Sunday, June 8, 2014

NAAFS/Driven MMA Fight Night in the Flats 10 Report





On June 7th NAAFS/Driven MMA held the tenth installment of the Ohio MMA summer tradition, Fight Night in the Flats. in the amateur portion of the vent Ahmad Douglas battled Tobiaus Taylor in a very close fight that was among the best fights of the night. The pro portion featured some exciting early finishes by Shaine Moffitt and Caleb Fickert, a couple exciting three round battles that included R.J. Buck vs Mike Putnam and Dameron Kirby vs J.T. Smith, an incredibly exciting fight between local favorite Isaiah Chapman and Andrew Whitney, culminating with a main event of Frank Caraballo and Tommy Hayden.

1. Amateur Lightweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Darryl Booker (1-0 Vision MMA) vs Damoane Hawkins (1-0 Cleveland State MMA)

RD 1: They clinch on the cage and quickly separate and trade punches. They clinch and drop down trading punches on the ground. They stand clinched on the cage. The drop down but are up quick and do the same thing again. Hawkins looks tired. Booker lands punches.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Booker

RD 2: Hawkins shoots and gets a takedown but Booker gets his back and lands head shots until Hawkins verbally taps.

Results: Darryl Booker via Verbal Submission (Strikes) at 1:04 of Round 2

2. Ryan Nugent (1-0 Team Carvalho/Carlson Gracie VA) vs Darion Peterson (2-0 Strong Style Fight Team)

RD 1: They trade hooks. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Peterson and another. Head shots by Peterson. Head shots by Nugent. Takedown by Peterson into guard. Punch to the head by Peterson. Body shots by Peterson. Peterson moves to half guard. Head shots by Peterson. They stand clinched on the cage. Takedown by Nugent but they are up quick. Peterson lands hard punches. Nugent gets a takedown but Peterson stands and lands head shots. Nugent stands. Takedown by Nugent but Peterson is up quick.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Peterson

RD 2: Double jab by Peterson. Peterson lands hard punches on the cage. Knee to the body by Peterson. Peterson lands more hard punches. Nugent drops down and Peterson gets on top in guard landing head shots. Peterson stands and lets him up. Uppercut by Peterson. Hook by Peterson. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Peterson. Takedown by Nugent.
I scored RD 2: 10-8 Peterson

RD 3: They trade jabs. Hook by Peterson. Jab by Peterson. Hook by Peterson. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the they leg by Peterson. Body shots by Peterson. Takedown by Nugent into side control.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Peterson
My score card: 30-26 Peterson

Results: Darion Peterson via Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/29-28)

3. Amateur Featherweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Ahmad Douglas 3-0 GriffonRawl) vs Tobiaus Taylor (4-1 Rising Dragon)

RD 1: They trade punches. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Douglas. They separate. Hook by Taylor. They trade punches. Jab by Douglas. They clinch on the cage. Takedown by Taylor but they are up quick. They clinch and Douglas lands a knee to the leg. Knee to the body by Douglas. They separate. They clinch on the cage and Taylor gets a takedown.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Taylor

RD 2: Cross by Douglas. Hook by Taylor. Leg kick by Taylor. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Douglas. Knee to the leg by Taylor and another. More knees to the leg by Taylor. Takedown by Douglas into guard. Body shots by Douglas. More body shots by Douglas. Head shots by Douglas. Douglas stands and drops back down and gets his back and looks for a rear naked. Punch to the head by Douglas. More head shots by Douglas.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Douglas

RD 3: Taylor catches a kick and lands a cross. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Taylor. Douglas works hard for a takedown but they separate. They trade punches. Hook by Taylor. Taylor ducks a punch and gets a takedown. Taylor stands and drops down hard head shots. They stand clinched on the cage. Douglas drops down for a takedown but Taylor Drops down hard punches. Taylor gets mount and lands head shots.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Taylor
My score card: 29-28 Taylor

Result: Tobiaus Taylor via Split Decision (29-28/28-29/29-28)

4. Pro Bantamweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Shaine Moffitt (1-2 Destruction MMA) vs Jerrell Hodge (0-0 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Jab by Moffitt. Jab by Hodge. Moffitt gets a guillotine and puts Hodge to sleep.

Result: Shaine Moffitt via Technical Submission (Guillotine) at 0:38 of Round 1

5. Pro Welterweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Caleb Fickert (0-0 Peak Submission) vs Dave Lastafka (0-0 Strong Style Fight Team)

RD 1: They trade punches. Fickert drops him and lands punches and gets on top landing more. Fickert gets a rear naked and the tap.

Result: Caleb Fickert via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:57 of Round 1

6. Pro Heavyweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Leroy Johnson (1-0 American Top Team Michigan) vs Daniel James (1-0 Midwest Training Center)

RD 1: They trade hard shots. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by James. Knee to the body by James. Knee to the leg by James. The ref warns James for holding the cage and separates them. James lands hard punches. They clinch on the cage and move to the center. Knee to the leg by James. They move to the cage and then separate. Johnson gets a takedown against the cage. Johnson gets in half guard and lands head shots. Body shots by Johnson. Johnson gets mount and lands head and body shots.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Johnson

RD 2: James hurts him with a hook. They drop down with Johnson on top in half guard. Body shots by Johnson. Elbow to the head by Johnson. More head shots by Johnson. Body shots by Johnson. Head shots and more body shots by Johnson.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Johnson

RD 3: They clinch on the cage. Body shots by James. They separate. Johnson shoots but James sprawls and lands head shots. Knee to the body by James. Head shots by James. They stand clinched on the cage. The ref takes a point from James for holding the cage. Takedown by Johnson against the cage. Body shots by Johnson. Head shots by Johnson. Johnson goes fora kimura but the round ends.
I scored RD 3: 9-9
My score card: 29-27 Johnson

Result: Leroy Johnson via Unanimous Decision (30-26/30-26/29-27)

7. Pro Welterweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Dameron Kirby )0-2 Evolve Academy) vs J.T. Miller (0-0 Strong Style Fight Team)

RD 1: They trade jabs. They clinch and quickly separate. Kirby lands hard punches. Miller shoots by Kirby sprawls. They stand and clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Miller. The ref separates them. Miller drops him with a hook and gets on top landing punches. Hammer fists by Miller. Miller gets his back and lands head shots. Miller goes for an arm triangle but can't get it. Miller gets mount and lands head shots. Elbows to the head by Miller. Body shots by Miller. Head shots from the bottom by Kirby. Head shots by Miller.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Miller

RD 2: Jab by Miller. Hook by Miller. They trade hard shots. Hook by Miller. They clinch on the cage and a nice throw by Miller into side control. Elbow to the head by Miller. Elbows to the body by Miller. Kirby pulls guard. Head shots from the bottom by Kirby. Miller moves to half guard. Punch to the body by Miller. Kirby gets full guard. Miller moves back to half guard. Elbows to the body by Miller. Kirby goes for an arm but the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Miller

RD 3: They clinch and separate. Body kick by Miller. Hard cross by Kirby. Hook by Kirby. Cross by Miller. They clinch on the cage. Takedown by Miller into half guard. Short elbows to the head by Miller. Knees to the body by Miller. The ref stands them. Hook by Miller. Hook by Kirby. They clinch and a takedown by Miller against the cage. Body shots by Miller. Miller gets side control. Head shots by Miller. Knees to the body by Miller. More head shots by Miller.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Miller
My score card: 30-27 Miller

Result: J.T. Miller via Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)

8. Pro Featherweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Mike Putnam (1-0 Team Titan PA) vs R.J. Buck (0-0 Strong Style Fight Team)

RD 1: Cross by Buck. Leg kick by Buck. Cross by Buck. They clinch on the cage and Putnam lands a knee to the body. They separate. Hook to the body by Buck. Cross by Buck. Uppercut by Putnam. Body kick by Buck. They trade punches. Buck ducks a punch and they clinch on the cage. They separate. Leg kick by Buck. Leg kick by Putnam. Cross by Buck. Hook by Putnam and another. They trade hard punches. They clinch but quickly separate. They trade hard shots. Hook by Putnam. Putnam shoos and gets a takedown but they are up quick.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Buck

RD 2: Leg kick by Buck. Hook by Putnam. Leg kick by Buck. Body kick by Buck. Jab by Buck. Hook by Putnam. Leg kick by Buck. They trade jabs. Cross to the body by Putnam. Hook by Buck. Cross by Buck. They trade jabs. Hook by Putnam. Hook by Buck. They clinch on the cage and separate quick. Putnam shoots and gets a takedown against the cage. Buck escapes and they stand. Hook to the body by Putnam. Jab by Buck. Hook by Putnam. Putnam shoots and they clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Buck.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Buck

RD 3: Cross by Buck. They trade jabs. Hook to the body by Putnam. Hook by Buck. They trade punches. They clinch on the cage. They drop down with Buck on top in half guard. They trade body shots on the ground. Punch to the head by Buck. Buck stands and gets his back in side control. They stand. Jab by Buck. Hook by Putnam. Slam by Putnam into half guard. Putnam stands and drops down a punch. They stand clinched on the cage. Takedown by Putnam into side control. Knee to the body by Putnam. Buck escapes and gets on top in side control. Short elbows to the head by Buck.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Buck
My score card: 30-27 Buck

Result: R.J. Buck via Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/29-28)

9. Pro Featherweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Wes Hanson (2-0 Leon Ramsey's Dawg House) vs Kyle Rozewski (4-3 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: They trade jabs. Cross by Hanson. Hook by Hanson. Leg kick by Hanson. Uppercut by Hanson. They clinch on the cage. They trade knees to the body. Takedown by Rozewski and he gets mount. Rozewski gets his back and looks for a rear naked. Punch to the head by Rozewski. Head shots by Rozewski. Hanson turns into him and gets on top in guard. Elbow to the head by Hanson and another. Head shots by Hanson. Hanson lets him up. Rozewski is cut on the forehead. Upper cut by Hanson.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Hanson

RD 2: They trade punches. Jab and cross by Hanson. Body kick by Hanson. Hanson lands punches. Superman punch by Hanson. Hanson lands punches on the cage. Rozewski catches a kick and they clinch on the cage. Hanson drops him with punches and gets on top landing more. Hanson gets a rear naked and the tap.

Result: Wes Hanson via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:03 of Round 2

10. Pro Bantamweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Andrew Whitney (9-2 American Top Team Florida) vs Isaiah Chapman (5-1 Rock Hard MMA)

RD 1: Jab by Chapman. Leg kick by Whitney. Whitney shoots in and gets a takedown into guard. They stand clinched on the cage. Takedown by Whitney but they are up quick and Chapman has his back standing. Nice suplex by Chapman and he gets his back. Chapman looks for a rear naked. Elbow to the head by Chapman. Whitney rolls and now gets Chapman's back. Chapman escapes and is on top in half guard. Chapman gets his back and goes for the rear naked. Whitney escapes and Chapman lands head shots. Elbow to the head by Chapman. Chapman goes for the choke again but can't get it.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Chapman

RD 2: Jab by Chapman. They trade punches. Knee to the body by Whitney. Chapman lands punches on the cage. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Whitney. They separate. Cross by Whitney. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Chapman. They separate. Whitney falls throwing a kick and Chapman gets on top in guard. Chapman gets his back but they stand and trade punches. Hook by Whitney and another. Cross by Whitney. Jab by Chapman. Takedown by Chapman against the cage into half guard. Chapman gets his back and lands head shots. Elbow to the head by Chapman. Chapman looks for the rear naked but can't get it. He tries again but the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Whitney

RD 3: Jab and cross by Whitney. They trade jabs. Leg kick by Whitney. Uppercut by Whitney. Jab and leg kick by Whitney. Jab by Chapman. They trade punches. Cross by Chapman. Body kick by Chapman. Leg kick by Whitney. Cross by Whitney. They clinch and drop down with Chapman looking for a D'arce choke. They stand. Leg kick by Whitney. Jab by Whitney. Hook by Chapman. Leg kick by Whitney. They trade punches. Jab by Chapman. Whitney drops him with a hook and gets on top but they stand. Cross by Whitney. They trade punches. Whitney lands punches on the cage.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Whitney
My score card: 29-28 Chapman

Result: Isaiah Chapman via Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28)

11. Pro 150LB Catch Weight 5x5x5 Rounds
Tommy Hayden (6-2 Wildcard MMA/Limitless MMA) vs Frank Caraballo (12-7 Cal Crowell MMA Training Center)

RD 1: Leg kick by Caraballo and another. Hayden catches a kick and takes him down into half guard. Hayden moves to side control. They stand clinched on the cage and then separate. Jab to the body by Caraballo. Cross by Caraballo. They clinch on the cage and Hayden looks for a guillotine. Hayden drops down and takes him down but they are up quick clinched on the cage. Knee to the leg by Hayden. They drop down with Hayden looking for a heel hook. Caraballo pulls guard. Elbow to the head by Hayden. Hayden moves to half guard. They stand clinched on the cage. They drop down with Hayden looking for a guillotine. Caraballo escapes and is on top in guard. Hayden goes for a triangle as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Hayden

RD 2: Leg kick by Caraballo. Jab by Caraballo. Hayden shoots in and they clinch on the cage. Hayden works hard for a takedown. They drop down with Hayden looking for a heel hook. Hammer fists by Caraballo. Caraballo escapes and is on top in guard. Caraballo stands and lets him up. Caraballo hurts him with a hook. They drop down and Caraballo is on top in half guard. Caraballo stands and Hayden verbally taps due to an injury to his eye from Caraballo's strikes.

Result: Frank Caraballo via Verbal Submission (Injury) at 2:29 of Round 2

Submission of the Night: Shaine Moffitt

Fight of the Night: Andrew Whitney vs Isaiah Chapman

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fight Night in the Flats Preview: Frank Caraballo vs Cody Stevens




The NAAFS Fight Nite in the Flats Main Event Features two of the best from Ohio as Frank "The Tank" Caraballo faces Cody "The Wolverine" Stevens. Caraballo comes in off a March loss in a razor thin decision to Ricky Musgrave. It was a decision many in the audience felt should have gone the other way. Stevens himself is coming off a loss as well, making this fight very important for each fighter to get a win.

Both fighters bring in deceptive records as their records do not show just how successful and accomplished both are. Both Caraballo and Stevens have fought and beat a whose who list of top fighters in the area and have faced top talent from other areas as well.

With Fight Nite in the Flats being the NAAFS and Ohio's biggest event, being the main event of such a card might cause nerves or pressure to some, but these are two fighters who are used to the spotlight and can be expected to excel under the circumstances.

Both fighters have a number of impressive stoppages but have also fought some exciting fights that went the distance. That makes this a fight were you don't want to blink because the finish could come in an instant, but you also may be in line for a war that goes the distance. With both fighters knowing how to pull of a variety of submissions but also both having excellent stand-up, we also could be in line for a great display of either grappling or stand-up or even a little bit of both.

Both fighters have the resume to intimidate opponents with Caraballo holding wins over the likes of Antonio Castillo, Donny Walker, Dustin Kempf and Terry Blackwell to name a few, not to be outdone by Stevens who holds wins over fighters such as Dustin Neace,Greg Atzori and Donny Walker to name but a few. However, you can bet neither will be intimidated in this match-up, in fact, both would love to add each others names to their list of victims.

A win for either fighter could and should put there names back in the mix for a shot at being called up the one of the major promotions. Caraballo already has Bellator experience and Stevens has traveled to Japan and Australia.

The winner of this fight will be the one who can make the opponent fight his fight, impose their will and dictate where the fight goes, a task that will be tough for both considering the experience their opponent brings into the cage.

With Frank Caraballo versus Cody Stevens, the only guaranteed winner will be the fans.


Fight Nite in the Flats 10 takes place Saturday June 7th at the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Doors will open at 5pm with prelims bouts set to begin at 6pm. Tickets are on sale now at www.NAAFS.tv and range from $30 to $100. Check back to NAAFS.tv for updated fight card and breaking fight Nite in the Flats 10 news. Fans can also follow @Driven_MMA and @NAAFS for updates and announcements.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NAAFS Combat Challenge 27 Report





April 26th was NAAFS Combat Challenge 27. I always enjoy cards like these, all amateur shows featuring debut fighters or those with just a couple fights. Gives you a chance to spot potential future talent, plus with young fighters,you never know what is gonna happen.

1. Amateur Featherweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Joe Pimentel (1-0 Team Ascension) vs Jeff Offak )-0 GriffonRawl)

RD 1: Offak rushes in and they clinch on the cage. They drop down with Pimentel on top in half guard. Offak is warned for holding the cage. Offak gets full guard. Punch to the body by Pimentel.Offak goes for an arm and they scramble but Pimentel stays on top in half guard. Punch to the body by Pimentel. Sweep by Offak to get on top. Head shots by Offak.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Pimentel

RD 2: Offak catches a kick and takes him down into guard. Pimentel defends well. Pimentel tries for a triangle and gets a mounted triangle and lands head shots till the ref stops it.

Result: Joe Pimental via TKO at 2:05 of Round 2

2. Amateur Super Heavyweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Michael Terazzi (0-0 Independent) vs Nick Gwinn (0-0 Uniontown Fight Club)

RD 1: They trade punches. Leg kick by Gwinn. Cross by Gwinn. Jab by Gwinn. Hard hook by Gwinn. Gwinn lands hard punches on the cage. Gwinn drops him with a hook and lands one more and the ref stops it.

Result: Nick Gwinn via TKO at 1:12 of Round 1

3. Amateur Lightweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Chris Hahn (0-2 Rock Hard MMA) vs Easton Johnson (0-3 Triple Threat MMA)

RD 1: Jab by Hahn. They trade hard shots. Takedown by Hahn and he has him in a side headlock. Johnson gets his back. Hahn pulls guard. Head shots by Johnson. Head shots from the bottom by Hahn. Body shots by Johnson. Head shots by Johnson. Hammer fists by Johnson. Body shots by Johnson. More shots to the head by Johnson.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Johnson

RD 2: Leg kick by Hahn. Takedown by Hahn into guard. Johnson is warned for grabbing the fence. Johnson defends well. The ref stands them. Takedown by Hahn into guard. Head shots by Hahn. Hahn stands and kicks at his legs. Hahn drops down and lands head shots and gets his back and looks for a rear naked. Head shots by Hahn.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Hahn

RD 3: Hook by Johnson. Hahn shoots and Johnson sprawls and lands on top in half guard. Head shots by Johnson. Johnson gets mount and lands head shots. They trade punches on the ground. Hahn tries to sweep and does and gets on top in guard. Johnson gets a triangle and gets the tap.

Result: Easton Johnson via Tapout (Triangle) at 2:37 of Round 3

4. Amateur Welterweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Nick Adkins (2-3 Team Impact) vs Marvin Rolles (5-6 Triple Threat MMA)

RD 1: Cross by Rolles. Body kick by Adkins. Leg kick by Adkins. Hook to the body by Adkins. Leg kick by Rolles. Cross by Adkins and another. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Rolles. Knee to the body by Adkins. They separate. Cross by Rolles and another. Jab and cross by Adkins. Leg kick by Adkins. Rolles shoots in but Adkins sprawls.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Adkins

RD 2: Hook by Adkins. Leg kick by Adkins. Cross by Adkins. Hook by Rolles. Hook by Adkins. Jab by Adkins. Rolles shoots and they clinch on the cage but separate. Rolles shoots and they clinch on the cage. Takedown by Rolles.
I scored RD 2: 10-10

RD 3: Uppercut by Adkins. Leg kick by Rolles and another. They trade leg kicks. Hook by Adkins. Leg kick by Rolles and another. Rolles hurts him with a leg kick. Hook by Adkins. Hard body kick by Adkins. Leg kick by Rolles. They trade punches. Adkins shoots and gets a takedown into side control. Body shots by Adkins. Adkins gets mount and then his back and looks for a rear naked as the round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Rolles
My score card: 29-29 Draw

Result: Nick Adkins via Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28)

5. Amateur 180LB Catch Weight 3x3x3 Rounds
Devon Kelleher (1-0 Evolve MMA) vs Rickie Foster (4-7 Aries MMA)

RD 1: Leg kick by Foster. They trade punches. Hook by Foster. They clinch on the cage. Knees to the leg by Kelleher. Knee to the leg by Foster. Knees to the leg by Kelleher. They separate. Hard cross by Kelleher. They clinch on the cage and trade knees to the leg. Knee to the leg by Kelleher. Takedown by Kelleher into guard. Body shots by Kelleher. Foster tries for a guillotine and Kelleher lands more body shots.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Kelleher

RD 2: Leg kick by Foster and another. Trade hard punches. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Foster. They separate. Kelleher lands punches on the cage. Foster tries for a takedown but Kelleher sprawls and gets his back landing head shots. Foster rolls and gets his back but then Kelleher reverses that and gets his back again. Keller looks for a rear naked and gets it for the tap.

Result: Devon Kelleher via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:35 of Round 2

6. Amateur Lightweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Patrick Quinn (0-0 Independent) vs Cheney Mattarese (1-0 Aries MMA)

RD 1: Leg kick by Mattarese. Takedown by Mattarese and he gets mount. Head shots by Mattarese. Mattarese gets his back and lands more head shots till Quinn Taps.

Result: Cheney Mattarese via Tapout (Strikes) at 0:57 of Round 1

7. Amateur Lightweight 3x3x3 Rounds
A.J. Holloway (0-0 Triple Threat MMA) vs Josh Rohler (2-0 Rock Hard MMA)

RD 1: Rohler lands a kick low and Holloway looks mad but they continue. Rohler lands hard punches on the cage and puts him out.

Result: Josh Rohler via KO at 0:29 of Round 1

Submission of the Night: Easton Johnson

Knockout of the Night: Josh Rohler

Fight of the Night: Devon Kelleher vs Rickie Foster

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

IFBB Pro Alana Shipp Interview




Photos Credits
Photo 1: Bluddi.com
Photo 2: Mike Yurkovic
Photos 3-4: Dan Ray/Muscular Development

Each year we welcome several know IFBB Pro bodybuilders. In 2013 there were several, but the one who impressed me the most was Alana Shipp. The physique was obviously amazing, but she had a stage presence, a look of confidence in herself, like she was commanding the stage and your attention. On top of that, she has a tremendous attitude, the right mind set to achieve big things in the sport. I am not alone in that thought as for my site the fans voted her as the 2013 Amateur Bodybuilder of the Year, up against some very good competition. She is set to make her pro debut soon at the Toronto Pro in May. I think very quickly, Alana will become a serious threat at pro shows. Due to where each of us is located, we had to do this interview on-line as opposed to recorded or on the show, but still, was very happy and honored to be able to have Alana do this interview. Here is your chance to learn a little more about Alana Shipp.



Q: First, what initially got you interested in weight training?
A: was desperate to lose weight and hired a trainer who incorporated weights with cardio. I realized then that I enjoyed lifting.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and why did you want to compete?
A: I was training for about 4-5 months. As my body began leaning out. My trainer saw the muscles surfacing and suggested it and suggested I give it a try. I felt I had nothing to lose so I went for it.

Q: You currently reside in Israel, how did you end up living there? Is bodybuilding at all popular there?
A: My husband came here for a job and my kids and I joined him here over 5 years ago.
Bodybuilding is not very popular here and definitely not for women but it seems to be catching on a bit more.

Q: Going back to the first show, were you nervous at all?
A: was extremely nervous going back to the 1st show. However, I felt like I dug deep and did everything I needed to in order to prepare for that moment so I had to ignore the nervousness and give me my best. When I step on stage all nervousness vanished and I came alive.

Q: After it was over, did you know you wanted to keep doing it?
A: After it was over I was sure I wanted to do it again because it came and passed much too fast. Not only that, I didn't feel like I took the time to enjoy it enough because of nervousness. I wanted a chance to do it all over again while appreciating every moment.

Q: Were your family and friends supportive of your bodybuilding?
A: My family and friends have been very supportive of my bodybuilding. Much more than I could ever have imagined. Without their support this would not have been possible.

Q: You won your pro card at Nationals last year, did you feel going in like you had a real shot at it?
A: I'm a person who typically doubts myself but my coach drilled in my head that the pro card was mine leading up to Nationals last year. I had no option to believe anything else other than I was leaving Florida as a pro. I felt very confident that I had a real shot at it.

Q: After pre-judge you obviously knew you had a good chance at it, did that make you any more nervous for the finals?
A: After pre-judging I relaxed a lot because I felt even more confident that I had won. I pretty much just enjoyed the rest of the time after that.

Q: When you realized you were now a pro, do you remember what went through your head?
A: All I remember thinking was "I did it. It's official. I'm a pro."

Q: Some of the pros I interview say that it didn't sink in right away, that it took something, did you have a moment where it sunk in that you were now a pro?
A: It took a while to sink in for me that I was a pro. There are some moments even now when I still can't believe it. For a long time it felt like a dream. I don't know what it will take for it to really sink in. Maybe after I step on a pro stage.

Q: Does the pro card carry more responsibility in your mind as far as how you represent the sport?
A: I don't think it carries more responsibility as far as how I represent the sport because I've always given 110% of myself. I continue to do just that.

Q: When are you making your pro debut?
A: My pro debut will be at the end of May at Toronto Pro.

Q: From Nationals, was there a specific area you wanted to improve?
A: I always want to make improvements to my physique. An area that I've worked the hardest to improve is my back. I continue to be a work in progress.

Q: Competing on a pro stage, do you expect to feel more nervous at all?
A: I expect there will be some nervousness competing on a pro stage as it's something I've never done before. Actually, I think there will always be some nervousness stepping onstage but I welcome that feeling. It will keep me on track

Q: As an amateur you competed at lightweight, do you feel adding more size is important for you on a pro stage?
A: As an amateur I competed at the METS at lightweight, I added size and competed at Nationals as a middleweight. I've also added a bit more in preparation for my pro debut. Ultimately, I would like to add around 10 more pounds to my weight at Nationals.

Q: Is the Olympia the goal, now that you have a pro card, is that the next challenge?
A: Yes, Olympia is the next challenge for me.

Q: Less and less of the local shows have bodybuilding for women, and when they do, there are not as many competitors, as a bodybuilder yourself, does that upset you?
A: Yes this is upsetting. When I began competing, my goal wasn't to be a bodybuilder, I wanted to compete in a smaller category. I feel my body led me down this path. Now I enjoy being a bodybuilder. It's hard to work so hard and have limited opportunities to display that hard work.
Q: Do you see any way to start getting more women to do bodybuilding?
A: I don't see a way to start getting more women competing as bodybuilders but I hope to see more do it, as well as more shows that include female bodybuilding.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: First of all I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I'd like to thank my amazing family and friends as well as my coach and my incredibly supportive teammates. Without the support of the people mentioned above, I would not have made it this far in this sport.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rumble in the Cage 49 Report




The following is my play by play of Rumble in the Cage 49 held on April 5th 2014 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. This card was a pro/am.

1. Amateur Welterweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Kyle McCloud (0-0 Unified MMA) vs Chris Pinky (0-0 Champions Creed)

RD 1: They trade punches. They clinch on the cage. McCloud drops him with punches. They stand clinched but Pinky gets a takedown and they grapple trying for position. They stand clinched on the cage. Knees to the leg by Pinky. More knees by Pinky. The ref separates them. McCloud drops him with punches and lands more as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 McCloud

RD 2: Pinky shoots and they clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Pinky. The ref separates them. They trade punches and then clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Pinky. They separate. Takedown by Pinky into guard. Pinky moves to half guard. Punches to the leg by Pinky. Body shots by Pinky.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Pinky

RD 3: Takedown by Pinky but the are up quick and clinch on the cage. Takedown by Pinky into half guard. Pinky gets mount. Punch to the head by Pinky. More head shots by Pinky. Body shots by Pinky. Head shots by Pinky.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Pinky
My score card: 29-28 Pinky

Result: Chris Pinky via Unanimous Decision (scores not read)

2. Amateur Bantamweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Jordan McDonald (1-3 Outlaw MMA) vs Ben Fehr (1-2 CMC)

RD 1: They trade jabs. They trade hard punches. Fehr drops him with punches but McDonald is up quick and they clinch on the cage. Fehr gets a guillotine and drops down with it and gets the tap.

Result: Ben Fehr via Tapout (Guillotine) at 0:50 of Round 1

3. Amateur Heavyweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Dale Moore (0-0 Esteban's Combat Sports) vs Dan Bradshaw (0-0 Guerrilla MMA)

RD 1: Takedown by Bradshaw and he gets his back. Nice reverse by Moore and he is on top in guard. Moore stands and drops down head shots. They stand clinched on the cage. Punch to the head by Moore.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Moore

RD 2: Hook by Bradshaw. They clinch on the cage. Punch to the head by Bradshaw. More head shots by Bradshaw. Body shots by Bradshaw. The ref separates them. Cross by Moore. They trade jabs. They clinch on the cage and trade head shots. They separate. Bradshaw hurts him with punches. They clinch on the cage. Head shots by Bradshaw.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Bradshaw

RD 3: Leg kick by Bradshaw and another. Bradshaw lands punches on the cage. They clinch on the cage. Head shots by Bradshaw. The ref separates them but Moore verbally taps.

Result: Dan Bradshaw via Verbal Tapout at 1:30 of Round 3

4. Amateur 160LB Catch Weight 3x3x3 Rounds
Hayden Harrison (2-1 Canuckles) vs Cornelius Krahn (1-2 CMC)

RD 1: Cross by Harrison. Takedown by Harrison into guard. Head shots by Harrison. Harrison stands and drops down punches and then drops into side control. Harrison looks for an arm triangle but can't get it. Harrison stands and drops down punches and then gets his back. Krahn rolls and gets on top in guard. Harrison gets a triangle and the tap.

Result: Hayden Harrison via Tapout (Triangle) at 1:59 of Round 1

5. Amateur Middleweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Darcy Cassie (0-1 Cardinal MMA) vs Colton Cronkite (1-1 CMC)

RD 1: They trade leg kicks. They clinch on the cage. Takedown by Cassie into guard. Cronkite defends well. They stand. Body kick by Cronkite. Cross by Cassie. Cronkite shoots and they clinch on the cage. Slam by Cronkite into guard. Punch to the body by Cronkite.
I scored RD 1: 10-10

RD 2: They trade hard punches. They clinch on the cage. Cassie tries for an arm but can't get it. Takedown by Cronkite into half guard. Cronkite is bleeding bad from the nose. Cronkite gets mount and lands head shots. Cassie tries to roll but Cronkite gets a triangle for the tap.

Result: Colton Cronkite via Tapout (Triangle) at 1:48 of Round 2

6. Amateur Featherweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Charles Haskett (0-1 MMA University) vs Miguel Tock (1-3 CMC)

RD 1: Tock throws a punch off the touch of the gloves, very dirty. They clinch on the cage. Takedown by Tock into half guard. Haskett looks for a guillotine. Body shots by Tock. They stand and drop down and Tock gets his back and lands head shots. Body shots by Tock. Tock gets a body triangle and then the rear naked for the tap.

Result: Miguel Tock via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:55 of Round 1

7. Amateur Lightweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Nic Grandbois (2-4 Unified MMA) vs Josh Goodheart (3-1 Brandon Academy of MMA)

RD 1: They clinch on the cage. Goodheart looks for a guillotine and gets it for the tap.

Result: Josh Goodheart via Tapout (Guillotine) at 0:28 of Round 1

8. Pro Light Heavyweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Jordan Murray (7-11 Lethbridge Fight Club) vs Josh Heinz (0-0 CMC)

RD 1: They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Heinz. Knee to the body by Heinz. They drop down but stand quick. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Murray and another. Takedown by Heinz against the cage and he lands head shots till Murray Taps.

Result: Josh Heinz via Tapout (Strikes) at 2:20 of Round 1

9. Pro Welterweight 5x5x5x Rounds
Tyler Siwak (0-0 Scheer's MMA) vs Josh Kitchen (5-3 PAC Martial Arts)

RD 1: Siwak hurts him with punches and Kitchen drags him down but Siwak is on top in guard and lands elbows to the head. Punches to the head by Siwak. They stand clinched on the cage. Knee to the leg by Siwak and another. Punch to the head by Siwak. Knee to the body by Siwak. Head shots by Siwak. Knee to the leg by Siwak. Head shots by Siwak. Knee to the leg by Siwak. Knee to the body by Siwak. Punch to the head by Kitchen. Knee to the body by Kitchen.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Siwak

RD 2: Push kick by Kitchen. They clinch on the cage. Punch to the head by Kitchen. Takedown by Siwak into guard. Kitchen goes for a triangle and Siwak moves to side control. Kitchen gets half guard. Punch to the body by Siwak. Kitchen defends well. Body shots by Siwak. Head shots by Siwak. Punch to the body by Siwak. More body shots by Siwak.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Siwak

RD 3: Hook by Siwak. Uppercut by Kitchen. They clinch on the cage. Kitchen lands an illegal elbow to the back of the head and is warned as action stops. Siwak is cut from the elbow. After the doctor checks him they resume. They trade punches. Body kick by Siwak. Jab and cross by Kitchen. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the head by Kitchen. Foot stomp by Siwak. Takedown by Siwak into guard. Punch to the head from the bottom by Kitchen. Punch to the body by Siwak. Punch to the head by Siwak. Elbow to the head by Siwak. Siwak gets his back and then gets mount. Punch to the head by Siwak. Siwak gets his back but Kitchen gets half guard. Siwak gets side control and looks for an arm triangle as the round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Siwak
My score card: 30-27 Siwak

Result: Tyler Siwak via Unanimous Decision (Scores not read)

10. Pro Light Heavyweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Trenton Rowell (0-2 Iron Fist MMA) vs Adam Kaupp (0-0 CMC)

RD 1: Kaupp shoots in and gets a takedown into half guard. Rowell rolls and is on top landing hard head shots. They stand clinched on the cage. Knees to the body by Rowell. As the drop down Kaupp injuries his foot and taps.

Result: Trenton Rowell via Tapout (Injury) at 0:45 of Round 1

11. Pro 215LB Catch Weight 5x5x5 Rounds
Shawn Pauliuk (1-5 Way of the Dragon) vs Devon Neis (4-3 Black Dragon)

RD 1: They trade hard punches. Pauliuk drops him with a hook and gets on top. Neis is bleeding bad from the nose. Pauliuk goes for a guillotine and Nies escapes. They stand and trade hard shots. Neis is bleeding really bad from the nose. They trade more hard punches. They clinch but separate quick. They trade more hard shots. Leg kick by Neis. Jab by Pauliuk. Cross by Neis. Neis lands punches and the cage. Pauliuk looks gassed. Neis lands more hard punches till the ref stops it.

Result: Devon Neis via TKO at 2:56 of Round 1

12. Pro Welterweight Kickboxing 3x3x3 Rounds
Matt Krayco (0-0 Dynamic MMA) vs Peter Neufeld (0-0 CMC)

RD 1: Leg kick by Neufeld. Leg kick by Krayco. Jab to the body by Krayco. Leg kick by Neufeld. Leg kick by Krayco. They trade body kicks. Leg kick by Krayco. They trade punches. Leg kick by Neufeld. Hook by Krayco. Two leg kicks by Krayco. Cross by Krayco. Leg kick by Neufeld and another. Uppercut by Krayco. Cross by Neufeld.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Krayco

RD 2: They trade leg kicks. Leg kick by Krayco. Leg kick by Krayco. Leg kick by Neufeld. Hook by Krayco. Leg kick by Krayco and another. Hook by Neufeld. Cross by Krayco. Hook to the body by Neufeld and another. Jab by Neufeld. Body kick by Krayco. Hook by Neufeld.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Krayco

RD 3: Cross by Neufeld. Leg kick by Krayco. Body kick by Neufeld. Cross by Krayco. They trade punches. Jab by Neufeld. Leg kick by Krayco. Hook by Neufeld. Cross by Neufeld. They trade jabs. Leg kick by Krayco. Cross by Neufeld. Leg kick by Neufeld. Jab by Krayco. Cross by Neufeld. Leg kick by Krayco. Cross by Neufeld.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Neufeld
My score card: 29-28 Krayco

Result: Matt Krayco via Split Decision (scores not read)

13. Pro Lightweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Jose Rodriguez (10-2 Scheer's Marital Arts) vs Derek Boyle (11-6 CMC)

RD 1: Hook by Rodriguez. They clinch and move to the cage. Knee to the leg by Boyle. Knee to the body by Rodriguez. Boyle is cut by his eye. They separate. Hook by Rodriguez. Leg kick by Boyle. Cross and hook by Rodriguez. Leg kick by Boyle. They trade punches. Hook by Rodriguez. Cross by Rodriguez. Leg kick by Boyle. Rodriguez catches a kick and takes him down but they are up quick. Leg kick by Rodriguez. Cross by Rodriguez.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Rodriguez

RD 2: Leg kick by Boyle. Hook by Rodriguez. They trade hard punches. Cross by Rodriguez. Leg kick by Boyle. Cross by Rodriguez. Jab by Rodriguez. Jab to the body by Rodriguez. Takedown by Boyle into guard. Boyle gets side control and lands head shots. Rodriguez rolls and they are in north south. Boyle gets on top in half guard and lands head shots.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Boyle

RD 3: Leg kick by Boyle. Cross by Rodriguez. Hook by Boyle. They trade punches. Hook by Rodriguez. They clinch on the cage but separate quick. Jab by Boyle. They trade punches. Leg kick by Rodriguez. They clinch and separate quick. They trade punches. Rodriguez is bleeding from the nose. Hook by Rodriguez. They trade hooks. Leg kick by Rodriguez. Double jab by Boyle. They trade crosses. Hook by Rodriguez. They trade jabs. Hook to the body by Rodriguez. Hook by Boyle. They trade punches. Leg kick by Rodriguez. Rodriguez shoots by Boyle sprawls.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Boyle
My score card: 29-28 Boyle

Result: Derek Boyle via Split Decision (scores not read)

Submission of the Night: Colton Cronkite

Knockout of the Night: Devon Neis

Fight of the Night: Shawn Pauliuk vs Devon Neis

Monday, March 24, 2014

Shofight: Legacy Report





Here is my play by play of Shofights Legacy. It was an all amateur card. There were also a couple grappling exhibitions that I chose not to do play by play on.

1. Welterweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Josh Craft (1-0 Branson Fight Club) vs George Still (7-12 Integrated Fighting Systems)

RD 1: They trade punches and clinch on the cage. Head shots by Craft. Takedown by Craft into half guard. Head shots by Craft. Body shots by Craft. Still rolls and gets on top in side control and goes for an arm. Craft rolls and gets on top and gets mount. Head shots by Craft. Craft goes for an arm triangle. Still escapes and gets his back and looks for a rear naked. Still flattens him but the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Craft

RD 2: Cross by Still. They trade punches. They clinch on the cage. They drop down and Craft gets his back. Body shots by Craft. Still rolls and gets on top in side control. Craft escapes and is on top but stands and drops down punches. They stand and clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Still. Still gets a takedown but Craft lands on top in mount and lands head shots. Craft gets his back and a rear naked for the tap.

Result: Josh Craft via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:50 of Round 2

2. Bantamweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Truman Wrone (0-0 Harrison Fight Club) vs Curtis Harris (0-1 Iron Core Gym)

RD 1: They trade hard punches. They clinch in the center and Wrone gets a takedown into side control. Harris gets guard. Short head shots by Wrone. Harris escapes and they stand clinched on the cage. They separate. Double jab by Wrone. Body kick by Harris. Jab by Wrone. They trade hooks. They clinch but separate quick. Leg kick by Harris. Body kick by Harris.
I scored RD 1: 10-0 Harris

RD 2: They trade punches. Hard hook by Harris. Body kick by Harris. Wrone looks gassed. Uppercut by Harris. Harris shoots in and gets a takedown into side control. Knees to the body by Harris. Harris gets mount and lands head shots till the ref stops it.

Result: Curtis Harris via TKO at 1:55 of Round 2

3. Light Heavyweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Rowdy Trivett (0-0 Cantrell's) vs Lance Lee (14-18 Blue Collar Combat)

RD 1: They trade punches. Takedown by Trivett and he gets mount. Head shots by Trivett. Trivett gets his back and lands body shots. Trivett looks for a rear naked. Lee escapes and gets on top in guard. Head shots by Lee. They stand. Uppercut by Trivett. Clinch on on a cage. Body shots by Trivett. Trivett drags him down and the are in north south. Body shots by Trivett.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Trivett

RD 2: Leg kick by Trivett. They clinch on the cage. Takedown by Trivett and he gets mount. Punch to the head by Trivett. Trivett gets his back. Body shots by Trivett. Trivett gets mount again. Head shots by Trivett. Trivett gets his back again and lands body shots. Trivett lands a couple punches to the spine that the ref ignores.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Trivett

RD 3: Hard cross by Trivett. Takedown by Trivett and he gets mount. Head shots by Trivett. Trivett gets his back and a rear naked for the tap.

Result: Rowdy Trivett via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:02 of Round 3

4. Featherweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Ruben Marin (2-0 Branson Fight Club) vs Ryan Hunnell (0-6)

RD 1: Cross and hook by Marin. They trade punches. Push kick by Marin. Hook by Marin. Cross by Marin. Marin drops him with a hook and gets his back. Marin lets him up. Jab by Marin. Body kick by Marin. Front kick by Marin. Cross by Marin. Marin drops him with a cross and gets on top landing more punches till the ref stops it.

Result: Ruben Marin via TKO at 2:21 of Round 1

5. Light Heavyweight Title 4x4x4 Rounds
Dalton Knight (5-1 Team Gladiator) vs Kyle Noblitt (3-1 Noblitt Family)

RD 1: Leg kick by Noblitt. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Noblitt. Body shots by Knight. Knee to the leg by Noblitt. Takedown by Noblitt into half guard. Noblitt looks for a D'arce choke but can't get it. Noblitt gets mount and lands head shots. Noblitt goes for an arm but can't get it. Punch to the head by Noblitt. More head shots by Noblitt. Knight gets half guard but then Noblitt gets side control.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Noblitt

RD 2: Spinning body kick by Noblitt. Noblitt lands hard punches on the cage. Knight shoots by Noblitt sprawls and gets his back and lands head shots. The ref warns Noblitt's corner for swearing. Noblitt gets mount. Noblitt tries for a kimura and then a key lock but can't get it. Punch to the head by Noblitt. Body shots from the bottom by Knight. Head shots by Noblitt. Noblitt tries for an armbar but Knight escapes and Noblitt gets mount again and tries for a key lock as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-8 Noblitt

RD 3: They clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Noblitt. Punch to the body by Noblitt. Knee to the leg by Noblitt. Takedown by Noblitt into mount. Head shots by Noblitt. Punch to the body by Noblitt. Noblitt goes for an American and gets it for the tap.

Result: Kyle Noblitt via Tapout (Americana) at 3:05 of Round 3

6. Amateur Strawweight Title 4x4x4 Rounds
Garren Lorenz (5-3 UMMA) vs Miles McDonald (7-2 Hybrid MMA)

RD 1: They trade leg kicks. Hook by McDonald. Cross by Lorenz. Hard hook by McDonald. Takedown by McDonald but Lorenz looks for a guillotine. They trade body shots. McDonald escapes the guillotine and gets mount. Nice job by Lorenz to escape and they stand. They clinch on the cage. Takedown by McDonald into half guard. Body shots by McDonald. Punch to the head by McDonald. McDonald goes for an armbar and then triangle but the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 McDonald

RD 2: They trade hooks. Body kick by Lorenz. Leg kick by McDonald. Jab and cross by Lorenz. Slam by McDonald into half guard. Body shots from the bottom by Lorenz. McDonald gets mount and lands head shots. McDonald gets his back and a rear naked for the tap.

Result: Miles McDonald via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:40 of Round 2

7. Amateur Welterweight Title 4x4x4 Rounds
Ross Campbell (9-0 Branson Fight Club) vs J.J. Huff (0-0 Cantrell's MMA)

RD 1: Campbell shoots and they clinch on the cage. Body shots by Huff. They separate. Leg kick by Huff. Takedown by Campbell into half guard. Campbell gets an armbar and the tap.

Result: Ross Campbell via Tapout (Armbar) at 1:10 of Round 1

8. Amateur Welterweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Clint Davis (0-0 Harrison Fight Club) vs Chet Mellington (1-0 Outkast MMA)

RD 1: They trade jabs. Hook by Mellington. They clinch on the cage and separate quick. Leg kick by Mellington. Cross by Mellington. They clinch and separate quick. Cross by Davis. Jab to the body by Mellington. Leg kick by Mellington and another. They trade jabs. Leg kick by Mellington. Mellington puts him out with a hook.

Result: Chet Mellington via KO at 1:33 of Round 1

9. Amateur Flyweight Title 4x4x4 Rounds
James Gerkey (5-0 Team Respect) vs Ray Allard (11-5 Cantrell's MMA)

RD 21: Leg kick by Allard. Jab by Gerkey. They trade punches. Body kick by Gerkey. Leg kick by Allard. Leg kick by Gerkey. Slam by Gerkey into guard. Gerkey gets side control. Head shots by Gerkey. Hammer fist to the body by Gerkey. Allard pulls guard. Body shots by Gerkey. Gerkey gets side control and then gets his back and gets a rear naked for the tap.

Result: James Gerkey via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:56 of Round 1

10.Amateur Featherweight Title 4x4x4 Rounds
Katherine Farrow (0-0 Capital Punishment) vs Katy Collins (6-7 Branson Fight Club)

RD 1: They trade jabs. Cross by Collins. They trade punches. Takedown by Collins into side control. Head shots by Collins. Collins gets mount and lands more head shots till the ref stops it.

Result: Katy Collins via TKO at 0:55 of Round 1

Submission of the Night: Kyle Noblitt

Knockout of the Night: Chet Mellington

Fight of the Night: Garren Lorenz vs Miles McDonald

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Evolution Of A Zombie



Photos 1-2 courtesy of Mike Wrobel/Shoot It MMA
Photos 3-4 courtesy of Cali Fights Magazine




"I can't say that I've fully achieved my dream yet. I'm just starting to evolve."
Sean Combs

"I always thought of the zombies as being about revolution, one generation consuming the next."
George A. Romero

Fans in Ohio and the surrounding states have long known about Jessica Zomcik. Thew knew her to be among the best amateur fighters in the sport. She compiled a 9-3 record with only three defeats, two to Tamikka Brents and one to Amanda Wilcoxen which she avenged one year later. However outside of the area, Zomcik was not as well know except to the most die-hard of fans. Why? Jessica doesn't brag or boast. She doesn't tell you she is the best, she goes out and shows it. The only drawback to that is that unless you see those fights, you don't see what she is showing. While not being a big talker, one thing she does have is charisma, a natural charisma. You may see her fight and become a fan of her fighting, but once you meet Jessica, you can't help but become a fan of her as a person. Rarely, if ever, will you come across someone who has met Jessica and not liked her. Luckily, with women's MMA increasing in popularity, with more people covering women's MMA and with more and more information and video becoming available, more and more people outside the area have gotten to know about Jessica, more people have become aware, and it culminated in her winning several female amateur fighter of the year awards for 2013.

Jessica described herself in a previous interview with me as being "a tom-boy growing up", but also added that she didn't start playing sports until 10th grade when joining the high school football team. She wanted to be a kicker, but says she didn't do well so was put on the offensive line. She even went on to play semi-pro football for four years until some injuries put an end to that.

Her foray into MMA began when she met someone who was into the sport and he took her to watch a class and her former coach invited her to try a class. She said it took forever to understand the moves and get her body in such awkward ways. Even today she says she is still learning and that is one of the things she loves. She says she enjoys "learning how to manipulate your body". She adds that "people can't do somersaults and I know how to manipulate my body in such a way and submit you with these odd moves. It's fascinating, you are constantly learning. Just the other week I thought I knew how to throw a jab and Steve (Traczyk) showed me a little thing and I was like 'Oh my God, you put pressure here and not there'. It is a constant evolution of knowledge. In a previous interview with me when I asked what advice she would give to potential fighters, she perfectly explained her feelings when she said " You have to change your entire life, your social life is very minimal, your hair and skin are not going to be nice anymore, you will be hungry and will cry, but you will have so much fun."

In July 2009 Jessica made her amateur debut at NAAFS War on the Shore winning via TKO over Janel Kraftt in just twenty-six seconds. She says that afterwords she was surprised it went so fast saying "I didn't know why they were stopping it. I was like "oh, I won? That quick? That easy?' I couldn't believe it, it doesn't feel like it should be over that quick." What did her parents think of her fighting? "My parents were used to my odd choice in sports so they backed me one hundred percent."

Jessica followed that up by winning her second fight with a first round submission over Alyssa Vasquez before suffering the loss to Wilcoxen that she later avenged. She had a great career going till her loss to Tamikka Brents and taking 21 months off. In that time she joined a new gym, Evolve, a gym with a large number of fighters and making big waves. On the gym move she said "I had to get somewhere where I could make it to the top.... it was the best move I could make.

Evolve is loaded with some great amateurs and is now making some waves in the pros. She went 4-0 as an amateur under the Evolve banner winning four fights in impressive fashion. After her second fight with Evolve, a dominating decision win over Jena Baldwin, there were many in the sport who felt Zomcik was ready to turn pro. However with Jessica and her coaches, there was no rush. Evolve's John Cook says "fighters make the jump to pro way before they are prepared to compete at the next level.... the level of competition has grown exponentially." Cook adds that those who go pro early "usually have short careers.... if you are passionate about fighting and want to continue competing, you better be damn sure you are ready." Jessica's striking coach Steve Traczyk adds "We believe you need to be a martial artist who has trained for years in at least a few disciplines. That's what Jess is, a true martial artist." Zomcik's response when asked about it was that "she never felt ready, I wanted to hone my skills." She added "if you aren't ready, you don't have a long career."

After the first two fights with Evolve being with the NAAFS, Jessica got an offer to fight in Las Vegas for a Tuff-N-Uff tournament. It would seem a great opportunity for her, a chance to travel and not be the local fighter, experience that could help in the pros, where she will have to travel more. Jessica concurred saying it was a good experience with the weight cut and travel and not being liked. She went into those fights and put on outstanding performances showing both her stand-up and ground skills in winning both fights in the second round, finishing Bryanna Fissori via armbar and Shannon Reed via TKO. In fact, Jessica has finished the majority of her wins. When asked if their is a mindset to being a finisher she says about that some people are "more determined, not into squeaking by. Willing to put yourself in a dangerous situation.

So, how has Jessica become a better fighter since joining Evolve? Jessica says it is her stand-up, getting timing and distance down, as she says "all the little things." John Cook says "she's not even the same person." He says that she came to Evolve with excellent Jiu Jitsu, she was lacking in striking, wrestling and strength. He says that Steve Traczyk works tirelessly round after round to perfect her stand-up. He adds that wrestling with both himself and Sonny Marchette has had a huge impact on her confidence to both take opponents down and avoid being taken down herself. He also mentions Evolve's top flight strength and conditioning program is something that has helped Jessica. Traczyk also points to helping with her mental game and diet. He says "she was really good when we got her and we helped make her a champion." He adds that "she has brought just as much to our team with her leadership and knowledge. About training with mostly males, Jessica on numerous occasions has stated it's positives. John Cook says Jessica is "treated as a fighter, not a girl" and adds she holds her own and in some cases has done better." Traczyk adds that at Evolve they say "train with elephants and your opponent will feel like a peanut. Jessica is not above sharing that knowledge she has gained either. Amateur fighter Jessica Dinch talks about training with Zomcik and says "it was an awesome experience. She fights three weight classes above me so she is bigger and stronger. But when we trained together she used her technique instead of her strength and just beating me up. I got to do work and not just get thrown around the cage." She adds about Zomcik "I respect someone who is highly skilled and still trains with me and teaches me things. She doesn't think she is to good to work with me." In fact, Zomcik even came to one of Dinch's fights and worked her corner for her.

So after the Vegas fights, Jessica's career as an amateur came to an end, making many fight fans excited. John Cook says the decision was made after Tuff-N-Uff when he and Steve Traczyk agreed it was time.... timing is everything and with all the opportunities available to female fighters, it is time for her to seize those opportunities." With her wrapping her amateur career winning big fights and receiving multiple awards, one might wonder how she handled the attention. She handled it by remaining the same, humble. John Cook adds "she is humble, but very confident" saying she handled it will professionalism, class and appreciation." Steve Traczyk adds that she is "not an attention seeker and no awards will ever change that." At many local fights you will see Jessica stopping to chat and take a photo with anyone who will ask her.

When an amateur career ends, a pro career begins and Jessica's pro career was set to begin with a March 1st match-up for Driven MMA with the talented Summer Bradshaw. When I asked Jessica her thoughts on how they match up, she was complimentary of Bradshaw but felt she was the more technical fighter and that would play a huge role in a win. John Cook agreed but also added she is "better conditioned, more well-rounded, more experienced and better prepared." Steve Traczyk also points out her heart and intelligence adding her fight IQ is "through the roof."

Fight day, before the doors opened, as fighters were walking about or relaxing, Jessica seemed confident. Seemed she knew the win was coming and was just getting ready for a night of work. She said it was "the same old song and dance." The women would be the first fight after intermission, Jessica had already seen teammate Kyle Rozewski walk away with a victory. Bradhsaw came out looking confident as well, same as she appeared the night before at weigh-ins. Jessica walked out to a very loud ovation, the benefits of having the home crowd support, fans who had seen her grow up in the sport. After introductions, both fighters seemed ready to go at it. They came out and both fighters threw a flurry of punches and kicks. Neither seemed to have gotten the better of the other. Then Zomcik pulled guard and took it down and immediately began to work on submissions before securing an armbar at the 3:17 mark of the opening round. When asked when she knew it was over, Jessica said " When I felt her elbow pop out." Jessica said she expected her opponent to come out aggressive and was not surprised by Bradshaw's stand-up. Was pulling guard part of the game-plan? Jessica says "Because I wasn't feeling well I knew my gas tank was limited and I didn't feel like I was doing much damage standing up. I knew my ground game was much better than hers so I decided to take her arm." Why was her gas tank limited? Because she was battling food poisoning. Did she consider not fighting? She says "There was no doubt that I was going to fight, I didn't feel well at all and was probably at sixty percent when I stepped in the cage. I couldn't warm up more than thirty seconds without feeling nauseous and exhausted. It just wasn't like me to feel this way. But fighters fight, there was no other option." She easily summed up her emotions after the fight saying she was "Relieved and happy to represent my team and family well."

With her first fight in the books, I asked Jessica what was next and she simply said "we'll see." How good can Jessica be? Steve Traczyk says "she can go to the top of the sport, there is nothing she can't do." John Cook says "we shall see, I think pretty fucking good" adding she is "already the best seamstress in the world." Jessica Dinch adds "she'll be the champ one day" adding that before turning pro she was "already better than some of the pros out there."

Different people are meant to do different things, be it a writer, a teacher, a police officer, you name the profession. Jessica Zomcik was meant to be a fighter. Not cause she is some mean person or because she has some penchant for violence. She was meant to be a fighter because she is a competitor, a competitor that likes to test her skills and continue learning, and what better outlet for that than mixed martial arts. Jessica will continue to evolve, improve and climb the ranks to the top of her class. Jessica "The Zombie" Zomcik is a name that MMA fans need to get used to, it's gonna be around for a long time.

Follow Jessica on twitter at https://twitter.com/jzthezombie
Jessica's fan page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/JessicaTheZombieZomcik