Posts tagged: UFC 109

AKA Fighters, Staying Hard at Work

Fighters at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) have been very busy in the past month, many making a name for themselves, as fighters, in mainstream MMA, and others hope to improve their reputation in upcoming months.

Javier Mendez

The American Kickboxing Academy is a gym located in San Jose, California.  AKA’s training staff members have diverse sets of martial skills and come from very different backgrounds.  This diversity is the gym’s greatest strength, because it allows for the development of more well-rounded and intelligent MMA fighters.

AKA gained notoriety due to its talented and experienced training staff, as well as Javier “Thunder” Mendez’s success as a kickboxer and MMA trainer.  Mendez, the owner and head trainer at AKA, is a former ISKA World Kickboxing champion and Martial art practitioner with over 25 years of experience in various martial arts.

One fight UFC veteran “Crazy” Bob Cook is the head MMA trainer and head manager for MMA fighters at AKA. Cook holds a 5-0 undefeated record in MMA.  His last fight was at UFC 24 in March of 2000 in which he submitted Tiki Ghosen by rear-naked choke.

Head grappling coach David Camarillo is a black belt in both judo and brazilian jiu jitsu.  Camarillo holds various accomplishments, including winning several high-caliber grappling competitions and even winning the 1998 Folsom Free Fighting Challenge, a no holds barred fighting competition.

The remaining instructors at AKA vary in discipline and experience from professional MMA fighters to former professional boxers and kickboxers, muay tai practitioners and grappling specialists.  They include Jerome Turcan, Travis Johnson, Mike Sotelo, Andy Fong, Derek Yuen, Josh Thomson, Gary Owens, Stacey D. Dupree and Daniel DeTagle.

AKA Fighters

Herschel Walker

AKA holds a roster with considerable talent and a diversity of fighters in terms of martial strengths.  Its current roster includes numerous UFC veterans, including Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick, Phil Davis, Josh Thomson, Cain Velasquez, Paul Buentello, Trevor Prangley, Christian Wellisch, Richard Crunkilton, Bobby Southworth and Kyle Kingsbury.  AKA also has many Strikeforce veterans, including former Middleweight champion Cung Le, Herschel Walker, Billy Evangelista, Daniel Puder, Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold, Justin Wilcox and Nate Moore.

AKA trains several fighters, competing in top-level organizations, who hold undefeated records.  These fighters include Phil Davis, Cain Velasquez, Billy Evangelista, Daniel Puder, Daniel Cormier and Herschel Walker

Phil Davis at UFC 109

Heisman trophy winner and 12 season NFL veteran Herschel Walker made his MMA debut on Jan. 30 at Strikeforce: Miami at the age of 47.  Walker took down and pummeled Greg Nagy, achieving a technical knock out in the third round (2:17).

Penn State graduate and NCAA wrestling champion Phil Davis won his UFC debut on Saturday at UFC 109.  Davis controlled the fight, dominating Brian Stann on the ground, and earned a unanimous decision victory.

Cain Velasquez will face off against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the main event of UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia on Feb. 21.  The winner will likely be a top-contender for the heavyweight title.

Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck at AKA

UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch is scheduled to meet Thiago Alves at UFC 111 in Newark, NJ on Mar. 27.  Fitch is on a three fight win streak after losing a unanimous decision title match to Georges St. Pierre in August of 2008 at UFC 87.  Fitch defeated Alves by knock out in the second round (4:37) of their first meeting at UFC: Ultimate Fight Night 5 in June of 2006.

UFC welterweight contender Josh Koscheck is set to fight Paul Daley at UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec on May 8.  Koscheck and Daley each hold a two fight win streak in the UFC coming into the fight.

AKA Fighters – Highlight Video

History in the making, Couture-Coleman; Brazil sweeps the Main Card

One day before the New Orleans Saints wrote a new page in their franchise’s history, legendary fighter Mark Coleman, 45, indicated he would “probably” hang up the gloves after submitting to a rear-naked chokehold (1:09) from none other than Randy Couture, 46, in the second round of the Main Card Light Heavyweight bout at UFC 109.

The two were originally supposed to face off during the adolescent years of Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1998 at UFC 17, but were unable to because of a Couture injury.

After a ten-year hiatus from the Octagon, Coleman has lost two of three bouts. The latest bout featured an aggressive Couture, who was able to toss Coleman around the cage with little opposition in the first round. In the second, Couture continued the beating, eventually leading to the rear-naked choke that decided Coleman’s fate. The fight lasted just six minutes. Couture is now 18-10-0.

Also in the Main Card were two Middleweight fights and two Welterweight fights – three of which won bonuses. Fighters winning bonuses were granted $60,000.

In the Middleweight action, Brazilian Demian Maia faced off against the United States’ own, Dan Miller. After a devastating 21-second knockout was dished out by Nate Marquardt in August, Maia looked to rebound hard against Miller.

In the first round, Maia strategically used the stand-up game and his hands to send a message. Miller dropped his guard and ended up on his back, which gave Maia the upper hand early.

Throughout the rest of the match, it was a battle of martial arts tactics, and punches and kicks were landed on both sides. In the final frame, Maia tried for submissions against the cage on Miller, but was slightly unsuccessful. The final decision came unanimously in favor of Maia: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.

Sonnen vs Marquardt

Chael Sonnen handling Nate Marquardt; Image courtesy of mmaweekly.com

In what was named the “Fight of the Night,” Nate Marquardt took on the outspoken Chael Sonnen. Sonnen, who had words for Marquardt before the middleweight title eliminator, used his natural wrestling maneuvers to control the upper-hand on Marquardt for the entire match.

Despite Marquardt’s efforts, which resulted in a deep forehead cut for Sonnen, and a late pummeling in the closing seconds, Sonnen was still able to get the unanimous victory: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27. Sonnen now looks towards the winner of the Silva-Vitor at April’s UFC 112, hoping that Silva wins for the sake of battling “the lower road.”

In a more fast-paced bout, and what would be named “Submission of the Night,” welterweights Paulo Thiago (Brazil) and Mike Swick squared off in the Octagon. Thiago, now 13-1, was able to put away Swick very easily at 1:54 in Round 2 with a quick right-hand counter, which resulted in a lights-out D’Arce choke.

Check out the Countdown to UFC 109 Preview video below of the Thiago-Swick fight.

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Finally, the Knockout of the Night was awarded to welterweight Matt Serra. Serra battled Frank Trigg in what would result in a quick and easy knockout at 2:23 in first round. After a nasty right-handed blow that would knock Trigg to the ground, Serra mounted his opponent and finished him off with punches, forcing the fight to be called due to a knockout.

Overall, Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center drew a crowd of 10,687, with a gate of $2.27 million.

Coleman attempts to put Team Hammer House back on center stage

Mark “The Hammer” Coleman’s Team Hammer House has fallen on hard times as of late.  However, Coleman hopes to turn the trend around as he meets another MMA great and fellow UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture this weekend at UFC 109 Relentless.

Team Hammer House is a MMA team operating out of Columbus, Ohio, focused on amateur wrestling, and made up of mostly former NCAA wrestlers.  The team has cross training deals with notable fighters and camps such as Matt Serra, Pat Miletich, and Xtreme Couture MMA.

The main strengths of Team Hammer House are its wrestling and ground-and-pound.  Coleman is credited with being one of the first American MMA fighters to successfully use the strategy of ground-and-pound, which has earned him the nickname of the “Godfather of Ground-and-Pound.”

Coleman, the founder of Team Hammer House, holds numerous accomplishments in the world of professional MMA.  He is a UFC Hall of Famer, the first ever UFC heavyweight champion, and the winner of the UFC 10 tournament, UFC 11 tournament, and 2000 Pride openweight GP tournament.  Coleman, like many of his teammates at Hammer House, is a former NCAA collegiate wrestler.

Team Hammer House holds a roster with several prominent fighters, including four UFC veterans: two of whom are former UFC champions. The team’s notable fighters include: Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Wes Sims and Branden Lee Hinkle.  Phil Baroni, a UFC, Pride and Strikeforce veteran, is a former member of Team Hammer House.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman is a senior member of  Team Hammer House. Randleman, a former collegiate wrestler and two time Division I NCAA champion, was defeated by Mike Whitehead via unanimous decision in June of 2009 during his Strikeforce debut at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields.  The fight marked his first fight in over a year due to a shoulder injury, as well as his first fight in America in nearly seven years.  In his most recent fight Randleman was defeated by Stanislav Nedkov via split decision at World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 11.

Wes Sims, three-fight UFC veteran  and The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights cast member, recently fought Bobby Lashley on the main card of Strikeforce: Miami. Sims was stopped in the first round via technical knock out (2:06).

Branden Lee Hinkle, three-fight UFC veteran and NCAA Division II national wrestling champion, was stopped by Chris Tuchscherer in round 4 (4:43) of his most recent fight at SNMMA: Beatdown at Four Bears. Hinkle has lost four of his last five fights after going undefeated in his previous nine matches.

Coleman scored a unanimous decision victory over Stephan Bonner in his last fight at UFC 100 after falling to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via technical knock out in the third round (4:36) at UFC93.  He is currently training with Team Hammer House in preparation for his match with Randy Couture this Saturday Feb. 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.

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Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 109 will begin at 10 p.m. EST.

Randy Couture Training for UFC 109

Randy Couture is looking to be in top shape for his UFC 109 main event bout against Mark ”The Hammer” Coleman.  Couture is coming off a unanimous decision victory against Brandon Vera at UFC 105.  Coleman last fought at UFC 100 when he out-wrestled Stephan Bonner and won a unanimous decision. 

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