Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UFC Title Picture

With UFC 89 and 90 taking place within a span of seven days, here is the current breakdown of the UFC Title picture.

LW- BJ Penn(Champ)- BJ will fight GSP at 170 before returning to 155. The bout will take place on January 31st at UFC 94.

Contenders- Kenny Florian v. Joe Stevenson- rumored to be the fight for number one contender. The fight takes place at UFC 91.
Sean Sherk- recent victory over Tyson Griffin at UFC 90 moves him closer to another shot at reclaiming the title.
Nate Diaz- has put together 5 straight victories in the UFC, recently against Josh Neer. A rumored bout with Clay Guida has been scratched as Guida injured his foot.
Gray Maynard- has 4 straight victories, momentarily crushing Rich Clementi and Frank Edgar's title hopes.
Roger Huerta- shot at a title dashed by Kenny Florian.
BJ Penn Pictures, Images and Photos

WW- Georges St. Pierre(Champ) v. BJ Penn- The fight will take place at UFC 94.

Contenders- Thiago Alves- With dominating performances over Josh Kosheck at UFC 90, Matt Hughes at UFC 85 and Karo Parisyan at UFN 13, Alves is next in line for a title shot.
Jon Fitch- Recently lost a five round fight with St. Pierre, probably needs a win or two to get another shot.
Diego Sanchez- has two wins in a row since back to back decision losses to Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch.
Josh Koscheck- Title hopes put on hold after loss to Alves.
Jake Shields- I'd like to see the Elite XC champ come to the UFC and fight a top tier opponent or two before a title shot.

MW- Anderson Silva(Champ)- Anderson is sitting pretty on top of the division with his latest victory over Patrick Cote. Anderson could turn up at 205 before another fight at 185, but we will see. Anderson was not pleased with his performance at UFC 90 and would like to jump back in the UFC as soon as possible.

Contenders- Yushin Okami v. Dean Lister- A win by Okami at UFC 92 could thrust him into the number one spot. Okami won over Silva via disqualification in January of 2006 for a an upkick that KO'd Okami while he was still on his knees.
Dan Henderson v. Rich Franklin v. Michael Bisping- The word on the street is that the winner of Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin at UFC 93 will coach TUF 9 opposite Michael Bisping. The overall winner could get a shot at Silva.
Thales Leites- five victories in a row since his loss to Martin Kampmann. That includes a controversial win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 85.
Nate Marquardt- recently won in dominant fashion over Martin Kampmann after the Leites loss. Needs another victory to get a rematch with Anderson Silva.
Robbie Lawler- could get into the UFC sooner rather than later. Lawler is 8-1 since leaving the UFC capturing the Elite XC belt.
Cung Le- the movie star and Strikeforce MW champ presents an interesting stand-up match-up for Anderson Silva.
anderson silva Pictures, Images and Photos

LHW- Forrest Griffin(Champ) v. Rashad Evans- This match for the light heavyweight title will take place on the stacked UFC 92 card.

Contenders- Lyoto Machida- has won five straight including a victory over Tito Ortiz.
Rampage Jackson v. Wanderlei Silva- the winner of this UFC 92 bout could be setting himself up for a title shot.
Keith Jardine- Recent win over Brandon Vera, but before that was knocked out cold by Wanderlei Silva.
Chuck Liddell- recently lost to Rashad Evans.
Rich Franklin- recently won over Matt Hamill in his recent fight at 205. Has an upcoming match with Dan Henderson at UFC 93.
forrest griffin Pictures, Images and Photos

HW- Randy Couture(HW Champ) v. Brock Lesnar- This match will be for the heavyweight title at UFC 91 on November 15th. Winner to face the victor below in their next bout to unify the title:

HW(I)- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira(HW Champ Interim) v. Frank Mir- After Couture's brief second retirement, the UFC decided to put an interim belt HW belt on the line which Nogueira beat Tim Sylvia for.

*This is basically a four man tournament for the unified belt. Both matches should be very entertaining and are highly anticipated.

Other contenders- Fabricio Werdum's potential title hopes were shot down in his loss to Junior dos Santos. Cain Valesquez and Shane Carwin have looked impressive with each capturing first round TKO's in their first two victories. Cheick Kongo hasn't been able to put three straight victories together in a row. Heath Herring alternates wins and losses.
randy couture Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, October 26, 2008

UFC 90: Silva Chicago Style

The AllState Arena was packed to the gills this Saturday, October 25th, 2008. The sold out crowd that produced a record breaking 2.8 million dollar gate featured some entertaining fights.

I had floor seats with a couple friends and we were delighted to get to meet and greet with Dan Henderson, Mark Coleman and Hermes Franca. Others in attendence were Matt Hughes, Dan Severn, Jeff Samardzija, Clay Guida, Rashad Evans, Georges St. Pierre and other UFC stars.

The Chicago crowd left somewhat dissappointed as there were 6 decisions and 3 to start the show, and a main card bout that featured one of the odder title fights in some time. There weren't as many fans booing as many are making it out to be. It wasn't any different than a Las Vegas, England, Ohio or any other crowd.


Pete Sell def Josh Burkman via Decision (Unanimous)- Sell looked quick and sharp as he outdueled Burkman. Sell is a guy that could move up the ladder at 170.

Hermes Franca def Marcus Aurelio via Decision (Unanimous)- Hermes ran into Aurelio before the fight even started, creating more buzz about the fight. Unfortunately, it was pretty slow as there was alot of circling and not much action.

Dan Miller def Matt Horwich via Decision (Unanimous)- This fight turned into mainly a grappling match as Miller ground out a unanimous decision.

Spencer Fisher def Shannon Gugerty via Sub (Triangle Choke) R3, 3:56

Thales Leites def Drew McFedries via Sub (Rear Naked choke) R1, 1:18- Leites was able to stop the one-dimensional McFedries with a quick submission.

Sean Sherk def Tyson Griffin via Decision (Unanimous)- This was a pretty entertaining fight as Sherk almost got the victory in the first with a rear naked choke. Sherk controlled the rest of the fight getting takedowns and landing punches.
Junior dos Santos def Fabricio Werdum via TKO (Punches) R1 1:21- This fight ended quickly, with Junior dos Santos crushing Werdum's shot at a top contender spot. Dos Santos used a right uppercut to strike Werdum clean sending him to the canvas.
Gray Maynard def Rich Clementi via Decision (Unanimous)- Maynard frustrated Clementi throughout the fight with superior wrestling. Maynard tried to work ground and pound, but really didn't do much damage.

Thiago Alves def Josh Koscheck via Decision (Unanimous)- Alves dominated the fight from start to finish dropping Koscheck with a left hand in the first. He threw snapping leg kicks throughout the fight keeping Koscheck off balance. Koscheck was tough throughout, occasionally landing shots. Alves however reigned supreme, making it one step closer to a title shot.
Anderson Silva def Patrick Cote via TKO (Injured knee) R3 0:39- Silva and Cote started out tenative with Cote trying to attack Silva with punches. Silva was content to counter, throwing kicks and jabs.

Silva continued to play the counter game circling and throwing power shots. Silva was able to catch Cote with a kick across the jaw and body kicks. Near the end of the round, Anderson was able to get a takedown.

In the third, was bouncing to set up a shot when it looked like his right knee buckled. In a bit of confusion, the fight was called. Many around me were asking what the heck had happened. With 6 fights going to decision and 5 hours of fights, the crowd was not pleased at the result of the main card bout. Anderson did look impressive at stretches, but there was some inactivity. I have a feeling Anderson will put on a nasty display in his next bout.
*All photos taken by MMA Blaster

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ICF Power of Champions Main Card

Story by Joseph Egloff of MMA Blaster

ICF Power of Champions at Parris Island, South Carolina featured a monumental night of fights. They were the first legal mixed martial arts bouts in the state of South Carolina. While the state of South Carolina still bans mma, Parris Island is a federally owned Marine base.

The bouts were fought in a hexagon style cage with a gray floor and black fence. I was seated about five feet from the cage at a table with Marines press and representatives from sponsors Grand Champ MMA and Omega Fightwear.


Norman Jones def Justin Granet via TKO(ref stoppage), 3:22 R3 - This fight turned out to be an entertaining fight as Norman Jones(white trunks) and Justin Granet opted to mainly stand and trade. Jones, who is also a pro boxer, had good head movement and occasionally baited Granet in by dropping his hands. Granet was content to throw quite a few leg kicks with most landing with a good snap. The first round was Granet’s best as he came close to getting a rear naked choke and armbar.
The second round saw Jones throwing the better combinations on his feet, finding his rhythm and timing. At this point, Jones was shaking off Granet's leg kicks. Jones was able to land some knees and power punches taking the second round.
In the third, Jones was able to throw Granet to the ground on a couple occasions and effectively used his ground and pound. Jones threw more effective combinations, with blood and sweat popping off Granet after crisp punches. While continuing to pour it on and inflict damage throughout the round, the ref called a stop to the bout.
After the fight I was able to have a couple words with Norman. When asked about Granet’s kicks, he said, “I was like man, stop throwing them kicks, your leg is going to be sore tomorrow.” Norman then proceeded to demonstrate his head movement and a left right combination. Norman is a pretty funny guy.

At weigh-ins I had asked each fighter about pre-fight jitters as each was entering their first pro fight. Norman said, “you gotta have jitters or you aren’t prepared.” Justin, who was extremely calm, stated he just relaxes and takes it easy.

Josh Robertson def. Joe Trevino- 3:07 R1- TKO- These two competitors were the only ones with bad blood during the weigh-ins and press conference. Josh had apparently carried a grudge with Joe after one of Joe’s students pulled out of a fight with him. Joe said he would beat his ass. With all the ill will, I asked Josh if he intended to knock Trevino out. Josh said that he would submit Joe in the first round.
The fight started with Josh quickly getting a takedown and then securing full mount. It seemed that Josh was throwing punches to set up an armbar, or get Joe to roll into a rear naked choke attempt. Trevino didn’t give Josh that opportunity, instead trying only to block the punches. Despite not every punch landing, Trevino just wasn’t doing anything to improve his position. The ref called the stoppage.

The crowd was not at all happy about the stoppage, and it was the only time we heard boo’s all night. If you aren’t improving your position with taking punches for a minute and a half on the ground, usually the ref is calling the fight.

Larry Landry def. Shah Bobonis via sub(rear naked choke), 3:08 R1- TKO- “Hollywood” Shah Bobonis came out dancing to Akon’s, “We Taking Over” looking loose and ready to go in Black Brawl and Maul shorts. The “Lethal Leprechaun” Larry Landry came out to Eminem’s, “Lose Yourself,” and was by far the hometown favorite.

Both fighters were looking to stand and trade in the opening frame. Shah was able to land a perfectly placed spinning backfist, and then threw a high kick that struck Larry’s head. With Shah thinking Larry was dazed, he went to engage again. However, this time as Shah threw a straight right, Larry countered with a right hook.
The hook landed flush to the side of Shah’s temple and dazed him. Larry didn’t waste anytime punching and getting a slam takedown, following it up with more punches before sinking in the rear naked choke. At this point the hometown crowd was going absolutely crazy as Larry had secured the ICF Featherweight Belt in an awesome come from behind victory.
Following the fight, I asked Shah what happened after the high kick landed. He said, “man, I clipped him with the high kick, check out my leg.” Looking down I saw a small cut on Shah’s shin with dried blood. “I never hit anyone like that who didn’t go down.” When asked about the hook, Shah said, “I don’t remember anything after I was hit in the temple. “
A jubilant Larry Landry thanked his wife and kid, as well as Omega Fightwear. “My wife is my number one sponsor,” remarked Larry as he gave her praise for putting up with his lifestyle. I asked Larry about the head kick, and he said, “I wasn’t stunned, it hit me but didn’t stun me.” When asked what punch finished him off Shah, Larry remarked that he countered Shah’s punch with a hook. One thing is for sure, Larry's head is as hard as a rock.

Muhsin Corbbrey def. Jason Nicholson- :28 R1- KO(knee)- Both fighters circled briefly before Muhsin landed a thunderous kick to the thigh of Jason Nicholson that let out a big smack that could be heard throughout the venue. Jason came in to engage throwing his own kick before looking for a takedown. Muhsin used the opportunity to throw a nasty right knee to flush on Jason’s head. Jason went down to the ground and Muhsin followed, but it wasn’t necessary as the ref had already stepped in. Muhsin takes the 155 pound Lightweight Belt.
Muhsin wanted to thank his friend Joey in Iraq as he has been an inspiration in his life. When I asked about what knocked Jason out, Muhsin said, “right knee man, pop” as he mimicked the move he had just thrown to win the ICF Belt.
muhsin corbbrey
Jason Nicholson has to be given tremendous credit for taking the fight as many other fighters had turned down the opportunity. Jason engaged with the Elite XC veteran, not backing down, and gave it his all. Even though he lost, he showed some serious heart and courage.
*Once again, I would like to thank Rico(black suit above) and Rich(black t-shirt above) from the ICF for their hospitality and press pass. I would also like to thank all the guys at Grand Champ MMA and Omega Fightwear.
*Thanks also to Brent Bishop Photography, check out www.brentbishop.net
*I'll have three posts to this event, the Main Card, the Undercard, then a post about my adventure.
*We will see Muhsin fight again in the ICF sooner rather than later as Elite XC is closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy.

ICF Power of Champions Undercard

Story by Joseph Egloff of MMA Blaster

Efrain Lopez def. Arti Goodist via sub(rear naked choke), :45 R1- This was the first legal mma fight in the state of South Carolina. The bout unraveled quickly as Efrain landed a quick right hand, got a double leg takedown, and then was able to get mount to a rear naked choke. Efrain was extremely happy with the result as he jumped on top of the cage almost going over. The crowd went nuts.
Chris "Chaos" Scott def Mike Shannon via sub(armbar), :40 R1– Mike Shannon came out aggressive getting a good slam takedown that produced a good noise from the floor. With the crowd whipped up, Scott got to his feet and threw a body kick which Shannon used to take him down again. Scott was then able to get his hips out and secure a slick armbar from his back forcing a tapout.
Frank Joseph def. Joshua Lawson via KO(punch), :12 R1- Lawson started by throwing a low kick which didn’t quite find its mark. The fighters engaged and Frank Joseph landed a nasty combination with a right hand that landed flush. It happened right in front of the press table as you could hear the loud smack when Joseph connected. Lawson was dropped to the canvas like a sack of rocks with the punch. Joseph followed him to the ground but no additional punches were thrown as Lawson was out cold.
Dimitri Turner def. Coulton Rucker via TKO(punches), 1:10 R1- Turner and Rucker put as much action into a minute and ten seconds as possible. Turner who had his hair dyed burnt orange exchanged with Rucker before a quick takedown. The two fighters got in a precarious north south position with Turner looking to get a reverse figure four on the head. After rolling out, Turner threw punches until the ref stopped the fight.
Jason Prusinowski def. Travis Shiflett via Unanimous Decision- All three rounds went to Jason as he was almost able to finish Travis with a rear naked choke on three different occasions. Jason set up the submission attempts with lateral like takedowns. Jason was able to work side control and get mount in each round. Travis did a good job rolling out of the rear naked choke, keeping hand control and turning into his opponent. Jason almost got an armbar as time expired.
Josh McGee def Joseph Tauscher via Sub(guillotine), 2:22 R1- Joe was able to start the fight off with a nice slam double leg takedown. McGee looked for an armbar, but Joe was able to slam his way out of it as both fighter got back to their feet. Joe was able to get another takedown with a little less umph behind it. After a scramble, McGee, who was looking for a submission the entire fight was able to sink in a guillotine.
Lizzy Miller def Julie Roseberry via Sub(Guillotine) 1:57 R1- The first women’s mma bout in South Carolina was an explosive match and the most exciting of the undercard fights. The fighters engaged throwing nasty combo’s as each fighter landed shots. Julie seemed to sneak a couple more in at the start of the match, followed up with a body lock to a takedown.
Julie stood up from there, and threw some leg kicks to a grounded Miller. The ref stood the fighters up shortly after and Miller snuck in some punches before securing a quick guillotine that forced the stoppage. Such an entertaining two minutes. The crowd was going absolutely crazy at this point as they had witnessed a superb comeback victory for Lizzy Miller. Miller (Sprawl Shorts) at 19 years old is a fighter to look out for in the future.

Below are pictures of the venue about two hours before fight time. The venue got pretty full before the first fight. Also there is a picture of the ring girls with the Omega Girls.
*I should have the names right, let me know if you see an error.

*With a great night of fights completed, I would probably say the fight of the night was a toss-up between Lizzy Miller v. Julie Roseberry and Larry Landry v. Shah Bobonis. They were each explosive fights that had the crowd whipped up into a frenzy with come from behind victories.

TUF Episode 6 - Brown Out

In this past week's episode of The Ultimate Fighter reality show we finally get to see Junie fight again after all the hype. I really hope the later episodes focus more on the training and less on the Junie antics. The episode kicks off with Mir asking Junie if he wanted to take out Roli Delgado. Delgado is a skinny 6'3" 155 pound fighter, who Junie sees as a nerd and team Mir's weakest link.

Celebrating the win, Team Mir coaches go to the TUF house. While there Frank Mir asks Roli about getting his black belt. Roli has a long a circular story. Simple fact is belts don't really matter too much when punches are flying.

Junie does his usual trash talking routine, which at this point is getting kind of old. Everyone on team Nogueira wants Junie to lose as they are sick of his antics. At fight selection, Junie takes a blackbelt with McDojo BJJ on it and throws it at Roli's feet and pushes him. Then he spits on it.

At this point Anderson Silva, Antonio Nogueira and quite a few other guys are very angry. They see it as a sign of disrespect. Roli next seen with Stankie, Al Stankiewicz, the veteran trainer throwing punches in a training montage. Stankie is a master motivator, keeping his fighter in high spirit as Roli hits his targets.

After Junie struggles to make 156, the fight is on. The first round is all Delgado who lands jabs, leg kicks, body kicks and combo's. Junie is able to catch a couple kicks and send Delgado to the floor by sweeping the plant leg, but Delgado keeps popping up. Junie showboats by allowing Roli to tag him with free shots, but this just gives the round to Delgado.

In the second, Junie starts finding his mark with his jab and body punches. Near the end of the round, he hits Roli flush and probably gets a flash KO. Roli regains his composure and makes it back to his feet. As the round ends, another overtime round is required.

In the third, Junie continues to find his mark with Delgado throwing mainly counters. Junie probably wins of getting Delgado down after a kick then standing over him throwing leg kicks. A tough fight ends and Junie gets the split decision victory. One thing is for sure, some serious kinks have been found in Junie's armor.
junie browning tattoo Pictures, Images and Photos
*Junie's hand grenade tattoo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WEC 36

On November 5th, 2008, WEC 36 will be held in Hollywood, Fla and broadcast live on Versus. Here are the announced matches on Versus.com.

Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown (FW Title)
Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen (MW Title)
Leonard Garcia vs. Jens Pulver
Nissen Osterneck vs. Jake Rosholt
Donald Cerrone vs. Rob McCullough

David Avellan vs. Aaron Simpson
Jose Aldo vs. Jonathan Brookins
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Rani Yayha
Steve Steinbeiss vs. TBA
Danny Castillo vs. TBA

*Urijah Faber pic found on photobucket.com

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spectacular - Muhsin Corbbrey

In depth exclusive by Joseph Egloff of MMA Blaster, text copyrighted

“Look for something spectacular” is the mantra for mixed martial arts veteran Muhsin Corbbrey going into his next fight against Jason Nicholson. Muhsin is more than excited about his 155 pound ICF title fight at Parris Island this Saturday, expecting a big finish.

Muhsin was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During his young days he started learning Junior Olympic Boxing. His father urged Muhsin to also take Tae Kwon Do at the local rec center to start using kicks in his game. In regards to the early training, Muhsin said, “…one of the most important things I learned was head movement. Some guys think they can hit pads and be a great striker. If you don’t have head movement you are going to get hit a lot.”

From Tulsa, Muhsin moved around quite a bit going from Los Angeles, Alabama and Atlanta before settling down in Savannah. After high school, Muhsin realized that even though he was proficient standing, his ground game would still need work. He began grappling, learning judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Muhsin is currently a black belt in judo and trains under Lloyd Irvin in jiu-jitsu. He is an excellent grappler winning grappling tournaments in NAGA and ISCF.

Never content to fight only in one discipline, Muhsin has fought in pro boxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts bouts for a total of 35 pro fights. Muhsin also won a Shidokan World Championship. Shidokan is a fighting style which utilizes two rounds of bare knuckle full contact Karate, two rounds of Muay Thai and one round of mma style grappling. It is a tournament style event, so you have to quickly turn around and fight again in the same day.

Muhsin’s mma debut came in a Reality Superfighting event in 2001. Mushin was slated to face a veteran opponent with only one loss on his resume. Muhsin was able to wear him down with his stand-up game utilizing his superior cardio and grinded out the victory. In regards to the fight, Muhsin said, “My athleticism was the reason I won that fight. Compared to now, all my techniques have gotten better.”

Muhsin’s big break was when Pro Elite came calling in 2007. Muhsin started by fighting twice in the ShoXC banner defeating two very tough opponents in Bobby McMaster and Lee Gibson. During his fight with Lee Gibson, Muhsin utilized a stand-up approach throwing leg kicks, jabs and counter strikes to win a unanimous decision. Against McMaster, Muhsin hit him with a judo throw before securing a guillotine choke just before the first round ended.

Prior to his next bout, Muhsin traveled to Phuket, Thailand, to train at the world famous Tiger Muay Thai gym. “Thailand was phenomenal. Those fighters live to train. They wake up and train, eat, train during the day, eat and train at night. It is their life.” While engulfed in the Thai lifestyle, Muhsin was able to increase his Muay Thai skills help his overall mindset as a fighter.

Up next came a bout with Nick Diaz in Elite XC. Before that fight, Diaz came in at nearly 8 pounds overweight. Even with the weight disadvantage, Muhsin took the fight. “I had been training in Thailand for a month. I had too much riding on the fight.” Muhsin was able to win the first round and the second round was a toss up. In the third round, Muhsin became tired from a clinch strategy Diaz had utilized and eventually lost via TKO. “Diaz promised me a rematch and that’s a fight I definitely want in the future,” said Corbbrey.

Muhsin currently is owner operator of Champions Training Center in Savannah Georgia. His goal for Champions is to resemble a gym such as Xtreme Couture with pro boxers, mixed martial artists and elite grapplers training on-site. When asked how teaching others helps his own game, Muhsin said, “It makes you break down the moves better. Sometimes guys know how to do an arm-bar, but they don’t know the transitions. It helps me break down moves and improve my ability.”

When asked about goals for the sport, Muhsin stated, “I want to hold belts in a major mma promotion, major boxing promotion, and be a stadium champ in Muay Thai.” He would also like to go back to Thailand to further improve his Muay Thai game.

Getting a little off-topic, I asked Muhsin about his Muslim faith as he listed Faith, Family and Fighting as the three most important things on his myspace page. “I converted to Islam fourteen years ago. Without it, I wouldn’t have the discipline, focus and success I have today.“ When asked about the media coverage of the religion, Muhsin said, “[a]ll you see are the nutcases. You have to understand that these are people that wake up and see their family dead. They have been in a warring situation. Really, there are only small differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. We have to learn to love each other.”

When asked about his biggest supporter, Muhsin credited his wife Angie. “She puts up with my life. I’m going out to camps to train for fights, I’m gone a lot. She is a big supporter.” He also gives a credit to his best friend and manager Najeeb Odom. Najeeb has helped Muhsin stay focused during training and helped him a great deal motivating him to be the best he can be.

In regards to who has helped him train for this fight, Muhsin's coaches are Din Thomas for mma, Lloyd Irvin for jiu-jitsu, John Blanken for boxing and Many Ntoh for Muay Thai. He also trains with 5-0 prospect Steven Bass and Norman Jones a top level pro boxer. Din Thomas doubles as both coach and training partner, as Muhsin stressed that Din has helped his mixed martial arts game as a whole.

In closing, Muhsin wanted to say this, “I want to show people my full ability. My full ability has not been shown. I’ll show you diverse techniques. Look out for me. I am going to do something spectacular.”

Muhsin would like to give a shout out to sponsors Attack Mode Fightwear, Tactical Nutrition, Johnson Construction, Advantage Air, Time Bomb Tattoo Studio and Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand.

*Check out http://www.myspace.com/championtraining for Muhsin’s gym.

*All text copyrighted by MMA Blaster. All photo's used with the permission of Muhsin Corbbrey.

Never Stop Fighting - Jason Nicholson

In depth exclusive by Joseph Egloff of MMA Blaster, text copyrighted

Jason Nicholson is a 155 pound up and coming fighter from Whiteville, North Carolina. Jason holds a third degree black belt in Champion Karate and a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. The stand-up specialist will face a tough test in veteran Muhsin Corbbrey for the ICF 155 pound championship on October 18th.

Jason was born and raised in North Carolina. He began Karate when he was 10 years old and competitive Tae Kwon Do at age 11. Jason is proud of his native American ancestry, as there seems to be a lack of Native American fighters in mma. Jason said, “I take pride in my heritage, I want to represent them well.”

Jason joined the National Guard and then went to the Army right after high school. He served from 1999 to 2002 primarily in the military police, MP. After getting back from the Army, he began working as a corrections officer.

Jason scratched his competitive itch by taking kickboxing fights. He managed to get six fights in the North Carolina and Virginia area, but as mma got bigger, kickboxing opportunities went down the drain. In regards to kickboxing, Jason said, “It was really tough to get a kickboxing fight. They’d get cancelled all the time.”

Jason was training at Joe Lewis Kickboxing when he started to get more into mma around 2004. His first fight was in February 2005 in Augusta Georgia. Jason had taken a fight at 170, went down to weigh-in the day before, made weight with ease, re-hydrated himself and relaxed.

The next day, the promoter contacted him and said his opponent was at 155 and Jason had to make 155 in order to fight. Jason couldn’t let the opportunity to fight pass him by. He nearly killed himself making weight laying in the sauna and running just hours before he was scheduled to compete. Jason made weight, and while he didn’t perform his best during the fight that night, he made quite an impression on the promoter and all the fans that had come to see him. Jason never gave up and fought tooth and nail, never quitting. His gritty performance earned him the nickname, the Pitbull, and it has stuck ever since.

Since then, Jason has fought 6 amateur fights and 10 additional pro fights in Alabama, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. He has been training non-stop since that first fight. Jason is the type of guy that if offered a fight has a hard time turning it down. When commenting on his evolution as a fighter, Jason remarked, “My game has done a 360. I’m a lot more well rounded. I know arm-bars, sweeps, passes and have a much better wrestling game.”

Much of Jason's success is due to his training partners, Shaun Burns, Vince Patrick and Josh Robertson as well as Ringside Boxing and MMA. Jason credits Josh for much of his jiu-jitsu improvement. Vince has helped with his karate and kickboxing. Shaun has helped in all facets. To improve his wrestling game he has been training with some local wrestlers, one of which is off to Ohio State University on a wrestling scholarship.

Jason’s goal in mma is plain and simple, make it to the UFC. Jason knows that a win over a top level fighter like Muhsin can get him to that plateau. He wants to get his foot in the door somehow, even if it means being a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter reality show. When speaking about the UFC, he said, “I’ll fight for free, I don’t care. If I beat a top level fighter I can get noticed by the UFC.”

One of Jason’s biggest supporters is his ex-wife’s Grandfather. “He loves the UFC and MMA,” said Jason. “He is getting older, but he always checks up on me to see how I’m doing in training. I’d like to get him out to see me fight.”

Jason would like to thank the Prison Emergency Team for coming to his fights. He’d also like to thank all his training partners for helping him get ready for his next bout. In addition, Jason would like to thank Omega Attire and Body Shapers Gym and Fitness Center for sponsoring him.
Jason Nicholson
*Text is copyrighted by MMA Blaster. Photo's used with the permission of Jason Nicholson

Follow Your Dreams - Shah Bobonis

In depth exclusive by MMA Blaster, text copyrighted

Shah "Hollywood" Bobonis is a 145 pound up and coming fighter from Miami, Florida. You could say Shah was born a fighter as he has been boxing since he could walk. This "showstopper" will be turning heads for some time in the mixed martial arts world. Shah’s next bout will be on October 18th in Parris Island, South Carolina, for the ICF Featherweight Title.

Shah was born in Texas, but spent some years in Puerto Rico before moving to Miami. As he has continually gone back to Puerto Rico throughout his life, Shah explained, "Fighting is part of the culture in Puerto Rico. If you have differences, you settle it with your fists."

The graduate of Miami Southridge High School began wrestling in junior high and made the state tournament as a freshman at Southridge. As a sophomore, Shah suffered a knee injury which put him on the shelf for the rest of his high school wrestling experience. However, he continued to play competitive baseball which resulted in him being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in his senior year of high school.

Shah decided against going pro and instead played baseball in college. Shah eventually graduated from University of West Georgia. With his college degree in hand, Shah began a career in restaurant management. With a good job managing a P.F. Chang’s, Shah still sought out athletic challenges. He decided to begin boxing again and fought on the amateur circuit.

While training his boxing skills at Tropical Park Boxing Gym in Miami during his off-hours, Shah met accomplished mixed martial artist Jorge Masdival. Jorge who was working on his stand-up game and clued Shah into the mixed martial arts scene. That led Shah to the Freestyle Fight Academy, FFA. Masdival recently defeated former IFL champ Ryan Schultz in Japan.

During his time at FFA, Shah trained very hard increasing his jiu-jitsu game as well as his overall mixed martial arts skill set. After winning a kickboxing fight and a couple NAGA tournaments, Shah was eager to make his professional mma debut.

Shah was contacted about fighting his debut mma match in Costa Rica. Fighting in Costa Rica is a little different than fighting in the United States. According to Shah, "those Costa Rican’s really root for their own guys. If you aren’t Costa Rican you are the bad guy out there. It’s a pretty hostile environment." Shah’s debut was very successful as it resulted in a nasty 20 second knock out of his opponent.

After that fight Shah dedicated himself to the gym. He said, "I wanted to be in the gym all the time." Despite the cushy job at P.F. Chang’s, Shah knew his path was in martial arts, and the guys at FFA let him know he can succeed and make money in mma world. He quit P.F. Chang’s, was given a job at FFA as an instructor, and he hasn’t looked back since. Recently, the XFC offered Shah a position to help run a gym in Miami and he jumped at the opportunity.

Shah has kept very active as a young mma fighter, fighting seven times between September 2007 and September 2008. He has learned much about himself and his style during that time. When asked about his busy schedule, Shah explained, "[m]ixed martial arts really doesn’t take as much out of my body as boxing did. Within a couple weeks I want to get back out there and fight." In addition, Shah explained that his ability to fight off his back, his submission game and wrestling ability have dramatically improved from his first fight to now.

Shah describes himself as a stand-up fighter who likes to stand and trade. He has solid wrestling, but has mostly used wrestling to sprawl and defend take downs. Shah said, "I’d like to use my wrestling more offensively and work my submission game. I have better wrestling that 70% of the guys out there."

As for goals in the sport, Shah has the ICF and XFC belts in his sights. His goal is to get the belts and defend against other champs and contenders. Eventually a shot at the WEC could be in Shah's future. Down the road, Shah hopes to one day become a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and open his own gym to train fighters.

Shah would like to thank everyone at the FFA, as they helped him follow his dreams. Shah credits much of his success to his coaches, Haki Lee and Jerry Norton. He’d also like to thank the XFC and ICF for the opportunities he has been given. In regards to sponsors, Shah would like to say thanks to Brawl and Maul who have been behind him for some time now.

shah bobonis

shah bobonis

*Text is copyrighted by MMA Blaster. Photo's used with the permission of Shah Bobonis

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Video of the Day - Brock Lesnar on E:60

Brock Lesnar is slated to face Randy Couture at UFC 91 in Las Vegas on November 15th for the Heavyweight Title.

TUF Episode 5 - Marshall Law

The fifth episode of The Ultimate Fighter showcased an appearance by one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time in Anderson Silva. Watching him hit the pads was intense, knocking pads out of the hands of the holder. The heighth he can put on a kick is remarkable.

Anderson also seemed to run a solid practice from what I saw. John Polakowski remarked that Anderson was the coolest guy ever. I'd agree with that assessment.

Everyone suspected Junie Browning would get booted from the show for jumping the cage fence. However, the NSAC representitive was not present and Junie was saved.

After a couple innocent pranks, the hi-jinx started to get a little out of hand. Team Mir decided to get to Efrain by hiding his underwear in the freezer. While that wasn't bad, the real kicker was putting itching powder in the beds. That got the Team Nogueira to retaliate with putting sardines and sardine oil around Team Mir's beds.

Vinny Magalhaes is not a fan of practical jokes and did not respond well to the fish. He kind of reminded me of Francis from the movie Stripes. "If anyone touches me or my stuff, I'll kill ya." Haha. As everyone except Efrain was sleeping, he ended up with the wraith of Vinny and Vinny peed on his pillow.

After a truce was called, the fight match-up between Eliot Marshall and Shane Primm was announced. The bout was a very short one, as Shane looked apprehensive striking. He then went in for an ill advised superman punch. Marshall countered with a takedown, got Primm's back, and eventually got the rear naked choke.

With Mir's first victory, he will be picking the next 155 pound fight, which was announced at the end of the show as Junie Browning v. Roli Delgado.
*Pic of Eliot Marshall from photobucket

Roli Delgado Video

Here is Roli "The Crazy Cuban" Delgado's highlight reel. He wears a crazy pink singlet in a few matches, interesting fashion statement. I think Roli showed some serious heart in his fight with Junie. He does need to work on a takedown to use to get stronger guys to the mat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

ShoXC - Herman v. Schall

Tonight the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana will be hosting the ShoEx Challenger series. Headlining the show is Dave "Pee Wee" Herman (11-0) v. Kerry "Meat Truck" Schall (21-10).

Herman has won twice in a row under the Elite XC banner, against extremely tough veteran fighters Mario Rinaldi and Ron Waterman. Both fights ended in TKO victories for Herman. None of Herman's 11 fights have been left to the judges. Kerry Schall is a hard hitting heavyweight who was a member of TUF season 2.

Also on the card is popular midwest fighter Jason Guida. In the first episode of TUF, Jason failed making 205, with his body and legs cramping and locking up. He will be fighting at heavyweight tonight.

Dave Pee Wee Herman Pictures, Images and Photos
*Herman ground and pounding UFC vet Ron Waterman in his last fight

Fight Card
Dave "Pee Wee" Herman vs. Kerry Schall
Jason Guida vs. Mamed Khalidov
Anthony Lapsley vs. Mike Stumpf
Robert McDaniel vs. Alexander Shlemenko
Lyle Beerbohm vs. Rafaello Olivera
Anthony Marti vs. Jared McMahon
Jeff Cox vs. Torrance Taylor
Matt Jaggers vs. Orville Smith
Tiawon Howard vs. Hector Urbina
Deray Davis vs. John Kuhner
Josh Barnes vs. Jeremy Norton

Thursday, October 9, 2008

TUF Episode 4 - Efrain Backs It Up

In another fantastic episode of TUF, we mainly see another breakdown of fighter Junie Browning. In the previous episode we had been clued into Junie's inability to drink alchohol. In this episode we see a mean drunk come out again, but this time we see that he is crazy with or without the bottle.

The episode kicks off with the fighters watching UFC 84. This is a huge treat for the fighters as they haven't been able to watch any television so far during their stay in the house. Shane Nelson and Junie, both Mir team 155'ers, decide to break open some wine. After a few bottles while watching the show both guys snap.

Prior to this incident Shane Nelson had been actually a nice guy according to most fighters. However as someone put it, he has the alchohol tolerance of a 16 year old girl. Shane begins to pick a fight with Efrain Escudero and Roli Delgado, pushing and harassing the fighters.

Junie meanwhile torments the 205 pound guys, mostly Shane Primm and Kyle Kingsbury at this point. It comes to a head when Junie throws nuts and eventually his wine glass at Kyle. After it breaks and the prospect of cutting yourself is realized, Junie and Shane are banished to the downstairs to find somewhere else to play.

Unfortunatley, more drama insues as Shane and Junie throw a bunch of furniture in the pool. Krzysztof Soszynski, who had enough of Junie's antics that day, decided it would be a good idea to throw Junie's clothes in the pool. As predicted Junie snaps and pushes Krzysztof, Bader, Kyle and everyone else. For the second episode in a row, Junie apologizes and cries.

Dana appears the next day and calls Junie and Nelson's behavior retarded. He gives both a second chance, but tells Nelson that he is fighting next. According to Ryan Bader's blog, he stated that Dana said he wouldn't have cared if Krzysztof or Bader had knocked Junie out. Team Nogeria decides what better than to have Nelson fight one of their top dogs Efrain. Efrain was happy about the fight as Nelson had tried to pick on him the day before.

The fight was a two round affair that saw Efrain doing all the work. The only danger Efrain came in were a couple high kicks that he blocked. Efrain will have to watch his head movement in further fights. Efrain landed some good knees in the clinch. He was able to get a takedown in round one and land a couple strikes.

In the second round Efrain was able to get a takedown and get control. Nelson was able to try to get an ankle lock, and when unsuccessful Nelson ended up in top position. Nelson had to work fast to try to win the round, and after taking some bait from Efrain, ended up in a triangle choke. Efrain worked it over and Nelson tapped.

Afterward, Junie started yelling loudly from outside the cage that the UFC didn't need another boring wrestler. That statement is almost comical as Efrain just finished his opponent with a triangle in the second round. It was a very exciting fight. Nogeria and Efrain implied from inside the cage that Junie is next. Junie in turn jumps over the octogan fence ready to rumble and the episode ends. Talk about a cliffhanger.
Efrain Escudero Pictures, Images and Photos
*Pic of Efrain found on photobucket

The next episode will feature a guest appearance with Anderson Silva, so don't miss it. He looked to be almost kicking the bags out of guys hands.