***This week, a great profile on the up and coming MMA superstar coaches, and GSP battles Henricks over drugs! Plus, an update on Stefan Struve’s heart condition and we talk to Mark Miller, the fighter who came back from the same condition Struve has. And finally Brendan Schaub talks fighting his buddy in the UFC, and we get to see Wladimir Klitschko vs. Arnold Schwarzeneggar! All this and much more, this week on Inside MMA LIVE!***
Inside MMA Live on AXS.TV report by Steve Te Tai
Originally aired LIVE Friday, September 13 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV
GSP vs. Hendricks: Drug War!
GSP has been pushing both fighters to use VADA for testing, while Johny prefers WADA (which is used by the Olympics) since Hendricks worries that VADA might not be objective with GSP, as he is actually featured on their website. A lawyer type from Zuffa released a statement that VADA doesn’t decide who is actually allowed to fight or not, that is still up to the athletic commissions, and generally no way to verify any VADA test results. The NSAC told IMMA that a failed VADA test doesn’t determine eligibility with them. Dana White commented this week that VADA makes everything cloudy (since the testing doesn’t actually count, so what is the purpose?)
Johny Hendricks LIVE
The #1 welterweight contender joins us on the big screen from his gym in Pantego, TX. He doesn’t care if GSP tries to call him out for anything. He says no one’s ever accused him of taking anything, since you don’t get a body like his by being on something. If he had a six-pack or whatever, if he was on something he’d be fighting at heavyweight. He doesn’t care about this testing, he just needs him to be there on November 16 for their fight.
There’s too many red flags with VADA to use VADA. He knows he’s clean, so if he wants to do it, then they should take the toughest test out there, which is WADA. Then he explains the lengths to which they go basically illustrating how truly random and thorough they are. He doesn’t know what the GSP camp’s official response to the WADA request was, as he didn’t hear a real response and things got cloudy between management camps’ communications, so he’s sticking with the NSAC but he is always there for the WADA challenge. In general he doesn’t care because he is clean so he can test anytime anyplace. He believes this is all mind games from the GSP camp. If he is or isn’t on something he doesn’t care, he just wants him to show up on November 16 with the belt.
Johny’s main goal is to stop his takedowns since he feels he’s a better striker and can close the distance. He wants to wear him out, as he notices he fades out by the third round, as opposed to his high intensity in three round fights. He thinks all these takedowns wear down GSP then explains all of GSP’s “predictable” moves. He is also prepared to counter GSP’s ground and pound just in case he does take him down anyway.
He is super excited about wrestling being back in the Olypmics. He was hoping that would happen and credits IMMA and everyone else for speaking the word out. (They show pics from his national championship days at Oklahoma State University.)
XFC 25 Highlights
--Joby Sanchez (veteran amateur boxer) beat Eric Moell
--Ryan Thomas (from ATT) beat Rocky France with an armbar-triangle combo
Next Gen Coaches
Ron Kruck talks about how most fans recognize the big gun coaches like Cesar Gracie, Greg Jackson, Ricardo Laborio, however there are a group of coaches behind those guys, who are not household names, but may be very soon since they are coaching some of the world’s top athletes.
--John Crouch. Crouch is from “The Lab” in Glendale, AZ and is the lead BJJ instructor and Head Coach of Elite. He says he got all of his BJJ belts from Royce Gracie and was lucky to train at the Gracie Academy at a time when Rorion, Royce, and even the grandmaster Helio was there for a couple years. He tries to create a great family and support system for his fighters. His star fighters are Ben Henderson, Jamie Varner, Joe Riggs, and Efrain Escudero.
--Eric Del Fierro. Del Fierro is from the Alliance Training Center in San Diego, and is the Head Coach of Alliance MMA. He started MMA about fifteen years ago and when that gym fell apart he fell into more of a leadership/training role and realized he’d be a better coach than a fighter. His top fighters are Dominick Cruz, Alexander Gustaffson, Michael Chandler, Phil Davis, and Brandon and Kerry Vera. He says his biggest strengths are his game planning and his ability to peak an athlete and be on the same page as that athlete.
--Duke Roufus. Roufus is the founder of Roufusport in Milwaukee and is the head coach. He believes that high character will make you a champion for life. He grew up in a family of martial arts and calls them a smaller version of the Gracie family but in kickboxing. The team that really got him in was Chutobox and he’d love to create a style of MMA like Chutobox did. The big fighters are Anthony Pettis, Alan Belcher, Ben Askren, Sergio Pettis, Matt Mitrione, and Erik Koch. HE is inspired by Phil Jackson and Pat Riley in the sense that they weren’t great players, but had NBA experience which allowed them to relate to the athletes. He doesn’t get close to his fighters from success, but from failure.
Brendan Schaub LIVE
Schaub fights fellow TUF alum Matt Mitrione next weekend at UFC 165. Brendan joins us on the big screen from Tony Jeffries “burn and box” gym in Santa Monica. Since relocating from Colorado Springs it’s been amazing and he says life is good. Bas used to train on Venice Beach and found it very relaxing.
Schaub feels he’s going to go very far with these new coaches. He likes the idea of working at the Olympic level which is what he gets from these coaches. His mental game is at a whole nother level and he feels like a smarter fighter and it will show on September 21 in Toronto.
Brendan says he was Mitrione’s only friend from the house that year. Up until this fight they would speak once or twice a week. While they don’t talk now, he’s sure they’ll be normal friends again after the show. Kenny points out that Schaub, Mitrione, and Roy Nelson are the only fighters from TUF 10 (Rampage-Rashad season with Kimbo Slice) that are still in the UFC. Schaub doesn’t dwell in the negative and is 5-3 in his entire UFC tenure, so he isn’t worried that he needs to win to keep his job. He thinks everything that Mitrione does good, he does better.
Brendan explains his win over Lavar Johnson. He expected Johnson would be a tough grappler since he trains at AKA with Cormier and Velasquez and those guys, but he was so effective at controlling him on the ground he wouldn’t let him up and Lavar said “come on man, let’s get up and bang”, and Brendan said “Why don’t you learn jiu-jitsu” and he continued to maul him on the ground and got the win.
Brendan came from a Golden Gloves championship background, but jiu-jitsu is his passion. However the biggest difference since moving to Cali is his confidence in his standup to outstrike anyone in the division, thanks to his coaching.
--From Texas Cagefighting, Blake Wells beat Kevin Morin
--Ultimate Impact Fight Night had Terry Doyle KO James Miles
--In a flashback, they show Coty Shannon with a crazy shoulder lock head crank unique submission of Brian Borden from Nemesis Fighting, then they show a recent fight where Coty Shannon beat Justin Jovanovic with another weird triangle, octopus, pretzel bizarre submission. Bas calls it very creative.
Cosmo Alexandre LIVE
Cosmo Alexandre will kickbox the famous Nampon for Lion Fights, he joins us from his gym in Boca Raton, FL. He says his training has been non-stop and doing more boxing for this fight. It will be something different. His coach is also from Holland, so he’s doing a lot of the same training.
Normally Thai guys fight the same style, 1st and 2nd round easy, then building up intensity up until the 5th round, but you never know. A fight’s a fight and he wants to try something different from normal for this fight.
Cyborg fight off?
Invicta featherweight champ, Cris Cyborg, was to make her kickboxing debut, however her opponent Jindrova injured her spine, so they are scrambling to find an opponent.
The Prodigy Returns!
BJ Penn will coach TUF against Frankie Edgar at featherweight in a rematch of their lightweight title series.
Matt Grice update
Matt Grice is in critical condition and undergoing emergency surgery to relive swelling on the brain following a serious car accident. Grice is under cautionary sedation and has armed guards due to his status as a veteran police officer in Oklahoma City. The Grice family is accepting donations to help with medical costs at www.Hopemob.org.
Stefan Struve Retirement?
Stefan Struve is not considering retirement despite his leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart and remains optimistic despite Dana already writing him off. He will consult with his doctors in Holland this October. His manager, Lex McMahon (not to be confused with his old manager Hulk Crockett), says they are inspired by athletes like Mark Miller who returned to competition in a similar situation, and if anyone can beat this adversity, its Struve.
Mark Miller joins us on the set. You may remember that, Miller had open heart surgery in 2007 to repair an aortic valve due to a genetic condition, and kickboxes for Glory Fighting 12 on November 12. The original diagnosis was the end of this career but due to diligent medical folks and the right mindset he was able to return. Miller brings up that Struve is a lot younger than him too, since Miller was 39 when he did this. They’ve talked via Skype lately on the experience and other medical conversations. Kenny illustrates that this sort of surgery is actually more serious than even bypass surgery. Miller says the big thing is to listen to the doctors. He’s very early in this process and he’ll learn in October what they can do. He’s had a lot of leakage but they don’t know the full prognosis. Until October we can’t say a lot yet, so he is hesitant to say anything since they don’t even know if he’ll get surgery. Miller explains he was lucky since his thing wouldn’t have been caught if not for the medical requirements for a fight he was having at that time.
They show a graphic of other famous athletes with congenital heart defects (CHD) as Aaron Boone (MLB), Shaun White (the guy who endorses everything and I couldn’t even tell you what sport he’s even from), Steve Hutchinson (former Seahawk and Viking Pro Bowl offensive linesman), and Tedy Bruschi (from the Super Bowl champion Patriots.)
They show a picture from Wladimir Klitschko’s Twitter where he poses next to an old picture of Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Then they show Arnold’s Twitter, where he returns the favor standing in front of a Klitschko fight poster and mimics Wladimir’s pose. And btw, Arnold looks fucking huge and awesome!
Mark Miller Q&A
--How has it been training with renowned coaches Buddy McGirt and Rob Kaman?
Mark says he’s the luckiest guy on the face of the Earth. He’s gotten to train with guys he looked up to, including Bas Rutten. There’s not a better feeling to get the knowledge of guys like that who you watched as a kid, now they’re teaching you how to apply the art. He’s blessed.
--You once said that you don’t care if you die in the ring, are you really willing to take that risk for the sport?
Mark says he said a lot of things when his kids were younger. When he was first coming back he said to motivate himself, but as his kids are older and so is he, he wouldn’t say that anymore. It’s not about him any more.
--Are you worried that the stress from competing as this level will be too much for your heart?
Mark says he isn’t. He’s fought three times and been through a lot since surgery, he’s not concerned about that. But if something came up, he’d be smart and no longer play the wild cowboy. He doesn’t know how long he’ll fight, he’ll just know, but probably a couple more is left in him.
Upcoming MMA shows
--Sep 14, BAMMA 15
--Sep 30, Lion Fight 3
--Oct 18, XFC 26 (Hot Sauce Holtzman © vs. Roger Carroll)