Written by: Ryan Manahan
Every great Mixed Martial Artist that enters the octagon, gets their name announced by Bruce Buffer, and wears UFC gold around their waist, all make the same decision at one point in their life – to become a Professional Mixed Martial Artist.
John Sanguinetti has made that decision. After a three year run floating around the amateur circuit, Sanguinetti is going to try and make a career out of fighting.
“I think I’ve done everything I think there is to do in amateur and I want to see how much further I can take it as a pro,” John tells me over the phone on a cold November morning. It’s a busy morning for John. He’s getting ready to visit his parents who he doesn’t see as much as he used to as a result of his training. “I’ve invested a lot of time into this and I’ve sacrificed a lot so I’d like to see it pay off one day.”
Sanguinetti doesn’t look like the stereotype of a Mixed Martial Artist. He doesn’t have a mohawk and head tattoo like Chuck Lidell or the bleach blond hair of a Tito Ortiz. He would more likely be mistaken for a soccer player or a server at a local restaurant than a fighter. “A lot of people are surprised when they hear that I’m a fighter because I’m a pretty laid back person,” he says with a slight sense of amusement in his tone. “I’m not really a meathead jock or anything like that.”
He doesn’t look like a stereotypical fighter, and it’s maybe because he didn’t get into the sport in a typical way. He was the chubby kid growing up. The now 170 pound welterweight once topped the scales at 260 pounds and turned to martial arts to shed the weight.
“I was overweight when I was younger and I just needed a way to get in shape. Boxing seemed like the most fun way to do it… I was doing it more to get in shape than to compete.” The activity he turned to in an effort to slim down quickly turned from a hobby to a passion. He was boxing to lose weight and, soon after, his brother started training in Brazilian Ju Jitsu, which he joined him in. “I started out as a fan of MMA,” he tells me thinking back to his beginnings in the sport, “So it all just came together.” He started training in a wide range of martial arts to become well-rounded in all aspects of the game. With his skills accumulating and his passion growing stronger, he decided to test himself an actual bout.
“When I got my first fight, I wasn’t planning on going professional. I just wanted to get an MMA fight just to see how my skills would match against someone,” John speaks of his decision to take his first Amatuer MMA fight in Michigan. While his matches in Michigan were labeled “Amateur” they weren’t very different from what you’d see on a UFC Pay-Per-View in terms of safety and rules. (more…)
Written By Carlin Bardsley
Grassroots mixed martial arts made a triumphant return to Ontario on Saturday night as the Provincial Fighting Championships made their debut card before a raucous crowd at the Western fairgrounds in London.
The venue was packed to near capacity to see hometown hero Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki win a unanimous decision victory against Bellator veteran Frank Caraballo in the main event, as well as to support London-based fighters like Jesse ‘The Ghost” Gross, Shannon “The Cannon” Ludlow and others.
Horodecki not only carried the pressure of main eventing in his hometown into the fight, but with a December fight in World Series of Fighting in the offing it was important to him to come out of the fight injury-free. Caraballo didn’t make it easy on him, causing some nasty swelling underneath Horodecki’s eye and showing a cast-iron chin, but the veteran Horodecki utilized positional control and some nasty ground and pound in the third to seal the win on the judges’ scorecards.
While the crowd may have came to see Horodecki, they left talking about the co-main event clash between Gross and Xtreme Couture product Michael Karkula. The two combatants waged war, with Karkula’s superior ground game giving him the edge in the first round. Gross worked his way back into the fight in the second round which saw him tenderize Karkula with repeated body shots. Gross looked to continue the attack in the final stanza with a vicious knee to the body, but Karkula was able to gain back control and land punches to ride out the fight and take a split decision victory.
The women also provided a highlight as Adrenaline Training Center‘s Ludlow took on Alberta’s Lynelle House. Ludlow was throwing everything she had behind her punches, but House was able to avoid her attack and repeatedly counter. Ludlow was taking more and more damage until referee Brian Beauchamp thought he had seen enough and awarded the “House of Pain” the TKO victory. (more…)
Written by Randi Lotsberg
Being a pro fighter and trying to make it to the big show isn’t just about being good at your game, to be successful there are many elements to making it. Obviously you need to have a good fight record and the more exciting the fights you have the better but then there is the whole entertainment aspect that comes with being successful in one of the worlds fastest growing sports.
Elias ‘The Spartan’ Theodorou is currently undefeated (8-0) in his pro MMA career, not only does he dominate and injure his opponents while keeping his record squeaky clean he is also, as his coach Lachlan Cheng puts it “A social media whore”. When Elias isn’t updating his Facebook and Twitter feed he is also branching out and making himself extremely marketable by pursuing a career in acting and modelling. He recently had a role in CTV’s original series The Listener where he portrays an MMA fighter, modelled in his briefs for the HiM 2014 Rethink Breast Cancer Charity Calendar and has an upcoming role in the movie Number One Contender. On September 22, 2013 Theodorou auditioned for The Ultimate Fighter which could be huge for his professional career, he has a lot to offer a reality TV show with his undefeated record, charismatic personality, his ridiculous outbursts and of course, his hair. When we asked Theodorou what making it onto the series would mean to him he said ”Being on TUF would be a dream come true. I want to be a UFC fighter more than anything else in the world, and TUF would be the vehicle to living my dream wide awake”
MMAxposed had the opportunity to follow and film Elias during his training camp while he prepared for his most recent win against Travis Clark (7-2) at NAAFS in Ohio this past August. We give you the opportunity to see Elias in action with this behind the scenes look into his life and training. Behind every great fighter is a great team of people who help put together all the pieces leading up to victory, in Elias Theodorou: Training Camp we meet with Elias’ coaches Sergio Cunha who is one of the original Chute Boxe members from Brazil who trains many high caliber fighters in the UFC such as The Nogueira Brothers, Anderson Silva, and Mauricio Rua just to name a few. His other coach and close friend Lachlan Cheng who is much like a father figure to Elias by keeping him on track, focused and out of trouble shares his story about being coach to ‘The Spartan’. Training Camp shows the struggles, sacrifice and laughs associated with being a professional MMA fighter and a look into what it’s like to be Elias Theodorou.
Seven weeks out from Mitch Gagnon’s fight at UFC 165 he is confident to finish his opponent Dustin Kimura and have his hand raised inside the UFC octagon on Saturday September 21. The Sudbury, Ontario native is set to make his third appearance inside the octagon and is looking for his second win during his UFC career which would make him 10-3 in his pro MMA career. Kimura is currently undefeated in his pro career. You can watch their bout on the UFC prelims on Sportsnet 8PM/5PM ETPT
Written by: Ryan Manahan
If you ever have the opportunity to speak to Brian Cimins, President and CEO of Grappler’s Quest at one of his events, do it. Brian is one of the most approachable, engaging, humble, exciting, and inspirational people you will ever find.
We had an opportunity to speak to Brian at the recent Grappler’s Quest 2013 US National Championships on July 20, 2013 in Morristown, NJ about how Grappler’s Quest started, his own personal journey in martial arts, and where he sees the sport and his brand going in the future.
Brian started Grappler’s Quest as a senior project in college in 1998 when he saw there was a need to have a local grappling tournament. In 1999, Grappler’s Quest held the first amateur exclusively nogi tournament in the world. Grappler’s Quest was also the first organization to run a US national event (since 2000).
Grappler’s Quest is a labour of love for Brian. He talks passionately about how every sport needs amazing, independent organizations that are free from the control of a governing body, and he believes that Grappler’s Quest fills that spot in the grappling world. To Brian, Grappler’s Quest belongs to the people that support it – the competitors. It is the human support that drives Brian. As he says, “Grappler’s Quest is yours”
UFC 165 Tickets are on sale to the general public today through Ticketmaster
Watch the media scrum with the current Light heavyweight Champion Jon Jones below:
Tuesday July 9,2013 UFC held their UFC 165 press conference at Real Sports in Toronto, Ontario with the headliners, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. MMAxposed correspondent Ryan Manahan sits down with Gustafsson: Watch the interview below
The two fighters addressed the crowd with two different types of positive demeanours. Gustafsson sat to the right of the podium looking refreshed and excited to talk about his upcoming opportunity. Tom Wright told the crowd that Gustafsson had spent yesterday relaxing at a local amusement park in the area. Jones sat to the right of the podium with his Light Heavyweight championship title to his left and a cup of coffee to his right admitting to feeling a little tired. Though he felt tired, he spoke to the crowd with enthusiasm, a sense of humour, and a smile. While the two fighters had opposing energies, there was a great level of respect shared between the two of them.
“Alexander Gustafsson is a guy who really wanted a shot at the title. And he’s a guy that I asked for. He asked for me, I asked for him,” Jones said before complimenting Gustafsson’s boxing and saying he was the the perfect opponent to face when attempting to surpass Tito Ortiz for the most consecutive title defenses at Light Heavyweight. Gustafsson showed Jones a similar level of respect saying, ”I see the greatest test in my career. He’s the champion for a reason.”
While this press conference was designed to promote Jones vs Gustafsson at UFC 165, Jones was asked just as much about former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva’s loss to Chris Weidman last Saturday night. After the fight, Jones tweeted out, “This sucks,” and further said at the press conference, “To see a great champion go down always sucks.” As result of the loss, Jones went up to top the pound for pound rankings, but Jones did not think too much of it saying, “To become number one because of Anderson’s lost doesn’t make me feel like I accomplished anything,” Jones looked at Silva’s loss more as a form of inspiration, telling the crowd, ”It motivates me a lot to see someone like that lose.”
Jones dissected the Silva loss even further, saying the loss didn’t change his perception of the man many regard as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time and that Silva just made a mistake – “Anderson Silva is a magnificent fighter. I think he has an extraordinary gift. He’s comfortable with his gift. And he abused his gift. He disrespected the gift by disrespecting his opponent… He got disrespectful and the war gods made him pay for it.” He concluded his praise the former Middleweight Champion by saying, “He’s still that great Anderson Silva in my book.”
While Jones answered questions about Anderson Silva, Gustafsson talked about his road to becoming the number one contender for the Light Heavyweight championship. It was only three months ago that he felt his opportunity slipping through his fingers when he had to pullout of the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9 in his home country of Sweden after suffering a cut just days before the fight. He explained the contrast of pulling out of one main event in his home country to competing for the Light Heavyweight Championship saying, “It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Now I just left it behind me now with my dream fight coming up.”
Alex Ricci (7-1) takes home the win against Luis Felix (9-7) via unanimous decision at Substance Cage Combat 1.0 this past weekend at the George Bell Arena in Toronto. Carlin Bardsley (In The Cage With Bards) catches up with Alex after the fight. Check out the video below:
99 Sudbury in Toronto has hosted many events for the arts but now they are home to a different kind of art, Mixed Martial Arts. Evolucao Thai MMA School celebrated their grand opening this past Saturday with a seminar hosted by UFC Light Heavyweight Wanderlei Silva along side close longtime friend, head instructor and co-owner Mauricio Veio. Both Silva and Veio are from the original Chute boxe Acadamy in Brazil which is how they met at the young ages of 13 and 16. Mauricio refelcts on their friendship “Wanderlei my hero, hero for personal, for fighter.” says Veio “Today I am so proud to have Wanderlei in my school.”
The new Evolucao Thai MMA School offers much more then other MMA gyms in the greater Toronto area, included in your monthly membership is full access to The Gym @ 99 Sudbury which offers exceptional facilities to add quality workouts to your MMA training you also get access to all classes provided through Evolucau unlimited MMA School classes, Muay Thai Classes, Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, No-Gi, Boxing plus yoga and fitness classes. You can check out Evolucao and The Gym @ 99 Sudbury at http://www.evolucaothai.com
All images video, editing, music and writing by Randi Lotsberg
We recently had the opportunity to interview Royler Gracie while he was in Ontario teaching seminars. We caught up with Royler at Robinson’s Karate School located in Bolton, Ontario Canada. Royler reflects on his thoughts about whether his father should be in the UFC Hall Of Fame for his contributions to the sport, the importance of being skilled in more then one of the martial arts and why he chose to make the move to America from Brazil.
UFC 152 is soon upon us and I can’t help but feel a wealth of emotions in my attempt to predict the action. The reason I say this is because it seems that predicting MMA fights are no longer as simple as “fighter A over fighter B” but instead a much more complex and anxious process that could be better described as “provided the physical well-being of fighters A and B is at acceptable competition level, it is likely X will be the outcome.” However if one or more parties are unable to participate and the suitable replacement(s) is/are willing and able to perform on Saturday, I predict Jon Jones won’t walk away from two cards in two weeks if he knows what’s good for him”. The caveat “Both Must Fight For Action” has taken on a whole new meaning, as the possibility that there may be no action has become as real as any other. With Saturday’s outcome hinging on all of these conditions I’ll do my best to predict the winners of UFC 152’s currently billed card.
Jon Jones vs Vitor Belfort
Jon Jones is a very clear favorite to win this fight, and rightfully so. Given his accomplishments over the last year and a half against strikers, wrestlers and muggers, it’s hard to imagine there are any stylistic matchups left to threaten the champ. This is doubly so when considering his opponent is 10 years his senior. However, when you consider Jones’s toughest test to date has come at the lightning quick hands of Lyoto Machida, it is reasonable to think that Vitor, a boxer with a conceivably greater speed advantage, may have more of a chance than odds-makers are letting on. In addition to a certain striking advantage, Vitor Belfort probably has the best jiu-jitsu of any fighter Jones has faced since entering the UFC. That being said, I don’t think Belfort has the advantage in the grappling department and despite still being a very dangerous fighter, his chin isn’t what it used to be and he will be giving up a foot of reach and considerable mass on fight night. Despite having made a case for Vitor’s chances of success, I simply can’t envision him taking control of the fight before Jones takes his confidence away.
Prediction: Jon Jones by TKO in round 3
Joseph Benavidez vs Demetrious Johnson
Joseph Benavidez has long been touted as the uncrowned flyweight kingpin and on Saturday he’ll finally get his opportunity to live up to such accolades. This won’t be easy though and “Mighty Mouse” is no walk in the park for anyone and his ability to outwork opponents often leaves him with his hand raised, despite his original underdog status. Benavidez comes into this fight with real stopping power for flyweight, as demonstrated in his fight with Yasuhiro Urushitani and Johnson may find his chin tested in the early rounds of this fight. Ultimately, I think Johnson’s speed will keep him out of harm’s way for the first couple rounds and as the fight wears on, he will begin to pull away as he continues an unrivaled work rate.
Prediction: Demetrious Johnson by unanimous decision
Michael Bisping vs Brian Stann
Michael Bisping may very well be at the end of his rope with this fight, should he lose. He has a great record against a number of very tough opponents regardless of the outcome, he will undoubtedly fight on for years to come… but should he lose, at what cost? Bisping may find himself at the bottom of the pile if he loses to Brian Stann on Saturday and what makes this so interesting is the outcome really depends on which game plan he chooses to employ. Bisping actually has very underrated grappling skills, despite hailing from a nation that has, traditionally, poor grappling skills. Given that Brian Stann is certainly no pushover on the ground (unless your name is Chael Sonnen), it is far and away, the weakest aspect of his game. If Bisping employs the same technical boxing game plan he has used against most of his recent opponents, I feel that he is gambling with his future. Brian Stann has proven an ability to put away both brawlers and technicians in absolutely brutal fashion. Stann will fearlessly go toe-to-toe with “The Count” and employ the counter punching that has made him so successful since coming down to middleweight.
Prediction: Brian Stann by TKO in round 2
Matt Hamill vs Roger Hollett
Matt “The Hammer” Hamill makes his return after a brief 17-month retirement and it will be interesting to see what shape he returns in to the octagon. If Matt aims to head-hunt as he has done in the past he may find himself getting beaten to the punch (no pun intended). Hamill, after re-evaluating his career will likely come back using the game plan that brought him success in his early days, take them down and pound them out.
Prediction: Matt Hamill by TKO in round 3
Cub Swanson vs Charles Oliveira
Cub Swanson has been a modest tear, cutting down George Roop and bringing the fight to a much larger Ross Pearson. Swanson may be small but he is scrappy and when he hits his stride he packs a hell of a wallop. I feel though he may find it harder to impose his game on Oliveira as Do Bronx has a rangy style that can be just as sporadic and unpredictable as Swanson’s. Furthermore, Cub’s commendable bottom game that served him so well against Pearson will likely count for nothing if he finds himself under Oliveira. With that in mind, I don’t foresee many areas that Oliveira will not be comfortable taking the fight.
Prediction: Oliveira by submission in round 2
Predictions by Farrell Tremblay
Written by: Matt Marcone
With just two days to go before the Score Fighting Series’ fifth event in Ontario, we present episode seven of the MMAxposed podcast. We get a real heart to heart interview with Hector Lombard, who dropped a split decision to Tim Boetch in his UFC debut.
It was Lombard’s first loss in 25 fights and he opens up about the haters, his injury during training camp, and Dana White’s post-fight comments saying he should fight at welterweight. He also gives his thoughts on a new possible training destination, making it to the big show, and who he wants to fight next.
In what many are predicting could be fight of the night, Canadian striking sensations Jesse Ronson and Alex Ricci also join the podcast. They will be fighting each other at SFS5 in Hamilton on Saturday, August 25th and both sound desperate to get inside the octagon.
Ronson talks about his mentality going into his fight on July 28 knowing he couldn’t afford to get hurt, the intensity of his sparring sessions and the origins of his nickname. He also thinks a victory could possibly send him to the UFC’s stacked lightweight division.
Ricci talks about the fight with Ronson, competing on four of the five Score Fighting Series cards, and a UFC dream of his own.
Let us know what you think!
(8:00) Jesse Ronson
(18:45) Alex Ricci
(27:30) Hector Lombard
Written by Randi Lotsberg
Ontario pro fighters Jason Saggo and Eric Attard will be stepping into the cage this Saturday, August 25th at the Score Fighting Series to test their minds, strength and skills. MMAxposed could see this bout being the fight of the night between these two skilled lightweights. Saggo is a brown belt training under Paul Abel out of P.E.I. and Attard trains out of Modern Vision MMA in Welland, Ontario under coach Chris Bonfoco. Both of these guys bring a different element into the cage; Saggo being known for his strong ground game and Attard for his Muay Thai background and powerful leg kicks. They are both at a comparable level when it comes to fitness and strength. This fight could go either way but it is bound to be the epitome of what a MMA fight should be!
Have a look behind the scenes in their training leading up to this event. Hear what they have to say about each other and how they think this fight will end.
Get your tickets at www.ticketmaster.ca for this event The Score Fighting Series: Hill Vs. Fraser Saturday August 25 2012
READY FOR WAR!!
Summer has just begun but fall is right around the corner and so is UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Today we were at the ACC for the UFC 152 Media day with Rory MacDonald. By the sounds of things MacDonald Vs. Penn may be replacing the Dos Santos Vs. Velasquez rematch and become the headliner on this card, which could be a bittersweet main event for UFC fans.
With Rory still in the early stages of his career in comparison to BJ Penn the former UFC Lightweight Champion and UFC Welterweight Champion, this is going to be just the challenge MacDonald needs to face in order to catapult his UFC career to a new high.
Only time will tell who will be bringing home the win on September 22nd at UFC 152 but needless to say this match will be a true test for the young prodigy and will unfold his destiny as a fighter.
UFC 152: Toronto, Canada
Tickets will go on sale July 27th 2012 to the general public
Photo and Article by Randi Lotsberg
Correspondant for MM-eh.ca
The 2012 Ontario Open International Jiu-Jitsu Championship was held last weekend at Seneca College in Toronto, ON.
The two-day event had close to 1,500 participants from all across North America take part in the high level BJJ competition.
All ages and skill levels participated in both GI and No-GI competition, while the event also featured an vendor expo and prizes.
The competition was sanctioned by the Ontario Jiu-Jitsu Association and followed International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation rules. It was a successful and entertaining weekend for all Jiu-Jitsu enthusiasts.
Here are some photos of the event taken by Randi Lotsberg.
23 year old Female Brazilian fighter Claudia Gadelha has made her first trek to Canada recently and is preparing to fight for the first time on North American soil this Friday April, 20th in Gatineau, Quebec for Wreck MMA against Valerie Letourneau(Tristar, Montreal). Claudia trains out of Nova Uniao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and is currently 6-0 in her pro career. We got a chance to catch up with Claudia at Evolucao Thai Gym in Toronto this week during filming of the Canadian documentary The Fight Exchange produced by Aaron Avruskin, The Fight Exchange is exactly as it sounds an exchange of Canadian and Brazilian fighters each training in the others countries, more details to come soon where and when you will be able to check out the final product.
Watch our interview with Claudia below:
After our interview Claudia said ” Learning English is harder then fighting” After that comment we definitely can’t wait to see how natural this lady is in the cage.
MMAxposed had the chance to catch up with Jake Shields this past weekend while he was in the GTA. We got to check him out in action during his seminar hosted by Haymaker Fightwear at BAMA BJJ in Burlington, Ontario Canada. We also got to attend an evening event with Jake and the guys at EventbanksMMA and The Warrior Fight Store. It was a great weekend with many successful events throughout the GTA.
MMAxposed’s Dan Sammit catches up with Pro Fighter Adam’MAVERICK’ Assenza the day after his win against John Roche, with is his first win as a pro MMA career. Adam is currently (1-1) and trains at Bama BJJ located in Burlington Ontario.
Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now at the Copps Coliseum Box Office and at Ticketmaster.ca. Tickets are also available from local fighters on the card and at the door. Doors open at 6:30pm with the first fight at 7:30pm.