FIGHTERS COVER (JUL'10) A-W
PERIODIZED FITNESS FOR MMA Varying Volume and Intensity
BOXING IN THE UK Good Times?
THANK GOD FOR LYOTO MACHIDA Breathing Life Back Into Mixed Martial Arts
THE GRACIE ACADEMY Betrayal of a Revolution?
EFC IS ON A ROLL! Collision Course
JULY 2010 £3.75
Sacrifice and Hard Work!
Buakaw Rocks London Rocks London Muay Thai Premier League Spectacular
KICKBOXING - MUAY THAI - MMA - K-1 - BOXING
SS NEW ADDRE
NEWS ROUND-UP Domestic & International
MULTI MEDIA REVIEWS DVD - Blu-Ray - Books - Film...
THE NEIL ADAMS SUBMISSION CLINIC By Fergus Dullaghan
MUAYTHAI PREMIER LEAGUE SPECTACULAR at The London Excel Arena
BOXING VIEW With Mark Wilson Smith
5 OF THE BEST My 5 All Time Favourite Fights! By Bryan Levick
TRAVELS IN THAILAND Walkden Thai Boxing Club Members on Tour
OWEN KING WAKO World Champion By Chris Janson-Piers
THANK GOD FOR LYOTO MACHIDA By Alex Wright
URBAN KINGS New Luxury Mixed Martial Arts Gym Launches
A BETRAYAL OF THE REVOLUTION? The Gracie Academies Decision to Offer Online Belt Promotions Causes Global Controversy
PERIODIZED FITNESS FOR MMA By Ken Pytluk
LETHAL WEAPON OF THE NORTH Igor Vovchanchyn By Ben Cartlidge
MARC FIORE The Man in The Corner
LEGENDS OF THE CAGE Part 1 - Anderson Silva
SUTURES, FRACTURES & FAINTING MMA Stitch-man Reveals The Inside Story on Working Ring Side
HAROLD HOWARD I Only Came to Fight
ULTIMATE CHALLENGE UK Never Back Down
EFC Collision Course
Welcome to the not so mad house! Well the manic action of the last few months has finally died down and the Cage warriors event went without a hitch at The Martial Arts Show at the NEC in Birmingham. We will feature a full report in next months issue which will detail all that took place including a few surprises and a lot of action images. It’s no secret that Cage Warriors have been in hibernation state for quite a while and their return to glory event that took place at the NEC was to herald their return. Their next event, “Right To Fight”, due to take place in Birmingham on the 3rd of September is set to see another action packed card take place. We’ll keep yo informed, so stay tuned for next months report and news. For those of you that have been in a coma for the last few weeks, a very exciting new Mixed Martial Arts training centre has opened in London called Urban kings (Bravingtons Walk, Kings Cross, London N1). In this issue we have a full insight feature about just what everyone is raving about and I can tell you that if you are an MMA fighter or fan, you really need to pay a visit to this fantastic place (www.urbankingsgym.com). If you do go and feel that you would like to share your experience, drop me a line with your feedback, I would as always, love to hear from you. If you are into your wrestling you will know or of heard of Dave Batista and if he follows in the footsteps of Bobby Lashly and Brock Lesnar, he, according to some, will be gracing the canvass of the MMA world very soon? However, whilst he is a great wrestler, with no martial arts background, will he be able to cut it as an MMA athlete - I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. The UFC has taken yet another step closer to being allowed to stage a UFC event in New York, USA. MMA was banned in 1997 by the then Governor and has been refused access since then. The reason for it being reconsidered is based upon the fact that with the staging of more than 2,500 fights the worst injury has been a broken arm. However, I my cynical side makes me think that with the 8.5% ticket tax that the state has placed on the event taking place, the $2,000,000 that they stand to make might have been a deciding factor - Uhmmm . . . But what will this do if it all goes ahead and how will it affect the world of MMA? Well it will do a great deal for the UFC but it will also put MMA on the world stage as everyone will be talking about MMA again. In closing and if you have anything to say or would like to see featured, simply send it in to me and I will be more than happy to take a look at it with a view to featuring it in a future issue, after all, it’s YOUR magazine! Until next month, Enjoy your training and keep on fighting! Paul S Clifton. firstname.lastname@example.org
Legends of the Cage pg.66
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WAKO WORLD ASSOCIATION OF KICKBOXING ORGANISATIONS President: Tom Hibbert M.B.E., F.S.M.A.
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 ama/wako listings of over 13,000 instructors/clubs on the web, type: www.bt.com/thephonebook then in ‘business’ type: martial arts and town
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Visit us at The Martial Arts Show - (Stand R11) Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd of May. at The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
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Page 22 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
Spectacular at The London Excel Arena
MSA put on yet another outstanding Muay Thai Premier League super show at the Excel in London on Saturday the 29th of May. The show thrilled the audience just as much as their hugely successful show in March at the MEN arena, which was another true world class production with superb match ups. The main bout was none other than Britain’s Jordan Watson versus the Thai superstar Buakaw Por Pramuk. This was the first time that Buakaw had fought on these shores and it was a tremendous feat by MSA to arrange the fight, especially under Full Thai rules. Buakaw entered first and the atmosphere was simply electric, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Liam Harrison fought Sanchai Sor Kingstar. The whole arena was on its feet with everyone holding their phones in the air like at a rock concert! Watson too, received a fantastic reception and you could feel the tremendous excitement in the air.
Thomas vs Yodyut
From the opening bell, it was clear that the fight would NOT disappoint. The entire audience in the arena roared with delight as an early low kick from Watson put Buakaw to the floor. Talk about jaw-dropping action! Some (very wrongly!) had thought this would be a one sided contest but this clearly was not to be the case. Watson used a fantastic array of techniques, with both fighters showing unbelievable speed and fluidity in everything they threw. In the second round, Buakaw took it up a level by firing off vicious combinations. Watson responded well and the fight was, at this point, becoming truly electric. In the third, Bucksaw’s great experience showed as he used clever combinations throughout the round to open Watson up for a body shot that gave him an eight count. The third was clearly all Bucksaw’s. Watson knew that he had to recover ground convincingly, and in the fourth, he pressed forward impressively creating some outstanding clashes between the two. At no time did Watson look out of his depth and Buakaw seemed unpleasantly surprised - he knew he was in a real fight and that Watson was here to win! Watson knew he needed a knockout to win this top contest and went looking
for this in the fifth; pulling out all the stops including a great flying knee, which is fast becoming his trademark. However, Buakaw, with awesome experience (gathered from his 222 previous fights) stood toe-to-toe unfazed. The fight was non-stop powerful action until the very end. With the final bell, Buakaw was the deserving winner although this fight truly made a statement for Watson. At the tender age of 22 years, this tremendously gifted gladiator is clearly a worthy member of the world class elite in Muay Thai. Without a shadow of doubt, Buakaw Vs Watson was by far, one of the very best fights of this year to date. The other England versus Thailand fight featured UKMF British welterweight, the current ranked number one, Tim Thomas against the well reputed Yodyut Kiatyongyut. Fighting out of Kiatphontip gym and also known as Sorn, Yodyut has trained many English fighters in Thailand and was popular with the London crowd...
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MUAYTHAI PREMIER LEAGUE SPECTACULAR Page 23
Buakaw vs Watson
Page 26 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
Boxing View With Mark Wilson Smith
We are only half way through the year and already there has been plenty of activity for British boxing fans to mull over. This is down to the fact that over a very busy six-week period we saw most of our leading stars involved in high profile bouts. With some heartache but mostly good results, we look back over the fights that have made for such a fascinating time. Going back to April 3rd, which was the start of our busy period, we saw David Haye outclass John Ruiz. A Haye victory was always going to be a safe bet, but it was his tactics on the night that impressed me.
the Latino-American to plod forward while being economical and picking his shots. Even when Ruiz was dropped twice in the first round, Haye stuck to the script and it worked a treat, forcing a stoppage in the ninth round. Fantastic!
There are still question marks over Haye’s stamina, and he knew that going in there and trying to blast out Ruiz would have been energy sapping and unwise, given that Ruiz had only been stopped once in his career. Instead, a strategy was formed that would allow him to conserve energy and go the full distance if necessary. Haye’s game plan was to fight on the back foot, allowing
I was a little disappointed that in the days following the fight, as Haye announced that he plans to have only four more fights before retiring at the age of 30. To start with, it may be difficult to secure the kind of legacy he is after in such a short period of timealthough if he bows out with wins over both the Klitschko brothers, then he will be held in very high regard.
Carl Froch (l) with other fighters from the Super Six Tournament
Further, I don’t think Haye did himself any favours by making his plans public. He is being touted as the saviour of Heavyweight boxing; a lot of people are coming back to the sport because of his explosive style and personality, but will the wider public and casual boxing fans get excited about something that already has an end date? We want to think that this is only the beginning of a great boxing adventure, not something with the end already in sight. At the time of writing, Haye and Adam Booth are in talks with Wladimir Klitschko over a potential match-up. However, there are still a couple of problems to be overcome before this fight can take place. Firstly, Haye is tied to Sauerland Event for his next two fights, and both the Klitschko brothers are not keen to work with the German promotional company. Secondly, there is still the obstacle of the Valuev (promoted by Sauerland) rematch to be sorted out. Hopefully the big Russian will step aside and allow Haye-Klitschko to take place. It could even benefit him, as if Haye wins his fight with Klitschko then there would be the newly acquired WBO and IBF titles on the line, as well as his old WBA belt. A possible solution being suggested is that Haye will be allowed to fight Wladimir, if Valuev can challenge WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. We shall see what happens...
BOXING VIEW - WITH MARK WILSON SMITH Page 27
Also in April we witnessed Audley Harrison put himself in the mix for a shot at the world title. I was genuinely delighted for big Audley when he knocked out Michael Sprott in the last round to become the new Euro champ. I went to watch one of his first professional fights, which now seems like ages ago, and have always liked the big man, although that is more down to Audley the man rather than his achievements in the ring. At the time, I felt that it was a mistake for Audley to be headlining events the moment he turned professional. Like all boxers, he started to learn the ropes against lesser opponents, but this should have been done on under cards, not as the main event and under the microscope. The expectations put upon him at the start of his career were huge, but Audley himself didn’t really help matters by making so many ambitious claims. I do give Audley a lot of respect for the fact that he has always done things his way. He set up his own promotional company right from the beginning to look after his own career and he has never given up on his dream of landing the world title. There have been many set backs along the way, but Harrison hasn’t stopped believing and a shot at the title could be just around the corner.
face Alexander Dimitrenko, the mandatory challenger for his European title. People close to Harrison have been urging him to relinquish the Euro title rather than defend against Dimitrenko 29-1 (19) - with a possible shot at the world title so close, even without defending the Euro belt, they think that this fight is an unnecessary risk. It is still doubtful that Audley could beat any of the current champions, but assuming he gets his chance, a challenge for the Heavyweight championship of the world, a European title, a Prizefighter victory, and an Olympic gold medal surely deserves some credit from even his harshest critics. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worst at the end of April, as Carl Froch was defeated by Mikkel Kessler in the Super Six Boxing Classic- a defeat that ended his reign as the WBC Super middleweight champion. Before the Super Six tournament began, I would always have picked Kessler to beat Froch, but Kessler’s dismal performance against Andre Ward made me think that the contest would be a more even affair. Unfortunately for Froch, Kessler returned to form that night to win by a unanimous decision.
He will have a spell on the sidelines due to the injury he picked up in the Sprott fight, but could be back in September to
Ruiz vs Haye
Froch should have seen the warning signs long ago- he took far too may shots in the fights against Jean Pascal and Jermain Taylor, but has done nothing to shore up his sloppy defence. Those fights were then followed by a disputed spilt decision win over Andre Dirrell, which many American pundits felt Froch lost. Despite all that, Froch still had a less than perfect defence against Kessler and was generally too laid back during the early part the fight. It was only in the later rounds, well behind on points at this stage, that Froch moved up a gear and tried to find the winning punch, as he had done against Taylor. By then it was too late- Kessler held on for a deserved points win. Carl’s behaviour following the fight has left a bad taste in the mouth. He claims that he was on the receiving end of a biased decision in Denmark and then threatened to withdraw from the super six tournament if his next fight (against Arthur Abraham) was held in Germany. The suggestion being that if the fight did happen in Germany, then he could possibly lose because of ‘another’ dodgy decision...
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Page 34 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
By John Christey
Walkden Thai Boxing Club Members on Tour My trip to Thailand began with the question ‘What would you like to do for your 50th birthday’? Thailand was one of those places that a large number of my friends had been to and was top in my list of places I wanted to visit I have been training at Walkden Thai Boxing Club (WTBC) for the last 4 years with my sons Adam aged 9 and Jay aged 7. A trip to Thailand provided us a chance to put our Thai boxing training into context with all the benefits of travel, food and culture. First and foremost this was to be a family holiday but I was keen to work some Thai boxing into the trip. With my partner Annie keen to ensure we engaged in a variety of family activities we booked a few key elements of the trip and off we went arriving in Bangkok Christmas Eve. First stop Bangkok and for me the unmissable martial arts element has to be a visit to Lumpinee Stadium. Christmas day 6pm finds the family stood outside the stadium clutching our
VIP tickets. Tickets were available from the hotel but there are plenty of people keen to sell you tickets at the stadium. When we arrived, the stadium the arena was still locked but around the stadium area there are a number of shops selling Thai boxing equipment. So one pair of gloves and one pair of shorts later it was time to go in. For those like me, used to our own air conditioned stadiums, Lumpinee with its tin roof and roof top fans brings you into a melting pot atmosphere. The thing our arenas fail to provide is the intense wall of noise created by the band and by the armies of excited gamblers gesticulating wildly throughout the fights. For me the history of this site and the number of epic battles pitched between generations of boxers to create the Lumpinee champions,
gives this place a history and an atmosphere it is almost impossible to match. The fights were spectacular with the power and speed being awe inspiring. For me the striking thing is the calm with which the fighters come to the ring. They look like they could be waiting for a bus as they stand in the corners with their trainers and families. After years of training and conditioning for them this appears to be just another day at the office. As the fight programme progressed a number of the senior Thais who were ringside saw my son, Adam trying to take photographs. Seeing his interest they ushered him to the ringside to get better photos and at the end of the fight he was delighted to get his photo taken with the night’s champion. Next stop for us was Chang Mai in the far north of Thailand. We took the overnight sleeper, to leave the intensity of Bangkok and wake up in the mountains and jungle of the north is magical. I had a recommendation from Ronnie my Thai boxing instructor to contact Andy Thompson the chief instructor at Lanna Muay Thai Boxing Camp. Andy is a Scottish born Canadian. Following a phone call we were told to just to turn up - so Adam, Jay and I packed our kit jumped in a taxi and off we went with the address written in Thai for the driver to follow.
TRAVELS IN THAILAND Page 35
The camp sits off the main road in the middle of a Thai residential area. Entering the camp emphasises one of the core values of the camp as it is filled with flags of so many nations and the accents of people from all around the world. After a short spell of warming up, Adam and Jay were invited into the ring to work with the Thai pad men. Working a free styling system using focus mit, Thai pad, belly pad and shin guards - the boys were quickly into the demanding environment of training in the ever present heat. One of the things the pad men brought to the session was a sense of fun. The boys were teased, cuffed and encouraged with those wonderful Thai smiles. Putting their nervousness behind them the boys had no choice but to enthusiastically take part. After the boys had been trained to the limits of their endurance we left the camp and full of enthusiasm for joining the camp for a 6.30am start the next morning. My own session had confirmed all the sitting around and stuffing myself with delicious Thai food had not done much for my fitness. After a light breakfast at the guesthouse the previous day’s enthusiasm had waned into early morning grumpiness, but for me getting into a tuk-tuk at 6am to go to a Thai boxing training camp fulfilled one of my dreams about being in Thailand.
Morning training at Lanna camp starts at 6.30am. Andy drives the fighters out to a local lake which allows fighters a 3km lap of the lake or a full 10km back to the training camp. Andy insists the only way to endure the much favoured low kicks is by lots of road work. Recovering from a persistent calf strain I opted to take the boys and follow Andy on a walk into the hills with his much loved pack of dogs. Twenty years ago having decided to give up his work on the oil rigs and devote himself to the training camp, Andy then discovered he had developed cancer. He then set about successfully fighting the disease but the unconditional love provided by the dogs was a great comfort at low times during his treatment. He repays the debt by looking after some of the dogs around the lake as well as his own pack. Like a lot of gym owners the strain of shared ownership proved too much and the current Larna camp is built on the solid foundations of his partnership with this wife and handpicked staff. His proudest possession is the respect; it has taken nearly 20 years to total commitment to Thai boxing to build with both the local and Thai boxing communities. Talking to Andy during the week convinced me that International Muay Thai was lucky to have someone as committed and inspiring as Andy working for the cause. I am often humbled by the commitment that Muay Thai inspires in its instructors because without this there is no future in Muay Thai. Andy’s one frustration being that the international Muay Thai community were not working as effectively as it could to get Muay Thai recognised as an Olympic sport.
Back at the gym another session began before the morning temperature crept up. The boys had an enjoyable session working with Andy’s team. I managed a better session with Andy’s pad men. An interesting technique they used was to evade slightly the punches and kicks I was throwing. This showed me how unbalanced a lot of my attacks were. All this was done with smiles and humour and not done to belittle or humiliate. This was done with respect and understanding by trainers who were genuinely happy to be teaching people who want to learn. Andy had been watching me for a short time and gave me some pointers on where I could make improvements although he was clear there were a lot of areas to work on. On the off chance of anyone making the same mistakes (that I made) here are some of the things I came away with: First, instead of hunching my shoulders resulting in a very forward stance I should be standing my full height with a better centre of gravity. To assist this Andy assured me that by thinking I had a large weight tied to my testicles which I had to keep hanging under my body and not allowing it to swing forward while punching or leaning back when kicking would help me better balanced...
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Page 38 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
WAKO World Champion...
Owen King Talks to “CJP”
Main pictures by Janson-Piers Imaging Recently I have been abroad to all the WAKO International Championships and had the opportunity to catch up with some of the greats of our time. In Croatia I had the pleasure of talking to Owen King (of the WAKO GB Light Contact squad) and as we spoke, I realised how dedicated and how much vision, Owen has. He has a willingness to grow and a lifelong ambition, which I witnessed him achieve and was very proud to be a part of. Owen, tell us a little about your life so far and how you started out ?
OWEN KING: I have trained in martial arts since the age of 17 and have studied many different styles, including Taekwondo, Lau Gar Kung fu, Aikido, Kickboxing, Boxing, Thai Boxing, Submission Wrestling and MMA. I currently have a full time school Nottingham city centre called Nottingham School of Blackbelts on the 1st floor of the Nottingham Pro-Am Centre which I run with my foster brother Peter Cope. We both teach kickboxing and we are both instructors in submission wrestling and MMA, through Shooters MMA. (One of Europe’s largest MMA associations based in Stockholm
Sweden). I also have my professional boxing trainers licence through the BBBoC (British Boxing Board of Control) and my MMA Officials qualifications through W.A.K.O. People often ask me why I started training in martial arts and the reason is simple, Kung Fu movies! In the late 70’s and early 80’s when kung fu movies were booming, everyone wanted to kick like Bruce lee or Jackie Chan and I was no exception. As a kid and in my early teens I never knew there were places you could go to learn a martial art, which is why I didn’t start training until the age of 17. It was not as mainstream as it is today. It’s funny the influence that certain people can have over you without even knowing it. At the age of 16 I was on a youth training scheme and my course tutor was a brown belt at karate. One afternoon he decided to do something different with the class and he taught us some self defence. The only thing I remember from that day, was a side kick to the back of the knee to force your opponent to the ground and that was it, the desire to learn was back and I was hooked. I went home and showed it to Peter, and we dedicated the spare room in our house into a martial arts training centre and the rest is history. My first martial art was Taekwondo and the school entered a competition in 1990 and I lost my first fight, I was disappointed but it just made me train harder. When I first started training I never knew that there were competitions that you could go to test your skills against opponents you didn’t even know. I don’t think I won any medals for my first few competitions but once I started getting placed, that was it. In those days we trained on wooden floors and the area was taped out on the floor. When competing, it was not compulsory to wear headguards, shin pads and gum shields and there were no warnings for contact as it was called point fighting not semi contact. After a couple of years of training I won my first British title, some years I used to do 20 plus tournaments a year.
WAKO WORLD CHAMPION - OWEN KING Page 39
So did you realise you could take this to the next level and if so, when?
OWEN KING: Yes! In 1997 I competed at my first World championships and got a silver medal and in 1998 I won my first World championships. My brother and I started a small school in 1997 and opened the Nottingham school of Blackbelts in 2002. During all that time, I had been training and competing and had been very successful winning British, European and World titles. The one I wanted most of all was the WAKO World title.
2001 and in Slovenia, I came away with silver in the Worlds and in 2003 a bronze. In 2004 I snapped my cruciate ligament in a competition which meant I could not kick as much, but I continued training and competing (with my knee heavily taped, for all you pride fans, my knee was taped like Kazushi Sakuraba) which is when I concentrated more on my boxing and MMA...
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Page 46 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
Kings New Luxury Mixed Martial Arts Gym Launches June saw the launch of London’s ultimate luxury space dedicated to mixed martial arts, conditioning and fitness. Aimed at members who want uncompromising athleticism but don’t want to compromise on their surroundings, Urban Kings hosts state-of-the-art equipment, as well as luxury changing areas and relaxation facilities. Located in King’s Cross and spread across two floors, Urban Kings provides its members with a bespoke and elegant exercise area, catering for classes and one-to-one training in Thai Boxing, MMA, K1, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and Wrestling. You can now take advantage of the fantastic level of training available to master your art, improve your fitness or gain an edge for competition combat.
Heavyweight Boxing Champ David Haye
Featuring a full-size (19’) boxing ring in the main work-out area, as well as 12 punch bags hanging at varying levels from the ceiling, a cage wall and two large dojo areas, Urban Kings has it all.
* Ropes * Cable Machines * Olympic Lifting Area * Sandbags * Tyres
Members are encouraged to fine-tune their physique with challenging equipment including: * Kettlebells * Monkey Bars
As well as the specialised training sessions, classes are offered in Abs, Body Conditioning and a Ladies Work-Fit Class. A tailored audio system means members can listen to the latest tracks while they exercise and a full size projector fills one of the walls, screening fights, films and music videos. And after your work-out, you can head to the Sauna and let the heat relax your muscles for the perfect post-exercise reward. Separate male and female saunas are accessed from the exclusive changing areas. Both men’s and women’s offer more luxury than a locker room with soft towels, monsoon showers and spa products.
URBAN KINGS MMA GYM LAUNCHES Page 47
Once you’ve finished your session of choice, head upstairs to the ground floor Juice Bar and revitalise your system with a menu of juices designed to rehydrate, nourish and restore. From vitamin and mineral boosts, to protein rich smoothies, our team will recommend the perfect post work-out replenishment.
Membership at Urban Kings includes use of all facilities, including the sauna, and unlimited access to all classes. It also allows access to one-to-one training with high-profile trainers (additional fee applies). Membership costs £95 per month for a 12 month period with an initial joining fee of £150.
www.urbankingsgym.com Opening Times: Monday - Saturday: 6.30am - 10pm. Sunday and bank holidays: 8am - 8pm. (Members must leave the gym floor 30 minutes before closing time). Address: Urban Kings, 4 Bravingtons Walk, Kings Cross N1 9GA. Tel; 020 7837 7774
Why compromise the quality, of your own and others safety? Look out for the new market leaders in equipment for the ring or the cage. Go to:
www.kopro.co.uk or call 07973 748907 Now!! Master Cris Janson-Piers, Fight Promoter, Manager, National Coach to the British arm of the World Governing Body for Kickboxing. Head of all ringsports for WAKO GB and President to WAKO Pro GB can help you with: FIGHT MATCHING PROMOTING CHALLENGING FOR TITLES ALL TYPES OF INSURANCE OPPORTUNITY FOR PAID TRAVEL ABROAD & LUCRATIVE PURSE & EXPENSES. EMAIL: email@example.com
Page 50 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
A Betrayal of the
By Fergus Dullaghan
Revolution? The Gracie Academy’s decision to offer online belt promotions causes global controversy It has been confirmed: the next phase of the controversial “Master Cycle” programme is now being rolled out. Even as we speak a selected few pioneers are preparing to become the first Gracie Jiu Jitsu practitioners to be promoted beyond blue belt ...without ever having met or trained with a jiu jitsu instructor. there are a few undoubtedly positive aspects about the Gracie University concept. Firstly, they have set up an online international training network, which is designed to help people find training partners. This is particularly useful to people who may live in areas that are a long way from the nearest jiu jitsu school, or for those who wish to get a little extra mat-time in on the side. Secondly, they have also launched the “Gracie Garage” concept which was
jitsu throughout the world. Again the Gracie Garages will be of most benefit to those without access to full-time schools and who otherwise would be unable to train. Few would argue that these developments go against the spirit of the art. It is harder however, to ignore the increasing commercialisation and seeming hesitancy to fight that appears to be prevalent among many of the third generation of the “First family of martial arts”. Among Rorion’s children who are now instructors at the Gracie Academy, only Ralek has competed in MMA and his two wins gave him a total mat time of just over six minutes, which can hardly be deemed extensive experience. Indeed, in an interview with the Fightworks Podcast their own “uncle”, the great MMA fighter, Renzo Gracie was disparaging about them:
The Gracie family, who singlehandedly revolutionised the martial arts and pioneered the development of MMA and the UFC, are now providing online tuition and grading services to their students. The decision, which has even provoked disagreement within the Gracie family itself, has left many in the wider jiu jitsu community aghast with what is being seen as a betrayal. Indeed the martial arts world in general is now holding its breath, fearing that this may set a dangerous precedent.
The service, which is the brain child of Rener and Ryron Gracie, is being hosted by the Torrance Gracie Academy’s online spin off: the “Gracie University” (www.gracieuniversity.com). It provides a syllabus and video instruction to enable students to train remotely. All - Frantz Fannon, Algerian revolutionary well and good so far, but the controversy begins when after having followed the online course, stunamed in homage to Rorion Gracie’s dents are then encouraged to submit a actual garage from which the Gracie’s video of themselves performing the taught their first students outside Brazil. techniques they have learnt. This is in The idea here is to encourage people to turn assessed by a Gracie instructor and come together in informal environif the student is deemed to have sucments to practice their jiu jitsu. The socessfully executed every move that is called “Gracie Garage Leader” may expected of them, they are given their themselves be ungraded and they will next belt. receive no payment for their role in advertising and organising the group. Before looking at the criticism levelled Training is supposed to be conducted in at this development we should be fair to the spirit of fostering mutual developthe Academy and acknowledge that ment and encouraging the spread of jiu
Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulf il it, or betray it
‘They are good kids but their father feeds them nonsense... they could be unbelievable fighters, but they are going to end up as mediocre fighters, mediocre people. They are going to go through life as great businessmen. If I was them, I’d be selling self-help books, that’s what they should be doing. There is more money in that, instead of claiming that they are real fighters... They are far from being real fighters. Far. Believe me’.
A BETRAYAL OF THE REVOLUTION? Page 51
Now let us be clear, this does not mean that they are poor teachers, nor would we be wise to think that we could stroll into their academy and challenge them, (indeed Rener has posted footage on youtube of himself calmly disposing of one such interloper). But there is an undeniable and (for Gracie fans) distressing feeling that a move away from fighting and towards marketing is underway. There are now Gracie Tshirts, hats, jackets, (admittedly very cool) smoothie makers, mugs, keyrings and even car licence plate holders. Every e-mail they send out has a list of four or five sponsors on it and in recent times all the clips they have posted on their youtube channel have included advertisement for some peripheral product such as a new Gracie disinfectant. Even Renzo Gracie has felt the undercurrent (again taken from an interview with Fightworks): ‘I see this crap today, “this is the real jiu jitsu”...let me be honest, I see jiu jitsu now turning into Krav Maga. Turn (sic) into kung fu! Like they are selling things that will chop your head in half, with a karate chop... You know, it’s become a joke... The next thing they are going to say is “I cannot use it, because I could kill you!”...You know, that’s what I heard my whole life, from those fake martial artists who claim they were better than everybody else...We were always against that, and now suddenly one branch of my family is turning into that!’.
And that is what we fear: a betrayal of the values of the revolution that shook the martial arts world to its core in the 1990s - turning full circle and sliding back to the commercial nonsense we had in the 1980s. It is also distressing to ponder how often we have seen this cycle of events in other martial arts styles as well; we don’t want our emancipators to go the same way. There is another issue however; the Gracie University concept shifts the emphasis away from being a student to being a consumer. The teacher is no longer a benevolent sensei with our best interests at heart; rather their objective is to sell us their product as a businessman. This means that we need to become far more discerning about which of their utterances we choose to believe, we need to question the principles of the art more, which means that the faith we have put in our system has been shaken...and we have been abandoned to find our own truth.
Before we allow ourselves to over indulge in melodrama though, it is worth noting that there are other positives to take from the situation. For example the quality of the instruction offered on the Gracie University courses is outstanding. The teaching is concise, interesting and offers a detailed approach to each technique. The production quality is very high with multiple camera angles showing each technique and it boasts excellent sound quality. Certainly, it is one of the best if not the best jiu jitsu instructional series ever created. And it would be a fantastic supporting product for any practising jiu jitsu fighter...
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Lethal Weapon of the North By Ben Cartlidge
Pride FC truly gave the mma community some of the most subliminal moments in combat sport history. Anybody who was fortunate to witness Pride at its apex can usually recount a selection of encounters with a certain degree of fondness. The larger than life nature of the Godzilla culture seemed to combine perfectly with warrior spirit that Prideâ€™s fighters seemed to embody. They truly were the world warriors; more Street Fighter 2 than street fighters. After Zuffa bought out Pride and quickly began stripping the assets it was clear that times had changed. Dana negotiated, both successfully and unsuccessfully, with the fighters he was interested in and once the dust had settled all that was left was memories. The legacy of Pride FC still lives on today as we see fighters who once fought there are still an active part of the mma landscape.
LETHAL WEAPON OF THE NORTH Page 57
Igor Yaroslavovich Vovchanchyn was born in Zolochiv, Ukraine on August 6, 1973. As an adolescent, Igor quickly showed athletic potential but struggled to find the right avenues to channel it. It became urban legend that Igor’s temper was so fierce that whenever he was in a bad mood the local villagers would ring a church bell to warn people about the danger of confronting him.
often fighting three or even four times in one night. At the inaugural Absolute Fighting Championships event he was drawn to fight Gracie black belt Adilson Lima. The fight would last less than a minute as Igor won by a soccer kick but Lima’s corner men argued that kicks to downed opponents were unfair and began demanding an immediate rematch. Lima and Vovchanchyn both agreed to this rematch and the officials granted this request and the two would fight again. Lima lasted nearly two minutes this time but suffered a broken nose and Igor was given the win by TKO. In the final bout of this competition Igor would lose to Mikhail Illoukhine but it would prove to be a temporary setback as he began on one of the longest winning streaks in mixed martial arts history.
UFC veteran Gary Goodridge. Both fighters had stand up pedigree but it was the wrestling prowess of Goodridge that allowed him to dictate the pace of the fight initially as he scored two good takedowns. Vovchanchyn showed good composure in the face of such adversity and when the two were stood back up was able to land a shot that rattled his opponent. Goodridge looked out on his feet and it was all he could do to cover up while Vovchanchyn forced the stoppage with an onslaught of strikes.
The likes of Anderson Silva, Shogun Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Quinton Jackson, the Nogueira brothers and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic have all had varying degrees of success in the UFC. The enigma that is Fedor Emelianenko continues to defeat all who face him and evade the grasp of Dana and the Fertittas whereas others like Alistair Overeem fight between Dream and Strikeforce. Of all of the fighters who fought under the Pride banner there were few who commanded the respect of fighters, fans and analysts alike quite like Igor “Ice Cold” Vovchanchyn.
I can’t even strike with my right hand; I’ve got 3 screws in my right elbow and one in my left
Igor was initially interested in track events but when he became involved in kickboxing it became apparent that he had enormous potential. The young Vovchanchyn was a natural fighter and was able to harness his incredible power, often with devastating consequences. He soon became the Russian Kickboxing champion amassing an impressive 61-2 fight record which helped to build his growing reputation as “The Ukraine Freight Train”.
1995 would prove to be a pivotal year in the career of Vovchanchyn. The UFC had bought mixed martial arts into the mainstream consciousness and the rest of the world was quick to capitalise on this exposure. Coming off winning the world kickboxing championships in Moscow, Igor would make his mixed martial arts debut at UCMAL - Warrior’s Honour 1 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Igor would make his mma debut against grappler Alexander Mandrik and would claim his first victory just 3 minutes into the first round as a barrage of punches resulted in a quick tap out. He would make it to the final of that tournament but was eventually submitted by Andrei Besedin. Igor would go on to develop his ground fighting skills as his career progressed but his first love would always be his legendary punching power. Igor was able to rack up a huge number of wins in these early tournament events,
For the next 3 years Igor Vovchanchyn continued to fight and improve but more importantly he continued to win and impress. He would compete in several of the multi fight tournaments that he had originally cut his teeth in and would fight anyone that the organizers could put in front of him all with the same result. It seemed nobody could stop him.
Following on from winning the World Vale Tudo Championships in late 1998 Igor received an invitation to fight in Japan for a newly launched promotion that was clearly picking up momentum. He duly accepted and made his debut for Pride FC against
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Igor became an instant favourite in Japan and was quickly dubbed “Ice Cold” for his in ring demeanour. He would go on to defeat Akira Shoji, Carlos Barreto and Mark Kerr but the fight with Kerr was declared a no contest as it was won by knees to the head of a grounded opponent which had recently been illegalised. The fans were enamoured by Igor’s fights but they were yet to see him unleash his full destructive potential. His next fight against Francisco Bueno would give the fans and the highlight reel makers something to talk about. Bueno clearly respected the punching power of his foe and looked to circle away at every opportunity. Vovchanchyn threw an overhand right which put the lights out in a hurry and his foe fell lifelessly to the canvas, the dictionary definition of ‘out before he hit the floor’...
Results on Line... Rules & Regulations on Line... Rankings on Line... Find out what makes it the most EXCITING, REAL & SAFEST format in Kickboxing! And its just for JUNIORS... The FUTURE is on line @ www.juniorfullcontactcouncil.co.uk
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Page 70 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
& fainting MMA stitch-man reveals the inside story on working ringside
Dr. Alex Constantinides had his first ringside experience when he moved from his home state of Wyoming to Colorado Springs, CO in 2001 for a family practice residency. One of his colleagues, who had been a stitch-man for a local USA boxing program, asked Dr. Alex if he would be interested in replacing him at the amateur events. Dr. Alex took the opportunity without thinking twice. He worked several fights, but when his residency ended in 2003, he returned to Wyoming to practice rural medicine. Though he missed the action and energy of the boxing matches, he found a substitute that would soon ignite a lifelong passion.
sional boxing matches on the weekends. Though he enjoyed the events, his ultimate goal was to get involved working ringside at MMA fights. Eventually, Dr. Alex’s name was passed along to the right folks and an MMA promoter approached him with an opportunity. Dr. Alex has been an MMA stitch-man ever since.
“We got a TV station out of Salt Lake City and on Fridays at one in the morning, they would show MMA fights that would take place at one of the local bars. I loved watching for the technique. You could have a guy who was a really good boxer and he might not win because he might get out-wrestled or submitted by a jiujitsu submission. It adds so many other layers to combat sport.” After two years in Wyoming, Dr. Alex and his family relocated back to Colorado Springs to join Front Range Medical Arts where he continued practicing family medicine and Osteopathy. Not long after settling in, he returned to working as a “stitch-man” at profes-
Dr. Alex has worked at more than 80 MMA fights and though he has never encountered a serious medical issue, he has dealt with his fair share of broken noses and hands, nasal fractures, cuts, dislocations and ruptured ligaments. As for amazing or peculiar happenings in the ring, Dr. Alex mentioned two tales: At a Colorado MMA event called the Rocky Mountain Nationals, a fighter by the name of Nick Bushman kept fighting even though his arm was broken. Dr. Alex said Bushman called it quits after the second round, finally admitting that something was wrong
with his arm. “A testament to the heart of a fighter.” Dr. Alex also recalled an embarrassing moment involving a fighter who fainted before the fight even began. “The fighters were called into the ring and they came in with their music and were introduced, the ref turned to one fighter and said, ‘fighter are you ready to fight?’, and he said ‘yes.’ Then the ref turned to the other fighter and said, ‘fighter are you ready to fight?’ and that fighter passed out unconscious. He woke back up within a minute - felt horrible about it. He was an experienced fighter, but sometimes nerves get you. I don’t remember his name which is probably good for him.” Dr. Alex is always prepared. He comes to every fight equipped with two large sports medicine bags that have everything from suturing and airway material, to gloves, gauze, blood pressure cuffs, and eye and ear care. Most times he can stitch a cut on the spot, but on two occasions when the fighters had severe multi-lacerations of the eye, he recommended they seek the expertise of a plastic surgeon. As for more serious injuries, Dr. Alex has sent two fighters to the hospital by ambulance: one fighter had a concussion and the other felt numbness in his feet after being hit in the back of the head and neck. Both fighters were fine after further evaluation.
SUTURES, FRACTURES & FAINTING Page 71
Though it is mandatory for fighters to disclose any health issues before the fight, it doesn’t necessarily happen. Fighters train and fight with injuries all the time and many of them won’t mention an ailment for fear of their fight being affected.
“I saw guys that were more or less my size, and I thought I could beat them - so I started training for the fight - cutting weight, changing my diet and mentally preparing a game plan against the fighter. I wanted to see what it felt like - to challenge myself.”
“Part of our job is to protect the fighters from themselves. If they’re making an unsafe decision about a fight, we are there to help them understand that; but if the fighters don’t trust you and don’t tell you, we can’t help them.”
Dr. Alex trained hard for his March ‘09 fight with Adrian Drospero. He hit the gym every evening after working a full day at his medical practice and psyched himself up for the hour when he would enter the ring, not as a doctor, but as a fighter. Although Dr. Alex lost by TKO, he realised his goal through dedication and love for the sport.
Dr. Alex gained the respect and trust of many MMA fighters when he started training with them. The hands-on learning opportunity not only helped him understand the sport from a fighter’s perspective, it also aided him in honing his skills as a ringside doctor. What he didn’t expect from joining the MMA camp was realizing his opportunity to fight.
By Christina Castellana
Now that Dr. Alex knows exactly what it takes physically and psychologically to prepare for a fight, he works to educate fighters about proper training and diet. Though Dr. Alex adhered to a healthy regimen, he said
many fighters cut corners by using diuretics and performance enhancing drugs. Many of the diets some fighters use are dangerous and can cause significant kidney damage and other complications. “I’ve seen fighters use diuretic substances, prescription and over the counter, which would be considered enhancing and illegal. Many fighters just aren’t reconstituting with the right foods afterward and then they have problems with the blood sugar. Others severely dehydrate several days before a fight (to make weight) and it just leads to poor performance.” When Dr. Alex trained for his own fight, he didn’t need to resort to drastic measures to make weight. Instead he maintained a water-salt regimen commonly used by experienced fighters...
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Page 72 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
By Ben Cartlidge
I Only Came To “FIGHT” If Dana White’s prophecies are to be believed then the mixed martial arts revolution is far from over. The UFC and other organizations continue to grow and attract fans from both pro wrestling and boxing circles. If this growth continues the mainstream saturation of the sport is surely inevitable. In years to come people will look back on the likes of Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez in the way that the current fight public looks at Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie. Royce Gracie tore through the early UFC competition but most people still believe that the first loss on his record was to Kazushi Sakuraba in Pride. What most people don’t realise is that Gracie had a loss on his record before that fight and it was to Canadian slugger Harold Howard. Harold Howard was the embodiment of the early days of the UFC. He came to see how far his discipline of martial arts would carry him in this new form of total fighting. His black belt in Gojuryu karate and title as the first ever World Sport jiu-jitsu champion proved that he certainly had the credentials. Howard worked, like a lot of martial artists did, as a doorman in the evenings but it was his ferocity on the point fighting karate scene that quickly earned him his reputation. Howard had seen the first few UFC events and was fascinated by Royce Gracie and his suffocating jiu-jitsu. It
was at UFC 3 - The American Dream that we first got to see Howard in action. SEG sports had personally invited him to compete in the tournament after hearing of his reputation on the martial arts circuit. Harold took the opportunity in a flash and soon he found himself warming up backstage in the Grady Cole Centre in North Carolina waiting to make his debut. After a now famous promo in which he said “We have a saying back home that if you’re coming on... COME ON!” it was time. Howard was matched up with Roland Payne; a man nicknamed “Shins of Steel”. Payne was an experienced full contact kick boxer and a dangerous opponent for anyone, let alone someone making their full contact debut. The bell rang and both fighters quickly took the middle of the Octagon and began exchanging punches. After some frantic grappling in which both men reversed several situations it was Payne who took the advantage and backed Howard up with several hard kicks to
the body. It would be the aggression of Payne that would prove to be his undoing, however, as Howard landed a beautiful right hand that knocked his foe to the floor. He followed up with some ground and pound but this fight was over and the crowd were impressed by the Canadian’s 46 second victory. Harold went backstage to catch his breath and prepare for his next bout but it was now that the complications would arise. Howard had been drawn against Gracie and in his promos for the event he had talked at length about how he was looking forward to competing against the Brazilian. Kimo Leopoldo, however, had other ideas. He was to be the first fighter to challenge Gracie that night and although he was submitted after nearly five minutes it was a gruelling match up that would leave Gracie in no shape to continue. Royce Gracie’s undefeated run in the UFC was over as his team threw in the towel at the start of the match and Harold Howard moved into the finals.
HAROLD HOWARD - I ONLY CAME TO “FIGHT” Page 73
Howard was left in a difficult position not knowing who he would face and, as a result of this, having no way to formulate any kind of game plan. In one of the more questionable decisions in UFC history, Howard was matched up with a substitute who only needed to beat him to win the tournament. Steve Jennum, a police officer, was a
dangerous and well rounded fighter but it didn’t stop Howard attempting an audacious rolling axe kick at the start of the bout. It was in keeping with the aggressive unpredictability that Howard bought to the cage and would go on to be copied by modern day fighters like Dustin Hazelett and Miguel Torres. Jennum managed to neutralise his opponent early on with a nice takedown and proceeded to pound away at Howard until the bout was stopped. It was a disappointing end to the night for Howard who had made such a huge impression on the fans and the other fighters with his opening destruction of Roland Payne. Harold Howard was gracious in defeat however and famously said “Well, I told you, if it worked it worked. But it did and I didn’t. So in the end it didn’t.” He had won fans with his gutsy displays in the cage and his gracious attitude outside of it. He was invited back to compete in UFC 7 and this time he came in much better physical shape but mentally he seemed to lack the killer instinct that he had shown previously. He was battling a lot of personal problems and was beaten by Mark Hall in a very dominating fashion. He would only have one more mma bout; a loss against Brazilian veteran Hugo Duarte. Away from the spotlight Howard was a simple man and worked hard to support his family. Despite a near fatal accident where he was hit by a car he continues to work hard and is proud of the accomplishments that his family have made. Howard’s two sons both play hockey but more importantly are proud to learn their father’s martial art. Harold himself runs a small school called Howard’s Self Defence Systems and is a regular on the seminar scene whilst still doing his day to day job of roofing. According to Harold it’s something he’s always had a passion for: “It goes along with the ancient stuff I like to mess around with. The technique is so old, it’s high work. I’ve always liked working up high.”...
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Page 76 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
Never Back Down The clash of the Titans On May 8th two of the UK’s most dominating heavyweights collided for the heavyweight title. Defending champion Neil Grove took on challenger Stav “Crazy Bear” Economou in an all out brawl for the belt. These two were not the only big guns on the card, as resident knock out machine and light heavyweight champion Jimi Manuwa took on little known Reza Mahdavian. London’s Troxy was packed to see these giants of the scene give it their all and not one of these fighters left the fans disappointed.
SCOTT JANSEN VS DJO LEMA Lightweight DJO Lema had come in at short notice to take on fan favourite Scott Jansen. Originally scheduled to face Steve Elliott, Jansen was coming off a solid first round submission win of Azran Quasid and had a loyal following to support him. Though in this game you can never rule out the underdog and in that role DJO pulled out the surprise victory of the night. These two came hard and fast from the start, but Jansen’s keen stand up skills kept in good on the feet. While Jansen got the takedown in the opening minutes, his ground and pound was used as an opportunity for Lema to wrap up an unsuccessful armbar. Weary of the ground skills of DJO, Scott took it back to standing, showing his superior ability by landing a spinning back fist. Scott
did not keep the advantage for long though, as after a failed guillotine attempt, Jansen left an arm out for Lema to grab in the scramble and close up an armbar. Jansen tried to pull it free, but it was too late and there was nothing left to do but tap.
EARL BROWN VS PAUL CAHOON This marked the return of former Cage Rage British Champion Paul Cahoon, a fighter who had been around since 1999 and looking to make his mark on the UK scene once again. SWS fighter Earl Brown had made a name for himself in UCMMA as a fighter who gives it his all, and even though he was far less experienced he was not going to back down and give Manchester based Cahoon an easy welcome to UCMMA
evident from the first time gloves touched. He remained composed and focused, able to land flush combinations and was easily able to take the fight to the floor. Although Brown complained of an eye poke on the ground, this did nothing to stumble Cahoon’s game as he contiuned to push the game in all areas. In the second round Brown landed a few punches, but they were not scratch on the amount of damage inflicted in return. This punishment came to a climax in the last few moments of the second where Cahoon switched from a kneebar to footlook that caused Brown to tap as the round ended. Cahoon had not got the submission win, but had injured an already battered Brown in the process and made Earl unable to come out for the third.
The wealth of Cahoon’s experience was
Jansen vs Lema
Cahoon vs Brown
ULTIMATE CHALLENGE - NEVER BACK DOWN Page 77
LUKE SINES VS MARK EPSTEIN Both are decorated UK1 fighters in their own right, but they would both experience a first in this night’s event, as they would both be fighting UK1 with MMA gloves on instead of the usual large kickboxing variety. This raised the expectations and smaller gloves meant those punches landed harder and threatened the knock out or TKO. Sines took the fight only two weeks before, but with a kickboxing record of 22-2 it would be clear that even the battle hardened Epstein may have problems with this young talent. “The Beast” Epstein made a good impression early by catching Sines’ kick and kicking the other leg out for a sweep. Sines did not let this slide though, as he returned more aggressive and rushed with kicks, keeping Epstein’s fists out of range. Epstein managed to score the leg catch sweep a couple times more, but Sines TKO Westside training had paid off as he outnumbered Epstein in the number of strikes landed. Sines controlled the final round, landing combinations and thudding body kicks that sent Epstein to his knees. The further the round went, the more scales tipped in Sines favour witha flurry of hooks that sent Epstein down again. The third round closed with the two
trading punches, but once again Sines came out on top with the accuracy of his punches.
much so that Grove even looked a little tentative towards the end of the round, perhaps surprised by Stav’s gameness.
Sines got the nod from the judges and an impressive win over a veteran of the sport.
Grove is not one to give up and he regained his composure in the beginning of the second by linging a big overhand right that stumbles the Crazy Bear. Grove’s time away from the cage may have taken its toll as he looked tired, but luckily the jabs and straights that Stav landed on the South African seemed to have no considerable effect.
STAV ECONOMOU V NEIL GROVE Heavyweight Championship If there was ever a debate for best heavyweights in the UK then the choice for the number one spot would always be a tossup for between these two. Both held impressive records (Neil 8-2 and Stav 10-1) and both are renowned for finishing fights quickly. Although the two were close friends, all feelings of companionship would be left outside the cage door as both were hungry for the title. Grove was desperate to keep his name in the top slot and make a good return after seven months off, and Economou finally wanted to get the prized belt wrapped around his waist This fight was a brawl. The adrenaline was high and the fighters let their hands fly from the opening of the first round. When Stav switched gears and wanted to take it to the ground, he couldn’t seem to quite complete the takedown and get control of the larger Grove. Economou’s attempts to get it to the mat were not out of desparation though, as his right hand frequently found a home in the stand up exchanges; so
Stav combated his lack of punching power by changing tactic in the final round by aggressively looking for the takedown. Though Grove still managed to sprawl, Stav still would get the better of the exchanges by being the quicker of the two. As the clapper sounds for the final ten seconds of the fight, Stav went on a rampage and charged with punches at Grove pressured him until the clock ran out. The will to win was strong in both, but they were thought by the judges to be more equal then they even probably realised. The judges scored it a draw; but rest assured that the saga will continue as Ultimate Challenge promoter Dave O’Donnell has already put the plans in for a rematch, perhaps finally putting the argument over the number one spot to rest...
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Page 80 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK July 2010
Collision Course The Elite Fighting Championship took over Air & Breathe in Dartford for a night of full contact fighting; including MMA, boxing, K-1 and even a bit of escrima stick fighting! Collision Course gathered a stacked card of new talent and well established fighters who all entered the cage and fought with an intensity that did not drop for a second. The night of May 16th brought with it fight after fight of “blink and you’ll miss it” moments, all which quickly gave EFC a reputation for being the premier combat sports event in the south east. Kicking off the entire night was an amateur fight between Cameron Else and Ian Hogan. Cameron Else, fighting out of DFC Graves End, took the lead early in the fight, controlling Origin Gym’s Ian Hogan with his superior grappling. Else set up an anaconda choke in the first round, but couldn’t quite get the submission tight enough for the tap. In the second Else also proved his worth on his feet and showed strong stand up. Once it hit the floor Else played his game and wrapped up a kimura from the half guard for the submission win in the first. A quick change of momentum as the boxers take to the cage. The two fought under Queensbury rules, which obviously suited Sheffield’s Greg Tallis as he gave Nick Jones a relentless beating. Working tight combinations in the first round and a quick jab, Tallis quickly forced his authority over Jones. After another round being on the receiving
Else vs Hogan
end of sharp body shots and tight combinations, Jones retired and decided not come out in the third round, giving Greg Tallis the win. Switching back to MMA, Evolution Gym’s James Knight took on London Shootfighters Warren Dereuck in an intense pro debut for both competitors. Knight pushed the paced by hunting and successfully taking Dereuck down several times, but never able to control the position. Dereuck then fought Knight at his own game, reversing a single leg takedown and ending up on top of Knight in half guard. After a struggle, Dereuck forced Knight to turn over, leaving his neck exposed for Dereuck to slide him around for the rear naked choke and get the tap. While there was some surprise of a stick fighting exhibition match taking place at this MMA event, any doubt were quick-
Knight vs Dereuck
ly overpowered by the infectious thrill and fast pace of Amo and Albert from Escrima Concepts. The two went all out and demonstrated the ferocity and accuracy of escrima techniques at full speed. Well known MMA journeyman Shaun Lomas travelled down from his Combat Sports Gym in Sheffield to take on Semtex’s Colin Willby. These two wanted to keep the fight standing, both trading kicks, knees and a powerful hook from Willby that sent Lomas to the mats. Lomas, ever the professional, recovered and took back control of the fight through a punch combination that sent Willby down and allowed Lomas to lay down ground and pound for the TKO win. From veterans to new guys and Tom Webb barely waited for the timer to start before running at Peter Presland with a flying knee. The DFC
Amo vs Albert
EFC - COLLISION COURSE Page 81
Lomas vs Henrique
Hewitt vs Songhurst Gravesend trained Presland was quick enough to get out of the way of a jumping Webb, which resulted in Webb falling to the floor and Presland passing the collapsed fighter to side control. From here Presland progressed to mount and closed up the armbar for a first round submission. The Essex fighter Spencer Hewitt was faced with a tough challenge in Staines Gym’s John Songhurst. Hewitt strategy was to take it to the ground, but a far taller Songhurst made any change of keeping on the ground very difficult. For two rounds Hewitt pressured for the takedowns, till eventually he gets Songhurst down and pinned. Moving into mount, Hewitt establishes the position and then allowed Songhurst to roll over. Hewitt wastes no time in closing out the fight with a rear naked choke. A superb win on his record.
Adrian vs Mo Nick Grundy, who travelled all the way down from Combat Sports Sheffield, met with east London’s Dan Fletcher under K-1 rules. The decision to make the trip to Dartford did not work out well for Grundy as he was pounded on by Fletcher. After several combinations to the head and body, Fletcher landed a powerful right hook that knocked Grundy out cold. Luckily, Grundy was safe and was able to congratulate Fletcher on his first round knockout win. Now the heavyweights came to the cage, with London Shootfighters’ Adrian taking on Mo from SWS Windsor. While both had a couple of things in common (both were London based and seemed to only go by one name) but in terms of skills level it was an even match up. Adrian lead the way in the stand up and connected quickly, only to follow his punches with a powerful takedown. Once on the floor, Adrian passed to mount where he threw punches down until the ref intervened for the stoppage.
For an unbelievable second time in one night, Shaun Lomas took to the cage. Possibly fatigued from his fight earlier that night, Lomas clearly seemed to be in trouble early in the fight against London Fight Factory’s Claudio Henrique da Silva. Pressing straight the takedown, da Silva got Lomas to the mat within the first minute. While Lomas was able to recover guard, da Silva showed he clearly had superior grappling skills by passing and then getting to mount. Once in mount da Silva remained composed atop a struggling Lomas and waited patiently for him to turn over. As Lomas turned da Silva had an arm waiting to clinch around the neck and squeeze for the rear naked choke. Lomas couldn’t defend and tapped out to give the first round submission to Claudio Henrique da Silva. For more information on EFC next event go to www.efc-mma.co.uk
Lomas vs Wi l l b y
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