If Dana White, Nick the Tooth, and Matt Serra came to Atlantic City “Looking for a fight” they choose the right event to attend. Ring of Combat 53 not only delivered to their star-studded audience but raised the bar for future MMA cards. Each fighter gave his all hoping to catch the eye of the UFC’s President, and what resulted was arguably the event of the year.
In the first of two title fights, Jonathan “Devastator” Delbrugge took on Whitney “Da Bully” Francois. Early in the fight Francois made use of his size and superior striking. After eating some damaging strikes, Delbrugge shot in and landed the takedown. He calmly passed guard and postured up in mount. The “Devastator” rained down blows until Francois gave up his back. Delbrugge quickly snatched the rear naked choke and established himself as the new Welterweight champion.
Jonathan “Devastator” Delbrugge def. Whitney “Da Bully” Francois via RNC at 3:39 of the 1st round.
The next exciting matchup of the night was between Bradley “Featherstone” Desir and Eddie Lenochi. They both rushed to the center with Lenochi taking the lead early on. Desir caught him with a huge front kick, before Lenochi was followed to the ground, eating some frantic punches before he scrambled and got to his feet. Both men exchanged blows with ill intent, but it was Lenochi who broke up the action with a nice takedown. Desir used the opportunity to show off his submission game with an armbar, but the attempt was shook off. Lenochi was still able to retain top control, landing big punches in the process. When Desir finally made it it to his feet, he succumbed to another take down just moments before the round ended.
As the second round began, Desir opened up and started to find a home for his hands. Lenochi found himself taking damage on the ground, but somehow got back up hoping to regroup. Desir didn’t let up and Lenochi crumbled to the mat. He celebrated as the crowd called for Dana’s attention.
Bradly “Featherstone” Desir def Eddie Lenochi via TKO at 1:41 of the second round.
In the last title fight of the evening, Randy “Rude Boy” Brown took on Robert Plotkin. Brown started the match strong with a lead front kick right to the face of his opponent. Plotkin tried to even the score but narrowly missed with multiple head kicks. Both men held back nothing in their technical war. Plotkin attempted to put Brown’s back against the cage but found himself there instead. After a takedown and some brutal ground and pound by Brown, Plotkin was able to escape to his feet. The heated battle continued until Brown caught Plotkin with a fight ending knee. Again the crowd chanted for Dana’s attention. The UFC seems a natural progression for this truly talented and undefeated Welterweight Champion.
Randy “Rude Boy” Brown (6-0) def Robert Plotkin (1-2) via TKO at 4:23 of the 1st round.
Last but not least, was Elijah “The Hero” Harshbarger vs. Sidney “Da Gun” Outlaw. In what seemed like an automatic brawl both men swung hoping for a highlight reel KO. Outlaw caved and shot in for the takedown but found himself in his opponent’s guillotine choke.
Elijah “The Hero” Harshbarger def Sidney “Da Gun” Outlaw via Guillotine in just :46 of the 1st round.
If you missed Ring Of Combat 53, watch the entire event on VOD right now on GFL: bit.ly/ROC53GFL
On a night where Global Proving Ground 22 offered big finishes, co-headliners Dez “M-80” Moore and Andrew “Animal” Cseh found a way to stand out with their five-round war.
Both men continuously rushed to the center of the cage looking to claim the vacant GPG Flyweight (125lb) title. Moore, who came into this match undefeated, sought to overpower with his hands and wrestling. Cseh the much taller of the two (5’6″ vs 5’0″) hoped to depend on his size and experience as a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt.
From the gate, “Animal” Cseh made good use of his reach causing Moore to work overtime. Despite the size difference, Moore took advantage of every opportunity by applying pressure and landing big leg kicks and takedowns.
Cseh proved to be a difficult matchup for Moore. As clear as it was that Moore’s wrestling was superior, his jiu-jitsu was not up to par. The black belt either found himself looking to close the distance and nullify Moore’s wrestling against the cage or hunting down submissions.
Each transition or break was filled with bombs being thrown by both men. Although in the later rounds it seemed that Moore’s leg kicks were starting to cash in, Cseh began to take control. After five back and forth rounds the judges came to a split decision in what was undoubtedly the evening’s best fight.
Andrew “Animal” Cseh (7-4) earned the Global Proving Ground’s Flyweight title, handing Moore (4-1) his first career loss.
Missed any of the action? Watch GPG 22 On Demand on GFL right now: bit.ly/GPG22GFL
Cody Mooney helps headline this awesome event as he looks to extend his current winning streak to 4. A speedster in the ring, Mooney likes to trick his opponents any way he can.
The Bantamweight has two victories via submission, so expect Mooney to look for a choke early and often.
Will Mooney be able to keep the streak alive? Tune in Saturday to find out! –> bit.ly/DeadSeriousGFL
Global Proving Ground (GPG) announced today its 22nd live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, featuring a collection of the Philadelphia area’s top professional fighting prospects, on Saturday, November 21, live on Go Fight Live (www.GFL.tv), from the promotion’s all-new venue, the GPG Sports Complex, in Mount Laurel, N.J.
Tickets for GPG 22 are priced from $45 and are available for purchase at LocalMMATickets.com. The event will also be streamed live on GFL.tv, priced from $16.99.
“We are excited to begin the next chapter in Global Proving Ground’s growth, in a new venue that can comfortably accommodate our rapidly expanding fanbase, and give spectators the exciting experience they look for when they attend a fight,” said Global Proving Ground President James J. Jefferson.
The event features three title fights, including the inaugural Global Proving Ground middleweight (185 pounds) championship bout in history, aggressive-minded, four-time Bellator veteran Jesus “Chavo” Martinez (9-6) of Philadelphia will square off with Tony Parker (11-11) of Fairfield, Ohio. To date, all but 1 of Parker’s 11 career victories have come by way of submission.
After injuring himself prior to his expected Bellator debut, knockout artist Lorenzo Hood (12-2) returns to Global Proving Ground to battle for the Heavyweight strap as he takes on Shelton Graves (3-3).
Ontario’s best MMA talent will also be represented well come fight night, as Ryan Dickson (10-4), Andrew “The Animal” Cseh (6-4), and more are set to battle.
In preliminary bout action, unbeaten Peter “The Joker” Petties (3-0) of Columbia, Md. will lock horns with Brandon Kaiser (8-5). The 24-year-old Petties soared to internet fame when a video of his Aug. 23, 2014 amateur bout with Jeff Melvin, in which Petties unleashed a series of strikes that forced Melvin to vomit, went viral.
In a meeting between two flyweights (125 pounds) making their respective, professional debuts, Gabe Ruiz (0-0) of Woodland Park, N.J. will take on Vladimir Kazbekov (0-0) of Welland, Ontario.
UFC and Bellator veteran Nah-Shon Burrell (11-6) will also be featured on the main card.
Doors at the venue will open for GPG 22 at 6 p.m. on November 21, and the first preliminary bout and live GFL.tv stream will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
About Global Proving Ground (GPG)
Global Proving Ground is a New Jersey-based professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise that was designed to unearth and build new fight talent in the North Eastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of The United States and to provide an exciting entertainment experience for combat sports fans.
Launched in 2012 by marketing executive James J. Jefferson along with several, original pioneers of MMA, the company operates its own combat sports venue, the GPG Sports Complex, where it hosts all of its events that are distributed live on Real TV as well as PPV on Go Fight Live (GFL.tv) with its syndication deal on a tape delayed basis on Comcast SportsNet and the Comcast Network GPG is not only creating new fighter talent but is developing its own loyal fan base.
The highly anticipated UFC 193 goes down this weekend, and GFL will be represented well in Australia!
All four UFC title challengers in the main and co-main event this Saturday night have fought on GFL earlier in their careers, and now Ronda Rousey, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Holly Holm, and Valérie ” TroUbLe” Létourneau will fight on the grandest stage of them all, live on PPV.
Head over to GFL.tv, and enjoy all the archived fights from these incredible athletes!
This is a HUGE event with massive implications for many of these fighters and we are pumped to be exclusively airing the undercard before the main card goes down!
With several CFFC veterans currently fighting under the UFC banner, you can always expect the best MMA prospects in the world to battle on a CFFC show.
Check back here before the weekend for a list of fighters who will be squaring off and looking for a big win! More details here! –>bit.ly/CFFC52
Kris McCray with Strike Off Fighting 6 – Being in that cage is kind of like a second home @KrisMccray
Kris McCray has seen more ups and downs in 7 years of competition than most fighters see intheir entire career. McCray (8-5) first burst upon the MMA scene with 15 straight victories across amateur and professional MMA before competing on the eleventh season of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter TV show. Since then his career has seen him compete in Bellator, CFFC, and the World Series of Fighting. He has not fought since March in 2013, a distinction that makes his return at Strike Off 6 after a 924-day leave of absence all the more intriguing to follow.
Kris spoke to GoFightLive.tv ahead of his main event fight against William Ward (5-5) about his career, staying involved in MMA, and the long journey back into the spotlight after a two year hiatus from competition.
Cameron Morris: Firstly, for the benefit of a lot of our readers on GFL- a lot are familiarwith you from The Ultimate Fighter 11, and they’ve seen you make appearances in a lot of other major promotions in the US like Bellator and WSOF. But you’re coming off a very long from your last fight. This will be your first fight in over two years. Can you tell us a bit about what sparked the long layoff?
Kris McCray: Basically, I had some kids, I moved to Houston after my wife graduated from Columbia. She finished her degree, a master’s degree in Biotechnology in New York. Wanted to start a family so I had a son—Logan—and I have another son on the way, he’ll be here in about 4 days—Liam—so I just wanted to take a break, have some kids, but, you know, my passion is fighting. I do want to get back in the cage… to come back to my home town and, you know, have some friends and family there, you know, get back in there and start over again.
C: To build on that last question, what was the process of getting back to being ready to fight at a professional level again?
KM: I’ve been training within the two years. I never stopped training completely—sometimes I had to, you know, maybe not train as much, you know, pick up the slack here, my wife wasn’t working and stuff like that. But my schedule is a little more routine now, and I have some time available and I’ve been training pretty good for this fight.
I was never removed from the sport completely. I cornered Jimy Hettes a couple times, I still keep in contact with all the fighters, especially theguys from New Jersey, up there with Frankie Edgar and Ricardo [Almeida] andRenzo [Gracie] and those guys. I did some work with Bubba Bush, he’s in theUFC, he’s actually coached my high school wrestling team. I’ve never been totally removed, but I’m just excited to get back in there and have an official fight. You watch it on TV, you miss it, you just wanna get back in there and put some gloves back on.
C: When you were released from the UFC in 2011, one of the main things you spoke a lot about is that you wanted to get that second shot in the UFC one day. Since the time of your release and now, a lot has changed in the UFC since you were last there. We’ve seen a lot of additions in terms of weight classes, and the Reebok sponsorship deal, you’ve seen the expansion of events in Europe, Australia and Asia… Has it been weird to see that sort of growth from the outside, or does it serve as sort of an additional motivation tool to getting back in?
KM: Yeah, definitely, it’s become more mainstream I think. Even though the Reebok and stuff—I kind of believe it’s bad for the fighters, but good long term, you know, I’m not really sure how it’s gonna work out—but I definitely wanted to be part of that organization. I just wanted to get that W in the UFC, you know? So now my goal is—I love this sport, so UFC or not, you know, that’s the pinnacle of what we do, but I’m gonna keep working, man. I like to see stories like Ron Stallings, I trained with him a lot way back, nice guy, he had a couple weird things happen to him in his UFC fights, but I would love stuff like that to happen to me—you know, get that shot, get three more fights, see what happens and just train harder and put in a good show for the fans.
C: We’ve seen a lot of fighters who have had a long journey away from the UFC. They finally get a second chance at fighting in the organization again. Another guy is Joe Riggs—he had his last fight in the UFC in 2006 and he returned over half a decade. Robbie Lawler had a great comeback after rejoining the UFC in 2013- and that was nine whole years. So the precedent is there for fighters to get back after a long layoff, but on theflip side, those guys were all constantly fighting, and their names were still out there. As you mentioned, you were still around the sport, and around with different fighters, but you weren’t at the forefront of the news. This is your first fight back after a long absence, as I mentioned before. A lot of people may have forgotten about Kris McCray, and you’re trying to get them on board for a comeback. As it been tough for you to kind of generate buzz among promoters to kind of get your name out there after all this time?
KM: I mean I’m sure, some promoters, like, they know me, but what value does my name hold now, you know? I can’t hold onto TUF 11 forever, you know, but my career started so fast—I started training, I did ten fights my first year training, my ten amateur fights… The next year I did five pro fights, the next year in the UFC it was like, bam bam bam bam bam, and I really didn’t get a chance to grow as a fighter—just fight after fight after fight. Which was cool until I got to New Jersey and started learning some stuff and doing some things and hitting those roadblocks that fighters have been doing for a while hit.
But I think if you put the time into the sport, it pays you back. So I’m willing to give what I got to the sport, and I’m sure at the end of the day I’ll have no regrets regardless of what happens. I’m gonna give the sport its due because that’s what I love to do and hopefully, I’ll get that call one day and get in there and make some magic happen.
C: For a long time there, you had so much stuff going on with the different fights in such a short amount of time. Not to dwell on The Ultimate Fighter, but during that time, you were fighting like, what, every two weeks or so?
KM: Yeah, every Tuesday I fought. I fought five times in six weeks. And that’s the kind of fighter I am, I can take the hits and I can keep coming forward. That’s how I was raised—just don’t quit. That’s all my dad just told me: “Just don’t quit.” And you never really see me quit in a fight, you know.
I had some fights where I didn’t look as good as the other fights and vice versa. I remember being in a rear naked choke, my legs are bent back, and I’m just like, “I can’t give him this $5000, because if you finish you get $5000 [Submission of the Night bonus].” But I know the more you fight, the more relevant you are, the more fights you have, the more you can generate a buzz. I’m looking to do this one, and maybe some more next year. You know, I’m not a stranger to fighting a bunch of times and I think the more you fight, the more your name’s out there, and there’s a greater chance you have of getting back into the UFC or another big promotion. People will see you and hear about you, and that’s how you generate your buzz. And once you have your buzz… I have the credentials, like Ultimate Fighter, Bellator, WSOF—maybe things will shake up and we’ll see what happens.
C: We talked a little about the different things that have happened in your life since thelast time you fought. How do you feel how you’ve grown over this time as a fighter? Obviously you haven’t had the fight experience, but you’ve had so much time to pick up things over the time.
KM: I just think in the cage there’s a lot of mental going on, and earlier in my career I was fighting to eat, fighting for a paycheck. I was living off my fights; that’s why I was fighting so much, and now it’s not like that. Now I’m calm, I’m in there having fun, just executing what I like to do. Before it felt like it was a rush, I had to grab this guy, I had to squeezehim, make him feel me. Now I’m more of an effective fighter, as you would say.
C: Provided all goes well and you emerge victorious in October, what do you think is next for Kris McCray?
KM: I’m gonna enjoy the holidays and start looking for some new fights next year. I definitely want to stay busy, maybe two or three fights a year—we’ll see what happens. I wouldn’t mind being in my home town or wherever. I just like to scrap and get in there and have fun. I like the whole thing.Cutting weight in training kind of sucks, the fight’s cool, and the lights, and my family, the dinner after you weigh in, all that stuff, it’s like a show every time you have a fight, and I really do enjoy that.
Being in that cage is kind of like a second home.
By Randy Jean
Mixed Striking Championship (MSC) is a Miami, Florida-based fight promotion that’s essentially bringing back the fighting style vs. fighting style theme to combat sports and distinguishing itself from Muay Thai or Glory style kickboxing by outfitting its combatants with a patented glove that is more compact than a traditional boxing glove and, similar to an MMA glove, does not cover the athlete’s fingers.
Unlike Glory or K-1, MSC also allows its fighters to throw elbow strikes, like those used in Muay Thai competition.
Just days out from its second live event, which will stream live on GFL from BankUnited Center in Miami, Greg Bloom, a lawyer by day and matchmaker for MSC by night, took the time to discuss MSC’s unique combat sports product, the “EVO” glove, ways athletes and entertainers can protect themselves both in and outside the ring and the chances of MSC dethroning MMA as the premier martial arts combat sport.
Randy Jean: You played in integral part in the creation of MSC, but before all of that you are a lawyer first. You also used to work in Wall Street. Walk us through the journey of how all of that came about.
Greg Bloom: I initially worked in Wall Street for 10 years, prior to going back to law school. Then when I was in law school, I was approach by a professional boxer who needed some assistance with a contract which, from there, I ended up managing this fighter.
It was basically a snowball effect because, before I was even done with law school, I was representing about 15 different fighters between boxing and MMA. So the natural progression for me, while I was studying law, was to eventually practice and work in sports and entertainment law.
One of my clients was Wayne Bermudez, who’s the founder of MSC. I started off as his attorney, and then was welcomed aboard to help steer the company and as a matchmaker as well.
RJ: So how is your relationship with Wayne Bermudez?
GB: Great! He’s a great guy who has an extensive background in MMA and it’s a great concept that he’s created. I’m just excited to be a part of it.
RJ: As a lawyer, what legal issues do you to tend to deal with when it comes to athletes and entertainers on a daily basis?
GB: Everything from negotiating their agreements with managers or promoters to endorsements and sponsorship deals. Whether it’s second business entities or real estate issues, I try my best to help them out the best I can.
RJ: I was looking at the MSC Facebook page and I noticed the slogan “ No Tap outs, Just Knockouts.” Why do you feel like it’s important for MSC to stand out in this manner from its competitors?
GB: I think right now there’s a lot of saturation in the MMA market. You’re starting to see other types of combat sports come out of the forefront. A lot of the Glory fights and Lion Fights as well as boxing are making a big comeback on free TV. So it’s important that MSC becomes a home for those martial artists who don’t necessarily want to get involved in MMA, but dedicate a lot of time to developing their craft in the standing striking arts.
RJ: Do you think MSC, which is essentially its own sport because of its unique rule set, as well as a promotion, can dethrone MMA and become the new king of the mountain of combat sports?
GB: I mean it’ll take time, like everything else. But it’s definitely picking up steam and gaining more fans by the day. We’re trying to get as active in putting out as much events as we can. I think in due time it’ll rival any other combat sport out there. We just need time to create stars and grow.
RJ: The concussion issues we’ve seen in the NFL bring athlete safety to mind What is MSC doing different to protect its stars?
GB: We have a patented glove called the “EVO” glove. It’s an 8 to 10 oz. glove, depending on the weight class of any particular matchup. We do everything we can to ensure the safety of the fighters.
In any fight, though, athletes can get injured. We do everything we can from standing 8 counts to having capable officials presiding over the action.
RJ: I actually had notes on the Evo glove. Do you think this glove alone allows MSC to stand out?
GB: I do. It’s a unique glove that allows for a comfortable fit, which allows for fewer injuries in the hand. It covers the thumb and the finger tips aren’t close to the edge of the glove, which limits eye pokes. It’s also a great glove for hitting bags and what not. We believe the glove can stand out on its own and make a marketplace for itself in the combat sports world.
RJ: You usually give seminars to young athletes and entertainers who are coming up. What are some lessons you always share with them?
GB: Don’t believe everything they tell you. If they promise you something, then get it in writing and always make sure you have an escape clause just in case the plan doesn’t fall through. Because once you sign an agreement and they don’t perform on it, then you’re stuck. Also, always get yourself a great attorney.
RJ: Speaking of contracts, will we see you in Dez Bryant’s corner negotiating a new contract with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys?
GB: (Laughs) Hey, if you can give him my number, I would love to help!
Video: Shamrock FC and Bellator 138 Promoter Jesse Finney Recaps “The Most Exciting” Round in His Promotion’s 17-Year History
Shamrock FC President and retired MMA star and kickboxing champion Jesse Finney chats with correspondent Jeremy Johnson about his promotion’s latest fight card that streamed live on GFL, as well as what is in store for Shamrock FC fans.
Video: Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella talks nine straight opponents missing weight and being overlooked by UFC
One day before his GPG 20 main event fight against Corey “Koko” Simmons headliner Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella opened up to GFL about the frustration of nine straight opponents missing weight, being overlooked by the UFC and the difficulty of putting in so much for so little in return.