UFC middleweight Tom Breese has taken some time off from MMA competition recently but he’s certainly kept himself busy. Breese will be competing at both Polaris 4 and Eddie Bravo Invitational 9 in the coming weeks, and last weekend secured a rear naked choke victory over the Cage Warriors lightweight champion Chris Fishgold in a grappling exhibition bout, sharing this finishing sequence on his Instagram account. Breese will face Ben Dyson this Saturday, October 29th at Polaris 4.
Whilst training under Firas Zahabi at TriStar in Montreal, Breese would make regular trips to New York to train with John Danaher, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest grappling coaches in the world and likely the man responsible for the arm-trap from the back we saw Breese employ in that finishing sequence against Fishgold. Since returning to Birmingham, Breese has been working with Chiu Kwong Man, the first man to receive a black belt under BJJ legend Braulio Estima.
This is a level of coaching that must surely give Breese confidence going into his bout with Ben Dyson.
“I made trips to New York pretty regularly to go down and see them, training with those guys is great. John’s a genius,” he said. “I competed against Ben before in a tournament final and he actually caught me in a submission so I’ll be looking for revenge. There were a few stand-up exchanges and as soon as we went to the floor, right as we hit the ground he just caught me straight away. There wasn’t really a feeling out process, I just got caught cold so I look forward to competing against him again.”
We’ve seen Breese showcase Danaher’s methods before, not only in the finishing sequence against Fishgold but also in Breese’s UFC bout with Keita Nakamura in London earlier this year. It’s clear Breese has gained a lot from this training and it will be interesting to see if he utilizes Danaher’s patented leg attacks, as we may also see employed in Danaher protégé Garry Tonon’s match-up against UFC lightweight and three-time BJJ world champion Gilbert Burns.
“Yeah absolutely,” he said. “If the leg’s there I’ll take the leg, but If other submissions are there I’ll go for them too. I’ll attack the whole body, I’m open to all submissions.
“I think Garry will submit Gilbert Burns. Burns is very good, I think there’ll be some great exchanges but I think Garry’s pressure and all-out-attack style is going to end up catching Burns eventually.”
In their first 3 events, Polaris have already showcased names like Jake Shields, Rousimar Palhares, Eddie Cummings, Keenan Cornelius, Dean Lister, Marcin Held and returning star Garry Tonon. Not many, if any, grappling promotions in the world offers a better caliber of competitors than Polaris, which is incredible given the relatively short lifespan of the promotion thus far. I wondered if preparing for a grappling bout differed significantly from MMA fight preparation for Breese.
“I still train twice a day, conditioning, grappling and a lot of sparring,” Breese said. “I’m a mixed martial artist and after these grappling tournaments I want to get straight back in and fight so I’ve kept sharp, ticking over with my striking. For me training all year round, twice a day is just a lifestyle, it’s what I love to do so I’m happy.”
Breese hasn’t got a fight announced at the moment, and he says there’s no opponent or date set in stone just yet.
“Not yet, basically I’m just concentrating on these grappling matches, they’re a great experience for me and it should help me improve as a fighter. I’ve just moved back to Birmingham after living in Montreal for a while so I have a few things I have to do, move into a new apartment and stuff like that. Once that’s sorted I’d like to get a fight end of January/February time really.”
During Breese’s time at TriStar in Montreal, he trained extensively with Georges St-Pierre, whose ongoing contract saga has made big news in the MMA world recently.
“Yeah I’m not too sure what’s going on there actually. If he is a free agent I’m not sure where else he would fight, who could afford to pay his wages, you know? It’s definitely interesting, it’s good to see fighters standing up against the UFC.”
Polaris 4 takes place this Saturday, October 29th. As well as Breese taking on Dyson and Tonon squaring off against Burns, we’ll also be treated to the likes of AJ Agazarm, Fernando ‘Tererê’ Augusto, Conor McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis, Eddie Bravo’s black belt Nathan Orchard, Japanese legend Masakazu Imanari, 100+ MMA fight veteran Ikuhisha ‘Minowaman’ Minowa and Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro, just to name a few. It’s clear this is the level of competition that Breese wants to test himself against.
“My dream grappling match-up would probably be the same as my dream MMA match up,” he said. “Jacaré. I’m training for him now, I’ve been training for him my whole life! That’s the type of fighter I want to be facing eventually, but I’ve got to work my way up. I’ve always been a big fan of Jacaré, I love his fight style and I’d love to test myself against that style.”
Polaris 4 is available on pay-per-view via their online stream which can be found here. The event will take place on Saturday, October 29th and will kick off at 18:30 BST.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.
This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.
Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK
- Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
- Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
- Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK
- 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
- Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
- Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
- Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
- Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.
Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”
Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”
Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”
Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”
With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”
Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”
Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.
Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:
Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)
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