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THE NEC BIRMINGHAM 12th & 13th MAY 2012 JANUARY 2012 £3.95


Plus... The Genetics of MMA, Big John McCarthy, Bisping Causes Mayhem, Cage Rage UK 25, BAMMA 8 and all The Latest from The UFC, Strikeforce & Much More!







Psychologically Speaking With Doctor John O’Connor


Wrestling News By Teddy G

Happy new year from ALL at Fighters!


I hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the New Year celebrations, but don’t go too overboard with the festivities. Whether you did or didn’t, now is the time to get yourself back into training and where better to start than right here with Fighters magazine.

Total Leadership Developing Leadership Through Combat Sports


UFC 140 Jones vs Machida


Psychologically Speaking With Doctor John O’Connor


The Genetics of MMA By Ben Cartlidge


Dr Lucy Goldby Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy


Kitchen Wins Her Second Fight in The Muay Thai Premier League


Big John McCarthy Let’s Get it on!


UFC on Fox 2 By Bryan Levick


The Count Causes Mayhem Bisping Closes in on a Title Shot


Cage Rage UK 25 The Beatdown


MMA in Malaysia The Sport of a New Generation


Frank Shamrock By Bryan Levick


BAMMA 8 Manuwa vs Rea


Accept The Fact That You Can Never Know it All! By GlennShelford


Legends of The Cage David ‘Tank’ Abbott


Undefeated Danny Roberts Prepares For £10,000 Test


Meltdown A Legend-ary Event


Maximum Impact 3 By Cris Janson-Piers


80 Medals at The 4th ISKA European Championships


Seasons Beatings 4


York Hall


W.M.K.F. World Champs

In this issue, we have lots to get you back in the mood and help you get back into the usual routines. We have all the latest from the UFC including a report on the recent Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida fight at UFC 140. Jones is looking like an unstoppable force in the Light Heavyweight division at the moment and after a prolific 2011 it will be interesting to see if he keeps up the pace in 2012. We also catch up with Mike Bisping after his latest fight against Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller at the TUF Season 14 finale and we also look at Bisping’s prospects for 2012 with possibly a shot at Anderson Silva’s Middleweight crown. Congratulations also to Mike as he was inducted into The Martial Arts Hall of Fame awards as the Fighters magazine Man of the Year 2011! Closer to home we have full reports on the recent BAMMA 8 and Cage Rage UK 25 fight night’s. With some amazing fights at both events, including spectacular performances from the likes of Jimi Manuwa, Jimmy Wallhead, Louis King, Ben Smith and Iain Martell, these two premier British MMA events are really helping the sport to move forward and at the same time putting the UK firmly on the international MMA map. Big John McCarthy is a name you might not have heard of for a while! Well you will be hearing it a lot more in 2012 as the “Big Man” has returned to his rightful position at the centre of the octagon to referee some of the biggest names in the UFC and the sport. Our main man in the States, Bryan Levick caught up with John recently to find out what he has been doing in his absence and what he has been missing most about the sport. Bryan also caught up with another MMA legend, Frank Shamrock. Frank helped MMA come on leaps and bounds in his time in the UFC and various other organisations. Bryan asked him about his time in the sport and how he thinks it has progressed since he left. A special mention and congratulations go out to Julie Kitchen who won her second fight in the Muay Thai premier league recently. And she was also inducted into The Martial Arts Hall of Fame awards as Fighters magazines, Woman of the Year 2011. We quickly caught up with Julie on pages 30-31. We obviously have our usual mix of informative articles, interviews, training tips and fight reports from all corners of the full contact World, so carry on reading, enjoy and we will see you again next month, right here in FIGHTERS magazine.




ADVERTISING/SALES EXECUTIVE Jan Harley 0121-351-6930 PHOTOGRAPHY Carrie Austin 07716266854 IRISH MMA SUB EDITOR Thomas McCullough UK THAI SUB EDITOR Dan Green


UK KICKBOXING SUB EDITOR Cris Janson-Piers UK BOXING SUB EDITORS Luke Calvert, Mark Wilson Smith

THAI / KICKBOXING Tony Myers, Shaun Boland, Paul Hennessy, Bob Spour, Neil Holden, Dean Sugden, Carl Emery CONTRIBUTORS Steve Dileo, Bryan Levick, Fergus Dullaghan, Ben Cartlidge, Teddy Galbally, Craig Bush, Rocki Sondhi, Tommy Thompson COVER PICTURE Coutesy Zuffa LLC HOW TO GET WORK PUBLISHED Drop us an email at or give the editorial team a call on 0121 351 6930 NEWS ITEMS For all news related items, simply mark your envelope “FIGHTERS NEWSLINE” and together with a photograph (if required) and a covering letter, send it to: FIGHTERS, Head Office or E-Mail: HEAD OFFICE: Unit 20, Maybrook Business Park, Maybrook Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 1BE. Tel: 0121 351 6930 E-Mail: ADVERTISING DETAILS If you would like to advertise in FIGHTERS email us at to obtain details, deadline dates and costs. DISCLAIMER FIGHTERS is published by M.A. Publications Ltd, Unit 20, Maybrook Business Park, Maybrook Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 1BE. The publishers reserve the right to reject editorial and/or advertising material as they see fit. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material. However, the Publishers will endeavour to return such matter providing that it is accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. Any material accepted by the Publishers shall be revised or altered should the Publisher deem it necessary to do so. The act of submitting manuscripts and/or materials shall be considered an express warranty that such material is original and in no way infringes upon the rights of others. It is expressly forbidden for any part of the magazine to be reported whatsoever without the permission of Editor / Publishers. The views or comments expressed in these pages are not necessarily those of the editor or Publisher. Distribution by COMAG. No part of this magazine may be produced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior permission. Fighters, may not be sold at more than the recomended retail price shown on the cover. SUBSCRIPTION RATES To take out a subscription to Fighters, just send your cheque for the correct amount made payable to M.A. Publications ltd. to: Subscription Dept. Unit 20, Maybrook Business Park, Maybrook Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 1BE. or telephone: 0121-351 6930 12 issues = UK @ £44.95 EUROPE @ £75 (Airmail) REST OF WORLD @ £90 (Airmail)



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ESPN’s SportsNation names Jon “Bones” Jones as finalist for 2011’s Awesomest Dude of the Year



Dec. 7, 2011 - UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones, the youngest champion in UFC history, is one of eight finalists in ESPN SportsNation’s 2nd Annual Awesomest Dude of the Year contest.

Main Card Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes Vitor Belfort vs Anthony Johnson Rousimar Palhares vs Mike Massenzio Erick Silva vs Siyar Bahadurzada Edson Barboza vs Terry Etim

The contest is held in a bracket format with the winners of each round being determined by online fan voting. Voting in the first round is now open. All voting will be held exclusively on SportsNation’s Facebook page, located at www.Facebook. com/SportsNation.

Prelims Thiago Tavares vs Sam Stout Paulo Thiago vs Mike Pyle Yuri Alcantara vs Mitchihiro Omigawa Fabio Maldonado vs Stanislav Nedkov ROB BROUGHTON vs Ednaldo Oliveira Felipe Arantes vs Antonio Carvalho

Main Card Edgar vs Henderson Jackson vs Bader Hunt vs Kongo Akiyama vs Shields Pettis vs Lauzon Okami vs Boetsch Gomi vs Sotiropoulos Hioki vs Palaszewski Yamamoto vs Lee Fukuda vs Cantwell Mizugaki vs Cariaso Zhang vs Garcia

In the first round, Jones is matched up against WWE Superstar and actor Duane “The Rock” Johnson.


Jones received the nomination based on a stellar year in the UFC. He has won all three of his fights so far in 2011. On Feb. 5 at UFC 126, he defeated Ryan Bader by submission in a win that would ultimately earn him a title fight. Just six weeks later at UFC 128, Jones earned the Light Heavyweight belt by dominating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua with a thirdround TKO/KO. At UFC 135 on Sept. 24, Jones capped off his first title defense with a submission victory over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. It was the first time Jackson had ever been submitted in his legendary UFC career. Jones fought Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 on Dec. 10. That victory gave Jones three title fight wins in one year, and also three wins over former UFC champions in one year, which has never before happened in the UFC. Rua and Jackson were also previous title holders. Other athletes nominated are NFL stars Jared Allen and Tim Tebow, NBA stars Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin, extreme sports legend Travis Pastrana and top U.S. women’s soccer player Hope Solo. Last year, U.S. soccer star Landon Donovan won the inaugural “Awesomest Dude of the Year” award with over 270,000 votes in the final round, defeating WWE Superstar John Cena.

Saturday January 14th

Saturday January 21st

Main Card Melvin Guillard vs Jim Miller Duane Ludwig vs Josh Neer Pat Barry vs Christian Morecraft Prelims Jorge Rivera vs Eric Schafer Mike Brown vs Vagner Rocha Charlie Brenneman vs Daniel Roberts Rafaello Oliveira vs Reza Madadi Kamal Shalorus vs Khabib Nurmagomedov KARLOS VEMOLA vs Ryan Jimmo Joseph Sandoval vs Nick Denis


Saturday January 28th Main Card Rashad Evans vs Phil Davis Chael Sonnen vs Mark Munoz MIKE BISPING vs Demian Maia Prelims Cody McKenzie vs Michael Johnson Mike Russow vs John-Olav Einemo Cub Swanson vs George Roop Chris Camozzi vs Justin Jacoby

UFC on FX 2, Alves vs. Kampmann March 3rd, Allphones Arena, Sydney

In addition to the opening round of the inaugural flyweight tournament, UFC on FX 2 features a previously rumored welterweight headliner between Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann.

Saturday February 25th

For a full preview of UFC 144 be sure to pick up your copy of Fighters next month.

GSP’s knee surgery successful Reigning UFC welterweight champion Georges St.-Pierre underwent a knee operation in Los Angeles for his torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

“It went great,” said St.-Pierre’s coach Firas Zahabi Zahabi in MMA “The doctor said it could not have gone better.” Doctors expect St.-Pierre to recover in 6 to 10 months’ time. St.-Pierre was supposed to defend his belt against Carlos Condit at UFC 137, but had to pull out due to an injury in his right knee. This forced UFC to pit Condit against Nick Diaz for the interim welterweight belt in UFC 143 on February 4.

Alistair Overeem Granted Conditional License

After failing to supply a satisfactory prefight urinalysis Overeem has been granted a conditional license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. But in order for the Dutchman to compete he’ll be required to submit an observed urine sample within 72 hours at a NSACrecognized facility in Europe. He will also be tested upon arriving in the United States from the Netherlands prior to his fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 and then be subjected to two random drug tests in the following six months.




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DREAM: Fight for Japan.

New Year! 2011 Bantamweight Grand Prix fight card Bantamweight Semifinals: Masakazu Imanari vs. Antonio Banuelos Bibiano Fernandes vs. Rodolfo Marques Bantamweight Final: Winner of Imanari/Banuelos vs. Winner of Fernandes/Marques Main card: Featherweight Championship: Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi Inoue Lightweight Championship: Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii Heavyweight: Tim Sylvia vs. Brett Rogers Featherweight: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata Welterweight: Hayato Sakurai vs. Ryo Chonan Women’s Flyweight: Karla Benitez vs. Megumi Fujii

Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine Saturday January 7th

Middleweight Title Fight: Luke Rockhold vs Keith Jardine Robbie Lawler vs Adlan Amagov Muhammed Lawal vs Lorenz Larkin Tyron Woodley vs Jordan Mein Tarec Saffiedine vs Tyler Stinson

Cage Rage UK 26

Saturday 4th February, Troxy Arena, 490 Commercial Road, London, E1 0HX Official Fight card... Middleweight Super K-1 Title Paul Daley vs Luke Sines Przemyslaw Misiek vs Linton Vassell Spencer Hewitt vs Cory Tait Stav Economou vs Tomasz Czerwinski Iain Martell vs TBA Brendan Katz vs Ashleigh Grimshaw Chi Lewis Perry vs TBA Ben Callum vs Luke Barnatt Andy Cona vs Walter Gahadza Paul Taylor vs Marian Rusu Lee Caers vs Jason Radcliffe Sean Carter vs Amil Smith Sam Gilbert vs Dean Bray Sam Boo vs Michael Page Florian Calin vs Steven Stanley



Psychologically Speaking with Dr. John O.Connor



Toxic relationships contain abusive patterns of behavior. Toxic aspects of relationships can drag anyone down, affect self-esteem, and leave a person feeling angry, sad, or frustrated. Toxic relationships can exist in one’s personal and professional life. For the fighter, this can spell trouble in the ring, especially when there is conflict in the fighter’s corner team. How does a fighter know when he or she is in a toxic relationship, and what can the fighter do to improve the chances for success? Toxic Relationships in the Training Camp Toxic people are people who don’t feel good about themselves and are jealous of your success in the ring and will subconsciously try to sabotage your success in training, or even worse, sabotage your match. Toxic relationships can exist inside the gym. Working with trainers, other fighters, and sparring partners that are toxic in any way can be very draining on your energy, both mentally and emotionally. If you leave the gym feeling guilty, tired, angry and very stressed out after long workouts, chances are you have people in your training team that are not helping you productively and in a positive manner, which will hurt your overall experience in your training.

Some behaviors you might experience from toxic people are: • Put downs and insults • Sarcasm • Backhanded comments, such as insulting a person then calling it a joke • Constant complaining • Gossip (yes, it happens in gyms too) • Backstabbing and two-faced, such as being nice to your face then putting you down when you’re gone • Personality clashes Even if these behaviors are present in the smallest of ways at first, over time, all of those undermining behaviors end up taking a toll on your training sessions and your matches. This can be devastating if you are engaged in one of the hardest fights of your life or if you are on the comeback trail. Think of a pipe with a very small leak. Those small, slow drops of water might seem insignificant at first. Over time, all of those little drops of water fill a bucket. Toxic people are experts in manipulation. Over time, it might be a comment or two, or a snide remark slipped into the conversation. Toxic people are very skilled at triggering and awakening emotions and feelings in past issues that you have thought were long since hidden or locked away. A toxic person can completely drain you in a matter of 10 minutes and severely affect the outcome of your training sessions and your ability to perform in the ring. These behaviors and comments can chip

away at your self-confidence. You should feel great after training, invincible. If you are feeling drained and frustrated after training, start paying attention to the people you have around you in the gym, how they are acting, and the things they are saying to you. They could be part of the problem. Toxic Relationships and Your Corner Team Even if you have had the same corner team for years, toxic relationships can form and be present, sometimes even years later. I worked with one gentleman who was insistent on working with the corner team he started with, even though he was having a lot of trouble making a comeback on his comeback trail. I suggested to him to mix it up and get some new people in for his corner team. He was insistent on keeping his corner team. It cost him the match. He stated to me after losing his fight that one of his corner coaches made a comment to him that completely shut him down, his mental game was wiped out, and he found himself tapping out in the second round...

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Wres Well, as November rolls into December it’s been a month of stability and change – but at the same time. We have new champions in the ‘big two’ but nothing like the major happenings of the past few months as everyone seems to be winding down the year ready for a new push into 2012. WWE held another successful tour in November, taking in the usual cities and offering good cards on each but without really doing anything out of the ordinary. TNA however have their tour coming up at the end of January and will be taking in Nottingham, Manchester, and Wembley Stadium with limited tickets still available at the moment (can you think of a better Xmas present for the wrestling fan in your life? Okay, apart from a 12 month subscription to Fighters of course). TNA have actually been very smart for the 2012 tour and have set up a tournament to determine a number 1 contender to Bobby Roode’s World Title, and ‘if’ it’s a Brit then they will get their title shot on the tour, here in the UK.


Gail Kim has marked her return to TNA with gold by winning the Knockouts Tag Team titles with Madison Rayne and the Knockouts World Championship from Velvet Sky. With Kim and Rayne being supported by Knockouts VP, Karen Jarrett, they are dominating everyone in the division. Sticking with the knockouts, it’s good to see Sarita fit and well again after the partial facial paralysis she had been suffering


tling News from. Although her recovery was almost undone after she took an evil bump from the top rope and smashed face first into the concrete at a CMLL card in Mexico. She attempted to swan dive on to her opponents outside the ring put her foot slipped at she tried the jump sending her tumbling face first and ended up with her being stretchered semi conscious to the back. Luckily all she suffered was a few bruises and badly dented pride! Crimson & Matt Morgan have stopped beating each other up long enough to form a team and capture the Tag Team titles. The only thing that can stop them dominating everyone in their path is each other… can you hear the tick tick tick of that time bomb? Robbie E has taken Wales’ own Rob Terry (now known as Robbie T) as his ‘minder’ and it has already paid dividends as he captured the TV Title from Eric Young. For any TNA fans that do want to snap up those last few tour tickets then please note that TNA are doing certain tickets at discounted rates over the Christmas period. Check out www.impactwrestling. com for more information. Back in the Land of the (lumbering) Giants that is also known as the WWE, things remain mostly status quo. Mark Henry is still World Champ and is still feuding with Big Slow, oops, Big Show (although to be fair, they have had some surprisingly entertaining encounters with both men playing to their strengths and keeping it simple). CM Punk is WWE Champ once again and he and John Cena are still feuding with Miz & R-Truth.

Dolph Ziggler continues to hold the U.S. title with Cody Rhodes still holding the Intercontinental belt (actually, the old style belt which he has resurrected). The Rock did indeed team with John Cena at Survivor Series and did indeed turn on him after the match, planting him with a Rock Bottom. This is the start of the slow drip build up for their match at Wrestlemania. Expect to see Rock make some kind of appearance at the Royal Rumble (probably to costs Cena the match). Talking of the Royal Rumble, Undertaker should be back by then. WWE have been teasing a series of creepy videos on its programming over the past few weeks predicting someone is coming on the 2nd of January. This is traditionally how WWE have brought him back in the past and I don’t see it being different this time. Finally, sticking with January, or more accurately 2012, we at Fighters want to make it the year British wrestling gets back on the map in its own right. There is some fantastic talent over here that gets overlooked every single week. We want to help change that and so we plan to highlight various UK promotions throughout 2012. If you have any suggestions of who you would like to get some coverage in these hallowed pages then please drop us a line...

With that in mind I would like to remind fans that Preston City Wrestling have tickets on sale now for their ‘Blood, Sweat, and Beers’ show on February 24th 2012. You can check it out at www.facebook. com/PrestonCityWrestling. Have a great Christmas to those who celebrate it, and happy holidays to those that don’t! Catch you all in 2012!!

Dolph Ziggler


The concept of Total Leadership is concerned with developing the leader from within. Total Leadership is about ensuring the qualities of balance, creativity and personal drive are captured within a comprehensive training framework. Great leaders walk the talk, and do not talk the talk. Total Leadership is about change, development and transformation of the individual from within. Sometimes there is an assumption that leaders are born. This assumption should be challenged as development and learning are critical to the evolution of leadership. In addition, recent research into neuroscience has discovered that the brain is neuroplastic, suggesting that it can evolve through training. Very rarely will you find a leader that has not made mistakes. Fear, and the management of fear, is probably the biggest block to leadership development. In the past, people had little, or less, to lose and experimentation was essential for progress. However, in modern and wealthy times, people assume they have much more to lose. They live in a very comfortable style and lack the desire and will to change and improve themselves, creating an uncomfortable status quo, which slows down the personal development of individuals. Great leaders are not born, but are nurtured by learning from their responses to the challenges presented to them. As the challenges become more intense and difficult, people either stop putting themselves in those situations, protecting themselves from failure, or they become stronger and better leaders learning from the mistakes and successes of their responses to those challenges.

The development of Total Leadership is based on individuals putting themselves in situations that challenge their assumptions and take them outside their comfort zone. This is where combat sport has a major role to play in the development of leaders. Combat sport can place people in situations, which stretch their capabilities, and also pushes their limits to levels not previously possible. These situations are very tangible in the sporting environment and variety is purely limited by the imagination. The key leadership capabilities that combat sport can develop are: • Balanced lifestyle - Capture synergies across your life – lead from home outwards • Creativity and innovation – intuitive and processes • Learn by doing – assess, analyse, act • Values and Priorities - Understand own values and priorities • Experimenting – learn from mistakes

that the leadership qualities spoken about very rarely are needed in good situations or when things are going well. When the fighter is on top momentum carries the individual through. However, the true test of leadership is when things are not going so well. This is where the attributes of the true leader manifest themselves. Combat sport provides an environment that allows people to be placed in situations that can test the individual in unique ways. Combat sports, such as boxing, test the personal characteristics of leadership. Many of the leadership development programmes focus on the development of team based qualities, which is very beneficial. However, the personal traits and the development of the right attitude are critical to success. A leader with a winning attitude is more likely to succeed than someone who has not explored and stretched his or her own personal boundaries.

There are many different views on the role of combat sport in leadership development, but what really is the value of combat sport in developing leaders and how can we maximise the benefit from this kind of development.

This series of articles will explore how we develop the specific attributes we mention through specific training drills based around different combat sports. We strongly believe the actual combat sport to martial art used is irrelevant, as we believe all sports have something to offer.

From a leadership perspective combat sport can be a key driver in leadership development. Note

This first article will describe the basis of the Total Leadership programme and also how it may


by Rakesh K. Sondhi

be implemented in clubs for people of all ages. For further information please feel free to contact me at The Elite Performance Academy. The philosophy behind Total Leadership is the development of qualities from within the individual. Personal Attributes The lasting image of the boxer is taken from Sylvester Stallone’s character in the Rocky films where as an underdog Rocky demonstrates a determination and will to win that is second to none. As the sequels progress Rocky develops as an individual into a more complete and caring person, but that attitude never leaves him. Let’s look at some of these attributes and their importance to the leader. Passion Passion represents the desire to participate in an activity due to an interest or attachment to the activity. There are pros/cons of passion. It is important that passion is balanced with other activities in one’s life otherwise the passion lacks control and can start to negatively influence performance...

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Saturday 10th December was one of the most memorable ufc history. ufc 140 had almost everything, from a 7 knock out (no that’s not a type error), to one of the submissions you will likely ever see, oh, and one of choke out submissions this side of 2012. The main event saw Jon Jones defend his Light Heavyweight title for the second time against former champ Lyoto Machida. We mentioned in last month’s article that Machida would prove Jones’ toughest test to date and he didn’t dissapoint. Straight from the first bell Machida was his usual calm, calculated self, moving round the octagon like a predator stalking his prey waiting for Jones to shoot in, which he did, giving Machida the chance to counter with frightening speed and acuracy. That was the story of the first round, Jones would shoot in, usually missing his opponent and Machida would counter landing some hard punches to the head. We also saw the Karate background of Mach-

ida’s fighting with some awesome blitzing as he fired flurries of fast punches at Jones trying to overawe and confuse the champ. At the end of the first round Jones was visibly worried by what he had encountered but after receiving advice from Greg Jackson in his corner Jones came out for the second round with a seemingly different game plan. Jones started to almost take the same plan as Machida, a much more calmer, measured approach abandoning his efforts to overwhelm Machida and instead wait for his oppenings and boy did it work. He started catching Machida with a few good, solid punches and then when his chance arrose took Machida to the ground. On the ground Jones showed just how good he is

nights in second most brutal the best

utilising his long arms and caught Machida with a number of vicious elbows, the last of which opened up a nasty cut on Lyoto’s forehead. After a breif stoppage to check the cut the fight commenced and Machida looked a different fighter. He was visibly hurt and didn’t seem to have the energy that he showed in the first round, Jones spotted this and moved in catching Machida with a left to the temple dropping him to the canvas. As Machida got to his feet Jones took his neck and started squeezing in a Guillotine choke. It wasn’t long before Machida’s arms went limp and ref Big John McCarthy (see our interview with Big John elsewhere in this issue) stepped in and ended the fight. This was as we knew it would be, Jones’ toughest test of his career so far and he passed with flying colours. He showed that he is able to adapt and think on his feet when a game plan isn’t working, or he just meet’s someone who can really challenge him, he also showed that he can take a punch after being hit with some solid strikes from Machida. Machida also showed us what a great fighter he is and he will certainly be back challenging for the title again but as for now Jon Jones still reigns supreme at the top of the division...

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The Genetics

of MMA Dana White at the Oxford Union Society; it’s certainly a curious juxtaposition. It’s akin to seeing Joe Pesci live from the Natural History Museum but Dana’s speech had a very clear message. It was good to see him avoid his usual profane approach and talk clearly and passionately about the sport that he devotes his waking hours to.

As you might imagine the speech was a vitriolic salute about the trials and tribulations of the Zuffa campaign, in which White told the Cinderella story of just how the UFC went from the doghouse to the penthouse. One of his opening statements, however, was maybe one of the most insightful of his public speaking career. Fighting works everywhere. I don’t care what colour you are, what language you speak or what country you come from. We’re all human beings and fighting’s in our DNA. We get it

and we like it. – Dana White Dana’s words, as per usual, were meant to energize and involve the listening ears of the world’s media but his argument is certainly an interesting one. If we look at the most popular sports around, none of them compare to the finality of any combat disciplines. A tennis player who loses an important match can blame all kinds of variables on his loss but, inside, he surely must know that his sense of pride has not been truly defeated; his natural fighting instincts have not been quenched. He may have lost a game of tennis, he still has the knowledge in his head that no harm has come to him, and he was not physically dominated. A fighter in a similar situation is not afforded a similar luxury. He isn’t able to look up at the lights and claw back comfort from the fact that, he may have been soundly thrashed but there’s no way that his conqueror would beat him at badminton. Fighting is the denominator behind all sporting competitions, all athletes who

compete want to prove that they are the best. All athletes want to prove that they have the ability to dominate anyone who steps in front of them and to leave no doubt who was victorious. There is simply no statement with the same degree of finality as seeing a fighter stand above his defeated foe, his arms raised in the air with nothing left to say. Who would win at any other contest is simply just details in this case; the victorious fighter has proved with a single gesture why there should be no doubt. There is a great streak of violence in every human being. If it is not channelled or understood, it will break out in war or in madness – Sam Peckinpah Fighting is central to human nature; it may be debated never disputed. A trip back through the pages of history shows us warrior kings held up as demigods in their respective times. It’s a unique rush for a fighter to put everything they have of their body and soul on the line, time


after time. It represents the ultimate statement of sacrifice and the chance to earn the respect that warriors have been accorded for as long as records exist. Brock Lesnar is a perfect example of this argument; a modern day gladiator. Civilized society has taught us to repress these innate drives to conquer and to dominate but those two adjectives are perfectly descriptive of the UFC Heavyweight. Joe Rogan often talks about Lesnar as being a barbarian and it’s probably one of the most accurate descriptions around. Ancient armies were lead into battle by men who shared Lesnar’s genetic template; covered from head to toe in images of skulls, war and battle; driven to destroy and defend all that they had with their lives. The success of the UFC is unparalleled in the mixed martial arts world. Zuffa have done a masterful job of transforming the carnage that was the SEG era product and rebranding it to the modern audience. However, as the sport has grown, it became clear that the UFC needed to tap into the mainstream to make the transition from the most exciting

sport that nobody ever saw to the next sporting phenomenon. You guys are going to be here for a very long time. I’m telling you now, in the next fifteen years, this is going to be the biggest sport in the world. Remember I said that. – Dana White The solution came from a very unlikely source and one that White himself didn’t see coming, reality television. Dana, almost begrudgingly, went ahead with the Ultimate Fighter as a vehicle to get the sport onto free television and even he could not have foreseen how great the rewards were. The Ultimate Fighter was getting almost two million viewers a week once the series picked up some momentum and at the peak, the Forrest Griffin vs. Steffan Bonnar fight, even managed to beat the US Masters on CBS. If fighting is undoubtedly such a central part of the human condition then why hadn’t the UFC been able to achieve these heights before? Mixed martial arts fans knew about the sport, but the UFC didn’t have to convince them about their product. The general public were the

target audience and they were enthralled by the show simply because it catered to the human interest in people; anthropology at the most basic level. The fighters who came out of the first house are, to this day, some of the most recognised characters in the sport, years after they moved forwards with their careers. Chris Leben is, arguably, just as famous for his emotional meltdowns inside the house than he is for his high octane wars inside it. Will mixed martial arts become the biggest sport in the world?..

To read the rest of this article why not order a back issue, visit www.fightersmag.

By Ben Cartlidge




Dr Lucy Goldby PhD MCSP is Director of Spinal Care at Balance Performance. She has over twenty five years experience in clinical spinal disorders and is a renowned back pain specialist. She has lectured nationally and internationally, and unusually for an academic continued as a full time clinician. Lucy has spent years researching the best treatment approaches for lower back pain management.  She finds that the only real long term solutions emerge from ongoing commitment to rehabilitation and exercise and consequently in tandem with her other directors established Balance Performance Physiotherapy in order to provide her clients with the environment to combat spinal pain. What is your name, age and profession? LUCY GOLBY: Dr Lucy Goldby, 44 (and a ½ - very important in my house with three children) and I’m a spinal and sports rehabilitation physiotherapist How long have you been a sports and spinal physiotherapist? LUCY GOLBY: 23 years What was your PhD on and do you have an area you specialise in? LUCY GOLBY: My interest area is clinical efficacy of conservative interventions for low back disorders. In a nut shell it means what is the most effective intervention for the given diagnosis for the spine in front of me, or in front of you. It was a clinical (as opposed to lab based) PhD and all of my research has been clinically based, so I have continued to practice through

out all of my academic research, which is very important, as it is very useful to critically analyse techniques when you see the effect there and then.

reducing pain, medication in take, disability and at improving quality of life and function in patients with back pain over the immediate, short and long term.

Within the research we looked at rehabilitating the muscles involved in spinal stability (commonly called core stability). We looked at the reasons why having back pain causes these muscles to stop working and then worked out the best ways to re-engage the muscles.

Did you do anything differently to what had been done before?

Was the research well received? LUCY GOLBY: Yes. In terms of validity and importance the UK has a number of institutions and organisations that investigate quality of research and inform medicine, namely NICE (The National Institution for Clinical Excellence) and Cochrane (a search engine reporting board). Both of these organisation site only three or four high quality studies that are capable of informing the UK and western society on the optimal ways to manage and treat back pain and my study is included in both of these. What did the research show? LUCY GOLBY: Two things essentially, it demonstrated very clearly that manual physiotherapy effectively reduces pain, but more importantly that rehabilitation of the muscles involved in protecting the spine was much more effective at

LUCY GOLBY: Plenty of things. Every single exercise within the study was based on research, rather than tradition and belief, so we knew what every exercise did. We introduced lots of tricks to stimulate these muscles and it all worked wonderfully, it took a little while for the rest of the world to catch up! Do you use these techniques at Balance Performance? LUCY GOLBY: Yes. We have a large and very talented back pain team, and everyone is very capable at stimulating these muscles and resolving low back pain. Since establishing Balance Performance ten years ago, we as a team have become much more effective and resolving and reducing low back pain...

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Cornwall’s Julie Kitchen has continued her tournament success by winning her second fight in the Muaythai Premier League in Holland on Sunday 6th November. Representing the UK in the MPL Julie, 13 x World Muaythai Boxing Champion, won on a unanimous points decision over Canadian fighter Sandra Bastian in The Hague which puts Julie at the top of her league with 4 points claimed so far from her wins.

The MPL event puts the world’s best fighters against each other in roundrobin action, with Kitchen fighting in the Super Lightweight division. Kitchen’s next fight will be in France against Tainara Lisboa from Brazil in February 2012. Kitchen lives and trains in Cornwall, UK, and fights out of Penzance’s Touchgloves Gym. With 53 fights under her belt Julie Kitchen is 13x times World Champion in 4 different weight categories, the first and only woman to ever have achieved this. She is proudly sponsored

by Touchgloves Gym, and Breathe Unity Athlete Management. Check out Julie Kitchen’s full Breathe Unity elite athlete profile on: profile/julie-kitchen and join Julie’s Facebook page www.facebook. com/juliekitchenuk .




When the UFC MADE its network television debut on November 12th, there was a very familiar face taking his rightful spot inside the Octagon. No, it’s wasn’t UFC President Dana White nor was it UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos. The man that has become just as recognizable and almost as popular as any mixed martial artist to have ever fought in the UFC is referee “Big” John McCarthy. Known for his trademark, “Let’s Get it On,” call that he bellows before the beginning of every fight he officiates, McCarthy was chosen by the California State Athletic Commission to act as the third man in the most important fight in the organizations history. Ever since his career as a referee begun back in 1993, McCarthy has been witness to some of the most grueling, competitive and important fights the sport has ever seen. So it was only natural that he got the call to work the bout from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. His popularity has transcended throughout the lean years of the sport and remains clearly evident as the sport has grown. It comes as no surprise to many that his name conjures up emotions from many of the hardcore fans who remember McCarthy just as well they remember any fighter who has stepped inside the cage over the years. He routinely receives just as loud if not louder ovations the very fighters he is in charge of. Ask anyone familiar with McCarthy and they will tell you it is well deserved. McCarthy along with Loretta Hunt put together a book based upon his experiences inside

and outside of the Octagon. Appropriately entitled, “Let’s Get It On- The Making of MMA and its Ultimate Referee,” was released on September 1st and is a must read for any mixed martial arts fan, especially the newer ones who are interested in learning about the early days of the UFC. “The book starts off with how I grew up and how I went into certain directions,” McCarthy told Bleacher Report. “There are a few chapters on my life, the LAPD, how I got involved with Rorion Gracie and how MMA began. How the Gracies tried to integrate their teachings from Brazil into the US. Then it goes into the making of the UFC, how and why things came together as they did. A lot of it was done to give credit to people who have done a lot to bring the sport to where it is. It wasn’t written to thank anyone for anything they did for me in particular. You have two types of MMA fans, the newer fans brought along on The Ultimate Fighter and the old die hard guys who have been there from the very beginning. Those guys have a pretty good idea of how and who were instrumental in putting this thing together. They may not know how Art Davie and Bob Meyrowitz were involved other than Meyrowitz sold the company to Zuffa. They aren’t familiar with Jeff Blatnick, who was

an Olympic Gold Medalist in Greco Roman Wrestling, and how he lent credibility to the sport. Here was a guy who went up against the naysayers and said this sport isn’t bad, it’s good. It’s full of great athletes. He never got credit for that or how he helped implement certain rules and the current judging system. It’s not the Medias fault, but everyone gives credit to Dana, but he’s not the guy who came up with it. He’s done a great job promoting the sport, but long before Dana knew what the sport was there were guys working hard to make this work and they deserve credit. Loretta Hunt wanted me to write this book for awhile about the history and why things happened and I kept telling her no. Finally she said there are too many people who have been passed by and no one will ever know about their contributions until someone talks about it. For those reasons alone, it was worth it to write the book.” Long before he was working inside the cage as a referee, McCarthy was a Los Angeles Police Officer who was chosen by the brass to try and come up with a better way to subdue assailants other than the use of batons. Little did he know just how far that training would take him and how much different his life would become.


By Bryan Levick

“The way that I met Rorion Gracie was because of the LA riots that occurred after the Rodney King ruling,” explained McCarthy. “The LAPD wanted to teach officers a better way to control someone other than using the baton because it’s pretty stupid that the only option an officer has it to hit someone with a steel pipe. It’s not a good idea, so they put together a Martial Arts Review Committee made up of a lot of great martial artists from Southern California. I happened to be one of the officers on the committee and was introduced to Gracie. I began working out with him and he and Art Davy were putting together a show called War of the Worlds. Art had gotten a gentleman by the name of Campbell McClaren to buy into the idea. McClaren was part of Semaphore Entertainment Group. Bob Meyrowitz put some money down and they changed the name to The Ultimate Fighting Championships. As a police officer my job was to teach other cops the curriculum the department came up with to subdue suspects...

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on F This is where the real fun begins. For those of you who weren’t all that satisfied with the UFC’s first foray onto network television in November, you will be hard-pressed to find anything to complain about when it comes to UFC on Fox 2: Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis. Think of the Cain Velasquez-Junior Dos Santos bout as the UFC and Fox giving fans a treat, an opportunity for them to get acclimated with one another. The excitement leading up to November 12 was crazy and the feeling in the Honda center that night was completely electric. No matter how big of a fan you are you knew history was being made. Now that the UFC and Fox have gotten their feet wet they are set to explode with Evans vs. Davis. As of right now there have been a

total of 10 bouts announced with the top three scheduled to be televised on the Fox network and the balance shown on Fox’s sister network Fuel TV. All three main card bouts have some sort of title implications attached to them. The night promises to not only offer some great match-ups, but it will hopefully clear up who will face the UFC’s light heavyweight champion and middleweight champion respectively. I say hopefully because as we all have come to

understand far too well sometimes when certain fights are supposed to answer some questions they can sometimes lead to more confusion. In the main event we have former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans facing the undefeated four time Division I All-American from Penn State “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis. Evans has had his share of trials and tribulations over the past year beginning with a knee injury that forced him to pull out of his UFC 128 contest with then light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. We all know what happened next, Suga’s Team Jackson teammate Jon Jones stepped in and defeated Rua pretty handily and has gone on to defend the title on two occasions. After defeating Rua and subsequently Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the UFC brought Evans into the cage to promote the bout between Evans and Jones, but injuries to both men put a halt to those contests each time. Evans has since gone on to defeat Tito Ortiz at UFC 133 in August and should be next in line to face Jones with a win over Davis. But this is the UFC and nothing is ever that easy. Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson returned to the organization for the third time.


ox 2 By Bryan Levick

With a stunning and thrilling victory over the aforementioned Rua, Henderson may have positioned himself for a shot at Jones & the UFC’s 205lb title. As far as Davis is concerned, a win over Evans would be very impressive, but would it be enough to catapult him straight into the number one contenders’ slot? More than likely the answer would be no, unless Henderson is unable to slide into the spot opposite Jones, a man 17 years his junior. If that wasn’t enough the next two bouts could possibly determine the next two challengers for the UFC’s Middleweight Championship currently held by Anderson “Spider” Silva. In a battle between collegiate wrestler’s former number one contender and resident bad boy Chael Sonnen will face off against the hard hitting Mar Munoz. Sonnen took Silva to the limit at UFC 117 in August of 2010 dominating the Spider for 23 minutes before getting caught in the Hail Mary of triangle chokes with just 110 seconds left in the bout. Sonnen was suspended for elevated Testosterone levels and returned at UFC 136 this past October and defeated the always tough Brian Stann via arm triangle in the second round. It was assumed he would face Silva in a rematch, but due to an injury sustained by Silva which will keep him out for...

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Count Ca Bisping closes in on a shot at the title Mike Bisping took his recent record to 4-0 with an impressive victory over fellow tuf coach jason ‘mayhem’ miller at the recent finale of season 14 of the ultimate fighter


uses Mayhem It wasn’t all plain sailing as Miller caused him a few problems in the first round including taking, and keeping Bisping pinned to the ground in an awkward and dangerous position. But when Bisping found his way back to his feet he slowly ground down his opponent and tired him out taking a tko win in the third round.

This was one of the most impressive performances to date from the Brit and put’s him right up in the top 4 fighters in contention for a shot at the Middleweight title and arguably the best pound for pound mixed martial arts fighter at the moment, Anderson Silva. He will have to come through one or two more fights though before he can think about being number one contender and next up will be BJJ expert and former title contender Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 2 on January 28th.

This will be a big test for Bisping and will tell us whether he is ready to take on someone of the calibre of Anderson Silva. A win over Maia would definitely be his biggest win to date. Maia will obviously be looking to take this one to the ground and use his superior BJJ skills to finish out the fight and line himself up for a rematch with Silva...

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pictures copyright

After a shaky start Bisping put on an imperious performance against his american counterpart using his superior boxing skills and cardio to easily win.


The Beat Down


Saturday 3rd december was the date for cage rage/ucmma to hold their most recent event at the troxy, london. the fight card was packed full of mouth watering match-ups and some of the biggest names on the uk mma and k-1 scene. In the first big fight of the night rising Heavyweight star Iain Martell was up against the very experienced Earl Brown. Martell had promised fireworks for this one and although it didn’t happen standing up as Martell had predicted it did happen when martell took his opponent straight to the ground and pounded on him untill ref Leon Roberts stepped in and called an end to the fight. Martell called out Nick Chapman after the fight but as Chapman is currently injured his next opponent at CRUK 26 on February 4th is yet to be confirmed. Next up was Big Ben Smith, or as he is now known, medium Ben Smith, fighting for the first time at Light Heavyweight after dropping down from Heavyweight. He was up against Ricky Campbell in what looked like a mismatch in size and that difference showed as Smith took Campbell straight to the floor in round one and pounded on his opponent for almost all of the round. Round two began just as round one had finished with Smith taking his opponent straight to the floor again and continuing to reign down punches until Campbell gave up his back and Smith sunk in a tight rear naked choke forcing Campbell to tap. An impressive first outing for Smith at this weight and we look forward to seeing him in action again. There was alot of excitment and anticipation surrounding the next fight as up and coming middleweight star Louis

King (who we featured in last month’s issue) was fighting Cage Rage veteran Mark ‘The Wizard’ Weir for the UK-1 Middleweight title. It didn’t take long to see why this fight was being hyped up so much but blink and you might have missed it as within 16 seconds Weir found himself on the end of a powerfull left hand from King leaving him out cold on the deck. Short work for King who takes the UK-1 Middleweight title in very impressive fashion. Mark Potter vs Chris Harman was a fight most didn’t see lasting long as Harman was giving away nearly 14kg to Potter. Harman would surprise everybody though by putting in a really gutsy performance and showing he was ready to stand and bang with someone much bigger than himself. It was the same story for most of the fight as Harman tried to keep on the move constantly circling Potter, every now and again shooting in with some strikes. Potter though was not fazed and calmly waited for his opportunities to lay hands on Harman delivering some devastating body blows which Harman clearly felt, most of which saw Harman drop to the floor. A late flurry from Harman gave the Cardiff fighter fighter hope as he landed a couple of good strikes pushing Potter back for the first time only for Potter to weather the storm and land one final body shot that saw Harman fall to the floor for the last time.

Harman showed alot of heart but in the end it was a dominating performance from Potter and a great fight to watch. The final fight of the night was between Jake Bostwick and Deniston Sutherland for the Middleweight championship. This was a very evenly matched fight with both trading punches and looking for a takedown which Bostwick did get but Deniston got straight back to his feet. It was a sweet left though that caught Sutherland towards the end of the first round leaving him out on his feet. Sutherland tried to cover up and even threw a wild spinning back fist only to be caught for a second time by another left straight to the chin knocking Sutherland out...

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Frank Shamr Helping MMA Move in the Right Direction MMA legend Frank Shamrock has just about seen and done it all in the sport of mixed martial arts. He has beaten a who’s who of the sports top fighters and developed himself into a brand rather than just a fighter. He is a true pioneer and goes back to a time when there were no rules, no multi-million dollar television contracts and there was a constant threat of the sport going dark. Shamrock would leave the sport back in 2000 because no one was offering the opportunities that are presented to fighters today. Shamrock had a family to think of and at the time there was more money to be made outside of the sport than there was inside of it. Thankfully Shamrock made his way back to the cage in 2003 and not only created opportunities for himself to make money, but for other fighters as well. Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Frank about just how far the sport has come. With UFC on Fox 1, I felt it was important to dig into the darker days of MMA. With the sport getting bigger and bigger everyday, why not get the opinion of someone who has had so much impact on mixed martial arts as a whole. For that, there is no better man than Frank Shamrock. What are some of your very first memories of the UFC back in the beginning? If you can tell the readers about the differences in how the sport was covered, governed and how the fighters were treated. FRANK SHAMROCK: Back then we really didn’t have any commissions to oversee the sport like we do today. There was a doctor who would handle your physical and go over all of your medicals. Fighters took care of their own stuff for the most part. We didn’t have locker rooms like the fighters do today, there were 8 guys bunched into

one room and because of the tournament style you never knew who you were fighting. What was the media like back then? I would imagine you didn’t have the elaborate press conferences that are held today. FRANK SHAMROCK: There were a few regulars at each event. You had Joe Doyle of Full Contact Fighter, there were only about three or four steady guys, most of them were from the internet. Dave Meltzer was always around as was Eddie Goldman. Most of the media that came were first timers who were usually there to report the bad side of the sport. A lot of the mainstream media were clueless about the sport; it was definitely a weird time. We had to be cautious because we knew they were looking to report on the negative aspects of the sport. It was easy to pick the guys out, it was a lot of Wild West shit going on that’s for sure! Was there any type of drug testing done for illegal drugs, steroids, etc.? FRANK SHAMROCK: I don’t think so, I really don’t remember any testing being done and that can be attributed to the lack of any true commissions regulating the sport. This was well before the unified rules went into effect. When I first came along there was also only two weight classes so you can imagine

things were pretty crazy back then. The only reason they even came up with those weight classes was because the politicians were coming down so hard on them. Was there a lot of recreational drug use or heavy drinking in the early days of the sport. Was it done out in the open, was it hidden or was their an attitude of don’t look, don’t tell? FRANK SHAMROCK: I didn’t see any drug use myself, by the time I arrived in the UFC we had commissions looking after us. New Jersey in particular was very strict. I may not have seen any drug use, but you pretty much kept to yourself. Regardless of what was going on these guys were still fighters and they still had to take care of themselves. We were pretty serious about the sport and didn’t want to risk getting injured. Can you tell me a story that happened years ago that if it were to occur today would really shine a negative light on the sport? FRANK SHAMROCK: I remember when Harold Howard was leaving the Octagon and heading back through the small entrance area that led the fighters to the back. He had just won his fight to get into the semi-finals and he was hit by a rotating light right on the temple. He fell as was completely unconscious. He literally dropped like a sack of potatoes!



By Bryan Levick

His team picked him up and got him on the examination table in the back and woke him up. 15 minutes later he was back in the Octagon fighting. I was a young man and I remember thinking to myself this is freaking crazy! The doctor didn’t see it happen so he couldn’t be at fault, but with the amount of television coverage there is now, things like that would never happen. What were your initial expectations when you first arrived in the UFC? You had made a name for yourself over in Japan especially in your fights against Bas Rutten. Could you see the potential for the sport and the organization? FRANK SHAMROCK: As soon as I saw it I realized it had great potential. I always thought it would be one of the greatest sports in the world because it was so compelling. I thought the possibilities were endless. It was unfortunate because when I came around it was one of the slowest times for the sport...

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Saturday 10th december was the date for BAMMA 8 and arguably the organisations biggest fight card yet. the main event was the bamma debut of ucmma light heavyweight champ jimi manuwa as he took on anthony rea. In the co-main event of the night ‘Judo’ Jim Walhead was coming off a huge win at BAMMA 7 after defeating UFC veteran Frank Trigg on points. His fight tonight didn’t look any easier either as he faced another American veteran in the form of Joey Villasenor. The fight started off cagey with both fighters trying to get the measure of one another before BOOM, Villasenor shot in and Walhead countered with a short, sharp right to the head of Villasenor dropping him. Walhead swarmed on top of Vilasenor reigning punches until his opponent was out cold and the ref jumped in to call an end to a very short fight.

This was a huge win for Walhead and put back to back with his win against Trigg, this put’s him right in contention for a shot at the Welterweight title and Nate Marquardt. In the night’s main event we saw Jimi Manuwa make his BAMMA debut after dominating the Light Heavyweight division over at Cage Rage UK/UCMMA. Manuwa’s opponent was the French veteran Anthony Rea, himself coming off of a 4 fight winning streak dating back to 2009. Many saw this as the first big test for Manuwa who has turned down the opportunity of fighting in the UFC to concentrate on honing his skills and gaining

more experience before making that jump. This one started off with both fighters exchanging punches before a nice left caught Manuwa and visibly shook the unbeaten 31 year old. Manuwa did well to stay up and got Rea in a clinch giving him enough time to shake it off and regain his composure. Manuwa kept working well in the clinch landing some nice knees but also took some from Rea. On the break Manuwa turned up the pace and moved forward starting to take control of the fight and take it to Rea. He landed a nice low leg kick that seemed to hurt Rea and followed it up with some nice punches. At this point Rea was starting to look tired but wasn’t giving up as he threw back some nice combinations. But it was just a matter of time now before Jimi extended his unbeaten record and an amazing spinning back fist followed by a head kick dropped his French opponent to the floor. Manuwa seemed to stop for a moment thinking Rea was out but when he realised he wasn’t he dropped on him landing some vicious elbows one of


which oppened a nasty cut to Rea’s forehead. Just as everyone thought it was over ref Marc Goddard stepped in to end the first round. After a bit of confusion Manuwa returned to his corner to ready himself for another round only for Rea to be unable to continue giving Manuwa the tko victory...

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Accept The Fact That You Can NEVER Know it All...

And Start to Grow


One of the hardest things to accept when learning martial arts is that you will never be perfect at every technique you learn. It is just not possible, for any human to learn the amount of skill necessary to be the best in every area and dominate the sport to such an extent that wherever their opponents take the fight They will be able to prevail.

Therefore at some point the fighter will have to decide where his skills are most destructive, and dedicate the training towards improving this way of fighting to further improve their chances of winning. A lot of the time this is not even the fighter’s choice to make, rather they will end up on their back a lot, due to lack of stand up skills and then the ground becomes their home. Obviously the ground training relies on a lot of different techniques to stand up. But all the throws, clinches, strikes and dirty tricks in between have to be covered also.

The best way to find out what kind of fighter you are is to start experimenting early, by trying various clubs and coaches from the beginning. I personally rely on my hands a lot, because although my arms are short, it suits the way I fight and after going through the initial panic. I found that I could stop opponents easier when fighting close in. The fighter who experiments early will undoubtedly have to experience some sparring also and this testing ground will be an acid test for all those drills.  The coach will be able to tell you

where you are going wrong and if something ‘feels’ right or wrong, then by asking the particularly hard opponent or someone who you train with that you trust will be helpful for getting an opinion on where your best areas to focus on are.  Setting realistic goals for each of these such as a competition may also help you discover what inspires you when competing. Therefore leading onto what will become your passion to learn and shape the way you fight. Trying out a multitude of different competitions is a sure fire way of seeing where your strengths and weaknesses really lie. There are always grappling contests, white collar boxing shows etc. who accept fighters from all backgrounds to give you a chance of experiencing the competitive environment.  By breaking your skills down you will be able to dissect each part and learn what kind of fighter you are and how you should train as such. But as a word of warning, do not let this cloud your view of the bigger picture. If for example an MMA fighter wanted to work on their striking and took up western boxing. Their stance would narrow and leave them vulnerable to


takedowns and kicks, and actually weaken their MMA sparring performance in the process. The ultimate goal should be to work on individual skills to add this back into your complete system, this will enable the fighter to have his own ‘technique library’ that works solely for them. Another option is trying different training camps along your competition career. By focusing on grappling for one fight and then striking for the next one, this will allow the trainer and coach to have less to work on and therefore focus on specifics more. It comes back to the taking out one particular skill to add it back into the complete system once it has been improved. Imagine a car as your fighting style. It has all the different components for different reasons, so if you take a particular part out and work specifically on that part for any amount of time. This will then be improved and will increase performance. It has to ultimately be added back otherwise it will not work any better than it had done originally. The key to finding out what kind of fighter you are is that there are always choices. However your genetics will play a large part in the decision for you. I have never had long limbs and as such will never be a long range fighter. I have to rely on quick explosive movements and this is how I focus my training. Look at how you perform and ask all the coaches and opponents you train with or against for their opinion and this should help you although if you listen or not is another question and entirely up to you...

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By Glenn Shelford


Legends of the Cage

David “Tank” Ab Everything has to start somewhere, and everybody has to be bold enough to make that first step. Mixed martial arts has now become the antithesis, in many respects ,of what it once stood for. This isn’t a bad thing by any means as the sport has gained mainstream popularity but, more importantly, mainstream respect. Watching the SEG incarnation of the UFC reminds us all just how far the sport has come, and just what marketing power that Zuffa has shown; by taking a spectacle that visceral and turning it into the fastest growing combat sport in the world. Looking at the genesis of the UFC it seemed that every other fighter seemed to be a larger than life character; a caricature cross between Bruce Lee and Superman. Back then it didn’t matter what your martial arts background was, if you had one, or what titles were on your résumé. All you were required to do was bring your fight to the Octagon.

Some martial artists struggled to adjust to the ferocity of the UFC, petrified with fear as they quickly learned that their forms and stances did not hold up in legitimate confrontation.

police officer. He’d always been a fighter in one form or another, his style was listed by the UFC as Pit Fighting, presumably because they couldn’t fit grievous bodily harm on the signs.

Conversely, some fighters with little martial arts training excelled as they were able to unleash their previously shackled brutality with no fear of criminal repercussions. Of all of these fighters, none delivered more devastating results or captured the public imagination more than David “Tank” Abbott.

Tank had been fighting bare knuckle for a long time so the idea of doing it on television and getting paid for it seemed like a dream come true. On his first meeting with the UFC, his statements to the management set the tone perfectly.

David Abbott came into the UFC following a prison sentence for seriously assaulting the son of a

I said I just got out of jail for beating somebody up, in fact, a cop’s son. Isn’t this supposed to be about fighting? And they said, yeah, but you’ve got to have some kind of a black belt or something. And I said that’s not what I’m about. I’m about fighting in the streets. It took a while for Tank to convince the UFC to give him a chance but, at UFC 6, he would make his walk into the now famous Octagon and would set the world alight with a debut that no one would forget. Abbott was matched up with a much larger foe, a 400lb Kuialua expert named John Matua, who was introduced as being a master of the Hawaiian art of bone breaking...

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bott By Ben Cartlidge


prepares for £10,000 tournament test It was an 8 man tournament format that the UFC debuted with back in 1993. This December the UK’s UCC promotion are trying to recreate their own version of an old school tournament format with an 8 man one night middleweight show to be held in the prestigious Manchester Velodrome. Featuring a mix of fighters from all around the country and a generous £10,000 prize the event is already gathering a lot of interest on the UK scene. One of the entrants is undefeated Danny Roberts fighting out of the Next Generation facility in Liverpool. Switching over to MMA from boxing, Roberts is a fighter that looks set to make big waves. Starting out as a promising boxer Robert’s looked destined for a career in the ring having over 30 wins as an amateur and 4 wins as a pro. However Roberts became disillusioned with politics outside of the ring and found regular bouts increasingly hard to come by. It was at this point that fate would lead him into the world of mma. Training boxing in the same building that the Next Generation facility is located, an initially reluctant Roberts was eventually persuaded to try MMA by the passing head coach of Next Gen Paul Rimmer. A new hobby quickly turned into a potential career and, with five stoppage

wins in a row, the future looks bright for the young Liverpool based prospect. Roberts himself believes that his background in boxing has brought many advantages: “Obviously having a background in boxing has given me a great advantage in my stand up and my experience within the sport is definitely something I take into the cage. It also holds a benefit as it’s allowed me to really explore the variety of what’s available in MMA, I’ve been able to concentrate on improving my ground game and my all over performance.” Roberts improvement in grappling has been clear to see with his last two victories coming via submission. I asked Roberts if he felt happy with how his ground game was progressing? “Definitely, I’m working with the Next Generation team and they are renowned for grappling and Jiu Jitsu. They have improved my ground game dramatically. Back in March I won gold in

the advanced division of the Ground Control tournament so I think that demonstrates how much I’ve improved. With the experience I’ve gained I definitely feel confident that if I do get taken down in my future fights, I could give people something to worry about!” Like a lot of up and coming fighters Roberts works his fulltime training schedule around a job working on the doors, he explains that a good rapport with his boss means his training schedule is unaffected. Roberts is clear with his ambitions in the sport looking at it as a fulltime career as he explains: “My goal is to maintain a career in the sport. I’m highly motivated to excel and become a big name in MMA. I’m training harder than ever and I always want to be entertaining and explosive”...

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Saturday the 12th & Sunday 13th May 2012

Fighters Magazine - January 2012  

Fighters Magazine - The UK's Number One for Full Contact Martial Arts