• 11.15.8 TFA 13 Long Beach

    Diego BautistaDiego Bautista

     

    TOTAL FIGHTING ALLIANCE or TFA held the 13th event in Long Beach on the 15th.

     

    locker room

    locker room

    handwrapping

    handwrapping

    hand wrapping - Marcus Kowal and Jeremy Umphries

    hand wrapping - Marcus Kowal and Jeremy Umphries

    Junior Merkel

    Junior Merkel

    Jamie Walsh

    Jamie Walsh

    Diego Bautista

    Diego Bautista

    Julio Sotomayor

    Julio Sotomayor

    Marcus Kowal

    Marcus Kowal

    David Talbert

    David Talbert

    Junior Merkel warming up

    Junior Merkel warming up

    Chris Cully

    Chris Cully

    Ring Card Girl

    Ring Card Girl

    Raphael Davis

    Raphael Davis

    Brandon Quaid

    Brandon Quaid

    Junior Merkel

    Junior Merkel

    Chris Cully

    Chris Cully

    in the ring

    in the ring

    Jeremy Umphries's victory

    Jeremy Umphries's victory


  • 3.22.8 Raymond Ayala’s first fight at TFA 10 – Santa Monica, CA

    TFA 10 Ring Card Girls

    TFA 10 Ring Card Girls

     

    There’s no question about it, I was rooting for Raymond today. The venue was in Santa Monica’s civic auditorium, just across the street from where I watch Raymond training the week before. TFA organized the 10th event and called in “Uprising X”, with headliner J.J. Ambrose defending his TFA welterweight title against Jason Cordero. Other fighters on the cards were Brent Cooper vs.Lee Chapman, Brandon Quaid vs. Jorge Lopez, Neal Abrams vs. Julio Sotomayor, Bobby Green vs. Raymond Ayala, Jeff Martin vs. Chris Cully, Skye Rivera vs. Javier Alanis, and Chris Sepulveda vs. Jose Morales …

     

    Ah, do I sound like a sport writer yet?  Not really. I’m mildly interested in stats and championship titles. Those things do give you additional emotional investments for whoever you are rooting for. In my case, I had to look up Raymond’s opponent Bobby Green and get an idea what Raymond was up against. I remember having seen Bobby at the last fight in January and found him to be super nice… too. It is a community that I’m starting to recognize faces and names. I ran into some Legend gym guys who were there to support their own first fight – fighter Chris Supulveda. One of which was Jorge “Van Damme” Oliveira, who showed up with a newly achieved belt from a fight in Lemoore 2 days prior. He was one of the friendliest guys I met at that magazine assignment photoshoot. He carried an extra stride this time around.

    Raymond's hand wrapping

    Raymond's hand wrapping

    Raymond in the ring

    Raymond in the ring

    Raymond fights Bobby

    Raymond fights Bobby

    Raymond was defeated

    Raymond was defeated

    Raymond recovering

    Raymond recovering

    TFA judge

    TFA judge

    TFA referee

    TFA referee

    Jorge "Van Damme" Oliveira and his 2 day old PFC light heavyweight titled belt

    Jorge "Van Damme" Oliveira and his 2 day old PFC light heavyweight titled belt

    Wayne Phillips

    Wayne Phillips

    Lee Chapman

    Lee Chapman

    Chris Cully momentarily had Jeff Martin in a head lock

    Chris Cully momentarily had Jeff Martin in a head lock

    Jeff Martin defeated Chris Cully in a unanimous decision

    Jeff Martin defeated Chris Cully in a unanimous decision

    Bobby Green defeated Raymond Ayala in a submission choke 2nd round

    Bobby Green defeated Raymond Ayala in a submission choke 2nd round

    fighter and trainer at ringside

    fighter and trainer at ringside

    Bobby Green at victory interview

    Bobby Green at victory interview

    J.J. Ambrose about to defend his belt title

    J.J. Ambrose about to defend his belt title

    J.J. Ambrose after successfully defended his belt title

    J.J. Ambrose after successfully defended his belt title

    photo with ring card girls

    photo with ring card girls


  • 1.19.8 Junior Merkel’s fight & TFA 9 Santa Monica, CA

    Junior Merkel is one of the star instructor at Krav Maga National Training Center. He is one of my favorites. Not only because he’s clean and clear technical demonstration, but also he is a very mindful teacher. I know I’ve learned a lot from him because his style is sensitive to individual needs. In my case, his belief in my ability to executing techniques is how I get over my own personal hurdles. 

    It was then natural that I, along with a ton of his students, colleagues, and friends would never miss any of his fights. January 19, being the second fight. He must have filled about 30-40% of the stadium seating. It seemed that everyone was rooting for him.

    Junior prepping for his fight

    Junior prepping for his fight

    Junior at TFA 9

    Junior at TFA 9

    Junior applying choke

    Junior applying choke

    Junior - victory

    Junior - victory

    Junior Merkel's victory interview

    Junior Merkel's victory interview

    TFA  , or the Total Fighting Alliance, itself is an interesting organization ran by Todd Meacham (CEO) and Richard Rasmussen (Director of Operation). This was my second time at a TFA event, but the first time I met them. They are outstandingly friendly. I was glad to see that, from the prior even in October 07 to this one, the size of the production expanded ten folds. TFA is not UFC, but I’m really glad it’s there to give the chance of smaller scale fighters a place to compete.

    Todd Meacham at TFA 9

    Todd Meacham at TFA 9

    TFA 9 Announcer

    TFA 9 Announcer

     Justin “Bully” Schalk before fight

    Justin “Bully” Schalk before fight

    hand wrapping

    hand wrapping

    Nick Quintong before fight

    Nick Quintong before fight

    Julio Sotomayor dominating opponent

    Julio Sotomayor dominating Chris Champagne

    Shane Rice of Rickson Gracie easily dominates from the ground

    Shane Rice of Rickson Gracie easily dominates from the ground

    Todd Guimond keeps the belt

    Todd Guimond keeps the belt