Written by: Ryan Manahan
Every great Mixed Martial Artist that enters the octagon, gets their name announced by Bruce Buffer, and wears UFC gold around their waist, all make the same decision at one point in their life – to become a Professional Mixed Martial Artist.
John Sanguinetti has made that decision. After a three year run floating around the amateur circuit, Sanguinetti is going to try and make a career out of fighting.
“I think I’ve done everything I think there is to do in amateur and I want to see how much further I can take it as a pro,” John tells me over the phone on a cold November morning. It’s a busy morning for John. He’s getting ready to visit his parents who he doesn’t see as much as he used to as a result of his training. “I’ve invested a lot of time into this and I’ve sacrificed a lot so I’d like to see it pay off one day.”
Sanguinetti doesn’t look like the stereotype of a Mixed Martial Artist. He doesn’t have a mohawk and head tattoo like Chuck Lidell or the bleach blond hair of a Tito Ortiz. He would more likely be mistaken for a soccer player or a server at a local restaurant than a fighter. “A lot of people are surprised when they hear that I’m a fighter because I’m a pretty laid back person,” he says with a slight sense of amusement in his tone. “I’m not really a meathead jock or anything like that.”
He doesn’t look like a stereotypical fighter, and it’s maybe because he didn’t get into the sport in a typical way. He was the chubby kid growing up. The now 170 pound welterweight once topped the scales at 260 pounds and turned to martial arts to shed the weight.
“I was overweight when I was younger and I just needed a way to get in shape. Boxing seemed like the most fun way to do it… I was doing it more to get in shape than to compete.” The activity he turned to in an effort to slim down quickly turned from a hobby to a passion. He was boxing to lose weight and, soon after, his brother started training in Brazilian Ju Jitsu, which he joined him in. “I started out as a fan of MMA,” he tells me thinking back to his beginnings in the sport, “So it all just came together.” He started training in a wide range of martial arts to become well-rounded in all aspects of the game. With his skills accumulating and his passion growing stronger, he decided to test himself an actual bout.
“When I got my first fight, I wasn’t planning on going professional. I just wanted to get an MMA fight just to see how my skills would match against someone,” John speaks of his decision to take his first Amatuer MMA fight in Michigan. While his matches in Michigan were labeled “Amateur” they weren’t very different from what you’d see on a UFC Pay-Per-View in terms of safety and rules. (more…)
Written by: Ryan Manahan
The UFC continued their ‘World Tour” of press conferences on Thursday, this time hitting up the hometown of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in scenic Montreal, Quebec. GSP and challenger Johny Hendricks attended the conference, as well as UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright, and several other Canadian MMA luminaries were in the audience. MMAxposed had the opportunity to catch up with GSP and get his thoughts on a variety of subjects
Regardless of what is said before the match or who is standing across from St. Pierre in the octagon, for GSP, it all comes down to the fight.
UFC 165 Tickets are on sale to the general public today through Ticketmaster
Watch the media scrum with the current Light heavyweight Champion Jon Jones below:
Tuesday July 9,2013 UFC held their UFC 165 press conference at Real Sports in Toronto, Ontario with the headliners, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. MMAxposed correspondent Ryan Manahan sits down with Gustafsson: Watch the interview below
Alex Ricci (7-1) takes home the win against Luis Felix (9-7) via unanimous decision at Substance Cage Combat 1.0 this past weekend at the George Bell Arena in Toronto. Carlin Bardsley (In The Cage With Bards) catches up with Alex after the fight. Check out the video below:
Johny Hendricks talks about UFC 167, punching GSP in the face, being a new father and Olympic Wrestling
MMAxposed was fortunate enough to partake in this past weekend’s fundraiser and charity event at ‘Woodbridge Heroes’ collectibles store in scenic Woodbridge, Ontario. The event was held in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association, the city of Vaughan food bank and SOS Children’s Villages.
The event, sponsored in part by Haymaker Fightwear, was a rousing success, raising much-needed funds for worthy charities and providing entertainment for children of all ages including super hero costumes and an exotic petting zoo.
Also featured were appearances from real-life superheroes in the form of some of the top names in MMA, including UFC #1 welterweight contender Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks. Hendricks gave this exclusive interview to MMAxposed where he discusses the clash with GSP, becoming a father the day before, whether wrestling will be back in the Olympics and more. Watch as “Bigg Rigg” pulls no punches on any subject!
By Carlin Bardsley
Written by: Matt Marcone
With just two days to go before the Score Fighting Series’ fifth event in Ontario, we present episode seven of the MMAxposed podcast. We get a real heart to heart interview with Hector Lombard, who dropped a split decision to Tim Boetch in his UFC debut.
It was Lombard’s first loss in 25 fights and he opens up about the haters, his injury during training camp, and Dana White’s post-fight comments saying he should fight at welterweight. He also gives his thoughts on a new possible training destination, making it to the big show, and who he wants to fight next.
In what many are predicting could be fight of the night, Canadian striking sensations Jesse Ronson and Alex Ricci also join the podcast. They will be fighting each other at SFS5 in Hamilton on Saturday, August 25th and both sound desperate to get inside the octagon.
Ronson talks about his mentality going into his fight on July 28 knowing he couldn’t afford to get hurt, the intensity of his sparring sessions and the origins of his nickname. He also thinks a victory could possibly send him to the UFC’s stacked lightweight division.
Ricci talks about the fight with Ronson, competing on four of the five Score Fighting Series cards, and a UFC dream of his own.
Let us know what you think!
(8:00) Jesse Ronson
(18:45) Alex Ricci
(27:30) Hector Lombard
Phil Baroni is getting ready for his fight against Rodrigo Ribeiro at ONE FC in the Philippines on August 31th, 2012. He tells us about a new reality series called Fight Factory TV, which is set to premier August 15, 2012 on Nuvo TV.
Attard talks about the step up in competition, the “sketchy” Discipline MMA show in Belleville and his preparation for Saggo. Saggo talks about training with legends all over the world, his passions, and fight mentality.
Download MMAxposed podcast Episode 6 HERE
This veteran fighter doesn’t necessarily need a Bruce Buffer introduction, but ‘The Pride of El Salvador’ Ivan Menjivar (24-8) will get it this weekend at UFC 148. Ivan will be going for his fourth straight victory in the UFC. His opponent will be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Mike Easton (12-1) from Alliance MMA under Lloyd Irvin. Mike is currently on a seven fight win streak. Ivan believes that Mike has great hands to go along with his prolific ground skills and has been forced to train smart for this match up. His fight camp has once again been under the tutelage of one of the best in the business Firas Zahabi from Tri Star Gym in Montreal, Canada. These Bantamweights will square off this Saturday, in the under card, of the highly anticipated re match between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Menjivar rarely disappoints when it comes to putting on crowd pleasing performances. The Menjivar/Easton combination lends itself to have all the makings of a fight of the night honour. Menjivar already holds a submission of the night honour in the UFC. Ivan says he just appreciates the opportunity that the UFC is giving him and he just wants to face-off Saturday night and put on a great show for the fans!
UFC lightweight Sam Stout attending the Show Your Strength Charity event this past weekend with fellow training team mates Mark Hominick and Chris Clements. Sam reflects on Jens Pulvers documentary DRIVEN, bullying, Stanley Cup Finals and his upcoming fight at UFC on FX 4
MMAxposed reporter Matt Marcone was at the “Show Your Strength” charity event held at the Toronto Underground Cinema. The event had a free screening of the documentary “Jens Pulver – Driven,” and was in support of programs to promote athletics for youth at risk.
He spoke with Canadian MMA fighter Mark Hominick about the documentary, Jens Pulver’s legacy, Sam Stout vs. Spencer Fisher three, Kenny Florian’s retirement, and the Stanley Cup finals.
Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig was in Ontario recently for a seminar at Blue Dragon Muay Thai and Warrior Fight Store in Whitby it was a great turnout with participants of all ages. UFC’s Antonio Carvalho also came out for the seminar.
Watch our interview with Duane below:
WARNING: May contain inappropriate language
By: Matt Marcone
Canadian fighters are climbing the MMA food chain faster than ever before.
Veteran UFC referee “Big Dan” Miragliotta says Ontario’s influence in the sport is becoming far more apparent. The province has only been regulating MMA for 16 months, long enough to notice a radical change.
“I see fighters coming down to New Jersey and a lot of these east coast larger events that are out of Canada, where before you would never hear of these guys,” Miragliotta explains. “The exposure they’re getting is great, Ken Hayashi [the Ontario Athletics Commissioner] is doing an excellent job with the commission there. The guys they have that are working with him know the sport and have learned by doing it.”
Provincial or state athletics commissions sanction all professional MMA bouts. Many have come under fire from fans for failing to provide adequate judges and referees.
Miragliotta, an employee of the commissions says many people have no idea how difficult MMA regulation is and sees little room for development.
“Honestly they’re doing a great job, I wouldn’t even say they have to improve,” says Miragliotta about the Ontario Athletics Commission. “I like what they’re doing. They’re bringing people in that know it [MMA], that have been around for a long time and are used enough to help people who are there to learn and become more proficient.”
Miragliotta has officiated some of the biggest fights in the sport but often enjoys local bouts just as much as main event headliners.
“It’s like college football,” says Miragliotta. “I enjoy watching college football more than pros because these are young guys that are trying to get to that level and are giving you 100% all the time. They’re really trying their hardest because they want to get to where these other guys are; making the big bucks, making the recognition, getting endorsements, commercials…”
Miragliotta also gave his thoughts about the likelihood of Paul Daley returning to the octagon. UFC President Dana White fired him for striking Josh Koscheck well after the final bell at UFC 113 in Montreal.
“Had he maybe said to Dana that he was frustrated, he was upset and that he screwed up, I think Dana would’ve suspended him and maybe fined him and that would’ve been it,” says Miragliotta. “But him telling Dana that he didn’t hear the bell, that he didn’t care, that’s what got him fired. It was a very bad mistake on his part.”
White has repeatedly said Daley will never return to the UFC because of the incident but has used similar rhetoric with fighters like Tito Ortiz, Nate Marquardt and Karo Parisyan, only to change his mind later.
“I think Dana’s like everyone else, you forgive and forget a little bit, as long as the circumstances are right,” says Miragliotta. “I don’t see why he wouldn’t. If they picked him up, that would be great but if they didn’t it would be a sad thing because Daley’s a good fighter. I mean you go to jail for murder and you get out in 20 years on probation, just for sucker punching somebody to be fired for life is a major penalty, but that’s up to him [Dana].”
Miragliotta says he is happy to be a part of the growth of MMA by being a referee but eventually plans to retire and train fighters.
You can listen to the entire interview on episode three of the MMAxposed podcast. He talks about life on the road away from his family, unified rules and standups.
Travis Marx (19-3) made his Bellator debut this past Friday night at Caesars Casino in Windsor, Ontario for Bellator 64. Travis trains out of Jacksons MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico with world renowned MMA trainer Greg Jackson. Travis went up against Masakatsu Ueda (15-2) and dominated his way to victory by decision.
We asked Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney what his personal highlight of the night was and he said…
” Travis’ win was gratifying, kinda speaks to who we are. You give a guy a chance who’s not ranked in the top 30 in the world and you put him against the #6th ranked guy in the world and Travis wins the fight and dominates the fight. To see a guy who really was not picked to win, take advantage of an opportunity like this…. you give a guy a shot and he steps up and takes advantage of it and he just grabs it by the throat. That’s kinda gratifying. You look at it and say That’s what it’s all about.”
Travis’ accomplishment Friday night is just one of many in the future for this fighter.
Check out Travis’s website HERE
“Always Believe!” ~ Travis Marx
Taylor Solomon is a small town guy trying to make his way to the top like any MMA fighter on the scene, but what makes Taylor stand out is his willingness and drive to take on any challenge. Taylor was on a 3 loss streak but still managed to find his way to Bellator 57 last Novemeber, after coming off a loss against World Muay Thai Champion Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell. That fight went to decision and Taylor took his third loss as an achievement and I think others would agree, these two guys went at it and put on an amazing show. It’s now April 2012 and Taylor is off to fight Jason Ficsher for his 2nd Bellator bout and this guy is ready for war. He was given an opportunity to come back and to shine, and Taylor is taking that opportunity and running with it. You can catch tonights fights on www.spike.com @ 7pmET/6pmCT TV fights will be aired on MTV2 &EpixHD @ 8pmET/7pmCT
Written & Photography By Randi Lotsberg
Getting to know Lyndon Whitlock….
I have known Lyndon since 2001. We used to train together and when he first started training, I spent alot of time helping him out. The one thing I noticed right away was how fast he picked up grappling. Within a couple of months training he went to compete and do an amazing job at a very tough local competition. Since that time, he took many years off of training focusing on work and other things.
We recently began training together about a year ago and the exact same thing is happening. He is picking up and absorbing technique so well and keeps getting better each and every time we roll. It is an honor to know him as a student, friend and representative of my store. Not just because of his abilities, but for his hardworking, honest and humble attitude on and off the mats. Just dont tick him off in the cage…or he will break something of yours….literally!
Written By Riccardo Ammendolia
MMAxposed had a chance to catch up with UFC’s Antonio ‘pato’ Carvalho before his UFC debut in Brazil at UFC 142 this upcoming Saturday. Training out of Bruckmann’s Mixed Martial Arts in Oshawa, Ontario.