Join us Saturday March 24th as we head back to where we started North Platte Nebraska for Midwest Championship Fighting’s annual St. Paddy’s Beatdown show, MCF 15. MCF has done a great job of helping grow local talent in the area and this show is not exception.
MCF 15 has a little for everyone, returning to the cage to defend his MCF Bantamweight title is North Platte’s own Ryan MacDonald. The young MacDonald is 8-0 and looking to make his record 9-0 as he looks to make the next leap in his career. But the tough Michael Murphy stands in his way and looks to stifle his UFC dreams.
Keep an eye on the young amateur standout Andy Carter on this card as he step into the ring to take on Carlos Trinidad and looks to take home his 4th Amateur belt in Nebraska after coming of a dominate victory over William Schwartzkoph at Legion Combat Sports last month.
We are excited to see the return of, North Platte local, Braden Erdman to the cage and sad to see Anthony Cox making his retirement fight at this show.
MCF 15 Fight Card
Card subject to change
Josh Renshaw vs Jordan Davis
Logan Guiser vs Jax Mendoza
Jacob Wild vs Tyler Otzel
Jesse Ferebee vs James Jenkins
Austin Brown vs Devon Alexander
Timmothy Evans vs Helio Villegas
Zach Fox vs Donald Tracy
Levi Casey vs Tyler Prokop
Taylor McKeeman vs Gregory Cournoyer
Isaiah Torres vs Brandon Trout
Amateur Flyweight Fight
Nate Morrow vs Kameron Jordan
Amateur Bantamweight Title
Blayne Richards vs Matt Schartz
Amateur Welterweight Title
Jordan Downey vs TJ Benson
Nolan McLaughlin vs Anthony Cox
Jaquis Williams vs Braden Erdman
Ryan MacDonald vs Matt Murphy
Bantamweight Title Main Event
With the Winter Olympics wrapping up, sports are on the world’s radar more than ever, and those of us who are fight fans may end up asking the same question we’ll ask two years from now – why isn’t MMA in the Olympics? With Muay Thai only a few months ago receiving provisional recognition as an Olympic sport, and an increased push to add Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the Games, why has there been little talk of doing the same for MMA?
Less than a decade ago MMA operated on the fringes of the athletic world. With the growth of the UFC, MMA has become widely recognizable to most of the developed world, a recognition that has fostered a widening talent pool and increasingly skilled fighters. Widely recognizable, however, does not equal ‘Olympic sport’, and MMA has several hurdles it will need to jump over for inclusion into the ancient Games. The sport’s international governing body, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), has begun the process for inclusion in the Olympics.
Formal steps MMA must take to be an Olympic sport:
International federation must be formed and then recognized by Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF, formerly SportAccord): The GAISF holds the keys to the IOC. As of now, IMMAF is waiting on acceptance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in order to re-submit their application and have it accepted. Doping regulations have become increasingly stringent in MMA, but they are not nearly up to WADA’s standards; this could be a significant bump in the road for their Olympic hopes. In addition, the IMMAF is working out details with the WMMAA, another MMA governing body, as only one organization may be recognized. Once the GAISF accepts the IMMAF’s application, they remain out of the Olympics for five years,the time a sport must be recognized by the GAISF for before moving onto the next step.
Receive provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC): This is where Muay Thai currently stands. They have gained provisional recognition, which means after three years, they can apply for full recognition. As a sport with provisional status, they receive IOC funding and can utilize IOC programs such as athlete development. Sports remain at this step for three years before being allowed to move on to competing in the Games.
Gain full recognition and approval for future Games by the IOC: After three years, the sport can petition for full recognition and inclusion in the Olympics. As the 2020 games are already set, 2024 is the soonest MMA could make an appearance. 2024 is also the year of the Paris Olympic Games, and amateur MMA is a sport not recognized in France, another area that could prove problematic.
In it’s quest to become an Olympic sport, MMA is likely to receive pushback from other fight disciplines that are currently Olympic sports, namely wrestling, judo, Tae Kwon Do, and boxing. MMA, a sport that, as its name suggests, encompasses all martial arts, provides a distinct competition to these sports. MMA’s more commercial popularity among the 40 and under demographic holds a wide appeal to the IOC, who’s seen its aging television audience result in reduced viewership each Olympic cycle.
MMA’s Olympic aspirations leave lingering questions. Will the beauty of the sport be overshadowed by its violence in the IOC’s eyes? Would Olympic MMA be limited to amateurs, like in boxing, or would professionals overtake the Olympic ranks? What happens to countries who don’t recognize amateur MMA, and thus have a more limited talent pool to draw from every four years? Are MMA’s amateurs skilled and prepared enough to compete in a way that will draw in viewers and elevate the status of mixed martial arts? It will be a long road before these questions can be answered. MMA still has several areas in which to prove itself before moving into the elevated ranks of Olympic sports. Countries and their fighters must agree on an international governing body and unified rules. More stringent doping standards must be put into place. And the sport’s athletes and fans must continue to promote MMA not for its violence, but its artistry. It is possible if not probable that we may see MMA in the 2028 Olympics, especially if Muay Thai proves to the IOC that taking a gamble on a combat sport was worth their while.
Muay Thai…that particular pair of words is foreign to all but true fight nerds. Sure, some have heard of it, but most don’t understand what, exactly, it is. So what IS Muay Thai? Muay Thai is a martial art native to Thailand and known as ‘the art of eight limbs’. Before you get all worked up and start searching for some Vishnu-shaped fighting mutant, or being frustrated over your own four measly limbs, it’s important to know the knees and elbows are considered ‘limbs’ in Muay Thai. Two arms, two legs, two knees, and two elbows. That’s eight for the math-impaired. Muay Thai is an art based in efficiently using all available weapons. It incorporates nicely into MMA because it makes the fighter not just dangerous with his hands, but with his whole body. A skilled Muay Thai striker can absolutely throw devastating punches and vicious kicks. But don’t get too hasty writing off elbows and knees – Gaston Bolanos scored Bellator’s 2017 Knock Out Of The Year with a nasty spinning right elbow that knocked his opponent off his feet. Elbows are incredibly effective, and incredibly dangerous. The benefit of elbows is that they can be utilized from different angles and work well when the distance of the fight is too close for kicks or punches. Many of the deeper facial cuts you’ll see in an MMA fight are from well-placed elbows to the head.
Muay Thai emphasizes attacking all available limbs. This emphasis on seemingly benign (at least from a Western perspective) attacks on nonessential body parts like arms and legs seems counterintuitive. No one’s ever been knocked unconscious from shin to shin contact, so why do it? I know what you’re thinking. ‘Big deal, how bad can a leg kick be?’ Think back to the last time you ran your shin into a coffee table or a trailer hitch. Remember how bad that hurt? When your bone met the solid immovable object, remember the immediate, searing, eye watering pain that left you rubbing ineffectually at the affected limb in desperate agony? That feeling? Now multiply that about 100x.
The shin is essentially a baseball bat attached to a knee and a foot. When thrown with force, it’s devastating. I’ve seen fights end from leg kicks and people knocked entirely off their feet from a well placed low kick. It’s hard to really sit into your punches if your legs have been quite literally kicked out from underneath you. Defending your head from a high kick is no picnic either, as repeated blocks will leave your forearms and elbows almost inoperable. The key in any fight is accumulated damage. You might not be bothered too much by the first leg kick that lands, but fail to check a few more kicks and you’re going to find out what it’s like to defend yourself with your leg dragging behind you.
One of the other nuances very specific to Muay Thai is the clinch. In boxing, you’ll see fighters wrap their arms around each other as a way to grab a quick breather, or use it to get a couple of short shots off on the separation. In Muay Thai, the clinch is much different. The Muay Thai clinch involves one fighter securing a grip behind the back of the head of the other and pulling their head down, with their arms tight around the neck. This is a great position to make your opponent carry your weight while opening their body up to knees. No big deal though, right? It’s just a bit of extra weight to carry around if you’re the one trapped in someone else’s clinch.
Not so fast tough guy.
Carrying around the weight of another human using just your head sucks. It is draining, disorienting, and surprisingly hard to disengage from.
Wait, there’s more.
It takes a tremendous amount of hand fighting and body positioning (which is basically stand up grappling) to simply dislodge one’s hands from your head, especially as they are launching their knees into your body. It’s like a psychotic game of ‘rub your belly and pat your head’. You will try violently to remove their hands from your head and neck while simultaneously trying to defend your spleen and liver from a maliciously thrown knee. Being in the clinch for too long is a guaranteed way to end up on the floor.
If a fighter can develop even a respectable competence in Muay Thai, couple it with a decent ground game and great conditioning, they can go from tomato can to a real handful real fast.
We’ve talked about stand up, and we’ve talked about grappling. In the next installment of MMA 101 we will talk about how to get a stand up guy to the ground.
After the dust settles, and the cage is dismantled, the aftermath of the night’s fights takes a less entertaining turn, but one that will impact the near future of the men and women who fought the night prior – medical suspensions.
It sounds worse than it actually is, and there are no shortage of headlines exclaiming the latest medical suspensions. Holly Holm’s battle with Cris Cyborg at UFC 219 earned her a 60 day suspension, though Cyborg herself wasn’t required to take any time off.
Few fans are aware that fighters undergo post fight medical examinations, and even fewer know that it is so common as to be almost unnoteworthy for fighters to be banned from fighting again for a specific period of time.
Medical suspensions often consist of two time limits – time before the fighter is allowed to spar and time before the fighter is allowed to compete. Medical suspensions can last as long as 180 days (that’s six months for those of you who need more coffee before you can math) or as little as few weeks. Longer suspensions are often precautionary and can be shortened with clearance from a medical professional or from satisfactory scans. The bigger the injuries, the longer the suspension. Being knocked out often comes with a three month suspension at minimum. As we learn more about head trauma, it’s also likely that we will see medical suspensions evolve to reflect the serious recovery time needed after a hard fight, especially when a fighter is knocked out. Deeper cuts or broken bones can also earn lengthy time outs. In the most extreme cases, fighters may be suspended indefinitely or until cleared by a passing a medical evaluation.
Most fighters are not looking to reenter the cage for a few months, so the common 30 and 45 days suspensions are little more than a formality. Suspensions will often include a ‘no contact’ addition as well, requiring that the fighter refrain from physical contact such as grappling or sparring for a set amount of time. Holly Holm’s 60 day suspension came with a 45 day ‘no contact’ rule.
Often, the tricky part is that there are no unified regulations in MMA. In some states, the state athletic commission regulates all combat sports. Some states have no regulation for combat sports. In others, the boxing commission controls regulation. In the states where MMA is regulated by the state athletic or boxing commission, medical suspensions are handed out by these commissions. Promotions may also put their own rules into place, though they cannot supersede the commission’s rules. Most states’ athletic commissions suspend fighters for a minimum of 7-14 days, though again, as most fighters only compete a few times a year, this is often of little note.
Medical suspensions – a little known but common occurrence. If you’re a newer fan, pay attention the next time you watch a UFC event, and you’ll notice in the days following that a list will be released of the fighters suspended, and why, and for how long. Suspensions can be a nonissue or a major inconvenience, depending on the length and cause, and will remain an ever evolving part of the fight game.
Saturday MMA Futures and Kansas City Fighting Alliance brings you KCFA 27 live and free on the MMAFutures Youtube Channel.
KCFA 27 brings you some of the best Amateur and professional fighters in the Kansas City area. The KCFA 27 main event brings Josh Tully and Bobby Cooper back into the cage to face one another again after an epic battle between the two of them going all 5 rounds. We will also see the return of Missouri’s own “Hard Hitting Hillbillie” Kevin Croom, Croom promises to come back with a vengeance after a year off and coming off 2 losses. You will also get the opportunity to see Chance Comacho’s professional debut.
Also featuring local favorites, the always exciting David Onama, the hard hitting Nick Grass, and the talented Mike Breeden.
Be sure to tune in Saturday night for this epic event! And be a part of the always fun live chat.
Complete Fight Card
Subject to change
Justin Jewell vs Rex Stidham
Cade Karwchuk vs Gabriel Tully
Andrew Kirkwood vs Kaleb Young
Alexa Culp vs Katie Koenig
Devante Frencher vs Fernando Andrade
Stefaan Jefferson vs Sky Taylor
Nick Grass vs Truman Burbridge
Amateur Featherweight Title
David Onama vs Garrett Armfield
Mike Breeden vs HD Essley
Jeff Molina vs Chance Camacho
Professional Featherweight Co-Main Event
Kevin Croom vs Cjay Hunter
Professional Welterweight Main Event
Bobby Cooper vs Josh Tully
MCF 10 St. Patty’s Day Beatdown 3 is going down March 21st at the D&N Event Center in North Platte, NE. MMA Futures Grey Hat, Ryan McDonald will be making his Pro Debut against the tough Baron Muller out of Wyoming.