Saturday, March 31, 2012

Women's MMA Round Table

Its been so long since I did a round table, so I decided to do a new one, this one an MMA one. What is the point in these? Nothing really. Just a fun thing to do. Get some answers on some serious things and then get some answers for fun type questions. I got some pro fighters and some amateur fighters. So I got Tamikka Brents, Andria Caplan, Jessica Dinch, Ashley Hawkins, Sarah Maloy, Sarah McLeod, Shawnee Merrell, Diana Rael and Jessica Zomcik. In the first part it is word association and the second part is answers to questions. In each case, the fighter is represented by their initials. In the case of the two Sarah's and Shawnee since they have the same initials, Sarah Maloy will be SMA, Sarah McLeod will be SMC and Shawnee Merrell will be SME.

Word Association

1. Dana White
TB: The Godfather like person of UFC and Strikeforce.
AC: Finally starting to come around.
SMA: Loud
SMC: Douche
SME: Angry bitter man.
DR: Hope he comes around and supports WMMA.
JZ: Powerful

2. Ronda Rousey
TB: Ugh
AC: Armbars
JD: Champion
AH: Armbar
SMA: Louder
SMC: Hot
SME: All around bad ass.
DR: Girls got a mouth; she sells herself well and can back it up.

TB: Awesomely talented and needs more recognition.
AC: On the rise.
JD: Gonna get bigger and better.
AH: Getting bigger.
SMA: Growing
SMC: Awesome
SME: We're coming for ya!
DR: Happy to be on the WMAA roller coaster, the sport is growing and becoming more recognized as a female sport.
JZ: Momentum

4. Megumi Fuji
TB: The Fedor of WMMA.
AC: Rock star!
JD: The original armbar queen.
AH: Will submit you.
SMA: Awesome
SMC: Stud
SME: Heart of a warrior.
DR: One bad ass lil chick! Love watching her flow.
JZ: Tornado

5. Gina Carano
TB: I heard that Haywire movie blew dogs :-) But I still like her :-)
AC: Movies.
JD: Sell out
AH: Still awesome. Needs to come back.
SMA: Beginning
SMC: Overrated
SME: Haywire sucked.
DR: Super big fan, wish she was still fighting. Gina definitely is a pioneer of the sport she has helped the WMMA movement progress and has great skill.
JZ: Return date?

6. Pride
TB: I have a rainbow flag...... what's up??
AC: People should take a bit more in what they do.
JD: Fighting Championships (LOL that was the first thing that came to mind)
AH: Respect
SMA: unnecessary
SMC: Honor
SME: Miesha Tate
DR: The organization? I would love to face stomp people!!!!! JK! “PAIN IS TEMPORARY, PRIDE IS FOREVER!”
JZ: Team

7. Heart
TB: I have that in spades... or in hearts.... you know what I mean.
AC: Everything.
JD: You better have a lot of it in this sport.
AH: Have to have a lot of heart.
SMA: Required
SMC: Consistent
SME: Alexis Davis
DR: Either you got it or you don’t!!!!
JZ: Lots of it.

8. Strength and Conditioning
TB: If they're lacking in a fight, later the talent will lack to.
AC: The fun part haha.
JD: I Fucking love it.
AH: Love it.
SMA: Winner
SMC: Discipline
SME: Ugh, I'm gonna die.
DR: Muscle Milk!!!! GRRRRR!
JZ: Hard ass workouts with Jason Cardinali

9. Honor
TB: My Express cologne...mmmm... smells awesome.
AC: So important.
JD: Respect
AH: Honor people around you.
SMA: Respect
SMC: Pride
SME: Your team and what you stand for.
DR: That is the best thing about MMA is the honor and respect each true athlete has for one another.

10. Performance Enhancers
TB: I don't do them. I don't wanna wake up with a huge wiener or super giants hard nips that I can't get rid of. Well, that's based on what I heard from users and what not.
AC: Cheating.
JD: Tsk tsk Cyborg.
AH: Don't cheat.
SMA: Cheating
SMC: Chicken
SME: Sketchy
DR: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Why cheat, if you can’t do it naturally you should find a new game to play!!!
JZ: Borderline


1. Can all-female companies such as Invicta be viable long term?
TB: Definitely, they're new up and comers every day in the female divisions. It's like the show Cops, there's always new offenders.
AC: Absolutely!
JD: Yes, I think so. Women's MMA is getting bigger and better every day. But all us females gotta step it up to make it work.
AH: Yes if they can
keep enough fighters and money.
SMA: With a persistent commitment of time and money, I believe it can.
SMC: It's hard to say, but I really hope so.
SME: I feel really that it depends on the strength in which they grow. However, I surely support it.
DR: Women’s MMA is growing you can’t stop us now.
JZ: Yes

2. What was your thoughts when you heard about Cyborg's positive drug test?
TB: I was shocked! Just kidding, well kinda, I don't know a lot about steroids, but from people around me that do, they've said it for a while. She's still a great athlete.
AC: I wasn't all that surprised, but it was still disappointing.
JD: Honestly, I was shocked. I mean, Cyborg looks the part, but I always thought she would be all about being a positive role model, not a positive piss tester lol.
AH: Surprised
SMA: I think for most it was a little expected but sad. However, I too take supplements for health and recovery. I purchase them at GNC and the like. I never thought of checking to see if something sold over the counter without a prescription might be considered a PE. You better believe I did after her statement release! I was safe :)
SMC: Not too surprised.
SME: Holy Balls.. that explains a lot.
DR: Not surprised, hope she learned a lesson and gets her career back on track.
JZ: Cat's outta the bag.

3. Regardless of her winning, did Ronda Rousey deserve her title shot? Why or why not?
TB: No, she talked her way into it, but whatever. I'm definitely not a fan. She got her shot the way Ric Flair would have, but hey, he would be proud.
AC: I'm indifferent on this one. In some ways I think she should have gotten in line like everyone else had to, but at the same time she WAS good enough to win.
JD: Yes! She was 4-0! Did she deserve it before Kaufman? That's a different story.
AH: Yeah, they needed a girl like Ronda in strikeforce.
SMA: Obviously she earned the title, but don't agree that she earned a title shot. However, the outcome did bring benefits to the wmma community. It's sad tho that she is now champ and still doesn't have the respect of many. Just goes to show have to give respect to receive it!
SMC: I think Sarah Kaufman should have fought for the title ahead of Ronda.
SME: In the aspect of her never fighting at 135... I'd say no. But she went about getting it in a way that means a lot. She stood up, made a statement, and backed up her mouth. She's the female version of Sonnen, and I couldn't be more excited.
DR: I have mixed feelings about this, yes because of her judo back round and no because of her actual MMA experience. Girl can sell herself and backed it up so you can’t hate on her for that.
JZ: Absolutely! Miesha didn't want to loose the belt so she made up an excuse in an attempt to belittle Rousey's talent, if you hold a title, no amount of talk will get you away from the fight. Miesha was scared.

4. What is one thing that is better about women's MMA from a year ago and what is one thing that is worse?
TB: More divisions, more fighters period, and the records are being updated more.
AC: Better: It's finally getting more recognition. Worse: I'm not huge into all of the recent trash talking.
JD: More promotions are starting to showcase women's MMA a lot more. For example, NAAFS had five female fights on their last card. That's awesome! Something that has gotten a lot worse is females showing their half naked asses all over the internet to gain attention. Use your skills inside the cage to get attention. Too many women are only in this sport for the attention. I'm in it to fucking fight because that's what I love to do. Get real broads.
AH: Its getting more attention and the respect it deserves. Girls attitudes are getting worse.
SMA: It's getting easier to find fights, get sponsors and pull attention into our sport. What's getting worse is the conditions we are having to fight under. Every promotion now wants a female fight on their's a crowd draw. Promotions are letting things slide
like missing weight and violating rules in the locker rooms before fights just to not have to scrap the female fight. I've even been matched up with a last minute opponent that was walking around weigh ins eating cookies and still weighed in 8 pounds under the weight
SMC: It's great that we are getting more exposure and the roster of competitors has increased substantially. It's unfortunate that some women are bumped up or given opportunities judging by beauty, when there are more qualified fighters to choose from.
SME: We're being taken more seriously. Davis and Kaufman's fight proved that women put on a way better show then men, no offense. Even a close friend admitted the women fights were much more entertaining then the guys. Even without wardrobe malfunctions. As far as worse goes, we're expanding and it seems as if there aren't any big shows that are getting the showtime that Strikeforce and UFC are getting, and we need that.
DR: One better thing is the weight classes are growing so we have more opponents to fight and the face of WMMA is becoming more publicized. The worse thing would have to be the popularity contest. Some promotions pick off of beauty and popularity, not skill.
JZ: So much more talent has emerged- nothing worse, it can only get better, continually pushing forward

5. What is one thing that can make women's MMA better in one year than it is now?
TB: Hmmmm, Pride entrances....heck yea! And more TV exposure.
AC: Having more women on main cards of shows.
JD: Now that Dana White is a fan of women's MMA, I think good things are gonna happen. Plus Invicta has a huge card with a lot of big name on it. People will be watching! That's definitely gonna help out women's MMA. More promotions showcasing the female fights.
AH: Just keep girl fights happening frequently.
SMA: A promotion like Invicta working tirelessly to bring attention and recognition to our sport.
SMC: A change in the mainstream belief that women should not or cannot fight.
SME: Sending Rousey out to dismantle Dana White, steal his wallet, and make Strikeforce nothing but women's fights.
DR: Its making its progress slowly but surely.
JZ: More women's main events, more hype-it gets the people going.

6. Fighters missing weight seems to be happening frequently. What would your solution be?
TB: 3 strike rule I suppose, but I also think it depends how bad they miss weight. But I think the Anthony Johnson debacle was handled perfectly.
AC: Maybe fines imposed by the commission.
JD: Stop eating fucking Twinkies and get in the damn gym! That simple! Put in the work or find another sport.
AH: Suspend them, fine them, something. It's not fair if you work your butt off, eat right, workout always and are on weight.
SMA: There needs to be some kind of penalty. I don't know the correct solution, but maybe suspensions, monetary penalties, or loosing your entire purse. Especially when weight is missed by more than a couple pounds! Like 10% of your fight purse for every pound you are over with a 90 suspension on top of that.
SMC: Missing weight should result in a suspension of 6 months or even longer.
SME: I think it should be up to the fighter who made weight. Alot of fighters go through and put forth the work to make weight, and they should be allowed to fight if they're okay with it. If a fighter comes in over weight and not with a significant amount over, I'd say let them fight if the fighter who made weight is okay with it.
DR: Don’t take the fight if you can’t make the weight. It all goes back to being a true athlete and honoring and respecting your opponent.
JZ: Make them! No excuse for that to happen.

7. Do you pay attention to rankings? Why or why not?
TB Yes, its more of a competitive thing for me. Like, I am am #3 and I see I'm gonna fight #2, I'm gonna try my damnedest to take her spot.
AC: I pay attention to them, but sometimes someone has a great record because they've hand picked opponents. There are too many factors into someones record and experience to have any ranking system be perfect. It is cool to have an idea of who is in what standing though.
JD: Not so much as an amateur.
AH: I do to see who they have ranked and where. I think they need to be a little more unbiased. Some of them make no sense most of the time.
SMA: Of course! A good fighter needs to know who is out there. You shouldn't just train an aspect of your game because your next opponents warrants it, but be training to be able to beat the best in the game. Train to be better than Sarah Kaufman's stand up or
McMann's that and you will find yourself on top some day.
SMC: Rankings are very biased but I have alot of respect for the people who put them together. It gives you a general idea of where you stand and I have used the rankings list to choose opponents for 3 out of 4 of my last fights.
SME: I don't take a whole lot of stock in them cause they vary so much in other people opinions. But being number one in anyone's opinion is a great feeling. So being number one on multiple rankings can easily make someone feel like their on top of world.
DR: It depends on who and where the rankings come from. Some of them are popularity contest.
JZ: Yes- I think its awesome that the weight divisions are getting so deep you can have top 25 national rankings posted and it gives you names to look for when fighting to improve your rank.

8. What is the most important base for MMA?
TB: I think Wrestling is. Most wrestlers already have the weight cutting thing down pat and Grappling endurance.
AC: Wrestling is quite the equalizer.
JD: They are all important. That's why its called Mixed Martial Arts right?
AH: Honestly, you need to all!! When you're fighting you don't know what your opponent is going to do so you have to know everything.
SMA: It is all important!
SMC: Wrestling is the most important base to have because it allows you to control the pace and where the fight ends up.
SME: Eh, being a stand up kid at heart I'd say Muay-Thai. However, being able to have an outrageous ground game is extremely important. So in that aspect, and because I'm still high on Rousey, I'd say being well rounded in Judo will make you an official bad ass.
DR: Whatever you can make work for you in the sport is important, being comfortable in the cage is key. Conditioning plays a big role in MMA as well.

9. If someone came to you to ask for advice on starting training MMA, whats the first piece of advice you wold give them?
TB: This sport ain't for punk bitches! Cuz I'm probably gonna punch you in the face in the near future....hard.
AC: Do it! Find a reputable gym and get started!
JD: You will sweat, you will bleed, you will cry, you will be sore, you will get injured, if you can't handle that, then get the fuck outta here.
AH: You have to be willing to sacrifice so much to become successful. You have to put 100% into MMA.
SMA: Get ready to love it more every day! And don't let dirty promotions deter you from that love.
SMC: Look for a respectful and honest gym that would treat you well and look out for your best interests. Finding the right gym is step 1. Dedication to your training is step 2-- know that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.
SME: You have to be able to put in the work to be the best. There's no halfassing it in this sport. Dedication and heart will take you a long way.
DR: Be patient, MMA is not something you just know it is a skill that takes repetition and mental strength.
JZ: Come to DNA first.

10. Which would you prefer, being the first fight and getting it done, fighting in the middle of the card, or fighting the last fight and having to wait?
TB: They all have their ups and downs, people come for the main event, but as a fighter, you wanna fight ASAP. I can't pick.
AC: I like the middle. Gives you more time to warm up, but I do like getting to watch fights after mine.
JD: It doesn't matter to me.
AH: I like to be in the middle. I like to watch a little of the fights while warming up get warmed up fight then relax and watch the rest of fights.
SMA: I have always fought at the end of the card. I would love to fight towards the middle. Have time to get warm, watch a fight and get riled up! Then have time to watch a few after :)
SMC: Personally, I don't have a preference. I have fought first, middle, and last, and it really doesn't matter.
SME: Honestly, I'd prefer being in the middle to last. My nerves get the worst of me, but watching everyone put on a show, gets me ready to put on an even better show.
DR: I really don’t mind when I fight as long as my opponent shows up.
JZ: Middle

11. What is the best fight you ever saw?
TB: Probably either Anthony Pettis vs Ben Henderson or Shogun Rua vs Dan Henderson.
AC: Eddie Alvarez vs Michael Chandler. That was a war!
JD: Sarah Kaufman vs Alexis Davis owns it right now. That was a bad ass fight.
AH: I have seen so many awesome fights I don't have a best lol.
SMA: Man...that's impossible, lol.
SMC: The best fight that I ever saw was my first live female fight- Kelly Kobald vs Julie Kedzie. I was working as a card girl at the event and when the women came out, I left the job and went into the stands to get the best view. I didn't even know that female fighters existed, I was so inspired.
SME: Actually, the best fight I ever saw, was Ty Hamblin vs Tony Hammon. It was Muay Thai, but the most epic show of heart on Ty's part, and cocky elegance from Tony Hammon. It was epic, to say the least.
DR: BJ Penn vs Joe Stevenson
JZ: Jason Dent vs Chris Lozano

12. If you could make one men's fight and one women's fight, what would they be?
TB: Me vs Ronda Rousey....what up homie? Jon Jones vs Anderson Silva.
AC: Men: Anderson Silva vs Hector Lombard. Women: Ronda Rousey vs Sara McMann.
JD: Nate Diaz vs Anthony Pettis and Jessica Eye vs Zoila Gurgel.
AH: Rematch Nick Diaz vs Carlos Condit and Sarah Kaufman vs Ronda Rousey.
SMA: Kaufman and Rousey(I know it's gonna happen, but I can't wait!) wanna see GSP fight any body when he recovers.
SMC: GSP vs. Jake Ellenberger... And Zoila Frausto vs. Jessica Eye.
SME: Honestly I want to see Jeremy Horn fight again... period. Doesn't matter who, just want to see him fight. As far as women go, if Cyborg got down to 135, I'd love to see her fight Rousey. Especially if Rousey got her ducks in a row for stand up.
DR: Cyborg vs Ronda Rousey, Carlos Condit vs Paul "Semtex" Daley.
JZ: Jon Jones vs Anderson Silva, Ronda Rousey vs Cyborg.

13. Who is one person you would love to spend a day training with?
TB: I'm gonna go with the Skrap Pack... they're always together so it's like one person...kinda.
AC: Probably Cris Cyborg just out of curiosity.
JD: The Diaz brothers.
AH: The Diaz brothers.
SMA: I got to spend some time training with Greg Jackson in Vegas and I loved it! I think people underestimate the importance of the mind in fighting. He has so much to teach.
SMC: Zoila Frausto or Jessica Eye.
SME: I'd honestly love to train an entire day with Jessica Philippus. She's a fantastic fighter, and person. And is someone I genuinely look up too.
DR: BJ Penn
JZ: Eduardo Telles

14. If they made a horror movie with fighters, who would play 1. The killer 2. The helpless victim 3. The hero who saves the day?
TB: The killer would be Ronda Rousey, the victim would be Miesha Tate and the hero would be...ME!!!
AC: Killer: Nick Diaz Victim: Michael Bisping Hero: Chael Sonnen.
JD: The killer would be Chael Sonnen LOL. He just seems like he would kill somebody. Anderson Silva would be the victim, but I don't think he'd be helpless, and Dana White to the rescue LOL I don't know.
AH: Brock Lesnar is the killer. The helpless victim is Ben Henderson. Hero would be Randy Couture.
SMA: 1. Randy Couture 2. Brock Lesnar 3. Gina Carano(she has experience now ;)
SMC: The killer: Zoila Frausto; helpless victim: Megumi Fuji; hero that save the day: Jessica Eye.
SME: 1.Would totally be Cyborg... No pun intended. And no disrespect, but she's a beast! 2.) The victim could easily be, Brock Lesnar, cause well, you know :) and 3 the hero would have to be...... Randy Couture.. cause I pretty much love him
DR: 1. Nick Diaz 2. Gina Carano 3. Ronda Rousey (Via armbar)
JZ: 1. Frankie Edgar 2, Brock Lesnar 3. Roy Nelson

15. If they did an old school UFC eight woman tournament with the eight best fighters, who would be in it and who would win?
TB: Megumi Fuji, Cyborg, Sarah Kaufman, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Marloes Coenen, Jessica Aguilar and Gina Carano.
AC: Megumi Fuji, Meisha Tate, Ronda Rousey ,Sara McMann ,Zoila Gurgel, Marloes Coenen, Sarah Kaufman, Roxanne Modafferi. I think Sara McMann might win that.
JD: Cyborg, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Sarah Kaufman, Jessica Eye, Zoila Gurgel, Marloes Coenen, and Alexis Davis.
AH: Jessica Eye, Zola Gurgel, Sarah Kaufman Megumi Fuji, Aisling Daly, Tara Larosa.
SMA: Marloes Coenen, Megumi Fuji, Tara LaRosa, Cat Zingano, Sara Mcmann, Miesha Tate, Zoila Gurgel, Sarah Kaufman...winner-Kaufman
SMC: Ronda Rousey, Sarah Kaufman, Cris Cyborg, Zoila Frausto, Tara Larosa, Marloes Coenen, Jessica Eye, Miesha Tate: Winner is Cyborg (if she passes the drug test).
SME: With weight aside, I'd say Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman, Ronda Rousey, Cyborg, Megumi Fuji, Zoila Gurgel, Alexis Davis, and Michelle Waterson with the win, cause it's us little ones you gotta watch out for ;)
DR: Megumi Fuji , Ronda Rousey, Cyborg, Gina Carano, Marloes Coenen, Tara LaRossa, Shayna Baszler, Vanessa Porto Winner: The Fans
JZ: Ronda Rousey, Zoila Gurgel, Sarah Kaufman, Megumi Fuji, Alexis Davis, Marloes Coenen, Tay Stratford, Elaina Maxwell. Rousey-all by arm bar.

16. If you weren't fighting, what other sport would you most want to be involved in?
TB: Female football league or soccer prolly. I like a bunch of sports. Maybe rugby? They get physical.
AC: Wrestling or maybe football.
JD: Basketball. It was my life growing up I can drain 3's all day :-)
AH: Playing fast pitch softball!!
SMA: I played basketball for Murray State, so I would probably go back to that.
SMC: If I wasn't fighting I would be much more committed to bikini competitions.
SME: Swimming, I swam competitively for 6 years, it was something I probably would’ve excelled at, however, the politics sucked at my High School so I threw in the towel and hit a sport that hit back.
DR: Snowboarding
JZ: Anything fast and dangerous.

17. What celebrity or athlete (except another MMA fighter) would you most want to see fight in an MMA fight? Why?
TB: Tony Jaa vs Anderson Silva... that'd be baller. Or Chuck Norris vs the entire UFC! Sorry UFC :-)
AC: Mike from Jersey Shore because it would be fun to watch him get buried in there.
JD: Al Bundy, he's a Black Belt in BJJ.
SMA: Angelina would be funny to see the epitome of female badness in the movies get jacked up, lol!
SMC: Chuck Norris...because he can't be defeated!
SME: Jason Stathum, cause he plays such a bad ass in every other movie.. why not? Plus his accent is amazing.
DR: Tonya Harding, there is something I don’t like about her and would love to watch her get whooped on.
JZ: Brad Pitt, To see if he can fight in real life like he does in movies.

18. What fighter should write a biography?
TB: Who doesn't have one written? I don't know. "The Life and Times of Cannabis Boxing and Weed Jitsu: The Nick Diaz Story.
AC: Megumi Fuji. She's been in the sport so long and probably has some cool stories.
JD: Nick Diaz
AH: Ronda Rousey
SMA: Randy Couture
SMC: Cyborg
SME: You know, really every fighter should. Everyone has their own story as to why they started, why not hear all of them?
DR: Pac Man

19. The move of my life would be called? And my character would be played by?
TB: "Oops I Punched You Again". My character would be played by Michelle Rodriguez, no I'm not a Latina, but she's bad ass or the chick that played Columbiana....she's gangster.
JD: "Stop Snitching" played by me LOL.
SMA: MILF *Mom I'd Like to Fight, bwhahaha! Any hotness would do, double bwhahaha.
SMC: "TNT Go Boom"...played by Whoopi Goldberg.
SME: "Unexplainable Antics". Not really sure who would play me, they just got to be awesome.
DR: "In Japan I am huge!" Played by someone very small.
JZ: "Gentle Persuasion"- played by Sigourney Weaver

20. Anything you want to add or anyone you want to thank?
TB: Get ready suckas, new and improved me is on the way! And I'd like to thank Body Quest, Complete Nutrition, AMB Construction, my bro Bobby for getting me into the sport period, Team Warrior Concepts(my fight family), the awesome members of TWC that help motivate me everyday especially Morgan & Brea! Scot and Jenn Ward for being my second set of parents, Trevor Ward, Lex James, Frank Sloan, Hunter Ansell, Dave Utinske, Trish Murphy & Renee "Magic Hands" Dean. They're the behind the scenes people that prepare me for my fights or fix me when I'm broken along side Scot and Jenn. My Dad for being so supportive and my gf Kristina who makes cutting weight not so bad and doesn't seem to get tired of rubbing me down with bio freeze all the time <3 and Jason "Sweet Cheeks" Adams for being awesome :)
AC: Thank you to Daddis Fight Camp for giving me the best training possible and a second family. Thank you to Matrix fights and Cage Fury Fighting Championships for being the best people ever to work with. And thank you to my sponsor Rockstar Ink. Al Amoroso is a sick tattoo artist!
JD: Thanks to you for doing this :-)
AH: Yes thank you to my sponsors, Promoting Real Women(Jason Adams), foundation fight co.(Kody Tuttle). Everyone who helped me train for my last fight. Especially Jessica Dinch, Jessica Eye and Pablo Castro from Strong Style for cornering me and helping prepare for the fight.
SMA: Can't do it without my families...blood fam, church fam, gym fam!
SMC: Thank you to everyone in my life for all of your positive energy and support. Thank you to all female fighters who continue to inspire me and set a positive example for everyone. Thank you Jason for putting this round table together.
SME: I want to say thank you to you Jason. Your interviews are always so much fun! Second I want to thank Team Outcast in Wyoming! Miss you guys. I want to thank my sponsor S&W Welding. My new found family out here in North Dakota, mainly my sister Kelli and Ralph, for pushing me to succeed. And one last and final shout out to Mrs. Molly Bittler. You're an inspiration, and I pray for you to get well soon! Kick that crap in the ass and get it going!
DR: Thanks to the MMA fans and promoters. And my sponsors, Archangel fightwear, GurlFytrz, Revolution Chiropractic, Jack-N-Grill, Kevin’s Tatt’s, Pruett Construction, IGo Hard, Typhoon Kennel, and my team the Serial Boxe and AMA.
JZ: I'd like to thank Dan Swift, Al Zuck, Team DNA, Harley Davidson of Erie, and my Strength & Conditioning Coach/Nutritionist/Chiropractor Jason Cardinali.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sarah McLeod vs Tecia Torres Interviews

On April 13th two of the top strikers in amateur women's MMA will step into the cage against each other for Victory Fighting Championships, when Tecia Torres takes on Sarah McLeod. This fight has been starting to get some buzz behind it and its easy to see why. Not only are they two talented fighters who hit like a truck, but they both also have an ever growing fan base due to there always entertaining styles and there always positive attitudes. I was able to get both of them to do interviews about the fight, and will present them both to you now as one post.

Tecia Torres

Q: Last time we talked, you were just coming off a victory in Cleveland over Rebecca Gruitza. Since then you have had some big things happen, including a trip to Ireland. Can you talk about that?
A: Yeah, I went to Ireland to represent the United States at 114LBS on Team USA. In Ireland it was fun, it was my first time out of the country. Unfortunately I did not come home with the win. I lost to the second place finisher which was a nice girl from Poland named Zaneta. It was a full contact kickboxing fight, the first I ever had. It was different, more on points. I went in like a fighter in America, trying to knock her out and do more damage, but for that fight it did not work. It was a great experience. She was really nice. It went all three rounds and I was winning after the second, but in Europe with the point system, it doesn't matter if you win two rounds, it is who has the most points at the end. I talked to her after and she said she had over one hundred and seventy fights. That includes semi and full contact. In Europe they have tournaments where you get three or four fights. It was fun.

Q: Against someone with that much experience, even not winning, you can feel proud?
A: Oh of course. We were on the same level, its just that she knew the game and how to win full contact. Kicks above the waist only, wear the long pants and head gear and things.

Q: If there were more kickboxing opportunities in America, as a pro would you gravitate more towards that or MMA?
A: I think I am pretty equal in both right now. Although I see myself continuing more with MMA. But if a kickboxing fight does arise I would take it. But I do want to pursue MMA right now.

Q: You are fighting Sarah McLeod coming up. How's training been?
A: Training is good. Only thing different now is, when I first started fighting I weighed 117LBS so I didn't have to cut any weight. Now its been four years and I weigh 125LBS and am learning how to cut weight and eat better. I was always muscular, but I've gained ten pounds of muscle. So the only hard part is cutting weight, but everything is good.

Q: What do you know about Sarah?
A: From what I've seen, she has progressed really well. From the first fight to her most recent one with Nadia (Nixon) she has progressed well. I see talent in her, every fight she looks better. I saw her debut and she looked like a pure brawler and now she has technique, straight punches, clean kicks. I have respect for her. She is definitely a threat. My game is up to par and I know hers will.

Q: Do you get excited knowing you are going to be in there with someone who is willing to stand and bang with you?
A: Yeah, this is something knew. This will be my fourth MMA fight, but its different from the kickboxing. In kickboxing you cant keep going when you knock them down. In this fight there will be ground and pound, if we get knocked down, it continues. If I knock her down I am going after her, I am not letting her come back up haha. I am there to bang but I am ready for Jiu-Jitsu as well.

Q: There is a lot of interest in this fight, which isn't overly common for amateur women's MMA, what do you attribute that to?
A: I would think first thing is Sarah's popularity. She has a good following of people and has made a name for herself. She is an exciting fighter to watch and people like to see her, and she knows how to market herself, which is great. On my part, I might not have the fan base, but people know me form my kickboxing. Its two strong dedicated fighters who put on a good show.

Q: Where is your biggest advantage?
A: I would say experience. She has MMA experience but fight experience I do. I know she has done Muay Thai before to. I think I am stronger than her. She will stand there and take my hits, but I will do more damage. I'm not saying I wont get it, but I think I am stronger.

Q: Where does she pose the biggest threat?
A: I think her height maybe. She has a good six inches on me. But I fought girls who were taller, like Rebecca was 5'9", so I am used to taller fighters. So if anything, her height. Keeping me on the outside using her kicks.

Q: She has the height advantage, but you have been the shorter fighter before. Do you think the taller girls maybe under estimate you?
A: Sometimes I think so. They think I'm smaller, I'm not small because I am muscular, but they think they can use length to an advantage. I think one of my best qualities is movement and getting in and out of there.

Q: Whats the key for you to win this fight?
A: I think just going in and not letting anything distract me. I always have a game plan, its subject to change depending on what the other girls do. But if I do that I think I come out as the victor.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I think it will go all three rounds, but I think I win a unanimous decision.

Q: Have you thought about when you want to turn pro?
A: I have given it some thought. I think I want eight MMA fights, so maybe end of the year or beginning of next year. I still have some things I wanna do, five more fights and then the IKF tournament in July, I've won the last two years and wanna defend my title.

Q: MMA wise, after this, is there anyone particular you wanna fight?
A: There's a couple names I could throw out. Just fight the girls who have names and good records. I wanna be known more and challenging fights. There are a couple girls but I don't wanna put there names out there.

Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: I would like to thank God for giving me the dedication and strength it takes to be a fighter. My family for supporting me through all my decisions in life. My coach Bill Spicer for putting up with my "Princess" ways and being a 2nd dad. Fred Moncaio for all my MMA training and pushing me to my limits and beyond. World Champion BJJ Black Belt Sofia Amarante for taking me in and who is going to make me a better well rounded fighter.

Sarah McLeod

Q: You recently were on the Taboo show on National Geographic. How happy were you with how female fighters were portrayed?
A: I thought they did a very good job. They could have spun it either way to make women look bad or crazy, but they made us look like true athletes and competitors.

Q: Has being on the show affected your career at all?
A: Any exposure is positive and I was proud to represent women's MMA, so it can put a positive light on my reputation I guess. People can see how I am behind competition.

Q: You are fighting Tecia Torres, what do you know about her?
A: I know she is very experienced in stand-up, very tough, very strong, and a good athlete. I expect a tough challenge.

Q: Does it excite you to fight someone who you know is willing to stand and bang with you?
A: I am very excited for that challenge. Its a new type of fighter I haven't experienced before. I've never had anyone who will want to stand with me. I am excited to go toe to toe with her and see who goes to plan B first.

Q: Everyone knows you are strong and into fitness, and she is obviously in great shape, is this the first time you have fought anyone who has that same strength level as you?
A: Judging from her pictures, she is probably one of the top athletes I have fought. Its hard to say, I've fought a lot of strong opponents, but from pictures she looks strong. I am not under estimating her strength, that's for sure.

Q: I also asked her this, there is a lot of interest in this fight, which isn't overly common for an amateur women's MMA fight, what do you attribute that to?
A: I think we are both very well known for our stand-up and power. When two people with the same game plan get together, it is exciting. No one expects a submission, its gonna be an exciting bomb dropping fight with punches everywhere. Its exciting when women brawl it out.

Q: With you both having power, people expect a quick fight. To me, that's under estimating the fact that you both have chins, and it can actually go longer, would you agree?
A: I definitely think it will go longer than one round, but I expect a second or third round stoppage. We are both going for the knock out, but we have good chins, so I don't believe it will be a first round knock out. I think it will be a knock out or TKO but not in the first round.

Q: Where do you have the biggest advantage?
A: I honestly think I have an advantage in all aspects. Technically she is better than me in stand-up and in Muay Thai maybe she would beat me in a decision, but this is an MMA fight and its different. I can utilize my reach and I feel I am stronger on the ground. I plan to sue my reach. She has never been hit this hard before and I have never been hit as hard as she will hit me. So its a new kind of fight for both of us.

Q: Where does she pose the biggest threat?
A: I think it would be her power in stand-up. if I make a mistake and she clips me or I keep my hands down, that's her advantage. She is good at finding those holes. So I gotta keep tight and movements. I feel confident and am sure she does to, so I am excited and expect a war.

Q: Whats the key to you winning this fight?
A: My key is use my reach and go with the flow. See where it goes. It can go anywhere. I am expecting the unexpected.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: My prediction is it ends in a TKO in the second or third round. I wont under estimate her. I am confident but it can go either way.

Q: After this fight, whats next?
A: I will be going to Ohio on June 2nd for the NAAFS.

Q: You also do the Bikini division in fitness shows, any plans coming up for that?
A: I plan to compete June 9th in an NPC qualifier in Omaha. So I can show my home town fans how I look outside the cage.

Q: Before we finish anyone you want to thank?
A: All my teammates and coaches at Mid-America Martial Arts. My personal trainer Brett Carter from Endless Possibilities, my manager Ryan Stoddard, my family for their support, my friends, my fans, and you Jason, my brother in spirit.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jordan McDonald Interview

Jordan McDonald is coming off a loss as she gets ready for her next fight against Paulina Granados. Now that she is feeling at home and settled in Las Vegs, I expect to see a much better version of Jordan McDonald. It is women like Jordan, hard working, dedicated, great attitude, and friendly, who will continue to push women's MMA into the future.

Q: You have a fight coming up with Paulina Granados. How has the training been going?
A: Training has been amazing. The big difference between my training for this fight and the last one in August is when I first moved out here I didn't anticipate how long it would take me to truly get settled. For this fight I am so much more settled, I feel like I am part of a family at my gym, I know everyone so much better. The relationships and on an emotional and mental level I am in such a better place here in Vegas. Also because I know my coaches better and they know me better, its helped my training, and I have gotten better training partners. So every aspect is so much better this time around.

Q: So looking back, was the fight in August maybe to soon?
A: Yes an no. I don't want to take anything away from Liz cause she won the fight fair and square. But, maybe a if certain circumstances were different I could have been in a better mental place and it would have made me feel better about taking the fight at that time. If things had all gone according to plan I could have been ready at that point. I had some drama with a coach I no longer work with and just some other things that made it more difficult to get settled. So being more settled makes me more comfortable taking a fight.

Q: is it hard to not get caught up in the part seen in Las Vegas ad not let it affect your training?
A: I don't have that problem at all. Both my room mates work in the clubs and bars, so not only do I live in a party town, but both my room mates are career partiers haha. But I am focused and here for a purpose. I tell people I drive by all those crazy people partying on my way to and from the gym. When you are in the gym twice a day five or six days a week giving it your all, you don't have a lot of energy and therefor motivation to go out and party. Not to say I don't have a good time when I give myself a break here and there, but I'm not that much of a partier. I am really focused on what I am doing and want to be in the gym more than I want to be in a club right now.

Q: How far in advance do you like to start game planning for a specific opponent?
A: This might be the first time I ever had an opponent where we knew about each other. I got on the card a little bit late because I didn't think I would free in April, but I did have a month of knowing who my opponent was. This is the first time I knew that far out and that there has been video of my opponent out there. So I have taken advantage of that this time, although it feels like a knew thing for me. I have studied her tapes and my coaches have studied her tapes. Its kind of nice and a confidence booster to have specific things I have been drilling for this specific opponent.

Q: From what you have seen of her, where do you feel is your biggest advantage?
A: I feel like this is a really well matched fight. But I think my stand-up is just a little bit better than her and I think my ground is gonna be better than hers. I want to make sure I impose my will and execute my game plan. She likes to move forward, I haven't seen any opponents push her backwards, or people have let her do her thing and deal with it. That's not my style of fighting. I feel like as long a I don't make mistakes I have an advantage wherever the fight goes. I am also more experienced, I have been training with world class coaches and training partners, and as long as I don't make a mistake I feel comfortable stand-up and on the ground.

Q: Outside of you making a mistake, where do you feel she poses the biggest threat?
A: When people who knew her told me about her, they told me she was a ground fighter, but all her videos show she much prefers to stay on her feet. So I think if you were to ask her, she would say her strength is her stand-up. Or at least clearly that is where she feels more comfortable because that's where she stays in her fights for the most part.

Q: Coming off a loss, how important is this fight for you?
A: It's paramount. I am an obsessive compulsive person anyway and a horrible loser haha. I don't take it very well. Its a huge fire underneath my ass. Its a huge motivation factor. Losing is not an option. I don't care what happens, in my mind, I am not gonna lose.

Q: What is the key for you to win this fight?
A: Move forward and make her deal with me, not me deal with her. Don't let her get into her grove, make her deal with me the entire time.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: You know I don't really like doing that because you never never know. Especially with two fighters who seem to be pretty well matched and both have a background in stand-up and ground. If I had to guess, since most of my fights end with ground and pound and e at least in the second if not the first round, I will say first round by ground and pound.

Q: You have fought for Tuff-N-Uff before, why do you enjoy fighting for them?
A: I consider them to be one of the top amateur promotion country. I have fought in four different states for several promotions, and its definitely one of the top ones. Its perceived country wide as one of the top ones. It will be great exposure and they really do run a great promotion.

Q: a lot of promotions still consider women fights side show or novelty, but they treat women fighters as fighters, does that make it more enjoyable to fight for them?
A: Absolutely. They are so supportive of female fighters. We have three or four female bouts on the card and that's just awesome. They are not just supporters, they are excited about female fighters.

Q: Last time we did this you seemed to be getting ready to go pro, is that still the plan?
A: Absolutely. If you are gonna get punched in the face you might as well get paid for it. I want to come off a win which is why I didn't after the last fight. Its in the near future. I have gotten a couple offers to fight quickly after this fight, so its up in the air if I want another quick amateur fight or go pro. I've talked to people about a pro debut but nothing solid. More than likely after this fight.

Q: Is there anything you want to accomplish, such as improvements in your game before you turn pro?
A: Absolutely. MMA is one of those sports you never truly master. You wanna come into a pro career in the top condition that you can. That's different in how I train now, as opposed to early in my career when I thought I would be going to law school and not doing this much longer. I would have a fight, train for a fight and then not be back in the gym till I had another fight. So I wasn't getting better, just maintaining. Whether I turn pro, staying in the gym and getting better is a priority. I would like a belt, I could get one as a pro to, but if a chance to get an amateur belt popped up, it would hold some weight whether I turn pro or not.

Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: Sure, I wanna thank my coaches and gyms. Robert Drysdale at Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu, Gil Martinez and Xtreme Couture. Also my sponsors for this fight,, a bunch of cool guys who support me, Ranger Up, Fight Chix, Pure Form Supplements, face of MMA, Tapout Pro, and Valley Spine Chiropractic Care.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sarah Maloy Interview


You have seen Sarah Maloy on my blog several times and you will see her several more times. There are several reasons, such as, she is a talented fighter, a good positive role model for young fighters, very personable and fun to talk to, and a shinning example of why I do what I do. On April 28th Sarah will fight the talented Michele Gutierrez on the debut Invicta show. It is an all female pro MMA card with several great match-ups and this one will be no exception.

Q: Last time we talked, you had the problem with the Amanda LaVoy fight not happening and everyone temporarily suspended till it was all figured out. Safe to say that's all taken care of?
A: Yes it was. We didn't even have an actually meeting. Location wise it was hard. To my knowledge they never even had a hearing before. So when I got in touch wit the commission he just said "ok you aren't suspended".

Q: This fight coming up is an all female card for Invicta. As a female fighter how exciting is it to be on a card like this?
A: I am extremely excited for so many reasons. This is a huge step for women's MMA to have an entire pro female card, and not just any given pro, you have Strikeforce veterans and Bellator veterans and former champions coming together to fight on this card, and that's amazing in itself. Then to throw in my favorite people like Sam (Wilson) and Janet (Martin) and be able to get on board and help them is an awesome feeling because they do so much for women's MMA. So I am training my hardest and promoting this as much as I can. It's awesome.

Q: You mention the people involved like Janet, Sam and Shannon (Knapp), and they a known to be so supportive of women's MMA. Does that make it more satisfying that people like that are involved?
A: Absolutely. I haven't had much interaction with Shannon, but I look forward to it and have heard great things about her. I have met Janet and Sam and spent time with them and they are amazing people and its an honor to fight for them. It drives my training to give back to them and give them a great fight and make them proud. They are like my MMA God mothers.

Q: Its a loaded card with several big fights. Is there any part of you that says "It sucks, I wanna see those fights but will be warming up or whatever"?
A: Actually I am excited I am not one of the bigger fights. Usually there are one or two female fights so its the main event or close to the end. I don't know about other fighters, but I can't watch fights before me or I get hyped up and come down a then hyped up and come down. With so many fights bigger than me, I will be able to fight and then watch all the amazing fights after me.

Q: Are there any fighters on the card who maybe you haven't seen and are looking forward to?
A: I am excited to see Jessica Philippus make her pro debut. She is someone I have followed, I like to follow as many girls as I can, so I am excited to see her debut. I am excited to see Marloes (Coenen) fight in person. That will be awesome. These are some of the best match-ups have ever seen. They can all go either way and will be action packed fights.

Q: For a promotion that is all female, with women's MMA still considered by some to be a novelty, what will it take to succeed long term?
A: I think to succeed long term women's MMA needs to be what Janet and Shannon are making it. Really promoting it and putting it out there, making the best female fight cards. And they are giving it away for free. Being five or six hours from the venue only a couple car fulls can come watch me fight, and now everyone in my home town can get online and watch the fights That will bring a lot of recognition to female MMA. These fights will be just as good as if not better than some of the male fights they have seen and I think it will just snag them and they will start following.

Q: You are fighting Michele Gutierrez, compared to previous opponents, where would you rank her as far as toughest opponents?
A: I think she's up there. She is a good opponent with good stand-up. She is right up there at the top. I got the opportunity not long ago to fight Sally Krumdiack for a title and she is ranked number five in our weight class. Michele isn't ranked that high but her stand-up skills are right there with Sally, so I am gonna train like I am fighting Cyborg.

Q: You kind of answered my next question, but where do you feel she poses the biggest threat?
A: I think her stand-up, but if she has done research on me she is preparing for the fight to be on the ground as well. I am just gonna be ready for anything. I am training for everything, just got a new wrestling coach I am gonna train with when I get back from Vegas. Just making every aspect of my game better than before.

Q: So is your biggest advantage the ground?
A: I think a little bit. I think my biggest advantage is the unknown of my fight game. There isn't a lot of video out there on me, so the lack of her knowing what my skill level is is going to be my biggest asset.

Q: For a fight like this, how far out do you start game planning for a specific opponent?
A: Usually six to eight weeks out, but this is a big show and can create so many opportunities for me. So we started implementing parts of my game plan while training for my last fight which didn't take place.

Q: Is there a key to winning the fight?
A: I think the key is something that is key for anyone, to dictate where it goes, dictate the pace, take the fight where I want. If t goes where I wasn't expecting, then be prepared for that.

Q: I think I know your answer, but do you have a prediction?
A: Fight of the night.

Q: I expected your "I'm not much of a prediction maker".
A: I am not gonna predict which way it goes cause you never know. I wont predict how it ends, just that we go balls to the wall and get fight of the night.

Q: Any idea what you want after this or not thinking about that now?
A: You know what? I haven't though of what happens after this. I wanna put on a good show and settle into Invicta as a home. Be a part of it coming into its own. But other than that, I haven thought of whats next.

A: You are popular with those of us who cover the women's side of the sport, what do you attribute that to?
A: I don't know haha. I am outgoing, I love to smile, I love people, making new friends and am passionate about what I do. I want to get better and bring positive attention o the sport. I think getting out there and talking to people helps weigh into that.

Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: My husband. He helps with training or teaching classes and is an awesome life partner. My coach Ron and my main training prtners. Chad my manager, he rocks and takes care of business so I can train. My sponsors, Tussle, Slade and Molly are awesome. I wanna give a shout out to Molly. She can fight this breast cancer like a champ. Simpson Family Chiropractic, Branscum Body Shop, Ada Professional Fire Fighters Association, Bcr8tive Designs, Sanctus Fight Gear and BT Fight Management and Marketing. Invicta for giving me this opportunity to fight. All my fans and family who support me. They make things so much better and keep me going when I fall. I wanna thank you Jason. Yo are amazing and do a lot of work for women's MMA and are an inspiration, you show it can be done no matter what.

Q: Thank you for saying that.

Amanda Alger Interview

When I first interviewed Amanda Alger I saw some stage pictures from her first show. She looked decent and showed potential, but also looked nervous. Then I saw pictures when she was getting ready to compete in the same show a year later and was blown away. She had added so much muscle and really improved her physique. Then I saw the pictures from that show, and its no wonder she won. She looked amazing. Her physique was incredible, her posing was so much better and that once nervous looking girl looked confident and sure of herself. Amanda plans to compete three times this year, and I am excited to see what package she brings to the stage because she has the potential to be a real force and do big things in bodybuilding.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I got started in the gym because I worked there my first year of college. It wasn't anything other than getting a job. Then I started working out because you are around it everyday and see people working out. Then I got a trainer who helped me realize my potential with weights and lifting and what not. He ended up being boyfriend and it wasn't a great relationship and we broke up. That pushed me to want to compete because I had nothing left after that. I felt all I could turn to was competing and it was the best decision I ever made. It was a great thing for me.

Q: Looking back to when you started, if someone told you you were gonna get to the point you are now, would you have believed it?
A: Definitely not, I wasn't even aware of bodybuilding competitions until about two years ago when I started lifting. In the magazines there are the pictures of competitors, and I knew nothing about it and never thought it would be me. Getting on stage is where it got real, and then after a year of meeting some amazing people who compete or are involved in the industry, I have grown to love the lifestyle it has provided for me. And then competing and winning this past year, I feel like its been a hell of a ride and I don't regret any of it. I never would have believed my life would take this turn.

Q: When I look at pictures from the 2010 New England's, you looked confident but also nervous, is that accurate?
A: I would say that is definitely accurate. I was really nervous my first year. All sixteen weeks of prep I kept thinking "How am I going to get on stage", I went through it, did the dieting, cardio, workouts, but it didn't get real till I was on stage at pre-judge. Then after I got second place the first thing I said to my friend was "I really did it, it happened". So it was obvious I was nervous, but I did have confidence that I put in the work to get there. As soon as I was finished I couldn't wait to get on stage again. In 2011 it was obvious I loved every second of being on stage. Its a feeling you cant describe to someone who hasn't felt it.

Q: From then till the 2011 New England's I was amazed at the amount of muscle you added in one year. Obvious our goal is always to add muscle, but was it a goal where you said you felt you had to add more size or did it just happen?
A: Actually no, it just happened. I didn't plan on getting bigger like that. What happened was, for the last eight years of my life I struggled with eating disorders so I never ate a lot of calories and fed my body for the kind of building for the potential I have. After my first show, I didn't know if I was gonna compete again. I wanted to get back on stage, but didn't know if I wanted to go through the process again. During the off season I had no plans to compete and ate what I wanted, food wasn't a fear anymore. So I fed my body the way it needed to build, and I just grew. I didn't expect it. I lifted really really heavy with a group who really did push me. Once I dieted down and saw how big I was I was like "wow, I really did add a lot of size" haha.This year once I finished prep I decided to just focus on muscle fullness. Not stay where I am at, but didn't go crazy with he eating and building.

Q: Dumb question, but at the 2011 New England's you won the overall, how happy were you?
A: Oh my God, I cant even describe it. Everyone was telling me I had first, but I never believed it. All day long I stayed humble. If I took last or first I would have felt just as accomplished, but getting first overall I never saw. I cant describe it, it makes the twenty-four week prep worth it. You come to times were you question if its worth it, but getting overall makes you know it was worth it.

Q: You say you didn't believe you had a chance, but from what I saw, you just looked two levels above everyone else. Can you look at pictures now and see you were that good?
A: Yes and no. Its a hard thing and I am sure anyone who has done it can sympathize that when you look at pictures its still hard to believe its you. You don't see yourself like that and we are all our own worst critics. Weeks, days and minutes out we are still picking apart our bodies. You always question where your limits. Looking at pictures now I see where my competition was, but I look to see where I can bring myself up. I could have been dryer and leaner. Its more using competition for my own improvements. Backstage the girls are all in the same boat and its hard to view them and say "I am better than that girl". Its not in my nature.

Q: I also noticed your posing was a million times better, is that something you put a lot of effort into improving?
A: Oh yeah! That was a big thing. After I saw the pictures from 2010, other than obvious things I needed to change, I could tell my posing needed to me more precise and I could improve how I looked based on posing. So I hired and OCB judge to help me pose. I saw him every week. Everyone said I knew how to pose and just needed to practice, but I felt that one hour a week with him and practicing every chance I got, all made it work and come together. It was one of my biggest improvements. For a bodybuilder working that hard to be on stage, you might as well make your posing worth it, ti demonstrates how rd you worked to get there. Learn the poses that work best for your body and your muscles.

Q: When you train, do you have a set routine you follow or do you like to change it up?
A: I really hate change. If I could keeep the same routine fifty-two weeks a year it would be great, but its not practical. You have to add in certain things for lagging muscles, include isolation things. For things like squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows, bench press, curls, the general exercises I keep it the same, but add in a little extra. I have a tendency to over train, its hard to tell yourself enough is enough. But I do change my splits every three weeks or so.

Q: In the gym, you are a beautiful girl, and women your size are not common, does it cause unwanted attention?
A: yeah, that's a really big problem, the one downside of the industry. For me its not social hour, I set aside time for that. When I am in the gym, I am there for usually a limited time and have things I need to do. I planned out what I need to do and it doesn't allow time for me to sit and talk about how I got to be this size, and what I eat, and what to do for abs. Everyone has a question and I don't mind that, but its also negative attention from men. I deserve the same respect as any other woman. You wouldn't talk that way to your mother or sister so why talk that way to me? My boyfriend is awesome about it. If it is a distraction for me, he makes sure he handles it for me. It makes it easier to focus. I do take it a little to personal sometimes. Girls like us are rare, and its taboo so I understand the curiosity, but we aren't freaks.

Q: When you are in public, do you dress to show it off or cover it up to avoid attention?
A: You know, my first year bodybuilding I would say it was about showing it off. I was always a little smaller so the first year I enjoyed showing it off. But this past year, since I took first at New England's, it's changed in my head. I don't want the attention, I am not sure how far I would go to avoid attention. There are certain gyms I wont go to or at a different time. I understand wanting to show it off, but I don't dress like that anymore.

Q: You recently posted some photo shoot pictures where you look great, is that something you want to do more of?
A: Oh my gosh yes. I love the modeling. The two shoots I did after New England's, with Bill mack and Mike at MTM, were the first two I did like that. I surprised people with it. I surprised myself because I never had done a sexy photo shoot with the softer side of muscle. Didnt know I was capable after it. Then I got the proofs back and was like "that's me? I cant believe it". This year I plan on doing three shows I think, but would like to keep going with the modeling and try and maybe get a sponsorship that way instead of needing to get on stage to do it.

Q: Outside of how it makes you feel, is it something were it allows you to say "look bodybuilders can be sexy"?
A: Yes absolutely! I am also a trainer so I know for women the idea of having muscle can be scary. Clients say they don't want to be as muscular as me or look like a guy. You don't have to worry about looking like a guy, the female body can hold a lot of muscle, but most women don't train their body like that or eat like that. I am sure some women would love to be more muscular but worry what their husband would think or if its attractive. I am biased but I think female bodybuilders are the most beautiful people on the planet. Look at Debbie Bramwell, she is stunning, there are so many out there that I aspire to be like cause they have the muscle, the attitude and a sweet side.

Q: Before we finish, did you want to add anything?
A: I encourage people to follow me this year. I plan to be more public with my updates on shows. I plan to do three shows this year, starting at Empire States on July 7th and am thinking about the Hartord Europa and maybe Team Universe and maybe go for my pro card. I am doing things different this year, more carbs than ever. I do hope everyone follows along and stays supportive. The constant support from family, friends, and even people I haven't met eye to eye.That makes me feel like sticking it out. People who hope you make the best of yourself, those are people you don't want to let down.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

NAAFS Combat Challenge 19 Report

On March 24th NAAFS put on Combat Challenge 19. A really solid amateur card with some potential stars. Some really exciting finishes Highlighted by a brutal knock out by Shane Holbert. Also impressive performances by Josh Lasich who not only won, but defeated an undefeated amateur champion in under a minute, as well as once again Fadi Shuman putting on a great performance. Keep an eye on Shuman, he has star written all over him. On a night with several female bouts, Ashley Hawkins was the stand-out for me, as she showed she is one of the top female prospects in the area. Roya Darvishian also impressed me and I felt she was robbed in a decision she should have won. This was a card that really displayed why the NAAFS is one of the top organizations in the sort when it comes to amateur fighters.

1. Amateur 115LBS
Rebecca Heintzman (0-0 Power of One MMA) vs Roya Darvishian (1-1 Bowie MMA)

RD 1: Jab and leg kick by Heintzman. The fighters trade hard shots. Jab by Darvishian. They trade leg kicks. Jab by Heintzman. Hook by Darvishian. Head and body combo by Darvishian. Hook by Darvishian. Three punch combo by Darvishian. Heintzman has a small cut on her nose. Jab to the body and hook to the head by Darvishian. Darvishian lands a hard hook. Leg kick by Heintzman. Hook by Darishian.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Darvishian

RD 2: Jab by Darvishian. Heintzman charges in but eats several shots. Leg kick by Darvishian. Jab to the body by Darvishian. Hard cross by Darvishian. Darvishian has a bloody nose but didn't see where it came from. They clinch on the cage and Heintzman tries for a takedown. Knee to the body by Darvishian. Heintzman is trying hard to get the takedown. Knee to the body by Darvishian. Heintzman gets the takedown and lands a hammer fist. Darvishian tries for an arm. Heintzman lands knees to the body as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Darvishian

RD 3: They come out trading hard shots. Leg kick by Darvishian. Heinzman shoots and gets a takedown. Darvishian defends well on the bottom. Heintzman postures up and lands a hammer fist. Punch from the bottom by Darvishian. Heintzman lands an elbow to the body. Punch to the body by Heintzman. Heintzman is now in half guard. Darvishian pulls full guard and goes for an arm but the round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Heintzman
My score card: 29-28 Darvishian

Result: Rebecca Heintzman by Split Decision (29-28/28-29/29-28)

2. Amateur Lightweight
Fadi Shuman (1-0 Mad Dog Fight Team) vs Keagan O'Neill (3-0 Dungeon MMA)

RD 1: Kick to the body by Shuman. They clinch on the cage and Shuman lands a knee to the body. O'Neill looks for a guillotine and it looks tight. Shuman pulls his head out. O'Neill lands an uppercut. They clinch against the cage and trade knees. O'Neill tries for a single leg but can't get it. They separate and Shuman lands a nice hook. O'Neill shoots but good sprawl by Shuman. O'Neill still trying to finish the takedown. Body shots by Shuman. They stand and are still clinched. Shuman picks him up and slams him. Shuman gets the mount but the round ends before he can do anything.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Shuman

RD 2: They clinch in the center and move to the cage. Shuman is trying for a single and gets it and moves to mount. Punches by Shuman. Shuman gets his back and the rear naked for the tap.

Result: Fadi Shuman by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at :53 of Round 2

3. Amateur 135LBS
Ashley Rickard (3-1 4th Down) vs Trisha Barr (4-5 Team Kana)

RD 1: Three punch combo by Barr. Hook by Barr. They clinch in the center but quickly separate. Rickard lands a kick to the body. Hook by Barr and another. They clinch in the center and Barr lands punches and pulls out. Hook by Barr and another. Uppercut by Barr. Two hooks by Barr. Three punch combo by Barr. Hard hook by Barr. Two jabs by Barr. Hook by Barr. Ricard charges in and clinches. They trade shots to end the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Barr

RD 2: Rickard shoots and gets the takedown. Barr gets her back and looks for a rear naked. Rickard defends it well. Rickard rolls and is in Barr's guard. Hard punch by Rickard. Hard body shots by Rickard. More body shots by Rickard. Barr uses good wrist control and avoids more damage.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Rickard

RD 3: They clinch and Rickard pulls guard and drops down. Rickard goes for an arm and gets it for the tap.

Result: Ashely Rickard by Tapout (Armbar) at :31 of Round 3

4. Devonte Smith (1-1 Brick House MMA) vs Joe Callari (2-4 Griffon Rawl)

RD 1: Leg kick by Callari. They clinch on the cage with Callari looking for a takedown. Body shots by Smith. Callari gets the takedown. Callari is warned for holding the fence. The ref warns them to work and then stands them up. Leg kick by Callari. Smith has him backing up with a hook. They clinch on the cage and Callari looks for a takedown. Head shots by smith. Body shots by Smith. Callari still looks for the takedown as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Smith

RD 2: Leg kick by Callari and then one from Smith. Leg kick by Callari and another. Smith lands a leg kick. They clinch against the cage and Callari looks for a takedown. Smith defends it well. The ref separates them and Callari lands a leg kick. They trade hard shots and clinch on the cage. Hard shots by Smith. Knee to the leg by Callari.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Callari

RD 3: Jab by Callari. Leg kick by Callari. Callari gets a takedown but Smith ends up on top. Smith lands hard shots and gets his back. More hard shots by Smith. Smith stands and drops punches to the body. More hard shots by Smith. Smith moves into side control. Callari is able to pull guard. Callari sweeps and gets mount. Body shots by Callari. Smith sweeps and gets o top and lands shots. Hammer fist Smith. More shots and the ref stops it. Not too sure about the stoppage here.

Result: Devonte Smith by TKO at 2:52 of Round 3

5. Amateur 130LBS
Ashley Hawkins (2-1 Independent) vs Angie Reinhardt (1-1 Power of One MMA)

RD 1: They trade hooks. Leg kick by Hawkins. Jab by Hawkins. They clinch and move to the cage. Takedown by Reinhardt. Reinhardt is bleeding bad from the nose. Hawkins is able to stand and they clinch on the cage. Knees by Hawkins. More knees from Hawkins. Knee by Reinhardt. The ref separates them. Hook by Hawkins. They clinch against the cage and Hawkins lands head shots.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Hawkins

RD 2: They come out trading shots. Hard leg kick by Hawkins. They clinch on the cage and Hawkins looks for a guillotine. Body shots by Hawkins. Head shots by Hawkins. Foot stomp by Hawkins. They separate and Hawkins lands hard punches. Hawkins gets a takedown and moves to side control. Head shots by Hawkins. Reinhardt tries to stand and Hawkins lands body shots.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Hawkins

RD 3: They trade leg kicks. Hook by Reinhardt. They clinch and move to the cage. Reinhardt's nose is bleeding really bad. Knee to the body by Reinhardt. Knees from Hawkins. Foot stomp by Hawkins. Reinhardt tries for takedown. They trade knees. Hawkins tries for a takedown. Knee to the body by Hawkins. They separate and trade hard shots as the round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Hawkins
My score card: 30-27 Hawkins

Result: Ashley Hawkins by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)

6. Amateur Welterweight
Tony Johnson (3-1 Team Hybrid/Sam's Gym) vs Josh Krizan (3-1 The Wrestling Factory Cleveland)

RD 1: They trade shots. Hook by Krizan. Takedown by Krizan. Krizan gets his back. Johnson is trying hard to stand. Body shots by Krizan. Head shots by Krizan. Krizan gets his back again. Krizan looks for a rear naked but Johnson holds on till the end of the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Krizan

RD 2: They clinch against the cage and Krizan gets a takedown. Good defense by Johnson. Krizan gets his back. Krizan decides to stand but it allows Johnson to get his back. Krizan gets into guard. Krizan stands and lets Johnson up. Krizan hurts him with a body shot. Krizan takes him down and gets his back but the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Krizan

RD 3: Johnson looks real tired. They clinch and Krizan hurts with punches and takes him down. Krizan stands and lets him up. Takedown by Johnson. Krizan rolls and gets his back but can't do any damage.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Krizan
My score card: 30-27 Krizan

Result: Josh Krizan by Unanimous Decision (3-27/30-27/29-28)

7. Amateur 120LBS
Ashley Delk (1-0 B&G Gym/Hahn's Martial Arts) vs Rebecca Gruitza (2-2 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: They clinch in the center and Delk gets a takedown. Gruitza lands shots from the bottom. Delk lands from the top as Gruitza looks for a choke. Head shots by Gruitza. Gruitza is trying hard for the triangle and holds the position for a lengthy time but can't get it as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Gruitza

RD 2: They trade hard shots and Delk gets a takedown. Gruitza tries for the triangle. Delk lands head shots. Gruitza switches to an armbar and gets it for the tap.

Result: Rebecca Gruitza by Tapout (Armbar) at 1:22 of Round 2

8. Amateur Middleweight
Chad Catri (3-2 Relson Gracie Sandusky) vs Shane Holbert (3-1 Buckeye MMA)

RD 1: They trade shots. Holbert hurts him with a hook. Two hard leg kicks by Holbert. Takedown by Catri. Head shots by Catri. More head shots from Catri. Catri gets his back but Holbert gets up. Holbert lands a hook that puts him out cold.

Result: Shane Holbert by KO at 2:26 of Round 1

9. Amateur Featherweight
Dominic Mazzotta (3-1 Ed Vincent MMA) vs A.J. Carl (5-2 Griffon Rawl)

RD 1: They trade leg kicks. Carl shoots in by Mazzotta gets his back. Head shots by Mazzotta. Mazzotta looks for a rear naked. Head shots by Mazzotta. Mazzotta again looking for a rear naked and gets it for the tap.

Result: Dominic Mazzotta by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:42 of Round 1

10. Amateur Light Heavyweight
Wayne Lanum )5-0 Buckeye Training & Fitness Academy) vs Tony Hodges (3-2 Team Prototype)

RD 1: Lot's of circling. Lanum charges in and clinches against the cage. Knee to the body by Lanum. Hodges tries for a single leg but cant get it. Lanum tries for a double leg and gets it. Hodges avoids damage. Short body shots by Lanum. The ref stands them. Cross by Hodges.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Lanum

RD 2: Lot's of circling. They trade hard shots. Leg kick by Lanum. Hodges tries for a takedown and they clinch on the cage. Foot stomp by Lanum. Knee to the body by Hodges. Hodges tries fora single leg but Lanum instead gets a nice takedown. Lanum gets side control. Hodges gets half guard. Head shots by Lanum.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Lanum

RD 3: Jab by Lanum and then he gets a takedown. Hodges tries for a guillotine but isn't in a good position for it. Body shots by Lanum. Head shots by Lanum. Hodges works and gets on top. The ref stands them. Cross by Lanum. Both fighters look tired. Leg kick by Lanum.
I scored R 3: 10-9 Lanum
My score card: 30-27 Lanum

Result: Wayne Lanum by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)

11. Amateur 115LBS
Ronda Gale (4-3 Dungeon MMA) vs Rachel Sazoff (2-2 Ricardo Almeida BJJ)

RD 1: They trade hard shots. Body kick by Gale. They clinch and Sazoff lands head shots. Sazoff looks for a double leg and gets the takedown. Sazoff gets side control. Gale gets half guard, but Sazoff gets side control again. Gale works hard to stand and does. Body shots by Gale. Sazoff lands a punch to the leg. Sazoff gets a takedown to end the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Sazoff

RD 2: Kick to the body by Gale. They clinch against the cage and Sazoff looks for a takedown. Sazoff gets the takedown and side control. Sazoff gets her back and lands hard punches. Gale works hard to escape and manages to get into Sazoff's guard. Hammer fist by Gale. Gale lands hard head shots and then body shots.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Gale

RD 3: They trade hard shots. Leg kick by Gale. Cross by Gale. Hook by Gale. Cross by Sazoff. Sazoff clinches on the cage and looks for a takedown. Sazoff gets the takedown and side control Sazoff lands head shots. Sazoff gets mount and lands short head shots.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Sazoff
My score card: 29-28 Sazoff

Result: Rachel Sazoff by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/29-28)

12. Amateur Welterweight
Josh Lasich (3-0 Evolve MMA) vs Dave Lastafka (6-0 Vanyo Fight Team)

RD 1: Leg kick by Lasich. Lasich shoots in and gets a takedown. Lastafka stands but Lasich pulls him back down and gets an Achilles lock for the tap.

Result: Josh Lasich by Tapout (Achilles Lock) at :31 of Round 1

Submission of the Night: Ashley Rickard

KO of the Night: Shane Holbert

Fight of the Night: Ashely Hawkins vs Angie Reinhardt