Archive for June, 2013

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Video by: John Walsh The Clinch Report

In the world of mixed martial arts, few names are more recognizable than Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture. He is the only 3x Light Heavyweight and 3x Heavyweight champion in the sports history, and has also transitioned outside the sport into main stream media better than almost any other fighter. His fights are legendary and so are the training camps that he founded.

Team Quest and Xtreme Couture are two of the sports most recognizable camps, and both were founded in part by Couture. We have seen his coaching skill first hand on the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter, so he is the perfect fit for Bellator and for the show.

Couture has endured a media backlash from the UFC since signing with the rival promotions new endeavor. Dana White has said publicly that Couture is now persona non grata at all UFC events including ones where Randy’s son, Ryan( who is on the UFC roster) is fighting. The elder Couture was in the UFC employ up until recently, but decided to sign elsewhere when he felt his status with the company was left in limbo.

Now with “Fight Masters”, Couture is looking forward to the shows reception. Which should be well received. The show itself on the surface may seem like a ‘TUF’ retread, however after watching the premier episode it is evident that this is not the case. The show offers a completely fresh look at the reality concept with regard to fighters.

Each fighter gets to choose his coach for the season. After a short interview process each fighter decides between Frank Shamrock, Joe Warren, Greg Jackson, or Couture.  Each coach evaluates the fighters, and in some cases, even lobby to be chosen. The show somewhat represents what a real fighter would do, by choosing his own path.

With a diverse mix of talent and incredible coaching; the show is all about pure mixed martial arts. However the coaches add a dynamic of competition between themselves that is not only genuine, but at times it is hysterical. The added entertainment value is a refreshing change to the buffoonery we have become use to on the other reality shows.

The show debuts  Wednesday, June 19 at 10 PM / 9 PM Central on SPIKE TV, and offers a mid week MMA fix for both the avid and casual fight fan alike. With the network having previous success with this reality show format in the past, and with Bellator’s current growth ‘Fight Master’s’ success is all but guaranteed.

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Spar Star MMA recently had a hotly contested title fight between Marcel Cyprian and Tanner Chapman that ended in a draw.
Judge for yourself, all three rounds are shown below.

Main Event Round 1

Main Event Round 2

Main Event Round 3

by: Jonathan King

Video by: John Walsh

To be great at anything one must spend quite a bit of time practicing. The strategy is simple, and yet extremely difficult. The “10,000” hour rule according to Malcolm Gladwell is the key to being great. In order for anyone, to be great in any field, they must simply perform that task for 10,000 hours.

Well over 10,000 hours ago Michael Chandler began walking this path in Missouri as a high school wrestler. Even now years later, this desire is still what fuels him. For many the title is the goal, to become a champion. What makes Chandler different is that he doesn’t measure himself by the gold around his waist,

For Michael Chandler, its about another page, another chapter, each one consisting of another 10,000 hours of discipline. For Michael Chandler its not about who you fight for, but how you do it, that defines greatness. Its about a consistent effort that rewards not only himself, but everything he represents.

This ‘blue-collar’, humble, work ethic, and wholesome attitude is as genuine as the ass-whooping he dishes out, so don’t be fooled. Michael Chandler is a fighter first, and as a champion, he plans on becoming one of the best ever!

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

The golden road to the UFC: lost somewhere between the beginning, and a snowballs chance in hell. Amateur MMA events are often times when dreams run face first into reality. After all even the top amateurs have at best a ‘punchers chance’ to crack into the UFC ranks. Still the effort, the passion, and unfortunately the anguish of defeat is just as potent as it is on the grandest of stages.

And unfortunately for these fighters, once the claps have quieted, and the eyes of the audience glance away; these fighters are left with only a continued dream, or a lesson learned. Amateur fighters don’t receive any financial compensation.

Spar Star MMA provides an environment for these fighters to test their training, and ultimately themselves. Each one of these combat cadets spend so much time training, and preparing for the future, that the present is often left in limbo. Most exhibit a sort of feigned confidence, that the first few seconds of the fight have a way of exposing for being either myth or reality.

In most cases, panic usually eases slowly into a chaotic search for the basics. Once the initial rush of the ‘fight or flight’ instinct passes, the instructional pleas from coaches usually reminding the fighters to breathe or relax follow.

Mixed martial arts is a pretty fair and rewarding venue in the cruel sport of life. For fighters the equation is a simple cliche, ‘what you put in, is what you get out!’ Even at the amateur level the fights are won weeks ahead of time. Even at the amateur level the winners are simply willing to do, what the losers is not!

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report Photos by: John Walsh

Young fighters usually bring a desire and hunger that usually provides for exciting fights, if the match making is legitimate. However on the regional scene the big names are the draws. Often these names are in the twilight of their fighting career. Last night, we saw the start of some very promising careers, and we watched the end of two very prolific ones.

Gabe Ruediger has fought on the biggest stage in the world. As a former WEC and UFC veteran, Ruediger achieved the loftiest of a mixed martial artists aspirations. Now fighting for the last time, Ruediger was not only dealing with the retirement butterflies, but the man he was facing knocked him out last time they fought. Scott Catlin, himself no spring chicken also announced after the fight that he too was calling it a career. Both fighters had their moments, Catlin early and often, but in the end its was Ruediger’s submission game that secured the swan song victory!

Also on the card was the first ever BAMMA USA light weight title fight. E.J. Chavez landing some very heavy strikes, and avoided a very slick submission game to secure the first ever promotional title. The three round fight saw Chavez on top for pretty much the whole fight, but Jorge Valdez proved to be quite slick on his back, often working for several submissions. However Chavez proved to be too tough, and eventually ended the fight via TKO in round number 3.

The headline bout featured well known fighter Ronald Lebreton jr. against Mikey Gomez. Lebreton came out aggressive immediately taking control of Gomez, and grinding him against the cage. Counter the aggression Gomez was able to secure a take down, and once on the ground he was able to transfer to side control. From a strange angle Gomez secured Lebreton’s arm and rolled it into an arm-bar, forcing the tap early into the first round.

Regional promotions in southern California are not rare these days. Each day it seems a new one is popping up in casinos around the state. Often times, the fight cards only feature one or two competitive bouts, with the rest serving as ‘tomato cans’ to pad a fighters career stats. BAMMA USA however, subscribes to a different method of thinking.

Each fight, including the preliminary bouts featured well matched opponents that led to extremely exciting fights. BAMMA USA offers the casual fight fan, and the die hard a unique experience that will lead to more growth in the sport of MMA.

Commerce Casino served as the home venue for BadBeat 9 which was co-headlined by the first ever lightweight title fight

Sevak Magakian (12-4-1) v Eric Brown (3-3) 155 Lbs (Lightweight) Winner Eric Brown Rd 1 Submission

Scott ‘K.O.’ Catlin  (8-7) v Gabe ‘Godzilla’ Ruediger (17-8) 160 lbs (Catch weight) Winner Gabe Ruediger rd 2 Submission

Justin ‘The Mortal Sinn’ Linn (3-0) v Chris ‘The Urban Legend’ Culley (16-10) 150 lbs (Catch weight) Winner Culley via UD

Ernest ‘EJ’ Chavez (6-0) Jorge ‘The Envy’ Valdez (6-2) 155 lbs (Lightweight  Title 5×5 rounds) Winner EJ Chavez rd 3 TKO (new champion)

Ronald Lebreton Jr. (8-7) v Mikey Gomez (14-9) 185 lbs (Middleweight) Winner Mikey Gomez rd 1 Submission