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Where are they Now? – Gerard Gordeau



The Karate Champion against the 400 pound Sumo Wrestler was the first televised UFC bout on 12 November 1993. It was UFC 1 and it was a real life David vs Goliath matchup

Teila Tuli, the 400 pound Sumo never fought in MMA again but instead went on to star in the 2006 Movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall and has a recurring role as Kamekona on Hawaii Five-0 but today we find out what happened to the person who removed three of his teeth with a single kick that night, Gerard Gordeau….

Gerard Gordeau is a Dutch former Savate, Karate and MMA Fighter. He was the 1991 World Heavyweight Savate Champion and holder of the Dutch Champion Kyokushin Karate title for 8 consecutive years. At UFC 1 he got all the way to the finale before losing to the legendary Royce Gracie.

Adam Shone: Gerard, Thanks again for speaking to us. Can you tell the readers of MMA Latest what Gerard Gordeau is up to now?
Gerard Gordeau: Along with my brothers Al and Nico, I own the Dojo Kamakura in The Hague, still do a lot of karate and have had our own association with members all over the world. We organise summer and winter camps and give seminars worldwide. We also train kickboxing and BJJ with Remco Pardoel and Duncan Smit. It was an obvious choice to train in BJJ after UFC 1!

AS: Do you work with any current MMA/K1/Karate Fighters?

GG: Yes, we work with fighters all over Europe; they come from all over to train at Dojo Kamakura.

Notables who train at Dojo Kamakura include:

  • Peter “Mr K.1”Aerts,

  • Sem “Hightower” Schilt,

  • Mourad “The Silent Power” Bouzidi

AS: Looking back, how did you ever get involved in the original Ultimate Fighter tournament?

GG: Art Davie contacted me after he heard that I was the number 1, stand up fighter in Europe after winning the European and World championships in Savate and Karate. I did not hesitate to say yes! I wanted to be the number 1 fighter in the world.

AS: Obviously you were certain you were going to win UFC 1 but did you pay attention to any of the others styles at the time and were there anyone you wanted to avoid in the competition?

GG: Oh yes we did pay attention. We thought it was similar to judo and wrestling. That’s how we prepared for UFC 1. At that time there was no YouTube or internet to see how your opponent was fighting! After UFC 1 we picked up BJJ and everything changed. Now everybody can train all disciplines. In those days BJJ was only known to a small group of fighters. Karate is still the best for the stand-up game in my opinion.

AS: UFC 1 is iconic for a number of reasons but one which sticks in many people’s minds is your fight against Teila Tuli. Did Teila’s tooth really get stuck in your foot and did you actually have to wait until you got back to Holland to have it removed?

GG: Yes after my return I had to go to hospital and the tooth had to be removed surgically. It actually caused a huge infection in my foot!

AS: Since UFC 1 you have only competed in one MMA Contest which was the Vale Tudo contest in 1995. Unfortunately you lost to Yuki Nakai and during that bout he sustained a horrible injury to his eye which he attributes to intentional gouging. Is that something you purposely did? Do you regret it? And have you spoken to Yuki Nakai since he lost all vision in that eye?

GG: Yes I have spoken to Yuki. If you watch the fight, on numerous occasions I told the ref to stop the fight. He wanted to continue. No regrets whatsoever!

I’ve actually met a few fighters from the past including Royce Gracie who visited Holland a few years ago and gave a seminar. It was great to see him again after 20 years. Just a few months ago I visited Art Davie and some of the other UFC fighters in New York. It was great to see them all and catch up with the likes of Coleman, Severn, Frye, Varelans, One glove Jimmerson and Emmanuel Yarbrough.

AS: Do you still have that urge to lace up the gloves or are your fighting days now done? Hypothetically, If someone like Bellator offered the opportunity to fight one of the greats like Royce would it interest you?

GG: Let them make me an offer and we will see! Ha ha

AS: Obviously having a career in Karate and being involved in the first UFC Event are major highlights but what would you class as your career defining moment?
GG: My whole career is one highlight and it still is. In the early days fighting myself and now as a teacher! I love to see my students fight in any discipline and in any tournaments! Martial Arts is the greatest thing!

AS: How did the UFC Experience change your approach to Martial Arts?

GG: It was a great experience and it allowed me to see what needed to be done to get even better.

AS: Do you have a favourite current MMA fighter?

GG: Not really, I have respect for all the fighters that enter the octagon

AS: Who did you pick in the McGregor vs Aldo fight?

GG: McGregor was my pick and he won! Same kind of background and he fights to win!

AS: Finally, It’s been reported that when you lost to Royce Gracie in the championship bout, while you were in Gracie’s guard, you allegedly bit Gracie’s ear in an intentional foul. Was this something that you had planned for or was it an act of panic/frustration?
GG: No plan, no panic, just a little present for him to remember. That is the first thing Royce said when he visited! All good now! Great fighter, great teacher, great sportsman!

AS: Gerard, It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking to you and on behalf of MMA Latest and our readers I thank you for your time.

GG: Osu

Translated by Duncan Smit on behalf of Kancho Gerard Gordeau.

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Mike Ekundayo: “It didn’t cross my mind that I’m fighting for a belt until I raise my hand and I feel something going around my waist”



As the worlds’ largest mixed martial arts organization nears its London, Fight Night event, a champion, of a smaller promotion sits in waiting. The UFC touches down in England exactly one month removed from the Brad Pickett led, Rise of Champions fifth event. It was the biggest event thus far into its young existence. Rise of Champions 5, was a significant moment in its history, as the promotions first amateur and professional champions were crowned.

On the preliminary card, an exciting contest between Luke Trainer and Matthew Byfield decided the amateur Light Heavyweight champion. After three rounds and nine minutes of action, Luke Trainer earned the title of ROC amateur Light Heavyweight champion.

But that is not what the night was about. While many of the match-ups sought to steal the shine from the night’s life-blood, none could. The main event of the evening drew interested eyes from corners unknown. A battle for the promotions first ever professional champion pitted two European Bantamweight prospects against each other, Jonas Magard and Mike Ekundayo.

It took two rounds to decide an inaugural Bantamweight champion. Round one was close. It largely saw grappling exchanges between the two. Ekundayo pressured his against the fence, and pressed his opponent up against it. After working in the position, the Brixton resident took Magard to the mat. In that process, the Danish fighter, Magard, dug a guillotine. As Ekundayo worked out of the guillotine, Magard rose to his feet, with his back still pressed against the cage. They spent a couple minutes trading position along the fence before the referee stood the them up.Once separated, Ekundayo caught a leg kick and they continued to grapple along the fence, as well as the ground, in a similar fashion for the remainder of the round.

Photo courtesy of Ope O Photography (@greatarsenal)

Before the fight, neither athlete had much respect for their opponents striking ability. Post-humorously, Ekundayo stated, “He said that he doesn’t respect my stand up, I understand that but then again his stand isn’t amazing”. Truly Ekundayo felt similarly to the rest of his opponents’ skills, “The main thing really was his Japanese neck tie… his Japanese neck tie and his guillotines…Yeah, those were his two biggest threats but I just didn’t see it happening to me personally”.

Although he managed to escape Magards guillotine, twice, in between rounds was an unfamiliar experience. His corner sat him down on the stool and spoke words he’d only heard once before. “They did give me advice, in between rounds. They did also point (out) that I lost that round. So, I was still calm and then I was just listening to them, listening to their instructions… I haven’t lost a fight and I don’t like losing rounds but I just kept a cool head and I thought ‘Okay, I lost this round. Let me just listen to my coaches and an opening will come’”.

He was right, an opening did come. Ekundayo opened the second round by closing the distance with an overhand right and another takedown. This time, he found more space and worked to his opponents back. Once he got to Magards back, you could sense the finish coming. Ekundayo sunk his arm in and got the rear-naked choke submission two minutes and two seconds into the second round.

It took some time for the win to sink in. Not the win, the concomitants of the win. He said, “Of course, I’ve won fights before, but I haven’t won a belt before. So honestly, it just sort of felt like a little bit routine when they were going over it. So, the ring announcers now calling out the winner, and the referee is lifting up my hand. As the referee is lifting up my hand, I feel something going around my waist and I was sort of blank like, in that moment I just remember, ‘oh my days, this is a title fight, I just won a belt’. Like it didn’t cross my mind throughout all of that when they were calling out my name, like all of that, when I sunk in the choke and he tapped. It didn’t cross my mind that I’m fighting for a belt until I raise my hand and I feel something going around my waist. And there’s actually a sweet photo that (Rise of Champions photographer) took and that was at the moment of me realizing”. With a quick chuckle he said, “I was gassed, like I said we say”.

The last time I spoke with Ekundayo, he spoke of what it would mean to be the Rise of Champions inaugural Bantamweight champion. When we first spoke, he told me of the hardship surrounding his home of Brixton and its surrounding boroughs. He also told me his plans for the championship belt. He spoke about taking it back to his home, back to his friends, his family, and his people. To thank, inspire and share with them.

Photo courtesy of Ope O Photography (@greatarsenal)

Upon asking him about the experience, I could feel the eagerness through the tonal vibrations of a small rectangular device. “That day was not planned at all. There was no structure but it was nice and it just made the story even more amazing and fulfilling to me. The plan was just to go to the landmarks of Brixton, with my photographer. So we just planned to go to the landmarks, the known landmarks of Brixton, take a few photos and just put it up and say I did what I wanted to do in the article”. After a quick breathe to reinvigorate his lungs with much needed oxygen, he continued, “It just so happened that we just bumped into a lot of the people I know, and then they were congratulating me saying oh you did it, and just in high praises of me and it was nice because we involved them into the photos. So it was a nice conclusion to the whole story that started from what I said (previously)”.

Photo courtesy of Ope O Photography (@greatarsenal)

Even now, it seems like it all just happened for Ekundayo. “I feel like I’ve just only won the belt and everything’s sinking in”, he claimed. Rationally, he was a bit apprehensive when asked of his immediate future, “I’m really hyper-focused on improving my skills in all facets of the game. I’m really focused on improving my skills more than anything else but I have been asked this by people in the gym and (Mixed Martial Arts) journalists, ‘Oh, what’s next for you? What are looking to get on next?’ The big shows”. A subtle pause before he cleverly continued, “if they can even get bigger then Rise of Champions because you know Rise of Champions is my show… The big shows, like I said with the belt, it’s my time. I feel like me getting on the big shows now and getting much bigger money fights, it’s my time. It’s my time. It’s just, it’s inevitable now. The same way, that whole me fighting Jonas, I felt like it’s my time. I feel like me getting on the big shows, it’s my time now”.

Photo courtesy of Ope O Photography (@greatarsenal)

“We’ll see what comes, in terms of that”, he said when asked what promotion he preferred to compete for next. “It’s like my main focus is myself and my skills, the rest I feel like, it comes with the territory. If you just focus on being great within yourself, everything else will just happen. So me being on the bigger shows, like in the UFC, me having the UFC belt, me being known as the p4p #1 fighter in the world, they just transpire off me focusing on myself and me just focusing on being better. So I do have fighting on these shows in mind. Of course I want to fight on huge shows in front of a big crowd, in front of a big stadium. Of course I want to do all of that, but my focus (and) my mind is just on me and my skills and how I’m going to improve and be perfect and be the perfect mixed martial artist”. He continued, “Being on the UFC, being on Bellator, being able to say I’m on all of these shows would be flipping amazing. It would be huge, I would be, what we call over here, is gassed. It’s like we get really excited. So yeah, I would be super excited to be on those shows but my primary focus is on sharpening my skills”.

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Video: Ashley Yoder UFC 222 Interview and Staredown



Our own, Rodney ‘The Rockstar’ Edgar got the opportunity to speak with Ashley Yoder at UFC 222 media day. Ahead of her FS1 prelim headlining fight, she spoke to MMA Latest about what drives her to fight, and more.

Ashley Yoder takes on Mackenzie Dern, the extremely popular BJJ star whom makes her promotional debut Saturday. Yoder has experience inside the octagon. She fought twice for the promotion, going 0-2. Her loses came at the hands of Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 102: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov, and Angela Hill most recently at The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale.

Tomorrow night, Yoder looks to end her two fight skid with an impressive victory over the highly touted Dern. This performance could weigh heavily on her future with the promotion. From an extremely far vantage point, a fight as such, looks like Zookeepers feeding their Lion. But Ashley Yoder is a game opponent, owning four submission victories in her five total wins.

UFC 222 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday March 3rd. The card features Cris Cyborg defending her Featherweight title against Yana Kunitskaya in the main event. Brian Ortega takes on Frankie Edgar in the nights co-main event. Other match-ups featured include: Ashley Yoder taking on Mackenzie Dern in her UFC debut, John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz go at it, Cat Zingano takes on Ketlen Vieira, Beneil Dariush goes up against Alexander Hernandez, and Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath.

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Video: Mike Pyle UFC 222 Interview and Staredown



Our own, Rodney ‘The Rockstar’ Edgar spoke with MMA veteran, Mike Pyle at UFC 222 media day. Pyle announced recently that this upcoming fight would be his last. Thankfully, MMA Latest got the chance to speak with him before the final fight of his career.

Mike Pyle has had a long and exciting MMA career. His first professional bout, happened to be a catch-weight against Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Pyle fought Rampage at a catch-weight of 205, Pyle weighed in at 175 pounds. The veteran of over 40 professional fights lost his pro debut but gained an impressive victory in his second pro bout over Jon Fitch. Over the span of his career, Pyle fought in many promotions, against many different opponents.

Notable names to have fought against Mike Pyle include: Jake Shields, Rory MacDonald, Ricardo Almeida, Brock Larson, JJ Ambrose, Jon Fitch, Colby Covington, Matt Brown, Quinton Jackson, and Rick Story.

UFC 222 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday March 3rd. The card features Cris Cyborg defending her Featherweight title against Yana Kunitskaya in the main event. Brian Ortega takes on Frankie Edgar in the nights co-main event. Other match-ups featured include: Ashley Yoder taking on Mackenzie Dern in her UFC debut, John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz go at it, Cat Zingano takes on Ketlen Vieira, Beneil Dariush goes up against Alexander Hernandez, and Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath.

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