Posts tagged: Mixed Martial Arts

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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 storya��

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.

Whata��s more, Jackson decided, at a young age, that wrestling wasna��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 familya��s book, adding BJJ to his fighting form. Hea��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 Worlda��s Premiere Fight Team, Jacksona��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 Jacksona��s fighters have an 81-percent winning percentage, according to Sherdog.

As a guy that mainly taught himself, Jacksona��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 Jacksona��s coaching? Passion.

a�?I like changing peoplea��s lives for the better,a�? Jackson said in an interview with his schoola��s website.

a�?I think thata��s definitely the part Ia��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 Ia��m in this business.a�?

Jackson works alongside Winkeljohn, who coaches kickboxing at the academy, as well as strength and conditioning coach Chris Luttrell, and Chad Lemoine a�� 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 Jacksona��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 peoplea��s lives for the better. I think thata��s definitely the part Ia��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 Ia��m in this business.

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 1990a��s sitcom NewsRadio? It couldna��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 Showa�� Hea��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 2000a��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 doesna��t stop there.

Ita��s an important issue in this growing sporta�� 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 a�� both physically and verbally. From an interview done in 2008 with San Francisco Stand Up, Rogan explains his thoughts on comedy and fighting.

a�?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 dona��t want to be at the mercy of an attacker. You dona��t want to worry about somebody physically dominating you. So I think ita��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- ita��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, theya��re not just saying something to try to get some heehees and hahas out of a group of strangers. Theya��re digging deep and creating some art out of their own introspective thought.a�?

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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 a�?UFC Wired.a�? 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 5a��11a�? 205 pound Muay Thai specialist has trained in Brazil at the Chute Boxe Academy, and in Las Vegas at Randy Couturea��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, Silvaa��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 a�?Tikya�? Sanchez. Silvaa��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 Silvaa��s expertise in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but also hoards a plethora of coaches and trainers that supplement Silvaa��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 teama��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.

Red Devil Sport Club

Ever wonder what gym Fedor Emelianenko calls home?A� Based out of St. Petersburg, Russia, Emieianenko, his brothers Aleksander and Ivan, his childhood coaches Vladimir Voronov, and Aleksander Michkov, and many other Strikeforce favorites call Red Devil Sport Club home.

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Red Devil Sport Club began as a Combat Sambo training ground and as recently as the union of Red Devil and the Emelianenkos in 2005 has migrated with quick succession in the direction of mixed martial arts.A� Most of the athletes are Russian or Armenian and train in a variety of specialties ranging from Sambo to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Muay Thai to MMA.A� Founded by Vadim Finkelstein, also the creator of M-1 Global, an MMA promotion naming stars such as Arman Gambaryan and Ibragim Magomedov.

With the strength of F. Emelianenko and currently the rise in fame of his brothers, many MMA stronghands (Victor Nemkov (below) and Aleksander Garkushenko, for example) were drawn to train at the Red Devil.A� The team has created a strong name for itself by consistently performing as one of the top MMA teams in Russia since the start of M-1.

For spiritual reasons, F. Emelianenko requested that the Red Devil Team be referred to as the Imperial Team.A� The name stuck around after due to Emelianenko’s excessive fame.A� He is easily considered the top MMA artist in the sport.

In 2009, A. Emelianenko left Red Devil with little to no explanation but continues to practice with is brothers, coaches, and family friends.

As 2008 M-1 Challenge Champions, Imperial Team entered the 2009 challenge looking for success.A� They came up short, failing to win the competition this year, largely due to the constant change in fighters.A� Imperial Team often encourages newer fighter to be entered into the fight so that they may gain experience.A� While this is a kind gesture and good training strategy for the athletes, it is not helping the team overall.A� The team will be looking to reclaim their title in 2010.

MMA Legend, Erik Paulson, Is Coming To State College/Penn State To Conduct A MMA Seminar In October 2009

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MMA pioneer, Erik Paulson, will be making his annual Combat Submission Wrestling(CSW) Seminar visit to Titan Fitness, State College, PA on October 24th and 25th, 2009.A� To reserve your spot please contact Paul Zelinka or Bruce Lombard @ 814-235-1015 or info@titanfitness.com.A� You can also visit www.titanfitness.com or www.lombardmma.comfor more information.A� Do not miss this opportunity to learn from one of the top MMA Coaches and former fighter’s in the world.

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Erik Paulson is the former 2-time light heavyweight Shooto World Champion.A� He is the only American ever to achieve this title.A� Coach Paulson travels around the world to share his MMA knowledge and fighting system.A� His seminars are known for the abundance of information, interaction, and charisma.

Erik Paulson is the founder of Combat Submission Wrestling(CSW).A� CSW is regarded as the most dominant MMA system in the world.A� This fighting system encompasses three areas: kickboxing, clinching, and grappling.A� Combat Submission Wrestling is a blend of many systems which includes: Muay Thai, French Savate, Western Boxing, Greco-Roman, Freestyle Wrestling, Shooto, Judo, Brazilian Jui Jitsu.

Erik currently trains some of the top MMA fighters in the world, including: Josh Barnett(UFC veteran, Pride Veteran, Affliction #1 heavyweight contender); Bobalu Sobral(UFC veteran, Affliction light heavyweight); and coach/cornerman for Brock Lesner(current UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Please visit Erik @ www.erikpaulson.com

New fighter takes MMA by surprise

Every once in awhile, a new athlete bursts onto the sports scene that takes everyone by surprise.A� There have been unexpected stories of overcoming adversities and achieving success that cana��t help but make you smileA�and think, “Well, maybe if he could do it, then so can I!”

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Plenty of fighters make their professional Mixed Martial Arts debut every year.A� Not many of them do it with just one arm.

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Fighter Nic Newell has had to overcome a physical disability that he was born with in order to achieve his dreams of fighting for the UFC.A� Although his left arm ends after his elbow, he chooses not to wear a prosthetic.

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Newell’s disability hasn’t deterred his will and determination to fight.

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Newell, 23, faced his first professional lightweight fight on June 20 and defeated Dan Ford in a Cagefighting Xtreme event in Plymouth, Mass.A�A� Newell won by a technical knockout (TKO), three minutes into the first round.A� Before going professional, Newell had a 2-1 amateur record and has been turning heads ever since.

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Previously, Forda��s professional record was 1-2, according to mixedmartialarts.com.

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Former National Amateur Fight League 155lb championship winner Newell may have a disadvantage when it comes to fighting, but he doesna��t think of it in that way.

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a�?Regardless of whether I have a disability or not, I always want to win and be the best,a�? Newell said in an interview with Fanhouse.A� He attributes his success to determination, ability to adapt to adversity and perseveranceA�to achieve his dreams.A�A�A�

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He also stated that throughout his career, he hopes to show that people with disabilities can be successful, and to not give up on your goals.

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Before fighting in MMA events, Newell was an all-state high school wrestler and won over 150 matches.A� Newell also captioned the team.A� After high school, he went on to wrestle in college at Western New England College, where he earned a bachelora��s degree in communication.A�

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He became interested in MMA after he saw the sport on television and then went to witness it live.

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Today, NewellA�splits hisA�trainingA�betweenA�Fighting Arts Academy and the Ultimate MMA Training Center, in Massachusetts and Connecticut, respectively.A�

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Check out Nick Newella��s personal MySpace page here.

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10 Things you should know about MMA

With the world of Mixed Martial Arts growing more popular by the day, there are many misconceptions about the sport.A� Herea��s setting the record straight.

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10.A� MMA has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks.

Around 600 BC, the Greeks started a new sport in their ancient Olympic Games.A� This new sport, Pankration (meaning a�?all powersa�?) combined the elements of wrestling and boxing into one sport.A� Similar to today, matches were fought in rings and were won by knocking your opponent unconscious orA�through submission by the opponent raising his hand.

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9.A� Many believe that fighters fast to lose weightA�in days before an event, but most chose to lose it in a healthy way.A�A� Fighters often lose the weightA�inflatable tents through different ways.A� Some use diet and exercise, while others go sweat it out in the sauna.A� Seemingly, most fighters are dedicated to a healthy and natural diet all year, as to avoid the last minute weight loss.

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8.A� Some fighters say the biggest mistake you can make is not being humble.A� In an interview with MMA frenzy, Cole Miller said that not being humble often leads to a humiliating loss, makingA�a fighter want toA�rethinkA�his career choice.

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7.A� MMA is a team sport–A�a fighter’sA�team, staff and trainers are the force behind the fighters.A� Theya��re the people closest to the fighter; after spending hours a day in training, theya��re often thought of as family.A� Fighters and coaches often give their all to each other, which has been a winning combination in the world of MMA.

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6.A� UFC champs gets to keep the belt.A� UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez supposedly tried to sell his belt on Ebay in 2008 to raise money for a local school.

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5.A� The first publicized a�?MMAa�? event was in China in 1909 between British boxer Hercules Oa��Brien and Chinese martial artist Huo Yuan Jia.A� The fighters had a hard time agreeing to the rules of the match, but they decided that whoever could knock down the other would win.A�

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The 2006 movie Fearless, is loosely based off of this fight and focuses on Yuan Jiaa��s life, who is arguably one of the most famous Chinese martial artists of all times.

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4.A� Thought Cub Swanson got knocked out quickly in June 2009 by Jose Aldo?A� His eight seconds before knockout is a century compared to the knockout of Lautaro Tucas by Chris Clements in three seconds back in 2006.

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3.A� UFCA�continued to growA�in popularity in theA�mid 90s, when they promoted their fights as a�?the bloodiest fighting youa��ll ever see.a�?A� Critics referred to it as a�?human cockfighting.a�?A� Interestingly, the sporta��s death rate is extremely low; its death count is currently being debated.A� Some reports, for example associatedcontent.com,A�A�state there are no deaths in the sporta��s history, others, such as Grapplearts.com, say one death has occurred.A�

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2.A� MMA is one of the most regulated sports in the world.A� With numerous rules and judges, in addition to set time limits and amount of rounds, the leaguea��s concern for the fightersa�� safety is most important.A� The regulation system is under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts and includes over 30 rules.A� Many of these rules are similar to those used in Olympic events.

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More precautions are taken with fighters than with many athletes fromA�other sports.A� Medical teams are present at every fight, and fighters often receive MRIs both before and after fights.

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1.A� MMA fighters have been successful collegiate athletes and Olympic athletes; the first ever being Mark Schultz, who received a gold medal in wrestling during the 1984 Olympic Games.A� Schultz fought one MMA fight before returning to coach wrestling at the collegiate level.

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Other Olympic athletes and MMA fighters include Rulon Gardner, Kevin Jackson and Kenny Monday.A� Most have only fought in several matches.

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To learn about the misconceptions of the dangers of UFC, click here.

ToA�read more aboutA�the quickest knockouts, click here.

From UFC 1 to 100: Evolution of the UFC

To see athletes of different or similar fighting practices challenge each other – that has always been the goal behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

That goal has come a long way since the UFCa��s conceptual development in 1991. The original concept was a single event tournament to discover the worlda��s best fighting style. The tournament aired in 1993, and was a mini-success, with nearly 90,000 Pay Per View buys. At the time the tournament aired, the entire concept of a�?mixed martial arts,a�? as we know it today, did not really exist. The tournament placed athletes of only one fighting art against each another, pitting boxers against Karate, and wrestlers against jiu jitsu and everything in between. Most times, fighters did not know what to do to handle the other opponent as they had never faced someone of that particular art, and the matches were often lacking in entertainment value. Another problem also existed. There were no weight classes, usually setting opponents together with huge size differentials. While this proved to be entertaining at times, this was not practical, especially if the UFC had any desire to be a legitimate organization.

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Due to its success, the UFC became a recurring tournament, but many aspects of the tournament needed to be addressed. With a tag-line that read a�?there are no rules!a�? and a�?fighting techniquesa�? such as hair pulling, groin strikes and head butting allowed; the UFC had to revamp ita��s entire concept if there was any hope in becoming a permanent fixture in the sporting community.

The tournament had aired five times but in 1995, it started to gain negative popularity, attracting wide press coverage from all over the nation, most of it very unfavorable. Political action was quickly taken against the UFC, and Senator John McCain led the campaign, calling the UFC a�?human cock fighting.a�? It was dropped shortly after by major cable and pay per view providers, and in 1997, 36 states had banned no-holds-barred fighting. The UFC was launched into the abyss of sports, thought by many to never be seen again.

However, in response to all the criticism, and much to the surprise of many, the UFC began to cooperate with state athletic commissions. The transformation of the UFC into a legitimate sporting event began to take place. The rules were revamped, eliminating the a�?dirtya�? aspects of the tournament like hair pulling, groin shots, and head butting, as well as putting an emphasis on the core elements of the UFC as we know it today; striking, grappling, and punching. With UFC 12 came the introduction of weight classes, UFC 14 mandatory gloves, UFC 15 the banning of strikes to the back of the head and neck, and UFC 21 the introduction of 5 minute rounds. By 1999, the UFC had evolved into a full-fledged sport, almost ready to be accepted by both politicians, and the sporting community. With UFC 28 in 2000, the final step was taken in legitimizing the UFC as an athletic organization, and the New Jersey State Athletic Commission sanctioned the event.

In 2001 the UFC was sold to Zuffa LLC and Dana White. With UFC 33 in September of that year, came ita��s returned to main stream cable television and PPV. With effective advertisement and a partnership with the Spike TV network in 2005 for the development of the currently running show, The Ultimate Fighter, now in season 9, the UFC quickly gained mainstream popularity.

On July 11th, UFC 100 is scheduled to take place, and will mark a very important milestone for the UFC. Sixteen years and 100 events since its creation in 1993; from a no-holds-barred tournament with sumo wrestlers and kick boxers to what it is known as today. The card will be headlined by Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar. Ten other fights are on both combined main, and undercard, for an event that is sure to out do the last; something the UFC seems to accomplish with all their recent events.

Despite much adversity, the UFC is the quickest growing sport in American and a far cry from its early no-holds-barred days. It is no longer just a tournament but a multimillion dollar organization and mainstream sporting event. The fighters that participate in the UFC are no longer athletes of two very different fighting arts. This current generation of fighters has a very mixed array of skills, and study everything from wrestling to Jiu Jitsu. The UFC is beginning to reach global audiences, and recently held its first event, UFC 99 early this month, in mainland Europe. With good fights, smart advertising, and entertaining television, the UFCa��s future is very bright.

A Punch Above The Rest

Located in Los Angeles, California, Legends Training Center is one of the countrya��s premier mixed martial arts gyms. Besides being home to world famous trainers and coaches, who have guided the likes of Quinton a�?Rampagea�? Jackson and Kimbo Slice, mixed martial arts legends, like Bas Rutten, invest in and frequently train at Legends gym. Their training techniques and focus makes the Legends gym one of the most successful in the country and sets them apart from most of the rest. Legends is one in a handful of professional class gyms that can encompass all the aspects of mix martial arts into their training program, and is one of the foremost sought-out gyms for want-to-be mixed martial artists.

Owner Chris Reilly, who co-founded the gym with former UFC heavyweight champions and legends, Bass Rutten and Randy Couture, has a large professional background in boxing and kickboxing as well as an expansive amateur background in Karate, Tangsudo, Hapkido, and Taekwondo, claiming a black belt in all four martial arts. In 2001 Reilly won the a�?Kinga��s Birthday,a�? championship in Thailand, being the only American to ever do so, and was crowned the IKKC Junior Middleweight Champion in 2003.

Eddie Bravo, Legendsa�� Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor, is a North America pioneer in Jiu Jitsu. Bravo is the founder of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, a large chain of gyms, that have reached world fame. Bravo is attributed with evolving the sport of Jiu Jitsu to how it is used today in mixed martial arts. 10th Planet Jiu JItsu gyms are located all over the world from Toronto, Canada to Stockholm, Sweden. Bravo is the 2002 North American Abu Dhabi Combat Club champion, receiving a�?most technical fightera�? honors, and is the 2000 Grappler’s Quest champion.

Peter Nylund cofounded the Bomb Squad Gym with Chris Reilly in 2002, the precursor to Legends, and teaches Muay Thai and Boxing at the Legends gym. Nylund was the 200 Swedish welterweight champion in shoot fighting, and in 2001 was the Swedish junior middleweight champion in Muay Thai. He is ranked as one of Swedena��s top 50 athletes.

The rest of Legends trainers and coaches are the best in the business, bar none, and their bios can be found at Who We Are.

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Legends has not just changed the way mixed martial arts is trained and studied inside the gym. The Legends mixed martial arts blog has changed the way people talk about and discuss mixed martial arts outside of the gym. Their blog is one of the premiere online sources for amateur and professional mixed martial arts on the West Coast.A� the Legends blog gets interviews with up and coming fighters, and keeps fans updated on the latest mixed martial arts news from fight cancelations, to fighter affiliation, and covers the activity of almost all professional mixed martial arts organizations.

The Legends gym is one of the few gyms in the world to reach the iconic status, as a place where champions are bred. Only a few boxing gyms in America claim this status. Gyms such as the Kronk Gym in Detroit, Michigan, and the Wild Card Gym, in Hollywood, California. Even fewer mixed martial arts gyms have claim to this status. Legends, and a few others if any, are among those that have achieved such recognition.

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