Retired, former UFC star Gerald “Hurricane” Harris applies his stand-up comedy skills to analyzing the XFL – Rumble on the River 13: USA vs. Japan that will stream live on GFL.tv on Friday, July 24.
By Randy Jean
Mixed Striking Championship (MSC) is a Miami, Florida-based fight promotion that’s essentially bringing back the fighting style vs. fighting style theme to combat sports and distinguishing itself from Muay Thai or Glory style kickboxing by outfitting its combatants with a patented glove that is more compact than a traditional boxing glove and, similar to an MMA glove, does not cover the athlete’s fingers.
Unlike Glory or K-1, MSC also allows its fighters to throw elbow strikes, like those used in Muay Thai competition.
Just days out from its second live event, which will stream live on GFL from BankUnited Center in Miami, Greg Bloom, a lawyer by day and matchmaker for MSC by night, took the time to discuss MSC’s unique combat sports product, the “EVO” glove, ways athletes and entertainers can protect themselves both in and outside the ring and the chances of MSC dethroning MMA as the premier martial arts combat sport.
Randy Jean: You played in integral part in the creation of MSC, but before all of that you are a lawyer first. You also used to work in Wall Street. Walk us through the journey of how all of that came about.
Greg Bloom: I initially worked in Wall Street for 10 years, prior to going back to law school. Then when I was in law school, I was approach by a professional boxer who needed some assistance with a contract which, from there, I ended up managing this fighter.
It was basically a snowball effect because, before I was even done with law school, I was representing about 15 different fighters between boxing and MMA. So the natural progression for me, while I was studying law, was to eventually practice and work in sports and entertainment law.
One of my clients was Wayne Bermudez, who’s the founder of MSC. I started off as his attorney, and then was welcomed aboard to help steer the company and as a matchmaker as well.
RJ: So how is your relationship with Wayne Bermudez?
GB: Great! He’s a great guy who has an extensive background in MMA and it’s a great concept that he’s created. I’m just excited to be a part of it.
RJ: As a lawyer, what legal issues do you to tend to deal with when it comes to athletes and entertainers on a daily basis?
GB: Everything from negotiating their agreements with managers or promoters to endorsements and sponsorship deals. Whether it’s second business entities or real estate issues, I try my best to help them out the best I can.
RJ: I was looking at the MSC Facebook page and I noticed the slogan “ No Tap outs, Just Knockouts.” Why do you feel like it’s important for MSC to stand out in this manner from its competitors?
GB: I think right now there’s a lot of saturation in the MMA market. You’re starting to see other types of combat sports come out of the forefront. A lot of the Glory fights and Lion Fights as well as boxing are making a big comeback on free TV. So it’s important that MSC becomes a home for those martial artists who don’t necessarily want to get involved in MMA, but dedicate a lot of time to developing their craft in the standing striking arts.
RJ: Do you think MSC, which is essentially its own sport because of its unique rule set, as well as a promotion, can dethrone MMA and become the new king of the mountain of combat sports?
GB: I mean it’ll take time, like everything else. But it’s definitely picking up steam and gaining more fans by the day. We’re trying to get as active in putting out as much events as we can. I think in due time it’ll rival any other combat sport out there. We just need time to create stars and grow.
RJ: The concussion issues we’ve seen in the NFL bring athlete safety to mind What is MSC doing different to protect its stars?
GB: We have a patented glove called the “EVO” glove. It’s an 8 to 10 oz. glove, depending on the weight class of any particular matchup. We do everything we can to ensure the safety of the fighters.
In any fight, though, athletes can get injured. We do everything we can from standing 8 counts to having capable officials presiding over the action.
RJ: I actually had notes on the Evo glove. Do you think this glove alone allows MSC to stand out?
GB: I do. It’s a unique glove that allows for a comfortable fit, which allows for fewer injuries in the hand. It covers the thumb and the finger tips aren’t close to the edge of the glove, which limits eye pokes. It’s also a great glove for hitting bags and what not. We believe the glove can stand out on its own and make a marketplace for itself in the combat sports world.
RJ: You usually give seminars to young athletes and entertainers who are coming up. What are some lessons you always share with them?
GB: Don’t believe everything they tell you. If they promise you something, then get it in writing and always make sure you have an escape clause just in case the plan doesn’t fall through. Because once you sign an agreement and they don’t perform on it, then you’re stuck. Also, always get yourself a great attorney.
RJ: Speaking of contracts, will we see you in Dez Bryant’s corner negotiating a new contract with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys?
GB: (Laughs) Hey, if you can give him my number, I would love to help!
Newly crowned USA Penn. State Cruiserweight Champion Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (14-9-1, 8 KO’s) talks with GFL correspondent Francois Sirois about his win over Anthony Caputo Smith (15-5, 10 KO’s) at Valley Forge Casino and Resort in Valley Forge, Penn. on June 20. Wilson won the vacant championship by way of third round KO.
Undefeated super middleweight boxing prospect John Magda (11-0, 7 KO’s) talks with GFL correspondent Francois Sirois about his latest victory, a unanimous decision over veteran Dionisio Miranda (22-11-2, 19 KO’s) on June 20 at Valley Forge Casino and Resort in Valley Forge, Penn.
By Keith Harmon
On Friday, July 10, undefeated Ludus MMA fighter Preston Parsons (2-0) steps into the cage against “Platinum” Mike Perry in the main event of House of Fame: Riverside Beatdown, which streams on GFL from Jacksonville, Fla.
Prior to the fight, I had the chance to talk with him about his upcoming fight and his thoughts on an opponent whom he feels is doing a bit too much trash talking. Parsons said he would rather not engage in that type of behavior, and just step into the cage and fight.
Keith Harmon: How did you get into MMA?
Preston Parsons: I’ve always been into fighting since I was really young. I started watching the Rocky movies a long time ago. That’s what got me into it. A bunch of my buddies were into wrestling and I decided to come to an MMA school and give it a shot.
KH: You’re turning 20 in the next few days. How do you think starting MMA at a young age has helped you?
PP: I think it’s going to make my career a little bit longer. I started training at Ludus MMA when I was 16. I’ve been there for almost four years.
KH: This is your first time headlining a card. Are there any pre fight jitters or nerves?
PP: Not too much. My manager got me main event for a lot of my amateur fights.
KH: I watched the Marc Graham fight. I was really impressed by your submission skills. He had you in a bit of trouble. However, you were able to submit him with an arm bar in under a minute. What are your thoughts on that?
PP: That was a really good fight of mine. To be honest I felt the arm bar there and I went for it. It was a good fight that.
KH: Florida is becoming a hotspot for MMA. How did you come to be in Florida?
PP: I’ve lived in Jacksonville Beach my entire life. Lived in the same house, the whole nine yards.
KH: Since you plan to have a long career in MMA, how long do you plan to stay in the fight world?
PP: Until my goals are met. I want to win the UFC belt and defend it a few times. Whenever time feels right, but not anytime soon.
KH: How close do you think you are to the UFC?
PP: I’m not quite sure. I think after a few more fights. I may have a shot, but whenever my coaches and manager tells me is best. My manager sets all that up for me.
KH: Any coaches or training partners at Ludus who have helped with your progression?
PP: My head coach and manager Billy Mitchell. I have the best wrestling coach Caleb Pelletier he’s really helped me. I have a really good boxing coach Nate Campbell, who was a world champion at one time. My Muay Thai coach Mekenna Mulhern. We have a lot of good guys that come in and out. We have guys that come in just to spar with me. We have a pretty good group.
KH: You’re fighting at 155. When you were an amateur were you fighting at 155 or were going up and down in weight?
PP: I’ve been at 155 since I started my amateur career. My next fight is a catch weight at 160.
KH: Are you happy that you don’t have to cut an additional five pounds?
PP: That’s good for me. I cut quite a bit of weight.
KH: Thoughts on your opponent Mike Perry?
PP: He’s done a lot of trash talk leading up to the fight. He’s definitely a tough opponent.
KH: Do you think he’s talking a big game? Have you done any trash talking against him?
PP: Not exactly. I’m not too big on trash talking. We’ll fight on July 10th. He’s definitely a good opponent, and it’s going to be a good fight.
KH: I’m a big movie fan myself. Was it just Rocky, or were there any other fight movies that influenced your career?
PP: The Rocky movies – those are my favorites. I really liked The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. Mostly growing up it was Rocky – the first five (films). Watching them over and over again.
KH: Are you excited for the Creed spinoff about Apollo Creed’s son that Sylvester Stallone is making?
PP: Yes, that movie looks good. I’m definitely going to see that when it comes to theatres.
KH: Anything you want to add?
PP: I’ve been training really hard for this fight. My coach always looks for tough opponents and we got Mike Perry. He’s a tough guy, but he’s mostly just a boxer. I feel like I have better stand up and grappling. I feel I’ll beat him everywhere but he’s definitely a good opponent.
Undefeated welterweight aspires to be the “Floyd Mayweather of MMA”
By Dante Giannetta
“I’m going to walk right through him. I’m going to knock him out. He can’t survive my storm. My storm doesn’t stop,” says unbeaten welterweight (170 pounds) “Platinum” Mike Perry (2-0) who is certain his main event MMA fight against Preston Parsons will end in his favor at “House of Fame 3: Riverside Beatdown,” which will stream live on GFL.tv from Jacksonville, Fla. on Friday, July 10.
“I know what he wants to do is wrestle me,” Perry says with a calculated casualness. “[Parsons] is gonna want to ground and pound and submit me, but he’s dreamin’. He’s not gonna touch me.”
These words were spoken with a measured calmness which Perry later attributes to successfully overcoming anger management issues.
Although Perry is Friday night’s headliner, he feels no pressure about being in the spotlight.
“The bigger the show, the better I perform. If the fight were to go past the first round, I’ll just get more and more comfortable. If it goes into the later rounds, sure it’ll be exciting. But it’s just gonna be all me. I’m gonna find my range, and once I do, I’m gonna knock him out.”
‘Platinum,’ according to Perry, is a nickname that suits him perfectly.
“I’m so absorbent,” he explains. “It’s the most expensive and most desired thing in the world. You can’t hit me hard enough to hurt me – indestructible.”
He laughingly adds, “It’s like ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, but twice the skill.”
And double the ambition. Platinum’s aspirations are inspired by another boxing great. “I want to be the Floyd Mayweather of MMA – go 40-0 and knock ‘em all out!”
With a 2-0 professional record, 38 more wins might seem like a stretch. But Perry is adamant and insists that he his still way ahead of his competition.
“No one has my physical ability. No one trains as hard as me. No one has the strength and speed I do. And look at my physique. I even have a national level bodybuilder’s body and I don’t even try. I don’t even lift weights. I lift people.”
According to Perry, lifting (and throwing) people is easier when he cuts weight. “When I was an amateur, I would bump up in weight and fight the bigger guys. Now I cut weight and when these little guys hit me it’s like a bug bite. I grab them and do whatever I want.”
For Perry, squashing bugs in the cage is all to serve God.
“I’m fighting for God. I want to be strong for Him. I want to be the general of His army. I want to train the angel soldiers to defeat the devil. I’m training for that now.”
Down the road, Platinum is sure he can make it into the UFC, although he admits he may not be ready for a world championship just yet.
“But I have all the tools to get me there,” he says.
“I’ll tell you what,” he continues, “I would like to do some work with Anthony Pettis. He’s a great fighter.”
But then, he warns, “Watch out for ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry on the rise.”
Jamal James 146.7 – Mike Balasi 147.6
Juan Carlos Rojas 162.3 – Caleb Plant 164.1
Alex Martin 148.5 – Jeremiah Wiggins 151
Christian Molina 138.5 – Justin Johnson 137.5
Robert Ramos 136 – Ismael Serrano 135
Desmond Moore 123.2 – Mike Hefflinger 128
Kyrone Davis 161 – Jose Alberto Leal 159
Alvaro Enriquez 171.5 – Carlos Gongora 170
Benjamin Burgos TBA – Chris Colbert 125.2
Antonio DuBose 128.6 – Jesus Lule 128.4
Promoter: King’s Promotions
Venue: Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
1st Bell: 6:45 PM ET
Tickets are priced at $100, $75 and $50 and can purchased at ticketmaster and www.ticketmaster.com
Cruiserweight Anthony Caputo Smith (15-4, 10 KO’s) opens up to GFL correspondent Marc Abrams about how critical to his career he feels his matchup with Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (13-9-1, 7 KO’s) is, the frustration of taking big fights on short notice and how different he feels the outcome of his fight with BJ Flores could have been.
Caputo Smith faces Wilson in the main event of a nine-bout card promoted by King’s Promotions on Saturday, June 20. The event will stream live on GFL.tv.
Video: Garrett Wilson on Upcoming Showdown with Anthony Caputo Smith: “I Believe I Have More To Offer Than He Does Skill-Wise”
Cruiserweight boxer Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (13-9-1, 7 KO’s) talks with GFL correspondent Marc Abrams about his main event matchup with Anthony Caputo Smith (15-4, 10 KO’s) at Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pa. The nine-bout card, promoted by King’s Promotions, will stream live on GFL.tv.