Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spotlight Interview: Jordan Gaza

Often you read articles and things on Jordan Gaza and the article begins with how "hot" she is, or something to that affect before they talk about her fighting. And make no mistake, Jordan is a beautiful young woman. But there is more to Jordan..... much more. She is a talented fighter who is always improving. That talent was proven when she won a title with Tuff-N-Uff. She has since lost that title, however knowing the hard work and dedication Jordan has, there are many more titles in her future. A big part of MMA is the fans, and few people I have come across appreciate their fans as much as Jordan. I have said before and will say again, if you are a fan of WMMA or the sport in general, you need to be a fan of Jordan.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: I started Jiu-Jitsu when I was twelve I guess. My gym just started leaning more towards MMA. I hated it at first, I hated getting hit in the face. As I got older and watched it more and watched the guys fight for the gym, I just jumped into it.

Q: Fighting isn't your typical female sport. Did your family and friends understand why you were doing it?
A: My family really loves it. Everyone is mad when I lose, I live at home and they cook all my healthy meals and are so helpful. My friends go to my fights and find it interesting but they are not that into it. I was a cheerleader and grew up with cheerleaders so they aren't to into it.

Q: You are still young, a lot of people your age are more into the party scene. Do you ever feel you are missing out on anything?
A: No, I see my friends. Once I graduated its been hard to keep in touch cause alot of them went away to college and I go to the University here. I see myself as being so much more successful then the people who party every night. I am happy with what I am doing. Dieting and working out is fine with me. I keep the people in my life that want to accept it and the ones who don't I have lost as friends.

Q: A lot of times you read stuff about you and it always starts out with about your looks, do you ever read it and wanna say, "by the way I am a really good fighter to"?
A: Haha yes. I do try and use my looks to get me a little big further, just like Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, they have looks to and skills. But people need to realize that everyone who fights, we all train the same, train hard. Sometimes I get comments saying "can you fight or do you just put out pictures", but I back up everything I do and work just as hard as everyone. So I wish people took time to watch my videos and watch my fights, and I appreciate people who do.

Q: I always say I like people like you or Taylor Stratford who got a lot of attention very early and never let it go to your head. Is it hard to keep it from going to your head?
A: I don't think its to hard. I hate cocky people, something about it annoys me. I am really humble and will never let anything go to my head.

Q: You just went and trained with Miesha Tate. How was that experience?
A: It was so awesome. I went last summer to train with Felice Herrig and went to Jackson's before that, those three places are were there are pro level female fighters. I never trained with someone who is training for such a big fight. Miesha has a huge fight coming up and to take time out of my life here to see what its like to train for something so big was really cool. She is training so hard for the fight.

Q: How do you see the fight with Ronda going?
A: She has it completely in the bag. Right now I am just getting into watching people's videos. I realize watching videos will help me, so I watch Ronda's and Miesha's. I just think Miesha Tate is a better all around fighter, and her wrestling is amazing and I am pretty sure it will beat Ronda's Judo. I think wrestling cancels out Judo actually.

Q: You are early in your career, but till now, whats your career highlight?
A: I am proudest of my fight in Vegas when I won the Tuff-N-Uff title. I lost the next fight and then won in December, but that was the coolest feeling and I want the feeling of excitement back again. I always think about that and hope for more feelings like that.

Q: You lost that belt to Jillian Lybarger, looking back, is there something you wish you did different?
A: Oh yea, I lost that fight and everyone says it didn't look like me out there. I cant make excuses, she is an awesome fighter and awesome person. I had a lot of stuff on my mind. It was a big loss. I did train hard and didn't slack off, but something was different, and it happens to all of us.

Q: Is that a fight you would like to have again?
A: Oh yea, it would be awesome. She is a great person and probably my most respectful person. I like it when there is no hate involved and its kept respectful.

Q: You mentioned your win in December, from your first fight till that fight, how are you a better fighter?
A: I am starting to realize my strong points. MMA to me was just go out there and throw and land some lucky shots. I never wanted to use my Jiu-Jitsu because I thought if I took it to the ground I would end up on my back and get punched in the face. I am using it more now and my stand up is getting good in sparring and training and I am feeling like an all around fighter now. Then I fight and take it to the ground quick cause its my home base. So the next few fights my coach wants me to keep it standing.

Q: Are there any fighters you like to watch and maybe learn from?
A: I wouldn't say there is a certain fighter. My main goal is to be the best all around fighter, everyone has a strong point so I like to learn what I can from different fighters.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the sport in five years?
A: Hopefully the furthest I can be in five years haha. I plan to go pro hopefully by the end of the summer. We are thinking about that. In five years I hope all the hard work has paid off by then.

Q: Another thing I like is, even on Facebook, you seem to enjoy interacting with your fans and appreciate them, is that accurate?
A: Oh yeah. Sometimes I am in class on my Ipad just cracking up at what people write. Especially on Twitter, I don't even know who they are. I love support and it makes me happy. Support means a lot to me and I feel like I have to write back and thank everyone.

Q: Anything coming up?
A: I have a fight in Louisiana on march 24th and it is there first female title fight. So its exciting.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I wanna thank my team at Weapons at Hand, my Jiu-Jitsu team at Gracie Barra and all my fans, my sponsors, and everyone who supports me, especially my family.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NAAFS Caged Vengeance 10 Report

NAAFS put on Caged Vengeance 10 on Saturday February 18th. Once again, NAAFS puts on a solid card mixing great pro fighters with some up and coming amateurs. Some really entertaining fights including Jessica Eye vs Kelly Warren, Tony Castillo vs Paul Compton and Brandon Saling vs Nick Duell and great finishes by Saling, Jarrell Hodge, Wes Hanson and Ryan Arce. Here is my play by play along with my scores and scores from guest judges, amateur fighters Ashley Hawkins and Jessica Dinch.

1. Amateur Lightweight
David Gamble (0-0 Independent) vs Nick Browne (1-0 Uniontown Fight Club)
RD 1: Brown hurts him with a hook and slams him down. Browne lands hard punches till the ref steps in.

Result: Nick Browne by TKO at :36 of Round 1

2. Amateur Light Heavyweight
Dan Stevenson (1-0 Dojo Fight Club) vs Tony Hodges (3-1 Team Prototype)

RD 1: Leg kick by Stevenson. Hard hook by Hodges. Stevenson shoots and and gets a takedown. Body shots by Stevenson. Hodges does a good job avoiding damage. Stevenson tries hard to pass guard. Stevenson stands and drops hard shots and then hooks a guillotine for the tap.

Result: Dan Stevenson by Tapout (Guillotine) at 1:45 of Round 1

3. Amateur Bantamweight
Jon Rooks (2-1 Warrior MMA) vs Ryan Arce (3-0 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Leg kick by Rooks. Two hooks by Arce. Another hook from Arce and they clinch against the cage. Rooks tries hard for a takedown. Two knees by Rooks. He finally completes the takedown and has mount. Hammer fist by Rooks. Arce sweeps and gets on top in guard. Body shots by Arce. Two head shots by Arce.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Rooks
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Arce
Dinch Scored RD 1: 10-9 Arce

RD 2: Leg kick by Rooks. Arce drops him with a hook and lands two more shots till the ref stops it.

Result: Ryan Arce by KO at :11 of Round 2

4. Amateur Middleweight
John Antanitis (5-3 Penn Hills MMA) vs John Burbol (5-4 GriffonRawl)

RD 1: Jab by Antanitis. Uppercut by Burbol. Jab by Burbol and then a hook. Lot's of feints by both fighters. Hook by Antanitis. Hook by Burbol. Two jabs by Antanitis. Hard hook by Burbol. Jab by Antanitis. They trade hard shots and then clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Antanitis and then two more. More knees from Antanitis.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Antanitis
Hawkins Scored RD 1: 10-9 Antanitis
Dinch Scored RD 1: 10-9 Antanitis

RD 2: Jab by Antanitis. Hook to the body by Burbol. Burbol drops him with a hook but he is back up quick. Clinch against the cage and knees to the leg by Antanitis. They ref separates them and Antanitis lands a jab. Two hooks by Burbol, one to the body and one to the head. Hook and a cross by Antanitis. They clinch on the cage and Burbol drops down looking for a guillotine as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Antanitis
Hawkins Scored RD 2: 10-9 Antanitis
Dinch scored RD 2: 10-9 Antanitis

RD 3: Two punch combo by Burbol. Hook to the body by Burbol. They clinch in the center and move to the cage. Burbol backs off. Jab and hook by Antanitis. Hook by Burbol. Hook by Antanitis. Both land nice hooks. with Burbol getting better of it. Jab by Antanitis. Cross to the body by Burbol. Hook by Burbol. Cross by Antanitis. Takedown by Antanitis to end the round.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Burbol
Hawkins scored RD 3: 10-9 Antanitis
Dinch scored RD 3: 10-9 Antanitis

My score card: 29-28 Antanitis
Hawkins Score card: 30-27 Antanitis
Dinch score card: 30-27 Antanitis

Result: John Antanitis by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)

5. Amateur Welterweight
Grant Hoppel (9-5 Independent) vs Andrew Law (7-2 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Trip takedown by Law, but they are back up quick. They clinch on the cage and both land knees. Hoppel lands punches. More head shots by Hoppel. Knee to the leg by Law. They separate and clinch in the center of the cage. Takedown by Hoppel. Hard punches to the head by Hoppel. Punches from the bottom by Law. Two hard shots by Hoppel and then another.More head shots from Hoppel. Hoppel pushes him to the cage but the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Hoppel
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Hoppel
Dinch scored RD 1: 10-9 Hoppel

RD 2: Kick to the body by Law. Leg kick by Law but he falls and Hoppel gets into his guard. Short head shots by Hoppel. Hard punch from Hoppel. Law lands shots from the bottom. Law almost gets Hoppel off of him. Hard punches from Hoppel
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Hoppel
Hawkins scored RD 2: 10-9 Hoppel
Dinch scored RD 2: 10-9 Hoppel

RD 3: Jab by Law. Hoppel charges in but eats a hook. Hook by Hoppel. Cross by Law. They clinch in the center but quickly separate. Hook by Law and then another. Cross by Hoppel. They clinch in the center and quickly separate.. Takedown by Hoppel who has side control. Knee to the body by Hoppel. The ref stands them and Law lands a leg kick. Hook by Law.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Law
Hawkins scored RD 3: 10-9 Hoppel
Dinch scored RD 3: 10-9 Hoppel

My score card: 29-28 Hoppel
Hawkins score card: 30-27 Hoppel
Dinch score card: 30-27 Hoppel

Result: Grant Hoppel by Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/29-28)

6. Amateur Welterweight
Devontai Moore (1-1 Independent) vs Emmanuel Kangah (1-1 Tru Roots MMA)

RD 1: Leg kick by Kangah. Jab by Moore. Hook by Kangah and another. Leg kick by Moore and another. Leg kick by Kangah. Two more leg kicks from Kangah. Leg kick and hook by Kangah. Leg kick by Moore. Kick to the body by Kangah. Leg kick by Kangah. Two leg kicks and a hook from Kangah. Hard leg kick by Kangah. Hook by Kangah.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Kangah
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Kangah
Dinch scored RD 1: 10-9 Kangah

RD 2: Leg kick by Kangah. Hook by Kangah. They trade hard shots. Leg kick by Moore. Leg kick by Kangah. They trade more leg kicks. Moore lands two nice leg kicks. Hook by Moore and a leg kick. Cross and jab by Kangah.
I scored RD 2:10-9 Kangah
Hawkins scored RD 2: 10-9 Kangah
Dinch scored RD 2: 10-9 Kangah

RD 3: Hook by Moore. Leg kick by Kangah. They clinch in the center bu separate quick. Leg kick by Moore. Uppercut by Kangah. Hook by Moore. Leg kick by Kangah. Jab by Kangah. Leg kick by Kangah and another.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Kangah
Hawkins scored RD 3: 10-9 Kangah
Dinch scored RD 3: 10-9 Kangah

My score card: 30-27 Kangah
Hawkins score card: 30-27 Kangah
Dinch score card: 30-27 Kangah

Result: Emmanuel Kangah by Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28)

7. Amateur Featherweight
Thomas Uylenbroek (5-0 Ground Zero) vs Wes Hanson (5-0 Butch Hiles MMA)

RD 1: Leg kick by Uylenbroek. Hanson shoots in but can't get the takedown. Hook by Hanson hurts him and he lands more hard shots. Hanson drops him with a hook but lets him up. Hanson drops him again with a hook and lands ground and pound till the ref stops it.

Result: Wes Hanson by TKO at :56 of round 1

8. Amateur Featherweight
Eric Gifford (3-1 Brick House MMA) vs Vince Bullard (3-0 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Gifford gets a takedown and lands punches. Bullard manages to get up. Hard punches by Bullard. They clinch on the cage and drop down. Bullard has him against the cage and lands punches. They stand and Bullard gets a takedown. Nice sweep by Gifford who gets mount and lands punches.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Bullard
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Gifford
Dinch scored RD 1:10-9 Gifford

RD 2: Jab by Bullard. They clinch on the cage and Gifford lands head shots. Body shots by Bullard. Head shots by Gifford. They separate and Gifford lands a leg kick. Hook by Bullard. Takedown by Bullard. Gifford tries for a triangle and then gets on top and lands punches till the ref steps in.

Result: Eric Gifford by TKO at 2:35 of Round 2

9. Amateur Bantamweight
Jarrell Hodge (3-0 Brick House MMA) vs Cody Garbrandt (5-1 Strong Style Fight Team)

RD 1: They trade leg kicks. They clinch on the cage and separate. Leg kick by Garbrandt. Leg kick by Hodge. Leg kick by Hodge. Takedown by Garbrandt but Hodge is back up quick. Leg kick by Garbrandt and then a cross. Kick to the body by Garbrandt. Hard hook by Hodge. Leg kick by Garbrandt. Hodge begins to taunt him. Garbrandt shoots in and gets the takedown. Hodge looks for a guillotine but the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Garbrandt
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Garbrandt
Dinch scored RD 1: 10-9 Garbrandt

RD 2: Leg kick by Garbrandt. Cross by Garbrandt. Leg kick by Garbrandt. Leg kick by Hodge and another. Garbrandt catches a leg kick and drops him with a hook. Garbrandt gets on top but Hodge works his way up. Clinch on the cage and they quickly separate. Leg kick by Hodge.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Garbrandt
Hawkins scored RD 2: 10-9 Garbrandt
Dinch scored RD 2: 10-9 Garbrandt

RD 3: Hodge drops him with a hook and Garbrandt is out.

Result: Jarrell Hodge by KO at :10 of Round 3

10. Pro Bantamweight
Richard McDole (7-2 Team Elite) vs Isaiah Chapman (12-1 Rock Hard MMA)

RD 1: Kick to the body by Chapman. Leg kick by McDole. Two punch combo by Chapman. McDole shoots but Chapman sprawls. McDole finishes the takedown but Chapman gets up. They clinch on the cage and McDole drops and tries for a double leg. Keeps trying and finally gets it. Chapman is up quick. McDole again tries for a double leg. Hard elbows from Chapman. Chapman looks for a guillotine and now has side control. Elbows to the body by Chapman. McDole pulls guard. Punch to the head by Chapman. Chapman gets side control and lands three good shots to end the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Chapman
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Chapman
Dinch scored RD 1: 10-9 Chapman

RD 2: Jab by Chapman. Head kick by Chapman. Hook by Chapman. Jab to the body by Chapman. Hook by Chapman. Takedown by Chapman. McDole has a tight armbar but Chapman escapes and gets his back. Elbows to the head by Chapman. More elbows till the ref stops it.

Result: Isaiah Chapman by TKO at 2:31 of Round 2

11. Pro 125LBS
Kelly Warren (12-4 Jackson's MMA) vs Jessica Eye (10-1 Strong Style Fight Team)

RD 1: Jab by Eye and another. Leg kick by Warren and another. Leg kick by Eye. They trade shots. Hook by Warren. Both land jabs. Hard hook by Warren. Leg kick by Warren. Push kick by Eye. They trade hard hooks. Jab by Eye and another. Push kick by Eye. Kick to the body by Warren. Jab by Eye. Hook to the body by Eye. Hook by Eye. Warren tries for a takedown and they clinch against the cage. They quickly separate and Eye lands a hard leg kick. Eye catches a leg kick and lands a hook.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Eye
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Eye
Dinch scored RD 1: 10-9 Eye

RD 2: Jab by Eye. Leg kick by Warren. Leg kick by Eye. Jab by Warren. Leg kick by Warren. Leg kick by Eye. Nice hook by Eye followed by a second hook. Push kick by Eye. Nice hook by Eye. They clinch on the cage but quickly separate. Jab by Warren. Leg kick by Eye. Jab by Eye. Two nice hooks by Eye. Hard hook from Eye. Leg kick by Warren. Two jabs by Eye. Leg kick by Eye and another. Hook to the body by Eye. Leg kick by Eye and another. Leg kick by Warren. Leg kick by Eye. Hook by Eye.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Eye
Hawkins scored RD 2: 10-9 Eye
Dinch scored RD 2: 10-9 Eye

RD 3: Leg kick by Warren. Hook by Warren. Jab by Warren. Leg kick by Warren. Jab and leg kick by Eye. Leg kick by Eye and another. Another leg kick by Eye. Takedown by Warren. Eye holds her close and avoids damage. Head shots from the bottom by Eye. Hammer fist by Warren. The ref stands them and Eye lands a jab. Cross to the body by Eye. Leg kick by Eye. Leg kick by Warren. Jab by Eye. They trade hard shots. Uppercut by Eye. Leg kick by Warren. Hook by Eye. Jab by Eye. Hook by Eye. Warren shoots in but Eye gets on top in mount as the round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Eye
Hawkins scored RD 3: 10-9 Eye
Dinch scored RD 3: 10-9 Eye

My score card: 30-27 Eye
Hawkins score card: 30-27 Eye
Dinch score card: 30-27 Eye

Result: Jessica Eye by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)

12. Pro Featherweight
Paul Compton (14-6 GriffonRawl) vs Tony Castillo Jr. (11-3 Instigator Fight Team)

RD 1: Hook by Castillo. They clinch on the cage and Compton lands knees to the body. They separate. Lots of feints by both fighters. Kick to the body by Castillo. They clinch on the cage with Castillo trying for a takedown. Castillo gets the takedown and pushes him to the cage. Good ground defense by Compton. Head shots by Castillo.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Castillo
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-9 Castillo
Dinch scored RD 1: 10-9 Castillo

RD 2: Jab by Compton. Leg kick by Compton. Hook by Castillo. Both land kicks to the body. Body kick by Compton. Hook by Castillo. Leg kick by Castillo. Takedown by Compton. Castillo is up quick. Head kick by Compton. Nice hook by Compton. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the body by Castillo. Head shots by Compton. They separate and Castillo lands a hook. Hook by Compton. Nice hook by Compton. Takedown by Castillo. Head shots by Castillo. Compton pushes him off.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Compton
Hawkins scored RD 2: 10-9 Compton
Dinch scored RD 2: 10-9 Compton

RD 3: Hook and uppercut by Castillo. They clinch on the cage. Castillo gets a takedown. Castillo gets side control but Compton pulls guard. Head shots by Castillo. Compton defends well. Hammer fist by Castillo. Body shots by Castillo. Punch from the bottom by Compton. Compton tries to get up and eats a knee to the body. They stand and Castillo slams him down. Body shots by Castillo.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Castillo
Hawkins scored RD 3: 10-9 Castillo
Dinch scored RD 3: 10-9 Castillo

My score card: 29-28 Castillo
Hawkins score card: 29-28 Castillo
Dinch score card: 29-28 Castillo

Result: Tony Castillo Jr by Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28)

13. Pro Welterweight
Brandon Saling (16-8 Mov BJJ) vs Nick Duell (19-5-1 Strong Style Fight Team)

RD 1: Leg kick by Duell. Both land leg kicks. Leg kick by Saling. Hard cross by Duell. Leg kick by Duell. They trade hard shots. Takedown by Saling. Saling stands and lets him up. Saling lands hard shots against the cage. They clinch on the cage. Knee by Duell and another. Saling drops him with a hook and gets his back and then mount. Sweep by Duell who gets his back and looks for a choke. Duell flattens him and keeps working for the choke. Head shots by Duell and again he looks for the choke as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Duell
Hawkins scored RD 1: 10-10 Even
Dinch scored RD 1: 10-9 Duell

RD 2: Leg kick by Duell. Body kick by Duell. Leg kick by Duell. Hook by Saling. They trade hard shots and clinch on the cage. Knees to the leg by Duell. Duell drops him with a body shot and lands more knees to the body. Saling works back up. Knees to the body by Duell. Saling drops him with a hook. Duell gets up and Saling lands hard shots and drops him with a hook to end it.

Result: Brandon Saling by KO at 2:50 of Round 2

Submission of the Night: Dan Stevenson

KO of the Night: Jarrell Hodge

Fight of the Night: Brandon Saling vs Nick Duell

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spotlight Interview: Diana Rael

Diana Rael is someone I can say is a favorite of mine. She is never in a boring fight and always goes all out to entertain the fans. In august she put on an amazing performance winning a decision over Angelica Chavez in a fight I recommend you find and watch. Her most recent fight was a loss by rear naked choke against Michelle Waterson, in a fight she was actually doing very well in before the choke. The future of women's MMA is bright when that future includes people like Diana Rael who will aways make sure that you are entertained.

Q: Can you start out by telling how you got started in the sport?
A: The way I got started was my manager Ben Schissler, he is actually my significant other, he had been doing Muay Thai for many years. He went to Wyoming as there was this little 105 pound chick who was insulting towards him and saying she could beat up any 105 pound chick he trained. So he came home and said "Hey you wanna do some MMA". I trained and went home with a TKO, sent her home with twelve stitches from a standing elbow and ever since then I have loved it.

Q: Was the plan to keep fighting or at the time was it planned to be a one time thing?
A: Well, it was planned to be a one time thing. What happened was, my manager and boyfriend Ben is predominantly Muay Thai. So he said "we will do an MMA fight if you agree to a Muay Thai fight." So it was gonna be one MMA and one Muay Thai. I never got the Muay Thai fight with the girl, but I don't blame her haha.

Q: MMA is not a sport a lot of parents might understand, especially with a daughter. Is it something your family was o.k. with?
A: At first I don't think they thought too much of it and didn't think it was one of those things I would involve in my life. Something I would try and get away from. I ended up thriving in it and enjoying the training, and now they see the commitment I have and are one hundred percent behind it. At first it was "you bar brawl", but now they see how much training I put into it and things like that. My dad comes to every fight and they are really supportive.

Q: I aways say you are one of my favorites because win or lose you are always exciting. Is that something that is important to you?
A: It really is. I really strive to be entertaining, I believe people want to watch entertainment, they don't want to watch you lay on someone or run from someone. That's one of my biggest things, win or lose, as long as I entertain you guys, that's all I care about.

Q: In August you won a fight I wish more people would see, by decision over Angelica Chavez. To me, it was your best performance, would you agree?
A: I would. That fight was a great test of my ground skill. I had just lost to Lacey Schuckman at 110 pounds by rear naked choke. She was a bit heavier and bigger than I expected and it really pushed me to tighten my ground game and put more into the Jiu-Jitsu and Wrestling aspect of my game. Without the loss against Lacey, I don't think I would have had the great performance against Angelica. I do believe it was one of my best performances and I learned a lot. Even though I won, I try to learn from it and still watch it to this day and critique it.

Q: Coming off that loss to Lacey, did you feel you had something to prove?
A: You know, I did. When I first started MMA, I was gonna fill in for one of her fights, I don't weigh 115 pounds wet, and it was set for 115. Something happened with the blood work not getting sent in time and the fight didn't go through. I was gonna fight her and her being one of the good Colorado fighters, I want to fight the best of the best. The fight didn't go as I wanted it to go but I learned a great lesson from it. So I did feel I had something to prove, just to myself. I watched Lacey win her belts and looked up to her, and still do, we are training partners now and we are friends. I did feel I had something to prove. Getting in the cage with Lacey was big for me, I was 2-0 and she was I think 6-3. Its good to mentally put myself through things like that.

Q: Angelica was the home town girl and had the crowd behind her. Does the crowd being so solidly behind the other fighter give you more motivation?
A: It does, I like being out of state. It takes the pressure off of me. When I fight in town, my biggest fear is disappointing people. Going back to your question about entertaining, I do, because I don't want to be a disappointment, I strive to be entertaining. I enjoy it, it feels like I have less pressure. When I fought Caroline Portugal, the Florida crowd was mean to me. They were cursing, telling me they were taking my belt, flipping me off, but I enjoy it, negative or positive energy, I take it in either way.

Q: With her being the home town girl, were you worried she would get the decision, even though you clearly won?
A: I absolutely was. The first question I asked my corner man was "Do you think I won", and he said "if you didn't, it was a home town decision". So the first thing on my mind was "oh crap I went to a decision with the home town girl".

Q: After that, you recently loss to Michelle Waterson by rear naked choke, what went wrong in that one?
A: I don't feel I performed poorly by any means. That choke she got on me was super super fast. I was dominating until the last four seconds. I had a hard time dealing with it because the fact I performed so well and did everything I wanted to, it was hard to deal with. SO I went home and researched, I am a reader and read a little bit. The thing that stuck in my head was how Muhammad Ali would every time he lost, think of three things he could have done different. That's what I do for myself and then I move on. There are lessons learned. I definitely want a rematch because I don't think it will go the same way, but other than that, I don't feel my performance was poor. I got the better of the exchanges and was more aggressive. So I have to chalk it up to I got caught. I never understood that meaning, but with that fight it was like "now I know what people mean when they say that".

Q: Is a loss in a fight you feel you were winning harder to get over than a fight where you could say "that girl kicked my ass"?
A: If someone is gonna kick my ass fair and square, so be it, I will give you that. I am not taking anything away from Michelle's hoke, not saying she got lucky. I feel I performed better than she did. I will be honest, I have never felt fear like that in any of my opponents, and that fear was also her drive, and I think that has something to do with the ending. So it was harder to swallow than someone just kicking my ass.

Q: Outside of your own fighting, the big one coming up is Miesha Tate vs Ronda Rousey. Any idea how that will go?
A: I really think that cage time will matter. The time put in, higher record, will make a big difference, I really do.

Q: Also, the Cyborg situation, as a female fighter does that have a negative affect on women's MMA?
A: It does, but MMA in general, men do it to. There is no difference in the steroid usage. But realistically when you look at Cyborg, what do you think? So was it a shock? No. Is Cyborg a good fighter? Yes. Could she do it naturally? I think she could. If her story is true then so be it, but you gotta know at that point in your career what is going into your body. It was disappointing but she is paying the consequences. I think its a negative on MMA period, just made worse for women because its still so new.

Q: How much does it take away from what she has done?
A: It puts a mark on her name. If you don't have someones word then you don't have trust. As fighters, we all go off each others words, this is a fair sport and a small word. It will affect her a lot. I know now she is part of that Pink Promotion, but as far as her fighting career it has to affect it.

Q: As far as yourself, anything coming up?
A: Nothing signed. But something fro April or July, but noting is signed so want to keep that opponent under wraps.

Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: Ben Schissler and Scott Pederson coach's,Serial Boxe and AMA, Jack-N-Grill, Archangel Fight Wear, Performancemma.com, IGo Hard, Kevin Powers Tattoos, Gurl Fytrz, Revolution Chiropractic, Typhoon Kennel, Pruett Construction

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Angela Coleman Interview

Q: First, Angela, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: My pleasure, thank you for featuring me!!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am a 26 year old Licensed Massage Therapist / ACSM Personal Trainer at the Fitness Edge STL and sponsored NPC National Figure athlete. I married in June, 2009 and currently live in St. Louis, MO. I have 2 sisters, one older sister and an identical twin sister!

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: As a kid, I loved PE. In 6th grade I set a record for 18 consecutive pullups, I ran track too! The 100m dash was my favorite race :) In my 1st ever track meet, I took first place in that event! The feeling was indescribable! In High School I was involved in cheerleading for 3 years and made Captain my Senior year.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was in really good shape with cheerleading and liked the way I looked, so once I graduated High School I joined Gold's Gym down the street from my house. I have been a member ever since then!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: My training from then to know has dramatically changed! LOL, I would go to the gym mainly to do cardio and people watch :) By doing so, I picked up certain exercises I grew comfortable with doing, but I never switched things up!! I went to the gym very regularly, so I got results, but I would have had better results if I did a few things differently.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: As a regular gym member, I was frequently told by trainers and other members that "You look like you could do fitness competitions" I had no idea what they meant at the time.. Then I started to get curious, about these "shows" and a fellow trainer at my gym dropped the name of a Coach / Nutritionist in Chesterfield, MO. I contacted him in October, 2009 and have been working with him ever since. I had great success with the diet and training for my 1st show. I took 1st place Figure Short and the Figure Overall title (won my WNBF Pro Card) at the 2010 INBF Missouri All Naturals. I was hooked!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Competition prep is tough... My family doesn't fully understand why you can and can't eat certain foods or go out alot, but they are trying. My twin sister Leah and husband Justin do understand what the process is all about and are 110% supportive of me and my goals.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Having competed now for almost 2 years has made me realize how important genetics are most of the time. Some one can have GREAT structure (broad shoulders, tiny waist and nice quad sweeps) but lack muscular development. Or someone could have great, full, symmetrical muscle but lack (the broad shoulders and and small waist or have narrow hips) It boils down to who has it ALL structurally and esthetically. Everyone has different goals with competition. Some do it for themselves and for their lifestyles and others do it to prove they can compete with the best.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2010 INBF Missouri All Naturals- 1st place Figure short, Figure Overall (earned WNBF Pro Card)
*2010 NPC Midwest Novice Classic- 1st place Figure short, Figure Overall
*2011 NPC Muscle Mayhem Championships- 1st place Figure Class A, Overall Runner up
*2011 NPC Jr. Nationals Championships- 8th place out of 19 in Figure Class A
*2011 IFBB North American Championships- 2nd place Figure Class A

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My shoulders. Even in high school pictures I had developed traps and delts. I can thank my dad for the gifted upper body!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I LOVE to train Hamstrings! They have been my weak point and I am determined to bring them up with the rest of my muscles groups!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I actually stay pretty structured in my offseason with the diet and training schedule. Obviously, I incorporate more carbs which is essential to grow lean muscle and improve my physique at each show. Training for a show, I will increase repetitions and decrease load slightly depending on the day :)

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Definitely all positive! The most common compliment I get on my physique is about my shoulders and back.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Why do you starve yourself to look like that?" I always respond to those comments by mentioning: "I eat 6 times a day, how many times do you eat in a day??

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That if you aren't competing in a "Natural" Federation you are not likely a "Natural" athlete. I switched from the WNBF and "Natural" Federation to the NPC, a Non-Tested Federation to get more exposure and opportunities. I have had great success in making this switch, and everyone has their right to choose federations best suited for them as an athlete!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: It would probably be cardio on an empty stomach... I do this at some point during all my contest preps and I can't stand thinking about breakfast the ENTIRE time I'm on the Stepmill!!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Erin Stern, the former IFBB Ms. Figure Olympia. She embodies beauty, grace, femininity, athleticism and strength. She has a great sense of humor and personality as well. The total package in my opinion in the sport of Figure.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Depends on my mood but it would be pizza or loaded ice cream!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Have patience and be open to honest criticisms on her physique. Figure can be a very subjective sport.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio?
A: There are so many benefits to lifting weights that some females tend to overlook.. Like the fact weight bearing movements overtime can increase bone density and increase you calorie burning at rest after the workout. Cardio is good for your heart and mind but together with weights and a good diet you will transform your physique! Create a balance!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to try new restaurants, and love to watch football! On occasion I like to go shoot guns with my husband Justin!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Angela Coleman.
A: Wake up around 7am, eat, train / massage clients, cardio, train / massage clients. Train myself :) eat, train / massage my last client, go home, eat dinner, prep food for the next day, create workouts for clients, spend quality time with my husband and animals, eat, shower, then head to bed!!! All to do it again the next day!!!

Q: Describe Angela Coleman in five words.
A: Humble, Ambitious, Honest, Courageous, Loyal

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I buy boys athletic shoes, lol! I don't like loud bright colors on women's athletic shoes!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan on competing at the 2012 NPC Jr. USA's in May. My goal again this year is to earn my IFBB Figure Pro Card, I came in 2nd at the 2011 IFBB North American Championships and I would like to move up that 1 spot and win my class!! In the long term, I hope to start a family in a few years :)

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would like to thank my husband Justin Coleman, twin sister Leah Dattilo and my family for their unconditional support. My Coach/ Nutritionist Kit Kitson and all the athletes of In Shape Nutrition. My two amazing Sponsors, 1st Phorm International and Tamee Marie Suits for putting their faith in me as a person and athlete to represent their companies. Lastly my amazing workout partners Julie Hamilton and Nicole Dudas, together we make up some INSANE training sessions and push one another to the max!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you?
A: I am currently sponsored by 1st Phorm International and Tamee Marie Suits. I can be reached at angelarcoleman81@gmail.com for any inquiries.

Q: Angela, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this interview with you!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spotlight Interview: Zoila Gurgel

After a loss to Miesha Tate, which Zoila Gurgel says was the best thing to happen to her, Zoila went on a streak of impressive wins over impressive fighters including Megumi Fuji and Jessica Aguilar that culminated in her winning the prestigious Bellator Tournament in 2010. After one fight in early 2011, Zoila has been out of action with a torn ACL. With rehab going well hopefully we will see her back in the cage in the not to distant future.

Q: Can you start out just talking about how you got started in the sport?
A: Oh wow. It wasn't that long ago. I was playing soccer in college. I got hurt a little and when I came back it wasn't anything competitive enough for me. I was playing little pick up games here and there. I was getting way to aggressive, getting way to many red cards. Slide tackling girls, shoving them all over the place, its just wasn't enough for me anymore. So I found boxing from there and went to a gym in Fresno that was more of a Muay Thai base, and went straight to MMA from there.

Q: Your only loss is to Miesha Tate, is that something in the future you would like to try and avenge?
A: Oh definitely. Ever since I lost it has been a fight I wanted, to take her on again, at 135 or 125, she has said she would drop down to 125 when she was going back and forth with Tara LaRosa. I've actually become pretty good friends with her and she's a really nice girl and I respect everything she has done in the sport.... and for beating me the way she did. It taught me a lot and got me where I am today. But to be able to challenge her again would be an amazing opportunity.

Q: You have been your best since that fight, is it safe to say that in a way, that loss was good for you?
A: That loss was the best thing that could have happened to me in my career. It taught me that I wasn't invincible. Up to that point it was all Muay Thai. I was so much of an athlete I figured I didn't need to work on wrestling cause I didn't think anyone could keep me down. But I fought a bigger opponent and Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu was her strong point. On the ground with her I was a fish out of water, I had no idea what was going on or what I was doing. It wasn't that I felt she was stronger than me, it was more, I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. It was a loss from the beginning but I learned a lot. After that happened I went straight to Fresno City College and they let me work in with the guys and I got my ass beat on numerous occasions and fell in love with wrestling. Then I fought Michelle Ould and beat her and then I met my husband and got together with him. I got a call from Bellator to fight Rosi Sexton, so I was working on wrestling her, an then the tournament, it it went on from there.

Q: You mention Bellator, in 2010 you won their tournament beating some legit girls, Jessica Aguilar, Megumi Fuji, safe to say that's your career highlight till now?
A: Oh yeah, by far. Up till that point, Miesha was my first test, all the girls I have fought have been more experienced than I was. Every fight was with someone way more experienced, even the Penne fight, the Rosi Sexton, I was supposed to get slaughtered by her. She had so much more experience. But I worked hard to get to where I was and beating her showed I wasn't a push over. Penne was 7-0 and more experienced, same with Aguilar. Same with Megumi, I wasn't supposed to get out of the first round, let alone five rounds and winning. To be able to get in the cage with them and beat them was very rewarding.

Q: Going into that tournament, I think most people expected Megumi to win. Did you feel you had something to prove?
A: It wasn't just something to prove. I knew everyone except a handful of people knew I was gonna lose that fight. I had people who were family or close friends who said "how do you expect to beat her?" I didn't take it as an insult, its who she was, she made a name for herself in this sport. I had nothing to lose. If I had one thing it was strength, everyone knew I wasn't going to the ground with her, its something you don't do. So I figured my only chance was knock her out or stay on my feet. In my eyes it was like taking the belt from her cause there was no one who could stay in a fight with her. So I felt my chances were to use my strength, physical ability and keep it standing.

Q: Your last fight was in March, a decision win over Karina Hallinan. Is it hard to train for someone you already fought?
A: It's not really hard at all. I go in to each fight the same way. I don't think about who I am gonna fight, I let my coaches do that. I go in with the same mentality, super confident and not picturing anyone else beating me. To fight her again was like a new fight for me. She was a completely different fighter. I am sure I will fight Aguilar and Megumi again and they will be different fighters and so will I. I am evolving and you can't look at fighters the same.

Q: Your sister Stephanie just lost a super close decision, but showed a lot of improvement. How good can she be?
A: Stephanie is an amazing athlete. She is a lot better at thinking about the whole thing. She likes to work on details, especially in Jiu-Jitsu. She has improved so much in a little time.

Q: Your cornered her in that fight. Is it hard to corner someone who is family?
A: It definitely is. She is actually the only person I ever cornered. Her first few fights I could barely control myself. There was no coaching involved, just shouting out things here and there. The first few fights I was so overtaken by emotion that I couldn't coach her. So this time around was easier because Jorge is her main coach and I am there for support. I am there for her and it helps more than shouting things out.

Q: You fight, your husband fights, your sister fights. Do you get more nervous for your fights or theirs?
A: Definitely them. Stephanie would be the one I am most nervous for, then Jorge, and I come third. I am a little nervous but it's always game for me, always confident and feel I prepared myself enough to go out there. So I am never nervous for my fights, just super confident.

Q: You moved out here to Ohio. Except for the fact the weather sucks, as a fighter, how has moving here and working with Jorge helped you?
A: It has helped tremendously. Where I came from was strictly Muay Thai. Besides the weather, everything is amazing. The people here are completely different as well. Everyone is so helpful and welcoming. Its so much nicer, you can completely tell the difference, everything is completely different. It was the best move I ever made besides getting married to Jorge. The people I work with are amazing and help out and don't ask for things in return. In California it was all about money. Here its about love for the sport. It made me want to be better and make everyone proud. It gives me a family to fight for, and it makes it really hard to lose.

Q: With what happened with Cyborg, does that in your opinion hurt women's MMA at all?
A: In my opinion, I think in some ways it does and some ways it doesn't. I was a huge fan of hers. A lot of people saw it as like watching a man fight, completely different. It's hard to answer. It kind of helps cause it gives other fighters a chance to showcase skills without performance enhancing drugs.

Q: Right now everyone is talking about Miesha Tate vs Ronda Rousey. Some people like Ronda and some don't. Would you agree that at least she is getting people talking about a female fight, and that aspect is a good thing?
A: I agree with you one hundred percent. She is saying things that I can see why people get offended, I'm not offended, she isn't talking about me personally. She is getting a lot of press, getting it for her and Miesha. It is a big fight. As long as she brings attention to women's MMA in a good way, I'm all for it. Its a fight I am looking forward to. She brings excitement to it, and so does Tate. I think it's good for women's MMA.

Q: Do you have a prediction on how the fight goes
A: Oh man, I would like to see Tate win because of where she is and who she is, and cause I fought her as well. But its hard to tell. We haven't seen much of Ronda's fighting. So it's hard to call. She is an Olympic athlete, fought girls who are bigger than her, and she's taken them the way she wanted to and beaten them how she wanted to. it's hard to call, but I am looking forward to it.

Q: Most people know you have been out with an injury, can you explain what the injury is?
A: I tore my ACL in wrestling practice. It was something so small, I couldn't believe it happened. I took a shot and stopped in the middle and my knee popped and I knew something was wrong. I got an MRI and the doctor said "your ACL is completely torn, you need surgery". So I got surgery November 8th and am rehabbing and recovering.

Q: Do you have any time table when you could fight?
A: I am hoping, a lot of people were saying nine months from when it happened, I would like it sooner, like five months from now. The goal is to fight before the year is over, or if Bellator has that tournament, I would love to jump in that or get a fight before it. I want to fight at least once before the year is over, if not twice.

Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: Everyone. Jorge Gurgel, my mom Zoyla Grace and family, JGMMA team, coaches Stutzman, Mike Ferguson, my sister Stephanie Frausto, my nutritionist Eric Trilliegi, my supporters and fans throughout my career and through my surgery and rehab, team manager Jeremiah Gabbard, amazing friend and sponsor through surgery Billy Ayashi, and Tussle. And you Jason Adams for the interview and supporting women's MMA and helping us get more recognition, people like you give us more to fight for.