You are hereWe are half way through the year, here’s where we’re at:

We are half way through the year, here’s where we’re at:

By Matt Leyshock - Posted on 02 July 2012

Woahhh We're Half Way There

We have done some pretty big things this year already folks and it’s about half way through so let’s recap on some of the changes and maybe even update a few things.

MMA Rule Changes In PA:  Without giving too much away, (nudge, wink) things are going to be a little different around here and for the better.  Pat yourselves on the back for this one because it took everyone’s efforts to make it happen.  Just remember one thing, when this sport blows up around here because promoters are having more shows now that the rules that may or may not be changing (*wink* points at you knowingly) try not to hate all of the new dumb fans who think they know stuff about fighting.  It happened in 05’ and we all survived just fine. Sorta.

Thick As Thieves:  You have helped push our number one sponsor to the upper echelon of T shirt stardom and for that I thank you. When Jeremiah first started sponsoring the site, Thick As Thieves was not much more than an idea and now not a day goes by where I don’t see someone rocking a TAT shirt whether it be on Bellator or Facebook.   You guys make me look really, really good and trust me, that ain’t easy with all the snarky imitations I have been tossing out lately.  

Check out the rest in the full entry:

Fight Club Pittsburgh: It’s hard to believe that this gym has been reborn and re-centered as the consensus number one training facility in the area.   Pittsburgh desperately needed a super facility and FCP owner and operator Mick Murrow (who will be pissed that I mentioned him by name) has done nothing less than a superior job of building one we can all be proud of.

When I first started working on this site there was a lot of talk about PA fighters avoiding the NAAFS and its formidable amateur tournament.    Now Pennsylvanian athletes are not only surviving inside the NAAFS cage but they are winning more than their fair share of bouts against opponents who at one time were thought to be completely superior.  The next step in our evolution is a Pittsburgh fighting series.

The Newest Super Gym in town is Wright’s Gym in Crafton, Pa.  Some of you may recognize that name because it is the semi – new location of Pittsburgh Muay Thai but the school is undergoing an MMA facelift of sorts and is putting together a serious cast of talents.  They will be pulling in coaches from the Cobra wrestling club, Steel city jiu jitsu, Pittsburgh Muay thai and rounded out under the careful eye of the Independent Crew’s Brian Pfeifer.   With all of the aforementioned ingredients, this school will be producing some of the area’s top tier athletes for years to come.   More on this coming soon.

Warning:  Beware of Falling Opinions

To me fighting sports are like other peoples shot of whiskey after a hard day’s work.  I have loved these sports my entire life but have never quite understood what some meant when they said it was a dirty business.  After two full years on the business side of the game, I now know exactly what they are referring too.  In the last 23 months I have seen everything from promotions cancelling events at the last minute without notifying the fighter(s),  gym owners bad mouthing their own fighters who’ve helped create their brand and company owners spreading rumors and lies for their own very small benefit.   

I’m not a save the whales type of guy;  I realize that whales die and on the same line people will do shady things for their own benefit and will continue to do so til the end of time. But if the purest sport in the world is tainted by the frauds that surround it safely on the outside of the fence, I’m not sure much farther it will or can progress.

This sport showcases some of the world’s bravest men and women but unfortunately is surrounded by some of its biggest cowards. 

The only way this will improve is if the people involved, the fans, coaches, fighters and teams, demand more and accept nothing less than full and open transparency.  Remember you are the ones who make the show and there for generate the profits. Making a profit isn't a sin if you are careful not to exploit those who are helping you make it.   End rant. 

Editor Note: My memory is shot so if I am forgetting some important things that are jumping out at you and you would like to remind me (*cough Freestyle*) feel free to add those in the comments below. 

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Well, since you asked, Matt.

Bullpen, Bullpen, Bullpen.

I think the Bullpen has proven to be its own super facility. Although I don't know if the term applies since we're the only place in wheeling trying to produce fighters. About 4-5 years ago, I had the best Bjj in wheeling and Mike Napple had the best boxing. Both teams wanted to get into mma, so we formed the Bullpen. The results of this are just coming to fruition. No one represents us now a days unless they take their training seriously. One year training minimum before they start mma competition, unless they have obvious prior experience or are exceptionally talented and are ready sooner. Bjj competition and amateur striking experience before they do mma and between mma fights to build experience.

Goldbaugh, Baker, Bevan, green pros

Plus our amateur roster has been undefeated since 2010.

At one point we were 18-0 in all mma fights. Maybe 21-2 right now since 2010.

Our gym has always been a rough hole in the wall. New news, we're finally making it look nice. Got a new bag room almost complete that will hold 15 heavy bags. Brand new wall mats in the mat room and a new mat cover on the way. Should be looking pretty nice soon.

"Pain is merely weakness leaving the body."

There is no doubt Bullpenn Fight Club is an elite gym. Their fighters are always prepared, well trained, and well conditioned. Their corners do a great job of managing the corner. Their professional fighters have a ton of potential. All three are beasts. Goldbaugh lost a very tough decision against Kevin Zalac that could have gone either way. It was a close fight, and Zalac is the real deal! To Goldbaugh and Bullpenn’s credit, they took the fight on very short notice. That is the sign of a serious fighter and a serious team. Bevin and Baker are Beasts as well and we look forward to watching them both progress. Fight Club Pittsburgh has the utmost respect for their organization and their fighters. We will certainly be competing with some of their men in the future and we know they will be very difficult to defeat in the cage. We have no doubt that the friendly competition will help improve both gyms and all the fighters with the end result of getting some of these men to the big show. Fantastic job with your organization Bullpenn! We know how difficult it is putting it all together.

As for Wright’s gym; they are a quality organization run by great management. Dave Wright has been at this along time and he has created a great organization. We will be looking for big things from them with the addition of Brian Pfeifer coordinating their MMA as well as Steel City Martial Arts handling the BJJ. Sonny is a high level instructor with a great reputation and years of experience. Pittsburgh Muay Thai has some very high level competitors and instructors. Big Dann and Marcus are fantastic fighters and instructors! They will produce some high level cage fighters that will be equally difficult to defeat.

No one should forget Donny Kaecher in this equation. He is the most experienced MMA trainer in the area and he always brings great fighters to the cage. Add in Team Impact, Madd Dog Gym, Penn Hills MMA, Big Bill Bosely and his men from Uniontown Fight Team, Dan Roppo and his men at World Class MMA, and Ed Vincent and Isaac Greely and their men at the Mat Factory and the future of MMA in Pittsburgh (and WV and Ohio : ) is very bright. With the coming new rules changes, Pittsburgh will get some men to the Big Show. Let the friendly competition to get the first one there begin!

Thanks for the good word, fcp. We always respect you guys too. You guys do a great job. I'm looking forward to some interesting matches in the future.

"Pain is merely weakness leaving the body."

yep, that works :)

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