Taking Your Game to the Next Level – Nomad

I wanted to start the New Year off by talking about how Strength, Conditioning, and Nutrition play a vital role in mixed martial arts (MMA). Often times we see fighters, both amateur and pro; run out of energy in the cage. Good energy levels from bell to bell play an important role when it comes to whose hand is raised at the end of the fight. I’m sure many of you have seen a fighter come out for Round One with high energy, however; by Round Two or Three become sluggish and unable to defend themselves and ultimately loose the fight.

Ray Rod The Judge
Photo courtesy of Spida Photography

Fighters must find the right balance in their training and in their fight. Fighters should understand that strength, conditioning, and nutrition are also part of a successful game.

Joel Jamieson, founder of 8weeksout.com, is one of MMA’s top Strength & Conditioning Coaches and pioneers and is widely regarded as the nation’s leading expert in the science of physical conditioning for MMA. His no nonsense scientific approach and Precision Conditioning training system is helping to revolutionize how today’s top fighters get in shape and has been instrumental in the success of more than 20 of the world’s best fighters from the UFC, Dream, WEC, Shooto, K-1, PrideFC, and other major organizations.

In one of Joel’s articles titled “Ultimate Fight Conditioning – Push the Pace” he writes “regardless of a fighter’s weight class, every cell in their body needs a constant supply of energy to function. This includes the cells within muscle fibers, of course, and they need energy in order to do their job of contracting and producing the force it takes to throw strikes, go for and defend takedowns, attempt a submission, etc.”

He goes on to say “Dynamic sports like MMA that require an athlete to produce a ton of energy to support high levels of muscle force and power for up to 15-25 minutes no doubt rely on both aerobic and anaerobic energy production – there is simply no way that either system alone is capable of producing enough energy by itself. This fact is generally well known and accepted, but what’s often misunderstood, however, is just how important the balance between these two energy systems really is.”

He then breaks it down to three major components, developing your cardiovascular system to deliver as much oxygen to the working muscles as possible, training the muscles to become more efficient at using the oxygen that your cardiovascular system is able to deliver and finally incorporating a training method called pace work. For combat sports, this type of work should take the form of sparring or pad/work and the general guideline is simply to deliberately train at the maximum pace you can sustain without any real measure of fatigue.

Right here in Texas we have great strength, conditioning, and nutrition personal trainers who are making a difference for Texas fighters. The Muscle Factory, of San Antonio, is one of those training facilities. Roland Gonzalez, Owner and Head Trainer, of the Muscle Factory has been helping amateur and pro MMA fighters for years. Roland will tell you that “we are not here to replace the importance of stand-up, wrestling, or jiu jitsu, we are here to supplement it.”

Roland continues “We can help improve a fighter’s game by first improving their cardio and muscle endurance by incorporating a variety of exercise regiments that fit the fighter’s needs and lifestyle. Secondly, we would start a diet plan that would help with strength and muscle recovery that will help maintain fighter energy.”

“The only real way to make lasting changes, regardless of your goals, is to use a holistic (meaning whole body) strategy. Every muscle group, including the heart the lungs, nutrition and diet, and positive mental wellness all have to be included in your overall program.”

While at the Muscle Factory I was able to watch Roland put Ray “The Judge” Rodriguez, a pro mma fighter out of San Antonio, though one of his two hour work out. Wow….it was high paced! I was impressed with Roland’s personal attention to detail and motivation during Ray’s work out.

After his workout, Ray told me “Training at the Muscle Factory has made me a complete fighter. My size, strength, stamina, and speed have all improved greatly.” Ray also said “Roland Gonzalez is amazing at what he does, and is one of the most genuine people I have ever met in my life. He’s been at every weigh in and been able to help me put back on 15 to 20 pounds before my fight time.”

In closing I would say seek out a professional trainer who can help you with taking your game to the next level.

If you wish to contact Muscle factory please call 210-771-9044 or visit them at www.themusclefactory.synthasite.com

Nomad
Photo courtesy of Spida Photography

“Here I am keeping my promise” – Matt Mazurek Interview

Have been able to watch Matt Mazurek fight once in his amateur career and just like anybody in the sport, the sky is the limit with this guy. Fighting out of Austin,Texas…He comes from great camp and has a great test for himself come August 25.”BLOOD & GLORY”in Robstown,TX…for ticket info call: 361-387-9000 LETS DO THIS!!

sPidA: Bro, how long have you been waiting on making your Pro debut?

Mazurek: Making my pro debut has been a life long dream. It has been in the back of my mind for as long as I can think. It was my moms last wish before she passed,that I take fighting as far as I can take it. I remember when I first started taking martial arts at the age of 6. My mom was a brown belt in taekwondo. She was one tough momma. I looked up to her for that. Now here I am keeping my promise.

sPidA: You had a great Mixed Martial Arts amateur career and actually won a title, whose decision was it to finally go Pro?

Mazurek: Winning that title was something I felt I had to achieve before making this jump. I WILL have another title at some point. As for the jump to the pro scene, it was both my decision and a team decision. My head trainers really felt I was ready for the jump once I won the AMMA Lightweight Texas Title.

sPidA: Your opponent for your debut is an experienced fighter in Chris Pecero, are you nervous going into this

Mazurek: As for Chris Pecero, I respect him as a fighter, but when we are in that Cage, it’s on.. I’ve been in the fight game for quite some time. The way I see it, he wont hit me harder than what my team does, he wont put me through anything I have not been through. When it comes to his record, it’s just a number. All I can say is he has not been locked in a Cage with anyone like me. August 25th, he will see first hand what I’m capable of.

sPidA: You have some pretty great guys to train with @ Austin Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu, how hard do these guys push you day in and day out?

Mazurek: Man, my team is the best! I wouldn’t change it for the world.. At Austin Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu we are one BIG family.. Love those guys! We really do have some of the top fighters in Texas and the world. Training with these guys is extremely tough most of the time. They push me to the point where I feel like I’m gonna die (lol) but after it’s over, I know I’m that much better the next day.

sPidA: Are you training full-time for this, if so how often are you able to prepare for your Pro debut?

Mazurek: I was training full time for about 5 months. The fight world is crazy at times. Since March I have had 3 fights drop on me. In that time I got some great training in with some top guys. I was getting in about 6 hours a day of everything from ground to muay thai to strength and conditioning. Sunday was my only day off to relax and get some mental training and think about everything i learned through the week.

sPidA: Other than the typical muay thai and grappling, what other routines are you throwing into the mix?

Mazurek: Well, I don’t really wanna give too much about my fighting style… Just know, come August 25th there are gonna be some BIG hits going on..

sPidA: You will be competing outside your home town, will this play a factor in your Pro debut, how do you personally deal with something like this?

Mazurek: I actually love fighting out of my home City. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love fighting in Austin but when I fight outside my home town I feel more relaxed. Its weird in a way. I feel like all the pressure of having all your close friends watching and wondering what they are thinking is gone. I get to come to his home town and add fans to my book (LoL). I know I’ll get some boos in the crowed but when they see just how hard I go I’ll make believers out of them. Austin Fighters are tough and We’ll make a name in this sport..

sPidA: The sport of Mixed Martial Arts has really changed over the years, do you see any major changes in the sport in the near future?

Mazurek: I tell ya, Mixed Martial Arts has progressed so much over the years. I really don’t know where the sport will go 20 years from now, but what I can say is I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

sPidA: With so much talent at Austin Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu, who would you say pushes you the hardest?

Mazurek: Of all of my brothers in the gym, the one that stands out the most would have to be Tim Kennedy. He is a beast! He pushes everyone in the gym. It’s kinda a love/hate relationship LoL.. You hate being in there with him but at the same time it’s awesome because you get the chance to train one on one with one of the top 10 fighters in the world.When you’re in there with him, it’s all pressure all the time. He does not let off until you hear that buzzer. It’s great though. I know training with him will make me that much better.

sPidA: SCENARIO: You get attacked one day while leaving the gym, who would you rather come help you: Steven Segal , Joe Rogan or Ed Oneil (Al Bundy) and why?

Mazurek: LOL, well I’m gonna have to go with my boy Steven Segal. He can kill people just by looking at them LoL. I saw a video of him where he had 14 guys attack him at once and he kicked all of their butts like it was nothing. So, if I was in the situation where I needed help, he would be the one I’d call.

sPidA: Thank you much for taking time for this bro, I was granted Cage Side access for this one (unlike many out there) So I will see you there come August 25th, any last-minute words?

Mazurek:Hey, thank you brotha. I just wanna say that this fight is for my momma. I know she’s gonna be in there with me. Also my coaches,my girl and my sponsors (Thank you)… everyone that loves Mixed Martial Arts, spread the word on TexasFighting.com and help support your Texas fighters.

Torque1.Net

“I always want to compete against the best!” A few words with Corey Bellino

Corey Bellino, Texas MMA Fighter

Interview with Corpus Christi Police Officer and Mixed Martial Artist, Corey Bellino. The biggest test of his career as he faces STFC Champion Frank Trevino. We talk past, present and his next bout. Representing PARAGON MMA…I present you…Corey Bellino.

sPidA: You have managed a great win streak, is there any pressure as you compete?

Corey: There is no pressure on me. I have a very supportive team. I just show up day in and day out to do what I do.

sPidA: Looking back at fighting UFC TUF participant Darryl Schoonover for your Pro debut, what are your thoughts now on taking that fight so early in your career? (and yes I know him participating in the UFC was years later but he was much more experienced even then)

Corey: Most fighters and people may not have taken that fight, but I looked at it as a great opportunity. I knew he was more experienced back then, but I wanted to be in there against the best. I always want to compete against the best. I lost that fight and it taught me a lot about what I need to do in order to compete at a high level in the cage. Without that fight I would not be the same person or fighter that I am today. I am still thankful for that opportunity.

sPidA: You train with the guys at PARAGON MMA, with a lot of its fighters staying active in MMA/BJJ what do you think sets the competitive spirit withing the Team?

Corey: There is great chemistry at the gym. We have great coaches, great team mates and a very supportive community/family. We push and drive each other every day to train harder; to go beyond our limits as competitors. We do not let each other slack on anything.

sPidA: With most of your fights being in South Texas, are you looking at fighting on other events ( EFC / IMKF / LEGACY FC) and challenging other top middle wieght contenders?

Corey: I would love to fight more top contenders in the middleweight division. I will gladly work with any event that contacts me, but I am a very loyal person and STFC is a great organization.

sPidA: Your last opponent was Andre Kavanuagh out of Austin,Texas, did you have a game plan going into that bout and how hard is it at times to stick to one? (gameplan)

Corey: Game plans always change after the bell rings. You may feel a guy is going to do one thing and then he does another. I learned along time ago to be flexible. I train hard at all aspects and feel that I am ready for anything in the cage. It gives me a great deal of confidence training at Paragon/FCFA.

sPidA: Your a local Corpus Christi Law Enforcement Officer, has fighting given you much if any publicity while doing your job, how much has MMA complimted what you do for a living?

Corey: I have gotten some positive and some negative publicity. On the negative side there are those typical stereo types of fighters that we are aggresive and not intelligent. I try to explain to people in general that I am probably less aggresive on the street because I compete against such high level athletes every day that I have no need to prove anything or be aggresive at all. Because of my skill level I feel that I give people more chances to calm down because I can over come a certain amount of momentum on their part. And the not intelligent thing…PLEASE. I have no clue where these things come from. Some of the most intelligent people I know are fighters.
On the positive side, I have people recognize me and think that its cool for one of “their” police officers to fight in a cage. Now they rarely say if they want to see me win or lose, so… I also have partners and co-workers that get into the sport and support me that would not have if they did not know someone fighting in the cage. On top of that some think it’s cool to show up to work in or out of uniform with a nice black eye from training.
I try to let my career as a Texas peace officer speak for itself though. While on the job I have received four commendations for my actions. I feel that without the training I have had in martial arts since youth and the code of ethics it instills, I would not be the person or peace officer that I am today. I would not have been able to face the obstacles that I have and over come them in the same ways. I owe a lot to martial arts and would hope every parent would let their child compete and learn as I have. Sorry, I get side tracked sometimes. To answer the question of how much MMA has complimented my work as a peace officer though, I would have to say I get to use aspects of the warrior crafts everyday while at work. It gives me great confidence and I carry that aura with me on the streets. MMA is very complimentory to a peace officer.

sPidA: Next bout will be a Title fight , will this be your biggest test thus far? How much more are you training for this?

Corey: Frank will be a very big test. He is the champion and undefeated for a reason. Of course I am putting in extra time for this fight. I have to be ready for five by five minute rounds. How much extra would be hard to say, but my body knows its extra for sure.

sPidA: I last saw you cornering Tommy Guerrero here in S.A., is helping your Team mates part of being a family, who will be working your corner come July 13th?

Corey: Yes, I feel that helping my team mates is part of being a family. That is what keeps us all together and growing as a team and family. I will bring my usual corner. I will have Billy Flores, Roger Narvaez and Aurelio Gallegos or Hector Munoz depending on fight schedules.

sPidA: Are you a fan of female MMA as well, What are your thoughts on Dana White not intersted in having any in the UFC (He has said he would but not enought of them are evenly matched”)

Corey:I am a fan of female MMA. The females at Paragon/FCFA train with and just as hard as the guys. They deserve everything they get. Now Dana White has made millions of dollars for a reason. It would be hard to second guess his logic for his non-interest. As a fan, I would love to see females in the UFC though.

Thank you Corey for taking time for this, anything you would like to add to those helping you to make your dream possible?

sPidA: I would like to mention that I am available for private lessons. I teach/coach anything from MMA to firearms and really any weapon in between. Yeah, I am a certified firearms instructor as well. Have to love to do those things with my job, both of them.

Corey: I would like to thank all of my friends, family, team mates and sponsors for helping me and putting up with me while I train. LBR promotions, Tanner Chiropractic, TD Trucking, Adcock pipe and supplies, VP sales, LSA firearms, Paragon/FCFA, Johnny D’s, the CCISDPOA and a special thanks to one of my partners Danny Garza.

STFC 21, MMA CAGE FIGHTS

“I respect everyone unless given a reason not to.” Justin Brooks Interview by: sPidA

sPidA: Tell us what gym you train out of and what all can one expect from training there?

Brooks: I train out of Austin Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu.  Training here anyone can expect good tough training, man whether someone is there for competition, fitness or just to learn ,make them beasts in every aspect!

You will be fighting for a title going into Cage Quest, what were you expecting to get out of the show?

Brooks: To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of Cage Quest, I just wanted show people what we’ve got over here at Austin Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu and win a title! This whole thing has been an experience, that’s for sure!

sPidA: I’ve noticed personally a lot of fighters are shy and get nervous while doing interviews, had being on T.V made you nervous or is the fighting just that much distracting?

Brooks: Nah man I don’t think to much about the cameras, I always stay more focused on performing well and winning!

sPidA: I’ve noticed a lot of top level fighters going through the Austin Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu Academy, can you give us a few names of those that have stopped by there at one time or another?

Brooks: Yeah there have been some good guys come through the gym and train! A few of the pro guys we have there everyday are Tim Kennedy, Drew Pendelton, Adam Schindler, Jon Hester, Derek Campos and these guys are animals! Guys like Tom Lawler, Eves Edwards, Dustin Poirier, Bubba Jenkins and others have come in and out of town and we’ve had the pleasure of them coming in to train with us, it’s awesome, everyday is tough!

sPidA: With the level of guys training there, does this motivate you guys?

Brooks: Yeah training with these guys definitely keeps everyone motivated! It doesn’t matter who you are or how good you are someone will always one up you at something or dang near die trying. Everyone on our team is very supportive of one another, we are a tight knit family and push each other a lot. That makes it even easier to stay motivated, it’s awesome!

sPidA: How would you describe your style, do you try and emulate to anyone or would you say its your own?

Brooks: I’m a striker and a grappler pretty evenly, I would say it’s my own style for the most part. There are some guys in the gym that are always putting it on me when we train and I do try to pick up the things that they do to me, like Tim Kennedy, I try to learn and do a lot of the stuff he does!

sPidA: How were you guys approached about Cage Quest? Was this something you wanted to jump on immediately?

Brooks: We were approached by a couple of our teammates that have fought for Kickass in the past and then told us about it. I wanted in on it from the start, I knew it would be a good way to get Austin Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu’s name out there.

sPidA: The show has quite a bit of Central Texas Top Pro fighters coaching, having that experience, has it helped your game that much more?

Brooks: Yeah man they had a few Black Belt instructors come in and show us some cool stuff! I appreciate the effort all of those guys put in, no matter what anyone has told them!

sPidA: How has being on the show Cage Quest been treating you guys, have you noticed the publicity at all?(with the public?)

Brooks: Not so far man, the show airs on a San Antonio based network and I live in North Austin so no one around me directly gets to see it. Maybe the next time I go to San Antonio someone will recognize me, ha-ha, we’ll see!

sPidA: The finalist will be competing May 5th in New Braunfels , will you guys be going Pro right after or continue to get more experience?

Brooks: I won’t be going pro yet, I’m going to keep fighting amateur for now. There is a lot to be learned via experience and amateur competition is the place for a lot of that learning to take place. Plus I want to win a few titles first, not just in mma but in Muay Thai and Boxing too. After I have done that I will start thinking about what’s next for me.

sPidA: Its all business when you step inside the Cage but outside the cage, do you guys notice respect from others in the Mixed Martial Arts scene?

Brooks: Everyone that I have met is pretty respectful around the Mixed Martial Arts scene. I respect everyone unless given a reason not to, that seams like a pretty common outlook. Of coarse, there are always those people out there telling lies and trying to start trouble for whatever reason, not necessarily competitors but just people on the scene.

sPidA: Best MMA moment and worst?

Brooks: Winning is always the best moment! Worst would have to have been dislocating my elbow in training! Man that was no fun between rehab and being out of the gym for the whole healing process!

sPidA: Thank you for taking time for this,much appreciated, any last words bro?

Brooks: Thank you Spida for taking the time for this interview and for what you do for all the local Texas fighters and gyms and thank you to all of my trainers and teammates at Austin Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu!

Over 35 years of fighting and love for the sport. – Jeff Bonugli Interview

Jeff Bonugli is 54 years old and has been in martial arts for over 35 years.  He has fought all over Texas, Louisiana and even Mexico winning tournaments in full contact karate and American kickboxing. Jeff has experienced life through a fighter’s eyes and has seen the good and the bad: “Martial Arts got me through a rough patch in my life. It helped me get through my lowest point. If it wasn’t for Martial Arts and my mentor and Sensei Mr. Chris Lopez , I wouldn’t be here today.” He’s fought in Karate tournaments, Judo, Kickboxing and now for the first and last time, MMA.

Jeff is a humble man who came from a time when the sport was more than just fighting, it was a way of life. He lived and breathed it. A respect for the sport and his elders plays a big role in how he conducts himself. Many of today’s fighters, he feels, don’t understand that. It’s not always about being the biggest and baddest, it’s about discipline and honor.

Mr. Bonugli will be getting back into the ring come July 17th to face a man half his age. Jeff’s not doing this for the money, a boost in his career or anything a young fighter is in it for. He’s doing it to prove to himself that he still has what it takes even at age 54. He’s doing it for his two nieces who were killed, one in a car accident and another who was shot at point blank range. He’s doing it most importantly for the faith that he has gained in a belief of a Savior who died for us. This last one is what truly motivates him, not just to fight but what carries him and has carried him through out his life. This is who he gives all the credit to. Whether he wins or loses, he knows that Jesus Christ laid down his life for him and this is what motivates him the most. To give the glory to God.

In the video you’ll hear some brief stories about the good ole days of martial arts and what it means to him, as well as his final goodbyes to 35 years of fighting and a true love for the sport. Much respect is given to this man who, not only lived it, but plans to prove it once again in the cage.

Jeff will make his way to the cage on July 17th, 2010 in San Antonio at the Municipal Auditorium. A total of three, three minute rounds, win or lose, Jeff will give his all and leave the rest up to his Maker.

Interview by: Chris Lopez Jr.

Texas Rage In The Cage Presents CAGE RAGE 7

Texas Rage In The Cage Presents CAGE RAGE 7

May 8, 2010 @ State Farm Arena in Rio Grande Valley, Hidalgo Tx

Main Event: Former Power Ranger Jason “Fearless” Frank Vs James “Beast” Willis

Title Fight

Co Main Event: Undefeated Mark Garcia (Houston) VS 160lb TRCAA Champion Jordan Morgan (Buna tx)

Also out of the UFC legend Wanderlei Silvas camp Josh Montalvo takes on 2009 San DA world gold medalist Daniel Duran

10 action packed MMA fights

PREPARE TO TAPOUT OR GET KOCKEDOUT!!!!
www.texasrageinthecage.com