Archive for X-Pole

Big Dog & Little Dog bark at Tuff-N-Uff

Posted in Legends MMA, Tuff-N-Uff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by jaytan716

Light heavyweight Gio Zavala with the Legends MMA team after his KO victory.

Legends MMA got off to a respectable start in 2011, with flyweight Jacob Rockymore and light heavyweight Gio Zavala both making their Tuff-N-Uff debuts on January 7th at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

After a series of false-starts in 2010, Zavala marked his first MMA match definitively, with a first-round KO victory. Rockymore, facing yet another larger opponent, came up short on a unanimous decision, though by all accounts, he fared well in the striking department.

“I feel like I should have went the opposite of what I was trying to do. . . I was trying to clinch with him and take him down. But I didn’t know he was that much bigger than me. He was probably like 20 more pounds than me,” Rockymore said in reflection.

According to teammate (and Tuff-N-Uff welterweight champion) Eddie Jackson, Rockymore’s opponent, Junior Gomez, weighed in at 133 lbs., claiming he thought the match was at 130 lbs. A request was made for Gomez to try to make 130 lbs., despite that the original agreed upon weight was 125 lbs. Though Legends received no confirmation that Gomez ever reached 130 lbs., Rockymore agreed to fight regardless.

“[Jacob] tagged him up a few times and he bloodied the guy’s nose and everything, but he was too strong and too heavy for Jacob to handle. . . If the dude would have made weight, Jacob probably would have ate him up,” Jackson said of the pairing.

125 lbs. Jacob Rockymore vs. Junior Gomez (Hawaiian Fighting Arts)

Though undersized against his opponent, Jacob Rockymore fought valiantly to clinch and take the match to the ground.

Having the obvious reach advantage, Gomez started in with jabs, but Rockymore didn’t hesitate to fire combos right up the middle, bloodying up Gomez’ nose for his efforts. They clinched and worked for position, with Rockymore landing some knees. Unfortunately, one of them caught Gomez south of the border. Rockymore landed some more knees from the clinch and worked for a hip toss. Round two saw both men trade combos. Rockymore worked for a single-leg takedown, but Gomez blocked with underhooks and swung Rockymore down. Gomez kept side control and tried to circle behind Rockymore, who likewise blocked that advance by holding onto the single-leg. In the final round, Gomez landed a head kick that Rockymore no-sold and stalked him around the ring. Rockymore alternated between throwing combos and knees to a takedown attempt, and had Gomez in a Thai clinch at the match ended.

Judges awarded Junior Gomez the victory by unanimous decision.

“The first round was good. I busted his nose and got in some strikes. After the second round, my arms were gassed from clinching with a bigger guy. Should have stood back and struck with him like I did in the last one. . . I won the first round. I know that,” Rockymore said of his match.

 

205 lbs. Gio Zavala vs. Gabriel Garzon (Mobsters United Fight Team)

Zavala opened the match with a low kick.

Zavala landed the first shot with a leg kick, but Garzon responded with wild lefts and overhand rights. Zavala was controlled, circling away and getting Garzon’s pace. Heavy fists started flying before Garzon shot in and Zavala controlled him with underhooks. Garzon broke away, giving Zavala the chance to land a massive left to Garzon’s temple. Zavala got one more shot in on the ground before referee ?? stopped the bout at 1:33 of the first round for the KO finish.

Zavala’s debut was a long time in the works, with several false starts in the year or so prior. Matches falling out are far from a rarity in amateur MMA, but after his last opponent backed out literally ten minutes prior to match time, at a Total Fighting Alliance (TFA) show in July last year, the anticipation of getting that first match started to test Zavala’s patience.

“His attitude going in was ‘fuck, I hope it’s not going to be another one where the dude bails out,’ but when he found out it was going to be official, his whole demeanor changed,” noted Jackson. “He jumped 10 notches on taking it seriously. He was like ‘this shit’s about to go down.’ His whole attitude changed. He was happy, he was excited, he was nervous. . . His family and friends were there. Everything played out the way it was supposed to go down.

The weekend was also a new chapter for Jackson, whose last trip to Sin City was a three-round dream-come-true, as he won the Tuff-N-Uff welterweight championship, an accolade he’d been chasing for two years. For this event, however, Jackson assumed cornerman duties for the first timee, as teammate Chris Brady did late last year on several shows. Ironically, the focus and intensity is no different than when he’s the one scheduled to fight.

One monsterous-ass brotha.

“For some reason, going up there, even if I’m cornering, I still get the jitters. Because every time I go up there, it’s like I’m going to war. . . this time around, cornering my boys, I got a different perspective, from the outside looking in. I can see what [Legends head trainer Chris] Reilly and Conor [Heun] are looking at. And I can see it too. . . They’re the eyes and ears for what you can’t see or hear [as a fighter in the ring]. Because sometimes the nerves get the best of you and you block everything else out. That corner tells you to do this, do that. That’s like a lifeline. And I didn’t realize how important that was.“

Rockymore anticipates a victorious return to the Tuff-N-Uff ring as soon as possible.

As for Rockymore, despite not getting the win, he feels that fighting for Barry and Jeff Meyer marks a major turning point for his amateur career, one that he’s anxious to embrace with his next match: “That was the biggest fight that I’ve had. The first two fights are alright, but Tuff-N-Uff is where you want to be as an amateur. It was a bigger crowd, a bigger entrance,” he said. “I’m going to be way more ready than I was for my last fight. I’m gonna gain a lot of weight, put up those protein shakes, get that cardio up. I’ll be ready to go next time.”

In other Tuff-N-Uff action that night:

160 lbs. – Casey Picard (10th Planet Riverside) def. Cody Hamm (Team Envy) via TKO, R1, 1:33.

185 lbs. – Tyler Jeppesen (Team Vegas Bail) def. Joshua Morgan (Centennial Tae Kwon Do) via TKO / doctor’s stoppage due to a cut, R1, 0:28 (team)

135 lbs. – Jesse Romero (Xtreme Couture) def. Raul Sandoval (10th Planet Riverside) via unanimous decision.

Female 145 lbs. tournament quarterfinal – Ashlee Evans-Smith (Gladiator Training Academy) def. Jessamyn Duke (AFS Academy) via unanimous decision.

185 lbs. – Shane Johnson (Xtreme Couture) def. Rick Borden (10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu) via unanimous decision.

170 lbs. – Ramon Hernandez (Team Felony / Pitbull Jiu-Jitsu) def. Tony Totero (Team Suffer) via submission, R1, 1:39.

155 lbs. – Troy Remer (Xtreme Couture) def. David Thompkins (10th Planet Riverside) via unanimous decision.

Female 145 lbs. Exhibition –Tamikka Brents (Team Warrior Concepts) def. Tori Adams via split decision. This match was originally part of the female 145 lb. tournament, but became an exhibition when Brents was unable to make weight.

155 lbs. – Jon Gorton (Team Quest) def. Jonathan Rodeffer (Team Thompkins) via unanimous decision.

145 lbs. – Cesar Campus (LA Boxing (Las Vegas)) def. Josh Grevas (Xtreme Couture) via unanimous decision.

170 lbs. –Lee Henry Lilly (Striking Unlimited) def. Joey Angelo (Tapout Training Center) via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Matt Church (Throwdown) def. Kimo Yadao (Xtreme Couture) via split decision.

Female 145 lbs. tournament quarterfinal – Ronda Rousey (Team Hayastan) def. Taylor Stratford via technical submission, R1, 0:24.

155 lbs. – Trace Gray (10th Planet Riverside) def. Jake Swinney (Xtreme Couture) via unanimous decision.

Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole. Tuff-N-Uff’s next event is February 11th at the Orleans Hotel & Casino.

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Legends sweeps with wins at Combat Fight League

Posted in Legends MMA, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by jaytan716

The combined Legends MMA - Bond Squad MMA team went undefeated at CFL's Halloween Fight Fest in Oxnard.

The treats came a day early for Chris Reilly and Amir Rahnavardi’s four-man squad over Halloween weekend, as amateur fighters from Legends MMA and Bond Squad MMA swept Combat Fight League’s ‘Halloween Fight Fest’ on October 30th at West Coast Jiu Jitsu in Oxnard, CA.

Reilly and Rahnavardi brought Bond Squad brothers ‘Pistol Pete’ and Andrew ‘Worst Case Scenario’ Mostowa, protégés of Rahnavardi’s, along with Legends MMA’s Dustin Mueller and Alan Jouban. Mueller and Peter walked away with decision victories, while Jouban and Andrew both finished their opponents in late in the first round.

“Everybody did real well. My brother’s fight went real well. Probably as good as anyone could have guessed or wanted it to go. Dustin, his fight, he did a lot of good things in it. And then Alan, he’s undefeated . . . that sort of keeps that ball rolling. With us all winning, it just made it a great night,” said Pistol Pete.

“Just knowing that they’re Amir’s guys, you feel like you’re part of the same team. Because Amir is just everybody’s boy. It’s camaraderie,” Jouban said of his teammates for the night.

As one part of the main event, Jouban wasn’t able to watch their matches until seeing video footage after the event, but their continual victories throughout the night helped keep his spirits high and focused during his warm-up backstage.

“When everyone’s winning, that energy, feeding off of it . . . It always puts you at ease when you see them happy and laughing.”

Andrew Mostowa concurred, saying that his older brother’s win helped set the tone for his own debut: “It helped a lot. It was like ‘alright, we have one win under our belt. Let’s make it another one.’ We’re pretty close, so it’s just one of those things.”

155 lbs. – Pete Mostowa (Bond Squad MMA) def. Carlos Sanchez (West Coast Jiu Jitsu) via decision

Pistol Pete’s previous match, at the first Combat Fight League event, was a lopsided affair in which West Coast Fight Academy favorite Francisco “Turtle” Estrada overwhelmed the then-debuting young gun. In this return match, however, Pete was more composed and relaxed.

Sanchez caught Pete with several shots and a takedown early in the first round. After some scrapping, Pete ended up on bottom and worked to set up a triangle or armbar. When Sanchez stood up, Pete slapped on a tight kneebar which had Sanchez close to tapping. Round two saw similar action. Pete had a mount on Sanchez, who flipped him over. Pete was able to set up an oma plata, but was too crowded against the cage to finish. Round three showcased both men’s stand-up skills. Pete pushed Sanchez against the cage and landed several knees before round’s end.

Judges awarded Pete Mostowa the victory by split decision.

“It was a real close match that went back and forth, and because I was working the whole time for submissions and the positions I was in, I was trying to get the better position and do something . . . That’s when the judges kind of saw that and gave me the decision,” theorized Pete.

(From left): Dustin "Dirty D" Mueller, "Pistol Pete" Mostowa, & Andrew "Worst Case Scenario" Mostowa

“Peter’s a really good fighter. He’s really complete. . . His last fight didn’t get him much experience. So this fight . . . he learned a lot,” noted Rahnavardi.

Dustin Mueller felt that Pete was particularly strong on the ground, noting “Pete was going for a lot of submissions on the ground. . . He seemed definitely more aggressive in this second fight. . . He was transitioning from one move to the other.”

205 lbs. – Dustin Mueller (Legends MMA) vs. Paul Elias (West Coast Fight Academy)

Though he came in with a significant height and reach advantage, Mueller went through several opponent changes, and subsequent weight class changes, which took its toll on his cardio reserves. After his initial fight (at light heavyweight) fell through, Mueller got booked for a heavyweight scrap, and subsequently started to add weight. However, one week before the fight, his light heavyweight match was back on, forcing Mueller to cut 15 pounds in a week, with no prior weight-cutting experience.

“I learned a lot about my body and my whole self. Because I never got to really cut weight. I just felt weak. It was a weird feeling. But thank God that I won. The next fight will be a lot different for me, for sure,” he said in retrospect.

Elias almost immediately shot in early in round one. He caught a knee from Mueller and used it to score a takedown. Elias stacked himself over Mueller on the ground and threw rights, trying to pass guard, but Mueller kept control of Elias’ head and set up an armbar. Mueller flipped over, but Elias stayed on him and threw headshots from behind. Mueller managed to pop his head out the back door, but Elias scrambled and sunk in a guillotine choke, stuffing Mueller in the corner and taking his back as the round ended. Round two saw Mueller keep the match on the feet for the most part, throwing sporadic combinations. Mueller pushed Elias against the cage with lefts and rights. Elias charged for a double-leg takedown and got it, but Mueller transitioned out to side control near round’s end. Round three saw Mueller kept control of the center of the cage and pressure Elias with combos. Elias went for another takedown and eventually took Mueller’s back, but Mueller flipped him over and threw rights from front facelock top position to the end of the match.

Judges awarded Dustin Mueller the victory by unanimous decision on scores of 29-28.

“Dustin’s married, and he’s got three kids, and he’s got a full-time job. So he’s one of those full weekend warriors. But he did good. He’s the guy that came to Legends when I first started teaching, and he knew nothing. And he was a fat guy, so how far he’s come, I’m so proud,” said Rahnavardi.

185 lbs. – Andrew Mostowa (Bond Squad MMA) def. Bobby Fiscer (TapouT Fight Team) via TKO, R1, 1:34.

The younger Mostowa brother came on strong and kept the pressure on Fiscer with combos and several low kicks. He forced Fiscer against the cage and threw knees until Fiscer went to the ground. Andrew stayed on him with ground and pound until the referee called the match at 1:34 of the first round, awarding the man they call ‘Worst Case Scenario’ with the TKO victory.

Rahnavardi couldn’t have been happier about Andrew’s performance, boasting “he stayed completely on game-plan, did exactly what I told him, and just destroyed him. We call him Worst Case Scenario because he’s more flexible than any human being that you’ve ever met. He’s got awe some hands, awesome kicks, and great ground. So he’s seriously like the Worst Case Scenario for anyone to fight.”

Being his debut match, Andrew conceded that nerves were a slight factor, but that “when you get in the ring, everything goes so fast that it just goes back to your instincts, I guess. And everything that you train, it just comes out.”

170 lbs. – Alan Jouban (Legends MMA) vs. Ruben Gudino (West Coast Fight Academy)

Gudino made first contact with several low kicks as Jouban took his time. Gudino got Jouban against the cage, but Jouban clinched and walked into him, getting a trip takedown. Jouban kept top control with a full mount, landing a few lefts. Gudino got to his feet briefly, but Jouban took him down again with a highlight reel belly-to-back slam. Jouban got full mount, but Gudino quickly swept him and landed in guard. Jouban switched to butterfly guard and set up the gogo plata. Gudino tapped moments later, at 1:57 of the first round.

(Clockwise): Chris Reilly, Alder Hampel, Alan Jouban, Dr. Joe Canu

For Jouban, this match represented a big personal accomplishment, and even something of a possible graduation to the pro ranks, a move which is supported by his head trainer, Chris Reilly. Earlier this year, Jouban set the goal of fighting five times before 2011, and not only hit that mark with the Gudino match, but went undefeated in dominating fashion, winning four times via first-round finish, twice by gogo plata submission.

“I didn’t know if I was gonna really be able to obtain that goal. Before I was averaging maybe one or two a year, because of injuries and whatnot. . . It’s kind of played out that way, so I’m extremely thrilled. If I can get my pro fight in before the next year, it would really complete what I wanted to do, starting at the beginning of this year,” he reflected.

To win via gogo plata in an MMA match is rare. To do it twice is almost lightning in a bottle. Ironically, Jouban had intended to keep it a striking match, after his opportunity to make his pro debut a Muay Thai match in Thailand fell through.

“But it was just weird, because it wasn’t as I envisioned the fight. I just kept picturing a beautiful KO. Like some kind of Muay Thai-related head kick or something of that sort,” joked Jouban. “Big props to Alder Hampel. I’ve been working a lot of jits with Eddie Bravo . . . I went to see Alder a couple weeks before my fight, just to kind of fine tune things, and he really came through for me. . . I’m glad that I’m making Eddie Bravo and everybody at 10th Planet proud.”

In other CFL “Halloween Fight Fest” action:

135 lbs. – Benji Gomez def. Jaime Leon Hernandez via decision.

155 lbs. – Nathan Speer def. William BJ Ingram via submission, R1, 1:57.

185 lbs. – Mike Jasper def. Joshua Ramirez via TKO, R2, 1:55.

135 lbs. – Michael Castanon def. Juan Estrada via split decision.

155 lbs. Female – Samantha Mosqueda def. Hayden Munoz via decision.

185 lbs. – Mose Aieti def. Anton Torres via decision.

Combat Fight League returns on December 2nd with an amateur show at the Westlake Hyatt. Both Mostowa brothers expect to return to action on that show. Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole.

Smith claims his ‘Respect’ against Gutierrez

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by jaytan716

Garren Smith came off a 10-month hiatus to win via TKO at Respect in the Cage on October 9th.

After ten months of injuries, false starts, and continuous struggle to hit the restart button, pro heavyweight Garren Smith restarted his momentum with a dominating win on October 9th at the Fox Theater in Pomona, as the semi-main event in Respect in the Cage. Smith beat hometown favorite Andrew “Spike” Gutierrez by TKO in the second round, after Gutierrez’ corner threw in the towel.

“It was a big relief. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever fight again. . . I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fight again,” lamented Smith in the days following the fight.”

“You take enough time off and you run into injuries and obstacles, you start to question what you’re doing. . . Now, instead of being hesitant, and thinking about ‘do I want to fight again,’ now I realize I want to fight again. And it’s got me pretty much right back to where I was when I first started in the game. It was just train your ass off, fight your ass off.”

Smith’s previous outing was in December of last year in Oregon, against former IFL star Devon Cole.

“I knew Garren was going to win this fight because I spar with him, and I know how good he really is. . . They both went 110%, trying to knock each other out. It was an awesome fight. For people watching, I bet it was really exciting fight to watch. Seeing two big guys go at it that hard is pretty bitchin’,” said cornerman Amir Rahnavardi.

“For having not fought in 10 months and go in there and fight a tough guy in there like that, and to show the skills that he showed in there, I was impressed,” noted Smith’s teammate and other cornerman, Chris ‘BLVD’ Brady.

As if Smith wasn’t facing enough pressure coming back from such a long hiatus, contractual hold-ups at weigh-ins caused more confusion. Unbeknownst to him and his team, Smith was kept on reserve as a likely (but unconfirmed) last-minute replacement.

Gutierrez originally was scheduled to face John Potter in a match based on personal issues. According to promoters, with Potter’s reputation for no-showing, it was expected that the match would fall through, and as such, Smith would be their fill-in. Indeed, Potter was not present at weigh-ins, nor did he provide the necessary medical and licensing paperwork to California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) officials. Only after it was established the Potter could not be licensed in time did promoters finally provide bout agreements to Gutierrez and Smith.

The story of the match itself was Smith stalking Gutierrez with left hooks and kicks to the legs and body, setting up for a Thai plumb clinch and knees. Gutierrez worked to keep him at bay with overhand rights and various kicks of his own. Early in the first round, Gutierrez shot in for a takedown, but Smith caught him with a Thai clinch and knees. He later hit a judo trip on Gutierrez and held him briefly with a front facelock. Gutierrez actually turned his back standing at one point, giving Smith the opening to charge in with an overhand right. However, Gutierrez ducked and Smith fell into the cage. Round two saw Gutierrez throw a high kick, slipping in the process and again giving Smith the window to pounce. Smith landed approximately 50-60 strikes before Gutierrez’ corner threw in the towel at 1:07 of the second round.

Smith was aware that ring rust could be a potential big factor in his performance, and in particular noted that the match showed where there was room for improvement: “It made me realize just how much work I’ve got to do. I’ve got to get into way better shape for any fight I take. If I had fought a top caliber opponent for that fight, I’d have been done,” he explained.

Smith, surrounded by the Legends MMA team after his victory.

Besides a return for Smith, the match also represented continued growth for the Legends team, as the unprecedented combination of Rahnavardi, Brady, and in-house chiro Dr. Joe Canul worked Smith’s corner.

“Amir is great to work with because everything he taught me, everything he did when holding the mitts, right before we went out, that’s what I did to win the fight. Dr. Canul did his magic voodoo on me and completely relaxed me for the rest of the day. Plus, his personality had me very calm in the corner. Chris is very valuable. He helped me with a prayer, right before I went in, that really got me focused. Even though he had a freshly sprained ankle, from that day, he was my runner. He took care of everything. Definitely gonna have him in my corner again.”

Likewise, Rahnavardi noted “the thing that most impressed me with Garren for this fight is how hard he worked eight days before. Because I really pushed him on cardio. He listened to everything that I said as far as getting into shape and dropping the weight. . . What I was telling him on the pads, the way that I was warming him up – he was receiving everything 100%, and then it seemed like everything just fell into place for him,” said Rahnavardi.

Of course, Smith’s win was a big shot in the arm for the rest of the team, several of whom fight later this month and towards the end of the year. “That energy, his positive energy, his happiness, comes into our lives, comes into our mindsets and brings that out in us in our fights,” explained Brady.

Smith is expected to appear at Respect in the Cage’s next event, scheduled for November 12th at the Fox Theater in Pomona.  He is sponsored by X-Pole, The Hundreds, and Royal Clayton’s English Pub.

 

Jouban & Marenya explode at ‘Ground Zero’

Posted in CAMO, Legends MMA, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by jaytan716

Alan Jouban (left) and Eugene Marenya

Welterweights Eugene Marenya and Alan Jouban kept Legends MMA’s win streak alive-and-kicking this weekend with a pair of victories at Combat Fight League’s “Ground Zero” amateur MMA event, held at West Coast Jiu Jitsu in Oxnard.

In the main event, Jouban was put in the invader’s role, as he faced West Coast Jiu Jitsu’s star Mose Aieti, who has made waves this year in the SoCal amateur MMA scene. However, Jouban proved to have answers for the hometown hero’s questions, winning by unanimous decision. As the winner of what was declared the Match of the Night, Jouban was awarded a Polanti luxury watch.

“Tough dude. Good fight. It was a fight that I wanted, too. Because I’d been saying I don’t want a quick finish or anything. I want a war. . . I haven’t been out of the first round in my last three fights. So to get to go to a three-round decision, and to kick a guy in the head and have him come back wanting more, it was good,” commented Jouban after the fight.

Marenya, who fought at a 160 lb. catchweight in transition to welterweight, was particularly anxious to get in the cage. He was originally scheduled to fight Anthony Olivas of Bloodbank MMA the week prior, and, ironically, was the main event on that show. However, when rowdy and drunk fans in the crowd started their own fight during the match before Marenya’s, El Monte police and CAMO officials were forced to immediately shut the show down, leaving he and Olivas frustrated and unfulfilled.

“I was pissed off last week. And all that built up into this week, and I put it out there in the ring. I did my thang. Did what my coaches told me, and I banged,” said the North Carolina native.

Legends MMA's winning team

Also worthy of note about ‘Ground Zero’ was teammate Chris Brady, taking the cornerman reins for the night, covering for head trainer Chris Reilly. Along with Amir Rahnavardi and 10th Planet brown belt Victor Webster, ‘Boulevard Brady’ was chief second for both Marenya and Jouban. With two successful fights, Brady was praised for his leadership, which, not surprisingly, resembled his longtime mentor’s.

“Brady is like a Little Reilly,” noted Marenya. “He really knows his stuff. He knows the advice to give you. Watches the fight really well. Amir is just a great guy. Great coach. One of the most experienced guys we got. I could hear Vic [Webster] advising. So I basically had all three in my corner, and I really appreciated all of them.”

Jouban noted that having Legends’ more experienced fighters corner their teammates not only helps them grow, but also brings the team itself closer together: “I think not only for me, but for my teammates, I think that it builds their confidence as well. In bringing fighters to fights, [cornering] them, warming them up. That way, we can work together as a team, like an actual cohesive unit. Where, if Reilly can’t make it, I could corner my buddy. I can warm them up. We know that we can all rely on each other.”

160 lbs. – Eugene Marenya vs. Marcus Aven (Right Cross)

Eugene Marenya blocks a double-leg shot from Marcus AvenAven spent a good part of the first round working for a takedown, crowding Marenya against the cage and trying a trip, but Marenya fended it off incredibly well, sprawling and stuffing the double-leg shot, quickly escaping when they did finally get to the ground. Marenya opened up with lefts and rights, and then fended off another shot with overhooks and knees. Aven charged and did get Marenya on the ground, peppering him with lefts and taking his back, but Marenya pivoted around and was stacking Aven from above as Aven worked for an armbar as the round ended. Aven was determined to get the takedown in round two, trying to pull in Marenya’s legs against the cage for well over half the round. After breaking apart, Marenya landed a high kick that rocked Aven, who instinctively changed levels and grabbed for a single-leg, which he did score as the round ended. Marenya came alive in the third round, opening with a a low right kic and attacking with lefts and rights to the head, pushing Aven back against the cage until referee Ray Rothfelder stopped the match. Marenya was awarded the victory via TKO.

Marenya’s growth as a fighter, from his first West Coast match back in April, was markedly obvious, not just in his takedown defense, but, according to Jouban, his punches and kicks: “I think Eugene’s striking is really starting to come along. You could see the progression in his last three fights, leading up to this. It really showed because he landed the head kick. . . The guy wore himself trying to take him down. But the striking was the difference-maker. The guy didn’t want any part of the striking, but he had no choice. Eugene had the more dominant reach, and just athleticism.”

“I’ve been working with a lot of the good wrestlers at the gym. I’ve been working with some of the good jiu jitsu guys. Working on little tricks to defend the takedown. And it paid off,” said Marenya.

175 lbs. – Alan Jouban vs. Mose Aieti (West Coast Jiu Jitsu)

Alan Jouban was all chill backstage.

Aieti was active on the attack, taking Jouban down off a combo and working from inside Jouban’s guard. Jouban muted Aieti’s options by pulling mission control. Aieti tried a short slam to no avail. Once referee Ray Rothfelder stood them up, Jouban landed several Muay Thai knees, kicks, and punches to end the round. Both men were more cautious in engaging in round two, throwing selective kicks before Aieti charged in. But Jouban caught him with two more Muay Thai knees before being taken to the ground, where Aieti kept the fight. In round three, Aieti shot in for a takedown that Jouban caught with a front headlock, slipping in an underhook and several strong knees. Jouban let go and tagged Aieti with a right kick, then charged in with kicks and punches.  Aieti dropped Jouban with an overhand right and pounced, but Jouban caught him in a triangle choke that he held to round’s end.

Judges awarded Alan Jouban the match via unanimous decision, off scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.

Marenya had nothing but praise for the always-poised Jouban, commenting “aw, man. Superman! Great fight. . . He outworked the kid. . . I guess people now know not to stand-up with Legends guys. ‘Cuz Chris Reilly, Muay Thai. It’s just showing how great our stand-up reputation is. No one wants to stand with us.”

In other “Combat Fight League: Ground Zero” action that night:

135 lbs. – Juan Aguilera def. Juan Estrada via TKO, R2.

185 lbs. – JJ Mortimer def. Sid Sidberry via submission, R1.

150 lbs. – Francisco Estrada def. Peter Mostawa via submission, R1.

205 lbs. – John Hernandez def. Jarrod Huggins via KO, R1.

145 lbs. (female) – Ronda Rousey def. Hayden Munoz via submission, R1.

Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole, Melee Fight Gear, and MMA Elite.

Rockymore wins big at Spar Star

Posted in Legends MMA, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by jaytan716

By Jay Tan

Jacob Rockymore (center) celebrates with teammates after a first-round victory.

He might not be old enough to drink, but Jacob Rockymore is old enough to put heads to bed, as he demonstrated on July 30th at Spar Star MMA’s inaugural event at the El Monte Civic Center in El Monte.

Rockymore, making his California MMA debut, defeated Cole Riley of OC Boxing with a arm triangle choke (aka side choke) at 1:31 of the first round.

“That shit was tight. . . I went in there, had fun, did my thing, and the results came out good. If you see the video, I was focused,” he said proudly in the days after the fight.

The match started out swiftly, as Rockymore attacked with combos and Riley replied with sharp jabs. Rockymore pressed the action with a pair of kicks and an overhand right, which eventually led to grabbing a waistlock and working for a takedown. He did eventually trip Riley to the mat and bully him over, then throwing rights from inside Riley’s guard. Riley swept Rockymore, who swept Riley almost as quickly, before landing in a side choke that he cinched until referee Larry Landless stopped the match.

For Rockymore, this match was not just about the immediate victory, but also about moving past his previous bout and proving to himself that he could perform at the level for which he’s trained. This past May, Rockymore fought in Las Vegas, first coming up on the short end of a hairline-thin split decision and then struggling through sickness backstage. However, in El Monte, the young flyweight was determined to claim his reversal of fortune.

Rockymore gets his hand raised.“I felt more confident. Because I knew I was going to win this fight, for some reason. The last one was tough as fuck. Harder than I expected it to be. This one, the guy was overweight, and I was under. . . When I was inside the cage, I was just ready. My mind was set and everything. I knew what I was gonna do.”

Despite such a dominant and adept performance, Rockymore is still quick to recognize that he’s got a long way to go, saying “I still feel like I can do better. I’ve still got a lot to learn. . . [like] the jiu-jitsu on the bottom. After he flipped me, I was like ‘fuck, what do I do now?’ I just tried to strengthen over. Get my butterfly guard and flip him. That worked, but what if it didn’t?”

Teammate Eugene Marenya was also scheduled to fight on the Spar Star event, and was in fact the last match of the night, but in an unfortunate turn of events, the show was cut short when several drunk fans ignited their own brawl in the stands, just one match before Marenya’s.

Fortunately, Marenya didn’t need wait long before finding another match. The next day, he was added to Combat Fight League’s “Ground Zero” event in Oxnard, taking on Marcus Aven of Right Cross.

Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole, Melee Fight Gear, and MMA Elite.

STORMY WEATHER AHEAD: THE HURRICANE RETURNS TO STRIKEFORCE

Posted in Features, Legends MMA, Strikeforce with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2010 by jaytan716

Conor "The Hurricane" Heun vs. KJ Noons will open "Strikeforce: Live" this Wednesday, June 16th, at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles,

After a year’s layoff, Legends MMA / 10th Planet’s Conor “The Hurricane” Heun returns to Strikeforce action this Wednesday, June 16th, as part of “Strikeforce: Live.” Moreover, the former Division III wrestler-turned-10th-Planet-brown-belt comes in for no tune-up match, as he faces his highest-profile and possibly most dangerous opponent to date, KJ Noons.

Tickets are available at the Legends MMA / BeSpun front desk.

“KJ is a very talented fighter. Very strong, very dangerous. I’m sure it’s going to be a hell of a fight. Definitely not taking it lightly,” said Heun.

As was previously reported, Heun was scheduled to fight RJ Clifford on this same event. Noons, a former EliteXC lightweight champion, was preparing to fight Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett , in a rematch of their January 2007 bout. That first bout ended when Bennett KO’ed Noons midway through the first round.

However, when Bennett was forced to pull out of his June 16th date, Heun was reassigned to Noons. This new pairing raises the bar for Heun, as Noons comes with bigger credentials and, with victory, more potential reward.

“When I got that fight, I told them I needed to think about it. I hung up the phone and cried for five minutes. Then I called them back and said ‘fuck yeah, put me on that card’,” he recalled.

This match represents not just a professional, but also a personal climax to Heun’s past 12 months. Following his show-stealing three-round war with Jorge Gurgel at the second Strikeforce Challengers show, Heun was forced to undergo ACL replacement surgery, which found him inactive and frustrated for months. Faced with a growing pile of bills, his main gym in transition to its new location, and several important personal relationships strained, storm clouds were brewing for the Hurricane.

“I was in a dark place, sitting on my couch. . . Peaks and valleys. That was my valley, now I’m ready to hit my peak on Wednesday,” said Heun.

A victory over Noons could quickly reestablish Heun as a quick-rising star in the Strikeforce ranks. Prior to his Gurgel battle, Heun was 3-0 since 2007, with two wins in EliteXC, where many expected him to fast-track to a title shot. Unfortunately for Heun, EliteXC went under in 2008.

Ironically enough, their lightweight champion at the time was none other than KJ Noons.

“Opportunity knocks, you gotta answer the door. We’re never given anything that we can’t handle, and it’s my time.”

Tickets are now on sale at the Legends / BeSpun front desk:  $40, $65, and $100.

Conor Heun is sponsored by TapouT, Full Tilt Poker, Five Star Fight Gear, X-Pole, Fight Defense Mouthguards, One 11 Ink, Revive Energy Mints, SFGoldman.com, JoeRogan.net, Melee Fight Gear, HPE, Inc., and On The Mat.

“Don’t Call It A Comeback!” – Legends performs memorably over Memorial Day weekend

Posted in Legends MMA, Live Event Reports, Tuff-N-Uff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2010 by jaytan716

Legends MMA won four out of five matches in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend.

It was going to be a tough weekend, with five fighters competing on two different cards, only 48 hours apart, but Chris Reilly, Eddie Bravo, and Conor Heun led Alan Jouban, Eugene Marenya, Christian Palencia, Tommy Gavin, and Chris “Boulevard” Brady to an impressive series of wins at Tuff-N-Uff’s two-day amateur MMA showcase this past weekend.

“We had a great weekend. We had great coaching, and it’s good to pay them back for all the work they’ve put in with us with some nice wins,” said Gavin, who turned two consecutive losses around with an impressive, heavy-handed TKO in the first round.

Jouban, Marenya, and Palencia fought on Friday, May 28th, while Gavin and Brady had matches on Sunday, May 30th. Overall, the team went 4-1, with the only loss, Palencia’s split decision to Jimmy Spicuzza (Team Lethal), igniting a wave of controversy among fans, fighters, and even the promotion and sanctioning body officials who felt that Palencia deserved the victory.

“Christian had a great fight. That was just back and forth. . . And everyone here thought Christian won the first and the third, and gave the other guy the second,” commented Jouban.

As close as the match was, Palencia was able to see both sides of the coin, saying “to me, I was in offense. He was in survival mode when I had him in those guillotines. . . Also, when I was fighting him, it really felt like I was the one being the aggressor. But then, I guess, what can counter that is I guess him taking me down”

Always one to find the silver lining, for Palencia, even without his hand raised, the moral victory was his: “Overall, I felt pretty good about my performance. . . It’s been over a year since I fought, and [fighting in] the same month that I started training again and coming back from my injury – I feel good, coming back and still being able to perform. No fears or anything.”

Tuff-N-Uff Future Stars of MMA – Friday, May 28th

170 lbs. – Alan Jouban x Joden Sieders (Throwdown)

Alan Jouban finished off his opponent with this rear naked choke in the first round.

Jouban looked very composed for his second Tuff-N-Uff appearance, opening the round with a right kick and a flurry of punches, punctuated by a head kick that Sieders ducked. Sieders shot in for a clinch, but Jouban fended it off, slipping in a knee. From out of nowhere, Jouban landed a superman punch that immediately dropped Sieders. Jouban pounced, firing lefts and rights on the ground, before taking the back and sinking in a rear naked choke for the win.

Alan Jouban wins by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:16 of the first round.

“He’s already was really seasoned and composed. . . Everyone sees Alan being a Muay Thai fighter, but now he’s definitely an MMA fighter,” commented Palencia.

According to Jouban, the difference between this and his previous Tuff-N-Uff showings, despite them both being first round finishes, was vast: “I was so balled up in the first one. Just ready to explode. So much weight and pressure on me. And this one, I was very relaxed. I just remember going out there and seeing people in the crowd, and looking for my girl. I was just very aware of everything, and it had me a little bit worried that I was so relaxed.”

“Reilly said many times that it takes 10 fights to get to that level, before you go pro. And [I realized afterwards] that was my 10th fight. . . But I was told afterwards that people could see it in my body language – they said ‘you looked real relaxed. You were looking like you were trying to pick your shots, rather than just explode.’ So it felt great. I’m hoping that’s the feeling I get; Now that I’ve hit that level of certain fights.”

170 lbs. – Eugene Marenya x Mike Sutton (Fasi Sports / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu)

Eugene Marenya came close to finishing in the first round. He went on to win by split decision.

Round One: Sutton got a takedown early, but Marenya got to his feet with little problem, keeping the clinch and firing knees. After breaking apart, Sutton tried the stand-up game, but Marenya’s reach was too much. Sutton tried to take him to the ground with a clinch, but it was Marenya who ended up on top, punishing Sutton’s ribs with strong rights to the body. Marenya continued with the ground and pound to the round’s end.

Round Two: Again, Sutton charged in and tried for a trip takedown, but Marenya once more ended up on top, ground-and-pounding and passing guard. Sutton did spin around and get full mount in his own corner, landing some rights of his own, but Marenya eventually turned it around. They got into the ropes then fell into the corner, with Marenya on bottom. Marenya did get to his feet, but Sutton worked a guillotine choke to keep him grounded, and eventually took his back with hooks in, firing rights on Marenya from behind. If Marenya took the first round, this was definitely Sutton’s.

Round Three: Sutton went in for the takedown, and eventually did force a single leg, but Marenya got up and threw a knee to break it up. Marenya’s combos kept Sutton at bay. Another Sutton shot and another Marenya sprawl. Sutton tries to spin him to the ground, but Marenya was calm in defending. Sutton kept trying for takedowns, with shots and body clinches, but to no avail.

Eugene Marenya wins by split decision, off scores of 29-27, 29-27, and 28-29. All three judges were in agreement that Marenya won the first round, while Sutton took the second round. However, two judges awarded Marenya 10-8 scores in the first, while one gave a 10-9. The second round was 10-9 across the board, which still had Marenya ahead 19-18, 19-18, and 19-19 even. The same two judges who awarded 10-8s in the first gave 10-9s to Marenya for the third, while the final judge awarded Sutton the final round by 10-9.

“I felt that Eugene won because of his work to finish. I felt like he almost finished that fight a couple different times. . . And I also thought that the last 15 seconds of the first round was pretty ridiculous. He was sitting there pounding on that dude, and all the dude was doing was holding his hands up. And they let it go. I thought that fight should have been stopped then and there. Especially if they’re supposed to be stopping fights early,” said Brady.

“I think Eugene learned a lot in that fight. That he’s not always going to be able to use his strength and length and athleticism to his advantage. He’s gotta throw his technique in there. But we were all real proud of him. He toughed it out. It was a hard-fought fight. He pulled off the W and that’s all that matters,” said Jouban.

155 lbs. – Christian Palencia x Jimmy Spicuzza (Team Lethal)

Christian Palencia made a tremendous comeback after a year-long hiatus.

Round One: Palencia looked more determined than he usually does, which, once the bell rings, is extremely focused. Spicuzza’s vocal fan base clearly confirmed the hometown boy’s popularity. Spicuzza caught a right kick early, dumping Palencia to the ground. Engaging on the feet, Palencia stalked Spicuzza from the center, keeping him against the ropes and forcing him into the corner. Spicuzza grounded Palencia with a high takedown, but Palencia threatened for several minutes with a tight guillotine choke. Spicuzza did eventually pop out, but was ineffective from the top. Palencia should have won this round with the guillotine and more aggressive striking.

Round Two: Spicuzza continued to circle while Palencia followed him from the center. Spicuzza scored a takedown and side control, but let Palencia up after getting nothing on the ground. Palencia with a right low kick, and later charged in. Spicuzza worked for a clinch takedown, but Palencia instead slipped in a standing guillotine and jumped guard before round’s end.

Round Three: Spicuzza caught another kick and tried to dump Palencia again, but doesn’t. Palencia, however, did get a takedown off a kick. Spicuzza held him in closed guard, but Palencia was able to stand over him and almost pass guard. Palencia ended up in closed guard again, ground-and-pounding to the end of the round.

Judges award the bout to Jimmy Spicuzza by split decision.

In the days after the match, Gavin suggested that the match could have been quite different with three-minute rounds: “it would have been nice to see Christian and Jimmy – they’re both Tuff-N-Uff veterans – get the three three-minute rounds for the main event. I think that would have showed even better. But with the shorter rounds, sometimes that takedown and getting on top, is real big to the judges.”

Heun likewise echoed the sentiment: “[Spicuzza] wasn’t able to do anything, but they score takedowns very highly out there. . . I thought [Palencia] did more damage. I thought he was trying to finish the fight. Would I like the judging criteria changed? Yes. I think the fights should be judged on a whole.”

According to the scorecards, the difference was in the first round, when two judges awarded Spicuzza the round, while one judge saw Palencia winning. All judges agreed that Spicuzza won the second round and Palencia the third. The end result was scores of 28-29, 29-28, and 29-28 in favor of Spicuzza.

“I felt like I got the win. I think the judges just couldn’t tell how tight my guillotines were. The one in the first round, I thought I had that one. The one in the second round. . . it felt really tight, but when I dropped down, I somehow lost it. And then in the third round, I felt like I definitely controlled him on top, and was hitting him up on top. When he took me down, he wasn’t doing anything.”

In other Tuff-N-Uff action that night:

140 lbs. – Joseph Viola (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) def. Ramsen Merza (LA Boxing) via TKO, R3, 1:20.

160 lbs. – Lyle Rivera (Hard Knox) def. Carlos Caliso, Jr. (Team Spiritwolf) via split decision.

145 lbs. – Mac McNamara (Xtreme Couture) def. Johnny Parsons (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) via split decision.

185 lbs. – Chris Gates (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu)  def. PJ Dombrowski (Xtreme Couture) via TKO, R3, 1:37.

145 lbs. – Justin Vadnais (Vadnais Fight Team) def. Jovon Lorenzo (Freestyle) via TKO / doctor’s stoppage, R2.

155 lbs. – Dustin Bredwick (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) def. Paul Blancaflor (Team Spiritwolf) via submission (rear naked choke), R3, 0:53.

155 lbs. – Jason Rivera (Wand Fight Team) def. Zac Chance (Xtreme Couture) via split decision.

160 lbs. – Chris Camacho Gameness Competition Team) def. Jon Gorton (Team Quest / Reign Training Center) via unanimous decision.

205 lbs. – Joseph Mengali (Team PFS) def. Tim Martyn (Freestyle) via TKO, R1, 1:10.

185 lbs. – Greg Gifford (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) def. Weston Duschen (Xtreme Couture) via ?? R2, 0:51.

Tuff-N-Uff 115 lbs. Women’s Championship –Ashley Cummins def. Gabriella Lakoczky (Wand Fight Team) via unanimous decision.

Tuff-N-Uff Future Stars of MMA – Sunday, May 30th

Only 48 hours later, in the same ballroom at the Orleans, Tuff-N-Uff promoted twelve more matches, with fighters coming from as far as New Mexico (Jackson’s MMA) and Missouri (St. Louis MMA). Though the crowd was somewhat “hungover in enthusiasm” at the onset of the show, having watched as many as 23 fights since Friday evening, the ballroom filled up quickly for the show, and was as heated for the main event as just about any other previous Tuff-N-Uff show.

170 lbs. – Tommy Gavin x Lee Henry Lilly (Striking Unlimited)

Tommy Gavin got to showcase his striking stylings with a first round TKO.

Having fought his last three fights at 155, Gavin moved up a weight class for this event. Being a lifelong wrestler, one would think that he would be extra sensitive to the 15 pound difference, but in fact, Gavin felt very comfortable, noting “I’ve got the strength and power of a 170-pounder. So I think I could fight at either weight class pretty comfortably. . . Not having to do that weight cut was nice for this one, but I don’t know if I’m going to make my home at 170 or 155. I think I’d like to go back down. “

Gavin and Lilly didn’t hesitate in going toe-to-toe with each other, immediately throwing heavy combos to the head. Gavin tried to take control of the pace with a Muay Thai clinch, then underhooks, as they vied for position. Gavin went for the trip takedown, but Lilly broke away with a knee. Coming in with a jab, Gavin caught a left from Lilly that threw him to one knee, but was quick to recover and drop Lilly with an overhand right. Gavin pounced and nailed Lilly on the ground with three more left hooks before referee Jason Tevino stepped in and stopped the match.

Tommy Gavin wins by TKO, R1, 1:06

“We told him not to wrestle so much, to believe in his hands, and he believed enough to put a kid to sleep,” summerized Heun.

For teammate Chris Brady, Gavin’s win hit a personal note, explaining “it made me really happy to see him finish his fight definitively, because we both were on the same track, and he fought before me. . . We had really talked before about snapping that losing streak that we’d gotten on and getting back on track. Back to winning.”

135 lbs. – Chris Brady x Maurice Senters (Striking Unlimited)

Fans saw the new, improved ground game of Chris "Boulevard" Brady.

Round One: Neither fighter had any problem firing combos from the get-go. Senters forced Brady to the ground with a trip takedown, but was trapped in closed guard and soon stuck in an oma plata, which Brady rode on him until scrambling to the feet, where Brady threw knees, holding a front facelock. Breaking apart, Brady got a lot more liberal with his kicks, landing multiples to the legs and body. Senters, to his credit, didn’t shy away from the offense, shoving Brady to the ground when Senters was stuck eating knees in a Muay Thai clinch. Brady worked a closed guard, then oma plata as the round closed.

Round Two: Both men came out firing legs. Senters caught a right leg and scored a trip takedown, but Brady again worked mission control and an oma plata from the ground position. Eventually, Senters escaped, bringing the fight back to the feet, but Brady had answers there as well, keeping on the attack with combos punctuated by kicks. Senters scored another trip takedown off a kick, but Brady worked for a triangle choke for the remaining time.

Round Three: More kicks from both sides. Senters tripped Brady off another leg catch, but opted not to follow to the ground. Brady kept Senters on the defensive, attacking with combinations punctuated by leg and body kicks. Brady took the fight to the ground with a modified side headlock, spinning Senters down and passing guard. Senters worked to his knees, but Brady stayed with him, riding his back with wrestling legs and a body triangle. Senters eventually did reverse, caught in Brady’s closed guard as the bell ended the match.

“That was a turning point for me – coming up and performing that way. I think my conditioning was a lot better. I was in way better shape . . . the fights before, I had some personal issues and things that were going on at the time. But what you strive for as a professional is to be able to go in there and do your job and do the best you can every time. No matter what happens in your personal life. That’s your job.  So I chalk that one up as a learning experience to keep your mind focused on what’s going on. So that you can always perform at your best, no matter what,” reflected Brady.

For Jouban, Brady’s performance on the ground was a larger declaration of how the team has improved, explaining “the Legends guys – you have to fear them on the ground, finally. You don’t want to fuck with us on our feet, but then this guy didn’t want any part of Brady on the ground. So I was real proud of that. That Brady would get him in his guard and the guy would try to back out. He didn’t want to even try to pound.”

In other Tuff-N-Uff action that day:

185 lbs. – Cody Clunas (Freestyle) def. Matt Brisky (Freestyle) via submission (rear naked choke), R1, 1:15.

170 lbs. – Damian Jackson (Hard Knox) def. Justin Bonner (Throwdown) via TKO, R2, 0:41.

265 lbs. – Ahmed Sanchez (TapouT Training Center) def. Phillip Hernandez via TKO, R2, 1:17.

185 lbs. – Jarred Hopkins (Wand Fight Team) def. Sedrick Sweet (One Kick Nick) via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Barry Prevost (Striking Unlimited) def. Zach Grossman (Wand Fight Team) via KO, R1, 0:14.

155 lbs. – Kalino Yap (Tapout Training Center) def. Alex Brooks (Hawaiian Fighting Arts) via unanimous decision.

145 lbs. – Jace Crawford (TapouT Training Center) def. Rene Flores (Wand Fight Team) via TKO, R1, 1:40.

135 lbs. – Emily Peters-Kagen (Jackson’s MMA) def. Autumn Richardson (Team Quest) via TKO / doctor’s stoppage, R1, 0:23.

265 lbs. – Kevin Absher (TapouT Training Center) def. Chris Simmons via KO, R2, 1:13.

Perhaps the icing on the cake for this weekend of top performances was the lengths from which the team turned things around, having struggled through their previous Tuff-N-Uff event. In fact, until this weekend, the amateur team’s combined record was a difficult 1-8-1 in 2010. “That previous card, where we went 1-4, I thought we had a tougher training camp. Sometimes you just can’t get the W, even if you train your butt off. . . This one, I was working my ass off. People had different things going on. . . It was tough, but we were able to pull together, stick together as a team,” commented Jouban.

With Heun, a Strikeforce fighter, coming back next Wednesday from a year-long hiatus to face former EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons, he looks to take the momentum and continue the turnaround: “I’ve been talking the talk to those guys for a long time.  And finally I’m going to be able to walk the walk, and let them see what I’m talking about. I think that spurred by the great victories last weekend at Tuff-N-Uff. And following my victory over KJ, I think it’s going to be the dawning of a new era for the Legends fight team.

Tuff-N-Uff returns to the Orleans Hotel & Casino on July 2nd.

Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole, Melee Fight Gear, and MMA Elite.