Posts Tagged ‘Joe Stevenson’

fn10-23-archuletta-4

 

“May see thee now, though late, Redeem thy name, And glorify what else is damn’d to fame” Richard Savage

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix

Perspective can bring clarity. Unfortunately there is no time line for understanding. For some it comes early, for others it may never come at all. For Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson, perspective has been quite elusive. As a young fighter Stevenson made his pro debut in 1999 at the tender age of 16, now nearly 50 fights later, that perspective has arrived.

Long after his last fight, Stevenson found himself on the mat at his gym, working with his younger fighters. He told them he wanted them all to define their goals as fighters clearly. He wanted to know what each of his fighters expected of themselves, so he, the coach, could do his best to make those expectations come true. Everything was going according to plan until one of Stevenson’s young proteges, Jamal Pogues, asked, “What about you coach?”

The seemingly innocent question may have been considered a wise-ass response, but instead the question stabbed its way through 17 years of fighting and attacked a soft spot inside of Stevenson that he himself had never addressed! “I thought about his question for quite some time.” Stevenson said, with the answer eluding him at every turn.

As a coach, Stevenson has many young students who count on his experience and knowledge to light the dark passage that is a fight career. During the ‘goal definition’ process, Stevenson realized he himself had never completed the exercise. “I’ve had a lot of great coaches, but I’ve never had someone in my ear outside of the cage” Stevenson said. Although he had many coaches that focused on technique, Stevenson didn’t have a coach to lean on¬†during the difficult times away from the cage.

As young wrestler, Stevenson’s stock skyrocketed with his success. At 16 years old he was already training with the likes of Oleg Taktarov, Bas Rutten, Ted Williams, and Genki Sudo. All of whom, were successful mixed martial artists at the time. For Stevenson, this opportunity was all he had. “Wrestling was the only thing I was ever good at!” Stevenson said. After working with these legends, fighting seemed to be the next logical step. His pro debut came against Joe Camacho (rest in peace) one month before his 17th birthday.

His career was off to a terrific start, and after a successful stint with the King of The Cage, Stevenson moved to Las Vegas to pursue his black belt in jiujitsu. During this time, Stevenson pretty much retired from fighting. Instead he focused on coaching, training and helping others prepare for fights. Things stayed the same until UFC matchmaker Joe Silva came into the gym to watch Stevenson train. After watching, Silva insisted that Stevenson join season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Just one year earlier this show launched the sport of mixed martial arts into the main stream. With the epic bout between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fresh on his mind, Stevenson leapt.

Opportunity once again knocked, and Stevenson was ready to answer, but still he was going through the motions. Once he was isolated inside the TUF house, the demons that haunt so many came knocking. “I was very self conscious about my drinking, thats why if you re-watch the show I always had a red cup!” Stevenson said. “I didn’t want my kids or any kids to see me drinking!” So, he tried to keep the demons hidden, away from view.

Still, Stevenson thrived professionally, winning season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Inside the cage, Stevenson was becoming one of the most feared men in the lightweight division. However outside of the cage, and away from the lights, Stevenson’s life was beginning to unravel. Now the centerpiece in the crowd, Stevenson never felt more isolated.

Celebrity can bring with it a loneliness. For Stevenson, he looked for the answer in the bottom of a bottle, or three. “I was a undefeated as a drinker!” Stevenson said. Depending on how you look at the situation, one could certainly agree or disagree depending on what you consider defeated. “The day after the Ultimate Fighter Finale, the day after the biggest night of my life, I was given my first DUI.” Stevenson said. Apparently the alcohol from the celebration had not found its way out his body, and on his way back home, the TUF season 2 winner found himself in hand cuffs.

As a fighter, Stevenson could always rely on his god given talent. So the dance with demons continued between fights, and even sometimes during the fights. At the age 20 Stevenson’s marriage fell apart. And Stevenson responded by healing the only way he knew how, in the gym by day and the bar by night.

Still, inside the UFC cage the wins kept coming! After a self imposed hiatus from drinking, Stevenson went on a tear, winning four fights in a row, earning him a shot at the vacant lightweight title against the future legend B.J. Penn. A fight that still evokes a very deep emotion from Stevenson. “B.J. and I were actually friends.” Stevenson said. “I can remember hanging out with him in a bar one night, and he came over and said ‘You now one day we are gonna fight bro, good knows good!'”, and although that meeting ended in celebration, their next meeting was not so easy.

Penn won their fight decisively in what would be remembered as one of the bloodiest fights in UFC history. “I remember seeing my blood shoot out of my head in a stream that was about five feet long”, Stevenson said. According to a ringside doctor the gash on his head caused him to lose over 500 ccs of blood. You would think a loss like that would be devastating, and to some extent it was, but¬†after all, Stevenson had never planned on even getting there. Up until this point, one of the best fighters in the world still didn’t have a single defined goal. Instead the loss was handled much the way the wins were, with a few pills chased by alcohol.

After that fight, Stevenson returned with an impressive win over Gleison Tibau, but then alternated 2 wins with 2 losses. One of the wins was an impressive domination of current lightweight contender Nate Diaz. Up until this point, Stevenson was always able to maintain two lifestyles. at first he was a fighter who liked to party, but soon he became a partier who moonlit as a fighter. Soon the perennial fight of the night contender now found himself in rather boring fights. An uninspiring decision loss to George Sotiropoulos was followed by 3 more losses, including a KO loss to Mac Danzig, which was the only time Stevenson had ever been knocked out in his career. After his loss to Javier Vasquez, Stevenson was released from the UFC.

Although devastating, the loss was quickly washed away, and soon the mediocrity of everyday life became the daily reminder to what he had pissed away. Stevenson began to realize he had not only lost his job, but he was beginning to loose himself as well. Nearing bottom Stevenson began to look for answers. He found some of those answers in familiar faces that were now anonymous. It was in these meetings that, Stevenson began to discover himself. He found both comfort and solace listening and sharing. He reveled in being an example.

In the gym, Stevenson was quickly becoming known as one of the best young coaches in the sport. His pedigree and wrestling base made him a fountain of knowledge that even the most seasoned of fighters could drink. Rapidly his young stable of fighters began to start making names for themselves. And Stevenson himself was also starting to evolve professionally.

After working on the show ‘Breaking Bad’, Stevenson began his love affair with Hollywood. Soon after¬†he received a phone call from coach Greg Jackson that would change his direction. Jackson had been contacted by the powers that be in Hollywood, who were looking for a fight choreographer for a new show that showcased the world of mixed martial arts.

The show created by Byron Belasco starred Frank Grillo, Nick Jonas, Jonathan Tucker, Matt Lauria, Mac Brandt, Paul Hauser, Natalie Martinez and Nikki Going as a dysfunctional fight family native to the Venice Beach area. One of the main problems with shooting a show about MMA, is making it look real. In the past, the sport has not been kind to the translations of MMA incarnations on film, which weighed heavy on Belasco. So they brought in Stevenson to sculpt the cast into fighters, and to add certain level of authenticity that would resonate heavily with mixed martial arts fanatics.

Taking his time, and working from the bottom. Stevenson began to shape these actors. “I only know how to train fighters,” Stevenson said. ” I don’t know how to pretend to fight”. So these actors pretty much went to bootcamp. Their bodies changed, their diets changed, and even their outlook on the sport changed. The show ‘Kingdom’ debuted to raucous reviews, and quickly became a hit. Not only were television audiences impressed, but the MMA community specifically was considerably thrilled. A testament to the actors, and the choreography of Stevenson.

Busy on many fronts, Stevenson found himself torn between coaching and working in Hollywood, living somewhere in the nexus between an old itch returned. Constantly being involved a long forgotten flame began to burn again, and soon ‘The Daddy’ was ready again, to take to cage. Returning to the action for the first time in 3 years, Stevenson took on very tough prospect Dominique Robinson. The fight ended up not going Stevenson’s way (he lost a 5 rd split decision) but his performance was hindered by poor preparation and by an infection that had him on antibiotics the day of the fight. He simply forgotten how much preparation was necessary, and Robinson was more than willing to remind him. Even still the fight could have gone either way.

The loss bothered Stevenson, but his performance is what left a particular bad taste. “I didn’t prepare for the fight properly.” Stevenson said. “Even though mentally I was in the right place, physically I didn’t take enough time to prepare. When you are out of action for 3 years you can’t just jump into a camp and get ready, and I thought I could.” Stevenson said.

For the next few months, Stevenson went back to the usual grind. Alternating between cornering fighters, coaching, and working on set, while maintaining his role as the father of four young boys. However this time he kept his weight down, returned to training, and for the first time in his life Joe Stevenson was doing everything the right way, but he didn’t know where he was heading.

Then came the answer in the form of a question. “What about you coach? What are your goals?”

“I went home after Jamal asked me about my goals, and thought about it.” Stevenson had often looked for answers, and often found them from within, but this time he was at a loss. Was his purpose now to coach, or was his goal now to grow as a coordinator in film industry?¬†The answer once again came back to fighting.

“50 wins” Stevenson said. “My goal is to win 50 fights, then I can move on.” Currently Stevenson would need another 17¬†victories¬†to accomplish that task (Some websites differ with regard to record). At 34 years old he is still young enough to compete at a very high level, and his pedigree will always translate to the sport. But why would he want too?

The goal although defined, remains obscured by certain mitigating factors. Truth, fear, the past, and even the demons themselves are all part of the motivation. For a fighter of Stevenson’s caliber his last performances can’t be easy to live with, especially since now he thinks he could today, out perform his younger self. ” I’d instigate the 25 year old version of me into a brawl, before I double legged him and pounded him out!” Stevenson confidently claimed. Perhaps that is who he will be facing the rest of the way.

For Stevenson, the goal may have been defined. The 50 win plateau may hopefully end up being the destination. The end may justify his goals, and what Stevenson finds on the road to redemption remains to be seen. However it appears in coming full circle as a person, Joe Stevenson has finally arrived as a fighter.

 

Notes: Joe Stevenson returns to action July 30 in his hometown of Victorville CA, fighting under the California Fight League promotion. Click the link for ticket information. Joe Stevenson is also set to fight in August under the Tru-Form Entertainment Promotion, it what could be one of the best SoCal fight cards of the year! For information on where to watch the hit television show Kingdom (click the link).

Advertisements

12963656_10154105895648094_2929308962182789199_n

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

In 1848 after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill; California became the place for the bold to stake their claim to a bright future. Now nearly 170 years later, California Xtreme Fighting is the new Sutter’s Mill, and our young mixed martial artists are the miners seeking their fortune. The times may have changed, but the bounty is still the same.¬†Everyone wants some of that sweet sweet gold, and on April 22nd, plenty will be on the line.

Lights Out Promotions in association with Bash Boxing are proud to¬†be presenting ‘CXF: Gold Rush’ on April 22, 2016 at The Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. The talent laden card features some of the top young mixed martial artists in the world. Each one of them looking to strike gold.

Preliminary Card:

Georgie Garcia (2-2 MMA) vs Angel Oliveras (Pro Debut)

Georgie Garcia has fought under the Lights Out/Bash umbrella before, and those who have seen him fight are always entertained. His muay thai pedigree and strong athleticism make him a nightmare inside a large cage. His opponent Angel Oliveras is making his pro debut after an amateur pedigree that saw him even with a 1-1 record. Oliveras is a well rounded fighter with some slick submission skills. Both young men are hungry so sit back and watch them eat.

Marlen MaGee (2-4 MMA) vs Craig Plaskett (Pro Debut)

Marlen MaGee returns to action under the Lights Out/Bash umbrella for the fourth time. The heavy handed MaGee is looking for his first win after coming short in his previous engagements. His opponent Craig Plaskett is making his pro debut after a rather extensive amateur career that saw him even with 4 wins against 4 losses. Plaskett also possesses power in both hands, so this could up being a ‘rock em sock em robots’ type of fight. Don’t blink.

Joshua Jones (1-0 MMA) vs Akkim Lee (Pro Debut)

Joshua Jones came into his last bout the underdog, and left after silencing the crowd with a huge win in his pocket. Jones displayed a wide array of striking and dominated with a versatile attack that wore down his opponent before choking the will to compete from him. His opponent Akkim Lee has been around for a long time. Lee has an extensive amateur background and has a ton of fight left. Expect an educated slug fest!

Jordan Isordia (2-3 MMA) vs Derion Chapman (2-4-1)

Both of these young scrappers bring a ton of talent and energy to the cage. Isordia is the type of striker that likes to stay in the pocket, he certainly is not afraid to take a punch in order to land one. Chapman is more of a floater, who likes to inflict damage quickly before exiting his opponents range. On their feet, the fight could go either way. However should the fight hit the mat, Chapman is very dangerous off his back. This bout could be a back and forth war that produces a magical finish.

Armen Bakanyan (1-3-1 MMA) vs Dmitry Gerasimov (4-4MMA)

This is an easy candidate for Fight of the Night, simply because it already has been! If this rematch is any where close to as good as the first fight, everyone is in for an action-packed treat. The first fight ended in a close split decision that favored Gerasimov. Now 3 years later, these two are set to square off again. This time Bakanyan wants revenge, and his opponent Gerasimov wants to remove all doubt. Get ready for a nasty grudge match with all the violent trimmings. A last minute replacement on the card, may end up being the best fight of the night!

Main Card:

Moses Murrietta (2-0 MMA) vs Matthew Spencer (4-1 MMA) For the CXF Middleweight Championship

In his last bout Moses Murrietta was two parts lightning and one part thunder. Showcasing his superior boxing skills, he systematically picked apart a very tough John Gendron cruising to an rather oddly scored split decision victory. Murrietta sets up his power well with ranging strikes. He will need to use that range to contain his opponent who is somewhat of a bulldog. Matthew Spencer is built like an NFL fullback, and is just as athletic. In the clinch his power transforms opponents into victims quickly and on the mat things only get worse. A brown belt under Eddie Bravo, Spencer can quickly make the fight a foggy memory if your not careful. With a belt on the line, you can expect one hell of a high octane battle.

Jay Bogan (5-5 MMA) vs Cody Bollinger (16-5 MMA) For the CXF Featherweight Championship

Cody Bollinger is a veteran who has fought in pretty much every organization from the UFC on down. His stifling wrestling pedigree has picked up some pretty nasty striking along the way. Currently mired in a 3 fight losing streak Bollinger is looking to rebound with a win that would put him right back in the mix in the featherweight landscape. What his opponent Jay Bogan may lack in experience he certainly makes up for with ridiculous submission skills. With four of his five wins coming via submission Bogan is quick to attack in the transition. Equally dangerous on top position or on his back, Bogan can end the fight in an instant. This fight could end up being a battle of transitions, with the winner being crowned the CXF Featherweight Champion.

Alfred Kashakyan (5-2 MMA) vs Andrew Natividad (3-4 MMA) For the CXF Bantamweight Championship

Andrew Natividad is a very experienced and well rounded fighter. He possesses the one quality you cannot teach a fighter. He is a grinder. However in his last 2 fights, he came up on the wrong end of a decision to Ruben Duran and Juan Archuletta. His opponent Alfred Kashakyan has devastating knockout power in both hands, and brings a huge arsenal of weapons to the cage. Kashakyan is also coming off a disappointing loss, so his appetite is larger than ever. With the winner being crowned the CXF Bantamweight Champion you can bet this is going to be a great fight. Early candidate for Fight of the Night.

Terrion Ware (11-5 MMA) vs Rob Gooch (4-2 MMA)

Once the combat gods get there eyes on a matchup, they must be satisfied. This fight has been a long time coming. Finally after clearing up some red tape, and after all the injuries are healed, these two are going to throw down. Rob Gooch may be at a experience disadvantage record wise, but his skill is unquestionable. Equally dangerous on the mat or standing, Gooch is an extremely efficient fighter, a tactician with a keen mind. If your not on the ball at all times, Gooch can grab an arm or a leg, and end the fight in an instant. His opponent Terrion Ware has seemingly been one fight away from the UFC for a while now. Possibly one of the best bantamweights outside of the UFC, Ware is looking to make a statement, one signed with leather. A highlight reel win over a fighter like Rob Gooch may be the final piece in the puzzle. This fight could easily end up being the Fight of The Night.

Karen Darabedyan (11-5 MMA) vs Joe Condon (11-9 MMA) For The CXF 160lbs Championship 

This fight could easily be a money fight on a televised card. Both of these fighters have competed at the top level in mixed martial arts, both are still in their prime and both share a ridiculous grappling pedigree. Joe Condon has fought for titles in King of the Cage (twice), and competed in the 155 lbs tournament for World Series of Fighting. His experience speaks for itself. On his feet Condon has decent hands, but his defensive skills are amazing which often leads to openings for take downs. On the mat his finishing instincts shine. His methodical transitions to the back are relentless, and singular in purpose. Simply put if you give up your back, its pretty much over. His opponent Karen Darabedyan, like Condon is talented beyond words. Darabedyan a student of Gokor Chivichyan and Gene Lebell has some of the best leg locks in the game. If he grabs a leg, your going to be limping for along time. On his feet Darabedyan utilizes his compact frame to explode into his punches like a coiled snake. If he turns your chin, the room will get dim real quick. Once he has his opponents wounded, Darabedyan¬†does not show mercy, well he sort of does, he doesn’t waste any time, and usually the finish comes quickly! Both of these fighters are climbing their way back to the top of the pecking order, so you can expect a war!¬†This fight will not only product the CXF champion, the winner will also be arguably the best lightweight fighter in the state!

This event is in memory of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and a portion of the proceeds will donated to charity. Never Forget!

 

12052618_10153696234303094_341717294042718340_o

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

When Juan Archuleta(7-1 MMA) sprinted¬†to the cage Friday night for Lights Out Promotions and Bash Boxing’s Fight Night 4 card, he was definitely doing so in front of a hostile crowd. His opponent Alfred Khashakyan (5-2 MMA) had been riding a hot streak, was fighting in front of his hometown fans, and had already proclaimed this fight to be¬†the launching pad to his burgeoning UFC career. However the Spaniard had other less complicated plans, he simply had a nameless, faceless¬†soul to steal.

As most thought he would, Khashakyan came out with both guns blazing looking for a fire fight and with one of his first shots he cracked Archuleta with a nasty uppercut inspiring a leak right away.  One that only made the blood thirsty crowd that much more frenzied. However Archuleta weathered the early barrage, and was able to drag the fight to the mat where it remained for pretty much the rest of the round. Once the fight went horizontal the Purdue wrestling standout went to work soaking up the space and grinding the wind from his opponent.

They say every move has a counter move. If that is the case, Archuleta and his coach must have had them all scouted. Each time Khashakyan engaged (when they were standing) he was taken down. Each time Khashakyan wall-walked to his feet he would get dropped again. After each take down, came some more smothering. At times it seemed like Archuleta would allow Khashakyan to his feet only to take him down again. As if to open the door slightly, giving a glimpse of freedom before slamming it shut. A rather deflating tactic.

To Khashakyan’s credit it didn’t work, he never did quit. He kept fighting until the final bell. He just didn’t have the sauce on the ground to handle a guy with Archuleta’s wiggle. The pressure never relented, and the game plan was executed flawlessly. For three rounds Khashakyan had no answer for Archuleta as he continued to sponge him up like a spill on the floor. It was like watching a Bounty Paper Towel commercial. For three rounds, Archuleta was ‘The Quicker Picker Upper!’

 

12186741_10153696232183094_7285516862869826390_o

Winning clearly on all three judges score cards, ‘The Spaniard’ slowly broke not only the hometown favorite but the crowd as well.¬†Archuleta, who works on the show “Kingdom” was joined in the cage by his co-stars for the post fight celebration. But that celebration was short lived.

FN10.23 archuletta -4

Immediately Archuleta and his coach began to think to the future, even lobbying promoter George Bastmajyan for another fight right away.

Khashakyan will have to return to the drawing board. He is still a very talented fighter with a bright future this has not changed. If anything his path should be clearly defined now. He simply needs to improve his wrestling. ¬†Friday night just wasn’t his night, perhaps next time it will be. The good news for Khashakyan is he is the type of athlete that can adapt well and certainly will, providing he embraces the flaw and puts in enough time to correct the issue.

For Archuleta at this point the sky is the limit. After this performance he is certain to receive a few phone calls from eager promoters. However his pedigree and durability make him somewhat of a juggernaut at 135 lbs so don’t expect many fighters to call him out. after all who wants to piss off a demon?¬†¬†Its just not a very smart move.¬†However if something does not present itself soon, maybe we will see him back in the Fight Night cage for the December show. If not be on the lookout for you might end being the Spaniard’s next conquest!

 

 

 

IMG_8356

 

By: Jonathan M King

Marquee Match Of The Week:

Kashakyan vs Archuleta

“For Present joys are more to flesh and blood than a dull prospect of distant good!” John Dryden

Finally fight day is upon us and although the main event features a two former big leaguers, it is the up and comers that are in support that have captured the eye of many. Both Alfred Khashakyan and Juan Archuleta have been well known names on the fight circuit for quite some time. Especially within their specific disciplines they have even become known as “specialists”. Archuleta has become one of the most feared grapplers in the division, while Khashakyan earns equal respect with regards to his stand up skills. So it seemed inevitable that these two would eventually find themselves locked in a cage together, but to have it happen in Studio City is truly a gift.

To call a fighter a prospect, is a dangerous thing. While the wins can inflate ego, the losses can crush your confidence.  I guess thats a term we as the media feel necessary to use. It makes us warm and fuzzy on the inside. But it takes a coach to recognize a true prospect from a fraudulent one, and it a takes a great coach to save a prospect from himself! Lucky for both of these fighters they have two coaches that genuinely care for them and their well being beyond just the cage.

Ranking the Prospect

“Its hard to say about ranking, I just think they are two really tough fighters with good records” Edmond Tarverdyan said. “Alfred is a monster he is a very powerful fighter, but he needs to keep stepping up in competition and that is what this fight is the next step.” Khashakyan survived a few tough rounds in his last fight to score a late come from behind knockout, a fight that exposed a few holes in his game.

Since then Alfred has been working relentlessly on his wrestling with 3 x Olympian Martin Berberyan, and on his jiujitsu with wizard Alberto Crane. Adding those arrows to the quiver can only solidify the arsenal Tarverdyan has already created. Put them all together and you should have a pretty well rounded frankenstein of a fighter who hits harder than guys 15 lbs heavier than him.

Meanwhile Somewhere in the desert….

Juan Archuleta is the type of guy that really doesn’t need to fight. He could pretty much do anything. And do it well. In fact, he is currently acting on the hit television show Kingdom on Direct TV. However like most people that is just his job, and his passion is something different. His passion is punching people in the face. Juan is a fighter.

Training under Joe Stevenson, Archuleta is what I would call a demon fighter. His goal is not to hurt you right away, (although he can if you get careless) his goal is to steal your soul over the course of 3 rounds. He does this by grinding you down methodically, not allowing you to breathe, taking you down relentlessly, and essentially dry-drowning you like an anaconda does. Its heartless to watch. You add in his granite like chin, and it makes the other guy want to take his ball and go home!

The best part about this fight is we get to see this happen on the regional scene. We rarely get to see two prospects this good fight each other on a stage this small. Because fighters feel they are risking too much, But what good are two distant prospects that never see each others eyes? A true test, is a test. Not a quiz you already have the answers for!

Tickets may still be available. go to www.valleyfightnight.com

 

 

 

 

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 2, Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson is known for being one of the most resilient and relentless fighters in mixed martial arts history. A former King of The Cage Champion, Stevenson plowed through the UFC lightweight rankings. ¬†Amassing¬†a 5-1 record Stevenson earned himself a title shot against then ¬†champion, now legend, B.J. Penn (Former 170lbs and 155 lbs champion, also a UFC hall of Famer). That fight will forever be remembered as one of the bloodiest battles ever witnessed inside of the Octagon. A shoe-in for the Hall of Fame.

Although Stevenson has yet to close the door on his fight career, currently he just doesn’t have the time. Himself the owner of a gym¬†in Victorville, CA Stevenson is consistently coaching both in the morning and in the evening. For lunch he drives all the way to Los Angeles, where he works as the Fight Coordinator for the hit television series ‘Kingdom’, which¬†by the way is¬†currently number 1 on iTunes for television dramas.

‘Kingdom’ which airs on DirectTV¬†is centered around a Venice Beach gym monikered¬†“Navy Street”. Owned and operated ¬†by former fighter played by Frank Grillo. ‘Alvey’ manages a roster of colorful fighters which includes his two sons played by Nick Jonas, and Jonathan Tucker. Jonas, plays a talented prospect trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations, while Tucker plays the hot headed renegade, who has yet to earn his pedigree. Matt Lauria plays the part of the gym protege, a legitimate contender fresh out of prison, looking for redemption.

Stevenson’s mark is not hard to notice. The show puts a heavy emphasis on creating a true-too-life gym atmosphere complete with the clashing ego’s, intense training sessions, which¬†very often mirrors the constant conflict and reconciliations¬†that accompany every families journey. The actors all regularly train with Stevenson, alternating between his gym in Joe Stevenson’s Cobra Kai in Victorville, CA¬†and the one they built on set. “Everyone got better as a fighter between season one and two!” Stevenson said. “Matt Lauria is a better athlete than I am, Jonathan Tucker can out lift me, and Nick Jonas has amazing hand eye coordination.” ¬†Stevenson said.

The efforts pay off in a true to life portrayal of a very difficult sport to capture on film. Jonas, Grillo, Lauria and Tucker all put forth eager performances that make the viewer feel almost involved with the characters lives. Watching the show, you can’t help but feel like you are part of the team. The realism, is perhaps what Stevenson prides himself on. “I train these guys to fight, not to act like they can¬†fight.”

In fact, cast members of some other Hollywood shows better be careful as they enter the Highly competitive TV Celebrity Softball Circuit. Stevenson is prepared, perhaps criminally so…. “I wish we could fight other shows!” So take notice ‘Modern Family’, ‘The Daddy’ has no intention on sliding!

Brutally Honest Radio is hosted by Aaron Tru, Adrian Gallegos, and Jonathan King. The podcast is broadcast live each week from an undisclosed studio in Long Beach California. You can subscribe and download each episode on iTunes. Or you can listen on sound cloud.

Joshua 'El Rey' Aveles is awarded the victory! with Mike Beltran.

Joshua ‘El Rey’ Aveles is awarded the victory! with Mike Beltran.

by: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

All photos: by John Walsh The Clinch  Report

Most mixed martial arts fans outside of California have never heard of Joshua Aveles (15-10-1 MMA). He has never fought in the UFC or in Bellator MMA, even though guys he has beaten have, and as a drifter he doesn’t have an actual weight class. Instead he puts people to sleep in three different divisions. His record at first glance is lackluster at best. Especially in a world full of bloated undefeated win loss stat sheets. However if you look closely, and watch the fights, your eyes begin to open.

Aveles started his pro MMA career in April 2008, and was off to a very rough start. Most fighters with a 2-7-1 record would only look to continue fighting as a hobby. How many fighters can make a career as an earning fighter with a start like that? Instead Aveles decided to rededicate himself to his training and slowly things began to turn around.

Since becoming serious about life as a fighter, Aveles has amassed an eye opening record of 13-3. He has won belts in two weight classes and defended his title at welterweight twice. In that time he has also avenged 2 of the three losses with KO wins over both Bellator MMA Fighter David Gomez, and TUF hopeful Kito Andrews; both of whom dwarf Aveles in size.

Although Aveles fights at 185,170, and 160 lbs currently, he walks around at 175 lbs, which is a walk-weight more suitable to a small lightweight (155 lbs). So basically, he is beating up bigger stronger guys. And the fights seem to end the same way, with a lightning quick strike!

The fact that some of these guys have moved on to larger promotions hasn’t soured the humble Aveles. “I’m glad for them, really I am, cause I’m not a hater!” Aveles said. “I hope those guys do really well, and I am glad to see them fighting in big organizations weather its The UFC or Bellator!” Aveles said. “I know my time will come.”

Currently signed to the King of The Cage, Aveles is set to defend his 160 lbs title against  grappler Joe Condon (11-6 MMA) June 5th live on MavTV and streaming on PPV as well.

Condon, is a very tough ground specialist¬†fighting out of Joe Stevenson’s Cobra Kai and on paper should prove to be a very tough opponent. “I know he is tough, but he is coming after my title!” Aveles said.¬†Preparing for a well rounded grappler is not something lost on the predominant striker. “I train with guys like Frank Romero for jujitsu, and Danny Hernandez for wrestling… and if you¬†can get Danny off of you, then you should be prepared!” Aveles said.

If Aveles is able to put together another highlight real win, it would be hard for the UFC or Bellator to ignore this knockout specialist any longer. All you have to do is watch him fight once, and you will fall in love with his style and heart. He is a homerun hitter, a true diamond in the rough.

 

Joshua ‘El Rey’ Aveles

Fighting out of:Team Diamond in Upland CA.

Aveles is sponsored by: TEAM DIAMOND, Adriana’s Insurance, Lucas Oil, Magic Sweat, Killer Tattoo, Never Quit, and as always he fights with his brother Steven’s name on his shorts, in honor of his late brother who¬†passed away in 2007.

 

Aveles is currently the King of The Cage welterweight (170 lbs) and jr welterweight (160 lbs) champions . With notable wins over David Gomez, Sam Liera, Johnny Cisneros, Kris Armbrister, and Kito Andrews.

Sherdog Profile: http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Joshua-Aveles-31362

Team Diamond Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Diamond/113364138697989