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Monthly Archives

November 2011

PACE DISPLAYS POTENTIAL VERSUS FORMER CHAMP

By TSK No Comments

By: Sensei Thad CampbellSan Jose, CA –

Sometimes an opportunity is too good to pass up, even if the timing might not be perfect. Such was the case with the UFC offering Nick Pace the opportunity of his life. The young Bantamweight was coming off a controversial loss to Ivan Menjivar. The veteran Menjivar barely escaped the fight, avoiding a rear naked choke as the bell rang in the first and a vicious knee that forced him to run for the last minute of the 3rd. Somehow the judges determined that Pace had lost the fight despite two near finishes. No time to ponder though, as shorty after the bosses called with a seeming step up, Miguel Angel Torres. At one point the WEC Bantamweight champ was in the argument as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Let alone at 135. It would seem the UFC brass saw the Menjivar fight differently than the judges. Torres barely lost his last fight, a number one contender fight which Demetrious Johnson barely eked out. That fight earned Johnson a chance at 135 champ Dominick Cruz. With Johnson being the only other loss on Pace’s resume, this seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. One fight and Pace has the opportunity to put himself in the title picture. The only downside? Like Menjivar, Torres brought a huge edge in experience into the fight. Boasting 44 fights with only four losses, Torres had finished almost as many fights (7) by triangle choke, as Pace had in total (8). Was Pace ready for the step up in competition.

The feeling in his camp was simple. The opportunity was too good to pass up. In the UFC there is no such thing as an easy fight, so why not take the opportunity to make a name for yourself against one of the most heralded fighters of his generation. Saturday night in San Jose, that’s exactly what Pace looked to do. The opportunity got off to a rough start as weigh in was a struggle. Pace was doing his normal weight cut when he was forced by the doctors to stop cutting with three pounds left to go. It was a huge disappointment to Pace who had missed weight once before in the UFC and vowed never to have that issue again. Unfortunately, the choice was taken out of his hands despite wanting to continue to drop to the allowable 136 pounds. That would leave Pace visibly upset at the weigh ins Friday.

The nervous energy seemed to be gone shortly after the bell rang Saturday night though. Torres has an almost unreal 76″ reach for a person 5’9″. That’s more than half a foot longer than the average person his height. This became a focal point of the fight as Pace was giving up 3″ in height and 8″ in reach. Early on Torres established his jab as Pace was most effective with inside low kicks., getting Torres off balance repeatedly in the opening minutes. Torres started letting loose with a long right hand. It was not heavy, but fast and landed a couple times. Pace was just short with a right of his own and eventually stopped trading punches in favor of clinching. The round came to an end after a cool sequence that saw Pace shoot for a double against the fence, transition to a high crotch single, then finish a takedown but roll out as Torres tried to counter with a kimura. The two ended right back on the feet as the round came to an end.

In between rounds Tiger Schulmann encouraged Pace to look for a takedown off of Torres right hand and it took less than a minute for Pace to do exactly that. Ducking under the right, Pace drove through a beautiful double leg, landing Torres on his back. The two would fight an interesting battle as Torres had half butterfly guard. While Torres was trying to do damage with elbows and punches to the head, Pace was intent on passing over Torres right butterfly hook. It took the better part of a minute, but Pace was finally able to pass the guard of Torres (a rare feet against a Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black Belt who holds 23 submission victories in his career, most off his back). Pace controlled side mount for a few seconds and it looked to be a repeat of the Menjivar fight as Torres began to roll up to his knees. It looked for a second like Pace would take the back of Torres like he had Menjivar. Instead Pace went the other way, grabbing a hold of Torres neck where it looked like he may lock in a naked guillotine (think rear nake choke from the other direction). Torres showed his savvy though as he was able to shrug out of the lock by controlling one of Pace’s hands and get back to his feet. The round would end with Torres once again firing straight punches and Pace finding some success with a cross hook combination.

The third round saw Torres establish distance again while moving laterally to avoid takedown attempts from Pace. Pace found his distance a couple times though, especially with a couple knee kicks out of the clinch. Torres continued to control distance for most of the round and Pace couldn’t find another takedown or land a shot to stun Torres like he had in the Menjivar fight late in Round 3. It would be enough to earn Torres a unanimous decision, but to earn Pace the respect of his opponent who freely admitted he was cautious in the fight as he was aware of Pace’s strength in every aspect of MMA. “I had to be a little cautious and be smarter with the fight. He was real tough, I hit him with some good shots and I was wearing him out to the body, but he was a real durable fighter,” said the veteran Torres in praise of Pace.

It certainly was not the outcome Pace had in mind when accepting the challenge of fighting Miguel Angel Torres. However, to all the TSMMA and Nick Pace fans watching he proved that he belonged at the top levels of competition in the Bantamweight division and with a little more experience should find himself coming out on the other side of these decisions. We can’t wait to see him back in the cage soon!

UFC 139: Fueled by the haters, Nick Pace gets a shot at Miguel Torres

By TSK No Comments

UFC 139: Fueled by the haters, Nick Pace gets a shot at Miguel Torres

by Robert G. Reynolds MMA Diehards
Haters beware: Nick Pace is a lover and a fighter who knows how to play the game.

Getting ready to make his third appearance in the Octagon, Pace (Twitter: @NickPaceMMA) – a member of the Tiger Schulmann’s Fight Team – is ready to prove he belongs in the stable.

Pace began his fight career in 2008, starting with five straight wins that led him to becoming the Ring of Combat bantamweight champion in 2010.

Competition quickly stepped up for the New Yorker as Demetrious Johnson welcomed Pace into the WEC with the first loss of his career. Pace then joined the UFC and quickly made a name for himself by introducing a signature move, the Pace Choke.

This may have rubbed some the wrong way as Pace received recognition and praise so early in his career. But having haters is just part of the motivational fuel to keep the fire burning.

“I love haters, it is motivation for me.” Pace told Joe Rizzo and Jeremy Fullerton while sitting in on Rear Naked Choke Radio on the MMADieHards Radio Network. “People talk (smack), people try to hate on you, and people are jealous or little scared so they start hating and talking crap about you.

“Whatever, bring it on.”

At UFC 139 on Saturday at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., Pace will be stepping up to face his most challenging opponent to date, Miguel Torres. Not being one to talk a lot of smack, Pace chooses to be wise and listen while all the “smart” people talk.

Keeping his ears to the ground, Pace has heard that he doesn’t belong in the cage with a fighter such as Torres.

“Miguel Torres, he’s a great fighter and he’s been in the organization for so long he’s made a huge name for himself,” said Pace. “I heard on a website that he was actually insulted that he is going to have to get in the cage with me. You know what man, he’s a hater and he can think what he wants. I know that I’ve been training really hard for this fight, I got that spark, I want it and I want it bad. We’ll see what happens.”

With both Pace and Torres losing their last venture to the Octagon, a win for Pace would boost him up the divisional ladder, while a win for Torres will at least hold his parking space in the rankings.

Pace suffered a close decision loss to Ivan Menjivar in his last outing at UFC 133 in August. With only two defeats on his record, Pace has never been finished.

“There are no excuses to any kind of loss,” Pace admitted. “I fight hard and from every loss you learn more than from a win, so I’m going to take it as something very good came out of that fight. I have a lot of things that I’m going to fix up – a lot I already did – and just move on from it. You can’t dwell on all that old, bad stuff. You just got to move on and get better.”

Many fighters have mastered the techniques of weight-cutting, some to the point of experimentation in different weight classes. With the new 125-pound division soon to be introduced to the UFC, many bantamweights are considering a drop.

“Hell no,” said Pace when asked. “I would never be able to drop down to 125 pounds, no way. One-thirty-five is a good weight for me, I feel good and I feel strong there, so I’ll be staying at 135.”

The bantamweight division has a maturing addition with Pace looking to keep his home under the shelter of the UFC banner. Using that maturity to keep his head in the game, Pace does not play around when it comes to out-of-the-cage animosity.

“I don’t think that it is necessary at all,” Pace said. “But if it happens, it happens. I not looking for any kind of problems, I don’t have beef with the kid, so it’s just a fight. I’m sure when it’s done we’re going to hug and it’s going to be all right. I’m not going to pursue problems, we’re professional.”

Come Saturday, Pace will face all his haters once more. Time to see once again how he plays the game.

Ring Of Combat 38 Live IPPV on GFL – 5 Title Fights on the Line

By TSK No Comments

 

Atlantic City, NJ – Ring of Combat returns November 18 with ROC XXXVIII.  This event has another stacked lineup, something Ring of Combat has become synonymous with, as 5 titles will be on the line as fans from all over the world will be tuning in either in person at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey or Live on iPPV at www.GFL.tv – GFL Combat Sports Network to watch this exciting card.   ROC continues to be the linchpin of East Coast MMA and this 16-bout card reiterates its dominance as the top dog in the Tri-State area.

The main event is really a 5-fight main event as 5 titles will be up for grabs.  In one match, ROC Welterweight Champion and UFC veteran Pete Sell (9-5) defends his Welterweight Title for the first time against Nordine Taleb (3-1).  Sell is coming off of a second round submission victory against Elijah Harshbarger where Sell looked dominant and showed the MMA crowd he is back to 100% after taking time off to heal various injuries.  For Taleb, who is riding a 3-fight win streak, this will be the biggest test of his young career.  ROC officials hold Taleb in high regard as he was granted this title fight, so don’t be fooled by the lack of experience for Taleb.  He is one of Montreal’s gems of MMA and trains with some of the best fighters in the world including UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St-Pierre at the Tristar gym.   For Sell, this is another opportunity to prove that “Drago” is just hitting his peak.

The ROC Featherweight Title is also on the line as champion Deividas Taurosevicious (13-5) defends his strap against Marlon Moraes (5-2-1).  The Renzo Gracie protégé, Taurosevicious, has 9 victories coming by submission while Moraes has all 5 of his victories coming by way of stoppage, either KO or submission.  Taurosevicious is one of the best grapplers ever trained by Gracie, so look for him to get the fight to the mat quickly.  Moraes will have to defend the takedown attempt and make Taurosevicious pay in the standup game if he is going to win the fight and take home the 145 lb belt.  This has all of the making to be fight of the night as these two will put on a high pace fight.

In another main-event caliber fight, undefeated Al Iaquinta (6-0-1) defends his ROC Lightweight Championship against UFC veteran Patrick Audinwood (9-2-1).  Iaquinta is a Matt Serra trained fighter and a ROC veteran and should have the hometown crowd behind him.  But Audinwood is cutting down from 170 where he previously has fought so he will give Iaquinta everything he can handle in the strength department.  Iaquinta’s last bout was a quick victory against an opponent who took him to the limit previously, so Iaquinta’s all-around MMA game is growing by leaps and bounds with each fight.  For Audinwood, having dropped two tough fights in the UFC, he has made the permanent move down to lightweight and looks to rebound against the ROC champ.

In still more championship action, Jimmie Rivera (8-1) takes on Anthony Leone (9-4) for the ROC Bantamweight Championship.  Rivera is on a 7-fight win streak and also a current champion of another top-level MMA organization.  Rivera, is also formally a featherweight and will bring a size advantage into the fight and will look to use his wrestling and grind down Leone and finish the fight in the later rounds.  For WEC and Bellator veteran Leone, this is a chance to take down a lion and win the most prestigious MMA title on the East Coast.  Expect Leone to push the action and try to wear out the bigger Rivera.

The final title that will be on the line is the ROC Light Heavyweight Championship when undefeated Champion Tom DeBlass (5-0) battles Davit Tkeshelashvili (1-1).  DeBlass is out of the Renzo Gracie camp and has never tasted defeat.  DeBlass’ last two fights have ended in the first round, so expect him to come out with guns blazing.  For Tkeshelashvili he was submitted in his last bout, so he will have to withstand the grappling of DeBlass early on to make this a fight.

You won’t find a more thrilling card then this one. Be sure to catch all of the action LIVE on November 18 as Ring of Combat presents ROC XXXVIII exclusively on pay-per-view at www.GFL.tv.

Mike Ortiz – PA Caged Combat

By TSK No Comments

November 11, 2011 –

Allentown, Pennsylvania

The fight was a long time coming. Mike Ortiz is 5’4 and started training about a year ago with the goal of competing in the cage. He started training at the weight of 190 and cut to 149 lbs. His first round they squared off In the center where his opponent hit with a few jabs. Mike covered the distance and shot in for the takedown and kept pressure on him and got the single leg slam at the end of the first round. The crowd went crazy. His second round his opponent showed that he wasn’t giving up. Mike Ortiz used his grappling skill again taking him down and taking his back but ran out of time to finish. Mike looked over at his opponent and knew he had him. Shihan Simpson told him to go out and have fun being up by two rounds. Mike then chose to showcase his striking by hitting his opponent with a flurries of jabs crosses and hooks to the body and face. His opponent was stunned and the ref jumped in to stop it. The crowd went crazy and Shihan Simpson lifted him in victory . What a awesome show of skill. Congrats to Mike Ortiz and Team Tiger Schulmann.

“Student Uses Training at Tiger Schulmann’s to Fight Back Against MS”

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For as long as I can remember I have always had an uphill battle with weight.  Even as a child I struggled with it.  When I started playing sports it became less of an issue. After college I focused more attention on my field of study and the battle with weight began again.  I attempted several weight loss programs, and learned that the only way for me to lose weight and keep it off is to never stop exercising.  I was okay with using a stationary bike, free weights as well as running, but I was bored with all of it.  I heard yoga was great exercise and good for the mind as well, but like the rest, I couldn’t focus.  My mind is always going, and trying to meditate through yoga was laughable to me.  One night, I saw a commercial for Tiger Schulmann’s.  I must have seen it about thirty times, and realized that mixed martial arts would be a good way to work out without getting bored.

I joined Tiger Schulmann Paramus in February 2011.  I loved the atmosphere, the people, the discipline and especially the workouts. It was such a great place that less than a month after joining, I started going to class six days per week.  Sensei Querido is an amazing instructor and through his guidance and the help of others at the school I was getting better.  The intensity allowed me to clear my mind in more ways than yoga ever could.  If I didn’t focus I couldn’t get through the workout.  It was the first time that at the end of exercising my mind was calm.  I didn’t come to Tiger Schulmann to make friends, but going six days a week and seeing the same people you start to truly care for them.  Now some of my closest friends are from TSMMA and my life wouldn’t be the same without them, especially during my recent rough patch…

In April it appeared I was having seasonal allergy issues.  That’s common for me so I didn’t think much of it, but it wouldn’t go away.  I went to the doctor for what felt like a strange ear infection.  This wasn’t the case either, so many medical tests followed.  I missed my first class for an MRI of my brain, and then I missed a week for a spinal tap.  I was not going to let a spinal tap keep me from training.  I ended up having to go for another MRI of the cervical spine.  These tests all confirmed that I had Multiple Sclerosis.  A simple eye twitch and loss of hearing, and all of a sudden I was diagnosed with a chronic disease.

MS is one of those diseases that is different for everyone.  There is no cure.  My response to the situation has been this:  It is what it is and I will do everything in my power to keep it at bay.  This is not going to run my life or become who I am.  After a little research I found out that being in great shape can help keep MS in check.  I knew I was on the right track at Tiger Schulmann’s.  Although it is recommended for MS patients not do challenging workouts (overheating can cause symptoms until the body cools), intense is the only way I know how to exercise.  Soon I added a home fitness program in addition to training at Tiger Schulmann’s six days per week.  With the help of these two amazing programs, I am on the fast track to the best shape I can be in.

Tiger Schulmann’s has led me to a healthier life style.  It has taught me many things especially how to push my mind and body to its limits, and when there:  Push harder.  This disease will not define me but will keep me motivated to train the hardest I can. And when my hardest isn’t good enough, I know Sensei Querido and Joshu Murray will be the ones to push me that much harder.

It’s not a cliché that Tiger Schulmann is a family.  Even when someone doesn’t know my situation, they are still there to try and help me. When I first started my medication the support I got from this school was amazing.  From trying to help me figure out how to administer self injections, and dealing with the medication’s side effects (like insatiable hunger), or simply asking how it was going.  These students and instructors care and that is what family is all about.

Until this moment, I have not told many friends about my diagnosis.  If I don’t tell you what I have then you will never know that there is anything wrong with me.  I don’t want sympathy because there are people out there far worse off than me.  I am doing everything I possibly can to keep it at bay.  MS is not something you can attack head on.  It’s a disease that you have to fight from every angle you can to get a grip on it.  If holding out your hand out for help is the only option, then I will gladly do that. When I can’t do something by myself, I know that I have the Paramus school to help me.  Whether the students that I train with know about my story or not, they are motivating me to keep coming everyday and train with them.  That is the reason Tiger Schulmann’s has impacted and changed my life.

Osu!

Jen Annunziato

Tiger Schulmann’s of Paramus