Ken Shamrock launches new Bare-Knuckle Promotion – Valor with a four-person Grand Prix tournament.


Photo Credit: Tracy Lee

The sport of legalised Bare-Knuckle Boxing – British fighter Mark Godbeer is taking part Saturday, 21st, September 2019 live on FITE TV in the UK and PPV in North America.

Born and raised in Bridgwater, Somerset in England, 35-year-old Mark Godbeer had always felt that his ‘hands’ could do the talking – not in the way you’re thinking, but as in a career in combat sports.

Back in 2009, Mark embarked on that career in mixed martial arts.

His first competitive mixed martial arts fight was on a local show in Bath where not only was he the headlined event he won the contest in 2 minutes via TKO.

A year after that fight, Mark got the buzz and had a second fight in which he won again via TKO.

With another four fights that year, Mark won two contests via TKO and two via submission.  The two fights Mark had in 2011 were a mixture where he won one via TKO and lost to a TKO himself, his first loss as a pro.

Having had been signed to now-defunct promotion BAMMA, Mark had more than his fair share of success winning all four of those contests and even winning the prestigious BAMMA World Title Belt.

After his success with BAMMA, Mark got called up to the UFC in 2016, which was an achievement and all hard work had paid off.

It was in the UFC (2017) that Mark had never gone the full three rounds and it was left in the judge’s hand to score the fight – they scored it in favour of Mark winning via unanimous decision.

After amassing a record of 13 wins (9 of those coming by way of TKO) and four losses, Mark decided to hang up his 4oz gloves. However, that retirement was short-lived as Mark signed to ACA – Absolute Championship Akhat (formerly known as ACB – Absolute Championship Berkut), which has also given himself another new goal to reach.

“My MMA contract with ACA is still active, and  I can talk to my management (Duello Sports Management) they respect what I have to say “ stated Mark “They’ve been really good to me as they knew at that in my point in my career that I wanted to get as many fights in as possible and explore different adventures”

March 20th, 2019 will always be a date that Mark fondly recalls, as he was asked by the British Bare Knuckle Company who had been trying to contact him to fight one of their best guys at BKB16 at The O2 in London, which was also his BKB official debut event.

Mark won that contest against Mickey Parker who was 4-1 in BKB at the time and won the British Title, after that the offers came flooded in.

BKFC David Feldman who held the first legal promotion with it being sanctioned and commissioned since 1889 in June 2018 in Cheyenne, Wyoming had so many offers from people that he was inundated with prospects “someone reached out to me to fight in the heavyweight tournament that Valor was running” said Mark “They told me who was competing, and I was like they are all veterans of the sport, and I’m at the point of my career that I’m also a veteran, so yeah I said f**k let’s do this”.

“It has given me back the fire in my belly.  I love to box, and I love the rawness of BKB and the bare-knuckle.”

There is a total miss conception of Bare Knuckle Boxing, and that is where the hands of the fighters get wrapped all around the knuckles, which defeats the object of ‘Bare Knuckle Boxing’, some promotions still use this route; however Mark is keen to put us straight “They are completely bare, the only thing we have wrapped is our wrists so we can punch harder and then say an inch to two inches to your knuckles so that they are complete bare.

“The British version and Valor do not cover knuckles anymore.”

Having decided to have his training camp out in Thailand at Phuket Top Team with Boyd Clarke, for the last five weeks was mainly due to ‘boxing politics’ back in the UK with his very good friend Marley Swindells, Mark felt right at home with Phuket Top Team “I felt that I fitted in straight away with them, having no egos, and I knew most of them from being on the circuit anyway – it was a no brainer.” He said.

“I’ve been out here for five weeks with Marley training my a** off, and now we are here we are all ready to go.”

The event will be the first inaugural promotion promoted by UFC Hall of Famer, four-time Heavyweight World Champion and WWE Legend Ken Shamrock.

“With the four-match tournament it is the first of many I believe on Ken Shamrocks Valor Bare Knuckle show, having selected four big heavyweights, we are all just going to battle it out for two fights all in one night.” Stated Mark “We will have our first fight, then, later on, we find out who we will be matched with for our 2nd fight and see who will become the First Heavyweight Valor Bare Knuckle Champion.”

With Bare Knuckle Boxing taking off all over the world for the past year, or so fans want to see two people go tow to tow in the middle of the ring, once the beer starts flowing, people do like to see a good old fashioned fistfight. Also, mutual respect is shown to each other after they have ‘beaten’ the ‘s**’t’ out of the other fighter after their contest regardless of the result. Two guys/girls have had the b*lls to step into the ring regardless and give their all to their opponent and the fans for a fight they will enjoy.

Lastly, I would like to thank Marley Swindells for helping me get ready for this incredible journey, Phuket Top Team for welcoming me, Booster Fight gear as my sponsor and my management team Duello Sports Management.

BAMMA 25 Champion vs Champion Full Results




BAMMA held their 25th event last night at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham; Champion vs Champion.

Here are the quick results:

Main Card

BAMMA Bantamweight title

Tom Duquesnoy def. Shay Walsh (C) via KO (Round 1 – 1:15)

BAMMA Lightweight title

Martin Stapleton (C) def. Damien Lapilus via DQ (illegal knee) (Round 2 – 0:38)

BAMMA Heavyweight Title

Mark Godbeer (C) def. Stuart Austin via KO (Round 2 – 1:24)

Walter Gahadza def. Colin Fletcher via DQ (illegal strikes to back of the head) (Round 1 – 0:12)

BAMMA Lonsdale Lightweight title

Marc Diakiese (C) def. Kane Mousah via KO (Round 1 – 0:36)

BAMMA 25 Prelims

Ronnie Mann def. Graham Turner via KO (Round 1 – 1:18)

Matt Hallam def. Alexander Bergman via TKO (Round 2 – 1:27)

Ed Arthur def. Cameron Else via TKO (strikes) (Round 1 – 4:57)

Brett McDermott def. Jamie Sloane via KO (Round 1 – 3:58)

Terry Brazier def. Francis Buangala via Submission (RNC) (Round 1 – 0:38)

Xavier Sedras def. Chris Bungard via Submission (RNC) (Round 2 – 2:58)

Rick Selvarajah def. Ollie Coyne via Submission (RNC) (Round 1 – 3:52)

Dean Trueman def. Huseyin Garabet via Submission (guillotine) (Round 1 – 4:48)

Mike Grundy def. Marley Swindells via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)

Jai Herbert def. Tony Morgan via Submission (RNC) (Round 2 – 2:19)

Łukasz Parobiec def. Tom Aspinall via DQ (illegal elbows) (Round 2 – 3:33)


Revisiting Season One.. Episode Ten.. Mark ‘The Hand Of’ Godbeer

mark godbeer

It will be one year ago to the day on October 5th that Mark Godbeer was due to make his Bellator debut against Ron Sparks, but a Career threatening injury kept his debut waiting. I spoke to  Mark about his injury, training and his Debut Bellator Main Event fight against Cheick Kongo one year on.

Keeping myself involved in MMA kept me going.

EB. You have not always been a heavyweight fighter have you?

MG. Early on in my amateur career I was a heavyweight fighter. I also had a few catch weight fights then I started cutting and cutting and dropped down to light heavy then went back up to heavyweight.

EB. We saw your first Pro fight at Heavyweight for the promotion BAMMA 9 back in March 2012, when you fought Catlin Zmarandescu, where you picked up a win in the first round due to TKO (corner stoppage).  How was it for you stepping up in weight and gaining the all-important win in the new weight division?

MG. It was great.  After coming of a loss at my previous weight division of Light Heavyweight to Anthony Taylor, I felt that I was really cautious in that fight but I kept my cool, picked my shots and got the job done, so to get the Win was great it all paid off.

EB. Was it your intention to move up to Heavyweight for a few fights before Bellator came knocking, or was it a choice made with you and your coach to move up a weight division way before thinking anything big was coming your way?

MG. After my last weight cut at light heavyweight I felt I was skinny as a rake, you see the likes of Max Nunes, they are big and they have a lot of muscle; I also being of a certain age was finding it a bit harder to cut those last few pounds so I had decided it was time to go back to my old days to Heavyweight.  I talked it over with my manager and he agreed, but I am still today walking around at 240-242llb.

EB. You train out of Trojan Free Fighters in Cheltenham which is home to a lot of great UK & European talent and it is safe to say it is firmly putting their name on the Map. What helps make Trojan Free Fighters one of the best contended gyms to be a part of today in producing top athletes such as yourself?

MG. Trainers without a doubt Paul Sutherland is one of the best coaches the UK have to offer. Team bonding, there are no egos in the gym, everyone pushes each other and all so competitive, everyone helps one another, were like a family unit.

EB. How did your fighting nickname ‘The Hand of’ come about?

MG. It’s ‘The Hand’ I just tied the rest of it into my name, but after my first professional fight against Sam Hooker a couple of my friends started to call to me ‘The Hand’ after seeing the fight that I landed a couple of monstrous right hands and it’s been that ever since.

EB. You were due to make your Bellator Debut back on October 5th 2012 against Ron Sparks, but due to a career threatening Neck and Back Injury you had to withdraw, how did this injury occur?

MG. I was driving home from wrestling training when I had real bad pains in my neck. I then lost complete feeling in my hand and was rushed in for an emergency MRI, then rushed in for an emergency operation. I cannot pin point how as such it occurred, just accumulation of training which did result in a crack in my vertebrae and herniating the disc.

EB. Going from an all-time Career high, being signed to one of the best organisations in the world Bellator, then to have to deal with something that could off quite easily been the end of everything you had worked so hard for, how was it in those months after your injury for you?

MG. Horrible, worst time of my life, I was depressed. I became reliant on painkillers for a brief time it was a real horrible part of my life. I could not do nothing for six months, for five of those months I was in a neck brace. Going from training every day to doing nothing it really got to me as everything I liked doing before I was unable to do, to make matters worse when I had my operation that went wrong so I had to end up having another one!

EB. What kept you going through the darkest days to motivate you, to give you strength and determination, when at some points you could off quite easily given up?

MG. After the initial six months I just couldn’t sit around and do nothing anymore so I started teaching at one of the local clubs, although I could not join in, I was still part of the MMA community, it then progressed from there. I decided to put all my effort and energy into opening my own club in my home town of Brigwater, Sommerset, keeping myself involved in MMA kept me going.

EB. It was announced on Sunday September 9th that you are making your long awaited Debut for Bellator on 4th October against ex UFC Heavyweight fighter Cheick Kongo, not a bad start to Bellator 102, what do you think? (I’m smiling)

MG. It’s a great fight, great main event, and exposure but Bellator know what they are doing. A lot of people have already wrote me off, he is just another man, forget about his UFC career, forget who he has fought, look at him as a fighter, I know I can truly beat him.

EB. Does it usually bother you, who your opponent is when it’s been decided on a fight for you (obviously you agree to the fight as well as your coaches and management team), or is it just a case of getting on with the job in front of you?

MG. I’m at the level now where we don’t turn down fights, we are there to be tested and that’s the good thing with Paul Sutherland we’re professional fighters and if the fight is there we will fight who is put in front of us.

EB. Being out for 18months, does that bother you mentally? Will there be any ‘cage rust’ so say when you step into the cage to face Cheick Kongo? Or will Head Coach, Paul Sutherland will have made sure you have been prepared for this fight 100%, facing the famous ‘Meat Day’ sessions full on every Sunday to make sure you are prepared?

MG. Without a doubt I am ready for this fight, I don’t believe in the term ‘Ring Rust’, the nerves are different on fight day which are good nerves. If I have prepared for every situation in the gym and had the right training for this fight (for which I have), then I am not going to be shocked. I’ve been in with some big guys over my fight career so far and I know what to expect.

EB. You bring an astonishing record of 8-1 into the cage and not only that but you have also never seen the third round in any of your 9 professional fights with 6 of them coming via TKO/KO which again is also impressive. How are you going about preparing for what I imagine is your biggest challenge to date as in Cheick Kongo?

MG. It is going to be the biggest fight of my life, but I cannot look at this fight as it’s ‘Cheick Kongo’ I am looking at it as he is another man who has hole’s in his game and I will exploit them, also being prepared for his strong points, as there will be times when he will be stronger, but also times when I will be stronger.

EB. Although a lot of people would only be looking at your opponent’s name and career record which is 18-8-2 and then looking at your name and career record 8-1, they probably won’t be looking at the bigger picture, which is when you actually break down Cheick Kongo’s win’s, his KO win is 10 and submission is 3, put that together with yours, KO wins 6, submission 2, I call this a very even fight, what can Bellator fans expect to see on October 4th?

MG. It will be an entertaining fight, we have very similar styles, take away his name, who he has fought, look at our styles and how we have fought, we are similar. The fans will get an entertaining fight.

EB. Anyone you would like to thank?

MG. Pound Out, Sci Max, Rolling Big Power, Lexani, Club Rio Brigwater, Smuggling Dudds, Paul Sutherland, all my team mates, coaches, Trojan free fighters.

5 Quick FUN Questions

EB. If you could change 1 rule in MMA what would it be?

When they purposely put their hand down to stop a knee coming

EB. Favourite International Fighter?

Dan Henderson

EB. Favourtie Food?

Anything – I’m a heavyweight now!

EB. What song do you usually sing in the shower?

A bit of Neil Diamond

Mark is fighting live in the Bellator 102 series on Friday October 4th visit for more information.

Photo courtesy of Huw Fairclough (c) Short & Round

Last post for 2013 – A lot of Thank You’s and some pictures :)

2013 1

It’s been a challenging year for me but I wouldn’t change it for one second, after all I got to do what so many of you still want to do and I have achieved all of it in the six months that I started this harsh challenge – which fell into my lap purely by coincidence (you will have to refer back to my very first blog read about that one)!

I will however give a big shout out to the person who got me started not only in writing my own blog but who introduced me to what I currently do, and that is Jonathan Millard, for whom I am forever grateful to.

What alot of people, more than likely do not know about me, is that I have been in the ‘combat sport industry’ for just over 20 years now, so I have legitmately worked my way up the ladder  – although, it’s fine for you to believe whatever you choose to believe, I personally don’t give a shit, again those that really know me, know that also!

I got to cover local grass root shows, which to me I have always been a great fan of and will always take time out of my schedule to go cover them as much as I can, I  covered Pain Pit 3 times, Ultimate Impact,  Into The Cage, Neilson Promotions White Collar Boxing then I also covered Cage Warriors, BAMMA and UFC Manchester, not bad even if I do say so myself!

Then a great event happend for UKMMA – The UKMMA Expo in Manchester and I got to be part of the only Media Team that had Access All Areas and when I say that, I truly mean that; not like all the other Media people that came in, the team I was with we were set up in the ‘Green Room’ with all our equipment and at one point their was one great surreal moment that I for one will never ever forget 🙂


It was a great run event by Darren Sherlock and Paul Crossley and of course Darren’s wife Michelle, all timed perefectly for when Michael Bisping would be in the UK, Manchester as it happens (his own town) and just after being announced he would be facing Mark Munoz, here also in Manchester in October (unfortuntaly due to Michael needing eye surgery he was forced to withdraw from the bout and Lyoto Machida replaced him)!

There were UFC athletes, Guest athletes, Guest speakers, Seminars to train with some of the  Guest athletes and stalls for the MMA community to come together and show there products of to the public; also there was the stall for SAFE MMA – for which I personally went over to Izzy Carnwath and spoke to her to see SAFE MMA  was all about, how promotions could get involved and WHY they should. I had such a better understanding afterwards.

Here is mine and Izzy’s SAFE MMA interview we also talk BAMMA 13

There was also a big NoGi BJJ competiton on, running throughout the Sunday which was awesome and six females took part amongst the hundreds of men.

At the show I managed to Video Interview (yes that was a very first for me) The Legend Ian ‘The Machine’ Freeman straight after his MMA Seminar – let me tell you know this guy is 100% gentleman when talking to him, Ian made my first video interview effortless (well I thought) 🙂

Here is mine and Ian’s interview:

I would however like to say a very big thank you to all the athlete’s I have worked with (so far)  without you giving up your time I would not of had your stories/journeys to write about and some very memorable moments to say the least, so in list of when  they were interviewed  here they all are:

Leigh Remedios

Alexei Roberts

Mario Saeed

War Machine

‘Rowdy’ Bec Hyatt

Ian ‘The Machine’ Freeman

Hector Lombard

Colin ‘Freakshow’ Fletcher

Bryony Tyrell

Aaron ‘Smackwell’ Blackwell

Jack ‘The Hammer’ Marshman

Lew Long

Jorge ‘Michelan’ Bezerra

Rosi Sexton

Faisel Ghazghazi

Mark ‘The hand of’ Godbeer

Lauren Murphy

And of course it would not be me, if I did not add in afew pictures of me with some of the athletes I had met 🙂


Have a great New Year.


PS I’ve kept all my boxing ones out of this one but look out for it next year  🙂 

Bellator signs Trojan Free Fighter Stuart Austin

stu painpit hw belt winner fighting

Bellator have added a new UK heavyweight to their growing roster of talented fighters.

CEO Bjorn Rebney tweeted:

bellator tweet

Fighting out of the well known Trojan Free Fighters in Cheltenham, Stuart Austin (7-0) , known for his ‘He-Man’ style in appearance; the undefeated heavyweight had his busiest year to date fighting three times, including defending his Heavyweight Title Belt at Pain Pit Fight Night 7 – Collision in Wales and just coming off a . 40 second KO win against Lewis Tynan at Ultimate Impact 10 on November 16th.

stuart austin winning

Austin has finished six out of his seven opponents with only one going to a decision, which was his second pro fight back in 2011; his first pro fight lasted 1 min.12 sec back in 2010 winning via TKO.

Being signed to Bellator is certaintly what Austin deserves, and the big step up in  competition he will be facing is clearly one he and his team, along with Head Coach Paul Sutherland are fully committed to taking; after all Austin now gets to join the ranks of fellow team mate Mark Godbeer in the Bellator MMA heavyweight ranks.

No official date or opponent has been confirmed as of yet, but it is expected that the debut will be in the spring for his first outing and NOT part of the tournament format to begin with.

Photo Credit: Huw Fairclough (Short&Round)

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