Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ashley Hawkins Interview

Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos

Ashley Hawkins is coming off her most impressive win to date, a victory over Angie Reinhardt. At Combat Challenge 21 she faces the NAAFS top ranked amateur female, Allanna Jones, hoping to take the next step in climbing the ladder. Jones will provide her with her toughest fight to date in what could be a stand-up war.

Q: You are coming off a win against a very tough opponent in Angie Reinhardt. Overall, how satisfied where you with your performance?
A: I was pretty satisfied. Anytime you win it is pretty satisfying. I haven't had a finish yet, but I don't necessarily think of that as a bad thing. I figure instead of finishing quick and not making them suffer, you let them suffer the whole nine minutes of the fight. I was satisfied, I hope to finish someone, but a win is a win.

Q: You were cornered by Pablo Castro and Jessica Eye, how much did having people like them in your corner help?
A: It helped. Just because they know so much and have been doing this forever. Pablo corners all the Strong Style fighters like Stipe (Miocic) in the UFC. So he knows what he is doing, especially with Jiu-Jitsu. Jessica, she is a girl fighter, so she knows what is going through your head, being a girl and wanting to do really good. having them for support was good and motivating.

Q: A lot of girls look up to Jessica so can having her in your corner be intimidating for an opponent?
A: Yeah, I know if I was about to fight a girl and she walked out with Jessica Eye I would be like "uh oh". Jessica is one of the best pro females out there. It is a great feeling knowing she has your back.

Q: You started to get some attention after that win, but do you feel you still get overlooked?
A: Sort of. I don't have a big name and am fighting independent. Also, I am fighting the number one ranked girl for NAAFS, so I want to make a name for myself fighting the number one girl. I win will show people I am better than they have me ranked.

Q: Is there a reason you think you don't get ranked higher or get overlooked?
A: I'm not sure. I haven't been fighting very long so that may be a reason. I have gone to a decision each time, but I have fought some pretty decent girls and they were challenging. My only loss was to Trisha Barr, which a lot of people said could have gone either way or a draw. I stuck with her and held my own in my second fight, and it was her seventh or eighth.

Q: You are fighting Allanna Jones, what do you know about her?
A: I have seen her fight once in January. I have seen videos. She is a stand-up type of brawler. But sometimes, that's not a good judge, but pretty much she is a stand-up fighter from what I have seen.

Q: At first you thought you were fighting Chandra Engel, is Allanna better for you in the sense that she will want to stand with you like you like to do?
A: Yeah definitely. My last couple fights I wanted to keep it standing and it never seems to work that way. I think one of my strong points is my stand-up. Chandra is more of a wrestler so I would have prepared for that, but Allanna is a stand-up girl so I am excited to stand. Allanna isn't someone who will clinch if she gets hit a few times, she will want to stand with me.

Q: Does being the co-main event mean people are starting to pay attention?
A: Yeah I think so. Nichole Long is a girl and knows it is hard for girls to be taken serious. She knows a girl fight is as good as a guy fight. I think she knows that and wants people to see that to.

Q: What is the key to winning this fight?
A: Stick to my game plan. Do what I train and work on. Go my hardest and stay confident. If you think you are gonna lose you will lose.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I definitely think I am gonna win. I have been working with really great people and am it's my time to show everyone I am no joke.

Q: Assuming you win, any idea what you want next, or just taking it one fight at a time?
A: One fight at a time, you cant look forward. I want to win and prove I am good. I wanna fight a tough opponent, someone who will challenge me so I can show how much I have improved.

Q: Allanna is ranked number one in NAAFS, would a win over her put you on track for possibly fighting for a title this year?
A: I would hope so. The rankings only have the top four girls. Considering I am not ranked, if I beat the number one girl, I don't know what happens, but if I beat the number one girl, I would deserve it.

Q: After this you want to fight at 125 correct?
A: Yeah definitely. I was supposed to fight at 125 against Chandra, but you cant always fight at the weight you want.. 125 will be a good move for me. It's just five more pounds. I felt great my last fight at 130 so 125 will be amazing and more great haha.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to thank my sponsors, you Jason Adams and Promoting Real Women, Kody and Foundation Fight Co. , my new sponsors Luke and Intimidation Clothing, everyone that helps me training, especially Jessica Dinch, Jessica Eye, Pablo, everyone at Strong Style, and my friends and family. It helps when everyone supports and believes in you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Josh Burr Interview

Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos

Coming off a close loss in a fight he very well could have been given the decision in, Josh Burr returns to the cage on July 14th to take on Matt Campbell. In his last fight, he admits, he could ahve been more aggressive. Learning from past mistakes, with improved confidence, we could see a much improved Josh Burr at Combat Challenge.

Q: You are coming off a loss to Zach Forrester in January by split decision. Do you feel you did enough to win that fight?
A: Yeah, I feel that I did enough to win. I felt that my takedowns should have won the fight. He really didnt do much for 3 rounds. He definitaly won the first. he connected a few times, I didnt connect at all. I was disgusted with myself after that loss. No offence to Forrester, but no way in hell should I have lost that fight. I am miles better then him and better then the performance I put on. My lack of confidence on my feet lost me that fight. I beat myself.

Q: Do you feel you maybe they judges would have liked it if you were more aggressive?
A: Yeah, for sure. I got hit a couple times in the beginning of the first round. From then until the final bell I was gun shy. His punches werent hurting me, I just felt myself black out for a quick second like twice. I was worried I would go unconcious so I avoided them all together and then my takedowns became relentless. If I were more aggresive on my feet, it would have swayed the judges majorly.

Q: Did you give his stand-up too much respect?
A: I think I did, yeah. Like I said, he didnt do much, his stand up was inafective after round one. I was just gun shy. The biggest mistake of the fight on my part.

Q: You have Matt Campbell coming up, what do you know about him?
A: He fights out of Tom Sauer MMA. He's 6'1", 29 years old. He's a jitz guy, seems to be able to take shots pretty well. Tall and skiny.

Q: Is there anything for the last fight that can help you in this one?
A: Experience. I've been knocked out, submitted, and lost a decision. I know how to lose. Just have to figure out the winning part. I'm getting closer and closer to that.

Q: Does the change in opponents change at all how you are training?
A: It doesnt change the level of my training. This guy is 6'1", thats tall for a bantamweight, I need to work on containing is height and reach advantage, create a whole new game plan.

Q: Is there a key for you to win this fight?
A: The key is to find my rythem, get comfortable in the cage, and let it all hang out. Release my arsenal on him.

Q: Do you have a predicition?
A: No prediction. I think predictions are immature. I use to predict my fights, I realize its juvenile. I'm gonna give myself every option to win. Thats all I know.

Q: Assuming you win this one, any idea what you want next, or just focussed on this one right now?
A: If I win, my focus is strengthening my body and MMA skills, I'm gonna want to fight again soon after, but I'm gonna keep myself out for a little while to improve. My heart is on this one fight, and getting better when its over.

Q: You have been fighting for NAAFS, what do you like about fighting for them?
A: Everything! Nichole is great, always a huge help. The organization is run very well. Good people. Its easy to have fun and fight for this organization and the competion is unbelievable.

Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: My mom, fiance, my daughter, sisters, friends, coaches everyone who has been a apart of this MMA journey.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dustin Wolf Interview

Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos

Undefeated Strong Style product Dustin Wolf returns to the cage after an injury put him on a temporary hiatus when he faces also undefeated Ryan Evans in the main event of NAAFS Combat Challenge 21 on July 14th. Wolf has been impressive in his first three outings, and getting to train with the top flight talent he gets to train with at Strong Style, we can expect an even better Dustin Wolf this time around.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: Well, I wrestled my whole life for Mayfield. I finished wrestling and had always been a fan of MMA. I told my dad about a gym I had heard about in Independence, which was Strong Style. He looked into it and took me down there. I started when I was sixteen and have been there ever since. I went with intentions of just learning MMA, eventually I got a fight, now I have had three and my fourth coming up.

Q: You were dealing with an injury that kept you out, was it hard to take that kind of time off?
A: Yeah, I think it's rough for anybody to be away from the sport. You have your ups and downs, but I think it has made me stronger.

Q: When you did come back, was it in your head at all, make you worried it will happens again/
A: No, I'm not scared or afraid to train in any way.

Q: You are fighting Ryan Evans, do you know anything about him?
A: I know that he is 3-0 like me. I know he hasn't fought in awhile, I haven't fought in awhile. That's about all I know about him. I really don't care, it doesn't matter who they throw against me.

Q: Considering the talent at Strong Style, how big of an advantage does it give you to get to train with them?
A: It gives me a hell of an advantage. I train with the best guys in the country right now. Some of the best guys in the world. To be one of the best guys in a gym doesn't really help you. If you have partners who are pushing you and world class like Forrest Petz and Brian Rogers and Stipe and all these other guys, it really helps a lot. It helps with confidence to. I am confident that when I go in the cage that my opponent won't be anything like the guys I spar with.

Q: In a sense does it make the fight easier than the training?
A: Oh yeah! My training rounds are hell. I feel like the fight is a reward after all my training.

Q: With all the Strong Style fighters doing big things in UFC and Bellator, does it put any pressure on you to be representing that gym?
A: No, I don't feel pressure. I feel like I am honored to fight for Strong Style and have Marcus behind me, but I don't feel pressure.

Q: You have shown you are well-rounded, but do you a have preference if a fight stays standing or goes to the ground?
A: No, I personally don't have a preference. I just look to win the fight. Wherever will win me the fight is where I want to go.

Q: Does being the main event mean anything extra to you?
A: I never thought I would be the main event. It doesn't put any more pressure on me, but I am honored to be the main event and think it's awesome that I am.

Q: Is there a key to winning this fight for you?
A: Just sticking to my game plan, what Marcus, Pablo, Scott and Joe have drawn up for me. I gotta stick to my game plan and I think I will be good.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I predict I will win the fight.

Q: Assuming you win, any idea what you want next or just one fight at a time?
A: Just take it one fight at a time. Whatever Marcus has in mind for me, I know he has my best intentions in mind.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to thank everyone at Strong Style, my family, my coaches, Marcus, Pablo, Scott Neal, Tru Assassin, Intimidation Clothing, John P. Lennon. I want to thank my mom and dad for all the support they have given me as well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meghan Joyce Interview

Photo Credit:Hex Linc Photos

Meghan Joyce has not fought since making her amatuer debut with an impressive debut in March 2011 with a one minute guillotine win over Rebecca Gruitza. She makes her return to the NAAFS cage on July 14th against the debuting Lorraine Williams. She says this fight will show her where she stands and how far she wants to try and take her career. Don't let their inexperience fool you, this could be a very exciting fight, as Meghan says, it isn't going the distance, regardless of who comes out on top.

Q: Last time we did this, you were preparing to fight at Eve of Destruction, which circumstances prevented the card from happening. At that time it seemed that you were using that fight to see how far you wanted to go in MMA. Is that accurate and if so, is it the case with this fight?
A: Yes! Yeah it is. I want to see how good I am all-around. I didn't get to long of a fight in my last one and it didn't have much stand-up. So I think I am really going to try and stand-up this time and see if I have skills or not. If I get destroyed and it's not the sport for me, I guess I wont do it.

Q: You are fighting Lorraine Williams, with it being her debut, is it safe to say you don't know much about her?
A: I don't know much at all. All I know is she is a roller derby girl. So I assume she will be athletic with thicker legs, cause you have to have strong muscles for roller derby. I think she is going to be tough and more of a street fighter type mind set. I am kind of nervous about that cause she will have less control, I wont know what to expect. That can be good or bad. I am just gonna see what she is about the first round and go from there.

Q: Is it hard to game plan when you don't know anything about her?
A: Yeah! I know nothing about her. I don't know how tall she is, her reach, her background. It is nerve racking. I don't know anything about her.

Q: So basically your game plan needs to be to just work on what you know you are good at?
A: Exactly! That's what I am gonna do. Just trying to become really strong with my legs and prepare cause I don't know what to expect.

Q: You seem like you have been getting in better physical shape, is that something you have been trying to do?
A: Yeah, this time it's different. I am trying to build more muscle because it's a bigger weight class for me. Before I was doing cardio and getting skinny. I am already at my weight, so I am just building. My brother is making me take protein. I keep cardio in there but do heavy lifting to build up my strength.

Q: Will you be more comfortable at 125?
A: No, I am really nervous. I don't like 125 because I feel they will be taller and heavier. I like to cut weight. I walk around at 125 or 127. So I'm like "oh jeez, I don't have to cut, it makes me nervous, I'd like to fight someone smaller and throw them around". She will be just as strong as me. This is as high s I will ever go. So I probably wont do 125 anymore. Like Jessica Eye and Ashley Hawkins fight at 125 and they are bigger than me, so that makes me nervous. Will she come in looking like them? It makes me nervous.

Q: Are there any benefits to fighting at 125?
A: Like I said, just building up muscle and not cutting. I wont be cutting or be weak. At 115 I had to cut and wasn't at my best physical shape. I will have full energy, a nice weight, not to big and not to skinny. I think that could be a benefit, we will see. Hopefully she isn't to tall, cause I am only 5'3". Rebecca was like six feet tall.

Q: By beating Rebecca, you know you can beat a taller girl, does that give you confidence if she is tall?
A: Yeah! I am glad she was that tall cause I knew I needed to be inside, get in and get out. You cant dance around with them cause there reach and legs are so long. She could have kicked me all day and I couldn't do anything. I have seen her fight and she held the girl and just kept hitting the girl cause the girl was so short and her reach was so small. You have to get inside or be way outside. So I know and if the girl is taller, I can either take her to the ground or get in and get out.

Q: Even only having one short fight, does that experience give you an advantage since she has not fought?
A: Absolutely! Nerves is the biggest thing to overcome. You are in front of a lot of people, fans, friends, cameras. That was huge for me. When the bell rang, I had to think "Oh my gosh Meghan, here we go". I was so nervous, and looking at everyone, you have to overcome that. So I have gotten passed that feeling. For her will be different. She will be nervous and hear people and the cameras and lights, it will be scary.

Q: Winning by choke, assuming that's all she knows about you, do you expect her to work extra hard to avoid that situation?
A: Yeah I do. I came from Nutter MMA originally and they are such a wrestling gym, I think even Rebecca thought I would do all ground. That wasn't my game plan but the guillotine just fell to me. I do think if that's all she knows, yeah, she will be working on ground defense and stand-up. Which is fine, cause I don't know my plan yet.

Q: Is there a key to winning?
A: I think the main key in any fight is to be focused, don't let nerves take over. Remember everything you have trained for and worked for. You have a short time to get the job done. Get in and get out with a win and celebrate after.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I will tell you this, I won't let it go to the judges. Either she beats me or I beat her, it won't be the judges deciding, I wont let that happen.

Q: Assuming you win and are happy with your performance, would you like to fight again sooner?
A: Yes, absolutely. I have had a few offers and have been putting it off. Taking it back into my lifestyle, I am gonna see how this goes and if I am good at this, I will pursue it and see if it can become a career. But first see how this goes and go from there.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Everyone who has helped me train, definitely Bryan Carpenter, he is my biggest inspiration, always wants to train. All the girls in MMA for doing this and making it possible for girls to fight.

Monday, June 11, 2012

John Hawk Interview

Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos

On June 22nd John Hawk steps back into the Bellator cage looking to continue his trend of making things harder for people. He did so first when he went to the home town of Roger Hollett and while not getting the decision, it was obvious to most that Hawk won the fight. Then recently he welcome Marcus Vanttinen into the Bellator cage. Vanttinen had just been announced as being in the next Bellator light heavyweight tournament. Hawk won the decision in that fight. In fact, it seems Hawk is at his best when people under estimate him. Some are under estimating him in this upcoming fight with Terry Carpenter, which could be very bad news for Carpenter.

Q: Your last fight against Marcus Vanttinen, it was pretty clear to me you easily won the fight. When you heard that first judge scored it 30-27 for him, what went through your mind?
A: When I heard 30-27 for the first time I thought it was a replay of my Canada fight back in November when I fought Roger Hollett. I was like "am I getting screwed again?" I don't, know, lately with everything going on, even the Pacquaio vs Bradley fight, I don't think judges are really qualified. I have been a big advocate of it. I don't think judges like me anyway. Look at my scores, look at everyone elses. I don't know if they are not qualified or not watching, watching a fight in the stands and not my fight. I think they need to get versed in scoring or have some regulation system. My last couple fights, Jason, you've seen my fights, even the Pacquaio vs Bradley fight, and a lot of other fights, I don't know what judges are looking for. You can't have it where a judge who is a boxer and one is a wrestler, you need an MMA ref and MMA judge. Someone who is qualified and can see someone is a wrestler but is just laying there. A wrestling judge will give him credit for laying and praying. So I thought I was getting screwed again.

Q: We've talked about this before, you would rather have the judges be people who have fought before wouldn't you?
A: Oh I would love it. Forrest Petz is a good ref, he is a great fighter and has been there and done that. I always think with refs and judges, if they have done it, they know what to look for. They have first-hand experience. Some of these people have no background, they might have a background in Karate, and it's like "you have a background in Karate, congratulations you can be an MMA judge". It doesn't work that way. Judges will hate me and think I am disrespecting them, but I think eighty percent are not qualified. Maybe that's why they score bad for me, but I will speak the truth like I always do.

Q: Going in, they had him slated for the tournament already. Did you take that as an insult or motivation or both?
A: I took it as both. I thought it was a slap in the face that Bellator would do that. The week of my fight they announced it. I love Bellator don't get me wrong, but they say "Champions are made here", but how is the champion made when this guy has never even fought here. It's looking past me. I am used to that, my whole career I have been the under-dog, which is crazy to me, but it's fine, I wanna be the under-dog. So it's a slap in the face and motivation. I am no ones stepping stone, I am no ones bitch. Just like they are doing to me against Tim Carpenter. I will just keep on winning and prove everyone wrong.

Q: How happy where you with your performance?
A: I was pretty happy. Not to many people knew I was injured after the first round. I couldn't lift my arm. I don't use excuses, everyone knows me, I fight through injuries. I don't know if I stressed out my shoulder or what, but I was in pain. I usually have a good pain tolerance. I stuck to the game plan. He is a tough guy, but I was gonna bring it to him. He didn't wanna get hurt or cut so he could make that tournament. So I took the fight to him and it worked. I thought I easily won two rounds and maybe all three.

Q: What do you know about Tim Carpenter?
A: He is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, he is a good judo guy who likes to stand and bang. He made it to the finals in the first season and lost to the champ. I don't get into studying I fight my game plan.

Q: His last fight was his first ko or tko since his first fight, does that indicate to you that you can fight your stand and bang style and not worry about getting caught or knocked out?
A: Yeah of course. I never worry abut that. My whole thing is, I like to stand. I don't wanna go into his world. I have a feeling after feeling my punches he will try and take it down.

Q: If it does go down, you are satisfied you can hang with him?
A: Oh yea, I am not worried about getting submitted. When someone is good on the ground why would I want to be in his world? I could defend, but would rather inflict punishment, tie him up and get it back to the feet.

Q: What is the key to winning this fight?
A: The key is follow the game plan. Movement, stick the jab and look for the power right hand shot to end the fight.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: This one, I am looking for a tko in round two. The first round will probably be feeling each other out, and in the second round, go for the attack.

Q: Last fight you had a couple teammates on the card, in this one it's just you. Is there a pro or con to that?
A: I guess I have done them both and it's good to train with teammates and fighting with people going through the same stuff. When I fought by myself the tension is all on me. I like them both, doesn't matter either way, I just wanna fight and prove what I can do.

Q: This is your sixth fight since May last year, safe to say that you like being that active?
A: Yeah definitely. I would like to fight five or six times a year till I get a bigger paycheck. It's not all about the paycheck, but at the same time, living as a fighter, it's how you make a living, so I take whoever is in front of me.

Q: Safe to say that after this you want to stay ready in case their is an injury and you can get into the tournament?
A: Yeah, after this fight it's gonna be rough. This is an alternate fight for the tournament, so I gotta stay ready for the next two months. If anyone gets hurt I will be ready, and if no one does, I am beating my body up for no reason. There are always fights out there for me, and I am always helping my teammates like Stipe Miocic, Brian Rogers and Nick Duell, and they all help me. We are family at Strong Style.

Q: With the success Stipe is having in UFC and the attention, does it give you more motivation?
A: I'm happy for Stipe, the dude works his ass off. Now people realize that he is no joke. When he fought locally people thought he was a joke and ran their mouth, now look at him whooping ass on a national stage. He helps me all the time, he is spending extra time helping me out, coming in when he doesn't have to. That means a lot. We all try and help each other.

Q: When he, or any teammate is fighting, do you get a sense of pride when he wins?
A: Of course. I am more nervous when a teammate fights than when I fight. I am on the edge of my seat sweating. It's having no control. When I fight I can control it. I want all my teammates to win, it's better for us and the team. I want Strong Style to be known as one of the best in the country.

Q: Is Strong Style close to being known as one of the best in the country?
A: It's up there. With Stipe going to train in Denver and California and Brian in Denver, and when Bellator came here and Eddie Alvarez and all these guys, they look at our gym amazed. These are the top guys and they come to our gym in awe. Soon, just like everything else little by little. More people will understand what Strong Style is about.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My sponsors, John P. Lennon, Intimidation Clothing, Tru Assassin Fight Gear, AKI Fight Gear, Cal Crowell Diverse Training Systems, these guys have been there for me. My brother, he is always with me through fights and I love him for that. My girlfriend Taylor, it's not easy dating a fighter, but she has stuck by me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dan Spohn Interview

Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos

Dan Spohn is coming off a very disputable decision loss to Attila Vegh in his most recent fight. Spohn returns to the Bellator cage this month as he defends his NAAFS Light Heavyweight title against Josh Stansbury. Spohn already holds a victory over Stansbury via guillotine who himself is coming off an impressive win in his return to the cage over John Opfar. This fight has all the makings for a stand-up war.

Q: You are coming off a loss to Attila Vegh by decision. I thought you clearly won two rounds, did you feel you did enough to get the decision?
A: Yeah I thought I did. But it's my fault for leaving it in the judges hands.

Q: Do you think you could have been more aggressive?
A: Yes I think so. I think I waited a little too long and should have started being aggressive from the first round on.

Q: A lot of people went in with the idea he was supposed to win. Could that have played in the judges minds at all?
A: I think it's possible. It goes from judge to judge, but I definitely think that's a possibility.

Q: You have Josh Stansbury coming up, coming off of two losses how important is a win for you?
A: It's very important. It's gonna be like the first day I fought. I am gonna go in with a determination to do the best I can and win in the most devastating fashion.

Q: With NAAFS being your springboard into Bellator, does it mean anything special to you to defend your NAAFS title on a Bellator card?
A: Yeah it does. It makes it that much better. NAAFs is where I started my pro career and had a lot of amateur fights. It means a lot to be part of them still and at the same time be competing in Bellator.

Q: He will be the home town fighter, does the crowd being behind him get into your head at all?
A: I actually am glad. I do my best when I am the under dog or when the crowd is against me, so it will help me.

Q: When you are fighting do you hear the crowd?
A: Sometimes, but usually I am pretty focused on the fight.

Q: You have a win over him in 2009 by guillotine, does that give you a psychological advantage?
A: It lets me know I can win for sure. But at the same time, whether he realizes it or not, it's gonna play a little bit in his mind to know he has lost to me before. So it does give me a slight edge.

Q Does the fact it was by guillotine maybe play in his mind to make him avoid being caught in that position again?
A: I am sure he has been ready for it and trained for it and will watch out so he doesn't get caught in it again.

Q: Since September 2010 he has basically had a minute and a half of cage time, where as you have been active, can that play a part in how this fight goes?
A: I think it definitely can. Ring rust, the time off, and the fact I have already fought for Bellator, and like you said I have been very active, I think that it definitely plays a big part.

Q: This is his first Bellator fight, in your first one, were there any extra nerves?
A: I think so. I was extremely nervous about it. It's the next level, way more people, more coverage, television, everything like that. It plays a big part in it.

Q: Anyone who saw your fight with John Hawk knows you can go five rounds and still have good cardio. If it goes into the later rounds, does that give you an advantage knowing you can do that?
A: I think so. I don't think Josh has gone that long or even gone the distance. It's twenty-five minutes of fighting and the only way to know what it feels like is to do it. So if it goes that far it will be an advantage for me.

Q: What do you expect out of him?
A: I'm just studying his video and seeing what he does. I expect him to come out the same way he does in most of his fights. I don't expect to put myself in a bad position to make it easier for him in any way.

Q: Is there an area where you feel you have the biggest advantage?
A: Not really sure. I know he likes to strike, we both like to strike. I can take a really good hit and am not sure how good a hit he can take, so I might have an advantage in that area.

Q: Is there a key to winning this fight?
A: I think just being more active and aggressive. Not waiting to counter as much. That will be a big advantage for me, I have worked on that since my last fight so I don't wait to long.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: Just that I plan on getting back in the winner's circle.

Q: After this do you want to stay ready in case there is an injury in the tournament maybe you can get in?
A: Oh yea, I am definitely looking at that as an option. I will stay ready and if there is an injury maybe they will call me and I will be right there and be ready.

Q: If that doesn't happen, any idea what you wanna do next or just wait till that happens?
A: I guess I will just wait till this fight and see what happens from there. If that doesn't happen I guess we will start from there.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to thank my sponsors, Intimidation Clothing, NAAFs and Bellator for the opportunity, Jorge Gurgel at JG MMA, he has been a great coach and kept me motivated, all my training partners.

Monday, June 4, 2012

NAAFS Fight Night in the Flats 8 Report

On June 2nd, NAAFS put on Fight Night in the Flats 8. Fight Night is the NAAFS's annual Super Bowl. Their biggest even of the year. It features top pro and amateur talent. The show stealer was the lone female fight on the card between Sarah McLeod and Amber Ignatowski. Also, Jeff Hughes continued to show he is one of the top amateur heavyweights around and Tyler Saltsman scored an impressive win over Jarrell Hodge. In the pro portion, Frank Caraballo scored another impressive win in defense of his title, George Comer returned with an impressive win and Chris Lozano bounced back with a big win.

1. Amateur Middleweight
Cameron Duncan (1-0 Sud'n Impact) vs J.T. Miller (1-0 Strong Style)

RD 1: Jab by Miller. Miller gets a takedown and side control. Head shots by Miller. Miller tries for an arm but can't get it. Knees to the body by Miller. More knees land for Miller. Duncan gets half guard, but Miller gets side control back and then he gets mount. Miller lands head shots. Miller moves him to the cage and lands more head shots till the ref stops it

Result: J.T. Miller by TKO at 2:56 of Round 1

2. Amateur Middleweight
John Antanitis (6-3 Penn Hills MMA) vs Steve Burton (7-2 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: They come out and trade jabs. Hard hook lands for Antanitis hurts Burton. They clinch on the cage and Antanitis lands body shots. Knees to the body by Antanitis. Antanitis tries for a takedown but can't get it. They separate and Antanitis lands a hook. Cross by Burton. They clinch and move to the cage. Burton's head is cut. Antanitis gets a takedown and gets his back. Burton stands but Antanitis still has his back. Head shots by Antanitis. Antanitis is trying to get him back down. Burton turns into him and gets a takedown. Antanitis looks for an arm but can't get it.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Antanitis

RD 2: They trade jabs. Burton shoots in and they clinch against the cage. Antanitis gets a guillotine and lands knees. Antanitis still has the guillotine and finally puts Burton to sleep.

Result: John Antanitis by KO (Guillotine) at 1:09 of Round 2

3. Amateur Featherweight
Dominic Mazzotta (4-1 Ed Vincent MMA) vs Mike Velazquez (5-1 USA Martial Arts)

RD 1: Knee to the body by Velazquez. Jab by Velazquez. Body kick by Mazzotta. Mazzotta gets a slam. Mazzotta stands and drops down punches. Mazzotta picks him up and slams him down to escape a triangle attempt. Mazzotta hooks a guillotine and puts Velazquez to sleep.

Result: Dominic Mazzotta by KO (Guillotine) at 1:05 of Round 1

4. Amateur Bantamweight
Shane Valko (4-0 The Mat Factory) vs Ryan Arce (4-0 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Valko shoots in and gets a nice throw. Valko gets side control and then mount. Two head shots by Valko. More head shots land for Valko. Valko gets his back and a rear naked forcing Arce to tap.

Result: Shane Valko by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:05 of Round 1

5. Amateur Heavyweight
James Rankin (4-2 Kom Arts) vs Jeff Hughes (9-2 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Leg kick by Rankin. Both land leg kicks. Another leg kick by Rankin. Jab by Hughes and then a leg kick. Hughes lands a kick to the body. They clinch against the cage and Hughes gets a takedown. Hughes gets mount and lands hammer fists. Short head shots by Hughes. Hughes goes for an armbar but Rankin escapes and gets on top. Rankin stands and tries to get into side control but can't and Hughes pulls guard. Rankin lands a shot after the bell but clearly not intentional.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Hughes

RD 2: Leg kick by Hughes. Rankin shoots in but Hughes pushes him off. Takedown by Hughes. Rankin lands punches from the bottom. Hughes lands punches and gets mount. Hughes tries to pin an arm down but is unable to. Punches from Hughes. Hard shots landing for Hughes. Hammer fists by Hughes.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Hughes

RD 3: Rankin shoots in but Hughes pushes him off and lands a knee. Hook by Rankin. Body kick by Hughes. Leg kick by Hughes. Hughes tries for a takedown and gets it. Rankin tries for a guillotine but can't get it. Punches by Hughes. Hughes gets mount. Rankin reverses and gets mount. Head shots by Rankin. Rankin gets his back but was to high and Hughes gets him off and gets on top.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Hughes
My score card: 30-27 Hughes

Result: Jeff Hughes by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/29-28)

6. Amateur Welterweight
Gabe Garcia (3-0 Fighters United) vs Emmanuel Kangah (2-1 True Roots MMA)

RD 1: They clinch on the cage and quickly separate. Hook by Kangah. Body kick by Garcia. Hook by Kangah. Takedown by Kangah. Kangah stands and drops punches. Kangah lets him up. Leg kick by Garcia. Kangah hurts him with a hook. Garcia tries for a takedown but can't get it. Jab and hook by Kangah. Hook by Kangah. Leg kick by Garcia. Garcia tries for and gets a takedown. Garcia gets mount and lands two punches. Kangah pushes him off. Three punch combo by Kangah. Garcia shoots in but Kangah takes him down.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Kangah

RD 2: Jab by Garcia. Jab by Kangah. Garcia trying hard to force a clinch but can't. Garcia shoots in and gets a takedown. Punch by Garcia. Kangah is defending well. Sweep by Kangah and he gets mount. Head shots by Kangah. More head shots and the ref stops it.

Result: Emmanuel Kangah by TKO at 1:42 of Round 2

7. Amateur Welterweight
Josh Krizan (4-1 Wrestling Factory) vs Josh Lasich (3-0 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Lot's of feints by both fighters. Hook to the body by Krizan. Clinch in center of the cage and quickly separate. They trade shots. Leg kick by Lasich. Hook by Krizan. Krizan hurts him with a hook and they clinch in the center of the cage. They separate and trade shots. They clinch and quickly separate and trade shots. Lasich shoots in and tries for a takedown and gets it but Krizan is on top in guard. Shots from the bottom by Lasich.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Krizan

RD 2: They trade hooks. Lasich gets a takedown. Two punches from Lasich. More head shots by Lasich. Lasich lands forearm strikes and is warned by the red. Body shots by Lasich. Head shots by Lasich. More body shots by Lasich. Lasich gets side control as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Lasich

RD 3: Leg kick by Lasich. Body kick by Lasich. Lasich shoots and gets a takedown. Krizan gets on top in half guard. Lasich avoids damage. Lasich tries to scramble but can't escape. Lasich gets full guard. Krizan is not throwing from the top. Lasich looks for a triangle. Krizan stands and lets him up. They clinch on the cage and separate. Hook by Lasich. They trade hard shots. Takedown by Lasich.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Lasich
My score card: 29-28 Lasich

Result: Josh Krizan by Split Decision (29-28/28-29/29-28)

8. Amateur Bantamweight
Tyler Saltsman (7-3 Team Titan) vs Jarrell Hodge (4-0 Brickhouse MMA)

RD 1: Jab by Hodge. Body kick by Saltsman. Saltsman shoots but nice sprawl by Hodge. Saltsman shoots again but can't finish the takedown. Body kick by Saltsman. Push kick by Saltsman. Saltsman tries for a takedown but can't get it. They trade knees. Body kick by Hodge. Nice hook by Saltsman. Leg kick by Hodge. Double jab by Saltsman.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Saltsman

RD 2: Saltsman shoots but Hodge sprawls. Hodge hurts him with a hook. They clinch on the cage and quickly separate. Hook by Saltsman. Saltsman is landing hard shots. Knee by Saltsman. Knee to the body by Saltsman. Body kick by Saltsman. Jab by Hodge. Push kick by Saltsman. Hodge lands a nice hook. Saltsman shoots by Hodge sprawls. Saltsman gets a takedown but they are up quick. Hodge shoots and gets a takedown.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Saltsman

RD 3: Nice hook by Hodge. They clinch and move to the cage. Hodge drops down looking for a guillotine but doesn't have it locked. Saltsman gets his back and lands head shots. Two more nice shots by Saltsman. Hodge flips him over and gets on top. Head shots by Hodge. Saltsman tries to scramble as the round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Saltsman
My score card: 30-27 Saltsman

Result: Tyler Saltsman by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/29-28)

9. Amateur 115LBS
Sarah McLeod (4-4-1 Mid-America MMA) vs Amber Ignatowski (5-0 USA Martial Arts)

RD 1: Jab by McLeod. Hook by McLeod. Leg kick by Ignatowski. McLeod drops her with a hook but lets her up. They clinch and McLeod lands punches. Body kick by McLeod and another. Push kick by Ignatowski. Hook by Ignatowski. They trade punches. McLeod hurts her with a hook and almost drops her. McLeod has her hurt on the cage and lands punches. Leg kick by Ignatowski. They clinch on the cage and McLeod lands body shots. Knee to the body by McLeod.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 McLeod

RD 2: Leg kick by Ignatowski and another. Push kick by McLeod. Hook by McLeod. Both land leg kicks. Jab by McLeod. Ignatowski drops her with a spinning back fist but McLeod is right back up. Leg kick by McLeod. Jab by McLeod. Leg kick by McLeod. Hook by McLeod. Leg kick by Ignatowski. Leg kick by McLeod.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 McLeod

RD 3: Leg kick by Ignatowski. Leg kick by McLeod. Hook by McLeod. Jab by McLeod. Hook by McLeod. Leg kick by McLeod. Push kick by Ignatowski. Body kick by McLeod. Nice superman punch by Ignatowski. Jab and leg kick by McLeod. Jab by McLeod. Leg kick by McLeod. Hook by McLeod and another. Ignatowski takes her down against the cage and McLeod sits and lands head shots.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 McLeod
My score card: 30-27 McLeod

Result: Sarah McLeod by Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/29-28)

10. Pro Lightweight
Andrew Osborne (6-3 Angel's Gym) vs Joe Heiland (13-2-1 Strong Style)

RD 1: Hook by Heiland. Heiland shoots in and works hard for a takedown but Osborne gets away. Clinch and Heiland gets takedown. Osborne working hard to stand but Heiland pushes him against the cage. Osborne finally works his way up. Heiland loose his mouth piece stopping action. They resume and Heiland lands a jab. Leg kick by Osborne. Jumping knee by Osborne. Hook by Heiland. Leg kick by Osborne. Hook by Heiland. Body kick by Osborne. Hook by Heiland. Hook to the body by Heiland. Jab by Osborne. Takedown by Osborne and Heiland looks for a guillotine. Osborne escapes. Heiland has a bad cut over his eye. They clinch and Heiland looses his mouth piece again stopping the action. They resume and Osborne lands a jab. They clinch against the cage and Heiland lands body shots.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Heiland

RD 2: Spinning back fist by Osborne. They clinch on the cage and Osborne lands a knee to the body. They separate and Heiland lands punches. They clinch and quickly separate. Jab by Osborne. Hook by Heiland. Knee to the body by Osborne. Leg kick by Osborne. Cross by Heiland. Hook to the body by Heiland. Jab by Osborne. Hook by Heiland. Knee to the body by Osborne. Heiland shoots in and they clinch against the cage. Osborne tries for a takedown. They drop down with Heiland looking for a guillotine. They stand and Osborne tries to take it back down. They separate and Heiland lands a nice hook. Osborne looks very tired. Head and body combo by Heiland. Uppercut by Heiland. Heiland lands a kick low stopping action. They resume and Heiland lands two jabs.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Heiland

RD 3: Jab by Heiland. Leg kick by Osborne. Jab to the body by Osborne. Hook by Osborne. Hook by Heiland. Hook to the body by Heiland. Jab to the body by Heiland. Hook by Heiland. Hard hook by Heiland. Several body shots by Heiland. Now shots to the head by Heiland. Hook by Osborne. Jab by Osborne. Takedown by Heiland. Elbows to the head by Heiland. Heiland is in side control and lands more elbows. Osborne escapes and stands. Hook by Heiland and another. Front kick by Osborne. They clinch on the cage and Heiland gets a takedown and lands hard shots.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Heiland

Result: Joe Heiland by Split Decision (30-27/28-29/29-28)

11. Pro Lightweight
Khama Worthy (8-2 Team PTT) vs George Comer (9-1 GriffonRawl)

RD 1: Leg kick by Comer. Leg kick by Worthy. Leg kick by Comer. Jab by Worthy. Comer shoots in and gets a takedown. Comer traps Worthy's arm behind is own back and lands head shots. Now body shots by Comer. More head shots by Comer. Worthy finally frees his arm. Comer gets side control and lands elbows to the head. Now punches to the head by Comer. Worthy almost sweeps. Body shots by Comer. Worthy gels half guard but Comer gets back to side control.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Comer

RD 2: Jab by Worthy. Leg kick by Comer. Comer shoots and they clinch on the cage but quickly separate. Leg kick by Comer. Uppercut by Worthy. Jab by Worthy. Body kick by Comer. Comer shoots in and gets a takedown into side control. Worthy tries to wall walk but Comer brings him back down. Worthy is able to stand and they clinch against the cage. Knees to the body by Comer. Knee to the body by Worthy. Takedown by Comer. Comer gets his back and lands head shots. Comer gets a rear naked for the tap.

Result: George Comer by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:58 of Round 2

12. Pro Welterweight
James Warfield (22-10 Chosen Few) vs Chris Lozano (14-4 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Lots of feints and circling. Hook by Warfield. Leg kick by Warfield. Head kick by Lozano. Leg kick by Lozano. Jab by Lozano. Leg kick by Warfield and another. Lozano catches a leg kick and takes Warfield down. Lozano looks for a guillotine and then goes for an anaconda. They stand and clinch on the cage. Knee to leg by Warfield. Hook by Warfield. Leg kick by Warfield. Jab by Lozano. Hook by Lozano. They clinch against the cage and separate. Lozano lands a wheel kick right before the bell and it hits the back of Warfield's head.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Lozano

Warfield is unable to continue and the fight ends.

Result: Chris Lozano by TKO at end of Round 1

13. Pro Featherweight Title
Antonio Castillo Jr. (12-3 Instigator Fight Team) vs Frank Caraballo 17-7 Fearless Fight Team)

RD 1: Castillo shoots in and gets a takedown but Caraballo is right back up. Clinch on the cage and Castillo lands a knee to the leg. Elbows by Caraballo. Castillo working hard to get the takedown. Knees to the leg by Castillo. Elbows to head by Caraballo. Castillo gets the takedown. Caraballo wall walks and gets up. Castillo is holding on trying to get it back down. Slam by Castillo. Castillo gets side control and lands head shots. Caraballo stands and takes Castillo down. Caraballo gets his back and looks for a rear naked. They stand but Caraballo still has his back. They drop down and Castillo taps.

Result: Frank Caraballo by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:46 of Round 1

Submission of the Night: Frank Caraballo

Knock-Out of the Night: Emmanuel Kangah

Fight of the Night: Sarah McLeod vs Amber Ignatowski