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.

“I Can Stand with Almost Anyone Inside the Cage” – Q&A with Alex Zaya

ARMY veteran and TAEKWONDO Specialist Alex Zaya will be stepping inside the Cage for the 2nd time this year. This will be for Premiere Combat Groups Amateur Mixed Martial Arts event at Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio, TX on April 6th. Here’s a few words with the man.
Alex Zaya

sPidA: Since making your amateur MMA debut in Austin, TX for CAGE WAR earlier this year, how has your training changed if any?

Zaya: Well I took the fight on short notice and just came off of an injury. Only trained for a month. I’ve been mostly a boxer and worked on my stand up but I’ve been training a lot on my ground game with BTT/Texas. I’ve done a lot of strength & conditioning. I am in better shape than my last fight.

sPidA: Will fighting in your hometown add any pressure since friends and family will be in attendance?

Zaya: Yes, fighting in front of family and friends scares the heck out of me. I know I can stand with almost anyone inside the cage. I plan on stopping his ground attack and take him-out standing.

sPidA: This will be your 2nd fight in 2013…you looking to stay busy this year?

Zaya: I honestly don’t know because my children are getting older and they need me more and more. If I can find a balance I will continue to fight. I know my opponents will only get harder with each fight. My skills are decent but will get better as well.

sPidA: Your first fight was a stand up war, are you looking to test your ground game or pretty much taking it where it goes?

Zaya: My ground game is designed to get off the ground and to not get submitted or ground and pounded out but if I have an opportunity I’ll go for a submission.

sPidA: Who’s helping you with your training for this fight? Will they also be coaching you the night of the fight?

Zaya: Well of course Santo Randazzo will be in my corner and my other coach is with BTT and has 3 other fighters competing on the same card, so its just Randazzo but I am used it just being us.

sPidA: Any one you would like to thank before we wrap this up?

Zaya: I would like to thank GOD for my ability, health and children. My Coach Santo Randazzo for always having my back. Thank you Arlene Alveraz for pushing me. Thanks Sergio and Richard from BTT for beating me up in BJJ. My friends and family for supporting me.

Training Philosophy: Physical vs Technical

Russian Sambo courtesy of SystemaSpetsnaz.com
[Russian Sambo image courtesy of SystemaSpetsnaz.com]
If you read my first article, “Strength and Conditioning in Competitive Martial Arts” then this next installment should help to elucidate those concepts even further. If you did not read that article, I hope that this one can stand on its own. Rather than outline specific exercises or routines, I want to continue to lay the conceptual groundwork for a solid training philosophy.

One of the ideas that I encounter in martial arts frequently, specifically among practitioners in the US, is the idea that strength training is somehow anathema to fighting, or even counterproductive. Hardly a BJJ class goes by without someone complaining that their partner “just used his strength”, and has “no technique”. To a certain extent, I am sure that this is an extension of Helio Gracie’s idea that strength is not the only component of combat, and that strength can be overcome by superior technique. Everyone can agree on that. It is incorrect, however, to take this to its extreme and make the claim that strength does not matter. This is something that you are much, much less likely to hear in a top collegiate wrestling program, or at a sports club in Russia, and that is because it is an empirically proven fact that stronger athletes perform better. If your opponent is stronger than you, your appropriate response to the problem should be developing your own strength. If they are larger than you, then you should consider bulking up or cutting down. It really is that cut-and-dry.

Every time I begin to work with a new athlete, especially fighters, I find myself burdened with the task of convincing them that strength and conditioning work is of equal importance to skills. Udo Quellmalz, one of the best competitive judoka of all time, was a product of the Soviet model, as he competed for East Germany before the Wall fell. He continued to train, of course, after the USSR dissolved, and was quoted as saying that “the East German approach was much more professional than that of the West. The volume and intensity of training was so much higher” . He also described his preparation for the 1995 World Championships as a single “ten-day conditioning camp in the Austrian alps. We hardly did any judo, it was just endurance and strength training”.

The government-subsidized coaches and scientists that oversaw his training recorded the empirical data of these sessions in great detail, including lactate levels, VO2 max, recovery time, etc. The modalities that worked were kept and developed, while the others were scrapped. One of the bits of data that piqued my interest the most, however, was the simple recording of hours spent training. Quellmalz spent 20+ hours a week training, as opposed to the average 10 hours spent by elite Western athletes. The volume of training is impressive, sure, but the detail that I am focusing on here is that there is not a distinction made between the hours spent on physical preparation, and those spent on skills work. It was one and the same.

I challenge you, the readers, to record how much time you spend on physical preparation vs skills work over the next week. Then, add the two numbers together. This should give you a real, tangible representation of how much time you are spending on becoming better at your respective disciplines. We will pick up again next week with training specificity under the Soviet model, as an extension of the ideas expressed in this article.

References:
1. Mark Law, Falling Hard: A Journey into the World of Judo (Boston: Trumpeter Books, 2007), 173.
2. Mark Law, Falling Hard: A Journey into the World of Judo (Boston: Trumpeter Books, 2007), 174.

“I want to look into their soul and break them…” Cody “WOLVERINE” Williams

Interview with Mixed Martial Artist Cody “WOLVERINE” Williams , he will be traveling to Louisiana/Delta Downs on July 7th. Fighting out of Beaumont,Texas, The Main Event and a great opt for him to bring back the IXFA Title…Let’s keep Texas Fighting!!

sPidA: You came out with a BANG from ammy to Pro, was there alot of pressure making the transition?

Cody: No pressure at all it was just time and after getting the nod from American Top Team HQ that i was ready it was just finding a fight after that.

sPidA: You’ve had 5 bouts as a PRO fighter, other then getting paid to punch people, what has been the best thing about finally going Pro?

Cody: Bigger stages to perform on – businesses tend to take you more serious when you sit down and talk with them and you’re a professional fighter – unfortunately theres no governing body to filter talent and someone who just applies for their pro card

sPidA: Your last bout was an unfortunate loss, how where you able to stay focus and prepare for a title shot /IXFA?

Cody: A hiccup – both losses have just been fractional errors on my part – Benoit said he was going to bring a fight to me so when I backed up to let him up he hit me with a savvy little trip move and took the back – kudos to him for the win – but if you watch the fight I think we know who was bringing the heat.

sPidA: Will fighting for IXFA in the Delta Downs be the first time fighting outside the State of Texas?

Cody: I have fought in Louisiana a couple of times as an amateur but this will be the first trip as a professional

sPidA: Your waiting backstage and they finally call your name to walk out, what goes through your mind and what helps you stay focused?

Cody: I just look down at the cage as a playground and try to make as much eye contact with my opponent as possible – i want to look in their soul and break them before the first bell ever rings – i just tell myself this guy signed a contract will full intent to beat me up and take my money, my sons money and food – that will drive any person.

sPidA: I’ve personally followed your social media outlets, (FB/TWITTER etc) How important is it for a fighter to manage there status and how has this been helping you in your fighting career?

Cody: Its worked for me – I haven’t put on a show or a gimmick I mean I post what going on with me and give the fans and sponsors an inside view of what goes on with me – also has helped me build a fan base that i might not have been able to do by just fighting.

sPidA: With so many MMA movies out there, which has been your fave so far and if given the opt, would you star in one?

Cody: I liked Warrior – the story about the teacher was cool and grabbed the audience – I saw a lot of what i fight for in his character and working for the law firm at that time had a lot of the same feelings – showing up to work with bruises and black eyes having to go in front of other professionals was kinda awkward but I made it out like, “yeah this is a real black eye and busted lip” as far as the plot it was okay but i really favored that particular character – The Mickey Ward story was really good too! I think it was The Fighter? Hands down though i have to go with the messy bare knuckled boxer in “Snatch”!! I think my story would make a great movie – and would love to star in one – I think I could be a pretty good actor in a movie even if it wasn’t my story necessarily

sPidA: Your work outs are insane and your always pushing yourself to the limit, what keeps you motivated to pursue your dreams?

Cody: Goes to my son – I mean I’ve made the transition to train full time now and its hard not knowing where that next paycheck will come from – I started my own business and have been working on getting it off the ground – everyday is a blessing there are people out there that have children that cant walk or be active in anyway, kids that would do anything just to see what it feels like to run down the street or catch a baseball, “God gives us these talents and if you sit idle on them he may just take them away” I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in a position where i couldnt workout or train so when im tired or feel like I cant make that last round I just think about how blessed I am and suck it up and push through it

sPidA: Not to over look your next opponent but after the Title win,what’s next on your Mixed Martial Arts agenda?

Cody: keep training keep fighting – I’ll be going back to American Top Team in Florida after this fight to do some more training and hopefully getting ready to take another fight – Legacy, IXFA, Fight Time in Florida and BAMMA USA in Cali have all shown interest but currently I have 2 more fights on my contract with Legacy so they have first pick.

sPidA: Thank you brother, best to you in your travels and keeping Texas Fighting, any last shouts to your friends,fans and sponsors?

Cody: I want to thank my family and support system that has made it possible for me to train full time – my friends for believing in me even when I don’t come out of the cage with a win they are always there to pick me up – to GOD for blessing me and keeping me motivated through my son – all my sponsors especially Sign Builders of America in Austin , Major League Grill, Trey Lacy DDS, Spidle Oil, West LTD, APAC Construction all located here in South East Texas, 88MilesWest.com and ZeroCutCreative.com and the newest addition to my team World Gym here in Beaumont – they are doing some great things for the Wounded Warrior Foundation and im stoked to be a part of that! Certainly American Top Team and The Mostyn Law Firm for all that they have done. My boy SUBTRAXZ (Chris Sublett) and Headz Will Roll Recordz for all the custom sounds that i get to workout too and walkout to! And to Cruz Combat for the custom fight shorts i love them cant wait to walk down to the cage July 7th!!! TexasFighting.com!!!!