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How to become an mma champion

  • Darren till is confident about becoming a UFC champion in the future.
  • According to Till when the time is right for him he will wear UFC gold.

Former UFC welterweight title contender and current middleweight Darren Till came up short in his last fight against Robert Whittaker. In the main event of UFC Fight Night 174, which was the last event on UFC fight island in Abu Dhabi, Till(18-3 in MMA) lost a unanimous decision to the former middleweight king Whittaker. The fight itself was a very close contest and a display of tactical prowess of both men.

Darren Till is currently 1-1 in the UFC middleweight division. He earned a split decision over another former middleweight title contender Kelvin Gastelum in his middleweight debut.

Darren Till decided to move up a weight class after his brutal knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC London last year. The weight cut for welterweight was always a harsh one for Till. Many including the fighter himself believed the cut was taking a toll on his performance in a bad way. Back to back losses to then welterweight champ Tyron Woodley and the BMF champion and recent title challenger Jorge Masvidal forced Till to reconsider his weight class.

With a deteriorated chin and stamina at 170, and not to mention Till’s huge physique the move to middleweight was touted to be perfect for the “pride of Liverpool”.

Despite his recent loss to former champion “The Reaper”, Till’s stock is up. Top middleweight contenders and the champ himself Israel Adesanya are more than interested to stand across the octagon with “The Gorilla”.

Recently while speaking to Ariel Helwani Till talked about his title aspirations.

I don’t think it’s a matter of how long it takes. I don’t know” said Till when asked about how long it would take for him to fight for the middleweight crown.”No one could argue I was put on the sport to become a UFC champion.” said the confident Englishman, “No one can convince me otherwise. When it happens it’s gonna happen.”

Till was touted as the next big thing and the champion before he fought then welterweight champ Tyron Woodley for the belt. Although 1-3 in his last 4 fights, his losses have come against two former world champions and the biggest star in the UFC at the moment in Masvidal.

And at just 27 Till’s best days as a fighter is yet to come. Him fighting the likes of “The Last Stylebender” or Paulo Costa is in every fan’s wishlist. But with Adesanya and Costa set to look horns at UFC 253 and Till having recently fought Whittaker, an opponent like Jared Cannonier or Jack Hermansson makes the most sense for till in a stacked middleweight division.

  • Hot UFC middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan has set some sky-high goals for himself.
  • Edmen Shahbazyan said that he’s well and truly on course to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming the youngest UFC champion ever.

Hot UFC middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan has set some sky-high goals for himself.

At just 22 years of age, Edmen Shahbazyan is already 4-0 in the UFC and 11-0 in his MMA career. Ahead of his main event clash again veteran fighter Derek Brunson this weekend in Las Vegas, Edmen Shahbazyan said that he’s well and truly on course to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming the youngest UFC champion ever. Speaking to MMA Fighting, Edmen Shahbazyan revealed that he already has everything chalked out and said that he believes he will be champion before July 2021.

“I know being the youngest champion is at 23 years and 8 months by Jon Jones. I turn 23 in November and then I have eight months after that. That leaves me until July of next year. That’s a good amount of time for me to reach my goal of being champion. That’s one year from now, and I believe the way I’m going with a couple more wins, it will put me in that position to make that goal into reality.”

Edmen Shahbazyan once famously served as Ronda Rousey’s sparring partner during an open workout ahead of the latter’s UFC debut against Liz Carmouche back in 2013. Now, seven years later, it’s Edmen Shahbazyan’s turn to shine as he looks to overcome Brunson en-route to the much-coveted UFC gold which presently adorns the waist of reigning champion Israel Adesanya.

“I think Adesanya is a good fighter. A very slick fighter and a good champion. He’s definitely a challenge that I would love to face in the near future. It would be amazing. That’s definitely the fight I see in the future.”

However, Edmen Shahbazyan isn’t getting ahead of himself and is solely focused on winning his upcoming fight against Brunson for now.

How to Become an MMA Champion

By Farah Hannoun August 5, 2020 4:30 pm

By Farah Hannoun | August 5, 2020 4:30 pm

Darren Till hasn’t given up on his goal of becoming UFC champion.

Till (18-3-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC) was recently on the cusp of earning another shot at gold, this time at 185 pounds, but fell short in his pursuit.

The former UFC welterweight title challenger was edged out by Robert Whittaker in the UFC on ESPN 14 headliner in July, where he suffered a torn MCL in the second round.

But despite losing three of his past four, Till is confident that he still has what it takes to reach the top, and it’s only a matter of time.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of how long it takes,” Till told ESPN. “I don’t know, I have no goal. I think when the time’s ready – I know what I was put on this earth for, no one can convince me otherwise. I was put on this earth to be a champion in the UFC and be a future GOAT, so when it happens, it’s going to happen. Until then, I’m just going to enjoy my last few days here (Dubai), and then I’m going to look forward to my next fight.”

He continued, “I just want to fight, I just want to be the best. I can’t do anything else. I will not be able to retire if I don’t become one of the best. … I have to do it, I’ve got to do it, and I’m so determined and convinced. I’m going to train harder, and I’m going to be more vicious and violent as ever.”

Till said he won’t require surgery on his right knee, and while he suffered the injury early in the fight, he said he’s not one to use it as an excuse. It was a close fight, and Till thinks the performance he put up against the former UFC middleweight champion was a good indicator of where he stands in the division.

“When people give excuses and stuff over little things in life and the weight cuts or whatever, it just doesn’t cohere with me,” Till said. “You either win a fight or you lose a fight. There ain’t no ifs, buts, whats. Yeah, if my knee was a little bit better, maybe things would have been a bit different, but it was a 3-2 fight for him or 3-2 fight for me, so I haven’t left that fight thinking anything.

“He was the former champ. A few more fights, and I am going to be the champion. I want that. I see all these – when you’re doing your chats with (Daniel Cormier) and he’s calling Khabib (Nurmagomedov) the GOAT, I love seeing that because it makes me thrive to one day have my name mentioned like that. People could watch this now and be like, ‘Yeah, whatever Till,’ and people will be like, ‘Yeah, Till’s definitely going to be a GOAT,’ but it’s just what I set out to do. Step by step, I’m proving it, and I’m a high-level fighter. I’m a high-level striker in MMA.”

From making your first step in the gym to becoming a world champion in the octagon, the BBC MMA Show breaks down how to reach the top of the MMA tree.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Have you ever wondered if you’d be tough enough to make in the world’s biggest MMA organisation?

Who knows? Perhaps you could become the next Conor McGregor or, if you didn’t get things right, maybe the next CM Punk.

In this week’s BBC MMA Show podcast, former UFC fighter Dan Hardy and journalist Nick Peet discuss the key points in a fighter’s career, giving you an in-depth breakdown of how to go from amateur to champion.

Getting in the right gym

Dan Hardy: With the growth of MMA in this country, there are so many good gyms that you can step into and they offer you everything you need.

You can start the way that other people start and go down the traditional martial arts route, or you start with Brazilian jiu jitsu, but then you’re ultimately learning one sport to try and apply it to another.

Because you can study mixed martial arts in so many places now, you’ve really got to find the right one. There are so many retired MMA fighters that have got a lot of experience, so they can coach a fighter to the level they need to be to start competing.

Starting your amateur career

Nick Peet: The IMAF (International Martial Arts Federation) are doing sensational things for the amateur side of the sport right now and the UFC are a trusted partner with them.

We’re seeing former gold medallists from the IMAF World Championships now actually transferring over to the UFC and other big promotions.

Cage Warriors also now do their own academy for amateur fighters, so you can go there and have a dozen or so amateur fights that’ll set you up perfectly before you begin your pro career. There’s never been a better time to turn to MMA.

Going pro

Dan: If you’re just chasing the money then, ultimately, you’re probably going to end up on a show that’s not matching you with the right kind of opponents.

You can go on to shows that will throw a bit of cash at you, but then they’re going to match you with some kind of monster that’s going to dump you on your head and then no-one will ever hear from you again.

It’s a case of finding the right promotion that will not only pay you what you’re worth, but who is also going to find the right match-ups to build you as a fighter.

Finding the right fights

Dan: It’s important to be proactive. When I was fighting I had a list on the wall in my house.

If somebody called me out, I’d add their name to the list. If someone won a particular title or a particular fight, I’d add their names to my list.

The other thing I was paying attention to was who was leaving the big organisations and moving down. If you’ve got someone who’s been a Cage Warriors champion that’s lost their belt, then he would be a good target for me because that’s a good stepping-stone to get to the Cage Warriors title.

When you get to the top of smaller MMA promotions, then you need to look at former UFC fighters because you can make a name off the back of them.

Winning a relevant title

Nick: Most journalists will follow certain promotions such as the likes of Cage Warriors and BAMMA domestically and we’ll keep an eye out for fighters starting their careers from good gyms.

If a fighter has come from a good gym, then got into a Cage Warriors show, gone three or four wins without any losses, then you know they’re worth looking out for and that someone is going places.

Then the title comes after that. A title in Cage Warriors is a stepping-stone to getting somewhere like the UFC and ultimately making good money in the sport and becoming globally renowned.

No-one can promote you like you. Fighters have to to be ready to promote themselves when they get to decent-sized shows.

Darren Till hasn’t given up on his goal of becoming UFC champion.

Till (18-3-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC) was recently on the cusp of earning another shot at gold, this time at 185 pounds, but fell short in his pursuit.

The former UFC welterweight title challenger was edged out by Robert Whittaker in the UFC on ESPN 14 headliner in July, where he suffered a torn MCL in the second round.

But despite losing three of his past four, Till is confident that he still has what it takes to reach the top, and it’s only a matter of time.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of how long it takes,” Till told ESPN. “I don’t know, I have no goal. I think when the time’s ready – I know what I was put on this earth for, no one can convince me otherwise. I was put on this earth to be a champion in the UFC and be a future GOAT, so when it happens, it’s going to happen. Until then, I’m just going to enjoy my last few days here (Dubai), and then I’m going to look forward to my next fight.”

He continued, “I just want to fight, I just want to be the best. I can’t do anything else. I will not be able to retire if I don’t become one of the best. … I have to do it, I’ve got to do it, and I’m so determined and convinced. I’m going to train harder, and I’m going to be more vicious and violent as ever.”

Till said he won’t require surgery on his right knee, and while he suffered the injury early in the fight, he said he’s not one to use it as an excuse. It was a close fight, and Till thinks the performance he put up against the former UFC middleweight champion was a good indicator of where he stands in the division.

“When people give excuses and stuff over little things in life and the weight cuts or whatever, it just doesn’t cohere with me,” Till said. “You either win a fight or you lose a fight. There ain’t no ifs, buts, whats. Yeah, if my knee was a little bit better, maybe things would have been a bit different, but it was a 3-2 fight for him or 3-2 fight for me, so I haven’t left that fight thinking anything.

“He was the former champ. A few more fights, and I am going to be the champion. I want that. I see all these – when you’re doing your chats with (Daniel Cormier) and he’s calling Khabib (Nurmagomedov) the GOAT, I love seeing that because it makes me thrive to one day have my name mentioned like that. People could watch this now and be like, ‘Yeah, whatever Till,’ and people will be like, ‘Yeah, Till’s definitely going to be a GOAT,’ but it’s just what I set out to do. Step by step, I’m proving it, and I’m a high-level fighter. I’m a high-level striker in MMA.”

How to Become an MMA Champion

Darren Till believes he will become the UFC middleweight champion and only needs “a few more fights” in order to make that happen. Till fell short against the former 185lb king, Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Island 3 on July 25. The two men went back and forth over five rounds on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Whittaker ultimately getting the decision on the judge’s scorecards.

Till took time out to reflect on his defeat while speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The 27-year-old seemed in good spirits despite the loss, said he had no excuses, and remains confident of capturing UFC gold sooner rather than later.

“When people give excuses over little things in life and the weight cuts and whatever it just doesn’t cohere with me. You either win a fight or you lose a fight,” Till said. “There is no if, buts, what’s. Yeah, if my knee was a little bit better maybe things would’ve been a bit different but it was a three-two fight for him or three-two fight for me, so I haven’t left that fight thinking anything. He was the former champ. A few more fights mate and I am going to be the champion.”

Till went on to explain how he draws inspiration from hearing Helwani and Daniel Cormier speak about the greatest fighters in the sport and says he one day hopes to be mentioned in the GOAT conversation, he said.

“You know when you’re doing your chats with DC and he’s calling Khabib the GOAT and GSP. I love seeing that because it makes me thrive to one day have my name mentioned like that. People can watch this now and be like ‘yeah, whatever Till’. And people will be like ‘yeah Till is definitely going to be a GOAT’. It’s just what I set out to do Ariel and step by step I’m proving it. I’m a high-level fighter. I’m a high-level striker in MMA.”

Mentions of MMA’s GOAT motivate @darrentill2 to have his name in the conversation one day 🐐

Do you think Darren Till will become a UFC champion?

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Carla Esparza has enjoyed running off four straight wins and becoming the strawweight division’s halter of hype trains. Now she’s ready to get back to a title fight in one of the UFC’s most competitive divisions.

Esparza earned a hard fought split decision win over Marina Rodriguez at UFC on ESPN 14 this past month in Abu Dhabi. “Cookie Monster” was able to overcome some admitted mistakes, and some unique striking from Rodriguez off of her back to get her hand raised once again.

“Honestly, I feel we were pretty well prepared for everything that she had,” Esparza told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “The only thing that may have caught me off guard a little bit were the strikes off of her back. I didn’t think she would be as dangerous as she was. When I gave her the opportunity being on top and going for those foot locks, she was very aggressive and took advantage of that short amount of time down there.

“She was super tough. She does have a lot of grit and a no quit attitude. When I went for my second foot lock, I thought I heard a few pops and she would tap, but she was super, super tough.”

The judges’ scorecards were all over the place following the super competitive matchup with one judge giving Esparza the first and third rounds, another giving Rodriguez the first and second, and the final judge giving Esparza the clean sweep.

Although the fight was very close, Esparza believes that Clemens Werner was accurate in his scoring.

“I felt that I won all three rounds, but I was a little scared at that moment,” Esparza said. “I would’ve been kicking myself going for those heel and foot lock attempts had the decision gone the other way, but I was able to pull it off.”

One of the bright stars to come out of the UFC’s trip to Fight Island was fellow 115er Amanda Ribas. Following her first-round submission win over Paige VanZant at UFC 251, Ribas called for the winner of the fight between Esparza and Rodriguez.

Esparza has been eyeing a fight with longtime rival Claudia Gadelha, who is now booked to fight Yan Xiaonan on Sept. 26, but she is more than willing to face another rising star in the division.

“Amanda has been someone I’ve been hearing about for a while in the division as an up and coming star,” Esparza explained. “I would definitely love the opportunity to take that challenge—especially since she’s been asking for it. I would love that fight, I think it’s a really good one.

“Claudia Gadelha, it’s gonna happen at some point. It’s tough because I’ve been wanting to fight her and we’ve had this back-and-forth since Invicta, seven-plus years having this rivalry. She wants to fight me, I want to fight her and it’s going to happen eventually, but I’m not gonna hold my breath for it. If Amanda’s the next fight for me, she’s the next fight for me.”

Esparza’s current streak includes victories over Michelle Waterson, along with Alexa Grasso and the previously unbeaten Virna Jandiroba. The Team Oyama standout has taken great pride in knocking down some of the division’s rising contenders, but admits that she feels like the UFC has put in the litmus test spot at 115-pounds.

At 32, Esparza no longer wants to be the one to protect the proverbial gate, she wants to run through it en route to getting the chance to become a UFC champions once again.

With some of the division’s top contenders on the shelf, Esparza believes she has put herself in a position to fight Zhang Weili for the strawweight strap.

“That’s what it’s starting to feel like,” Esparza said. “I feel like I’m kind of the gatekeeper for the young up and comers. I’m tired of being that gatekeeper. I feel like I’m ready for another title shot. I feel like I’m the next fight that makes sense. There’s a lot of people that are out right now, or coming off losses and, for me, I’ve been knocked down and I’ve been crawling my way back to get that shot.

“I would say I am ready for that fight (with Weili) and with everything going on in the world, it would be like stars aligning. It’s kind of worked out this way and everything is lining up with Rose (Namajunas) out, Tatiana (Suarez) has a neck injury, Nina (Ansaroff) is pregnant and there’s a lot going on in this division right now. I’m coming off four straight wins against tough competition and I think the stars are aligning for this opportunity. My hands are open.”

It would seem, currently, that it would be a two-horse race to determine Weili’s next title challenger. The UFC could give Esparza the shot, or they could set up fight between Weili and former, longtime champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk in a rematch of the 2020 “Fight of the Year” frontrunner from UFC 248.

Esparza and Jędrzejczyk have a little history between them. After Esparza became the inaugural strawweight champion at the TUF 20 Finale in December 2014, she would have her first title defense against Jędrzejczyk at UFC 185 three months later. Jędrzejczyk would become champion via second-round TKO.

Should the rematch between the two former champions come together in a No. 1 contender scenario, Esparza believes things would go differently over five years later.

“I think if we fought again, it’s a tough fight,” Esparza said. “Joanna is one of the best fighters in the world. Who knows where the fight’s gonna go, but I definitely feel it would go differently than the first time. I’m not one who’s hungry for rematches, for this person or that person, I just want that top spot. Whoever it’s gonna be: whether it’s Joanna, it’s Weili, or whoever. I’m not chasing any specific person—aside from Claudia and the rivalry—but I’m game for whoever will get me to that title shot.”

The UFC pays some of its fighters well, but it’s not the only MMA organization that has some decent compensation. Rizin and ONE FC are two other fighting promotions, but in the world of MMA, Bellator is one of the main players outside of the UFC. Bellator is home to some great fighters, and they get paid quite well too. Maybe not as well as UFC combatants, but the best can earn six figures for each fight. Here’s a breakdown of the best-paid fighters at Bellator 228

Patricio Freire

Like UFC star Conor McGregor, Patricio Freire is a champion of two weight classes. Freire won the featherweight title in 2017, and he knocked out Michael Chandler in the first round in early 2019 to become the lightweight champion as well. At Bellator 228, he fought and defeated Juan Archuleta in the first round of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

For his win there, Bellator paid Freire $200,000, according to FanSided. However, unlike in the UFC, Bellator allows its fighters to get sponsors, and that creates an additional revenue stream for champions like Freire. It’s unknown how lucrative those deals are, but since he’s Bellator’s double champion, he’s probably pretty popular, especially in his home country of Brazil.

Lyoto Machida

Mousasi’s opponent was also well paid for their fight. Machida hasn’t had as much success as Mousasi in Bellator, but he didn’t join because of the pay. In fact, the UFC matched Bellator’s offer, but Machida chose to go with Bellator instead.

That’s because, according to Machida, he already promised the CEO of Bellator, Scott Coker, that he’d join after his UFC contract ended. Despite losing the fight to Mousasi, Machida made the same as Mousasi, $150,000. And of course, since Machida is a former UFC champion, he is also pretty popular, so his sponsorship deals are likely quite lucrative.

Gegard Mousasi

A former UFC fighter who fought the best that the UFC had to offer, Gegard Mousasi left the UFC in 2017 and joined Bellator because, according to him, the pay was better. At Bellator, Mousasi, who was passed up for a title shot in the UFC, was quickly given a title shot.

There, he knocked out Rafael Carvalho in the first round, and he became the middleweight champion. In his first title defense, Mousasi fought fellow UFC alumni Rory MacDonald, and Mousasi knocked MacDonald out in the second round. However, Mousasi then lost his title to Rafael Lovato in a five-round decision.

For Bellator 228, Mousasi fought against the former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Mousasi won a controversial three-round decision, and for that, he made $150,000. Mousasi is also a pretty popular fighter, especially for UFC fans, so he’s likely well compensated by his sponsors too.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat hit an unexpected hurdle ahead of her mixed martial arts debut when her scheduled opponent pulled out a couple of weeks before the contest.

Instead of fellow zero fight rookie Cindy Tiong, Ritu will now take on South Korea’s Na Hee Kim (1-0-0), who has already competed in and won an MMA bout. It’s a change of plans for Phogat, but she’s taking it in her stride.

“I’m not nervous. I’m more anxious,” she says of her debut bout in the women’s atomweight (52.2kg) class which will be held as part of the One: Age of Dragons event in Beijing later this month.

  • How to Become an MMA Champion

Strict coach, stricter regimen create Vinesh Phogat 2.0

How to Become an MMA Champion

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

How to Become an MMA Champion

Wrestling to win against your sister

It’s a high-stakes contest for the 25-year-old, who is easily the highest profile Indian to compete as a professional in the world of mixed martial arts. She is one of the Phogat sisters – elder siblings Babita and Geeta were coached by father Mahavir to gold medals at the Commonwealth Games – a story that was depicted in the hit Bollywood film Dangal.

Her cousin Vinesh is perhaps India’s best woman wrestler currently, having qualified for the 2020 Olympics with a medal at the World Championships.

Ritu has had her own share of successes, though. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.

While the switch from wrestling to MMA isn’t an uncommon one internationally, it’s still a leap no high-class Indian athlete has made until Ritu. As an MMA fighter, wrestling is just one of the many martial skills she has to master.

“I have had to learn boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Muay thai (Thai kickboxing) as well,” she says.

The transition hasn’t been the easiest. It was only late last year that Ritu was approached by the Evolve MMA, a martial arts training facility founded by Chatri Sityodtong, who is also the founder of One Championships – the promotion in which Ritu will be making her debut. And it’s only in February this year that she started training full time at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.

“I’m still at the start of my career in MMA. There are so many things I have to improve in. My wrestling is very strong but I still have to work a lot on my Muay Thai and BJJ. I still have a long way to go.”

Considering her past success as a wrestler, Ritu admits she does miss the sport. But there isn’t any doubt that her current choice of sport is one she plans on excelling in.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but we have to train in wrestling here as well. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead. I’ve got complete support from my family about the choice of my career.

“When I was a wrestler, my goal was to win a medal for India. In MMA my goal is to become the first Indian World champion.”

While the rest of her skills come up to par, Ritu says she is confident her wrestling will carry the day for her.

“The excitement I am feeling is similar to just before a wrestling tournament. I’m in the same zone mentally.”

Read Below And See How Adam And Rory Singer Helped To Create Not One But TWO World Champions!

Dear Fellow Mixed Martial Arts Enthusiast:

My name is Rory Singer. I am co-owner of the world renowned The HardCore Gym, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, former T.U.F. cast member and UFC veteran. And have I got something for you. But first, let me ask you a few questions.

  • Do you love watching MMA fights on television and P.P.V.?
  • Have you dreamed of one day having your hand raised as the “New Champion of the World”?
  • Are you willing to train hard but just don’t know what to do?
  • Are you a coach just starting out and are looking for a proven BLUEPRINT for success?

If you answered YES to these questions then continue reading because this will be the most important article you have ever seen!

1. You have to be a BJJ World Champion to become an MMA World Champion?

2. You have to be a World Class K-1 fighter to become an MMA World Champion?

3. You have to be a NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Champion to become an MMA World Champion?

4. You have to train with one of the “Big Name Gyms” to become an MMA World Champion?

If you answered FALSE to all those questions then you would be correct.

How do I know all these to be incorrect? Because neither Forrest Griffin nor Brian Bowles had any of those credentials and they both became World Champions due in large part to what you will be reading about below.

We have created a MMA Blueprint to take you from ZERO to HERO in as little as Five years. Read what Forrest Griffin and Brian Bowles have to say about it:

Now I know what you are saying:

“Rory you said I could become a World Champion in five years but Forrest said it took him seven.”

It did take Forrest seven years but he started training many years ago. He only had access to Version 1 of the MMA Blueprint. Brian Bowles was more fortunate to have access to Version 2 of the MMA Blueprint.

YOU are the most fortunate because YOU are going to get to the most Up-to-Date training methods to ever be put on DVD!

Over the past ten years The HardCore Gym has seen hundreds of professional fighters come through its doors. Each fighter had a unique skill set as well as athletic ability. No one fighter ever had all the pieces necessary to become a world champion. It has been through trial and error that these fundamental skills and training methods have been developed to take your game (or the game of your own students and fighters) to the NEXT LEVEL!

With this DVD series you will have access to:

  • The missing ingredient to turbo charge your standup (I’ll give you a hint: They are attached to your feet).
  • The ability to defend ALL attacks. Let’s face it; nothing good comes from getting hit in the face with a 4 oz glove.
  • Hit but don’t get hit. How to be the ultimate counter striker.
  • Learn how to survive in the clinch even if you think pummeling is something Chinese gymnasts do.
  • Learn how to disappear from in front of your opponent. The keys to a perfect level change.
  • How to build posture so solid that if it were a foundation you could lay your house on it.
  • Learn how to be a Gorilla that moves like an Anaconda. Never get beat up on the ground again.
  • No one puts Baby in the corner. Learn how to use and get off of the cage.
  • I’m not talking about “Fade to Black”. These transitions will make you a champion.
  • S&C. Do you want to be the strongest guy in your weight class. Let Dr. Walker show you how.

How to Become an MMA Champion

If you’ve been training martial arts for awhile, perhaps the thought of becoming a world champion has crossed your mind at least once or twice. After all, being lauded for all your hard work, technical prowess, physical and mental strength for the world to see is certainly something that every martial artist dreams of.

If you haven’t already figured it out, it takes a whole lot of hard work to become a world champion. It takes more than the requisite blood, sweat, and tears. You’ll need to devote years of your life and stay mentally motivated and hungry for success – even after getting knocked down, out or submitted over and over again.

Do you think you have what it takes to become a World Champion?

You need to believe in yourself

As a World Champion, you will need to be confident in your abilities as a martial artist. Walking into a fight with confidence as opposed to having feelings of self-doubt will certainly make a lot of difference as you bump fists with your opponent. It takes a lot of training to become confident in martial arts. Knowing that you’ve put in the work to achieve the skill needed to be the best in your sport will rid you of any self-doubt that you may have. Exposing yourself to the highest levels in the game and receiving acknowledgement about your technique from your trainer, that would undoubtedly give you the confidence you need in the ring, cage, or on the mats.

You need to put in the work

One does not become a World Champion overnight. It will take years of hard work to become a World Champion. The greatest Muay Thai World Champions started training when they were children, as did BJJ World Champions. They put in thousands of hours of work, honing their techniques to perfection. They’ve also competed many times and lost many times, putting their reputations on the line every single time. World Champions have subjected themselves to strict diets and given up many opportunities to hang out with friends or family. Their lives revolve around martial arts; a sacrifice they were willing to make because of their love for martial arts.

You need to be open to learning

Get inspired by this World Champion’s unbreakable warrior spirit and heart of gold! #IamAWarrior #EvolveMMA

The greatest World Champions didn’t get where they are today because they were satisfied after winning a few fights. It took a lot of eye-opening experiences where they’ve seen their hard work all go down the drain. They know what it’s like to start from scratch and do it all over again till they figure out what works and what doesn’t. Staying humble helps you become more open to learning, helping you survive through the brutal journey of becoming a World Champion.

You need to be patient

Even after training for years and putting in the work, it doesn’t mean that the opportunity to become a World Champion will come instantly. You will need to train hard to be good enough for small competitions, and when you’re good enough at that, you can move on to the amateur leagues and work your way up to national championships. And from there, you develop a ranking, you join international tournaments, and from there you work your way up the ladder. This process could take years – you need to be patient and earn your laurels.

You need to have great technique

The desire to become a World Champion plays a small part in actually becoming successful as a martial artist. You need to have athletic ability or at least the unbreakable will to develop it into fighting skill. Some fighters may be born with the innate ability to be talented enough to be a World Champion but there others who can work hard enough with the right trainers to develop the specific characteristics needed for success.

Such characteristics include exceptional technical ability – anyone can develop the strength and endurance to last in the ring/cage/mats but it takes a certain individual to master techniques needed to become a World Champion.

You need to be in great shape

A World Champion needs to possess these physical qualities: agility, endurance, speed, explosive power, core strength, reaction time, and flexibility. It’s not enough for a World Champion to develop great offensive and defensive skills. He must have the agility and great reaction time to dodge punches or quickly pass someone’s guard, the endurance to push through the 11 th round after fighting for 30 minutes, and the flexibility to prevent injuries or retain one’s guard in BJJ. To be a World Champion, you must always work on having an edge over your competition and possessing these physical qualities would certainly help.

You need to surround yourself with greatness to achieve greatness

To achieve your dreams of becoming a World Champion, you need to surround yourself with the best coaches and teammates who genuinely want the best for you. At Evolve MMA, you can train with the greatest collection of World Champions in Asia. They’ve spent thousands of hours honing their martial arts skills to become the greatest in their art. It is only a World Champion who can say he/she has dedicated his/her entire life to martial arts and has tested his/her skills in the greatest arenas of competition. There’s no doubt that having an instructor who is a World Champion would greatly increase your odds in becoming one yourself.

You need to treat adversity and failure as opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve

A World Champion didn’t get to where he/she is today without experiencing failure at some point in his/her career. But what makes him/her different from the rest is how he/she deals with it. Instead of throwing in the towel and looking for the easy way out, a World Champion sees failure as opportunity for growth. He/she treats each loss as a learning experience. If you want to achieve greatness, you must know how to conquer adversity. Running and quitting is never the solution.

Although becoming a World Champion is undoubtedly no easy feat, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to achieve. So go on, work on your goals and improve everyday. Every World Champion was once a beginner, don’t let anyone or anything intimidate you and stand in the way of your dreams.

Jorge Masvidal‘s memorable 2019 run that made him a top candidate for “Fighter of the Year” was closed out by a main event victory on one of the more unique nights in MMA history.

© Provided by MMAJunkie

With President Donald Trump seated cageside and The Rock on hand to glorify the winner with the “BMF” title, Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) beat Nate Diaz to claim the specially created belt in the UFC 244 headliner at Madison Square Garden in New York.

After scoring thrilling knockouts of Ben Askren and Darren Till earlier in 2019, Masvidal closed out the most notable year of his career by busting up Diaz’s face en route to a third-round TKO due to a doctor stoppage. It didn’t come without controversy, though, as many, including Diaz, felt he could have continued to compete.

The fight largely lived up to expectations prior to being cut short, and the win elevated Masvidal into a position to challenge for the UFC welterweight title, which he’ll do Saturday when he faces Kamaru Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) in the UFC 251 main event at Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Watch the video above to watch Masvidal’s encounter with Diaz in full ahead of UFC 251.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat hit an unexpected hurdle ahead of her mixed martial arts debut when her scheduled opponent pulled out a couple of weeks before the contest.

Instead of fellow zero fight rookie Cindy Tiong, Ritu will now take on South Korea’s Na Hee Kim (1-0-0), who has already competed in and won an MMA bout. It’s a change of plans for Phogat, but she’s taking it in her stride.

“I’m not nervous. I’m more anxious,” she says of her debut bout in the women’s atomweight (52.2kg) class which will be held as part of the One: Age of Dragons event in Beijing later this month.

  • How to Become an MMA Champion

Strict coach, stricter regimen create Vinesh Phogat 2.0

How to Become an MMA Champion

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

How to Become an MMA Champion

Wrestling to win against your sister

It’s a high-stakes contest for the 25-year-old, who is easily the highest profile Indian to compete as a professional in the world of mixed martial arts. She is one of the Phogat sisters – elder siblings Babita and Geeta were coached by father Mahavir to gold medals at the Commonwealth Games – a story that was depicted in the hit Bollywood film Dangal.

Her cousin Vinesh is perhaps India’s best woman wrestler currently, having qualified for the 2020 Olympics with a medal at the World Championships.

Ritu has had her own share of successes, though. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.

While the switch from wrestling to MMA isn’t an uncommon one internationally, it’s still a leap no high-class Indian athlete has made until Ritu. As an MMA fighter, wrestling is just one of the many martial skills she has to master.

“I have had to learn boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Muay thai (Thai kickboxing) as well,” she says.

The transition hasn’t been the easiest. It was only late last year that Ritu was approached by the Evolve MMA, a martial arts training facility founded by Chatri Sityodtong, who is also the founder of One Championships – the promotion in which Ritu will be making her debut. And it’s only in February this year that she started training full time at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.

“I’m still at the start of my career in MMA. There are so many things I have to improve in. My wrestling is very strong but I still have to work a lot on my Muay Thai and BJJ. I still have a long way to go.”

Considering her past success as a wrestler, Ritu admits she does miss the sport. But there isn’t any doubt that her current choice of sport is one she plans on excelling in.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but we have to train in wrestling here as well. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead. I’ve got complete support from my family about the choice of my career.

“When I was a wrestler, my goal was to win a medal for India. In MMA my goal is to become the first Indian World champion.”

While the rest of her skills come up to par, Ritu says she is confident her wrestling will carry the day for her.

“The excitement I am feeling is similar to just before a wrestling tournament. I’m in the same zone mentally.”

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat hit an unexpected hurdle ahead of her mixed martial arts debut when her scheduled opponent pulled out a couple of weeks before the contest.

Instead of fellow zero fight rookie Cindy Tiong, Ritu will now take on South Korea’s Na Hee Kim (1-0-0), who has already competed in and won an MMA bout. It’s a change of plans for Phogat, but she’s taking it in her stride.

“I’m not nervous. I’m more anxious,” she says of her debut bout in the women’s atomweight (52.2kg) class which will be held as part of the One: Age of Dragons event in Beijing later this month.

  • How to Become an MMA Champion

Strict coach, stricter regimen create Vinesh Phogat 2.0

How to Become an MMA Champion

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

How to Become an MMA Champion

Wrestling to win against your sister

It’s a high-stakes contest for the 25-year-old, who is easily the highest profile Indian to compete as a professional in the world of mixed martial arts. She is one of the Phogat sisters – elder siblings Babita and Geeta were coached by father Mahavir to gold medals at the Commonwealth Games – a story that was depicted in the hit Bollywood film Dangal.

Her cousin Vinesh is perhaps India’s best woman wrestler currently, having qualified for the 2020 Olympics with a medal at the World Championships.

Ritu has had her own share of successes, though. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.

While the switch from wrestling to MMA isn’t an uncommon one internationally, it’s still a leap no high-class Indian athlete has made until Ritu. As an MMA fighter, wrestling is just one of the many martial skills she has to master.

“I have had to learn boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Muay thai (Thai kickboxing) as well,” she says.

The transition hasn’t been the easiest. It was only late last year that Ritu was approached by the Evolve MMA, a martial arts training facility founded by Chatri Sityodtong, who is also the founder of One Championships – the promotion in which Ritu will be making her debut. And it’s only in February this year that she started training full time at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.

“I’m still at the start of my career in MMA. There are so many things I have to improve in. My wrestling is very strong but I still have to work a lot on my Muay Thai and BJJ. I still have a long way to go.”

Considering her past success as a wrestler, Ritu admits she does miss the sport. But there isn’t any doubt that her current choice of sport is one she plans on excelling in.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but we have to train in wrestling here as well. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead. I’ve got complete support from my family about the choice of my career.

“When I was a wrestler, my goal was to win a medal for India. In MMA my goal is to become the first Indian World champion.”

While the rest of her skills come up to par, Ritu says she is confident her wrestling will carry the day for her.

“The excitement I am feeling is similar to just before a wrestling tournament. I’m in the same zone mentally.”

Petr Yan is the new UFC bantamweight champion after defeating Jose Aldo by fifth-round TKO at UFC 251.

© Provided by SB Nation UFC 251

What was the high point of the fight?

Yan landed a solid right hand that stunned Aldo briefly but the Brazilian recovered well. Aldo looked sharp on the feet going back to his vintage leg kicks, one of which took Yan off of his feet. Yan landed some heavy ground and pound at the end of the first round.

Both men were matching each other’s output on the feet after three rounds, as Aldo landed leg kicks Yan continued to fire back with heavy punches of his own. Yan had Aldo hurt at the end of the fourth and the start of the fifth round. After lots of unanswered ground and pound from Yan, the fight was stopped midway through the fifth round.

Where do they go from here?

It’s a huge feat for Yan picking up a win against the veteran Aldo. The only fight that makes sense for Yan’s first title defence is a bout with Aljamain Sterling, who has won his five fights.

For the first time in his MMA career, Aldo has now lost three consecutive fights. It’s a disappointing loss for the Brazilian, but his next opponent depends on whether he stays at 135-pounds or goes back up to featherweight.

Watch it now, later or never?

It was a great title fight with lots of action from both fighters, watch it now.

MMA Manager is the latest game production by leading Swedish game studio Prey. This strategy and management game invites you to take ownership of a virtual gym, employ trainers and fighters to turn them into victorious fighters.

This is no ordinary fighting game. Requiring an element of shrewdness and sharp wit, MMA Manager offers the ideal platform to showcase your time and money management skills. Are you hungry for success?

We have created this complete guide featuring MMA Manager tips and tricks for both beginners and experienced players.

Now’s the time to showcase your martial arts combat that you learned and to grab the bull by the horns in a bid to boost your chances of winnings.

Start off with an advantage

Kicking off the game on the right foot will help you in the long run. It might be worth looking into investing in your trainers, so you can obtain more significant and better gym equipment for your fighters.

Opting for the most expensive package, obviously has its benefits, since you are also likely to benefit from a discount.

How to Become an MMA Champion

It would be pointless to buy the most expensive package mid-game. It’s recommended that you buy it from the start and to invest it, to secure your best chances.

Cheapen out first. Upgrade later

There is no need to go out on a limb and to pick the most expensive coaches when you have just started playing the game.

Low-level coaches have been designed and created to help new players get started. Additionally, they also train a lot faster than those that are upper-tier. Although they do run out much more quickly, they provide the most efficient service on a long-term basis.

It will take some time before you can reach the stage where you could acquire high-level coaches. In the meantime, don’t cry over spilt milk. Use your lower-level coaches and spare your money for later.

Step-by-step Training

Here’s the trick for long-term success in this game. You need to boost your training and any time spend by planning according to instruction.

Once you bear ground of how the game pans out, you must plan rigorously how you are going to play the game. If you can allocate a few hours to play this game and to keep a close eye on it, perhaps it might be best to opt for short-term training.

How to Become an MMA Champion

If, on the other hand, you can only spare short bursts of time, longer training will benefit you greatly.

As you progress along in the game, you’ll need to spend more time on longer training, as you prepare your fighters for tournaments.

Achievements

You need to bear in mind that you are highly unlikely to create and build up a fighter that can beat every opponent it comes across.

Your main aim when playing this game is to create a well-balanced fighter, that has enough value to throw off any opponents. When a match kicks off, your fighters are based on a range of statistics. Your opponent will also have its range of statistics. The one with the most significant numbers will win.

Designed by Prey Studios, MMA Manager is available for download on both Android and iOS devices.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat hit an unexpected hurdle ahead of her mixed martial arts debut when her scheduled opponent pulled out a couple of weeks before the contest.

Instead of fellow zero fight rookie Cindy Tiong, Ritu will now take on South Korea’s Na Hee Kim (1-0-0), who has already competed in and won an MMA bout. It’s a change of plans for Phogat, but she’s taking it in her stride.

“I’m not nervous. I’m more anxious,” she says of her debut bout in the women’s atomweight (52.2kg) class which will be held as part of the One: Age of Dragons event in Beijing later this month.

  • How to Become an MMA Champion

Strict coach, stricter regimen create Vinesh Phogat 2.0

How to Become an MMA Champion

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

How to Become an MMA Champion

Wrestling to win against your sister

It’s a high-stakes contest for the 25-year-old, who is easily the highest profile Indian to compete as a professional in the world of mixed martial arts. She is one of the Phogat sisters – elder siblings Babita and Geeta were coached by father Mahavir to gold medals at the Commonwealth Games – a story that was depicted in the hit Bollywood film Dangal.

Her cousin Vinesh is perhaps India’s best woman wrestler currently, having qualified for the 2020 Olympics with a medal at the World Championships.

Ritu has had her own share of successes, though. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.

While the switch from wrestling to MMA isn’t an uncommon one internationally, it’s still a leap no high-class Indian athlete has made until Ritu. As an MMA fighter, wrestling is just one of the many martial skills she has to master.

“I have had to learn boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Muay thai (Thai kickboxing) as well,” she says.

The transition hasn’t been the easiest. It was only late last year that Ritu was approached by the Evolve MMA, a martial arts training facility founded by Chatri Sityodtong, who is also the founder of One Championships – the promotion in which Ritu will be making her debut. And it’s only in February this year that she started training full time at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.

“I’m still at the start of my career in MMA. There are so many things I have to improve in. My wrestling is very strong but I still have to work a lot on my Muay Thai and BJJ. I still have a long way to go.”

Considering her past success as a wrestler, Ritu admits she does miss the sport. But there isn’t any doubt that her current choice of sport is one she plans on excelling in.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but we have to train in wrestling here as well. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead. I’ve got complete support from my family about the choice of my career.

“When I was a wrestler, my goal was to win a medal for India. In MMA my goal is to become the first Indian World champion.”

While the rest of her skills come up to par, Ritu says she is confident her wrestling will carry the day for her.

“The excitement I am feeling is similar to just before a wrestling tournament. I’m in the same zone mentally.”

Iuri Lapicus is the next man in line for a shot at ONE lightweight champion Christian Lee. While the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic has rendered the timeline of this title fight uncertain he remains confident the belt will soon be his.

Lapicus earned his lightweight title shot back in February after beating former featherweight champ Marat Gafurov at ONE: ‘Warrior’s Code’ in Jakarta. The Milan based Moldovan ended up winning this fight with a first round rear naked choke, his opponent’s signature move.

He admits the significance of this career-changing win took some time to set in.

“At first I didn’t even realize I won,” Lapicus said, looking back on the Gafurov fight.

“The next day I woke up and the feeling was simply amazing. The victory was my reward for all the hard work, dedication and love I put into this sport.”

How to Become an MMA Champion

Next shot

Not long after Lapicus defeated Gafurov, ONE Championship announced that he would be getting the next crack at the title currently guarded by Lee. The Moldovan says he knew going into that fight that the stakes were high,

“I knew that Gafurov had a huge price on his head,” Lapicus said.

“I knew that if I beat him there would be a big chance for a title shot.”

Lapicus and Lee were originally scheduled to meet at ONE: ‘Infinity’ on May 29th in Manila. Unfortunately, that event has been postponed due to the pandemic.

At the moment, it’s not clear when the title fight will happen, but Lapicus likes his chances against Lee. He feels the champion has some holes in his game,

“If I press the right buttons, I think I can have a big advantage,” Lapicus said.

“I am studying his fights and he makes a lot of small errors. I have to bully him and show all of my physicality. His wrestling skills are without a doubt his biggest asset but I think that from the physical point of view I can be a real nightmare for him. I need to use all of my physicality.”

How to Become an MMA Champion

Dreams of gold

Winning the ONE lightweight title would mean everything for Lapicus, as it would establish him as one of the best fighters in the world. Yet he is also determined to win gold for the countries he represents.

Italy, his adopted home, has endured immeasurable tragedy throughout the pandemic, and could certainly use something to celebrate,

“It would mean a lot to me,” Lapicus said.

“Winning the ONE Championship title is the dream of my life. Also, I am bound to Italy, and having the opportunity to bring the ONE Championship belt to the country would mean a lot to me. The idea of being an example of how, after hard times, there is always a chance for us to come back stronger, that just thrills me.”

Moldova is not known for producing fighters and Lapicus senses an opportunity to make history,

“I would be also the first Moldovan athlete to win a world title in MMA and that is something that would make me and my whole family incredibly proud.”

How to Become an MMA Champion

Fast finish

If Lapicus is able to swipe the ONE lightweight belt from the waist of Lee, he can look ahead to challenges from dangerous contenders like Timofey Nastyukhin, Pieter Buist, Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki. For the moment, however, his focus is firmly on the champion,

“When you’re preparing for a title shot, there’s no tomorrow,” he insisted. “I am focused 100% on the battle with Lee, then I will think about the next opponents.”

With the timing of his fight with Lee uncertain, Lapicus is keeping his head down and training as best he can under the circumstances,

“I love this sport and my goal is to be the best,” he said.

“To be the best you have to compete with the best, so that really drives me to do my best everyday in the gym, so I can show the world my value as a fighter.”

Lapicus’ two ONE Championship bouts have lasted a grand total of four minutes and 17 seconds. He has won all 14 of his professional fights and never once left it in the hands of the judges.

So whatever happens when he finally does fight Lee, the 24 year old expects it to happen fast,

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How to Become an MMA Champion

Pakistan’s emerging Mix Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Mehmosh ‘The Renegade” Raza on Sunday outclassed Ukraine’s Igor Gryckiv in the third round at the Rebel FC-7 Fight for Honour featherweight class in Shanghai

Mehmosh only took five minutes in the third round to bring Gryckiv down as the judges unanimously declared him the winner of the bout.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Mehmosh, who wants “to fight in the UFC and become the champion as no Pakistani has fought there yet”, shared his training regime, love for MMA, game plan against Ukranian fighter and future aspirations.

About his love for the sport and the reason he started training for MMA, the fighter shared that he first came across a local gym event where anyone could sign up and fight. It was not exactly very safe but he was intrigued by it as he had been watching old PRIDE and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights.

“So I signed up and took part. I was matched up against a person of my height and weight and I lost pretty badly as I had no experience, and this was by no means a properly sanctioned fight,” he recalled, adding it was there and then that he realised his love for MMA because he felt emotions unlike any he had felt before.

Mehmosh further said that the very next day he joined The Fight Fortress (TFF) MMA in Islamabad and then continued on to train at Ronin MMA in London under James Duncalf, which was 5 years ago.

“I truly feel MMA changed my life and has made me a better human being. It is a way of life. It teaches patience, willpower, work ethic and discipline amongst many other things. The training is the one thing I know will never leave me no matter what happens in life,” he added.

Talking about the preparation for the fight against Igor, Mehmosh told this scribe that he moved to China in order to train and dedicate his life to the dream. “I trained in Dragon Warrior, the best gym in China, under head coach Alex and supervision of Marcio Andrade, one of the best fighters to come out of Brazil,” Raza said, adding that it was a tough camp but after the rigorous training he was in a great shape.

Sharing his game plan against Igor, Raza said that he intended to keep the fight on the feet even though Igor was known for his good striking ability. “We were also aware that he is a champion in his country as well as a wrestling champ but, of course, things don’t always go according to plan,” Raza shared.

“He came on strong in the first round so we had to change the game plan mid-fight and decided to take him to the ground. This change of plan allowed me to land damage in the rest of the rounds and, God be praised, I was bestowed with a victory,” the fighter added.

Answering the question about what goes through his mind right before the fight, Mehmosh stated, “All fighters feel anxious, they would be lying if they said they didn’t but as you enter the cage”.

“For me personally, a switch turns and I just want to hear the bell ring so I can start the fight, and of course to inflict damage because if you don’t then your opponent will, it is a great feeling to fight in front of many people on such a big stage,” he stated.

Raza thanked Rizwan Ali, his manager, his parents and all those who have supported him till now and the Alimghty for blessing him with good oppurtunities.

Ritu Phogat registered her first win in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) after beating Nam Hee Kim at ONE Championship: Age Of Dragons in November 2019.

It has been an eventful year for Rity Phogat. The Commonwealth Games gold medalist decided to shift from wrestling to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and she registered her first win after beating Nam Hee Kim at ONE Championship: Age Of Dragons in November 2019. It is a new experience for the wrestler and she wants to become te first ever women’s MMA champion from India.

“To become India’s first ever women’s MMA champion. There is no one from our country at the global stage in MMA, and I totally believe that India has what it takes to produce a World Champion,” Phogat told Times of India.

It was an easy victory for Phogat as she immediately scored on a takedown against Nam Hee Kim in the opening seconds of the bout. She executed another successful takedown moments later, this time keeping Kim on the mat and proceeding to cause damage with ground-and-pound. After securing the mounted crucifix position, Phogat pounded Kim out until the referee intervened.

“Winning is always good, but to be honest I was a bit nervous in the beginning as it was my first-ever official MMA match. The support I received during the match was simply awesome. I was not thinking about winning or losing, I just wanted to do well. I had confidence in my abilities and in the end it all worked out well,” she said.

Ritu, who hails from the hallowed Phogat family known for their excellence in wrestling, also revealed how her family helped in preparation ahead of the fight.

I spoke with them before and after the match. They all were very happy. Geeta was actually scared looking at the previous match which was a high intensity MMA bout and finished quickly with a TKO. But then she saw me enter the MMA ring for the first time. She was confident of a good show. My father has always been supportive and always asked me to give my best for the country. I promised him that I will give my 100 percent.

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How to Become an MMA Champion

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

No one has higher expectations for Edmen Shahbazyan than the goals he’s set for himself.

Despite being just 22 years old, the former Dana White Contender Series veteran has already gone 4-0 in the UFC with his past three wins coming by knockout or submission – without a single opponent making it out of the first round. Now, he will have the opportunity to compete in his first main event when he faces Derek Brunson this weekend in Las Vegas.

While the UFC has been accused of feeding top prospects to the wood chipper before they’re ready, Shahbazyan embraced the opportunity to face a top 10 opponent because a win on Saturday night will put him back on course for an achievement he’s had tucked in the back of his head ever since making his debut.

“I know being the youngest champion is at 23 years and 8 months by Jon Jones,” Shahbazyan said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I turn 23 in November and then I have eight months after that. That leaves me until July of next year.

“That’s a good amount of time for me to reach my goal of being champion. That’s one year from now, and I believe the way I’m going with a couple more wins, it will put me in that position to make that goal into reality.”

There’s nothing wrong with lofty goals, but Shahbazyan certainly isn’t the first fighter who wanted to shatter Jones’ record.

It wasn’t that long ago that Maycee Barber championed herself as the best person to beat Jones’ mark. Before that, Aaron Pico was considered one of the brightest young talents the sport has ever seen and he felt like becoming champion even before his 23rd birthday was attainable.

What may separate Shahbazyan from the rest of the pack, however, is that he’s actually been preparing for a moment like this since he was barely a teenager.

Before he was even old enough to drive a car, Shahbazyan was a skinny martial arts enthusiast growing up under the same coaches who prepared Ronda Rousey for her career inside the octagon. In fact, Shahbazyan famously served as Rousey’s sparring partner during an open workout ahead of her debut against Liz Carmouche back in 2013.

Seven years later, Shahbazyan has left Rousey’s shadow and made a name for himself in the UFC … and he’s not backing down from his ambitions to hold UFC gold before he celebrates another birthday next year.

“I’m coming for that belt eventually,” Shahbazyan said. “I want to make statements. I want to keep getting better. I want to fight top ranked opponents and bettering myself.”

If all goes well against Brunson this weekend, Shahbazyan will take a decided step forward towards that eventual title shot.

While he will gladly face whoever possesses the UFC middleweight championship at the time, Shahbazyan would be remiss if he didn’t think about an epic clash with current 185-pound king Israel Adesanya, who boasts a similar undefeated record in his career.

Of course, Shahbazyan knows Brunson is his next test and Adesanya has to go through Brazilian wrecking ball Paulo Costa in September but he truly believes they are on an eventual collision course to face off in 2021.

“I think he gets past Costa,” Shahbazyan said about Adesanya’s upcoming fight at UFC 253. “I think he’s going to be slick for Costa and counter him. I think Costa has more of that coming in your face and getting you into a fight with him and that tires you. I think Adesanya will get out of the way and tag him up.

“I think Adesanya is a good fighter. A very slick fighter and a good champion. He’s definitely a challenge that I would love to face in the near future. It would be amazing. That’s definitely the fight I see in the future.”

Don’t worry about Shahbazyan getting too ahead of himself because he’s only talking about Adesanya because that’s a matchup that he sees in his future, but it’s not his focus for now.

That said, he can’t help but envision a future where he’s battling for the UFC title with “The Last Stylebender” standing across from him.

“I like to dream big and dreaming big and accomplishing that kind of goal would be amazing for me,” Shahbazyan said. “Not only would I be the youngest champion, but I’d be the first ever Armenian-American champion. So two good things in one.”

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat hit an unexpected hurdle ahead of her mixed martial arts debut when her scheduled opponent pulled out a couple of weeks before the contest.

Instead of fellow zero fight rookie Cindy Tiong, Ritu will now take on South Korea’s Na Hee Kim (1-0-0), who has already competed in and won an MMA bout. It’s a change of plans for Phogat, but she’s taking it in her stride.

“I’m not nervous. I’m more anxious,” she says of her debut bout in the women’s atomweight (52.2kg) class which will be held as part of the One: Age of Dragons event in Beijing later this month.

  • How to Become an MMA Champion

Strict coach, stricter regimen create Vinesh Phogat 2.0

How to Become an MMA Champion

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

How to Become an MMA Champion

Wrestling to win against your sister

It’s a high-stakes contest for the 25-year-old, who is easily the highest profile Indian to compete as a professional in the world of mixed martial arts. She is one of the Phogat sisters – elder siblings Babita and Geeta were coached by father Mahavir to gold medals at the Commonwealth Games – a story that was depicted in the hit Bollywood film Dangal.

Her cousin Vinesh is perhaps India’s best woman wrestler currently, having qualified for the 2020 Olympics with a medal at the World Championships.

Ritu has had her own share of successes, though. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.

While the switch from wrestling to MMA isn’t an uncommon one internationally, it’s still a leap no high-class Indian athlete has made until Ritu. As an MMA fighter, wrestling is just one of the many martial skills she has to master.

“I have had to learn boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Muay thai (Thai kickboxing) as well,” she says.

The transition hasn’t been the easiest. It was only late last year that Ritu was approached by the Evolve MMA, a martial arts training facility founded by Chatri Sityodtong, who is also the founder of One Championships – the promotion in which Ritu will be making her debut. And it’s only in February this year that she started training full time at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.

“I’m still at the start of my career in MMA. There are so many things I have to improve in. My wrestling is very strong but I still have to work a lot on my Muay Thai and BJJ. I still have a long way to go.”

Considering her past success as a wrestler, Ritu admits she does miss the sport. But there isn’t any doubt that her current choice of sport is one she plans on excelling in.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but we have to train in wrestling here as well. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead. I’ve got complete support from my family about the choice of my career.

“When I was a wrestler, my goal was to win a medal for India. In MMA my goal is to become the first Indian World champion.”

While the rest of her skills come up to par, Ritu says she is confident her wrestling will carry the day for her.

“The excitement I am feeling is similar to just before a wrestling tournament. I’m in the same zone mentally.”

Darren Till hasn’t given up on his goal of becoming UFC champion.

Till (18-3-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC) was recently on the cusp of earning another shot at gold, this time at 185 pounds, but fell short in his pursuit.

The former UFC welterweight title challenger was edged out by Robert Whittaker in the UFC on ESPN 14 headliner in July, where he suffered a torn MCL in the second round.

But despite losing three of his past four, Till is confident that he still has what it takes to reach the top, and it’s only a matter of time.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of how long it takes,” Till told ESPN. “I don’t know, I have no goal. I think when the time’s ready – I know what I was put on this earth for, no one can convince me otherwise. I was put on this earth to be a champion in the UFC and be a future GOAT, so when it happens, it’s going to happen. Until then, I’m just going to enjoy my last few days here (Dubai), and then I’m going to look forward to my next fight.”

He continued, “I just want to fight, I just want to be the best. I can’t do anything else. I will not be able to retire if I don’t become one of the best. … I have to do it, I’ve got to do it, and I’m so determined and convinced. I’m going to train harder, and I’m going to be more vicious and violent as ever.”

Till said he won’t require surgery on his right knee, and while he suffered the injury early in the fight, he said he’s not one to use it as an excuse. It was a close fight, and Till thinks the performance he put up against the former UFC middleweight champion was a good indicator of where he stands in the division.

“When people give excuses and stuff over little things in life and the weight cuts or whatever, it just doesn’t cohere with me,” Till said. “You either win a fight or you lose a fight. There ain’t no ifs, buts, whats. Yeah, if my knee was a little bit better, maybe things would have been a bit different, but it was a 3-2 fight for him or 3-2 fight for me, so I haven’t left that fight thinking anything.

“He was the former champ. A few more fights, and I am going to be the champion. I want that. I see all these – when you’re doing your chats with (Daniel Cormier) and he’s calling Khabib (Nurmagomedov) the GOAT, I love seeing that because it makes me thrive to one day have my name mentioned like that. People could watch this now and be like, ‘Yeah, whatever Till,’ and people will be like, ‘Yeah, Till’s definitely going to be a GOAT,’ but it’s just what I set out to do. Step by step, I’m proving it, and I’m a high-level fighter. I’m a high-level striker in MMA.”

  • Petr Yan is set to fight Jose Aldo for the vacant UFC Bantamweight title.
  • Petr Yan wants to win the title in “dominant fashion” against the legend.

Petr Yan is one fight away from achieving his dream of becoming a UFC Champion. After Henry Cejudo declared his retirement, Dana White was asked about who should fight for the vacant title. While he didn’t give another name, he stated with certainty that Petr Yan should be fighting for the belt.

Since Jose Aldo was originally booked to fight for the title at UFC 250, the company felt it was best to book Aldo vs Petr Yan for the vacant title at Fight Island. The No.3 ranked Russian Bantamweight spoke to BJPENN.com and spoke about how it feels to fight a big name like Jose Aldo, who also happens to be his “last obstacle”:

“I’m very happy to have this opportunity, I’m one step away from my goal of being a UFC champion. I’m very excited,” Petr Yan said to BJPENN.com. It’s great to be part of such a historical event on Fight Island during the pandemic. Jose is a big name and achieved a lot in this sport. I respect him a lot, but it won’t affect me in any way. July 11 he will be just an obstacle from my goal. I will make the most of this opportunity.”

When asked about fighting Henry Cejudo, Petr Yan stated that his goal is to fight for the title and not Triple C specifically. However, he stated that should Cejudo decide to come back, they can face off to determine who the better fighter is. As of now, his priority is Jose Aldo and winning the title in dominant fashion:

“Our styles match up very well, I believe it will be a very exciting fight. I will control the fight and dictate how this fight will go,” Petr Yan said. “It will be my pace, my distance, and my terms. Right now, I don’t think about my legacy. I am just 100 percent focused on winning the title in the most dominant fashion.”

Petr Yan’s final hurdle

Petr Yan is considered the favorite to win the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship. He last defeated Urijah Faber at UFC 245 and will be expected to hand Jose Aldo his third loss in a row.

However, one can never count out Jose Aldo and we must remind fans that his loss to Marlon Moraes was regarded as a controversial one.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat hit an unexpected hurdle ahead of her mixed martial arts debut when her scheduled opponent pulled out a couple of weeks before the contest.

Instead of fellow zero fight rookie Cindy Tiong, Ritu will now take on South Korea’s Na Hee Kim (1-0-0), who has already competed in and won an MMA bout. It’s a change of plans for Phogat, but she’s taking it in her stride.

“I’m not nervous. I’m more anxious,” she says of her debut bout in the women’s atomweight (52.2kg) class which will be held as part of the One: Age of Dragons event in Beijing later this month.

  • How to Become an MMA Champion

Strict coach, stricter regimen create Vinesh Phogat 2.0

How to Become an MMA Champion

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

How to Become an MMA Champion

Wrestling to win against your sister

It’s a high-stakes contest for the 25-year-old, who is easily the highest profile Indian to compete as a professional in the world of mixed martial arts. She is one of the Phogat sisters – elder siblings Babita and Geeta were coached by father Mahavir to gold medals at the Commonwealth Games – a story that was depicted in the hit Bollywood film Dangal.

Her cousin Vinesh is perhaps India’s best woman wrestler currently, having qualified for the 2020 Olympics with a medal at the World Championships.

Ritu has had her own share of successes, though. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.

While the switch from wrestling to MMA isn’t an uncommon one internationally, it’s still a leap no high-class Indian athlete has made until Ritu. As an MMA fighter, wrestling is just one of the many martial skills she has to master.

“I have had to learn boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Muay thai (Thai kickboxing) as well,” she says.

The transition hasn’t been the easiest. It was only late last year that Ritu was approached by the Evolve MMA, a martial arts training facility founded by Chatri Sityodtong, who is also the founder of One Championships – the promotion in which Ritu will be making her debut. And it’s only in February this year that she started training full time at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.

“I’m still at the start of my career in MMA. There are so many things I have to improve in. My wrestling is very strong but I still have to work a lot on my Muay Thai and BJJ. I still have a long way to go.”

Considering her past success as a wrestler, Ritu admits she does miss the sport. But there isn’t any doubt that her current choice of sport is one she plans on excelling in.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but we have to train in wrestling here as well. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead. I’ve got complete support from my family about the choice of my career.

“When I was a wrestler, my goal was to win a medal for India. In MMA my goal is to become the first Indian World champion.”

While the rest of her skills come up to par, Ritu says she is confident her wrestling will carry the day for her.

“The excitement I am feeling is similar to just before a wrestling tournament. I’m in the same zone mentally.”

Max Holloway Still Plans to Become Lightweight Champion • MMA News

Aug 23, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) battles Clay Collard (blue gloves) in a Featherweight Bout, Holloway after success at BOK. Compulsory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Max Holloway has actually constantly been and will constantly be a mill. It’s what has actually made him the ruling featherweight champion and among the very best pound-for-pound fighters worldwide today. And after experiencing an obstacle in his venture into the 155 pounds. department, Holloway intends on solving back on the grind that will sooner or later lead him to having lightweight gold.

Max Holloway had 2 chances to become a UFC lightweight champion. Was as a short-notice replacement for Tony Ferguson at UFC 223, however weight-cutting issues avoided Holloway from making it to the scale and hence the battle. Holloway did make it to UFC 236, nevertheless, where he fought Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight champion. Poirier took house the success by means of consentaneous choice, sending out Max Holloway pull back to 145, where he plans to return to the champion’s grind prior to going up when again to dominate more gold (Transcript by means of MMA Fighting):

“It’s in my history,” Holloway stated in a UFC 240 media lunch scrum. “You people view my battles, you people return to all my battles, I’m a various person whenever and come July 27 you people are going to see a various person in there once again. The kid that appeared in April, the person you’re taking a look at, standing in front of him, I ‘d eliminate that kid. I ‘d body him. There’s no contrast and it takes place, this sport or life, duration, resembles Chutes and Ladders. In some cases you’ve got to slide down to go up a larger ladder.

“‘55 ain’ t away. That’s just 10
pounds, that’s all it is, is 10 pounds. When we get back
there, we’ll get back there. Ideally it’s quicker instead of later on and we’ll see what takes place. If
it takes a 10- combat win streak to defend another belt up there, become the
double champ, it takes a 10- battle streak. That’s what it is. I ain’t frightened of
no work and you people all understand that. Put my nose down and get to work I think.”

Holloway will be returning to work next weekend at UFC 240 when he looks to effectively safeguard his featherweight champion for the 3rd time when he handles Frankie Edgar.

Do you think Max Holloway will
ever become a double champion?

International Qualifying Required for Olympic Boxing

How to Become an MMA Champion

Cakemix25 / The Images Bank

Winning a Gold Medal at the Olympics is the greatest achievement possible in amateur boxing. A successful showing in the Olympics has also proven to be the best possible way to launch a professional boxing career (much better than ‘paying your dues’ on the pro circuit). So how does an amateur fighter go about qualifying for the Olympics?

Governing Bodies for Boxing

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) is the international governing body for boxing. USA Boxing is the national governing body for boxing in the USA.

How Boxers Qualify for the Olympics

Unlike most other Olympic sports, nations cannot simply field their top competitors in boxing. The slots are limited to 250 male in 10 weight classes and 36 female in three weight classes. Because of this limitation, it is not enough to qualify for a national tournament. Boxers must also qualify at worldwide or international regional tournaments to earn a slot.

The reason for the limitation is that there would be too many boxing matches at the Olympic Games per athlete. Headgear has been eliminated, and the athletes might sustain too many blows to head in too short of a period with multiple matches. Professional boxers are also able to regain eligibility, increasing the competition for slots.

For the 2016 Olympic Games, these were the qualifying tournaments:

  • World Series of Boxing (WSB) Rankings: The top two boxers at the end of the season in most of the weight categories, and the top-ranked boxer in the lowest and highest weight categories qualified.
  • AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) World Ranking: Boxers qualified if they were the champion and top challenger in each weight category as of September 2015.
  • AIBA World Boxing Championships: The top boxers earn qualifying slots in each weight category.
  • Regional Olympic Qualifying Events: These are held in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, and Europe. The number of boxers accepted from any region depends on the strength of boxing in the region.
  • AIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament: One to five qualifying slots are awarded per weight class.
  • APB and WSB Olympic Qualifier: Three qualifying slots are awarded for most weight classes, and one slot for the two heaviest classes.

Boxers who won the US Olympic Trials but did not place high enough at the AIBA World Boxing Championships had to requalify at the USA Boxing National Championships open reload tournament before advancing to a final Olympic qualifying event.

Olympic Boxing

There are ten men’s and three women’s boxing events, one for each weight category. A country can enter a maximum of one athlete per weight category. The host nation is allocated a maximum of six places (if not otherwise qualified).

At the Olympics, boxers are paired off at random (without regard to ranking) and fight in a single-elimination tournament. However, unlike most Olympic events, the loser in each semi-final bout receives a bronze medal.

How a Near-Death Experience Led Ex-WWE Superstar Bobby Lashley – Who Is Presenting the Championship Title at the Main Event of XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” on Saturday, April 25 at Thompson-Boling Arena – to Pursue His Dreams in the Steel Cage

(PRESS RELEASE) — Bobby Lashley’s life nearly ended in 2003.

“It was a day like any other,” Lashley recalled. “I was still focused on my amateur wrestling career when I walked into my local bank in Colorado Springs to take care of some business. And then suddenly – directly behind my head – exploded the sound of gunfire. It was an armed robbery and I was precisely between the gunmen and the money. If you watch a slow motion replay of the bank’s security cameras, you can actually see a small cloud of gun powder just behind my head.”

The ex-WWE superstar and current MMA heavyweight prospect gazed skyward as he remembered his near-death experience – and his life-changing realization:

“If I had died then,” he slowly spoke, “there would’ve been so many dreams unfulfilled. So many goals and aspirations gone forever – dead on arrival. And that’s why I’m in the Mixed Martial Arts. Before I die, I wanna be the heavyweight champion of the world. That’s my dream.”

Bobby Lashley will present the new XFC featherweight world title to the winner of the Bruce “The Noose” Connors versus Jarrod “The Wild Card” Card fight in the main event of XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” on Saturday, April 25 at the 21 thousand-capacity Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. The event will air live on national television, exclusively on HDNet.

For Lashley, Connors and Card represent what the 250-pound, American Top Team heavyweight prospect is working so feverishly to achieve.

“It’s all about becoming a champion,” said Lashley. “My father always told me that no matter what you do in life, you owe it to yourself to the absolute best at it – to push yourself until there’s nothing left in the tank. There’s a fine line that separates a champion from everyone else. We all have doubts and we all have fears, but a true champion finds a way to overcome them. And when a champion is fully focused and fully prepared, nothing can stop him.”

Becoming a champion is something Lashley understands well: From 1996 through 1999, Lashley wrestled at – and earned two degrees from – Missouri Valley College, becoming a three-time NAIA national wrestling champion and a four-time All-American. He later followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the U.S. Army, winning a pair of Armed Forces championships and a 2002 silver medal at the Military World Championships.

Lashley’s eye-popping athleticism, chiseled physique and elite wrestling pedigree landed him an opportunity with the WWE. He won the ECW heavyweight championship twice, and perhaps most memorably, tag-teamed with billionaire Donald Trump at Wrestlemania 23 on April 1, 2007, helping “The Donald” shave the head of WWE chairman Vince McMahon.

But despite achieving celebrity status – and main event compensation – while with the WWE, something was missing.

“I still dreamed of becoming a champion and testing myself against the very best in the world,” Lashley said. “Yeah, I know I have my critics. I know some people think I’m crazy for leaving behind the WWE and starting all over again in MMA, but this is my dream. And I’m pouring my heart and soul into this sport. Believe me, I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got.”

Which is why some in the MMA community raised their eyebrows when Lashley appeared this past weekend at the TNA “Lockdown” professional wrestling pay-per-view, rejoining the “sports entertainment” profession after a yearlong absence. But according to Lashley, his heart is still dead-set on becoming an MMA world champion, and TNA is a means to that end.

“It’s not the kind of professional wrestling that everyone thinks,” explained Lashley. “With the WWE, I was on the road nonstop; it was my entire life. With TNA, I’m only working four days a month. And with the extra income from wrestling, I can take care of my family and afford to fully dedicate myself to my MMA training. I’m no different than so many young fighters: I still need a day job, because MMA training is expensive – especially when you want to travel to different camps and learn from the top minds in the game. And TNA has been great to work with.”

Lashley plans to travel to Las Vegas and train with one-on-one with a top-ranked heavyweight in the UFC, although he declined to disclose this heavyweight’s identity.

“I’m still learning,” Lashley readily acknowledged. “In my last fight [a unanimous decision victory over Jason Guida on March 21] I made the mistake of letting my opponent get under my skin, especially after he ran his mouth. Instead of focusing on executing my game plan and doing what I do best, I focused on hurting the man. MMA is sort of like professional wrestling, in that the key to success isn’t actually hurting your opponent – but focusing on implementing and executing your game plan. If you do that, everything else takes care of itself. And I love training. When I leave practice, I’m so amped-up. It’s a feeling of euphoria.”

As Lashley continues to develop his craft, his dream of becoming an MMA world champion remains in the forefront of his mind.

“I definitely want to fight for the XFC,” he exclaimed. “100 percent. All I’ve heard are good things about them and their promoter, and I know they have a lot of great fighters. Hopefully I’ll be on their next card. Meanwhile, I’m excited to be at XFC 8 this Saturday night. Card versus Connors in the main event for the XFC featherweight world title – that should be a phenomenal fight! It’s a golden opportunity for both men, because opportunities to become a champion don’t come around every day. It takes so much blood, sweat and sacrifice. Believe me… I know.”

Lashley paused briefly before continuing:

“And one day soon, I’ll be a champion again, too.”

XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” features the fastest-rising young prospects and top emerging superstars from Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina in a series of contender-versus-contender cage fights. Tickets are now available at the Thompson-Boling Arena box office and Tickets Unlimited outlets, including Cat’s Music, Disc Exchange, and Fye Music.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat hit an unexpected hurdle ahead of her mixed martial arts debut when her scheduled opponent pulled out a couple of weeks before the contest.

Instead of fellow zero fight rookie Cindy Tiong, Ritu will now take on South Korea’s Na Hee Kim (1-0-0), who has already competed in and won an MMA bout. It’s a change of plans for Phogat, but she’s taking it in her stride.

“I’m not nervous. I’m more anxious,” she says of her debut bout in the women’s atomweight (52.2kg) class which will be held as part of the One: Age of Dragons event in Beijing later this month.

  • How to Become an MMA Champion

Strict coach, stricter regimen create Vinesh Phogat 2.0

How to Become an MMA Champion

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

How to Become an MMA Champion

Wrestling to win against your sister

It’s a high-stakes contest for the 25-year-old, who is easily the highest profile Indian to compete as a professional in the world of mixed martial arts. She is one of the Phogat sisters – elder siblings Babita and Geeta were coached by father Mahavir to gold medals at the Commonwealth Games – a story that was depicted in the hit Bollywood film Dangal.

Her cousin Vinesh is perhaps India’s best woman wrestler currently, having qualified for the 2020 Olympics with a medal at the World Championships.

Ritu has had her own share of successes, though. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.

While the switch from wrestling to MMA isn’t an uncommon one internationally, it’s still a leap no high-class Indian athlete has made until Ritu. As an MMA fighter, wrestling is just one of the many martial skills she has to master.

“I have had to learn boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Muay thai (Thai kickboxing) as well,” she says.

The transition hasn’t been the easiest. It was only late last year that Ritu was approached by the Evolve MMA, a martial arts training facility founded by Chatri Sityodtong, who is also the founder of One Championships – the promotion in which Ritu will be making her debut. And it’s only in February this year that she started training full time at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.

“I’m still at the start of my career in MMA. There are so many things I have to improve in. My wrestling is very strong but I still have to work a lot on my Muay Thai and BJJ. I still have a long way to go.”

Considering her past success as a wrestler, Ritu admits she does miss the sport. But there isn’t any doubt that her current choice of sport is one she plans on excelling in.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but we have to train in wrestling here as well. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead. I’ve got complete support from my family about the choice of my career.

“When I was a wrestler, my goal was to win a medal for India. In MMA my goal is to become the first Indian World champion.”

While the rest of her skills come up to par, Ritu says she is confident her wrestling will carry the day for her.

“The excitement I am feeling is similar to just before a wrestling tournament. I’m in the same zone mentally.”

Duane van Helvoirt has worked tirelessly throughout his professional career to earn the type of opportunity that arises this Sunday. The Dutchman will challenge Yutaka Saito for the featherweight championship in the main event of Shooto 0329.

The event is set for the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo and the 34 year old does not need reminding of what is at stake,

“This is my big opportunity to show people who I am and what I am capable of, and introduce myself to the whole world,” he said.

“I am very proud they are giving me this chance. Surely, I will do my best.”

Van Helvoirt took Japan by storm in 2019. He left a lasting impression in his promotional debut, carving out a unanimous decision victory over Japanese legend Caol Uno at Shooto 30th Anniverary Tour in May. Two months later, he authored a perfect follow-up win by defeating two-time featherweight champion Takeshi Inoue at Shooto 30th Anniversary Tour in July.

Having won against two of the Japanese MMA scene’s biggest names, it was a no-brainer that Van Helvoirt should be next in line for a shot at Saito’s belt.

“I’m very happy with the way how my career has unfolded. I have come a long way. I’m very happy with all the victories I’ve achieved. They’re the product of the hard work I’ve been putting in for years. I was able to demonstrate that I’m at a high level in my last fight,” he stated.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Keisuke Takazawa / MMA Planet

Date with destiny

The last recorded title bout on Van Helvoirt’s résumé was when he fought future PFL veteran Max Coga for the featherweight strap under the Respect FC umbrella in September 2013. Unfortunately, he fell short in his bid, bowing to the German standout via unanimous decision.

Van Helvoirt has his sights set on redemption at Shooto 0329, and he will not settle for anything less than capturing the black-and-red-laced strap at the expense of Saito.

“Everything has prepared me to face my opponent for the championship belt. I believe it’s my destiny to be a champion. I’ll give everything I have to make that happen on fight night. Everything has worked out as expected. I can’t wait,” he expressed.

He will enter enemy territory for the third time and having already fought successfully for Shooto twice he knows what to expect,

“I’ve always dealt with pressure throughout my career. I’m used to it. I try not to think too far ahead. I’m working hard to be ready for this bout and win,” Van Helvoirt shared.

How to Become an MMA Champion

Keisuke Takazawa / MMA Planet

High regard

Van Helvoirt holds his Japanese foe in high regard and knows he won’t be in for an easy night on Sunday,

“I respect him as a fighter. He is one of the best fighters in my weight class and in Japan. I expect a very difficult fight. But if all goes well, I expect to win,” he said.

Saito has been the division’s kingpin for four years. But Van Helvoirt is relishing the chance to come in as an underdog and cause an upset,

“It’s going to be a great fight. The Japanese people will definitely support him, but it’s fine with me. It just gives me enough reason to be motivated and get the victory,” he stressed.

The top prospects in Titan Fighting Championship got an opportunity to become the Titan FC Bantamweight Champion on Friday and Danny Sabatello beating Raymond Ramos to win the prestigious belt. Check it out!

Danny Sabatello is the new Titan FC Bantamweight Champion!

On Friday, Titan Fighting Championship 61 took place at the Intercontinental Hotel & Resort in Miami, Florida and the show finished off with a quick main event that saw Sabatello successfully get the submission victory over Raymond Ramos in the first round.

This is Sabatello’s first title in his professional career, who previously fought Irwin Rivera for the prestigious belt at Titan FC 58 in December; however, the bantamweight came up short in the end. Rivera vacated the Titan FC Bantamweight title back in May when he signed with the UFC.

Danny Sabatello wasn’t the only man to walk out victorious on Friday as Landon Quinones managed to extend his winning streak by beating Geralbert Castillo by unanimous decision. Check out the full results of Titan FC Championship 61 below:

Danny Sabatello def. Raymond Ramos by submission via rear naked choke (1:56, R1) to win the title Titan FC Bantamweight Championship

Landon Quinones def. Geralbert Castillo by unanimous decision

Victor Dias def. Cleveland McLean by split decision

Christian Ynastrilla def. Philip Keller by submission via triangle choke (2:04, R1)

Joey Y’Shua def. Ryan Schwartzberg by submission via rear naked choke (4:49, R1)

Collin Lubberts def. Irvin Jones by unanimous decision

At just 22-years old, Nong Stamp “Fairtex” has achieved much in combat sports. The current One Championship atomweight queenpin in muay Thai and kickboxing will compete for the promotion on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. However, she will not be taking part in a defense of either of her championships. Instead, for the second time in three months, she will step into the cage as a mixed martial artist. In the latest stage of her campaign to be the organization’s first simultaneous three-sport champion.

Stamp is a woman of few words. When asked why she chose to compete in MMA again at One Championship: “Masters of Fate,” instead of defending her championships; the answer was simple and direct.

“Right now, my highest goal is to become a champion in MMA.”

In this exclusive interview, Stamp talked about preferring to compete in MMA again, her growth as a grappler and if Bi Nguyen’s only path to beating her in Manila is in a ground battle.

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SINGAPORE: On paper, Singapore’s Tiffany “No Chill” Teo might be the underdog going into her ONE Championship Strawweight Championship title fight in Jakarta this Saturday (Jan 20).

The 28-year-old, however, is aiming to be the first Singaporean mixed martial arts (MMA) champion with the promotion. While fellow ONE fighter Angela Lee fights under the Singapore flag through her Singaporean father, the Canadian-born Atomweight champion holds an American citizenship.

As a professional, Teo has gone through seven fights in her career thus far and has won all of them convincingly. Her Chinese opponent Xiong Jing Nan, however, has been at it slightly longer with a record of 10 fights and one loss.

Xiong, 30, also started combat sports at an early age, taking baby steps in amateur boxing at the age of five. Teo, on the other hand, only seriously embarked on combat sports when she picked up Muay Thai eight years ago.

It is a fact not lost on Teo’s coach Luke Adams, but the American is quietly confident that she has what it takes to wrap up a decisive victory.

“I think they’re putting the odds in the other girl’s favour but I don’t see it that way at all,” he said. “Just you watch … I’m not surprised if it goes to the ground, and Tiffany will start trapping her.

“It’ll be a short story for sure.”

Tiffany Teo brushing up on her ground game with coach Luke Adams. (Photo: Noor Farhan)

Having coached Teo during her month-long stint in Phuket, Adams believes that the Singaporean has what it takes to become ONE’s inaugural women’s strawweight champion. “I think she’s very well prepared and she has a lot of experience in other disciplines like jiu-jitsu and boxing,” he said.

“She brings it all the time – she doesn’t miss weights, never backs down from whatever fight match-up she’s been given and most importantly she wins all her fights without really getting hurt,” added Adams. “She always does very well at such a big stage given such a short timespan.”

FIGHTING THE PRESSURE

Cutting a somewhat uneasy figure at the rostrum for ONE Championship’s packed pre-event media conference on Thursday, one may be forgiven for thinking that Teo is feeling the jitters ahead of her headline event this weekend.

“I’m not really used to speaking to such a big crowd though, as I’m more of an introvert,” said the reserved Teo, who was more at ease immediately after the media session. “But nonetheless, I’m ready and confident to win the title belt and bring it home to Singapore.”

On Friday, the Singaporean continued to show no signs of worry during a one-on-one interview with Channel NewsAsia, on the sidelines of her final closed-door weigh-in which she aced with ease.

“There is understandably more attention on me ahead of this big fight which I’m not very used to, but I can say that I’m really focused and prepared to face (Xiong),” said Teo. “I shut out (distractions) by doing a bit of meditation … while also visualising the outcome that I want out of the title fight.

“The most important thing to focus on right now would be my abilities in the ring come fight night,” she added.

Tiffany Teo (left) in a prior MMA bout with ONE Championship. (Photo: ONE Championship)

Among the mental battles Teo will be fighting prior to her bout are the implications of losing the title bout itself, according to her former trainer Major Overall of Team Highlight Reel in Singapore.

“When you walk into fight week, what’s about to happen during that week itself determines what kind of path your career takes in the near future,” he explained.

“There’s a bit of pressure going into the fight, in that sense. For both these girls, signing up for a title fight implies a contract extension,” said Overall. “If you’re going to have your contract extended and if you didn’t win, then it will feel awful.”

He added: “The (women’s) division at ONE right now isn’t really big enough for you to be able to bounce back and get another shot at a title fight. Usually is all or nothing, and that’s a huge pressure in itself.

“If you lose a regular fight you can bounce back, but if you lose a title fight in a small division it can be really hard to mount a comeback.”

BANKING ON FAMILY SUPPORT

Among those who will be watching Teo fight on Saturday is her elder brother Nelson, who is in Jakarta together with their father.

“It was an easy decision on deciding to make it for her upcoming fight,” said Mr Teo, who took a day off work on Friday. “Her title match is a big deal and she has worked so hard to get where she is. The least we could do is to support her.”

MMA fighter Tiffany Teo during training with one of her coaches Luke Adams at Tiger Muay Thai MMA Gym. (Photo: Noor Farhan)

Teo’s close friend Mae Tai is also in Jakarta to lend her support. “I guess there are always possibilities and risks within the ring,” she said.

“But with Tiffany’s experience and confidence, I think she will be able to handle whatever that’s thrown at her very well,” added Ms Tai, who used to train with Teo. “She is someone who follows her heart and I always knew she would make it because she believes so much in her dreams.

“As her friend, I will definitely be worried for her safety but I have faith in her that she will win.”

How to Become an MMA Champion

Ritu Phogat. (File Photo: IANS)

By Debayan Mukherjee
Kolkata, Oct 25 (IANS) Former Indian wrestler Ritu Phogat, who is all set to make her mixed martial arts (MMA) debut next month, has given herself two years’ time to try and become India’s first world champion in the discipline.

A 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships gold medal winner, Ritu — who comes from the famous Phogat family of wrestlers — switched to mixed martial arts earlier this year in a bid to create history.

“I used to follow mixed martial arts from 2012-13. I did not have much knowledge about it,” Ritu told IANS from Singapore on Friday.

Ritu had signed with a Singapore-based MMA organisation, EVOLVE MMA, which has the highest number of world champions.

“When I got the offer from them, I did not want to let go and I spoke to everyone in the family. They were very supportive.”

“I used to watch martial arts on YouTube from 2012. I did not know where it is trained. But I would always ask myself, why India does not have a fighter here. This was always there in my head,” said the 25-year old.

Ritu is currently concentrating on improving her strength, agility, and speed. She trains twice a day on different martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling and boxing.

On November 16 in the One Championship, Ritu will take on Cindy Tiong, a veteran kickboxer from Malaysia who is also making her professional mixed martial arts debut.

“I am nervous. It’s my first match in the World Championship. I have confidence in my abilities and I will put my best foot forward.”

Asked about her aim, Ritu, who became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017, said: “I want to win the World Championship belt for India. This has never been done before. I want to be the first in mixed martial arts to win that for my country. Hopefully in the next two years, I can achieve my goal. I am working really hard for that.”

Ritu said she does miss wrestling, but she is focused on her goal at the moment and is not thinking about making a return in the near future.

“It’s in my blood. So I do miss wrestling but here also there is training in wrestling. At the moment, all my focus is on mixed martial arts. I am not thinking too far ahead.”

Ritu also spoke about cousin Vinesh Phogat who recently sealed an Olympic berth for Tokyo and is considered a bright medal prospect.

“She missed her medal last time (Rio 2016) due to injury. That was heartbreaking. Now she has qualified again and the country has high hopes from her. I am hopeful that she will bring a medal for India,” Ritu concluded.