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

“I see this as my re-birth into the sport” Kevin McGee Interview

A few words with Lufkin,Texas Mixed Martial Artist Kevin McGee, Bound PREMIERE FIGHT SERIES, July 28th in Fort Worth,Texas. Check out his website for more info: ” www.loudhousecrossfit.com ”

sPidA: You’re coming in with a 2-2 record– are you hungry for a win come July 28th?

McGee : I am very hungry for a win! I see this as my rebirth into the sport.

sPidA: Being a CrossFit instructor, is it hard to stay motivated,or do others help you stay focused?

McGee: I have a lot of people encouraging me to work hard and perform my best, but my strongest motivators are my children. I want to be a hero to them—not as a winning, big-name fighter, necessarily, but as a man who works hard to achieve his goals and doesn’t back down from a challenge.

sPidA: Alex Russ was your last opponent– he is ranked a top the Texas elite. Are you taking the loss and moving on or expecting a re-match in the future?

McGee: I consider Alex to be a friend. He is a good guy and I want the best for him. That being said, no fighter wants a loss to go un-avenged and I certainly wouldn’t turn down the opportunity!

sPidA: Having a teammate training for the same card, how does it feel knowing someone else will be battling along side with you on the same card?

McGee: It’s great. I actually have two teammates on the card: Jay Flores and Marshall Gorham. We’re all coming to fight! Getting there and being there together simply makes us stronger in every aspect.

sPidA: For someone who has never been to Lufkin, what best describes the town and its people? Is MMA big there or still growing?

McGee: MMA is blowing up all over the world.I don’t think there is a town in America that doesn’t have fans.Lufkin is the same way—from crazy drunken rednecks that think they can whoop Chael Sonnen to the hard working 8 year olds in the boxing program at the Boys And Girls Club who dream of getting to that level. Lufkin is a tightly knit country town and there is a lot of support here.

sPidA: Dana White had talked retirement within the next 6 years, if given his job, what would you change, if anything, in the organization (UFC)?

McGee: That’s a tough question! Being a business owner, myself, I know there is a LOT to it. I can’t imagine running an organization of that magnitude! He has obviously built a successful model and I can’t say that I would change much without knowing more intimate details of the operation. It is the pinnacle of our sport, competing in the UFC, and I don’t really see that changing in the near future, with or without Dana White.

sPidA: Another MMA giant will be closing its doors soon (STRIKEFORCE). Good or Bad? Your thoughts?

McGee: I am a fan of all MMA. When any big-name organization closes, it has its pros and cons… But I see most of the Strikeforce fighters continuing on in other organizations. That’s really what matters, right—the fighters, themselves.

sPidA: How many times a day do you fit training into your schedule?

McGee: I train very hard, and then I rest very hard—usually something like three days on, one day off.The three days on are full out, high intensity sessions with, generally, a strength workout, a very intense metcon, and skill work.The rest day is meant to be full of active recovery—foam rolling, low intensity single modal workouts, yoga, ice baths, etc.

sPidA: I have seen your photos on Facebook– is Ice bathing as bad as people say it is? How often would you say people try it?

McGee: Haha – Ice baths suck!! Period but they are the single most effective recovery tool I have ever found. Most of the time people experimenting with ice baths don’t do them properly. I would suggest that anyone wishing to try them do plenty of research, beforehand, and have a few friends with them when the time comes to jump in. We have a 100 gallon watering trough at LoudHouse CrossFit that we use exclusively for ice baths. You fill it with about 60 gallons of water, or so, and about 100 pounds of ice, then you jump in, submerging completely up to your neck, and stay in 12-15 minutes. I try to take in some calories while I’m in the water. Trust me… it is an experience you won’t forget!

sPidA: Thank you much– I will be there come July 28th, Anything you would like to add to this interview?

McGee: Hey, man – it’s my pleasure! All I want to add is a thank you to my coaches and teammates, especially Eddie Pepper, Shannon Porter, Jason and Amanda Skinner, Marshall Gorham, Jay Flores, and James Hubbard. I also want to thank my beautiful girlfriend, Elsie, for all her help and support. She is a light in the dark. Thanks, also, to my Church and to my family—their wisdom and guidance has done more for me than I can express.

Oh, one last thing—I’m still looking for sponsors, if anyone might be interested! Get a hold of me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kevin.captainmagic

“Looking to put Lufkin,Texas on the map!” Jay Flores Interview

Out of Lufkin,Texas…JAY FLORES

A few words with Jay Flores out of East Texas House of Champions and Loudhouse Crossfit in Luftkin,Texas, before his fight on PREMIERE FIGHT SERIES on July 28th in Forth Worth,Texas. Lets do this!

sPidA: Mixed Martial Arts has become so popular, what do you get asked by most that know you compete?

Jay: The question I get asked the most is when my next fight is. The MMA fans in Lufkin are always asking when the next events are so they can come watch.

sPidA: With ZUFFA buying companies out in the past, do you see that as a negative or positive thing for the sport?

Jay: Zuffa is a big name in the sport, I believe it’s a really good thing for the sport. They have done really well with promoting the sport of MMA and giving it the exposure it needs.

sPidA: So many top guys making the news with arrest and so forth, what keeps you leveled and on a more postive state of mind?

Jay: I stay pretty busy with work and training 6 days a week, and when I do have off, I usually like to relax, whether it be lazy at home or out on the lake with friends and family!!! Also staying focused on God, family and what I love to do keeps me out of trouble.

sPidA: How much support do you get from loved ones for you following your dreams to compete in MMA?

Jay: My family is my biggest support that I’ve had. Talking about how proud they are at family events, or a simple phone call from a distant aunt or uncle checking to make sure I haven’t had my face bashed in. LoL But more the smile on my Dad’s face when he’s telling friends and family about his only son getting paid to hit people in the face,keeps me going. LoL

sPidA: Every fighter always makes a big deal about their walk out song, what are you coming out to and why?

Jay: Oh that’s a secret, I can’t tell that!! Lol But it’s gonna be a really cool song and it’s gonna show that I’m coming out to fight for that W!!!!!

sPidA: How big of a fan of MMA are you,do you collect memorabilia?

Jay: I’m a fan of the sport. I do my daily check up on MMA news and watch the fights with friends and family. As far as memorabilia, I don’t have any, LoL

sPidA: If you had to fight Joe Rogan to get into the UFC,would you and how would you try and beat him?

Jay: Yes. I would beat him by a Mortal Kombat style ,brutality finish. Ha

sPidA: Cutting weight is always half the battle, whats your recovery meal right after weigh ins?

Jay: Usually fruits and a recovery drink right after. Then a few meals and lots of water!

sPidA: If you had to describe your style of fighting, what would it be?

Jay: I’m pretty calm. I’m a striker by trade. I pick my shots, and throw them with bad intentions. BOOM!

sPidA: Thank you bro,we’ll be closing up this interview,last minute thoughts and comments?

Jay: I would like to first and foremost Thank my Heavenly Father for another great opportunity to show case my skills as a fighter. I’d also like to Thank my fight team at East Texas House of Champions, and Loudhouse Crossfit, James Hubbard, Kevin McGee, Marshall Gorham, Bobby Harris, my super beautiful and awesome girlfriend Ashleigh, all of my family and friends for the great support you’ve given me throughout the years. On July 28th, we’ll be looking to put Lufkin, Texas on the map!!!!

“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

IMMORTAL KOMBAT FIGHTING IS LOOKING FOR ITS INAUGURAL 170lb and 205lb CHAMPION

PRESS RELEASE:
IMMORTAL KOMBAT FIGHTING IS LOOKING FOR ITS INAUGURAL 170lb and 205lb CHAMPION

It will be a “WINNER TAKE ALL” tournament over 4 events for a purse of $30,000 ($15,000 each). Along with the respective purses the winners will take home the 170lb and 205lb belts. All fighters looking to enter the competition should post a sixty second video to Facebook/IMKFight as to why they are the next IMKFight Champion. All fighters in and around the state of Texas are encouraged to apply. We will be looking for 32 warriors to do battle in the aforementioned weight classes. The deadline for entering is July 15th and the initial fight card will be released July 31st with contracts. For further details please contact us at info@imkfight.com.

“Combining combative sports with total fitness” …a few words with Mitchell Hale

Mitchell Hale
Mitchell Hale, 4-2

Interview with Abilene, Texas Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Mitchell Hale, coming out of a 2 year layout, we talk strategy,new gym and a new beginning for this North Texas standout! Lets begin.

sPidA:  What can tell us about your current gym and what differs it from others?

Hale :  Let me start off by saying Future Fitness  Fight Team is legit. the gym is founded by my head coach Brandon Farran. The concept behind Future Fitness Fight Team, is combining combative sports with total fitness. A lot of MMA gyms forget just how important fitness is in Mixed Martial Arts

sPidA: Your last bout was 2 yrs ago, will there be any Cage rust going into this bout or have you stayed busy sparring and helping others?

Hale : I don’t think there will be any rust, but rather an unveiling of the new fighter I’ve become since training with the Future Fitness Team gym.

sPidA: What kind of support are you getting from the local scene and what can your friends and family expect?

Hale : I have a ton of support coming out to this event and they can expect to see a whole new fighter in every aspect of the game.

sPidA: Having had your coach Brandon Farren win his bout just a few weeks ago at EFC, How much if any has that motivated you for this fight?

Hale : Naturally, you can’t help but to be motivated by the performance he put on, but even more so it lets me know I’m on the right path to victory! I’ve gone through his whole boot camp with him and now the team is focused on my bootcamp, which i am currently going through.

sPidA : What have you been training on or will we like your opponent have to wait and see?

Hale : I can’t give away to many of our secrets, no homo, but there’s a reason why Brandon is built like a Greek God. So you know my strength  and cardio will make a statement on its own. The technique I learn on a daily basis is going to be all the difference in this fight.

sPidA : Your last opponent was Cody Pfister,who was picked up to compete on this past seasons TUFF reality show,are you a fan,what are your thoughts on this if any?

Hale : Big ups to Cody but, I really don’t have the time to focus my attention to reality shows; i am a single father, a student, and a full time fighter. My free time goes to giving my body the rest that it needs to recover and perform.

sPidA: Is there one fighter (other than your coach) that you just respect watching compete,if so whom and why?

Hale : Fedor, because of his one punch knockout power!

sPidA: Not to overlook your next opponent but are you looking at staying active in the fight game or will you be playing it by ear after this next bout?

Hale : I most certainly am, got some good opportunities lined up for the future but my focus remains on this fight!

sPidA : Is there such a thing as too much MMA, Your thought,is the UFC overdoing it with all these showing or just giving fighters the much needed exposure?

Hale : I think its a little bit of both. Of course the  UFC will always be the ultimate goal for every serious fighter, because of the pay and exposure. At the same time the over kill keeps fighters, who haven’t made it too the big leagues, hungry, busy and able to make a career out of MMA.

sPida : Thank you Hale for your time, any last minute comments bro?

Hale : This is definitely a fight you won’t want to miss, so MMA fans come out and show your love for the sport!

((Would like to end this by thanking our Media sponsors: TheMucleFactoryonline.com, www.bigdfitness.com and www.gearedupnutrition.com))

24/7 Productions
24/7 Productions: For tickets contact: (432) 500-7979