The rise of the ‘Killa Bee’ 2.0 – Bryony Tyrell


Bryony Tyrell  - BELLATOR weigh-in - Credit: Bellator
Bryony Tyrell – Bellator weigh-In Credit: Bellator

 First released 21st June 2019

On Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, Bellator MMA will be making their return to the SSE Arena in London.

Making her debut for the promotion will be U.K’s Bryony Tyrell, and if you had told her six years ago that she would be on one of the world’s largest MMA promotions and competing in front of her home crowd, I’m pretty sure she’d be laughing at just the thought.

Born and raised in Sevenoaks, Kent, Bryony has always enjoyed the thrill and excitement of extreme sports; from BASE jumping, Bungee jumping, and sky diving, to testing herself in mixed martial arts.

Holding a Masters Degree in nursing and a Degree in Molecular Cell Biology, the critical care nurse now based in Southampton has always had a passion for martial arts.

Starting in Kickboxing and Kung Fu 19 years ago, Bryony quickly fell in love with all aspects of martial arts so much, that, she added in Krav Maga, Japanese jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai before finally concentrating on Wrestling and Brazilian Jiujitsu, forming the mixed martial arts career she has today.  “Martial arts are my passion in life.  I love the contrast that they can be beautiful and deadly at the same time” Bryony said. “Anyone that practices a martial art to a high level knows that it involves incredible dedication and discipline, and also pushes your body and mind to the limits of endurance.”

Originally part of U.K MMA pioneer (and ex UFC athlete) Rosi Sexton’s mentoring scheme, Bryony went about taking Rosi’s advice on training, nutrition, competing and training with Rosi. “I was very privileged to be on a mentorship scheme with Rosi. I gained invaluable advice at the beginning of my amateur career” said Bryony.

The 18th of May 2013 is a day that Bryony will forever have as a fond memory. It was when she made her amateur debut and found out exactly what she is capable of in the cage. “I think the only way to truly know how good you are at fighting is to compete. Being locked in a cage with another trained fighter who can use pretty much any style or technique against you is the ultimate test”,  Bryony said when recalling the first time she stepped into the cage.

Not only content with competing in amateur MMA bouts, but Bryony also tested her skills by competing in white-collar boxing bouts, Muay Thai bouts, and grappling matches to gain invaluable experience before turning pro in November 2015.

Holding a current professional record of 4 wins 3 losses and 1 draw, with all 3 of those losses coming from title fights with two of those athletes currently competing in the UFC and Bellator, Bryony is no stranger to adversity in the MMA industry.

Having started in her MMA career aged 33, Bryony was considered by some promotions and coaches to be ‘too old’ to be competing in the sport.  Once Bryony turned pro at the age of 35 and started to win, it was only then that she began to believe in herself more and knew that ‘age was just a number’.  At least, to her anyway, and she set about proving just that.

Having gone 4-3-1 in her pro career, taking short notice fights and a title fight in a weight class above her usual weight division, Bryony felt that her current gym, Exile, had let her down. “I felt like the industry had written me off for being too old, and some of the coaches at my gym had said I was too old and slow after I lost the Cage Warriors title fight against Molly McCann.  When they wrote me off because of that loss, I didn’t think that was fair.  It was quite demoralizing for me.  The whole experience was quite demoralizing, and I just stopped the enjoyment of the sport.

On top of that, Cage Warriors wouldn’t give me a fight at strawweight, and I felt I was not valued as a fighter, and not being given significant opportunities.  It just wasn’t worth the sacrifice anymore. So, I decided to retire in July 2018.”

Since retiring from competitive MMA, Bryony thought that she’d feel better because of the less stress involved and would have more time to spend with her husband and two children.  However, she felt like there was a massive hole in her life and felt very down, having nothing to work towards with the Adrenalin rush that she always knew she had.  “Having just a normal life is not good enough for me.  I know it is quite a selfish attitude to have especially the fact that I have got young children and an amazing husband and a stressful job.  I need that buzz to make me happy.”

Looking to replace that ‘buzz’ Bryony decided she would concentrate on achieving the top levels in grappling.  After taking home silver at the IBJFF and silver at the UK ADCC, she didn’t have the same drive for grappling as she did in MMA, stating that “I didn’t put 100% in because I just didn’t have that kind of fear factor that someone is going to smash your face in if you don’t train properly, and it wasn’t dangerous for me.”

On May 30th, 2019 it was officially announced that Bryony had come out of retirement and will be competing on the Bellator London card on June 22nd at the SSE Arena, where she will face the current kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz in a flyweight MMA bout.  A fight that has been over a year in the making, as Bryony initially accepted a short notice (1 week) fight against Denise back in February 2018 but had to withdraw due to being medically suspended after her fight with Molly McCann.   It was suggested to Bryony that Denise wasn’t matched up for the London card and did she fancy another fight.  It was at that point that Bryony messaged her managers, who then contacted Bellator, and they came back with a yes straight away.

With ten weeks to prepare for the bout, Bryony went to Cross Face gym in Watford, training with head coach Dave Lee and Charlie Leary who is also on the London card. For the final two weeks of her training camp, Bryony flew out to Thailand to train at UFC athlete Johnny Walker and Leo Gosling’s new gym Chokchai Muay Thai. “While Johnny and Leo were here in Southampton, I trained with them, so it made sense for me to go out and spend two weeks over at there new gym in Thailand.  They have a few UFC athletes training there, and Jorge Kanella who is also on the London card.  Being surrounded by world-class coaches and fighters, this fight camp has been on a different level to any other I’ve had.  They treat me as an equal, and I’m keeping up with these guys who are top-level pro fighters, so it’s been a massive confidence boost to come back to fighting after people had written you off.  I’ve got some amazing people around me that believe in me, and I know I can win this fight.”

With the advantage of having 16 MMA fights compared to Denise’s 4 MMA fights, and factoring in that Denise is Bellator’s kickboxing champion and has had numerous kickboxing bouts,  Bryony realises that Denise is a superb striker,  having watched a lot of her fights just purely to learn from her and improve her own striking.  She is also a classy athlete and represents the sport incredibly well.

Feeling that this is a good match-up and an opportunity Bryony had been asking for throughout her MMA career, she now thinks that having dedicated her life to MMA and competing for the last five years, come June 22nd it will have paid off.

With the fact that Denise is a world champion kick-boxer, Bryony knows that it is unrealistic to think she could beat a multiple world champion striker on her feet, and therefore feels Denise will probably think that Bryony will want to get her to the ground as that is where she tends to do best.  “She will be physically stronger than me and be powerful so it will be down to see who can implement their fight game, as always in MMA.

“It’s going to be a fair fight as we both have had a good preparation for this bout.  I think I am probably going in there as the underdog and that’s fine with me as that’s normal, but the nice thing for me is she may well be a top striker in Bellator and the promotion, but we are fighting in London in front of my home crowd,  which is nice for me because it’s rare that I get to fight  in front of a home crowd.  It is going to be amazing to have support there, and I’m also fighting on the same card as good friends of mine, Kate Jackson, Charlie Leary and Jorge Kanella, and Johnny and Leo are also going to be there.  It is going to be amazing.”

Aiming for a submission win, Bryony has one last thing to say.  “Last year my fire went out, this year it’s back with a vengeance! I am incredibly honoured and grateful for this opportunity on the world stage against such an impressive opponent. I got written off as a fighter.  This year, I’m training alongside Bellator and UFC athletes treated as equal. Don’t let anyone crush your dreams if you surround yourself with the right people you will succeed!”

Who will be The Baddest Motherf*cker – Diaz vs Masvidal UFC 244?


On Friday, November 2, 2019, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be making their 500th live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York for UFC 244.

Headlining the event will be a welterweight bout between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz for the newly created ‘Baddest Motherf*cker’ in the game belt.

After a three-year hiatus, Nate Diaz returned on August 17th, 2019 at UFC 241, with a winning performance over Anthony Pettis reminding us (those that needed reminding), why he is regarded already as one of the ‘Baddest Motherf*ckers’ in this sport by hardcore fans.

Watching cage side was Jorge Masvidal, who by all accounts wasn’t that impressed with Nate’s performance, so when Nate called out Jorge, it was music to his ears.

Coming off a five-second win via knockout of Ben Askren, Jorge Masvidal has of late been surging through the welterweight division this year with back to back violent knockout wins, and in the process, gaining more casual MMA fans due to his aggressive winning style.

The fans and the whole MMA community were begging for this matchup to be made, and to everyone’s delight, it was confirmed that Nate Diaz would face Jorge Masvidal for the Baddest Motherf*cker belt on November 2nd, 2019 at Madison Square Garden.

With both men having similar losing records Diaz (20 wins), 11 losses, one knockout, one submission, nine decisions, and Masvidal (34 wins) 13 losses, one knockout, two submissions and ten decisions, it comes down to who is the real BMF in this sport.

Although some fans will see this fight as a submission artist in Diaz, having had 11 of his wins come via submission, and knockout artist Masvidal having had 15 of wins come via knockout – a grappler vs striker fight, this couldn’t be further than what it seems on paper.

With official early betting odds coming in as Jorge Masvidal being the favourite over Nate Diaz, with odds ranging from -165 to -179, as stated by Sascha P from Sports Betting Dime, it was only fair that I asked a few other people who they thought would win the BMF belt.

The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar – TUF 1 finalist and UFC Hall of Famer says:

“I’m leaning on Masvidal because he’s been wrecking guys.”

Matt BaileyThe MMA Bible and superfan says:

“Masvidal has shown explosive skills recently, however, I feel Diaz will be all too familiar with this, opting to keep distance early on but will close the distance as the fight goes on.  I expect this to be a stand-up affair but feel that Diaz will look to turn to his grappling in the latter stages of the fight, and it may well hit the canvas.  I’m expecting a lot of clinching and cage work in this fight with Diaz getting the better of Masvidal in these exchanges.  Both fighters have exceptional stand-up skills in which I see it being a very fast-paced chess match style. With all of the above said my official prediction is – Nate Diaz via decision.”

Mark Baldwin of FightPost says:

“It’s a difficult fight to pick a winner.  Masvidal, after a career slump, is riding into this fight after highlight-reel knockouts of Darren Till and Ben Askren.  Masvidal is on the verge of a title shot.  A win over Diaz should give him that chance sometime in 2020.  The odds slightly favour Masvidal, and that’s the way I see it also.  There is every chance Diaz could be too busy, and for me, he has more ways to win.  But I think Masvidal gets it done, probably on points, although a late stoppage in his favour can’t be ruled out.”

And as for me, well, if Masvidal can get it done within three rounds he can win, otherwise, as Nate is known as a slow starter and comes alive more as the rounds go on, I see Nate taking it over the five rounds and wins via decision.

Swayze Valentine: Kingdom of the UFC – Two years on!


Swayze Valentine. Swayze. Swayze. I can hear you saying the name over and over again, it sounds familiar but where have you heard it? And before you think “Patrick Swayze”, hold it right there!

What if I were to say to you, “UFC”? Would that ring any bells? How about if I also mentioned, “cutwoman”, you know, the female version of Jacob “Stitch” Duran or Adrian “Tenacity” Rosenbusch? Has the penny dropped now?

swayze cut black n white

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Swayze Valentine was a determined individual, whose parents instilled a good work ethic in her from an early age. This work ethic was instrumental in forging a career as the first (and currently only) female cutwoman in the UFC.

Having made her career choice back in 2006, it has not been an easy road, with many hurdles in the process to making it this far in her 10 year career. Acceptance and adversity is still one of the biggest challenges to overcome in this male dominated industry.

The rewards far outweigh any of the negativity that Swayze has had – and still endures – in her chosen career.  Just listening to her passion and drive alone makes you want her to be successful in this forever-evolving sport.

“I feel that I make a difference. I love taking care of people. Being a Cut woman, I get to wrap the hands of these incredible athletes in a sport that many don’t understand. I get to take care of them when they need me most. I get them to the next round. A fighter recently told me that having me there brings him comfort. That meant so much. I am so glad that my presence can calm a fighter in the middle of battle. I feel that being a mother, I bring a nurturing, calming comfort to these fighters, which I think is a huge asset that I hold dearly!

I can’t lie, it feels amazing that I am one of the few, elite professional Cutmen/Women in the world. But I still have all those same struggles that I have had from the beginning. I still deal with adversity, I always will, and I’m okay with that!”

Swayze worked many hours and travelled hundreds of miles a day, just to gain experience wrapping hands in a gym environment, all for free before ever having a ‘paid’ job in her chosen career path.  Swayze then asked renowned UFC Cutman Adrian “Tenacity” Rosenbusch for some advice.  He took her under his wing and became her mentor for two years, training her in the ‘cut side’ of the work. Swayze held a great pedigree in her CV even before being approached by the UFC, having worked with promotions such as Invicta, Bellator, WSOF, MMA Explosion and King of the Cage, along with amateur MMA and Muay Thai promotions including, 1 Kick Nicks, Tuff N Uff, Battle at the Bay and Rumble on the Ridge, to name just a few.

Having made her first appearance with the UFC two years ago at UFC 170, “The Queen of Cuts” (a nickname given to her by Jacob “Stitch” Duran) must feel under a lot of scrutiny.

“Absolutely! There is so much more stress. Everything is more difficult. I have to be 150% better than anyone else. The pressure is magnified tenfold. I like it that way though. It keeps me on my toes and it is always exciting. I turn the pressure and stress into drive, and into a positive. I let it push me past all my insecurities and personal fears. I thrive on being in a stressful environment, I’m better, faster, and I’m stronger.

If being a single mom to two boys and a cutwoman in the UFC is not enough to keep Swayze busy she has also taken a role in hit US Drama Kingdom.  The show which features stars such as Frank Grillo, Kiele Sanchez, Matt Lauria, Jonathan Tucker, Nick Jonas, Joanna Going and has also featured guest appearances from UFC fighter Cub Swanson, with guest presenters Hendi Androl, Kenny Florian just to name a few.  Airing on Direct TV, the Audience Network production will be returning to your screens next summer in the US.

With so many highlights over her two-year span thus far with the UFC, I’m sure it would be hard for anyone to choose some personal favourites but here Swayze goes through some of her highlights to date.

“Oh man, What a ride! I have had so many amazing experiences since 2 years ago! If we are just talking about UFC, some of my personal highlights was definitely my first UFC event. Next would have to be, when fighters request me to wrap their hands or be in their corner, and when Joanna Jedrzejczyk requests for me to wrap her hands because I am good luck for her. Another exciting highlight would have to be when I wrapped Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor’s hands for an episode of “Embedded” That was awesome… Just to name a few.”

swayze colour pic

As for advice to anyone who wanted to pursue a career in the same field as herself, Swayze had this to say:

“Being a Cutman/Woman, is a beautiful and rewarding career. If someone is interested, you have to check out Fight Business Academy!! This new online Academy has made becoming a Cutman/Woman much more attainable than it has ever been before. Go to www.fightbusinessacademy.com. It is the first company to offer formal training for many of the exciting jobs in Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing and Muay Thai. This online academy has accomplished this through a hybrid of online classes and live Bootcamps with the top professionals in Combat Sports. Fight Business Academy also offers an exciting array of learning opportunities to fit every schedule and budget. From the “Academy Insider” weekly group chats, one-on-one Skype sessions to live Bootcamps in the fight capital of the world,  Las Vegas Nevada! Fight Business Academy can teach you all the technical skills you need to be a valuable asset to any organization. It is so cool! I wish this online academy was available to me when I started!! I highly recommend anyone wanting to become a Cutman/Woman, to go online and check out this course.”

You can next see Swayze in Boston at UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz on January 17th  2016.

Quick Questions

Favourite places you have travelled to so far?

Australia, New Orleans and Nashville.

What song do you currently sing in the shower?

I have to pick just one?! Ha-ha I would have to say, all the Christmas songs, with a little bit of Eminem and 50 Cent raps, thrown in.

Maybe you and Megan Olivi could do a Rap Battle – Just a thought!

Ha-ha a rap battle! That would be so dope!

Favourite kind of movie to watch?

I love comedies!! So anything that is light-hearted and will make me laugh. Baby Mama, or some stand-up comedy by Kevin Hart!

Favourite song you would put on to listen too that would instantly change the mood you are in?

Right now I am stuck on “The Heart Wants What It Wants” by Selena Gomez

You can keep up-to-date with Swayze by following her social media accounts below.

Twitter: @swayzevalentine

Instagram: Swayze Valentine

Facebook: Swayze Valentine

Photo Credit 1: Joe Pic Photography

Photo Credit 2: Richard Valentine

The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale: Full Results – Frankie Edgar ‘Answers’ all your questions

The Ultimate Fighter Finale took place at the Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada and featured featherweight athletes Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes in the Main event. […]


The Ultimate Fighter Finale took place at the Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada and featured featherweight athletes Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes in the Main event.

Frankie Edgar Win.jpg

It was however Frankie Edgar who ‘answered’ everyone’s questions by getting the win in 2 minutes 28 seconds of the first round via knockout over Chad Mendes proving why he should be next in line for the featherweight title. 

The co-main event saw  Edson Barboza takes on Tony Ferguson and it was Tony Ferguson who gained the impressive win with his slick D’arce choke coming midway through the second round in this lightweight bout.

Evan Dunham took on Joe Lauzon but it was to be Evan Dunham’s night where he fought a better fight in out striking Joe Lauzon to take a unanimous points win in this all important lightweight bout.

The Ultimate Fighter Finale saw Ryan Hall face Artem Lobov in a three round one sided fight, which saw Ryan Hall nullify Artem Lobov’s power and dominate via his grappling skills, taking a unanimous decision to become season 22 The Ultimate Fighter.

Ryan Hall Win.jpg

Here are the full results:

Frankie Edgar  Def  Chad Mendes Via KO 2:28 Round 1

Ryan Hall Def  Artem Lobov Via Unanimous Decision 30-27, 30-26, 30-26

The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 Winner – Ryan Hall

Tony  Ferguson Def Edson Barboza Via D’arce Choke 2:54 Round 2

Evan Dunham   Def  Joe Lauzon Via Unanimous Decision 30-26, 30-27, 30-26

Tatsuya Kawajiri  Def  Jason Knight Via Unanimous Decision  30-27, 30-27, 30-27

Julian Erosa   Def   Marcin Wrzosek   Via Split Decision  29-28, 28-29 29-28

Gabriel Gonzaga Def Konstantin Erokhin Via Unanimous Decision  30-27, 30-27, 30-28

Ryan LaFlare  Def  Mike Pierce  Via Unanimous Decision 30-27, 29-28, 29-28

Geane Herrera  Def  Joby Sanchez Via TKO 4:28 Round 2

Chris Gruitzemacher  Def  Abner Lloveras  Via Unanimous Decision 29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Bonuses

FOTN

Tony Ferguson vs. Edson Barboza

POTN 

Frankie Edgar

Tony Ferguson

Tonight UFC 194 Media Call Aldo/McGregor and Weidman/Rockhold


Tonight’s Media call and it was the tun of Main & co-main headliners competing on December 12th in Las Vegas.

Jose Aldo

Conor McGregor

Chris Weidman

Luke Rockhold

The UFC 194 Media conference call

 

 

UFC® RETURNS TO LONDON: MICHAEL BISPING vs. GEGARD MOUSASI


London, UK – UFC® today announced the first three bouts to feature on the UFC FIGHT NIGHT® LONDON card, the organisation’s eagerly awaited return to the capital after a two year absence.

Bisping.jpgNo. 7 middleweight Michael Bisping (27-7, fighting out of Orange County, CA, USA) will return to fight on home soil for the first time since 2010 as he takes on No.8 Gegard Mousasi (37-6 -2, fighting our of Leiden, Holland) at the O2 Arena on February 27.

 

Bisping’s last fight at the iconic O2 Arena saw him walk away not only with a victory but also the Fight of the Night bonus for his performance. “The Count” will be looking for history to repeat itself in London this February. Standing in his way is former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi who will be no easy competitor with notable wins over Dan Henderson and Costas Philippou. One thing that can be guaranteed is there will be fireworks when these two strikers collide.

 

Two rising UFC talents will also battle inside the Octagon® as England’s Mike Wilkinson (9-1, fighting out of Manchester, England) takes on Finland’s Makwan Amirkhani (12-2, fighting out of Stockholm, Sweden).

 

Wilkinson last defeated Niklas Backstrom in devastating fashion within 2 minutes of the first round, earning him the Performance of the Night bonus, before injury forced him out of competition for over a year. Amirkhani also likes to keep his battles short, ending both his UFC victories in the first round.  A win for either athlete will certainly put the featherweight division on notice and show Europe continues to be a hotbed of emerging talent.

 

Tenacious warrior Norman Parke (22-4-1 fighting out of Bushmills, Northern Ireland) will take on a tough test in Russian Rustam Khabilov (17-3, fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico). Following a win in Dublin last month over Reza Madadi, Parke will be looking to put on a show stopping performance and climb the lightweight ladder while Khabilov hopes to prove he remains a force at 155 pounds.

 

Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT® LONDON go on sale Friday, December 4 at 12 p.m. GMT and are priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £125 and £150 (prices do not include any applicable service charges and handling fees). Tickets are available for purchase online at  http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/35004F7ED13483B9 and www.axs.com/uk.

UFC FIGHT CLUB member have the opportunity to purchase tickets early on Wednesday, December 2 at 10 a.m. GMT via www.ufcfightclub.com.

UFC newsletter subscribers will also have priority access starting on Thursday at 10 a.m. GMT, to sign up for the UFC newsletter please visit UFC.com.

 

For a full list of bouts and the latest news, please visit UFC.com

 

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas & Ultimate Fighter Finale Media Conference Call


UFC  Fight Night Las Vegas and Ultimate Fighter Finale Media Conference with the Rose  Namajunas, Paige VanZant, Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes.

UFC Fight Night 80 takes place on December 10th and The Ultimate Fighter Finale takes place on December 11th.

Fight Night Fairfax: Gym Escape – Ricardo Lamas


When Ricardo Lamas gets on his bike, he just goes where the road takes him. Check out this edition of Gym Escape to find out why Lamas feels stress free when he gets away from training and hops on his Harley.

BOBBY GREEN SURGERY PIC **WARNING GRAPHIC**


After the news submerged that Bobby Green was out of his UFC fight with Jorge Masvidal on April 4th, after sustaining a Torn Quad, he is now on the road to recovery after having surgery for the injury, Friday just gone (January 23rd).

Below is a picture, but be warned the image is very graphic and not for those with a delicate nature.

Bobby Green Op Pic
Bobby Green Op Pic

Loving the smily face that has been drawn on Bobby’s leg 🙂

Wishing Bobby all the best in his road to recovery.