Monthly Archives

February 2014

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | DJ Tirelli of River Dell

Lifelong TSMMA Student DJ Tirelli Wins Prestigious Athlete of the Week Award

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DJ Tirelli usually sets lofty goals for himself at the dawn of each new wrestling season.

But rather than aspiring to earn a place on the medal stand at the state tournament, the River Dell senior took a more philosophical approach this winter.

“I wanted to give it my all, everything I’ve got,” he said. “I didn’t want to hold back. I don’t care how I end up. Hopefully, I end up on the podium. Hopefully, I end up top three, top one. As long as I give my all and don’t hold back, I’ll reach my goal.”

The Record Male Athlete of the Week didn’t hold anything back at this past weekend’s District 8 tournament, storming through the 132-pound bracket in front of his home crowd. He won with pins of 12 seconds and 34 seconds in the quarters and semis. He clinched his third district title and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award by beating Pascack Hills’ Michael Worthington, 14-7, in the final.

Born David John to a father who would carve out a distinguished career as a pro mixed martial arts fighter (Head Instructor of TSMMA Elmwood Park Dave Tirelli), DJ doesn’t consider himself a natural-born wrestler. He says his 100-plus varsity victories have come as a result of working that much harder than the next guy.

It all started to come together one fateful bout during his freshman season. At districts that year, he found himself face to face with the top seed in the 113-pound bracket.

“I ended up beating some kid who was 29-1,” Tirelli said. “That was the turning point in my wrestling career.”

The wrestler who’s getting ready for the Region 2 tournament this weekend, says River Dell coach Mike Tota, is “explosive, quick and tenacious.”

And eager, too, to continue his wrestling career when he enrolls at Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island in the fall. He plans on majoring in criminal justice and hopes to realize a childhood dream of becoming a police officer.

“I always liked the moral part of it, making the world a better place, making it safe,” the Oradell resident said.

Read more about how TSMMA’s Impact on DJ Tirelli’s Wrestling Success here

Father and Son. David and DJ Tirelli

Father and Son. David and DJ Tirelli – DJ in his early days of competition at TSMMA


Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Group Photo

Team Tiger Schulmann Shines at Aggressive Combat Championships

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02/22/14 – Queens, NY

Steve Eno was the first representative from the TSMMA camp. Steve trains under Sensei Domingo at the Garden City TSMMA. Steve set the platform for TSMMA by finishing Renzo Mendoza with multiple punches to the face causing the referee to stop the Muay Thai bout in the (3) third round. Congratulations to Steve Eno on his TKO win.

Next up was Joshua Neilson who trains under Sensei Rich Jean at the Huntington TSMMA. Joshua fought a tough Muay Thai bout with Hung Nguyen from Edge Hoboken. These two guys went at it throughout their contest but Joshua started to make adjustments in the second and third round with his punches. At one time Joshua even looked surprised at the way he was able to maneuver Hung around the cage. Joshua won his bout by decision. Congratulations to Joshua Neilson on his win.

The third representative from TSMMA was Erin Blanchfield from Elmwood Park School training under Sensei David Tirelli, Sensei Will Hamilton and Joshu Sofia Gegovic-Gegaj. Erin entered her Muay Thai bout with one thing on her mind (DESTROY).
She fought a determined Destiny Quinones from Kai Next Level MMA who competes in either a Muay Thai or Grappling event every (2) two weeks. Erin won her bout with a sequence of left and right punches causing the referee to stop the bout in the (2nd) second round. Congratulations to Erin on her TKO win.

The next TSMMA prodigy representing the organization was newcomer Louie Walther. Louie trains under Sensei Jose Montes and Joshu Shane Burgos at the Vails Gate TSMMA. He was matched up against Arthur Larson from East Coast United. This bout was considered fight of the night by officials and spectators. These two  were not looking to leave anything in the hand of judges. They fought with intensity and conviction. Louie won the contest by Split decision. A rematch is in the making. So look forward to Louie competing at the next Aggressive Combat Sport Event in May of 2014.

Nuchem Fischer was the (5th) fifth TSMMA competitor to represent the organization. Nuchem trains out the TSMMA Elmwood Park School with Sensei David Terrilli, Sensei Will Hamilton, and Joshu Sofia Gegovic-Gegaj. Nuchem took on Shamir Arias from East Coast United. Nuchem won his bout by split decision but in the eyes of the audience and coaches it was an unanimous decision. Nuchem pummeled Shamir with rights and left punches forcing him against the cage through out every round. Congratulations to Nuchem Fischer on his win.

The Co-Main event was Matthew Roman vs Eric Taylor. These MMA contestants were scheduled to fight at the 170 lb weight class. Due some miscommunication, Eric Taylor weighed in at 187 lbs. Matt weighed in at the agreed 170 lb weight class. Coaches, fighters, and officials suggested both competitors fight at the 180 lb weight limit. The contest consisted of Eric Taylor attempting to strike with Matthew and on each occassion he was met with a takedown into the mounted position with Matthew on top. Eric fought with a lot of aggression and was able to get the split decision victory over Matthew. I assure you the next appearance Matthew Roman makes will be much different.

Thank you everyone who helped out in the corner Sensei-Jose Montes, Sensei Rich Jean, Sensei Vincent Domingo, Shane Burgos, Jerome Bourne, Steve (Sed Olner), Sofia Gegovic-Gegaj and family. See you at the next Aggressive Combat Sport Event May 10, 2014.

By: Will Hamilton

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Aggressive Combat Championship Banner

Aggressive Combat Championships 5 Amateur MMA Results

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02/22/14 – Queens College, NY

Nuchem Fischer (TSMMA) vs Shakira Arias – Amateur Muay Thai – 135lbs

Fischer wins via Decision

Erin Blanchfield (TSMMA) vs Destiny Quinones – Amateur Muay Thai 125lbs

Blanchfield wins TKO in Round 2

Steve Inoshima (TSMMA) Vs. Renzo Mendoza -Amateur Muay Thai – 155lbs

Inoshima wins via TKO Round 3

Joshua Nielsen (TSMMA) vs Hung Nyuyen – Amateur Muay Thai – 125lbs

Nielsen wins via Decision

Matthew Roman (TSMMA)  vs Eric Taylor – Amateur MMA Bout – 170lbs

Taylor wins via decision

Louie Walther(TSMMA) vs Alex Velasco – Amateur Muay Thai – 135lbs

Walther wins via Decision

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Man Before and After

Man Finds Motivation & Inspiration Kickboxing at Tiger Schulmann’s – Loses 40lbs

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rani-before-afterI joined Tiger Schulmann’s Paramus in September 2012, looking for a more structured workout program than just going to the gym. 8 months later, 40 pounds lighter, I won first place in the 90-Day Challenge competition in two categories (most weight loss and most dramatic change) and couldn’t be happier. Since then I was able to maintain my weight by training regularly, taking 6 classes per week, and keeping ‘In Motion Meals’ an essential part of my daily meals plan.

Looking back at my life “before TSMMA”, my escape route would be the couch watching TV with comfort food.

Over the last few months I’ve been faced with challenging situations in my personal life, resulting in a lot of stress and the need to make some difficult decisions. Looking back at my life “before TSMMA”, my escape route would be the couch watching TV with comfort food. The level of discipline I’ve been adapted to over the last 15 months has changed all that. Going to class on a freezing Saturday morning, or at 8:30 at night after a long and stressful day was not a question or a debate anymore, it became a given, just like getting up and going to work every morning. Thinking about the times I worked out at the gym and the countless times I just gave up going only because I wasn’t motivated enough and lacked the discipline, with my Tiger Schulmann’s routine this is the complete opposite. Classes are now part of my day to day routine, part of my well being and my gateway to forgetting about everything while I am on the mat. In short, TSMMA has become my anchor of sanity!

Thinking about the times I worked out at the gym and the countless times I just gave up going only because I wasn’t motivated enough and lacked the discipline, with my Tiger Schulmann’s routine this is the complete opposite.


…as a parent, this is a priceless investment in my kids’ future, not only teaching them discipline and values, but also equipping them with the tools to face tough situations in real life

Trusting my instructor, Joshu Michael Murray, I now have my 3 boys taking classes at the Paramus school. For me as a parent, this is a priceless investment in my kids future, not only teaching them discipline and values, but also equipping them with the tools to face tough situations in real life and being able to have the right skill set to overcome any obstacle, from a potential bullying situation to a challenge in school or anything else where their mixed martial arts skills and discipline will become handy. 2 of my kids have recently took part in the Tiger Schulmann’s Challenge of Champions competition, and I couldn’t be more proud in this first milestone in their young life. I can honestly say that Tiger Schulmann’s Paramus has become a second home for us, a loving extended family.  The kids love going there and show their pride by mentioning TSMMA and their training at any opportunity when being asked about their long term goals.

Rani Globin – TSMMA Paramus School student

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Woman Before and After

From New Year’s Resolution to Lifestyle Transformation: TSMMA Brick Student’s Success Story

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I learned from these past five years training at Tiger schulmann’s, to not be afraid or intimidated to make certain decisions, because any single one of them can change things for the better.

We all make thousands of decisions throughout a single day, and I never thought that just one of those would change my life completely. That decision was on January 21st, 2009, to take my first class at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts.

As far back as I can remember I was always shy, and I always had my older sister to stick up for me whenever anyone tried to push me around. I remember being in middle school on the bus ride home when two boys were making fun of me; I just sat there and let them, then my sister stood up from anther seat and punched one of them. My shy personality became even more insecure when I was in high school. Not only had my sister graduated, so I had no “body guard” but I was also gaining a lot of weight, which hit my confidence even harder. I stayed quiet in school, never really talking to anyone but my small group of friends. I live five minutes from the beach and never wanted to go. I used to make excuses how, “it’s so boring. I hate just laying there. It’s always too crowded,” when in reality I never wanted anyone to see me in a bathing suit. Even at friends’ pools, I covered up my bikini with either shorts or a tee shirt.

I graduated in 2007 at 189 pounds (at least that’s what my weight was when I decided to never step on the scale again). Throughout the next couple of years I tried to lose the weight: running, gym memberships, weight loss programs, counting points, counting calories, I even had “buddies” to keep me motivated, but nothing seemed to work.

January 2009, I made the same New Years resolution I had made at least three times before that. I remember watching a Tiger Schulmann’s commercial and thinking to myself “maybe I should try that.” The next thing I knew I had picked up the phone and dialed the number. I didn’t expect myself to actually sign up, I just planned to call, get some information, hang up, let the note sit, and consider that progress. Instead I found myself excited about doing something different, and scheduled to take a class just a few days later. I remember almost everything from that first class, but mainly how much fun I had, how much of a great workout it was, and how I became instantly hooked.

8 weight stages

I lost weight immediately. That March I started my first “90 Day Challenge,” and weighed in at 165lbs. I was excited at my progress so far and eager to continue. Finally, something worked for me. I have trained consistently since that very first class and have lost over 50 pounds! I was shocked at what I lost, but also surprised at what I gained: I never had this much confidence before. I’m proud and happy with the person I have become, I hold my head up high, and I’m not afraid to stand up for myself when I need it. I have set and achieved so many goals that I never even thought I would be capable of. I am much more outgoing and I love meeting new people (and I love going to the beach!). Not only that, but the friendships I gained from other students is one of a kind. I met a lot of wonderful people, each with their own backgrounds and reasons as to why they started. All of them are so helpful and supportive, especially during those tough times when I felt stuck. I am thankful for all of my training partners and Sensei Colontino for helping me get to where I am today.

I have trained consistently since that very first class and have lost over 50 pounds! I was shocked at what I lost, but also surprised at what I gained: I never had this much confidence before.

I joined for one reason, which was to lose weight, and never did I expect the results to transform me completely. Along with my weight loss and confidence, I have also found a new hobby which I love, competed in several Challenge of Champions, and NAGA tournaments and am currently working towards my goal of becoming a black belt. Another thing I learned from these past five years is to not be afraid or intimidated to make certain decisions, because any single one of them can change things for the better.

by Ericka – TSMMA Brick

Manhattan’s Blake Earns First Round KO In Golden Gloves Boxing Debut

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TSMMA Manhattan’s Blake Makes Boxing Debut

Malik Blake entered the NY Golden Gloves Boxing tournament looking to make yet another historic run to Madison Square Garden for Team Tiger Schulmann’s. Last night Blake made his boxing debut a memorable one. Blake would square off with Sy Lyles in the opening round of the novice division.

Lyles fights for Gleason’s Boxing Gym in Brooklyn. Blake’s performance highlighted the high level boxing training students receive at TSMMA. Blake is just the latest TSMMA fighter to prove they can compete with students who train exclusively in boxing, while learning the other aspects of a Mixed Martial Art at the same time. Lyles was no match for Blake as the TSMMA Manhattan fighter exerted his dominance from the very first round.

TSMMA Manhattan Student Displays Boxing Skill

Blake established his power early in the first two minute frame. He was technically superior to Lyle’s and matched the Gleason’s fighter’s grit when things got tough. Blake forced the referee to step in to give Lyles a standing eight count in the second round, a rare occurrence in amateur boxing even at the most elite levels.

Blake Celebrates With Former Golden Gloves Champion Ray Velez (far left), Shihan Ron Schulmann (2nd from right) and Sensei Carlos Brooks (far right).

Blake Celebrates With Former Golden Gloves Champion Ray Velez (far left), Shihan Ron Schulmann (2nd from right) and Sensei Carlos Brooks (far right).

 Lyles may have been better off if the referee had simply called the fight then. The Gleason’s fighter showed his heart coming out for the third round, but again Blake unleashed his rare power by forcing a second standing eight count. The referee let Lyles continue, but that didn’t last long as the fight was called at 1:02 of the third round.

Manhattan’s Blake Finishes Debut Boxing Match With Stoppage


TSMMA Manhattan Student Disqualified From Boxing Tourney

Sadly, Blake will not be allowed to continue in the Golden Gloves novice division. In a previously unheard of rule, they do not allow fighters with any amateur kickboxing or MMA experience to enter the novice division.

You may have up to ten amateur boxing matches and still be considered a novice, so the rule seems tilted to protect boxers. Blake only has a couple of Kickboxing matches under his belt. Still don’t expect it to slow down the freight train of momentum the young Blake has built up in his competitive career.

If Blake's previous Kickboxing matches had been Boxing he would still be eligible.

If Blake’s previous Kickboxing matches had been Boxing he would still be eligible.

 His instructor Shihan Ron Schulmann says very simply, “We will get him some more experience in the coming year and enter him in the open division in 2014.”

Blake will look to join the likes of Mike Fischetti, Nissim Levy, Kat Diaz, and Sofia Gegovic. All those Tiger Schulmann’s fighters have reached the finals of the Gloves. Don’t be surprised if he joins Anthony Karperis, Julio Arce and Munah Holland as Team TSMMA representatives to take home the Golden Gloves title.

Congratulations to Blake on his impressive boxing performance last night and stay tuned for information as the young TSMMA Manhattan student looks to build on his successful amateur career.

By: Sensei Thad Campbell

My One Year Anniversary At Tiger Schulmann’s

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Brooklyn Man Changes Life With MMA

before after

My name is Neal and I have been a Tiger Schulmann’s MMA student since January 15, 2013.

Over the past 365 days:

– I have lost 78 pounds.
– My waist has gone from 42” to 34”.
– My suit size has decreased from size 52 portly to size 44 slim fit.
– My physician has cut my pressure and cholesterol medication doses in half.
– I am now a competitor and participant in Spartan and mud-run obstacle races.

Kickboxing Class Leads Brooklyn Man To Amazing Changes

It was one year ago today I had made a decision that the time had come for me to start taking care of myself and my health. At 44 years old I had reached a point where I had become overweight and deconditioned in carrying out tasks that were taken for granted in previous years. Keeping up with my children’s physical events became a task. At friendly neighborhood softball games I would be winded running out an easy base hit. Climbing flights of stairs when elevators were broken was leaving me out of breath.

One day when shopping on Kings Highway I noticed the Grand Opening of a Tiger Schulmann’s MMA Midwood in close proximity to my home. I decided it would be convenient to inquire if Tiger Schulmann’s would be able to help me with weight loss and cardio conditioning.

My One Year Anniversary At Tiger Schulmann’s

Neal burned away fat while learning self-defense and relieving stress on a heavy bag!

 I called on a Sunday to ask questions about Tiger Schulmann’s programs and although the school was closed, the location’s owner/instructor, Sensei Sean Nolan, answered my call. Without any previous martial arts experience it was my impression that kickboxing programs were generally a part of a fitness club and ‘gym’ setting. We had a constructive conversation where it was explained to me that Tiger Schulmann MMA is a ‘school’ and not a traditional ‘gym’ or fitness club. We set up an appointment to meet at the school to discuss my personal needs one-on-one.

Broooklyn MMA School Motivates Students In All Areas Of Life

Sensei Nolan was sensitive, understanding, knowledgeable, and passionate about his school and its curriculum. He provided me with personal attention and an open door to discuss anything I would need to achieve my goals. I knew after my first class with Sensei Nolan and hearing his words of advice and encouragement to his students that the school would be beneficial for me.

My One Year Anniversary At Tiger Schulmann’s

This was Neal before he joined TSMMA Midwood.

 Looking back a year to my initial sign-up I would have never imagined that TSMMA Midwood would have the positive impact on me that it has. My original reasons for joining Tiger Schulmann MMA were for weight loss and cardio stamina, but the school has provided me a sense of structure at a time that it was lacking in my personal life.

Midwood Instructor Creates Kickboxing Family

The school trains students in martial arts, muscular development, cardio, and flexibility, but it also provides the necessary skills to incorporate the handling of everyday life’s challenges; -Structure. -Motivation. -Accomplishment. -Discipline. -Respect. –The pursuit & achievement of set goals.

Serving as a ‘school’ as opposed to a ‘gym’ provides a positive environment with the mutual respect of your fellow students and the Sensei. It is instilled through our training that ‘trying is still doing’ and through Sensei Nolan’s motivation that ‘there are talkers and there are doers out there’…that ‘lazy people are NOT happy people’…and that ‘when in doubt, TRAIN. You will never regret the decision’.

My One Year Anniversary At Tiger Schulmann’s

A skinnier Neil gives credit to Sensei Nolan for creating the environment which helped him change his life.

 Sensei Nolan has always been available and approachable. I have utilized his knowledge and experience throughout my past year of training for advice on nutrition, stamina, and physiological issues. I look forward to his future guidance. As all students have been told, ‘the hardest thing is getting yourself into the door’.

Once you are through the doors, Sensei and his student body will provide all the motivation you need.


TSMMA Syosset’s Marilena DiScala’s Martial Arts Journey

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Laurel Hollow Mom Follows Son Into Kickboxing

Marilena DiScala doesn’t fight in a cage. That’s not what her martial arts training is all about. However, that fact doesn’t mean she is any less passionate about it than someone who does.

DiScala is at Tiger Schulmann’s MMA in Syosset nearly every day now. If you had told her in January 2006 that she’d not only be the manager of the school, but a respected Black Belt and instructor she would have laughed at you.

Discala with sons Christopher (Hi-Brown Belt) and Nicholas (Hi-Green Belt)

It started out simply as a way to find her three year old son an activity to help his confidence. She noticed early he had a tendency to back down from confrontation and she didn’t want to let that become a bigger issue.

After researching different martial arts she found TSMMA Syosset and there Cubs program for three year-olds. DiScala spent the next year watching young Christopher make tremendous strides while constantly being urged by Sensei Nick Gravina to try out his adult Kickboxing program.

Syosset Kickboxing Proves Life Changer For Mother of Two

DiScala finally succumbed to the constant push and took her first class at TSMMA Syosset in January of 2007.

“Well. . . much to my surprise, I took my first class and got hooked! It was great,” says DiScala It was so different than anything I had ever done, and I’ve done many different exercises in my day!”

DiScala was wary of trying a kickboxing class. She was in a car accident in High School and suffered severe back, neck and wrist injuries. She had been warned that any strenuous activity might be an issue, but Tiger Schulmann’s Kickboxing proved to have the exact opposite effect.

Laurel Hollow mom’s incredible physique now helps others see the results of Tiger Schulmann’s Kickboxing program.

“Not only was I able to train with all my ailments, but by training and focusing on my core, it actually strengthened the muscles around my neck and back which alleviated a lot of the pain I was in on a daily basis.”

Kickboxing Influences All Aspects of Laurel Hollow Family

DiScala noticed a few things happen during her first year of training. First was the definition she saw in places she never knew she had muscles. She dropped all her other exercise routines, enjoying not having to worry about what she was going to do next, class took care of that for her.

She did keep playing tennis for fun, but soon she noticed significant improvement there as well.

“My stamina had increased, my serve got stronger, so did my ground strokes. I was able to chase down balls I would’ve never gone for before. The tennis Pro nicknamed me Grasshopper because I was all over the court and nothing got by me.”

DiScala has reached level 4.0 of the USTA rating system. That’s the level of many instructors and you might find a level 5.0 playing professionally at lower level tournaments.

The last thing DiScala noticed was at home in Laurel Hollow. The family was training in MMA together and she relished the closeness of the experience she was sharing with her two sons. Nicholas soon joined Christopher on the mat in Cubs class while DiScala added Grappling to her Kickboxing regimen. All three would celebrate their progress whether it be a new stripe or belt. Mom took to leaving her belt on the kitchen table whenever she got a new stripe or promotion so the two young boys would see it first thing in the morning.

“To see that they were as excited as I was to achieve it made me so proud and happy. It motivated me to want to train hard and make them proud, as they did for me.”

Laurel Hollow Mom Turns Grappling Competitor

DiScala made a big decision when she achieved her yellow belt, joining the Challenge of Champions. Given her history of neck and back issues it was a tough choice, but one she doesn’t regret. She would win her first match despite getting caught in a head lock that hurt her neck and despite the pain of the old injury she continued in the tournament. She would win her next three matches and take home first place.

She says that was the turning point in her training.

“I approached Sensei Gravina and told him I had three goals I wanted his help in achieving. My first goal was to get my Black Belt. Second was to become a Joshu (certified Tiger Schulmann’s instructor) and third was to run his Cubs program.”

DiScala is all smiles here with her dad and Sensei Gravina after passing her Black Belt test and achieving the rank of Joshu (certified instructor).

 DiScala says Sensei Gravina took the wheel and never looked back. She was able to pass her instructor certification tests before even testing for her Black Belt and will never forget May 17th of 2009. She says the feeling of being surrounded by her husband and kids along with her mom and dad can never be replaced. Her father showed his pride in knowing his daughter could take of herself and her kids in seeing her earn the right to be their instructor as well as their mom!

Laurel Hollow Woman Sets New Goals

Now DiScala’s goals center around assisting others. She helps Sensei Gravina pass on his knowledge to two hundred other students in TSMMA Syosset’s Kickboxing, Grappling and Cubs programs. She relishes the challenge of helping a parent whose child needs discipline or an adult looking to lose weight and takes pride as each achieves their own goals, the same way Sensei Gravina has helped DiScala achieve hers.

DisCala now helps other students achieve their goals at Tiger Schulmann’s.

 “None of this could have been done without the discipline and determination Sensei Gravina instilled in me. My gratitude is beyond words for what he has done for me and my family. I look forward to continuing this journey at TSMMA Syosset with him and continue to learn and do for others what he has done for me!”

See for yourself how TSMMA can help you achieve goals you never even thought of while accomplishing the ones you have! Call today or register online and receive a FREE introductory class. You just may get hooked the same way she did!

By: Sensei Thad Campbell

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | TSMA-IMAG0455

Burgos At Borgata Perfect Show

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Burgos Takes Next Step To Stardom

Shane Burgos has big dreams. He wants to take his Martial Arts talents to an organization that has FC in it’s acronym. If he’s gotta climb through a few others with similar initials that’s OK. The young Highland Mills, New York fighter won his first two fights in XFC. His next step to his goal of the UFC took place on Saturday night at CFFC.


Burgos picture of calm before entering cage.

Cage Fury Fighting Championships has been a launching to more than one UFC career, most famously that of Kimbo Slice and more recently its’ Welterweight Champion George Sullivan who just won his UFC debut two weeks ago. Now it’s Burgos who hopes to make a name for himself in CFFC.

‘Hurricane’ Shane put together an undefeated amateur record with three title belts in seven fights. His profesisonal career started with two more victories, combined the two fights going less than five minutes.

Saturday night at The Borgata in Atlantic City it was Myron Baker standing in Burgos’ way. Baker has fought four times in CFFC already, but lost his last two. With fourteen fights between pro and amateur, his experience alone would provide a great test for Burgos.

‘Hurricane’ Rises to Challenge

The 28 year old Baker immediately proved to be the toughest professional opponent Burgos has faced. A lunging strike attempt early in the first round was ducked by Baker who ended up on Burgos’ back for a few seconds before he was able to control Baker’s arm and once again get to standing.

Still, Burgos absorbed the toughest shots of his young professional career in the scrum and Baker proved to be an able opponent on the feet.

Burgos faced a stern challenge from Baker on the feet.

Burgos faced a stern challenge from Baker Saturday night at CFFC.

While never rocked, it was the first time Burgos was even remotely matched in his standup talents, at least in the first round. The young TSMMA Vail’s Gate assistant instructor was up to the challenge though, deftly turning to a double leg twice in the first round to put things where he had a definitive advantage.

After the first takedown, Burgos was able to smoothly pass guard and half guard before securing a tight sidemount. Baker was calm though and avoided giving any openings. He scrambled back to his feet where the two once again traded strikes before Burgos landed his second double leg. This time Baker threw a triangle attempt which Burgos smoothly defended and used to pass to side mount, landing a huge hammerfist. Baker scrambled back to guard but ate a few more strong shots from Burgos as Round 1 came to an end.

Burgos made Baker pay when the fight hit the mat, landing strong shots from open guard.

Burgos (standing) made Baker pay when the fight hit the mat, landing strong shots from open guard.

 With the first five minutes gone Burgos reached a milestone in his professional career. It was the first time he had to sit down in the corner between rounds, and it more than doubled his previous total fight time.

He wouldn’t add much more to his total though. As round 2 began Burgos landed a beautiful combination. His cross and hook both landed with the second strike clearly stunning Baker who staggered back from the blows.

Burgos again smoothly transitioned to his double leg and then passed Baker’s guard. In the first round Baker was able to scramble to his stomach and then regain a standing position. This time Burgos was ready and quickly spun to back control before sinking in his hooks and finishing his second professional fight via rear naked choke.

Referee Keith Peterson steps in quickly after Baker taps to the rear naked choke.

Referee Keith Peterson steps in quickly after Baker taps to the rear naked choke.

Burgos moves his MMA record to 3-0 as a professional. His total time in the cage has barely reached ten minutes of the possible 45 he could have fought in his three fights. Yet again Burgos showed his immense potential, finishing his third straight professional fight.

He may take tomorrow morning off from his normal Sunday class in Vail’s Gate, but expect the young Team TSMMA fighter to be right back at headquarters on Monday. While the win at CFFC was great, Burgos has dreams of another Fighting Championship, one everyone recognizes as the Ultimate!

Burgos celebrates with Shihan Tiger Schulmann, Shihan Ron Schulmann, Sensei Querido, Sensei Holland, Sensei Montes and Ray Velez.

Burgos celebrates with, from left to right Sensei Holland, Shihan Schulmann, Sensei Querido (top) Sensei Montes (bottom), Shihan, and Ray Velez.

If his fights keep going the way they did Saturday night he very well may bring a ‘Hurricane’ to the UFC.

Congratulations to Burgos on another dynamic performance in the cage. Team TSMMA sends Louis Gaudinot over the pond to London for UFC Fight Night 38 and a matchup with Phil Harris in March. It’s a fight we’ll be watching closely and one that will provide further motivation to Burgos who hopes to one day join his teammate at MMA’s highest level.

By: Sensei Thad Campbell