Posts Tagged ‘John Walsh’

Photo by Bob Fisher @Pugilpix.com

Malaysian Invasion League 7: Date January 6,2017

Location: The Paradigm Mall in Selangor, Malaysia

Co-founder, and head photographer John Walsh continues his travels through Asia documenting the world of combat sports. His most current assignment found him in Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia for the latest edition of MiMMA Malaysian Invasion. The unlikely location (at least for American fans), of The Paradigm Mall served as the backdrop as the 32 fight bout card that Tapology had scheduled, ended up only producing 9 fights, but they certainly entertained those navigating between Sephora and the Orange Julius (just kidding, I cannot confirm or deny the presence of such a relic).

Once the event started, and the cage door closed everything became familiar. Check out John Walsh’s gallery below. And make sure you follow his journey on Instagram: clinchpikz@instagram.com and follow his partner in crime Bob Fisher @pugilpix.com as well.

 

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American Natalie Morgan spreads her wings at the Muay Thai Angels tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

Photos By: John Walsh

In the final four of the Muay Thai Angel’s tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, Yolanda Schmidt was able to emerge as champion after squeaking out a narrow decision over former champion Chommanee Taehiran. Schmidt was able to rely on her size and athleticism as Chommanee’s output waned her speed faded in the later rounds. The decision, albeit an unpopular one, earned Schmidt 1 Million Baht for her efforts, and a brand new car to carry her loot in case they paid her in change.

Although coming up short in two hotly contested decisions American Natalie Morgan proved by going the distance with eventual champion Yolanda Schmidt, and in her loss to Namtan Por that she belonged among the top fighters in the world. With less than a year of experience as a pro, Morgans stock is certainly on the rise.

Our very own John Walsh was on hand at the  Sports Authority of Thailand Stadium (การกีฬาแห่งประเทศไทย) in Bangkok, Thailand. Below is the gallery.

Make sure you follow John Walsh on Instagram

 

 

 

Marina Shafir

Marina Shafir

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

All Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

The Past:

Pedigree can only carry you so far. God given ability without a champions work ethic may get you to the dance, but it certainly is not enough to ensure your tenure at the top. Becoming the best is one thing remaining there however, is a completely different animal. One only tamed by embracing the grind that accompanies everyday training. Champions live, they don’t simply exist. They are fueled by a different fire, cut from a different cloth. Sacrifice their only constant, and pain their only guarantee.

For Marina Shafir, that sacrifice began long ago. As a world class Judoka, Shafir cut her teeth competing against some of the best judo players in the game. Along the way becoming very close friends (“sweat sisters”), with UFC Champion Ronda Rousey. Together they trained to become the best, along the way forming a bond that would continue as Ronda transitioned from Judo to MMA.

“I have seen her transition from an athlete to a machine” Shafir said. “We used to eat peanut butter whole wheat bagels, because that was all we could afford. Now each meal is planned and only the finest fruits and ingredients! Its overwhelming to think about how much she has evolved to become this champion!” Shafir said.

The gulf between hype, and champion is wide. The chasm is filled with the crushed potential of pretenders who although once promising,dared to contend. Proper preparation is the only way across this divide. Still, there is no guarantee. Walking the tightrope of expectation can be a daunting task even for the most confident.

However for Shafir the motivation is simple. She fights for her brothers, she fights for her mother’s brutal honesty. She fights for the gym in Moldova her father opened to keep kids off the street. “I am my mom, I am my dad, I am made from them! I fight for them, for the last name they gave me. Not to make me something, but to make our name something.” Shafir said. 

In a world where prize fighters fight for, well…the prize, Shafir’s take offers a fresh breeze in a rather stale locker room full of hyperbole.

The Present:

The past is a majestic world filled with accomplishments, and stepping stones that have led to this moment. Unfortunately the present for Shafir is a cruel bitch named reality. Sure the reasoning is pure. Yes, her camp is sexy. But without the wins nobody cares. The great WWF manager Jimmy Hart was once asked why he dressed the way he did and he said, “The minute I dress like everyone else, I’ll have to sit with everyone else!”

And although not a wiry weasel with a megaphone, Shafir is not unlike Hart, at least for now. Until its her turn, she is perfectly content playing her part. As long as she is still on the players side of the fence. To stay there Shafir must simply do one thing, win!

Without the wins, the ends just won’t justify the means. Justification resumes August 10. On trial, will be Amanda Bell. At only 1-2 Bell would appear like fodder for the touted Shafir, however a close look at Bell’s amateur career reveals a glaring TKO win over Shafir’s teammate Jessamyn Duke. So, the plot thickens…well…a little anyway.Bell a well known grappler is a tough test for Shafir, however she is confident in all aspects of the game.

“If she wants to stand and bang, we can stand and bang. If she wants to grapple, well thats fine too we can grapple.” Shafir said. “I have been training very hard on my striking with Edmond Tarverdyan and would like to showcase it[my striking], but you have to see where the fight goes.”

Wise beyond her years, Shafir has a patience that allows her to enjoy the ride, without taking anything for granted. A ride she is extremely grateful to be on. “I really want to thank my coaches and training partners (Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Jemyma Betrian), they all know who they are! My mom and dad, for making me, and George Bastmajyan for booking my fights.” Shafir said. “George goes out of his way for all the fighters, not just me. He is easy to fight for. I want to put on a good show for him!”

The Future:

Trusting in uncertainty is your best bet. At least it is when you are built fundamentally sound. Each building block serves as a stepping stone for the next. Each step rewarded with another waiting to be taken. The future is only a breathe away from the present, and moments from being in your past. Marina Shafir walks in some pretty big footprints, that carry high expectations. Unlike Rousey, Baszler and Duke, Shafir fights at 145 lbs. A weight class that doesn’t even exist in the UFC. However she believes its only a matter of time before it does. Maybe Shafir can serve as the defacto 145 lbs ambassador as Ronda did, to help usher in the new weight class. Maybe a stint in Invicta will be on the docket. Either way her patience and her surroundings never let the future blind her.

“I can never get lost in the shuffle, because of the people around me.” Shafir said. “You are the company you keep, and my company is pretty fucking cool!” Shafir said.

Wherever the future takes Marina Shafir, and whatever it holds for her, one can only make an educated guess. It may be here… It may be there.. However it will never be far from her past, and it will never be far from where she currently sits, whether on the brink or years past the break, Marina Shafir like her moniker claims, is a Supernova. The light from a distant burning star that can last long after the star itself fades.

It may not be set in stone, but it appears to be a ‘sure thing’, that in the sport of MMA Marina Shafir’s legacy will burn on, long after she is gone.

 

 

Marina Shafir trains at Glendale Fighting Club and is Sponsored by: Virus, Cucuone, Core Power

You can follow Marina Shafir on Social Media Here: Twitter, Facebook

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