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.
If you ever have the opportunity to speak to Brian Cimins, President and CEO of Grappler’s Quest at one of his events, do it. Brian is one of the most approachable, engaging, humble, exciting, and inspirational people you will ever find.
We had an opportunity to speak to Brian at the recent Grappler’s Quest 2013 US National Championships on July 20, 2013 in Morristown, NJ about how Grappler’s Quest started, his own personal journey in martial arts, and where he sees the sport and his brand going in the future.
Brian started Grappler’s Quest as a senior project in college in 1998 when he saw there was a need to have a local grappling tournament. In 1999, Grappler’s Quest held the first amateur exclusively nogi tournament in the world. Grappler’s Quest was also the first organization to run a US national event (since 2000).
Grappler’s Quest is a labour of love for Brian. He talks passionately about how every sport needs amazing, independent organizations that are free from the control of a governing body, and he believes that Grappler’s Quest fills that spot in the grappling world. To Brian, Grappler’s Quest belongs to the people that support it – the competitors. It is the human support that drives Brian. As he says, “Grappler’s Quest is yours”
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
99 Sudbury in Toronto has hosted many events for the arts but now they are home to a different kind of art, Mixed Martial Arts. Evolucao Thai MMA School celebrated their grand opening this past Saturday with a seminar hosted by UFC Light Heavyweight Wanderlei Silva along side close longtime friend, head instructor and co-owner Mauricio Veio. Both Silva and Veio are from the original Chute boxe Acadamy in Brazil which is how they met at the young ages of 13 and 16. Mauricio refelcts on their friendship “Wanderlei my hero, hero for personal, for fighter.” says Veio “Today I am so proud to have Wanderlei in my school.”
The new Evolucao Thai MMA School offers much more then other MMA gyms in the greater Toronto area, included in your monthly membership is full access to The Gym @ 99 Sudbury which offers exceptional facilities to add quality workouts to your MMA training you also get access to all classes provided through Evolucau unlimited MMA School classes, Muay Thai Classes, Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, No-Gi, Boxing plus yoga and fitness classes. You can check out Evolucao and The Gym @ 99 Sudbury at http://www.evolucaothai.com
All images video, editing, music and writing by Randi Lotsberg
Written By Dwight Wakabayashi
Following a false start in January, Sudbury native Mitch “The Machine” Gagnon is set to make his UFC debut this Saturday night on the undercard of UFC 149 from Calgary. It is really a night of Canadian debuts as, Gagnon and fellow Canadian fighter Ryan Jimmo are both getting their first crack at the big time.
Gagnon stated on Twitter earlier this week that he is currently reading UFC 149 headliner Urijah Faber’s book, and he better hope to learn something from it. The Team Shredder product out of northern Ontario will be in tough competition against Team Alpha Male fighter Bryan Caraway. Caraway brings some good experience to the cage, coming off a win against Dustin Neace in his own UFC debut last December. Caraway has fought some very tough opponents in his career, with notable losses to Mark Hominick and Fredson Paxaio. His twenty-one fights to Gagnon’s nine give a clear edge in experience to the American.
Gagnon is a very strong, compact fighter and his ground game is tremendous. He holds a Canadian regional title and has fought and beaten some tough local talent. This is a nice match up for him to get his feet wet in the UFC with his strength being his key to victory. Caraway is also a submission wizard with 14 of his 16 professional wins coming via tap. He poses a formidable challenge for Gagnon and will definitely surprise and make some noise if he wins on Saturday night.
Gagnon has not fought since he defeated David Harris at Ringside MMA 12 in October of last year and cage rust could be a factor going in to this fight. A saving grace may be the fact that Caraway hasn’t fought this year either so they will both be willing and eager combatants.
Gagnon is one of six Canadian fighters on the preliminary card with a seventh, Adrenaline welterweight Chris Clements the only Canadian on the main card. Clements stepped in for an injured Thiago Alves against opponent Siyar Bahadurzada, but will now face another replacement in the always game Matt Riddle. The Calgary card has been plagued by injuries and is virtually unrecognizable to the original card that was announced months ago.
The seemingly cursed card has lost the likes of Yoshihiro Akiyama, Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva, Mauricio Rua, Michael Bisping and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to injury or pull out. Yet in a true show of the depth of the UFC roster they have been replaced by such stars and notables as Urijah Faber, Renan Barao, Hector Lombard, Tim Boetsch, Bryan Ebersole and Chris Clements. The card remains full of world class fighters who should not be overlooked. Due to the revolving door of fighters on and off the card, this event is under-hyped and could over perform among the many over-hyped and anticlimactic cards we have experienced in the past. Don’t sleep on it.