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Fighters1209

03/12/09 12:22

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KICKBOXING - MUAY THAI - MMA - K-1 - BOXING

ALAN MORTLOCK Give me Some MMA

BRAULIO ESTIMA Double Gold Standard

FIGHT ANALYSIS Henry Cooper vs Eskrine

BJJ’S PENNY THOMAS Pretty in Pink?

NEIL ADAMS ON MMA COMPETITION Tyson The Movie 10 Set’s to be Won!!!

MMA NEWS With Ben Cartlidge

MSA With

WAKO

is Back in The ‘Big Time’

UFC 104

Thai Boxing

DECEMBER 2009 £3.75

www.fightersmag.co.uk


13/11/09 16:44

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CIM001/15

Fighters1209

SS NEW ADDRE


Fighters1209

13/11/09 16:44

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‡–‡–‡ŽŽ›‘—”‹‰Š–‘™ǤŠ‡›

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‹‰Š–ƒ”‡•ǤǤǤ

 –‰‡–•„‡––‡”ǤǤǤŠ‡Šƒ•–ƒ‡ƒŽŽ–Š‡‰—‡•• ™‘”ƒ††‡„ƒ–‡‘—–‘ˆŽ‡ƒ”‹‰–Š‡•‡‡™ Dz‹Ǧƒdzˆ‹‰Š–‹‰–‡…Š‹“—‡•™‹–Š–Š‡ …”‡ƒ–‹‘‘ˆ–Š‡™‘”Ž†ǯ•ˆ‹”•–ȋƒ†‘Ž›Ȍ ‹•–”—…–‹‘ƒŽ̶‹Ǧƒ̶–”ƒ‹‹‰Ǥ Šƒ–ǯ•‘”‡ǫ–Š‡”•Šƒ˜‡Šƒ’’‹Ž›’ƒ‹† ƒ›–Š‘—•ƒ†•‘ˆ’‘—†•ǡ‹’”‹˜ƒ–‡ Ž‡••‘•ǡ–‘Ž‡ƒ”–Š‡•ƒ‡•‡…”‡–•™‡”‡˜‡ƒŽ ‘–Š‹•Ǧ‹ˆ›‘—™ƒ–Ǥ ǯŽŽ‡š’Žƒ‹ Š‘™‹ƒ‘‡–ǤŠƒ–ǯ•™Š›–Š‹•‹• ‡š–”‡‡Ž›Ž‹‹–‡†ƒ†ƒ˜ƒ‹Žƒ„Ž‡‘ƒˆ‹”•– …‘‡ǡˆ‹”•–•‡”˜‡†„ƒ•‹•ǤǤǤ Š‹•…‘–ƒ‹•–Š‡ ƒ†–Š‡ ƒ†˜ƒ…‡†Ž‡••‘‘Dz‹Ǧƒdz ˆ‹‰Š–‹‰–‡…Š‹“—‡•›‘—ǯŽŽ‡˜‡”‡‡†Ǥ –ǯ•‘–

‘—”• ‹ˆ‘—ƒ–ǤǤǤ  ‡–‹–ǡ™ƒ–…Š‹–ǡ•‡‡‹ˆ‹–‹•ǯ–‡šƒ…–Ž›™Šƒ–

ǯ˜‡•ƒ‹†‹–‹•ǤǤǤƒ†‹ˆ›‘—†‘ǯ–ǯƒ‰”‡‡ȋˆ‘” ƒ›”‡ƒ•‘ƒ–ƒŽŽȌǡ•‹’Ž›•‡†‹–„ƒ…ˆ‘”ƒ ˆ—ŽŽͳͲͲΨ”‡ˆ—†Ǥ‘Šƒ••Ž‡Ǥ‘“—‡•–‹‘•

ƒ•‡†Ǥ –‘–ƒŽŽ›–”—•–›‘—”Œ—†‰‡–‘ –Š‹•ǤǤǤ‘‘”†‡”‘™Ǥ ‰—ƒ”ƒ–‡‡›‘—ǯ”‡ ‰‘ƒŽ‘˜‡™Šƒ–›‘—†‹•…‘˜‡”‘”›‘—” ‘‡›„ƒ…Ǩ

‘‡›Ǧƒ…ƒ–‹•ˆƒ…–‹‘

—ƒ”ƒ–‡‡ˆ‘”ˆ—ŽŽ͸‘–Š•ǥ  ‡”‡̵•ƒ„‡––‡”†‡ƒŽǣ —•–ˆ‘”–Š‡Š‡ŽŽ‘ˆ ‹–›‘—…ƒŠƒ˜‡–Š‹•̶‹Ǧƒ̶ˆ‘”ƒ ˜‡”›•Š‘”––‹‡ˆ‘”͉ͻͻ͉͵ͷƒ† ™‹ŽŽ’ƒ› ƒŽŽ’‘•–ƒ‰‡ǡ’ƒ…ƒ‰‹‰ƒ†Šƒ†Ž‹‰…‘•–• ‘—–‘ˆ›‘™’‘…‡–ǤǤǤ Š‡”‡‹•‘‡…ƒ–…ŠǨ‘——•–ƒ…–”‹‰Š– ‘™Ǥ…‡–Š‡‘ˆˆ‡”‹•‰‘‡›‘—™‘ǯ–„‡ ƒ„Ž‡–‘‰‡––Š‹•ƒ›™Š‡”‡Ǥ‘—””‹•Š‡”‡‹• œ‡”‘Ǥ—–›‘—†‘‡‡†–‘Š—””›Ǩ  ‡”‡ǯ•™Šƒ––‘†‘‘™ǣ —•–…ƒŽŽͲͺͶͶ ͺʹ͸Ͷͻͷͻƒ†–‡ŽŽ™Š‘‡˜‡”ƒ•™‡”•›‘— ™ƒ––Š‡Dz‹Ǧƒdz†‡ƒŽȋ“—‘–‡”‡ˆǣ ͳʹȌǤ Ž–‡”ƒ–‹˜‡Ž››‘—…ƒ…‘’Ž‡–‡–Š‡…‘—’‘ „‡Ž‘™ƒ†ƒ‹Ž‹–‹™‹–Š›‘—”’ƒ›‡–Ǥ ‘—…ƒƒŽ•‘‘”†‡”‘Ž‹‡ǣ

™™™Ǥ ‹‰Š–Ǧ…Š‘‘ŽǤ…‘ ‘—•Š‘—Ž†‘™–Šƒ––Š‡”‡ƒ”‡ƒ› ’‡‘’Ž‡™Š‘ƒ”‡•…ƒ”‡†–‘†‡ƒ–Š™‹–Š–Š‡ ‹†‡ƒ‘ˆ‰‹˜‹‰–Š‡•‡•‡…”‡–•ƒ™ƒ›ǤǤǤ –Šƒ• ‡˜‡”‡˜‡”„‡‡†‘‡„‡ˆ‘”‡ǦǨ Dzˆ–‡”Œ—•–ͷͻ‹—–‡•‘ˆ’”ƒ…–‹…‡Ȃ ™ƒ• ƒ„Ž‡–‘’—––Š‡•‡Ž‡••‘•‹–‘’”ƒ…–‹…‡ǤŠ‹• ‹Ǧƒ‹•’”‹…‡Ž‡••ǤŠƒ•ǨdzȂ ƒ•–‡”‹‡Žǡ͵”†ƒǡ ̶ ‘‘†‘”‹‰‹”ǡ›ƒ‡‹•ƒ˜‡ǡǡ ƒ ƒͼ–Š‡‰”‡‡Žƒ…‡Ž–‹‡’‘‹–Š‡ ƒ† ‘”†‡”‡†–Š‡‹ƒ ‹‰Š–‹‰ ‡…Š‹“—‡•ƒ†™ƒ•…‘’Ž‡–‡Ž›„Ž‘™ƒ™ƒ› „›™Šƒ– Ž‡ƒ”–ǤŠƒ›‘—˜‡”›—…Š’•ǦǦǦǦ ǦǦ̶ƒ•–‡”ƒ˜‡ǡ̺

5LVN)5((3ULRULW\2UGHU)RUP 5HI) )RUIDVWHVWVHUYLFHXVH\RXU FUHGLWFDUGDQG&DOORURUGHURQOLQHDWZZZ)LJKW6FKRROFRP

‡•Ǩ‡†‡–Š‡‹…”‡†‹„Ž‡Dz‹ǦƒdzǤ ˆ ǯ‘–Šƒ’’››‘—ǯŽŽ•‡†‡ƒˆ—ŽŽ“—‹…”‡ˆ—†ǡ ‘“—‡•–‹‘•ƒ•‡†ǤǤǤƒŽŽˆ‘”–Š‡˜‡”›‰‡‡”‘—•‘‡Ǧ‘ˆˆ’”‹…‡‘ˆ͉͵ͷǥ …Ž‘•‡†‹•›Š‡“—‡Ȁ‘‡›‘”†‡”ˆ‘”͉͵ͷȋƒ‡’ƒ›ƒ„Ž‡–‘–‘‡–”‡‡‹‹–‡†Ȍ

STO001/26

 ’”‡ˆ‡”–‘’ƒ›™‹–Š›…”‡†‹–…ƒ”†ǤŽ‡ƒ•‡…Šƒ”‰‡› ‹•ƒ ƒ•–‡”ƒ”† ƒ”†͓ǣƒ•–͵†‹‰‹–•‘„ƒ…‘ˆ…ƒ”†ǣ’ š’‹”‡•ǣƒ‡ǣƒ‹Žǣ ††”‡••ǣ’ ‹–›Ȁ‘™ǣ‘•–…‘†‡‹‰ƒ–—”‡ǣ’ –‘‡–”‡‡‹‹–‡†Ȃͻ†ƒ”•‹†‡‘ƒ†ǡ‡ƒ†‹‰ǡ ͵Ͳʹǡ‹–‡†‹‰†‘ǤŠ‘‡Ž‹‡•‘’‡ ˆ”‘ͺǣͲͲƒǦͳͲǣͲͲ’ȋ‘†ƒ›Ǧ ”‹†ƒ›ȌǡͻǣͲͲƒǦͷǣͲͲ’ȋƒ–Ƭ—ȌǤ‘——•–„‡ͳͺ›‡ƒ”•Ϊ


Fighters1209

17/11/09 11:00

Page 4

CONTENTS 6

NEWS ROUND-UP Domestic & International

12

BOOK REVIEW Life in The Ring

15

MULTI MEDIA REVIEWS

16

FIGHT ANALYSIS... Or Learning From The Greats

22

Regular readers will be familiar with my lengthy but concise editorials, offering a summary of what’s been happening in our Full Contact world!

MMA ROUND UP By Ben Cartlidge

24

TYSON THE MOVIE 2 Disc Platinum Knockout Edition Plus Competition

However, this month is going to be a little different as I have a huge announcement to make.

26

UFC 105 PREDICTIONS By Brian Levick

30

BRAULIO ESTIMA BJJ’s Mr Midas

36

BJJ’S PENNY THOMAS The Jiu Jitsu Gymnast

40

WRSA - THE STORY SO FAR! Life After The Big Launch With Steve Humphrey

44

NEIL ADAMS ON MMA By Fergus Dullaghan

48

ALISTAIR OVEREEM Has Been a Very Busy Man

50

ALAN MORTLOCK The Guv’nor Turns to MMA

54

LOOKING BACK... At Bushido

56

STRIKEFORCE & CBS STEP UP Fedor vs Brett Rogers

60

UFC 104 The Battle of The Brazilians!

68

MSA’S MUAY THAI PREMIER LEAGUE Inaugural Supershow

74

2009 WAKO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Light Contact, Low Kick & K-1 Rules

79

MUAYTHAI LEGENDS PREVIEW Report & Results

81

AKA KICKS OFF IN LANCASHIRE Report & Results

CONTENTS EDITORIAL

I have for a couple of years toyed with idea of once again staging a martial arts showcase event at the NEC in Birmingham. And following the cancellation of seni this year, I have decided (that with all the requests that I have received, together with the fact that I have recently teamed up with a few people that share the wish to see a martial arts showcase event return to the Midlands) - NOW IS THE TIME! So much so, that on May the 22nd and 23rd 2010 at the N E C in Birmingham, we will stage . . . .

MARTIALARTSSHOW the

THE NEC BIRMINGHAM

Included in the weekend’s events are not one but two BIG evening events dedicated to the world of Kickboxing, MMA, Thai-Boxing, K1 and all that is “Full Contact”! So keep your self free and stay tuned to Fighters, see the web site; wwwthemartialartsshow.com or check out our sister publication COMBAT. Check out the advert on the back page of this issue! I’ll see you there! Until next month, Enjoy your training and keep on fighting. Paul. cliftoncombat@aol.co.uk


Fighters1209

16/11/09 14:32

Page 5

PENNY THOMAS page 36

WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Paul S. Clifton paul@martialartsinprint.com SENIOR DESIGNER Mark John Davies GRAPHIC DESIGN Kevin Thompson ADVERTISING/SALES EXECUTIVE Janet Harley 0121-351-6930 fighters@btconnect.com 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, Bob Spour, Paul Hennessy, Neil Holden, Dean Sugden

CONTRIBUTORS Steve Dileo, Bryan Levick, Fergus Dullaghan, Ben Cartlidge, Alan MacDonald, Christina Castellana, Teddy Galbally, Craig Bush, Seymour Yang, Rocki Sondhi, Tommy Thompson HOW TO GET WORK PUBLISHED Drop us an email at fighters@martialartsinprint.com 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: fighters.news@btconnect.com UFC COVER INSERT PHOTO Courtesy of Zuffa LLC HEAD OFFICE: Unit 20, Maybrook Business Park, Maybrook Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 1BE. Tel: 0121 351 6930 E-Mail: fighters.magazine@btconnect.com ADVERTISING DETAILS If you would like to advertise in FIGHTERS email us at fighters@martialartsinprint.com 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 @ £40.50 EUROPE @ £75 (Airmail) REST OF WORLD @ £90 (Airmail)


Fighters1209

13/11/09 16:45

Page 20

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Life In The

Ring Lessons & Inspiration From The Sport of Boxing

At a time of great economic uncertainty and cultural change, Life in the Ring: Lessons and Inspiration from the sport of Boxing, provides much needed inspiration for its readers by drawing from an unlikely place. The book’s author, competitive White Collar Boxer, John E. Oden believes there are valuable lessons that can be taken away from the hard-taught experiences of life in the ring and sets about detailing the exploits of 15 iconic fighters, outlining the personal and professional challenges each faced in and out of the “squared circle” in his new book from Hatherleigh Press. “These boxers are men who could take a punch, literally and figuratively. Their life stories are inspiring.” Mr. Oden said. “At their core, these are tales about the human experience and achievement. Boxing is a metaphor for life. The lessons taught in the ring, the obstacles that breed heart, character

John E. Oden

and determination apply to the real world. We can draw strength from their accomplishments over adversity.” Following on the success of Mr. Oden’s 2005 debut novel, White Collar Boxing: One Man’s Journey from the Office to the Ring (Hatherleigh Press), Life in the Ring is about the art of modern-day pugilism, the sport’s storied past, and lessons of perseverance and loss imparted by some of history’s greatest fighters. Life in the Ring sets about dispelling the notion that boxing is only for those with a violent nature by arguing that boxing, with its lone fighter placed squarely in the ring, with little to defend him, is a potent metaphor for life. Compiled into 12 chapters, or ‘rounds,’ the book successfully encapsulates the lives and professional records of boxing’s elite. Stories about fighters like Muhammad Ali and George Foreman overcoming hardship in the ring and in their own lives are told succinctly by Mr. Oden, who exhaustively researched his subjects to bring to light the lesser known details about their lives outside of the ring. He also gives

captivating play-by-play narratives, at times, seeming to deliver them from ringside at the sport’s most exciting and iconic matches. Life in the Ring profiles 15 extraordinary men who came from a range of domestic circumstances, ethnic backgrounds and existed at different times in history. It was how these men adapted and overcame adversity that unified them and made them champions. Mr. Oden is an accomplished boxer in his own right. In a 13-year career as a competitive white collar boxer, he has participated in over 20 bouts. His first book, chronicling his rise in the world White Collar Boxing is written in the first-person as an in-depth account of one fighter’s struggle to succeed. In his second book, Life in the Ring, Mr. Oden shares with his readers the tales of the famous fighters from whom he drew inspiration and strength for his own journey into the ring. Life in the Ring, from Hatherleigh Press and is available in paperback (ISBN 978-1-57826-311-0) and retails for £15.00.


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FIGHTERS BOOK REVIEW - LIFE IN THE RING Page 13

Fighters Book review

To read more articles like this make sure you get the next issue of Fighters available from WH Smiths & all good newsagents


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Page 24 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK December 2009

Tyson 2 Disc Platinum Knockout Edition

The Movie

Tyson: The Movie (2 Disc Platinum Knockout Edition) is the definitive insight into one of the greatest heavy weight boxers ever to have lived - offering never-before-seen glimpses into his boxing and training world as well as rare and exclusive fight footage that, for most, has never have been accessible before. In other words, Tyson explores...Tyson and for the first time in his own words. Director James Toback’s film portrait ranges from Tyson’s earliest memories of growing up on the meanest streets of Brooklyn through his entry into the world of boxing under the stewardship of his beloved trainer Cus D’Amato, as well as his rollercoaster ride through the funhouse of worldwide fame and his fortunes both won and lost. This DVD set offers much more than a documentary about a former heavyweight champion, through a deft mixture of original interviews, archival footage and photographs, a complex,

fully-rounded human being emerges as a legendary and uniquely controversial international athletic icon. The boxset contains the full length movie, as well as over 4 hours of exclusive extras including Tyson’s best ever fights, classic interviews and behindthe-scenes footage from a spectacular twenty-year career. Tyson: The Movie is the ultimate boxing DVD and the ideal gift this Christmas for boxing and full contact fight fans alike.

To celebrate the launch Fighters have 10 sets to give away. All you have to do to get yours is drop us an e-mail stating which boxing legend did Iron Mike bite the ear of? Send your entry to IRONMIKE@martialartsinprint.com together with a telephone number that we can call you on.


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TYSON THE MOVIE Page 25


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Welcome to...

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

Contact: Treas & Office: Jacky Carson, 75 Grantham Ave, Derby, DE21 4FJ Tel: 07792 341036 (after 6pm and weekends) Email: info@wakogb.co.uk WAK001/22

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in association with...

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BJJ’s Mr Midas!

Braulio

Estima The Double Gold Standard

There are many champions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With so many competitions taking place on the international circuit it seems any high level practitioner has the opportunity to put a title to his name. Though at the highest level, there only a few competitions that really count. The champions of these are truly the elite and at every one of these events he has entered, Braulio Estima has never been off the winners’ podium. In the past year alone, Braulio has won the double gold medals in his weight class and open category in the IBJJF European Championships, Jordan Capital Challenge and Pan American No-Gi. He has also reclaimed his title at IBJJF Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships, which would make it the third time he has won this event. These have all been trumped by winning the most prestigious submission wrestling tournament, the Abu Dhabi

Combat Club Submission Wrestling Championship (ADCC). Again winning both his weight class and the absolute division, Estima has cemented himself as one of the greatest ever. Returning from the competition (and a well deserved holiday) Braulio sits back in his Gracie Barra Birmingham gym and reflects on his latest title. “In my competition career this is defiantly the peak. I won my third title in the black belt in the

Gi and then in then winning this in the NoGi, I think I have proved myself and worked to my best this year. Abu Dhabi was absolutely the best competition I have ever done; it was the best I have ever fought. I am very happy that all the hard work paid off.” The road to winning the ADCC titles wasn’t easy. He had to face previous champions and old rivals, but Braulio puts his success down to hard work. “I managed to submit the three toughest, most well known fighters in the tournament; which were Andre Galvao, Xandre Ribeiro and Marcelo Garcia. I trained hard to do that. I did my homework and when it came to the fight, I was very confident and I felt I could beat all of them if I had the right strategy.” Braulio got to the finals by submitting the majority of his opponents and not having a point scored against him. His technique was flawless, but he tries to always keep an open mind. “I think the beauty of the BJJ is the variations that you can get and the characters of the people reflect in the game. If you train any kind of technique and you focus on this you will be able to catch anybody with this. This is the beauty of it; this is why people have such specialist areas...”


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BJJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MR MIDAS! BRAULIO ESTIMA Page 31

To read the rest of this article why not take out a subscription by calling +44 (0) 121 351 6930


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BJJ’s Penny

Thomas The Jiu-Jitsu Gymnast

Penny Thomas is recognised as one of the world’s best female grapplers. She is a four-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) World Champion gold medallist, and the first person from Africa to become a BJJ black belt. Seymour Yang met up with Penny before her only UK seminar to talk about life, tournaments, and that all important question - would she ever wear a pink gi? Penny Thomas is sitting in a West London pub giggling at having scored yet another victory - a full refund for being served a limp and undercooked vegetarian meal that was ordered over an hour ago. Fresh from her success at winning a silver medal at the prestigious ADCC submission wrestling tournament in Barcelona, the four times Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) World Championship gold medal winner is clearly in the mood for a fight. Penny’s obvious good looks, easy-going personality and formidable competitive talents have made her a popular figure

among BJJ followers. She is firmly established as one of only a handful of elite female grapplers, which include the likes of Hannette Staack (2009 ADCC champion), Kyra Gracie (three World BJJ titles), Leticia Ribeiro (five World BJJ titles) and Lana Stefanac (2009 World BJJ heavyweight and absolute champion). She is also the first person, male or female, from the African continent to have earned the rank of black belt in BJJ. But her ability to walk, let alone compete at the highest level, was nearly taken away from her by a serious spine injury.

Breaking back “When I was five years old I started training in gymnastics everyday - at weekends, after school, it was my whole life. By the time I was 12 I was part of the junior Olympic team but then I developed a severe pain in my back. My coach suspected I was just using it as an excuse not to train and just told me to sort it out, so I tried physio and traction but I carried on training basically with a broken back for about nine months.”

(C) James Oluoch-Olunya Combat BJJ” www.combat-bjj.com

Penny finally had an X-ray that confirmed she needed urgent spinal fusion surgery, with the prognosis that she may never do sports again. One surgeon cheerily suggested that Penny could take up stamp collecting instead. Fortunately, Penny recovered well from surgery and returned to gymnastics but she never regained her early promise. Eventually she took up martial arts, spending time training in aikido and kickboxing.

It was during one of her kickboxing classes in 2001 that Penny was introduced to grappling and specifically BJJ. She recalls the moment when two men in her gym were demonstrating their new found sport: “There was a guy called Micah Atkinson and he was rolling [sparring on the ground] with some other guys and the other kickboxers were looking on and saying how crazy and gay it all looked. So anyway a girl in my class really fancied the instructor but she didn’t want to go to the class on her own and begged me to come along with her. I did a couple of classes but I didn’t like it at first because it was so frustrating with all the skinny guys getting me into chokes and locks, but soon I got the hang of it and started to really enjoy it. I even began tapping out these guys.” With a lack of formal BJJ schools or qualified instructors in South Africa, training relied solely on the dedication of Micah, his brother Ivan and a few keen enthusiasts - and a collection of Gracie instructional videos. Micah and Ivan eventually travelled to London to train with Royce Gracie and gained their blue belts before heading back to South Africa to establish an official BJJ club and kickstart the sport in South Africa. Penny progressed well in BJJ and competed at the prestigious BJJ World Championships, also known as the Mundials in BJJ’s native Portuguese. Her dedication paid off with a gold medal in the womens blue belt division, and she


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By Seymour Yang

repeated the success at purple belt - the next grade - the following year. But with success, came the realisation that she would have to leave South Africa in order to further her career in the sport.

(C) James Oluoch-Olunya Combat BJJ” www.combat-bjj.com

Leaving home “I was very much settled in South Africa with my job, my home, my long term partner but I said okay, let me just see, for six months, how I can do? So in 2006 I bought a ticket and did all the competitions in the States that I could for six months...and then I found Hawaii.” A trip to Hawaii left Penny falling in love with the island lifestyle. She also found a BJJ instructor, 5th degree black belt instructor Luis ‘Limao’ Heredia, who was able to give her the training she needed to achieve her goal of becoming a black belt. Under the tutelage of Heredia, Penny captured some of the most coveted titles in grappling, including gold at the ADCC, BJJ Mundials and Pan-American tournaments. But her best-remembered fight occurred at the Triple Crown grappling event in Oahu, Hawaii: “I had been training real hard for this tournament but there were no women for me to fight, so I begged them to let me in and compete against the men. I was a brown belt at the time and they said okay, but I would have to fight at my weight division, not a lighter division. My coach was saying like ‘Oh I don’t know Penny I really don’t know about this’ but I managed to win my first round against a guy. I didn’t quite submit him but I was way high up on points. It was a tough fight, he was a strong guy but I was so stoked when they raised my hand up at the end”

Flexibility Most of the world’s best grapplers tend to favour a certain style of technique some are defensive ‘guard’ players, some are much more attacking and prefer to aim for mount or back positions. Penny is her worst critic when it comes to her very passive, waiting style of grappling: “I’m very flexible so when people stack me, I can work these weird positions and I get a lot of triangle chokes because I am quite comfortable being upside down on my head. But I also get into bad positions a little more than I should. For example, in the Worlds last year against Ana Laura, I nearly got armbarred because I thought I could stretch my arms a little further than was possible.”

To read the rest of this article why not order a back issue, for details call +44 (0) 121 351 6930


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Page 40 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK December 2009

WRSA The Story So Far! Life After The Big Launch with Steve Humphrey Hi Steve, it’s been a couple of months since we carried your first WRSA magazine within FIGHTERS, what’s happened since the launch?

We have also done 2 promotions with Russell Bailey in Glasgow and although we haven’t personally made it up there yet, they have done very well.

STEVE HUMPHREY: I feel we have come a long way in the short time we have been established. It has been a great year this year with new instructors/members and promoters coming on board. I must say that some of the events we have been to this year have been excellent, good quality promotions, run very well.

We welcomed Rob Mitchell, from Jersey on board this month as he has joined us and is having a Thai boxing team brought over by Mike O’conner.This will be the first time we have worked together and I look forward to working with them in the future.

We were approached by “Showdown Sheffield” to promote their show in October at the octagon, which I believe was their 7th promotion. They brought a Thai boxing team from France and Portugal, and the standard of fighting was excellent, a mixed show with full contact, K1 and Thai, so great for the crowd, the show was professional and well organised.

Gary Jowers from Middlesbrough in sanctioning his promotion with us on December the 5th and we will do what we can to help him out even although we have a promotion the next day in Bristol, with Mike O’connor. The WRSA is all about helping people. We are just in the throws of finalising the calendar of events out for 2010 finalising, which will hopefully be done for the next issue.

Is anything happening abroad for the W.R.S.A STEVE HUMPHREY: Yes there is, again its postitive, we are taking a 10 man team over to France to fight on Orlando weits promotion. This will be Orlandos last fight of his career and I think he does actually mean it this time. We work a lot with Orlando, he comes to the UK at least twice a year with us, and he is a great guy. There are a lot of restrictions abroad, with running kickboxing or Thai shows, nothing like in the UK. When we put shows on wherever and whenever we like, they have to get permission. We have also had interest from Michigan, USA and someone from Cyprus is interested in working with us too (I did’nt even know FIGHTERS sold over there). Aswell as that, we have promoters/.instructors in Austrailia, Miami, Spain, Holland, Belguim and Italy.. so its all good. I was quite shocked to have these people contact me as I don’t know how these countries got to know of us but it must have been the feature we had in FIGHTERS. But its good they did and we will to endeavour to push forward and conquer the world.

Steve are you busier now. STEVE HUMPHREY: Yes we are and at times it can be quite a headache but I wouldn’t have it any other way really.


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We are having new members/Instructors coming on board all the time, at least 1-2 every week and we are getting new promotions coming on board. In somecases we are help them out with fighters etc . . .anything they need we are there for them. We organise teams abroad like to jersey (with Mike O’connor) and we recently took a team to France, so yes its busy. We also have the end of year promotions here, which need to be covered with fighters etc, we are very lucky really, we pull together as an association. Everyone wants to fight on all the promotions which is great, but we can end up with 19-20 fights, which of course can cause mayhem. I don’t mind this if they are normal 3 round fights and not many titles as we can get through these quite easily. We have piece of mind, knowing that the crowd or the paying public are getting good value for money. We have also been trying to help out other assocations with their promotions when they have been stuck or been let down, even when we have had other promotions on that same day, but that’s the kind of people we are ,we know what is like to be let down last minute with a fighter. So if we can, we will help anyone out, there may come a time when we need help and we just hope that the people we work with will reciprocate and will help us out at that time, should it ever be needed?

I get embarrassed when I hear people have been to shows and they only have, say 5 fights and a couple of demos. I feel for the promoter, of course I do, but surely the association you are working with are there to help you, we do and I think that’s the difference, we go all out to make sure that it will be a good night for all concerned. Fighers want to keep busy so its all good for them and with new instructors continually coming on board, it brings differents fighters into the mix all the time. So you get different options and fighters don’t end up competing with each other all the time, this is very important. We also have Paul Barnett & Surge Johal putting on an MMA show on the end of November in Derby so things are going to get even busier next year what with more things in the mix. The last show of the year will be held in Bristol on December the 6th but I must say that at the end of this year even I’m looking forward to a bit of a break...

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WRS001/04

What Does the WRSA offer you? • Insurance for Fighters, Instructors and Promoters So you are fully protected

• Regular Tournaments around the country. Already 40 planned for 2009. See Website for details.

• Gradings with Specially designed certificates and badges. Each Belt Grade Certificate is Unique

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

• Regular Meetings 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.

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

• The WRSA does not interfere with how you run your club. It does not restrict you or your fighter as to which shows you fight on.

• The WRSA welcomes Kickboxing Clubs, Thai boxing clubs, Kung Fu Clubs, Traditional Karate clubs.

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

www.worldringsportsassociation.com


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Neil

Adams on MMA Fighters new correspondent Fergus Dullaghan catches up with his old coach, the former World Judo Champion Neil Adams who talks about his new coaching job, meeting the Gracie Brothers and judo’s place in Mixed Martial Arts. Neil, you are now based in Belgium, and working as the Belgian national judo coach. How are you finding things over here?

When I got here the team was fragmented and my first job was really to try and bring people together. At the moment in Belgium I’m trying to work towards a common goal with the personal coaches and to implement a system where the team is training together on a more regular basis, without it being so fragmented...It’s like most of the places I’ve been before in a job of this kind. You can have problems no matter where you are! Every country has similar issues with implementing systems especially when somebody new comes into a job. I’ve heard that the Belgian team is split into two on a linguistic basis [between French and Flemish Speakers] and the two sides don’t really get on. Is that something you have to manage?

Well no, that’s not true actually [that they don’t get on]. But it is split and it’s a political split that is obviously difficult for us to understand. The best way to for us to relate to it is the example of our own country with Scotland, Wales, England, and Ireland. It can cause problems when it comes to selections for the World Championships, Olympic Games and European Championships, especially if you have someone on the Flemish side and another on the French side in the same weight category, who haven’t necessarily done the same events but who have the same number of medals. In that case the discussions can get pretty heated, but I think from what I have seen as an outsider they do discuss things and try to resolve the problem quite amicably. If there is a real conflict then they have a contest in a private dojo and fight the best of three matches to sort it out! So we have managed to get that far. That’s good, because this linguistic split is actually a serious political issue in the country in general. Is that reflected in the judo?

I guess so; people don’t forget what has happened in the past. But I’m a Brit and I’m new to it so I don’t know the complete history of the country. But certainly you can feel the tension when you are in Brussels, which is in the French section with the Flemish federation and vice versa. You’ve just come back from the World Championships with the Belgian team, how did you feel that went?

The World Championships were a bit of a disappointment for me, simply because I had no control. We have two different groups at the moment; we have three world ranked players who are funded by the Olympic Association and they do all the World Ranking events. Then we have the under-23 team who are just coming into the senior category and they do all the international B tournaments. These are our up-andcoming players who we are going to try and qualify for the next Olympic Games. So there are two different teams, but two of the top ranked people have personal coaches who they are already contracted to work with, which meant I had absolutely no control over what happened to them and their results in the World Championships. So afterwards I said that from now on the whole team had to run with my program, and I’ve implemented this new program up until the European Under-23 Championships, which is in 11 weeks


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time. Then the program for the rest of the team will be my own for the following year. My main goal is to get control of the results. Basically that way it is down to me, if I don’t perform or the team doesn’t perform it will be down to my programming and not somebody else’s. That sounds reasonable. So in addition to your coaching you have a lot of new products coming out soon, would you like to tell us about them?

Well, we’ve got a website which is just about to be launched, called N.A Effective Fighting (www.naeffectivefighting.com) There are several things which are incorporated within the company, such as video analysis. People can send in DVDs of their technique or competitions and I’ll analyse it and send either a written or visual analysis back to those people. The second part is that we are offering lessons online. They are available as 30-40 min downloads from www.cagefilm.com, and include technical lessons, judo fundamentals, competition strategies and training programs that will help in competition preparation, as well as training programs for up-andcoming judoka. These will help give them the base and conditioning needed for this very hard sport. We also run competitions and seminars as part of that. So it’s exciting and offers several different possibilities. So do you think that these downloads for instance will appeal to more than just judo players? Will they be of interest to MMA guys, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners, wrestlers and people like that?

Yes that’s the main idea. We’ve actually aimed this at more than just judoka. There are a lot of things that do cross over such as the standing work [grappling] for example. For the Jiu Jitsu and MMA guys, this is something that they probably don’t work on as hard as their striking and ground work, so we concentrate a lot on the standing and also on the transition from standing down into ground work, into arm locks, strangles and submission holds. We also try and give an insight into the technical needs of throwing someone either to the front, the back or the side and take them through some of the fundamental principles involved with that.

With Effective Fighting you have also been running MMA seminars; can you tell us about those?

Again, it’s very much judo but related to the needs of MMA fighters. Watching UFC and MMA bouts, it’s quite evident that throwing skills are not as honed as striking and groundwork skills. From a judo perspective though throwing is something that we work very hard on and our rules are geared towards a balance of standing and ground work, whereas I think a lot of MMA matches are geared towards submission. So a lot of people tend to want to get to the ground pretty quick to get submissions. It’s either that or sticking, so I think that there’s a big grey area there and a need to improve throwing skills. So do you feel that judo can offer MMA fighters an advantage in that particular area?

Well if you look at the UFC and MMA fifteen years ago, a lot of the Jiu Jitsu fighters were beating the strikers. Later striking became very important in matches and there were a lot of knock-outs and people were working harder and more accurately with punches and kicks. I feel that now there is a bit of a gap for throwing skills to be honed and hopefully we can fill that gap. It seems like you’re very comfortable discussing the history of MMA. Are you a fan then?

I’m a real fan because it has done martial arts in general a great favour. And like in any of the martial arts, the majority of people that I’ve met are really humble. The top MMA guys are really nice people who are practicing their martial arts for the right reasons; although you’re always going to get a fraction that aren’t. But it’s put martial arts on the map and that can only help to feed both judo and MMA clubs. Also I think a lot of clubs are mixing MMA and judo sessions now and that can only help...

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Alan

Mortlock The Guv’nor Turns to MMA! Alan Mortlock is a man that has seen and done many things in his life, things that would make the average man cry. But after a phenomenal turn of events and a meeting with the Guv’ Nor, Alan turned his life around, becoming one of the biggest, if not the biggest unlicensed boxing promoter in the UK! Recently, with the partnership of Lee Johnson and Terry Sabini, Alan has brought the Cage fighting Championships up through the ranks to form one of the more successful UK mixed martial arts shows and have managed to survive the wrath of the recession. A lot of the cage fighting championship success comes from the great professional and amateur matches that they put on, providing young prospects with the opportunity to show off their skills. But on October the 17th this year, Alan Mortlock stepped into the Cage, at Gladiators against a younger opponent. At the age of 54 I decided to catch up with Alan to find out what his motivation was for competing now. First of all Alan, I would like to say thank you for taking time out of your busy training schedule to talk to me

ALAN MORTLOCK: That’s alright Rob, it’s always a pleasure to sit down with people like you, plus it will give me a bit of a breather (Alan laughs) First things first, what has been your motivation in wanting to get into the cage at this stage in your life?

ALAN MORTLOCK: To tell the truth son, its because I feel I missed out on a lot in my youth I did a lot of kickboxing and training in my younger days but I used to get side tracked to easily. But your only young once and that’s the way I looked at it so I enjoyed life and didn’t really have the

discipline to dedicate the time it took to get ready to compete. I started karate way back when I was 14 years old but I was a bit of a ronin and used to travel from gym to gym training in many different combat sports, so for me, competing in a full contact pro rules mixed martial arts fight will be an accumulation of everything I have learned over a span of forty years. I will be able to combine many years of boxing and traditional martial arts with the modern form of mixed martial arts in the cage all in one night. So where and who have you been training with?

ALAN MORTLOCK: I have done all my mixed martial arts training with current Cage Gladiators featherweight champion Ashleigh Grimshaw at the Team Titan training facility. He is a great coach and really puts you through your paces. His experience is obvious in his teaching style, he tells you how it is and pulls no punches. One of the reasons I will be heading into this is because I know the training I have received has been to an exceptionally high standard and he would object if he did not think I was ready. To be honest I got into mixed martial arts, kind of by accident, I was starting to promote the sport and felt I needed to train in it to get a better understanding of what was going on. So I started it as a hobby of interest but with weeks, I was totally hooked and had an instant love for the sport. I have been training MMA for approximately a year, this September just gone, but I have only fully committed myself over the last five months...

To read the rest of this article why not order a back issue, for details call +44 (0) 121 351 6930


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By Rob Nutley


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Looking Back....

Click on th e links to vie w th video foota e ge!

at Bushido By Teddy Galbally

I know it seems like a lifetime ago, but before & PRIDE dominated the world of MMA, there was little choice for ‘fight’ fans other than Pro Wrestling and Boxing. That all changed in the late 80’s with the formation of the original UWF which later gave way in 1991 to the much more successful UWFI (Union of Wrestling Force International). Was it a ‘work’ ? Was it a ‘shoot’ ? The truth is that it was somewhere in between and allowed strikes and kicks as well as more traditional wrestling and submissions, but had a more structured, rounded and points system like boxing. With Nobuhiko Takada doing the booking and pushing himself as their top star, the promotion soon gained worldwide popularity, partially off the back of the boom in satellite TV which meant that it could reach a much wider audience through the insatiable demand for new programming from numerous satellite sports channels around the globe.

Super Vader

Outside of its native Japan, it became more commonly known as ‘Bushido’ (referring to the way of the warrior). The term ‘shoot fighting’ or ‘shooting’ is often linked to it, but refers more to the referee’s hand gesture (one finger point out as if you are making a gun with your fist) when asking if someone wanted to submit, rather than the fights being an actual ‘shoot’ or ‘real’ fight (as in say UFC). Although looking back it may seem dated and tame compared to the likes of UFC or Cage Rage (or even some of the more mainstream pro wrestling of the past 10 years) at the time it was new, shiny and exciting and they were able to attract some big names and some big paydays for a few years (including an hilarious farce between Takada and former world heavyweight boxing champ, Trevor Berbick who literally RAN out of the ring to escape Takada’s kicks!). Bushido’s popularity helped put several competitors on the map, including Leon ‘Super Vader’ White (who went on to be a multi time WCW and Triple Crown champ) and Kazushi Sakuraba who went on to have a remarkable MMA career (especially in PRIDE where he became known as “The Gracie Hunter”). Alas all good things come to an end and in 1993 the begining of the end started with the formation of PANCRASE in Japan and UFC in America, both ‘borrowing’ format ideas from UWFI. This pulled ‘real’ fight fans away in one direction whilst the upturn in populatiry

of mainstream Pro Wrestling pulled the rest another way. Eventually PRIDE would also come along and seal their fate as they were not able to compete financially with these better funded, better organised promotions and so the top talent went to those. In 1996 UWFI folded and is still fondly missed by some (including our editor!) but is is worth considering that without ‘Bushido’ there very likely wouldn’t be a UFC today! To give you a taste of Bushido, I have compiled my personal Top 5 List of Bushido fighters, along with web links so that you can see these guys in action. I know not everyone will agree with my choices or order, but if you remember Bushido, we would love to here YOUR favourites and why....

Top 5 Bushido Fighters: 1). Nobuhiko Takada, the top star, booker and driving force behind UWF and UWFI. Excellent perfomer in his prime and on his own turf, unfortunately lost credibility after UWFI folded with poor showing in assorted MMA territories and selling his soul to become a gimmick pro wrestler. See him in action at www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEtObOkWJpM 2). Kazuo Yamazaki, second only to Takada in terms of ability and popularity. A good all round competitor with excellent striking skills and pretty adept on the mat. He wouldn’t be out of place in the modern UFC area. See him action at www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_npU-q2nAw


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3). Gary Albright, the man mountain from Montana was 6’4” and well over 300lbs but was surprisingly agile. Not a great striker, but if he got his hands on you then you where going for a nasty ride courtesy of one of his various and devastating suplex’s (special mention for his Dragon Suplex too OUCH!). See him in action at www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3sTHZC2Fes 4). Super Vader, real name Leon White and more famous as (Big Van) Vader. Made his reputation as a super stiff worker both here and AJPW. Arguably the best ‘big man’ Pro Wrestling has ever produced. Slapping him was never a good idea as you can see at www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pfdPJCQ2A0 5). Kazushi Sakuraba, listed here not so much for his UWFI accomplishments (he lost a lot!) but for what he learned there and the incredible MMA career he would go on to have. A compilation of which can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=44E-lW3aYhM If you where a fan, we hope this brings back some misty eyed memories, and for those who still prefer boxing over wrestling or MMA... check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fQ3Jl6ntW8

To read more articles like this make sure you get the next issue of Fighters available from WH Smiths & all good newsagents

Nobuhiko Takada


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MSA’s

Muay Thai Premier League Inaugural Supershow Report by Alan MacDonald.

Photography by Michael Howarth

The faint skirl of the bagpipes, at first deadened by the tumult of bodies between the piper and the ring, grew into a crescendo, cascading the stirring notes of ‘Scotland the Brave’ amongst the crowd like tartan confetti. Behind the piper, cavorted a kilt-clad, bare-chested figure (not the redhaired Scotsman one might expect) but a small, grinning Thai man, doing a passable impression of the Highland Fling! Were it not for the MSA boxing gloves encasing his hands, it could have been presumed he was a crazy, mixed-up fan in the wrong traditional dress. But this was MSA’s inaugural Muay Thai Supershow - and this guy was here to fight! And fights there were in abundance! With some of the most mouth-watering match-ups ever seen in this country, the MSA team had excelled themselves in providing value for money, top class entertainment in this, their first Muay Thai Premier League Supershow, working tirelessly to deliver the cream of the Muay Thai fighting world to our doorstep at the Reebok De Vere Whites Premier Suite in Bolton. The 1500 capacity crowd in The De Vere Whites Hall was not going to be disappointed!

The Premier Suite was full to capacity with a sell-out crowd well before the 1:30pm start. Two giant screens hung astride the flaming MSA logo on one curtained wall and to one side, a neonbordered, meccano entrance waited cavernous, ready to disgorge its contents one by one, of dynamite laden legs, fists, elbows and knees along with the torsos that would deliver them. The Scottish brogued tongue of the Sky announcer set events in motion, whipping the crowd into voice, before in a whirl of colour and noise. The battles were about to begin!

Fight 1 UKMF British Junior Title Anthony Shelton v Jordan Calder 5 x 3 min rounds; 57 kilos. Within a short time of the bell sounding Shelton had picked himself off the canvas some five times, having been lassoed by the long limbs of Calder and tripped albeit innocuously to the floor. Shelton seemed content to concentrate on punching and clinching as if he had decided that his legs not long enough to usefully kick. But he seemed to come off worst in each exchange. Calder was happy to defend, waiting for Shelton to advance and he countered each combination with more “sting”, something borne out in the second round when a heavy, lancing knee had Shelton gasping winded on the canvas. It was becoming apparent that

Calder was getting the upper hand, and although Shelton continued to advance gamely, his reddened ribs were testament to the knee punishment he continued to suffer in the clinch. In the fourth round a thudding front kick preceded a couple of sweet overhand rights, which Shelton answered with an incisive left hook, before again tasting canvas when his legs were taken from under him. The final round saw a revival of Shelton’s fortunes, as Calder seemed to tire somewhat. Shelton rejuvenated began to throw effective combinations and gave Calder a taste of his own medicine when he closely examined the ring floor after a crunching knee. However with a jabbing front kick Calder managed to keep danger at bay and he was rewarded for his earlier success with a points win. Result; Winner: Jordan Calder - Points.

Fight 2. Paul Grant v Phil Burke 5 x 3 min rounds; 82 kilos. The heavy set nature of these two lads precluded the sort of fast and frantic pace that would be set by lighter fighters and the pair began by probing thoughtfully, looking for openings in each others defences. Grant scored the first noticeable success with a battering-ram of a front kick to Burke’s stomach, which sent him flying backwards to the floor. Dusting himself off, Burke responded with a barrage of roundhouses and attempted several slashing elbows, which mercifully for


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Grant didn’t connect. Grant retorted with an evil combination of executioner-like downward elbows to the head but Burke wisely saw them coming and managed to take avoiding action. In the 2nd round, Grant promptly leg swept his opponent beautifully and a slightly embarrassed but more intent Burke clambered upright again and scored with a jaw-quivering, long, rangy right hook. An exchange of ineffective elbows in the clinch was followed by a vicious leg kick by Grant, putting Burke into the horizontal once more. Grant’s face by now was taking on a crimson hue, as he was being roughed up in the clinch. As they probed at each other again in the third round, an attempted left hook by Grant was countered by a flashing, impacting right by Burke and Grant was down, obviously extremely stunned. On his knees struggling to focus, Grant rose at eight but Burke wasn’t going to pass up on his chance and took advantage of his opponent’s lax and dazed defence to land him on his back again with a brutal left hook. This time the ref had seen enough and the victory was Burke’s. Result; Winner: Phil Burke - Stoppage.

Fight 3. Stevie Meikle v Jordan Watson 5 x 3 min rounds; 69 kilos. Both fighters began by throwing testing leg kicks with a crunching one from Watson almost putting Meikle on the

floor. Watson produced superb front kicks and backed these up with some smarting punches and a good low body shot. He continued his work into the next round with a visible aura of relaxation written on his face. On the receiving end of Watson’s searing leg kicks, Meikle’s left thigh rapidly discoloured angrily. A flurry of punches to Meikle’s head rocked him and a thrusting front kick catapulted him against the ropes. As he bounced back, Watson launched himself in a flying knee, which Meikle only just avoided. By the 3rd, Watson was dominating. A body-head combination lanced in before a full-on heavy right elbow rendered Meikle dazed on the floor. With true grit, Meikle was up quickly but Watson thudded in several heavy body shots and his whip-like leg kicks were by now making Meikle’s left thigh look like an open wound. Watson’s domination continued into the 4th and a sickening right hook landed Meikle once more on his back and, although he got up, he was far from with it. Only the bell saved him from oblivion. Summoning up all his reserves and spirit Meikle came out for the last round with some intent. But, by now his punches and kicks were weak and ineffective and Watson had no trouble avoiding them. Watson was by now so full of confidence, he didn’t seem to want to hurt his opponent. However, as the end of the contest neared, a thrusting right elbow pole axed the unfortunate

Meikle to his knees and although he struggled upright once more the merciful bell sounded and Watson was announced the winner. Result; Winner Jordan Watson - Points.

Fight 4 - UKMF British Title Ally Smith v Marc Sergeant 5 x 3 min rounds; 76 kilos. Smith started out very much the aggressor in this title fight contest with his strong punching giving Sergeant a standing count and a bloody nose. Although Sergeant tried manfully to counter, it seemed obvious the more dangerous threat was from the Scotsman. This was graphically borne out at the start of the 2nd round when Sergeant’s defences were bludgeoned aside and he was caught with a jackhammer of a right cross. He sunk to his knees with his face a picture of defeat and resignation and remained there as the ref counted him out. Result; Winner Ally Smith - KO.

Fight 5. Rungnakom v Panikos Yusuf 5 x 3 min rounds, 62 kilos. After the whirling dervish, bekilted Rungnakom’s entrance the crowd was expecting a rousing demonstration by the small Thai warrior with Scottish designs and we were not disappointed. His dark-eyed opponent, Panikos, from Cyprus was serious, impassive and used his longer reach to land some useful kicks and punches. Rungnakom, howev-


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tive shots of his own. In the 4th, an escalation of grudge resulted in several low blows and trips with follow up kicks or knees only just being avoided. A flashing body shot suddenly peremptorily ended the fight, when Rungnakom sunk to his knees in his corner pointing at his kidneys and shaking his head in resignation. Result; Winner Panikos Yusuf - Stoppage.

er, fought inside well and gave as good as he got in a fairly even round. Round 2 continued much in the same vein although Yusuf began to throw some wind milling elbows, which were avoided by nifty infighting by the Thai. Rungnakom gutsily came on to Yusuf, who by now was throwing an onslaught of blows to legs and body with some success. Each time he looked as if he was getting the upper hand, the set-jawed Rungnakom would counter with effec-

With the end of this contest and the breathless spectacle we had witnessed over the last couple of hours, there was time for some light relief and the giant screens flickered into life, after an introduction from Hollywood stuntman Phil Tan, with a celluloid testament to a remarkable man, Grandmaster Anthony Wee. The hushed hall watched in awed silence, as a demonstration of controlled breathing and mind over body mastery saw him lie supine as a 92 tonne London bus rolled slowly over him. The master himself was present on the day and we again watched in wonder as the 66 year was struck full-force in the stomach - 5 times! - with a 16 pound sledgehammer by Dr Swee Lip Quek, MSA’s CEO. As if that was not enough, the head of security, the ex-British heavyweight boxing champion, was called to the ring and proceeded to deliver 3 karate chops with terrible force to Grandmaster Wee’s throat. The blows would have felled most people, that was obvious, but Grandmaster Wee soaked them up and

left the ring smiling and taking a rapturous and well-deserved applause. There was scarcely time to draw breath before 4 young ladies clad in black loosefitting karate suits entered the ring. This was Chloe Bruce and her troupe, holder of the Guinness World record for the fastest kicks. At the commencement of the beating music they launched into a dazzling display of high kicking manoeuvres and powerful karate techniques before Chloe impossibly threw twenty kicks, one after the other, with her leg vertically over her head. The scintillating show drew a rapturous round of applause from the audience and left them undoubtedly wanting more. But for now it was back to the fights and a mouthwatering match-up to follow.

Fight 6. Rungravee v Andy Howson 5 x 3 min rounds; 55 kilos. A sparse opening minute of the round in which testing was limited to looking for openings, was broken when the pokerfaced Rungravee had some success with his teep (front kick) continually pushing Howson backwards. A long sweeping left hook from Howson scored on its target but Rungravee responded with resounding leg kicks. These tree-felling kicks were repeated with ugly regularity to Howson’s left thigh into round two, and it began to look very painful indeed. With the bell imminent, a thumping right hook from Rungravee put the stunned and disheartened Howson on the canvas and he made his way to his corner where he was consoled urgently by his corner. The implacable Rungravee went into the 3rd round with lumberjack intent and began to dominate his rapidly demoralised opponent. A particularly wicked chop saw Howson’s leg give way and he struggled painfully to his feet. It wasn’t long before he was down again in the same way and, as the bell rang, he slumped in his corner, unable to continue. Result; Winner: Rungravee - Stoppage. The main event of the day was only a few short minutes away, the World title fight between one of the best exponents of Muay Thai in the world Andre Kulebin, and one of the best in this country, Michael Dicks...

To read the rest of this article why not take out a subscription by calling +44 (0) 121 351 6930


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The 2009 WAKO World Championships in Light-Contact, Low-Kick and K1 Rules Staged at Villach, Carinthia, Austria Report and Photography by Master Cris Janson-Piers WAKO GB Executive Director I usually try to compile a report and photographs each time I travel away to any International WAKO event and I pride myself in portraying the story as I see it. This time I witnessed what I could only describe as the best run and organised WAKO championships I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. All WAKO countries should take this competition as a yardstick for maintaining the professionalism of which we all expect of WAKO. With the next championships being held in Italy, the home country of Dr Ennio Falsoni, the

WAKO World president, I am sure he will up the game even more. The hosts for the 2009 World Championships in Light-Contact, Low Kick and K1 Rules were the Austrian Kickboxing Organisation led by Mr Niklas Gstattner and Mr Otmar Felsberger and the event took place in Villach, Carinthia (Austria) over 7 days from the 19th to the 25th of October. This represented the first half of the Senior level World Championships with 604 competitors representing 52 coun-

tries. Unfortunately, as on so many other occasions there were visa problems which stopped 6 further countries from competing. As WAKO still maintain that only one competitor per category from each country can take part in any Championship this shows how well attended this event was especially as only the Light Contact, Low-Kick and K1 Rules sections were featured! This WAKO World Championship was very special as it served as the first qualification leg for the 2010 Martial Arts World Games, which will be held next year in Beijing, China. The full details of this massive competition can be seen on the WAKO web at www.wakoweb.com also the very first competitors who have been successful in going to Beijing are also featured on the same web site. The GB team all met in blazer and tie, looking real smart at Gatwick airport to fly out to Salzburg airport and completed the inward journey by coach, it was a beautiful journey through the Alps and snow covered mountains, with some really nice picturesque views!! Arriving in Villach Austria we passed the Stadthalle where we were to be competing over the next week, a very well equipped national ice hockey stadium. We were taken straight to registra-


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tion and weigh in which was good because as soon as we had finished we had time to relax and find our bearings. The weigh in was very organised with each country being called in one by one and a full weigh and medical check was completed. The atmosphere really starts to kick in when you see all the other countries there and you see competitors and coaches from times before. All the GB team weighed in and passed their medical check without problems. Then to the accommodation, our hotel was the Grand Media and it was fantastic, with many complimentary services and great food it made all our fighters feel really good. We had the use of a fully equipped gymnasium, sauna, training studios and all the communication services were free. Spacious rooms with plasma TV again adding to the comfort factor. On visiting the fight venue it became very apparent that the Austrians were out to please and be successful hosts. The following morning after breakfast saw team meetings for all and then most

countries took part in training sessions and preparations for fighters who were to be up first in the competition. The draw sheets came out and they showed clearly that Austria had placed a strong squad with them being home Nation and as per usual Russia were very strong with around 68 competitors! I attended the Referees and Judges seminar as always for the ringsports which was directly after the Tatami sports. Inbetween the two seminars the Electronic scoring system seminar took place. This system has now raised WAKOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game even higher. It has reduced time spent with paperwork and is proving to be very efficient. It is not without fault at the moment but it is still better than the old way and can only keep on improving. The ringsports seminar had attracted more of the Nations officials this time as the last Cadet championships in Croatia saw them thin on the ground and an appeal was made to everyone to support this. Improvements and suggestions were delivered to the board and then the rules were discussed to make sure everyone was clear.

The first competition day for the preliminaries was on Thursday the 22nd of October, things were hotting up and the stadium was buzzing, unfortunately many competitors, including several from the GB camp had picked up a flu virus and now had two battles on their hands, but all fighters dug in and gave their best performances regardless. The Stadthalle was well laid out with three rings and three tatamis and with it being a national Ice hockey stadium there was plenty of tiered seating giving fantastic views from every angle. Security kept things running very smooth only allowing officials, coaches and fighters into the designated areas. It was very apparent also that WADA (The International doping committee were in attendance). This is more than welcomed by all athletes alike as it makes sure that each fighter has a duty to perform under their own steam and without any other sort of sporting enhancement. As WAKO run in line directly with the rules and regulations of the IOC, these sort of things are imperative...

To read the rest of this article why not order a back issue, for details call +44 (0) 121 351 6930


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