Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Andria Caplan has been proving her talents in amateur fights, most recently an impressive unanimous decision over Amanda Wilcoxen-Morgan. Recently she was offered the chance to make her pro debut fighting for Bellator on October 15th. With it being close to home, giving her her first chance to fight close to home, the decision to accept was obvious. What you may not know, is Andria is also one of the nicest people in the sport. Quick to help, support or encourage other people. Andria definitely deserves this opportunity.
Q: For those who may have missed our first 800 interviews, can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: I started out when Sam and I got married, he had done martial arts before so he thought that I could use some anger management. I was always stressed out, real high stress. I thought it would be a good way to calm down. SO I got into it to make me relax, or an outlet really, and it went from there.
Q: You are making your pro debut in October for Bellator, how did that come about?
A: It was a mixture of a few things. My coach and I and Sam had been talking that after 1 or 2 more fights I would try and go pro. We were waiting and there were no fights coming up. At my last fight, the CEO of Bellator Bjorn (Rebney) was there and saw me fight, so it was good cause he knows whether I can fight I guess. So Sam asked "Is it ok to put my wife on one of the shows" and Bjorn said "Yeah its ok with me, is it ok with you? That's your wife" so Bjorn said "Do it, go ahead". I have never fought local, so I can sell some tickets, so it works for them it works for me, and my coach said "just do it". Kind of a mixture of if I hadn't fought my last fight or if I hadn't known this person, just everything all at the same time. So it was like it was supposed to happen.
Q: You have never fought close to home, so are you excited to finally fight close to home?
A: Yeah I am. It will be cool. My parents will be in the audience instead of watching online, my team and friends can be there. It's a little nerve racking cause I am sued to not having anyone but my corner. It will be cool, it will be fun afterwards cause I can go out. In Ohio there is a group of people I wanna talk to and hang out with, and last time I was there it didn't feel like I was away from home. My opponent had more people than I did but.... It will be weird to have that many more people I want to talk to and people there in the audience. I am excited, but it's weird, I cant completely imagine it.
Q: Does it put more pressure on you?
A: It does and it doesn't. In some ways I feel like, of course it would suck to lose in front of all the people I know, but at the same time, it's like when i watched a friend fight somewhere else, I was trying to make all the noise I can, and it didn't matter, every time the other dude hit him, the whole crowd went nuts. You could tell it did have a little bit of an effect, knowing the crowd was behind you, it felt like it had an effect, whether it was the guy thinking he had it a little more or intimidating, I don't know. I think it will motivate me in a happy positive way, but also make me real nervous. I don't know how I will respond, it could be really good or really bad.
Q: You have been having trouble getting fights, do you think there is a reason for that?
A: No, I don't think so. There are a lot of girls out there who are game to fight. Sometimes it's a matter of where these girls are located or whose got fights coming up, I mean, if there was an option of just anytime you wanted to have people fight and any promotion could throw someone on a plane ya know. There just aren't as many girls as there are guys. There's more than there used to be, but now I should be able to get more cause there is more in the budget for pros.
Q: Did having trouble getting fights play a part in you turning pro?
A: Yeah it did. My coach likes people to fight more, but her knows I can train for six months like I have a fight and then not have one, and that Is tart to get cranky. He knows I am gonna train no matter what, he just wants me to be able to fight.
Q: You are fighting Adrienne Seiber, what do you know about her?
A: She looks really really strong. She has like bodybuilder muscles, so is probably strong. She said she is comfortable standing or on the ground, and I think she is from Illinois haha, that's about it.
Q: With five minute rounds, will that effect your style?
A: I don't feel there is anything I need to change to much. The fight will end up wherever it ends up, and I feel like the last couple fights, at the three minute mark, I don't feel I cant go anymore. I never felt like "Thank God that round was over", if anything sometimes I am like "fuck, if I had thirty more seconds", I am cursing a lot I apologize.
Q: Its ok, cursing makes it more enjoyable to read haha So how does this fight end?
A: It is so hard to say because who knows what she is working on. I know where I think my strong parts are. I always think I am stronger standing, but at the same time lately, I have been all about wrestling and jiu-jitsu lately. So in a fight, I have no idea, I mean I always work on both, but feeling more comfortable than I used to. I couldn't tell you. I am training for everything so wherever it goes, its gonna go there haha.
Q: This is for now a one time deal, but is the hope to go out, be exciting and earn more fights for Bellator?
A: Yeah definitely. Right now, this is an awesome opportunity. So I wanna make them glad they gave me the opportunity, so make sure I go out and earn it. From there, see what happens, I am just focusing on this for now. I am beyond excited, its so cool, cause I have known all the people at Bellator, my brother works on the cage, my husband is the matchmaker, I know all of them, so its just fun, so cool. It's a big promotion, the cage is huge, its just so cool. I cant even think I am so excited.
Q: To me, Bellator has the best women's division in the sport, do you ever sit back and say "wow, I am in the big time"?
A: No, not completely, because I know part is I am local, and they need local under card fighters. I mean, yes and no. I wont be on tv or anything, which is good cause that would be nerve racking, it is like the big time, but at the same time.... I don't know. Yes and no I guess. I don't think I am big I think I got a big opportunity. Not in the big time, just a chance to go play in it.
Q: Me and you share a lot of friends, same group of friends, and they all think highly of you, but I find more and more people who do what I do also think real highly of you. Do you make a conscious effort to be a good representative for women's MMA?
A: In some ways yes. I just wanna be a real person. I never wanted to be glamorous so its easy not to be. I think there are times, like at the gym, a new girl comes in, I want her to stay I want her to feel welcome and get over intimidation and weirdness and be comfortable. So I guess I do, but I just talk how I talk haha.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you wanna thank?
A: Thank you for the interview of course, for having me several times, that's awesome. Sam for putting up with me all the time and my son. Daddis Fight Camp, it's so awesome being around them and they are awesome training partners. Rob Fusco who has been training me and Bob Peach, he is a weight trainer/psychologist haha, he keeps my head straight. The group of girls at the gym, we all keep each other helped out. The clique, we are all big fans of each other. The NAAFS, my mom and day for understanding and being there. Intimidation clothing for sponsoring me, they are awesome.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
On August 27th NAAFS put on Rock and Rumble 5. Great card with some great finishes as well as surprising finishes. It was a chance to some some good pro fighters as well as some up and coming amateurs show what they can do. From an eleven second KO to some exciting fights that went the distance, Rock and Rumble had a little bit of everything.
1. Amateur Lightweight
Khama Worthy (5-2 PTT) vs Joe Goyette (6-2 Air Gad-Fly)
RD 1: Goyette opens with a leg kick followed by a cross. They trade hooks and Goyette lands a jab. Leg kick by Worthy. Worthy catches a kick and lands a hook. Worthy lands a hook. Goyette shoots but gets stuffed. Worthy drops him with a hook and goes down after him but Goyette gets on top in guard. Worthy gets up and lands several punches. Goyette lands a hook and a jab by Worthy. Kick to the body by Goyette. They trade punches and Goyette closes the round with a takedown.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Worthy
RD 2: Both fighters land jabs. Worthy lands a hook. Goyette also lands a hook. Both fighters using lots of feints. Goyette is bleeding from the nose. Leg kick by Worthy and Goyette shoots in by Worthy gets his back. Worthy stands up and drops punches down before letting Goyette up. Hard hook by Goyette. Leg kick by Goyette. Goyette shoots but a good sprawl by Worthy. They clinch on the cage and Worthy lands a knee to the body.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Worthy
RD 3: Goyette gets a takedown. Worthy does good avoiding damage. Worthy lands a punch from the bottom and looks for a triangle. Goyette gets out and tries to stand up, but Worthy stands up first and keeps Goyette down. The ref stops the action to put Goyette's mouth guard back in. Goyette shoots but good sprawl by Worthy.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Worthy
My score card: 30-27 Worthy
Result: Khama Worthy by Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/30-27)
2. Amateur Middleweight
Serge Mayeku (1-0 VIP D-Boyz) vs Dave Lastafka (3-0 Vanyo Fight Team)
RD 1: Mayeku shoots in and gets a takedown and side control. Mayeku lands punches to the body. Lastafka gets guard. Mayeku lands body shots. Lastafka hooks an armbar and gets the tap.
Result: Dave Lastafka by Tapout (armbar) at 1:02 of Round 1
3. Amateur Lightweight
Mike Williams (5-3 All Out Assault) vs Kenny Jackson (6-4 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: A jab by Williams and a cross by Jackson. The clinch on the cage and Williams takes it down. Jackson tries for a guillotine but Williams pulls out. Williams lands body shots. Jackson lands a shot from the bottom. Jackson doing good avoiding damage. Body shots by Williams. Jackson reverses and gets on top as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Williams
RD 2: Jackson accidentally lands an illegal kick to the head (illegal for amateurs) but Williams doesn't need a break. They clinch on the cage and both lands knees. Jackson gets a nice slam and is on top. Now he moves to side control but Williams avoids damage. Jackson is warned for hitting the back of the head. Jackson stands up and lands kicks to a downed Williams legs. Jackson gets back into Williams guard as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Jackson
RD 3: Hook by Jackson. Jackson misses a punch and they clinch against the cage. Jackson gets a takedown and side control. He moves to north south but right back to side control. Jackson lands body shots and now head shots. Williams lands punches from the bottom. Williams gets half guard. Two punches from Jackson. The ref stands them up and they clinch on the cage. Jackson gets a takedown.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Jackson
My score card: 29-28 Jackson
Result: Kenny Jackson by Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/30-27)
4. Amateur Welterweight
Dave Gabig (4-2 PTT) vs Kevin Cummings (4-1 Buffalo BJJ)
RD 1: They trade hard shots. Gabig lands more shots and they clinch against the cage. Punches from Gabig. Cummings tries for a single leg and after much effort gets the takedown. Gabig reverses and gets on top. Gabig lands some punches. Gabig postures up and lands more. Cummings also landing from the bottom. Cummings is cut over his right eye. Gabig lands more punches to close the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Gabig
RD 2: Jab by Cummings and then another. Gabig drops him with a punch and lands a couple more till the ref stops it.
Result: Dave Gabig by TKO at :20 of Round 2
5. Amateur Welterweight
Todd Bevan (5-0 Bullpen) vs Josh Oppenheimer (5-3 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: Oppenheimer lands two punches and they clinch on the cage. Bevan drops down and gets a double leg takedown. They stand back up and Bevan takes him down again and gets his back. Bevan gets one hook in. Bevan lands a punch and gets the second hook in. Bevan tries for and gets the rear naked choke for the tap.
Result: Todd Bevan by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:29 of Round 1
6. Amateur Heavyweight
Jeff Hughes (7-2 Evolve MMA) vs Nick Dowe (3-1 Kim's Martial Arts)
RD 1: Hard leg kick by Dowe. Hughes throws a kick but Dowe catches it and takes him down. Dowe gets side control and lands body shots. Dowe goes for a choke but Hughes stands up. They clinch on the cage and Dowe looks for a takedown. Dowe has a body lock. Hughes lands a knee. They separate and Dowe lands a leg kick. They clinch against the cage but quickly separate. Leg kick by Hughes and they again clinch.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Dowe
RD 2: Dowe lands punches. Kick to the body by Hughes and then a leg kick. Dowe lands some punches and they clinch on the cage. Two knees by Hughes. Jab by Hughes. Dowe hurts him with punches and lands some more. Hughes tries to get away and they clinch on the cage. Dowe drops down for a single but Hughes gets his back. Hughes takes him down and has his back still. Hughes lands punches. Dowe holds onto a leg. Hard shots by Hughes and he hooks a rear naked choke for the tap.
Result: Jeff Hughes by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:58 of Round 2
7. Amateur Middleweight
Steve Burton (5-1 Evolve MMA) vs John Burbol (5-2 GriffonRawl)
RD 1: Body kick by Burton. Burton charges in but Burbol lands an uppercut. hey clinch against the cage and Burton lands knees. Burton lands more knees and then starts landing them to the other leg. They separate and Burton misses a kick. Hard hook by Burbol followed by an uppercut.They clinch against the cage with Burton trying to get a takedown. Burton lands knees but one goes low stopping the action. They resume and Burbol lands an uppercut. Burton tries for a takedown but the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Burton
RD 2: They clinch and Burbol lands a knee. They move to the cage and Burton lands knees. Burton tries for a takedown and lands knees to the body. Burton gets the takedown and lands body shots. Burbol pulls guard. Burton lands punches to the head. Burton lands more shots and goes for a leg, but Burbol pulls out.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Burton
RD 3: Jab by Burton. Burbol misses a hook and Burton clinches. They move to the cage and Burton punches Burbol's leg. Burton gets a takedown and lands punches to the body. Burton stands and goes back down into half guard. Burton lands shots to the body. Burton stands and drops into side control. Burton lands knees to the body. Burton lands head shots as round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Burton
My score card: 30-27 Burton
Result: Steve Burton by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)
8. Amateur Welterweight
Reggie Parks (GriffonRawl) vs Dave Vandevelde (5-0-1 Kim's Martial Arts)
RD 1: Body kick by Vandevelde. Hard hook by Parks. Parks hooks a guillotine and drops to the mat. Vandevelde pulls out and is in Parks guard. Body shots by Vandevelde and now head shots. Vandevelde lands more shots. Punch to the body by Vandevelde. The ref stands them. Parks shoots in but can't get the takedown.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Vandevelde
RD 2: Both land jabs. Hard cross by Parks. Action stalls. Parks rushes in and clinches on the cage. Parks trying hard for a takedown. The ref separates them. Parks shoots in but gets stuffed and put on his back. Vandevelde is in side control. Vandevelde gets the mount and lands punches but Parks sweeps and gets on top and lands punches as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Parks
RD 3: Both land punches. Vandevelde lands a kick to the body and they clinch on the cage. Parks lands punches to the head. Parks then lands more shots to the head. Vandevelde lands a knee answered with a knee by Parks. The ref separates them. Parks lands a cross. Vandevelde accidentally lands an illegal kick to the head stopping action. The doctor checks on Parks and he can't continue. The fight ends and we go to the score cards scoring the first two rounds only.
My score card: 19-19 Draw
Result: Dave Vandevelde by Majority Decision (20-18/20-18/19-19)
9. Amateur Featherweight
Mark Cherico (7-0 PTT) vs Mike Putnam (4-1 Team Titan)
RD 1: Cherico lands a kick low stopping action. They resume and Cherico lands a jab. Cross by Putnam. Leg kick by Cherico. Body shot by Putnam. They clinch on the cage and Cherico gets a takedown. Two punches to the head by Cherico. Putnam gets up. Cross by Cherico answered with one by Putnam. Both lands hard shots. Cherico lands a hook and drops down and gets a takedown.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Cherico
RD 2: A hook by Cherico. Putnam shoots but a good sprawl by Cherico. Cherico has his back while standing. Cherico lands knees. Cherico gets a takedown and gets his back looking for the rear naked. He gets it for the tap.
Result: Mark Cherico by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:35 of Round 2
10. Pro Middleweight
Moses McCraney (3-1 Hollywood MMA) vs Kevin Zalac (10-0-1 Next Level Jiu Jitsu)
RD 1: Leg kick by McCraney and they clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Zalac. Knee to the body by McCraney followed by more. Zalac trying for a single leg. Elbow by McCraney. Both land knees. Beautiful slam by McCraney. McCraney gets side control. Zalac gets up and they clinch against the cage. Hard punches by McCraney. McCraney tries for a single leg. Zalac lands a knee to the body. McCraney lands a knee to the leg. McCraney lands a knee low stopping the action. They resume and Zalac lands a hard hook and then drops him with another. Zalac looks for a guillotine but can't get it.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 McCraney
RD 2: They clinch in the center of the cage. Zalac lands a knee. They separate and Zalac lands a hard hook. McCraney slams him but Zalac is looking for a guillotine. Now he looks for a triangle but McCraney escapes and stands. McCraney gets a takedown and looks for and gets a choke putting Zalac to sleep.
Result: Moses McCraney by KO (guillotine) at 1:25 of Round 2
11. Pro Lightweight
Clint Musser (6-0 Evolve MMA) vs George Comer (9-0 GriffonRawl)
RD 1: Musser shoots but gets stuffed and they clinch on the cage. Musser takes him down. Comer avoids damage. Musser moves to side control. Now he stands and drops punches and then drops into guard. Musser postures up and lands two punches. Two more shots by Musser. Comer scrambles and gets up. They clinch against the cage and Comer lands a head shot. Musser gets a takedown by Comer gets right up. Kick to the body by Musser. Punch to the body by Musser. Comer tries for a single leg but can't get it. They clinch on the cage and Musser gets a slam. Musser lands an elbow. Short punches by Musser.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Musser
RD 2: Takedown by Musser. Musser lands punches and Comer tries for an arm but can't get it. Short elbow from the bottom by Comer. Comer is doing good avoiding damage. Short punches from the bottom by Comer. Musser lands an elbow. More good elbows by Musser. Now Musser lands punches. Musser stands and drops into side control. Comer pulls guard and Musser lands more punches.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Musser
RD 3: Good jab by Comer. Comer shoots but gets stuffed. Musser goes for a takedown and eats a good kick by Comer.Musser gets it down and lands two punches. Comer lands from the bottom. Knee to the body by Musser. Elbow by Musser. Comer pulls guard but Musser gets his back and then side control Elbows by Musser. Comer goes for a leg and then pulls guard. Musser lands punches. Comer lands an elbow and then another. Comer goes for an arm but can't get it. Musser is bleeding from the forehead. Punches from the bottom by Comer.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Musser
My score card: 30-27 Musser
Result: Clint Musser by Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/29-28)
12. Pro Featherweight
Matt Montalvo (6-6 Fighters United) vs Kevin Rothacker (6-2 Strong Style)
RD 1: Punch to the body by Rothacker. Montalvo drops him with a punch but Rothacker is up quick. Jab by Montalvo. Push kick by Montalvo. Head kick by Montalvo. Rothacker lands a knee to the body. Jab by Montalvo. Leg kick by Rothacker. Montalvo with a kick to the body. Both land crosses. Two punches by Rothacker and then a kick to the body. Rothacker takes him down and gets side control. Montalvo gets on top. They stand and clinch against the cage. Hard hook by Rothacker. Rothacker takes him down and gets side control. Elbow by Rothacker and then another. Knee to the body by Rothacker. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches. Rothacker stands and let's him up. Montalvo lands wild punches and Rothacker takes him down. Rothacker lands an elbow and then punches.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Rothacker
RD 2: Hook by Rothacker. Front kick by Montalvo. Jab by Montalvo. Hard punches by Rothacker. Montalvo drops for a takedown and can't get it. Rothacker drops him with a knee and gets on top and lands punches. Elbows by Rothacker. More elbows and punches by Rothacker. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches. Rothacker stands and drops punches. Rothacker gets side control and lands elbows.
I scored RD 2: 10-8 Rothacker
RD 3: Cross by Rothacker. Jab by Montalvo. Hard punches by Rothacker. Cross by Montalvo. Rothacker is cut over the left eye. Knees by Rothacker. They clinch on the cage and Montalvo lands a knee. Rothacker drops him with a hook and gets mount. Now into half guard. More punches by Rothacker. How he gets side control and lands knees to the body. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches. Now Rothacker gets his back and then side control. Montalvo is bleeding over his right eye. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches till the ref stops it.
Result: Kevin Rothacker by TKO at 4:05 of Round 3
13. Pro Lightweight
Nick Sorg (8-8 Black Force MMA) vs Terry Blackwell (6-1 Instigator)
RD 1: Jab by Blackwell. Punch to the body by Sorg. Punch to the body by Blackwell. Leg kick by Blackwell and then a jab. Sorg lands an uppercut and then another. Jab by Blackwell. Both land kicks to the body. Hook to body by Sorg. Sorg throws a kick and Blackwell catches it and lands a leg kick. Two jabs by Sorg. Nice jab by Blackwell. Leg kick by Blackwell. Hard punches by Sorg to close the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Sorg
RD 2: Both land punches. Cross by Blackwell. Jab to the body by Blackwell. Another jab by Blackwell. Hook by Sorg. Leg kick by Blackwell. Both land hard leg kicks. Jab to the body by Blackwell and then another. Hard hook by Blackwell. Both lands jabs. A hook by Sorg. Hook to the body by Sorg. Jab by Blackwell and another. Two punches to the body by Blackwell. Jab by Sorg. Cross by Sorg. Hard hook by Blackwell.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Blackwell
RD 3: Jab by Blackwell. Cross by Sorg. Jab by Blackwell. Sorg charges in and lands two punches. Jab by Blackwell and a cross by Sorg. Two nice jabs by Blackwell. Jab to the body by Blackwell and then a cross. Hook by Blackwell. Leg kick by Sorg. Hard hook by Blackwell and then another hard one. Punch to the body by Sorg. Jab by Blackwell. Leg kick by Sorg. Hook to the body by Blackwell. Leg kick by Sorg. Cross by Sorg. Both land hard shots. Blackwell lands a jab and hook. They clinch on the cage to end the fight.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Blackwell
Result: Terry Blackwell by Split Decision (29-28/27-30/29-28)
14. Pro Featherweight
Doug Kulbis (9-2 Evolve MMA) vs Frank Caraballo (14-7 Fearless Fight Team)
RD 1: Caraballo drops him with a hook and lands a few more to finish him off.
Result: Frank Caraballo by KO at :11 of Round 1
15. Pro Welterweight Title
Kyle Baker (9-3 MMA Institute) vs Nick Duell (18-4-1 Strong Style)
RD 1: Hook by Duell. Duell lands a kick to the body and then a head kick. They clinch against the cage. Duell lands a knee. They separate and Duell lands a leg kick. Baker drops him with a hook and lands punches till the ref stops it.
Result: Kyle Baker by TKO at 1:12 of Round 1
Submission of the Night: Dave Lastafka
KO of the Night: Frank Caraballo
Fight of the Night: Matt Montalvo vs Kevin Rothacker
Friday, August 19, 2011
Clint Musser will have his second pro fight On August 27th against fellow wrestler George Comer, who is making his pro debut. Should be an interesting fight. Will it turn into a battle to see who has the better wrestling, or will their wrestling cancel each others out and the fight go a different way? Either way, on a loaded card, Clint Musser vs George Comer is the fight I am most looking forward to see, as the last two NAAFS Amateur Series 155 pound champions battle at NAAFS Rock N Rumble. Here is my interview with Clint about the upcoming fight.
Q: You wrestled at Penn State. What made you make the transition to MMA?
A: When it came down to it, I wanted to compete. I wanted to compete one more time before I got to old. There is no doubt wrestling is an awesome foundation to have if you do want to transition to MMA. MMA has always been appealing to me, I just wanted to do it in a way where I would be prepared properly. Surrounded by good striking coaches, learn the ground game and Jiu-Jitsu and everything. With Evolve I have been able to do that. I had a proper foundation to build my skills and transition to MMA.
Q: Outside of wrestling, was there an aspect of the sport you picked up quickest?
A: All the ground stuff comes pretty well because I am so familiar with being there. Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling are different in a lot of ways but they are also similar in a lot of ways as far as position and everything like that. So just transitioning from trying to pin a guy to trying to control him and then look for submissions and things along those lines was the easiest transition for me.
Q: Your last fight was your pro debut against Devin Miller. Overall were you satisfied with your first pro fight?
A: Yeah I feel pretty good about it. You never really know for sure how a fight will go, you get as prepared as possible and go out and perform, and I feel I performed well. I was happy with the camp, my preparation and the performance.
Q: Are pro rules more suited for you?
A: I don't know. I don't see the huge difference. A lot of people talk about the difference between amateur rules and pro rules, other than just a couple little things, I think they are pretty similar. If you have a set of skills and are gonna fight amateur you are gonna be able to transition and be successful as a pro. Obviously I like freeing up some things, its nice, but the other guy can do the same thing. I hear people talk about that like "I got a set of skills for Pro rules rather than amateur rules", to me its the same thing. You are getting in the cage and getting after it and you have a set of skills that will help you succeed or you don't.
Q: Next week you fight George Comer, what do you know about him?
A: I know George is a tough guy, no doubt about it, quality fighter. Obviously wrestling is his strength as well. He trains at a great school with Jason Dent at GriffonRawl and comes prepared to fight. I know that he is gonna come out and ready to get after it.
Q: Being the last two 155 pound amateur series winners, is this almost like a unification?
A: You know what, I think this fight is a natural transition for both of us. We are both pro this year coming off good amateur success. I think this is a good fight for both of us any way you look at it. Two guys that did well as amateurs and look to do well as pros. I think its great, I wanna fight the best out there and am sure he does as well.
Q: Is there anything you expect him to try and do?
A: You know, you never really know. I mean, I think probably he will try and do some wrestling, even though he is fighting another wrestler, you always wanna go to your strength. I am sure he is gonna try and implement some of his kickboxing. I am preparing for whatever may come. He has been training and hasn't fought in awhile and probably worked on some things and I will be ready for that to.
Q: Is there one thing you have to do to win?
A: Just out work him. Go harder, push harder, make it harder for him to be in there than he makes it for me to be in there.
Q: Does having had a pro fight give you any advantage?
A: I don't think so. He has been training with Jason Dent for awhile so he trains with guys who have fought on the pro level. I am sure all his preparation for the past several months has been along the lines of getting ready for a pro fight. Its a slight adjustment from amateur to pro, a couple more minutes in the round, probably not quite the pace, you got more time, but really I don't see a particular advantage for me, and am sure he will be prepared.
Q: Do you have a prediction on how it ends?
A: Well, you know what I am thinking. But I know it will be a good fight and Comer is gonna be ready to go. I expect to have to give it my all and if it goes three rounds, that's what I am ready to do, if something opens up and I get a chance to finish sooner than that, that's what I am gonna do. That's as much as a prediction you will get from me.
Q: You are at Evolve, which has a lot of talent. What are the benefits of having so many good fighters and trainers there?
A: Well obviously the skill level, helping you advance your skill level. Having quality training partners is a big deal to. Not everybody is out there trying to be an MMA fighter, so being able to have guys come together for the same purpose makes it nice. Having tough guys that are getting better along with you, in there to push you is great as well.
Q: One thing I like about Evolve, is whether there is one guy on the card or several, a lot of people from the gym show up to support him. Is that something you make a conscious effort to do?
A: Yeah absolutely. There is a great group of guys who train there. Not all fighters, alot just like to work out, they like the training and everything. Those guys get excited and like supporting us and we like the support. It builds up a team feeling.
Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: Sure. I would like to thank my gym Evolve. My sponsors Regina's Pizza, Vida Cell, Tribe-1, Accenture. I want to thank them for their support. They are a big reason I am able to do this in the first place.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
On August 13th, the NAAFS put on another great show, Midwest Combat Challenge 14 in Akron, Ohio. There were several really good fights with some great amateur talent. A sign of a good show is when I struggle to decide on a submission of the night as I did in this case. Another great aspect was how into the fights the crowd was. Here is my play by play of the fights.
1. Amateur Bantamweight
Andrew Angstadt (0-1 Independent) vs Eric Buell (0-0 Team Vanquish)
RD 1: Both fighters come out circling trying to find their range. Buell drops him with a hook but Angstadt gets right up and lands hard shots and gets a takedown. Angstadt looks for a choke while on bottom, but it doesn't look tight. Buell lands shots to the body followed by even more. Buell gets mount and lands punches.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Buell
RD 2: Buell shoots and takes it down but a nice immediate sweep by Angstadt who looks for and gets the guillotine for the tap.
Result: Andrew Angstadt by Tapout (Guillotine) at :47 of Round 2
2. Amateur Middleweight
Ray Canale (0-0 Team Pitbull) vs Jerome Black (1-0 Independent)
RD 1: They trade jabs and Canale gets a takedown. Canale gets mount and then moves to side control. Canale then gets his back and lands punches to the body. He gets his hooks in and flattens him. Canale hooks in a rear naked choke for the tap.
Result: Ray Canale by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:15 of Round 1)
3. Amateur Featherweight
Scott Yockel (2-0 Empire Academy) vs Sean Clair (0-0 Renzo Gracie Pittsburgh)
RD 1: Clair gets a takedown and looks for a guillotine. He let's it go and lands punches. Yockel lands two punches from the bottom. Yockel holds him close to avoid damage. Yockel tries for an armbar and Clair picks him up and slams him down. Clair lands body shots and then picks him up and slams him three times. Yockel goes for a leg so Clair stands and falls back into side control.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Clair
RD 2: They clinch and Clair slams him.. Yockel avoiding damage. Clair lands body shots and Yockel lands from the bottom. Yockel tries for an arm but can't get it. Clair is on top but not doing anything significant. The ref stands them and Clair shoots but eats a punch. Clair tries again and gets the takedown.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Yockel
RD 3: Uppercut by Clair. They trade shots and Clair gets a takedown. Clair lands ground and pound. Clair again lands more shots. Yockel tries for an arm but can't get it. Light body shots by Clair. r stands and let's him up. Clair gets a takedown to close the round.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Clair
My score card: 29-28 Clair
Result: Sean Clair by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/29-28)
4. Amateur Middleweight
Chad Catri (2-2 SFC) vs Anthony Binder (1-1-1 Elite Sports Academy)
RD 1: Hard punch to the head by Catri. Jab an leg kick by Catri. Catri drops him with a hard shot and gets his back and rear naked choke for the tap.
Result: Chad Catri by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at :55 of Round 1
5. Amateur Light Heavyweight
Nate Jones (0-0 Empire Academy) vs Phil Masterson (1-0 Fearless Fight Team)
RD 1: Leg kick by Masterson. Hard hook by Jones. They clinch and move to the cage. Masterson takes it down and lands punches. Masterson gets the mount and lands more shots. Jones trying to get a sweep and finally gets it and is on top in Masterson's guard. Jones lands punches and picks him up and slams him. Jones lands more punches and gets side control. Short shots to the head by Jones. Jones gets mount and lands more punches to close the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Jones
RD 2: Masterson throws a kick but Jones catches it and takes him down. They stand back up and Masterson takes him down. Jones has half guard and holds him close. Now Jones gets full guard. Jones lands punches from the bottom and almost escapes. Jones finally does escape and gets up but Masterson takes him back down. Masterson gets mount but doesn't land anything before the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Jones
RD 3: Masterson misses a spinning back fist and eats a jab. Leg kick by Jones. Hard punch to body by Jones. Two jabs by Jones. A cross by Masterson. Masterson throws a leg kick but Jones catches it and lands a cross. Jones lands a jab. Hard hook by Jones followed by a jab. They clinch and move to the cage. Knee to the leg by Masterson who then takes him down. Masterson lands punches to the head.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Jones
My score card: 30-27 Jones
Result: Phil Masterson by Split Decision (29-28/28-29/30-27)
6. Amateur Bantamweight
Kyle Pettit (3-1 Fighters United) vs Joel Vincent (2-3 American Muscle)
RD 1: They trade shots and clinch. Pettit takes it down. Pettit looks for a leg. Pettit drops hard punches to the head. He then lands more hard shots and the ref stops it.
Result: Kyle Pettit by TKO at 1:22 of Round 1
7. Amateur Over 35 135lbs
Heather Wiederstien (0-0 Renzo Gracie Pittsburgh) vs Eileen Sutton (0-0 Independent)
RD 1: Several hard shots by Sutton. Nice uppercut by Sutton. Both miss some punches. Cross by Sutton. Wiederstien lands a hard hook. They clinch on the cage and Wiederstien lands a knee to the leg. Sutton Looks for a guillotine. Knee to the leg by Wiederstien. Wiederstien escapes the guillotine but they stay clinched. Body shots by Wiederstien.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Sutton
RD 2: They both land jabs. Nice uppercut by Sutton. Wiederstien tries to take it down but Sutton sprawls. Jab by Sutton. Jab by Wiederstien. They clinch and move to the cage. Sutton has a headlock on her. Knees to the leg by Wiederstien. Sutton gets a takedown. Wiederstien sweeps as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Sutton
RD 3: Leg kick by Wiederstien. Two hooks by Wiederstien. Sutton lands some punches. Takedown by Wiederstien but Sutton gets on top. Wiederstien holds her close and avoids damage. Body shots by Sutton. Wiederstien lands shots from the bottom
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Sutton
My score card: 30-27 Sutton
Result: Eileen Sutton by Unanimous Decision: (30-27/29-28/30-27)
8. Amateur Heavyweight
Larry Shuck (6-3 Independent) vs Jay Olson (3-1 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: Shuck shoots but gets stuffed. Both fighters land hooks. Hook to the body by Shuck. Olson lands a kick low stopping the action. They resume and Olson lands a hard cross. Shuck shoots and gets a takedown. Shuck gets side control. Olson lands hard punches from the bottom. He again lands hard shots from the bottom. Shuck stands and gets into Olson's guard. More shots from the bottom by Olson. Olson is warned for hitting the back of the head. Shuck stands up and lands a hard hook. They clinch on the cage and Olson lands good knees.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Olson
RD 2: Hook by Olson. Body shots bu Shuck. Shuck shoots but gets stuffed. They clinch on the cage and Olson lands a knee low stopping action. They resume and Olson lands a hook. Olson lands a kick low stopping action and is deducted a point. They resume and Shuck lands a leg kick. Shuck drops him with a hook and gets side control. Shuck gets mount but Olson sweeps and gets on top. Olson lands body shots and then lands really hard body shots. Olson lands punches to the head to close the round.
I scored RD 2: 9-9
RD 3: Hard punches by Olson. Olson lands hard shots and drops him. Olson gets side control and ands punches forcing the ref to stop it.
Result: Jay Olson by TKO at :44 of Round 3
9. Amateur Welterweight
Dave Gabig (3-2 PTT) vs Bob Hopkins (4-1 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: Hopkins lands a jab and clinches. They move to the cage and Hopkins looks for a single leg but Gabig defends it well. Hopkins keeps trying hard for it and Gabig lands head shots while defending. They drop down and Gabig is on top. Gabig is deducted a point for hitting the back of the head. Leg kick by Gabig and a body shot by Hopkins. Hopkins lands a cross. Gabig hurts him with punches and gets a takedown and gets his back. He lands head shots. They stand and Gabig with a beautiful slam.
I scored RD 1: 9-9
RD 2: They clinch in the center of the cage and Gabig takes it down and pushes him against the cage. Not much action here. Gabig postures up and then gets the mount and then his back. He hooks a rear naked choke for the tap.
Result: Dave Gabig by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:20 of Round 2
10. Amateur Lightweight
Victer Crenshaw (2-1 Vision MMA) vs Joe Callari (2-2 Team Vanquish)
RD 1: Both fighters land jabs. Crenshaw lands a kick low stopping the action. They resume and Callari throws a leg kick but Crenshaw catches it and takes him down. Two body shots by Crenshaw followed by more to the head. Crenshaw lands more shots to the body and then more hard shots to the head till the ref stops it.
Result: Victer Crenshaw by TKO at 2:07 of Round 1
11. Amateur 155lbs
Jessica Eve Richer (1-0 Gracie Barra) vs Allanna Jones (1-1 American Muscle)
RD 1: They trade shots and clinch on the cage. Richer takes her down. Richer gets side control and looks for an arm. Richer lands body shots and then shots to the head. Jones tries to roll into her but Richer puts her back on her back. Richer lands more punches to the head.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Richer
RD 2: Hook by Jones and a jab by Richer. Hard cross by Jones. They clinch on the cage and battle for position. Jones lands body shots. Jones is trying hard to escape the clinch. Richer gets a single leg for the takedown. Richer lands punches. Richer stands and drops shots. Richer puts a knee on her stomach and lands more.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Richer
RD 3: Richer shoots in but misses. Leg kick by Richer. Cross by Jones. Two punch combo by Richer and a hard cross by Jones. Richer lands a hard shot and clinches against the cage. Body shot by Richer. Jones tries for a guillotine but Richer pulls out and they remain clinched. Jones gets a takedown but Richer gets on top and then side control. Body shots by Richer to close the round.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Richer
My score card: 30-27 Richer
Result: Jessica Eve Richer by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/29-28)
12. Amateur Middleweight
Cory Bresson (4-2 Warrior MMA) vs Bryan Jeffries (4-2 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: Jeffries shoots in and they clinch against the cage. Knee by Jeffries followed by another. Bresson gets a slam and gets side control. Jeffries does good avoiding damage. Bresson tries for an arm and lands body shots. Now he lands punches to the head. Bresson gets a knee on his stomach and tries for an arm. Jeffries pulls the arm out. Bresson lands hard shots and Jeffries taps.
Result: Cory Bresson by Tapout (Strikes) at 2:46 of Round 1
Submission of the night: Chad Catri
KO of the Night: Jay Olson
Fight of the Night: Scott Yockel vs Sean Clair
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Q: Aisling, Thanks for taking time to do another interview with me.
A: That's no problem thanks for taking an interest in me.
Q: For those who missed the first one, can you tell a little about yourself.
A: I'm 23 years old from Dublin, Ireland, still living & training there out of Straight Blast Gym Ireland. I'm a BJJ purple belt with a Pro MMA record of 11-2.
Q: Last time in the NAAFS you wont the title in a win over Jessica Eye. What did winning that title mean to you?
A: Winning a title like that was such a big deal to me.It was my first title win which many felt was overdue. To win in the circumstances I did made it even more important to me. To face the home town girl in front of a hostile crowd and come out on top was a great achievement for me. I felt like I overcame alot of adversity & so it was a personal victory for me.
Q: I know you said you looked forward to coming back to Ohio, but did you expect to come back so soon?
A: It doesn't feel so close to me ha ha. By the time November comes around it'll have been over 5 months since my last fight for the NAAFS. I like to be as active as possible so I guess it's a nice amount of time between fights.
Q: Even though you beat the hometown girl, you made a good impression and won some fans over. Was that something you were hoping to do?
A: I never made an effort to be anything other than me or try to win fans. I just arrived in Ohio with the goal to win my fight, fortunately everything else happened naturally & I did make some new fans.
Q: You will be fighting Kelly Warren in the Main Event of Eve of Destruction 2. What does it mean to headline such a big all female card?
A: It's awesome for me to headline an all female card, there's not many female fighters in Ireland/Europe so I've never fought on a card with more than one other female fight. It's great to see the progression of women's MMA.
Q: Are you expecting to have more crowd support this time?
A: Not so much, I still think Kelly being American will get alot more support than me but that's ok. I'm used to that.
Q: What do you know about Kelly?
A: I know Kelly has a good amateur record at 9-2 and promising Pro record for 3-0. She's recently made a change to training in Greg Jackson's camp, She's got alot of good sparring partners up there too so I'm expecting good things from her.
Q: What do you expect her to try and do in this fight?
A: I expect her to clinch with me, try and take me down and attempt to submit me.
Q: What do you have to do to beat Kelly?
A: I just do what I do there's no mystery to my style or game plan. I'm not concerned with what my opponent can do and will just impose my game and get my finish.
Q: How does this fight end?
A: I see this fight finishing on the ground. I have all the tools so I can finish this by tko or submission.
Q: With women's MMA not big over there, how important is it to make a name for yourself over here?
A: The states is the home of women's MMA so it's the only place to worthwhile to make your mark. I have no interest in being a big fish in a small pond. The best in Ireland isn't something I'm content with, I won't stop until I'm the best in the world.
Q: What are some of the disadvantage of having to come all the way over here to fight?
A: It's sometimes difficult being away from home and missing your home comforts, once I have the support of my coach away with me though I'm fine especially with all the social media outlets these days It's for my friends and fans to share there support with me.
Q: If this is the first time for someone to see Aisling Daly fight, what can they expect to see from you?
A: Anyone who's never seen me fight before can expect to see an exciting fight, I'm a finisher with great heart and will always do my best to put on a good show.
Q: Assuming you win, any idea what you want next, or just taking it one fight at a time?
A: I'm just going to take it one fight at a time and over the course of the near future I'd like to have the opportunity to avenge my one and only loss at 125lbs.
Q: Finish this sentence. In two years Aisling Daly will be__?
A: World number 1 at 125lbs.
Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: I'd like to give a big thank you to my coach John Kavanagh and all my team at Straight Blast Gym Ireland. My Strength and Conditioning coach, Eoin Lacey of ISI (www.irishstrength.com) and My Sports Psychologist David Mullins of Conquer Mental Skills (www.conquer.ie) training and a shout out to my newest sponsor www.paddypower.com. Thanks very much for the support I really appreciate it.
Q: Aisling, again, thanks for another interview. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks very much to the NAAFS for having me back, I can't wait to defend my title and see all my Ohio fans again. I'm really looking forward to coming back :)
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Top ranked Welterweight Nick Kilian is coming off an impressive first round win over Zac Gobel and is considered by many as the front runner to win the Amateur series title this year, and hopeful get the rematch he wants with Chris Green. While he always had the wrestling, his stand-up has improved a great deal, making him a real threat.
Q: First, can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: Pretty much needed something to do after college. I had a gym picked out and then got my first job out of college and went straight to the gym a month after that and started training.
Q: How long were you training when you decided to fight?
A: I trained about eight months before my first fight. Because of my wrestling background, I just had to get my striking down.
Q: A lot of times people make an effort to point out when a female fighter is also a mother. You are a single father. Does that put any obstacles in your training?
A: Yeah I am a single dad. It's the most tiring thing you can possibly do while training for a fight.Get up at 6am and watch her and come home after work and watch her for a couple hours. I try and get a workout in at 9:30 at night. Its very tiring but its worth the journey, the hard road makes it pay off in the end. She is a good girl and worth it.
Q: Your last fight you beat Zac Gobel in the first round. Was there a game plan going in?
A: No,not really. React to what they do. The idea is to impose my game plan on somebody but he clipped me and took em down, so it was time to get to work and work my submission game. I got lucky and got the reverse, so just reacting. I am pretty confident in all areas.
Q: Going into that fight, he is talented. Did you imagine you could win in the first round?
A: Yeah, the way my game is working out lately is I get in a good scramble and get in position. He's a tough guy. I thought it would be a war cause he is high energy, a wrestling war kind of thing. But I got the mount and he turned over and I got the choke.
Q: Obviously with your wrestling you are comfortable on the ground, but you seem comfortable standing to. Does that make it harder for people to prepare for you?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. When you start getting comfortable in stand-up, your wrestling game opens up a tremendous amount. You cans tart setting up takedowns with strikes, which is the best way to get a takedown instead of shooting from far away and getting caught in a choke. Striking, Jiu-Jitsu, and wrestling, all working together makes a powerful weapon.
Q: Currently you are ranked number one at welterweight, do you feel that puts a bigger target on you, people wanting to make a statement?
A: No, I have been ranked pretty much ever year since I started fighting. Unfortunately injuries have gotten in the way, but I have always been like 1,2 or 3. Doesn't matter too much. Doesn't matter who I fight, I just wanna fight and get as good as I can and go pro and be as successful as I can.
Q: Currently Chris Green is number 2. Is that a good match-up for you?
A: I want to fight him again very badly. I lost a very close decision to him last year. Nothing would please me more than to fight him in the finals. I don't care about the belt in the finals if I can fight him. I want to make a statement, no decision, no nothing in that fight.
Q: Would you rather fight him next or just fight someone and get him in the finals?
A: I want to earn my way in the finals so bring on anybody else it doesn't matter. Winning lately has giving me a confidence boost so I will fight anybody. I want to earn my spot in the finals though. But fighting him in the finals would be tremendous and I would be excited.
Q: Any idea when you want to go pro?
A: I will want to take a little time off and train for pro. Its very hard with the time constraints of watching my daughter to put in the pro time training a tremendous amount. Right now its hard to do that, but my daughter is getting older so she will be able to watch practice and going to day care soon. Once that opens up I can go harder and train for the pro level.
Q: A lot of people say their style is more suited for the pro rules. Does that statement apply to you?
A: Yeah definitely. Training at Strong Style you already train the pro rules. I am comfortable with that rule set. It makes it better for me when I have them on the ground and extra options.
Q: Are there any fighters you enjoy watching and learning from?
A: The one person I watch a lot is Nick Duell for stand-up. The guy is killer, any time I spar with him, he is a left hander also, so I try and emulate his style of striking and combos. I enjoy watching Brian Rogers also, the intensity he brings. A lot of people I train with at Strong Style I love watching, they are incredible. Chris Lozano, Stipe Miocic, those are the guys I looked up to when I started.
Q: Is there a reason you enjoy fighting fro NAAFS?
A: They are the best in this area and the Midwest. Its an honor to be in the NAAFS. As long as they will have me I will be there.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: I wanna actually thank George Comer. That loss to him last year has helped my training and gotten me so much better. I think loosing last year has made my game better. Since that loss, the training to fill my holes has been great. So I will thank him.