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THE NEC BIRMINGHAM 12th & 13th MAY 2012

MARCH 2012 £3.95

NEC Hit’s Theay! in M e Biggest e of Th See Som in MMA! Names



Plus... Nate Marquardt Severs Ties with BAMMA >>> UFC on Fox 2 Reviewed & UFC Sweden Previewed! Don’t Burn Yourself Out - Be Ready to Fight! Will Brock Lesnar Return to The WWE? and Much, Much More!








Welcome to this month’s edition of Fighters magazine, your number one magazine for everything from the world of full contact sports and do we have some news for YOU!

UFC on Fox 2 Evans Set’s His Sights on Laying Bones to Rest


Psychologically Speaking With Doctor John O’Connor

This month, as always we have a great mix of MMA, Muay Thai, K1 and Wrestling for you to feast your eyes over.


Ebonie Jones Small Packages, Big Punches

But before we detail what we have in this issue, I would like to let you in on something that we have been working on behind the scenes, something that has never been done before in the UK and will make your year!


UFC 144 The Answer Faces His Biggest Question in Japan


Training in Thailand


TVP For Thai Boxing An Introduction


Benson Henderson It’s Showtime @ UFC 144


The Dirty Dozen With... Hannah & Holly Blossom


The Main Event A Muay Thai Show of Epic Proportions


UFC Sweden Gustafsson vs Nogueira


Getting to Know... The Abyss


Total Leadership Developing Leadership Through Combat Sport


Will Brock Lesnar Rejoin WWE?


Wrestling News By Teddy G.


Vaughan Lee Taking on a Legend @ UFC 144


Legends of The Cage Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell


What does it really take to win a fight: Technique, Strength, Cardio? With the emphasis on Thai Boxing Rakesh Sondhi and Owen Comrie delve deeper into this issue and give us an insight into their TVP Framework. A framework which looks at all the aspects of what you need to become a great fighter.

Time Out Make Sure You Do Not Burn Yourself Out


Have you ever trained so hard that you have burned yourself out? Or have you been worried about training to hard to avoid the same outcome? Is too much training bad for you or is too little too much? One of our regular team writers Glenn Shelford, gives us his thoughts on this issue.

Sorry About Your Damned Luck By Teddy G.


Angelo Dundee Trainer of Champions


UFC Round-Up


Forum Fight Night

Over the weekend of May the 12th and 13th at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham we will launch “The MMA Show Live” and it will run in its own huge Hall alongside the hugely successful “The Martial Arts Show Live”! The weekend will be made up of: 5 interactive areas that will allow you to train with some of the MMA Worlds biggest names (approximately 50 of them)! There will also be a huge stage arena where you can ask all of our stars any questions that you wish! There will be a purpose built autograph area where you will be able to gain autographs and have your photographs taken with the stars and an enclosed purpose built Platinum VIP area where (if you but one of our limited platinum VIP passes) you will be able to hang out with all of our massive superstar guest list!!! But be sure to book your VIP Platinum tickets soon as they are limited and they will sell fast once you discover just who we have coming. You can stay ahead of the pack by visiting www.theMMA for all the latest news!!! We know that tickets will sell fast so make sure you get yours sooner rather than later, especially the Platinum VIP tickets as they are limited to 500. Remember, we will have 50 plus of the MMA Worlds biggest names (K1, UFC, Pride, BAMMA etc . . ) but for now here are 4 names to whet your appetite: UFC fighters Kenny Florian and Simeon Thoresen, BAMMA Middleweight Champion Tom ‘Kong’ Watson, UFC, PRIDE and DREAM veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Ian “The Machine” Freeman. Just wait until we release the rest of our guest list . . . “you ain’t seen nothing yet”! As always we have all the latest from the Octagon as we round up all the results since our last edition came out. We also have a full review of UFC on Fox 2, the organisations latest foray into network television in the States. There was plenty to talk about at this event, especially for Mike ‘The Count’ Bisping in a somewhat controversial fight against brash American Chael Sonnen, go to page 8 to see what all the fuss was about. Staying with the UFC, we review their next big two events, UFC 144 and UFC Sweden. UFC 144 marks the companies’ first return to Japan since 2001. Headlining this event is a Lightweight Title bout between current champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Ben Henderson. As well as a full preview of the event we had our guy across the pond, Bryan Levick catch up with the man given the task of dethroning one of the best pound for pound champs, Ben Henderson. Find out how Henderson has been preparing for the big fight, life inside the Octagon and what he gets up to in his spare time. We also caught up with our very own Vaughan Lee before his own fight at the same event. The Birmingham based fighter will be taking on a Japanese MMA legend in the form of Nori ‘Kid’ Yamamoto. Vaughan really will be travelling into the belly of the beast to face one of the home fan’s favourites.

There’s plenty more to read about in this issue, so carry on, enjoy and we will see you once again next month for another action packed issue of Fighters magazine. PS – Make sure you book your tickets for “The MMA Show Live” or you will kick yourself and that could be as painful as missing out at this event!


Page 18 FRANKIE EDGAR DEFENDS HIS LIGHTWEIGHT UFC TITLE AGAINST BENSON HENDERSON IN JAPAN @ UFC 144 PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Paul S. Clifton SENIOR DESIGNER Kevin Thompson GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hadley Austin WEBMASTER Nick Harley 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 MMA SUB EDITOR Rob Nutley UK BJJ SUB EDITOR Carl Fisher 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)



Have you got news for us? You have? Then e-mail us at


USN Delite Bars make perfect post-exercise snack USN are delighted to announce their latest product, the Protein Delite Bar. Available to order now, this high protein bar is perfect for those looking for a convenient, nutritious snack between meals or after the gym. The bars contain 30g of high quality protein, 0g of trans fat and whey isolate and are very much a ‘take on the go’ product; ideal for throwing in your sports bag for a post-exercise treat. With a delicious candy bar taste, the snack comes in two mouth watering flavours; toffee almond and cookies and cream. The protein bars make an ideal compliment to fellow USN products such as the USN Protein Fuel 50; a tasty, ready to drink protein shake.

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING TO BE TAPED FOR TELEVISION LIVE AT WEMBLEY ARENA London (Wednesday January 11, 2012): Top-rated Challenge TV show TNA IMPACT WRESTLING will be recorded at London’s Wembley Arena later this month – the first time the company has ever filmed the programme outside of the USA. TNA IMPACT WRESTLING superstars including Sting, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode will shoot two all-new episodes at Wembley Arena on January 28 in front of thousands of British fans. Sting’s appearance on the MAXIMUM IMPACT IV Tour will be his first in the UK in a decade and the final time he will wrestle in the country – with his last ever British match taking place at London’s Wembley Arena. The shows will then be broadcast on Challenge TV in the UK and Ireland, Spike TV in the US and in more than 100 countries around the world. TNA IMPACT WRESTLING airs every Sunday night on Challenge TV, which can be found on Sky channel 125, Freeview channel 46 and Virgin Media channel 139.

The line-up of wrestlers for the Wembley Arena taping will also include James Storm, Bully Ray, Crimson, Samoa Joe, Gunner, Velvet Sky, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Mickie James, Tara, Doug Williams, Magnus, Mark Haskins, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Matt Morgan, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. Prior to the show, the TNA MAXIMUM IMPACT IV UK Tour visits Nottingham (January 26) and Manchester (January 27) for live events. The TNA IMPACT WRESTLING and Xplosion television cameras will be at both to capture elements of the Tour. TNA President Dixie Carter said: “The show at Wembley Arena will be a truly historic night for everyone at TNA IMPACT WRESTLING and all of our amazing British fans.

Not very practical for training at any level (particularly for the young or inexperienced) where the delivery of maximum force is the clear objective. Hypothetically then, if each of the major sport goods manufacturers produced a force measurement system they would all read differently, depending on their individual hardness, making comparisons between different systems and more importantly data, impossible. Similarly previous technical studies measuring force (using an endless variety of test rigs, like boxing dynamometers) are all incomparable. It is this anomaly that fuels the on-going debate over who historically had the biggest punch!

“This decision has been years in the making and I’m so excited to announce it is finally happening on January 28.”

So what exactly is supposed to be so clever about StrikeMate and what exactly has been achieved?

“We are just a few tickets away from the London show setting a TNA attendance record, so I hope everyone spreads the word. If you are a fan of TNA, this will be one night you won’t want to miss.”

The standardized product we call StrikeMate measures impact power, not force. StrikeMate allows users to accurately measure any type of punch, kick or strike strikes, providing sciencebased motivation and training, for the first time commercially. Ultimate power from a strike can now be measured relatively cheaply and on a PC, with little fear of broken bones, because although the surface is resistant enough to allow ultimate power generation, it has been designed to be tactile and user friendly, based on an extensive development program over three years with real people. Professional clubs associations and trainers can compare the impact of individuals’ strikes gaining information not previously available, to improve the teaching and the methodology of power generation in martial arts and boxing techniques quantifying details like, left side versus right side as well as assessing each technique, within a style or stable and across geographical boundaries.Obviously it quickly exposes weaknesses. Professional clubs can not only compare the impact of individuals’ strikes for competition judging purposes but can improve the teaching and modus operandi of learning power development techniques. StrikeMate clearly has the potential to become the de facto standard for quantifying impacts in all contact sports.

Barbara Gibbon, Challenge’s Head of Channel, added: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for Challenge’s loyal TNA viewers to see their favourite sports entertainment shows in a UK context for the first time ever.” Tickets for TNA IMPACT WRESTLING UK Tour can be bought from www. / 0844 811 0051 or / 0844 826 2826.

Why are some of the world’s top boxers and martial artists using StrikeMate? Quote from the National Physics Laboratory. ‘Force is defined as the rate of change of momentum. For an unchanging mass, this is equivalent to mass x acceleration. Thus 1 N = 1 kg·m·s-2’. I.e. the harder the impact surface, the faster the momentum changes, the more force produced. Therefore it follows the development of ultimate force requires an ultimately solid surface, like a wall!




Have you got news for us? You have? Then e-mail us at

NEWS ROUND-UP MARCH 2012 BAMMA is proud to announce:


Tickets On Sale: Now Presented by: In Association with: – The Official Gaming Partner of BAMMA. Lonsdale – The Official Equipment Partner of BAMMA BAMMA, Europe’s leading Mixed Martial Arts promotion, is excited to announce the electrifying undercard for BAMMA 9 which takes place on Saturday 24th March at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena. UNDERCARD LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT FRASER OPIE VS ANTHONY TAYLOR WELTERWEIGHT BOUT RUS SMITH VS TOM BREESE   LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT CHRIS FISHGOLD VS DALE HARDIMAN   HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT MARC GODBEER VS CATALIN ZMARANDESCU   MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT LEE JOHNSON VS SAM HOOKER   LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT ADAM SCOTT VS SAM MENSAH

Nate Marquardt & BAMMA Sever Ties; According to Marquardt’s manager Lex McMahon, BAMMA has agreed to release Marquardt from his contract following the organization’s decision to delay their ninth event from Feb. 11 to March 24. Marquardt was scheduled to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the main event of BAMMA 9 for the organization’s welterweight title. “Nate is disappointed that he has not been able to fight for BAMMA and the UK fans,” McMahon said. “However, given the situation that BAMMA removed him as the headliner from BAMMA 8 and elected to reschedule BAMMA 9 to March 24, 2012 all parties concerned feel that it is in Nate’s best interest to explore other options at this stage. Nate is one of the best fighters in the world and looks forward to fighting the best competition possible.”





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THE MMA SHOW LIVE COMES TO THE NEC IN BIRMINGHAM ON MAY 12th and 13th KENNY FLORIAN, TOM WATSON, SOKOUDJOU AND SIMEON THORESEN CONFIRMED MA Inc to present the first ever MMA Show Live at The NEC in Birmingham on May the 12th and 13th in a separate hall, as a part of The Martial Arts Show Live, giving fans two shows for the price of one. Split Decision, the company founded by Liam Fisher (former Head of Business Development at BAMMA), has joined the team at MA Inc to establish a new and very much needed event for the huge and very loyal UK MMA audience and fan base. The first four fighters confirmed to attend are UFC fighters Kenny Florian and Simeon Thoresen, BAMMA Middleweight Champion Tom ‘Kong’ Watson and UFC, PRIDE and DREAM veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. The MMA Show Live will be an interactive fan experience dedicated to mixed martial arts from around the World. Populating a second hall at the NEC in Birmingham alongside The Martial Arts Show Live, The MMA Show Live will consist of five training areas where some of the biggest names in the business will host special group training sessions, a huge stage & screen for Q&A sessions, an autograph zone where fans can meet their favourite fighters and exhibition stands where some of the biggest brands in MMA will be selling merchandise and much, much more. Liam Fisher, CEO at Split Decision said “Split Decision is a company made up of huge MMA fans so this is the perfect opportunity for us to help create a show that we all believe every MMA fan would want to go to. There’s going to be over 40 fighters and MMA personalities from all over the World attending, including some A-list superstars, MMA legends and some of the most exciting up and coming talent around today. I’m immensely excited that my company can be a part of this.” Training sessions with fighters are available for Platinum ticket holders only and are limited to 500 people across the whole

weekend. For a limited period only the Platinum tickets are priced at £90 instead of £100 and for this fans will get 1 training session per day, all the benefits of VIP access to both The Martial Arts Show Live and The MMA Show Live across the weekend, exclusive access to the Platinum Room in the MMA hall where fans can sit down and talk with the A-list fighters & celebrities, entrance to the VIP party held on the Saturday evening in Birmingham city centre, a souvenir event program, access to the fast-track line at the autograph zone and premium platinum seating at the Q&A stage. Every Platinum ticket holder is guaranteed a place at 1 training session per day and there will be 20 different training sessions hosted by 20 different fighters each day. Platinum ticket holders can book their preferred session on a first come first serve basis by registering each day at the registration desk open from 8am each morning although by buying your Platinum ticket now, you will secure your place as one of the limited 500 places available. More fighters and personalities confirmed to attend will be released in the coming weeks. Reduced price “Early Bird Tickets” are available for a strictly limited time from and are priced as follows

Regional event and conference venue Exec Peterborough at the East of England Showground has been chosen to host the first professional boxing event in the city for five years – with the event being streamed live to fans via YouTube. Around 2,000-strong crowd is expected at the championship headlined boxing tournament, which will be packing a punch on March 9. Well-known boxing promoter Robert Waterman is the driving force behind the professional event, backed by local businessmen Peter Fraylich and Rob Barrowman. The event, which is fully licensed by the British Board of Boxing Control, will once again put Peterborough on the map as a major venue for top sporting events – with the prospect of more to come. Robert said: “Exec Peterborough is a great venue, the team here is fantastic to work with and we are hoping that this will be the start of regular high profile boxing shows in the city. “We are expecting a huge crowd, and for those unable to get a ticket – the whole event will be streamed live on YouTube.”


Exec Peterborough managing director Keith Dalton added: “This is a major coup for the venue and for the city. To be chosen to host the first professional boxing event to be held in Peterborough for a number of years is fantastic - not only for us, but for the many, many boxing fans in and around the city and surrounding areas.”

Follow The MMA Show Live on Twitter at and Facebook at themmashowlive

A full line up of boxers has yet to be finalised, but big local names on the bill so far include Caine Brodie, Jake Dyer and former Big Brother contestant JJ Bird.

For more information go to www.

Tickets are being sold to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Prices range from £30 for unreserved seats to £50 for ringside seats and £75 for diners. Call 01733 882565 to book.

Business and boxing partnership to pack a punch in Peterborough BIG hitters from the world of business and boxing have teamed up to offer sporting fans a ringside seat at a major event in Peterborough next month.

In November last year, Exec Peterborough hosted the World Seniors Snooker Championship, which was televised live to an estimated 1.5 million people by Sky Sports.



on Fox


The ufc held it’s second event on the fox network with a double header of title elimination fights. First up in the nights co main event was england’s own mike bisping in a middleweight title elimination fight against chael sonnen. then it was time for the main event, a light heavyweight eliminator between former champ rashad evens and up and comer phil davis. Bisping wasn’t given much of a chance by most people in his fight against the far superior wrestler, Sonnen. But to many people’s surprise it was Bisping who started the better imposing his style more effectively in the first round. Sonnen did what we all expected of him in that first round, taking Bisping to the floor a few times times, attempting to ground and pound his opponent, but again as we all expected Bisping got back to his feet pretty quickly every time, maybe a little easier than anyone thought he would find it to do so. Sonnen’s takedown’s were few and far between though and it was Bisping, with his Boxing who imposed himself the better in the first.

Round two opened with a lovely combination of punches from Bisping that visible shook Sonnen. Bisping then continued to pick Sonnen off with punches and wear Sonnen down. Chael only managed one takedown in the second and failed to do much with it and it was infact Bisping who was now pressing Sonnen up against the cage and controlling him to many people’s surprise. At this point Sonnen looked as though he had gassed and with Mike edging the first two rounds (or so it seemed) it was looking good for the Brit. The third round was better for Sonnen as he took Bisping to the ground early and kept him there for the majority of the last five minutes.

But Sonnen didn’t really do much with this as he failed to land any really telling ground and pound on Bisping. Towards the end of the round Bisping managed to riggle out of a couple of submission attempts and even got to his feet, took Sonnen down and landed a few nice elbows only to be stopped by the final bell. It was a very close fought fight but for most, Bisping had edged it with his dominant second round performance. So, it was a surprise to see Sonnen get his hand lifted as the judges scored it 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 in the American’s favour. A disapointing end for Bisping, who was very gracious in defeat but he will take plenty of positives from this fight and will definitely be back in contention soon as he just seems to get better and better with every fight. The night’s main event was an evenly matched bout as Rashad Evans and Phil Davis went toe to toe for much of the 5 round fight. All 5 rounds went pretty much the same as Evans dominated the stand up. Both fighters landed take down’s but again it was Evans who made his top positions more telling.

Bisping vs Sonnen

An impressive, dominant performance from Rashad who now faces Jones in his next fight for the chance to regain his Light Heavyweight belt, and on the back of this showing, you wouldn’t bet against him.


Evans vs Davis

pictures copyright


Psychologically Speaking with Dr. John O.Connor


Sometimes when you reach a certain level in your athletic career people expect you to have superhuman capabilities and completely shut off any emotional state at the touch of a switch. It works really well in movies, and even on some TV shows, but in real life no one can turn off their emotional state and shut down the feelings or pain. You could try, but those emotions will be there until you address them, and if you don’t take them head on, like you do an opponent in the ring, those emotions will surface at the most inopportune times, and can affect everything from training, fights in the ring, and most importantly, your mental game. Just take a look at Tiger Wood’s most recent performance and you’ll know what I mean. Athletes are under a lot of pressure because they are often in the public eye, performing what they love to do in front of large audiences. Their private lives are also made public. Yet, it seems that athletes are held up to unrealistically high standards, where little room is made for life’s sometimes inevitable occurrences, such as a death in the family, or through heartbreaking circumstances such as divorce. Somehow, athletes are supposed to just be mentally tough and put that aside to perform, and when they don’t, they are ridiculed for it. If occurrences like these happen right before an important match, the effects can be devastating. A loss during a low point in one’s life does not help a fighter’s selfesteem. Out of everything we are taught in school, we are not taught how to recover from life’s painful events. If you’re going through a stressful time and you have a huge match coming up, and everyone’s telling you to just suck it up and put it aside for the moment, don’t feel bad if you are having trouble. It

doesn’t reflect how mentally tough a person is. Mental toughness has to do with the ability to take on any challenge, even ones that have to do with emotions. There are ways we can work to these issues and soften the blow on your emotional state and still be able to be at peak performance while going through adversity. First I would recommend meditation, and I’m not talking about becoming a monk. There are different types of meditation there out there that’ll help ease emotional suffering help calm in mind and let you continue with your training and work at peak performance. Meditation has been studied and is effective in lowering heart pressure, getting the brain waves to that beta state, the state the brain is in when sleeping or relaxing, which will help ease the pain in your heart and lower your stress. Mostly these meditations are custom. I have developed several myself over the past several years that work very well. I helped Darren Morgan win his Australian top fuel

championship last year using one of my custom meditations right before each of his races while in his car. The meditation, performed before each of his races, helped keep him calm and centered for that five seconds that he needed to be 110%. If you’re able to find the right person to teach you the techniques in a short time, you should be able to get back to performing at 100%. The second way of reducing your emotional loss calming emotional turmoil is to find a hypnotist. Going through hypnosis can help calm your subconscious and ease emotional pain. Many people think that it’s all hocus-pocus, but I use it quite often in my practice in with my clients with success. If you use the right techniques you can help anybody. The third way I’ve help people through their emotional issues is to help them find a happy place they can go to whenever these deep emotional trials start twisting them from the inside out. I have found that finding a happy place is very effective when a trigger point is hit.


A trigger is something that reminds you of a painful event, then sends you back to that moment when you felt that pain and loss. At that point, it doesn’t matter whether or not it happened ten minutes ago or ten years ago. You are reliving that moment as if it is happening right now. For instance, it could be as simple as seeing a picture on a sign or a bus or hearing a person’s name on TV, or passing by someone in a crowd that reminds you of someone you lost. These can all be trigger points and take you from a very good place to a very sad, withdrawn emotional painful place in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, this can be countered if you’re able to refocus your mind. Find a happy place. Find something in your life, a person that always makes you laugh, a place you’ve been where you have had a great memory. If it’s possible, go sit somewhere where you can be alone and comfortable for about five minutes. Concentrate on that



happy memory, or that place that makes you happy, or that person. Imagine being there with as much detail as you can. If you can’t physically call that person on the telephone that makes you happy, imagine calling and hearing what that person would say to you. An example of a happy place would be a beach you visited and have happy memories of, so every time you think of the memory it brings a smile to your face. It was a very happy time for you. You had a lot of fun. It’s a very good memory to go back to, and by keeping that memory alive, you are able to relive that happiness you felt when you experienced it, and it will trump the negative feeling you are experiencing. Any time you are feeling sad, alone, or emotional, stop, take a few deep breaths, and think of that beach or that place. Then you can go back to concentrating on your training, or get your head back into a match. Of course, you want to work on these before you match and make sure that you have worked towards getting to a better place before any kind of a match or event or game happens, but if by some chance things creep up on you while you’re in your match, just the act of taking in a few deep breaths might be able to give you the benefit you need to hold down those emotional issues long enough to keep fighting.

In summary, you don’t have to needlessly experience the emotional downside of adversity. There are ways to counter them. Over the years, I have worked with people going through so many of life’s tragic events, and even with people going through exquisitely painful periods, meditation, hypnosis, and the happy place are the three most effective techniques. They compliment each other. Meditation can be used alone or as a precursor to the other two techniques, but I have found they work best when used together because with painful life experiences, there is always an underlying, high level of stress, and there will almost always be something that triggers those painful memories and bring them to the front of your brain. You need all three to manage the ways emotional pain manifests in you. Most importantly, do not despair. You do not have to suck it up, be a superhero, or suffer through this

alone no matter what anyone tells you. There is help out there. My contact information will always be at the bottom of all these columns in case you need an objective, ethical, clear voice to help you get through whatever might be interfering with your athletic training. Contact Information: Dr. John W. O’Connor, Sr., Ph. D. President – The American Emotional Wellness Organization. Sports Psychologist & Expert at the Mental Game. Web: phone: 607 428 0268 NY Eastern time zone email: drjohnoconnorphd@ http://www.linkedin. com/in/drjohnoconnorphd


Ebonie “The Machine” Jones has been described as inhuman. Barely over 5 feet tall, she has managed to forge a reputation that makes grown men quake with fear. Over the last three years, this thirteen year old has proved her metal in and outside of the ring. With the support of Coliseum Sports, Ebonie “The Machine” Jones is becoming a role model in her own right. Her creed: discipline, training and hard work. How long have you been training?

What do you like most about training in Martial Arts?

I started when I was ten, so about three years now. I started kickboxing and then moved into boxing about two years ago. Earlier this year I won the ABA’s (Amateur Boxing Association).

I like the focus that comes from training for a title… and I like going out and winning those titles to prove I’m the best in my weight category! I’ve won the British title fight twice, and I’ve fought in roughly ten competitions, including my boxing career. It’s about testing my skills and pushing myself to the limit.

I really wanted to be like the MMA fighters I saw on television. I was inspired by a documentary on kickboxing. It really all started from Baby Fight Club.

What do you like most about being in the ring?

It’s mostly about performing. In my mind I’m thinking about showcasing my skills, showing everyone what I’m capable of. For me, that is really the best part of being in the ring. I’m not a touchcombat fighter, so the risk of fullcontact shows really makes it even more rewarding. Could you run me through your training regime? I wake up and go through my press-ups, sit ups, conditioning and stretching before going on a run. I meditate after the run, just to focus my mind for the rest of the day. All this is before school. I like to switch up the training, so on Monday I do boxing, Tuesday I focus of kickboxing. I’ll also mix in MMA fighting a couple of days a week. I try to learn a bit of everything and keep myself firmly fixed in my tradition training. So, most mornings I’ll even practice my stances, like horse-ridding stance. Right now I’m doing things that most men find hard to keep up with (laughs). What are your future plans? Well, I would love to take part in MMA shows, but right now the sport


By Simon R. Augustus

isn’t for women. Hopefully that will change in time. When it does, I’ll be ready. I am also training with the Olympic Squad. It’s quite an honour, mainly because I’m the youngest person to be selected to train with an elite team like that. Who has really inspired you? I have to say that my number one inspiration and absolutely favourite fighter is Anderson Silva. He has really given me something to work to and admire. That’s why I got involved in the ABA’s and what drove me to becoming a British title holder in my weight category. What else do you like to do when you’re not training? I like to give my time to charities. I like to run for different causes and get sponsorship through that. I think it’s good to give back what I’ve received. Coliseum supports young talent like me, and I want to show how grateful I am for that encouragement by using those skills to help people in any way I can.



February the 26th sees the ufc make it’s long awaited return to japan with a lightweight title fight between current champ frankie edgar and challenger benson henderson headlining the event. It has been 11 years since the organisation held it’s last event in the land of the rising sun and it promises to return with a bang as two of the most talented pound for pound fighters go head to head for the Lightweight belt. The fight will be Frankie Edgar’s 4th defence of the title after taking the crown from BJ Penn back in April 2010 and in former WEC Lightweight champion Benson Henderson he faces possibly his strongest test to date. Edgar comes off a couple of tough scraps against Gray Maynard and in Henderson he can expect no less.

Hendersons last fight was a fight of the night performance against Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 1 back in November where he showed just how good of an all round fighter he is, stifling most of Guida’s take down attempts and standing toe to toe with him when he needed. He also noteably stayed very calm and collected faced with one of the most unpredictable fighters in the sport waiting calmly for his opportunities. Both fighters are very well rounded with excellent stand up and strong ground games. Edgar edging it on the feet and Henderson the slightly better at taking an opponent down and submitting them.

It is definitely an intriguing match up that is pretty hard to call a favourite from. We can’t see either of these men giving in to one another and expect it to go to the judges descisions after 5 rounds. We do see those 5 rounds being packed full of excitement and some of the best mma you will likely get the chance to see. As for the rest of the card there will be plenty of homegrown talent for the local fans to cheer with 7 Japanese fighters fighting. Other noteable fights include Jake Shields’ 2nd fight in the UFC since losing to GSP, this time he faces seasoned veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama and the co main event, Rampage’s first return to Japan since leaving Pride for the UFC as he faces Ryan Bader, both men looking to get their UFC careers back on track after recent losses. Main Card Edgar vs Henderson Jackson vs Bader Hunt vs Kongo Akiyama vs Shields Pettis vs Lauzon Prelims Okami vs Boetsch Gomi vs Sotiropoulos Hioki vs Palaszewski Yamamoto vs Lee Fukuda vs Cantwell Mizugaki vs Cariaso Zhang vs Garcia


picture’s copyright


Training in


Just how committed are club fighters to learning their trade? Keddles-based Rory Crawford and Ross Harland both undertook training camps at the Kiatphontip gym near Bangkok, Thailand and both returned to win their fights in impressive fashion. Just how much did they benefit from training out there? Declan Warrington reports.

What was it that made you decide to head to Thailand to train? RORY CRAWFORD: “If you do Thai boxing, the place to go to train is Thailand - it’s a no-brainer. There’s a lot of people I train with who have been to Thailand and recommended it and a gym they use out there, and I’ve always wanted to train out there so three of us [another Keddles-based fighter, Leigh Hendey, joined them] went out there to train for two weeks and trained full-time out there. “The reason to go out there was more to focus on technique. I think a lot of English fighters tend to be more aggressive, while the Thais are a lot more technical - one of the main reasons I wanted to go out there was because ‘clinch’ was one of the worst parts of my fighting so that’s something I wanted to train a lot on, and the technique side, really.” ROSS HARLAND: “I’ve just had my first professional fight so I went to Thailand to get some intense training done because I wanted to feel as ready as possible. “I was really nervous about it and I just wanted to get as much knowledge and fitness in before the fight. I won with a unanimous decision - he’d had 14 pro fights and this was my first.”

So how did you find it? RORY CRAWFORD: “The training, technique-wise, is outstanding out there. Two weeks wasn’t long enough and I’m planning to go out there in March for six months to train and fight out there. I fell in love with the place, I didn’t want to leave.” ROSS HARLAND: “The trip gave me peace of mind, I felt I’d trained like a pro and took the pressure off me knowing I’d put the work in. “I’m more of a defensive fighter but in my last fight I was going forward more, which is something I learned in Thailand because they kept telling me to push forward.” Was it difficult to get your nutrition correct with fights coming up? RORY CRAWFORD: “Nutrition-wise, the way they eat out there - there’s a lot of fried food out there but I know what to eat, and what not to eat anyway, so nutrition-wise it wasn’t really much different. “You’re obviously going to want to try new things while you’re out there, but I knew what to eat anyway. Everyone can be tempted, but we all knew that we had a fight coming up and that we had two weeks out there, then a

week and a half back in England before fighting so we knew we had to keep our weight down and with training all the time, we had to eat the right things. “I like to load up on carbs, to give myself the energy, but we took our protein shakes out to Thailand, too. We didn’t actually have any trouble with customs because we thought it might look a bit dodgy taking it out there, but it was fine. ROSS HARLAND: “We stayed in a café down the road [from the gym] and they had all sorts, but I tried to stick to the Thai food. I try and eat well anyway with my training - lots of chicken and rice, etc, so it wasn’t a dramatic change - food wasn’t a problem. “Every other time I’ve been to Thailand [Ross had previously visited as a tourist, not to train] before I had a dodgy stomach but I didn’t experience it this time.” What about the sparring - how was that? RORY CRAWFORD: “I found the sparring really strange. When you’re in England it can be a bit of a brawl, more than technique, but [in Thailand] you’re just getting outclassed through technique really, rather than power which was a bit of a weird experience.


“A lot of the young kids, because they’ve been fighting from such a young age, you’re sparring people who are 10, 11 years old and you’re finding yourself on the floor for half of it so it was a bit of an eye opener but we all benefited from it. They’d stop you and break it down, show you technique and where you are going wrong, so it was really helpful. “I found boxing was our strongest point out there but, as for clinch, it was just a completely different level - there are people there half your weight and they’re throwing you about just through pure technique. They were outstanding, you train with the best out there.” ROSS HARLAND: “They tend to do a lot of clinch at that particular gym so we’d do a lot of sparring with that. But they’d break it up and we’d do hand sparring - one of the days we’d come back from a 10k run in the morning and did a circuit with weights and then after that do some sparring, hands only. They had really big gloves - 18oz - which I’m not used to, which was a bit uncomfortable.”

How does the gym culture differ - did the changes inspire you? RORY CRAWFORD: “It’s obviously their national sport - Thai boxing is bred into them from such a young age - it’s a way of life for them. A lot of people in England will fight professionally but have a full-time job and that’s a big difference. “All three of us train hard in England but the first session was a real eyeopener - it worked out at about seven hours a day. The three of us are all mentally strong though, there was no way I wasn’t going to get through of it but it was a shock. It spurred as on that little bit more - watching the training, the environment in the gym everything about it.” ROSS HARLAND: “It’s more like a lifestyle out there, instead of being a money-orientated gym. I’d say there’s more hunger out there - you could definitely detect more hunger in there. Those kids have come from nothing - one of them had lost his parents, monks had taken him into a temple just down the road but they asked the gym if they’d take him on and he trains there now.

There was definitely a lot of hunger in him, and it inspires you, looking at these kids cracking on and fighting as frequently as they can. “Their technique, their power - they know so much even though they’re young. They make you silly which makes you think ‘come on, get your act together’. RORY CRAWFORD: “They train very hard out there - twice a day, six times a week - that’s their job. They do train harder out there than over here and without a doubt it inspires you.” Did you encounter problems with the climate? RORY CRAWFORD: “You have to be careful with the weight you drop - I dropped around four kilos in two days through the heat and being unwise to it, but they keep telling you to drink diaralyte and keep getting minerals and salts back into your body. “It’s a different environment to train in and the heat’s a big factor but we got used to it after a couple of days.” ROSS HARLAND: “It was so hot! Rory cramped up a lot of the time but they gave him electrolytes and vitamins to take to stop the cramps.


“I hate running so I probably do the least amount I have to - my body must have been in shock. “When you’re amongst everyone that’s great [at fighting] and doing really well, and you’re suffering a bit, you can forget about the heat. I started thinking I’m useless, having a lot of doubts, thinking I’m not ready but I just had to remind myself I’d be sharper and quicker when I get back. It was hard to deal with when other people looked to be coping and you weren’t used to it. “It’s just draining - your breathing’s messed up, it makes you knackered, dehydrated, weaker.” ...And the language barrier? “We’d run around six miles in the morning from around six, then come back and train until about nine in the morning, half nine. We’d go back to where we were staying, sleep, have some food, and then wake up ready train at three o’clock again and do another six mile run. “It feels like there’s no air - it’s just heat. I was trying to make sure I had enough water anyway but I still picked up a couple of injuries. My left ankle started to hurt - I don’t know whether it’s the pads or the running, I’m not used to running 12 miles a day.

RORY CRAWFORD: “At Keddles we regularly have Thais over so we actually know a couple of them and their English is pretty good so I didn’t find the language barrier too bad.” ROSS HARLAND: “A lot of the locals must know what you’re out there for so you get people saying hello and ‘bibbing’ on their scooters when they’re going past. It’s more about the locals in the area rather than the tourism. Not a lot of people spoke English so it was really hard work to get things done or to go anywhere or anything, so it became a bit of a struggle, it could be a bit mentally draining.”

What can the British scene learn from the Thais? And what did you learn personally? RORY CRAWFORD: “The Thais are the best at it - it’s their sport. People all over Europe are going there all the time. If you want to be the best at something you have to train with the best, that’s why we go and train with them. “I felt so relaxed [when I fought] whereas before I was a bit aggressive, would stiffen up and would make mistakes. But they tell you to relax and once you’ve had that drilled into you it shows - when I look back on the DVD [of my last fight] I was a lot more relaxed, things came together a lot more and my technique was crisper, I definitely put that down to the training out there. “We’ve kept the relaxed approach in our training now. Ross fought on the same show as me, but Leigh was injured. They’ve both said the same, and I’m delighted to bring that back because it was such a negative part of my game before. The more relaxed you come on leaps and bounds. Hard training never goes away.” ROSS HARLAND: “It’s all about the technique out there - the tiniest little’s unbelievable what they can do out there - it’s their second nature. They’ve been brought up to fight and that’s how they make a living. It’s amazing how technical they are. It’s fine-tuned like an art a lot of British fighters don’t get that. They treat it like kick-boxing and try and go in there and get a knockout and throw hard punches but out there, they don’t really use a lot of punches - they were just used to set themselves up to get a good kick in or work there way into a clinch. The punches are like a distraction. “Running through the technique with one of them, just getting me to go really slowly with him with the pads and to sort my reach to put him off so that he couldn’t come forward. I used a lot of that in my fight and it really messed up my opponent’s game because he couldn’t come any closer because


I had my hand coming out so it made it difficult for him.

Were there any times when you struggled?

“It’s all fresh in my mind - everything that’s drilled into us is really beneficial if you’re going to fight straight after.

RORY CRAWFORD: “They do a lot of running out there, more than we do. The running was hard, the training all round took some getting used to because of the heat. It was October, it wasn’t even as hot as they’re used to but it was still hard enough.

“But the British are better than the Thais with their hands - it’s how we fight, with boxing. When we fight, it’s with our hands. “My fitness - it was the best I’ve ever felt. I’ve picked up more technique than I had but given the time I was there, I feel I could have used longer for things to sink in. “I think both Rory and Leigh have come on well. When Leigh fought out there he looked really strong, powerful. He did really well. The Thai bloke he fought was supposed to have had 20 fights, but our trainer thought he was lying and that he’d had more. That was Leigh’s third fight and he got a TKO in the third round. “He’s come a long way - all of a sudden, for both of them, you’ll notice a real difference in them but they do put the work in, they work really hard. They’re using more combinations and are super fit at the moment.

ROSS HARLAND: “I found it really hard out there - if I’d had longer I could have eased my way into it, but we missed our flight on the way out there - our connecting flight - so we were stuck on Doha for 12 hours. We had something to eat, went to the toilet and were only a couple of minutes and then they wouldn’t let us on. “Because we were there for such a short time, a day was a lot to lose. We lost a morning’s training but we trained in the evening. Luckily we managed to get into contact with the owner of the gym on the internet and let him know. “It was pretty nerve racking being there before knowing about the flight being rescheduled. With these hiccups you started to wonder

what else could go wrong because it didn’t go smoothly to start with. I was anxious - it was the unknown for me. “We made the afternoon session on the pads, and were really tired from flying. I got the impression that the first bloke we’d met [in the gym], that I must have rubbed him up the wrong way and that’s when I started thinking I don’t like it out here, because he was giving me a hard time. “By mistake I think my leg skimmed off his pad and hit him in the elbow and he looked like he had the hump with it. I was just a little bit enthusiastic, trying a little bit too hard. But the tables turned and after a couple of days he was the most friendly out of everyone there. “After that first afternoon I was really tired so went just went back and got our heads down because we had to be up at six in the morning to go running with the everyone at the gym - kids, adults, everyone goes together.” Thailand was flooded when you were out there - what impact did that have?

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ROSS HARLAND: “We had to give up our last day of training because of the floods - we had to evacuate. We got a hotel near the airport, just in case. There was a river running behind the gym and on the last day, the pressure from the water was so much it was jetting up through concrete. It was getting closer and closer to the gym. The day we went they’d mentioned that the whole gym was flooded - even the ring was under water - you had to get up steps to get into the ring. I imagine they’ll find it really hard.” ...Did anything else threaten to interrupt your progress? ROSS HARLAND: “Someone got bitten by a snake when we were in the gym and apparently it was quite a shock - it was a small snake and they’re supposed to be venomous. The person who got bit was put in a truck and they started driving towards hospital but they hit a lot of traffic and were panicking because they needed to get him in quickly. He was ranked second in the world, too. “They pulled a moped over that was going through the traffic, chucked him on the back of that - there were three of them on the moped - but when they got to hospital they found out it wasn’t venomous, but it was still a scare.”

What about watching fights out there - how was that? RORY CRAWFORD: ”It was good watching him [Hendey] fight - the atmosphere is completely different, it’s like football in England. It was unbelievable, they get so involved in it and gambling is a massive part. “Some of them will fight twice a week so it’s just another show for them. We went to the Raja stadium and when Leigh fought there wasn’t many people there but they still get into it and the atmosphere was good.” How was it to train fulltime, not around your job? RORY CRAWFORD: “I train 5 to 6 days a week regardless of if I’ve got a fight coming up - I’m 100% committed and everyone at that gym will say the same. I work five days a week [as a bricklayer] - sometimes six - so it’s very hard but if you’re doing something you love... I’ve fallen in love with the sport and hope to do it as a career so I’ve got to put the hours in. “I’d definitely benefit a lot more if I could just train all the time - you’d get a lot more out of it, too.”

ROSS HARLAND: “I’ll work all day, so I try and run early in the morning before work, go to work, finish and then have a half-hour gap to get some food in before getting ready to train. My work can get in the way but I do always try and push myself. “It’s great training like a professional, you’re getting trained by the best in the world. I would definitely do it again. I’m not sure when I’ll be fighting next but it’s a serious possibility. So what does the future hold for you both? RORY CRAWFORD: “I nearly went to train in Holland at one point and I’m hoping to get around to train again and am hoping to do that after Christmas but that was my first time training away. When I go back out [to Thailand] in March I’ll stay in the gym but I’d like to travel around a bit to other gyms, too. “I had a bit of a rib injury before going out there and had committed to the Keddles show so didn’t want to risk fighting out there but Leigh was injury free so he fought out there. In that six months hopefully I’ll get a lot of fighting out there.” ROSS HARLAND: “There’s always going to be an element of nerves with me but I’ve learned how to pace myself now. “I’m going to try and take as many fights as I can and see where it goes from there.”


After studying some of the greatest fighters, and utilising experience of coaching fighters there seemed to be a certain pattern to the attributes that made a good fighter. Good fighters were epitomised by a certain quality of technique, a variety of technique and also the ability to be unpredictable. A look at some of the top fighters demonstrates that they all possessed the ability to confuse the opponent. What attributes are needed in the fighter to be able to confuse the opponent? Some people might argue that you do not need to possess all of these characteristics. Therefore, the average fighter needs to develop all round attributes that will make him the most effective fighter he can be. A complete fighter needs to possess an ability to recover and be prepared for continuity in the fight. Without this continuity he is totally dependent on his judgement of the level of his opponent. His opponent may be more resilient than expected, so greater preparedness to continue the fight is required. In addition, to maximise the effectiveness of his technique the fighter needs to ensure correct body mechanics to help in

the development of explosiveness in the technique. These components of preparedness, body mechanics and explosiveness are the essence of technique. Different fighters possess different strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, a fighter needs a broad range of techniques that he can call upon against different opponents at different times. This breadth of tools is essentially variety. What makes an outstanding competitor? All of the great exciting fighters we might think of had one great skill – the ability to do the unexpected. A great fighter cannot be read by the opponent. This might be because of speed of delivery or direction of movement. This ability to confuse the opponent is developed by removing the predictability of the fighter.

Bringing all of the elements together, we (Rocky Sondhi and Tommy Thompson) developed a training framework for boxing. Recently, with Owen Comrie, we have looked at the adaptability of he framework to some of the more traditional combat sports, such as Thai boxing. We all agreed that there is certainly scope to combine some of the traditional training methods with the ideas behind tvp concept. This series of articles will look at the traditional training methods may be adapted to Thai boxing. We believe focusing the training on this framework will assist in the development of the complete fighter. This first article will introduce the framework for Thai Boxing, and then subsequent articles will feature the detail behind each area specifically for different Thai Boxing techniques. The tvp™ Framework The tvp™ framework is based on the development of three core elements for the all round fighter. These core elements are Technique, Variety of tools and Predictability. The ultimate aim of training in Thai boxing is to be able to conduct a confrontation with a confidence that you can win, irrespective of the opponent – he may be experienced or a total novice. The tvp™ framework is designed for fighters, irrespective of experience and standard, as it is designed to develop the complete potential of the fighter. As the fighter becomes


Part 1 by Rakesh Sondhi and Owen Comrie

more experienced in using the tvp™ framework he will see a noticeable difference in his movement and quality of his technique. Ultimately, the aim is to get the fighter into The Zone – the area of training where he is exhibiting a broad range of excellently executed techniques in a creative way, unconsciously. The beauty of this framework is that there is no end point for the fighter. Improvement is possible irrespective of your standard. In applying the tvp™ framework the fighter is also developing his strategic skills in being able to see specific weaknesses in opponents, as well as developing his own coaching abilities, as he becomes aware of key characteristics in fighters.


Technique What defines a good technique – a punch, a kick, a knee, an elbow or a head strike A good technique hits the selected target quickly from any position, with maximum force and is ready for the delivery of the next technique more or less immediately from any position. How good the movement of a fighter is of no use unless the technique being delivered has a certain quality about it. The technical standard can be assessed by a number of elements. These are: a. Position of non attacking limbs, such as arms, hands and legs This ensures that the fighter is ready for the next technique and ready to defend whenever necessary. The position of the non attacking

limbs encourages continuity of movement, and also shortens the distance that needs to be travelled from the starting point of the technique to the point of contact. By having the non attacking limbs in the appropriate position, the body is able to maximise the power generated and maximise the speed of delivery. b. Body weight transfer when attacking and defending Transferring the bodyweight during the delivery of an attack is fundamental to ensuring the technique is delivered with maximum power and speed. The duration of the body weight transfer may be longer in the initial stages of training as the fighter gets accustomed to the required movement. As the fighter becomes more experienced and proficient the duration of the body weight transfer needs to become shorter until eventually it becomes an internalised movement

i.e. the fighter carries out the correct technique but it cannot be seen as the movement is instantaneous. The very best fighters like Owen and Ronnie Green appear to be able to hit with great power even though the body weight transfer does not seem to exist, but it does! c. Break off from the inside position Fighters are most vulnerable as they are drawn into attacking the opponent. It is vital that fighters train awareness of the potential weaknesses as they move out of close in attacking positions. The development of this feeling of awareness is sometimes the difference between losers and winners. d. Quality of delivering techniques Not surprisingly the mechanics of the delivery of the punch are crucial to ensuring an ability to deliver power, speed and variability in the punching. The quality of technique needs to explore the angle and line of delivery of the technique. Checklist for quality of technique • Line of delivery • Retraction • Use of hips, feet, elbows and shoulders • Body lock off on opposite side to delivery • Position of head and chin during delivery and recovery e. Relax and acceleration in the delivery of the technique A quick review of basic physics demonstrates the importance acceleration in the technique. Basic physics taught us that Force is equal to mass times acceleration, which means to hit with maximal force we need to combine the mass (i.e. weight behind the punch) with acceleration. However, there is considerable misunderstanding about what acceleration is. Many people confuse acceleration with speed. Acceleration is the ability to pick up speed i.e. getting quicker as it goes towards the target, and also the pick up of speed as the technique is withdrawn.


Variety of Tools Many people believe, and it is probably true in most cases, that some people have one or two good techniques that they are able to pull off in any situation. To find that one technique the fighter needs to practice a broad variety to find what maximises the individual’s potential. In addition, where two fighters are of an equal standard the ability to deliver something different can be the difference between winning and losing. Good fighters will also read an opponent’s strongest techniques, making it easier to counter. The elements that need to be specifically trained to develop a broad range of tools are: a. Preferred attacking tools Fighters need to set time to develop a broader range of creative combinations that allows the body to get used to different timings and movements. People are very surprised to find how difficult it is move from a simple jab, kick, elbow combination to kick, jab, elbow. It is important to appreciate that the body and the mind becomes accustomed with a certain type of movement and this “programming” needs to be challenged by constantly trying a broader variety of attacking tools. b. Preferred defensive tools Similarly, the fighter needs to be practicing a broad range of defensive tools. c. Mannerism of style Many, if not all, fighters possess certain habits that they take for granted and do not recognise they have. Some may just touch their nose before punching, for example. The role of the partner or coach is to place the fighter under pressure so they do what they would do in a pressure situation i.e. their habits or mannerism of style. This effectively acts as telegraph for the next range of techniques.


a. Preferred direction of movement

c. Danger technique

The fighter should be looking to be able to move in all different directions from any position with total ease. The first stage of the development is focused on awareness of any preferences in direction. Some people may prefer going left to right, for example.

Some fighters are always trying to set themselves up for the same technique that they feel most comfortable with. This part of the framework is about the fighter becoming fully aware of their danger or favoured punch or technique. d. Movement of head

d. Tempo Changes A change in rhythm or tempo multiplies the possible combinations by a huge number. The fighter needs to be aware of any natural rhythms or tempo beats that he is delivering in his technique or movement, as his opponent will eventually read the situation and take appropriate action. Predictability One of the most visible features of the greatest fighters is their ability to confuse the opponent by being totally unpredictable. However, this ability has to be practiced and isolated.

Once a preference has been observed, the fighter should devote time in training the different possibilities i.e. left to right, right to left, forward to back, backwards to forward, up and down. As the fighter becomes familiar with all directions of movement, the next level of development is to give the opponent the impression you are moving in one direction, and then move in another direction i.e. feinting to move in a particular direction. (see image above)

The impression of being unpredictable can be increased considerably by a continuous movement of the head when delivering or receiving the technique. e. Movement patterns and mannerism There are many different patterns of movement and style that can be incorporated in a fighting style. The universal pattern mentioned earlier demonstrates the different possibilities.

b. Footwork patterns f. Change of movement speed Linked to movement, the fighter needs to develop a complete range of footwork patterns and movements that incorporate all possibilities.


Fighters need to be able to change not only their direction, but also the speed of movement. The ability to


Technique Position of non attacking limbs

Always ready!

Body weight transfer

Internalised movement

Break off from inside position

Always ready!

Quality of technique

Optimal power and ready for next technique

Relaxation and acceleration in technique delivery

“Out at 50 back at 100�!

Variety of tools Preferred attacking tools


Preferred defensive tools


Mannerism of style

No predetermined mannerisms

Tempo changes

No pattern

Predictability Preferred direction of movement

No preference

Footwork patterns

No pattern

Danger technique

All techniques should be potentially danger techniques

Movement of head

Continually moving, offering a difficult target

Movement patterns and mannerisms

No pattern

Change of movement speed

Comfortable shifting from one speed to another with total control


quickly change speed – go from slow to fast or vice versa, is critical and again these attributes do not suddenly appear – they have to be practiced. In developing these attributes the fighter needs to: 1. Identify weaknesses in your competing make up 2. Identify the benchmarks or mentors 3. Create training sessions around the isolated factors that need to be developed


By Bryan Levick

Finally The UFC will return to Japan! After 11 long years the worlds leading MMA organization invades the Land of the Rising Sun with a tremendous card. For so many years Pride ruled the Japanese MMA landscape featuring such stalwarts as Wanderlei Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Kazushi Sakuraba & many others. The biggest difference between Pride & some of the other Japanese MMA organizations & the Zuffa run UFC is the fact that the lighter weight classes were given a prominent spot on the card. So maybe it should come as no surprise that the main event of UFC 144 will see UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar attempt to defend his title for the 3rd time since capturing it from BJ Penn at UFC 112 against former WEC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. The 27-year-old Arizona native has been on quite the tear since making his UFC debut against Mark Bocek at UFC 129 in Toronto this past March. He defeated the Canadian born Bocek via unanimous decision before a crowd of more than 55,000 fans.

The rumors had been swirling in the days and weeks leading up to the fight with Guida that the winner would become the number one contender, but Henderson needed to hear it from the horse’s mouth himself.

promised “Showtime” a shot at the winner of the Edgar-Gray Maynard title bout at UFC 125 in January. As luck would have it that bout ended in a draw forcing the UFC to match the two up for a third time later on in 2011.

“I had heard that the winner may be in line for a title shot, but I’m not one to believe in rumors,” said Henderson. “The day before the fight Dana White had said the winner would be facing Frankie Edgar and being as confident as any other fighter out there I got excited because I knew I would win and would have the opportunity to compete for the UFC Lightweight Championship.

Pettis would go on to face Guida at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale in a fight that he would lose via unanimous decision. Coupled with Pettis’ loss and Henderson’s quick ascension up the UFC lightweight ranks, “Smooth” found himself on the fast track to a shot at Edgar and his lightweight championship after just three bouts inside the Octagon.

Henderson then derailed Jim Miller and his seven fight winning streak at UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle in August. Last, but not least Henderson defeated Clay Guida in a thrilling three round affair on the undercard of the first ever UFC on Fox card in November.

Although I was happy that I had won the fight, my initial reaction in my performance was that I was a little disappointed. In my opinion I felt as though I could’ve done a lot better. My hat’s off to Clay Guida as he is a tough fighter and he did a great job of making me fight his fight. I think I can fight a lot better than I did. I am my own harshest critic and even though my team was happy I know I didn’t perform the way I could have.”

The UFC announced after the win over Guida that Henderson would face Edgar for the title in Japan.

After losing the WEC title to Anthony Pettis in the organizations last event last December, the UFC

“I’m surprised at the speed of my success,” Henderson offered. “But going back to the fact that I’m a confident fighter I expect my career to go a certain way. I expect to win every fight I go into, I know I can win. Am I super surprised at how successful I have been, I would say no, but I am surprised at how fast I’ve been given a title shot. I think that also applies to the level of fighters that I have faced. Before I came over to the UFC I wasn’t expected to make it this quickly to the top of the division. If you look at the fighters I have fought in these three fights it’s a lot easier



to understand. I’ve beaten a top contender in Bocek, a guy on a four fight win streak in Guida and Miller who had won seven fights in a row before he faced me.” If fighting for the title wasn’t enough, Henderson and Edgar will be competing in the main event of the UFC’s return trip to Japan. Since Zuffa acquired Pride the sport hasn’t enjoyed all that much success. Dream has failed to show any consistency and Sengoku has recently closed its doors. Japanese fans have been clamoring for a big show and both Edgar and Henderson will be counted on to come up big when they meet in February. “I’m super excited that the UFC has given me the honor of fighting in the main event of their return to Japan,” said an eager Henderson who was not trying to hide the pride in his voice what so ever. “This is like the UFC’s first trip to Japan because they haven’t been there since Zuffa took over the organization.


As a matter of fact they showed the UFC fighters tremendous love when they were over their promoting this card in November. “I got a pretty good welcoming from the fans and media when we were over there,” Henderson said. “We have a great card scheduled and while MMA may have been on the decline over there it seems to be getting back on track. This card has sparked a rebirth over there and after this I think we’ll see a lot of young Japanese fighters begin to get involved with the sport. I would consider it an honor to be part of something that helped MMA bounce back in Japan.” It’s been a long time since the UFC has been there and we expect fans from all over the world to be attending this show. This truly going to be a global event and I’m excited to be part of it. I get a thrill about being in the main event over the bigger weight guys because that spot is usually reserved for them. It’s a big deal for us little guys and that’s something I take great pride in.”

While he was over in Japan Henderson had an opportunity to travel over to Korea to meet relatives from his mother’s side of the family. He also had a chance to train at Korean Top Team with “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. These experiences are something Henderson will never forget and has opened up a whole new plethora of family members to him.

Japanese fans have long been known to be more reserved than their American counterparts. While the fans in North America can be rabid, loud and blood thirsty, the Japanese fans tend to be quiet and reserved. That’s not to say they are any less in love with the sport.

“It was so cool, the first couple of days I went and visited a couple of Army Bases,” Henderson said very proudly. “We had Thanksgiving dinner with the troops and they were really awesome. We got to roll around with some of the soldiers and their instructors.

After that we had two or three days to ourselves and I got to meet my mom’s side of the family. There were so many cousins who I had never met before and I was super stoked about meeting them all. My mom has six aunts and uncles and they all have children. It was really cool meeting so many new family members. My mom’s uncle will be traveling from Korea to Japan to watch me fight. That has me really excited. They have become so supportive of me and are really big fans. Some of my family from the states will be traveling to watch me fight as well. The amount of support I will have will be truly amazing.” Henderson has a lot of tools that have helped him become so successful in his sort time in mixed martial arts. He has solid wrestling, very good submission defense and a diverse striking attack that has a Muay Thai base. Edgar is quick, has good boxing and is as tough as they come. It’ll be interesting to see what areas Henderson holds an edge over Edgar and vice versa. “I think I match up with him pretty well with him in every area,” Henderson said very confidently. “As I said I’m as confident as any fighter on this planet. He is known for having great cardio, a great chin and recovers very quickly. I believe my cardio is second to none, my chin is good and has been tested quite a few times and I’ve done just fine. My MMA wrestling is second to nobody’s in the UFC, my ground game; my Jiu-Jitsu is also second to none. One area of weakness may be my boxing, his boxing may be a little bit better than mine and he may try and exploit that. My Muay Thai has really grown and cone along very nicely. Besides the boxing, I think I match up very well with him.” Edgar is coming off of two brutal fights with Maynard. In both bouts he was nearly finished in the first round only to show unbelievable resiliency in coming back to earn a draw in the first fight and a knockout victory in the second one.


By being in these types of wars, an opponent can take away a lot about a fighter and Henderson is well aware of that. “The first thing I took away is that he does make mistakes and can be hurt,” Henderson told me matter of factly. “He got hurt very badly in both fights in the first round. He does leave openings and make mistakes. He has holes and there are opportunities where you can go after him and throw him off of his game. You also have to take away the fact that he has a huge heart, a very good chin and a never say die attitude. That’s not something that should ever be discounted.” With all the publicity surrounding his success in the UFC and his upcoming bout with Edgar, Henderson also has something else to be thankful for. Along with his coach John Crouch he is now the proud owner of the only gym he has ever trained at, the MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona. “It’s about 98-99% done, John Crouch and I purchased the gym from the old owners,” said and excited and proud Henderson. “We are not going anywhere; this is where I am going to be at for the duration of my career. In a few years time we plan on opening other affiliates around the country. This is home for me and we hope to offer opportunities to some young fighters in the area looking to make their way in the sport.

I’ve got the same guys training with me that I had in the beginning. For this fight I am bringing in UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominic Cruz to lend us a hand. He’s a bit quicker and faster than I am. He can emulate Frankie and help me deal with the speed and footwork Edgar possesses. Other than that it’s all the same guys, a bunch of hungry guys trying to make a name for themselves.”

I will visualize my opponent making his way out to the cage and the Herb Dean or whoever the referee maybe giving us our instructions. I can actually hear Big John asking are you ready? Are you ready? Let’s get it on! I will see how my opponent will react and how I counter his counters. The one thing I visualize is at the end of the fight and that is having my arm raised as the winner.

Being so confident in his abilities, Henderson uses visualization as a big part of his training. He puts himself in all different types of scenarios and how he can about getting out of them. This also allows him to see himself with his hand raised when the fight is over and done with.

This fight is going to be good. It’ll be like two cats trapped inside of a bag. He’s a pretty aggressive fighter who moves a lot, but he remains very active and goes after it. He’s not a guy who will get on the bike and not engage. He moves around a lot, but comes to fight each and every time. We both have aggressive natures so you can expect us to get after it and put on a great fight.”

“Visualization is a big part of the mental aspect of my game,” offered Henderson. “I tend to use this three or four times a week. I will get in the cage and shadowbox all the while I am thinking about what I am going to do against my opponent. As the fight gets closer I will get into more specifics and imagine the walkout to the cage, hearing the crowd and the music.

Henderson is a very confident fighter, but let it be known he truly understands how important the people around him are and how much they have helped him grow as a human being and a fighter. He spoke very highly of his training partners and his coaches at the MMA Lab. This is something that I wanted to get in to this interview. He is as humble in that regard as he is confident in his abilities. pictures copyright


The Dirty Dozen with...

Hannah & H

Blossom How did two girls from Manchester end up wrestling at OVW? THE BLOSSOM TWINS: We had been training and wrestling around the UK for around 4 years when Nick Dinsmore came to do a seminar at the old FSW gym in Manchester. At the end of the session he took us to one side and asked if we had ever thought about training in America and at OVW. Of course we knew all about OVW and the minute we got home started planning a trip out there. Nick was great with helping make our Kentucky dream come true. We ended up spending a week at OVW at the end of August 2008 and fell in love with the place. We got to train with Nick and Rip Rogers and instantly knew that that was where we needed to be if we wanted to improve our wrestling

skills and get the experience we needed to grow. We headed back to Kentucky in September 2009 for a 3-month stay and it just became home. We have been travelling back and forth ever since! Who were your idols / inspirations growing up? HANNAH: When we first got into wrestling we loved The Hardy Boys. We just wanted to be like them and be tag team champions. As we got older and the more we watched, we grew to admire the likes of Shawn Michaels and loved watching old tapes of The Rockers. Holly: To add to Hannah’s list, Trish Stratus was somebody we enjoyed watching. To see how she progressed over the years into one of the best women wrestlers today was a great inspiration for us both.

You have both held the women’s title at OVW (indeed even co-holders), what was that like? THE BLOSSOM TWINS: To hold the OVW women’s title was an honour for both of us. It really felt like we were starting to make our dreams come true. Knowing that the likes of Beth Phoenix, Mickie James and Serena Deeb had held the belt before us makes you want to work harder to be the best that you can possibly be and to do all you can to be a positive representation of OVW. Is it more fun sharing championship gold with each other or is it sweeter being a champ in your own right? HANNAH: We were never co-holders of the women’s title, if you look in the history books I won the title from Epiphany on the 7th October 2009 and held it for 56 days before Josie and the official thought she was champion for a brief moment. We cleared that up for her though and made her aware that she had pinned Holly not Hannah and then I held it for another 14 days. HOLLY: It was definitely a great feeling to hold the title individually and we were proud of each other on both occasions, however, it would be awesome to hold tag team titles and share the spotlight in future. Do you ever argue over who is the better wrestler?


olly By Teddy G.

THE BLOSSOM TWINS: Not really, we both know what our strengths and weaknesses are and know that there are some things one of us is better at than the other but it ends up quite equal. We do like to challenge each other occasionally as it gives us a chance to push ourselves and keeps us striving to get better. You were at the TNA Fan Party at Nottingham recently, what was that like as experience for you? THE BLOSSOM TWINS: It was a fun experience as we got to talk to a few up and coming British wrestlers and get caught up to date with the British scene after being away for a little while. Also getting to see the TNA and British wrestling fans was great as they are very supportive of the scene over here and very enthusiastic about seeing their favourites from across the pond. With TNA now aligned with OVW, do you hope to get a chance to bring a little ‘twin magic’ to TNA? HOLLY: Of course. We definitely feel that we can bring a little bit of “twin magic” to TNA and a whole lot more. HANNAH: With TNA having women’s tag titles, it’s definitely a goal of ours to show people what we are capable of, in that, we are not just a put together tag team, this is something we have



been dreaming about since we were 12. We have been side by side pushing each other, training together, learning together and growing together so we can be the best possible tag team out there. As twins we have a special bond that we can’t really explain to anyone and it’s something we feel that makes us as a team a little different, it’s exciting and brings something new to the table! Who are your current inspirations in the sport? THE BLOSSOM TWINS: Mike Mondo is the first person that comes to mind. He has such an amazing work ethic and a passion for what he does that can’t be matched. He is an unbelievable athlete and performer and inspires us each and every time we watch him. Chris Silvio, this guy should be everywhere, he is, simply put, Awesome. His in ring ability, drive, determination and character are incredible. Paredyse. We challenge you to find someone more entertaining!!! He has been a huge inspiration for us and has helped us to learn and grow in all aspects of performing.

The list could go on. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to be apart of a locker room (OVW) that constantly motivates each other, looks out for each other and supports each other. There are so many people there that help you with improving yourself and reaching your goals and they’re who inspire us right now to keep moving forward and achieve our dream.

HANNAH: Hmm, well everyone knows we are big into cupcakes and baking but I happen to be a big fan of the Showtime TV series Dexter. A show based around a Miami blood-spatter analyst, who also happens to be a serial killer that kills serial killers who escape the justice system. It’s a bit of contrast to all the sugar and spice and everything nice!!

If you could wrestle anyone in any territory, who would it be and why?

Holly, tell us something we don’t know about you...

HANNAH: We would love the opportunity one day to step in the ring with Serena Deeb. She is someone we just love to watch. She is incredibly talented and we feel we could learn so much from her. HOLLY: We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to wrestle Mickie James last year and that was such a great experience for us, we would love to get that opportunity again. Hannah, tell us something we don’t know about you...

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, the books, movies everything! I have become a huge fan of Rupert Grint because of this and am currently developing a Rupert Grint movie collection! What is your game plan for 2012? THE BLOSSOM TWINS: As always we plan on improving and learning as much as we can so we can be the best that we can be. We hope to use the new OVW/TNA developmental system as a benchmark to enhance our reputation and establish ourselves as serious entertainers in the wrestling universe.


Andrei Kulebin

By Kru Shaun Boland

The floodgates have been lifted and there is now a major surge of talent crashing its way onto the UK Muay Thai promotional shores. Over the years there have been some great shows, promoting and elevating the standard of British Muay Thai. The last couple of years have seen the beginnings of the mega show with the likes of Dan Green’s ‘Legends’ and Daz Morris, Darren Phillips and Phil Shedden’s ‘Rumble at the Reebok’. Now, with these four top promoters pulling together their vast experience and resources and forming 3D Promotions backed up with solid sponsorship support from, Autoclaims Assist Ltd and Vyomax Nutrition, the term ‘Mega Show’ just got one hell of a face lift!


Here is just an appetiser of what you can expect: Tim TNT Thomas (Nak Soo) Vs.  Andy Thrasher (Manchester)   WMC MAD World Title, ISKA World Title, WKA World Title This fight will be explosive! These two Welterweights are at the top of their game, both having phenomenal success in 2011. Both fighters fought nearly every month with Tim Thomas winning the ISKA World welterweight title in Cambodia in the champion’s home town, while Andy Thrasher entered the Toyota Tournament, one of the biggest events in Thailand, and knocked out Thailand’s Lumpini ra nked number one in the final. Both fighters fought 9 times in 2011 with Thrasher clocking up 7 wins with two losses and Thomas also achieving 7 wins with 1 draw and 1 loss.

Both believe they are the best in their division and are not only fighting for the number 1 spot but also 3 World titles! They have met before, 4 years ago in Leeds, with Tim Thomas winning that encounter by stoppage. However both fighters are now at the peak of their powers and neither will give ground; will Thomas repeat his win from 4 years ago? Will Thrasher prove too strong and turn the tables? Will it go the distance? In the words from the ‘Highlander’ movie ‘There can only be one! Liam Harrison (Bad Company, England) vs Andrei Kulebin (Kick Fighter, Belarus

26 year old Harrison has had an outstanding career with wins over some of the best Thais in the World such as Anuwat Kaewsamrit,  Num phon PK Sterio and Samsamut Kiatc hongkao. In 2011 he added a WBC title to his plethora of trophies and titles and was named by Sanchai as his best ever non-Thai opponent. Both fighters will meet head on for this exciting bout; Will Harrison’s fast kicks and powerful hands be too much for the Belarusian? Or w ill Kulebin prove to be too durable and strong?.............  Don’t blink during this one!

As if the Thomas v Thrasher fight wasn’t enough, we are to be treated to the fight that the fans asked for! Pound for Pound the UK’s finest Liam Harrison, in his first fight on British soil in over a year, will be going up against the Belarusian fighting machine Andrei Kulebin. 27 year old Kulebin has had over 150 fights, both amateur and professional combined, and is no stranger to our shores, having beaten both Michael Dicks and Imran Khan on respective visits. 2011 saw Kulebin finish in outstanding form, winning the Belarus Big 8 World tournament at the end of November.

Liam Harrison

On March 31st at EventCity in Manchester, 3D promotions will be launching their first Mega show, titled ‘The Main Event’ and can these boys cook! The venue itself is the second largest exhibition space outside of London, boasting 28,000 square metres and located next to Britain’s most successful shopping centre destination, the Trafford centre. With free parking, immediate access to motorway networks and only minutes away from Manchester City centre and Manchester airport this is the perfect venue to showcase what is the most exciting, electrifying and explosive fight card ever to be put together on British soil.


Dean James (Pra Chao Sua) Vs.  Stephen Meleady (Bridgestone, Ireland) Dean ‘The Black Diamond’ James will be stepping outside of his preferred fighting weight to take on Ireland’s tough and durable Step hen Meleady. Meleady is also no stranger to giving pounds away, having beaten the highly rated Paul Karpowicz in Manchester last year. Meleady holds several Irish and Anglo Irish titles and has spent over a year in Thailand, fighting several stadium fighters whilst there. Meleady has also recently beaten another highly rated fighter, Polish champion Rafal Simonides. With 30 fights to his name will this Celtic Warrior be too experienced for James?  Having had an outstanding run in 2011 by stopping all 3 of his opponents; WAKO-PRO World K1 champion Fernando Machado, ISKA World champion Andy Howson and Italian Champion Joseph Lasiri in addition to being unbeaten in 5 years, will James’ find his range and utilise his devastating knees to stop Meleady? Both fighters are at the top of their game and both are gifted technical fighters……… Too close to call? This one could go either way! Daitan Jackson (Salford Muay Thai, Defending champion)  vs Jono Bracken (Bridgestone, Ireland) ISKA European title Defence You can expect no quarter to be given up in this title defence. Daitan Jackson always fights 100% and will be meeting an equally tough opponent in Ireland’s Jono Bracken. Bracken, with 24 fights under his belt, is double Irish champion and recently spent time fighting in Thailand, winning 5 out of 7 fights there.

Dean James

Manchester’s favourite, Jackson, who will be putting his ISKA European title on the line, has had an exciting 2011 culminating in his win over Kris Addis for the UKMF British title.


Both fighters have a non-stop exciting forward style so expect plenty of explosive action with this one. Will Jackson retain his title? Or will Braken be returning to the Emerald Isles with a shiny new belt? Andrew Tate (Storm Gym) Vs.  Joe McGovan (SDF Sheffield) This cruiserweight fight will be held under oriental rules so no elbows will be permitted. However this won’t restrict a battle that the whole of the UK has been waiting to see! In December 2011 McGovern won his first World title against the multiple World champion Marlon Hunt to cap a successful year. Tate, who is a World full contact champion, has had an equally successful year switching to K1 rules and fighting at top level, blasting his way through the Enfusion tournament and winning an ISKA K1 title fight. With both fighters on a winning streak and both with KO power will this go the distance? Sam Omomogbe (Liams Gym) VS Solomon Wickstead  (Franks Gym) These two young, exciting and talented fighters have met previously with Wickstead coming out on top. Both fighters have been impressive throughout 2011; Omomogbe taking wins against Sean Perry and Jonno Chipchase and Wickstead winning with a spectacular head kick KO against Chris Hargreaves. Franks’ gym, run by former world champion Frankie Hudders, is a highly respected gym with great fighters; Liam’s gym, run by the vastly experienced Liam Robinson, is a fairly new gym in comparison but has been churning out some great fighters and winning European & World titles. Will Omomogbe take revenge and set the record straight? Or will it be 2-0 to Wickstead?

Mark Skeer (Salford) vs  Karl Ryan (Next Generation)

Daitan Jackson

Skeer will be taking on the more experienced Ryan in this intriguing encounter. Ryan has been inactive for 18 months, losing on points in a British title challenge the last time he fought. His previous record boasts 17 wins in 22 bouts. Skeer also lost his last fight against Mickey Wiseman last November, where both fighters received an 8 count in a closely fought match. So with both fighters looking to impress will Ryan’s ring rust slow him down? Or will he press home his advantage through experience? Either way, expect a war! So, what a line up! What a venue! This is a feast of fights with an undercard of Hors d’oeuvres that would satisfy even the most voracious of appetites. The Mega show comes to the UK! The Mega show comes to Manchester! The Mega show that is…………… THE MAIN EVENT!!!

Andy Thrasher (left)

Promoted by: Daz Morris, Dan Green, Darren Phillips and Phil Shedden. Venue: Eventcity, The Trafford Centre, Manchester Date: March 31st 2012 Sponsored by:, Autoclaims Assist LTD and Vyomax Nutrition Website: www. (for info and tickets)


On Saturday April 14th the ufc will visit sweden FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH LOCAL BOY ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON HEADLINING A LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT AGAINST BRAZILIAN ANTONIO ROGERIO ‘LIL NOG’ NOGUEIRA AT THE ERICSSON GLOBE ARENA, STOCKHOLM. Gustafsson is one of the hottest prospects at the moment in the Light Heavyweight division, but it didn’t get off to a great start for the swede. After winning his first fight Gustafsson gave up a 1st round submission loss to Phil Davis back in April of 2010. Since then though he has gone on an impressive 4 fight winning streak, in his last fight defeating veteran Vlad Matyushenko in impressive fashion with a 2 minute TKO. Many have been comparing Gustaffson to current Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones, the obvious height and reach advantages of both men being one similararity. Gustafsson has also showed how much of a complete fighter he is with wins coming via KO/TKO and submission, all of his wins coming inside the distance.

On the other hand Nogueira has been on a rolercoaster run of form recently winning his first two UFC fights then losing his next two before most recently defeating UFC stalwart Tito Ortiz. This should be a good test for Gustafsson but ultimately his speed and height & reach advantages should see him breeze past Nogueira, most likely via KO in the first two rounds.

The night will see two other Swedish fighters in Yousef and Kruth along with a few Scandinavian based fighters on the card as well as Brit’s Brad Pickett and John Maguire. The full fight card at the time of going to press is as follows... Main Card Nogueira vs Gustafsson Stann vs Sakara Thiago vs Bahadurzada Johnson vs Maguire Prelims Pickett vs Page Abedi vs Head Diabate vs Kruth Carmont vs Cedenblad Thoresen vs Yousef


picture’s copyright


Getting to Know...

THE Aby Anyone who has ever seen the monster that is THE Abyss will realize just how imposing a figure he is. Standing some 6’8” tall, weighing in at close to 350lbs, and with 4 of his bottom teeth missing, he is one wrestler you tend not to forget!

Fighters’ roving wrestling reporter, Teddy G, was lucky enough to catch up and grab a few words with the big man just prior to TNA’s Genesis PPV… Abyss, good to speak to you big man. ABYSS: Good to speak to you too. How are you my friend? Not bad, thanks. Are you looking forward to your ‘Monsters Ball’ match with Bully Ray at Genesis? ABYSS: Very much so, for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason is because I think Abyss versus Bully Ray is a match-up people wanna

see. Bully Ray’s been in this business a long time and accomplished a lot and so have I. We’ve both always had that ‘hardcore’ edge about us. I’m looking forward to being in the first ‘Monsters Ball’ in almost a year and a half, and I’m looking forward to the nitty gritty so to speak. Have you considered the consequences if you lose the match and have to rejoin Immortal? ABYSS: Well, as you say, if I lose the match I have to go back to Immortal, and so I’m willing to put it all on the line and gamble it all. You know, I’m confident and I’m going into this thing with both feet

in. It’s gonna be a brutal match, a barbaric match, it’s gonna be a hardcore match like no one’s seen in a long time, I can tell you that. You’ve been clocking up the miles recently travelling down to Mexico and across to India with TNA, so is there any chance we’ll see you on the upcoming UK tour? ABYSS: You know, I’m not sure, but I’m not positive if the card has been finalised yet for the UK tour so I may or may not be. I honestly don’t know at this time. We’d love to see you over here… ABYSS: Thanks. You know, whether I am or am not there, I know we’re looking forward to it as a company. TNA are excited, as we always are, about going back to the UK and seeing our great fans throughout the UK and Europe. I know they got some big things planned for it so I know it’s gonna be just a fantastic tour. Both TNA and yourself have really progressed throughout 2011, what would you like to see happening going forward through 2012? ABYSS: You know, going forward, it’s like I’ve said before, just continuous growth. You know we’re chipping away at those ratings every week and we’re having


ss success and we’re almost there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we’re a company that’s been going for ten years now, and I’ve been here for all ten of them and to see the growth. The action figures, to getting on Spike TV, to house shows, to international touring, the growth has been fantastic and I think if we can keep working away and overcoming roadblocks, then I think we’ll find success. I’ve been a huge Abyss fan for a long time, and was even presented an Abyss mask at a TNA Fan Party by JB, so I have a cheeky final question for you… ABYSS: okay… Is it true that with Christmas just gone, all you wanted for Christmas was your two front teeth? ABYSS: (laughs very loudly) Yeah, it was actually my four front teeth, but I’d gladly take two of them back! Abyss you’ve been a good sport and it’s been great to chat. Good look at Genesis and take care of yourself. ABYSS: Hey, thanks man, I will. Thank you.


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. This second article will explore ways in which we can develop each of the attributes in our Total Leadership model shown below. The Concept - 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. Passion is very much linked to desire and is the inner voice to pursue an activity. Combat sport is an ideal vehicle to build a passion and understand how balance can create success.

Combat sport can show the importance of growing passion to develop better leaders in other areas. In addition, the notion of passion, leadership and performance can be highly insightful in developing champions in a sporting environment. Passion represents a “strong” inclination towards an activity allowing a greater focus for specific activities that the person finds rewarding, creating a greater link to the achievement of performance. At a younger age, and at lower levels of competition, this is not too much of a problem as the individual is usually one step ahead of their closest rivals. The competition is still in its early stages

Personal attributes of Total Leadership

of development, the competition is local and known, with rarely an unusual result a likely outcome. During your younger years this obsessive passion yields results and provides excellent focus. The problem occurs when you start expecting to win all the time, leading to huge disappointment when you lose. This in turn can start to impact on your mental state and also adds pressure to perform, which can destroy performance in the longer term. Passion is an essential characteristic for success in whatever we do. Passion ensures our practise is focused on the right things. The focus is not the end result, but the journey, allowing us to fulfil our potential.Passion is a word that creates a tenable link between the emotions that drive behavior and the delivery of performance in an activity. Passion is defined as a strong inclination toward an activity that people like, find important, and in which they invest time and energy. This suggests a strong link between the passion and motivation for an activity to deliver “cognition, affect, behavior, relationships and performance”. A danger is that passion may overtake intellect and reason in acting as a positive guarantor of the passions’ offers, promises and threats, suggesting that credibility


by Rakesh K. Sondhi

of an individual is enhanced through the level of control of ones passion for an activity. The coexistence of passion and reason is a deliberately programmed part of the brain, as they depend on each other to maximize the impact of the passion. Passion and reason combined ensures appropriate decision making, ensuring long term performance. The absence of reason with passion will lead to disaster and will leave the person unable to plan properly and form the essential social binds needed to succeed. The energy provided by passion can be both negative and positive, and can manifest itself “as an alluring, pleasing and always seductive pursuit of objects of desire�


negative affective, cognitive and behavioural consequences during and after the activity engagement. In addition, the person will display a rigid persistence towards an activity due to ego invested processes rather than integrative self processes leading to the person becoming dependent on the activity.

Passion is essential to developing the creativity needed to excel performance wise. Creativity is enhanced through passion due to the urge a person has to do something for the sheer pleasure of doing the activity, i.e. intrinsic motivation. The effectiveness of the creativity that is driven by the passion is dependent on the conflict between the attachment driven by the passion and the detachment created by being fully objective towards an activity. The movement from action to reflection due to the passion and objectivity is key to the learning process, leading to adaptation to new tasks and challenges.

In contrast, autonomous internalization occurs when a person freely accepts an activity as important with no contingencies attached. This process results from the intrinsic and integrative tendencies of the self, which produces a motivational force to engage in the activity willingly. Controlled internalization leads to obsessive passion where an individual partakes in an activity due to an uncontrollable urge, thus leading to conflicts with other aspects of their life and a lack of flexibility and adaptability. However, in the short term there may be an improvement in performance.


related to life satisfaction, whereas obsessive passion was not. Both types of passion positively lead to deliberate practice and to improved performance in the short term. However, obsessive passion leads to some sense of “suffering” or lower levels of life satisfaction, in the process of pursuing high performance levels. Thus, the studies showed that there was a direct relationship between passion and deliberate practice and an indirect relationship between passion and performance (through deliberate practice). There are three types of achievement goals. These are: 1. Mastery goals (which focus on the development of personal competence and task mastery), 2. Performance approach goals (which focus on the attainment of personal competence versus others) 3. Performance avoidance goals (which focus on avoiding incompetence relative to others).


Passion creates a reality and assists in engaging people, which may have both a positive and negative effect. Passion needs to be cultivated and nurtured to drive the positive effects of it. One of the most basic human struggles is to rule our passions so that they do not become the source of all our suffering.

Passion for an activity can lead to “expert” performance

People engage in different activities to satisfy the basic psychological needs of autonomy (a desire to feel a sense of personal initiative), competence (a desire to interact effectively with the environment) and relatedness (a desire to feel connected to significant others). Over time people will begin to show a preference for activities that provide the greatest enjoyment and allow the satisfaction of the needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness. In addition, the activities become so self defining that they represent central features of one’s identity. Types of passion Obsessive and harmonious Two types of passion exist – harmonious and obsessive passion. The type of passion is dependent on how the activity is internalized in the person’s identity. An activity may be internalized in either a controlled or autonomous way. Controlled internalization originates from intra or interpersonal pressure that may lead to self esteem or social acceptance. This pressure may lead to conflicts and other

Harmonious passion emanates from a more autonomous process of internalization. There is little conflict with other aspects of a person’s life and the activity occupies a significant, but not overpowering part of one’s life. This encourages greater adaptability and flexibility, and in the longer term improved performance. Passion for an activity can lead to “expert” performance by providing clear goals of improving on task components so as to reach excellence in their chosen fields, termed “deliberate practice”. Both types of passion can provide the underlying motivation to spend the required amount of time to reach a level of excellence in their chosen activity. Studies have shown that both types of passion lead to objective performance, but harmonious passion was positively

Harmonious passion contributes to objective indices of performance, which takes place through mastery goals that lead to deliberate practice, and in turn lead to performance. The role of obsessive passion tends to be more complex as it positively predicts mastery goals (through deliberate practice), but also performance avoidance goals, which can negatively influence performance. Thus, having the goal of beating someone can have negative effects on intrinsic motivation and undermine performance. The main point of this article is to illustrate the importance of passion in training and competing, but the right type of passion. (Rakesh Sondhi is a boxing and martial arts coach and also a Visiting Professor of Leadership and Strategy at The University of Buckingham and Managing Director of BMC College of Leadership. For further information on our unique Leadership programme please call 0115 841 3820. see www.


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Will Brock L Rejoin WWE? The past few years have been a rollercoaster for Brock Lesnar. After quitting the WWE at the height of his success to try and make it as a pro American football player, he turned to MMA and joined UFC where he smashed a trail of destruction en route to winning the gold. Now after retiring from that sport through illness, speculation is reaching fever pitch with two questions on most fans minds… “Did he throw his last fight?” and “Will he go back to WWE?” To understand the situation properly you have to go back to 2004 and all the politics surrounding his departure from the WWE. For the previous couple of years Brock had been the most dominant guy in the company, becoming a 3 time WWE champion (also becoming the youngest WWE champion at the time at the age of 25). He had carved his way to the top of the main event pile by leaving a trail of victims behind him that read like a Who’s Who of wrestling at the time. But as Wrestlemania 20, which was the biggest event in the company’s history, approached, Brock requested his release from the company several days prior to the show. WWE had invested a lot of time and money to build up his Wrestlemania match between him and Bill Goldberg. As you might imagine, WWE owner Vince McMahon was not impressed to say the least. He had spent the previous 2 years making him a star with the one thought that he would be the guy to carry the company for the next 10 years. With that in mind, there was no way he was going to let anyone else cash in on his investment, and so Brock’s early release was conditional that he sign a ‘no compete’ clause that prevented him from working for any other wrestling company for a period rumoured to be anywhere up to 10 years.

When Brock’s football career failed to take off he found himself in a bad place. With WWE offering only a greatly reduced contract (a lot more dates for a fraction of the money) and TNA not being a viable option at that point, he took a chance on fighting for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) as his lawyers took the view that ‘no compete’ waiver was unenforceable outside America. WWE tried taking him to court (twice) to try to prevent him from wrestling for NJPW but were unsuccessful.

In a strange twist of fate it was illness rather than injury or defeat that derailed the Brock express train. Having been rushed into hospital towards the end of 2009 with severe stomach pain, it was discovered that he had been suffering from Mononucleosis and Diverticulitis (which meant that his intestines were leaking into his stomach causing abscesses) due to perforated intestines. It transpires he had been in pain for several months but had continued to work through it!

A legal compromise was eventually reached with Brock being allowed to compete in MMA, but not wrestling, so long as he agreed to the verdict being ‘sealed’ by the court (so no one could see the papers) and he agreed not to discuss it with anyone.

Ultimately though, with Brock requiring surgery and a lengthy lay off, UFC had little choice but to strip him of the title.

That meant that at UFC 77 they were able to announce that Brock had signed a multi fight deal with them. After an initial shaky start (he lost his first match to Frank Mir with a rookie mistake), he went on to dominate and win the UFC Heavyweight Title in only his 3rd match in there, going on to become the ‘Undisputed Heavyweight Champion’ when he avenged his loss to Mir in a very one sided bout.

He would eventually make his return and recapture his belt, but it was clear he was not as dominant as before. Whether the illness had taken its toll or whether he had simply lost the intimidation factor now that opponents knew he could be hurt, it’s difficult to say. I suspect it was probably a combination of both, but either way the Brock that returned was never quite the same. October 24th 2010 saw Brock defend his title (and lose it) to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. But a strange thing happened after the match. WWE superstar The Undertaker (who is a big MMA fan) happened to be in the crowd and





was being interviewed about his thoughts on the fight when Brock walked past on his way back to the dressing room. As Brock walked past, Undertaker stared at him and said “you wanna do it?” This lead to intense speculation that it would lead to an eventual confrontation between the two men either in a UFC Octagon or more likely in a WWE ring. Alas, UFC president Dana White was not so keen on either of those happening (presumably as he doesn’t want to see his ‘genuine’ product diluted by WWE’s ‘predetermined’ approach). Indeed Dana was very keen to stress that Brock was under contract to UFC and he had no intentions of letting him out of it to face Undertaker. Eventually speculation died down and it was all forgotten about when Brock was sidelined yet again with a reoccurrence of his illness. More surgery and a 6 month lay off saw Brock return to face Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 in an eliminator for a title shot. Brock never really seemed to get out of the blocks in the fight and long time kick boxer Overeem dominated him with knees to the body before eventually crumpling him with stiff kicks to the body.

With Brock seemingly in a bad way the ref stepped in and stopped the fight and then afterwards Brock announced his retirement from MMA due to his ill health.

you are on the losing end of a fight and slowly slipping down the card… It’s not long before you are looking at WWE mid card money and you’re taking a beating in the process.

Okay conspiracy theorists, this is where it gets interesting.

As I understand it, time (and money) helps heal all wounds and it is believed that Brock and Vince are once again on ‘friendly’ terms. Vince could make enough money off that one night, based on putting that one match on, to more than cover a high money, limited appearance contract. Especially if they brought Brock back as a heel. Have him bragging about his UFC exploits or how the WWE was somehow ‘better’ then he was last there. They can set up the inevitable rematches with Undertaker, plus who wouldn’t want to see Brock Vs CM Punk or Brock Vs Cena? I know that Brock still isn’t 100% yet, but with Wrestlemania still 3 and half months away as I write this, Brock would have that long to rest up and recover and get well enough to wrestle.

WWE has been scratching their heads for a suitable opponent to face the soon to be returning Undertaker, in what is suspected to be his swan song match at Wrestlemania as he puts his undefeated streak on the line for the 20th time. As stated earlier, there would be no way Dana would let Brock do it whilst under contract to UFC, but now that Brock has ‘retired’ due to ill health there is no way Dana can force him to finish any outstanding obligations to UFC, and so, assuming he hasn’t signed any kind of no compete waiver, he is free to do what he wants. This does kind of make you wonder if these thoughts were in the back of Brock’s mind as he recuperated at home for all those months. Sure the money is good in UFC when you win (anywhere up to 7 figures plus) but if

All they need do for now is have Undertaker return at Royal Rumble, and for Brock to attack him and stop him winning it. That would be the perfect setup for a Wrestlemania match. By the time you read this, you will know the answer, but I for one would certainly love to see it happen…

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Well, Christmas has been and gone and Santa still failed to bring me Christy Hemme. He did however bring me interviews with Velvet Sky, Abyss, and the Blossom Twins as well as an awesome night out at the latest TNA UK Fan Party. Still would have liked Christy though… Right on with the news… We’ll begin with a bit of speculation. Is Brock Lesnar on his way back to WWE in time to face The Undertaker at Wrestlemania? Although it’s still far from a done deal, Brock has now officially retired from MMA (and thus the UFC) on the grounds of ill health. Undertaker has yet to return at time of writing but I feel a surprise appearance at Royal Rumble coming on. It is widely believed that this will be his final Wrestlemania as he goes for his 20th undefeated ‘mania and WWE have been scratching their heads for an opponent to face him and so the whole timing seems suspiciously convenient for all parties. Sticking with WWE, I was wrong in my previous news section (and I’m man enough to admit it). The countdown segments that had been airing on RAW were not for Undertaker after all, they were in fact for… Chris Jericho! Yup Jericho is back and received possibly the biggest pop from any crowd I’ve heard for years. It seems that he is initially set to feud with CM Punk over the WWE Championship. I think this has real potential so long as WWE don’t blow it for a quick ratings fix (as usual). Another familiar face (or not) that has returned to WWE is Kane. But he’s

The Blossom Twins

back with his old school look with a red mask and the long hair / wig. He has initially targeted John Cena. Again this also has potential but I have a horrible feeling Kane will still come up with the short end of the stick when push comes to shove. We have a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot and beat Big Show who had just beaten Mark Henry at the TLC PPV. It’s been a long, hard road for the veteran indie wrestler to make it to the WWE, break through the glass ceiling and now ultimately reach the top. I can think of very few more deserving. Well done! On a final WWE note, I just want to give a quick mention to the quality of inductees to this years Hall Of Fame. Announced so far are Edge and The Four Horsemen. If the rest of the inductees are like this it might (only might) be as impressive as the 2011 Martial Arts Hall Of Fame which really did feature the best of the best… give it your best shot WWE, we dare you! Meanwhile, TNA continue to break new ground and push themselves harder than ever. After the initial success of Ring Ka King, it’s new promotion in India (with Britain’s own Magnus winning the gold), there were rumours aplenty circulating at the TNA UK Fan Party that there could be interest in a similar project over here in the not too distant future. Although that is probably going to be at least 12 months away, TNA are doing two Impact tapings at the Wembley show in London on 28th January. This is a massive step in the right direction

and something they should have done a long time ago (I had that very conversation with Dixie Carter 12 months ago after the MEN Arena show over here). Let’s hope this is just the start. However on a slightly disappointing note and from the file marked ‘What were They Thinking’ there are no Brits scheduled to be on the UK tour! They have Magnus, Doug Williams, and Rob Terry on their books and had indeed put Magnus and Williams in opposite brackets of the Xplosion title tournament (the winner of which gets a world title shot on the tour). But both men went out of that and so you have to ask WHY? Why bother setting the tournament up and tease the possibility of a Brit getting a title shot in the UK when you have no intention of even bringing them across? Why send Doug Williams to the UK Fan Party and give the poor guy false hope when you know he’s not getting booked? I only hope that by the time you read this they changed their mind and at least one of them made it to the Wembley show. One possible surprise for the UK tour may be Lionheart. He wrestled Jeff Jarrett last year and the whisper at the moment is that TNA are in negotiations to bring him in. Be interesting to see if they unveil him on the tour. Two more Brits to keep an eye open for in TNA at some point in 2012 are Hannah & Holly Blossom. They have been with OVW for several years now and with TNA striking a deal to use OVW as a developmental territory there is a good chance we could see a little ‘twin magic’ at some point (Knockouts Tag Team Champions anyone?).


By Teddy G.

TNA have also successfully negotiated a new deal with Challenge TV to keep broadcasting Impact, Xplosion, and PPV’s on the channel, which means that all the UK ‘freeloaders’ (to quote Jeff Jarrett) can still get all the TNA broadcasting on Freeview for at least the next 2 years. Lastly, and in keeping with my New Year’s resolution to do more to push British indie wrestling through 2012, here are some dates to keep in mind if you like quality British wrestling: Saturday 11th Feb – Attack Pro Wrestling are putting their Cardiff super show on at Cathays Community Centre at Cathays. Saturday 24th Feb – Preston City Wrestling are putting on their Blood Sweat & Beers show at Lava Ignite, in Preston. This features some of the biggest and best names on the UK scene at the moment. Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th March – Attack Pro Wrestling return home to Birmingham at Brookvale Park Club, Erdington and St John The Baptist Centre, Smith’s Wood. Having seen both promotions in action myself and can tell you that you won’t be disappointed. Check them out at PrestonCityWrestling and www. respectively. If you are a UK indie promoter, don’t forget our social website www. where you can blog and advertise upcoming events for free! Happy New Year everyone!


Vaughan TAKING ON A LEGEND Vaughan Lee is ready for the fight of his life after it was confirmed that he will take on Japanese MMA legend Nori “Kid” Yamamoto in Tokyo. The fight, part of UFC 144 is scheduled for February 26, and will be Lee’s second fight in a four-fight contract with the promotion.

event in Japan. It is going to be a tough battle but I’m ready for the challenge.”

The Birmingham contender, 29, fighting with sponsorship from sports nutrition company USN, will be taking on Yamamoto in the UFC’s first event in the birthplace of martial arts since UFC 29.

The event will hopefully see success for Lee, who last competed in November against Chris Cariaso in Birmingham at UFC 138. Cariaso was only just victorious after the hard fought battle left the judges spilt as to who had won.

The contest will be a bantamweight clash with both men weighing in at 61kgs.

His chances look good against Japanese favourite Yamamoto, who has lost four of his last five contests.

Lee, who signed his contract with UFC earlier this year, said: “I am really looking forward to the

The event, that will take place at 3am GMT, will be headlined by the Edgar vs. Henderson fight which

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will see UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar defend his belt against former WEC champion Ben Henderson. The co-main event will be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson taking on Ryan Bader. The fight will be held at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, with seven out of the 24 contenders representing the country. The USN Fighter’s Training and Diet Plan 5.00 am - Wake up. 5.30 am - Hill sprints. 6.30 am - Take USN Pure Protein IGF-1. Eat half a cup of oats, 6 eggs whites and 1 apple. Take USN Active Joint Plex, Triple Omega and BCAA. 7.00 am - Sleep. 10.00 am - Eat sweet potato, carrots, broccoli and 2 white fish fillets. 12.00 pm - Stand up training - pads, heavy bags, sparring and a tough run. 2.00 pm - Take USN Recovery Xcell mixed with Pure Protein IGF/ Pure Glutamine Shake. 2.30 pm - Eat half a chicken breast with steamed broccoli & cauliflower. 7.00 pm - Wrestling/grappling & strength conditioning. 9.00 pm - Take 100% Whey Protein after training. 9.30 pm - Eat grilled salmon and steamed vegetables. 11.00 pm - Take ZMA and Multiplex before bed.


Lee 144


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In a brief history that has spanned less than twenty years, it’s truly incomprehensible to consider how much the UFC has changed. Many of the problems that the UFC still has with regulation in certain areas of the world can be attributed to the image that the early incarnation of the sport left on the world. Senator John McCain’s now famous quote of “human cockfighting” still remains, to some degree, an albatross for the organization. The truth is that back then it was a spectacle; in the modern era it has evolved into a sport. The sport changed quickly through the actions of a series of pioneers who used their own fighting style to solve problems presented by others. Devastating grapplers were caught out when kick boxers learned how to sprawl takedowns and powerful wrestlers learned just enough striking to defend themselves and further disguise their takedowns. Those pioneering fighters went on to differing levels of success and accolade in the fighting world but all are recognised for their contributions to the sport. The UFC always had devastating strikers but too often they were stifled by skilled grapplers like Royce Gracie or dominant wrestlers like Mark Coleman.


Legends of the Cage BY BEN CARTLIDGE It was Maurice Smith, a champion kick boxer, who first showed glimpses of the sprawl and brawl blueprint. In 1997, he fought much fancied Mark Coleman and was able to avoid the takedown repeatedly and punish Coleman with strikes as the larger wrestler continued to become more fatigued. Less than a year after Smith’s historic victory, another young fighter was about to begin on a career that would see him become one of the most feared fighters inside the cage and the first superstar of the sport outside it. Charles David Liddell was born on December 17th 1969 and throughout his youth had been intrigued by martial arts and fighting. It wasn’t until the age of 12 that he was finally allowed the chance to train Koei-Kan Karate. Chuck trained relentlessly through his education and the athleticism that he displayed with his martial arts soon spilled over into football and eventually wrestling for California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. It was the Division 1 status that he acquired during his time on the mats which would eventually become a deadly part of his fighting style. Chuck had been involved in competitive fighting through Kickboxing for a number of years before he had heard about the UFC and become interested in testing out his fighting skills. He began to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under John Lewis and jumped at the chance to compete at UFC 17 against boxer Noe Hernandez

in the alternate bracket of the middleweight tournament. Even at this early stage of his career Chuck was simply too well rounded for his opponent as he mixed up punches, kicks and takedowns to take a well deserved unanimous decision victory. It was a victory that served notice to the rest of the organisation and after another decision victory, a 30 minute war against Brazilian Jose Landi-Jons, Liddell was invited back to compete at UFC 19 against Jeremy Horn. It was a real step up in competition for Liddell against the always dangerous Iowa native. As the round drew to a close Horn locked in an arm triangle choke and looked to finish. Chuck looked to hold on until the end of the round but when the referee separated the two fighters it was clear that Liddell had passed out as a result of the choke and Jeremy Horn was awarded the victory. It showed, even in a defeat, a glimpse at the fighting spirit that

would help fuel the meteoric rise of the Iceman. The loss to Horn would be Liddell’s first taste of defeat but it clearly motivated him to train harder and following on from this, Chuck began a rampage through the UFC with an undefeated run that lasted over four years. As the sport began to slowly become more popular, the Iceman was establishing himself as a force in the UFC; victories against Kevin Randleman, Amar Suloev and Murilo Bustamante on American soil and a big knock out against Guy Mezger in Pride, were fast transforming Chuck Liddell into a dangerous prospect. His unique combination of knockout power and reverse wrestling proved to be an unsolvable riddle for all his opponents. Grapplers simply could not control him on the ground as he used his wrestling to evade the takedowns and get back to his feet quickly if he was taken down. Chuck dictated where the fight took place and by keeping


it standing he forced opponents to exchange on his terms. It was a devastating evolution of Maurice Smith’s sprawl and brawl strategy which Liddell utilized with phenomenal results. It was at UFC 43, in June 2003, where Chuck took his first shot at octagon gold as he met Randy Couture in the first of their legendary trio of encounters. Couture pushed the pace early and landed a huge slam takedown on Liddell who managed to get back up but it clearly affected the confidence of Chuck. Couture was pressuring Liddell from start to finish and in the third round, he was able to gain the win with a barrage of strikes from the top and become the first person to win a title in two different weight categories. Following on from this Chuck once again travelled to Japan to fight in Pride and would progress to the


semi finals of the middleweight grand prix, knocking out Alistair Overeem in the process. Liddell came up short against Quinton Jackson but showed great spirit in his performances that enamoured him to the Japanese public. Once he returned to the UFC, however, he was faced with a challenge from an old training partner turned adversary. Tito Ortiz was, at this point, the closest thing to a superstar that mixed martial arts had. He had trained with Chuck Liddell as the original Team Punishment but at UFC 47 it was on. The war of words had escalated between the two fighters and Liddell entered the octagon with a point to prove. Tito’s ground and pound was feared within the UFC but Liddell’s takedown defence presented a unique problem for Ortiz. Chuck did enough to win the first round as he ended with a flurry of strikes but early in the second a straight shot had Tito reeling backwards and Liddell swarmed over his hurt prey. He unleashed a salvo of strikes which forced Big John McCarthy to step in and as Chuck reeled off, threw his arms back and screamed to the sky, modern mma had its first truly iconic image. It was a matter of time before he found himself facing Randy Couture again and this time the outcome would be different. Chuck and Randy had both recently been coaches on the fledgling reality show The Ultimate Fighter which had catapulted their profiles in mainstream consciousness; also thanks to the amazing finale fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar ,the world’s eyes had truly been opened to the mixed martial arts revolution. The two legends met for their rematch at UFC 52 and Liddell was full of confidence having dispatched Ortiz and Vernon White in devastating fashion. This time Chuck seemed determined to fight smarter and counter fight the aggressive champion. His patience would pay off as he caught Couture coming in with a sweeping punch that took his legs

out in a hurry. Liddell didn’t need a second chance and as quickly as the shot had landed he was on top of Couture and pounded his way to his first title. This emphatic win would usher in the golden era of Chuck Liddell as he happily took on the mantle of the first superstar of mixed martial arts. People outside of the sport became aware of his persona and he used this fame to bring the sport to levels that Dana White could not have thought possible. In the cage he began clearing the division out of contenders as he convincingly won rematches against Renato Sobral, Randy Couture, Jeremy Horn and Tito Ortiz. In the end all of these challengers met with the same fate, dispatched by the dynamite hands the Iceman. He would eventually lose his title to Quinton Jackson at UFC 71 but his reign will never be forgotten as one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. The UFC light heavyweight division is currently in a turbulent state as the phenomenal Jon Jones looks to carve out a legacy and hold on to the belt but, since Liddell lost the title at UFC 71, there have been six champions in a little under five years.

Since losing the title to Jackson, Liddell’s progress in the octagon stalled with the highlight being a convincing victory against former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva but, whereas Chuck’s days in the cage may be behind him, his days in the sport are surely far from over. No one will ever be able to overlook the influence that Chuck Liddell had on mixed martial arts, his dominant championship reign and the number of fans around the world that he introduced to the sport. Chuck Liddell will always be an icon in the world of mixed martial arts and fans around the world will never forget the influence that the Iceman had on transforming the sport as we know it.


First and foremost, I wish to address a common misconception that many fighters have: Rest is good! Yes, this is going against the point of this article but it needs to be said. Your body needs COMPLETE rest sometimes. Now for the most part training camps are virtually the same throughout amateur to professional. You work on your strengths and hiding weaknesses, whilst studying your opponent to see where he is vulnerable… such is the normal weeks building up to fight day. But what about when you haven’t got an imminent fight around the corner? What then?! You look to technical sparring! This is the combination of being able to test and learn new techniques whilst still keeping you sharp. Learning one or two over a week period will allow these to be committed to your subconscious so that your sparring develops to where you want it to go. Working in shorter bursts of 2-3 minutes at 70% of max will enable technical sparring to develop technique whilst maintaining sharpness. Pick two or three techniques, whether it be for stand up, wrestling or grappling etc and replicate scenarios to allow these techniques to be pressure tested. For the opponent, gradually increase the level of resistance, thus making sure that development is complete enough for fight time when it really counts.

A lot of classes nowadays are so geared towards flashy techniques and showing the whole array of what they have to offer that it’s students will never learn any technique to the point of competency. Instead just being average at everything they try and therefore get a low success rate. The process of trial and error through adding techniques bit by bit to sparring will undoubtedly improve the fighters overall performance. However a word of warning, only once the technique can be performed sufficiently in drilling should it be attempted at sparring. This does not mean spend the first two weeks learning it and then the next two sparring with it, just keep them in mind and ready to go should that particular situation represent itself. Keeping the pace high when you are not in a fight camp can be hard on your motivation levels, and this is a common source to why some fighters suffer ‘ring rust’ So an alternative could be to improve your technical efficiency and ease off the fitness slightly, this will allow you to keep up the regular habit of sparring and honing your skills. As human nature is to only enjoy something in moderation, simply by picking parts you wouldn’t usually focus on and dedicating your training to these. As all fighters will suffer peaks and over training, you do still need to rest! It is just as simple as changing priorities for a while, and allowing your body to recover to an extent that when fight time

comes and you start the count down. The fighter can be safely in the knowledge that he/she has a new array of techniques at their disposal. Finally, I would like to issue a word of caution. There is no substitute for basics. Basics will win you fights and make you a champion. There is so much focus nowadays on who has the flashier technique or finishing move. But learning these well will make sure that wherever you are caught and whoever you fight, you can be confident in the knowledge that your strong enough to turn the fight around into your favour again.


By Glenn Shelford


Sorry About Your

Damned Luck For four years Bobby Inc, but on November brutally parted ways the head with a beer What lead up to this

Roode and James Storm wrestled together as Beer Money 3rd 2011 the former 4 time TNA World Tag Team Champs when Roode turned heel on Storm and blasted him over bottle to win his TNA World Heavyweight Championship. and what does the future hold for both of them?

Robert F. Roode Jr. joined TNA way back in 2004 as part of Team Canada and went on to hold the TNA World Tag Team titles twice with Eric Young before going on to establish himself as an equally adept singles wrestler with a gimmick that saw him portray a modern day version of Ted DiBiase’s “Million Dollar Man” persona from the 1980’s. ‘Cowboy’ James Storm joined TNA in 2002 after he had initially been signed by WCW in 2000 before it folded in 2001. A talented big guy who is surprisingly agile and a good all round performer, the office decided to team him with a similar guy, Chris Harris and from 2002 – 2006 they were known as America’s Most Wanted and were one of the most dominant teams in TNA, winning the tag team titles no less than 6 times along the way.

After the pair found themselves as singles wrestlers for a period, both benefited from the spotlight on them individually and both learned to hone their gimmicks. But alas neither managed to breakthrough the ‘glass ceiling’ and into the main event of the card. The calendar rolls around to 2008 and two singles wrestlers who were going nowhere fast, but with a great tag team pedigree, were repackaged as Beer Money Inc with Storm being the beer swilling Redneck that liked to cuss and mix things up with his fists, and Roode being the more refined businessman who happened to be a superior technical wrestler. The Odd Couple they may have been on paper, but in reality they clicked. Boy did they click. The inring and on-screen chemistry was clear to see whether they were

good guys or rule breakers, the fans still loved them. They went into all out wars with the best of the best including UK’s own British Invasion (who outsmarted them for several months – pat on the back to the Brits!) and an unbelievable series in 2010 with The Motor City Machineguns, that were, in my 35+ years as a wrestling fan, the best tag team series in the modern era of wrestling. In fact if you missed them, I highly recommend buying the DVD from TNA as it’s the best (non Beer) money you will ever spend as a wrestling fan! So roll on 2011. And between injuries to both partners at different times, plus the lame Immortal vs. Fortune feuds, Beer Money teamed less and less. As we hit June and all the way through to September, TNA held their ‘Bound For Glory Series’ tournament which saw a Round Robin series of matches where each match carried points with the overall points winner getting a shot at the World Heavyweight Champion (Kurt Angle) at their biggest PPV event of the year, Bound For Glory. After lots of twists and turns along the way, the eventual winner was Roode. And as the tension built up for BFG, Roode was forced into a series of matches against his Fortune stable mates on the Impact shows leading up to BFG. As the weeks past and Roode won each match, gaining momentum as he went, it seemed inevitable that Roode would beat Angle and take the title. Indeed when I had the chance to


interview Roode a few days prior to the match I told him that I firmly believed I was talking to the next TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Sunday October 16th was the night of the Bound For Glory PPV and 99.9% of the fans were firmly behind Roode to beat Angle and take the title. But although the match itself was good (but not quite the classic fans had hoped for), Roode was screwed out of the title when the ref failed to spot both Angles use of the ropes, and Roode’s arm under the bottom rope, either of which should have halted the match winning 3 count for Angle. The fans and the wrestling community at large were not happy about this. It seemed TNA had for some reason blown the payoff to a 5 month build up and make Roode an overnight fan favourite champ. Just about everyone agreed he deserved the belt and it seemed TNA had blown the chance to freshen things up in a stale main event picture. On the following Thursday’s Impact broadcast, Angle point blank refused to give Roode a rematch, sighting a clause in the BFG contract that barred Roode from getting one. Enter James Storm who came out to back up his tag team partner. He petitioned Sting, who had been put in charge of Impact by TNA owner TNA Dixie Carter, for a shot against Angle in Roode’s place. Sting agreed, and

James Storm


What Does the WRSA offer you? •

Insurance for Fighters, Instructors and

Promoters So you are fully protected

Already 40 planned for 2009. See Website for details.

Each Belt Grade Certificate is Unique

The WRSA encorages experienced fighters and coaches to take our judges and referees course so they understand what judges are looking for

Meetings so member can express their views of how the WRSA is being run. What they think is good and what they feel needs improving.

First aid courses run by qualified instructors. Training courses for ring craft, weapons course, etc.

It does not restrict you or your fighter as to which shows you fight on.

Kickboxing Clubs, Thai boxing clubs, Kung Fu Clubs, Traditional Karate clubs.

• • • • • • •

Regular Tournaments around the country. Gradings with Specially designed certificates and badges. Courses for Judges and Referees. Regular Meetings Courses

The WRSA does not interfere with how you run your club. The WRSA welcomes

For Further Information contact the WRSA or Steve Humphrey, Cressdene, Evesham Road, Offenham, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 8SA Tel: 01386 48452 Mobile: 07881 784839 Email:


also put Roode in a #1 contenders match on the same show. Roode won his title shot, but the bigger story was Storm blasting Angle with a Super kick in the main event to pin him for the win and the title. Yup, James Storm was TNA World Heavyweight Champ and Roode and the rest of Fortune came out to congratulate him. Initially this seemed like a knee jerk reaction to the criticism levelled at TNA by all quarters for the poor end to the Roode build up. But on the following weeks Impact, the clever build up to a potentially sizzling storyline was revealed.

I have my doubts. But Roode’s full fledged heel turn could be the best thing to happen to TNA in the past 12 months. I look forward to seeing how this feud develops and to see what happens on the upcoming UK Tour too, as don’t forget, UK’s own, Magnus is owed a title shot too…. Suddenly the future for TNA seems a light brighter for 2012 than it did for 2011.

The main event saw Storm defend the title against Roode, and the two didn’t disappoint. They put on a great back and forth match that had the fans split down the middle on who to support. As the match swung back and forth, the inevitable ref bump happened when the referee got knocked out of the ring and rolled around the ringside area holding his leg. With Roode also on the outside and Storm laying prone in the ring, Roode spotted Storms pre-match bottle of beer and grabbed it, before blasting his tag team partner over the head and knocking him out. The ref managed to make it back in the ring in time to see Roode covering storm and counted the 1,2,3 to award Roode the title belt and in the process turn Roode heel and effectively end Beer Money. At the same time this elevated both wrestlers into genuine main event stars as the fans had a reason to cheer and boo both as individuals at long last, rather than as one half of a tag team. TNA has now gained two new, very different, main event stars. Plus given that Roode is likely to face various Fortune members over the coming months, it should really freshen up the main event scene. I for one can’t wait to see Roode vs. Kazarian, or how about Roode vs. AJ Styles? I am slightly less sure of the long term future for Storm as his ‘cowboy’ gimmick might go down well in TNA’s home town on Nashville, but to a wider audience?

Bobby Roode


‘Training fighters is like trying to catch fish, it’s not the strength but the technique. You’ve got to play the fish nice and easy and go with what’s there’ Throughout history there have been many great sportsmen and women. Their achievements and exploits are legendary. New champions are being formed and created every day in the hot and sweaty forges of gyms throughout the World.

Muhammad Ali was a great talent and an immense personality. Like a stallion unbridled and running free without direction, in need of a trainer to guide it through the winning posts, Muhammad Ali’s unison with Angelo Dundee was just that, one of mentor and athlete.

Those that make the World stage and reach the pinnacles of their careers are revered and rewarded. However, silently but powerfully in the background are the coaches and trainers. Like the engines of a great ship, these trainers are often unseen while the liner sails proudly upon the seas.

I am writing this article on the day I heard of the passing of Angelo Dundee who, at the great age of 90, had lived and achieved his life with great honour and respect.

So does the trainer make the athlete great or does the great athlete make the trainer? In boxing the answer to this question is non-more evident than in the relationship with Muhammad Ali and Angelo Dundee.

Born of Italian decent in Philadelphia on August 30th 1921, Angelo Mirena joined the sport of boxing after returning from World War 2, ‘We won, but not because of anything I did’ he is quoted as saying. He followed his two brothers into the sport and changed his name to Dundee so that his parents would not be aware he had gone into boxing.

Moving to New York, Angelo started out in the gym as a bucket carrier for the fighters training there. One of the trainers, Chickie Ferrara, ‘adopted’ Angelo and began to take him through chapter and verse, teaching him everything there was to know about boxing, every little trick, every little angle, what to do, what not to do. So Angelo learned his ‘trade’ on the shop floor, from the bottom up. He was surrounded by great trainers and boxers of that time too; Al Lippe, Ray Arcel, Benny Goldman, Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey to name but a few. Angelo’s partnership with Muhammad Ali began in Louisville, Ali’s hometown, in 1959. Angelo was there with light heavyweight Willie Pastrano when the young Ali, known then as Cassius Clay, telephoned their hotel room asking Angelo if he could have five minutes time with him. Clay, who was the local boxing gloves champion at the time kept asking the men boxing questions in a conversation that lasted for over 3 ½ hours. After Ali had returned from Rome in 1960 as the Olympic gold medallist, Angelo contacted him and invited him to train at his gym in Miami Beach. Ali declined the offer and was trained for his first professional fight by legendary boxer Archie Moore. Ali won his first fight but wasn’t happy with Archie Moore’s’ strict ‘house rules’ wanting Ali to clean the house and wash up dishes in addition to curfews.


Angelo got a call from one of Ali’s handlers, seeking to hire him, which Angelo gladly accepted. Angelo would never leave Ali’s side throughout his boxing career, in a time when fighter-manager relationships rarely last, Dundee and Ali would never split. Angelo Dundee steered Muhammad Ali’s career through 61 fights with Ali winning 56 of these including being the first heavyweight in history to win the World championship title 3 times. They travelled the World together including the Philippines for the Frazier fight ‘The Thrilla in Manila’ and in Africa against George Foreman for ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’. Ali was to say in a foreword to Angelo’s book ‘My view from the corner-A life in boxing’, ‘In those days, Elijah Muhammad told us that the white man was the Devil, and I believed him. It made me very controversial. Angelo Dundee paid no attention to all that talk, all that bad publicity. He never said I was wrong, he never asked why I joined the Muslims; he never said anything about it. That is one reason I stayed with him. Of course, he was a great trainer too! But through all those days of controversy, and the many that followed, Angelo never got involved. He let me be exactly who I wanted to be, and he was loyal. That is the reason I love Angelo’ A master motivator and clever corner-man, Angelo Dundee was regarded as one of boxing’s great ambassadors. His career spanned 60 years and, including Ali, he trained 15 World champions; Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Carmen Basillo and Jose Napoles to name a few.

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994 and in his later years continued to be involved in the sport he loved; training actor Russell Crowe for his part in ‘The Cinderella man and appearing in the film as ‘Angelo’ the corner-man. He also got a cameo role in the Michael Mann film biopic ‘Ali’. In 2008 he was hired as a special consultant for Oscar De La Hoya’s fight with Manny Pacquio. In September 2012 Angelo opened his new 5th Street gym in Miami USA. Promoter Bob Arum said he had been planning to bring Dundee to Las Vegas for a February charity gala headlined by Ali. “He was wonderful. He was the whole package,” Arum said. “Angelo was the greatest motivator of all time. No matter how bad things were, Angelo always put a positive spin on them. That’s what Ali loved so much about him.” Less than a month before he died Angelo attended Ali’s 70th Birthday celebrations. There was no way he was going to miss Muhammad Ali’s Birthday party.

The genial trainer got to see his old friend, and reminisce about good times. It was almost as if they were together in their prime again, and what a time that was. Bruce Trampler, the long-time matchmaker who had worked with Angelo since 1971, said ‘Angelo Dundee was a figure of integrity in a sport that often lacked it.To me, he was the greatest ambassador for boxing, the greatest goodwill ambassador in a sport where there’s so much animosity and enemies, the guy didn’t have an enemy in the world. How could he? When his favourite line was, “It doesn’t cost anything more to be nice.” Dundee was a brilliant motivator and one of his favourite stories he loved to tell was of the night he was in the corner for a littleknown heavyweight named Johnny Holman. Remembering that Holman’s dream was to buy a house, Dundee tried to motivate Holman when he said, “This guy’s



taking away your house from you. He’s taking away those shutters from you. He’s taking away that television set from you.” Holman would come back to win — and get that house. Angelo Dundee passed away on February 1st 2012 at his apartment in Tampa, Fla., at the age of 90, and with him a part of boxing died, too. ‘He was surrounded by his family’, said his son, Jimmy Dundee, ‘The visit with Ali in Louisville, meant everything to Dad’ “It was the way he wanted to go,” he added. “He did everything he wanted to do, he had a ball. He lived his life and had a great time he was still working with an amateur kid, a possible Olympic kid, down here. When he walked into a boxing room he still had the brain for it.”

Dundee’s love for Ali never left him, speaking about his visit to Ali during his 70th Birthday party he still referred to the great man as ‘the kid’; “This kid’’ he’s talking about the 70 year old Ali, by the way, “had so much love for the sport, for training. He was the first guy in the gym, and the last guy to leave. He loved to train. In any town we’d look up a gym and he’d fight his friends.” Angelo added, chuckling, “He asks me how my sex life is doing; I’ve only known the kid for 54 year! We never had a beef, we never had a contract.” A friendship and bond that remained tight until the end. The World may have lost a great ambassador for boxing and a great human being but we will always be richer for having him here. To Angelo Dundee – A life in Boxing, God bless.

“To be a good fight trainer, you must adhere to a mixed bag, you’ve got to combine certain qualities belonging to a doctor, engineer, psychologist, and sometimes even an actor in addition to knowing your specific art well”. Angelo Dundee 1921-2012 By Shaun Boland

WAKO Welcome to...


Founded in 1970 WAKO is the largest unified kickboxing organisation in the World with over 100 nations currently in membership. WAKO World H.Q. is based in Milan. WAKO HISTORY WAKO started its activity in Europe in 1976. The founder was Mr Georg Bruckner from Berlin, who promoted the first ever World Championships in semi and full contact karate (as it was called in those days) back in 1978 with 110 competitors representing 18 countries. WAKO immediately created the rules and regulations for the new fighting sports and acted, since the very beginning, as the authentic Kickboxing Federation of the world. In our Championships, only national teams are accepted. Each member country can present only 1 competitor in each weight class. The WAKO World Championships are NOT open competitions therefore each representative is the premier competitor in that category, from their country.

World Governing Body for Kickboxing World and European Amateur Championships Title Fights held continually both Amateur & Professional Regional Competitions are held throughout the year British Amateur Championships to choose British Teams Full-Contact, Light Continuous-Contact, Semi-Contact, Musical Forms Licence, Membership and Insurance available to all of U.K., Southern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Coaching courses, Referee Training, Seminars and Training Dan Gradings and WAKO certificates for all Members For upto the minute details of all forthcoming W.A.K.O events visit our website To see national wako listings of over 13,000 instructors/clubs on the web, type: then in ‘business’ type: martial arts and town Contact: WAKO, 66 Chaddesden Lane, Chaddesden, Derby, DE21 6LP Tel: 07973 507716 / 01332 663086 or Fax: 01332 280286 Email:


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Since the last edition of fighters magazine there has been plenty going on in the octagon with two massive events at ufc 141 and ufc rio plus an excellent night of mma at ufc on fx 1. we saw alastair overeem get his ufc career off to a great start, retiring brock lesnar from the sport at the same time. we also witnessed some great performances in brazil at ufc rio,the most notable of which was another dominant defence of the featherweight title by one of the best pound for pound fighters at the moment, jose aldo. here is a round up of all the results... UFC 141: Alistair Overeem defeats Brock Lesnar by TKO (referee stoppage) at 2:26 of rnd 1. Nate Diaz defeats Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision Johny Hendricks defeats Jon Fitch by knockout at :12 of round 1. Alexander Gustafsson defeats Vladimir Matyushenko at 2:13 of round 1. Jim Hettes defeats Nam Phan by unanimous decision Ross Pearson defeats Junior Assuncao by unanimous decision Danny Castillo defeats Anthony Njokuani by split decision Dong Hyun Kim defeats Sean Pierson by unanimous decision

Lesnar vs Overeem @ UFC 141

Jacob Volkmann defeats Efrain Escudero by unanimous decision Diego Nunes defeats Manny Gamburyan by unanimous decision UFC RIO: Featherweight Title: Jose Aldo def. Chad Mendes via TKO round 1, 4:59 Vitor Belfort def. Anthony Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 4:45 Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Massenzio via submission (heel hook) - Round 1, 1:03 Carlo Prater def. Erick Silva via disqualification (illegal punches) - Round 1, 0:29 Edson Barboza def. Terry Etim via KO (spinning heel kick) - Rnd 3, 2:02

Thiago Tavares def. Sam Stout via unanimous decision Gabriel Gonzaga def. Ednaldo Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 3:22 Yuri Alcantara def. Michihiro Omigawa via unanimous decision Mike Pyle def. Ricardo Funch via TKO (knees and punches) - Round 1, 1:22 Felipe Arantes def. Antonio Carvalho via unanimous decision UFC ON FX 1: Pat Barry defeated Christian Morecraft by 1st rd. KO Mike Easton defeated Jared Papazian by Majority Decision Josh Neer defeated Duane Ludwig by 1st rd. Submission (Guillotine) Jim Miller defeated Melvin Guillard by 1st rd. Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Nick Denis defeated Joseph Sandoval by 1st rd. KO (Elbows) Daniel Pineda defeated Pat Schilling by 1st rd. submission (Rear Naked Choke) FabrĂ­cio CamĂľes defeated Tommy Hayden by 1st rd. Submission (Rear naked Choke) Charlie Brenneman defeated Daniel Roberts by Unanimous Decision Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Kamal Shalorus by 3rd rd. Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Jorge Rivera defeated Eric Schafer by 2nd rd. TKO

UFC RESULTS ROUND UP - 30.12.11 - 20.1.12 Page 79

Jose Aldo @ UFC Rio

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Forum Fight Night! Page 80 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK

Sunday 29th January saw Dan Healy promote his very first K1 Rules and MMA show under the WFKKO at the fantastic Forum Event Centre within the Hertfordshire University grounds. The event was to include amateur rules MMA as well as amateur and professional rules K1. To add even more excitement to the evening, two hometown men were to headline the show. Ed Crace Eales from Tri Style Martial Arts and Lee Coville of Covilles Gym. Crace Eales has made a name for himself now on the amateur circuit and is keen to take it as far as he can before contemplating the pro’ ranks. The European title was to be a big test for him on this night! How did he cope with the pressure? Read on! Coville, being one of the most seasoned UK fighters and who has spent a lot of time in Thailand was always going to be ready and would step up to any opponent put in front of him. Today it was to be a three times Italian Champion. In what looked to be a raw novice undercard, it still managed to produce some top fights. Jordan Waring of Falcon Fight Academy opened up the show with a 3 round Semi Pro K1 rules fight and stopped his opponent in the first round with a KO by way of the knee to the head.

Brett Healey Team MMAFIA v Alexandre Veria of France provided full on entertainment under amateur MMA rules. Healey made his presence felt early on in the fight and soon had his opponent on the back foot. Healey was keen to go to ground when he realised his opponent was a good Thai technician, but still gave a great account of himself in the air. One takedown later and the Frenchman was tapping for mercy. Show over!

venue we saw a very large well conditioned French man who certainly looked the business. The fight started at a high pace with Leny looking strong but a little scrappy. Later in the first round, Ed hit the French man with a knee to the head that cut his chin, which the corner with the help of the medics, quickly stopped the bleeding.

Mike Brunt from SDF Sheffield gets a mention as he is a fighter people should watch out for in the future, sharp hands and strong to boot! After a break and with the show going very well, the officials and International judges took their places and waited for the top of the bill bout to commence. MA were in attendance, to capture the final stages of this show in its full glory.

By the second round the fight turned into a blood bath. Leny was bleeding from the chin again and also the nose and Ed was now bleeding quite badly from the nose. For both the second and third round the pace was high but a little messy in places and both fighters were dangerous and looking to finish the fight early. The referee had to stop the fight to get the fighter’s gloves and equipment wiped down as there was again a lot of blood about!

The WFKKO amateur K1 Rules European title was to be contested by Ed Crace Eales of England against Leny Ferria Leal from France. Ed entered the ring with his usual psyched face, down the steps on the other side of the

Leny got himself a warning for misconduct in the ring, but after the fight re started, Ed threw, what is becoming his trademark move, a rising knee to the head that dropped Leny straight to the canvas. However he made the 8


count and the fight continued. Ed saw his opportunity and jumped in with another knee, this missed but they fought in the clinch, which allowed Ed to fire off his knee, which dropped Leny back down to the canvas for a second time. Leny stood up before the 8 count and the bell rang which in hindsight was definitely a blessing. In the 4th round Leny fought back and hit Ed with some good solid punches and for a brief moment the fight looked as though the tables had turned but they went into the clinch and this is where Ed threw another knee which hit the Frenchman on the chin. He hit the canvas again but his time the referee counted Leal out. The winner and new European champion was Ed Crace Eales. The final fight of the night was for the WFKKO World professional K1 Rules title at -60 kg. Fighting for this title was Lee Coville from England who was up against Daniel Saporito from Italy. Both the fighters entered the ring with total confidence. Lee had a couple of inches height advantage and looked stronger in build than the Italian and it certainly became apparent that he was stronger in the opening combination. Lee was super sharp hitting Daniel with 3 and 4 point, hand and foot combinations. Daniel fought back but he didn’t

have the speed or power of his opponent. Just over half way through the opening round, Lee hit Daniel with a beautiful hand and foot combination finishing with a solid thigh kick that buckled the leg of Saporito, as he winced and paused for a split second. Lee took full advantage and finished the fight with a stunning head kick which immediately dropped the Italian, leaving Phil Dews, the chief referee no option other than to waive the fight off and rightly so as Saporito failed to recover in an acceptable time frame. The well deserved winner and new WFKKO World K1 Rules champion was Lee Coville. That brought a great evening’s entertainment to an end, with a pat on the back for the promoters. They have now set the standard for what we hope is the first of many elite FORUM shows! Fight Card 3x3 semi pro K1 Rules -67kg Mike Yiannakou (Tri style) v Jordan Waring (Falcon Fight Academy) Win KO round 1 Jordan Waring 3x3 demo -71kg MMA James Di Vries v Trent Gainey 3x2 AM K1 Rules -75kg Tom Cummings (Tri Style) v Brian Laying (MMAFIA) Win unanimous Brian Laying

3x2 amateur K1 Rules -81kg Gavin Gilbert (WCC) v Mike Brunt (SDF) Win unanimous Mike Brunt 3x3 amateur MMA -75kg Aaron Moffat (WCC) v Jesse Bernard (Hull UNI MMA) Win unanimous Jesse Bernard 3x3 amateur MMA -71kg Brett Healey (Team MMAFIA) v Alexandre Veria (France) Win KO round 1 Brett Healey 5x2 WFKKO amateur K1 Rules -91kg European title Ed Crace Eales (Tri Style MMA) v Leny Ferria Leal (France) Win KO round 4 Ed Crace Eales 5x3 WFKKO pro K1 Rules -60kg World title Lee Coville (GB) v Daniel Saporito (Italy) Win KO rd 1 Lee Coville Medical suspensions (29.1.2) Mike Yiannakou tri style 28 days ko Alexandre veria France 28 days ko Leny ferries leal France 28 days ko Daniel Saporito Italy 28 day ko Report by Mark Baker Photography COURTESY OF Janson-Piers Imaging




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