PRESS RELEASE: Amateur MMA Athletes Benefit as MMA Draft Gains Momentum

PRESS RELEASE – May 13, 2013

MMADraftcom

SACRAMENTO, Calif. MMADraft.com, a promotional platform for up-and-coming amateur combat sports athletes, has quickly become the go-to site for many of MMA’s rising stars. With the ever growing talent pool, it is becoming increasingly difficult for skilled amateur MMA fighters to identify what steps they need to take to build a successful future in the sport. Not only do they have to stand out amongst their peers as elite competitors, they have to build a presence outside of the cage as well. MMA Draft offers solutions and gives amateurs in the sport an edge on the competition.

Backed by industry influencers and fighters Urijah Faber and Phil Davis, MMADraft.com gives amateurs access to valuable resources that no other organization can offer, from media opportunities to advice from the pros. MMA Draft continues to add valuable features to the site as they evolve and according to the MMA Draft team, they are just getting started!

According to Phil Davis, “We are very excited about how quickly MMA Draft has evolved and how well it has been received in the MMA Community. MMA Draft has come a long way in a short time and we continue to find new ways to educate and promote deserving amateur athletes. The newest feature on MMADraft.com is a weekly blog called ‘The Draft Board’, authored by seasoned MMA Journalist Daniel Downes (who also writes for UFC.com). ‘The Draft Board’ touches on all subjects that pertain to Amateur MMA.”

Davis went on to say, “Daniel is also one of the experts on our MMA Draft ‘Ask a Pro’ panel (another added feature). Anyone can log on to MMADraft.com and submit a question pertaining to amateur MMA under ‘Ask a Pro’ and one of our experts will address it. Maggie Krol and Rick Lee have also joined our team and will be shooting human interest pieces and amateur MMA stories for the site. A lot of exciting things are happening at MMA Draft. We have a really big announcement coming soon, so stay tuned!”

In addition to providing great resources to amateur martial artists, the MMA Draft team actively generates publicity for their athletes through shows like ‘MMA Draft Spotlight with Trigg’, ‘The Great Debate’ Radio Show, Alchemist Radio, and many others. Registered MMA Draft athletes of all ages have the opportunity to earn their place in the spotlight. The more activity that they have on their MMA Draft profile, the more likely they are to get chosen.

Amateur martial artists of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to create a profile on www.MMADraft.com. The site is FREE to join and participating amateur athletes can upload photos and videos, document notable career achievements and more! The MMA Draft database also stores event results from Pankration, Submission Grappling, Wrestling and other sports that may lead to a career in martial arts.

About MMA Draft:
MMA Draft (www.MMADraft.com) was created for martial artists by martial artists to generate opportunities and exposure for combat sports athletes at the amateur level. It is the most comprehensive “Amateur” promotional platform of its kind and was formed by Urijah Faber and Phil Davis, accomplished MMA pros that know exactly what it takes to make it in the competitive world of mixed martial arts. MMADraft.com provides amateur fighters with a high-profile platform to showcase their skills, interactive forums to build a fan following, tips from industry pros and other valuable career resources. MMADraft.com is also a go-to source for managers, sponsors and promoters looking for talent. Additionally, MMADraft.com offers a variety of resources to parents, prospects, and fans of amateur combat sports. Resources include educational information, event info and more! MMA Draft executives are also working closely with key promotions, organizations and websites to become a central database for amateur events, seminars and results.

A look inside Brazilian Top Team – Texas

“I don’t want you to just train at Brazilian Top Team, I want you to be a part of Brazilian Top Team”

Over the next few months I will try and provide an overall picture of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts gyms in San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

I will start with Brazilian Top Team – Texas, located in San Antonio. Brazilian Top Team – Texas is owned and operated by Professor Marcello Salazar Bergo. Marcello is a Third Degree Black Belt under Murilo Bustamante, a Fifth Degree Black Belt under the renowned Carlson Gracie. Professor Bustamante is also one of the founders of Brazilian Top Team.

It was not hard to research Marcello due to his volumes of videos on the web and titles in wrestling, grappling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).  Sherdog  has Marcello listed as 8-1(6 victories by submission) as a professional MMA fighter.

I was able to sit down with Marcello after he finished teaching a BJJ class this past Tuesday night and here is what he had to stay;

Nomad: Please tell me about yourself?
Marcello: I was born in Rio de Janeiro on 27 March 1981. I am married to Larissa Gruenzner and have two children, Katarina Bergo and Olav Bergo.

Nomad: When did you first start training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Marcello: I started training BJJ and Judo at the age of eight, under Coach Juarez Soares, he only teaches kids classes. I stopped training for a few years then when I was fifteen I began training again…

Nomad: What was it like to training under the legendary Carlson Gracie?
Marcello: Carlson made the difference! We never knew what to expect when he would taught. I didn’t have the opportunity to train with him longer because he moved to USA. I remember him as a legend and the father of everything, he made the best fighters of the history and each one who trained with him still carrying part of his BJJ Style. Once Carlson moved to the United States and I began training under Murilo Bustamante and Mario Sperry. My BJJ philosophy still the same: You don’t just train at Brazilian Top Team – Texas… You are a part of Brazilian Top Team – Texas!

Nomad: Please tell me about your training under the Murilo Bustamante?
Marcello: Bustamante is a great leader to the team. He made history competing MMA and BJJ, his career was very successful. It is a honor to have him as my professor and friend.

Nomad: When did you receive your Black belt?
Marcello: I received by Black belt at the age of 24.

Nomad: How did you get the nick name “Barbarian”?
Marcello: They started call me the “Barbarian” because I always had the same song to fight: The Anvil of Crom.

Nomad: When did you come to the United States?
Marcello: About five years ago I signed with the extinct IFL to fight in USA. Also, I was invited to come to the United States to teach two UFC fighters, Mike Pierce and Rick Story. During that time I began exploring the idea to stay and open a new BTT school in California with my friend Marcelo Perdomo, however; ended up with the opportunity to own BTT – Texas and I took it, this was largely due to Bill Bradley.

Nomad: Tell me about your gym?
Marcello: BTT – Texas is a 9000 square foot training facility. We have 2,500 square foot of mat space, full MMA cage, weight training area, striking area, and lockers and showers. My wife, Larissa; is the manager, Nancy Martinez is our conditioning trainer, Richard Smith is our striking coach, Sam Hudson is our kids BJJ instructor and I am the head BJJ instructor. Also, I have few high rank students who help me with the classes.

Nomad: Do you have any black belts under you?
Marcello: Yes, I have two. Bill Bradley, owner of BTT – Portland and Christofer Easter who serves in the United States Armed Forces.

Nomad: What is your teaching philosophy?
Marcello: My philosophy is teach the BJJ Life Style, that means use the sport to increase the life quality. I have been sharing my experiences with my students, on the mat I learned more about myself and how interact as a human being.

On the mat I learned: how be tough, have discipline, care about my nutrition, work as a team and help teammates… Doing BJJ I have been making friends since I was a little kid: poor friends, rich, famous, anonymous… On the mat we are all equal and with different talents!
The loyalty is the key of our success, the result of one is the result of all because we all carry the same flag. I am proud to be part of this team and I can see that all the guys feel the same.

Nomad: Who is mostly responsible for your success in BJJ and MMA?
Marcello: For sure, it’s the people who I have around me since I started. My professor taught me BJJ not only to fight in IBJJF tournaments, because the Federation didn’t exist when I started, it was before the first world championship. We trained BJJ without rules as a self-defense, what made BJJ popular after defeat other styles of fight. That old school style is effective to fight, since I started I have been competing with success in: BJJ, Grappling, Wrestling, Sambo, and MMA. Our philosophy is always be open to innovate, adapt and create techniques. I get ready to fight by training with my students.

Nomad: You recently had two other Black Belts, Eduardo Ramos and Vinicius Gahyva, visiting your school, please tell us about them.
Marcello: They’re two great guys, Eduardo is a heavyweight who likes to play guard, Vinicius is a lightweight who likes to play on the top. I know them for more than 10 years and it is good to have the opportunity to bring them over here to train with the team.
I always have some black belts who come to visit our school, usually friends of mine from Rio de Janeiro. Also, I have two black belts under me in BTT-Texas and sometimes the guys from BTT-Plano come from Dallas to do cross-training.

Nomad: Do you plan on competing again?
Marcello: Oh yeah. I plan to never stop competing!
I like to feel the adrenaline of the challenged… The pain of the loss and the glory of the victory working together to make me a better fighter.

Nomad: What’s is on the horizon for BTT – Texas?
Marcello: We are in the process of opening a new BTT in Corpus Christi. The gym will be ran by my long time friend, Robert Moreira, a Fifth Degree BJJ Black Belt.

Nomad: How would you describe BTT – Texas?
Marcello: I don’t want BTT – Texas to just be a BJJ gym where we only open the doors for our classes. I want us to be more like a club, where the doors are always open and if you want to train then you just come. I want this gym to be much like the gym I was raised up in while in Brazil. A place to come and meet friends, grow as a person, learn Jiu Jitsu, share stories, and have fun.

Nomad: Do you have any last words for our readers?
Marcello: BTT – Texas wants to provide an environment where people of any background, experience and fitness level can learn and train in mixed martial arts, the core being Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi and Nogi, Wrestling, Muay Thai and Boxing.

BTT – Texas will have five Amateur MMA fighters on the Alamo Showdown 4 card this August 31, 2012. Christopher Frazier, Caleb Murphree, and Edward Rodriguez will be making their MMA debut. Parker Reid will be looking for his fourth win and Jewel Snell will be fighting for the ABG Featherweight Title.

Professor Marcello Salazar Bergo can be contacted at:
BTT – Texas
5345 Glen Ridge Drive
San Antonio, TX. 78229
Phone: 210-248-9255
Email: brazilian.topteam.texas@gmail.com