Women’s MMA Champ Taylor Stratford

June 9, 2011 1 comment

On the verge of her last amateur fight, top ranked fighter Taylor Stratford took the time out of her busy schedule to chat with us for a bit. Make sure you catch her in action this Friday the 10th at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. If you can’t make it out, you can order the fights at http://gofightlive.tv

Nor-Cal MMA: When people think of cage fighting, most expect gruesome brutality. You are definitely the opposite. What made you get into MMA?

Taylor Stratford: It was mostly a personal decision. My dad and uncle encouraged me but it was really to prove something to myself. I’m so happy with this; it’s my life & my heart.

Nor-Cal MMA: You’ve made quite a name for yourself being at the top of the list for amateur female fighters. Did you ever dream of this type of success when you first started fighting?
TS: No not at all. Everything has come kind of fast. My first fight was only two months after I started training and from there on I was very consistent with fights and eventually got noticed more & then became amateur fighter of the year 2010 and then won two titles 8 days apart from each other. I’ve only dreamed of this kind of stuff ever happening to me and I am so unbelievably grateful for everything.

Nor-Cal MMA: What was it that you really dreamed of being growing up?
TS: I wanted to be an athlete for sure. I ran track for nearly 12 years so I expected to do that forever but it was just not for me. I just knew that I had to do something athletic because that’s the kind of person I’ve always been.

Nor-Cal MMA:Your last amateur fight is this weekend and all of us are excited to see you go out with a bang. What’s your next step after this fight?
TS: After this fight I am going into the pros. Win or lose. This is my life, I don’t have really anything other than this.

Nor-Cal MMA: Women’s MMA is beginning to flourish. Who is one pro fighter that you would enjoy getting in the cage with?
TS: I don’t like to pick and choose rather I like to be told who I am fighting and start training for them, but I would love to be put against anyone who can challenge me mentally and physically.

Nor-Cal MMA: Aside from MMA, what do you hope to accomplish in your life?
TS: I just want to be the best me I can be. I want to help others not be afraid of things like bullying and help people understand that women can do this too. I want to make a difference in this sport and in life.

Nor-Cal MMA: Can we look forward to seeing an “Anthony Pettis-like” kick anytime soon from you?
You never know! I have something fun planned for every fight but it all depends on how the fight is going for me to be able to accomplish it, I promise you won’t see a boring fight though that’s for sure!

Nor-Cal MMA: Anyone that you want to thank for helping you get to where you are?
TS: My family at the Reno Academy of Combat, my awesome trainers Rick Collup and Nick Barbarigos, anyone and everyone who supports me & even the people who don’t. I wouldn’t be where I am without every single one of you, so thank you very much & much love. Thank you for this interview!!

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Nor-Cal MMA Update

June 6, 2011 1 comment

Hey everyone just wanted to give you all an update on what to look out for in the next week

We will be putting out two interviews with Ultimate Reno Combat Women’s Champ Taylor Stratford and Underground Fighting System’s Marcus “Little Tank” Oceguda.

Marcus Oceguda

Tay Stratford

We just posted our new section “On the Spot”.  It features four figures in the MMA Community of Northern California.

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Is Penn Too Old?

June 2, 2011 1 comment

Written by Jeanene V

BJ Penn’s next fight, scheduled against Jon Fitch in UFC 132 was tossed out with the trash due to Fitch’s shoulder surgery. Since then, fans have been wondering where Hawaii’s native son will focus his guns next. The answer came across an unlikely source: Twitter. What started out as joking on the social media website between two of UFC’s greatest fighters, has turned into what may be considered one of the best match-ups in UFC history. Fans may get their wish for a match featuring BJ Penn and Jake Shields.

The only question here is, does Penn have what it takes to give Shields a worthwhile fight? When does age become a major factor to a fighter’s training and performance? Shields is not the kind of opponent one should take lightly. Prior to losing to GSP, Shields had won 15 fights in a row. He is well known in the MMA world for his stamina and ability to take a punch. Whereas, Penn’s ability in the octagon has come under fire in the past year. Penn showed his punching power against Matt Hughes in UFC 123 with a solid knockout. But lacked stamina and faded out against Fitch in UFC 127, losing by decision.

So, how old is too old for mixed martial arts fighters? Living legend, Randy Couture will celebrate his 48th birthday on June 22nd and is still ready to sign on the dotted line. Couture was 43 years old the first time he came out of retirement to beat Tim Sylvia and become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Couture wasn’t as lucky last time around when he challenged Lyoto Machida in UFC 129. This time, Couture was knocked out with a front kick, lost a tooth and was briefly hospitalized. Knowing when to call it quits, Couture announced his permanent retirement before the bout.
Another example of a timeless warrior is newcomer, Hershel Walker. Although no stranger to professional sports, 49 year old Walker started his MMA career with a challenge to Dana White for mocking his ability to compete at his age. Walker has since silenced White with his 2-0 record, both wins by TKO. So does age really matter in the world of MMA? When do we say “enough is enough”?

Categories: Jeanene V.

Sacramento Spring Open

May 31, 2011 1 comment

Article By Tyler T

Until Saturday, I had only ever heard of the United Grappling Federation by friends in MMA. Going to a grappling tournament hosted by this organization, I didn’t really know what to expect. As I followed the crowd of gi wearing, duffle-bag carrying, youth, I eventually ended up at the event. From the first match, a featherweight youth bout, I knew the tournament was going to be intense. Within the first 15 minutes of my stay, a little girl choked out a little boy. After the boy came to, he stood up and shook the hand of his opponent. Maybe it’s just me, but small things like that are what really make me appreciate the sport. As the day progressed, so did the age of the competitors. I saw a 15 year old kid beat a grown man. I had the pleasure of talking to one man in the tournament with the same age/height/weight as me. He was using his lengthy limbs to help choke takedown and throw his opponents off balance, I’ll be honest, it made me a bit jealous to not be in his position. I also got to speak with some camera men and match organizers working the event, they were all friendly, professional and helpful. When you’re surrounded by good people, it makes it easier to be sociable. It was a good pick for my first covered MMA event. I can’t wait to do it again!

This was the first grappling match I had been to since I moved to Sacramento, I had a lot of fun, more than anything though, it made me want to get into jiu jitsu and fast!

Here are the best quality pics that I could get out of the bunch: www.photobucket.com/ugfpics.

Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance’s Joe Soto Returns

May 27, 2011 1 comment

One time Bellator title holder, Joe Soto, is set to make his return to the cage on August 4th at Tachi Palace Fights. The Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance fighter fights for the first time since his loss to Joe Warren. In that fight, Soto also suffered a detached retina and was forced to see a specialist before getting cleared from the doctor and California State Athletic Commission to fight.

Now with the approval, the 26 year old Soto replaces former Tachi Palace Fights Featherweight Champ, Isaac de Jesus. Soto’s opponent is Eddie Yagin who holds a 13-4-1 record. Soto, who is still under contract with Bellator, has been given the go ahead from CEO Bjorn Rebney. Rebney also hinted that Soto could possibly take place in Bellator’s bantamweight tournament if he chooses to drop a weight class.

Soto was Bellator’s first season featherweight champ, where he also won the belt in 2009. He then went on a 4-fight win streak before he was stopped by Joe Warren last September. Tachi Palace Fights 10 takes place on August 4th in Leemore, CA.

Twitter Sparks UFC Welterweight Showdown

May 27, 2011 1 comment

With the recent “Twitter Challenge” as announced by Dana White, a surge in Twitters posts is obviously apparent in the MMA world. One that has caught the attention of many fans around the world was tweeted by former UFC champion, BJ Penn:
@jakeshieldsajj I would never challenge one of Cesar Gracie’s guys, but you’ve been calling me out for years.Let’s do it! I’ll contact Dana –

And the war of words ensued:
I’m a BJ fan but let’s get it on. Make the call RT @artoom23: Hell yeah! @bjpenndotcom just called out @jakeshieldsajj ! Let’s go!!!!!!!!!  – @jakeshieldsajj
@bjpenndotcom even better, let’s make it the first 5 round non-title fight – @jakeshieldsajj
@jakeshieldsajj If that makes you feel more confident….. sure. – @BJPennDotCom 

Could we see a welterweight showdown between these two fighters? Or is this simply a plot to receive a hefty $5,000 bonus from UFC President, Dana White?

CSAC Has Change of Heart

May 20, 2011 5 comments

The California State Athletic Commission today reversed a decision to treat Chael Sonnen’s indefinite suspension as a license revocation, which clears the way for the onetime middleweight contender to apply for a fight license in the state after his suspension runs its course on June 29 of this year.

On Thursday, CSAC Executive Director George Dodd told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) that California Code of Regulations Title 4 Rule 399 was used as justification by CSAC legal advisers for classifying the suspension as a revocation.

Today, however, the CSAC announced there were errors made in the interpretation of that rule.

“Upon reviewing the May 18, 2011 decision of the commission, an error in the applicability of Rule 399 was made,” stated a release issued today by the commission. “The rule states that, ‘Any applicant who has been denied an application for a license may not file a similar application until one year from the date of the last previous denial by the commission. Any application filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing. Anyone who has had his license revoked may not petition for reinstatement or apply for a new license until one year after the date of such revocation. Any petition for reinstatement filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing.’

“Since the commission did not revoke or deny Mr. Sonnen’s license, the rule does not apply.”

The release noted that Sonnen will need to appear before the commission once again should he decide to apply for a license in California.

“If the commission denies his application, Mr. Sonnen will have to wait one year from the date of the denial,” the release stated.

On Tuesday, the CSAC voted 4-1 to uphold an indefinite suspension of Sonnen issued in late April. The commission cited inconsistencies in his testimony during a December appeal of a one-year suspension he was issued for elevated levels of testosterone following UFC 117. (The suspension was reduced to six months.) Sonnen’s recent conviction on one federal charge of money laundering was also cited as a reason for the indefinite suspension.

On Thursday Dodd said that Sonnen was not eligible to apply for a license in California until May 18, 2012, or one year from the date that CSAC upheld the indefinite suspension, as per the commission’s rules on license revocations.

Until June 29, Sonnen’s name will remain on a registry that tracks fighters’ medical and administrative suspensions. It is unknown at the time of this writing whether a note will be placed on the registry after the suspension expires that asks commissions in other states to call the CSAC in the event that the fighter applies for a license there.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Sonnen’s legal representatives begged the CSAC to end the fighter’s current suspension on June 5, the final date in which he’d be eligible to gain a second’s license in Nevada to coach on “The Ultimate Fighter 14.” Sonnen told the commission that he had been offered a coaching spot opposite Michael Bisping on the reality show with a No. 1 contender’s bout waiting afterward. The request was declined.

Nevada State Athletic Commission Keith Kizer said on Thursday that a second’s license is out of the question before Sonnen’s current suspension ends, though the restrictions will be lifted after June 29.

“My understanding is that he’s free to apply for either license after June 29,” Kizer said today. “However, he will have to appear before the commission on those applications. Before that date, we have to honor the California suspensions.”


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