Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

Campbell McLaren talks to Kingdom MMA 'I would have never sold the UFC'

Friday, 19 December 2014


By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

A professional featherweight MMA bout is the latest fight to be added to Warrior Fight Series 2 on February 21st in Kent as Daniel Crawford and Theo Michailidis battle it out for the inaugural 145lb crown.

Crawford fights out of New Wave Academy alongside the likes of Alex Montagnani and Max Nunes and brings with him a record of 4-0. Although he is primarily known for his ferocious striking style, he is infact coming off a win in his last fight at Phoenix FN early this month via arm triangle choke.

Theo “300” Michailidis fights out of Team Titan alongside the likes of Brad Pickett and Bola Omoyele and brings with him a record of 6-3. He too is known for his striking with his recent victory earlier this month going viral as he landed a spinning elbow at BCMMA.

The Warrior Fight Series 2 card looks like this so far:

Pro Heavyweight title
Mike Neun vs Lucasz Parobiec
Welterweight Unified Amateur Rules
Mark Harris vs James Reedman
Lightweight Unified Amateur Rules
Chris Hill vs Zeki Faulds
Featherweight Unified Amateur Rules
Tanvier Boora Vs Gregor Jurcic
Welterweight Unified Amateur Rules
Nick Manik Vs Patrick Kavanagh
Lightweight Unified Amateur Rules
Ben Linihan Vs John Reid

EXCLUSIVE Interview: TUF 20's Joanne Calderwood talks UFC debut fight, TUF 20 house & the future

By Chris Marzella @ChrisMarzella


WITH an official UFC debut under her belt, Jojo Calderwood is gunning for the rest of the women's strawweight division and she doesn't care who's next.

The Scot - coming off a stint on The Ultimate Fighter series 20 and a crack at becoming the first UFC 115lbs champion - made her debut in Las Vegas last weekend and she was left beaming at her first UFC fight week.

Speaking to Kingdom MMA, Jojo said: "It was an awesome experience. The whole week was really cool and I was really confident. I was really happy and excited for the fight and it went awesome. I performed and I got the win, so the whole experience was great."

Calderwood shone as she dominated against the tough South Korean Seo Hee Ham as she scooped a unanimous decision to seal her place as the first Scottish woman to pick up a UFC win.

She said: "I just go in there a see what happens and obviously my coach, James Doolan, had done some research on Seo Hee Ham. He knew she was going to be a game fighter and it was going to be a good fight.

"We knew she was a southpaw as well so we just went in and worked on a few things. We knew she had quite a good right hand. I went in and let all my training go to work and getting the win was the main goal.

"I was quite happy. I'll fight anyone but one of the cast (of TUF 20) was out with injury and I was quite pleased not to get anyone from the house. I had to see them at the show and stuff. Now, after the show, I don't need to see any of them until I need to fight them."

Despite getting her big break as a result of the hit reality series, Calderwood admits that the Ultimate Fighter house is not something that she will miss. Trapped in a house with fellow title hopefuls and dealing with the drama is something she can live without.

 "The house was a bit of a nightmare. I don't regret anything and I survived it, but I didn't enjoy it. But it was the experience of a life time and I was grateful to get the opportunity to do it. Said Calderwood.

"Now this is where I want to be, I want to be in the UFC, so it's kind of got me here.

"I would say it's more for up and coming fighters or fighters that like the reality side of things and attention. Me, as a fighter, I don't like any of that so I didn't enjoy it. But I was really grateful for the opportunity to be part of it and it was a historic moment being an all female cast."

Not one to stand back and admire her handy work, Calderwood is already back in the gym and gearing towards her next fight. Hot off the heels of a massive debut in Las Vegas Calderwood was back training at Glasgow's Griphouse gym on Monday.

Jojo said: "I like to stay busy as a fighter so I'm hoping the UFC has me back out in the next few months. I just need to wait and see if they want me out so soon but I'm ready. I've got no injuries and I'm back training already and I'm already hoping I've got another fight lined up but I need to wait and see and keep my fingers crossed but I'm hoping it'll be in the next few months.

"I'll take whoever they offer me. That's their job. They set the fights up so I just wait and see who they give me and that'll be the girl that I'm facing next. As for picking anyone, all of the girls in the division are dangerous and talented fighters so I'm happy to fight them all."

With Carla Esparza notching the UFC title, and the subsequent rankings being released, Calderwood finds herself handily sitting in sixth. In a talent rich division with plenty of outstanding potential match ups, The Scot is happy to take on all comers, saying:

 "I don't really bother with the rankings but I know a lot of people think I should be higher. I'm not like 'I should be higher, I should be this number or that number'. I'd rather just fight whoever is above me or whoever I need to fight to get to the title and prove it that way.

"The rankings, especially in MMA, don't really matter, so I'm quite happy if I need to fight everyone above me. That means more fights for me so I'm quite happy."

As the second Scot to step foot in the octagon, Calderwood remains optimistic about the prospects of more of her compatriots emulating her achievement.

"There's a few really talented team mates of mine that are more than deserving of an opportunity to fight in the UFC" she said.

"The UFC may be coming to Scotland next year, so I'm hoping that they get on the card and we put on a good show and the UFC come when they're ready. It'll be awesome, especially if my team mates get on the card."

With a rumoured Scottish card in the works, Calderwood is eager to forge ahead and get a fight closer to home for a change. She hasn't fought on British soil since she sensationally knocked out Sally Krumdiack back at Cage Warriors 53 in April 2013.

She said: "I know they are thinking about it, and I know they'll come when they're ready. The UFC don't want to put on just any show, they want to put on a good card.

"It would be awesome to fight in my hometown. I haven't fought here for two years now and it's expensive for flights out to America and that's where I've been fighting so most of my family and friends haven't been able to come over to America. They've had to stay up late and watch me. It would be awesome to repay them and let them support me live. It would be cool just to say the UFC has come to Scotland and that I was part of it."

With her first win in the books it's certain that we will be seeing much more of Jojo in the octagon and with any luck she will get to fulfill her dream of bringing the UFC to Scotland in 2015.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Jack Grant Vs. Warren Kee added to the BAMMA 18 Prelims‏

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

                                                     Credit: BAMMA/Richard Blackburn

BAMMA have today announced a lightweight battle for the BAMMA 18 prelims as Jack Grant clashes with Warren 'Relentless' Kee at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre 21st February 2015.

Jack Grant holds a professional record of 7-2-0 with 6 first round victories and a history against solid competition. Jack Grant fights out of the Fight Ministry, Grimsby and is looking to bounce back from his last performance at BAMMA 16 where he lost a decision to Alexei ‘Boom’ Roberts.

Jack said: "I don't think Bamma have had the pleasure of seeing my 'A' game. Mistakes made in 2014 and lessons learnt. The dynamic offensive style will be there next year but behind a much more measured and controlled Jack Grant."

"I'm not going to dwell on my last performance and I ask not to be judged on it! I'm looking forward to fighting anyone that's put in front of me next year and I can promise that I will show what I'm capable of."

One of BAMMAs most recent signings, Warren Kee has a pro record of 7-3 and was Last seen in a BAMMA cage at BAMMA 11 where he faced Tom Breese for the Lonsdale British Title. Kee is from Cambridge and trains out of Tsunami Gym (Home of Former BAMMA Star Luke 'Bigslow' Barnatt), Elite TC and KVT.

On his first bout on the new contract Kee said:

"The fight is signed and Jack Grant is my opponent on BAMMA 18, he looks a good well rounded fighter so I am looking forward to the 21st February showdown, it's my hand that will be raised in victory on the night."

You can follow Jack Grant & Warren Kee on Twitter at @JackGrantMMA @RelentlessWK & @BAMMA

Sam Alvey vs Cezar Ferreira & Rustam Khabilov vs Adriano Martins added to UFC Fight Night 61

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

Two more bouts have been added to the UFC first trip to Brazil in 2015.

Sam Alvey (24-6) is set to meet Brazil’s Cezar Ferreira (8-3) in a middleweight bout, whilst lightweights Rustam Khabilov (17-2)  and Adriano Martins (26-7) will also collide.

UFC Fight Night 61 takes place on Sunday, Feb. 22,at Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The main card is expected to air on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on FOX Sports 1(BT Sport in the UK)  and UFC Fight Pass. Brazil’s Glover Teixeira (22-4), will meet former champion Rashad Evans (19-3-1) in the scheduled headliner.

Alvey, a former MFC middleweight champion, made his UFC debut earlier this year dropping a unanimous decision to Brit Tom Watson at UFC Fight Night 47 in Maine. He rebounded in November, though, with a first-round knockout of Dylan Andrews in Andrews’ home country of Australia for his first UFC win.

Ferreira, the middleweight winner of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil,” won his first three UFC bouts before suffering a shock 39-second knockout loss to C.B. Dollaway in March in front of his own home fans in Brazil. He later bounced back in June at UFC Fight Night 44 with a decision victory over Andrew Craig in Texas.

Rustam Khabilov had his six-fight winning streak snapped in June when he was submitted in the fourth round by Benson Henderson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 42. It was the first stoppage loss of his career and before that, he won his first three fights in the UFC, including a “Fight of the Night” decision over Jorge Masvidal in November 2013.

Martins bounced back in July at the TUF 19 Finale with a “Performance of the Night” knockout of Juan Puig. That put him back in the win column after a head kick knockout loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 10 in January, a loss that saw a six-fight winning streak snapped.

So far, the UFC Fight Night 61 card looks like this:

Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira

Sam Alvey vs. Cezar Ferreira

Rustam Khabilov vs. Adriano Martins

Three fights you DO NOT want to miss this weekend

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

This weekend plays host to the final UFC fight card of the year as Lyoto Machida takes on C.B Dolloway in Barueri, Brazil. Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao also features in the co-main event against Mitch Gagnon as he looks to end 2014 on a good note following a disastrous year.

Here are the three fights you DO NOT want to miss from the card.

Lyoto Machida (21-5) vs C.B Dolloway (15-5)

The main event may be a pretty obvious inclusion this week. In actual fact, many believe this could end up being a boring affair due to Machida's elusive style and Dolloway's decision winning percentage whilst others believe it will be a walk in the park for Machida due to his skill set. Dolloway previously upset Francis Carmont in his last fight so don't be so quick to rule out that happening again. For Machida, this fight is a test for him to see if he can get back up to being a contender in the Middleweight division as now, there are arguably three to four guys ahead of him in the pecking order and he's not getting any younger. For Dolloway, a win would present a huge scalp for the massive underdog and ultimately propel him to a fight with one of the big contenders in the division. This fight will surprise people and light up the card.

Renan Barao (32-2) vs Mitch Gagnon (12-2)

Much like the main event, this co-main event has a heavy favourite and huge underdog. This is clearly down to the fact that Barao is the former bantamweight champion looking to end a very rough 2014 and many believe Gagnon is being fed to the wolves. Of course that's believable as credentials would suggest Barao is light years ahead of Gagnon but we've seen this scenario plenty times before in the UFC. Yes Barao is the former champ, a killer and a finisher but Gagnon also brings a finishing pedigree to the table, with a four fight winning streak and 11 of his 12 wins coming via submission it's hard not to give the Canadian a chance. With both fighters being finishers, this one has Fight of the Night all over it and Mitch Gagnon could end up shocking viewers come fight night especially with high stakes on the line for Barao. If he gets carried away can Gagnon take advantage of that? you bet.

Erick Silva (16-5) vs Mike Rhodes (6-3)

This weeks edition of three fights to watch might as well be 'huge mismatches'. On paper maybe that's how the card looks but anything can happen on MMA. This fight is another one where the favourite and underdog are both heavy in their own right. Brazilian Silva has showed promise so far in his UFC career but ultimately keeps on falling against the big names. The booking of this fight would suggest the UFC are desperate to get him on a win streak given Rhodes is 0-2 in his UFC career. Rhodes is a Roufusport product training alongside the likes of Anthony & Sergio Pettis and Ben Askren but has failed to light up the UFC since his arrival and is arguably on his last chance against Silva. A tough feat indeed but not an impossible one. Both fighters are more or less fighting for their UFC careers which makes this one to watch for sure come Saturday night. Cannot see this being boring one bit. Expect these two to come out and put it all on the line in Brazil!          

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

VIDEO: UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier Extended Preview

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

On January 3rd the wait is over, as bitter rivals Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier go head to head for the UFC light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 182 in Las Vegas. It’s an epic clash of 205-pound superstars who have declared war on one another, and this score will be settled in the Octagon. Plus, Donald the Cowboy Cerrone takes on Myles Jury in a lightweight battle.

VIDEO: UFC 183: Anderson Silva- Itsy Bitsy Spider Promo

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

Anderson Silva returns to the Octagon at UFC 183 in January against Nick Diaz. A legend will rise.