Posts Tagged ‘#WSOF’

 

BAMMA WSOF-12

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Photos By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

“What though strength fails? Boldness is certain to win praise. In mighty enterprises, it is enough to have had the determination” -Sextus Aurelius Propertius

Leading up to BAMMA USA event last week, 135 lbs prospect Albert Morales boldly took to social media and called out the champion when his opponent Rob Gooch fell off the card with an injury. Despite already having a fight himself, Morales saw opportunity. Although that matchup never happened the seeds had been sewn. Instead of talking his way into a title fight, Morales was going to have to earn that shot.

In his way a very tough Anthony Paredes, who trains out of  Team Quest and possesses some of the best wrestling in the division. His smothering attack can be a nightmare for a striker. Just watch his fight with Alfred Kashakian to see why. Although the fight may not have been a ‘mighty enterprise’, it would however be the ‘determination’ that crowned the victor.

Once the fight started it appeared clear that Morales was the more aggressive fighter. Moving well, and working behind his jab, Morales kept Paredes on his bicycle for most of the fight. Each time Morales would engage, Paredes would retreat. Outside of one take down, which Morales quickly transitioned into a potential armbar; the fight remained standing for 3 rounds.

Consistently moving forward, Morales found a home for his straight punches and wobbled Paredes several times with sharp two and three punch combinations, however he showed excellent maturity by remaining cautious. By doing so he never exposed his legs by getting over aggressive. Instead he maintained distance, reset, and looked to land again. Paredes did his best to fire back, but he just couldn’t keep up with Morales’s athleticism. Although the finish eluded him, Morales cruised to a unanimous decision win.

With the victory the bold 135 lb fighter moves his undefeated record to 5-0, where he finds himself in a prime position. As a top prospect he may soon get swallowed up by a larger promotion (World Series of Fighting was certainly impressed!), and if he doesn’t, at least he can now lay claim to a title shot. Before his words were just bravado, but after his last fight, can you really deny him the opportunity? His mouth may have booked the reservation, but his actions have at least earned him a seat at the table.

 

 

 

 

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Fight #1

Mike Kubeska (0-1-1) vs Fard Muhammad (2-3) 135 lbs

Rd1: Back and forth first round that found both fighters alternating dominant position. Early on it was Kubeska threatening from his back, after Muhammad established the striking game. The end of the round found Muhammad on top, landing with some IQ changing ground and pound.

Rd2:Round two very much like the previous frame. The carousel kept spinning as again each fighter took their turn scoring. Once again Muhammad finished the frame on top, although Kubeska continued to start the round strong.

Rd: After repeated warnings, Muhammad again spit the bit prompting a one point deduction from veteran Referee Mike Beltran. Despite the penalty, Muhammad was still able to emerge victorious in a fight that the judges saw from three completely different perspectives (28-28, 29-27, 28-27) giving Muhammad the majority decision.

Fight #2

Jalin Turner (0-0) vs Eric Steans (4-4) 155 lbs

Jalin Turner briefly found himself grounded by Eric Steans early wrestling based attack. Unfortunately for Steans he could not keep him there. Once standing, Turner uncorked a straight left hand that left Steans in a crumpled heap, halfway between consciousness and unicorns… Turner via KO Rd: 1

Fight #3

Heinrich Wassmer (2-0) vs Keenan Lewis (0-0) 125 lbs

Rd1: Hotly contested first frame. Wassmer seemed content to stand and trade with the much larger Lewis.But eventually found himself  on the mat underneath his larger foe. Lewis took the first frame.

Rd2: Quickly Wassmer closes to get the fight to the mat. After some time without improving his position Referee Mike Beltran stands them back up. A failed takedown from Wassmer finds Lewis on his back. Costly mistake for Wassmer perhaps. Lewis looking for the triangle but ends up too high, allowing Wassmer out via the back door.  Wassmer re-establishes his presence on top to ride out the round. 10-9 Wassmer

Rd3: Again Wassmer finds himself on top, but as previously, he is unable to advance or even threaten. Prompting the referee to stand them up. Back on the feet, Lewis now somehow gets to Wassmer’s Back and sinks a choke. It looks deep. Holy Cow, Keenan Lewis with an amazing come from behind victory. Lewis VIA Submission (RNC) 3:02 Rd: 3

Fight #4

Garrick Evans (2-1) vs Isaias Alvarado (3-2) 190 lbs Catcheweight

Rd1: Alvarado in charge early with the quick takedown. Although Evans able to get back to his feet, Alvarado keeps ahold and again brings the fight to the mat. Back to their feet momentarily before Alvarado again parlays a body lock in the take down. Evans looking for an arm perhaps, but its not there. Big ground and pound from Alvarado and he inspires the knockout.

Evans via KO Rd1:

Fight #5

Steve Ramirez (3-1) vs Kyle Estrada (2-1) 125 lbs

R1: Short feeling out process punctuated by a kick to the nads… Ramirez gets 5 minutes to recover, and Big John tells Estrada to keep the kicks up. Huge left hooks lands in succession and Ramirez drops Estrada prompting McCarthy to step in and stop the fight.

Fight #5

Andrew Ramm (4-3) vs Ozzie Alvarez (6-3) 170 lbs

Rd1: Tremendous size differential obvious from the opening bell in favor of Alvarez. Long feeling out process to start the action with Alvarez circling to his left. Alvarez insight for a clinch and able to get the fight to the mat. Ramm utilizing his guard effectively, preventing any posturing from Alvarez. Ramm threatening from bottom with his elevated legs, but he settles back into the closed guard. Alvarez unable to gain an inch of space. Big John stands them up after a lack of action from both fighters. Round comes to a close, close one to score but we have 10-9 for Ramm as he threatened consistently.

Rd2: A little more action to start the second round, both fighters looking to ignite the stand up affair. Alvarez circle incessantly but appears to be tiring. Ramm continues to stay in the center of the cage landing with the jab sporadically. Alvarez gets the better of a quick exchange then again circles away. Alvarez tries the waters with couple of hook combinations that score. Ramm starting to show some swelling around his nose. Quick barrage from Alvarez finds him in tight, where he is able to again score with the take down. Ramm immediately closes his guard in defense. Alvarez still can’t find any room but he does secure the round. 10-9 Alvarez

Rd3: Ramm charges forward with a combination that misses and finds him on the business end of another double leg. Alvarez looking to posture as Ramm again closes guard. Alvarez still unable to solve the jiujitsu riddle Ramm keeps posing, however he is doing enough to keep the referee at bay. Ramm again looking to elevate with his legs, perhaps setting up a submission. However Big John has seen enough and stands the two back up. Alvarez still circling as Ramm continues to stalk. Ramm flirting with the lead kick but Alvarez just bullies through and almost gets another take down. Big shot at the end of the round. 10-9 Alvarez. giving him the fight on our card. Winner via UD Ozzie Alvarez.

 

 

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

All content is owned by The Clinch Report, LLC Registered with the State of Nevada. Any unauthorized use is prohibited. Contact us at news@theclinchreport.com for information regarding usage.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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SSWHITELOGO

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 6/20/2014
Spar Star MMA: Mixed Martial Arts Promotion

For Immediate Release:
Spar Star MMA has long been one of Southern California’s best MMA promotions. Since 2008, Owner Tony Padilla has been hosting both pro and amateur fights featuring some of the regions most notable names such as: Jay Silva (Bellator and UFC vet), Sevak Megakian (TUF contestant), Mario Navarro (Bellator), Karim Ghazi (Formerly Chris Saunders: TUF contestant and UFC vet), and most notably Ashlee Evans-Smith (WSOF, CFA) who is now 2-0 as a professional and will soon be carving her way through the World Series of Fighting ranks.

Although now fighting in one of the worlds biggest promotions, and on national television, Smith still thinks back to her days as an amateur…”These amateur shows, especially Spar Star are a great way for fighters to get wet behind the ears.” Smith said “Tony’s shows always have a professional feel, with a fun family environment.” Smith said. Ashlee Evans-Smith will face Marcia Allen (3-1) on 6/21/14. Smith will be fighting on the undercard, and will be looking to make another statement after her crushing win over transgender fighter Fallon Fox earlier in the year!

Smith will most certainly be in attendance for the Aug 9th show as Spar Star MMA returns once again to The Hollywood Park Casino. The crowd is always filled with MMA royalty such as: Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer, Current Bellator MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin, Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Current Bellator Fighter Cheick Kongo, Bellator veteran Hector ‘Sick Dog’ Ramirez, UFC Fighter Michael Bisping. and many more.

Spar Star MMA always relies on the regions top MMA gyms which enables matchmaker Mel Valenzuela to pick from a talent pool that maybe one of the sports deepest, globally. California is still the world capital MMA. If you were at the last event you know, if you werent, by now you have heard. Spectacular fights were highlighted by a once in a lifetime intimate concert with Hip Hop Legend Dub C.

On August 9th, the ball continues to roll. With some of the best local gyms such as: Tapout LA, Systems Training Centers, UFC Gyms, 10th Planet Jujitsu, Team PKG, Dynamix MMA, The Body Shop, Blackhouse MMA, Kings MMA, Werdum Combat Team, DogPound MMA, Sweat Shop MMA,HBUTC MMA, NZT Pankration, and many others all ready to send some of their best fighters, the night will be filled with crushing body shots, and I.Q. changing head kicks.

As Spar Star MMA continues to gain momentum, keep an eye out for us in wonderful state of Texas! We are currently in works to put on events in several cities including Corpus Christi E Paso, and San Padre Island. We will continue to provide live streams of the events so you will be able to watch from the comfort of your home.This also gives us the opportunity to add television sponsors! Currently we are also in negotiation with a promotion in Australia as well! So hopefully soon, we can bring our brand of MMA down under!

While we continue to grow, and look forward to bringing our brand global, we still understand that Southern California is our home. We will continue to grow locally as well. Please stay tuned for Spar Star: “The Smoker Series”, as we return to the grass roots of MMA in a way that only that Spar Star can!

Make sure you get your tickets for the August 9th show way ahead of time, we have sold out 3 consecutive events, so get your ticket now!

Please continue to follow us on social media.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spar-Star-Promotions/101943773230504
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SparStarFights
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sparstarmma

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

When you see Lewis Gonzalez (9-0 MMA, 1-0 WSOF) for the first time in person, after watching him fight its almost as if you are meeting a completely different person. Inside the cage, he is a physical specimen with an incredible wrestling pedigree, that is complimented well by a very aggressive ‘in your face’ style of fighting. His demeanor outside the cage however is quite different. With a boyish innocence, and a earthy smile its easy too like Gonzalez, unless of course you have to fight him.

Undefeated mostly at the regional level, Gonzalez is somewhat unique. Most fighters at this point in his career have bloated records against marginal competition. But with impressive wins over Bellator prospect Justin Baseman early in his career and UFC Veteran Antonio McKee at his WSOF debut, Gonzalez is seasoned beyond years would appear.

So, when JZ Cavalcante fell out his scheduled title fight against Justin Gaethje (10-0 MMA 2-0 WSOF) due too injury, Gonzalez became the logical replacement. When the call came, it didn’t take long for Gonzalez to decide. “I was on my way to wrestling practice, when my manager Dave Hirschbein called!”  Gonzalez said. “And although the nerves will be up for this fight, once you make contact, the nerves disappear and it will be a fight like every other!”

His opponent Gaethje is regarded by many as the crown jewel prospect in the WSOF roster, and Gonzalez understands why. “He goes for it in every fight!” Gonzalez said. “He is a tough fighter, that is for sure!” However, although he finds Gaethje entertaining, he doesn’t seem worried about his striking. “I’m gonna be right in his face the whole time.” Gonzalez said.

In his last fight against McKee, Gonzalez was able to smother one of the most notorious grinders in the history of MMA. Although the fight ended prematurely (Technical decision low blow),  the fight was never in question. Many thought the win was a huge upset, however Gonzalez was disappointed. “I wanted too finish, but It ended the way it did…in the end, I had to out grind The Grinder.”

Now, Gonzalez is faced with his toughest competition too date. In Gaethje he faces another young, undefeated fighter, who is hungry to win his first  world title. Gaethje is a heavy handed wrestler who may not be technical in all aspects of the game, but he is dangerous in every position, something Gonzalez understands quite well. “He is a dangerous guy, he throws heavy hands, and he is a wrestler like I am!” Gonzalez said. “However, he has a tendency to get caught out of position, and when he does he leaves himself open!”

Those openings will definitely be the focus for his team as he prepares for this fight.  Gonzalez is currently part of the Nor-Cal MMAGOLD stable, and also trains at the Delhi Boxing Club that according to Gonzalez is the key to his success. “My manager brings in top guys to train with, and puts me up when I travel, so I am able to get a good mix of training.” Gonzalez said.  “Its awesome having a team with over 20 guys that never miss practice.”

Heading into the January 18th bout as the underdog is not something that bothers Gonzalez. ” I was the underdog in the McKee fight, I’ve been the underdog most of my career.” Gonzalez said. “I don’t mind being the underdog!”

Lewis Gonzalez is Sponsored By: Gamma Labs, Blood Happens, RBP, WAR Athletic, West Coast Nutrition, Jaco Athletic, 86 Athletics, APEX Solutions, MMAPINK and Lexani. You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LewisGonzalez9

Lewis is part of MMAGold Fight Team:  http://mmagold.com/

And trains primarily at The Delhi Boxing Club, in Delhi California.

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Every mixed martial artist dreams of fighting a ‘big name’ on a grand stage, however more often than not the nerves play a major role in determining the fights outcome. For Lewis Gonzalez (9-0), that dream came true, and the nerves, well they were present, but shortly after the first round started they disappeared.

“The nerves were up!” Gonzalez said. “Fighting a guy like Antonio McKee is a huge opportunity!” Lewis made the most of that opportunity by winning a controversial decision that went to the judges score card after McKee was struck in the back of the head by an inadvertent elbow early in the 3rd round.

Gonzalez was clearly in charge of the fight, and after the fight was waved off, he was awarded the win 29-28 on all of the judges scorecards.

For Gonzalez, the future is extremely bright. Even the win is marred by the foul, it is still a huge victory over a very well known fighter. McKee has fought all over the world and in every major organization. For Gonzalez, this win will thrust his career forward, for McKee it puts an uncomfortable lid on an amazing career.

McKee had stated to several media outlets that a loss would lead him in to retirement. Even though the fight ended in controversy, McKee stated in an interview with Aaron Tru from Tru MMA that he was in fact retiring from competition.

With the World Series of Fighting set to create a 155 lbs tournament to crown it first promotional champion, Lewis Gonzalez may be on a short list of names to compete for that title. However with fighters like Nick Newell, JZ Calvacante, and Justin Gaethje also vying for the shot, nothing is guaranteed!