GFL Reaches the Best Fighters in Canada as Twelve (12) Fighters on UFC 89 Fight Night Have Fought on GFL.Tv in Their Rise to the UFC.
Twelve of the Fighters on the UFC 89 card have fought at various promotions who have partners with GFL.Tv. Below is a list of the fighters and where they previously fought. You can catch the best up and coming fighters every week “LIVE” on GFL.Tv.
- Patrick “The Predator” Cote – RingSide 10.
- SEAN “THE REAL OC” O’CONNELL – Showdown Fights.
- OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER – Ringside MMA 12.
- Jason Saggo – AFC19, Ringside MMA 12.
- Leandro Silva – Untamed 2.
- MISHA CIRKUNOV – HK41,43.
- Chris Beal – Bamma 3,5,6,7.
- ELIAS THEODOROU – School of Hard Knocks 12, 14.
- JOCELYN “JUSTICE” LYBARGER – TuffNuff.
- COLBY COVINGTON – Richmond Rumble.
- JONATHAN “DISTRICT” MEUNIER – Fight night Medicine Hat.
No Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) or Bellator this weekend? No problem!
GoFightLive.tv has a great slate of action from the regional scene this weekend, featuring some very intriguing UFC prospects, and a ton of highly anticipated bouts.
Once again, as a gift to MMAmania readers, GFL is offering 20% off any event using the exclusive coupon code GFLMania.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top five fights to watch on GFL this week:
The Warrior FC Lightweight Championship title is on the line as Brian Kerr takes on David Crowe in a highly anticipated battle between hometown favorites.
Kerr is looking to redeem himself after being submitted in his last bout, and has a great opportunity to do so with a championship victory. Coming into the fight with both the height and weight advantage, Kerr could prove to be a difficult puzzle for Crowe to solve.
Strangely enough, Crowe is also coming off a loss, and yet has been gifted the opportunity to fight for gold as well. Crowe is the heavy underdog but if he finds a way to walk out of the Kentucky Kings Mountain Memorial Center as a champion, there will be no stopping his momentum.
I hope the folks in Kentucky are ready for a war.
In a battle between two strikers, expect fireworks at PA Cage Fight 24.
Lightweight competitor Richard Gates has been on a role since hitting the MMA scene. Boasting a 3-1 record, Gates has won his last three bouts convincingly, knocking each man out in brutal fashion.
Fight fans can expect Gates to be looking for the home run early and often, but Mervin Rodriguez is no slouch on the feet.
Point blank, Rodriguez does have quite the challenge in front of him, as Gates is a UFC caliber prospect, but he does have the tools to win this fight.
The main issue for Rodriguez could very well be ring rust, as he has been out of action for over a year. “Marvelous” is also stepping up a weight class to battle the heavy-handed Gates, so the cards really are stacked against him.
Still, five career finishes is nothing to scoff at, and Rodriguez is looking to make a major statement this weekend.
Dynasty Combat Sports 26 promises to be a great show, and with John DeVall and Kevin Gray set to battle for the Flyweight title in the main event of the evening, you can expect a high-paced fight.
DeVall is looking to add another piece of gold hardware to his mantelpiece, but getting through a very tough Gray will be a difficult task.
DeVall has ton of experience under his belt, but his 11-8 record is far from jaw dropping. The truth is, DeVall is a fighter who is always looking for the finish, which often puts him at risk against his opponents.
If DeVall plays that game against Gray, he could be the victim of a brutal knockout.
After winning his last two bouts via unanimous decision, expect Gray to look to make a statement with a finish victory. Sure the Flyweight championship can be won via decision, but Gray is ready to finish the fight within the distance.
This fight has all the makings of an instant classic.
This will be a battle of style and flare.
Zak Ottow is walking into the Panther Arena in Wisconsin with an impressive record of 12-3, and three straight submission victories. Out of his three career losses, two came against UFC veterans in Jacob Volkmann and Mike Rhodes.
In his last seven fights, Ottow is 6-1 with six finishes. A win over Eckelberg could be his golden ticket to UFC.
Craig Eckelberg isn’t a stepping-stone for anyone, and should be a great challenge for Ottow this weekend. Hailing from the lauded Roufusport, Eckelberg is looking to represent the world-renowned gym by winning in convincing fashion.
With a 6-1 record, Eckelberg is a noted BJJ specialist with four victories via submission.
If this fight hits the mat, expect some wildly entertaining grappling exchanges.
If you have yet to hear Trisha Cicero’s name, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.
The XFN Flyweight champ is among the most talented women’s fighters outside the UFC today, and it seems to be only a matter of time before she gets a shot in the big leagues.
Cicero has been dominating the XFN competition as of late, securing a 3-0 record and earning herself championship gold.
Standing in Cicero’s way this weekend will be the durable Kayla Stricker.
“The Bulldog” has more experience than the champ, boasting a 5-1 amateur record, including two finishes.
Fighting out of Mississippi, Stricker is a firecracker inside the cage. In her previous bouts, it seems Stricker’s opponents underestimated her due to her size, but she has proven to be a tough out for even the toughest competitors.
In terms of amateur fights, this is just about the best match up fight fans could ask for, pitting two legitimate MMA talents against each other early on in their careers.
Who will leave the cage as XFN champ? Tune in to find out
TOP 5 Finishes of the Week features CFFC 56, AFC 122, Unified MMA 26, Ring of Combat 54, USFFC 26, and VFC 48
We are halfway through the month of March, and the mixed martial arts (MMA) community has been treated to several outstanding events thus far. While the majority of the focus falls on UFC, Bellator, and World Series of Fighting, our friends at GoFightLive.tv are showcasing the best regional promotions and fighters on a weekly basis. Check out their latest top five finishes video, featuring Justin Scoggins’ younger brother, and UFC veteran Tim Hague.
Another great card from Ring of Combat! Bouts were well matched with great action. Full fight recap coming soon. See below for quick fight results provided by New York Fighting.
1. Tajuddin Abdul-Hakim (Universal/ECF Elite) vs. Travis Foster (The Edge Hoboken) – Hakim def. Foster Unanimous Decision 30-27
2. Guram Mestvirishvili (Serra-Longo Fight Team) vs. Jay Silva (RVCA) – Silva wins unanimous Decision 29-28
3. Nick Fiore (Bellmore Kickboxing Academy/Scarola BJJ) vs. Nekruz Mirkhojaev (Brooklyn MMA) – Nekruz wins unanmous decision. 29-28
4. James Gonzalez (Serra BJJ) vs. Mike Trizano (Tiger Schulmann’s MMA) – Trizano def. Gonzalez unanimous decision
5. Tony Gravely (Tech Top Team) vs. Paul Grant (Jungle Gym) – Gravely wins TKO reef stoppage due to strikes from back mount in round 3.
6. Zach Fears (Rich Clement’s Gladiators Academy/St.Charles MMA) vs. Max Bohanan (Ricardo Almeida BJJ) – Bohanan wins via Split Decision
7. Leo Perez (Bonebreaker Gym) vs. Frank Buenafuente (Carnicella MMA) – Frank Buenafuente def. Leo Perez via unanimous decision 30-27
8. Matt Church (Navone Next Level MMA vs. Pat Defranco (Serra-Longo Fight Team) – Matt Church wins by submission (heel hook) in round 1
9. Mike Elshamy (Madama Jiu Jitsu) vs. Thomas Dibernardo (Mymidon Martial Arts) – Elshamy def. Dibernardo via unanimous decision.
10. Lester Caslow (Nick Catone MMA) vs. Mike Santiago (Team Top Notch) – Santiago wins by submission in the first round via rear naked choke. Retains ROC Featherweight Title
11. Eddie Lenoci (Serra-Longo Fight Team) vs. Bradley Desir (AllStar MMA) – Desir wins via TKO round 1 for the ROC National Lightweight Championship
12. Julio Arce (Tiger Schumann’s MMA) vs. Brian Kelleher (Maxim BJJ) – Kelleher def. Julio Arce via submission due to guillotine choke Round 3 (The 135 lb. ROC Title is still vacant because Kelleher missed weight.
13. Jose Chepe Mariscal (Dutch Style MMA) vs. Gregor Gillespie (Bellmore Kickboxing Academy/Scarola BJJ) – Gregor Gillespie def. Mariscal via TKO due to strikes from back mount in Round 1.
Fight Coverage: Grabriel Toribio
Courtesy of NewYorkFighting.com:
This past Friday night, November 20, at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Ring of Combat 53 delivered a memorable evening of action for MMA fans in attendance, made all the more exciting by the presence of UFC President Dana White, attending as part of his new “Looking For A Fight” web series. He was seated at a cageside table alongside his friends Matt “The Terror” Serra, and Nick “The Tooth,” both featured in the web series, as well as Ring of Combatpromoter Lou Neglia, all of whom took in the fights in the hopes of finding an undiscovered prospect. Speaking to New York Fighting before the start of the main card, Dana White said that although he is mainly looking for Light Heavyweights and Heavyweights (there were none on this card), he is “always looking for anyone that stands out.” The fighters clearly came to impress, and brought their A-games to deliver a number of thrilling knockout and submission finishes.
In the main event, which was billed as a superfight, veteran Northeast MMA fighter made quick work of Sidney Outlaw, finishing the fight by choking Outlaw out cold with a high-elbow guillotine choke, at just 46 seconds into the first round. Fighting out of Woodbridge, Virginia, and representing Gold Medal Grappling, Harshbarger was coming off of a dominant performance over Pete “Drago” Sell. Outlaw pressed aggressively for a takedown against the cage early on, and Harshbarger was able to lock up a deep guillotine. Outlaw appeared to land the takedown and escape, but Harshbarger readjusted in the scramble and tightened the choke from a standing position to finish the fight. “The Hero” was jubilant in celebration, while Outlaw appeared to have injured his left arm, possibly in the scramble to defend the guillotine. Harshbarger improved his pro record to 9-5 with this win.
In the evening’s only title defense, defended his ROC Welterweight Championship in impressive fashion by delivering a pair of hard knees to KO professional kickboxer Robbie Plotkin at 4:23 of the first round. Hailing from the country of Jamaica by way of Queens, NY, the Budokan Martial Arts representative upped his pro record to 6-0, all by stoppage, and used this fight as an opportunity to engage in a striking battle. Both fighters exchanged crisp techniques for most of the round, with Plotkin preferring an array of kicks and Brown looking to land his crosses and counters.
Midway through the round, Brown executed a takedown from the clinch, advanced to mount, and delivered some hard strikes before Plotkin was able to regain his vertical base, while Matt Serra provided instruction from Plotkin’s corner, having left Dana White‘s side before the previous fight. From there, the striking battle continued, until Brown caught his opponent ducking down and delivered the knees for the finish. While celebrating the victory, Brown addressed Mr. White at cageside, and the UFC President was seen mouthing “You earned it.” After the event, White was spotted in Randy Brown’s dressing room with his camera crew, speaking to the victorious fighter, but he would not provide New York Fightingwith more detail on the conversation or his impressions of any particular fighter.
The featured lightweight bout between Serra-Longo product Eddie Lenoci and Allstar MMA‘s Bradley “Featherstone” Desir was supposed to be for the vacant ROC Lightweight championship, but was switched to a non-title bout when Desir weighed in heavy at 159 pounds. Nevertheless, the two fighters pulled out all the stops looking for the win, before Desir emerged victorious in the second round with a punch-induced knockout of Lenoci while he stood against the fence. Lenoci had his moments in the first round, after being staggered by a knee early on, and was able to execute takedowns and achieve some dominant positions while defending strong armbar attempts from Desir.
While the first round was back-and-forth, the second saw Desir hurt Lenoci early on with elbows while defending the takedown against the cage, similar to the elbows Travis Browne famously landed on Josh Barnett in the UFC. From there he kept the pressure on, and when Lenoci regained his vertical base, Desir put him away in short order. Speaking to New York Fighting after the victory, he said “I think I could have finished him in the first round with that knee, I think I backed off a little too early. I had a little bit of an adrenaline dump in that first round, but the second round was mine.”
The first title bout of the evening saw “Mr. Mid Atlantic” Jonathan DelBrugge claim the vacant ROC Regional Welterweight championship over the ever-tough Whitney “Da Bully” Jean Francois with a rear-naked choke submission at 3:39 in the first round. Brooklyn‘s Jean Francois had his chance early in the round when he launched a right head kick that landed with the knee as DelBrugge ducked, sending the Lloyd Irvin-trained fighter into desperation mode. DelBrugge recovered on the ground and achieved a standing clinch against the cage, before scoring a big double leg takedown. He then advanced easily into mount, dropping heavy punches, and cinched the choke when “Da Bully” turned belly-down.
Fresh off his upset victory over former ROC Bantamweight champion Julio Arce, Brian “Boom” Kelleher returned to Ring of Combat in a big way, living up to his nickname by knocking out North Carolina‘s Josh “Short Stack” Robinson with a spinning backfist at 24 seconds into the third round. Kelleher, from Selden, NY and training out of Maxum BJJ, won the first round on the strength of a takedown and ground and pound, while Robinson fought more competitively in the second when the fight remained mostly standing. In the third, Kelleher uncorked a perfect spinning backfist which immediately separated Robinson from consciousness and brought the crowd to its feet.
Overwhelmed by the thrill of victory, Kelleher bounded over the top of the cage towards Dana White’s cageside seat screaming “I want my chance!” Although Mr. White seemed surprised and a bit uncomfortable being approached by a screaming fighter, he still seemed impressed, having been brought to his feet by the finish. Robinson, when awoken by the referee and his cornermen, was irate, and was overheard saying “Why? What the —- happened?” It was then announced that Kelleher would defend his Bantamweight championship in a rematch against Julio Arce, at the next Ring of Combat event on March 4.
In a considerable upset, the unheralded Jose Mariscal fought off a highly technical ground assault from touted prospect Max “The Cobra” Bohanan to claim a unanimous decision victory after three hard-fought rounds. Bohanon brought his considerable Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills to bear on Mariscal during the first round, even pulling guard to use his submissions to sweep into top position. Although the finish seemed near at times as Bohanan showcased beautiful technique, Mariscal was able to survive. Both fighters had their moments in the second round. “The Cobra” appeared to have atriangle choke locked in, then transitioned to an armbar, but Mariscal escaped. As Bohanan tired in the second round, Mariscal was able to press the action and mostly maintain top position while landing strikes. By the third round Bohanan was exhausted, and Mariscal repeated his second round strategy, doing enough to pull off the upset. Afterwards he told New York Fighting “I knew he was a Jiu Jitsu guy, so that’s all I had to watch out for. That first round I knew I just had to weather the storm a little bit.”
After having opponents pull out of his previous two scheduled Ring of Combat fights, Michael Elshamy had a disappointing return asEric Roncoroni claimed a TKO victory due to a cut, in a battle of two New Jersey-based fighters. Elshamy controlled the first portion of the fight, landing repeated takedowns, taking dominant positions, and at one point achieving back mount with one of Roncoroni’s arms trapped behind his back. In the second round, Roncoroni landed an illegal elbow on Elshamy, which led referee Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro to deduct a point and restart the fighters standing rather than in their previous position. This decision, which drew vocal protests from Matt Serra siting cageside, put the fire under Roncoroni as he came out with aggressive elbows, opening up a bad cut on Elshamy’s forehead and leading to the TKO cut stoppage at 2:32 in the second round.
In other action, East Coast veteran and Ricardo Almeida BJJ / Miller Brothers MMA representative Sean “Shorty Rock” Santellamade easy work of Milwaukee, Wisconsin‘s Jay Pressley, finishing with a rear-naked choke at 2:10 of Round 1. Santella quickly executed a single leg takedown, took the back, and locked up a body trianlge. Pressley tried his best to defend, but after about a minute of work, Santella achieved the tap.
Earlier in the night, Frank Buenafuente (Carcinella MMA / Garfield, NJ) scored a brutal KO over David “Man of God” Moore(Dambakly MMA / Hamstead, NC) at 0:42 of Round 1, leaving Moore to be carried out on a stretcher. Lester Caslow (Nick Catone MMA / Toms River, NJ) snagged a surprise guillotine from a seated position to put away Kenny Foster (Maxum BJJ / Cortland, NY) at 2:04 of Round 3. Ryan Munger (Spa City Jiu-Jitsu / NJ) knocked outGregy Styles (Animals MMA Yonkers / New Rochelle, NY) with a punch at 22 seconds into the first round of their welterweight bout. And in the evening’s opening contest, Tajuddin Abdul-Hakim(Universal/ Queens, NY) claimed a unanimous decision over Yazan Janeb (K Dojo Warrior Tribe / Amman, Jordan).
After the show, Dana White told New York Fighting that he thought it was a great night of fights with some great finishes, and there were definitely some fighters that impressed him. He was later seen entering the lockerroom of Welterweight Champ, Randy Brown, where he told “Rudeboy”, he was ” very interested”, and he’ll “be in touch”. Time will tell who gets the call up to the big show, the UFC.
If Dana White, Nick the Tooth, and Matt Serra came to Atlantic City “Looking for a fight” they choose the right event to attend. Ring of Combat 53 not only delivered to their star-studded audience but raised the bar for future MMA cards. Each fighter gave his all hoping to catch the eye of the UFC’s President, and what resulted was arguably the event of the year.
In the first of two title fights, Jonathan “Devastator” Delbrugge took on Whitney “Da Bully” Francois. Early in the fight Francois made use of his size and superior striking. After eating some damaging strikes, Delbrugge shot in and landed the takedown. He calmly passed guard and postured up in mount. The “Devastator” rained down blows until Francois gave up his back. Delbrugge quickly snatched the rear naked choke and established himself as the new Welterweight champion.
Jonathan “Devastator” Delbrugge def. Whitney “Da Bully” Francois via RNC at 3:39 of the 1st round.
The next exciting matchup of the night was between Bradley “Featherstone” Desir and Eddie Lenochi. They both rushed to the center with Lenochi taking the lead early on. Desir caught him with a huge front kick, before Lenochi was followed to the ground, eating some frantic punches before he scrambled and got to his feet. Both men exchanged blows with ill intent, but it was Lenochi who broke up the action with a nice takedown. Desir used the opportunity to show off his submission game with an armbar, but the attempt was shook off. Lenochi was still able to retain top control, landing big punches in the process. When Desir finally made it it to his feet, he succumbed to another take down just moments before the round ended.
As the second round began, Desir opened up and started to find a home for his hands. Lenochi found himself taking damage on the ground, but somehow got back up hoping to regroup. Desir didn’t let up and Lenochi crumbled to the mat. He celebrated as the crowd called for Dana’s attention.
Bradly “Featherstone” Desir def Eddie Lenochi via TKO at 1:41 of the second round.
In the last title fight of the evening, Randy “Rude Boy” Brown took on Robert Plotkin. Brown started the match strong with a lead front kick right to the face of his opponent. Plotkin tried to even the score but narrowly missed with multiple head kicks. Both men held back nothing in their technical war. Plotkin attempted to put Brown’s back against the cage but found himself there instead. After a takedown and some brutal ground and pound by Brown, Plotkin was able to escape to his feet. The heated battle continued until Brown caught Plotkin with a fight ending knee. Again the crowd chanted for Dana’s attention. The UFC seems a natural progression for this truly talented and undefeated Welterweight Champion.
Randy “Rude Boy” Brown (6-0) def Robert Plotkin (1-2) via TKO at 4:23 of the 1st round.
Last but not least, was Elijah “The Hero” Harshbarger vs. Sidney “Da Gun” Outlaw. In what seemed like an automatic brawl both men swung hoping for a highlight reel KO. Outlaw caved and shot in for the takedown but found himself in his opponent’s guillotine choke.
Elijah “The Hero” Harshbarger def Sidney “Da Gun” Outlaw via Guillotine in just :46 of the 1st round.
If you missed Ring Of Combat 53, watch the entire event on VOD right now on GFL: bit.ly/ROC53GFL
Global Proving Ground (GPG) announced today its 22nd live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, featuring a collection of the Philadelphia area’s top professional fighting prospects, on Saturday, November 21, live on Go Fight Live (www.GFL.tv), from the promotion’s all-new venue, the GPG Sports Complex, in Mount Laurel, N.J.
Tickets for GPG 22 are priced from $45 and are available for purchase at LocalMMATickets.com. The event will also be streamed live on GFL.tv, priced from $16.99.
“We are excited to begin the next chapter in Global Proving Ground’s growth, in a new venue that can comfortably accommodate our rapidly expanding fanbase, and give spectators the exciting experience they look for when they attend a fight,” said Global Proving Ground President James J. Jefferson.
The event features three title fights, including the inaugural Global Proving Ground middleweight (185 pounds) championship bout in history, aggressive-minded, four-time Bellator veteran Jesus “Chavo” Martinez (9-6) of Philadelphia will square off with Tony Parker (11-11) of Fairfield, Ohio. To date, all but 1 of Parker’s 11 career victories have come by way of submission.
After injuring himself prior to his expected Bellator debut, knockout artist Lorenzo Hood (12-2) returns to Global Proving Ground to battle for the Heavyweight strap as he takes on Shelton Graves (3-3).
Ontario’s best MMA talent will also be represented well come fight night, as Ryan Dickson (10-4), Andrew “The Animal” Cseh (6-4), and more are set to battle.
In preliminary bout action, unbeaten Peter “The Joker” Petties (3-0) of Columbia, Md. will lock horns with Brandon Kaiser (8-5). The 24-year-old Petties soared to internet fame when a video of his Aug. 23, 2014 amateur bout with Jeff Melvin, in which Petties unleashed a series of strikes that forced Melvin to vomit, went viral.
In a meeting between two flyweights (125 pounds) making their respective, professional debuts, Gabe Ruiz (0-0) of Woodland Park, N.J. will take on Vladimir Kazbekov (0-0) of Welland, Ontario.
UFC and Bellator veteran Nah-Shon Burrell (11-6) will also be featured on the main card.
Doors at the venue will open for GPG 22 at 6 p.m. on November 21, and the first preliminary bout and live GFL.tv stream will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
About Global Proving Ground (GPG)
Global Proving Ground is a New Jersey-based professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise that was designed to unearth and build new fight talent in the North Eastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of The United States and to provide an exciting entertainment experience for combat sports fans.
Launched in 2012 by marketing executive James J. Jefferson along with several, original pioneers of MMA, the company operates its own combat sports venue, the GPG Sports Complex, where it hosts all of its events that are distributed live on Real TV as well as PPV on Go Fight Live (GFL.tv) with its syndication deal on a tape delayed basis on Comcast SportsNet and the Comcast Network GPG is not only creating new fighter talent but is developing its own loyal fan base.
The highly anticipated UFC 193 goes down this weekend, and GFL will be represented well in Australia!
All four UFC title challengers in the main and co-main event this Saturday night have fought on GFL earlier in their careers, and now Ronda Rousey, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Holly Holm, and Valérie ” TroUbLe” Létourneau will fight on the grandest stage of them all, live on PPV.
Head over to GFL.tv, and enjoy all the archived fights from these incredible athletes!
Kris McCray with Strike Off Fighting 6 – Being in that cage is kind of like a second home @KrisMccray
Kris McCray has seen more ups and downs in 7 years of competition than most fighters see intheir entire career. McCray (8-5) first burst upon the MMA scene with 15 straight victories across amateur and professional MMA before competing on the eleventh season of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter TV show. Since then his career has seen him compete in Bellator, CFFC, and the World Series of Fighting. He has not fought since March in 2013, a distinction that makes his return at Strike Off 6 after a 924-day leave of absence all the more intriguing to follow.
Kris spoke to GoFightLive.tv ahead of his main event fight against William Ward (5-5) about his career, staying involved in MMA, and the long journey back into the spotlight after a two year hiatus from competition.
Cameron Morris: Firstly, for the benefit of a lot of our readers on GFL- a lot are familiarwith you from The Ultimate Fighter 11, and they’ve seen you make appearances in a lot of other major promotions in the US like Bellator and WSOF. But you’re coming off a very long from your last fight. This will be your first fight in over two years. Can you tell us a bit about what sparked the long layoff?
Kris McCray: Basically, I had some kids, I moved to Houston after my wife graduated from Columbia. She finished her degree, a master’s degree in Biotechnology in New York. Wanted to start a family so I had a son—Logan—and I have another son on the way, he’ll be here in about 4 days—Liam—so I just wanted to take a break, have some kids, but, you know, my passion is fighting. I do want to get back in the cage… to come back to my home town and, you know, have some friends and family there, you know, get back in there and start over again.
C: To build on that last question, what was the process of getting back to being ready to fight at a professional level again?
KM: I’ve been training within the two years. I never stopped training completely—sometimes I had to, you know, maybe not train as much, you know, pick up the slack here, my wife wasn’t working and stuff like that. But my schedule is a little more routine now, and I have some time available and I’ve been training pretty good for this fight.
I was never removed from the sport completely. I cornered Jimy Hettes a couple times, I still keep in contact with all the fighters, especially theguys from New Jersey, up there with Frankie Edgar and Ricardo [Almeida] andRenzo [Gracie] and those guys. I did some work with Bubba Bush, he’s in theUFC, he’s actually coached my high school wrestling team. I’ve never been totally removed, but I’m just excited to get back in there and have an official fight. You watch it on TV, you miss it, you just wanna get back in there and put some gloves back on.
C: When you were released from the UFC in 2011, one of the main things you spoke a lot about is that you wanted to get that second shot in the UFC one day. Since the time of your release and now, a lot has changed in the UFC since you were last there. We’ve seen a lot of additions in terms of weight classes, and the Reebok sponsorship deal, you’ve seen the expansion of events in Europe, Australia and Asia… Has it been weird to see that sort of growth from the outside, or does it serve as sort of an additional motivation tool to getting back in?
KM: Yeah, definitely, it’s become more mainstream I think. Even though the Reebok and stuff—I kind of believe it’s bad for the fighters, but good long term, you know, I’m not really sure how it’s gonna work out—but I definitely wanted to be part of that organization. I just wanted to get that W in the UFC, you know? So now my goal is—I love this sport, so UFC or not, you know, that’s the pinnacle of what we do, but I’m gonna keep working, man. I like to see stories like Ron Stallings, I trained with him a lot way back, nice guy, he had a couple weird things happen to him in his UFC fights, but I would love stuff like that to happen to me—you know, get that shot, get three more fights, see what happens and just train harder and put in a good show for the fans.
C: We’ve seen a lot of fighters who have had a long journey away from the UFC. They finally get a second chance at fighting in the organization again. Another guy is Joe Riggs—he had his last fight in the UFC in 2006 and he returned over half a decade. Robbie Lawler had a great comeback after rejoining the UFC in 2013- and that was nine whole years. So the precedent is there for fighters to get back after a long layoff, but on theflip side, those guys were all constantly fighting, and their names were still out there. As you mentioned, you were still around the sport, and around with different fighters, but you weren’t at the forefront of the news. This is your first fight back after a long absence, as I mentioned before. A lot of people may have forgotten about Kris McCray, and you’re trying to get them on board for a comeback. As it been tough for you to kind of generate buzz among promoters to kind of get your name out there after all this time?
KM: I mean I’m sure, some promoters, like, they know me, but what value does my name hold now, you know? I can’t hold onto TUF 11 forever, you know, but my career started so fast—I started training, I did ten fights my first year training, my ten amateur fights… The next year I did five pro fights, the next year in the UFC it was like, bam bam bam bam bam, and I really didn’t get a chance to grow as a fighter—just fight after fight after fight. Which was cool until I got to New Jersey and started learning some stuff and doing some things and hitting those roadblocks that fighters have been doing for a while hit.
But I think if you put the time into the sport, it pays you back. So I’m willing to give what I got to the sport, and I’m sure at the end of the day I’ll have no regrets regardless of what happens. I’m gonna give the sport its due because that’s what I love to do and hopefully, I’ll get that call one day and get in there and make some magic happen.
C: For a long time there, you had so much stuff going on with the different fights in such a short amount of time. Not to dwell on The Ultimate Fighter, but during that time, you were fighting like, what, every two weeks or so?
KM: Yeah, every Tuesday I fought. I fought five times in six weeks. And that’s the kind of fighter I am, I can take the hits and I can keep coming forward. That’s how I was raised—just don’t quit. That’s all my dad just told me: “Just don’t quit.” And you never really see me quit in a fight, you know.
I had some fights where I didn’t look as good as the other fights and vice versa. I remember being in a rear naked choke, my legs are bent back, and I’m just like, “I can’t give him this $5000, because if you finish you get $5000 [Submission of the Night bonus].” But I know the more you fight, the more relevant you are, the more fights you have, the more you can generate a buzz. I’m looking to do this one, and maybe some more next year. You know, I’m not a stranger to fighting a bunch of times and I think the more you fight, the more your name’s out there, and there’s a greater chance you have of getting back into the UFC or another big promotion. People will see you and hear about you, and that’s how you generate your buzz. And once you have your buzz… I have the credentials, like Ultimate Fighter, Bellator, WSOF—maybe things will shake up and we’ll see what happens.
C: We talked a little about the different things that have happened in your life since thelast time you fought. How do you feel how you’ve grown over this time as a fighter? Obviously you haven’t had the fight experience, but you’ve had so much time to pick up things over the time.
KM: I just think in the cage there’s a lot of mental going on, and earlier in my career I was fighting to eat, fighting for a paycheck. I was living off my fights; that’s why I was fighting so much, and now it’s not like that. Now I’m calm, I’m in there having fun, just executing what I like to do. Before it felt like it was a rush, I had to grab this guy, I had to squeezehim, make him feel me. Now I’m more of an effective fighter, as you would say.
C: Provided all goes well and you emerge victorious in October, what do you think is next for Kris McCray?
KM: I’m gonna enjoy the holidays and start looking for some new fights next year. I definitely want to stay busy, maybe two or three fights a year—we’ll see what happens. I wouldn’t mind being in my home town or wherever. I just like to scrap and get in there and have fun. I like the whole thing.Cutting weight in training kind of sucks, the fight’s cool, and the lights, and my family, the dinner after you weigh in, all that stuff, it’s like a show every time you have a fight, and I really do enjoy that.
Being in that cage is kind of like a second home.
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.”