Posts Tagged ‘#wrestling’

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

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

Thirty-seconds earlier, a confident Richard LeRoy awaited the opening bell in the biggest fight of his young career. During the introductions, LeRoy stared across the cage at his opponent before briefly acknowledging his fans. The moment for LeRoy had been a long time coming, and he seemed like he was ready for the challenge.

The thirty-seconds that immediately followed don’t exist for Leroy, because he has no memory of them. “Do you remember what happened?” LeRoy joked. His opponent that night Jalin Turner punched the time clock right on the pause button when he cracked LeRoy so hard and so often, the entire first 3 minutes turned into a blur. As LeRoy covered up on the ground, the thunderous shots echoed. He knew the referee was getting close to stopping the fight, and admittedly that was all he knew. Richard LeRoy still doesn’t remember what happened, but he sensed he was very close to losing everything he had worked so hard to regain. As all these thoughts ran through his head, and the referee approached all he could think was, “Im not fucking going out like this.”

Two years earlier, after a dramatic come from behind knockout win over Brandon Hastings, LeRoy began feeling discomfort in his right shoulder. Hastily he was initially diagnosed with an AC separation. Initially the arm was immobilized and a rehabilitation program would follow to facilitate the healing. Throughout his time off LeRoy kept training the best he could, using only his left arm. After the rehabilitation program was completed, the pain persisted. Following the advice of a friend with connections in the medical field, LeRoy was able to get an MRI which revealed a torn Labrum, an injury that would require immediate surgery and yet another extensive rehabilitation. While on the shelf, LeRoy watched as the promotion he called home crowned their first ever CXF lightweight champion. ” It is just a matter of time.” LeRoy thought to himself.

In a haze and in a heap, LeRoy somehow coherently realized he was about to lose everything he fought so hard to get back. It was that thought alone that inspired him to survive. A momentary reprieve in the assault by Turner would only make the next barrage seem that much more cruel. As again Turner sent LeRoy in search of level footing. Trying to find his equilibrium, LeRoy was rewarded with a nasty knee that again dropped him to the canvas.  Wobbling and in retreat for most of the round, LeRoy cleared the cobwebs and like a cornered dog he began snapping back. “Late in the round at one point, somehow I ended up in mount, and  that is when I really started to get my head clear.” LeRoy said. Finishing the round in top position, LeRoy appeared to have weathered the storm, but that was only the first round and the hell that greeted him 5 minutes earlier was again waiting for another encounter.

As the second round began, again Turner found success with his range, as he began to pepper LeRoy from angles the shorter fighter could only imagine. However this time LeRoy didn’t seem as effected as much as was in the previous round. Relentlessly he pressed forward and soon he began to break-down the range of Turner.  Finding some success on the inside, LeRoy began chopping down his longer opponent, but Turner obliged and kept the violent merry-go-round going. As the moments ticked by, the pendulum of momentum started to swing in LeRoy’s direction. “I remember dropping him with an inside leg kick, and I popped right into mount. I could see he was starting to get tired.” LeRoy said. Continuing his attack until the bell, a confident LeRoy went back to his corner thinking he had won the second. “I though for sure I won the round,” LeRoy said.

Drenched with sweat, referee Mike Beltran was long past exhausted and his normal jovial expression had hit the road sometime in the first round, in its place a stone like expression I’m glad to say I don’t know. The air was thick in the Burbank Marriott ballroom as the third round opened. Again the aggressor, LeRoy kept his foot on the gas. The more he pressed, the more his opponent began to slow. Late in the third round with Turner starting to fade, Leroy found himself in the top position. Sensing the end LeRoy looked to inspire the finish with some nasty ground and pound, punctuated effectively with elbows in between. The referee again came close, and after a few warnings from urging Turner to defend went unanswered the assault was stopped at 4:18 in the final round. Capping one of the best comebacks ever in the CXF cage.

The win earned LeRoy a spot in the semi final round for the CXF promotions ‘Cali Kings’ tournament. Putting him just one fight away from the title. However the epic war with Turner came at a cost, and due to injuries suffered in the fight LeRoy withdrew from the tournament. “I really wanted that title. When I was injured and I first saw the CXF belt I sort of already considered it mine,” LeRoy said with confidence.

After a three-month layoff that included a trip to Europe, LeRoy is back in the hunt for the CXF title. Standing across the cage this time in a lightweight title-eliminator will be the well-travelled and equally explosive Christian “The Beast” Aguilera. A well-rounded fighter  like LeRoy, Aguilera is an equal opportunity ass kicker. He can knock you into next week with one shot, or he can choke you to sleep. His dangerous skill set and hybrid pedigree is something LeRoy is well aware of; “Christian’s a tough dude, and he looked great in his last fight.” LeRoy said. “He is very good on his feet; a good striker, and he has great jiujitsu as well. The fight is going be a challenge for sure, but I will be ready.”

With the winner of the bout earning an immediate title shot at the conclusion of the ‘Cali Kings’ tournament, LeRoy once again finds himself just a few steps away from the title he coveted for so long.

CXF 10:Fall Brawl will take place November 4th, in Studio City, CA at the world-famous Sportsmen’s Lodge. For tickets go to: www.mmatixx.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

That epic

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Champions Smile

A Champions Smile

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bellator MMA The Toughest Tournament in Sports, hosted open workouts for the upcoming event on Saturday evening.

The main card features three world title fights, headlined by the rematch of Chandler v Alvarez II. Eddie Alvarez makes his much anticipated return to the Bellator cage since having over a year off due to contractual disputes. With those issues in the rear view mirror (for now), Alvarez is attempting to regain the title he lost to a much improved Michael Chandler.

Pat Curran will also put his 145 title on the line against tournament winner Daniel Straus. Now known as one of the top 145 lbs fighters in the world, Curran will look to solidify those rankings, while Daniel Straus will attempt to end that discussion.

Also on the main card are 205 lbs heavy hitters Emanuel Newton and King Mo Lawal who will face off for the second time, this time with the interim title on the line. The last meeting ended with a surprising spinning back fist KO, that left Lawal prone, and Newton on top of the world. However, each fight is different and whoever wins, it certainly going to be worth watching.

Other notable match-ups worth watching on SpikeTV.com are Michael ‘Joker’ Guymon v Aaron ‘Blood Spiller’ Miller; and Akop Stepanyan v Mike Richman.

The preliminary bouts can be viewed on SpikeTV.com while the main card will air live on Spike TV. Make sure you tune in to what should be one hell of a night of MMA action.

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Pitbull v Nunes

Pitbull v Nunes

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bellator MMA has once again invaded the Pechanga Casino, in Temecula California. Today all of the fighters were set to make weight, and aside from a few that were slightly off, all seemed to be ready to go. The main event between Diego Nunes and Patricio Pitbull was probably the most intense stare down of the day. Once Patricio confirmed his weight, he walked past Jimmy Smith’s interview attempt and immediately began an intense stare. Nunes, refused to budge. After a long, and fierce confrontation both fighters respectfully walked away. ‘Pitbull’ went on to tell Jimmy Smith, that tomorrow ‘Nunes was going into the cage with a Pitbull, and he’s going to get bit!” (through his translator)

Also featured on the main card is an excellent battle of contrasting styles from two veterans of the sport. Vladimir Matyushenko makes his promotional debut against fellow UFC veteran Houston Alexander. Matyushenko has become known in the sport by his well earned moniker ‘The Janitor’, for his grinding wrestling based style that has compiled the elder statesmen a record of 26-6 in his career.

Alexander is also making his debut, but that is where the similarities end. Houston Alexander is known for one thing, knocking people out. With a record of 15-9, Alexander is attempting to live up to the high expectations that once ranked him as a rising star in the sport. After being cut from the UFC, Alexander’s record had been quite streaky, however if he is able to extend his current two-fight win streak, a future spot in Bellator’s light heavyweight tournament may be what ‘The Assassin’ has his sites set upon.

 

Make sure you you tune in on Spike TV 8PM Eastern 5PM Pacific with the preliminaries airing on SpikeTV.com

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By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Champions are made, they are not born. It takes years of work, unyielding dedication, daily sacrifices, and even a little luck to get to the top of the mountain. In the world of MMA, that mountain is made up of the souls you’ve defeated. Each victory brings with it a target, which beams brighter and looms larger, with each win.

There is a “Ying and Yang”, to be recognized in a sport early on in your career. Pedigree can open doors for you and exposure can add zeroes to paychecks, however the learning curve is steep and unforgiving. For every Peyton Manning, there is a Ryan Leaf.

So although those doors may be unlocked with your name, your performance ultimately is what keeps the doors open. For some this ‘target’ can be an uncomfortable burden, for others it can be their ultimate motivation. For Chris Honeycutt (1-0 MMA), the latter is true! “I’m used to having a target on my back!”, Honeycutt said. “That target on my back is a positive thing, it means I am doing the right thing!”

For many this ‘target’ carries with it extraordinary pressure to perform. Often times the anxiety to perform stifles the performance. This is not the case with Honeycutt. “If you don’t feel pressure you are not doing something right!” the affable young fighter said. “It motivates me, I don’t plan on being average, I plan on being the best.” Honeycutt said.


To ensure his success Honeycutt has surrounded himself with a top notch team of advisers, managers and trainers. Training primarily in Fresno CA, the east coast native has found a home at Dethrone Base Camp where he trains with owner and MMA legend Josh Koscheck (Fellow Edinboro College Alumni). Now training full-time under the watchful eye of John Salter and ‘Kos’ Honeycutt focuses on every aspect of the game.

Methodically he began to transition from the power wrestler, into a well rounded and disciplined martial artist. As rapid as his growth has been, each day at the gym serves as a reminder that there is still much to learn. “I have a hard time keeping up with these guys!” Honeycutt said. “It’s not easy working with Lavar(Johnson), Koscheck and Salter, but each week I’m getting more fluid, and more confident.” Honeycutt said.

When his future calls, Honeycutt will rely on the wisdom of his team. “DeWayne Zinkin and Bob Cook have been in business a long time, they guide my path.” Honeycutt said. For now, “It’s my job to get better and to train hard.”

Last year Honeycutt made his successful debut with the UPC Unlimited Promotion winning with impressively with his trademark ground and pound. With the win and a few more months on training under his belt, for Honeycutt the skies the limit!

His next fight will be May 11th in Fresno CA at the Sierra Athletic Club (For tickets http://upcunlimited.vbotickets.com/event/upc_15/3032) for the UPC UNLIMITED Promotion, and will also be featured on there June card at the Agua Caliente Casino.

 

wrestler

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Growing up wrestling was a huge part of my life. I was not very good, and i didn’t compete after the age of 15, but as a young athlete wrestling instilled an unrivaled work ethic . Wrestling is about sacrifice  effort, and determination. The grueling practices and nagging injuries are rewarded with starvation and dehydration just to qualify for competition. The sport ensures both the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.

Since 1896, men have competed at the highest level in wrestling. Not as paid athletes, only professorial wrestlers get paid, and they are compensated for scripted entertainment, not for competition. The Olympics is the top of the pyramid for a wrestlers ambition. Rulon Gardner, Jeff Blatnick, Dan Gable, Alexander Medved, Alexander Karelin, and numerous others became national heroes under the Olympic umbrella. However, after 2016 there will be no more wrestling of any kind at the Olympic games.

A recent secret ballot, eliminated wrestling (both Freestyle and Greco-Roman) from the “core group” of sports, in order to make room for Rugby and Golf. The elimination of wrestling was favored over the less popular modern pentathlon, which I challenge any reader to name the categories without first looking them up!

So what does this mean for the sport as a whole? Will this deter wrestlers from pursing the sport, since the ceiling for the sport has been lowered significantly? What will the consequences of this horrible decision be?

My thought:

Wrestlers are the way they are, because competitive drive is rooted in their very marrow. In school, wrestling offered little reward for a lot of sacrifice.  However they still work just as hard, in front of empty bleachers, with no fan fare, or headlines. Scholarships now will probably decrease, since the Olympic elimination, but I am willing to bet the wrestling rooms will be just as full. With MMA on the rise, wrestlers have options. And the work ethic they learn slamming 90 lbs dummies, is perfectly suited for the discipline needed in that sport. Wrestlers no longer need the Olympics, however I am pretty sure the backlash that results from this decision will prove to the IOC, that the Olympics are the one who need wrestling. Addition by subtraction is not always addition. Especially not with a hundred years of tradition in the rear view mirror!