vendredi 30 avril 2010

Muay Thai demos at Sudbury MMA

Tonight I and some peeps from the club attended an in house fight night over at Sudbury MMA. (our sister club in town) They started the night out with some kids demos. It`s always cool to see the little ones taking an interest in Muay Thai or BJJ.

The fights themselves were decent although the best fights were saved for last. Kyle Fletcher faught to a draw in what was a good back and forth match. I apologize for not remembering the names of the other fighters, but the co-main event saw a fight between a member from Sudbury MMA and a fighter from MAS Muay Thai in Cambridge. This fight went to decision, won by the local fighter, but in my opinion, it should have been stopped in the first round after the MAS fighter was out on his feet from a head kick. There was a pause in the action to see if he was ok and seeing as he felt well and the fight was just an inhouse demo, they allowed it to continue.

The main event was between Tom Rainville of Sudbury MMA and our own Jessie "the kid" Cronier. Rainville was a game opponent, but Jessie`s slick combinations and landing the cleaner power punches were just too much. Decision...Cronier.

Jessie`s been having a great year. He won his first sanctionned fight in NYC a while back, has won every in house fight he`s had and last weekend won gold at the Ontario Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournement. Keep training hard Jessie...good things will happen.

mardi 27 avril 2010

Ontario Open results

A huge congrats to my teamates from Sudbury BJJ & Team Renzo Gracie Ottawa/Sudbury. Day two at the Ontario Open BJJ tournement proved even more successful than the first. All in all, the team walked away with 5 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Day 1`s results from the Gi competition

Gold: Lukas DeCastro, Nicole Whissel
Silver: Kevin Kroft
Bronze: Andre Pelletier

Day 2`s results from the NoGi competition

Gold: Jessie Cronier, Kyle Fletcher, Nicole Whissel
Silver: Kevin Kroft, Mike Houle, Lukas DeCastro, Nicole Whissel (absolute)
Bronze: Andre Pelletier

Not bad at all considering there were 80 academies represented at the tournement and over 750 competitors! Team Renzo Gracie finished 6th overall, 9th in Gi and 4th in NoGi. Did I mention there were 80 academies represented here?!

What does that tell you? :)

A big congrats goes to our head instructor (Sudbury BJJ), Steve Joncas who coached the team to success!

Here`s a quick video from the good old days to remind everyone where our sport came from. It`s a beautiful thing!!

samedi 24 avril 2010

Ontario Open BJJ - Day 1

I`m proud to announce the team from Sudbury BJJ (Team Renzo Gracie) has taken home some hardware on day 1 of the Ontario Open BJJ tournement in Whitby. Taking home gold in their respective divisions were Lukas De Castro & Nicole Whissel. Kevin Kroft took silver in his division and Andre Pelletier took Bronze in a packed division of his own.

I`ve learned that both Kevin and Andre were on the bad end of a few flubs made by the officials handling their bouts. Either way, they all represented the team with pride.

Congrats to all who competed! Day 2 tomorrow is the NoGi event. More members of the team are arriving in Whitby tonight after having done a seminar today with Muay Thai Legend Ramon Dekkers at the Ottawa Academy this afternoon.

Keep it up guys...I wish I was there.

jeudi 22 avril 2010

UFC 113 ~ Machida vs Shogun 2

Just a little over two weeks away. I've got great tickets and my hotel room booked. UFC 113 in Montreal, Machida vs Shogun 2...the rematch.

mardi 20 avril 2010

2010 Ontario Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

This weekend is the 2nd annual Ontario Open BJJ tournement being held in Whitby. Team Renzo Gracie will be well represented with a large group from Sudbury BJJ, Sudbury MMA & our parent club, the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts.

The team has been training hard and leaving everything on the mat. I've got no doubt we'll be bringing home a ton of medals.

Unfortunately for myself, I won't be able to attend. I had planned on making my competition debut at this event, but it will have to wait.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. For my teamates who are competing, I wish you the best of luck. With that, I know that luck is secondary to hard work and dedication. You're already one step ahead.


samedi 17 avril 2010

Wreck MMA ~ recap of a 24 hour roadtrip

Wednesday afternoon, I was down in Barrie on business when I got a text message from Jenn. "I'm fighting at Wreck MMA, crazy eh?"

That was the start of a whirlwind week for Sudbury BJJ's only female blue belt. I soon pulled over to reply and get some more information. Due to scheduling, I had planned to skip the event in lieu of next weekend's Ontario Open BJJ tournement but this news made quick changes to those plans. Jenn was I was going.

After a few more text messages it was determined that Andre Pelletier, Anouck Filion and Thomas Lum would be joining me for the roadtrip...John Burton also claimed a seat in the van. Tom Cooney, Angie Wheeler-Blouin, Chantal Proulx and Kevin Kroft would head down in a seperate car. With that, Jenn's cheering section grew larger by ten. (She also had a thousand fans, friends and teamates from the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts in her corner).

We got to Ottawa around 7pm last night, checked into the hotel and then headed to the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec. The venue is an older arena, a shade smaller than the Sudbury Arena, but pretty close in size and atmosphere. It seats approximately 4,500 people for an MMA event and most seats were full (aside from the two ends which were relatively sparse. I'm not sure what the total attendance was, but my guess would be a little over 3,000 people would be there to see Jenn's first pro fight.

We walked in and were given our vip bracelets that said "Sudbury BJJ". The ushers in dark suits welcomed us and soon we were walking through the crowd on the floor around the ring. There were 11 fights on the card and I must say I was really impressed with the talent of these warriors. The first Wreck MMA card in December was entertaining, but nowhere near as action packed as last night's event.

Jenn's fight was fourth on the card. After the third fight, the butterflies in my stomach started to float...I could see it in Cooney's face as well, we were nervous, excited and proud. Jenn was soon introduced and made her way through the curtain to the sounds of "Hey Mama" by the Black Eye'd Peas. Kru Chris lead the entourage waving the flag of Team Renzo Gracie, followed by Mark "Boots" Holst, Steve (Joncas), Pat Cooligan, Matt "Hammer" Hache and the OAMA Mascot...the Elite from OAMA/Sudbury BJJ. The crowd went nuts and Jenn made her way into the ring.

Her opponent, Anna Barone, then followed with her team from FIT MMA. I don't remember her entrance song...our focus was on Jenn. I got up from our table and headed closer to the ring (about 25 or so feet behind Jenn's corner). I was then followed by the rest of our group and a few more from the Ottawa club. We wanted to be up close and be sure Jenn knew we were in her corner. (litteraly) Soon enough, she turned around and saw us there...we had your back Jenn. I hope we helped get you pumped!

Round 1, both fighters came out and met in the center of the ring. There wasn't much feeling out process here tonight, both came out guns blazing! The exchanged shots, both connected and blocked some. Jenn threw the first real leg kick and landed with a thud. Jenn dropped her left hand and Barone connected with a looping right hook. Jenn then closed the distance and began to control the shorter Barone with a solid Muay Thai clinch. Jenn then connected with knees, one after another. Barone was able to push Jenn into the ropes where she was then able to create some space. Near the end of the round, Jenn nearly locked up a guillotine choke and managed to pull her opponent into her guard. She was very close to ending the fight. Barone was eventually able to slip out and the fight got back to the feet. Round 1 ends with both fighters exchanging punches. It was a very close round. Jenn landed some good knees in the clinch, attempted a submission and landed some punches. Barone to her credit landed to harder power punches on the feet. I gave Jenn the first round but the flurry at the end of the round seemed to eat up the last bit of gas in the tank.

Round 2 starts much the same as the first, but Jenn's energy was visibly wavering. Let's not forget, she took the fight on 2 days notice and did not have a training camp to prepare for 3 rounds of professional mixed martial arts. The two exchanged hands, but fatigue reared it's ugly head and Jenn's hands began to drop after she would exchange. This lead to Barone connecting with the right hook. Jenn was a warrior and had no quit in her. We cheered her on as loudly as we could. She reminded me of the Terminator who just wouldn't quit after getting rocked. She'd take a punch, take one step back and within seconds, she was moving forward throwing hands of her own. Her gutsy performance and never quit attitude could only go so far. Barone's training camp and perperation for war was too much and Jenn was knocked down. The referee jumped in and stopped the fight.

Ok, I might have missed a few details here, but this is about as accurate as I can remember. I brought my camera to the event, but left it in the car after deciding that I didn't want to watch the event from behind a lense. Others did take pictures, so I'll post them here as soon as they're sent my way.

Jenn's fight was without a shadow of a doubt, the fight of the night. It's the only fight of the eleven on the card where the entire crowd was on it's feet and screaming. The atmosphere was electric...these two ladies tore the roof off the building.

I can't even begin to describe the emotions we were feeling as a team, let me a family. We were so proud of Jenn for the fight she brought and her courage to compete. Forget the lack of preperation, she faught with the heart of a lion and we couldn't have been more proud.

Jenn jumped into this pretty quickly, so I'm really not sure what her plans are for the future. If she chose for this to be her one and only professional fight, she could easily sit back and sleep well knowing she gave it her all and that she represented our club with honor. I speak on behalf of everyone in attendance and those wishing they could have been that we're all extremely proud of you Jenn! You were awesome!!

Other fighters from OAMA also did very well. Randy Turner won his fight over Mikeal Pellerin by RNC in round 1. Stephane Bernadel looked incredibly sharp in a win over Justin Smethurst by TKO in round 2. He put on a Muay Thai clinic!! In the night's main event, late replacement Xavier Desrochers stepped up and took on Team Quest's Ian Loveland, a fighter with 10 times more experience. Loveland ended the fight quickly to claim the Wreck MMA Bantamweight title, but Xavier represented himself well.

Congrats to Pat Cooligan and Nick Castiglia for putting on an incredible card in honor of Brian's fight. (an Ottawa area Police officer suffering from Lou Gherighs Disease) They raised a considerable amount of money for Brian's daughter's education trust fund. It was a great night.

After the fights, we headed back to the hotel (1230am) and the crew headed to the afterparty at the Drink nightclub. 6am soon crept up on us and we were back in the van headed home for Sudbury. A great night...but man am I tired. :)

jeudi 15 avril 2010

JENN RICKER makes MMA debut at Wreck MMA in Gatineau, QC

It`s been a whirlwind week for Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai`s Jenn Ricker. The Renzo Gracie blue belt will make her MMA debut tomorrow night in Gatineau Quebec vs Anna Barone at Wreck MMA.

Jenn is a last minute replacement for Barone`s opponent who pulled out of the fight in recent days.

A handful of us from the club are heading to Ottawa tomorrow and will be ringside to support our friend and teammate.

GOOD LUCK JENN!! You`ll do great!

mardi 13 avril 2010

some cool videos...I love bjj

This is a great video showcasing some kids in a tournement in the SouthWest USA. The sport is on fire!!

The next video is of a reporter who enters a bjj tournement. Be sure to watch the follow up video.

Here's a video of Babalu watching the video...

dimanche 11 avril 2010

post UFC 112

it`s 3:15am...just got home from Guy`s place. (thanks for hosting Guy, we had a great time!)

All I can say right now is I`m proud of how Renzo looked vs Matt Hughes. We cheered him on and wished he would have checked the leg kicks, but win or lose, he`s a legend and will always have our respect. Before I post the video of Renzo`s post fight interview with Ariel Helwani (best reporter in MMA), I`ve just got to say how grossed out I was by Anderson Silva`s performance tonight vs Maia. The man is incredibly talented, but his display of poor sportsmanship and lack of engagement was inexcusable. After the fight, he said he felt he had nothing to apologize for and that Maia had disresepected him with what he`d said before the fight. I`ve lost alot of respect for the middleweight champion. doubt.

samedi 10 avril 2010

kids in-house bjj tournement (April 10, 2010)

Today regular classes were cancelled in lieu of the first Kids in-house BJJ tournement at the new club. As you can see from the pictures, the turnout was great, the kids had fun and the Sudbury Food Bank was the beneficiary of canned goods donated for both participant and spectator fees. A great way for the Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai Academy to give back to the community.

Here`s a look at some of the competitors.

The kids listened intently as Steve went over the modified rules for kids competition. The younger kids were grappling for position and were awarded points accordingly. The older kids did the same but were allowed a limited number of submissions to end a match. Safety is always the top priority and the instructors go a long way to make sure nobody gets hurt and walks off the mat with a smile.

Sudbury BJJ blue belt Guy Poulin was our scorekeeper. He also had his two younger boys competing in the event. Guy looks a bit shady, but rest assured ladies and gentlemen, he`s a good egg. (just a bit weird)

The first match of the day saw Max (in blue) vs Brayden (in white). It was a great back and forth contest which displayed the solid level of jiu jitsu we`d see throughout the day.

Here are a few more pictures from other matchups.

At the end of the day, it didn`t really matter who won or lost. It was just great to see these kids enjoying themselves at the club and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. These are the black belts of future. Congratulations to all the competitors and to Steve for putting on a great event! It was a great way to start the day. Tonight, we head over to Guy`s house in Garson to watch UFC 112 and cheer on Master Renzo as he takes on Matt Hughes in welterweight action from Abu Dhabi. GO RENZO!!

vendredi 9 avril 2010

tomorrow`s the big night!

I`ve got to stay off the internet tomorrow due to UFC 112 being played via tape delay tomorrow night. Abu Dhabi is 9 hours ahead so the fights actually start at 1pm eastern time (live)

Here`s a video care of AOL Fanhouse and Ariel Helwani polling the people of Abu Dhabi on their fights picks and how well know the UFC might be in that part of the world.

jeudi 8 avril 2010

pre-fight interview

Ariel Helwani interviews Renzo in Abu Dhabi

UFC 112's Renzo Gracie says destiny guided him to fight Matt Hughes

by John Morgan on Apr 08, 2010 at 1:00 pm ET

While bookmakers have pegged MMA pioneer Renzo Gracie (13-6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is as a massive underdog in his UFC 112 matchup with fellow legend Matt Hughes (43-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC), the Brazilian welterweight is confident he'll bring pride back to his family's name.

After all, Gracie remembers well the night in 2006 when Hughes earned a dominating first-round TKO over Royce Gracie, Renzo's cousin.

Now Renzo believes it's time for a little payback.

"It's like my little brother," Gracie said. "My little brother pisses me off, I hit him. Somebody else hits him, I charge them. I said to Royce, 'Royce, I can talk about you as much as I want because I love you, and you can talk bad about me, too. But somebody else does, that really pisses me off.'

"I'm hungry now. I actually want to pay back Hughes for what he did."

Royce was well past his prime when he accepted the bout with Hughes. According to Renzo, Royce also failed to properly prepare for the fight and instead assumed his pedigree and past accomplishments would prove strong enough to carry him through to victory.

"I thought that was a very important moment," Renzo said. "I really believe that Royce should have been better prepared, but a lot of times people let themselves be carried by the things that they achieve.

"I couldn't make the event, so I pulled over in a sports bar and walked in, asked for a Diet Coke – actually, it was a Bud Light. Coors Light gets you sick. You know that, right? I watched, and I remember I had such a knot in my throat after I watched that fight. I couldn't eat. The food was in front of me, and I couldn't. I couldn't smile for the rest of the day. The next day my wife tried to talk to me, and I just growled."

Nearly four years later, Renzo will try to defend his family name. It's a moment that he believes he was destined to reach.

"I always knew I was going to fight Matt Hughes," Gracie said. "One time we were in Abu Dhabi after a competition, and he came to me and said, 'Renzo, if you want to train a little you can use me [as a partner].' I remember, I told him, 'I'll let you know,' But the reason why I didn't get him to train with me, and I'm going to be honest, is because I knew one day I was going to fight him. I said, 'One day fate is going to put us to cross paths.'"

While Gracie recently turned 43 years old and hasn't fought in more than two years, Hughes also is no longer the dominant force that once earned 19 wins in 20 trips to the cage. Gracie said he sees where his opponent has slipped.

"All those years, he was really flying," Gracie said. "He was able to get himself in a spot that was ahead of everybody else. Physically and emotionally he was very strong. Of course, every time a fighter suffers a defeat, he changes. When he gets tired to where he can't continue or when he gets knocked out, that plays with the head – especially with the confidence."

And it's that confidence, something Gracie isn't short on, that he believes will guide him to victory.

"A lot of times, this sport is all about confidence," Gracie said. "It's about believing that you're going to do it. I've seen guys that are very mediocre in terms of technique be able to beat very good guys because they believed they could do it."

For the latest on UFC 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of (

mardi 6 avril 2010

thoughts on UFC 112

I`m getting pretty pumped for UFC 112. My boys will be sleeping over at my folks place so Roxanne and I will be able to enjoy the fights with our friends from Sudbury BJJ & Muay Thai.

The fact that Renzo is on the card makes it extra awesome, but the fact is, the 3 feature fights involve 3 of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters on the planet. BJ Penn is taking on Frankie Edgar. Anyone reading this is likely aware of Penn`s background with Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He was the first American to win the Mundials and earned his black belt in an incredible 3 years. That`s how he became known as the prodigy. Edgar is a purple belt (under Renzo Gracie), but let`s be real here. Edgar is a gamer, but he`s nowhere near BJ`s level in any facet of the game. I could see this going into the 2nd round, but not much further than that. Penn will win and talk will continue on seeing him move back up to 170.

The main event sees Anderson Silva defend the middleweight title vs Demian Maia. Most people aren`t giving Maia much chance in this one but I think it can be a good fight. Anderson took some punishment in his fight vs Travis Lutter who`s known for two things...his high level jiu jitsu and horrible cardio. Maia might have the best ground game in MMA. The only black mark on his record is from his loss to Nate Marquart. For those who didn`t see the fight, Nate caught Demian with a straight right in the initial seconds of the fight and caught him perfectly. Maia went to sleep. That`s the big concern if you`re pulling for Demian. When you think of it, Anderson is known for having the best standup in MMA. Maia could have the best ground game. If Maia can take the fight to the could get very interesting. If he`s not able to get inside on the Spider, we might see another boring fight similar to Silva`s fight with Thales Leites. I`m cheering for Maia in this one.

That brings us to the fight between Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie. Alot of people are writing Renzo off thinking the fight will be the same as Hughes vs Royce, but Renzo is a very different fighter. There really isn`t much I can say about this fight which hasn`t already been said. I`m confident that Renzo will restore the family name and put Gracie Jiu Jitsu back on the map in the UFC. (not that it ever went away).

I just can`t stand Matt Hughes. Matt Serra pointed it out during the hype for their fight. Hughes is a simpleton. I`ve read just about every UFC fighter autobiography available and can honestly say that Matt Hughes is the only fighter I began to dislike more and more as I read his book. I think he`s a real jerk and hope Renzo sends him back to the farm with his pride in his suitcase.

More to come...

lundi 5 avril 2010

A couple videos for your viewing pleasure.

Hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend. I spent the better part of my morning getting my week ready for work. It seemed as though many of my clients and co-workers had taken the extra day off today, so I took advantage of a light day and went in to train from 11-12 on my "lunch hour". (shh...don't tell my boss)

We were 7 of us including Steve, so it made for plenty of room on the mat. I was the most experienced guy in class today, so we focused on some pretty basic, yet very important details regarding mount escapes. (you can never train this stuff enough by the way)

Here's a quick video of world champion Fernando "Margarida" Pontes explaining how Jiu Jitsu is light a tight pair of jeans. I find the video a bit funny, but the point he's making is a good one. Alot of new guys try to "buck & shrimp" with everything they have only to end up in the same position they started in. This causes them to have to restart the same movement while wasting valuable energy. Without further adieu, I'll leave it to Margarida to make the point...

Beautiful isn't it? Now...go back and find those tight Levis 501's you've kept in your closet for a rainy day. Paint those bad boys on and at the end of the day, wiggle your way out of them. It's always a good time to practice your jiu jitsu!


Saturday night is the night. I can't wait! Here's a new clip of Renzo talking about the family and his fight on Saturday night with Matt Hughes.

samedi 3 avril 2010

another fine day...

This morning`s Little Ninja`s class at Sudbury BJJ was by far their best class my boys have attended to date. I don`t know if it was the spring sunshine in the air, training with the doors open at the club or just the kids getting into the groove of things. Today`s class was so focused that not only were we able to teach guard passing techniques, but the kids also did some "king of the hill" with the instructors and then even practiced with partners their own size.

It`s not that today was much different from other just seemed as though the kids were able to hold their attention longer than usual. It was AWESOME!! The boys were doing very well. I was really proud of the group today. Very cool!

The adult BJJ class was great as well. We worked on armbars from guard and transition drills. My ribs were feeling better and I managed to roll at full speed all afternoon. I`m feeling pretty good!

Onto other news...

Next Saturday night is UFC 112. We`ve had this one circled on the calendar for a while now. Renzo Gracie makes his UFC debut vs Matt Hughes in Abu Dhabi. I`ll write more about this later on this week. WAR RENZO!!

For those of you who`d like to watch the fights with Team Renzo Gracie Sudbury, we`ll be heading over to Guy Poulin`s house in Garson. It`ll be a potluck and byob. No doubt, it`ll be a great night. See the group invitation on the members facebook page.

Here is a lovely picture of our host for the festivities.

jeudi 1 avril 2010

Legalize MMA (Ontario)

This is a great film by Bobby Razak.

Legalize MMA Part 3&4 from Bobby Razak on Vimeo.

Here`s part 1 & 2...on the legalization of MMA in NY state etc...

Ecko part 1&2 from Bobby Razak on Vimeo.