TexasFighting.com’s Nomad invited to “The Big Easy”

At a recent submission tournament held in San Antonio, Spida Garay, and I were speaking about my travels around the world and how great it would be to share my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) training experiences with all the TexasFighting.com readers. So here goes.

This week I’m in New Orleans “The Big Easy”, Louisiana and honored to be the guest of Professor Matthias Meister, Owner and Head Instructor of NOLABJJ, Brazilian Jiu JItsu of New Orleans. Professor Matthias was born and raised in Switzerland. In 1986, after serving his country in the Swiss Army he moved to the United States. Not long after arriving in the United States, Professor Matthias became interested in BJJ after watching Royce Gracie fight in the first UFC event. Professor Matthias had already studied Judo as a teen so BJJ was not a strange sport for him. Professor Matthias received his black belt in 2009 under Professor Raphael Ellwanger, promoted through Carlos Gracie Jr.

Upon first entering NOLABJJ I was taken aback by the personality of the gym. This is one of the nicer BJJ gyms I have trained at in the United States. I would describe NOLABJJ as a modern MMA gym meets a restored old brick warehouse. The BJJ training area, 1,300 sq. ft., is outfitted with clean, well kept, Zebra mats.

After class I was able to interview Professor Matthias. When asked about his training philosophy, Matthias provided that his teachings “are all about fundamentals.” Matthias continued, “I try to stay on top of new moves as much as I can, but I realized a long time ago that without a solid understanding of the fundamental moves it is impossible to execute any advanced or complex moves.” Professor Matthias concluded with “This sport is a passion for me and I want to pass this on; it makes me happy when I see a student get hooked in BJJ since I know the huge benefits it holds for your mental and physical we being.”

While training at NOLABJJ I meet Victor Garza, a blue belt. Victor is originally from La Joya, Texas and began his BJJ training in Temecula, California under Professor Ricardo Guimaraes and Master Royler Gracie, while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Victor told me that he has been training under Professor Matthias “for a little over a year and a half” and “NOLABJJ is by far the best school in New Orleans and offers several different styles of martial arts to its students.” Victor ended with, “We are blessed to have three black belts guiding us along the journey.”

From the moment I walked into the NOLABJJ I was impressed! NOLABJJ students were very welcoming and Professor Matthias made me feel at home. The gym was very clean, well kept, and well lit. I enjoyed training at NOLABJJ and being mentored by two black belts and a brown belt on the mat. I also enjoyed watching Professors Marco and Matthias roll with each other, it was very insightful. NOLABJJ was founded in 2000 and was the first BJJ school to become established in the Greater New Orleans area. NOLABJJ is a solid center for BJJ, with about 100 students enrolled, in the South and boasts three black belts; Professors Marco Macera, Edward Lirette, and Matthias Meister, for instructors. NOLABJJ also offers yoga, kickboxing, wrestling, and Sambo. The only down fall would be lack of parking.

The next time you travel to New Orleans please stop by and train with NOLABBJJ. NOLABJJ is located at 4521 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA., for more details please visit their web site at nolabjj.

“A family that fights together stays together!” Lisa Marie Lamb Interview


Interview with Lisa Marie Lamb out of  Forth Worth ,Texas. She will be in the Co-Main Event for Premiere Fight Series 1, taking place in Forth Worth,Texas on July 28…Making her transition from Boxing into Mixed Martial Arts..We talk training,family and more….Enjoy!

sPidA : First off, what Academy do you train out of and (with all due respect) do you cross train at any other gyms?

 Lisa Marie : Phalanx MMA Academy cross train at Genesis.  Spoke with Allen Mohler and my brother Johnny Lozano, and they reached out wanting to help so I will be headed to Mohler’s to get some training soon
sPidA : What was the first thing that attracted you to combat sports?
Lisa Marie: The discipline and courage, I think everyone fights for different reasons but it’s the passion that people put in it. I’ve always wanted to fight as a little girl but never did until my adult years, which is okay had too many things going on that would have distracted me.
sPidA : You work with another Media outlet (Combat Sports TV) Being in the game, How has working Cage Side helped you apprecaite the sport of Mixed Martial Arts?
Lisa Marie: You get to see the intensity in the fighters eyes, you see their drive, and you can also see when someone is discouraged.  You feel their presence, working for CSTV I have to pay attention to every move and I can’t be bias. Also, you can hear every punch, leg kick, from ring side makes me respect the sport very much and I keep telling myself “why am I doing this again” lol
sPidA : This will be your MMA debut, having that boxing background, have you specifically trained for a stand up war or are you ready for wherever this goes??
Lisa Marie: Everyone knows I’m a boxer but I started out kickboxing before I boxed.  So being a striker I already know that I will be taken down so I have prepared myself that’s all I have been working on is my ground game, but if they want to stand……..so be it 😉
sPidA: With guys like Durwyn (husband),Randy Villareal,Vick and many others, how much more prepared do you feel sparring with these beast coming into this bout?
 Lisa Marie: I have several sparring partners that spar with once a week.  On Monday’s I have MMA sparing with Jason/Randy villareal, Tuesday’s boxing sparring with pro boxer Kisha and on Wednesday I grapple with the tough undefeated amateur MMA fighter Sabrina Garcia coming out of TFS she has a wresting back ground.  They all reached out to me wanting to help and they all have given me great advice, constantly drilling different techniques.  I always tell each of them do not give me any false security when sparring because it’s easy to work but let me work for everything so I know that I am progressing, but yes each time I spar I gain some confidence for this fight.  Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly I have learned, but I have been around it all my life. Getting one on one training has really helped instead of taking a class makes  a huge difference and that is why I am moving a lot faster. So big shout out to all of my trainers/sparring partners.
sPidA : How have your friends/family re-acted to you taking this step to fight in Mixed Martial Arts?

Lisa Marie: They think I am crazy,they say enough is enough already boxing is one thing but MMA?? I just laugh because I will never take an MMA fight if I wasn’t prepared, but only a few know my love, passion and dedication for the sport.  I train 6 days a week sometimes twice a day. Losing isn’t an option it never is, but this is the first time I have had 3 months to prepare for a fight and stamina and having a heart of a warrior will not be the reason I lose only because my opponent was better….
sPidA : With your whole family (husband and son) being active in competition, what do you guys do as a family to just relax and not think about fighting?
Lisa Marie:  lol honestly there isn’t a moment that we are not talking, watching sports in the house although we may go to the movies, hang out with family, out to eat or whatever it never fails the conversation finds its way to talk about fighting.  I said this 6 years ago when I was interviewed by north texas boxing  everybody knows that saying a “family that prays together stays together, (very true) but I also say “a family that fights together stays together” only because the time that fighters/trainers have to put into the sport its time away from home but not with us we are always together so it works out although being around each other 24/7 we can get on each other’s nerves J
sPidA: With the nickname in Boxing as “Lady Bulldog” are you bringing that same mental/physical toughnes into your Mixed Martial Arts career?

Lisa Marie: We talked about it and Durwyn takes pride in giving everyone nicknames according to their fight style and when he watches me spar he still sees that aggressive side of me so we are keeping  it J
sPidA : Everybody saw the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight, after the bout,where you as surprised as the rest of the Nation to see Bradley win or did you call it the same?
Lisa Marie: You know after watching it the second time it was a lot closer than I thought.  If you take away from being a Pacquiao fan and just be a fan of the sport than you can see that Bradley won more rounds, but I think Pacquiao still won and I’m not a huge Pacquiao fan…..but I guess now Pacquiao knows how Marquez feels 😉
sPidA : Are you planning on staying active in both sports *(Boxing/MMA) which can you say is hardest to train for?
Lisa Marie : Yes boxing will always be my first love and I have grown to love MMA.  Actually,  I was supposed to fight June 30th in Atlanta but the fight didn’t go through, then I was supposed to re-match a girl I fought in the beginning of my career on June 29th in Florida, but I wasn’t able to get off from work.  So yes I will be active in both sports.  I think MMA is harder to train for because you get injured and bruised faster than boxing  and there are so many things to learn standing and on the ground.  Boxing you only worry about hands in MMA it’s everything!!!! But I respect both sport equally. Anyone who steps into the ring/cage gains my respect automatically
sPidA : Thank you Lisa,Great interview! we will see you come Premiere Fight Series in Forth Worth,Texas,any last comments to add to this?

Lisa Marie : Yes I would like to thank everyone who has supported me from boxing and now MMA.  My trainers and my sparring partners without  them I would not be able to do this.  I also would like to thank Rafeal Casias and Premier fight Promotions for adding a female bout and making it the Co-Main Event.  I’m excited and I am ready to put on a great fight for all the fans!!! Last my family most importantly,  Durwyn and Eric without them I couldn’t’ be doing this AT ALL  I love you guys and thank you for putting countless hours of training even though it doesn’t seem like I appreciate it, your are the only one who has so much faith in me,  and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who makes all of this possible on his time…. Thank you, I am very honored and humbled. Hope to see everyone July 28th with my hand raised!
PREMIERE FIGHT SERIES 1 / June 28, Forth Worth,Texas

“He will have a hard time trying to break THE LAW” Luis Vega interview by: sPidA Garay

A few words with one of the top 2 in both 145/155lb  fighter (not in contract with the UFC) weight division in my book! Talked a bit about everything with a few surprise comments. For more info check out the Premiere Fight Series @ “Premierfights.net ” on July 28th at the Forth Worth Convention Center, Out of Brownsville,Texas. No holding back..here comes THE LAW!

sPidA: You have a tough if not the toughest fight you’ve had to date against Chas Kelly,  How well do you think you stack up against his style?

Vega: I think that stylelistic, this is a great match up for me. For sure, Chas will be the most credited fighter I have faced. We both have very similar styles, except my stand up comes mostly from Muay Thai and my ground from jiu jitsu but I have experiences in Boxing, judo and wrestling. I know he is a good wrestler and has been improving with his hands. I feel this will be a battle of who is the best athelete  at 145, besides Daniel Pineda, I think I rack up next to the next toughest match for Chas. I’m mexican man, he will have a hard time trying to Break THE LAW in the cage. I won’t quit and I keep coming foward. I’m coming down from 155, but Chas is a big boy at 145. Im very excited to perform my best. I hope we keep it standing for the hometown people, but i doubt Chas will keep it there. Lets see who dives to the ground first. I know it wont be me!!

sPidA: You’ve won by both submissions and strikes, would you consider yourself well rounded or do you still rely more on one style than the other?

Vega: I’ll tell you this much, I was known for a while as the submission guy. People wanted to keep it standing because they felt they had and advantage over me there but I have been clearly outstriking opponents and submitting them with ease. Me and Chas have that very similar, we catch people quickly once it hits the ground. I have subbed opponents off my back and on top. I have also knocked out and battered opponents on my feet. So I can say I’m pretty complete, there is no position I’m not familiar with. I’m confident in my abilities and skills. Once again, I hope i can display more of my striking in my next bout, but i doubt it will stay there.. (wink, wink Chas)

sPidA: Along with hundreds of others, you to attneded the UFC TUFF try outs but did not make the cut, if another one were to come up, would you try out again?

Vega: Of course I would,  its my goal to fight in the UFC and I’m willing to take the hard road to get there. I’ll try out in the 145 division if it where to come up. We gotta keep on trying until we get there.

sPidA: What was your best memory from the TUFF try outs, you run into a lot of familiar faces?

Vega: Memories, Ahh, the long lines, the waking up in the morning and the waiting. You see, THE LAW doesn’t know the morning much. My day starts at noon.( LoL ). Literally it does, Me and my boy Danny Salinas ran into Hector “H-Train” Munoz.  Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez, James Vick and some former tuf vets trying out again. That was funny but they did. I dont remember their name though.

sPidA: South Texas has been booming as of late with promotions like STFC , UWF and new one Xtreme Combat promotion coming up in August, what are your thoughts on this?

Vega: My thoughts, hum let me see. A cage, an opponent and a paycheck. I’ll fight wherever and with whoever shows me the money. Big show, small show, main event, first fight of the night, I don’t really care. I hate drama behind the scenes and I don’t like shit talking promoter that greet you and talk shit on your back by telling your opponent  to beat you up. I’m talking about Oscar Enriques/UWF Promoter. Big time hipocrit.. and coward! Thats what i think about mma promotions!!

sPidA: With an 8 fight win streak, do you pick your opponents or are you fighting any and all that come knocking?

Vega: Bro, I dont hand pick em.. My last opponent said the same, Oscar Enriques said the same on that BELLATOR fight, and I still managed to win in a impressive fashion just like the prior fights. I was once thought to be a stepping stone, but i think things change quick when you start to really hurt your opponents. I learned that the more pain you give them, they wont want to fight you again. sure, I can sub them, but lets make them not come back for more. Two of those wins i went up to 170 to fight the same guy. Bigger guy, from my home town. i wanted to shut up his coach and I did. Twice.( No one gives me credit for going up in weight to my unatural weight class.)Thats why I am called the LAW!! I Enforce the law if you get out of place. (lots of sarcasm my friends, so please smile)

sPidA: When getting ready to hit the gym, what helps motivate you, music,movie etc?

Vega: I am a self motivated individual, but what i motivate to is the fact that I dont like to loose. I have tasted defeat and its not for me ,beside that I like to motivate myself by visualizing myself in victory. Remembering what i was before dedicating myself to MMA and telling myself I need to work harder to get where i want to be

sPidA: For anyone that has not seen you fight, how would you describe your style of fighting?

Vega: Well, you can say I just bring it. I like to make it as entertaining as i can but over all I like to perform my best. I prefer to strike, because fans love a good old scrrapp!!

sPidA: With MMA going mainstream, do you see yourself more off an athlete than a fighter or vice versa?

Vega: Im a fighter first, athelete second. I am a technician, I believe in efficiency over explosiveness and power. I capitalize of my opponents mistakes but never force anything. My heart and determination is what keeps me going when im down.

sPidA: Thank you for your time bro and best on your next bout! Anything else you would like to add for your freidns and fans?

Vega: Yes, first and foremost I wanna thank God, my family, my Wife and every single person who has supported me through my career. My coach Luis Benavides, my teamates from Team Pound. Tyler Bosard, Gracie Barra RGV for allowing me to be part of the team and for opening his door to me when my former team threw me out for speaking up about politics in BJJ. (cough, cough William Vandry). my Muay Thai coach Kru Kayan, my first BJJ coach Manny Galvan, my karate instructor Pete Ramirez(yes im learning karate too), My judo coach Josh alegria and my new wrestling coach Danny Guerrero. My kids, without them I would have no motivation to fight.(got 4 + 1 on the way) I just want to make em proud. Special shout out to all My PEOPLE from Brownsville Texas, the city on the border by the sea. Want to make everyone proud of my ongoing success. Thank you also sPidA for your time, its pretty cool that you guys ( Media) are reaching out to me to hear the LAW speak!!


” I think I needed that loss to push me….” Jonathan Lopez interview. By: sPidA Garay

Jonathan Lopez preparing to make his Pro Mixed Martial Arts on June 30th in Twenty Four Seven  Entertainment in Odessa,Texas. One of many great fighters set to make a dent in the local Texas scene and beyond. Great young talent here, support our sport!

sPidA : What can you tell us about your Team  and location,who are your coaches?

Lopez : Academy of Mixed Martial Arts (AMMA) in Plainview, TX and our coach is Leonel Vasquez

sPidA :  You’ll be  making your Pro Mixed Martial Arts debut on June 3oth, what helped you make the decision to finally go pro?

Lopez : There isnt many 125rs in the area but i think i have fought the best guys in the area.  I’m coming off a loss to Jeremiah Cullum a great ground guy but i think i needed that loss to push me to that next level. I  learned a lot from that fight.

sPidA: You’ve held 3 titles as an amateur, did strapping a belt around your waist make you confident or did you still stay humble as a fighter?

Lopez: I’ve held three titles as an amateur for some great organizations SPAMMA, Mayhem Inc, and ECC and winning those gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities but I’ve always stayed humble

sPidA: On your 4th ammy fight,you had only trained for under a year, had you competed or trained in any other combat sports before finding Mixed Martial Arts?

Lopez: Never, I’ve never even had a street fight i just started to stay in shape for basketball but then just fell in love with Mixed Martial Arts.

sPidA:  At 125lbs, not many other weight classes to go to other than 135, are you planning on staying at 125lb weight division?

Lopez: I am a bigger 125er ,so its an advantage for me and I’ve had success so while my body allows it i will continue at this weight but i am only 21 so as my body grows i think eventually i will go up in weight.
sPidA: I ‘ve seen some of your fights on youtube, everybody trains in all aspects of MIxed Martial Arts, do you have a preference (ground or stand up)?

Lopez:; I love the ground game. I’m able to use my size and leverage to my advantage but my stand up has come a long way at 125 you see a lot of unpredictable and fast things and im ready go where ever the fight takes it.

sPidA:  For those reading this, why should they attend the Twenty Four Seven Entertainment event  on June 30th? What do they have to look foward too?

Lopez: There’s a lot of top regional talent on this card and they can look forward to a great night of Mixed Martial Arts Action!

sPidA: If you were a lucha libre wrestler,what would your name be and why?
Lopez: Silencio,  haha just because I am a very quiet and simple guy.

sPidA : Other than grappling and striking,what else do you add to your training workouts ( plyometrics,circuit drills etc)?

Lopez : A  lot of circuits and a lot of drillling submissions stand up and bad situations and cardio.

sPidA : Thank you bro,wish you the best come June 30th, anyone you would like to thank(team.sponsors etc)?

Lopez: I just want to thank everyone at AMMA and sparring partners from other gyms that have helped me and just everyone from Plainview, Tx that has showed me love throughout this journey.