By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
If an MMA promotion makes little sound, is it doing its job in the dense forest of mixed martial arts? A newly formed organization, Conquer Fighting Championships (Conquer FC), aims to prevail for their fighters in MMA’s regional circuit where other smaller shows miss the mark: safety, exposure, and a fair piece of the pie; all without relinquishing an ounce of entertainment value. Tyson Griffin, the Head of Operations at Conquer FC, struggled to submit his excitement when discussing Conquer FC’s inaugural event on November 21, 2015: Conquer FC 1.
Assembling for triumph in Northern California’s MMA scene, it was important to the head honchos at Conquer FC to not throw stones in any glass arenas the cage may occupy; therefore, they opted to stage their first set of bouts at the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, California. The way Griffin described the venue for Conquer FC 1, one may cock an eyebrow toward the glass ceiling, wondering where more attention will be garnered: the scenery inside or outside the cage,
“It’s going to be at the Craneway Pavillion. It’s got glass windows and glass walls. On a clear night, you can see the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. If everything is lit up, it’s going to be an amazing experience.”
Outside of a picturesque landscape, the fights, in any promotion, set the ambiance. Conquer FC wants all their stakeholders, fans and fighters alike, to share in the same dream that President and Matchmaker, Trever Johnson, has for the organization when everyone’s head hits the pillow. Griffin fantasized Conquer FC’s vision aloud,
“At the end of the day, we are concerned about quality. We’re looking to put on something that is fan-friendly and fighter-friendly. There are those smaller shows that don’t provide what we want for our fighters. So, with our experience, our network, and with enough small shares, we were like, ‘Shit, instead of trying to figure out which show is right and dealing with all the bullshit, we can figure out how to do it a little better.’ You know, a little more consistency and responsibility. I’d rather have our fighters fight at Conquer FC.”
Griffin has been there and done that in the fight game, working his way from the regional level at Gladiator Challenge to the apron every mixed martial artist hopes to cook up a hard-hitting career: the UFC. What issues are scrutinized under a heat lamp at Conquer FC’s Headquarters?
A top priority is fighter safety:
“Conquer FC is going to be governed by the California State Athletic Commission. You know, people that do shows on these Indian Reservations are avoiding the Commission and the laws, and they [Athletic Commissions] are going to be looking, California’s State Athletic Commission specifically, to push fighters out of competing in events that are not sanctioned. I’m not for fighters competing in non-sanctioned events. I want my fighters to be safe, and I want the commission to be involved. We’re not doing anything shady.”
Griffin also noted how important it is for the fighters who compete at Conquer FC to cash in more handsomely, either with taller stacks of currency or cashing in on hometown support:
“Fighters can make some good money, giving them a little bit more percentage of tickets and other ways. Some people have to travel to Indiana to fight, and then their friends and family don’t get to watch them fight. We’re trying to get as many local fighters as possible, give them avenues to promote themselves, and build names around the event.”
Reflecting on his fighting career, Griffin, as do all with higher expectations for the sport of MMA, wishes to see the sport’s prehistoric practices vanquished. He noted the sequence of events before logging his initial win as a professional,
“In my first fight at Gladiator Challenge, they didn’t have who I was supposed to fight, so they pulled someone out of the crowd.”
In order to succeed in a new era of MMA, Griffin and Conquer FC are turning up the volume to a fighter’s presence, yielding the personality behind a young prospect’s promise:
“Basically, we are giving local fighters an avenue to build their brand, build their name, and promote themselves. In the other small shows, they don’t get a chance to be promoted.”
Aware of their small show appeal, Conquer FC chose to not subdue every aspect that the smaller venue offers its fans. The goal is to link fans and fighters tighter than the cage’s fencing. At Conquer FC 1, fans will feast on the stars of tomorrow after a chance to participate in an autograph signing with today’s superstars of MMA: UFC light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier; Bellator MMA lightweight, Josh Thomson; and former UFC standout, Tyson Griffin.
MMA promotions like Shamrock Fighting Championships have been forging their place in MMA’s market as a necessary stepping stone professional fighters must hurdle for the past seventeen years, and Conquer FC 1 on November 21, 2015 takes their first strides to a similar notoriety.
For more information about Conquer FC, check out:
5 Things We Learned from UFC on Fox 26: Lawler vs Dos Anjos
The UFC’s return to Winnipeg in over 4 years certainly did not disappoint the fans, as the card delivered just as it was expected with plenty of action packed fights.
Upset was in play often times for this card as on more than one occasion, the fans’ jaws dropped in shock and the predictions going into the fights were completely defied.
There are plenty of things to take away from this card, but what were the 5 biggest lessons learned here?
1. Rafael dos Anjos means business at welterweight
While Vegas odds may not have reflected it, dos Anjos had plenty of doubters coming into this fight on whether he could beat the top fighters in the welterweight division, his new found home. I’ll be the first to say, I didn’t think he’d be able to deal with Lawler’s power and size, considering that ‘Ruthless’ used to compete at middleweight, but he completely changed my perspective on what he brings to this division.
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With the mix of powerful leg kicks and crisp boxing, dos Anjos completely neutralized the former welterweight champion and took home a dominant victory, winning all five rounds of the fight.
Yes, Lawler was injured and barely moved for the last three rounds, but that should not discredit the masterful performance that dos Anjos had tonight. This only sets up a fight with the current champion Tyron Woodley now (unless Colby Covington gets it), and while Woodley is a whole different match up, it makes for an entertaining fight.
2. Robbie Lawler is still one of the toughest fighters on the roster
Despite both his legs looking like they were completely destroyed by the third round and him losing the fight, we once again saw the toughness and grit of Lawler to never give up.
While we don’t know how bad his injury was, when you see Lawler not moving much and standing still for three rounds straight, you know something is seriously hurting. He endured an unbelievable amount of punishment tonight but at the end was still standing pumping up the crowd. What a warrior.
3. Josh Emmett… the new force to be reckoned with at 145lbs?
Simply no words. It was easily the biggest shocker of the night and maybe even upset of the year. Stepping in on relatively short notice for Jose Aldo, Emmett was counted out in this fight on paper against the former title challenger Ricardo Lamas, and weighing in at 148.5lbs on the scale didn’t help convincing the fans.
But it definitely didn’t matter as he delivered a left hook from hell, sleeping Lamas at the end of the first round, sending a shock to the entire division and rising as a new threat to everyone in top 10. He said that his goal here was to shock the world, and shock the world he did. With this performance, Emmett immediately rises to a position where he now only needs one or two more significant wins from a possible title shot.
4. Mike Perry needs some time to develop into a title contender
Despite showing an unbelievable toughness in a three-round war against Santiago Ponzinibbio, Perry was unable to back up his words before the fight, losing via unanimous decision.
In a fight against a very tough opponent, Perry was once again exposed in a couple of areas as he was against Alan Jouban on his endurance, as he showed signs of fatigue as the second round came around. At the age of 26, he still has plenty of time, but Perry will need to fill that massive hole in order to continue to rise the ladder in the extremely stacked welterweight division, or else he’ll run into some trouble sooner or later.
5. Glover Teixeira isn’t done just yet
This fight was an excellent example of advantages a veteran brings compared to a young and upcoming fighter. Teixeira, coming off that tough loss in Sweden against Alexander Gustafsson, was also doubted by many as he came in as the underdog against a rising prospect in Misha Cirkunov.
Teixeira was put in immediate trouble in the first round, getting tagged by Cirkunov multiple times and getting backed up against the cage, but was able to outsmart Cirkunov by dragging him down to the ground and eventually pounding him out. Teixeira seemed to have lost all momentum against Anthony Johnson, and even more so against Gustafsson, but this fight proved that he is not done just yet, and showed the difference in level between the top 5 and top 10 of the division.
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.
An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.
The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.
UFC Winnipeg Official Results:
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
- #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT
- #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
- Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
- Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
- John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
- Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT
- Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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