UFC 150′s Jared Hamman Overcomes Family Heartbreak, Whirlwind of Events

»Posted by on Aug 10, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

UFC 150′s Jared Hamman Overcomes Family Heartbreak, Whirlwind of Events

Prior to fighting at UFC 140, middleweight Jared Hamman got a call from his wife that turned his world upside down. An unexpected surprise came when Hamman found out his wife was pregnant.  Getting ready to fight Constantinos Philippou was one thing, but having a kid was a whole different ballgame, Hamman said. Also, trying to make a move from Southern California to Colorado made things complicated enough.

“It was such a tornado of events,” Hamman told Yahoo! Sports.

Two weeks left until the fight and training camp is winding down. The Hamman’s finally make their transition to Colorado as full-time residents. It’s a time to relax and anticipate the months to come.  Then heartbreak struck the young couple harder than the 185-pound fighter had ever felt in the octagon. Four days after settling into town, they lost the baby.

“Two weeks before the fight. That was crazy, man,” Hamman said, reflecting on the difficult time in his life. “I’m like, ‘how much more can I take?’”  The combination of a miscarriage, stressful move across state lines, and first-round knockout loss to Philippou made for an incredibly trying time for Hamman. The whirlwind of occurrences tested him, but after some conversations with those he considers close and an incredible ability to focus on the positive, Hamman is refocusing.

It’s been a crazy road, he said. Highs and lows have been the theme of late, but training in his new surroundings has given Hamman the support he needs after dealing with personal tragedies.  The roller coaster seems to have come to a stop in Colorado at Grudge Training Center.Teaming with other professionals, such as Nate Marquardt, Brendan Schaub, and Eliot Marshall, Hamman is in what he referred to as a championship environment.

“Everybody’s there — not to get egos, but to get better,” Hamman said of his new team.

Marquardt has especially helped Hamman in the new environment. The two have grown really close, he said, and “The Great” has offered up a lot of information that’s helped in training for Hamman’s UFC 150 fight on Saturday.

“He’s just so knowledgeable,” he said of Marquardt.

And so the journey continues for Hamman, moving on from his rough 2011. He’s grown accustomed to his new training environment, and things are finally settling down as fight week is upon him. He’ll face Michael Kuiper on fight night, and Hamman will be the hometown fighter with the venue being The Pepsi Center in Denver.

Having moved from Santa Monica beaches to Rocky Mountain slopes, Hamman sees himself traveling at a competitive pace up the middleweight ladder. Training at altitude has definitely helped, he said, and his cardiovascular strength has dramatically improved as a result.

Kuiper waits at the next stop on the rails of Hamman’s roller coaster. After all he’s been through, the middleweight’s toughness has peaked, and he’s ready for whatever his opponent can throw at him.  “Bring the pain,” he exclaimed. “Bring the pain, baby!”

read more

UFC 150: Jared Hamman Fueled by Love of the Fight

»Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

UFC 150: Jared Hamman Fueled by Love of the Fight

Fans of mixed martial arts love to see a fighter enter the cage and put it all on the line. But in a sport where winning is heralded above all else, there are times when strategy gives way to security. When this becomes the case, the action stalls as the fighter rides out the time clock. They are happy to take home the victory on the judge’s scorecards as they make promises for a more exciting showing on another occasion.

Jared Hamman will never be this type of fighter.

The former college football player turned mixed martial artist entered the sport to test his abilities as a fighter and has operated with the type of mentality rarely seen at the highest level. Every time “The Messenger” steps into the cage, he does so with genuine intention that the fight will never reach the cageside judges.

There have been times when this approach has not worked in his favor, but his “never say die” attitude has shown UFC fans he’s willing to give everything he has to get the job done.

If he fails, it becomes a lesson learned. But when he is victorious, it is further validation following his heart and passion to fight was the best choice he could have made.

“Of course I want to win, but this sport is fun for me,” Hamman told Bleacher Report. “I don’t over-pressure myself when thinking about winning. I always fight hard and go for the finish because to me that is fun. I never want to win a fight by slap boxing or laying on my opponent.

“I want to get hit far less that’s for dang sure, but for me, the fun in all of this is going out there, trying to beat my opponent down, and finish the fight. I don’t want to win by the judge’s decision. The day that changes I’ll quit fighting because it will no longer be fun to me.

“I get the fact that some people are so afraid to lose they become overly cautious and whatnot. Some guys fight that way, but others don’t. There are fighters just naturally inclined to go out there fighting to win and are still exciting. Nobody has to tell a guy like Nick Diaz how to fight.

“It sounds like a funky thing to say, but I would rather go out on my shield, knowing I gave everything I had to get the win than holding back and trying my best not to lose.


“We are never promised our next fight. I could get in a car accident tomorrow and never be able to compete again. That could absolutely happen. With that being said, I want to go in there, fight my butt off like I always have and have some fun. I’m not saying I want to go out there and get hit a bunch. I know there are technical aspects to fighting, but my philosophy is to always be trying to end the fight before the judges get to it. If I can’t do that, then I won’t fight anymore.”

In the days leading up to his previous bout against Constantinous Philippou at UFC 140, sudden family issues arose, which prompted Hamman and his wife to relocate to Denver. When Hamman squares off this Saturday against Michael Kuiper at UFC 150 in his new backyard, he will be looking to rebound back into the win column.

The move has also landed Hamman at Grudge training facility and he believes the benefits will show on fight night.

“My camp for this fight has been awesome,” Hamman said. “I’ve trained a lot with Nate Marquardt and he’s helped me tremendously. It has been a huge plus leading up to this fight. I’ve also trained with Brendan Schaub when he has been here in Denver in addition to guys like Eliot Marshall. There are a bunch of great dudes to train with out here.

“I’ve had some great coaching and that’s not to say I haven’t had great coaching this entire time. I want people to know, when I moved to Colorado, it was because of a lifestyle change and not because I’m not friends with Vladimir Matyushenko and those guys anymore. We left on great terms and we moved out here for family reasons.”

Prior to facing Rafael Natal in his UFC debut, Kuiper had yet to see the loss column. The Judo black belt strung together 11 consecutive wins, with every victory coming by way of finish. While Hamman can appreciate his opponent’s skill set, he feels time on the sport’s biggest stage will be one of the factors in this fight.


“It’s a funny thing, but for the first time, I believe me being a veteran is going to make a difference in this fight,” Hamman said. “I’ve only had a handful of fights more than he has, but my experience in the UFC and my ability to handle the ups and downs is going to play a part.

“Kuiper is very good at getting up and his ground game is solid. I’m always working on my ground game and wrestling. For this camp, I’ve had some excellent guys to work with in those departments as well.

“I’ve also had some great Judo training. There is a coach out here by the name of Buck who helps train the Olympic Judo team. He comes in and trains with us all the time, so I’ve actually had some great Judo guys to go with. It’s worked out very well.”

When the cage door closes on Saturday and the referee gives the signal, Jared Hamman will be looking to give it everything he has. He will be pushing the action from the opening bell as he battles to get his hand raised at fight’s end. It is the only way he knows how and it’s something he knows will never change.

“I want to do my very best to finish fights,” Hamman said. “I’m not saying to go out there and be reckless, which I have been at times, but I’m getting better at it and the results will hopefully show.

“I’m going to bring the same thing I always bring into fights, but this time it’s going to be a in a little bit of a different way. I’m coming out to go hard and finish the fight, but be more aware of the punches while I’m looking to finish. That is and forever will be my mentality in this sport.”

read more

Bruno Carvalho Makes The USA Today

»Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bruno Carvalho Makes The USA Today

Hardcore fans may remember Bruno Carvalho (7-2) for a lone appearance in DREAM, where he lost a decision to Eiji Mitsuoka in June 2011.

Otherwise, the Brazilian has been off the radar on the international scene.

UFC lightweight Edson Barboza certainly remembers. Long before he set foot in the octagon, Carvalho beat him in the kickboxing ring.

A contract with DREAM kept Carvalho off the open market for much of 2011, but he has returned to kickstart his MMA career.

“My main goal is to get a chance to fight in the UFC,” he told MMAjunkie.com through a translator.

Carvalho went undefeated as a pro kickboxer, earning 24 wins with 18 by way of knockout. In his last outing, he fought as a welterweight and won a grand prix tournament.

Two of his wins were against Barboza, who suffered his first loss in kickboxing in their initial meeting. The second saw Carvalho take Barboza’s lightweight title in muay Thai.

Barboza, however, would transition into MMA eight months before Carvalho, and their paths would sharply diverge.

“I always wanted to participate in K-1, but I never had the opportunity,” Carvalho said. “Sometimes it is difficult to find opponents, but Brazil is a hotbed of good fighters, and I always fought against the top fighters in the category.”

Now that DREAM is no more and he is untethered to a long-term deal, Carvalho wants to test himself again on the big stage.

“After I went almost a year without a fight because of the contract, it hurt me because I live to fight,” he said. “I have no other aim but to enter the UFC and be the champion of my division.”

read more

Penn vs. MacDonald Fight Pushed Back After Training Injury

»Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Penn vs. MacDonald Fight Pushed Back After Training Injury

The welterweight clash between the quick rising Rory MacDonald and the UFC legend BJ Penn will not be happening at next month’s UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada. As last night’s UFC on FOX 4 main event was getting set to start, UFC President Dana White learned that MacDonald had suffered a major cut above his right eye during training and would not be medically cleared to fight on September 22nd.

“2day I was cut at sparring I needed 3 layers of stitching in total I needed 38 stitches I’m very sad right now that I will not be healed in time to fight sep. 22,” tweeted Rory MacDonald.

White would let the cat out of the bag during the post fight press conference, following the fourth UFC event to air on FOX.

Penn had retired after his decision loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 last year but MacDonald got the former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion out of retirement. Their bout was to be the middle bout on the UFC 152 main card which is headlined by the first ever UFC flyweight title fight.

Later in the night the Official BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) twitter account had this to say:

“I am sorry to hear about the injury to @rory_MacDonald, this is a fight that got me out of retirement and one that I was looking forward to. I would like to wish Rory a speedy and healthy recovery and request a postponement of our fight to the Rio card.”

Nothing has been made official yet but all signs point to BJ Penn waiting for Rory MacDonald to heal and the two fighting at a later date this year. Penn brought up the Rio card as a possible date but with it being only three weeks after UFC 152, expect him to meet Rory MacDonald in November in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at UFC 154.

read more

Bruno Carvalho, How It All Started

»Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bruno Carvalho, How It All Started

There is almost always a story behind how a fighter got involved in martial arts, and many times it’s because of something they watched as a kid on television or in the movies.

For the past couple of generations, the most popular name to come up when discussing this matter with many mixed martial artists is legendary actor Bruce Lee.

But there have been other great action stars and martial artists on the silver screen to inspire the martial arts enthusiasts and for one kid in Brazil he was watching the ‘Muscle from Brussels’.

For young Brazilian Bruno Carvalho, who never had the chance to actually practice martial arts as a kid, he learned his earliest moves watching action star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

“I’ve always been interested in martial arts. I grew up watching (Jean-Claude) Van Damme movies and anything related to fighting, but I never had the opportunity to train as a child,” Carvalho told MMAWeekly.com.

“I started training in Muay Thai when I was 17 years old. It turned into my addiction and passion. I trained from Sunday to Sunday and started racing very fast getting 24 fights. 24 wins and 18 wins by knockout in my professional resume.”

The addiction for Carvalho started to turn into a pretty solid career in Muay Thai, and his undefeated record is spotted with names that many MMA fans would be familiar with when looking at the list.

“Here in Brazil I’ve fought and won against the best athletes in my category 70 kg. I have faced Andre Dida and knocked him out in the third round. I beat Edson Barboza two times by unanimous decision,” said Carvalho. “I also commonly attended a Grand Prix in a category above me, 77kg, and I was champion.

“I respect all of my opponents for the challenges they presented. They are all tough and very talented fighters. They helped me become a better fighter both skill wise, and with my mindset.”

His Muay Thai record and resume are as impressive as they come, but Carvalho wasn’t satisfied with just being the best fighter on the feet so he transitioned into mixed martial arts.

Working under legendary former Chute Boxe coach Cristiano Marcello, Carvalho has worked tirelessly to match his ground game with his already established stand-up to make one seriously dangerous fighter.

“I have trained with Cristiano Marcello who already formed several good strikers in MMA, as Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Shogun, among others. And I have trained a team with very good MMA so I did not feel any difficulty in the transition to MMA,” Carvalho revealed.

The nature of the mixed martial arts beast is to be as well rounded as possible and that’s evident by all the great fighters that currently hold titles. Of course Carvalho has had to endure more than a few bumps in the road, and every challenge is another lesson learned, but he’s confident in his ability to continue to grow.

Growing means looking for the submission on the ground or mixing in some wrestling to throw something new at an opponent, but Carvalho isn’t looking to re-invent the wheel. He knows his strongest attribute is his knockout power, but he wants all future fighters that step in the cage with him to know they are safe nowhere when in the cage or ring with him.

“MMA is in the DNA fabric of the Brazilian culture. As a serious martial artist, I was open to other systems that were effective in MMA. As a result, I always trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in my career. As a result, the natural progression towards competing in MMA was inevitable. I work hard on my submission game as I have some submission victories in my MMA record,” said Carvalho.

“But there is no secret, I am a knockout artist. I love to make exciting fights using my specialty in Muay Thai. This is the style I am working very hard on bringing the big show for all the MMA fans around the world. When the time and opportunity comes I will be ready to make a show for all the fans.”

Carvalho’s next test will come at Iron Fight Combat in his native Brazil when he faces Jurandir Sardinha, but his long term goals will hopefully land him beside many of his home country brethren inside the Octagon.

“In 2012 my goal is to get a chance to fight in the UFC because I believe I am ready to present my skills on their platform,” said Carvalho. “My main focus everyday when I train is to be the champion of my division in the UFC.”

read more

Walel Watson Is Announced On The UFC 152 Fight Card

»Posted by on Aug 3, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Walel Watson Is Announced On The UFC 152 Fight Card

A bantamweight bout between Walel Watson (9-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Mitch Gagnon (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is the latest addition to the quickly filling UFC 152 card.

UFC officials today announced the bout.

UFC 152 takes place Sept. 22 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The event’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

Watson vs. Gagnon likely will be part of the prelims.

Watson, a California-based fighter who cut his teeth with Mexican fight promotions, is in a must-win situation following back-to-back losses to Yves Jabouin (split decision) and T.J. Dillashaw (unanimous decision). Prior to the setbacks, the 28-year-old “Gazelle” was on a 9-1 run that included a UFC-debut TKO win over Joseph Sandoval.

Gagnon, a 27-year-old Canadian fighter, won six straight fights (all via submission) to earn a UFC contract earlier this year, though his debut was delayed by visa issues. However, he fought at UFC 149 this past month, where Bryan Caraway choked him out in an entertaining bout that earned both competitors “Fight of the Night” bonuses.

The latest UFC 152 card now includes:

  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson - for inaugural flyweight title
  • Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
  • B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald
  • Evan Dunham vs. T.J. Grant
  • Igor Pokrajac vs. Vinny Magalhaes
  • Dan Miller vs. Sean Pierson
  • Marcus Brimage vs. Jim Hettes
  • Charles Oliveira vs. Cub Swanson
  • Seth Baczynski vs. Simeon Thoresen
  • Mitch Gagnon vs. Walel Watson
read more

Bruno Carvalho evolving as a MMA fighter, has dreams of UFC

»Posted by on Aug 3, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bruno Carvalho evolving as a MMA fighter, has dreams of UFC

Getting his MMA career started, the Muay Thai expert Bruno Carvalho will debut on September 1st, in Iron Fight, when meets Jurandir Sardinha.

“I’ve been training Muay Thai, Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu a lot. It’s like I’m taking a step on a division below mine, but I’m making sure I’m prepared for a good debut”, said the fighter on an interview with TATAME.

About his opponent, Bruno admitted not to know a lot about him despite Jurandir has a big MMA résumé.

“Actually I know little about him. He’s a veteran, has a great baggage in MMA and I think it’ll be a great fight. I don’t know him much but I’m prepared for any challenges (laughs)”.

Despite being on the beginning of his career, Bruno Carvalho has a big record in Muay Thai. The athlete has defeated guys like Edson Junior, who is currently in UFC. And talking about Ultimate, Carvalho guaranteed he works dreaming on a chance to be at the show.

“My expectation is to have this chance to show my work in the UFC because here in Brazil I have a Muay Thai record of 24 fights and 24 wins. I’ve fought many tough guys in my division like Dida, defeated Edson Barboza, fought a three-fight GP on a heavier division and won. I’m just waiting for this opportunity (laughs)”.

About Iron Fight Combat, Carvalho admitted he is going for a knockout to make this a big showcase for him in the MMA world.

“In Muay Thai I’m considered the best striker in Brazil, so I’m going for the knockout to know people I can knockout anyone, whether he’s a BJJ black belt or whatever”.

Iron Fight Combat

Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil

Saturday, September 1st of 2012


- Edilson Teixeira vs. Danilo Noronha;

- Rafael Viana vs. Alexandre “Bambam” Lima;

- Guilherme Viana vs. Ed Monstro;

- Andre Quines vs. Goiti Yamauchi;

- Aaron Mays vs. Jollyson Francino;

- Ricardo Mirrado vs. Bruno Menezes;

- Bruno Carvalho vs. Jurandir Sardinha;

- Klayton Alves vs. Samuel Trindade;

- Renato Velame vs. Tolentino Peru.

read more

Liz Carmouche Reigns Supreme at Invicta FC 2

»Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Liz Carmouche Reigns Supreme at Invicta FC 2

After two Invicta Fighting Championships shows, it’s two Invicta wins for MMA contender Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (7-2) of the San Diego Combat Academy of San Diego, CA. In April, Carmouche handily defeated Ashleigh Curry in under two minutes and now at Invicta’s second show, Saturday, July 28 at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, it took Carmouche eight minutes and 34 seconds to finish off Kaitlin Young (6-6-1) of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Circle Pines, Minnesota. Liz is looking towards the future, and hopefully will get a title shot in her next fight.

read more

Rory MacDonald And BJ Penn Agree To Keep It Clean

»Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Rory MacDonald And BJ Penn Agree To Keep It Clean

Canadian youngster Rory MacDonald (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and former UFC dual division champion B.J. Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC) will become the first fighters in the promotion’s history to partner with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

VADA officials on Thursday announced that both fighters have agreed to eight weeks of random blood and urine testing ahead of their upcoming UFC 152 matchup with the Las Vegas-based independent organization footing the bill.

VADA officials on Thursday announced Penn’s decision, and MacDonald’s camp subsequently confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) their participation in the program.

“Our camp is very happy that B.J. has decided to participate in the VADA program that he had put forward,” MacDonald’s manager, Lex McMahon said. “Rory’s completing his paperwork and will be joining him soon, and I think that Rory is definitely excited about the possibilities of what this means for the sport in the big picture, and he’s happy he can play a small role in this.”

UFC president Dana White was not immediately available for comment.

Penn and MacDonald previously agreed to undergo voluntary testing for performance-enhancing substances and drugs of abuse, but “The Prodigy” later balked at VADA’s standards and the potential for conflict with his employers at the UFC.

“VADA contacted me to talk about doing their testing,” Penn said earlier this month. “Right away, I was for it. But I was talking to them, and we were talking about the process.

“This isn’t an amateur sport. What I expressed to VADA was that results need to be released after the fight, but VADA wants to do it before the fight, and I said, ‘I’m not trying to put the UFC’s fight in danger by doing that.’ I said, ‘What’s the problem? Let’s do the results after the fight.’”

Penn wasn’t immediately available for comment, but VADA officials claimed the hurdles have been cleared.

“He has agreed that all test results will be immediately forwarded to the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions), the Ontario athletic commission (Office of the Athletics Commissioner), and the UFC,” a statement read on VADA’s official website.

While UFC officials have yet to comment on the development, McMahon said he hasn’t sensed any concern from the promotion.

“These are two individual athletes, and this is testing that’s outside of the UFC,” McMahon said. “We’ve certainly spoken with them. They’re going to be doing their own testing. This is extraordinary testing.

“We think we’re on the right side of this issue, and I commend both Rory and B.J. for taking the action that they’re taking.”

VADA, according to its website, was “founded to offer and promote effective anti-doping programs in boxing and mixed martial arts.” Former Nevada State Athletic Commission chief ringside physician Margaret Goodman serves as president.

According to VADA’s bylaws, “Professional athletes will volunteer to be subject to unannounced testing at any time during the eight weeks prior to a scheduled fight. As in the Olympic program, an agreement to participate will require fighters to officially inform us of their daily whereabouts, so that they can be tested per the program. Athletes will agree that all results are immediately released to the appropriate adjudicating commission overseeing their upcoming contest.”

UFC 152 takes place Sept. 22 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto and is headlined by the UFC’s inaugural flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson. MacDonald and Penn meet on the evening’s pay-per-view main card.

read more

Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche Focused And Ready For Invicta 2

»Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche Focused And Ready For Invicta 2

Liz Carmouche has been to war. We’re not talking about the kind of war that takes place within the chain-link fencing of a mixed martial arts cage. We’re talking guns, bullets and grenades. In comparison to the risks that came in those conflicts, the former U.S. Marine’s match-up with knockout artist Kaitlin Young on Saturday night at the second-ever event hosted by the fledgling Invicta FC will seem like a walk in the park.

After three tours in the Middle East, “Girl-rilla” will be well prepared for anything Young may throw at her. That said, Carmouche says that a fight camp and boot camp have very little in common.

“It’s a lot different,” the Team Hurricane Awesome fighter confessed to The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I mean, in boot camp, we do hand-to-hand combat, but it’s only one part of boot camp, whereas fighting is all hand-to-hand combat. The training is much more strict for my fight camp than it was for boot camp.”

It’s common for military personnel to take up martial arts while enlisted, and Carmouche was no different. Once she enlisted, she became heavily involved in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, though she admits the MMA training didn’t come until the very end. The 28-year-old was able to combine that training with sporadic involvement in karate as a kid to catapult her rise in MMA.

At 6-2 as a professional, Carmouche’s only losses have come at the hands of two former Strikeforce champions—Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman. Carmouche admits that those two setbacks have helped her grow as a mixed martial artist, while also solidifying her place in MMA in her own mind.

“When I had gone against Marloes [Coenen], I had heard about her K-1 fighting and I had heard about her brown belt in jiu-jitsu,” Carmouche explained. “To know that I could stand toe-to-toe with her and she didn’t really do any damage standing up, [and] to dominate her in most of the fight, it was like ‘wow, maybe I’m not as bad as I think.’

“With Kaufman, she’s really good at knocking people out, really good at just beating the living daylight out of people, and she wasn’t able to do anything other than bloody up my nose, which was broken before the fight. So, that showed me that I really stood a chance in the 135-pound division, and that I deserve to be fighting in Strikeforce. Up to that point, I had kind of questioned whether my quick rise was fair and if I deserved it, and those two fights definitely showed me that I deserved to be there.”

As a kid, Carmouche was as athletic as her mom allowed, which may not be quite as involved as one may think.

“Any sport that my mom would allow me to play,” she answered when asked what sports she participated in as a child. “I really wanted to box, and there was actually a boxing team that had asked me—just after seeing my physique and the way that I would fight in fights with kids—to try out boxing. My mom was like, ‘I don’t want you getting your nose broke, your teeth knocked out. No!’ I was allowed to do soccer, which even that she was a little apprehensive about. I played volleyball, I did football for a little bit when I was with my dad, I did basketball, tennis, swam a little bit, surfed, just anything I could play, I was involved in even if my mom didn’t know about it.”

When Carmouche, who was actually raised in Japan, steps in the cage Saturday night, she’s aware of her opponent’s striking prowess, but she also feels she stacks up well against the woman who once ended Miesha Tate’s night just 30 seconds into a bout with a head-kick knockout.

“I think that my stand-up is different than most people’s in that the way that I move is not the typical style,” said Carmouche. “My wrestling is adapted for MMA; I don’t have a wrestling background at all, so that hasn’t hindered me; I don’t have any bad habits in the sense that I have to retrain myself. My jiu-jitsu—I roll with so many different types of people and so many great people that it really helps me out. So, I think think that all of those different aspects are really going to help me in my fight against her.”

Young is coming off an incredible, ‘Fight of the Night’-worthy performance against Leslie Smith. It was a 15-minute stand-up war that resulted in a draw. While the outcome of the fight may not have been what anyone was hoping for, they definitely put on a show for the fans as the fight was easily the best in the promotion’s short history. And you can be sure Carmouche will be hoping to put on a repeat performance in her sophomore effort for Invicta FC. 

“I’m excited for the fight,” Carmouche said. “She’s a great athlete. She’s really known for her stand-up, and I’m looking forward to that. I think it’s probably going to come down to a decision. I think it’s going to be back and forth. I think we’re really going to put a beating on each other.”

If the battle between these two women is anything like Carmouche’s battle with Kaufman or Young’s fight with Smith, the two ladies will definitely have done their part in helping to thrust women’s MMA into the spotlight. The sport has grown so much in the past year alone, and if Carmouche has it her way, she’ll be a big part in ensuring the future of the sport.

“It’s only going to gain a lot of popularity in the next year,” Carmouche predicted of her sport. “In the past year, it’s already grown so much, that it can only keep rising, keep improving and gaining more popularity and getting more into the spotlight. My hopes are that Invicta and Strikeforce will be in the lead, leading women into the sport of MMA and leading them into the limelight, and I’m hoping that I can be involved in both.”

read more