Virgil Zwicker Pulled Himself Together, Now Relays a Message of Inspiration
Virgil Zwicker was once a man walking his own path of destruction.
The Strikeforce fighter spent as much time in trouble as a youth as he did in school, bouncing in and out of jail for much of his life growing up on an Indian reservation in California.
But Zwicker was able to pick himself up, dust himself off and not only pick up the pieces of what was quickly becoming a broken life, but he was able to put it all back together again.
Now with a growing family of his own, Zwicker’s tale is one that could be simply told for inspiration, but that’s not good enough for the 30-year-old mixed martial artist who now wants to serve as an example of somebody who grew up wrong, but made things right.
While Zwicker has been working as a youth coordinator at his Indian reservation, recently he got the opportunity to speak in front of a group of young people that could truly relate to everything he had gone through.
At the Alamansor Academy in California, kids routinely join the program due to similar upbringings as Zwicker and seemingly walking down the same destructive path. The school’s job is to help lead them back in the right direction and at their recent graduation they invited Zwicker to come be the keynote speaker.
“When I first looked them up and checked them out I thought it was going to be strictly troubled youths, gangs, kids being locked up, but I would say probably only 20 to 30 percent of the kids were like that. The rest of them, there was a lot that had physical disabilities, autism, and a lot of them were not in trouble or anything. They basically told me that 90 percent of those kids are the worst of the worst in that area,” Zwicker told MMAWeekly.com.
Leandro Issa Happy to Welcome Bibiano Fernandes to One FC
Leandro Issa shocked many in the MMA world when he was able to defeat leg-lock master Masakazu Imanari at One FC’s latest show, so he might try to do the same in his next fight.
Issa is now riding a seven-fight win streak and may have his eyes set on another tough challenge as the fighter to welcome former Dream champion Bibiano Fernandes to the One FC arena.
RFA 3 results recap: Dakota Cochrane defeats Joe Stevenson with round two rear-naked choke
Resurrection Fighting Alliance invaded the Viaero Events Center in Kearney Nebraska, with a fight card that included some former big names, as well as some up-and-comers, as RFA 3 took place on Sat., June 30, 2012.
It was somewhat of a star-studded affair, as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones was in attendance, and even joined the boys in the booth for a few minutes. Also, fellow light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar and former UFC heavyweight Justin McCully were onhand to call the fights.
The main event featured former UFC lightweight contender Joe Stevenson taking on former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestant, Dakota Cochrane.
Cung Le Talks VADA and Random Drug Tests in MMA
It was recently revealed via Twitter that former UFC champion B.J. Penn had been approached by VADA (Volunteer Anti-Doping Agency) about submitting to drug testing along with his opponent Rory MacDonald ahead of UFC 152.
Penn has long been a very outspoken advocate against the use of performance enhancing drugs, and volunteered when asked by VADA to submit to the testing.
A few moments later, MacDonald responded to Penn’s request and accepted as well.
While Penn and MacDonald’s enthusiasm around the drug tests should be commended, they weren’t the first people in the UFC to be approached by VADA.
Rejuvenated UFC vet Joe Stevenson has 'good feeling' before return from layoff
If you had assumed Joe Stevenson had been retired the last year or so, you could probably be forgiven.
After all, the former UFC title challenger and "TUF" winner had been next to nowhere to be found.
If Joe "Daddy" went anywhere, he said, it was to get a new mental focus. And now, with that in hand – or in head – he's finally rejuvenated for his Saturday return to the cage against Dakota Cochrane at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 3.
HDNet relaunches Monday as AXS TV, promises continued MMA programming
HDNet's near-11-year run comes to a close on Monday, July 2, but the all-high-definition cable channel's replacement promises to have a familiar feel for MMA fans.
In January, HDNet announced a joint venture with AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and Creative Artists Agency that sees HDNet rebranded as AXS TV (pronounced "access").
On Monday, that relaunch goes live, but AXS TV officials promise MMA-related programming such as "Inside MMA" and "HDNet Fights" will continue to feature prominently on the rebranded outlet.
There’s a Hurricane Brewing; Heather Clark Working to be Best Female Fighter
Following a disappointing loss in her last XFC outing in February, Heather “Hurricane” Clark was looking to make a statement at this past Friday’s event against Avery Vilche.
“I think I performed pretty well,” said Clark. “I think I could have done some a few things better, but all in all I listened to my corner and stuck with the game plan and it worked pretty effectively.
“She actually pulled me on top of her into half-guard and from there I kind of baited an arm bar to pass to side and from there I set up mount, and from mount I did a little ground and pound and made her turn her back and finished with the rear naked choke.”
The victory over Vilche gives Clark five wins in her last six fights, but it’s that loss in February to Marianna Kheyfets that still bothers her.
California State Athletic Commission In Disarray, With Boss Censured, Agency Insolvent
Jun 28, 2012 - The California state athletic commission is one of the largest combat sports sanctioning bodies in the nation, overseeing 190 events during its 2011 fiscal year, but it is also in chaos, a fact highlighted by a Tuesday meeting in which it was revealed that the agency is insolvent, with expenditures far outpacing revenue.
CSAC is already in the red, and according to numbers released in a memorandum from Department of Consumer Affairs budget officer Taylor Schick, if the commission continues its current projections, it would face a deficit of nearly $700,000 by the end of fiscal year 2013, a shortfall that could have a catastrophic effect on MMA and boxing in the state, because it could cause the commission to halt its programs, thereby denying regulation for combat sports.
NCAA Champion Darrion Caldwell Joins MMA Team, Signs with Legacy Fighting Championships
The sport of wrestling has produced some of the top fighters in all of MMA, and now there’s another contender throwing his hat in the ring.
2009 NCAA champion Darrion Caldwell will officially make his transition into mixed martial arts this year.
Caldwell wrestled at North Carolina State University where he captured the NCAA title at 149lbs in 2009, and was also a two-time All-American while wrestling at the ACC school.
Randy Couture Went About TRT ‘The Natural’ Way
While performance enhancing drug use in sports is always a hot-button issue, none has been hotter recently than talk about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in mixed martial arts; well, except maybe the latest doping salvo launched at Lance Armstrong in cycling.
But with high profile fighters such as Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, Nate Marquardt, and others involved in the talk about TRT, and particularly in getting a therapeutic use exemption from athletic commissions for its use, it is the topic on nearly everyone’s lips.
And the talk covers all aspects. Some say that if there is a proven deficiency that a fighter should be allowed to use TRT to bring his testosterone level up to what is considered normal. Others say that TRT should only be allowed for individuals that have a proven condition, not just a deficiency.
Bob Sapp losing streak continues with first round defeat in Kazakhstan
From Croatia to India to Poland to Australia, disgraced mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter (and I use the term lightly), Bob Sapp continued his "tour of shame" when he took on Tolegen Akybekov in Astana, Kazakhstan, at Bushido Lithuania 51 this past Friday (June 8, 2012).
And once again, he lost without putting up much of a fight, bringing his record to a lowly 11-14-1 with eight straight defeats ... all in the very first round. However, unlike his previous two contests, this fight actually made it past the opening minute.
He may not be racking up the wins, but his frequent flyer miles should be sky high by now.
Derek Brunson replaces Terry Martin, faces Kendall Grove at ShoFIGHT 20
Three-time Strikeforce veteran and undefeated middleweight prospect Derek Brunson (9-0) will fight for ShoFIGHT's first-ever 185-pound title.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned that Strikeforce officials have granted Brunson permission to face Kendall Grove (14-10) at Saturday night's ShoFIGHT 20 event.
ShoFIGHT CEO J.T. Tilley confirmed Grove's original opponent, Terry Martin, was unable to obtain medical clearance with the Missouri Office of Athletics and was forced to withdraw from the bout, opening the door for Brunson.
Featuring a welterweight title fight between UFC veterans John Gunderson and Karo Parisyan, ShoFIGHT 20 takes place June 16 at O'Reilly Family Event Center on the campus of Drury University in Springfield, Mo. The card airs live on the Fight Network in Canada and on a tape-delayed pay-per-view on July 1 in the U.S.
The new Brunson vs. Grove fight serves as the evening's co-main event.
Free agent Bibiano Fernandes still mulling offers, not ruling out eventual UFC debut
Top-ranked bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes isn't making his way to the UFC just yet, but the Brazilian submission ace isn't ruling out an eventual move to the octagon.
But after UFC officials announced he would be competing at UFC 149, only to later say an injury forced him out of a planned matchup, Fernandes wants the world to know he's healthy and ready to fight for the right offer.
"UFC is one of the largest promotions in the world," Fernandes told MMAjunkie.com. "Unfortunately, we weren't able to agree to terms this time around. In the future, who knows?"
Dr. Johnny Benjamin Claims Sonnen’s Hypogonadism is the Result of Past Steroid Use
Well, well, well. As if it wasn’t bad enough that a mild-mannered, unassuming guy like Chael Sonnen lost *his* UFC middleweight championship due to a misunderstanding of the rules back at UFC 117, and shortly thereafter found himself thrust into the center of an elaborate conspiracy (that’s right, conspiracy) that attempted to invalidate the four and a half round ass whooping he laid out on Anderson Silva, now he has this to deal with this. The poor guy.
2x NCAA hwt. champ, 2008 Olympic wrestler Steve Mocco to enter MMA
Steve Mocco, 2008 Olympian and a two-time NCAA heavyweight wrestling champ for University of Iowa and Oklahoma State, is now entering mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, Yahoo! Cagewriter Maggie Hendricks reported Thursday.
According to Hendricks, Mocco decided to get into MMA after helping Antonio Silva train for his UFC 146 match with former Arizona State All-American wrestler Cain Velasquez Memorial Day weekend. (Velasquez scored a first-round TKO.)
"This decision was a whirlwind," the former Hawkeye/Cowboy heavyweight told Sammy Perez of Joe Show Radio. "I was down there training and all the guys were great. Once they discovered I was interested in fighting, everything fell into place."
Good News of the Day: Blagoi Ivanov Recovered from Coma, Released from Hospital
Earlier this year, the future of undefeated Bellator heavyweight prospect Blagoi Ivanov appeared uncertain for the most unfortunate of reasons. However, Sherdog.com is reporting that Ivanov has made a “miraculous recovery” over the past ten days, and has been released from Pirogov Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ivanov will still require treatment, but is determined to eventually fight again.
In February, Blagoi Ivanov was attending the after party of a boxing tournament when a fight broke out. Ivanov attempted to break up the fight when he and two of his friends were attacked by eight men carrying guns and knives. While his friends only suffered minor injuries, Ivanov was stabbed in the armpit, with the blade piercing his heart.
While surgery immediately following the stabbing was successful, Ivanov was placed in a medically-induced coma and remained on life support six weeks after the stabbing. At the time, his physicians did not comment on whether or not they expected him to fully recover from the attack.
Following TKO Loss, Phil Baroni Out of One FC Fight with Roger Huerta
The planned bout between Phil Baroni and Roger Huerta at One FC: Destiny of Warriors on June 23 in Malaysia appears to be off.
Baroni had been planning to square off with Huerta in a welterweight fight at One FC’s next event, but just three weeks out, he took a fight against Chris Holland at Ring of Fire 43 in Denver on Saturday night.
While Baroni started off strong, dominating Holland in the opening round, he faded quickly when Holland rocked him early in round two. “The Hammer” poured it on, realizing he had Baroni hurt, and quickly finished “The New York Bad Ass” by TKO.
Student At Urijah Faber's Gym Paralyzed During Training
Yesterday we brought you the story of a fighter in South Dakota who died following an MMA bout, this on the heels of other tragic news in combat sports involving Johnny Tapia's death and Paul Williams being paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. There is more unfortunate news from earlier this month as it appears that Devin Johnson, a fighter training at Urijah Faber's Ultimate Fitness gym, was paralyzed in a training session.
Sacramento's News 10 with the information:
Devin Johnson, 22, was sparring at the facility, located on the 1700 block of I Street on May 14 when he fell while in a headlock.
When Devin arrived at UC Davis Medical Center he was paralyzed. The impact from the fall dislocated Devin's spine.
Man Dies After MMA Bout In South Dakota
A man has died after his fifth MMA fight since taking up the sport only roughly a year ago. Dustin Jenson died after a brain injury following a loss at a May 18 South Dakota MMA event.
Rapid City Journal with the sad details:
Dustin Jenson, 26, was participating in full-contact fights at a RingWars event May 18 when he tapped out - a signal to end the fight. According to his mother-in-law, Violet Schieman, Jensen then watched the next two fights before going to the locker room area, where he suffered a seizure.
Schieman said medical personnel determined that Jenson had increased pressure on his brain and put him in a medically induced coma before surgery was performed to relieve pressure. He was declared dead May 24 and was taken off life support the next day, Schieman said.
Schieman, who was not at the fight, said her daughter, Jenson's wife Rebecca Jenson, and several others told her the violence in the fight was "nothing out of the ordinary."