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Vince Murdock: Home Is Where the Heart Is

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Photo courtesy of Vince Murdock

Vince Murdock (7-2), the reigning bantamweight champion at Total Warrior Combat (TWC), appears in his element while teaching the evening’s Muay Thai class at Ultimate Fitness, a gym in Sacramento, California housing world class mixed martial artists under the Team Alpha Male (TAM) canopy. Born and raised in Lapeer, Michigan, Murdock returns to The Mitten State in four-ounce gloves to retain his TWC title. On May 14, 2016, The Causeway Bay Hotel and Convention Center will transform into an MMA fan’s paradise when Murdock, cornered by his TAM brothers in arms and surrounded by supporters since claiming territory in MMA, strides into the red corner under the bright lights at TWC: Jaynes vs. Lamson, a card with three championship belts up for grabs to face, to face Andrew Ventimiglia (4-2).

Much like the forty-niners, Murdock caught gold fever as a mixed martial artist, thereby leading him out west, and in an accent twanged with a different breed of confidence than his California comrades, he discussed how he connected with TAM,

“My buddy, Daron Cruickshank, was on The Ultimate Fighter: Live, and that was the season [Urijah] Faber coached. When the show was over, they [Faber and Cruickshank] had created a friendship, and when he got back home, he’d always talk about going to visit the gym and say, ‘You should go visit Sacramento.’” No magic beans required to sprout Cruickshank’s idea from a dream into something tangible for Murdock to stalk, “For the longest time, I’d be like, ‘When are we going to do this. I really want to go out there.’ So, eventually we went out here, but I had never intended on moving out here. I planned on only being out here for like three months; now, it’s been four years.”

Murdock’s recollection of TAM’s supportive nature, likely, matched the tone used to instruct his students. He flashed back to the day he pulled up in his U-Haul from halfway across the country,

“The team kind of welcomed me in, and they were a huge part in finding me a place to stay and providing me with work or whatever I needed. They gave me all the tools I needed to come out here and make this a reality. The whole gym has been really good for me. The atmosphere is not like anything I’ve ever been a part of before. The only thing I could relate it to is: being a part of a brotherhood. We do everything together. I love it here. It’s a second home that’s home now.”

Photo courtesy of Vince Murdock/Photo credit to Vir Moore

TAM: the perfect dwelling to sharpen the skills of any MMA competitor at featherweight or bantamweight. Even though Murdock will rent his services out in both weight classes, he’d prefer to stake residency at 135 pounds,

“I feel like 135 is where I need to be to compete at my best. When I fight at 135, it feels right, and I feel at home. It’s just a matter of taking care of my body better, taking better care of myself, and stuff like that.”

Photo courtesy of Vince Murdock/Photo credit to Vir Moore

Returning to TWC in Lansing, Michigan, the bar of expectation Murdock has set for himself is nowhere near the middle. Excited to declare the deed on TWC’s bantamweight belt as rightfully his in mid-May, he glowed with a metallic sheen when detailing his title defense against Ventimiglia,

“It’ll be the first time I’m defending it. This fight at TWC will determine that I’m the champion, and it’ll be set in stone: I earned it, I defended it, and it’s mine. I want to make a statement in this fight.”

With all the statements Murdock has previously made in the cage, nobody would be surprised to discover him capitalizing on opportunity in windows the size of thumbnails and punctuating the contest with the belt wrapped around his waist, again. Entering the tenth bout of his pro career, Murdock could clinch all of his statements together to share with his class a paragraph of storied toughness farmed out of the midwestern region of the United States. Turning back to the last chapter Murdock printed: the only time he was forced to hear the judges’ opinions, he highlighted his ability to battle adversity and defeat TJ Laramie at TXC Legends 7 by decision,

“That was the toughest dude ever! He didn’t have the best record, but I knew I was in there with an animal. I know nobody I fight is going to be tougher than that guy. I blew out my knee, like completely, while training for that fight. I didn’t think I could kick, and I didn’t get to workout leading into that whole fight.” Uncovering truths about the gritty myth of the midwest, he continued, “It was insane. My knee was just out. I was just hoping I’d be able to fight, really. The funny thing was: I didn’t know until I got in the cage. I wasn’t going to be able to test out my knee until I got in the cage, but it seemed to hold up alright.”

Photo courtesy of Vince Murdock

Kicking off the parlay of championship matches at TWC: Jaynes vs. Lamson on May 14, 2016, Murdock predicts a return to the heart of Northern California with the notoriety to catapult him onto grander stages of MMA, which will warm the hearts of MMA fans who will have his fights broadcasted into their households, whether you are on either end of the coast or anywhere spanning the globe,

“Hopefully this isn’t the last belt, and that’s the ultimate goal: to collect these titles. Any fight is a title fight. Everything is a huge part of the bigger picture. This is the moment where I need to make a statement, and I’m starting to feel good. I had a couple layoffs the last couple years: I broke my jaw; I blew out my knee. I was out for a long time. I want it to be known: This is my division; you can try and take the belt, but it isn’t going anywhere.”

Follow Vince Murdock to any neck of the woods caging his efforts at:

Instagram: @vincemurdock

Facebook: www.facebook.com/minnyvurdock

Twitter: @VinceMurdock

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Jake Collier Re-Signs with the UFC

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UFC light heavyweight, Jake Collier (11-4, 3-3 UFC) , took to twitter yesterday, announcing a four fight contract renewal with the promotion.

The Missouri-born, Collier, amassed a 7-1 professional record fighting exclusively in his home state. Following his next fight, a 1st round submission victory over Gabriel Checco in the RFA promotion, Collier signed with the UFC.

Originally, Collier signed as a middleweight. His promotional debut took place in December of 2014 at, UFC Fight Night 58. A bout which he lost to Vitor Miranda via TKO (Head kick and punches) with only one second remaining in the opening round.

In 2017, “The Prototype”, moved to the light heavyweight division. The move came after a three-year stint at middleweight that saw him go 2-2. Losing to the likes of Dongi Yang, while defeating Ricardo Abreu. His final fight at the lower weight earned him a performance of the night bonus in his, UFC Fight Night 88, TKO win over Alberto Uda.

Upon moving to light heavyweight, Collier has the same .500 win percentage with a record of 1-1. His debut at the weight originally scheduled him against John Stansbury. Unfortunately, Collier withdrew from the card due to injury. Devin Clark replaced him on, The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 24, and defeated John Stansbury by unanimous decision. Clark then fought Collier next, defeating him by unanimous decision. “The Prototype”s most recent bout, a victory over Marcel Fortuna in November at, UFC Fight Night 120.

According to, UFC.com, Collier is booked to fight UFC-newcomer, Marcin Prachnio at, UFC on Fox 28, in Orlando, Florida. The only bout booked to the February 24th card, of next year.

Prachnio, holds a record of 13-2, with 10 knockouts. He most recently fought for the Asian-based promotion, One Championship. The Karate practitioner comes to the UFC on an eight fight win streak, the previous four in One Championship. At twenty-nine, Prachnio is another, in his prime, European light heavyweight signed to the UFC this year (Volkan Oezdemir being the other).

 

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FURY FC 17 Preview: UFC Veteran Roger Narvaez Set to Fight For Gold

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Deep in the Hill Country of Texas, there is a storm of MMA action brewing on the horizon in the historic city of San Antonio.

In 1836 the most iconic siege ever to take place in the American West was waged between Santa Anna’s Mexican forces and a small band of Texans fighting for their independence at the Battle of the Alamo. On June 10th that tradition of never backing down continues as Fury Fighting Championships 17 takes place at the Shrine Auditorium with a card that was originally slated to have 20 bouts of MMA action. At the top of the bill, there will be a familiar face as former UFC fighter, Roger “The Silverback” Narvaez, looks to capture his first championship in the sport when he faces Antonio “Doomsday” Jones for the vacant middleweight title. The event will also feature a hot prospect, a kickboxing champion, and a grudge match.

Fury FC 17 will be broadcast live on FloCombat.com.

While the 33-year-old Narvaez (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has already realized his ultimate goal of getting to the highest level of MMA, fighting for a title has always eluded him. The 6’3″ fighter nicknamed “The Silverback” due to his abnormal 79.5″ wingspan, or monkey arms as he calls them was twice scheduled to fight for the Legacy Fighting Championship Middleweight Title against then champion Bubba Bush who now fights in the UFC. An injury caused the first fight to be canceled. Then a call up to the UFC to fight an unknown opponent on short notice put an end to plans for the another scheduled title fight.

Theodorou vs. Narvaez at UFC 185 (photo: Matthew Wells – MMA Latest)

 

To Roger, the secret to grabbing the attention of the world’s biggest MMA promotion is fighting for several different promotions. He fought for six different organizations winning all of his fights before getting a call from the UFC’s former matchmaker Joe Silva to ask if he was ready to make the move. Narvaez feels that fighting for multiple shows tells the UFC that a fighter is ready to fight whoever and whenever. His first fight for the promotion was a loss to Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque where he fought at an altitude of over 5300 feet sea level, something he says will not do again unless he is training at altitude. To put it bluntly, he plainly states “the altitude in Albuquerque sucks.” After a win against Luke Barnett, he faced Elias Theodorou. In that fight, he broke his arm before ultimately losing, and was then cut by the UFC.


At this point in Narvaez’s career, his goals now are different:

“The next goal for me, to be realistic, is to make as much money as I can. I love fighting, but at the same time, I have a family that I am trying to support. That is always first and foremost now…[and] Fury is doing a pretty good job of taking care of me…This is a really big deal for me. I am probably training harder for this fight than I have ever trained before. Part of that is with age comes knowledge and experience and I am doing everything I need to do the right way to get ready to come home with that strap, but that strap means ever thing…I didn’t quit fighting with a broken arm, it is going to take something pretty drastic to get me stop. I don’t think the guy I am fighting is going to be able to break my will or test my heart to where I am not going to be able to pull through…coming home with that title is a big deal.”

That home is one of a fighting family. Narvaez’s wife Brandi is also a fighter who recently made her professional debut at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7. His stepson is a gray belt who competes in Jui-Jitsu year round, his daughter also trains in the sport. They understand the hard work that their dad puts in more so than the average fighter’s family. As he puts “it’s not normal, but it is normal to us.”


The prospect to keep an eye on is Two-time Alabama state wrestling champion turned lightweight MMA fighter, Alec Williams (5-1 MMA) from Birmingham. Williams will be looking to rebound from his first professional loss as he takes on Travonne “Prince Scorpion” Hobbs. In his last fight, Alec relied on his wrestling and got it in his head that he did not want to stand and trade with his opponent. That mentality ultimately not only cost him his undefeated record but also to sustain four broken bones in the right side of his face.

“I didn’t get knocked out, I still got the takedown after I broke those four bones. I know it is going to be pretty difficult to knock me out…Honestly, the loss kind of took any pressure off. Before I was undefeated, that loss was going to be a big change and now a loss is just another loss.”

For this fight, Williams says he has been working with MMA legend and former UFC fighter Pete Spratt on his stand up and will not make the same mistake twice.


Also featured on the card is the first Brazilan World Cup Kickboxing Champion, welterweight Washington “Washingthai” Luiz. Originally slated to fight Nickolay Veretennikov, “Washingthai” Luiz will now take on lesser known Danny Ageday. With a new opponent on just four days notice, the man who has aspirations to become a champion in GLORY Kickboxing is not fazed.

“I did my whole camp studying my first opponent who is a striker like me, but I do not feel harmed by the change. I’m ready for this war…The main reason for my change to the USA is the opportunity to be in the biggest events in the world I have already fought the biggest events in Brazil in kickboxing and MMA. I have fought in big events in Europe and now my challenge is the biggest event of kickboxing, GLORY. But I also love MMA and when a fight appears for me, I do not refuse.”


The grudge match at Fury FC 17 comes to us from the flyweights division’s Mark “The Sparrow” Plata and David “Gallito” Miramontes. These two men were scheduled to fight previously but Plata had to pull out due to his wife giving birth to twins. According to Plata, that is where the beef began.

“The day my twins were born he was messaging me talking about how this was not a good reason not fight and that I just did not want to fight him. My kids were in ICU at the time and he just keeps messaging me over and over…it upset me at the time because they were dying, they were trying to survive, but it just added more fuel to the fire. Then he kept asking promoters to fight me. He asked two or three different promoters to set it up. I got tired of him asking for me. So then I was like, alright cool if you want it that bad, let’s do it…His fighting style matches his personality. He tries to be a bully, and that’s cool, I don’t mind shutting bullies down.”

Titles, champions, prospects, legitimate bad blood…what more you could ask for in a local card?

This is an event not to miss and thanks to Fury FC having a deal with FloSports, you do not have to.

Tune in for all the action live at 6:00 PM CST on FloCombat.com this Saturday.

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*VIDEO* Francis Ngannou has his eyes on the UFC Heavyweight Title

Matthew Wells

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UFC Heavyweight Francis “The Predator” Ngannou has taken the heavyweight division by storm.

Currently 5-0 in the UFC and riding a 9 fight win streak, the native of Cameroon possesses vicious power and has shown improvements each time he steps inside the cage.

Hear Ngannou talk about his journey and plans for the future:

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