It was a typical Wednesday night for Tyron Woodley. After training, he darted between training a woman working hard to get in shape, two teenagers working on their striking skills, conducting an interview with Cagewriter, and keeping an eye on kids’ wrestling practice at ATT: Evolution in suburban St. Louis.
At the same time, it was a far from typical evening. Woodley was waiting to show his new gym to Ricardo Liborio, the head of American Top Team and Woodley’s longtime coach. He nervously checked his phone and watched the door.
Juggling several roles at once is something Woodley is used to doing. He’s a fighter for Strikeforce who expects to fight on May 19 against Nate Marquardt for the Strikeforce welterweight belt. He is the father of three boys. He is the founder and head coach at AT: Evolution.
But on this night? He’s a nervous student who can’t wait to show off his masterpiece to his teacher.
Woodley has been talking about building a gym that serves entire families for years. He once even dreamed about the gym he would one day own.
“When I walk through this door, and I look down the hallway, I see what I saw in my head seven years ago in a dream. I smell the smells I smelled in the dream. I see the people working the way I saw them in a dream. For me, it’s something God promised me and it’s coming forth. People thought I was crazy, but those people who didn’t think I could do it are now left in the back,” Woodley said.
Liborio proudly smiled when he walked through the door. He immediately congratulated Woodley on the gym that housed a play area for toddlers next to a wrestling space for top-notch fighters. ATT: Evolution’s vision is to welcome both.
“We have a family fitness center. We specialize in youth classes, and we specialize in fitness, but we have pro classes, too. We want the elite. We got guys who are established. Luigi Fioravanti just relocated here. You’re going to see us develop a fight team, and start running the table. I want guys who have the interest and the work ethic to become the champion, and then iron’s gonna sharpen iron.”
Preparing for Marquardt
And that environment is what Woodley will use to prepare for the as-yet unconfirmed bout with Marquardt. Though the UFC veteran just recently signed with Strikeforce, Woodley has been preparing for Marquardt for years.
“I had him in my mind for a while. Vitor Belfort wanted me to train with him for the Anthony Johnson fight, but I when I found out Marquardt and GSP were there, I decided not to go because, in my mind, these are guys I’m going to compete against. BAMMA showed some interest in having me fight for their title, so it’s been a couple times that our names have been in the same sentence.”
Marquardt has long been a top gameplanner, which is something Woodley is preparing for.
“I like the guy. I respect him, but he’s working with Greg Jackson. Those guys can piece together a great game plan. They can take one or two things that I do and build a game plan.”
But Woodley has fought only 10 bouts. He doesn’t think he’s yet shown his full arsenal.
“Nobody’s seen what I’m fully capable of doing. But for him, I have 40-50 fights to look at. He’s very crafty at what he does. He’s fairly athletic for his size, but I don’t think he’s athletic as I am or as fast as I am.”
Woodley said he’s confident in beating Marquardt, but is also planning for a life beyond fighting.
“God told me this is it. This will be my last job. Fighting won’t be my last job. I’ll do it for another five, six years. I’ll do some other things. I have a couple opportunities to do some movies, do some work in entertainment, but when it’s all said and done, this is where I want to end up at. I want to bring this gym, bring ATT:Evolution along the ride with my career with MMA, with coaching, with managing. When all is said and done, this gym will have been the link to it all.”Read More
Welcome to your weekend talkback thread, where you are welcome to hang out, enjoy the atmosphere and discuss the weekend’s fights.
On “The Ultimate Fighter,” Al Iaquinta will try to break the Team Faber losing streak against Myles Jury. According to D…
James Toney and Ken Shamrock are supposed to fight sometime in the fall of 2011. The two had a short press conference in Van Nuys, California to announce the fight, but started to get physical a little early.Read More
Fedor was up against tall odds in the bout though. Wakakirin was at one time a maegashira 9 level Sumo wrestler before being arrested for possession of cannabis and dismiss as a professional. Amazon.com WidgetsRead More
– The official WWE website has ranked Hulk Hogan turning his back on millions of Hulkamaniacs to join Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in forming one of the most infamous groups in history, the New World Order, as No. 1 in their “List This: Legends of the Fall.”
– Former WWE talent Paul Heyman turns 46 years old today.
– Rosa Mendes, who has not appeared on WWE programming since SummerSlam, posted her first message on Twitter since August 20 by ranting about fellow SmackDown Diva A.J. The three-year veteran doesn’t feel …
Ross Pearson’s move to the UFC’s featherweight ranks has been a quick transition. The former winner of The Ultimate Fighter dropped down to the division after going 1-2 in his three previous fights in the lightweight class. A win over Junior Assuncao finished out his 2011, and Pearson has pushed for a top contender in [...]Read More
By <a href="mailto:email@example.com">Chris Howie</a> <Br>
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer<Br><Br>
The following are Bellator 62 quick match results:<Br><Br>
Main Card Results (MTV2)<Br><Br>
Lightweight Tournament Quarter Finals<Br><Br>
Lloyd Woodard def. Patricky ?Pitbull? Freire via submission (kimura) ? Round 2, 1:46<Br>
Rick Hawn def. Ricardo Tirloni via TKO (punches) ? Round 1, 2:36<Br>
Brent Weedman def. J.J. Ambrose via submission (Von Flue choke)<Br>
Thiago Michel def. Rene Nazare via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) <Br><Br>
Preliminary Card Results (Spike.com)<Br><Br>
Luis Vega def. Sonny Luque via submission (arm-triangle choke) ? Round 1, 3:43<Br>
Chris Jones def. Steven Peterson via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)<Br>
Dave Jansen def. Jacob Kirwan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)<Br>
Rad Martinez def. Douglas Frey via TKO (punches) ? Round 1, 4:08<Br>
Sean Spencer def. Joseph Daily via submission (rear-naked choke) ? Round 2, 1:24<Br><Br>
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What should I do today to entertain myself?
I am going to the Warriors vs Lakers game tonight. Go Warriors!!!Read More
As expected, two long-awaited rematches will co-headline the UFC’s return to Brazil.
Officials today announced that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will rematch Chael Sonnen, and “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” coaches Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort also will meet again at UFC 147.
UFC 147 takes place June 23 at Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. It’s expected to set a new UFC record attendance.
Wrestlemania is once again around the corner with one of the biggest lineups to date set for this Sunday’s show in Miami, as not only will The Rock takes John Cena but HHH faces The Undertaker under Hell in a Cell conditions with the added intrigue of Shawn Michaels serving as special guest referee. In [...]Read More
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Ryan Bader went through a rough stretch in the first half of 2011. The formerly undefeated winner of The Ultimate Fighter’s eighth season came within a fight of contention when he was manhandled by Jon Jones and choked out in the second round. Then h was on the wrong end of a shocking first round submission by Tito Ortiz in July.
Those two straight losses had the one-time rising contender falling precipitously down the UFC’s light heavyweight ladder, but he bounced back in a big way in the last half of the year. First up, Bader knocked out Jason Brilz in just over a minute, and that performance had the UFC coming to him with a fight against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Bader jumped at the opportunity, knowing a win would vault him right back into the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division.
“That’s why we took this fight,” Bader explained in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. “A lot of other people were turning it down and we got offered pretty much or were told about it right after the Brilz fight. We definitely wanted a fight that would put us in this kind of position and get back to where we were.”
That’s just what Bader did, pulling off the biggest win of his career by defeating Jackson by decision in Japan at UFC 144. Now, he’s looking to face another top opponent in the division to keep his momentum going, and he hopes to prove himself as a title-worthy challenger in quick fashion.
“For me, I want to fight a guy that will keep me up to where I’m at right now, and get me closer to my ultimate goal which is for a title,” Bader said. “That’s the kind of guys I want to fight.”
Penick’s Analysis: It’s been a great turnaround for Bader, and he’s gotten himself right back into things after seriously dropping off the map after the Ortiz loss. The fight that makes the most sense right now is to have him face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this summer. There’s not another available contender for Rua, and even though he lost his last fight and Bader has won two straight, Rua is still a recent champion in the division and would be a huge fight for Bader still. I think the UFC will ultimately go this route for the two of them, simply because there aren’t many other options open right now in the top end of the division outside of them fighting one another.
Mark your calendars, Canadian fans. The UFC announced today they will visit the home and native land of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre three times in the remainder of 2012.
They will start in Calgary on July 21, where Jose Aldo will fight a yet-to-be-named fighter. After that, it’s UFC 152 in Toronto Sept. 22, and UFC 154 in Montreal Nov. 17. St. Pierre, who was present at the press conference, announced the Montreal date.
GSP also gave an update on his health, saying he is progressing smoothly and is hoping to be back by November.
“When you get an injury like I have and you’re off for a long period of time, the only thing you wish is to get back fast as possible,” he said. “I don’t know if it will be in the U.S. or Canada, but I wish and I pray that I have a chance to perform in 2012. No matter where it will be, I want to come back and fight in 2012.”
St. Pierre is a native of Montreal, and has enjoyed great success when fighting in front of the rabid home crowd Canada can provide. His last two fights were won in Canada, and he exacted revenge on Matt Serra, one of the few men to beat him, in Montreal.
Though he isn’t likely to rush his recovery from an ACL tear, he also has plenty of motivation to be ready to go on Nov. 17.Read More
Last week the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that they would be holding three events in Canada during 2012 with the first stop being UFC 149 in Calgary on July 21st. The word comes today from Sportsnet.ca that Mitch Gagnon and Bryan Caraway will square off in a bantamweight battle of submission specialists. UFC 149, which [...]Read More
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Two time K-1 World MAX champion and #1 ranked kickboxer in the world Giorgio Petrosyan (70-1-1) took on top 10 ranked Artur Kyshenko (49-9-1) March 24th in Milan, Italy.Read More
After shocking viewers (and Team Faber) by deferring to Urijah Faber to select an opponent to face #1 pick Justin Lawrence leading up to last week?s episode of TUF 15, bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz opened eyes again after Lawrence?s sensational knockout win over veteran Cristiano Marcello by putting Faber?s first selection into the Octagon next [...]Read More
anyone see the first episode? it started today. its really good. so if you havent, go watch it!
Two of the lightweight division?s top competitors will clash on June 22 in headlining action at UFC on FX 4 in the form of a bout between Clay Guida and Gray Maynard. Both men have beaten a number of respected opponents and will be looking to get back in the title-hunt, as well as avoid [...]Read More
Strikeforce officials announced that lightweights Jorge Gurgel and Joe Duarte will square off in the main event of the Strikeforce Challengers 18 event on Friday, August 12th. Gurgel (14-7) has recorded a 2-2 record while competing with Strikeforce. He is coming off a first round submission win over Billy Vaughan on the Strikeforce: Feijao vs. [...]Read More
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall will look to settle what they started at UFC on FX 2 when they fought to a majority draw in the semifinal round of the four-man flyweight tournament. UFC officials announced that the rematch will take place on June 8th at a location which will be [...]Read More