Garry Tonon, jiu-jitsu’s consummate risk taker, prepares for Zak Maxwell

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After laying out Melvin Manhoef, Joe Schilling expects to become Bellator champion within two years

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UFC’s Marcus Brimage to unleash ‘Southern fried whooping’

UFC bantamweight Marcus Brimage (6-3) headed into his fight with Russell Doane (14-4) this past July at UFC 175 over a year having passed since his previous bout. Following a tough loss to Conor McGregor at featherweight in 2013, Brimage was hit by a number of serious injuries that required a great deal of rest and rehabilitation.

As such, everyone around Brimage warned him that there would be a perhaps painful adjustment period in his first fight back, due to what is known as “ring rust.”

“Everyone told me that I’d have rust, and I was like, ‘whatever,’” Brimage tells Cagewriter.

“Truth be told, everything felt good until I got into the cage. In the cage, that’s when the ring rust happened. This cant take anything away from Russell because he came to fight, and he sure did fight. I just felt off until the third round. It was like an out of body experience. I was not in the moment. In the third round, that’s when I woke up and did what I normally do.”

It was too little, too late for “The Bama Beast,” and he lost a close split decision. Brimage says that he was shocked to hear from his teammates, friends and even anonymous fans in Las Vegas later that night that they thought he deserved to win the decision against Doane. 

“Everyone seemed to be impressed but I told them, ‘get the [expletive] out of here. I lost,’” Brimage remembers.

Once the fighter watched the bout himself, however, he began to realize that he didn’t fight nearly as poorly as he thought he had. In fact, he began to agree with those who said he deserved to get the nod from the judges.

“When I actually looked at the fight, I thought I got robbed,” he says.

“I don’t know what the judges were looking at. They made Stevie wonder what was going on. After I started to think about it more, I got super cronk and angry. Like, ‘man, I felt off like a mother [expletive], and that’s how I looked when I felt off? Oh my God, I am going to do some damage once I get back.’”

Brimage has turned that frustration into motivation and confidence as he heads into a Nov. 8 showdown against Jumabieke Tuerxun (14-2) in Sydney, Australia. Brimage was compelled to train at home in Alabama during this camp instead of South Florida at his usual American Top Team because of family issues.

One might assume that, without his usual top-notch ATT destination training camp, and coming off of two-straight losses would make Brimage feel a great deal of pressure. In actuality, he says he feels less pressure than he did against Doane in his come back fight this past summer.

“To be honest with you, I feel less pressure,” he insists.

“The reason is because, I’m ‘on.’ I got that first one out of the way. I could not walk down the street in Vegas after that fight without fans telling me, ‘Brim, that was [expletive]. You won. The judges [expletive] you.’ I mean, it’s like, ‘Marcus Brimage lost to Russell Doane, said no man ever.’ [laughs] That’s just real talk.

“I had some family issues, so I had to come home for training camp. I’m back in Alabama, and I’m back to my roots. I cannot wait to give this guy a Southern fried ass whooping.” 

Check back here at Cagewriter for more with Marcus as we check in with him later in his training camp.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter 

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Fight Path: Flyweight prospect Jake Rosenbaum aided by Indiana’s big-show vets

When a staph infection recently caused an ensuing skin infection for Jake Rosenbaum, it wasn’t hard to spot.

“Big and nasty looking,” Rosenbaum told MMAjunkie.com.

The remedy was also unpleasant. The infection was near his belt line, and doctors produced what appeared to Rosenbaum to be a needle about the size of a bazooka. Even more, the mixed martial artist from northwest Indiana is scared of needles.

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Andy Ogle Interview

Andy Ogle Interview


 

Andy Ogle, if that’s a name you don’t recognise, then first, shame on you, second, don’t worry about it as you’ll be hearing a lot more about him when he makes his full UFC debut on UFC on Fuel TV 5 on September 29th. An alumni of TUF: Live he reached the semi finals as a member of Uriah Faber’s team and gained an impressive victory in the quarter final when he submitted the heavily fancied Mike Rio with a rear naked choke. Now with the backing of the UK’s top sports supplement company, Myprotein, he is set to take the UFC featherweight division by storm. Ross Edgely caught up with Andy to get the low down on what it takes to reach the UFC and what he thinks it’s going to tke to be a success once you’re there.

MMA found me. As a young boy I started kickboxing to protect myself. I loved it and got hooked straight away. I then started judo because I was seeking more competition. My friend then told me his mate had found a MMA gym and I should give it a go. I went along to try it out and the rest is history.

You?ve trained all over the world but where do feel you?ve learnt the most and why?

Kaobon is the best gym I have trained at hands down. When you’re having a bad day these guys can sense it. They are like predators and are relentless. But when they are having a bad day you make sure to return the favour. At kaobon nobody is above the rest. When I left the TUF show it didn’t matter at the gym. I was still just Andy. When Evander Holyfield came into our gym training didn’t stop. Nobody is the big dog because everybody in the gym is aiming to be the top dog. This place is the best….fact!

Training every day at such a high intensity must take its toll, how do you keep fresh and ready for the next day of training?

Fitness is sport specific. I never run. My joints take a lot of strain through the high demand in competitive rounds in all areas of MMA. I gain my fitness through competition during training, pads and my strength and conditioning.

Can you explain a week?s typical training session?

Monday: Grapple (morning), stand up and pad work (night)
Tuesday: Spar/ drill (morning), grapple (night)
Wednesday: Grapple (morning), stand up/pad work (night)
Thursday: Spar/drill (morning), grapple (night)
Friday: Grapple (morning), run (night)
Saturday: Strength and conditioning

Sunday: Rest Day

MMA and the UFC® are growing rapidly, but there are still doubters who think the sport is too dangerous, what do you say to those people?

I believe MMA is less dangerous than football. MMA competitors know that if we switch off that we can get hurt. There is always a perceived risk of danger whereas in football the players regularly get tackled and blindsided, which results in injury a lot of the time.

If you could fight anyone in the world who would it be?

I think the average man tries his hardest to not get into a fight. If he did have to fight he would pick the easiest fight out there. I just want the fights that are going to teach me the most about myself and let me develop along the way.

You keep a very lean and muscular physique all year round and obviously have to make weight for your fights, any tips for those looking to cut weight?

My best tip for dieting is figure out what works for you. I have found that fish helps me keep slimmer than eating chicken, beef and lamb. Everybody is different. Find what works for you. Also if you do want to have a little treat make a day for it. It tastes so much sweeter when you make a day for it in the week/month. Chocolate isn’t good for you every day. It tastes so much sweeter when it?s well deserved.

What?s been the highlight of your career so far?

The high of my career so far was definitely getting into the house.  It?s the start of something great and marks the beginning of my long and successful career in the big league.

What are your goals in the sport?

My goal is to keep on improving and tackle the obstacles that the UFC put in front of me.

You?ve recently been signed to sports nutrition company Myprotein.com and we hear you?ve got a favourite product of theres that you order by the kg?

Yip most definitely there Almond Butter, it tastes amazing and I love to put it on rice cakes with raspberry jam….oh my god! Good source of healthy fats and very nutrient dense so even good when cutting.

Any other products you use from Myprotein.com?

Yip love ZMA (Zinc and Magnesium) since it helps my recovery and I get the best night?s sleep on it. Of course their multi vitamin Alpha Men to make sure I?m getting all the vitamins and minerals I need. Glucosamine to help the constant pounding my joints take and also I?ve been experimenting with their pre-workout formula Pulse in training which helps give me a boost if I?m low before a tough session.

What would you say gives you the edge over your opponents?

My edge over my opponents is my drive and determination. I love MMA so much. I love it so much it hurts. I am determined to succeed in the UFC and I won’t let anyone get in my way.

Are you doing anything different in your training or nutrition now?

I think the main difference in my training has come from reading a Mike Tyson article before my fight camp. I remember reading that when he was a young athlete growing up he was told to “pretend to love the things you hate”. I now do this with everything. I think it has helped me be even more driven.

What?s going to be your ?walk out? music and why?

I usually come out to Marvin Gaye featuring Tammy Terrel ? ?Ain’t No Mountain High Enough?. It makes me think of when my brother sang that song crying himself to sleep when I was five and my dad was going back to work. He works for the merchant navy and works away for a long time. I remember this one time he was home and he sang that song a lot. It just makes me remember the simpler times and my dad. Sometimes he can’t be at my fights because of work. He can be at Nottingham so maybe for my debut I should start a fresh with something new. We shall see.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

My advice for starters is that drillers make killers. But to drill something until it is spot on takes a long, long time, which means it must be fun. If you are not having fun you will not last long. So remember that if you love it you’ll train a lot and the skills will come naturally.

Can you explain a week?s typical nutritional routine?

Nutritional routine can be tough. I try to listen to my body more than anything. When competition nears I don’t usually weigh myself too much. I can tell what weight I am by shading and markings on my body.  As long as I feel good for training and my diet is clean I am happy. I do however cheat every tenth day. I feel cheating on the seventh is too short and in three weeks you have three cheats whereas I have 2 in three weeks, which makes me feel happier.

Any favourite dishes?

Aside from Myprotein.com Almond Butter, lol, my favourite food when dieting is peppered mackerel and home-made sweet potato chips….healthy fish and chips. On a cheat day my tastes always change from one fight camp to another. This fight camp I would say I’m in love with almond butter and raspberry jam sandwiches or on rice cakes. I also love chocolate coated Brazil nuts.

Lastly can you talk us through how you prepare for a fight on the day? E.g. do you like to stay calm and listen to music or do you like to get fired up? Any tips, music choices, meal plans?etc?

On the day of the fight I just try to wake as late as possible and have fun. The hard work has been done already. What will happen will happen. Getting nervous uses energy and is pointless. The fight will happen whether you are nervous or not. Enjoy yourself.

Andy Ogle is fuelled by www.myprotein.com , the UK?s number one online sports nutrition brand and supplier to many of Britain?s best athletes such as World 400m Champion Dai Greene, World 100m backstroke World Record Holder Gemma Spofforth, Olympic Taekwondo Gold Medallist Jade Jones and 11-time Paralympic gold medallist David Roberts.

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Champ Rockhold calls Larkin attack ‘pretty amateur,’ eyes early 2013 for return

Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold today told MMAjunkie.com that he never signed a bout agreement to fight Lorenz Larkin and never intended to fight at the promotion’s final event.

When officials announced the Jan. 12 event in early November, Rockhold said he informed them a wrist injury lingered and that he was unable to fight.

That’s why he’s particularly irritated by a series of verbal attacks from Lorenz Larkin regarding his willingness to compete.

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Women’s MMA Report: Invicta FC and Jewels announce 115-pound title fights

Invicta Fighting Championships is set to crown its second champion on Jan. 5 with 115-pounders Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha vs. Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza.

Additionally, Japan’s Jewels promotion will feature a title fight three weeks prior with strawweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino.

In our latest Women’s MMA Report, MMAjunkie.com’s Robert Sargent looks at both cards and discusses other news and notes from the world’s top female fighters.

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Chan Sung Jung out of MMA for two more years to complete military service

Top UFC featherweight contender, and former world title challenger Chan Sung Jung will step away from MMA competition for the next two years in order to fulfill the mandatory military service requirements of his native South Korea, according to reports. The 27 year-old has already not fought in over a year – since losing a competitive and gutsy bout to champion Jose Aldo in Aug. 2013 at UFC 163 – to injuries.

The fan-favorite was set to return to action this month, but he was injured again this past summer and was forced to pull out. Now, “The Korean Zombie,” is set to lose two more years from the prime of his career. 

According to reports, Jung posted the announcement Monday on his official Facebook page, in Korean. Cagewriter contacted the UFC for comment, but they had none at time of publication.

Our partners over at MMA Fighting followed up Jung’s manager Brian Rhee, who confirmed the reports. “He feels bad for his fans and thankful to the UFC, Dana and the Ferttitas for letting him be a professional fighter,” Rhee said.

“He’s going to rehab, train and comeback stronger than ever after the end of the 2 years.”

According to CBS News, South Korean “able-bodied men” must serve in the nation’s military for at least 26 months before reaching the age of 30. South Korea, of course, borders a brutal dictatorship to the North.

North Korea has over a million troops, and South Korea reportedly has a military just over 600,000 large. Jung’s birthday is listed as March 17, 1987, which means he is just at the deadline for when he could begin his military service and still abide by South Korean conscription law. 

The aggressive fighter has become beloved across the world for his non-stop and skilled style. Before losing to Aldo, Jung had won and finished three straight UFC fights.

Jung’s life is set to change rapidly, and in more ways than one, this month. The fighter will not only reportedly begin his military service Oct. 20, he and his wife are also expecting their first child this very week.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

 

 

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Vitor Belfort says time away from cage won’t hurt him

Vitor Belfort (24-10) has not fought since Nov. 2013, and won’t step into the UFC cage to try and take Chris Weidman’s middleweight title until 2015, but “The Phenom” says he’ll be sharp as ever come fight night. “The fact that I haven?t fought in 2014 will only make my opponents surprised with my performance,” Belfort told Guilherme Cruz in a recent interview.

“I had time to adapt myself and evolve even more. Despite not having fought, I worked hard at Blackzilians and spent this whole time getting ready to win.”

The 37 year-old Belfort says that he keeps himself in shape year-round. The Brazilian believes that intensity of his training in South Florida will keep him ready for Weidman (12-0), who is currently recovering from a hand injury.

My training routine is intense, it?s part of my lifestyle. I will continue focused on reinventing myself and getting stronger every day, waiting for the fight,” Belfort went on.

“I have 18 years of a professional career and my preparation doesn?t depend on a fight schedule.”

Belfort, of course, says he’s doing all of this training without the aid of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or other banned drugs and treatments that he’s tested positive for in the past. Many of his middleweight rivals have predicted that Belfort – who failed his most recent drug test this year, but was not suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission, and was then given another title shot by the UFC – may not even make it to the fight with Weidman, because they predict his body won’t be able to handle the brutal fight prep all professional MMA fighters go through, without the aid of the drugs hes used for at least the past several years.

Past coaches of Belfort like Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kenny Monday, however, say that the future hall of famer is as strong as ever, even without TRT. Let us know how you think the fight will go down (or, if it will at all) in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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After successful surgery, mess in Macau, David Mitchell primed for UFC victory

More than two years after dropping his UFC debut, things haven’t exactly gone David Mitchell’s way.

Injuries, surgery and rehabilitation have left Mitchell out of action for more than 15 months – a streak he had hoped to end earlier this month.

Left without an opponent and some 7,000 miles from home, Mitchell admits it was a frustrating plight. Now he’s aiming for a January return, and he’s anxious to show the world what he can do when fighting at full strength.

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