KICKBOXING EXCLUSIVE: KAREN DEWES TURNS PRO
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MMA - UFC
FEBRUARY 2008 £3.50
Life After Randy + 2007 A Year of Upsets
TOP SPARRING TIPS Whatever Art You Practice!
KRU SHAUN BOLAND Back Training in Thailand!
BJJ - EXCLUSIVE!!! Keith Owen Talks to Fighters
BISPING’S ROAD TO RAMPAGE The Lowdown on UFC Light Heavyweights
WHO MUST BISPING BEAT TO BE CHAMP?
NEWS ROUND-UP Domestic & International
THE ROAD TO RAMPAGE Liam Bennion Looks at Who Bisping Must Beat to Become Champion
KAREN DEWS 2008 Will be The Year in Which I Have to Make my Big Decisions
HEAVYWEIGHT HITTERS! Leon Walters & Dillian White The Pain & The Glory
CAGE-SIDE With Joe Holroyd
A TIN ROOF, SOME CARPET & A FEW PIECES OF ROPE By Kru Shaun Boland
KEITH OWEN Speaks to The Fighting Photographer
CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE IN MARTIAL ARTS An Interview with Kerry-Louise Norbury & Lethal Leif Taggart by Cris Janson-Piers
MARTIAL ARTS SPARRING TIPS The Fastest Way to Championship Sparring
2007 - THE YEAR OF THE UPSETS IN MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
RANY COUTURE IS GONE Who is on Top Now?
WILLIAM BRUCE LOOKS BACK AT THE SPORT OF PROKICK KICKBOXING IN NORTHERN IRELAND
ZT FIGHT NIGHT 9
WOKING FIGHT NIGHT 7
DEAN WHITE PROMOTIONS Dale White Wins WMC European Title
WAKO JUNIOR & CADETS EUROPEAN KICKBOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS
GOLDENBELT WORLD TITLE Leif Taggart vs Tyler Price
GOLDENBELT CHAMPIONSHIP KICKBOXING
INDEPENDENT BRITISH THAI BOXING RANKINGS
FIGHTERS BRITISH INDEPENDENT KICKBOXING RANKINGS
EDITORIAL Our cover story this month outlines the journey that our own British UFC hero, Mike Bisping, will have to make if he is ever to capture the UFC light Heavyweight title. This story was researched and written by the newest member of the FIGHTERS team, Liam Bennion. Liam is a professional journalist and is joining us as our chief UFC writer and we hope you like Liam’s writing style, as you’ll be hearing his thoughts on numerous UCF topics over the coming months. Next month Liam is travelling up to Wolfslair to see how his article this month went down with Mr Bisping and to find out how the fighter himself rates his chances of success in such a stacked, hyper competitive weight division. Also joining the team this month is another professional journalist who has contributed many articles to FIGHTERS. His cheeky style is reflected in his article this month: Cage Side with Joe Holroyd. As you’ll see from the photos Joe sent us to accompany his writing, he’s certainly not a shrinking violet (he’s in them all believe it or not!). Joe will be writing for us every month from now on about his many encounters with various fighters and high profile fight fans at events up and down the land. We hope you enjoy what he has to say. (If you don’t, just let me know and we’ll fire him :)) Carlos “The Fighting Photographer” Fisher is back this month after a short sabbatical from FIGHTERS to bring you an EXCLUSIVE interview each and every month from the world of BJJ. BJJ is a rapidly growing sector of the fight community and we are pleased to continue supporting them as their style grows in recognition and participation. I am hoping next month to announce a rather high profile addition to the FIGHTERS team from the world of professional Kickboxing; watch this space! All the best Marcus P.S. I know I sound like a broken record, but make sure you check out the digital version of this magazine FREE OF CHARGE at www.FightersMag.co.uk
The Road to Rampage page 18
WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK PUBLISHER/MANAGING DIRECTOR Paul Clifton EDITOR Marcus Haig SENIOR DESIGNER Mark John Davies GRAPHIC DESIGN Kevin Thompson Matthew Riches ADVERTISING/SALES Julie Davies UK THAI SUB EDITOR Dan Green UK MMA SUB EDITOR Rob Nutley UK BJJ SUB EDITOR Carl Fisher
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Page 18 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
THE ROAD TO
Liam Benn io n lo oks at who Bispi ng
m ust beat to beco me champi on M
By Liam Bennion. Photos courtesy of Zuffa LLC
ichael Bisping has seen his career skyrocket since winning the third series of The Ultimate Fighter and carries with him the hopes of the United Kingdom to bring home some UFC gold. But the hard work has only just begun after ‘The Count’ has lost his undefeated crown and ends his four-win streak at the UFC to Rashad Evans at UFC 78. However it was a lot of pressure for Bisping as it was his
first main event and Evans is no push over. In fact the Light Heavyweight division is currently one of the hardest nuts to crack, nevermind the 6’ 1”, 205lb brick wall at the end of the road to Rampage. If Bisping were to get a rematch with Evans there would still be the pressure to perform and prove himself coming off a loss by split decision. Whereas Evans would still have the Forrest Griffin
confidence from coming off a win and retaining his undefeated record. He too enjoyed a huge leap forward in his career after winning the second series of The Ultimate Fighter but had to prove himself after a dull draw to Tito Ortiz at UFC 73 and he did just that against Bisping. Evans did give his opponent a lot of credit, Bisping landed some big hits, painful knees and it did go the distance. But as Dana White always says you shouldn’t leave it in the hands of the judges and this is perhaps the biggest criticism towards Bisping’s last two fights. He needs to issue a little less caution and end some more fights with a bang to progress towards a title shot. One of the hardest opponents for Bisping to achieve this would probably be Forrest Griffin. This is because Griffin never seems to display a cautious attitude and is always pressing forward (with a sinister smile on his face). This guy isn’t hard to beat because he is the best, but because he is a solid fighter with an amazing work ethic and he always fights like he wants it. Bisping has the tools to beat him, but he would have to want it and press forward just as much. Griffin is a few steps closer to the title too, competing against Rampage as a coach in The Ultimate Fighter 7 and of course he will be fighting him soon after...
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THE ROAD TO RAMPAGE Page 19
Standing in the way of the ultimate prize...
Page 24 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
KarEn DE 2008 will be the year in which I have to make my big decisions
his interview is with Karen Dews WAKO Am British Champion, WAKO World Bronze medallist, and a lady who having travelled all the routes in martial arts has finally ended up in Full Contact, something far away from her initial intention when she first started out in the sport. However, it does often seem that semi contact and light continuous the natural route for those intending a career in Full Career. Once there the decision for the Full Contact fighter is then between the amateur and professional sides of the sport. This interview will discuss and cover these much talked about areas.
Your progression looks like the same and natural route of most good fighters are you happy with how it’s gone? KAREN DEWS: I am yes, I Began my training with Elite Martial Arts under the care of Rick Dobson and Craig Stokes at Castleford and Dave Morris and John Salt at Stockport, where I received excellent grounding in the Semi Contact and Light Continuous styles. Shortly after entering into full contact I came under the management and personal instruction of Cris Janson-Piers and have been with him ever since. I have since travelled the World with Full Contact Kickboxing from France to New Zealand and even Thailand.
Karen, please tell us about yourself. KAREN DEWS: I have now been in martial arts since I was 26 years old so I am now in my 9th year. I have studied and trained in Semi Contact, Light Continuous and been involved in Amateur Full Contact for 6 years. I am a 1st Dan Black belt, although I am well overdue for my second Dan, as my fighting has stood in the way of my grading preparation, as I train every day in the ring or gym.
So did you feel as though you had achieved everything you could in the other styles and that Full Contact was the way to go? KAREN DEWS: Almost, Semi Contact was not really my preferred style; Light Continuous was my strong point, at which I won numerous titles with different organisations, throughout the UK. My decision to move over to Full Contact wasn’t planned. I had been training extra hard for the WAKO Championships, in Light Continuous and being a ‘big hitting’ heavyweight I was asked on several occasions by other coaches and fighters why I didn’t go in for Full Contact, which they believed I would do well at. I considered this, with my husband Phil, decided to give it a go and then adjusted my training to suit. My first full contact fight was in Italy at the WAKO European Championships. Then the second time I attended the WAKO British championships there was no opponent in the heavyweight section but that was where I bumped into Cris Janson-Piers who was the new head of WAKO Amateur Full Contact Kickboxing at the time. So what happened next?..
Karen at WAKO world champs
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KAREN DEWS INTERVIEW Page 25
I am a big hitting heavyweight
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Page 34 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
HITTERS! Leon Walters and Dillian White
The Pain & The Glory K
tion tournament and the event was widely regarded as the best stand-up show the UK has produced in terms of raw excitement and overall technical quality. In any fightsport, however, it is the Heavyweights who really get the juices flowing, the big-hitters who are either one punch or kick away from a devastating knockout and depending upon whether it is you or your opponent who is landing the shot, one shot away from pain
or glory. Two men who are willing to trade in the pain for their shot at K-1 glory are Dillian White and Leon Walters, who both won fights on Pain & Glory 07 and who have both set their sights on firmly establishing themselves in the wider K-1 arena. Walters is an established athlete, a former World Karate Champion, he knows what it takes to achieve at the highest level and his
-1 is rapidly becoming the format of choice for both fans and fighters of a ‘stand-up’ nature and the brand has captured the imagination Worldwide with its dynamic action, punishing elimination tournament format and global superstars, men such as Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts and Remy Bonjasky. Pain & Glory 07 featured an officially sanctioned K-1 8 man elimina-
K-1 here we come!
HEAVYWEIGHT HITTERS Page 35
The fresh blood is coming... Watch out
Page 36 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
Dillian accepts that there are a lot more miles to go yet before he is the complete package. Renowned for his strong low kicks and heavy knees, he’s also a good boxer but knows he still has to work on this area of his game. He’s having to develop and learn in the spotlight, as he has already captured two British titles, despite his youth. Youthful exuberance will also have to be ironed out, as Dillian admits he still does certain ‘crazy’ things on a whim, like taking a good shot and then giving his opponent a ‘free’ chance to do it again just to prove it didn’t hurt. He laughs when I remind him I was actually there at that fight. “He was a strong guy but I’d trained hard and wanted to break his spirit so I let him hit me and when nothing happened, the fight for him went downhill from that point. It’s just age really but like my coach says, I need to get serious and stop doing things like that!” discipline and dedication sees him acknowledged as both mentor and role-model to the younger White. Those that have seen Dillian in action will know that he is already a physical monster, a big man with an even bigger heart who soaks up punishment to dish out even more back, a throwback to the never say die ‘Rocky’ Marciano type of fighter the crowd loves. What those fans may not know, however, is that he is only 19 and still has a lot of growing to do, not only in terms of ability but in terms of literal physical growth, a frightening thought when you stand in front of this giant youngster and watch him pound the bag. Firm friends, both men train at the Red Dragons gym in Camberwell, London, itself a throwback to the houses of pain you hear veteran fighters talk in hushed tones about. Run by a former ‘Viper’, Julian Howell, that camp’s notorious work and conditioning ethic has been absorbed and refined with further experience coming from regular trips to top Dutch camps. The result is an old school regime that trades whole-heartedly on the ‘no pain, no gain’ maxim to the point that both Dillian and Leon have stated that their actual fights were, in many ways, easier than the intense sessions that preceded them. It is this potent mix of old-fashioned blood, sweat, discipline and respect that has seen both men talked of as potential international K-1 stars. In the ring, Dillian can come across as super confident, arrogant almost but it is simply that, a ring persona fuelled by a genuine love of the game and a desire to entertain. In person he admits to pre-fight nerves and is an easy to like character, far quieter, modest and honest, as he states that the incredibly hard training sessions, seven days a week, often
have him looking enviously at his friends lifestyles as they pursue the more frivolous pursuits associated with young men his age. Unlike him, they don’t step into the ring in front of thousands of people and face big-hitters like Adam Hart, so whilst his spirit may sometimes be in a club or cinema with his friends, his body is in the gym being pushed to its limits. “My trainer really pushes me hard and sometimes it’s difficult for me as a young person because I want to go out with my friends and do things with them but I’m dedicated and I want to compete at the K-1 level, so my trainer keeps me focussed.” The fight with Adam Hart at Pain & Glory provided one of the most amazing scenes in British fight history, as both heavyweights toppled over the top rope to the crowd and concrete below. When both men finally got back into the ring, Dillian ground out a stoppage victory but paid a price for the bizarre events that preceded the win. “I injured my right shoulder and even now it’s still a bit sore but I get it specially rubbed down before a fight now. He nearly knocked me out with a left-head kick but where I trained so hard for that fight I recovered instantly.” Hard training and durability are key points when discussing Dillian White and you keep having to remind yourself that this man is still only 19, as he fights and beats heavyweight fighters that are always older than himself and often with reputations for being heavy-handed. In fact, Dillian seems to be that fighter who thrives upon the challenge and the tougher it gets the more dangerous he becomes. “We train a lot on conditioning work, so when I get in the ring I’ve done the work and don’t mind going the extra mile to win.”
That incident does however emphasise his self-belief and his tenacity, durability and heart and whilst he admits his youthful failings, don’t mistake this for a lack of focus. Dillian has come from a tough background in a tough area and is sacrificing his teenage ‘fun’ years for a shot at international glory. When the going gets tougher as the opposition gets classier Dillian will be ready and points out that given his age when he started, every fight against what were full grown men has been hard. “I got thrown straight into a high level of competition and had to train so hard just to keep up. There were times when I was scared but I had my coach and my team around me, so I go in there and give it my best shot because I’m not only fighting for myself, I’m fighting for my team and my team-mates and that pushes me a little bit harder because our gym is like a family.” He’s already achieved a great deal for someone who is still relatively new to the game but Dillian is confident that age and maturity will bring even more reward as he knows he has yet to reach his full potential. “I haven’t reached my full strength yet. I haven’t reached the technical levels I need. There’s still a lot I have to learn because heavyweights don’t reach their full potential until they’re about thirty.” With this fact in mind, Dillian believes he genuinely could be a flagflyer for the UK’s K-1 Heavyweight hopes as he learns and matures and this is the dream that keeps him away from his friends and a distracting social life...
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HEAVYWEIGHT HITTERS Page 37
I reached the pinacle in Karate: Now it’s full contact time
Page 40 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
CwiathgJoee-hSolirdoyed let-loose on the crowd... Last month at Cage Rage 24 ‘Fighters’ Joe Holroyd was t’s the usual Cage Rage affair: glamorous-girls, bruising beefcakes, savage stoppages... and drunk journalists armed with nothing but a Dictaphone and a clutch of clichés and alliterations. Having already offended (I mean interviewed) Dizzy Rascal, an Eastenders hard-man and (real!) East-End hardman Dave Courtenay at ringside I find myself gazing through my whiskey-haze as another blonde glamour-girl struts into the cage. But something’s wrong with this picture. Sure, she’s got the obligatory blonde hair extensions. Fine, the costume leaves little to the imagination. Ok, Mark Epstein can’t take his eyes off of her. But why is she sporting a beard... and why are her biceps bigger than my legs??! Oh, ok, the blonde wig comes off, the dress is discarded and Tom ‘Kong’ Watson has arrived in the Cage. And that’s why Epstein was glar-
ing! Watson ‘The Beauty’ is here to tame Mark ‘The Beast’ Epstein... or so he tells us. But Epstein’s angry... he’s having none of it! I stumbled into him after the fight: Mark ‘The Beast’ Epstein ‘I felt like passing out a few times!’ Hiya Mark...definitely a contender for fight of the night; what did you think of it? MARK ‘THE BEAST’ EPSTEIN: Ah Yeah, a very tough fight... but I think I made it harder for myself! How so? Joe with Julius Francis
CAGE-SIDE WITH JOE HOLROYD Page 41
MARK ‘THE BEAST’ EPSTEIN: Well... just not getting up to London shootfighters enough... neglecting the guys at London Shoot... I mean they’re brilliant trainers, probably the best in the country... I’ve been a bit lazy to tell you the truth...
Epstein: ‘A very tough fight...’ Holroyd: ‘Thank God it wasn’t with me...’
Ok, so you were’nt fighting at your very best... MARK ‘THE BEAST’ EPSTEIN: Na, not my very best... But credit where due: Tom’s a very tough opponent, he brought his Agame, I won’t take nothing off of him. While I’m at middleweight though, I’d like to get a title shot - maybe the British Title - for the next fight maybe. You looked strong in there - that’s what I noticed particularly with those reversals you made... what did you think? MARK ‘THE BEAST’ EPSTEIN: I did feel strong... but you know what: I had to cut 4 1/2 kg the day before the fight; that did sap a bit of my strength. When we spoke previously, you were saying how the weight training and that psychological advantage of believing you have the strength to turn a guy is a big thing... MARK ‘THE BEAST’ EPSTEIN: Yeah - it wasn’t quite like that this time! I had to have a run, get in the sauna... I came to the weigh-in I was really low energy... I felt like passing out a few times! I then had 24 hours to hydrate and I felt better; I still felt strong in there... Well I tell you what, you looked strong enough despite all that; what can we expect when you bring you’re A-game? MARK ‘THE BEAST’ EPSTEIN: First round finishes all the way! Thanks for your time Mark MARK ‘THE BEAST’ EPSTEIN: My pleasure.
Julius ‘The Big Dog’ Francis Julius Francis had some thoughts to share on MMA vs Boxing, teaching a Big Dog new tricks and - of course - beautiful women... Ok, so after your last foray into the cage against Gary Turner, what are you incorporating into your training in preparation for the next one? JULIUS FRANCIS: Well, I’m not gonna be fighting for a while anyway, I’m training in the gym at the moment and I’ve got a lot of time to get fit, fighting fit: I’ve got time not just to get fit, but to lose weight learn new techniques; I’ve got time to work on the whole package.
the ring. The next time I fight though, it’s not gonna be 10 weeks training... it’ll be 6 months training... a complete reconstruction. This sport for me, it’s a natural progression: I want to learn a new fighting system... You can teach a Big Dog new tricks! JULIUS FRANCIS: Exactly!, That’s right! The big dog will learn new tricks, and the big dog’d gonna be coming out barking again! You know what I mean (insert ‘Harry’ here - ed) It’s good, I’m happy to be involved. You know people are like ‘You’re too old, you’re too this, you’re too that...’ You’re never too old to enjoy a sport - whatever sport you’re into... Well listen, you’re younger and slimmer than the legend that is ‘Tank Abott’ and people certainly like seeing him come to fight... JULIUS FRANCIS: Well, you know like I said last time-out: I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone. This is all about me: I’m doing this for myself; my sense of self-achievement. I don’t wanna find myself looking back when I’m older and saying ‘I wish I’d done that, I could of done that’: that’s just Bullshit. Ya know people say you shouldn’t do this, you should do that... Julius, I’m not gonna tell you what to do - you’re certainly a lot bigger than me! You wanna do MMA, you go for it! It’s a great show here tonight isn’t it... do you think perhaps that all-round entertainment angle is what boxing has been lacking? JULIUS FRANCIS: Yes, definitely. I won’t take anything away from boxing, but you know... razz-mataz, pretty girls and all that catches the public’s eye. They know how to put on a show don’t they. That’s why there’s top boxers like David Haye and yourself strolling around here aswell...
Well your last fight certainly served to remind people that you do have a kickboxing background in addition to the boxing; you’re not entirely out of your element in there, but what are you gonna bring that’s new to your next MMA fight?
JULIUS FRANCIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Davind’s here... I went and saw him; I went and congratulated David: fair play to him - New World Champion, he done great...
JULIUS FRANCIS: Well, for me, coming into the cage on that last event: I was put in at the deep-end because of who I am, and what I did in the boxing-world. That’s fair enough. I got chucked in at the deep end. Gary Turner’s no walk-over! He came and he did a job fair enough! We all have to do that when we step into the cage or
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Page 44 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
A TIN ROOF, SOME CARPET AND A FEW PIECES OF ROPE
First stop was Bangkok where we stayed at the world famous Oriental hotel for two nights. Situated on the bank of the Chao Phraya River the Oriental dates back to the late 19th Century and is internationally renowned for its first class service. Actors, writers, poets, Princes and Princesses, politicians and Kings have all stayed within its luxurious walls. After two nights stay we
ventured south to Phuket in search of blue skies, crystal waters and white sand. Staying at the 5 star hotel Indigo Pearl, in Nayang beach, was sheer heaven and the service easily followed on from the Oriental hotel. Concerned that I might dull my hard worked abs by eating too much and not training, I decided to do a little gym work at the hotels excellent facilities. It was at the hotel gym that I discovered that guests could train in Muay Thai, so I signed up for a few private lessons with the resident instructor, Kru Tdad. So much for my holiday of indulgence and extravagance I was now training one on one with the local Phuket champion!
My first meeting with Kru Tdad was both warm and welcoming. Kru Tdad greeted me with a broad Thai smile that never left his face throughout our time together. After a warm up I had a workout on the Thai pads and then spent time learning clinch techniques called ‘Prumb’ in Thai. Kru Tdad is 23 years old and is the current Phuket champion having over 60 fights to his credit and winning 47 of these. Quite tall for his weight it is natural that he has a preference and flair for using the knee in competition...
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his was my seventh year travelling to Thailand and it was meant to be the first time that I would not be training in Muay Thai as I was holidaying with my girlfriend and therefore it was decided that we would have a time of indulgence and extravagance.
It’s the wonderful family atmosphere that makes me come back again & again
A TIN ROOF, SOME CARPET & A FEW PIECES OF ROPE Page 45
By Kru Shaun Boland
No armour used here; A sight never to be seen in the UK these days
Page 48 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
KEITH OWEN speaks to the Fighting Photographer eith Owen contacted me after reading one of my DVD reviews on www.lockflow.com website and asked me to review his new DVD release, Favourite Moves Volume 1. After doing the review I thought why the hell don’t I interview the guy and find out a little more about this Pedro Sauer black belt?
Keith, let’s start with the new DVD release; how did the project come about?
KEITH OWEN: I see a lot of videos that are done by “World Champions.” I want to say that I’m not a “World Champion” JiuJitsu player. What I am, at the risk of sounding a bit egotistical, is a World Champion TEACHER. I am highly sceptical that many world champions are going to be giving away there best moves on DVD’s for their competition to get a hold of. Me, I don’t care! Take my best moves; I’ll come up with others! And what’s more, world champions might be able to do the moves but can they teach “you” their moves. From what I have seen lately, it appears not.
KEITH OWEN: Thanks for interviewing me Carl, this project came about because all the videos that I was watching seemed to be the same old tired stuff or for the most flexible of people. If you’ll look around you’ll see a lot of videos that you have to be Gumby to pull off moves. Pedro Sauer Jiu-Jitsu isn’t like that. It’s all about easy ways to make a person tap for the “average” person. You can’t get more average then me so I decided to give it a shot and do a video and see if the BJJ and MMA Community liked it. I was going to show people literally MY favourite moves. The moves that I do all the time. These are moves that many can be done without the gi so it would appeal to the largest crowd. People shouldn’t be fooled by the fact that I’m wearing a gi. They will be pleasantly surprised to see that for many of the techniques, no gi is required.
KEITH OWEN: I want to thank my camera man and director Tren (not Trent) Long. He is one of my blue belts and is a camera whiz. He came up with a new concept for the video where we would do break away shots (A and B Roll) instead of having me turn my partner for a different angle for people to see every time. It’s amazing and makes the whole production top shelf. I owe him a lot. I want to also thank my assistants in the video Jim “crazy eyes” Pardy on Video One and Matt Owen who will be on Vol 2. They both took my abuse and didn’t complain once.
What else do you feel sets your DVD apart from the already crowded BJJ instructional world?
KEITH OWEN: Tren is working on editing the video now and we should have it in another month or so. I am already getting
Who would you like to thank in connection with the DVD?
Please tell me you’re going to be releasing a volume 2 soon?
Royce Gracie vs Akebono; A BJJ master class
Photo courtesy of Zuffa LLC
KEITH OWEN INTERVIEW Page 49
requests for it. I can’t believe it! This might be a personal question but for all the fantastic material, how come you only charge $24.95. You could probably get away with a bit more, don’t you think? KEITH OWEN: That was very personal Carl (smiles) but we felt that video pirating is out of control in the BJJ world. We knew that if we charged too much- people will just pirate the video for their friends. We believe that people will see the inexpensive price and awesome moves and say “Hey I’m just going to buy this video.” Also, we want to give an extraordinary value for the money including free videos on You Tube and my website bjjmoves.com...
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2007 Page 56 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2008
007 was definitely a year to remember in mma. With many high’s and many lows it will definitely be a year to remember.
Who can forget “The Croation Sensation” getting a dosage of his own medicine with a kick to the head from Gabriel Gonzaga that would send most people into a permanent dream state. Or how about the werewolf Quinton Jackson dethroning one of mixed martial arts greatest strikers with a vicious right hook to the head. There were many moments that defined mma in 2007 but for me one thing came to mind when I thought of the best way to describe this year in mma. It was the year of the upsets. 2007 had some of the biggest upsets in mixed martial arts history. It is often said that “anything can happen” in mma. But Forrest Griffin submitting Shogun Rua was not anything. It was more than anything. Randy “The Natural” Couture defeating the 6’8” giant was more than anything. These fight’s were everything to the winners and
made them superstars overnight in the crazy world of mma. I wanted to wrap up the year by talking about some of the greatest upsets of all time. Things most hardcore mma fans never thought would happen. These fight’s were proof that anyone can conquer if they believe in themselves and have the perseverance and willingness to succeed in life. In the world of mixed martial arts truly “anything can and will happen”. Upset #1 Nick Diaz def. Takanori Gomi - I have never been more excited at the end of a fight than I was after Nick Diaz submitted Takanori Gomi with a Gogo Plata at Pride 33 Second Coming. Not only is this one of the biggest upsets of 2007 it is my personal favorite fight of all time. Talk about exciting, I was jumping up and down at the end of this one. This fight was a total knock down, drag out war. At one point Nick Diaz was bouncing Gomi’s head off the ropes with his punches
like a punching bag. Diaz got rocked in the beginning but weathered the storm and turned it into a signature Nick Diaz brawl eventually tapping Gomi out with a Gogo Plata at the beginning of the second round. Diaz won the fight but you couldn’t tell by looking at him. His face was a bloody mess, an indication of how hard Gomi punches, considering he took a lot more than he gave. This was truly a fight for the ages and one I will never forget. Unfortunately Diaz’s win was overruled and the fight was considered a no contest. Upset #2 Randy Couture def. Tim Sylvia Anything is possible when you think of the name Randy Couture. He is one of the greatest mma fighter’s of all time and a legend of the sport already. Everyone thought he was finished. He had hung up his gloves after his second loss to “The Iceman” and many thought that was it.
But that wasn’t the end of Couture. He was still a commentator and he was still hungry for more. Couture was unimpressed with the heavyweight competition and felt he could still compete at the top level. So he did the impossible and the then 43 year old fought Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight belt at UFC 68. It was one of the greatest upsets of all time. The wrestler out struck the striker in a 5 round all out war of attrition that left spectators in complete amazement. Randy completely took Sylvia out of his world and dominated the stand up for 25 minutes. He even dropped the giant within seconds of the first round with a ducking right hand that stunned and surprised “The Maniac”.
Griffin vs Rua Proving that in this sport the cream always rises to the top
This fight was a battle royal and is considered, in my book, one of the biggest upsets of 2007.
2007 - THE YEAR OF THE UPSETS IN MMA Page 57
The Year of the Upsets in Mixed Martial Arts By Todd Yeakle. Photos courtesy of Zuffa LLC
The biggest upset of all Griffin vs Rua UFC 76
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Upset #3 Quinton Jackson def. Chuck Liddell - Many thought Chuck was unstoppable. Many thought it couldn’t be done. I myself wondered, is anybody going to be this freakin guy? He had so much confidence with wins over the highest level of competition including Tito, Jeremy Horn, Sobral, Belfort, Mezger, Randleman, and Couture twice.
He came out swinging and with improved striking skills. All it took was one little mistake and it was all over. Rampage caught Chuck on the chin with a quick right hook that dropped Liddell. He then went in for the kill the fight was over. Chuck quickly sat up with glazed eyes trying to figure out where he was. It can happen to anybody and this night it happened to “The Iceman”.
It seemed like nobody could break “The Ice” or even last a round with him for that matter. His counter striking with the power to end fights alongside his superior take down defense enabled him to knock off his opponents with the precision of a sniper. Who could stop the unstoppable? Was anybody up for the job?
This was truly one of the greatest upsets of 2007.
In May of 2007 we found out. It wasn’t the first time Liddell and Rampage had entered to cage. In their first bout Rampage stopped Liddell in dominating fashion ending the fight with a TKO. Now it was time for Chuck to redeem himself. Would his loss to Quinton play a role in their second fight? Well either way Rampage was on that night.
Upset #4 Forrest Griffin def. Mauricio Rua Obviously I saved the best for last. This upset takes the cake by a mile. I could see Diaz over Gomi and Rampage over Liddell but Griffin over Shogun. Give me a break. I didn’t think in a trillion years that Forrest Griffin could ever beat Mauricio “Shogun” Rua from Pride. That fight completely shocked me. On the other hand it looked nothing like the Shogun I know and have watched so many times in all of the old Pride FC events. He was not aggressive at all and looked like a
fish out of water. Something definitely happens when Pride fighter’s come to fight in the UFC. I can’t pin point exactly what it is but it’s not the level of competition. I think it has to do with the pressure to make it big in the US and of course the rules and the octagon. On the other hand I take nothing from Forrest Griffin as he fought his heart out and without a doubt defeated the former Chutes Box star. Shogun was considered the best in the world by many at the time of this bout, making this truly one of the biggest upsets of all time. To top it all off Forrest choked out Mauricio with a rear naked choke in dominating fashion. Forrest finally believed he has what it takes to fight with the best of the best. That is what gave him the ability to win this fight and to continue on as one of the best light heavyweight fighter’s in the world. I rank this as the year’s biggest upset for sure. This fight was truly unbelievable. 2007 was a crazy year in mma and it’s not even over. With two more of the year’s biggest cards still to come, 2007 is shaping up to be one of the sports biggest years ever.
Jackson vs Liddell
However, some don’t think this was such a shock
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Woking Fight Night 7 Written by Dan Green. Photos by Ruth Ashdown hin Kick Promotions organised another show on Sunday 9th December at the HG Wells Suite in Woking. What many regarded as the main event of the night was the rematch between Jay Woodham and Phil Pullen under Full Thai Rules for the WPKL title.
It’s easy to see why people are talking about this as being possibly the fight of the year. Apart from the first 30 seconds there was no feeling out in this round. Both fighters scored early with some hard low and body kicks. Already 1 minute in it developed into an elbow war and following a vicious exchange Woodham opened a nasty cut up on Pullen’s forehead. Pullen went flying in once the doctor had ruled him okay to continue and landed several elbows of his own to Woodham. Toe to toe these two stood trading elbows and punches for an entire minute with the entire crowd on their feet - punch after punch, elbow after elbow landing.
Right from the second bell Pullen went flying forward with a big left cross. These two were going for it and it was obvious the fight wasn’t going to go the distance. Pullen then wobbles Woodham with a right elbow catching him as he’s up against it in the corner. Woodham is in trouble now as Pullen piles in blow after blow but he’s still standing. A left elbow from Pullen and the referee steps in giving him Woodham a count. Woodham is counted out bringing an end to this highly explosive contest. The other main event was the WPKL British title fight between Dillian White from Team Red Dragons and Will Riva of Eagles Wales. White started well landing two right crosses. Riva did well to weather the storm as White landed a barrage of punches and knees including a jumping knee that just missed landing clean.
From the bell in the second white again scored strongly with a mix of techniques starting with low kicks and then scoring with knees and punches. White looked in control as anything Riva threw was blocked and White began to pick his shots. Riva was game though and this was certainly one of the most entertaining fights of the night. Roe vs Wain
WOKING FIGHT NIGHT 7 Page 69
White vs Riva
rounds as Riva managed to score with some punches. White though then landed one knee to the head followed by another shortly afterwards that saw Riva counted out. White the new British champion.
In the fourth Lucas ended a spell in the clinch throwing Lezama to the floor. The fighters went straight into the clinch again as Lezama seemed to not want to fight at a distance at all.
Mike Lezama of Diablo Gym took on Ben Lucas from Sor Khamsing for the WPKL Southern Area Title.
Lucas started explosively from the bell in the fifth landing a flurry of punches and knees before throwing Lezama to the floor. Lezama just seemed to want to clinch and knee Lucas leg to spoil the fight. Lucas threw Lezama to the floor twice more and went on to take the points decision.
The fighters spent a lot of time in the clinch for the first round with Lucas possibly edging the round.
Pressure from White resulted in an eight count for Riva who was saved by the bell at the end of the round.
Lezama landed some nice straight punches at the start of the second before the fighters went into the clinch again. Lezama appeared to be concentrating his knees to the legs of Lucas to grind him down rather than score big points to the body. Lucas landed a nice left body kick before the fighters moved back into the clinch again to end the round.
White was warned at the start of the third to mind the head of Riva whilst he was on the floor. White continued applying pressure but with not as much fury as the first two
The third was started more excitingly as Lucas worked a nice hands and kick combinations and Lucas throwing punches. In the clinch for most of the round the two looked fairly even.
Lucas vs Lezama
Pra Chao Suaâ€™s Richard Wain took on Diablo Gyms Troy Roe at 63.5 kilos under 5 rounds of 2 minutes. Wain started well putting Roe to the canvas. Roe seemed to prefer using his hands throwing straight punches at Wain who looked to cover up and clinch with good side knees to the body. Wain landed a nice flurry of punches in the latter part of the round but Roe weathered the blows. Both fighters went into the clinch from the bell in the second with neither landing any particularly telling blows. Wain appeared possibly the slightly stronger of the two with more variation of techniques. However each time Wain landed though it seemed to fire up Roe a bit who would come back with some nice punches, scoring well. Again a lot of the third was spent in the clinch though there was some trading of punches. Wain put Roe to the floor with a nice throw and then landed a good left hook once he was back to his feet, definite Wainâ€™s round. Roe came out looking to pressure Wain back in the fourth with work rate and this seemed to work for him as he landed a lot of knees to take the round. Roe looked game and busy as he went for Wain in the fifth, but whilst Wain appeared composed he appeared to be losing steam and Roe just kept upping the pace, landing and scoring more. Roe went on to win a points decision to take the fight. The other heavyweight contest was between local fighter Joe Colville from Shin Kick gym and Chigs Denise-Terry from Red Dragons Gym. Colville started the better landing a good knee on the end of combination. Both fighters looked confident and happy to be in there throughout a fairly even and exciting first round.
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The second had an explosive start as the fighters stood and traded with neither gaining the upper hand. Again an exciting and even round - both fighters scoring with knees in the clinch. Denise-Terry landed some strong low kicks at the start of the fourth and it took a hard right hand from Denise-Terry to wake Colville up and ignite him into action. Colville looked focus as he came forward with a barrage of punches in the earlier part of the fourth - both fighters showing a phenomenal work rate for lads this size. Both fighters continued to stand, trade and smile throughout the fifth. Colville took the points decision in this close and exciting contest.
Other results from the show: 5 x 2 mins 59 kilo: Marc Brown (Crawley) beat Joey Brincat (Eagles, Wales) on points 5 x 1.5 mins: Che Nam (Shin Kick) vs Ian Dalby (Pra Chao Sua) - no contest
5 x 1.5 mins 69 kilo: Scott Robinson (Sor Khamsing) beat Danny Kendrick (KO Gym) on points 5 x 1.5 mins 73 kilo: Lorne Castle (Sukothai) beat Azran Quasid (Team Obscene) on points
5 x 1.5 mins 60 kilo: Suzanne Munroe (Team Red Dragons) beat Debbie Wilmott (Eagles, Wales) on points 5 x 1.5 mins 67 kilo: Ziggy (Pra Chao Suua) beat Anthony Carroll (Diablo) on points
Pullen vs Woodham
Brown vs Brincat
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GOLDENBELT WORLD TITLE Leif Taggart Great Britain Vs Tyler Price America Report and all photographs was personally invited by Alby and Jo of Golden Belt on the evening of 27th October 2007to the Lancashire Manor Hotel, Skelmersdale to see a great evening of kickboxing and International rules. To add to the benefit, young Leif Taggart, who both myself and my partner follow and support closely, was fighting for the Golden Belt 48-50kg Amateur International Rules World title.
The setting and the show was absolutely fabulous and we were well looked after. The night was full of top quality fights, right through from Junior to senior level. Sat ringside, we awaited the entrance of the two young warriors knowing Tyler Price was well known for his knockout power. Leif however was well aware of this and his superb ring craft and movement would be a key element in his success. The entrance music started and both guys entered the ring, Tyler doing the all American “Glam n Glitz” entrance whilst Leif seemed to take such a prestigious title calmly in his stride. Cornering Leif was his Thai Instructor David Mc Robb from Teeside Thai and his Father Bob. After both national anthem’s had been played it was “Game On” ROUND 1 A Tentative few seconds as each fighter waits for the other to make the first move. Tyler then comes forward with powerful punches making Leif aware that Tyler is already after the knockout.
by Master Cris Janson-Piers
Tyler covers up well for the remaining few seconds and as the bell sounds Leif’s foot is once again planted at Tyler’s head. ROUND 2 Round 2 started at a much faster pace with Tyler coming out swinging fast and furiously although not many of the shots connected. Leif however countered with a flurry of low kicks which made Tyler think twice about rushing in so fast. Tyler stopped in the middle of the round indicating he had been fouled with a low blow but with the referee on the spot no comment was made. Tyler was given time to recover. The fight restarted with Tyler coming forward like a steam train throwing very powerful big punches, one or two catching Leif on the head. The round ended with Leif looking as though he was slightly ahead on kick rate. ROUND 3 The round started with both fighters coming out a little more cautious. Leif suddenly planted a flurry of front kicks into Tyler’s face; Tyler then came forward rapidly trying to end the fight there and then with a series of furious well timed blows at Leif. Leif is not only a good technician and mover, he proved on this night he can defend well and take a shot and absorb it well. A good sign in any champion.
punches and Tyler, Leif’s kicks. Both now showing great respect for each others skills. Both fighters throwing probing punches and low kicks, each trying to find a way past the guard of their opponent. Suddenly Leif throw a front kick once again finding Tyler’s head causing him to stumble, the end to a slow but more cautious round. ROUND 5 The final round started with Tyler coming out knowing that he needed a KO to win this tremendous fight, he came out throwing some really big overhead punches but Leif countered with a flurry of high and low kicks keeping Tyler at a distance. Tyler tried to close Leif down but Leif aware that Tyler having a very strong punch kept his guard well up, moved round the ring and kept off with his legs. The round ended with both fighters obviously feeling the effects of 5 fast and furious well fought rounds. The fighters returned to their corners and must have both felt as though they had given their all. There was a standing ovation and much respect off the crowd for both fighters. They awaited the judges decision. The result was out, it was a unanimous decision in favour of the new World Champion in the red corner, “Lethal” Leif Taggart. There was a massive cheer and the Amercan’s applauded the decision knowing Tyler needed that little bit more or the even that KO he was obviously capable of.
Leif uses his ring craft well and avoids and counters, he moves around the ring making Tyler come after him then suddenly moves forward and lands a perfect spinning back kick to Tyler’s head which makes a sickening thud and draws gasps from the crowd. This is caught on video and looks even more devastating than the photos can portray.
Leif countered quickly, moved off the ropes, backed into his own corner and threw a round kick at Tyler, followed by 2 more front kicks, again, to the Americans face. The round ended with the crowd on their feet cheering tremendously. It was proving to be a very entertaining fight.
SUMMARY A junior World Title fight that will stay in the minds of many who watched it for a long time to come.
Tyler remains on his feet much to Leif’s disbelief and makes Leif realise that is not going to be an easy fight.
ROUND 4 By this round both guy’s knew they were in for no one way traffic, Leif after feeling Tyler’s
Well done to both fighters, Tyler was certainly a worthy opponent and Leif a worthy winner. A great career ahead for both youngsters.
GOLDENBELT WORLD TITLE Page 77
This young man will go far The whole fight community