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

UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture to make Appearances at Xtreme KO 15

Who: On JUNE 2ND 2012, Back Alley Promotions in association with Corona bring to you Xtreme Knockout 15 (XKO – Professional MMA Fights) and the top Pro MMA fighters in Texas. XKO will be filming in HD for their Xtreme Knockout television show. Back Alley Promotions has produced over 1,000 “live” events including a reality show featured on the Discovery Channel. THE GYM Combative Sports Training Facility (and location of XKO 15) is also the home of “TEAM TAKEDOWN” the Next Generation of Fighters including Johny Hendricks, Jake and Jared Rosholt, Chris Feist, Chas Skelly and Shane Roller!

What: Xtreme Knockout, Back Alley Promotions in association with Corona bring Pro Mixed Martial Arts fights to Arlington!

Pre-Fight Party from 6-8pm. Belltime 8pm.Pre-Fight party includes: Special appearance by UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture, Team Takedown members and current UFC fighter Johny Hendricks! MMA & Sports Vendors including METROFLEX SPORTS, HOOTERS RING GIRLS, THE GIRLS ROOM, BORN 2 BANG CLOTHING, REDEMPTION CLOTHING, THE MARINES, THE ARMY, VIP CUSTOM MOUTH GUARDS, ULTRAVIOLENT FIGHT GEAR, WEIRDOZ CLOTHING, AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE COMPANY, LONGHORN HARLEY, BLU ENERGY, GIRLS FROM THE CLUBHOUSE, THE IMPROV COMEDY CLUB AND MORE! 10 professional cage fights, meet and greet with fighters, celebrity guest appearances, Bikini contest, live music and DJ! Television Taping for the TV show “Xtreme Knockout”.

When: Xtreme Knockout 15 – Saturday JUNE 2ND 2012 Pre-Fight Party at 6pm, Fights Start at 8pm. Meet and Greet UFC Legend Randy “The Natural” Couture and current top UFC Welterweight Johny Hendricks and Team Takedown members! Official XKO Weigh – ins Friday June 1st at 3 pm at The Improv Comedy Club in The Arlington Highlands 309 Cutis Mathes Way Suite 147 817-635-5555 will host the Official XKO 15 Weigh-ins with The State of Texas – ALL MEDIA WELCOME, family, friends and guests welcome! Come out and support the TOP fighters in Texas and watch as the fighter’s face of for the first time before they step into the cage! (FREE- OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – FREE)

Where: XKO 15 will take place at THE GYM COMBATIVE SPORTS ARENA 921 W. Mayfield Rd. Suite #112 Arlington, TX 76015

**Official After Party: Meet and Greet the fighters after the event, enjoy great food and drink specials and hang out with MMA Fans at Little O’s 4650 Little Rd Arlington TX 76017 817-561-0000
Tickets are available for purchase at THE GYM, Rustys Billiards and HYPERLINK “http://www.xtremeknockout.com” www.xtremeknockout.com – $30 for advanced general admission and $35 when purchased at the door. Ringside Reserved starts at $75, VIP tables start at $600 (limited tables) Purchase Ringside seats and get a private “meet and greet” with Couture and Hendricks on Friday June 1st! Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.thegym.org” www.thegym.org for more information. CORONA, MMA Merchandise and Concessions are available for purchase at the event!

XKO 15 OFFICIAL FIGHT CARD (Card Subject to Change)
205lbs UFC VETERAN JAKE ROSHOLT (12-3) Team Takedown fighter vs MATTHEW THOMPSON 6’5 (16-9) This is a highly anticipated matchup between Jake Rosholt a 3X Div. 1 Champion at OSU and 4 time All American with victories over some of the top fighters in MMA including UFC standout Chris Leben. He faces XKO newcomer and MMA standout the 6’5 Matthew Thompson. Thompson has faced some tough opponents including UFC Veteran Ben Rothwell and MMA standout Justin Wren. Both fighters are at the top of their game, this promises to bring fireworks!

185lbs CHRIS FEIST (3-0) Team Takedown Fighter vs JOSH STRAHAN (2-1) Chris Feist makes his return to the XKO cage with a perfect record and 2 of his victories in XKO. As Feist looks to become one of the top 170lbs fighters in XKO he must first face XKO newcomer Josh Strahan. Strahan’s two victories came with dominating ground and pound and finishing in TKO’s. Strahan’s training partner is undefeated fighter Jay Jay Sanchez who just KO’d his opponent at XKO 14 in less than a minute. With Feist’s wrestling background and Strahan’s striking and power this should be a very exciting match-up.

170lbs ROY SPOON (7-4) vs HAYWARD “The Hybrid” CHARLES (4-4 Metroflex MMA and Genesis) It’s hard to describe the excitement for this fight! Both Roy Spoon and Hayward Charles are some of the most well known fighters in the area with a reputation for dominating fights! Roy Spoon has never backed down from a fight in XKO and is considered to be one of the strongest fighters in the division. He steps into the cage against one of the top fighters in XKO – Hayward “The Hybrid” Charles! Hayward is coming off an impressive fight with Brad Cox and looks to get “Fight of the Night” honors. Known for his Jiu-Jitsu Hayward is arguably the best Jiu-Jitsu specialist in the company! A great match-up that will bring fireworks! “I don’t care who you put in front of me, I’ll fight them because I want to be at the top” – Hayward Charles

145lbs CHAS SKELLY (7-0) Team Takedown Fighter vs DJ FUENTES (9-7) Chas Skelly made his professional debut at XKO with an impressive submission win. Since then he has fought 6 more times which includes a win in Bellator most all victories by submission. This is Skelly’s first fight back in over a year and looks to move to 8-0. He will be taking on one of the top 145lb fighters from South Texas. DJ Fuentes is an impressive fighter both with his striking and takedown defense. Fuentes is the South Texas Fighting Champion at 145lbs and looks to make a statement at his first appearance in XKO! You can expect this fight to be an exciting match-up and could be fight of the night!

195lbs JACOB BRANNAN (2-0 ) vs JOSH FOSTER (5-3) Jacob Brannan made his pro-debut at XKO making an impact in the company and among other fighters. A Ft. Worth Police officer and Black Belt Brannan has a promising future in MMA. Jacob Brannan is a skilled striker looking to KO his opponent. His opponent is no stranger to MMA-Josh Foster! Josh is coming off a huge main event victory over the talented JJ Holmes. Foster is well known for his striking and never being knocked out or down in a fight. Both fighters have never lost in the square cage and on June 2nd one of these 2 top performers will have take their first loss in XKO, my guess is probably by Knockout. Look for a “Knockout of the Night” award winner in this match-up!

185lbs ZACK BOARD (0-1) vs DUSTIN ADAMS (0-1) American Revolution Corpus Christi. This will be a fast paced fight for the fight fan and a good matchup that will not disappoint. Zack Board is making his return to the cage after almost a two year layoff from the sport. Zack’s pro-debut was a fight to remember as he battled a dominating wrestler who had no quit in him. Zack is looking to stand and strike with someone so XKO matched him with XKO 12’s “Fight of the Night” recipient Dustin Adams. With training partners like top XKO fighter Chris Pecero, Dustin is comfortable keeping this fight on his feet! Both fighters were happy with this fight and will promise to put on a great show! Look for another “Fight of the Night” nominee!

155lbs ARMANDO “THE LATIN ASSASSIN” SERVIN (0-1) vs KEITH MINOR (4-3) There is so much we can say about the talent of these two fighters. Armando Servin became a key fighter in the 155lb division when he took Donnie Bell all the way to a decision in his pro debut. Armando is an exciting fighter that is strong and will go along way in the sport. He will face another fighter making his 2nd appearance in XKO – Keith Minor! Keith also fought Donnie at his first appearance in XKO losing by KO in the first round. Keith has overcome many things in his life including a tragic accident taking away his right hand. Both Keith and Armando didn’t hesitate when signing the contract for this fight. “I’m ready to do my part and put on an exciting fight and show” – Armando Servin

135lbs SIDNEY CAWDREY(Pro-debut Texas Fighting Syndicate) vs KLAYTON MAI (2-0 pro Octagon MMA) Training out of Texas Fighting Syndicate Sidney Cawdrey has the training partners and coaches to step up to anyone In the cage. After having 4 amateur fights Cawdrey is ready to make his pro-debut. He will be facing Octagon MMA’s Klayton Mai. Klayton’s first fight in XKO he took down highly skilled Casey Hudson by submitting him in the 3rd round! Klayton trains out of Octagon MMA who’s fight team is no stranger to XKO, competing in almost every event!

Evolution Combat Sports Championship ‘Evolution 2’ [Official Fight Card]

evolution combat sports 2

‘EVOLUTION 2 OFFICIAL FIGHT CARD

PROFESSIONAL CARD:

Paco Castillo vs. Angel Castillo

Gilbert Cuhen vs. Adrian Cruz

Brad Nordquist vs. Eric Kucevic

Daniel Pinheiro  (Texas) vs. Filiberto Martinez

AMATEUR CARD:

Jeremiah Cullum vs. Jonathan Lopez

Roy Saucedo vs. Tanner Varela

Marc Hightower vs. John Sparks

Pedro Carbo vs. Oscar Navrette

Peter Bouton vs. Mike Escobar

Eric Bailon vs. Harvey Suarez

Matt Gonzales vs. Anthony Rozema

Justin Dudley vs. Christian Reyes

Andres Ramirez vs. Jorrel Sparenberg

PRESS RELEASE: Brother vs. Brother at ‘Evolution 2’

Over the years MMA has seen its fair share of conflict between brothers, such as the highly publicized feud between MMA legends (and adopted siblings) Ken and Frank Shamrock. The toxic family feuds, fueled by years of sibling rivalry, would undoubtedly produce memorable battles in cage, yet a true brother vs. brother MMA bout has yet to come to fruition, that is, until now. New Mexico based Evolution Combat Sports Championship will soon make their mark, by becoming the first fight promotion to officially deliver a bonafide brother vs. brother bout in the professional MMA arena.

On Saturday, December 10, 2011 Jeremiah Paco ‘The Punisher’ Castillo and his brother Angel Castillo are slated to headline ‘Evolution 2.’ The event marks the highly anticipated return of‘Evolution’, the show that launched the now popular regional MMA promotion. The event will take place at the Curry County Event Center in Clovis, New Mexico. The promotion is thrilled to mark the return of ‘Evolution’ by featuring the first ever brother vs. brother headliner.

According to Martin Singleterry, founder of Evolution Combat Sports Championship, “We are thrilled to bring back our high profile ‘Evolution’ shows.  The Saturday night shows are a perfect addition to our ‘Friday Night Fight’ series. We have a stellar event planned for December. Fans are in for a real treat! Not only is the card stacked with New Mexico’s top contenders, fans will get to witness the first ever brother vs. brother pro MMA battle!”

Singleterry went on to say, “Although the Castillo brothers may not be house hold names on a national level, they are well-known and respected within the regional fight scene …and when it comes to their high octane personal vendetta …well, heh… it’s no secret. I thought, what better way for these two warriors to settle the score than in their element, in the cage, in front of their fans. I approached the Castillo brothers about the match-up and the rest is history.”

On December 10, the Castillo brothers will go head-to-head in a 130-pound catch weight bout, which according to many, has fight-of-the-night implications. In addition to the highly anticipated brother vs. brother headliner, ‘Evolution 2’ will also feature a co-main event bout between two of New Mexico’s best female fighters.  Knockout artist Heather “Hurricane” Clark drops down to the 115lb division to take #10 ranked Chelsea “Italian Princess” Colarelli, in a fight that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The full fight card will be announced soon. Fight fans will not want to miss this event!

‘Evolution 2’ will take place on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at the Curry County Events Center in Clovis, New Mexico. Doors open at 5:00pm CT. Fights start at 6:00pm CT. Tickets are on sale now! Prices range from $12.00 for grandstand seating to $35.00 for VIP. To purchase event tickets, please log on to www.evolutioncombatsports.com . Tickets can also be purchased at the venue the night of the event.

For more information about Evolution Combat Sports Championship please visit www.evolutioncombatsports.com.

About Evolution Combat Sports Championship:

Brother vs. Brother at ‘Evolution 2’ on December 10 in Clovis, New MexicoEvolution Combat Sports Championship, based in Clovis, New Mexico is a subsidiary corporation of its managing partner, Doppelganger, Inc., a company owned and operated by fans of MMA and solely dedicated to the promotion of MMAEvolution is dedicated to the concept of providing memorable entertainment to the fans, while offering opportunities for MMA athletes to advance their professional or amateur careers. As the name suggests, Evolution is prepared to evolve with the increasingly complex demands set forth in the world of mixed martial arts and entertainment. The fight promotion sets itself apart through progressive thinking and actions, an innovative approach to entertainment, and their reputation of integrity within the MMA community.

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Media Contact:
Melissa Ingram
602-434-5055
Melissa@ingrampr.com
Twitter: @ingrampr

Strikeforce: The Aftermath

Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko left the sold out Sears Centre and the many watching on primetime network television believers in the legend that is Fedor. With a singular punch that ignited the crowd and sent Brett Rogers crumbling to the mat, Fedor cemented his status as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Brett Rogers was noticeably nervous in the ring but landed the first significant punch of the fight, a straight jab that bloodied the nose of the Russian. Fedor never panicked. He was taken to the ground and punched multiple times to the head. He remained expressionless. The stoic fighter took Brett Rogers’ best shot and never blinked. Was the fight a defining performance for Emelianenko or was he exposed a bit by the bigger striker?

I left the fight impressed with his skill set, power and resolve but now there is no doubt he is capable of being defeated. Brett Rogers seemed a bit rattled but may have exposed some of Emelianenko’s weaknesses. Rogers landed straight, stiff jabs, like the one which cut the nose of Emelianenko, all night. Fedor comes at you in bursts and lands quick, looping punches. A good boxer can beat him to the shot with a good, straight punch, much like Rogers’ first strike. In geometry, you learn the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If you can be disciplined and throw straight punches, it may also be the shortest distance between victory and defeat.

Fedor is not physically imposing and Brett Rogers seemed to be able to get up off his back at will. Emilianenko’s jiu-jitsu and submission skills may be offset by a good wrestler may be able to control where the fight goes and impose his will on Fedor. Even with Fedor TKOhis outstanding, multifaceted game, a fighter who is controlling the cage will feel more comfortable and confident than the one continually making adjustments. Wrestlers who are able control the action dominate the MMA landscape and a great wrestler with size would give Fedor fits.

It ‘s sad to realize Fedor is wasting time with inferior talent and an inferior promotion. We could have seen Fedor/Lesnar or Fedor/Couture headline a dream fight card, instead we saw Fedor fight an average heavyweight, again. A move to UFC would have put all debate to an end and likely the end of The Last Emperor.

Photos courtesy of Sherdog.