Posts Tagged ‘Tachi Palace’

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Video and Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report
Chad ‘The Savage’ George has been around the mixed martial arts block a few times. He understands the game as well as anyone. He first burst into the rankings while fighting for the now defunct WEC (Which was purchased by ZUFFA in 2008 and later absorbed in 2010). While under the Zuffa umbrella, George earned his first win over John Hosman before losing to Scott Jorgensen, and Antonio Banuelos. The latter of the two bouts was a title eliminator bout, a fight George lost by a close decision.

Leading up to his last fight in the WEC, George was the subject of a documentary called “Occupation Fighter” which received a huge following on Netflix. The movie documented his training camp leading up to the bout with Banuelos. The movie brought a lot of attention to George, and it looked as though the UFC would be calling. Shortly after his last fight in the WEC, the UFC absorbed the promotion, however they only created one new division, leaving George and a host of others without a job.

Not one to wait, ‘The Savage’ returned to the regional scene and quickly picked up 3 wins in a row. Once again on the precipice, George stepped up to face current UFC contender Joe Soto under the Tachi Palace banner. George started out doing very well until he made a mistake and got caught in a choke that cost him the fight.

A subsequent loss to UFC bantamweight Cody Gibson followed . Then the storms came. The normal struggles that plague fighters began to pile up on George, however they were happening all at once. Two losses in a row set back his aspirations of UFC gold, but the injuries that followed threatened to end his career. A back injury and other assorted ailments left George’s fight career in limbo, however through the turmoil George found another passion; coaching.

George split with the former gym and created his own brand in California Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness. In a very short period of time the CMMA team has left an undeniable mark on the Southern California fight scene. The wins continued to pile up for the team, and although the head coach was proud of his new family, something was missing.

While getting the gym prepared and his injuries tended too, George soon found himself scratching at the old itch himself. A win over Sam Rodriguez on the regional scene primed George for his return to the national spotlight. He found that opportunity inside the Bellator MMA cage.

During the fight his opponent Mark Vorgeas attempted a guillotine choke however George deftly passed to side control where he applied what has become known as a ‘Von Flue’ choke. (A shoulder choke, that is named after Jason Von Flue who used the technique often with success!) George, an accomplished grappler knew his opponent was in a precarious situation and could tell by his disrupted breathing that the end was imminent.

As Vorgeas drifted into a state of unconsciousness a rather bizarre discussion ensued. “He’s out!”, George stated as he postured up, ready to drop hammers that remained holstered. ‘No he’s not!’ the referee blindly countered. After a few weird moments the referee looked in and finally agreed waiving off the fight.

The win and perhaps the bizarre circumstances behind the victory again thrust George into the spotlight. This time not as young gun with pink hair, but as a seasoned veteran and a true ambassador for the sport. Normally fighters are taught to wait for the referee to pull them off before relenting their attack. Had George acted like most, the whole sport itself would have been colored with the barbaric brush once again.

Although his recent win for Bellator MMA grabbed them a ton of notoriety (which they most definitely exploited), for some reason they have yet to book him another fight. In George it appears they could have what the UFC lacks, a marketable 135lbs fighter that could translate to the masses outside of the cage.

Instead it appears Bellator would prefer to promote aging legends and ‘never have beens’ whose only relevance is in projected ratings on a piece of paper. However one thing is certain in the MMA world one man gathers what another man spills, and its only a matter of time before the UFC realize the earning potential a fighter like George can bring.

 

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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.