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Fighter Interviews (13)

The Return of Billy Jessie

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Behind The Fighter
                        The Return Of Billy Jessie
                        By  Greggy Harrison

IMG 11674798207183-1  On Friday May 16th, 2014, a known Chicagoland fighter will return to the cage after a twenty one month absence to fight for Jim Jackson's Supreme Promotions show and it will be for a title bout. Billy Jessie returns as he will face Bobby Kpa for the 205 pound title belt. Jessie, who is making his debut with the promotion has been a card headliner before at shows put on at Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park, Illinois so this will be nothing new for Jessie as he will have a big following with him for sure come this Friday night at Georgios Banquet Hall in Orland Park, Illinois. On behalf of MoreMMA.com, I had the opportunity to interview Jessie to learn more about the life behind the fighter in a question and answer interview.

MoreMMA: How did you get into MMA?

Jessie: Both my parents came from big family's. Mom had five sisters, two brothers and Dad had one sister and four brothers. They all had multiple kids. My parents weren't suppose to be able to have kids but somehow had me. At all the Holiday party's by my dad's family I would get my ass whooped by all my cousins until I was six I think. My Grandma who was like 4'5, 85 pounds but 100% Italian so she was like 8'12 you know?. So she got me a wiffle ball bat for Christmas with me not thinking because I always thought baseball was a gay ass sport but she just smiled and said I was welcome. Two hours later I was chasing all my cousins around the backyard with with it whooping them (chuckles), so I guess that’s what put the taste in my mouth. I guess if you check my M.O, I have always stood up for myself, my friends or what I believed in. I never backed down. I owe my pops for that one because he's the best man I have ever met and my best friend. Pops taught
me to stand my ground, be a man, and never back down from anyone but don't ever start nothing but if he's talking trash you better throw the first punch and whoop his ass. Pops was a hard working country boy at heart. He taught me a lot and instilled a lot into me and anyone who knows him understands me. I got in trouble a lot for fighting my whole life and had a problem with authority figures because I believed respect was earned and not given because that badge never meant shit but as I got older I learned to pick and choose my battles. When the opportunity arose for me to get paid to do what I kept going to jail for I just said fuck it why not right? Jimbo(Jim Pacione) finally got me to go to the gym and I was hooked. LA Boxing in Wrigley man. That place was a blast and I remember being scared out of my mind walking in with Jimbo G-lo to Amanda (Bulldawg), Joe (Ryu), Norman, Aaron, and Robbie. Just a bunch of loud mouths that made you feel like you were
at home man. That first night out there at LA Boxing was amazing. They kicked the shit out of me like we were in the alleys in Argo but man was it fun. I miss them guys out there. Much love to the whole team in Wrigley.

MoreMMA: After a year and a half out of the cage, what made you want to get back in there again?

Jessie: Probably the adrenaline that’s like skydiving. You never know who the better man will be that night you know? I had some legal issues and some Injuries that had to be taken care of so after a small vacation the itch came back. Everyone is so supportive of me when I'm in that cage. I have a huge following and guess they just like to see a local from the south side of Chicago not fucking up his life. Teachers always told me my fighting would get me nowhere. HA!!!!

MoreMMA: What has been your biggest Moment in MMA?

Jessie: It wasn't inside the cage but the one that stands out and my proudest was the day my daughter called me hysterically crying because she was at the mall with her friends and she saw me on a poster at Eminent. She was so happy and proud to tell everyone in the store that I was her father. I would have to say that might be one of my proudest ones in life. The one inside the cage was after my second fight. The whole place was filing out and there was this one little boy standing on crutches who just wanted a picture with me. We picked him up and took him into the cage and the kid was super stoked. That picture still never surfaced but that was another great moment for me.

MoreMMA: You have been getting trained by Jim Pacione who is a great striking coach. What has that experience been like?

Jessie: Man, that guy is amazing. One of the greatest guys I have ever met. That dude would give you the shirt off of his back. He is one one of the best fathers I have ever seen in life. His whole family all the way around is just good people. Jimbo kept me on the straight path even when I was at my worst. He is my big bro in many more ways then he knows. If I even struggle with anything he will always answer his phone. He is one of the last dying breed. As for his training man, he is an asshole (laughing) he pushes me past all limits I ever seen. He has a way of instilling confidence in you. The dude is amazing at putting together a game plan and picking the opponents apart. He is good at what he does and I'm glad to have him in my corner.

MoreMMA: Who are your biggest influences in your life?

Jessie: My kids man. If it wasn't for them I would be dead or in jail. My daughter who I had at 17 has had one hell of a life. She is my heart and I wouldn't change it for the world. We have our ups and downs but she is definitely a little me. Oh man and my son. This little dude is a spitting image of me and acts just like me too. He is a trip. My kids are my world. My pops has always been a strong influence on me too. He would put a whooping on me when I messed up something something fierce but I love and respect him for it now. There's also my little circle of friends that I call family. We were a bunch of fuck ups but all know what we bring the table and there is not a thing I will not do for them. There is a lot of love and loyalty there. 

MoreMMA: Who would you like to thank that has helped you on this journey?

Jessie: All my friends and family. The whole southside of Chicago. One sponsor that sticks out is Defiance because they took me in as one of their own. Byron and Crystal I love ya both and the whole Indiana family. The world needs more Genuine people like y'all. I never seen stars like that in my life sitting in your backyard in the little town called Lowell, Indiana. Definitely some things I will never forget. I met so many great people coming into this sport. I have learned discipline, respect and to stay humble. You don't lose. You win or learn. I look forward to May 16th fighting Bobby Kpa for the Supreme Promotions 205 pound belt. He is a tough guy and I promise to leave it all in the cage. Thanks again to Jimbo, Johnny, Zaid, Phil, Danny, Spencer who helped get me ready for this fight. Ufc gym's Omar, Dave, Adam, Mike and G Lo the list goes on and on. The guys out at Gracie Baha in Downers Grove. Hammerfist Gear, Goodfellas Barbershop, Pole Katz,
Scores all the love from everyone thank you. Skin and Art by Zaid Rashida (708) 860-9899 and The Office Sports Bar and Grill 4901 Cal Sag Road in Crestwood, Illinois where my after party will be. Accelerated Rehabilitation and Cafe Gaston at 14438 John Humphrey Drive in Orland Park, Illinois.

  You can come see Billy in the cage this Friday in Orland Park, Illinois as Supreme Promotions invades Georgios Banquets at 8800 West 159th Street. Get your tickets now at www.supremeprotions.net

Chuck Giles

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ChuckOn May 16th, at Georgio's Banquet Hall in Orland Park, two men will leave it all in the cage. Chuck Giles will be facing Anthony Ferro. Both of these fighters have years of experience and the fans will be treated to a technical match up. Chuck took some time off from his busy schedule and shared his thoughts.

 

How long have you been training?
I have been training for 7 years. I started bjj and was too impatient and focused on wanting to walk before I learned to crawl (haha). I trained MMA for 6 years going from gym to gym and even trying it on my own, before I started doing it right and reading with the right gyms and people!

What influenced you to compete in the sport?
Okay, honestly I hate this question, because guys always give the b.s. UFC 1, Royce Gracie answer, 20 years ago some wasn't born. My answer though is seeing Rampage knockout Chuck Liddell. I was like oh shit, I'm watching the bad guy beat the good guy and everyone is upset, why am I so happy (haha)? Fast forward, I'm sitting on a couch watching WEC. I see a the Mexican guy with a mullet Miguel Torres fighting Jeff Bedard and I see he's 135lbs, and I went to the living room and told my wife I'm gonna find him! Talking to him changed my life, even still to this day! (sidenote: no joke two weeks later on a late night Wal-Mart trip,i was walking thru isles and boom, Miguel Torres standing in front of me. I geeked like knives chow in Scott Pilgrim vs The World and forgot to get my sons birthday candles (haha)

Where have you been training for this fight?
For this fight I've been everywhere man, like Johnny Cash everywhere (haha). I have been at DK MMA for two years with Dan Alstott in Joliet, il, he's been there up until this point from my Bridgeview fight. I've been working my striking with Gene Calderon in Griffith, in, and working with the guys from True Prodigy in Elmhurst,Il, and for the past couple weeks I been going to team 110 in Melrose park, IL. All the teams have been great.

How has your training camp progressed?
My training camp has been great it's had its share of his and downs. Honestly I've never had a camp without ups and downs. Like two weeks ago getting into a 4 car accident, the stuff is still on going from that. The good have honestly outweighed the bad, all my coaches listen to me gripe then be like "okay, shut up and train, take these punches and chokes" (lol)

Tell me your thoughts on fighting for the Supreme Promotions Championship?
Fighting for supreme has been an experience, there's things I like, things I don't like. I will just say I feel like I'm having the Muhammad Ali/ George Foreman moment where it's like "I know he's your boy, I know you got him picked...but imma show you how great I am." I watched the promo of Jim and cheese and thought I should just do a WWE-esqe heel turn so I can't seem like just a nice guy (haha)

What do you know about Anthony Ferro?
What I know about Anthony is he's who I'm fighting. I know he's tall and has good jits and is the final hurdle to my goal.

 

How do you think the fight will go?
I think it will be one of the most technical fights either of us have been in. I think the bell rings we touch gloves and it either is the best striking clinic in the region or it could be naga in the cage, either way he's facing someone that was told he shouldn't fight no more two years ago and I'm still here. I could go thru all this and still be breathing, then I'm coming in there for only one reason!

Anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank the guys that have been with me putting this puzzle together piece by piece. Dan Alstott, Gene Calderon, Franco Lozano, Tony Gutierrez and Tony Cruz. All my training partners who've smashed my face into the mats, nearly broken my arm, nearly choked me out, kicked me in the head, punched me in the face. I am 100% thankful for you all! And last but not least to my family, who keep me moving forward and focused even when things don't seem like they going right!

 

Chuck Giles Interviews Team 110s Alex Lagunas

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ALexTeam 110's Alex Lagunas will be facing Team Genesis fighter Zac Klonowski for the vacant MoreMma Featherweight Championship on June 21st, in Kankakee, IL. The event will take place at the Kankakee Valley Park District Recreation Center. Thank you to both Chuck and Alex for their time and stay tuned for ticket information.

 

How long have you been training?

I've been training over 3 yrs. with team 110 and I did a year of Jiu Jitsu at another gym.

What bought you to team 110?

What brought me to team 110 was I heard about a gym a few blocks away from my house. I went checked it out and the first thing I saw when I walked in was the cage. I fell in love with it, it was love at first site haha! I decided to stay at the gym, best decision of my career.

Who have you been training with?

I've been training with my team members on Team 110 but I have to give a shout out to my main training partner Andy AKA DRAGO! He is my main training partner keeps me on my toes he is an up & coming fighter so the 170lb division look out cause he is coming.

How has training camp been going?

Training camp has been going smooth we always prepare very well for my fights it’s always a tough camp but a fun camp we train like animals and we train to win.

What do you know about your opponents for both fights you have coming up?

Well what I know about Zac Klonowski is he is a very good fighter has good stand up and good ground game he will be a challenge. I haven't faced a tall opponent like him so this match will be very interesting and will definitely be a fight not to miss. I was supposed to fight April 11th for TFC but I had to pull out (that’s what she said haha) of that fight because of an injury, so I don’t know who my next opponent is but whoever it is I'll be ready.

Alex 3What's it been like training with Franco Lozano and how has he changed your career?

Training with Franco has been great he is a great friend but also a great coach. He’s always on me when it comes to training on my weight and my eating habits. He’s an all-around a great person, Franco is the person that gave me a chance to be part of his team, when no one would even consider me as a fighter. Franco has changed my career in so many ways he has made me a better fighter he has opened so many doors for me now thanks to him my a very well-known fighter I got promotions contacting me contacting Franco that they want me to fight for them it feels good to be recognized for all the hard work I put in. And I know Franco will open more doors for me in the future/career.

Thank you for your time. I know with fight camp things get kind of hectic. On this note anyone you want to thank?

I wanna close by saying thank you to everyone who supports me goes to my fights and cheers me on. Also, I wanna thank my friends and family, my sister Jocelyn who is always there for me cheering me on at all of my fights. I wanna thank my coaches for helping me get ready for my fights Franco, coach Tim Matos, coach Enrique and coach Sass and I wanna thank all my teammates for getting me ready for my fights. You ever in the Elmwood park area come stop by Declan's bar & grill, 7841 w Grand Ave, it's a great spot, family owned, great food, and great people, and also I work there haha! HI DARLENE HI KRISTIN. Almost forgot I wanna thank More MMA for the opportunity to fight for one of his belts, and the opportunity to fight in there show thank you very much I will not disappoint. Finally I wanna thank my older brother Jose Lagunas for actually introducing me to MMA. He would grab me, 1 on 1 in his garage and we would spar and roll. I learned so many things from him and for that I am thankful.

United Combat League Recap

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1623722 649765801748175 1064359868 n - CopyMike Davis's United Combat League returned to invade Bourbon Street in Merionette Park, Illinois Friday night with ten bouts on the card in which seven were mma bouts including the main event for the 155 pound belt between Dan Bravo and Neko Durant. Durant would dominate the fight from start to finish out wrestling Bravo followed by scoring strikes to win by unanimous decision. There was also one women's bantamweight bout that took place as well that featured Debra Bartecki making quick work of Shantara Profit defeating her at just 17 seconds of opening round Heavyweight Phil Garreau was originally set to headline the card to face Quinn Corbett, but just two days before the bout, Corbett pulled out due to injury. Garreau still fought on the card in a kickboxing bout defeating Dave Hammonds by technical knockout in the opening round. Other bouts took place during the night with a Muay Thai bout as UFC Gym's Cole Vujosevic put on a dominant performance defeating Mike Trtan by technical knockout in the second round. Two other Kickboxing bouts took place as well. Jon Zlowinski faced Brian Titus in the show opener winning by technical Knockout at 1:55 of the opening round and Jon Legania defeated Chris wooldridge at 1:19 of the second round by technical knockout. Gilbert Grappling's Moe Maali closed out the first half of the card facing Team Top Notch's Marchand Hughes. Maali's wrestling skills paid off as he dominated the fight with scoring takedowns passing through any submission attempts Marchand would try from the bottom. Maali's big performance earned him a unanimous decision win. Another Gilbert Grappling fighter also entered the cage as Mark Marinovich faced Aaron Davis in a lightweight battle. Marinovich proved to be the better wrestler of the two for all three rounds also winning a unanimous decision. In the first mma bout of the evening two heavyweights collided as Dean Neely took on Logan Fisher. It was only a matter of who connected with the big punch in which Neely would do. Neely would connect with a big right dropping fisher finishing him to get the TKO victory at the 1:19 mark of the opening round.

Kickboxing bouts
Jon Zlowinski defeated Brian Titus by tko due to strikes 1:55 round 1
Jon Legain defeated Chris Wooldridge by tko due to strikes 1:19 round 2
Phil Garreau defeated David Hammons by ko 1:09

Muay Thai Bout
Cole Vajosevic defeated Mike Trtan by tko due to strikes at :35 round 2

                      MMA Bouts
155 pound championship bout
Neko Durant defeated Dan Bravo by unanimous decision
Dean Neely defeated Logan Fisher by tko due to strikes 1:43 round 1
Mark Marionovich defeated Aaron Davis by unanimous decision
Moe Maali defeated Marshawn Hughes by unanimous decision
Lucas Hyre defeated Glenn Evans by tko due to strikes at 2:29 of round 2


  Womens Bout
Debra Bartecki defeated Shantara Profit by tko due to strikes at :17 of round 1

Band of Brothers

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DiGiulioIn the world of mma there isn't just one particular fighter that we see training and getting into the cage but we also see that this sport has brothers that share the same passion of blood, sweat, tears and the drive to take it as far as they can go in their careers. You hear about the Miller's, Pettis's, Guidas, to name a few but in the Midwest and Chicagoland mma scene there's Gilbert Grappling's Gino and Larry Digiulio. Larry, the older brother of the two is a professional fighter that holds a record of 16-7-1 and is the current Iowa Challenge bantamweight champion. Larry also made his debut in Finland recently cutting to 125 pounds for the first and winning a unanimous decision. Larry has not announced anything new as of yet but looks to be back in the cage real soon. Gino, the younger brother of Larry is also a professional with a 5-5 record coming off a submission win March 1st of this year at Midwest Fight Series. Gino will be returning to Midwest Fight Series on April 4th in Indianapolis, Indiana facing Andrew Holbrook in a lightweight bout. MoreMMA.com had a chance to sit down with the two brothers from Chicago Heights for a short interview to get more of an in depth story behind these two warriors.

Moremma: How did you two get involved in the sport of mma?
LD: I started wrestling at the age 16 sophomore year in high school when I went to a camp held by the Gilberts and just been involved with it ever since.

GD: I started coming in a year after Larry and did the wrestling camps as well then had my first fight at the age of 18.

Moremma: What is it that you both do to push each other to get better in the cage?

LD: I was the more the athletic of the two. When Gino was younger, I was the big brother kind of bully to just help get him better with him being younger.

GD: It's definitely the older brother/younger brother kind of thing. We go pretty hard in training and we are not afraid to hurt each other.

Moremma: What are your goals you both want to achieve in your fighting careers?

LD: I want to just take it as far as I can go, and of course get to the UFC. Just to keep fighting professional as long as I can.

GD: I also want to take it as far as I can go as well. I teach English at Lake Central High school in St John, Indiana so I'm trying to balance both careers.

What has been your best moments so far in your careers?

LD:  Winning my first belt as a professional in Iowa and my debut at 125 winning over in Finland.

GD: My first fight in general was big for me because I waited five years for it. My first professional fight was also a big moment for me too but I still have a lot more to achieve though.

Moremma: Is there anybody out there you both want to thank that’s been a big part of your careers as fighters?

LD: Joey and Danny Gilbert definitely because they have been there for me from the day we started.

GD: Joe and Danny Gilbert and also Larry. My wrestling coach in Grade school Joe Benoit. Just Gilbert Grappling in general because that’s where it all began.

 

 

 

 

Hitz BoxingNot only is Danny Morales making an impact in the MMA world, he is also making his presence felt in the Boxing ring. Morales made his professional Boxing debut for Hitz Boxing, on Friday March7th, 2014. Morales defeated Battle Creek, Michigan fighter, Norman McGinn (0-2). Morales was sharp as he backed his opponent into the corner and went to work. Morales landed a heavy right that almost sent McGinn through the ropes. The referee had seen enough and halted the fight 2:04 in the first round. Morales proved that he is more than a MMA fighter and now is undefeated as a professional in two combat sports. What is next for Danny Morales?

 

What made you decide to make your professional boxing debut?
You know as a kid I've always wanted to box and it's always been a passion for me especially having me and my family watching boxing and PPV events all the time,but not only that, how could you resist the Sweet Science? I want Thank HITZ BOXING for the opportunity, I gravely appreciate it.

Where have you on working on your boxing skills?
I've had the pleasure to work with many great boxing Coaches and George Hernandez is at the Top of the list. He runs the boxing gym out of Garfield Park in Chicago. He's like the modern day Mickey Goldmill, from the Rocky Movie series. Wise man and George is definitely the man you want in your corner.

 

How does your preparation for boxing vary from mma?

I would say more long distance running & obviously 3 more hours of Boxing training each day vs 2 hours a day.

 

What was it like fighting for Hitz Boxing?

Fighting for HITZ BOXING was a great experience for me and I couldn't have asked for a better Professional Debut, everyone not just me was pleased with the experience. Thank you once again to HITZ BOXING and all the staff who help put this great event together!

 

What were you feeling as you walked down the aisle for your boxing debut?

It was a great feeling! I felt like a kid finally going to his playground.

 

Danny morales 031714Can you please walk us through the fight?

Bell rings and we exchange. I'm the aggressor and I start countering his shots. I felt him fading away so I continued my assault until the referee stepped in for a TKO in the first.

 

Picture courtesy of Eric Diaz

Are you happy with your performance?

I would say yes but there's always room for improvement, not just with performance but in life in general.

 

What's next for Danny Morales?

I'm trying to stay busy so I believe my 2nd Professional Boxing match or fighting in Glory would be nice.

 

Who would you like to thank and final thoughts?

I would like to Thank God, my family for always having faith in me, everyone that came out to support and enjoy a great night of fights. My coaches, Dr. Randy w/ PRO Sports & Spinal Rehab, Crispy Waffle, Kevin w/ Xtreme Speed, Cesar w/ Unidos Marketing Network that helped build my website TheMachineMorales.com, Lisa w/ Suburban Lock, Delicia Mexican Grill, Underground Unlimited, Martin w/ New Home Exterior Construction, Ismael w/ Casa Mex Realtors and To all those Cheering for me on Mun2 Combate Americas.

Mike Corey talks World Series of Fighting and More!

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 WSOF2Mike Corey (12-3-1) will be making his debut for World Series of Fighting on March 29th. Corey is no stranger to bigger shows, Corey participated in the Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament. Corey was victorious in his opening bout with Ronnie Mann, but later lost an unanimous decision to current Bellator champion Daniel Straus. Corey will be in Las Vegas to take on Shane Krutchten. Krutchten (11-2) fights out of Team Oyama, and is from San Diego, Ca. Krutchten is currently on an 11 fight win streak, however he hasn't faced an opponent like Mike Corey. Corey has definitely faced tougher competition and will be looking to make a statement in his WSOF debut.

 

What inspired you to try MMA?
When I saw Sakuraba fight Royce Gracie when I was in High school I fell in love w MMA. I had seen the ufc before but Sakurabas style and attitude while fighting inspired me and it became something I had to try.

How long have you been training?
I’ve been training MMA for 10 years

Where are you currently training?
Training MMA at Team Curran and Strength and Conditioning w Steve McCarthy


What is it like training at Team Curran?
Training at Team Curran is great. Theres a lot of tough guys and we work hard. We work all elements of MMA and have a good time doing it. Everyones really cool.


What are your thoughts on fighting for WSOF?
I’m super excited and motivated. There a great organization.

What do you know about your opponent Shane Krutchten?
He's tall, tough and has good jitz.

How do you see the fight going?
See me pushing the pace and finding a weakness. Either getting on the inside and striking it out or getting take downs and ground and pounding to a tko or a sub.

You haven't fought since April of 2012, any reason for the lay off?
I had knee surgery

What goes through your mind as you enter the cage?
I don't put a lot of pressure on myself. I think it's time to go out and have some fun.

 

What can your fans expect to see on March 29th?
A good fun scrap.

 

Any advice to people just starting out in the sport?
Find a good team to train under. Stay humble. Don't become a typical MMA douche bag. Don't wear skin tight Tapout shirts.

 

Anyone you would like to thank?
Big thanks to Team Curran for the great training. Steve McCarthy for getting me in the best shape of my life and MMAstop fighters for all the help.

 

Any final thoughts?
I want to dedicate this fight to my Uncle Johny who passed away from Cancer a few weeks ago.

Supreme Promotions 15 with Mike Reid

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Supreme 15Supreme Promotions 15 will be held on March 14th, at Georgios Banquet Hall, in Orland Park. The new venue will provide additional space that is greatly needed, and will ensure a more fan friendly experience. Mike Reid will once again have the main event honors, as he will be facing California's Robert Farabaugh, in a Muay Thai bout. Cheez had an opportunity to catch up with Mike Reid and asked him about his fight and More! Get your tickets today here!

 

   

 

 

 

Jeremy Horn Seminar

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Jeremy 2UFC Veteran Jeremy Horn makes his return to MMA Team Genesis to teach another outstanding seminar. Jeremy has compiled an astounding record of 89 wins and 21 losses in his pro career having fought fighters such as Chuck Liddell(2x), Randy Couture, Chael Sonnen, and Anderson Silva, just to name a few. His February 2012 seminar here was extremely well received so you won't want to miss this one. The cost will be $75 for 4 hours of instruction if paid by March 28th. After March 28th, the cost is $95. Early registration payments can be brought to the gym by March 28th or paid via paypal here.

Belal Muhammad talks Bellator 112 and More!

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Belal 2 finalOn March 14th, 2014, Belal Muhammad will be headed to Hammond Indiana to fight at Bellator 112. Muhammad will be seeking to gain his fifth straight victory since turning pro and will be facing AJ Matthews. Matthews (6-2) is an experienced fighter who trains at Alliance Training Center/Blackline MMA in California, and will be entering into his fourth Bellator fight. The Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Matthews is 2-1 in Bellator career and is coming off of a split deicison loss to  Dom O'Grady. Muhammad is a talented local fighter and is poised to make his impact on the National mixed martial arts scene. Visit here for ticket information!

What attracted you to MMA?

The competition attracted me to mma, I’ve been a competitor my whole life with everything I do. I hate losing more than I love winning. Just the fact that it’s one on one, and you and only you can decide the outcome of the fight is what makes me love the sport. There’s no one to blame but yourself if you lose.

How long have you been training?

I’ve been training in mma for about 6 years but I’ve had boxing experience and wrestling experience since high school

Where are you currently training and why?

I like cross train a lot I like to train with the best guys in the area so I go to Elite mma in Chicago, team colon in Indiana, Duneland Vale Tudo in Hobart, and Chicago Fight Team.4. I train in these places because in my opinion the guys from these gyms are the best in the Midwest. More than half the guys I train with are gonna be on the big show and could compete with anyone from any gym in the world. They say iron sharpens iron and I’m definitely training with the best. These gyms always have their doors open and treat u like family everyone leaves their egos at the door and we just go hard.

How many amateur fights did you have prior to turning Pro?

I had 5 amateur fights in Chicago and one which was supposed to be pro but ended up not being sanctioned is Guadalajara Mexico.

This will be your second fight for Bellator, how do you feel fighting for Bellator again?

Yea this is my second fight for Bellator. I’m more excited just to be fighting again I love being under the lights no matter where those lights are. I’ve only fought for two companies since turning pro, HFC and Bellator, and both have treated me well so it’s not like I’m going from bar room brawls to the big show HFC is one of the top shows in the area.

What can you tell me about your opponent AJ Matthews?

About my opponent, he looks like a striker he’s 6-2 with 5 knockouts so I’m assuming he may have some decent standup skills.

How do you see the fight going?

I’m not big on game plans, everyone has a plan until they get hit. I train with the best guys and they’re all well rounded so I’m comfortable with wherever the fight goes I’ve been in every situation during practice so it’s gonna be like second nature come fight time

Anyone you would like to thank or final thoughts?

Yeaj I would like to thank the fellas from Team Elite, Team Colon, Duneland Vale Tudo and Chicago Fight Team. These are the best gyms in the area and their doors are always open so don’t be afraid to get new some new looks in training. I also want to thank my strength and conditioning coaches Moody Sulieman and Asef Askar, my nutritionists Alex and Oscar and to everyone that continues to follow and support me on my road to the top.

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