Retired UFC vet 'Joker' Guymon relaunches career in new promotion, new weight class
Almost a year ago to the day, Mike "Joker" Guymon suffered a submission loss to DaMarques Johnson at UFC Fight Night 23 and announced his retirement from the sport.
Guymon, now 37, said well-documented mental problems manifested themselves into physical issues.
But now, in better mental health and with his competitive fire stoked, he's returning to MMA in both a new weight class and a new promotion.
"It was awkward," he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "You'd always have something to look ahead to like fighting here or doing this or getting ready for this guy. And then all of the sudden, you realize you don't have to do any of that stuff, and there's no more pressure on you.
"It feels wonderful, but it also feels like you're missing something. Personally, I'm a competitor, and I've always been a competitor. Not having that, it definitely felt awkward."
So what changed for the fan favorite? It's complicated, of course. In fact, his situation is doubly complicated when considering his well-documented suicide attempt in 2009. With stress at home, stress with his business, and stress with his fighting career, Guymon planned to check out permanently. However, his wife and a family friend ultimately talked him out of it after a standoff with police, and Guymon underwent a psychiatric evaluation and continued to get the help he needed.
"I feel like the last couple of fights, I cheated everywhere," he said. "I cheated the UFC, I cheated fans, and I cheated my friends because I was going in their not being able to shift it into the next gear. I couldn't get that fire, couldn't get that drive.
"I regret a lot of stuff about those last two fights. I could've asked for time, and they would've given it to me, but I just wanted to get in there and fight. I've never been one to turn down any type of fight. But I just feel like I shortchanged them."
"We figured out a way to wean me off the medication," he said. "I will be right back where I was with that competitive fire and that don't-quit attitude. I feel good like this, and it just feels right.
"I had been trying to figure out the mental stuff in the medication, and that's a big reason I decided to take time off. But now I'm back."
"It's another thing to fire me up to really buckle down," he said. "At the end of fighting [in the UFC], I was cutting corners on the diet, cutting corners on the training and on the cardio, the biking and running. Actually I cut out running for a long time. But now making that decision to cut down to lightweight, I can't cut any corners.
"I have to eat perfect. I have to train correctly. I have to add in all that cardio I used to do. ... The main thing I need to focus on just keeping my head on square. I think I'm going to give a lot of people a lot of trouble it that weight."
Guymon, who's now walking around at 172 pounds, said he'll get as light to 163 to 165 pounds before he'll simply need to cut water weight on the week of the fight. He's refocused, re-energized, rejuvenated. He's happy and motivated and healthy.
ProElite Results: Kendall Grove Tops Minowaman
ProElite held another successful event in the beautiful state of Hawaii as Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (14-9) dominated all three rounds in his main event tilt with Japanese MMA legend Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa (51-33-8). With effective stand up and picture perfect back control, Grove took the score 30-27 on all three judges’ score cards.
“I put my own pressure on myself. Minowa has very dangerous leg locks and I know if I gave him the opportunity, he would have broken my leg.” Grove said about going the distance in his bout.
In the co main event of the evening, Sara McMann (5-0) continued her dominance in the 135-pound women’s weight class with her unanimous decision over Hitomi Akano (18-9). McMann used her extensive wrestling pedigree to complete some cage shaking slams throughout the bout...
The Score Fighting Series Returns To Hamilton On March 16th
John Alessio vs. Ryan Healy confirmed for lightweight match-up
Tickets on sale January 24th
Press Release – TORONTO, January 18th, 2012 – Score Media Inc. (TSX: SCR) today announces that The Score Fighting Series (SFS) will be returning to Hamilton, Ontario for another night of incredible MMA action on Friday, March 16th at the Hamilton Place Theatre. A marquee match-up between John Alessio (33-14) and “Diamond” Ryan Healy (19-9-1) has been confirmed for the card.
Score Fighting Series veterans Rich Clementi, Josh Hill, Alex Ricci, Shane Campbell and Lyndon Whitlock are all slated to be in action. Opponents for all of them are awaiting approval by the Ontario Athletic Commission and will be announced shortly.
Rumoured bout: Mamed Khalidov vs. Hector Lombard for KSW 19
Translation from a polish article:
"TelewizjaOlsztyn.pl presented a video in which the issue is discussed for Mamed opponent. According to this material a new rival in the May gala Mamed NSS to be Hector Lombard who has an impressive record of 32-2-1. Lombard last battle fought on November 19, 2011 ceremony at which 58 Bellator defeated by TKO (strikes) Trevor Prangleya. If nothing changes and comes to this fight is a fight we will have the highest level. For Mamed but it will be the toughest opponent of what he fought so far."
I try my best to be a decent European Correspondent, but theres 23 languages in Europe so I can't promise all of them to be in English!
Mistakes behind him, ProElite 3 headliner Kendall Grove ready to have fun
Kendall Grove said he was a wimpy, overweight high-schooler when Ikuhisa Minowa was bounding around the ring in tight pants.
But he's grown up now, and in more ways than one. He's raising his own future high-schooler now, and he's trying in earnest to rebuild his career.
"I was trying to run a gym out here in Hawaii on top of managing a professional career in MMA, but that's just me being a [expletive] and making excuses," Grove told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "But now I don't have those excuses, and the sky's the limit, I guess."
Grove shut down his gym in Maui and trains out of his garage with a gaggle of students and coaches. He is almost completely self-sufficient, and a lot happier now without the distractions of running in two different directions.
Gilbert Yvel vs Houston Alexander
Veteran fighters Gilbert Yvel and Houston Alexander will square off in the light heavyweight division. Both fighters fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion and boast of careers with wins over some of the sport's top fighters.
“The main event is a huge fight between two bad dudes,” said promoter Wayne Harriman of Las Vegas. “Fight fans are in for a great one when those guys step into the cage.”
Nate Marquardt, BAMMA Sever Ties; Former UFC Contender Now a Free Agent
Nate Marquardt's run in BAMMA has come to an end before it ever really started.
According to Marquardt's manager Lex McMahon, the UK-based BAMMA has agreed to release Marquardt from his contract following the organization's decision to delay their ninth event from Feb. 11 to March 24. Marquardt was scheduled to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the main event of BAMMA 9 for the organization's welterweight title.
This marks the second time BAMMA has delayed Marquardt's promotional debut, as he was originally scheduled to fight for BAMMA in December.
Gabe Ruediger looks to open eyes with a return fight against Brandon Anderson at BAMMA(video)
Fight Hub TV fight correspondent Dustin De La Torre went out in about in Los Angeles and caught up with former UFC lightweight Gabe Ruediger. Fight fans last saw Ruediger at UFC 126 against Paul Taylor in which he was ultimately put away via KO. For the past year, Ruediger has been laying low and healing from well documented back problems which he was battling before and during his UFC stint.
This Friday, Ruediger looks to get in the win column going up against Brandon Anderson at BAMMA USA in Commence on Friday night.
ONE FC 2: Eric Kelly vs. Bae Young Kwon Round Out the Main Card
ONE Fighting Championship just officially announced the main card for their 2nd event this February. Most of the bouts listed were already mentioned on my last report on the fight card, but there's one match that slipped through the cracks.
That bout, a co-headliner between URCC Champion, Eric Kelly (6-0), and Bae Young Kwon (6-2) of Korea.
The Filipino fighter in Kelly, is considered as one of the best featherweights in the region. He is coming off a very impressive win over Mitch Chilson on the inaugural ONE FC event, and while also dangerous on his feet, he has finished all six of his fights by submission. He will be taking on the very dangerous Kwon, a Road FC contender who defeated Brian Choi of Evolve MMA last month
UFC vet Gerald Harris joins HDNet's Legacy Fighting 10 lineup
Next month's Legacy Fighting Championships 10 lineup has undergone a few changes.
Chief among them? UFC vet Gerald Harris, who's fresh off a pair of Tachi Palace Fights and DREAM victories, has joined the Feb. 24 lineup.
Harris (19-4) now fights fellow middleweight Artenas Young (7-4) on the night's HDNet-televised main card, Legacy officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Young's original opponent, William "Bubba" Bush (3-1), remains on the card. However, an opponent hasn't been determined.
Legacy Fighting 10 takes place at Houston's Arena Theater. At least six fights are expected to be part of the night's live HDNet-televised main card.
30-year old Japanese fighter Tomoya Miyashita dies of Leukemia on NYE
Very sad & discouraging to hear the news about 30-year old DEEP fighter Tomoya Miyashita dying on New Year’s Eve. He had fought one round of cancer (seminoma) and then was diagnosed with leukemia and lost the battle. He had a personal (Japanese language) blog online at Ameba where he commented on his struggles and also posted pictures of those in the fight community who came to visit with him.
Rolles Gracie vs Bob Sapp Confirmed for ONE FC 2, Top Russian Fighter Rustam Khabilov Also Added to Card
Numerous sources today confirmed that a heavyweight fight between Bob Sapp and Rolles Gracie (pictured above) has been added to the card for ONE FC 2 which is taking place in Jakarta on February 11th. Gracie has a 5-1 professional record with his sole loss coming on a disappointing UFC debut when his cardio looked extremely questionable.
Hopefully he has learned from that experience because he still has the potential to be one of the top heavyweights in the world and will be a strong favourite against K-1, Pride and Dream veteran Bob Sapp who weighed an incredible 350 lbs for his last fight
Jamie Varner vs. Drew Fickett headlines HDNet's XFC 16 on Feb. 10
A lightweight bout between former WEC champ Jamie Varner (18-6-1) and UFC veteran Drew Fickett (41-16) will headline Xtreme Fighting Championships' next major event.
XFC officials announced the fight earlier today.
The show, "XFC 16: High Stakes," takes place Feb. 10 at Knoxville Civic Auditorium-Coliseum in Tennessee. The main card airs live on HDNet
'Superior Cage Combat 4: Grove vs. Silva' set for Feb. 16 in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas-based Superior Cage Combat promotion returns to action in February, and UFC veterans Kendall Grove (13-9) and Jay Silva (7-4) headline the event.
Promotion officials recently announced that "SCC 4: Grove vs. Silva" takes place Feb. 16 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Additionally, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that verbal agreements are in place for a handful of other bouts including Justin Buchholz (12-6) vs. John Gunderson (32-12-2), Jamie Yager (5-2) vs. Danny Davis Jr. (6-5-1) and Jimmy Jones (3-0) vs. Joao Victor (2-0).
Grove, the 2006 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 3,"was released from the UFC following a UFC 130 loss to Tim Boetsch, dropping "Da Spyder's" octagon record to 8-6. The 6-foot-6 middleweight has since submitted Joe Riggs at ProElite 1 is also scheduled to face Ikuhisa Minowa at ProElite 3 on Jan. 21.
Jamie Varner signs multi-fight deal with the XFC
(Tampa, FL) Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), the Southeast’s largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion is proud to announce the signing of Jamie Varner. The former WEC lightweight champion has signed a new, multi-fight agreement with the promotion and will make his next appearance at XFC 16:High Stakes, live on HDNet on Feb. 10th at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, TN .
Universally recognized as one of the top lightweights in the world, Varner (18-6-1) is not only a dynamic striker, but has slick submission skills as well. Varner has built a reputation for finishing fights throughout his career. In 18 victories, ‘C-4' has finished 12 opponents in the first round. Only two of his wins came from the judge’s scorecards.
Gilbert Yvel is ready for his light-heavyweight debut tonight
Over the course of Gilbert "The Hurricane" Yvel's nearly 15-year professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, he has plied his trade all over the world, in just about every premier organization, against some of the greatest and biggest fighters in MMA history. Yvel has 54 fights to his credit and is a veteran fighter of the UFC, PRIDE, Affliction, M-1, and K-1. What is even more impressive is that Yvel has won two-thirds of his bouts despite competing throughout his career as an undersized heavyweight.
In a weight class that has a weight limit of 265-pounds or in some cases, no weight limit at all, Yvel has usually tipped the scales around 240-pounds against much larger men. This situation, sometimes leads fighters in his predicament to pack on unnecessary weight in an attempt to help close the weight difference between themself and their much bigger opponents. This decision, however, usually slows down the naturally smaller heavyweights and takes away from their cardio, so Yvel decided to take a much more drastic and effective approach by dropping down to the light-heavyweight (205-pound) weight division.