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The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness

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Amateur Spotlight Victor “Big Joker” Azeredo

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August 20th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Victor Azeredo
Nickname – Big Joker
Weight – 145 to 160 Pounds
Record – 2 Wins 0 Losses
Notable Accomplishments – K-1 Kickboxing Champion, Golden Gloves Medalist
Team – Chute Boxe and Renzo Gracie Fight Academy

 

SFCL and The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness present The National Amateur Spotlight.
Representing the famed Chute Boxe and Renzo Gracie Fight Academy, this is Victor “Big Joker” Azeredo. Victor stands 5’11 and competes between 145 and 160 pounds. Victor is a well-rounded fighter; While he is only 2-0 in MMA (both wins via submission), he holds a K-1 kickboxing title in Manhattan, a BJJ purple belt, was a varsity wrestler, and a Golden Gloves medalist. Victor is also ranked #11 in New Jersey at lightweight by tapology.com.

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Victor was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and currently lives in “the concrete jungle” of Newark, New Jersey. Victor’s martial arts journey started at a young age, from an impressive family lineage. “My dad is Luis Azeredo, the first man to beat Anderson Silva, so MMA and fighting is just in the bloodline and I wanted to keep it like that”.

Victor has no fights currently scheduled, but we will keep you updated when he returns to action.

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Contributing Writer – Conrad “The Influence” Loucks 

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The Rise Of “The Bearded Dragon” Christopher O’Brien

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July 31st 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Christopher O’Brien
Nickname – The Bearded Dragon
Weight – 155 Pounds
Record – 2 Wins 0 Losses
Team – South Shore SportFighting

 

 

Where are you from?
Rockland, MA.

 

How long have you been training?
I took some grappling classes right out of high school, but I’ve been training full time close to 2 years now.

 

How did you get in to MMA?
First MMA fight I ever saw was Rampage Jackson vs. Chuck Liddell on PPV. One of my buddies from high school invited me over to watch it. Didn’t know anything about MMA at the time. I immediately fell in love with the sport.

 

Tell us about your nickname how you got it.
The Bearded Dragon: Not much to tell. If you’re from my gym, you know you don’t pick your nickname, our coach does… and he doesn’t tell you what he’s chosen. So the first time you hear it is usually when you’re getting announced in the cage. I have a beard and he thought it sounded funny. Mainly because there’s nothing intimidating about a bearded dragon. Good one, Bill.

 

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
I wouldn’t say there was a defining moment. Since seeing the sport for the first time, I always wanted to compete. Which is no easy task coming from SSSF. You have to earn the right to represent our team in the cage.

 

Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA?
100%. Obviously your loved ones are always concerned for your safety, but they know how hard I work so they knew I would be safe and do well.

 

What is your current record?
2-0.

 

What is your favorite strike, submission, or combination to use in a fight?
If you’ve watched either of my fights, you know the answer to that question… OVERHAND RIGHT!

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Who is your biggest inspiration?
As weird as it may sound, my biggest inspiration is me when I was younger. I want to become someone who the 12 year old me would be proud of and look up to.

 

What team do you train with?
THE South Shore Sportfighting in Norwell, MA.Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground?
Believe it or not, I would definitely consider myself a ground fighter, but I do love a good old fashioned brawl.

 

What does being a fighter mean to you?
It means giving everything you have and never giving up. No matter what.

 

What weight do you fight at?
Lightweight (155lbs)

 

What do you think separates you from other fighters In your division?
This one’s easy. My team. Any success I achieve in this sport is impossible without my teammates and coaches.

 

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against?
My dream fight would be against someone for a Cage Titans Title. Doesn’t matter who.

 

Who has been your toughest fight to date?
I’ve only has two so far, but definitely my last fight against Josh Halliday from USMMA. Kid took every shot I threw at him. Much respect.

 

What is your mindset going in to a fight?
Winning or losing doesn’t matter. Making my teammates, coaches and loved ones proud of my performance and hard work is all I care about.

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Who are you fighting next?
My next opponent is Quentin Harris (1-1).

 

What holes or weaknesses will you be looking to take advantage of in your opponents game plan?
I’m not looking for weaknesses in his game. Quentin wanted this fight and wants to stand/put on a show for the fans. I’ve granted his request. DON”T BLINK!

 

What promotion are you fighting for?
Cage Titans FC. Best promotion around.

 

Date and time of your next fight?
Saturday, August 12th @ Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, MA. Doors @ 5 / Fights @ 6. HIT ME UP FOR TICKETS!!!

 

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
All I care about is making the people closest to me proud. If people remember me for the fighter I become, then that’s cool too.

 

What is your favorite quote or motto?
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite quote, but for MMA it has to be this:
“There’s no talent here. This is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist. We are all equal as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top and that’s that. I am not talented. I am obsessed,” -Conor McGregor

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far?
My biggest accomplishment to date would have to be holding the fastest KO record in Cage Titans history (0:06).

 

Who has been most influential to you in your career?
My head coach, Bill Mahoney. Hands down. Everyone at South Shore Sportfighting owe our careers to that man.

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Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why?
I won’t say who but what… I think the Forrest Griffin/Stephan Bonnar fight on The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finale was the defining moment for MMA. In my opinion, thats when the general public really took notice and started becoming fans of the sport.

 

How would you describe your fighting style?
Brawler with a ground game.

 

What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete?
To prove everyone that said I can’t WRONG, but more importantly, to prove everyone that said I could, RIGHT.

 

What is something people might not know about you?
I’m a 911 Dispatcher. If you have an emergency, I’m the guy that picks up on the other end to help.

 

When you are not in the gym training, what do you like to do in your free time?
Between work, gym and sleep, I have no free time.

 

What advice can you give to young fighters and those who want to become fighters?
If you want it bad enough and are willing to put in the work, you can make it happen. I’m proof of that.

 

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter?
I’d probably be doing the same, but i would have a lot more free time and a lot less bruises!

 

What gets you mentally prepared for a fight?
I empty my mind and do whatever my coaches tell me to do.

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Do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to step in the cage?
The day of the fight is just like any other day. About 5 minutes before I make the walk, that’s when I change. Some heavy music, a few jump squats to get the blood going and I’m good to go.

 

Where do you see the sport of MMA in 5 years?
Not sure. I just hope the athletes are getting paid better by then.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The top of the Lightweight Division in New England.

 

What do you think can change moving forward to make MMA better as a sport?
How much organizations pay their fighters. A lot of fighters in the UFC are underpaid (IMO) considering how much they risk every time they compete. Also, I would like to see changes to how fighters make weight to make that aspect of the sport safer.

 

Who is your favorite fighter?
Conor McGregor.

 

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to?
OF COURSE! First of all, thank you to Charlie Clark for taking the time to do this interview.

My coaches: Bill Mahoney, Scott Lockhart, Mark Giove, Tom “Mitts” McKim, Justin Burrill and Jeff Soivilien.

My teammates: Joe Giannetti, Mike “Mandown” DiNella, Manny Bermudez, Jimmy Manning, Zach DiSabatino, Johnny Campbell, Antoine Caparotta, Collin Donnelly, Chris McDonnell, Danielle Hindley, Bobby Gasdia, Sean Costello and everyone else from SSSF.

All my friends and family: You know who you are. Whether you’ve come to my fights and cheered me on or just reached out to me and shared words of encouragement, you guys are the best. Knowing all of you have my back keeps me going.
“Special thanks to Mike Polvere and the whole Cage Titans crew for everything they do.”
…and last but not least, my girlfriend Cori-Lynne Forbes for being my rock. Love ya kid.

You can find me on Facebook: @thebeardeddragonmma and Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter: @chrisob531

See everyone August 12th at Cage Titans!!!

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Amateur Spotlight Chad “Big Rig” Johnson

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July 30th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Chad Johnson
Nickname – Big Rig
Weight – Heavyweight
Record – 7 Wins 2 Losses
Titles Held – King of the Cage Heavyweight Championship
Team – Oconto Falls MMA

 

SFCL and The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness present The National Amateur Spotlight.

 

A former King of the Cage (KOTC) heavyweight champion, this is Chad “Big Rig” Johnson. Chad comes to us from Marinette, Wisconsin and represents Oconto Falls MMA. This 6’2 heavyweight holds a 7-2 MMA record. Chad is also ranked #2 in Wisconsin and #4 out of 470 active heavyweight in the Midwest United States by tapology.com.

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Chad got into martial arts thanks to his brother. “My brother, Dustin Johnson, inspired me to switch from boxing to MMA. He’s a retired pro”. Chad looks to take a step toward regaining his title, when he returns to the KOTC cage, September 9th, in Carlton, Minnesota.

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Contributing Writer – Conrad “The Influence” Loucks

Amateur Spotlight Shinju “Juju” Nozawa-Auclair

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July 16th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Shinju Nozawa-Auclair
Nickname – Juju
Weight – 115 Pounds
Record – 2 Wins 1 Loss
Team – SFS (Scorpian Fighting Systems)

 

SFCL and The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness present The National Amateur Spotlight.

 

Coming to us from San Francisco, California, this is Shinju “Juju” Nozawa-Auclair. Juju stands 5’8 and competes at 125lbs. Juju holds a 2-1 MMA record. The impressive part of this record, Juju debuted against and defeated a 5-0 opponent and her only loss is a disqualification loss for a head kick (Legal in Michigan, the state she fights out of, but illegal in Ohio, the state of that fight). For the past 2 years, Juju has been living in Michigan and training at Team SFS – Scorpion Fighting System, but she will soon be moving back to San Francisco and plans to train at El Nino Training Center.

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Juju is a striker, but has been working on her ground game, taking 1st place in 3 out of 4 BJJ tournaments she has competed in. Juju started her martial arts journey as a kid. “I did karate as a kid and took an extended break to focus on ballet. I started watching a lot of UFC fights, which re-sparked my interest in martial arts and I decided to take up MMA”.

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After a fairly short amateur career, debuting only 5 months ago, Juju has made the decision to make her professional debut next. She will be fighting July 30th, in Tokyo, Japan, at the famous Saitama Super Arena, as she faces off with Sheena STAR Brandenburg for RIZIN Fighting Federation.

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Contributing Writer – Conrad “The Influence” Loucks 

The Samurai vs The Shield Maiden

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July 11th 2017
July 30th 2017 the land of the rising sun will play host to a battle of Michigan Natives as Shinju “JuJu” Nozawa-Auclair steps into the Rizin cage to Face Sheena “Star” Brandenburg in a 125 pound match up. Both ladies will be making there pro debuts inside the hallowed grounds of the legendary Saitama Super Arena.

 

Sheena “Star” Brandenburg (25-1-15) Representing Fuse MMA enters this fight as the older and more experienced of the two fighters with over 40 amateur fights on her record, Never one to shy away from a fight the crafty Shield Maiden will look to impose her will and dominate her younger and less experienced opponent en route to her first professional victory.

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Standing across the cage will be the rising star they call “Juju” Shinju Nozawa-Auclair (2-1) representing Scorpion Fighting Systems, This young warrior with the samurai bloodline has wasted no time in showing the world that she is as dangerous as she is beautiful by scoring a unanimous decision win over undefeated Larkyn Dasch in her debut fight, with only three fights under her the young samurai is going to have to relay on everything she has learned if she hopes to stop the seasoned veteran Sheena Star and walk away with the win in her pro debut.

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This fight will be one you do not want to miss as these two female warriors will most certainly leave everything they have inside the Rizin cage and write yet another chapter in the already storied history of the Saitama Super Arena.

 

To watch this fight Live on pay per view go to http://www.fite.tv Price – $19.95

To follow both of these Ladies click the links below to check out there fan pages
https://www.facebook.com/SheenaStarrMMA/
https://www.facebook.com/JujuAuclairMMA/

Amateur Spotlight Jesse “The Apache” Smitherman

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July 10th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Jesse Smitherman
Nickname – The Apache
Weight – 145-175 Pounds
Record – 3 Wins 0 Losses
Team – Bushido Mixed Martial Arts

 

 

SFCL and The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness present The National Amateur Spotlight.

 

Representing Bushido mixed martial arts, this is Jesse “The Apache” Smitherman. Jesse stands 5’11 and competes anywhere from 145-170lbs. Jesse comes to us from Westland, Michigan, and is relatively new to mixed martial arts, with only 3 fights. However, in 3 fights, Jesse has 3 first round knockouts, totaling in just over a minute of cage time, making him 3-0, with 21, 34, and 18 second wins. Jesse is also a BJJ blue belt and #5 ranked welterweight in Michigan by tapology.com.

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Jesse credits his native heritage for his martial arts journey. “Being Native American, I’ve always had the fighting spirit in me. So, when I saw Anderson Silva beat the brakes off Forrest Griffin, the fire was lit”. Jesse has his first title fight, July 14th, at the Southgate Civic Center, as he faces off with Mike Glenn for the WXC lightweight belt.

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Contributing Writer – Conrad “The Influence” Loucks

Biz, Bang, Boom, It’s Curry “Biz Bomb” Galazka

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July 7th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Curry Galazka
Nickname – Biz Bomb
Weight – 125-135 Pounds
Record – 2 Wins 2 Losses
Team – UFC Gym Clearwater Florida

 

 

Where are you from ?
I was born and raised in Vernon, Michigan.

 

How long have you been training in Mixed Martial Arts ?
I’ve been training Mixed Martial Arts full time for roughly 2 years. However, I’ve been an athlete my whole life.

 

How did you get into MMA ?
I found myself absolutely obsessed with MMA when I first saw women competing competitively in the UFC.

 

Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
I have several nicknames from which my close friends and ohana call me. “Biz” however, has definitely been one that’s stuck with me throughout my MMA career. I honestly have no idea truly where it comes from, other than maybe that my right cross is like a bomb, naturally the “Biz Bomb” seemed appropriate 🙂

 

What was your defining moment when you knew that competing in MMA was the right path for you ?
The moment I knew it was my destiny to become a fighter had to be when I first saw Ronda Rousey and Meisha Tate headline a UFC bout. I knew I had exactly what it took and more to be where these women were competing in one of the most elite organizations for Mixed Martial Arts in the world.

 

When you decided to compete in MMA what was the reaction of family and friends and where they supportive of your decision ?
I am truly fortunate and blessed to say I have an incredible Ohana that’s been beyond supportive throughout my entire athletic career. From rodeo and t-ball as a kid, to competitive swimming, equestrian team and softball in my adolescence, to my true passion of martial arts. Never has there been a time where they weren’t there supporting from near or far. I’ll never forget my Mom, sister and uncle Brad all looking at me, at the same time Ronda and Meisha were fighting and saying, “CURRY!!!!! YOU HAVE TO DO THIS!!!!! OH MY GOD!!! YOU’LL DO SO, SO WELL IN THIS!!!! TRY IT!! YOU GOTTA TRY IT!!!!”. With that much excitement and radiating belief I could go extremely far in this, I had to find a way to get involved. And to be honest, it was it the best decision of my life!

 

What is your current record ?
My current record as an amateur MMA fighter is, (2-2-0).

 

What is your favorite strike, submission, or combination to use in a fight ?
My favorite strike would have to be the brilliant, Brazilian kick and or the Teep kick. My favorite submission would have to be either the Kimura, or the Americana arm lock.

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Who or what is your biggest inspiration ?
My biggest inspiration, besides my Mom and my sister, would have to be Mother Nature and the incredible intuition of Nature. Every wonderful wonder of the world. I seek inspiration in the things I can’t explain. The things that are unknown to me. The flower poking up through the concrete, and the way the colors dance on the clouds in the early mornings, or sunsets. I seek inspiration in the things I can’t see, but can feel. It’s these connections I have, that make me different. These connections that will make me one of the greatest new generation warriors on the planet.

 

What team do you train with ?
I was currently training with UFC gym in Clearwater, FL. However, I’m going to be training at Matt Arroyo’s gym in Tampa, FL after my fight on July 8, 2017. I’m really looking forward to it. Also, looking forward to attending a few fighter camps at ATT in Coconut Creek, FL; as well as AKA in San Jose, CA.

 

When you step in the cage where do you want the fight to take place do you want to keep it standing or take it to the ground ?
’m generally one that likes the fight to go to the ground and impose my will on my opponent. I come from a wrestling background and I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, I’m finding a new love for Muay Thai that I never thought I had. So, I’ll have to say that my game is ever evolving, as it should be 😉

 

What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Being a fighter, is something I’ve been my entire life, literally. I fought for my life in the first moments of it by having the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck cutting of circulation to my brain and body. I’ve fought to be me, and stand out differently, be courageous for those who couldn’t. Even though I always knew I was unique and had an undefined mission in this life. I knew I always had what it took to push myself to be better, faster, stronger. Being a fighter, means stepping out of my comfort zone to accomplish the things I fear the most. To stand and face adversity no matter what, no matter who, no matter where, why or how. Challenging myself to be better on every level of existence. But most of all, I’d have to say, being a fighter to me, means being an INCREDIBLY humble, gracious, inspirational and motivational role model for ALL walks of life, and leaving a legacy that is truly remarkably great.

 

What weight do you fight at ?
I normally fight at 135 lb. Bantamweight class. Though, I’m taking a fight at 125 lb. Flyweight division, as a new undiscovered challenge. So, it could be both classes, depending on coaching.

 

What do you think separates and sets you apart from other fighters in your division?
What separates me from other fighters is the fact that I have the power of the universe behind me in this journey. I will be exactly what I say I’m going to be. Without a doubt.

 

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against and why ?
My dream fight will be when I face the current Champion in the division I’m competing in for the World Title in the UFC. No matter who it is 🙂

 

Out of all your fights who has been your toughest opponent to date ?
My toughest fight to date would have to be Christina Neal. It was my very first fight way back in December, 2013. I took the first on a months notice, not knowing a thing about MMA. She was a seasoned grappler training in a real MMA gym. It was a blast, we went all three rounds ending in a Split Decision going to her. I was EXHAUSTED!!!!! LOL but will never will I forget the instilled passion I gained for fighting that night!

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What is your mindset going into a fight ?
My mindset going into a fight is breathe, and take my own pulse first.

 

Who are you fighting next ?
My next opponent is Gabi Donate (2-0), on July 8, 2017 in Fort Pierce, FL.

 

What holes or weaknesses will you be looking to take advantage of in her game plan when you both meet in the cage ?
Haha, for me to know and the crowd to find out 😉

 

Who are your sponsors and what are some of the ventures you have going on outside the cage ?
The current promotions I’m fighting for are: MyMMANews, SicChic Fight Gear, and Sam Wojoceichowski. Not fully sponsored but definitely showing support for: Our Oceans, the environment, renewable energy sources for our planet, sustainable methods of gathering food sources, rebuilding our great reefs, protecting our rainforests and endangered species, protecting and banning shark fining on a global scale, going green, as well as many more.

 

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want to be remembered as the one who truly made a difference in the lives of all those I come into contact with. In one way or another, my goal is to move the masses to living their passions and dreams to their fullest extent and believe that ALL things are possible. I want to be remembered as a truly, spectacular human being.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on you and your career ?
The one who’s been the most influential in this journey would have to have been my mom. Never have I known someone to be more inspirational or stronger of a person than her. Through all the adversity she faced growing up, to being the brilliant, dedicated, courageous woman she is today. She’s the strongest woman I’ve ever known. An I fight for her every single day. To become even a quarter of the woman she is in my life, I’ll definitely be doing damn fine!

 

Who do you think has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
I feel like the fans are the ones with the biggest impact! Without them, where would we all be besides fighting to the death gladiator style. They are the ones we all fight for. To earn respect, to inspire, to also become inspired by. They’re the ones spending their money to come out and help support us when were all mostly low-income amateur fighters brawling at the local strip club or pub to prove we have what it takes to go all the way to the UFC. From the beginning of a Fighters career, to the end of their career, the fans are there. So to me, I will do my utmost best to perform at the elite level of my abilities at every event I’m booked. To show them I truly care about being a fighter and how grateful I am that they’re taking the time to be involved in the world of MMA.

 

How would you describe your fighting style ?
I’m definitely a freestyle fighter.

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What drives and motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
I’m driven my the power of the universe. Also, I may have been born in Michigan and am very proud of being from there, but Hawai’i saved my life. It’s there I found what it truly means to be a warrior here in the modern day. So, no matter what, I am culturally Hawaiian into the deepest elements of my soul.

 

What gets you mentally prepared to step in the cage on fight night ?
Music mentally prepares me. That and the combination of movement. Just becoming in tune with my mind, body and spirit.

 

Do you have any rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
My rituals are still evolving. I have noticed myself pause and say one final praise for the fight before stepping into the cage. Usually just brings me courage, stillness within and focus for the war that is about to break out.

 

Your backstage your music plays walk us through whats going on in your head as you walk out to the cage ?
I feel like I slightly start to get tunnel vision. Like it’s all a blur. My eyes are centered in front of me, I can hear nothing but my breath and the contractility of my heart beat. Strong, ready. Almost like going underwater, except I’m hyperaware.

 

Who is your favorite fighter ?
Oh gosh LOL, this is a hard question! I have too many! The one that really truly got me started, started in MMA was Ronda Rousey. After reading her first book, it brought me to tears how similar our lives were. Her journey in Judo through the Olympics. Having a mother, who’s your greatest ally and supporter. Losing her father to suicide. So many things came into alignment for me after getting to know her through her words. I am VERY much looking for the opportunity to arise when I can roll and train with her one day! After Rousey, I’d have to say it’s an even tie between Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, Max Holloway, Daniel Cormier, Dan Henderson, Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche, Carlos Condit, and Donald Cerrone.

 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
In my free time I love being in the outdoors. Surfing, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, camping, riding my horses, working in the garden, doing farm work, grilling out, etc.

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in MMA so far ?
My biggest accomplishment in this journey so far was winning my first Amateur Bantamweight Championship belt in January, 2016. The fight was in Fostoria, OH, against Diamond Long.

 

What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in Mixed Martial Arts ?
I think we’ve worked through huge challenges as women in Martial Arts. To finally be taken seriously, (for the most part) in such an aggressive and combative sport as the UFC, truly is a testament to how far we can take this. So, stars the limit I like to say. Victory over Adversity.

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What advice would you give to the next generation of female fighters ?
LADIES!!!!!! DON’T QUIT!!! STAND AND FIGHT!! Find your inner warrior and unleash her!! Dig deep within yourselves and ignite that flame to challenge yourself on the greatest level you’ll ever face! But most of all, BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS!!!!! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!

 

Where do you see MMA in 5-10 years ?
TAKING OVER 😉 LOL

 

Where do you see yourself 5 years down the road ?
Competing for a title shot in the UFC 🙂

 

What are some of your goals and things you are looking to achieve ?
I personally want my black belt in multiple disciplines of the sport. Preferably, my black belt in BJJ. But as I said before, stars the limit!

 

Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to ?
As always, I’m shouting out to my Ohana! I love them more than words can describe and am INCREDIBLY grateful to be fighting for them every single day. I also would love to thank all my friends and supporters who’ve been there with me from the moment MMA was a twinkle in my eyes and helped to nurture this dream to reality. I have an IMMENSE amount of gratitude and humbleness for all of them! Haters included! I’d last but certainly not least, like to thank Sam Wojoceichowski for believing in me and helping be where I need to be in this crazy world of MMA. He’s been a great, great help! Also, SicChic Fight Gear for the epic apparel and support; and MyMMANews for ALWAYS giving us the greatest MMA news on the Planet, as well as donations towards my future success! I will work to forever be, the strong, genuine, humble, gracious, loving, badass fighter the world wishes to see.

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Lean Mean Smashing Machine Austin “Baby Hulk” Strehle

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July 4th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Austin Strehle
Nickname- Baby Hulk
Weight – 135 Pounds
Record – 4 Wins 1 Loss
Team – Tooele Martial Arts Academy

 

 

Where are you from ?
I am from Utah.

 

How long have you been training in Mixed Martial Arts ?
I have been training for 12 years.

 

How did you get in to Mixed Martial Arts ?
I was physically bullied a lot since I was six. I started to get depressed I got so depressed that the idea of suicide started to come to my mind and then my family came to my mind so I finally put my foot down and started learning self-defense. After I defended myself for the first time, that feeling I got of adrenaline pumping through me made me hungry and ever since, I fell in love with MMA.

 

Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
I don’t have a specific nickname but if I had to choose it would be Baby Hulk, everyone through junior high and high-school still to this day always calls me Baby Hulk. I got the nickname because of how short I am (5’5″) but during wrestling season when I would wrestle in a match people would say I’d rag doll my opponent on the mat so they started calling me Baby Hulk.

 

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
6 years old when a kid slammed my face into the window on the bus ride home from school. No one was sticking up for me so at that moment when I decided to become my own hero.

 

Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to compete in Mixed Martial Arts ?
Yeah the friends wanted nothing but discounts lol. And my family was/is very supportive they worry at times but they get by because they know I’m doing what I love, they know I’m happy.

 

What is your current record ?
4-1-0.

 

What is your favorite strike, submission, or combination to use in a fight ?
Oh man there’s to many to choose from. Favorite sub would have to be straight knee knot entered from honey hole.

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Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My uncle Brian brown, my father was never really in my life. So he did what my dad never tried to do, and that is raising a legend.

 

What team do you train with ?
Tooele Martial Arts Academy.

 

Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I’m the dictator of the fight so it goes where ever I feel is necessary to take it.

 

What does being a fighter mean to you ?
It means that I’ve been given an opportunity to prove there’s a higher power than just being the average man.

 

What weight do you fight at ?
135lbs (bantam weight division).

 

What do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
I’m willing to give and show everything I got no matter the time no matter the place. Most fighters want to have at least a month of fight camp before they fight, I can be ready by that night. I stay at 90% year around now.

 

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Demetrious Johnson. That man is not human he is a specimen from God knows where that was put on this earth to conquer and destroy but he does it in such a humble way. To me fighting a fighter like that is above and beyond the true aspect of fighting and I want to see what it feels like.

 

Who has been your toughest fight ?
Hector Garcia he’s young and still learning but we all are, that kid showed true heart fighting all the way till the last second.

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What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Kill… when I’m prepping for a fight I’m thinking that I’m the alpha in this case and they just put another alpha in my home so now I need to go in there and take him out. If I don’t take him out my family doesn’t get to eat.

 

Who are you fighting next ?
Not sure at the moment been waiting for some one to take the fight.

 

What holes or weaknesses do you look to take advantage of in your opponents game when you step in the cage on fight night ?
Every fighter is different all I can say is that hard work beats talent and I’m not talent.

 

What promotion are you fighting for ?
Steel Fist Fight Night.

 

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want to be remembered as a small town kid that never stopped chasing his dreams.

 

What is your favorite quote or motto ?
“Be like water”- Bruce Lee.

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Taking the jump to become a full time fighter.

 

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My mom and my coach Keith Azbury.

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Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
McGregor because he knows how to walk the walk and talk the talk.

 

How would you describe your fighting style ?
Savage.

 

What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
Everyone that talks about me cause just like Floyd said it best love me or hate you’re still gonna pay to watch me fight.

 

What is something people might not know about you ?
I’m low key sweetheart.

 

When you are not in the gym training what do you like to do in your free time?
Spend my time with family, go outdoors shooting, hunting, and hiking stuff like that.

 

What advice can you give to young fighters and those who want to become fighters?
Jump that bridge the minute you get the chance too.

 

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
Professional hunter maybe, I’m not sure.

 

What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
That’s classified..

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Do you have any rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
I pray to those that I love that have passed away.

 

Where do you see the sport of MMA in 5 years ?
I see no other sport being able to keep up with the whole industry MMA is taking over the world.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
I see myself fighting for bigger promotions with multiple belts.

 

What do you think can change moving forward to make MMA better as a sport ?
The ignorance of majority of fights now a days.

 

Who is your favorite fighter ?
I have to many, but my top three are Demetrious Johnson, Donald Cerrone, and Cody No Love.

 

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Yes I’d just like to say thank you to Steel Fist for letting me fight in their cage, my mom for always being there for me, my coaches and teammates at Tooele Martial Arts Academy.

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Amateur Spotlight Sean “The Sweetheart” Stebbins

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July 3rd 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Sean Stebbins
Nickname – The Sweetheart
Weight – 125 Pounds
Record – 7 Wins 0 Losses
Titles Held – Driller Promotions Flyweight Title, UMMAF Flyweight Title
Team – The Academy

 

SFCL and The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness present The National Amateur Spotlight.
Standing 5’5 and competing at 125lbs, this is Sean “The Sweetheart” Stebbins. Sean comes to us from North St. Paul, Minnesota. Representing The Academy in Brooklyn, Minnesota, Sean is currently 7-0 in MMA, including capturing the Driller Promotions and UMMAF flyweight titles. A very skilled competitor, Sean is a Pedro Sauer BJJ purple belt, 2x All-Army Combative’s National runner-up, 2009 Minnesota State wrestling participant, and a 2015 TBA tournament runner up. Sean is also ranked #1 at flyweight in Minnesota and Tennessee, #1 out of 365 active flyweight’s in the Midwest United States and #2 out of 280 active flyweights in the Southeast United States by tapology.com.

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A hockey let down lead Sean to martial arts. “I started wrestling in high school when the hockey coach told me I wasn’t going to make the team because I didn’t weigh enough. So, thanks to that guy for changing the course of my entire life”. Sean is looking to get some boxing in, later this year. “The 2017 IMMAF tournament is the only thing solidified right now. I have Military obligations this summer, but I am looking at a few boxing cards, this fall, before IMMAF”.

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To follow Sean and keep up with all his late breaking news click the link below to check out his fan page.
https://www.facebook.com/Seanstebbins125/

 

Contributing Writer – Conrad “The Influence” Loucks

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