academy 3-0-0.  Jamel added another win to his undefeated record winning by TKO at 2m 8s of Round one.
Paul Kingdon of Team Shed and Semtex Gym 1-4-0 v Nathan Greyson of Team Titan 2-3-0.  Greyson won at 2m 30s of Round 1 by TKO and I was once again impressed with the ability of this young man.  As I said once before, I’ll be keeping my eye on him.
Steve Brazier of House of Pain 0-0-2 v Jody Collins of Team Titan 5-0-0.  Collins won by Technical Submission at 1m3s of Round 1.  Another win for Team Titan.
It was time for a quick break and we certainly needed it.  How Bret Freeman wasn’t melting in his gold sparkly jacket, I don’t know but I’ll pay to find out his secret! He went on to introduce the Ultimate Ball which I just knew was going to be entertaining.
House of Pain took on Semtex Gym and Semtex smashed the ball and a fair few opponents!!!  With the likes of Jake Bostwick and his very own ‘Papa Smurf’ Terry Bostwick both built like tanks, it really was a battle ground.  The House of Pain guys were of slighter stature and I winced as the Semtex Team went in all guns blazing and spat the House of Pain guys out!!!  The final score 7-1 to Team Semtex and from the mouth of Jake Bostwick ‘this is harder than fighting’!
We were now on to the main card and I was as excited as everyone else.
Max Nunes of New Wave Academy 5-0-0 v Iain Martell 6-0-0.  Somebody’s 0 had to go tonight and there is nothing like that knowledge to get a crowd hyped up. Nunes was the victor by Triangle Choke at 46s of Round 2.
Tautvydas Lileikis 7-5-0 v Ben Callum of Keddles Gym 4-1-0.  Did someone press fast forward on this?  Lileikis didn’t stand a chance, Callum was at him from the first bell and took just 33 seconds to win by KO.
Jefferson George making his debut v Michael Venom Page also making his debut in this UK1 bout.  Entertainment by the shed load with flying kicks from George and moves aplenty from Page!  The fans were out in force for Page chanting MVP over and over again.  Page went on to win at 2m4s of Round 2 with a spectacular KO.
Spencer Hewitt of Terror Squad MMA 9-2-0 v Georgio Andrews of London Shootfighters 8-0-0.  After the banter at the press conference from both guys, I was looking forward to this one.  Both battled hard but it went the distance with Andrews winning by unanimous decision.
And so the main event of the evening finally arrived.  Nick Chapman of Fight Science 4-1-0 v Linton Vassell of Immortal MMA 9-3-0.  Vassell won at 55s of Round 2 by Rear Naked Choke.
Fighter of the Night:  Michael Venom Page – entertaining and outstanding.
Fight of the Night:  Sean Carter v Dom Clark – a test for both and they brought a battle.
So by all accounts an explosive night, full of passion.  Time to leave The Troxy behind once again with the thoughts of the winners and runners up running around in my head.  A great night despite the fact, no word of a lie, my shoes disintegrated!
Bring on the next one – I can’t wait!

Becoming a member of Terror Squad

I have been visiting some MMA Gyms of late and in true dedicated fashion, been joining in with classes to get a feel for what is involved.  This time I visited MMA Terror Squad in Rainham, Essex on a nice warm evening in June.  MMA Terror Squad is the brain child of awesome fighter Spencer Hewitt.
Spencer has an MMA record of 8-2-0 but has also competed in European and World championships in BJJ.  Having been involved in BJJ for over ten years, most people think Spencer is purely a ground game fighter.  If you look at his fight statistics, out of the eight wins, seven have come by Submission.  So you wouldn’t be wrong if you did think Spencer was an ace on the ground.  Yet at UCMMA 26 ‘The Real Deal’ Spencer took on the young talented Cory Tait.  Everyone knew this was going to be a good fight but no one expected the result.  Spencer KO’d Cory in just 10 seconds of round 1 proving his stand up is as good as his ground game.
Spencer explained that he kept quiet about his stand up game so as to surprise the crowd at The Troxy.  What people may not know is his brother Ross is an ex professional boxer so he was training hard and working on his stand up before the fight against Cory.  Now the secret is out, I reckon we will see more of Spencer’s awesome KO power in future fights.  I originally got in touch with Spencer after watching one of his team, Makunga Banduku make his pro debut and I was blown away by this new fighter and wanted the interview.  But having researched more about Spencer, I was feeling the nerves as I made my way to MMA Terror Squad, I was still excited about watching a class as I didn’t think I would be able to join in due to an injury I had picked up earlier in the week.  I arrived at the Origin Gym on Rainham New Road and headed to the MMA Terror Squad gym upstairs.
On arrival, Spencer was teaching a private lesson with a young man.  If I hadn’t realised about Spencer’s punching power before, I certainly did now.  This young man was taking body shots which had me wincing in sympathy.  Already, I was impressed by the gym with a boxing ring, and matted area for BJJ.  The mirrors are a great idea but not when you hate looking at your reflection, made worse by the fit able bodied people who were starting to arrive.  I kept quiet, watching the private lesson until it ended and then I had a little chat with Spencer before the BJJ class started.
We talked about Makunga and how he seemed to be having a hard time since his debut fight.  A lot of people have been calling Makunga out and Spencer was surprised by this as Makunga is only at the beginning of his career.   I can honestly say that Makunga came across as quite shy and very polite when I met him so I think the hard time he is getting is unjustified.
Spencer went on to tell me that his brother Ross has adapted standard boxing techniques to make them work better for MMA fighting.  In normal boxing there obviously isn’t any clinches or take downs and in MMA you can be punched in any situation so Ross has worked hard at teaching the fighters how to protect themselves and come forward in different scenarios.
The BJJ class started with about twenty guys all ready to roll.  I really wanted to join in with the BJJ but I didn’t want to injure my already sore thigh anymore so I decided to watch.  I was laughing in relief when it came to the warm up as I quite honestly would have died of embarrassment if I had joined in!!  Double forward rolls whilst holding onto the ankles of your partner and then tunnels made by the guys with people crawling underneath.  My big butt would not have fit underneath the svelte figures of these guys!  But next time I go, I will just go for it anyway, bum and all!I haven’t seen warm ups like this before and Spencer said he has picked up the different techniques from various places he has been.  I must say it made it look fun and although everyone was working hard, you could see they enjoyed it.
 
I watched as Spencer then ended the warm up and started to teach the guys actual moves.  Everyone including myself was enthralled and listening and watching as Spencer made it look easy.  I found Spencer to be a very clear communicator, who showed the moves so that they were easy to understand which certainly helped the guys who were training when it came to their turn.  And how can I not say that Spencer totally reminded me of Gary Kemp!  Maybe not the looks but definitely the voice!  I was actually disappointed that I couldn’t join in the class but that just means I get to go again!
Whilst I was watching, Spencer decided I should have a go at boxing with Ross.  Time for a tummy flip…….an ex professional boxer and me!  Coupled with the fact I was not dressed for training, I was giggling at myself already.  I love watching boxing and kickboxing but when it comes to joining in, until this day, I have always preferred the BJJ.  Here came the first obstacle of trying to get through the ropes.  Remember I had a sore thigh so it was more awkward than usual (that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it)!  I decided I wouldn’t fit through the ropes and attempted to crawl underneath the bottom one but ever the gentleman, Ross held the ropes open and I eventually got through and it was time for me to tie my hair back and let Ross put my gloves on!
 
We started off with me doing a jab, punch, left hook, punch on the pads.  I am actually not stupid but when I got into it, I was forgetting what order and hand I was meant to be using on a few occasions!  But when Ross told me to imagine I was punching my partner who is also my photographer, I got a bit of oomph and found I liked it!  Coordination is definitely not my strong point!  Just when I got the hands right, I then had to worry about my feet.  I honestly think anyone who can manage both straight off must be a natural!  The next ten minutes were concentrated on me keeping my feet shoulder width apart and remembering to move with the lead leg but never closing the back leg in.  I understood it but executing it was another thing entirely!!!  But you know what I gave it a good go and Ross was very patient and I think my instinct to protect myself is there at least, because when Ross told me, he would push me over if I didn’t keep my legs in the right stance, I was ready and determined to get it right!  And then when he moved towards me I did use my gloved hands to block what I assumed was going to be a gentle shot.  I think Ross found this amusing as he said ‘I wasn’t going to hit you’!
I built up a sweat after about a minute.  I am not used to exercising but I love sweating when I am doing something interesting.  I really enjoyed the pad work and learned the best way to punch to protect myself and not fall over!  I also managed to block out the rest of the room and didn’t feel self-conscious at all which was a big surprise to me as I am always paranoid!  I think I may be starting the boxing as well as the BJJ now!  Purely for exercise as I do not have it in me to be a fighter, I am just too nice!
Before the end of the evening, Spencer got in the ring with Ross and did some pad work.  Obviously I was better but Spencer certainly did well he has huge amounts of power in those hands.  I stood open mouthed as he danced around the ring landing hard shots.  Wow!
I couldn’t believe just how quick the evening had gone.  It was time to wrap up the BJJ lesson and for me to down my gloves until another day.  All that was left to do was take some photographs of the up and coming fighters of MMA Terror Squad and believe me there will be many that you will soon be hearing about.  And of course to take some photographs of the Hewitt Brothers.
 
Spencer next fights at CFC on June 30 in Brentwood.  He takes on Marty Kayes for the Flyweight Title and we will definitely be there cheering him on.  On the same card there will be other MMA Terror Squad guys fighting so we will be sure to bring you the results as they happen via Twitter and in our review.  I want to thank Spencer and Ross for allowing me access to their gym and letting me watch the talent that is building at MMA Terror Squad.  And also for being patient with me in the ring, anyone who can do that, deserves a medal!  And of course, I am looking forward to the stag weekend later this year!!!!
For more information on the classes, teachers and fighters at MMA Terror Squad check out the website http://www.mmaterrorsquad.co.uk