Posts tagged: WEC

Alvan, Preparing Gonzaga for UFC Live

World-class trainer and manager Marco Alvan has helped develop some of the MMA world’s most talented fighters. A�Alvan, the head instructor for Team Link BJJ in Ludlow, Massa., is currently training heavyweight Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (11-4) for his upcoming fight at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones.

Gonzaga and Alvan

A successful MMA fighter and grappler in his own right, Alvan began training in Judo in 1981 at just eight years old. A�At the age of 15, he began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Master Jorge Pina Barbosa. A�Barbosa brought Alvan to the original Gracie Barra school in Alvan’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Alvan began training under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. at Barra Gracie, where he shared the mat with Renzo, Ryan and Ralph Gracie at the same time as they were developing their BJJ skills. A�He ended his training at Gracie Barra, after receiving his blue belt, and joined the Brazilian army at the age of 19.

Master Carlos Augusto, a fourth-degree BJJ black belt under Master Reylson Gracie, soon opened up a gym in the town that Alvan had relocated to. A�Alvan began training at the gym and earned his black belt under Augusto. Alvan taught BJJ in the Brazilian army for seven years.

In 2001, Alvan came to America to help Augusto at his affiliate in California, but he soon decided to relocate to Massachusetts, where he had family. A�He had trouble finding a job as a BJJ instructor at first due to location and language barriers, but eventually established a large enough student base to found his own academy and fight team, Marco Alvan BJJ.

Alvan at the NY International BJJ Open

The team changed its name to Link BJJ with the addition of Gonzaga in 2006. A�Team Link is now host to many notable MMA fighters and grapplers, including Gonzaga, UFC welterweight Ricardo Funch (7-1), former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho (19-1), World Fighting League and XCFL light-heavyweight champion Alexandre Moreno (10-2), heavyweight Brian Olsen (9-1) and many other developing fighters. A�UFC light-heavyweight Thiago Silva was formerly managed by Alvan and trained at Team Link.

In addition to being a distinguished MMA team, Link BJJ holds many achievements in grappling competition. A�Team Link has won the title of North American Grappling Association (NAGA) New England overall team champion for six consecutive years. A�Alvan holds many individual accomplishments in grappling as well.

On Feb. 4, 2006, Alvan was named Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor of the year (2005), and inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame. A�In 2009, he placed first in the black belt division of the New York International Open Championship hosted by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). A�Alvan also holds a purple belt in Judo.

Alvan was scheduled to meet UFC veteran and TUF season four contestant Jorge Rivera in a 10-minute NAGA no-gi superfight on Feb. 6, but the grappling match was postponed due to Rivera’s upcoming fight with Nate Quarry at UFC Fight Night 21. A�Alvan has a background competing in MMA as well, going 3-1 in professional competitions in both Brazil and America before retiring.

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Paulo Filho is expected to meet Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard in a non-title fight at Bellator Fighting Championships 19 on May 20.

Ricardo Funch was scheduled to face Matt Riddle at UFC 111, but was forced out of the fight due to a foot laceration.

Gabriel Gonzaga will meet Junior Dos Santos in the co-main event of UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones Sunday night. The event will air live on Versus at 9 p.m. EST.

Video: Marco Alvan at NY International BJJ Open (2009)A�and Team Link instructional videos

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

Fighters, Trainers at Black House, ‘All Part of The Family,’ says Ed Soares

Black House MMA is home to some of the most accomplished and promising fighters in all of MMA. Tough Media’s Ed Soares and viagra super active Jorge Guimaraes founded the private facility, based out of Los Angeles, CA, in order to provide a place for the fighters they represent to train when in the area.

Tough Media is a management company headed by Soares and Guimaraes, co-owners and operators of Black House MMA.

Guimaraes and Soares are extremely influential and successful figures in the MMA world. A�Guimaraes came to America with the Gracie family and quickly became an ambassador for the sport of MMA. A� Guimaraes has worked with Pride and the UFC and in 1997 launched “Passing The Guard,” a show focused on MMA news and coverage: the first of its kind. A�Soares, owner of Sinister Brand Clothing, joined Guimares to produce the show on American television in April of 2004.

Ed Soares and Anderson Silva

“Black House is not so much a team, but a facility for all the fighters,” said Ed Soares in a recent interview via telephone. A�”Each fighter has a different set of trainers, depending upon who they’re fighting next and their strategy. A�Each fighter has a camp tailored to his needs.”

Black House hosts an impressive list of MMA superstars including, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Junior Dos Santos, Pedro Rizzo, Paulo Filho, Wagney Fabiano, Thales Leites, Diego Nunes, Chase Gormley, Andre Galvao, Fabricio Camoes, Glover Teixeira, Mario Miranda and Rafael Cavalcante.

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Black House fighter and UFC heavyweight contender, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, has an upcoming match-up against Cain Velasquez on Feb. 21 in the main event of UFC 110. Nogueira left Brazilian Top Team to train with Black House in 2007 and has gone 3-1 in the UFC since.

Rodrigo Nogueria with trainer Luiz Alves

Nogueira is currently training in San Diego with training partners Mark Munoz and Junior Dos Santos, according to Soares. Nogueira is working with his boxing coach Luiz Dorea and his new muay tai coach Billy Schiebe in preparation for the fight.

Nogueira’s regular muay tai coach since 2000, Luiz Alves, suffered a stroke and crashed his car into a post in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on Jan. 26. Alves, president of the Brazilian Muay Thai Federation, remains hospitalized. The accident marks a huge blow to Nogueira’s camp.

Dominant UFC middleweight champion and arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Anderson Silva, is in preparation for his main event title defense against Vitor Belfort on Apr. 10 at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi. Silva is currently training with coach Josuel Distak, a former trainer of Belfort, for his upcoming fight, according to Soares.

Anderson Silva's Training Crew

Silva is working with his muay thai coach Daniel Woirin, stregnth and conditioning coach Rogerio Camoes and boxing coach Cesario in preparation for the fight. He often works on his boxing with legendary trainer Freddie Roach as well.

Silva is working with his training partners, Andre Galvao, Rafael Cavalcante and Ronaldo Souza. Silva and Nogueira often train together as well.

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“It’s not so much the coaches. It’s the group of people he trains with. Anderson is different. He puts on a good camp,” said Soares.

Fight Notes: Danny Castillo vs. Shane Roller

Danny Castillo vs. Shane Roller

Shane Roller – Strong wrestling, though did get taken down. Favors the guillotine. During the striking, he had a tendancy to turn his face away from the opponent while covering up for a jab cross, leaving him blind for a 3rd or 4th strike. Managed to survive a mount, and get the choke for the win.

Danny Castillo – Strong punches, especially his straight punches. Tends to loop his hooks a little bit, and square his hips, leaving him open to strikes, especially to the body. Showed strong takedown defense against the accomplished roller, but couldn’t hold off for three rounds, and though gaining the mount once, was eventually the victim of the battle for position, and gave up the rear naked choke.

Roller By Submission in the 3rd
Submission: Rear Naked Choke
Position: Rear Mount

Fight Notes: Donald Cerrone vs. Ben Henderson

Donald Cerrone vs.A� Ben Henderson

Ben Henderson – Extremely solid submission defense and submission awareness. Able to stack cerrone and keep his head high to deliver precise punches in Cerrone. Wrestling skills helped him dominate in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but he lacks the wind for solid late round takedowns.Standup game was crisp, but too close to even with donald.

Cerrone – Crisp striking, and strong ground submission attempts gave henderson a lot to think about all night. While henderson managed to do more damange with effective ground striking in the 2nd and 3rd, Donald offered more submission attempts and probably the cleaner overall standing strikes, but takedowns carried the balence with the judges.

Henderson by 5th Round Decision

Fighter Notes Scott Jorgensen vs. Noah Thomas

Scott Jorgensen vs. Noah Thomas

Scott – showed impressive ground and pound, was solid in his transitions. Effective straight punching. tendancy to head hunt, but it paid off, most effective strike was a jab-cross that dropped white. Almost got finished with a triangle when he dropped in to pound out white near the end of the fight. Should consider making opponents stand up when they are hurt, and he has such a dominent skill advantage standing up.

White – Ground game was effective at times at preventing damage, and maintaining position. Most significant attack was a submission attack from the bottom after getting dropped by a jab cross. Needs to work on his stand-up game if he is going to progress to the next level, because is ground game isn’t impressive enough to be a dominant threat.

  • Scott by 1st Round TKO
  • Position: Guard
  • Strike: Elbows

Styles Make Fights: WEC 42 – Torres vs. Bowles (Freestyle vs. Freestyle)

The day after one pound-for-pound king reaffirmed his claim to the throne, another P4P contender was sent crashing down to earth.

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Brian Bowles conquers Miguel Torres and stands atop the WEC Bantamweight class

Brian Bowles conquers Miguel Torres and stands atop the WEC Bantamweight class

In the main event of WEC 42, undefeated challenger Brian Bowles chose to strike with champion Miguel Torres and was handsomely rewarded; Bowles floored Torres and finished him with strikes on the ground, ending the 17-fight win streak of Torres and becoming the new WEC Bantamweight Champion.

The fighters measure each other in the first minute of the fight, but Bowles draws the first hit by landing a right punch on Torres. They clinch against the cage and Bowles trips Torres and takes him down, then uses elbows to hit Torres. Torres pushes off and sends a trio of upkicks flying at the face of Bowles. Bowles elects to stand back up. Torres rattles Bowles with a punch combo and charges in for the kill, but Bowles smashes Torres with a right hook which floors Torres. Torres tries to posture up, but Bowles cracks him in the face with more rights. Torres tries to pull guard, but one last straight right from Bowles knocks Torres out cold for the shock knockout.

It was certainly a shock to see one of the world’s top 10 P4P fighters get finished in the first round. Bowles pushed the fight from the get go, initiating the action while Torres reacted to it. Torres has a tendency to pounce when he scores a hit, and Bowles used that to his advantage by landing the huge counter-hook which put Torres down. Whether it was just a bad night for Torres or not remains to be seen, but as of today the king of the WEC 135 pound division is now the undefeated champion Bowles.

Styles Make Fights: WEC 42 – Benavidez vs. Cruz (Submission Wrestling vs. Wrestling)

In the fight to determine who is next in line for a WEC Bantamweight title shot, Dominick Cruz won a fantastic scrap of a battle against Joseph Benavidezi??taking a UD victory and handing Benavidez his first career loss.

Cruz, who towers over Benavidez in terms of size, engages Benavidez in some run-and-gun striking to start the fight, then throws Benavidez to the ground. Benavidez pops back up and immediately goes back to strike with Cruz. The clinch, then Cruz switches and gets a double-leg takedown. Benavidez gets up and throws a shin kick towards Cruz’s face for good measure. Benavidez is swinging for the fences, but falls into a takedown. Both men engage in a furious scramble where Benavidez is caught in back mount but does a Gilbert Melendez-like spin to get out of trouble. Both men stand as the round ends.

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Dominick Cruz announces his arrival into the bantamweight title picture with an impressive display

Dominick Cruz announces his arrival into the bantamweight title picture with an impressive display

The pace doesn’t slow in round two, with Benavidez doing his best Takeya Mizugaki impression and rushing forward, looking for a brawl. Cruz waits to counter, and when Benavidez slips trying to high kick, Cruz tees off with strikes, chases down Benavidez, and drags him to the ground. Again, Benavidez refuses to stay down and gets back up. Cruz continues to be evasive, ducking and weaving while loading up high kicks which keep Benavidez at bay. A lightning-quick takedown by Cruz finally gets Benavidez down in guard as the round ends.

Benavidez goes for a jumping roundhouse to start round three, but whiffs. Cruz slips on a kick but gets back up before Benavidez can land anything. Benavidez continues to plow forward, throwing toward the body, but Cruz lands a big leg kick. Cruz leg trips Benavidez and lands in side control, but Benavidez gets up again. Both men throw hard, and Benavidez spins out of a Cruz throw. Both men kick but Cruz gets the takedown and scrambles all over Benavidez as the battle ends. The fans voice their approval as Cruz takes the hard-fought UD victory.

Cruz, who is undefeated at bantamweight, utilized his size and reach well to defend against Benavidez and his go-for-broke striking style, but the real difference in this fight was the speed of Cruz. Cruz got the takedown at will, and while he wasn’t able to hold Benavidez down much, he was more than able to match Benavidez in the striking department. Cruz, with his combination of size and speed, presents an interesting challenge to whomever comes out of WEC 42 with the WEC Bantamweight belt. Benavidez didn’t hurt his own stock much with the loss, and a fight with someone like Mizugaki or Manny Tapia would vault Benavidez right back into the title picture.

Styles Make Fights: WEC 42 – Mizugaki vs. Curran (Brawling vs. BJJ)

In a bout to determine which fighter would stay relevant in the WEC Bantamweight title picture, former featherweight contender Jeff Curran’s losing streak was extended to four fights as Takeya Mizugaki won his first WEC victory with a split decision win.

Mizugaki can smile more now with his WEC win in his pocket.

Mizugaki can smile more now with his first WEC win in his pocket.

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Curran starts off by catching a low kick, but Mizugaki sprawls and fights off the single-leg attempt while Curran refuses to let it go. Curran has the single-leg for over two minutes, but Mizugaki will not go down, and eventually switches Currans back against the cage before tripping Curran down. Mizugaki throws big punches and elbows, but Curran explodes off an armbar attempt and sweeps Mizugaki. Curran has the back briefly, but Mizugaki turns into Currans guard and throws strikes as the round ends.

Curran stings Mizugaki with a punch to start round two, and Mizugaki responds by throwing hard leg kicks. Curran throws high kicks, but Mizugaki plows forward and clinches. Mizugaki muscles Curran to the ground. Mizugaki postures up to strike while Curran tries to push off Mizugaki’s thighs, but ends up back in guard. Curran cranks Mizugaki in a one-arm guillotine when Mizugaki was pushing them toward the cage. The round ends with Mizugaki waiting out the choke.

Both men throw to start the final round before Mizugaki once again gets the takedown. Curran fishes for guillotines and triangles, but Mizugaki slips them all. Currans constant activity doesn’t give Mizugaki time to tee off with ground-and-pound. In the final 30 seconds, Curran finally hits the sweep and gets his legs up, locking in a tight triangle. Mizugaki desperately pulls, but Curran rolls on top, working both the arm and the triangle. Mizugaki rolls again, and despite the triangle being locked in, somehow is able to survive until the bell. The last flurry by Curran is unable to seal the deal however, as Mizugaki’s dominance in the first two rounds gives him the split decision victory. The crowd unexpectedly voices their approval of the decision.

The bout was another firm example of the scoring standards of the UFC and the WEC. Before the final minute of round three, Mizugaki was clearly winning the fight, but Currans final moves came the closest to producing a finish to the fight. Much like the Uno-Fisher fight at UFC 99, the final-minute explosion by one fighter wasn’t enough to overcome the relative monotony of the first two rounds. While this finish wasn’t nearly as controversial as Uno-Fisher, the importance of takedowns in the eyes of American judges has just been reinforced.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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�


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.


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,A�A�state there are no deaths in the sporta��s history, others, such as, say one death has occurred.A�


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.


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.


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.


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


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

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

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