An enormous step forward for W. Va. MMA

What a night!  Caged Fury 16 was an incredible event and all the props go to Simons Promotions, The NAAFS and Kegler’s sports bar for organizing such a fantastic spectacle for W. Va. MMA fans.

My immediate reactions are that:

A) West Virginia has been craving a professional MMA event.  The Morgantown Event Center was sold-out and packed in, and the crowd was roaring and into the fights from start to finish.

and

B) Mixed Martial Arts is approximately 1934859.58 times better in person than on TV.  I haven’t missed a UFC event on pay-per view since I first started watching at UFC 66 and  I can safely say the electricity of the moment and the speed of the fighters is an entirely different animal in person.  Seeing somebody get knocked out on TV is cool, but seeing somebody get caught with a perfect head kick in person is unreal.  If you are a fan of MMA and have never been to a live event, you owe it to yourself to go.

Another aspect of Caged Fury 16 that deserves attention is the fact that it hosted the first women’s MMA matchup in the state’s history.  The two women involved, Ashley “Smashley” Cummins and Stephanie “Macaquinha” Frausto, put on a great show for the crowd in a bout which saw Cummins take the unanimous decision victory.

For me, it was cool to see how into the women fighters everyone in attendance was.  I was a bit worried the women wouldn’t live up to the hype because, being only 115 pounds, they don’t have the kind of stopping power some of the men have, but they put on a hugely entertaining ground battle which saw several close submission attempts and reversals of position.

For the future of women’s MMA, one couldn’t ask for a better debut–both women stayed safe, nobody got injured and it was an entertaining match-up from start to finish.  I’m expecting more women’s fights in the future, and Cummins vs. Frausto is a huge reason for this.

The only disappointment of the night came in the main event, where Sean “The Big Sexy” McCorkle absolutely demolished his opponent, the undefeated Mike Gordon, in less than one round.

McCorkle told me before the fight he was going to get a quick submission win via arm triangle, and that is exactly what he did.  While it is insanely impressive to call your shot in an unpredictable sport like MMA, I think McCorkle needed a more seasoned and game opponent.  The crowd definitely wasn’t loving the quick victory, but McCorkle took care of business and continued his recent streak of dominance.

For W. Va. MMA fans, the future looks blindingly bright.  Word circled the sold out Event Center that the NAAFS would be returning in April, and with the success of Caged Fury 16, I think it is safe to expect a heavy dose of Mountain State MMA in the future.

I’ll be posting some pictures, videos and more in-depth look at the fighters soon, so stay tuned for more coverage of Caged Fury 16 courtesy the CoalFist!

Advertisements

Twitter scavenger hunt thoughts

The Twitter scavenger hunt was hugely entertaining for me. For some reason, I really enjoy talking to strangers and don’t feel uncomfortable doing that (unless they’re offering me Popsicles from their cellar). The scavenger hunt afforded me the opportunity to talk with a bunch of random people and learn things about the University I was previously unaware of, which was really cool.

Besides being entertained with the one-on-one social aspect of the hunt, I enjoyed following other schools’ responses and seeing what their students were coming up with to respond to a similar question set. I saw some beautiful pictures from campuses I have never been (and probably will never be) to, so it was like stationary traveling, if you will.

Although the hunt was fun and entertaining, it was incredibly difficult to post a photo, quote, description and hashtag in 140 characters or less. Oftentimes, I was given a great quote but had to condense it, and I feel the person’s words lose some power in that way. Still though, I got to meet some cool people, learn some neat things and share it with other schools, so the experience as a whole was worthwhile.

The immediate payoff of the hunt was evident as well, as I gained followers and starting following more people almost instantly after the hunt was over. Thanks to the hunt, I have a larger “fan-base” and can reach a wider audience now which will lead to more “effective” tweets. It proved that Twitter can provide instant, open interactions with people from all over the country, and that is just awesome to me.

Spotlight: Josh Streight, fighting for a purpose

Josh Streight is a 24 year old father, husband and fighter.  Despite suffering hard times in his adolescence and oftentimes falling victim to the many temptations a young adult may face, he has changed his life and shaped a brighter future through mixed martial arts, his wife and his child.  Following is an interview I conducted with Streight.

When did you decide to start training MMA?

I actually used to train a few years ago but I ended up taking a break for a while. I’ve been training hard for a little over a year now.

Where do you train?

My gym is Moundsville Martial Arts. JJ Corley is, through my eyes, the best coach around.

What areas of MMA did you focus on the most at first?

I’d have to say just learning the right way to strike. I had a street fighting background but that just dont fly with MMA.  There is more to fighting than just swingin’, and that’s something I had to figure out the hard way.

What areas do you focus on the most now?

I focus on everything but my favorite would have to be kicks. The legs bring so much power to a fight if you can use them the right way.

What is the most difficult obstacle you face with training?

The schedule. Between working, being a dad and training you dont have time for anything.

What is your favorite component of the sport? Least favorite?

I’d have to say the best part is that I can fight without getting in trouble with the law (laughs). The only thing I dont like about it is that it labels you, so if I were to go out to a bar and people know that I train, chances are that they want to stand up to show their man hood (more laughs). It’s best to just back down and let them have the little bit of limelight that they get out of the situation as opposed to fighting and going to jail.

What do you want to do in the future with MMA?

Honestly i dont have a big future in MMA. I’m already 24 so my window of fame is really small. The reason i stick with it is because im not bad haha and the demands of the sport keep me from the bad habits I had in the past.

What have you learned most or benefitted from the most with training?

Everyone benefits differently from the sport.  I was naturally an angry person in the past, but now I get to get all my aggression out the right way and I can come home and be the best dad/husband that any man can be. I never get angry anymore. I can actually back down and talk my way out of a situation.

What advice would you give a young fighter wanting to start?

I’d say anyone can do it.  Find a gym that fits the style that you want and go with it. My wife is 5’3 100lbs and she has shown amazing progress in kickboxing the past 3 months. We need alot more women to get in the sport. If anyone has any questions contact JJ Corley the owner of Moundsville Martial Arts.

Thank you for your time and keep up the great work!

Thanks man, have a good one.

“Caged Fury 16” update

Caged Fury 16, an MMA event hosted by the North American Allied Fight Series and Simons Promotions, has sold out its show in Morgantown Saturday night, according to Simons Promotions owner Stephen Simons.

We’re totally sold out now, and we’re expecting a great night of fights.  It’s hectic getting everything organized with the enormous response we got, but it’s a good problem to have.  The show is going to be fantastic.

The weigh-ins for “Caged Fury 16” will be at Kegler’s sports bar at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and are open to the public.

Doors to the event at the Morgantown Event Center open at 6 p.m. Saturday and fights start at 7 p.m.

“Caged Fury 16” will bring MMA to Morgantown

The North American Allied Fight Series is set to host “Caged Fury 16” at 7 pm on Saturday, January 28 at the Morgantown Event Center.

This mixed martial arts event, which is hosted by Simons Productions, will serve as one of the first sanctioned MMA events in West Virginia history and will feature the state’s first ever women’s matchup.

“We’re really excited about being able to hold mixed martial arts events in W. Va now,” said Stephen Simons, owner of Simons Productions.

“We have a great card and I’m expecting it to be a great night of fights.”

The fight card is deep from top to bottom and it features Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Sean “The Big Sexy” McCorkle as well as W. Va. native Nathan “Bamm” Bryant in his professional debut.

“He [McCorkle] is looking to get back into the UFC with another win, so he’s very motivated right now,” Simons said.

McCorkle, who went 1-2 during his stint with the UFC, is presently riding a three fight win-streak in which he defeated each opponent by submission in under two minutes.

Standing across the cage from McCorkle on Saturday night will be undefeated heavyweight Mike Gordon.  At 6-1, 295 pounds, Gordon is a huge, powerful fighter and he is coming off a 15 second technical knock-out victory in his last outing.

The other heavyweight matchup on Saturday’s card features W. Va native Bamm Bryant in his professional MMA debut against Ohio’s Rick “Have a Nice” Day.

“I’ve known Bamm for the past two, three years,” said Simons.  “He’s a local guy and he’s excited to be fighting in front of his hometown fans, so he’ll be bringing it for sure.”

Along with Bryant’s professional debut, “Caged Fury 16” will be the scene of mixed martial arts history in the form of a women’s 110 pound scrap.

The bout between the highly touted, undefeated Ashley Cummins and Stephanie Frausto will mark the first women’s MMA fight in West Virginia history, and it has all the makings of a show-stealing, barn-burner of a fight.

“Cummins and Frausto will be fired up and looking to put on a great show to represent the women martial artists,” Simon said.  “This bout may very well steal the show.”

Adding to the already deep fight card is Bellator Fighting veteran Joey “The Hitman” Holt.  Holt is coming off his recent destruction of Clint Musser at Bellator 51, and he will be looking for a similar highlight reel knock-out finish Saturday.

“Caged Fury 16” is sure to be a high-intensity, entertaining event for fight fans across the Mountain State.  With fighters like McCorkle, Holt, Brant and the inaugural W. Va. women’s matchup on the card, this event promises not to disappoint.

“We’re about sold out, and I’m expecting it to sell out by fight time,” said Simons.  “People are into it and that’s a good sign that we’ll be able to continue doing this.”

Tickets can be purchased at Kegler’s sports bar or online at www.simonspromotions.com.

The event will be on DirecTV and Dish Network’s Sports Time Ohio, and the official weigh-ins will be held at Kegler’s sports bar Friday, January 27 at 7 pm.

My blogroll

Alltop MMA– Alltop MMA compiles news from the most popular mixed martial arts websites online into one convenient location, making it useful for finding a broad range of MMA updates.

Baltimore Sun Web blog– This is the official MMA blog of The Baltimore Sun.  You can count on its info to be accurate and unbiased.

Bleacher Report– Bleacher Report is a reputable sports news outlet, and their MMA section features breaking news and opinions, making it a useful resource.

Bloody Elbow– Bloody Elbow is one of the best MMA blogs on the web.  It has a ton of info and is constantly being updated, making it a great source for new material.

Century MMA– Century MMA is a great website for the MMA enthusiast who wants to start training.  The sites sells gear for all skill levels.

FindMMAgym– This site is incredibly useful for somebody who wants to start training MMA; it searches by zip code and finds all the major gyms in your area.

Octagon Buzz– Octagon Buzz is the definitive blog for the UFC.  For UFC news/updates, this is the place to go.

UFC– The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the premier mixed martial arts organization. Fighter bios, upcoming fights, past results and a myriad of multi-media components can be found here.

Cagewriter– Cagewriter is Yahoo! sports’ MMA blog.  For reliable, professional material fast, check out Cagewriter.

MMA-core– MMA-core is an “all-puprose” MMA website featuring videos, news and gear for sale.

MMA Junkie– MMA junkie is another great mixed martial arts news site, and it features rumors and speculations along with results and fighter interviews.

MMAmania– MMA mania features fighter profiles, upcoming fight info and results for recent events.

Mark Munoz injured for UFC on FOX 2

Mark Munoz has been forced out of the co-main event against Chael Sonnen with an injury at “UFC on FOX 2” January 28th.  Taking Munoz’s spot against Sonnen will be British banger Michael Bisping.

UFC president Dana White tweeted the news earlier today saying,

“Munoz is injured & out of FOX fight! Now it’s Chael Sonnen vs Mike Bisping 1/28 & winner will fight Anderson for the title.”

The implication of a title shot is huge for Bisping, but it also yields a potentially easier matchup for Chael, who should be able to cruise to a decision over Bisping by controlling him on the ground.

Bisping was previously slated to fight Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia on the card, but Maia will now face the undefeated and super talented Chris Weidman.

This sets up an interesting bout, as Weidman is an extraordinary wrestler but may not want to take the grappling wizard Maia down.

The timing was inconvenient for this to go down, and it’s a terrible setback for Munoz, but the UFC pulled through and pieced together the card in crunch-time as they always do.