Posts tagged: BJJ

Gomi continues decline, Nelson proves legitimacy at UFN 21

Once regarded by many as one of the top lightweights in the world, former Pride FC lightweight champion and Japanese MMA legend Takanori Gomi met his match Wednesday night as he squared off with TUF vet Kenny Florian in the main event of UFC Fight Night 21.

Florian vs. Gomi

The event, held at the Bojangles Coliseum, marked the first time that the UFC has visited Charlotte, N.C., since UFC 5 in 1995. The event also marked Gomi’s UFC debut and his first fight in America since 2003.

Gomi and Florian exchanged on the feet for the majority of the main event, and Florian controlled the action. He utilized his four-inch reach advantage throughout the fight, landing stiff jabs from a distance, which took a toll on Gomi. Gomi shot for the takedown on the BJJ black belt in the first round, but was unable to get the fight to the ground or stay close enough to trade blows effectively.

In the last round Florian successfully took the fight to the ground, landed ground-and-pound, and used an arm triangle to pass to full mount. Florian used his BJJ to lock in a rear-naked choke as Gomi turned, forcing the tap at 2:52 into the third round. Florian outstriked Gomi 80-41, according to compustrike.com, and won “Submission of the Night” honors. Florian is expected to face Gray Maynard next in August, when the UFC visits his hometown of Boston, Massa.

In the co-main event, heavyweight Roy Nelson proved that his TUF win was no fluke and that he is ready for the UFC’s toughest competition by running through Stefan Struve in the first round. After a brief power outage the fight commenced, and Nelson didn’t let the reach advantage of the 6-foot-11-inch Struve become a factor in the fight.

Rivera vs. Quarry

Nelson pressed his opponent in the opening exchanges, closed the distance and landed an overhand right, which clipped Struve. He quickly followed up with another overhand right that dropped Struve. Nelson jumped on his opponent, landing ground-and-pound until the fight was stopped at 0:39 into the first round. Nelson outstriked Struve 9-2 in the match and won “Knockout of the Night” honors.

TUF vet and 12-fight UFC vet Jorge Rivera put on an impressive performance in a standup battle with fellow TUF vet and former UFC middleweight title challenger Nate Quarry in the second fight of the night. Rivera dominated the first round, dropping Quarry three times with strong rights, and nearly finished him.

Quarry got rocked with a left at the start of the second round and Rivera followed up with ground-and-pound, putting an end to the fight at 0:29 into the second round. The fight marked Rivera’s third consecutive UFC victory.

The first fight of the night featured an explosive lightweight battle between TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson and 8-fight UFC veteran Dennis Siver. The fighters traded back and forth on the feet for most of the fight. Pearson rocked his opponent several times in the fight and showed good takedown defense.

Pearson vs. Siver

Pearson utilized his superior standup to earn a unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the contest 30-27. The bout earned “Fight of the Night” honors. All fighters earning bonus honors earned $30,000.

A preliminary bout between Caol Uno and Gleison Tibau was also featured on the broadcast before the co-main event. Tibau overwhelmed Uno with punches in the contest, took his back, and pounded him out. The fight was stopped at 4:13 into the first round.

Overall, the Bojangles Coliseum had an attendance of 7,700 and a total gate of $590,685. The broadcast on Spike TV peaked at two million fans during the main event, according to mmapayout.com. The event was followed by the premier of the eleventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

The next UFC event, UFC 112, will feature a middleweight champion match between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia, and a lightweight championship match between B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar. The event will mark the UFC’s first trip to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Live pay-per-view coverage of the event will begin at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, April 10. The event will be re-aired at the UFC’s normal event time of 10 p.m. EST via delay.

UFC Fight Night 21 Full

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Florian looks to begin win streak

The Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. will be the home of UFC Fight Night 21, tonight, as Peruvian-American lightweight Kenny Florian (12-4) and Japanese lightweight Takanori Gomi (31-5) headline the event.

Hailing from Brookline, Mass., Florian has a blackbelt in BJJ and Genjitsu, and also specializes in Muay Thai, and is ranked by multiple MMA publications as the third best lightweight in the world. Tonight’s fight could set the foundation for his status in mixed martial arts with another win.

“Ken-Flo” split his last two fights, both occurring in 2009. In August of 2008, he faced off against B.J. Penn for the Lightweight Championship at UFC 101 in Philadelphia, Penn.

This wasn’t his first title shot, as he formerly had an opportunity in 2006 at UFC 64 in Las Vegas, Nev. against former champion Shawn Sherk.

Florian vs. Penn, Image Courtesy of MMA Weekly

Penn, who was labeled the most dominant fighter in mixed martial arts, was pushed to four rounds by Florian, but was still able to hang on and force Ken-Flo into submission with a rear naked chokehold at 3:54 in the fourth round.

So, Florian got back on his feet and prepared for his next fight against American Clay Guida at UFC 107, where Penn headlined that event, defeating Diego Sanchez to once again retain his title.

Memphis, Tenn. was the home of this event, and Florian didn’t take much time to prove the critics wrong. This time around, it was Florian who won the bout with a rear naked chokehold at 2:19 in the second round.

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Florian, who owns and fights out of his own gym (Florian Martial Arts Center), with his brother Keith, will headline tonight’s event, which also includes Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Silver, Roy Nelson vs. Stefan Struve, and Nate Quarry vs. Jorge Rivera.

While Gomi has been criticized for his career’s decline over the last few years, Florian has said that he is not a believer in Gomi’s lack of talent at this stage in his career, according to MMA Weekly. The big concern for Gomi will most likely be falling to submission, as he has lost three of his five bouts this way. Florian can back that up, as he has made eight of his professional opponents submit.

UFC Fight Night 21’s doors open at 4:00 p.m. eastern time, and the first bout begins at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. It will air tonight on Spike TV at 8:00 p.m. eastern time.

Mir Focused on Carwin, but Lesnar rematch is Big Picture

It is no secret that UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and contender Frank Mir have a bitter relationship, to say the least. However, Mir will have to get through heavyweight powerhouse Shane Carwin (11-0) at UFC 111 before he can enact his dream of regaining the undisputed heavyweight title from Lesnar.

Frank Mir

On Saturday, Mir will have the chance to guarantee himself the next shot at Lesnar with a win over Carwin in a bout, scheduled for five rounds, for the interim heavyweight championship. The fight is scheduled as the co-main event of the evening at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., Mir is a former UFC heavyweight and interim heavyweight champion. Mir, a black belt in kenpo karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, currently trains with Team Sityodtong in Boston, Massa., under owner and head trainer Mark DellaGrotte. He earned his black belt in BJJ under Ricardo Pires after only five years of training.

Currently holding a professional MMA record of 13-4, Mir is an accomplished grappler and renowned submission artist whose standup has drastically improved with each appearance in the octagon. He is the 2007 NAGA absolute division champion. Of his 13 victories, eight have come by way of submission.

After winning the UFC championship in a match with Tim Sylvia at UFC 48 in 2004, at the age of 25, Mir faced a potentially career ending injury. He was left with a broken femur and torn ligaments in his knee after a motorcycle accident, and was told that he may never walk again, let alone fight. Mir was stripped of his title after 14 months.

In 2006, nearly 2 years later, Mir returned to the octagon. In 2008, Mir shocked the world by submitting rising star Brock Lesnar in the first round at UFC 81, in a match in which he was clearly outsized and not favored to win.

Mir vs. Lesnar I - UFC 81

After running through Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim heavyweight championship at UFC 92, Mir faced Lesnar in a rematch for the undisputed heavyweight championship in the main event of UFC 100.

Lesnar, a NCAA national champion wrestler, took Mir down with ease in the first round and smothered him, landing effective ground-and-pound. In the second round Mir landed a left elbow followed by a flying knee that rocked Lesnar, but he gave up the takedown in doing so. Lesnar continued to land brutal ground-and-pound from the top position until the match was stopped at 1:48 into the second round via TKO.

In the co-main event of UFC 107, Mir faced off with muay thai and kickboxing ace Cheick Kongo. Mir beat Kongo at his own game, dropping him with a lead left hook less than a minute into the fight. Mir then locked in a guillotine and choked Kongo unconscious, ending the fight at just 1:12 into the first round.

Carwin, a NCAA division II national champion wrestler and boxer with incredible knockout power, presents a huge challenge to Mir. In Carwin’s 11-fight MMA career, he has earned six victories via knockout or TKO and 11 first round stoppages.

With all of his losses coming by way of TKO, Mir is not known for his ability to take a punch, especially while fighting off of his back. Carwin’s wrestling background and powerful punches could prove dangerous to Mir. However, Mir’s submission game will present a threat to Carwin should the fight go to the ground, and Mir is perhaps the more technically sound striker. Mir recently stated that he believes that Carwin is a more dangerous version of Lesnar.

Carwin showed a good chin in his last fight against Gabriel Gonzaga and was able to get off of his back in a matter of seconds. With his 11 career fights lasting just over 12 minutes, it will be difficult for Mir to study Carwin for weaknesses, so he will likely stick to his normal training regimen.

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Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 111 will begin at 10 p.m. EST

Frank Mir on ESPN – 3/25

Countdown to UFC 111

Dos Santos continues streak at UFC on Versus

Dos Santos vs. Gonzaga

In the midst of a five-bout winning streak that spanned all the way back to March of 2008, BJJ and boxing specialist Junior dos Santos added to his streak at the very first UFC on Versus. He now holds an 11-1 record, professionally.

The heavyweight faced off against Brazilian Gabriel Gonzaga (11-5), who he was supposed to face at UFC 108 in January of 2010 in Las Vegas, Nev., but could not compete due to a staph infection.

The two finally got the opportunity to fight this past Sunday, March 21, in Broomfield, Colo., where after a few moments of feeling each other out, dos Santos was able to gain control through jabs and a vicious left hook. Dos Santos finished the match off with a ground and pound on top to knock Gonzaga unconscious. The fight was ruled in dos Santos’ favor via TKO at 3:53 in the first round. Dos Santos won the bonus of Knockout of the Night.

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In his previous fight at UFC 108, where Netherlands competitor Gilbert Yvel (36-14) replaced Gonzaga, dos Santos, also known as “Cigano” (or “Gypsy”), put his opponent away in an even more aggressive manner, which has been a staple in the fighting style of dos Santos for his entire career, winning all but two of his bouts in the first round.

Cigano had no remorse for Yvel, as he immediately delivered some blows to the chin and body, and followed up soon after with a left hook counter punch to an attempted head kick. The fight was stopped at 2:07 in the first round after dos Santos mounted his opponent and pummeled him with hammer fists.

Hailing out of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, dos Santos holds a brown belt in BJJ. He trains with Team Blackhouse, located in both Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Los Angeles, Calif. Cigano trains among the elite in mixed martial arts, including Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera.

Dos Santos has not yet been scheduled for his next fight, but certainly looks to continue using an aggressive-knockout style, which has won him nine of his eleven bouts via knockout.

Gonzaga, Ready for War Against dos Santos

Since his epic knockout of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga Nogueira has faced very stiff competition, winning only three of his last six fights, and Junior dos Santos (10-1) will be no exception to this trend come UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones.

Gabriel Gonzaga

On Sunday, Gonzaga, 30, will have the chance to once again put himself atop the heavyweight division with a win over dos Santos in a fight that no one expects to go to a decision. The fight is scheduled as the co-main event of the evening at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo.

Gonzaga is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Wander Braga, and holds championships in ADCC, CBJJO, Mundials and World Jiu-Jitsu Championship tournaments. In addition to being an accomplished grappler, Gonzaga is an elite muay thai practitioner: making him a very versatile fighter.

Currently holding a professional MMA record of 11-4, Gonzaga has won five fights by knockout or TKO, and the remaining six by way of submission. He has never had a bout reach a decision in his MMA career.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Gonzaga developed his MMA skills training at the Chute Boxe Academy and Macaco Gold Team. He now trains under Marco Alvan at Team Link in Ludlow, Mass. Formerly Macro Alvan BJJ, Team Link changed its name with the addition of Gonzaga in 2006.

In the co-main event of UFC 96, Shane Carwin (11-0) handed Gonzaga the first knockout defeat of his career. Gonzaga started the fight out strong, landing an overhand right and two right crosses that rocked Carwin, breaking his nose and forcing him to clinch. Gonzaga quickly took down Carwin and landed some ground and pound.

Gonzaga vs. Couture

Carwin got back to his feet in about 20 seconds and quickly landed a jab-cross combo that left Gonzaga out cold at just 1:09 into the first round. The knockout loss, although his first, revealed a weakness in the chin and standup game of Gonzaga. This factor could come into play in his next fight, especially considering that eight of dos Santos’ 10 fights have ended by knockout or TKO, including all four of his fights in UFC competition.

In his next fight, on the undercard of UFC 102, Gonzaga made quick work of UFC newcomer Chris Tuchscherer (18-2). After a stoppage due to a low kick to Tuchscherer, Gonzaga quickly landed a head kick, which dropped his opponent. He swarmed the downed fighter with ground-and-pound until the referee called for a TKO stoppage at 2:27 into the first round.

Gonzaga’s devastating kicks proved pivotal in his last fight, as they have in the past, and this technical advantage from the standup could prove extremely effective in his fight with dos Santos. However, dos Santos’ heavy hands are just as much of a threat if not greater from the standup. Dos Santos has also never been to a decision in his MMA career.

Dos Santos, a brown belt in BJJ, has yet to be tested on the ground in his UFC career. Gonzaga, the more experienced grappler, should have a clear advantage in the ground game should the fight turn into a grappling match. Gonzaga will likely force the fight to the ground if he gets rocked early on.

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UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones will air live on Versus at 9 p.m. EST

Vera To Play The Role of Gatekeeper at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones

Brandon “The Truth” Vera (11-4) broke onto the scene five years ago as a young, up-and-coming heavyweight prospect with intentions of proving himself by beating the best competition that the UFC had to offer.

Vera ran through opponents in the two years that followed, but was denied his title intentions due to defeats from more experience UFC veterans.

Brandon Vera

On Sunday, for the first time, Vera will play the role of “the gatekeeper” when he faces young, up-and-coming light-heavyweight prospect Jon “Bones” Jones (9-1) in the main event of UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo.

Fighting out of San Diego, Calif., Vera is a former WEC heavyweight champion. Vera, a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, currently trains with both Team Lloyd Irvin and Alliance MMA in San Diego. He has also trained at Linxx Academy and Hybrid Academy.

Vera gained experience wrestling in high school and continued wrestling at Old Dominion University, and then with the United States Air Force. However, he is best known in the MMA world for his effective muay thai skills.

Through the first four years of his MMA career Vera went a perfect 8-0, with seven of his wins coming by way of stoppage and four earned in UFC competition. Arguably his most impressive performance came at UFC 65 when he stopped Frank Mir at just 1:09 into the first round via TKO (punches).

In his next two matches Vera saw a step up in competition, losing a decision to Tim Sylvia and a TKO to Fabricio Werdum. These back-to-back losses, to much larger opponents, prompted Vera’s move to light-heavyweight competition. Vera now holds a 3-2 record as a light-heavyweight. His two losses came via close and controversial decisions.

Vera vs. Fabiano Scherner

MMA veteran, TUF cast-member and UFC newcomer Krzysztof Soszynski (19-9-1) went the distance with Vera at UFC 102. Vera won a unanimous decision by controlling the fight, avoiding the takedown and dominating on the feet with strong kicks and combinations.

Vera saw a step up in competition in his next fight as he went the distance with UFC Hall of Famer and five-time UFC champion Randy “The Natural” Couture in the main event of UFC 105. Couture controlled the fight from the clinch utilizing dirty boxing while Vera dominated the striking from the feet, hurting Couture badly with kicks and combinations in each round.

Vera was caught in Couture’s clinch, fighting off the takedown, for the majority of the competition. However, Vera landed very effective strikes from the feet. He dropped Couture in the second round, but was unable to finish him. After bearing an assault from the clinch Vera landed a series of body kicks that hurt Couture in the third round and followed up by taking him down and transitioning to full mount. The fight ended with an intense exchange.

All three judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Couture. The ruling surprised Vera and was very controversial.

Jon Jones is a young (22 year old) prospect with impressive striking and wrestling skills. Vera’s muay thai skills will be much more relevant in his upcoming fight than in his last two, which saw him trapped in his opponent’s clinch for the majority of the fight. However, Vera, a BJJ brown belt, will likely have an advantage in the unlikely case that the fight goes to the ground.

Vera has been in Jones’ situation a number of times early in his UFC career. Jones will face the toughest test in his young MMA career at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones. For Vera, a victory will likely put him back in the title-mix.

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The event will air live on Versus at 9 p.m. EST

When All Else Fails… Evolve!

Is it destiny to grow up in a family of a certain trade? What about a family of fighters? The historic Hart family, hailing from Canada is one of the most famous amateur and professional wrestling families in organized fighting history. However, there is a more unique story…

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Greg Jackson took a different route than your run-of-the-mill mixed martial artist. With a family of champion wrestlers, including his father, uncle and brother, Jackson learned to develop wrestling rather quickly, while growing up in a rough neighborhood.

What’s more, Jackson decided, at a young age, that wrestling wasn’t enough. Mixing in some Judo with his wrestling expertise, Jackson soon developed his own form of martial arts. And by 1992, he was ready to open up shop and begin teaching others what had become known as Gaidojutsu.

History was made in 1993, when Jackson saw his first Ultimate Fighting Championship, and took a page out of the Gracie family’s book, adding BJJ to his fighting form. He’s also added kickboxing to the form, learning from his mentor and five time world champion Michael Winkeljohn.

Jackson at UFC 96

What is known as The World’s Premiere Fight Team, Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts, located in his hometown of Albuquerque was officially named an MMA school in 2000, and since its birth, the school has developed ten world champions. It is even said that Jackson’s fighters have an 81-percent winning percentage, according to Sherdog.

As a guy that mainly taught himself, Jackson’s coaching tendencies are among the best, as seen by his repertoire of successful fighters, which include light heavyweight Jon Jones, Nate Marquardt, former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, and current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.

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The best thing about Jackson’s coaching? Passion.

“I like changing people’s lives for the better,” Jackson said in an interview with his school’s website.

“I think that’s definitely the part I’m addicted to. When I see somebody that you know is just a normal student and their life becomes better, they become a stronger person, they become a better person, that something that really exemplifies why I’m in this business.”

Jackson works alongside Winkeljohn, who coaches kickboxing at the academy, as well as strength and conditioning coach Chris Luttrell, and Chad Lemoine – each providing expertise in the areas that make Gaidojutsu the powerful form that it has become.

Jackson is currently filming a documentary on the genesis and development of Jackson’s MMA, and will see some of his fighters face off at UFC Live on March 21, 2010, including Jon Jones, Paul Buentello, Eliot Marshall, Clay Guida, and Brendan Shaub.

I like changing people’s lives for the better. I think that’s definitely the part I’m addicted to. When I see somebody that you know is just a normal student and their life becomes better, they become a stronger person, they become a better person, that something that really exemplifies why I’m in this business.

Wolfslair Academy, Growing Roster and Reputation

Quickly established as arguably the top facility and fight team in Europe, Wolfslair MMA Academy is now gaining a strong reputation as one of the leading gyms in the MMA world today.

Michael Bisping training at Wolfslair

Wolfslair Academy is a gym located in Widnes, United Kingdom, which has both produced and recently signed several UFC stars and other elite level fighters.

Co-owners and managers Anthony McGann and Lee Gwynn established the fight team as MMA fans with the goal of creating the top MMA facility in the U.K. They quickly achieved their goal and the facility continues to grow.

The gym gained notoriety primarily due to its signing of U.K. based UFC star Michael Bisping. Bisping’s appearance as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) created recognition for the gym, because several of its staff members were featured as trainers on the show.

With the recent signings of former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and heavyweight Cheick Kongo, the gym added two huge names and talented fighters to its roster. These signings have attracted new fighters to the gym for training purposes, as well as more publicity, and sponsorship and endorsement opportunities.

Rampage and Dave Jackson

The trainers at Wolfslair Academy are not internationally recognized MMA figures like the staff of many top-level gyms in the U.S. However, the team’s trainers are extremely experienced and have many achievements within their fields, making them very effective coaches and gaining them praise from fighters.

Wolfslair’s talented training staff, access to the public, and its appeal to traveling fighters and prospective fighters in Europe are its main strengths. These factors contribute greatly to the gym’s rapid growth and success as a business.

The head coach at Wolfslair is Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo black belt Mario “Sukata” Neto. Neto, the gym”s jiu-jitsu coach, is a one-fight UFC veteran and holds a 10-5 professional MMA record against top-level opponents. Neto has many accomplishments in the world of martial arts, including winning the grand masters in BJJ, winning a Vale Tudo championship in Russia and earning a third-degree black belt in BJJ. He was featured as one of Bisping”s coaches on TUF.

Boxing coach Tony Quigley and his son Tony Quigley Jr. are an integral part of the gym”s coaching staff. Rampage was impressed by the instruction of online casino Quigley and his son upon coming to train at Wolfslair, and now spends a substantial amount of his time working with them. Junior Olympic gold medalist Tony Quigley Jr. is a professional boxer with a record of 13-2.

Rampage and Kongo with Tapout members in Wolfslair apparel

Thai boxing coach Dave Jackson is renowned within the muay thai community for his expertise as a coach and his uniquely effective style of muay thai. Jackson has worked extensively with Rampage and Kongo. Kongo was very impressed with Jackson”s style of muay thai and instruction while initially training at Wolfslair, and he has now refined his skills training under him. Jackson was featured as one of Bisping”s coaches on TUF.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and 3-1 professional MMA fighter Kazeka Muniz is Wolfslair”s wrestling coach. Gwynn is the gym”s strength and conditioning coach in addition to being a co-owner.

The gym currently holds a roster with several UFC veterans, including Michael Bisping, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Cheick Kongo, Paul Kelly, and Mario “Sukata” Neto. Other notable fighters include Alex Cook, Tom Blackledge, Lukasz Les, Henrique Nogueira, Curt Warburton and Abdul Mohamed. Many top-level fighters travel to Wolfslair for training purposes, including Andre Arlovski, Ian Freeman, Dean Lister, Tiki Ghosn and Ricco Rodriguez.

Rampage recently took a leave from the UFC to star in the upcoming film, “The A Team.” A dispute with UFC President Dana White also contributed to his decision. Rampage coached the most recent season of TUF along with Rashad Evans. The two light-heavyweights are scheduled to fight on May 29 at UFC 114 in Las Vegas, Nev.

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Paul Kelly is 1-1 since making the move to the UFC lightweight division. Kelly looks to improve his record when he faces Matt Veach on April 10 at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.

After going 9-2 since his UFC debut, Cheick Kongo has lost his last two fights to top heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir. Kongo hopes to avenge his losses and get back in the title picture with a win over Paul Buentello in the upcoming UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones on Mar. 23 in Broomfield, Colorado.

Cheick Kongo Training with Michael Bisping & Teammates @ Wolfslair (2008)

Fists and Comedy – A Strange Mix

He may be known best for hosting the show that everyone loves to cringe at, Fear Factor. Or maybe its his role as the pseudo-conspiracy-theorist and electrician-handyman Joe Girrelli on the 1990’s sitcom NewsRadio? It couldn’t be his questionable follow-up performance as one of two replacements for the hilarious Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel on the final season of The Man Show… He’s an actor, a game show host and a comedian.

But Joe Rogan is also a color commentator for Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is, of course, where we know him from, today.

Throughout his career, Rogan has always had a little fight in him. As a stand-up comedian, he feuded with multiple popular comedians of the 2000’s, including Carlos Mencia and Dane Cook. These criticisms cost him some shows and participationin the Comedy Store agency in Los Angeles, Cal. However, it doesn’t stop there.

It’s an important issue in this growing sport… How can an actor and a game show host and a comedian turn around 180-degrees and end up involved with mixed martial arts? Some people ask for credibility. Rogan has it.

His list of potential credits begins as a teenager, where he began developing skills in Tae Kwon Do. In the state of Massachusetts, he was named the Full Tae Kwon Do Champion four consecutive times.

By age 19, Rogan won the United States Open Tae Kwon Do Championship. He also went on to defeat middle and heavyweight title holders as the lightweight champion, which resulted in him being awarded the Grand Championship.

He is currently working towards a black belt in BJJ, and is training with Eddie Bravo. Convinced yet?

Rogan believes himself to be the total package as far as self-defense goes – both physically and verbally. From an interview done in 2008 with San Francisco Stand Up, Rogan explains his thoughts on comedy and fighting.

“Well I think it all comes from the same place. The defense mechanism is also wanting to get people to like you. You know, that insecurity- that same insecurity is what leads people to martial arts, because you don’t want to be at the mercy of an attacker. You don’t want to worry about somebody physically dominating you. So I think it’s very similar in the motivation to get involved in it in the first place. What real martial arts is about, is not really about fighting- it’s more about developing your human potential. Martial arts really applies to comedy in that way. In comedy, the real deep stuff, when someone is really searching their own mind, their own soul, their own mortality, their own view of the world, they’re not just saying something to try to get some heehees and hahas out of a group of strangers. They’re digging deep and creating some art out of their own introspective thought.”

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Rogan began his commentary career in 2002 with Pay Per View venues and Spike TV coverage of the UFC, and still works in the field today, even hosting the syndicated show “UFC Wired.” It most notably shows that well-roundedness and outspokenness can get you places in the entertainment industry.

Acclaimed Fighter? Businessman? Team led by expert

The Axe Murderer. Cachorro Louco. The Mad Dog. Wanderlei Silva (32-10-1, 1 NC) has torn through the mixed martial arts world through the years. The 5’11” 205 pound Muay Thai specialist has trained in Brazil at the Chute Boxe Academy, and in Las Vegas at Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture, and most recently, has opened his own facility, the Wand Fight Team Academy.

Silva is currently training in Australia for his next fight at UFC 110 against Michael Bisping (19-2-0). However, Silva’s purposes in Australia are not limited to training. He is also actively recruiting new fighters to join his newly opened Wand Fight Team Academy.

In January, the Team added its first Puerto Rican fighter, up-and-coming Orlando “Tiky” Sanchez. Silva’s efforts in Australia should wield results, as Wand looks to add to its current repertoire of 12 fighters.

Wand Fight Team Academy, Image Courtesy of wandfightteam.com

Vastly growing and gaining credibility, the Wand Fight Team Academy not only shares head trainer Silva’s expertise in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but also hoards a plethora of coaches and trainers that supplement Silva’s knowledge and skills.

Coaching BJJ, Vitor Vianna is a six-time Brazilian Champion, and has been awarded the BJJ World Cup Championship three times (2001, 2002, 2003). After an impressive performance in the 2006 Fury FC Grand Prix against Thiago Silva, in which analysts believe the only reason he lost was because of a broken arm, Vianna was noted to be one of the best middleweight fighters in the MMA world, today.

Boxing training is also heavily equipped with experience. For MMA fighters, the stand up game is always an advantage that one would like to have in the back pocket. Coach Mike Smith helps to ensure that trainees get the necessary training to add this important asset to their game.

After a stint with the Army, Smith returned to his hometown of Brooklyn. He has coached many New York area fighters, including three-time female Golden Glove Champion Ronica Jeffrey.

The team’s cardio and weights coach is Grant Prestwidge.

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With a win at UFC 110, not only will Wanderlei Silva improve his record and even more credibility in the MMA world, but he will also be able to promote the type of fighter that the Wand Fight Team Academy breeds.

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