10 Fights to Watch in June

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There’s a great month of MMA coming up, and while every fight is worth watching, here’s my ten most anticipated bouts.

Cage Warriors 55, Dublin, Ireland, 1st June

Cathal Pendred (12-2-1) vs. Che Mills (15-5, 2NC)

Check out http://www.cagewarriors.com for viewing details where you are.

KSW 23, Gdansk, Poland, 8th June

Mamed Khalidov (28-4-2) vs. Melvin Manhoef (27-10-1)

Check http://www.konfrontacja.com/en/index.php for info on how to watch this card.

UFC on Fuel TV 9, Fortaleza, Brazil, June 8th

Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1)

Thiago Silva (14-3) vs. Rafael Cavalcante (11-3)

UFC 161, Winnipeg, Canada, June 15th

Mauricio Rua (21-7) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-5)

Alexis Davis (13-5) vs. Rosi Sexton (12-2)

Stipe Miocic (9-1) vs. Roy Nelson (19-7)

Viewing details for all UFC events can be found at http://www.ufc.com

Bellator 96, Thackerville, Oklahoma, June 19th

Michael Chandler (11-0) vs. Dave Jansen (19-2)

Visit http://www.bellator.com to find out all the places where you can’t legally watch this fight.

Resurrection Fighting Alliance 8, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 21st

Sergio Pettis (7-0) vs. Jeff Curran (34-15-1)

For all the official info on RFA please visit http://www.rfafighting.com/

Scottish Fight Challenge: Reawakening, Stirling, Scotland, June 30th

Robert Whiteford (9-1) vs. Paul Reed (20-10-1)

Visit http://www.fightchallenge.net/ to buy tickets for the biggest MMA event in Scotland this summer.

Tell us what you want to read

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We’ve been doing this for about six months as Kumite, and we’ve been very lucky to have the support of some good friends, the indulgence of fighters (especially the Dinky Ninjas) and promoters and we’ve even made a few new friends along the way.

However, we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants a little bit, writing whatever pops into our minds, usually asking fighters for interviews much too close to fight time and generally without any sort of formal schedule.

So, we ask – what do you, the readers want from us?

We’ve got all sorts of ideas, but there’s no point in spending time and thought on them if they’re not going to please you.

Do we do a regular schedule of articles, so you know you’ll get event previews and reviews on a certain day, editorials and interviews in regular slots?

Do we add our own rankings to the page? Would you like those rankings to be interactive?

What do you want to see more of? Are interviews, features, editorials or event previews more likely to draw you to the page?

Would you be interested in pieces on MMA related stuff like fitness, diet or even philosophy?

What companies or fighters to you want to hear more about?

Would you be interested in a Podcast or some other such marvel of the digital age? (We may need to subtitle ourselves for non-Scots listeners…)

Basically, our aim is to play some small part in growing the sport of MMA, but we appreciate that our personal focus might not be the most popular content, and sometimes we might get a little involved in our favourite issues and lose touch with what people actually want to read about.

Yes, we admit that our opinion isn’t gospel and maybe what we feel inspired to rant about isn’t necessarily interesting to anyone else.

Give some MMA fans trying to do their bit a little help.

Tell us what you want to read.

Cage Warriors to Host Two Title Tournaments in One Night

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Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan has announced two title tournaments for their card on September 14th in Cardiff, Wales via Twitter.

Likely for the currently vacant Lightweight and Bantamweight belts, last held by Conor MacGregor and Paul McVeigh, the tournament semi finals will be contested on the Facebook undercard while the finals to decide the new champions will comprise the co-main and main event of the show.

This promises to be one of the most exciting cards of the year, and we’ll keep you posted as the participants are announced.

Down on the Upside – Nick Newell Signs for World Series of Fighting

Down on the Upside – Nick Newell Signs for World Series of Fighting

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Undefeated former XFC champion Nick Newell, has signed to the WSOF. Chris isn’t sure how he feels about that.

Upside

What Newell has achieved is incredible, as a disabled athlete who was born with a congenital amputation (meaning his left arm ends just after the elbow) to compete successfully against hale athletes in some of the most physically demanding sports imaginable (first wrestling and now MMA) is a great story in itself.

A 9-0 streak including eight first round stoppages is admirable in any fighter and Newell’s last fight saw him grab a submission win over experienced former Bellator fighter, Eric Reynolds and with it it XFC title belt.

Think how complex MMA is, with the leverage for submission holds and angles for striking effectively all wrapped up into one mental/physical challenge. Take one of your hands away and you lose one of your bigger a levers for submissions and also one of your eight points of contact for striking.

For Newell to do so well in spite of his disability is breathtaking, especially so when it’s been doubly hard for him to get fights as many non-disabled fighters have refused to fight him, seeing it as a lose-lose situation for them.

Newell deserves credit as a pioneer for inclusion in mixed martial arts, and stands alongside the likes of Matt Hamill as a beacon of hope for the similarly disadvantaged.

As such, it’s great to see him advance to a larger promotion, with a big TV deal etc.

Downside

For a start, there has been some controversy about the legitimacy of Newell’s win streak, with many commentators implying that dives have been taken, citing the improbability of a one armed man regularly submitting non-disabled opponents.

I haven’t seen any of Newell’s early fights and I don’t ever like to infer such practises in MMA so I don’t hold these accusations with a whole lot of credibility, but the water is muddied nonetheless.

More pressing is the way in which Newell’s relationship with the XFC ended. Having taken a shot on Newell with a multi fight deal and giving him a crack at their Lightweight title, Newell repaid the promotion by refusing to fight no.1 contender Scott Holtzman as he ‘only wanted to face former UFC fighters.’

So, from complaining that no-one would fight him, Newell overnight became the kind of fighter who wants to pick his opponents…

The XFC stripped him of the title and released him from his contract, rightly enraged that a fighter they’d helped build up tried to hold their title ransom.

The Crux

It’s great that a relatively new and unbeaten talent is getting the chance to fight on NBC in a promotion that has the means to really promote them. It’s even better that a disabled fighter has gained a platform to show MMA as an inclusive sport and maybe change wider perceptions.

However, is it cool that Newell, who got the can from XFC for what amounts to grossly unprofessional conduct, instantly goes on to walk into a higher profile, bigger money promotion?

That’s not right.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with ambition and at the end of the day an undefeated, relatively high profile and definitely marketable free agent was always going to get snapped up by someone, but…

… is it a good thing that Newell was effectively rewarded for pretty much throwing the XFC’s investment in him back in their face?

People you meet in every MMA gym!

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Every MMA gym is different. Some are good and some are not so good. Some will put the emphasis on striking while others will focus on grappling. However all MMA gyms, or at least the reputable ones, have something in common. The people.

Among these people you will find the same personality traits. Below is a list of these traits, if you train in a gym and don’t recognise anyone who fits the criteria your time will come my friend:

-The Heavyweight Bully – Who won’t spar with anyone over half his weight.

-The Overeager Driller – Who damn near breaks your arm every time you drill arm bars.

-The Renegade – Who ignores whatever you’re supposed to be drilling and does whatever the fuck he wants.

-The Guy Who Bleeds (nuff said).

-The Guy Who Gives Everything Every Time – Light sparring doesn’t exist with this guy. fortunately though, he usually ain’t too good.

-The Natural – The guy who does everything effortlessly but shows up once every 6 months.

-The Lost Boy – A young fella who is not sure why they are there (odds are they are wearing UFC gloves and all the expensive gear).

-The Delusional Natural – The new guy who describes his fighting style as a cross between ‘any current pound for pound best’ with ‘any other pound for pound best’.

-The Gentleman – The guy who apologises every time he hits you (it was an accident his fist slipped).

-The Turtle – The guy who folds every time he’s hit possibly believing the bad man will go away if he stays still enough.

-The Bum – The guy who never washes his shit.

-The Scholar – The guy who seems way too smart to be getting hit for fun. Will have at least one degree, a highly paid job and no real excuse for not having a safer hobby.

-The Nutritionist – The guy who can tell you whats wrong with your diet and probably his body fat percentage to the 5th decimal point.

-The Sensei – The guy who always wants to teach folk what to do despite having limited knowledge himself.

-The Specialist – The guy who despite not being able to pick up a basic rear naked will instead constantly try for leg locks, rubber guard or any submission with the word
‘flying’ before it or ‘plata’ after it. Also related to Spinning Strike Man, but that doesn’t merit its own category.

-The Dreamer – The guy who is going to start training properly from next week.

-The Ricky Hatton – The guy who gets pregnant after every fight.

-The Injured Guy – Only catch rare glimpses of him.

-Topless Guy – Usually a skinny guy with abs. Well, here’s hoping it is anyway.

-The Muscle Man – The guy in the gym who no matter how much technique he is shown will use one weapon and one weapon only. His strength. If that fails he will simply try harder.

-The Girl – The girl in the gym who has to be treated an as equal except if you hit her you sick fuck, enjoy hitting woman or something do you!

-The Misinformed Guy – The guy who started MMA because he wanted to bulk up.

-The Nostalgic Guy – The guy who loves Pride FC and thinks MMA nowadays just ain’t as good. “Pride Cro Cop would totally beat Cain Valasquez” and other such nonsense to that
effect is what you will hear from the nostalgic guy.

-The Keyboard Gangster – The guy who talks more about training than actually does it.

-The Guy You Can’t Believe Is A Fighter – The guy who’s had fights (probably won them) yet looks like a fish who has just been tazered in the desert when rolling and punches
like simple jack.

-The Weird Watching Guys – The guys who come and watch training, usually as a one off, they don’t say anything. They don’t do anything. Where do they go? No one knows.

Kev Devine

Luke Newman & Leeroy Barnes sign for Cage Warriors

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Cage Warriors Fighting Championship today announced the addition of Luke Newman and Leeroy Barnes (pictured) to its rapidly-expanding roster of talent.

The English pair have each put pen to paper on five-fight deals, which will commit them exclusively to the promotion for the next 18 months.

Newman (5-1), who alternates between American Top Team and London’s Team Titan, is one of the UK’s top lightweight prospects, having taken all five of his wins to date via first-round stoppage.

Still only 23, Newman featured as a welterweight on The Smashes series of The Ultimate Fighter last year and joins Team UK colleagues Valentino Petrescu and Bola Omoyele on the CWFC roster.

Barnes (12-10-0-1nc), who will make his CWFC debut against a yet-to-be-announced opponent at Cage Warriors 57 in Liverpool on July 20, is ranked as one of the UK’s top 15 middleweights.

The charismatic 28-year-old, who hails from Blackpool, spent four years as part of the Wolfslair Academy and has taken all 12 of his career wins by stoppage, 10 of which have come via submission.

“We’re always willing to provide a platform for talented fighters who want to compete regularly so it’s great to have Luke and Leeroy on board,” said Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan.

“They both have the skills and the right attitude, they want to be active so I know they’ll fit right in at Cage Warriors. I wish both guys luck and I’m looking forward to seeing them in action.”

Cage Warriors 55 – Undercard Preview

Cage Warriors 55 – Undercard Preview

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Sat, 01 Jun 2013
Dublin, Ireland
The Helix

Not content with topping the show with two title fights, Cage Warriors have also provided a fine undercard for their big summer show in Dublin.

The featured match below the championship bouts features former Middleweight champion Chris Fields (10-5) returning to the scene of his title loss to Jesse Taylor, looking to get back in a winning way against France’s Norman Paraisy (11-3-1, 1 NC).

Fields is a finisher, with none of his fifteen bouts going the distance and is sure to be roared on by his hometown crowd.

Across the cage, Paraisy brings a wealth of international experience which included three bouts in Bellator and wins over Jack Mason and Paulo Filho.

Also a known finisher, although biased in favour of submissions where Fields prefers to strike, Paraisy has also shown the ability to gut out decision wins, with a 3-2 record in fights that have gone the distance.

It’s a top quality fight for Fields, with a quality opponent who is far from a can, placed in his path to be crushed on home soul and rehabilitate his record. For Paraisy, it’s a return to a happy hunting ground after his stunning 2011 TKO of Jack Mason.

For either man, a win puts them right back in the conversation for a Middleweight title shot.

Next up is another hometown fighter, Paul Redmond (7-3) riding a four fight run of stoppage wins in Cage Warriors as he welcomes Gloucester’s Marc Allen (7-2) to Cage Warriors.

Training out of Team Ryano, Redmond has (like Chris Fields) never gone to a decision and has mixed up his submission and TKO victories. Allen on the other hand has gone he distance a few times, including his two highest profile wins under the BAMMA banner last year forming part of his current 3-0 streak.

Both of these guys are on a roll and with the CWFC Lightweight belt sitting vacant, now is as good a time as any to impress.

Fresh off his wafer thin split decision loss to German grappler Gregor Herb at CWFC Fight Night 8 in the UAE, Gym01’s Mike “Big Daddy” Ling (11-6) brings his 6 foot 6 inch frame to Dublin, looking to take a win from game, hometown fighter Henry Fadipe (5-5-1).

Ling’s best weapon is his standup while Fadipe has shown a willingness to go for the knockout or get knocked out in the process. Neither man has ever won via decision.

Someone is going to sleep…

Freshly boosted to the main card is the Bantamweight battle between France’s Jean N’Doye (6-1) who holds a win over the significantly larger Dan Hope from 2011. N’Doye was very impressive at CWFC53 in Glasgow, submitting Rich Edgeworth in the third to round of a slick performance.

Across the cage, Antrim’s veteran Steve McCombe (17-19-1) has shared the cage with a who’s on of Europe’s lighter weight fighters including Neil Seery, Phil Harris, Paul McVeigh, Vaughan Lee and Artemij Sitenkov.

True, he’s lost most of his high profile matches, but with fourteen submission wins and a colossal 37 fight career behind him, he’s no can for rising star N’Doye.

On the Facebook prelims we have the always entertaining Liam James (6-5) fresh off his Match of the Year candidate with Alan Philpott in March and looking to arrest a 1-3 slide against Northern Ireland’s Stephen Coll (4-3).

These guys have 9 out of 10 combined wins via submission, so if you’ll forgive my vernacular, we’re probably gonna see some sick jits here.

Also on the FB prelims is John Redmond (4-6) who became a Kumite favourite when he went public with his issues with Cage Contender’s failure to pay him earlier this year. That kind of thing takes guts.

So don’t be confused by his currently negative record, as Redmond has felt his losses in wars to some of Ireland’s best talents including a brace of defeats to John Michael Sheil and feeling the grasp of Chris Field’s Brabo choke. He faces Poland’s Piotr Ptasinski (4-3) in the first televised match on the night.

Even without the main events, I’d be tuning in to this card as we’ve got some very interesting stylistic match ups between game fighters and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if its a very quick evening that leaves the judges services surplus to requirements.

You can watch the main card on MMAJunkie.com (North America), Joe.ie (Ireland), Sportstube.tv (Italy) and CageWarriors.tv (everywhere else, including UK & Ireland) starting at 9pm local time, preceded by Facebook prelims at 7:45 pm local time.

We’ll keep you up to date with any breaking news and have an interview with a Cage Warriors veteran in the pipeline for the next few days. Please follow @TeamKumite on Twitter for live commentary on the night and regular MMA news.

MAIN
• Cathal Pendred vs. Che Mills – for welterweight title
• Neil Seery vs. Mikael Silander – for inaugural flyweight title
• Chris Fields vs. Norman Paraisy
• Marc Allen vs. Paul Redmond
Henry Fadipe vs. Mike Ling
Jean N’Doye vs. Steve McCombe

PRELIMINARY (Facebook)
• Stephen Coll vs. Liam James
• Piotr Ptasinski vs. John Redmond