Posts Tagged ‘Melanie Lacroix’

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Filmed By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com and John Walsh The Clinch Report

That city is well fortified which has a wall of men instead of brick.”  Greek Philosopher Lycurgus

Christos ‘The Spartan’ Giagos (9-2 MMA) has become one of the most complete mixed martial artists in southern California. He has notable wins over Sevak Magakian, Chris Tickle, the late great Joe Camacho, Thor Skancke and Preston Sharf. In his last fight, Giagos secured the Tachi Palace 155 lbs title against Magakian.

However the celebration with his father and friends was short lived. The win earned Giagos another title shot in a gateway bout with Dakota Cochrane for the RFA 155 lbs title on August 22nd. More importantly the winner will almost certainly punch his ticket into the UFC.

Preparing him for this bout as always is his Systems Training Center Family. Giagos trains alongside BAMMA USA 135 lbs Champion Terrion ‘Flash’ Ware, WSOF fighter John Robles, and recent RFA standout Dmitry Gerasimov. With coach Ian Harris and Marcus Kowal in his corner, Giagos rounds out a uniquely talented team.

Giagos sat down with The Clinch Report, to talk about his now infamous celebration after his Tachi Palace win, training for his RFA title fight, and what it means to be a major part of the Systems Training Center family.

Christo Giagos is Represented By: Iridium Sports

Giagos vs Cochrane for RFA 155lbs Title

 

 

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By Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Filmed By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com and John Walsh The Clinch Report

The sharpest of blades is forged with steel. Beaten into form. The edges razor thin, through brutal poundings and repeated tempering. Impurities at this stage can lead to catastrophic failures in battle. Fractures formed force confidence from the field of battle. A warrior who has no faith in his weapon is not an efficient warrior.

The same can be said of fighters. Although an individual sport, each fighter is shaped, molded and forged by the camp he or she trains. You may walk to the cage, the only one in gloves, but you are followed by an entourage who are equally invested in your prosperity. Simply because you are invested in them. There is a blind but beautiful loyalty to a fight team, that can only be built by repeated beatings. The camaraderie formed at the forge shapes a teams success.

Systems Training Center in Hawthorne, California is quickly becoming recognized as one of the best gyms in the Los Angeles area. Owner Marcus Kowal sat down with us to talk with us in the first of a several part series featuring some of the teams top young talent.

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

You are a product of your environment. Where you come from has everything to do with who you are and who you become. The early stages, the developmental stage of life needs to be met with a family environment in order to thrive. For fighters this infintile juncture is also the most important. Often talent gets snuffed out before it has a chance to blossom because of confidence issues, gym egos, or lack of focus. Each fighters personality has to gel with the entire gym, otherwise cliques develop and factions arise.

At Systems, the team dynamic is the most important common theme. This is not a gym for individuals motivated by inflated egos.

The team concept is evident as soon as you enter the doors at Systems Training Center in Hawthorne, CA. During pro practice, the fighters children play nearby as daddies and mommies beat the holy hell out of each other. Although a cohesive unit, where everyone loves everyone, the old adage applies iron sharpens iron. With owner Marcus Kowal and coach Ian Harris leading the charge, Systems has several fighters on the verge of making it to the big show, and a few who are already fighting in big shows.

John Robles (7-3 MMA 0-1 WSOF) has already fought once for the World Series of Fighting, where he lost a decision to UFC veteran Jared Papazian. Robles is a hard punching striker, with a great chin and forward moving mentality. Now fully healed from a few nagging injuries, Robles is ready to finish the year strong, and looking to fight before the end of the summer.

Christos Giagos (9-2 MMA Tachi Palace 155 lbs Champion) is one of those guys that just looks like a fighter. He has wrestler build, but with a Leno-like chin. He utilizes a great combination of jujitsu and wrestling on the mat, to secure some pretty slick submissions. On his feet his power is evident. In his last fight, he defeated a very tough Sevak Magakian via triangle choke in the very first round;  securing his first major world title at Tachi Palace. Giagos is looking to possibly fight for the RFA title before the end of the year, but nothing a contract is not in place yet. One thing is certain though, the UFC is paying very close attention. Already on their radar, Giagos intends to stay ready to fight in case that phone rings.

Terrion Ware (11-2 MMA Bamma USA 135 lbs Champion) is another fighter who is playing the waiting game. Riding a 6 fight win streak, Ware has torn through the SoCal ranks, and is one of the top pro prospects in the state. Currently the Bamma USA bantamweight champion, Ware is also slated to fight for the Tachi Palace belt against former Bellator Champion Joe Soto. A win there would all but guarantee a trip to the UFC.

Systems has a very busy month ahead, with training camp in full swing for several fighters preparing for fights on the horizon. Each morning this family gathers, then they punch each other in the face, happily. After all “the family that kicks the crap out of each other stays together right”?

You can be sure that the waves they are making in the fight world will continue to grow. However, remaining true to their identity is the key to their success. As the future brings more and more success, you can be certain that family atmosphere will never change.

 

 

 

 

 

Bamma BB12-7

The Champ spends a moment with his Grandmother.

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bamma USA is known for putting on some of the best Mixed Martial Arts fights in California. Last night reinforced that recognition with some well balanced match-ups, and fighters who left all of their efforts in the cage.

Early on in the event, The Commerce Casino was rocked with a earthquake that registered 5.1 on the Richter scale. The after shocks, were hardly noticed as the crowd spent most of the night on their feet cheering loudly.

With the ground vibrating, the night was highlighted with spectacular efforts from a few fighters, one of which was former TUF contestant Chris Beal; who looked extremely comfortable as he dispatched a very game Keith Carson. Beal utilized his superior striking skills to take out the jittery Carson, who never seemed to get comfortable.

Beal utilized his superior counter striking and kept Carson guessing and flailing with random strikes that never seemed to threaten Beal. Beal maintained his composure, and showed excellent growth as he patiently waited for the opening instead of forcing the finish.

Comebacks are always entertaining, and Kevin Bostick’s comeback KO had the Casino shaking again. Bostick was able to absorb a vicious head kick from Chris Pena late in the first round. Moments later he countered a knee attempt with a huge uppercut that connected with Pena’s chin, immediately turning off the lights. Pena fell supine as the arena erupted with excitement.

The ladies also made a huge impression as Melanie Lacroix and Brooksie Baynard put on a back and forth battle that left both fighters battered. Baynard pressed the action the entire fight, utilizing her brute strength to her advantage, tossing Lacroix at first. However, Lacroix quickly changed her game plan, and was able to land countless knees in the clinch to Baynard’s face. Lacroix cruised to a close unanimous decision win. The fight was clearly a fan favorite, as the crowd stood for the entire second and third rounds.

Terrion Ware is quickly becoming the name you want to know, before everyone else in the world of MMA does. Last night, he proved why he should be the next guy on the UFC’s radar. Ware outlasted Eric Winston in a very tough 5 round war that netted ‘The Flash’ his first Bamma USA Title at 135 lbs. Winston proved to be a very tough opponent as advertised, and he was able to take down Ware on multiple occasions. However, outside of a near choke in the first round, he was never able to mount much offense with his dominant position. Ware was able to get out of that situation and never seemed in trouble on the mat after that round.

The fight came down to Ware’s superior counter punching. On multiple occasions he changed levels and countered with body shots and finished upstairs with the hook. Winston’s chin held up, and he was even able to clip Ware late in the fourth round. However, Ware came out for the start of the fifth with renewed vigor. Although, Winston was able to score another take down, Ware was able to get up after Referee Mike Beltran stood the fighters up, due too lack of action. Once standing Ware lit Winston up with body shots, and even attempted a few flying knees late that missed their mark.

Terrion Ware dedicated the win, and the title to the memory of his grandmother who passed away earlier in the week.

Once again the promoter Brett Roberts and his team created an atmosphere where the fighters decide the success of the event, and once again the fighters delivered. Bamma USA offers some of the most competitive fights available, and for the die hard fan, the pay per availability should be “must watch TV”. The fighters are hungry, aggressive, and the match-ups break the mold of the one sided regional promotions.

 

Notes: Also winning were Lateef Williams who dispatched Paul Karsky quickly with a slam and following choke; Kyra Batara impressively beat Misha Nassiri via Armbar; Benji Gomez outlasted David Duran, Christian Aguilera defeated Kory Kelly; Greg Parker defeated Paul Song; Justin Jones submitted Paul Gemmati; and Steve Kozola TKO’d Tommy Gavin.

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