Monthly Archives

June 2012

Student of the Game- an interview with Jimmie Rivera

By Current News No Comments

Student of the Game- an interview with Jimmie Rivera

June 27, 2012 – By

Redemption can be a fantastic motivator. Jimmie Rivera’s (9-1) latest turning point came on June 7, 2011when he walked out of the famous Ultimate Fighter cage with his hand not raised. A highly touted 135 pound prospect the New Jersey native was upset by eventual 145 pound finalist Dennis Bermudez (8-3) and instead of moving into the house Rivera was sent back on a six hour plane flight home.

Days from his 23rd birthday and at his natural weight class Rivera is one of the best bantamweight prospects in MMA. 373 days after his Ultimate Fighter setback Rivera added another championship belt to his collection by capturing the renowned Ring of Combat 135 pound title. As the Team Tiger Schulmann fighter continues to refine his game, the new question for Rivera is how many more belts can he win on the local scene before he gets signed by the UFC. spoke with Rivera after a recent practice about his fighting style, time on TUF and MMA fight politics.

Rivera is ranked at the number 29 spot in the 2012 edition of the ULTMMA50; a pound for pound listing of the top 50 prospects in MMA. Explain the 12 month layoff between fights. Was that tough?

Jimmie Rivera: The layoff was tough because I tried to get fights in November and April and they both fell through. November the guy backed out the day before weigh-ins and in April they just kept changing opponents until a week out, I just said let’s just push it back to June. The layoff was a little hard because I went over a year without fighting and it was tough.

I wish I had a fight sooner but there was nothing you could do about it, it was all political.

ULTMMA: You think it’s a double edge sword now that your 9-1, people see that and don’t want to take fights with you?

Rivera: It could be that, it could be lots of things. When it comes to a mangers job they want to get a fight that is a definite “W” for their fighter’s record. As you get up there the competition just gets better and better. A guy like Justin Hickey record is 6-3 but let me tell you that guy is very tough and he didn’t come into to lose. I hit him with some good shots and he kept coming.

ULTMMA: After the Ultimate Fighter what did you do when you got home? What was that time period like?

Rivera: I was depressed with all the mistakes I made training wise and getting ready for the fight. I just worked on getting better with my jiu-jitsu and everything. I just kept focused on all the aspects; boxing kickboxing, MMA, ground n’ pound, everything. So, in the next fight I would be comfortable in every position.

ULTMMA: You were 8-1 heading into TUF, whose idea was it to tryout?

Rivera: Actually one of my friends Louis Gaudinot was trying out, so I was like I might as well try out to. I know they were looking for 135 but I’m a big 135 so I said let me go for 145. There was no flyweight yet so Louis had to fight at 135.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I had no expectations. Then I got the call to come to Vegas and get your physical done. When they called me for a second interview I was shocked.

ULTMMA: Was there any regrets of doing 145 and not trying to do 135?

Rivera: I wanted to be professional and not miss weight. The one thing I would probably take back was at 145 I tried to get bigger instead of leaning out and doing what Frankie Edgar does and get in crazy cardio shape. I was in really good shape but I was trying to get too big.

That was a mistake I made and you learn from it. Every fight you learn something. If, you don’t finish everyone with a knockout or a tap out there are mistakes made.

ULTMMA: Assume you win your next one or two fights how many fights are you away from the UFC or Bellator?

Rivera: I don’t know at all to be honest. The UFC will take you but they might have too many people, you don’t know. The other day I tweeted Sean Shelby, joking with him of course, how many more belts do I need to win before I can get in there? I was King of the Cage champ, Ring of Combat champ, maybe I’ll go get the CFFC champ, I don’t know. Its whatever happens and I just take it day by day. If, I get in September from Ring of Combat I’ll defend my title.

I’m just playing it by ear and always training. I fought on Friday and I was back in the gym. I don’t like taking breaks unless I’m hurt. I just like to work on my game, do grappling tournaments, wrestle with some All Americans. I had a pro Muay Thai fight last September. Maybe I’ll do another Muay Thai fight or just work on everything.

There is not enough to do to get ready. There is always so much to do.

ULTMMA: Some people have compared your style to Frankie Edgar. If, people haven’t seen you who would you compare yourself to?

Rivera: I guess I could compare myself to Frankie Edgar because I’m been in two five round fights. The whole wrestling and having good cardio. I don’t know how Frankie Edgar’s jiu-jitsu is but I’ve been really working on my jiu-jitsu. I feel like the power in my hands is improving.

I don’t really ever compare myself to anyone. I compare myself to myself and I’m like a perfectionist.

 ULTMMA: What part of your game do you think people overlook?

Rivera: People think I can’t grapple at all. I have good jiu-jitsu and I know that. People think I’m just a wrestler with good boxing skills but I can go to the ground to.

I’ve done grappling tournaments, like grapplers quest, and I’ve won the expert division. I’ve beaten jiu-jitsu black belts.

ULTMMA: When do you think you started gaining more notoriety as a fighter?

Rivera: In my career with people politically in MMA it turned after the Abel Cullum fight. I came into at 6-1 and going against a guy who was like 18-3, been to Japan, been King of the Cage champion for so many years. Nobody thought I could beat him. I just proved everyone wrong.

Then I fought Jared Papazian and he was a really tough opponent to. I came out with the W. When people started to recognize me more was when I was on the Ultimate Fighter. When I came back everyone was asking what happened and I couldn’t say.

Then the fight happened and everyone was like dude you had the guy in the first round. After the Bermudez fight I really started to get noticed.

ULTMMA: When did you start martial arts?

Rivera: I actually started training when I was a kid. When I was nine years old I started to get into training. From there I went to a lot of competitions and tournaments. I did a couple of Junior Fighters where fighters that are under 18 fight. I honestly thought it was really cool and I wanted to take it a step further.

Right around when I turned 18 is when they started doing amateur MMA. I was actually one of the first people to try amateur MMA from Tiger Schulmann. From there it going one after another and it was addicting. I took off Sunday and I was back in on Tuesday. I can’t miss too much. I’m addicted to it (training) and the same thing with fighting.

ULTMMA: Any people you have to thank? Where can people find you online?

Rivera: Just want to thank all my friends, family, coaches and my teammates. You can follow me on twitter at @Jimmie_Rivera

Train with Jimmie Rivera @ TSMMA Elmwood Park

NAGA Virginia Beach TSMMA Grappling Results

By Current News No Comments

NAGA Virginia Beach TSMMA Grappling Results – 6/23/12

Division Place Student
Kids NO-GI Expert 90 to 99.9 lbs. 12 & 13 yrs old 1st Place Ben Bagbek
Girls NO-GI Expert 124 to 136.9 lbs 12 & 13 year olds 1st Place Kimberly McNiff
Teen NO-GI Intermediate Cruiser Weight 15 & 16 yrs old 1st Place Anthony Freyre
Kids GI Expert 85 to 99.9 lbs. 11 & 12 yr olds 1st Place Ben Bagbek

TSMMA Rego Park Student Loses 25lbs Kickboxing

By Current News No Comments

Rego Park Student Tal Givon loses 25lbs Kickboxing

Working out in TSK is so much fun! It’s intensive, it’s a great workout and it’s always challenging, no matter how many times you threw that jab. You get to meet new people almost every class, some of them turn to be your personal coach, pushing you through every step of the class to bring out the best of you. Some, you just see for a couple of times because your schedules don’t match. The most exciting thing of all is to watch someone transform right before your eyes, see how their body shape up to be something totally different than what you once knew.

I know many of us joined TSK to lose weight, to be in a better shape, to have a fitter body, and I know how encouraging it is to see it can be done. That’s why, when Sensei Stine asked me to share my before and after pictures I immediately said yes (even though it took a while to take the perfect picture I was really happy with).

When I joined TSK, about 15 months ago, I was totally out of shape, and couldn’t even complete one push up, not even on my knees. The amazing team at TSK Rego Park always challenged me to out beat myself, and so I did, time and time again. The secret is to find the power within you to keep pushing yourself to do better and not settle for the familiar and comfortable. Always pick a partner that is better than you or one that really pushes you to be faster, more powerful and more determined.

During this 15 month journey, not only did I lose 25 pounds, my body shape altered completely: I lost 11 inches off my waist, and 5-6 inches off my bust, hips and thighs. On top of that, TSK truly taught me discipline, determination and consistency.

It works, see for yourselves:


Tal Givon

Train with Sensei Stine @ TSMMA REGO PARK

Michael Murray Returns to the Cage this Saturday at CFFC MMA Event

By Current News No Comments

Michael Murray Returns to the Cage this Saturday at CFFC MMA Event

Michael Murray (TSMMA Paramus) will be making his 125lb Flyweight division debut vs. Darren Mima

Event: Cage Fury Fighting Championships XV
Date/Time: Saturday, 6/30 – 7pm
Venue: Resorts Casino, Atlantic City NJ

Go Fight Live will be streaming the event Live for $14.99 –

Michael Murray’s Last Fight vs. Robert Walker from PA Caged Combat from 4/6/12

Train with Michael Murray @ TSMMA Paramus

Team TSMMA Hits The StrikeZone

By Current News No Comments

Team TSMMA Hits The StrikeZone

6/23/12 – Article By Sensei Thad Campbell of TSMMA Feasterville – photo’s by Brian T Cooper Photography

Voorhees, NJ – The destruction continues for Team TSMMA as they sent three more fighters into the ring Saturday night looking to build on an impressive steak of victories.  The three would take part in StrikeZone, an amateur Muay Thai event. Joshu Shane Baker of TSMMA Cherry Hill would make his debut alongside veterans Shane Burgos and Jenna Serio. Shake Baker would be fighting ten minutes from his school against a competitor from a rival school. Burgos and Serio had much longer journeys, coming down from TSMMA Woodbury and TSMMA Bay Ridge respectively. Hurricane and Pepperoni wouldn’t disappoint the fans who followed them down the Jersey Turnpike to Exit 4 for the event. All three fighters would get the TSMMA fans in the arena to their feet.

Things started out with Joshu Shane Baker making his debut in the ring. The lanky Baker had been training for twenty years preparing for this day and his experience showed in the first round. Baker was taking on Ian Smith of Daddis Fight Camps, which is right down the street from his own school. It wasn’t until the two faced off at the referee that Baker would find out he was fighting a southpaw. This didn’t faze Baker in the least as he listened closely to his corner shouting out for straight right hands. Baker would land a couple solid shots in the round, hurting Smith. Smith was a game opponent though and was able to gain a clinch on numerous occasions. At first Baker was tying up his opponent and waiting to be separated, but the rules of the event were to allow the clinch to continue so once again Sensei Paul Querido came through with a quick adjustment. This time encouraging Baker to push off his opponent’s face and load up a right hand. This is exactly how the round ended.

Round 2 started with Smith once again looking to clinch, but the new tactic by Baker was immediately effective. He would stun Smith with a right hand out of the clinch and then land another huge right hand from range. This put Baker in stalk mode and he quickly found the range for another combination that put Smith on the canvas for good.  It was an impressive knock out for the newcomer as the referee didn’t get past four on the ten count, seeing that Smith was finished for the night. Baker wins his debut at 1:25 of the first round by TKO Ref Stoppage.

The applause for Baker had barely subsided when Hurricane Shane Burgos entered the ring to take on Eric Tobias of Wat Gym. Burgos was fresh off a victory in MMA where he utilized standup to dominate and looking to build on that success. Long known for his elite level grappling, Burgos has been working tirelessly for the last few years to bring his kickboxing to the same level. It certainly seemed to be there on Saturday night. Tobias was a great opponent to challenge Burgos. The student of Phil Nurse was extremely confident and composed in the ring matching the intensity brought by Burgos.   He was constantly testing Burgos’ defense with straight punches and trying to control him with a clinch. Burgos was countering with a counter left hook and looking extremely comfortable inside the clinch with his own array of knees and uppercuts. This was all packed into the first minute. Halfway through the 1st round, the night changed for Tobias as Burgos landed a brutal hook that landed Tobias on the canvas. He would get up quickly and answer the ten count only to be caught again seconds later. This time it put Tobias on shaky legs, but after a quick check by the ringside Doctor, Tobias was allowed to continue. Burgos meanwhile was standing in the neutral corner looking like a caged animal. The referee would start the action again and once again Burgos would land a devastating left hook. This one left his opponent completely out on the canvas and the ref didn’t even start a count before calling the fight off.  Burgos wins by TKO at 1:37 of Round 1.

No pressure on Jenna Pepperoni Serio as she faced off with Jess Vondolln of LA Boxing. The two would be the headliner for the night and they didn’t disappoint.  Serio came out like a wildfire throwing a jab cross combination at Vondolln at least fifty times in Round 1. She would chase Vondolln around the ring with constant pressure and at numerous points it looked like she might get a flurry to stop the fight.  Her opponent wasn’t a main eventer for nothing though, as Vondolln showed amazing toughness while throwing back right hands of her own. Serio showed great maturity in round 2.  Realizing that Vondolln wasn’t going anywhere, Serio showed off her conditioning by using movement to stymie her opponents attack. Vondolln would begin to throw a little more frequently in Round 2, but Serio continued to answer with a Jab Cross combination that Vondolln had no answer for. While it looked like Serio was in control of the fight, the TSMMA crowd was a little on edge because Vondolln was still answering back any time Serio looked to take control. That would be put to rest in Round 3 as Serio took control completely. She simply wouldn’t let up the pressure on her opponent, throwing punches for two straight minutes while constantly moving her opponent backwards. The verdict was sealed and Serio took away a unanimous decision. She pitched a shutout on two of the three scorecards, highlighting her domination.

All three TSMMA fighters put on an amazing show Saturday night. The most obvious component being the great conditioning all three brought into the ring. Months of hard work paid off as all three were constantly on the attack with no fear of gassing out because of their preparation. Congratulations to all three. The people in attendance can’t wait to see the show again soon and if you missed these fights look out for any of these three to be fighting again soon so you can witness the excitement first hand!

Train with Shane Baker @ TSMMA Cherry Hill

Train with Shane Burgos @ TSMMA Woodbury

Train with Jenna Serio @TSMMA Bay Ridge

Friday Night Fights Results -Trizano Continues to Impress

By Current News No Comments

Friday Night Fights Results -Trizano Continues to Impress

6/22/12 – NYC

Michael Trizano (TSMMA Ramsey) vs. Joseph Tien (Redline Sports) – 152lb bout

Trizano wins via TKO at 1:03 of round 3

Trizano wins his debut Muay Thai fight, showing off his improved striking. Trizano dropped Tien in the 3rd round with a hard left hook to the body. After getting helped up by the ref, Tien was clearly hurt and had the look of a defeated fighter. Trizano’s performance earned the praise of trainer and corner man Sensei Rappoport of TSMMA Ramsey. Trizano was promoted to Hi-Brown belt following the victory and is now 3-0 in amateur boxing and Muay Thai Competition. Expect to see Mike back in the ring this summer, July 13th, boxing in Hoboken.

Train with Michael Trizano at TSMMA Ramsey

Friday Night Fights and Strikezone Kickboxing Events this Weekend

By Current News No Comments

Friday Night Fights and Strikezone Kickboxing Events this Weekend

Friday Night Fights – Friday, June 22nd

Mike Trizano of TSMMA Ramsey makes his Kickboxing Debut

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Venue Information:
Hall at St. Paul
9th Ave between 59th & 60th St.
New York, NY, 10019

Strikezone – Saturday, June 23rd

Representing Team Tiger Schulmann will be:

Jenna Serio of TSMMA Bayridge, Shane Burgos & Linda Tarsio of TSMMA Woodbury, Shane Bake of TSMMA Cherry Hill

The Mansion
3000 Main Street
Voorhees, NJ 08043
(856) 751-1717
Doors open at 6pm