Cage Warriors 92 #SuperSaturday: The Review

Cage Warriors brought a sold out show to the London Indigo 02 Arena, with Cage Warriors 92: #SuperSaturday. A blockbuster event with two main cards, three title fights and a host of interesting match-ups. The last #SuperSaturday card was put together back in 2014 held in Kentish Town, London. Notable names including Stevie Ray, Jack Hermansson, Jack Marshman, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Rosi Sexton, Arnold Allen and Darren Stewart, names that have not only progressed onto the UFC and other promotions, but have also helped take the Cage Warriors brand into the 02 Arena, into the mainstream and showed the admirable grass roots approach that makes Cage Warriors such an important staple of UK and European MMA.

The card itself was great, with 13 fights, 8 finishes, 4 decisions – 2 of which were absolute wars. Cage Warriors lived up to their promise of delivering a stacked card, it was a hallmark showing of where UK MMA is right now, and again showing Cage Warriors as a top tier, regional promotion. As a sidenote, I really enjoy how open they are about building fighters, and having them then move on “to bigger and better things” as CEO Graham Boylan mentioned a few times in regards to Mauro Cerilli and Nathaniel Wood.

As a fan, and frequenting Cage Warriors shows often in London and Liverpool, I think it pertinent to mention some of the finer points of the live shows. For instance, the pacing. The pacing of the show is excellent, whilst they do often have an interval between prelim and main cards, whilst fights are rolling they really do roll and its a nice switch-up from UFC event pacing. They have two of the best referee’s managing the card, two excellent commentators and bringing in Dan Hardy for analysis and exposure is genius. They put on meet and greets with various fighters and guest DJ’s during intervals, which certainly helps pass the time. If I had a chance to change anything I would tighten up the transitions between filler music and hearing the fighter introductions/interviews post fight and the analysis with Dan Hardy, but this is only a fault with the live product which may not even be noticed by many fans.

Onto the fights!

Main card 2:

Nathaniel Wood vs Luca Iovine (Bantamweight Title)

The reigning and defending Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion was looking to make this the second successful defence of his title, and to improve his current win streak to 5-0 when he took on Italian prospect Luca Iovine, who was riding a 8 win streak himself. Local fan favourite and long time Team Titan member Wood, had his last outing with Welsh fighter Josh Reed placed in Fight Of The Year contender conversations, and many expected this to be just as explosive.

It was always clear who was going to be the home favourite was, but when Wood walked out, and the crowd exploded you saw his star quality, he seemed at ease with the occasion and the fanfar and after receiving his traditional pre-fight slap from coach Brad Pickett he entered the cage to meet Luca, both men looking ready and focused.

The fight began with Wood landing a couple of hard low calf kicks which seemed to affect Luca immediately, as he seemed unable to check them and looked uneasy on his lead leg after that. Possibly looking to get revenge for the damage, in almost the first meaningful in the pocket exchange between the pair Wood threw a 4 punch combination, the last of which being a left hook off a head roll, which connected absolutely perfectly on the chin of Iovine and sent him crashing unconscious to the canvas floor, met by jubilation from both Wood and the crowd.

Whilst the fight didnt last longer than 50 second, the two big takeaways from the fight were the genuine star quality that you felt from the walkout, from the crowd reception and from the way Wood operated in the cage. Not many fighters are so confident in their combination fighting, but Wood certainly is and its paying off.

A sidenote, at the side of the stage I caught a glimpse of teammate and newly crowned Flyweight champion Nathan Greyson jumping for joy on his own as Wood was handed back the belt, this was lovely to see.

Craig White vs. Alex Montagnani (Welterweight)

This co-main event saw a welterweight bout bringing together a well versed grappler with an experienced stand up fighter. Many fans, along with White himself, campaigned to have this fight for the vacant Welterweight title, which was vacated after Karl Amoussou left CW following a split decision to Dominique Steele (Steele not eligible to win the belt due to missing weight).

It would have been justified too, given the fighters current records: Craig white (13-7) running a 3 fight winning streak, Montagnani (10-2) running a 4 fight win streak, whilst it didnt end up being contested the belt due to contract issues, the fight still went ahead and it was a good one.

Round 1 began with Craig White showing his game plan early and intelligence to stick to it, by choosing not to stand with striker, Montagnani. Forcing him into wrestling exchanges against the fence, working his take downs and his active closed guard, threatening twice with triangles that whilst Montagnani worked out of, ate plenty of elbows in the triangles for his trouble.

The second round looked much the same. Starting with Alex landing in the standup exchanges, catching White with some clean shots, and seemingly hurting his opponent to which White quickly responded by pulling guard and wrapping up a tight triangle. This time there was to be no escape for Montagnani who was forced to tap.

Craig White calls again for the title shot in his post fight interview, laying out his claim well. He will be pleased that such a claim was cemented when CEO Graham Boylan agreed in an interview later on. His opponent has yet to be named but I am glad to see White getting the shot.

Jack Shore vs Vaughan Lee (Bantamweight)

This was as described in the build up, a rising star in Jack Shore, undefeated, and  looking to follow fellow Welshmen Brett Johns and Jack Marshman into the UFC fighting an 8-fight UFC veteran in Vaughan Lee, Lee riding a 4 fight losing streak, has dropped recent fights to names like Paddy Holohan, Iuri Alcantara and Nathaniel Wood – whilst no shame in dropping bouts to those gentleman, he went into this fight needing the W to turn his career back onto the right track.

Both fighters came out and gave a good account of themselves, it was a close fight overall. In the initial standing exchanges Vaughan Lee looked good. Jack Shore quickly looked to implement his wrestling, working well up against the cage and landing some wonderful foot stomps to accompany his dirty boxing, scoring a couple of takedowns and landing some good follow up shots on the ground, round one was a close affair, but due to the takedowns, and the work on the ground I scored it for Shore.

Round two brought a largely standing affair, Lee growing again into the stand up exchanges, at one point threatening with a jumping RNC, but Shore defended well and quickly scored the take down and landed some excellent elbows whilst in the guard of Lee. I think that was a good round for Shores career, he was shown that down at Bantamweight the striking exchanges are much different to that at Featherweight. I scored this round to Lee, making it 19-19.

Round three, Shore kicked on. Probably noticing that round 2 was a closer affair due to the large portions of standup and wanted to make a statement in this round. He did just that for me, taking two minutes into the third, he scored another takedown and spent a good amount of time controlling Lee and landing more elbows, more ground and pound and more significant strikes. Lee did manage to work his way back to his feet briefly before being taken down once again. Shore ended that round with three takedowns, and the round.

Shore came out with a 29-28, 29-28 and a 30-27 scorecard, I dont agree with the 30-27, but the right result was given on the night. A great fight and a well measured performance by Jack Shore, progressing to 8-0. Vaughan Lee did not look like a fighter now riding a 5 fight losing streak and I do expect to see him back in the cage, preferably in Cage Warriors.

In the post-fight analysis, Dan Hardy mentioned he would like to see Tom Duquesnoy vs Jack Shore in the UFC, I am very much interested in this bout.

Corrin Eaton vs. Dean Trueman (Featherweight)

This could very well be a Fight Of The Year contender. The pre-fight promotion showed a veteran in Dean Trueman, fearless and by his own account, ready to put a beating on his opponent. That opponent, a highly touted up and comer in Corrin Eaton was promising controlled aggression and a finish.

Round 1 begin with a measured start. I got the feeling that when the cage door closed, both of these fighters were well aware of what was about the happen, and the feeling out process was an abundance of nervous energy. Eaton shot in and scored early with a TD, Trueman lands in guard and immediately begins to threaten an omoplata, which Eaton defends, only for Trueman to immediately wrap a tight triangle, landing heavy elbows and causing a cut to open in the crown of Eaton. In his escape attempt, Eaton gave the arm, which Trueman nearly snaps in the process of his escape. In fight I thought the arm had broken given the angle it moved too, the replays showed it must have been close to breaking. Not only did Eaton continue with whatever injury he picked up with the arm, but somehow escapes the triangle. They scramble and Eaton takes the back for a short time, before they eventually return to the feet. He then gets a body lock takedown and moves into half guard landing ground and pound late in the round. Eaton was landing some lovely knees to the ribs and the body whilst on top. All in all a crazy, crazy round. I had it 10-9 Trueman for the submission attempts, the elbows during the triangle attempt, and cumulative damage.

Round 2 saw both fighters pick up where they left off at the bell. Equally as frantic and equally as fantastic a round. Alot of this round was contested with work on the ground, most controlled by Trueman, punishing Eaton with some nasty ground and pound, you could feel the angst and almost the anger in the angles and blows in his shot selection. He chose to go for some lovely knees to the body in the same fashion Eaton did in R1. The highlight of the round for me: in an attempted transition to the back from Trueman, Eaton shot for a rolling knee bar, not something you see often in MMA and almost outlandish given the heat of battle, the damage Eaton had sustained, but to have the sense of thought and creativity to go for it was incredible, a scramble was his reward.  The close of the round was met by blood pouring from Eaton thanks to the sustained blows in R2, and the elbows from R1. Again, I gave this round to Trueman. 20-18

Round 3. Both men deservedly battleworn, but the grit and determination to not show a spec of it to each other was the tale of this round. Maybe in attempt to show his creativity after the audacious knee bar attempt in the previous round, Trueman throws and misses a round kick, immediately spinning and connects with a hook kick, landing flush on the head of Eaton. The fight from this point is absolutely mental. A guillotine attempt from Eaton proves unsuccessful but as Trueman escapes his head to the side, Eaton takes the opportunity to land bountiful hard back elbows. Trueman comes on top and punishes the  submission attempt with more ground and pound, the most notable strikes being elbows to further open the cut. The end of the round, and fight came from both fighters working from half guard (Trueman trapping the arm under the knee from the top very well) and back to the foot. More takedowns to scrambles followed. The clapper sounds, both men exhausted, standing, watching each other, seemingly telepathically agree to stand in the middle throw the last of their exhausted punches in each others direction.

After that contest, when the fighters embraced, there was almost a collective sigh. Everyone was in a state of exhaustion, respect and awe for the spectacle that we had just witnessed. Both men put absolutely everything they had into that 15 minutes and showed everything that is wonderful about MMA, heart, skill, will and a passion and belief in themselves that rises above almost all other things in sports. I cannot explain the respect that I have for both men.

Cameron Else vs Thomas Terdjman (Featherweight)

This fight was originally scheduled for earlier in the night, but ring master Andy Friedlander announced that this would be a “bonus fight” during the interval. Strange to title it a bonus fight, given that it was scheduled already but it was a great fight nonetheless.

Cameron Else was returning to Cage Warriors after appearances in UCMMA and BAMMA. Holding wins over the likes of Paddy Pimblett and Dylan Tuke, his record doesnt really speak to his ability (5-4). His opponent in Thomas Terdjman, recently turning pro with a record of 1-1 was coming in looking to build his winning record.

This was another crazy fight from the first bell, neither man wasting any time in exchanging hard blows early. We saw both men rocked within the first two minutes, Cameron rocked first, having seemed to signal that he had been struck by a low kick, the referee didn’t agree and the fight continued, Terdjman coming in and landing hard, dropping the England representative. Cameron did very well to survive and referee Marc Goddard was right on top of the action, giving Else plenty of warnings that should he not try to improve his position he would stop the fight. Else made it to his feet and started to land his own knees and rocked his opponent right back.

Else then shoots a takedown to mix things up, and falls into a triangle in Terjdman’s guard, he manages to escape, and begins to work on his own anaconda submission. Terjdman defends, and in the process gives his back to his opponent, who gratefully fives on the opportunity and works quickly to sink in a deep rear naked choke and get the tap at 4:27 of R1.

A great back and forth fight, and a great showing of all round MMA. It was also nice to see that Else gave shout-outs to almost everyone in his camp, of which included Greg Jackson, of Team JacksonWink.

Main card 1:

Mauro Cerilli vs Karl Moore (Heavyweight Title)

Tons of hype going into this one, Karl Moore came in looking to become the first two weight world champion, since his fellow Irishman Conor McGregor, and finally earn his spot in the UFC, possibly on the upcoming UFC Liverpool card. Mauro Cerilli however, came in after winning the heavyweight title in very dominant fashion in his last outing against Nills Van Noord and was confident that he would be more than able to derail that hype train.

The fight in itself, was 15 seconds of chaos. Moore started by landing some good strikes, in response all 260 pounds of Cerilli rushed in with strikes of his own, pushed Moore to the cage, landed a solid right hand to rock the Irishman, two knees and then a huge bomb of an overhand right, and that was all she wrote.

You have to feel both sorry for Karl Moore, working so hard to get this opportunity and not being able to showcase more of his skills, and exceptionally impressed by Cerilli, the vast underdog who came in and bullrushed his opponent. Boylan, post fight mentioned that now is the time for Cerilli to move on, and I would have to agree. Karl Moore, however will be back and most likely to defend his Light Heavyweight title.

Sam Creasey vs Nathan Greyson (Vacant Flyweight Title)

This was a fight that I was very much looking forward too. Creasey, a quintessential martial artist. Greyson, a formidable, ferocious and hungry fighter. Greyson, (team mate of Nathaniel Wood) was coming into this Cage Warriors title affair on the back of a 2 win streak. Creasey, running his own 2 fight winning streak is a staple of Cage Warriors, having his previous 5 fights with the promotion.

Dan Hardy gave the best pre-fight analysis to this, Greyson would look to come forward and be as aggressive as possible, looking to put Creasey under pressure, and out at any moment with heavy hands and pressure. Creasey would try to counter that pressure using his slick movement, and footwork to out game his opponent, land takedowns where he can, and look for his route to victory that way.

The fight played out almost exactly as per Hardy’s analysis, no motion to touch gloves at the start of the fight proved Greysons intent and Creasey reacted accordingly.

R1 began with Greyson pressuring early, Creasey working his combinations and staying light on his feet, going to his wrestling and takedowns early, securing one of many bodylock takedowns during the contest. Greyson worked back to his feet eventually, and did well to nullify much of the offence coming his way from Creasey whilst he was on the bottom. I scored the first round 10-9 Creasey for the effective grappling, and good footwork.

R2. Greyson forces the action, visibly frustrated at the gameplan of Creasey which made for an explosive beginning to the round. Creasey weathers the storm and finds the bodylock, securing a takedown via trip. Greyson worked back to his feet and some clinch work against the cage ensued, plenty of reversals, underhook swaps and dirty boxing showed the variety in both mens games. Creasey did eventually get the fight back to the ground before Greyson scored a lovely sweep to land on top, landing some strikes of his own from the guard. As the round draws to a close, Creasey threatens a heel hook late on, but didn’t have enough time to finish.

R3. Fast hands from both men, Creasey looking like he was starting to tire, the task of holding down the powerful and athletic frame of Greyson taking its toll. Creasey again goes back to the well with the bodylock takedown, (something I am sure that post fight Greyson will look to work on) before Greyson sweeps again, forcing the standup. Creasey lands a beautiful spin side kick, which proved to be one of the last exchanges, as the fight quickly found its way back to the ground, Greyson in the open guard of Creasey, he then landed some serious elbows and some follow up shots before forcing the referee to step in and stop the bout. Greyson wins via TKO in stunning fashion.

A final note on the fight, after the win it was really heartwarming to see Greyson jump the cage and celebrate with his family and the crowd, whether there is animosity between fighters, its always nice to see elements of backstory to these fighters.

Jamie Richardson vs Sam Boult (Welterweight)

A grappler vs striker matchup was the tale of the tape in this one. Jamie Richardson, a striker full of confidence coming off a highlight reel finish of Hakon Foss in his last bout. Across the octagon would stand Sam Boult, a late replacement grappler, and having only fought a few weeks prior, was making his Cage Warriors debut at Super Saturday.

Sam Boults grappling really did show why wrestling is such an important part of an MMA fighters arsenal. Whilst Richardson started strong, landing well in the exchanges and proving to be a problem on the feet, Boult quickly moved into chaining takedowns together, using his oppressive top game to keep Richardson down, and utilising small details, like knee position to trap free arms, or heavy shoulder pressure to allow him to land his own offence from the top. Late in R1, Richardson recovered guard and threw on an armbar, but there was not enough time to truly threaten Boult.

R2 and R3 were much of the same, Richardson starting well on the feet, but ending up either in the guard or on the bottom of Boult’s ground game. He fought valiantly to get back to his feet, but on the night, Boult was able to implement his game and ran out a 30-27 UD winner. I liked Boult’s heavy use of crucifix and arm trapping, small wrestling details that really allowed his ground dominance to shine.

Mehrdad Janzemini vs. Brad Wheeler (Welterweight)

Another hometown favourite in Brad Wheeler stepped in against Cage Warriors debutant in Merhdad Janzemini. 22 year old Janzemini is known for his submission skills but didnt show any of them in this one. Another extremely fast finish of 31 seconds with what was the first strike in the fight.

Both men were feeling each other out when Brad threw a jab, which Janzemini returned with an uppercut from hell that put Wheeler out before he hit the floor, Janzemini rushed in to finish with further strikes but the referee stopped the fight brilliantly. An exceptional way to announce yourself into a new promotion. Watch this space with Mehrdad to see what he can do next, as he said in his post fight interview, he’s got hands.

Prelims:

Aiden Lee vs Tom Mearns (Featherweight)

What a great fight this was, high level regional MMA on show from both men. A real clash of styles also, Aiden Lee the long, rangy fighter and Mearns the relentless pace, volume man, always working to pressure his opponent to the fence and work his dirty boxing, takedowns and top game. Both men come into this with similar experience, Aiden Lee coming off the second loss of his career (5-2), with Mearns undefeated at 5-0.

Round 1 began and it was war from the first minute, both men landing. Lee with slick kickboxing from range, countering his man with combinations and landing lovely, clean body kicks and knees to finish his combos. Mearns however was as mentioned above, relentless. Ate every shot that came his way, landed his own and pressured and pressured Lee every step of the way.

Mearns, having come on strong in the latter part of R1, started as he meant to go on in R2, though Lee was landing the harder strikes, with his good mix of boxing and kicks. Mearns mixed in more takedowns in this round, plenty of work up against the cage, forcing Lee to defend the takedowns and the strikes against the fence which looked to be tiring Lee. When Mearns did get the fight to the ground, Lee had to work even harder to get up, Mearns making Lee carrying his weight well and eating strikes on his attempts to stand.

Round 3 saw both men having to dig deep into their reserves, Mearns seemingly the fresher fighter tried to push this round through with attrition and volume. Lee defended the takedown attempts well in this round, at one point reversing a position against the cage, getting a trip and landing on top, he rolled for the back but Mearns recovered butterfly guard in the scramble before himself coming on top.

I gave the fight 29-28 Lee, as I thought he won the 1st convincingly and did enough in the 3rd to take the fight. A really good, close fight from both men, and neither will walk away with any damage done to their reputations, respect to both of them.

Pelu Adetola vs. Modestas Bukauskas (Light Heavyweight)

We saw a third rear naked choke finish in this one, in quite a cut and dry affair. Pelu looked to work his wrestling and takedowns early, he shot in and caught a good double leg but was unable to progress any further on the ground, to which Marc Goddard stood both men up and reset the right. Bukauskas was then landing well on the feet, forcing Pelu to go right back to the well with the takedown attempts, this one however was reversed by the Bulgarian and forced his man to the cage, moved to his back and sunk in a rear naked choke to get the win at 4:10 of R1.

This was Bukauskas’ first fight in 2 years, so it will be good to see him back fighting more regularly.

James Webb vs Marcin Prostko (Middleweight)

This was a fight of two halves, and a really good learning experience for SBG Swords representative James Webb. Webb holding a 2-1 record going into this was looking to gain some invaluable experience from his opponent in Marcin Prostko (4-5), and in Marcin who has seen a bad run of results of late was looking to turn that around and get back in the W column.

We saw another buzzer beater in this one, and many fans were in de-ja-vu of the recent UFC London event, Marcin came out hard and fast and rocked the Swords man early, damaging his nose and drawing blood. Webb weathered the storm, and searched for his takedowns, which he landed well, the second of which he secured mount from, landed some heavy ground and pound and forced Prostko to give his back. Webb jumped on the opportunity and worked three different attempts at a rear naked choke with the final one proving too much for the Polish fighter to handle, and Webb forced the tap at 4:59 of Round 1.

Webb was also presented with his brown belt at the end of the fight, so congratulations to him for that.

Salih Kulucan vs. Darren O’Gorman (Bantamweight)

The first fight of the night saw Salih Kulucan and Darren O’Gorman square off, in a fun ground battle. Salih back in Cage Warriors after a win in Bellator, and Darren O’Gorman looking to bounce back after dropping a bout to the now highly touted Brian Bouland in his last outing.

Both fighters have good ground pedigree and it didn’t take long before we found the fight there, a really intriguing leg lock battle ensued, straight achillies locks, heel hooks and knee bar attempts flying between both men. O’Gorman found side control in a scramble, worked to a crucifix very nicely, and landed hard elbows onto his opponent forcing him to turn slightly to his back, O’Gorman then wrapped a reverse triangle and forcing the tap (via the feet) at the currently prominent time of 4:59 at the end of R1.

A good win for O’Gorman and I am excited to see where he goes next.

UFC Fight Night London: Werdum vs Volkov

The UFC rolled into the London on 17th March, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the promotions visits to England. Amid initial vocal displeasure from fans due to the name quality of fights announced, and a lack of polarizing fights for divisions on the whole, media members and analysts were more optimistic. To add to the fans upset, and understandably so, the card was left without a main event for a long time despite efforts from SBG Ireland headcoach John Kavanagh almost seemingly orchestrating a heroic salvation when he seemed to have bartered an agreement on social media between fellow Mjolnir/SBG Ireland fighter Gunnar Nelson and Liverpool’s Darren Till, but for various reasons this didnt materialise. Instead, London Fabricio Werdum was brought into the fray late on, much like his move at UFC 216 to fight the rising heavyweight in Alexander Volkov.

Another topic of discussion for UFC London was UK MMA standout: Micheal Bisping. Having recently vocalised his thoughts on his career coming to an end and talking about a retirement bout “having to be in the UK”, many fans wanted to see The Count headline this card. Names like Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort and Rashad Evans being touted as potential opponents. Whilst we didnt see Bisping grace the Octagon, we did see him announce the UFC Gym venture onto the British Isles, promising 100 gyms to open over the next 10 years, showcasing and training MMA to all comers and levels. Personally i think the best take on this was from Andrew McGahon of The Mac Life who rightly argues that its unlikely that many well established UK MMA coaches will leave their own gyms in favour of a move into one of the UFC Gyms and this leaves the promotion at risk of not only harming their product with a venture not hitting the intended mark, and a potential to dilute the product. But worse still, promoting and teaching a poor standard of martial arts to other people.

Of course, the fight cancellation merry-go-round had another turn in London with the usual round of cancelled bouts occuring during the weigh-ins. The most notable being Brad Scott vs Jack Marshman. Both men were dropping to 170lbs from 185lbs to face off – Jack Marshman unfortunately struggling with his weight cut and the UFC pulling him from his bout, Brad Scott on the other hand did weigh in successfully for the bout, and whilst UFC did not find him another opponent, he also quickly learnt he was not going to be paid. This has now been partially cleared up with Scott being paid a portion of his purse, but this does show a glaring hole in the contract negotiations with the UFC for bouts. Personally i would like to see the UFC make this a standard practice in order to protect fighters should this type of thing happen. We also saw the Haqparast vs Narimani fight, which was moved to UFC Liverpool due to an eye injury to Haqparast.

Onto fight night and the card itself, which in reality, was a very good one. UK fighters stood up on their home soil and turned in some wonderful performances, stand outs in Danny Henry, Hot Chocolate Roberts, Jimi Manuwa and the buzzer beaters of the night, Paul Craig and Leon Edwards. The atmosphere inside the 02 Arena was at its usual level of raucous, plenty of people turned out and watched a good majority of the fights with Manuwa vs Blachowicz getting a well deserved reception and Werdum getting a great pop during his walkout. A point made by Sean Sheehan of Severe MMA I think is a prevalent one; though the UK fans always turn up, and the UK fighters certainly hold up their side of the bargain, complaints about the lack of big names is not going to change if this attitude continues. Numbers are what drives the new WME/IMG machine that is the UFC and if they are able to provide cards of this calibre (again, on paper) and the UK fans will still come out in droves to watch live, then they will do that. This is a business at the end of the day.

As a final note before I dive into the recaps of the fights themselves, I wanted to give a special mention to Dan Hardy, whom in my opinion is the best, if not one of the best analysts that the UFC has on their roster at the moment, alongside the likes of Dominick Cruz (who I also think is fantastic), Hardy just has such a raw and unadulterated passion for this sport, and that shows in abundance when he combines excellently well with his hours of pre-show work, and depth of technical, practical knowledge from his own past and current martial arts career. An absolute fundamental piece of the future success of the UFC broadcast product.

The Main Event – Werdum vs Volkov:

The main event saw Fabricio Werdum, a veteran and ex champion in the Heavyweight division take on the new face in the UFC in Alexander Volkov, whilst being a new face in the UFC, Volkov certainly is not a new face to MMA, having racked up a record of 30-6 in his career.

The fight in practice was a little strange, Fabricio came out in the first round and looked to shoot early for takedowns, which he completed, and stayed in the guard of Volkov for much of the first round without taking or dishing out much damage to the Russian. The second round was similar, i noticed that Volkov seemed to be a little perplexed, and maybe this was the occasion and seeing a man that he had grown up watching standing infront of him conquered him early in those two rounds. Werdum however, got the takedowns again and threatened with a moment of brilliance, he tried twice to hit a deep half guard back take, and succeeded with the third attempt, using supreme technique to take the back, but then he seemed to rush to the kimura grip and armbar attempt that Volkov was wise too, and he came on top. This was the beginning of the end.

Round three came, Volkov upped the striking and Werdum looked to have gassed. He had taken the fight on relatively short notice and i think sensed late in the second that the deep half back take to armbar was his chance to win, and post that almost submitted to the fact Volkov was going to take over. Volkov clearly took the third with lots of clean striking, and then wrapped it up in the fourth with a TKO due to culmination and volume of strikes.

All in all, i think this was a passing of the guard to the newer, fresher faces at HW. Volkov isnt a huge hitter, but at 6ft 7, with ability to use dynamic and combination based striking, he can wear plenty of strikers down by using that and working in his own massive range. Takedown defence can be worked on, but he looked good in his ground game defence, to stave off any Werdum attacks.

HW looks to be on the re-build, with named like Ngannou, Tai Tuivasa, Curtis Blaydes, Volkov and the idea of Lesnar coming back. I can see Volkov, now ranked #3 getting one more before going onto the winner of Stipe/DC, maybe on a PPV card later in the year. But dont be surprised if they make that fight to capitalise on the momentum early.

Jimi Manuwa vs Jan Blachowicz:

War. That is the only way that i can describe this one. Hark back to Manuwa vs Blachowicz 1 in Poland, on the co-main event of Gonzaga vs Cro-Cop was a UD win for Manuwa and not the most exciting fight to watch. We went to the polar opposite in this fight. Round 1 began and after a brief feeling out process they started to land, and land well. Blachowicz utilised his jab so well throughout the whole fight, and it was the jab that setup the combination that stunned and dropped Jimi in the first. Jimi battled his way through it, showing the London crowd his heart and toughness, coming back into the round and landing his own strikes.

As always with Manuwa he is looking for his motto shot of “One shot, One kill” and he very nearly landed it with a big headkick in the second. Jan took his turn to show his toughness and ride it out, getting back on the bike and using his jab to setup either his takedowns or his favoured combination of the 1,2 followed by an uppercut, right hook.

Round 3 I came round and Jan was decisive in his sticking to the gameplan, continuing the good work that he had put in during the previous two rounds and landed a few more takedowns for good measure. The tale of the fight really was Jan utilising his jab, volume striking, shutting down Jimi looking for the single shot counter. A better gameplan and better fight IQ on the night secured the win for Jan and i would be more than happy to see the rubber match. Jan has called out Shogun Rua, who is now matched with Volkov so maybe do those fights around the same time, and you can match Jimi with the Volkan rematch and Shogun with Jan should the results fall kindly.

Tom Duquesnoy vs Terrion Ware:

This was certainly a fan favourite before the match up, and it didnt let anyone down. Both guys wanted to exchange in the pocket, and show off their dynamic striking abilities. We saw vintage Duquesnoy in the first round, starting off with really heavy leg kicks, that to his credit, Terrion wore very well. Lots of movement and dynamic striking saw Tom Duqeusnoy saw him take R1 convincingly.

R2 we saw some improvements in Tom’s takedown defence, stuffing some shots from Ware and when he was taken down, working quickly back to his feet. Though the old demons of old came to haunt Duquesnoy when we saw him start to slow down, and Terrion Ware start to come into the fight more and more as R2 and into R3 who made it a close R2, landing plenty of his own strikes.

R3 for me was Terrion Wares round, he showed his grit and determination after taking alot of strikes in the two earlier rounds, he came into his own in the final 5 minutes. Tom looked considerably more tired than in R1 and R2 and was moving more defensively than to setup heavier strikes. Overall, I think the right call was made by giving it to Duquesnoy 29-28, but i think the UFC put him in there to maybe put Terrion away and to get a highlight to add to his reel, but that wasnt the case. He is very young, and working in Albuquerque at Team JacksonWink will do him wonders, but he needs to start kicking on now, and rounding out the holes in his game.

For Ware, i dont think this should be the end, hes had three tough fights and should be given another chance in my mind.

Leon Edwards vs Peter Sobotta:

The madness of last second bell stoppages continued in this fight, with Rocky Leon Edwards getting the TKO over a tough and seasoned BJJ veteran Peter Sobotta.

The start of the first round saw both fighters feeling each other out, before Leon landed a big left hand and dropped Sobotta, maybe a little hastily Edwards rushed in to finish the feet and ran into an armbar attempt from Sobotta but nothing was doing and Edwards escaped, staying in guard for the majority of the round.

From then on I think Rocky wanted to prove that he could hang on the ground with someone who is so well known for their ground game, taking Peter to the ground and working from full to half guard landing dominant ground and pound.

The final round saw Peter cut with an elbow over his left eye, Leon moved Peter to turtle position and started to land a furious plethora of strikes, Sobotta who had begun to wilt under the earlier pressure of the round, and the cut obviously affecting him, stopped to defend intelligently in the eyes of the referee who stopped the bout at another buzzer beater of 4:59 in R3.

Leon then jumps on the mic and delivers a perfect one line callout of Darren Till, expressing that it should be England vs England, Birmingham vs Liverpool at UFC Liverpool, to which Till just smiled and shook his head. If that fight doesnt go ahead, i want to see Rocky get someone in the top 15, his time is now.

John Phillips vs Charles Byrd

This fight was over by the time that it had started really. Phillips wanted to land heavy hands from the offset, and Byrd stepped in landing a power double leg takedown, forcing Phillips to the fence. From there he progressed to move through Phillips’ guard landing some heavy ground and pound at points before locking up the rear naked choke to get the tap.

I am pleased to see Phillips make his UFC debut and there is no doubt that he will add more levels to his game under John Kavanagh at SBG, and be back much stronger. For Byrd, that was a very good game plan executed to perfection, and he moves on to bigger things.

Danny Roberts vs Oliver Enkamp:

Roberts vs Enkamp continued the electrifying pace that had been set by the earlier prelims. Roberts coming into this fight coming off his second loss in the UFC at the hands of Nordine Taleb. Enkamp however had been vocal about wanting to fill out his frame, adding lean muscle this camp and focussing on his strength and conditioning to add to his Karate black belt. This is probably a good strategy given his short notice call-up in Stockholm saw him drop a UD loss, also to Nordine Taleb.

Unfortunately it looked to be similar here for Enkamp, whilst he started pressuring with his flashy style of front and back leg kicks. Roberts seemed to dwarf him in body style, Roberts counter striking also looked very good, some excellent slips and counter boxing set up the monster left hand that crippled Enkamp in the first.

Danny Roberts, fresh from his fight and taking little to no damage, should be high on the UFC’s list to get on the UFC Liverpool card upcoming in May.

For Enkamp, I think he is on the right track with adding size to his frame, maybe he can take some real time out and do just that, or change his style a little to branch out his fundamentals which will allow him to land his flashy, highlight reel kicks.

Danny Henry vs Hakeem Dawodu:

Another Scottish talent walked to the cage in Danny Henry, after having a grueling, though successful debut against Daniel Teymur, brother of 155lbs prospect David. His opponent, Hakeem Dawodu, another debutant on this card walked to the octagon with a lot of hype on his shoulders, a 7 fight veteran in WSOF and having recently moved to SBG Dublin and a name high on many peoples prospect lists looked to follow in Henry’s footsteps and earn himself a successful debut win.

It was not to be for Dawodu though, as Henry caught him very early with a bomb of a right hand, dropping him hard. Henry then dived onto his opponent, with clinical killer instinct, and begun to wrap a guillotine. Dawodu valiantly attempted to escape, rolling three times whilst Henry tightened and cranked it with every revolution. Eventually Henry finished the choke half standing, with Dawodu falling unconscious. A great performance by Henry, who with his massive frame for the weight class, is certainly one to watch.

Paul Craig vs Magomed Ankalaev:

This fight was the spark that lit the flame for the rest of the undercard for me. Paul Craig came into this fight wanting to prove that his last outing was not the ceiling of his performances in the UFC, and following the debuts of Russian talent, Magomed Ankalaev rolled into this bout with considerable hype behind him, notably being touted and awarded in Russia by The Last Emperor himself, Fedor Emelianenko

The tale of the fight was a very dominant performance from Ankalaev, backing up the hype he came to the fight with – seemingly cruising to a 30-27 win over the tough Scot who had been dropped in R1 and then taken down in the two following rounds. Craig found himself pushed up against the fence when the 10 second clapper sounded, throwing caution to the wind Craig throws up a triangle, and squeezes with everything he has, getting the tap from Ankalaev with SIX TENTHS OF A SECOND TO GO. Incredible scenes as Paul Craig breaks the record for the latest finish in a 3 round fight in the UFC.

A true showing of never say die attitude, and that in MMA, you are never safe from any of the elements. What makes it even crazier for me, is that after the fight we find out that it was Paul Craigs last fight on his contract, to which he has been awareded with another one. Ankalaev will learn from this, being his first loss and i still expect big things from him in the UFC.

Stevie Ray vs Kajan Johnson:

Stevie Ray, a staple of UK MMA shows and ex Cage Warriors champion was back in the UFC on a short notice step up after a controversial period of failed contract negotiations, a change of management and then an eventual re-signing to the promotion on a 4-fight deal. His opponent Kajan Johnson, who was first chalked to fight Rustam Khabilov (backed out due to injury) has also been in the headlines due to his Project Spearhead work.

The fight was a very enjoyable one, and a difficult fight to score and judge. A good showing of MMA from both fighters, lots of pressure from Ray, met by a countering style of Johnson.

Lots of people have taken umbrage with the post fight speech by Johnson who was upset with the London crowd for taking the SD win, he mentioned that all fighters were warriors and should be respected as such and i agree. Whether this is a subtle ploy to the unionisation efforts he is involved with or not, i think that any two fighters that step into a cage for our entertainment and produce a good fight should be respected, regardless of the outcome.

Mark Godbeer vs Dmitry Sosnocskiy:

The opening bout of the night was between Godbeer and Russian debutant Dmitry Sosnocskiy. Mark Godbeer started well, having success in round one and defended the takedown attempts well, his opponent looking severely tired as the bell rang.

The second round though was a different story, Sosnocskiy caught his second wind, got the fight to the ground and got the finish at 4:29 via rear naked choke.

Feel free to comment, or send me any thoughts to either @The5thRoundMMA or @HarryPowellMMA over on Twitter.

Protein Bar Analysis: Which brand will work best for me?

The new era of marketing that has entered the fitness industry driven by social media has led to a nuch higher intrigue and uptake into the market. Men and Women are much more inclined to “get in shape” and improve themselves. Whilst on the whole this is a great thing, the more healthy people the better our society should be. But as with all things, there is a darker side which allows inflamed insecurity to be preyed on and make people more susceptible to clever marketing schemes and subtle social media ploys for business – for the record all of which I have fallen into at some point or another. An example of this is protein based products, supplements, bars, and foods are a relatively new and popular thing – you will notice that alot of things coupled with added protein appended to it costing a fraction more in price and alot of it, does not constitute the price or the degradation in taste or texture, in my opinion.

I use protein bars to mediate sweet cravings, and to use as a snack throughout the day or before training, I supplement between 1-2 of these per day, and on weekends I generally dont use them. I also use them to keep sugars to a minimum in my diet, as alot of protein bars use either more natural sweeteners like Stevia instead of processed sugars, and offset other sugars and carbs into fibers.

When I was looking at using protein bars, of course the largest brands I started with were the fitness giants like MyProtein, BulkPowders etc. When I decided to take responsibility for planning a serious diet and making a real change I wanted to know which of these were the best to invest in, consume and which would add the most benefit to my diet and goals. Therefore I have done some research on various protein bar brands and their nutritional values, prices and for the ones that I have tried, some notes on taste and texture.

With all nutrition, a scientific method of testing should be taken to see what works for each of us the best. So take a look and let me know which you go with, and how you get on with them:

Protein Bar Analysis

Summary

At the moment, I am using a mixture of Quest and Grenade bars, as these are low in calories, ~190 and ~215kcal per 60g respectively. But post competition I will be looking further outward and will be trying some more of the brands I have listed in the document above.

Feel free to comment, or send me any thoughts to either @The5thRoundMMA or @HarryPowellMMA over on Twitter.

UFC Dublin moved to UFC Liverpool on May 27th

The UFC’s yearly foray into the European market was scheduled to hit one of the homes of MMA; Dublin, Ireland on May 27th 2018. Ireland as a whole is the home of rich history in combat sports, with a deep back catalouge of boxers and martial artists. The MMA world, however has gone from strength to strength in more recent times with the likes of heroes and pioneers John Kavanagh, Andy Ryan, Aisling Daly, Paddy Holohan and Owen Roddy among of plethora of names forging a thriving, safe and structured approach to the now well renowned amateur and pro scene.

News began to bubble that the card could feature a strong Irish contingent with the likes of Karl Moore – gunning to become the first two weight, Cage Warriors World Champion since the global superstar of Irish MMA himself, Conor McGregor. Current Bellator and seasoned veteran Paul Redmond, alongside top young prospect and recently crowned BAMMA World Lightweight Champion Rhys McKee.

Though the card did not materialise, to which the UFC has yet to release a statement on why the switch occurred. The most popular speculation, cited by the lads of Severe MMA in their recent podcast, is that the UFC could not get the names and schedules aligned to make the fights. The replacement though, is one that has garnered plenty of early interest and warranted excitement among UK, European and Worldwide MMA fans. The UFC will officially take the Octagon to The Echo Arena, Liverpool for the first time in its history.

This switch has been engineered mostly by fast rising UFC prospect Darren Till. Darren made his UFC debut in 2015, when he defeated Wendell de Oliveira Marques via 2nd round KO. He then took on fellow European Nicolas Dalby, in which he whilst winning the first two rounds in a dominant fashion, suffered a shoulder dislocation 10 minutes in. Dalby came back, knowing he was two rounds down, to score a 10-8 in R3, forcing a draw. Till then proceeded to take a 2 year hiatus, which saw him travel to Brazil to hone his skills and focus on matters inside the cage rather than outside. He exploded back onto the UFC’s radar with a decisive win over Jessin Ayari on the undercard of 2017’s UFC Fight Night 109 – Gustafsson vs. Teixeira. A quick turnaround saw another decisive win over tough Serbian fighter; Bojan Velickovic added to his record. The world began to change for Till when he was announced to fight household name, and fan favourite in Cowboy Cerrone in his first main event at UFC Fight Night 118 Cerrone vs. Till – Gdasnk, Poland.  The fight was a one sided demolition, which ended in a first round decimation of the legend Cerrone, by way of Till’s signature elbows and left hand – placing him comfortably on a stratospheric trajectory.

Since that evening Till has been campaigning for a Liverpool card, building on the ground work laid by the old guard of Liverpudlian MMA in Terry Etim, Paul Kelly, Paul Sass and Team Kaobon Head Coach; Colin Heron. His wish has been granted by the UFC, who had Till officially announce the card this past weekend during the pre-fight press conference at for UFC Fight Night 127: London (headlined by Fabricio Werdum and Alexander Volkov and ending in a 4th round TKO for Drago). A highlight of the card came during the interval when commentators John Gooden and Dan Hardy spoke to the Liverpool man about the upcoming UFC Liverpool card and he duly produced one of the best promos that we may see this year. Intelligent moves by the UFC.

I don’t doubt that the UFC will be looking to capitalise on the hotbed that is Liverpudlian MMA at the moment. Rising stars in ex-Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion Paddy Pimblett and current Bantamweight and Lightweight champions Molly Mcann and Chris Fishgold, respectively. Though interestingly, Paddy Pimblett featured in an interview for The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani in which he seemed to rule himself out of UFC Liverpool, quoting a pre-booked holiday and that the night “is for Darren Till”. At present its not clear if this is a negotiation tactic or the truth. Nevertheless, for anyone that has seen a walkout during a Cage Warriors event for any of these local fighters you will understand why the UFC is clamouring to get there, and why the tickets for that night The Echo will not last long.

For the card itself, it has been reported that Till will be the main event at The Echo, and if you ask him, he wants the biggest fish in the pond. Names of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Rafael Dos Anjos and Jorge Masvidal on his lips. Fans have asked questions about Colby Covington, after his recent turn to heel and troubles in Brazil and what with Till being an adopted son of the country, they would like to see scores settled by one of their own. Neil Magny, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Gunnar Nelson have also been touted, the latter of the three Till has been in the circles of fighting recently, but bouts evading him.

Personally, I like the Masvidal, Ponzinibbio or the Neil Magny fight. Masvidal and Ponzinibbio fights offer plenty of room to show off his lethal striking, and the Magny fight will be a great test of his takedown defence, and whether he can keep up and overcome the high pace that Magny sets. Some fights have already been booked:

I would expect to see some of the Irish talent looking to get onto the UFC Dublin card feature here, and possibly Mike Grundy, Darren Till’s teammate featured in his emotional promo cut at UFC London.

As a final note I think its great to see that the UFC are clearly beginning to capitalise on local draws by putting fighters in their hometowns: Khabib in Brooklyn, Gaethje in Arizona, Nunes in Brazil, CM Punk in Chicago, and of course, Till in Liverpool.

Feel free to comment, or send me any thoughts to either @The5thRoundMMA or @HarryPowellMMA over on Twitter.

App Review: MyFitnessPal

First of all, this post is not intended to be a run of the mill, diet and nutrition post. I am sure I will say this many times on this blog, but I really dislike the current trend of people/businesses in the fitness industry who claim to have the one answer, the one diet that will fit you/everyone (usually laden with overused, replicated diet plans and supplements). Yes, this is a business market, but it is also directly correlated to peoples mental and physical health. Therefore advice given should have a far superior lean on good science, rather than the current domination of good marketing, branding and psychological tools.

I believe there is an increasing problem when people recognise that a change in their dietary life is needed, and want a one-stop shop for the magic diet, magic training routine and protocol to get you in shape, right off the shelf. Categorically, I believe that this is impossible.

It is, however, entirely possible that someone can offer you some principals grounded in good science to build your diet from, and a good nutritionist/PT will work with you individually to get you to where you want to be. But, this is a lonely journey and must be accomplished widely on your own, so you should take responsibility for your progress, for your actions and your choices.

Diet is a mixture of the sciences and it is a real minefield; What type of diet do you follow? How do you portion meals? What times should you eat? Should you implement intermittent fasting? Are Carbs bad? Are the new trends or the old philosophies right? The list not only goes on, but the answer is all of them can work.

I recently listened to a podcast with Dr Andy Galpin and this was not only very informative, but also so refreshing to hear someone openly speak on the complexities of diet, the various nuances and how it is imperative to approach diet and training in a logical manner. I recommend everyone listens to this.

The purpose of this blog is to talk about MyFitnessPal (MFP). I have tried multiple times to use this app in the past and have failed to do so, but now i have tangible goals (also seemingly necessary to successful application of diet) I have found it easier to use. I have some pro’s and con’s which I breakdown below:

Pro’s:

  • Food Diary – You can portion out your daily intake into meals, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Water intake.
  • Goal Setting – You can set your goal weight, goal addition/loss of weight per week and you can determine your calories or macro distribution. After completion of each diary day, the app will give an estimate on your weight over a 5 week period should every day follow a similar protocol.
  • Meal Tracking – I personally find it useful to prepare my lunchtime meals on a Sunday evening, you can program and build into the apps your “Meals” and “Recipes”, that will give you a calorie and macro breakdown for each of your meals based on your portion.
  • A database of foods – One of my favourite parts of the app, probably its USP (Unique Selling Point) is the bar scanner. You purchase a product and scan it into the app, it will then tell you the macro’s/calorie breakdown and you can add it to your diary. If like me, you eat similar foods regularly, MFP will also cache your frequently used foods for faster adding. If not, every food scanned and added to your diary will be searchable again.
  • Weight Tracking – At your leisure you can update your current weight, and you can see a graph of your loss or gain over a variable period of time.
  • Self-Honesty – I think one of the huge things that I experienced in the past and during this current weight cut is being honest. A handful of nuts here, or an extra bit of bread or chicken or whatever it is, and you trick yourself to not think that it is meaningful at the time, but the app allows you to weigh and portion properly so you can keep yourself honest. (not sure this is right, want to add more to this)
  • Meal Planning – In order to keep myself in check, I like to plan my meals in a week or so advance. This allows me to reference what I have left to eat for the day, to stop myself from overeating.
  • Friends List – You can add friends, and share diaries. Therefore you can check up on your friends and vice versa, to either keep them adding to their diary or ensure that they are sticking to their own goals.
  • Step Count – An integration into your inbuilt Android/iPhone step counter, or you can add supported external devices you have.

Con’s:

  • Instagram type promotion – One of my problems with the fitness industry is the unrealistic imagery that is framed or photo-shopped to ensure the model looks at their optimal peak, leading people to believe that something potentially digitally altered is attainable. When you update your weight you are encouraged to add a photo, whilst this could be beneficial to you to see your own progress, the app will prompt you to share it socially.
  • Annoying ads – The free app has adverts, and like most services now the adverts are annoying at times.
  • Varying relevancy to blogs – The home page of the app offers a blog roll, including nutrition and fitness related posts. Some of these are typical “fitness industry” type articles, lacking in good science citations and based in this semi-motivational, upper hierarchy tone which isnt helpful. Of course, there are useful ones too.
  • Expensive Premium service – As always with free apps, there are services that are locked down to Premium customers: ad free app, deeper diagnostics of progress and some further tracking capabilities. You can sign up to a 1 month free trial you then pay $9.99 a month which for me, is a crazy price.
  • Tendency to crash – The app at times, does have a tendency to crash and can be sluggish when you’re entering in lots of data, or planning days in advance.

Feel free to comment, or send me any thoughts to either @The5thRoundMMA or @HarryPowellMMA over on Twitter.

Monday 12th March 2018 – Food & Nutrition

So i thought that i would begin an ad-hoc segment whereby i note down some things that i dont think are spoken about within the Martial Arts/training worlds often – whether that be good or bad. These (probably weekly) posts will be centred around things I have either struggled with, or found that there isnt alot of information on, and i will speak on my own experiences. Feel free to leave any fellow experiences and feedback, either here or tweet me at either @The5thRoundMMA or @HarryPowellMMA over on Twitter.

This post is mostly going to be how i set up my week from a nutrition perspective. I think that nutrition is really important, but is such a minefield when it comes to picking whats good for you, your sport and for your overall health the new era of fitness, whether that be Instagram celebrities pushing fad diets and supplements online, or the circus of diets from Paleo, Vegan, Caveman, Ketogenic, IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) etc. I listen to alot of Joe Rogan podcasts, who is an avid Ketogenic fan, but has podcasts concerning nutrition all over the place:

  • Dr Rhonda Patrick
  • Dom D’Agistino
  • Dr Andy Gaplin
  • Gary Taubes
  • Chris Kresser

So i am currently 3 weeks out from the NAGA 2018 tournament, in which i am aiming to compete in the Adult Male category of 59.9kg, therefore i had to put together a diet that was able to sustain me during my training (outside of my day job) but also allowed me to drop weight in a sustainable manner, and all being well will result in me not having to water cut at all.

The general rule of thumb that i take when it comes to my diet is the following:

  • Processed sugars are not good. There is so much research recently that shows that its not Fats/Saturated Fats that are the killers but sugars so should be reduced as much as possible.
  • Complex carbs are included, brown rices, sweet potatoes, quinoa etc.
  • Processed foods should be stayed away from unless necessary. I read a quote from SBG Ireland Head Coach John Kavanagh once: “If it had a face or if it grew then it’s pretty much okay”.
  • Try to stay away from a plethora of supplements, simply because i dont really enjoy taking them so if i can take my macro-nutrients from food then i would prefer too.
  • Eat foods that i enjoy.

As a result, below is what i eat daily in the week, and an example of what i eat on a weekend:

WEEKDAY:

Breakfast (~87 Kcals)

Snack (~190 Kcals):

  • Quest Protein Bar (usually Blueberry muffin, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, Raspberry Cheesecake or Cookie Dough)* (Purchased in bulk from Amazon)

Lunch (~471 Kcals):

  • Mexican Chicken – This is pre-prepped on a Sunday night, you can find the recipe here.
  • 2 boiled eggs (Tesco)

Snack (~215 Kcals):

  • Grenade Protein Bar (usually Caramel Chaos, Jaffa Quake, White Chocolate Cookie)* (Purchased in bulk from Amazon)

Dinner (~327 Kcals):

Water Intake – roughly 4.4 litres.

Total: ~1290 Kcals

WEEKEND:

Breakfast (~87 Kcals)

Snack (~190 Kcals):

  • Quest Protein Bar (usually Blueberry muffin, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, Raspberry Cheesecake or Cookie Dough)* (Purchased in bulk from Amazon)

Lunch (~346 Kcals):

  • Steak – Sirlion/Rump around ~170g
  • 2 boiled eggs (Tesco)

Snack (~215/254 Kcals):

  • Grenade Protein Bar (usually Caramel Chaos, Jaffa Quake, White Chocolate Cookie)* (Purchased in bulk from Amazon)
  • 50g of Mixed Nuts & Raisins

Dinner (~426 Kcals):

Water Intake – roughly 4 litres.

Total: ~1264/1303 Kcals

*I eat the protein bars for a couple of reasons, one because the main staple foods that i eat are lacking in a high number of carbs, so i use this as a method to bring those into my diet, equally i use these to placate my sweet tooth/as a quick energy shot before lunch and before training.

Feel free to comment, or send me any thoughts to either @The5thRoundMMA or @HarryPowellMMA over on Twitter.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Recipe

One thing that i think is missing from the internet is recipes that aspiring athletes/martial artists are using. Nutrition is a really secretive subject as it is not only the method in which fighters/athletes often use to get an edge over an opponent but also a business industry in itself. I think that this can be adverse to the people who dont have the funds to work with nutritionists to develop their own bespoke diets, so I wanted to share my experiences – whether we are competing against each other, we all have to eat, metaphorically and physically. I believe that kindness and knowledge sharing should never be held back.

I have written the below in the notion that it will be helpful to share some meals or recipes that I use with pro’s and cons of them. This is a meal that I prepare on a weekly basis, and I eat every lunch time during work.

I log all of my meals on MyFitnessPal, feel free to follow me to see my food diary: harrypowell755.

Portions – 5

Ingredients:

  • 5 x 200g Musclefood chicken breasts
  • 3 x Mixed Peppers
  • 3 x Medium white onions
  • 3 quarters of a Mug of brown rice
  • Medium/Hot Salsa Dip (Doritos or Tesco’s own)
  • Sliced Green Japaleno’s
  • 2-3 sprinkles of spice mix

Spice Mix:

  • 2tbps Ground Cinnamon
  • 2tbps Dried Oregano
  • 2tbps Hot Chilli Powder
  • 2tbps Cumin
  • 2tbps Hot Cayenne Pepper
  • 2tbps Minced Garlic
  • 2tbps Crushed Chilli flakes
  • 2tbps Onion Granules

Method:

  • Prep the oven to around 200 degrees C.
  • Prep a mixing bowl for later.
  • Boil a kettle, fill 3/4 of a medium sized pan and bring to the boil.
  • Fill a mug of rice and put into the pan, bring back to the boil and them cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • De-seed the mixed peppers, halve them and halve them again.
  • Lay them on a tray, drizzle a few drops of oil onto each and a small sprinkle of spice mix.
  • Put them in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Lay the chicken breasts onto a separate tray and rub spice mix into each side so both are covered.
  • Chicken Breasts go into the oven after the peppers have been in for 10 minutes for another 18 minutes.
  • Slice your onions into halves and then lengths, sweat them down until soft.
  • Drain your Jalapeno peppers and chop them finely.
  • When the rice is done, drain it and add it to the mixing bowl, aswell as the onions and the jalapenos. Mix well.
  • When the peppers are done chop finely and mix in with the rice.
  • Dish out the rice mix into 5 Tupperware tubs.
  • Shred the chicken, a breast at a time and add to each Tupperware tub.
  • Add 2-3 spoonfuls of Salsa to the top.

Nutrition Values (estimated):

  • 335 Kcals
  • Fat 2.3g
  • Carbs 26.2g
  • Protein 48g

Summary:

Overall this is quite a simple and easy meal to make and holds well when put in the fridge, low fats and high proteins, includes some complex carbs and a small amount of sugars.

Feel free to comment, or send me any thoughts to either @The5thRoundMMA or @HarryPowellMMA over on Twitter.