MCGEARY SET TO MAKE MMA HISTORY AT BELLATOR 134: BRITISH INVASION


 

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Liam McGeary is set to become the first Brit ever to claim a major MMA world championship as he challenges Emanuel Newton for the Bellator light heavyweight world title in Conneticut, USA, this month on February 27th at Bellator 134: McGeary vs Newton will go down at the Mohegan Sun arena in Coneticut topping a bill stacked with British fighters, aptly named ‘British invasion’.

British banger McGeary, originally from Andover, started his martial arts career in the channel island of Jersey and now fights out of Renzo Gracie’s MMA academy in New York.  Should he win, he will be the first British fighter to claim a major world title in the sport in what would be only his tenth professional fight.

Undefeated at 9-0 (6-0 Bellator) with all of his Bellator wins coming inside the first round, he is widely touted as the man to take the strap from the significantly more experienced Newton (25-7-1) who holds notable wins over ‘King Mo’ Lawal, Attila Veigh and Joey Beltran.

McGeary is yet to see the second round since signing with Bellator, boasting two submissions and four knockouts, with the average time it takes him to dispatch his opponents coming in at under 2 minutes.

He blew through Bellator’s Light Heavyweight tournament and earned himself a shot at the gold by defeating American Top Team product Kelly ‘Crossface’ Anundson in the final via spectacular inverted triangle, a move which earned him Inside MMA’s ‘Submission of the Year’ award.

Last month all the British fighters on the card, which McGeary is headlining, converged at the Channel 5 television studios in London to promote the event and answer questions from the national MMA press….

“I really don’t know how he’s going to back that one up” said McGeary when told that Newton dismissed him as a worthy challenger and stated that he refuses to be beaten by a Brit. “I am going to beat him up everywhere, I won’t let any chances slip and the belt is coming back to Britain – I just can’t wait (until February 27th) to stop having the fight in my head and have it for real!”.

When asked about the ‘British Invasion’ event and fighting alongside his countrymen Paul Daley, Linton Vassell, Michael Page and James Thompson, McGeary stated – “It’s an honour to represent my country alongside these guys – On February 27th we are gonna show these yanks just what us Brits can do!”

‘British Invasion’ goes down at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, CT, USA, February 27th and the world’s MMA press will be on hand to see if McGeary can overthrow Newton in his backyard and bring the belt back to British shores.

[Press Release]

 

 

GAMBATESA OUT AND GUEYE IN AT BAMMA 18


Mike Grundy Vs Mamadou Gueye  BMW 18
Mike Grundy Vs Mamadou Gueye BAMMA 18

It appears, that, the unfortunate injury bug has hit UK MMA,  event BAMMA 18 again.  With the news of featherweight athlete Dino Gambatesa sustaining an injury, he is  now replaced with Mamadou Gueye [7-1].

Mike Grundy Vs Mamadou Gueye,  BAMMA 18 takes place at:

Wolverhampton Civic Hall

February 21st

Tickets: http://www.wolvescivic.co.uk

‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ – GINA CARANO


A female that needs no introduction in the world of mixed martial arts.

Here is a montage of Gina’s eight fights all finished by strikes.

Video Credit: Deadly Strikes

BOXING SUPERSTAR MANNY PACQUIAO BECOMES A SHAREHOLDER IN MMA PROMOTION ONEFC


Victor Cui [CEO of OneFC] and Manny Pacquiao
Victor Cui [CEO of OneFC] and Manny Pacquiao
Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has become a shareholder in Asian-based Mixed Martial Art Company One Fighting Championship, [OneFC], it has been reported earlier today.

The eight division world champion boxer, [in which he has ten world titles] already owns several gyms in Asia all equipped to offer  MMA classes and training areas, so the next step for the ‘newbie’ in the sport was to become a shareholder.

You can read here where the official story broke and all of it contents in detail.

ANDY OGLE ‘READY OR NOT’


This original piece took place on June 2nd 2014 after the May 31st fight.

Ogle weigh-in

Andy Ogle (9-5)  vs Maximo Blanco (10-6-1) was a fight in which was billed as a ‘must-win’ fight for both fighters with all to lose; at the weigh-ins, we saw a lot of ‘alleged’ ‘trash’ talk by Andy Ogle to Maximo Blanco but was this one-sided? The only people there were, of course, the fighters themselves, their management and UFC representatives, I doubt we will ever know the true story, but this is what we do know for sure.

On fight night when the cage door closed there were only three men in the octagon; Andy Ogle, Maximo Blanco and Referee Wolf Menninger.

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Wolf Menninger gave his usual instructions ‘fighter ready Maximo’ ‘Fighter ready Andy’’ the camera is on Andy Ogle and he nods. He then gives a thumbs up in the direction of Maximo Blanco (Wolf Menninger is against the octagon fence to Ogle’s left so the thumbs up are not for him), Wolf Menninger calls ‘fight’, what happens next is what is open for debate.

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Ogle moves in to near the centre of the octagon with his left hand raised to touch gloves with Blanco but Blanco is already coming out with all guns blazing, running straight for the centre of the octagon and landed a flying kick to Ogle’s mouth.

Ogle went down and Blanco then proceeded to pounce on him to unleash some brutal ground and pound for the 20 odd seconds or so but Ogle weathered the storm, got back to his feet albeit briefly but he recovered from the initial flying kick that started this opening round and continued to take Maximo the full three rounds.

Okay so first things first, that was an awesome Flying Kick from Maximo and congratulations on his win. Secondly props to Andy for recovering from the initial onslaught and surviving the round.  His manager, Brian Butler, commented earlier today when I posted my sentiments up on my Facebook page, he was short and to the point, “As maxis manager, I say If your gonna “respect” your opponent then do it all the way through. The kid talked a lot and showed no respect early on so maxi blasted him. Well done. I think it was obvious maxi was on attack mode when he ran across the cage… If he couldn’t see that coming then he is blind…”

‘Fighting is all about winning’. Although touching of the gloves is a sign of respect, you have plenty of time for that before the fight such as ‘weigh-ins, when the ref faces you off and explains the rules again and more importantly after the fight’ when the bell sounds it is down to business it is a FIGHT.

 

 

CAGE WARRIORS 67 WEIGH-IN RESULTS – JOHNS FAILS TO MAKE WEIGHT


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Cage Warriors 67 comes to Swansea, Wales, tomorrow (12th April), at the LC, but before that can happen the all important Weigh-ins for the 7 professional fights that are happening took place.

The headline fight between Brett Johns (C) VS James Brum for the Cage Warriors FC Bantamweight Belt has now became vacant due to to Brett Johns being unable to make weight on his second attempt and decided to vacate the belt, James Brum will still  be entitled to claim the vacant title if successful in the five round fight.

FLYWEIGHT BOUT:

Mark Handley* (130.9lbs) VS Paul Rogers* (126.5lbs)

Handley had two hours to cut 4.9lbs***

Handley failed to make weight at the second attempt (130.5lbs)*** therefore will forefit 25% of his purse to his opponent

Rogers had two hours to cut 0.5lbs

Rogers made weight on second attempt (126lbs)**

LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT

Simas Norkus (203.8llbs) VS Stu Tyrie (205.8lbs)

BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT

Gemma Hewitt  (134.1lb) VS  Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (135.4lbs)

CATCHWEIGHT BOUT

Jamie Pritchard (139.5lbs)  VS  Phil Raeburn* (141.1lbs)

Raeburn had two hours to cut 1.1lbs

Raeburn made weight on second attempt (140lbs)**

FLYWEIGHT BOUT

Shajidul Haque (125.9lbs)  VS  Martin McDonough* (126.3lbs)

McDonough had two hours to cut 0.3lbs

Mcdonough made weight on second attempt (125.7lbs)**

LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT

Sean Carter (155.6lbs)  VS  Mario Saeed (154lbs)

BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE BOUT

Brett Johns* (C) (137.5lbs)  VS  James Brum (134.6lbs)

Johns had two hours to cut 2.5lbs

Johns failed to make weight on his second attempt (137lbs) *** as a result has vacated the Cage Warriors Bantamweight Belt.

 

For more details on the whole card and viewing details go to www.cagewarriors.com 

 

* Missed weight 1st attempt

**  Made weight 2nd attempt

*** Failed to make weight

 

 

Introducing … The Inspiring Lauren Murphy a true fighter in every sense of the word (Part 1)


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They say ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’ but in this case I beg to differ…..

In an special 2-part Interview, over the last 8 weeks I have been working very closely with  MMA athlete Lauren Murphy (Taylor) on an Exclusive Interview about her life.  Lauren has been very ‘open’ and ‘brutally honest’ on the path that she grew up on and how Drink and Drugs  took a hold of her young life, how a chance meeting with the sport Jiu Jitsu changed everything for her.

The Invicta FC Bantamweight  has her biggest test to date on December 7th (tonight) when she takes on Miriam Nakamoto for the Bantamweight Belt;  but first I take you back to when Lauren was growing up and what shaped her for the ‘Fighter’ she became today…

“I believe fighting can be such selfish work, and MMA can be so selfish, so it’s nice to hear that people can get something out of me fighting. I never get enough of hearing people say that I am inspiring.”   Lauren Murphy 

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You grew up in a small town called Eagle River in Alaska, what was it like growing up there for you?

I hated it! I hated being from a small town. I always wanted to part of all the action in a big city and all the cool stuff that I imagined was going on there: More people, more concerts, more crazy stuff happening; I travelled as a kid with my family, we went places like Hawaii, and San Francisco. I have family in Stockton, California, and we would go there sometimes. We would go to these cities and there would be stores like we did not have in Alaska, the parks were way cooler, there were more activities, a LOT more people… then I would go home to my small little town and I did not like it, I always wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere but in that small town.

How was your childhood, growing up?

There were definitely some times that I went through that I hope my son will never have to go through; but there were really good times too, and I really want to make that clear, we had a lot of good times,  there were some parts of it that were not ‘normal’,  but what is normal? Looking back now that I am older, we had good times, we had bad times. In a lot of ways I was really blessed as a kid, but I could not see that, I don’t know why. Looking back now my parents did the best that they could with what they had, and they really tried their best to raise me right. But they both drank a lot and that can really f**k you up- it just makes you do weird things and sometimes awful things, and sometimes we saw that as kids: we saw our parents do really shitty things to each other and it was scary, it can be terrifying for children to see that kind of stuff. So it definitely shapes the way that I think, and made me who I am for sure, but I need to make it real clear to you that we had some real good times when I was growing up too and my parents gave me what they could.

My dad died when I was 11 and that was pretty terrible. I was a daddy’s girl. Me and my dad were buds, we were best friends. I wanted to be just like him. When he passed away it broke my heart, I mean, it broke my heart.

The lead up to your involvement into drink and drugs at an early age, can you pinpoint as to why or maybe you went down this route?

Even if my upbringing had been perfect, even if my parents had done everything right, I probably would still have an addict like personality. I really believe that no matter what, I was born this way, and if I were to go start drinking right now, I would drink alcoholically, like a maniac. And right now, my life is the best it’s ever been, and I’m really happy with the way things are; So, you see? what goes on outside of me doesn’t make a difference on the way that I drink; it’s the way I process alcohol and drugs even, it is just different from that of a normal person; I’ve met people that can do cocaine like once or twice and be like “eh”, and not really care about it and never do it again because it doesn’t do anything for them. For me, any drug or any substance that makes me feel different makes me want to do it all the time, so maybe the way I grew up may have shaped me a little bit but no matter what I still would have done drugs and drank like crazy.

I think most teenagers come across drink and drugs in their teenage life at some point, you’re just going to experiment with stuff, they are going to try and piss their parents off, do things different, be rebellious. For me though, it wasn’t just good enough to do it a little bit. I loved it, I loved the lifestyle, I loved the way it made me feel. I wanted to do it all the time. To me it was something I was good at, something that made me feel good.

What kind of drugs were you talking about here?

Living in a small town I would do whatever, as it came in waves. I definitely went through periods where I would do cocaine for awhile, like a couple of months, then somebody would have a bunch of acid, so we would take acid for a couple of months, then maybe it was ecstasy for a while. Not every day or anything, just whatever was around. In a small town, stuff comes in waves; everything is not available all the time; in a small town you have to know people, you have to know what’s around and what’s coming in, then get a hold of it while you can, although I started off with cannabis and alcohol in my teenage years.

It appears you became pretty dependant on drugs and alcohol at an impressionable age, how were you managing to fund such an addiction at an early age?

I had some shitty jobs, I worked lame jobs around town and stuff. I don’t think I really stole too much. I would ask mom for money sometimes, and say I needed to go shopping  but then I would go get high;  mostly I think I had a job from about the ages of 14/15. I worked at fast food restaurants, or I would babysit, or anything I could get around town. I would do odd jobs.  I always found a way to make money. Then I started selling cigarettes to the kids at school, and that was the first time ever I started ‘making money’. I also think I had a boyfriend back then and he would go buy a bunch of cigarettes for me and I would go sell them to all the kids at school, I thought I so cool at the time, you know, like you do (laughs).

A ‘way of life’ to you was a ‘criminal type’ later in life to fund the habit that in essence took hold of you; what kind of things did you get up to?

From the ages of 14-17 I didn’t do too much ‘bad’, I went out and earned most of my money, I liked to drink and get high, but we didn’t go out and really hurt anybody. I would shoplift sometimes or it would be stupid ‘petty crimes’, but I would never really hurt anybody. It was when I got older, maybe 17/18/19, I started getting really crazy, breaking into places and such. There was potential for people to get seriously hurt from some of the stuff we were doing, there was potential for ourselves to get hurt also and I think that is when things started kicking in. The older I got, the more daring I got, the more willing I got to do stupid crap with stupid people. We would just go do crazy stuff, mostly I would steal stuff, I stole a lot of stuff in that time period. I can’t even tell you how much it was but later on in life I had to make a lot of amends, I had to make it right in a lot of ways. Back then, I would lie to people, cheat and steal, try and rip people off…that was the way we all kind of lived. When you’re doing drugs, everyone is trying to f**k everyone else; you’re going to sell shitty dope to people; you’re going to take their money and not give them anything for it; you’re going to shoplift all kinds of stuff from stores or out of peoples houses or whatever, sometimes some of the people I was with they would go get money by robbing people or whatever, and I would be okay with it. To me that was okay. It was okay to lie, cheat, and steal, I did all those things, with really no remorse. Looking back on it now, I feel so lucky. The amount of people now who carry guns and shoot people over nothing, you can only imagine if they catch someone who is actually wronging them. I’m really blessed to be alive. I don’t even know how many close calls there were, or even all the times we would get crazy and get into a vehicle and be high or drunk or something, and be driving around. It was just crazy.

Your real ‘addiction’ became when you were left a huge lump sum of monies at the age of 18, can you talk me through this?

I lived at home till I was 16/17 then I moved out. My dad died when I was 11. He was killed in a plane crash and there was a law suit. The company was charged with a wrongful death suit, and there was a settlement. Out of that money I was given a lump sum when I was 18 years old and I just went crazy. That was where a lot of the drugs and alcohol I did came from. I blew this huge sum of money I got. I had no responsibility really. I had my son, but he was just an infant and I was a young dumb kid so, the baby would go stay with my mom a lot. My mom lived right down the road, and she took really good care of him, while I went out and partied my face off. She took care of him more than she should have, but because of it, he gets to have a really cool relationship with his grandma. They have a very special, close relationship.

All the while whilst you were ‘living this lifestyle’ did your mum not suspect any abnormal behaviour? Or were they dealing with their own issues at the time?

My mom knew that I was in a lot of trouble and she knew that I was doing a lot of drugs. Maybe she wasn’t aware the extent of it all, but she knew it wasn’t good. She knew that I was living a shitty lifestyle and that’s part of the reason she took care of my son so much. I think she didn’t want him to be in that environment, for one thing, and for another, she has this belief that- and I think this is true too- you can’t make somebody else straighten up. So she was like, “well, stay safe, and I love you and I’m going to let you do whatever you need to do, then whenever you’re ready to get clean and sober you know where I’m at.” That was always her attitude, she would go to meetings a lot and I would go with her sometimes, I got to know everybody there. I would go introduce myself and stuff and she was always willing to bring me with her and she more led by example, she didn’t really tell me she just showed me that you could live clean and sober and have a good life.

There were more than one occasions where you classed yourself as having  ‘overdosed’ can you tell me about just one of these incidents?

One time we were doing cocaine, in my truck in a parking lot. It was the very last of it, I didn’t have any more drugs and I didn’t have anywhere to go. I was homeless at the time, staying in my truck. I didn’t have any friends left or anything. I was a mess. There was a girl with me (my dealer), we were using needles, shooting it up, and I did the last of what I had and I had a seizure. I remember feeling like I couldn’t really breathe, and I wanted some air so badly, then I don’t remember anything after that. I woke up and I was looking at this girl that was with me, and she was looking at me. I didn’t understand what had happened, I was like, “What was you looking at? Stop!” I was angry for some reason. She said, “You just had a seizure!” I was like, “You’re kidding me, I had a seizure?” I couldn’t believe it. She said, “Yeah, you hit your head on the horn, you made a bunch of noise and everything, are you ok?” I said, “I guess so”. She said I needed to drive her home, so I drove her home, about 30 miles away. Looking back now, that is just crazy. I was scared, so I went to a friend’s house, and I sat down with them and said “Look, I had a seizure this afternoon and I ‘overdosed’ and I don’t really know what to do.” They said I needed to go to the hospital, and they called an ambulance and my mom. My mom met me at the hospital, and she was crying, she had seen stuff like this before when she was drinking and using. She met me at the hospital and I was just laying in this hospital bed, I was dirty, I was tired, I was detoxing, I didn’t have anywhere to go. I had some friends there, but the nurses and the doctors didn’t want anything to do with me, I was just dirty, trashy; It was pathetic. I was pathetic. I said a little prayer, “God, if you get me out of this sane and alive I will never, ever, ever, use drugs again, ever.” And I meant it so much! I was discharged from the hospital that night and I went to my mom’s house and stayed the night there, then got up the next day and I just started getting high again. I could not stop.

After each time, was there a cycle of promising yourself that if you managed to find your way out you wouldn’t touch a drop of alcohol or do drugs again?

I always said, “I will stop tomorrow”, “I will quit tomorrow”…and then tomorrow would come, and then I would say, “Okay just this once”… then I would be off to the races again. I would make lists and write them down, like, tomorrow I’m going to get a job, I’m going to wake up early, I’m going to be a responsible mom, a better friend, I’m going to do all this stuff… and then I would wake up the next day and I would go get high. I didn’t have an excuse or a reason. I knew I shouldn’t, but every day I was going to “quit tomorrow”, for like five years.

At the age of 17 you became a mum to your beautiful son Max, how did you cope becoming a mum so young and dealing with your addictions?

lauren family

The way I dealt with it was I dropped him off at my mom’s house and she took care of him a lot. When I was 17 I thought I knew everything. I thought I was such an adult, I had life all figured out, and nobody could tell me different. I thought I was so grown up. Looking back of course (I’m now 30), I know I was such an idiot, but I did not know that at the time. I thought I knew everything, so if you had asked me when I was 17, to me there was no problem. I thought I had everything under control.

Having a child, some may say, may of gave them the clarity they needed to become clean and sober, was this the case for yourself?

No. I mean, I regret to say that, because people do, but here’s the thing: It should have been enough. Drinking and using like that is such a selfish state of mind, it does not matter who loves you or who you love more than anything on the planet. That was just where I was at that point in time, I knew I needed to get sober at some point but I just didn’t think it was then. When things did get really bad my son stayed with my mom. She really took care of him when things were really out of control, so he wasn’t exposed to that very much. I think also because he was with her so often I almost felt like I didn’t have a child to get sober for. He wasn’t there in front of me so I could just let loose.

When did you and Max reunite as a family?

Well, I had gotten sober at the age of 21. I went to rehab a couple of times. I was in and out of rehab for about a year before I actually got sober. Eventually, I had just had enough of whatever it was, that misery, and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I thought “If I don’t stop doing this I am going to die”. I think because I had ‘overdosed’ a couple of times and things had gotten so shitty, a lot of my friends did not want to be around me anymore. I was out of money. I didn’t have anything to my name. I felt like I was too young for this sh*t, I’m f**king 21 years old, I want a life!

So I started going to meetings. Slowly piece by piece I started building my life up again. I got a shitty job, then another shitty job, then I got a pretty good job, I then started going back to school. I started meeting a lot of sober people, and made a lot of friends who were sober.

Max came to live with me when I was 22. I had been sober for around a year at that point I think. It was a learning experience to start with. I was figuring out how to be a mom and Max was of course confused as he was living with my mom, then he came to live with me, and that’s a big change for a kid. We moved around for a little bit from house to house. He’s a good kid and really resilient, thank God. We had a lot of good times and we had some crazy times too as we were trying to get used one another again. He would push the boundaries, try and figure out what was okay and what was not. All kids do, right?

I stayed sober for like 5 years. Max lived with me, and after he started going to school I started drinking again. It never got as bad as it was when I was a kid but it did get pretty bad, and I had to get sober again. So I was sober from 21-25/26 then I was drinking from 26-28.

Do you feel you had a Brother/Sister connection more than a Mother/Son?

I did at first but now I don’t, now I feel like his mom. I think maybe like the first six months or something it was really hard for us both to adjust back to having a mom and son relationship; he didn’t want to listen to me and I didn’t know what to tell him or what to do. I didn’t know what was okay. Now we definitely have a clear idea of what the boundaries are. He is also older now, it’s easier for a 12 year old to understand than a 6year old. He currently lives with his father in Alaska.

In 2009 you enrolled Max (aged 8) in Martial Arts. What prompted you to think of Martial Arts for Max?

I always wished I knew Karate. I wished I had a black belt. There was a girl I went to elementary school with and she was a Taekwondo black belt at a really young age, like by the time we were in 6th grade (11years Old). She had been doing Taekwondo all through school the whole years I had known her. For show and tell she would bring in different coloured belts, she would do all these different presentations, and I thought she was the coolest person ever. I had wished I had done that. So here I am 26 years old, my son is with me, and I’ve got this idea: If I wasn’t able to do martial arts, I’m going to make sure you have an opportunity to. I wanted him to have something better and have a chance but I didn’t know anything. I thought, “Maybe we should do Judo, Taekwondo or Karate.” I didn’t even know what the differences were between any of them, so I just chose one at random and it happened to be a Gracie Barra where they did Jiu Jitsu. I took him there, bought the GI, put him out on the mat and watched him.

When you were younger, you took Karate lessons and enjoyed them, what was the reason for you not going anymore?

I remember going to karate, and we would have to get rides with people. Our neighbours would have to give us rides, as it was too far to walk or take the bus, and we were too young for that anyway. We couldn’t get there ourselves, and a lot of times our parents just wouldn’t take us. They would be drunk, so they couldn’t drive us anywhere. Or we would be at my dad’s house, or in between houses, it was just too difficult. I remember the instructor pulling me aside and saying, “If you don’t show up for more classes I can’t give you your yellow belt”, and I literally burst in to tears. I was so heartbroken because it’s wasn’t my fault, I really wanted to be there. She wouldn’t pass me and I’m not sure, maybe I just perceived her as being super mean about it, but to me I was so humiliated. Looking back I now, it’s pretty easy for a kid to get a yellow belt in karate. They don’t have to do too much, so I don’t know if we were really that lame or if the teacher was being that mean. I wasn’t going long, only maybe a month or so, but I loved going. If I had kept going, who knows, maybe I would have been twice the fighter I am now (laughs).

After you enrolled  Max in Jiu jitsu, how did he take to it?

He didn’t, he thought it was too invasive, too much in your personal space.

You decided to enrol in Jiu Jitsu to try and help Max engage more, with you knowing nothing of the sport, how was this for you?

I thought, “If he’s going to do it, I might as well do it. I may be too old now to go anywhere with it, but at least I will give it a shot.” I loved it, I immediately fell in love with it.

I often think about how funny it is; It wasn’t a big deal but it was a life changing decision.

I’m adding in Lauren’s Thank You’s which are in the second part of this interview which will be up after her fight.

I’d like to thank my husband Joe, I love him so much it hurts. He changed my life and I don’t think I’d be here today without him. I’d also like to thank my family, especially my mum and my son, they have been with me and loved me through thick and thin.

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I have some great sponsors in American Knockout Wear, they help me through my fight camps and have supported me a ton, please go check them out at www.akowear.com and buy yourself a Lauren Murphy T-Shirt. Part of the proceeds go to a really cool charity that supports a program called KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program). My manager, Paul Stockler for looking out for me and my career, and to my team at Gracie Barra Katy. They are so good to me, especially my coaches Pat, Alex, Pena, and Ted. Thanks also to the guys at Westchase and Draculino’s. 🙂

In part 2 we talk about finding Jiu Jitsu, MMA, New Addictions, Invicta, the love of her life, UFC and the future……

Photo Credits: Lauren Murphy, Brian McNulty-American Knockout Wear

Special Thanks to Lauren Murphy for her generous time given to myself to allow me to do this interview and all that goes with it 🙂

June 3rd 2013 ‘Words from The War Machine’


In the early hours of June 3rd I got a message back of Jonathan Koppenhaver aka War Machine, who I had been previously speaking too, on and off since his release from Jail; although it had never crossed my mind to do an Interview with him, I did one day just randomly ask that question,  me being me, having no game plan, nothing at all wrote down, I did know on what angle I wanted to do the interview, I don’t think War Machine got my concept on where I was coming from though, I personally was pleased with it, it did however, turn out to be written in a blog/style format with some Q&A, if you didn’t catch it, I made sure it was published a few days his Bellator fight with Blas Avena and you can read it here:

Koppenhaver-Jon-TC16-1

In the early hours of June 3rd I finally managed to get a Skype Interview, well more of a chat with War Machine aka Jonathan Koppenhaver, who is making his return to the octagon on June 19th against Blas Avena after being re-signed to Bellator, and if you know anything about War Machine then you will know that this wasn’t going to be any ordinary conversation.  He is one of the very few, I feel brutally honest people out there, who says how it is and doesn’t believe in sugar-coating anything.  You either like this guy or you don’t it’s as simple as that, but then again I too believe in saying it how it is, to me this was a match made in heaven.

Ok so I’ve done a little bit of research on War Machine purely for my own reasons, if you catch my drift, after all you’ve got to get know the person you’re about to talk to – right?  And this is one person whose public perception I feel really needs changing for the better, but that’s just my opinion.

On December 7, 2011 it was announced that War Machine was re-signed to an exclusive deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and would be competing in their Season 6 Welterweight Tournament. War Machine was expected to fight Karl Amoussou in the opening round of the welterweight tournament at Bellator 63. However, War Machine was sentenced to a year in prison for the prior assault in Las Vegas, Nevada from December 2009 and was forced out of the bout and the tournament.  It was a little after this I personally became interested in War Machine, when I found an online blog called “War Machine’s Prison Diaries” which detailed everyday he spent in prison for the 2nd time.  He also documented his first time which is also available to read online.  To me there was something about him that I could relate too on so many different levels (and before anyone thinks it – No I’ve not been in prison), so that’s where my research on War Machine began.

War Machine was set to make his Bellator Debut on January 17, 2013 against UK’s Paul Daley, in a fight which was put to the fans vote which would open up the first of the Welterweight Tournament. War Machine however he tore his ACL which forced him out of the fight.  After all he had previously been through, this was a big blow to him and thought karma once again had dealt him a bad hand.

Fast forward 5 months to current day and…..

War Machine (12-4) will face Blas Avena (8-6) at Bellator 96 on June 19, 2013.

I’ve just logged into Skype for the first time yep, I’ve not actually done this before, so it’s going to be very random because that is me all over, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Besides in the initial “Hey” the first thing War Machine asks me is “Where is the Nandos at”? Yep, when he came over here to fight on BAMMA 3 against Zach Light back in May 2010 he couldn’t get enough of Nandos.

You’re finally getting your debut fight for Bellator on June 19th, which is great as UK fans who can also finally get to watch Bellator for the first time on TV (Channel VIVA), what are your thoughts on Blas Avena?

My only thought is that I’m gonna smash him.  I got better stand up, better wrestling, I’m stronger, tougher, all he has is a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu.  What’s he gonna do lie on his back and submit me?  Like fat chance, you know it’s not gonna happen.  He’s tough, but he’s not tougher than me.  He’s not got enough tools to beat me, I’m gonna smash him.

Would you say you have any “Cage Rust” going into this fight, having not fought, since beating Roger Huerta on 26th November 2011?

No, I fight in the gym everyday so my “cage rust” has already gone.  I had Cage Rust when I first came out of Jail and first went to practice, but I’ve been training every day and fighting my team mates, now I’m back to normal.

How is your knee holding up after tearing your ACL?

I had a partial tear in my ACL, I didn’t get surgery and I just let it heal up and rested up.  It’ s like 90%, feels pretty good, once in a while it bugs me nothing crazy, its good, I’m good.

I read on your Twitter that you don’t get your Medical bills paid by Bellator or anyone; surely if you fight for an organisation they should pay your Medical bills?

Bellator only have insurance when you get hurt in the cage during an actual contracted fight.  I got hurt when I was training for my fight, I don’t have my own insurance.

I briefly touch on the subject of me wanting to know more about him and his past, that makes him the person he is today. However, I am also a bit reluctant to do so but I say it to him straight in my own words of course – (well it is me we’re talking about and I don’t do a soft approach), I don’t want to piss you off or get a pissed off you but I’m intrigued by you, your “Prison Diaries” and that side to you.”  War Machine replies, I won’t Piss him off or get him pissed off.  Hhmm that’s great I’m thinking I will return to that subject further down the line I think.

“You have to do something really dumb to get me real mad”

Ok so as soon as I mention “Love Life looking up” I get a cheeky laugh with a cheeky grin.  I ask is it “Christy” (as in Christy Mack) to which he confirms it is.  If you guys don’t know who Christy Mack is then I suggest you may just want to google her! Tip! Just make sure your other half is nowhere to be seen and clear the cache/search engine of your internet browser after doing so. He also states Christy as his Girlfriend; if anyone knows War Machine he doesn’t have Girlfriends and certainly doesn’t publically announce them.  This makes this information big news in War Machine’s life.  If you have read his “prison diaries” you will know exactly where I am coming from.  With the break up in his marriage, how hard it was for him to deal with it, and saying he “was never going have another Girlfriend,” I for one am glad to see that War Machine is starting to believe again in that side of things.

“Shit happens it’s like you get drunk and you get a hangover and say you’re not ever gonna get drunk again and you drink again”

War Machine on Christy Mack

“She’s cool, she’s really smart, that’s the best part about her.  Christy is one of the smartest girls I have ever met seriously, if not, the most, smartest.  Most porn girls are stupid.”

Then I ask a dumb question for which I really knew the answer deep down, but you know when you just get lost in the conversation and it all goes out the window, yep I had that moment and anyone that really knows me, knows this is truly the real me.  Thankfully however it still flowed really well for me.

What came first, the fighting or making the porn movies?

The Fighting (yeah it was obvious, but you can see why I got carried away in our conversation)!

How did you end up in the porn industry?

After I started fighting, I then got famous, so these porn girls wanted to f**k me, and they said you should do porn, so one day I said f**k it and I did it.

Did you make good money from it?

Yeah, when I was doing it

At this point as we’re casually talking and it’s not like an interview whatsoever.   I say Ok most of this is what has intrigued me so far by the way, but I know the UK fans will be so I won’t put all of this in the interview.”  War Machine replies, I don’t care because what interests you will interest other people.”  Finally someone who gets it!  Music to my ears! Just to let you all know, I haven’t held a single thing back that me and War Machine have talked about.

War Machine views on the Paul Daley situation, his visa issue and Bellator.

“He’s lucky he only got his visa suspended. I got put in Jail for a year for a bloody lip.  He’s lucky he’s English; I would have paid $100,000 for a visa problem. Hell yeah Bellator will keep him on, we’re fighter’s, this is what we do.  Who cares if we get in one little street fight”.

Did you learn anything in going to Jail?

No it didn’t teach me shit.

It didn’t rehabilitate you whatsoever?

No it’s just got me angrier, pissed off and worse.  Jails a big waste of time and space of life but I don’t wanna go back there. Now I’m just  like a Hermit, I don’t go out, I don’t do stuff, I don’t wanna risk getting into trouble,  but I’m still the same guy, f**k them.  I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.  I don’t think it should be against the law to fight, I mean it’s like a natural fun thing.

So are you saying the system does not work?

No it’s stupid

When I first started reading War Machine’s Prison Diaries I remember him saying in the very early days, that it’s not the actual person who is doing the so-called “Time” in prison that it affects.  It’s the people who are left behind.  Now we all know of someone who has been in prison, but it’s not until it’s a close family member/friend that you can personally relate to what War Machine has stated and I would say not a truer word has been said.

War Machine says I’m a sucky interviewer, that maybe true, but only because I had no set question’s laid out, but that’s just my style.  I’d rather  have a “conversation” based interview over a Q&A interview any day but again that’s just me.

How has it been adjusting since coming out of prison?

The first couple of days sucked real bad, slowly you get used to it, but it’s hard.  You go to jail, you lose your car, you lose your credit, your money, you lose everything you have.  You got to come out and start all over again.  It’s tough but what can you do?  You got to keep going forward.

Your probation deal sounds pretty harsh from your twitter feeds, how does that work?

They don’t come to my house that much, (part of War Machine’s probation is random house checks) but when they do come its annoying as hell.

How often do you see your probation worker?

Once a month

That’s not too bad really, have you changed to a male one yet?

Yeah he’s way better than the female, she was a f**king c**t!

Ok I have to clear this up now; do you actually have an issue with females in authority?

(War Machine said nothing I asked was going to piss him off, unless it was really dumb and I personally did not class this as dumb, it was a fair question)

I have a problem with anyone in authority; no one should be in authority.  No one should be the boss of me.  I don’t respect any authority; it takes more than just your title or position for me to respect you.  There has to be a reason for me to respect you.  I’m not going to respect you just because you’re  wearing a badge or you happen to be in this spot in office.  I couldn’t give a f**k.  I respect you for reasons I respect you for, you know, I don’t care if it’s a girl or a guy I’m not going to respect you just because you got a badge on.  That does not mean shit to me, I have a problem with all authority.

Respect is basically earned?

Yeah I’m not gonna give it just because!

So what is next after Blas Avena?

The Bellator tournament in September, for which I will win; I’ll win $100k. Fight the champion that fluffy head little bitch Ben Askren, I’m going beat his ass.

I asked about the fight deal Bellator made with War Machine, as I always believed Fighters were contracted to a certain amount of fights i.e a 3 or 5 fight deal.  Then the contract to be renewed or not as in some cases, but this is not the case. This is how War Machine described it too me.

“If I won the tournament, the belt and became Bellator Champ, well UFC gonna try to sign me, but Bellator has the last say.  I can only leave if the UFC are offering more money than Bellator, so Bellator gets the last say.  So if  Bellator matches that I can’t leave, Bellator always have the last say”

Would you, if Dana came back to you, go back to the UFC?

I don’t really give a shit, I don’t.  NO; period!  I’ve already been there, I’ve seen all these guys go there that suck, it isn’t that special anymore.  I just wanna fight and make money; do you know what I mean?  I’m happy with Bellator because they don’t whine and cry when I say something.  The UFC are like NAZIS, you say one thing and they suspend you or fire you, I like Bellator because I can say what I wanna say, Bellator lets me be me still.

With your current probation situation would it stop you being able to come to the UK?

I would need to go to the court to ask permission. I love the UK, I love fighting there, I love how they say C**t and F**k off.  If I go there, I hope the Queen grants me a full pardon so I can stay there forever, America sucks.

Since Paul Daley has visa issues and the fans voted for you both to fight in the last Bellator Welterweight Tournament; of which you had to pull out due an ACL tear, would you be up for fighting Paul Daley in the UK?

I would love to go to the UK and fight Paul Daley.  That’s a tough fight, I like Paul Daley, he’s kinda like me but he’s black.  I like him, but I like to beat him up too.  I’d love to go to England, eat some Nandos, I love England I’d have so much fun there.

It appears my interview/chat has gone full circle.  War Machine started with Nandos and we appeared to have ended randomly with Nandos and no I’ve not even changed the opening and ending questions around, it has just played out that way.  For someone who hadn’t planned a single part of this interview/chat and even got called a sucky interviewer, I personally don’t think I’ve done too bad but hey that’s just my opinion.

Since doing this Interview/Chat with War Machine he had taken to his Twitter account on June 6th by quoting the following: (there is relevance why I’ve added it in here).

warmachine1

Here’s a big F**k YOU to all you cheap a** MMA sponsors out there, kill yourselves, we bust our asses in that cage for PENNIES, f**k you. You f**king clothing companies, promoters & managers get rich off of OUR pain and suffering ya’ll and have the nerve to nickel & dime us? In 2008 Sprawl paid me like $1200 (maybe more, I forget) to wear their shorts on a NON-televised fight, now they offer $500? JOKE! All of you dumb f— fighters need to start telling these companies to F**k OFF! Don’t accept their low ball offers, make them pay us fair!”

I’ll wear a BLANK shirt, a BLANK hat and BLANK shorts-no they won’t be blank, they’ll say, “MMA SPONSORS ARE CHEAP F**S” on them all! EVERYONE in MMA is making money EXCEPT the f**-ing fighters! I bet Arianny Celeste makes more f**king money holding up a f**king ring card! And ALL of you MMA fighters who are seeing my f**king posts and AREN’T RT’ing them have no f**king balls! You know I speak the truth”

I’d rather sit here and promote the few good companies for FREE, than to promote a company who wants to pay me PENNIES to wear their shit

Just after these tweets (with some others in between) War Machine announced Bellator will be televised on UK TV on channel VIVA, you would think that sponsor’s would be lining up at this HUGE opportunity?

June 7th War Machine Tweets

“See what happens when you have BALLS and stand your ground!!! REAL sponsor in the works, an MMA company trying to do shit RIGHT! Stand by.”.

“All you COWARD ass “fighters” out there need to take notes from DADDY and grow a pair of balls so that you can get the $ you deserve too”.

“I want to send a big THANK YOU to my new sponsor @TheSaintApparel , I look forward to working with you guys, thanks for backing me up!”

It took one whole day for War Machine to get a Sponsorship deal, and not just any sponsorship deal with just any company; you may not have heard of The Saint Apparel, but be prepared to in a BIG way; as always I do my homework (much to contrary belief) so I checked them out.

This is their “about them page”

Stay Humble.

Saint Apparel Canada

Saint Apparel is a Canadian made brand for the people who are motivated by success. We represent the core behind what drives people to do well; to prevail over hardship and overcome difficulty.

We come from humble beginnings. We have been considered underdogs. We fight for success and will not stop until we reach our destination.

Everyone fights for something. What do you fight for?

I contacted The Saint Apparel originally to ask permission to use their photograph of War Machine to go with my Interview (for which I had seen an associate of The Saint Apparel, tweet to Jon) whilst we corresponded over e-mail I asked for a Statement as to why they chose to sponsor War Machine, this is what they had to say:

“We chose War Machine because he has always been known as an honest guy.

The word “Humble” may not be the first thing that comes to mind in relation to him, but I think he is incredibly humble deep down in his heart.

There always seems to be something going on with War as well. People love to watch him and listen to what he has to say.

He is an incredibly underrated fighter, and we think he could be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

On top of all of these things, I personally used to idolize this guy when I was in high school.

He speaks his mind, he can fight, and the girls love him!”

Josh Rose

Owner and Founder

The Saint Apparel

 

War Machine trains out of Und1sputed Gym in San Diego, you can follow him on Twitter (if you don’t already I don’t know where you have been) @WarMachine170, for his new sponsor  head over tohttp://www.thesaintapparel.com @TheSaintApparel  and for nutrition his other sponsor  http://www.gardenoflife.com, @gardenofliferaw