The MMAGOLD Rush of Invicta Fighting Championships 25

MMAGOLD, a maturing team out of El Dorado Hills, California, will deposit two of their women warriors into the latest edition of Invicta Fighting Championships (IFC), IFC 25, when the premier, all-female organization invades Tachi Palace on August 31, 2017.

The value of MMAGOLD will spike into the black when Shaianna ‘Yaya’ Rincon (1-0) and Ashley Medina (0-0) fly the golden banner before a live audience in Lemoore, California, as well as those around the world logged in to UFC Fight Pass.

Yaya Rincon

Typically, Beauty and the Beast is portrayed as two characters, but Rincon personifies both qualities in one bantamweight frame: a poised, elegantly dimpled smile atop a muscular physique crafted to kill. In her first appearance with IFC, IFC 20, the twenty-three year old blue-chip bullied Brooksie Bayard around the cage for fifteen minutes. Leading into IFC 25 against Courtney King, which will be her first time competing in the featherweight division, Rincon informed James Lynch on The Parting Shot Podcast (link here) that all her eggs have been placed into one prizefighting basket. She stated, “I got a part-time job at Target that turned into a full-time job, and that was just draining. I actually just quit that job and am now full-time fighting, training six-hours a day. It’s amazing; I love it.”

Ashley Medina

A fresh atomweight face in IFC’s playground will be Ashley Medina. With a head full of big, brown curls and dreams of greatness as an elite mixed martial artist, Medina kickstarts her pro career opposite Jillian DeCoursey, a fellow debutant. Interestingly enough, DeCoursey owns twice the belts and experience at the amateur ranks than Medina, but those tangibles don’t even add up to half of the motivation that fuels her day-in and day-out competitiveness.

As the women of MMAGOLD continue to garner interest under IFC’s bright lights, the promotion’s executives will feel as though their investment is paying off.


Keep UFC 214 Super By Pairing Andre Fili With ‘Super’ Sam Toomer

When ‘The Korean Superboy’ Dooho Choi (14-2) fell prey to the injury bug, Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili (16-4) pinched any thought of missing his chance to appear on of the UFC’s most delicious menu of match-ups in 2017—UFC 214: Jones vs. Cormier 2.

Just under three weeks until UFC 214’s opening bell—July 29, 2017—and following the UFC’s highest profile weekend: International Fight Week, Fili, after witnessing Gray Maynard smother his teammate Teruto Ishihara like a wet blanket for fifteen minutes at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 25 Finale, reminded his following of fellow Outcasts & Underdogs, via Twitter, of his desire to surge electrical excitement through pulses—not force flatlines:

Fili isn’t reaching for a ranking nor plotting an outlandish narrative in his search for viable opposition; moreover, the colorful personality out of Team Alpha Male (TAM) will challenge anyone in his respective weight class, but it’s a black or white issue: simply sign the dotted line—or not. As noted in Fili’s response to Artem Lobov, one of Conor McGregor’s cronies, he shouldn’t have to beg those on the UFC’s roster to show up to work:

Known as ‘Touchy’ Fili, it’s not about sensitivity in his reaction to Lobov’s lacking interest, though, based on their job description, that sort of decision defies Fili’s frame of reference. Bloodthirsty illustrates Fili’s present-day mindset, which was highlighted once the name ‘Super’ Sam Toomer (11-1) slipped into his timeline:

Since Toomer’s singular setback while contending for RFA’s Featherweight Title in 2015, he moved his training to El Dorado Hills, and the value of MMAGOLD’s fight team, in terms of knowledge and talent, exponentially spiked. Toomer’s previous pair of bouts displayed an attack on members of TAM, Sacramento’s seemingly unbreakable squadron, with a cancerous venom, defeating Adrian Diaz—Global Knockout (GKO) 7—and Anthony Avila—GKO 9. Before his arrival to MMAGOLD, Toomer groomed much of his craft at Victory MMA in San Diego; therefore, an invitation to the next UFC Pay-Per-View in Anaheim would be a Southern California homecoming of sorts.

The mere mention to Toomer about assessing his skillset against Fili, a proven commodity at the upper-echelon of the UFC’s featherweight division, generated a tremendous roar from within his belly:

With three championship affairs topping UFC 214, the only way to buff an even greater shine into such a stacked card is to book a bout between Toomer and Fili for 145-pound supremacy in ‘The Golden State.’

Aspen Ladd: Ready to Catch the MMA World’s Eye at TUF 25’s Finale

After compiling five straight wins, each in dominant fashion, under banner of Invicta Fighting Championships, Aspen Ladd (5-0) soon grew too big for the all-female fight promotion’s pond. Now, the young gun out of El Dorado Hills, California is prepared to cut her teeth with the sharks of women’s MMA, challenging herself amongst the deepest talent pool the sport has to offer in her UFC debut.

It was only a matter of when, not if, the world’s premier MMA organization would add the twenty-two year old phenom to their bantamweight roster. When the contract to face Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye (11-6 1NC) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 25 Finale on July 7, 2017 crossed her path, the competitive fire in Ladd’s doughy eyes burned hot enough to bake one of her infamous celebratory cookies.

Throughout Ladd’s professional career, she has delivered a non-stop assault on those who stand before her, establishing a dominance in grappling exchanges and pounding rivals through the canvas. Constantly adding new wrinkles to her skill set, the coaches at MMAGOLD have created a monster out of Ladd; for example, Coach Doug Casebier, the Condition and Nutrition Specialist, packed every ounce of explosive muscle possible on her 135-pound frame, while Mike Guy, the team’s boxing coach, has instructed her how to destroy the focus mitts with a mere jab. These improvements have been on display in Ladd’s last several appearances at Invicta FC; she stood toe-to-toe with her foes and eagerly awaits her opportunity to present an upgrade to her abilities against a seasoned vet, such as Eye.

Since entering the UFC in 2013, Eye’s run, dropping the last six of eight contests, has formed more  tears than crow’s feet with smiles. Known to own a pedigree in boxing, the Midwest maiden from Cleveland, Ohio, regardless of a record reflecting nearly four times the experience, better not be peering at Ladd as if she’s fresh meat.

The aggressive nature of Ladd will generate considerable buzz surrounding the future of the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division; therefore, fight fans should program their televisions to FOX Sports 1 and tune-in when Bruce Buffer’s inaugural introduction of this highly touted prospect ignites the prelim portion of the TUF 25 Finale.

Get to Know: Anthony Hernandez

Nickname: Fluffy

Record: 5-0

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 185 pounds

Social Media: (link here)

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.38.47 PMAnthony Hernandez’s roots are triangulated amid the rural Northern California cities: Woodland, Esparta, and Dunnigan. Though he has no intention of ditching the open spaces, Hernandez envisions, as a professional mixed martial artist, his name featured on the marquees of stadiums, fighting on the world’s grandest stages for bountiful prizes in the most dangerous fields of play. Otherwise known as ‘Fluffy,’ Hernandez packs granite in his fists and cuts the hardest angles with footwork charged like lightning. The plan, training with Marinoble’s Martial Arts, Carnage Fight Team, and MMAGOLD, is: continue molding an unbreakable middleweight.

Easy-going and, for the most part, avoided physical confrontation while growing up, Hernandez discovered, in his mid-teens, a euphoric pleasure in a melee of haymakers when he and his friends logged an unknown number of rounds, with minimal rules, as the only bells were tied around the necks of roaming cows,

“When I was about fifteen years old, me and my buddies were bored as fuck; a bunch of rednecks who put on gloves and beat the shit out of each other.” If you attempted to clarify what sort of guidelines the teenagers operated from, Hernandez’s face would crinkle in search of clarity, “We used to knee each other to the head on the ground or hit each other with elbows.” Arguably, the idle hands of these teens could have been more constructive, but, from Hernandez’s vantage, it was all in fun, “We didn’t care; it was a blast.”

Before long, Hernandez’s father acted as a sanctioning body and ended the barnburners, ruling: Nobody involved Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.31.48 PMin these backyard brawls was of sound mind. Hernandez recalled his father saying things like,

“You guys are going to get fucking hurt,” or “You guys are fucking idiots.”

It was clear how Hernandez’s adolescent energy needed to be harnessed, so he was enlisted into the nearest gym, an MMA gym his cousin endorsed,

“My cousin told me he was doing this MMA thing out in Woodland, and he said I should come try it. I tried it, fell in love with it, and took a fight about four months in.”

Hooked as a teen and reeled into Hernandez’s current lot in the sport, all the fun is set aside when the cage door clicks shut. Silky smooth skin turns to cobblestone when Hernandez’s competitive mindset bubbles to the surface,

“It’s kill or be killed, and this motherfucker is trying to crush my dreams.” Hernandez continued, sharing what goal another 185-pound human stands between, “My big dream is to get enough money and a house, so my Dad can quit working. My Dad supported me my whole life, and I want to give back to him. So I don’t want anyone crushing my dreams of having my Dad not have to work. That’s where I get all fired up from and try to finish people.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.32.30 PMIn the same breath Hernandez chills your exterior with violence, he warms your interior with the ‘tale of the tape’ that makes him tick: fatherhood, family, animals, training kids, caloric intake, tattoos, and mullets.

“My personality is pretty chill: If you like me, great; if you don’t, fuck off. I love animals; people connect to me on that. People connect with me on tattoos because I will just get funny shit because I think it’s hilarious, like I got a squirrel tattooed on my thigh because I though it was funny. I’m pretty likable.”

When Hernandez mentioned his love of animals, it’s actually better aligned with an obsession; in fact, the students he trains on the weekends, before transforming into beasts on the mat, take advantage of and enjoyment in Hernandez’s makeshift petting zoo. Once the rights and lefts of the youngsters stop landing flush atop the heads of the goats, chickens, pigs, cats, dogs, and anything else furry or feathery, Hernandez and his students enter a two-car garage that has become a martial incubator for those who seek his guidance. The lesson plans Hernandez scripts each week mirror the techniques he’s sharpening in one of the three gyms hosting his practice sessions,

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.34.17 PM

Class is in session. Click the link to view the entire post (link here).

“The stuff I teach my students is the same shit I do with people at either Urban Sprawl Fitness [with MMAGOLD], Carnage [Fight Team], or Marinoble’s [Martial Arts]. When I’m training for my fights, it’s the same thing I’m showing my kids and breaking down. Then, when they watch me fight, they go, ‘Oh, that all looks familiar.’ That way they see it in action, and it’s been successful so far.”

Some may deduce, with the information presented to this point, the fight name: ‘Fluffy’ is related to Hernandez’s fun-loving nature or softness toward animals and kids. Truth is: ‘Fluffy’ originated from his struggle to remain near his middleweight silhouette when a fight isn’t on the horizon. Although an inability to push away plates of home cooking may be perceived as a weakness, self-discipline is what has transported Hernandez through twelve fights as an amateur, going 11-1, and remaining untouchable as a pro. The moment the ink dries on the dotted line, ‘Fluffy’ hardens.

12963724_1061508790538973_70575136429400378_nSince leaping into MMA, Hernandez has set his sights beyond merely dominating the regional scene; ‘Fluffy’ fancies a foothold amongst the champions who litter the globe:

“Growing up, every time I put my mind to something, I do fantastic at it. I think I’ve really put my mind to MMA and, so far, have been successful.” Hernandez hits fight fans with the blunt force of his reality as an up-and-comer in the most grueling sport, “If I didn’t think I could make it to the top, I wouldn’t be doing this shit. I mean, I think I can be the best in the world.”

Steven Gruber: On A Hunt for Championship Treasure at Conquer 4

June 24, 2017—Just off the shore of the San Francisco Bay, Steven ‘The Gremlin’ Gruber (7-4) met Brian ‘The Dread Pirate’ Wilkinson (3-2) on the canvased land of the Craneway Pavilion, home to Conquer Fighting Championships.

In the promotion’s fourth visit to their glass house in the Port of Richmond, the thought-process of the executives: build champions. By the close of Conquer 4, a new bantamweight and featherweight champion would be wrapped in glory, and the contest between Gruber and Wilkinson presented a match-up of promising contenders to build Conquer FC’s flyweight division around.

Experience was vital in Gruber’s first-round burial of ‘The Dread Pirate,’ and Conquer FC’s brass provided him a map to discover twelve-pounds of precious metal in the future. While backstage with Gruber, Inside the Ropes (IRT) Boxing (link here) spotlighted the direction this 125-pounder’s compass points in the sport: due north.

Sadly, Gruber lost his grandmother leading into the most important fifteen-minutes of his life; therefore, he, understandably, entered Conquer 4 with a heavy heart. An emotional situation, added with the intensity of being placed in a petri dish of violence, may have perpetuated an initial struggle to connect a sound mind to a primed and fashionably-inked sound body. He explained to IRT Boxing, “At first, I kept my heart rate up a little too much. I threw a few wild shots. I tried to throw a body kick, and I should have thrown a knee. He ended up catching it and taking me down.”

Of course, his well-versed coaching staff at MMAGOLD walked him down the yellow brick road to success by coaching him through the progression of positions. Gruber detailed the adjustment, “Once he took me down, I stood back up, slowed my heart rate down, and I was just able to pick my shots and land that clean one.”

The Bay Area’s fan base, as well as those logged-in to, all hopped aboard Gruber’s hype train after such a stunning display of composure, precision, and power. According to Gruber, they’ll soon become more familiar with his handiwork because the powers-that-be in the front office at Conquer FC already passed the memo down the grapevine: there’s a championship vacancy in their flyweight division that they’re looking to fill. ‘The Gremlin’ eagerly chirped his interest in filling such a void, “They [Conquer FC] just offered me a title shot, so hopefully I get it. I’m always interested in a title shot—come on now.”

Only four shows in the books, and Conquer FC has designed, and continues their construction of, a product in hot demand within Northern California’s borders and available worldwide, champions for people to rally behind, and a plot line that thickens after each round. Be sure to follow Gruber (link here) to see what is revealed on his horizon.

Meet the Misfits of Gold

If you’re a square peg that can fight through a round hole, you’re a perfect fit for the Misfits of Gold.

The Misfits of Gold, a subset of strikers from MMAGOLD’s fight team, recognized their combative camaraderie and hatched what has become a notable presence in Northern California’s MMA collage.

Under the watchful eye of Joel “MF” Beck, one of MMAGOLD’s striking coaches, and the steady influx of new 14199649_1594323597531170_8936727777688076688_nadditions to the squadron, the Misfits attracted the attention of their competition almost immediately following its inception in 2013. Oddly enough, Beck never would have imagined the present-day portrait of the Misfits because of his initial, glancing judgments of MMAGOLD. He admitted, while talking with NorCal MMA, to growling at the team concept in a sport fueled by independent contractors,

“Since I had fought for Folsom MMA before, I called the owner, and he said I could come in and teach classes,” Beck began. “Then, I saw MMAGOLD. I’m not gonna lie: at first I was like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ Then, I met [MMAGOLD’s manager] Dave [Hirschbein] and [the team’s head coach] Jim [West], and they were both cool.”

14212077_1594323660864497_2759332887619632572_nOnce Beck mined below the team’s surface, he melted into the fold. Shortly thereafter, the Misfits organically spawned, as remembered by Beck,

“The group just kind of happened; there’s no real other way to explain it. Right after I joined the team, I met: [Steven] Gruber, Travis [Hyland], and Lucas [Gubbins], and we just started growing from there. Now, we’ve got: Sam Toomer, Dillon Moore, Jason Powell, Brieta Carpenter, Isaiah Wright, Michael Olson, Blake Benson, Andrew 14232430_1594323644197832_2831625346335870302_nChavez, Eric Helm, and Brandon Waltz.”

Flying under MMAGOLD’s banner at Urban Sprawl Fitness in El Dorado Hills, the Misfits, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, slide a short stretch down the hill on Highway 50 into Folsom to train with Beck at his gym: Nutri-Sport. Beck described how the division of the Misfits doesn’t lead to a fraction of the entire team,

“Not every fighter goes to the same coach; some gravitate toward this coach, some that coach, based on your styles, ways of thinking, how you want to do things, or do you even connect personally.”

14212684_1594288157534714_6534269229531406792_nAlong with their distinct logo, colored in pink and blue pastel, each member of the Misfits expresses their individualism with a mask best suited to match their unique warrior spirit while manifesting mayhem between bells, but Beck repeatedly coaches his athletes: it’s invaluable during training to remove any blinders preventing you from capturing influences, from a multitude of sources,

“I constantly tell them: take any useful technique, or any useful thought process, and make it your own. You shouldn’t be so narrow-minded to get stuck in any one way of 14202649_1594323567531173_5398097433495395186_nthinking. That’s why you have so many coaches you can go to.”

Although Beck is revered by MMAGOLD as an asset amongst the coaching department, he places a high level of importance on standing eye-to-eye with each of the Misfits,

“I’m not the captain; I’m not the leader. I’m an equal; I’m like them. I didn’t become a coach to get respected; I became a coach because I was respected.”

Don’t be an outsider on the fringe, join the Misfits of Gold by following their social media at:

Instragram: @misfits_of_gold

Facebook: Misfitsofgold