PRO MMA Gym Spotlight: Guardian MMA Pt. 1

One of PRO MMA’s missions is to take the reader behind the scenes to get a better look at what has made MMA into the fastest growing sport in the world. Fans often get just a glimpse behind the scenes of an MMA fight with shows like the UFC Countdown series, The Ultimate Fighter series, and the Tapout reality shows.  

We read or hear about the training camps and gym affiliations that guys are associated with, and learn that there are many people involved in preparing these athletes to do battle.  An MMA fighter relies on coaches, trainers, managers, agents, training partners, and promoters but the base of operations is a home gym.  

Many guys cross train at multiple gyms, but their home gym is often where it all started.  Whether it is a tiny MMA gym in a small town in Anywhere USA, or a large franchise of gyms like Xtreme Couture, the gym is like a second home to many fighters both amateur and professional.

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Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) brings first-ever pro mixed martial arts fight card in Tennessee history to Knoxville on Feb. 20

Knoxville, TN – For the first time in Tennessee sports history, the state’s Athletic Commission has approved a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card. XFC, the Southeast’s largest independent MMA promotion and the company dedicated to launching the careers of the champions of tomorrow, is pleased to announce that XFC 7: “School of Hard Knox” will be held on Friday, February 20 in Knoxville, Tennessee’s 21 thousand-capacity Thompson-Boling Arena. This will be the first-ever professional MMA event sanctioned anywhere in Tennessee.

“Rarely can a fight card be considered historic even before the first bell chimes,” said John Prisco, president of XFC, “but February 20 will signal a brand new era in Tennessee Mixed Martial Arts. And I’m so ecstatic that we’ll be able to offer Tennessee sports fans a night of outstanding cage fights that’s truly worthy of the historic moment. We’re going to be showcasing some of the greatest emerging talent in the entire world of MMA – and the next generation of superstars.”

Read moreXtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) brings first-ever pro mixed martial arts fight card in Tennessee history to Knoxville on Feb. 20

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Junie Browning likely to face Cole Miller in Nashville

UFC Fight Night 18’s only confirmed fight so far is Efrain Escudero (11-0) vs. Jeremy Stephens (14-3).

However, reports are now surfacing that “The Ultimate Fighter” season eight bad boy, Junie Browning (3-0) will likely face American Top Team’s Cole Miller (14-3) at the event.

Browning, a Kentucky native, is sure to have a lot of fans and friends show up to support him in the Volunteer State. The bout between Browning and Miller has been verbally agreed upon but not yet signed according to our friends over at MMAJunkie.

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Dan Barrera makes MMA return at XFC 7 in Knoxville, TN

We haven’t heard much from Daniel Barrera since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter 6. Like Chris Lytle, Barrera is a firefighter but he is also an instructor at SSF Submission Academy in Clarksville, TN.

Barrera lost to Ben Saunders at the Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale by decision in December of ’07. That was his first professional MMA fight. Since then, Barrera has reeled off two straight victories, the most recent was on October 3, 2008 at Showcase of Strength in Shepardsville, KY.

Barrera will be stepping back into the cage on February 20th in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he will face Robert “Iron Man” Thompson at Xtreme Fighting Championship’s XFC 7: RETRIBUTION. With the UFC scheduled to land in Nashville just two months later, MMA promotions are taking full advantage of the state’s legalization of the sport, which came in 2008.

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UFC coming to Nashville, Tennessee April 1

Jeremy "Lil' Heathen" Stephens will fight in TN

Nashville, Tennessee will finally get the event it has been looking forward to for years. The UFC will bring its promotion to Music City on April 1, 2009 for Ultimate Fight Night 18.

The event will broadcast live on SPIKE TV and will serve as prelude to episode one of The Ultimate Fighter season nine. This season of the Ultimate Fighter will feature Team U.K., coached by Michael Bisping vs. Team USA, coached by the UFC 93 winner of Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson.

A fight between The Ultimate Fighter season 8 lightweight winner, Efrain Escudero, and Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens has been confirmed for the Ultimate Fight Night 18 card in Nashville. Stephens, who is coming off a KO win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 91, also has a win over Cole Miller at Ultimate Fight Night 12.

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Gameness Fighting Championship – Dec. 11 Nashville, TN

Gameness Fighting Championship comes to the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 7pm CST.

Finally, legitimate Mixed Martial Arts Cage Fighting comes to Nashville, Tennessee. Hosted by Ed Clay of Nashville MMA and Gameness, this event is guaranteed to be a high quality, action packed spectacle.

With over ten fights and eight of Ed Clay’s fighters on the card, there’s bound to be some great performances.

There have been a few amateur MMA shows around the Middle Tennessee area recently that have received some criticism for their lack of talent. That’s something people won’t have to worry about with this card.

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Referee KO’s cornerman in Tennessee

This is one of those videos that would fit perfectly on any sports bloopers or America’s Nuttiest Videos programs. The story goes like this…a referee is officiating an MMA fight in Knoxville, TN where one of the fighters loses by TKO and the ref stops it. A cornerman who must have been unhappy with the loss comes into the cage to confront the referee about the stoppage. In apparent self-defense the ref KO’s the cornerman! I know we’re a little crazy here in the South (ask Junie Browning) but damn.

The best part is not only do we have the video of the KO but we have a statement from the referee on what happened where he also talks about another incident that just happened two months later between himself and that same cornerman again.

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Darryl Worley Brings MMA To Nashville

Country singer/songwriter, Darryl Worley has teamed with Nashville attorney Steve Mills and eighth-degree black belt Chuck Burnett to launch Music City Mixed Martial Arts.

Music City MMA plans to promote monthly events in Nashville, Tennessee. There’s plenty of local MMA talent in Tennessee.  The immediate area is home to such MMA gyms as Ed Clay’s Nashville MMA and Guardian MMA in Murfreesboro.

With MMA just becoming legalized in Tennessee in 2008, the whole state is like a bed of dry leaves ready to be set on fire with the intense passion MMA fighters and fans bring to the sport.

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Elite Combat League hits Tulsa on Nov. 1

On November 1st Elite Combat League will host a mixed martial arts show at the brand new Spirit Bank Event Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The show will consist of 24 talented mixed martial art fighters from around the country for 12 exciting fights including a main event Title Fight.

The event will also feature the pro debut of PRO MMA & TAGG Radio sponsored fighter, Billy “24/7” MacDonald as he steps into the ring against a young man from Memphis, Jacob Noe, also making his pro debut.  Good luck Billy; make us proud.

Rich Franklin is also scheduled to make a special appearance at the event and will be available to sign autographs.

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Japanese Hip Hop – Memphis Style

by:  Jack Bratcher

It just so happens that Keddren Payne has a brother by the name of Quinton Jackson who is a Mixed Martial Arts fighter and used to fight in PRIDE Fighting Championship in Japan. Keddren used to accompany his brother on his trips to compete in PRIDE. Keddren felt such an affinity to Japan he found himself not wanting to leave.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his brother are from Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is known for having great Blues music but it is also known for some down and gritty Dirty South Hip Hop.

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