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Combat Sports Challenge 26 tonight in Virginia

St. George, Virginia – I am on assignment in St. George, Virginia for tonight’s Combat Sports Challenge 26 card that will be taking place outside of the Harley Davidson dealership in Colonial Heights on 1701 Temple Avenue.

The parking lot of a Harley Davidson dealership is a unique place to be holding a Pro-Am MMA show but the reasons for the outdoor show is because the dealership is hosting a MDA summer fundraiser with an all-day festival that will be capped off with tonight’s MMA show.

I was able to help setup the cage (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time) for the show yesterday and I can tell you that it’s a pretty nice setup and I can’t wait to see my first outdoor MMA show. If you are in the area, I really recommend coming down and checking out the card because it is a great one.

FiveOuncesOfPain.com is sponsoring both fighters in one of the night’s most anticipated bouts. Regular readers of 5 Oz. know that we have been big supporters of welterweight prospect LeVon Maynard and we’re happy to once again be sponsoring him for this show. We’re also sponsoring LeVon’s opponent, John Doyle, who I first met several years ago when we both trained at Daddis Fight Camps in Philadelphia. This is a tremendous matchup and don’t ask me for a prediction, because I have no idea how this fight is going to go down.

It’s a big fight for both LeVon and John. After starting his pro career 2-0, LeVon has lost his last two fights. His first was several months back when he got caught early against Doug Gordon during a Ring of Combat show. He returned to New Jersey about a month later on a BattleCage Xtreme show and dropped a unanimous decision to Mike Medrano in a bout that a lot of people felt LeVon really won.

I first met LeVon last October during the IFL Draft tryouts in New York when he took the entire place by surprise and proved to be one of the most impressive fighters that tried out that day. There was a lot of media in attendance and the showing really put LeVon on the map and made a lot of people realize it was only a matter of time until he is fighting for a major national promotion. The New York tryouts were no joke as the UFC’s Matt Brown and the WEC’s Danillo Villefort both were there so to stand out with guys like that really speaks volumes.

Doyle was a top light heavyweight prospect on the East Coast for several years and got his shot at the big time this past February in Miami during EliteXC’sStreet Certified.” Unfortunately, I don’t think the conditions for John’s debut could have been any less ideal. Not only did he take the fight on short notice, but he was matched up against Rafael Feijao.

Despite stepping up for EliteXC and taking a fight on short notice against a fighter who will probably be a top ten light heavyweight in the next 12-16 months, the promotion decided not to pick up Doyle’s option, making him an unrestricted free agent. I hate to second guess, but I think that decision could prove to be short-sighted. I really believe John deserved a second chance having agreed to fight on short notice and the fact that he’s moving down two weight classes to welterweight is also another good reason for them to have given him another shot.

Tonight’s fight will be John’s first at 170. It was an extremely tough cut for him and he missed weight on his first attempt during weigh-ins last night. I can tell you that John worked his ass off to get down to welterweight. I hitched a ride with some of the fighters on tonight’s show and when we stopped to get gas, John got out of the van and started doing laps in the parking lot in his sauna suit. Soon as we got to the hotel, both he and his trainer, Tuan Pham, headed straight to the YMCA to hit the sauna.

When John weighed-in he was pretty drained and was still only at 174. I have seen fighters in his situation who get to that point and just quit cutting and try to force their opponent’s hand. But John went back to the Y and came back an hour later and made weight at 171. I already had a lot of respect for him and gained even more with his decision to go all the way down after such a huge cut (I think he cut over 20 pounds in the last two days).

If you come to the show, you will see a fight between two guys in LeVon and John who are capable of competing for just about any major national promotion. This is a high-profile regional show and you’ve heard me say it before, but I think the winner of this fight will probably land an offer from a big company. Fueling some of that speculation is the fact that there are rumors that UFC Vice President of Talent Relations Joe Silva will be in attendance at the event. The UFC will be featuring welterweights for the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and Doyle and Maynard would both be perfect for the show.

As great as the Doyle vs. Maynard fight is going to be, it’s not even the main event. That spot is reserved for a 140 lbs. fight between Dwayne Shelton of Total Combat (where Amir Sadollah used to train) and Sedico Honorio of Daddis Fight Camps (home to EliteXC’s Jon Murphy, Wilson Reis, and Matt Makowski).

Shelton is a top prospect at 140 lbs. and it’s only a matter of time before you see him fighting in the big show. Despite being undefeated in MMA, Honorio is a bit of an unknown because all but one of his fights have taken place in Brazil. But his profile has increased in recent months, as he cornered Reis during EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” on July 26 and he won his first fight in the U.S. two weeks ago in Kansas.

It’s interesting to hear that the WEC will be dropping its light heavyweight and middleweight divisions because if they want to do 10 shows next year, then they are going to have to sign move fighters for its lighter weight divisions. If the WEC goes out and adds more talent at 135 lbs., then they should sign both Shelton and Honorio. Both these guys are sick and the bout between them tonight is going to be crazy. Like Doyle vs. Maynard, I have no idea who is going to win that one.

I’m also excited to be down here because two of my teammates at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United, Matt Nice and Lionel “Noreaga” Borelli, will both be making their amateur MMA debuts. They were supposed to debut close to home on Aug. 16 in Delaware but the card was canceled. A lot of people from our school were planning on supporting them but now that they are fighting in Virginia, not as many people can make the trip. So it’s good to be here and be able to support them. Matt will be fighting Jeremy Fields of Total Combat here in Virginia and Lionel is taking on Cory Getz of Ephrata MMA in PA. Make sure you get here early to see their fights because you will be hearing a lot from them in the future.

Two other fights I am looking forward to are Tim Williams vs. Jack Greene and Brylan Vanartsdalen vs. Israel Flores. I’ve seen a lot of Williams’ fights for Combat in the Cage and he never fails to disappoint. He’s extremely tough and hits like a mack track. It’s only a matter of time before you see him fighting on big shows as a middleweight.

Vanartsdalan is from Daddis Fight Camps in Philadelphia and was just added to the card earlier this week. I had a chance to speak with him in the weigh-ins last night and he has a strong wrestling background and is a full-time recruiter for the National Guard. He’s definitely a prospect to watch at 145 lbs. because you have to be good in order to fight for Daddis.

That’s it for now but I will be covering the show tonight. I am actually going to try and post results from my iPhone during the show and hopefully I will be able to get some interviews for you guys. If you are planning on being at the show, don’t hesitate to come up and say “hi.”

8 COMMENTS
  • Budweiser says:

    Sam- Not sure how you met John Doyle “several” years ago. He only started training at Daddis’ in September of ’06, less than two years ago. Not sure how he has been a ” top prospect” on the east coast considering his amatuer career only started around two years ago. Let alone his pro career.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Budweiser, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Several years implies multiple years so the statement is not inaccurate. Perhaps I would have been better served to say “a couple” instead of several, but there’s no need to get your panties in a bunch. If you don’t believe I met John Doyle at Daddis, you can ask him yourself.

    Also, how does his career only starting a couple of years ago disqualify him from prospect status? I’m not sure if you have any ties to the East Coast MMA scene, but there was a tremendous buzz surrounding him after he won the Combat in the Cage light heavyweight title. This was a guy was who given a shot by EliteXC to fight Feijao just this past February.

    Not really sure what the point of your post is.

  • Budweiser says:

    Sam- You wrote “top prospect on the east coast for several years”. He won the title in late ’06. Your statement is just inacurrate. He has been a prospect of for less than two years not several. “Several” implies 3+. Even “a couple” would be incorrect since it has been less than two. My panties aren’t in a bunch. I know you like to portray that you train and are buddy budy with the fighters from the Philly gyms, but you need to get your facts straight. Even stretching the truth is poor journalism. Taking few classes at a school and getting smoked in a few smokers(no pun intended) doesn’t make you a training partner. Doyle needs to get in a real camp by the way. “Fight Firm” and Tuan Pham are a joke.

  • Daddis_sucks_cock says:

    lol. Obviously “Budweiser” is part of this Daddis camp. Budweiser seems to know real detailed info when it comes to past relationship dealing with John doyle, sam caplan, and daddis relationship. Sorry budweiser, but your just a pussy from that camp. All Daddis camp does is recruit fighters who trained all their lives in brazil, have them instruct at their gym and act like they made those guys. LOL. Lets see, i believe 3 of their instructors have a losing amateur MMA record and arent even pro yet. Yeah what a great camp. Oh yeah, and their head instructor Brad was 0-2 in his proffessional mma career. dont believe me? look it up. I just did. Daddis camp has been established for over 6-9 years now and only produced 1 legitimate (yet proven) mma pro fighter. Hating on another school shows the lack of strength and maturity of your school. Fear maybe…. jealousy?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    DSC, I am not sure if you were trying to come to my defense, but you’ve managed to piss me off by writing a post even more ignorant than “Budweiser’s.”

    First, why don’t you post under your real name so we can know who you really are and decipher whether you are involved in the Philly MMA scene and speak from knowledge or just some 15-year old kid who went to Sherdog’s fight finder and put in the name “Brad Daddis.”

    To question the quality of instruction at Daddis Fight Camps is a total fucking joke. Sorry for the salty language, but it’s justified.

    Personally, I don’t give a shit what Brad’s MMA record is. I’ve taken seminars from pro fighters with great records that couldn’t teach me a thing. In ’06, I went to Brad’s weekly MMA class for an entire summer and the training I received was amazing. Brad is a great MIXED martial artist and an incredible teacher. How can you question his credentials if you’ve never trained under him? Brad isn’t some sensei who proclaimed himself an MMA trainer, he’s certified in Muay Thai by Fairtex, he’s certified by MFS, he’s certified by Master Toddy’s in Vegas, and he’s a black belt under Lloyd Irvin. I’m probably leaving things out but Brad is one of the most qualified people to teach the sport of MMA that I have ever met. And Brad has asthma. If not for that condition, I am convinced he’d be plenty capable of competing in the UFC’s 155 lbs. division. I used to watch him spar a lot and he even jumped in the cage with me a few times to spar me so I know first-hand how great he could be as a pro fighter.

    And what are these fabrications you speak of about their fighters? They just recruit guys out of Brazil? WTF are you talking about? Yes, they have trainers who hail from Brazil but these guys are black belts. Excuse Daddis Fight Camps for wanting REAL black belts who can take their students to another level as opposed to just some random blue belt. I mean, you’re going to get on the school’s case for trying to provide world class training? Where is the logic in that argument.

    And you’re a fool if you want to question their other trainers. The Muay Thai instructor there, Rigel Balsamico, is a certified Kru and one of the greatest American-born Muay Thai competitors. You’re not going to find him on random fight finders because he did most of his fighting in Thailand. The guy is the real deal and one of the most hardcore trainers I have ever seen. Don’t believe? Just go in for a free class and see for yourself. But the quality of training goes beyond Rigel. There are a ton of good instructors there. You’re so clueless about what is going on down there that I am positive you have nothing to do with the Philadelphia MMA scene. Either that or you’re just some kid who went in there for a week and got tooled and quit instead of trying to stick it out in an attempt to get better.

    And don’t even question the fighters on the Daddis roster. Wilson Reis, Matt Makowski, and Jon Murphy all train at the school and fight for EliteXC. They’ve also got Aaron Miesner, who was on TUF 7 and was on the verge of making it into the house before his knee gave out. You haven’t heard from him because he’s still recovering from surgery. He’s going to come back in a big way. They’ve also got amateur guys like Jackson Galka, Kasheem Patterson, and Brlyan Van Artsdalen who will be fighting pro sooner rather than later. And I know I am leaving a bunch of dudes out, and I’m not trying to disrespect them, I just haven’t seen much of them as I no longer train at the school. Then they’ve also got Muay Thai fighters like Justin G. and Casey Bohrman who are amazing. Oh, and I can’t leave out Tim Williams, who just started training at the school and is going to be a guy who everyone on this site is going to be hearing a lot about. This kid is a freaking beast!

    I’m not sure if you were trying to defend me, but I train at BJJ United in Jenkintown which is affiliated with Daddis Fight Camps. It’s a family and you don’t fuck with family. And I seriously doubt Budweiser is “just a pussy from that camp.” I’ve been pretty removed recently from the newer crop of students coming up at Brad’s school but I know the kind of program he runs and it’s unlikely that some guy from his program would come on here talking shit. The guy is just a random clown, just like you.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Budweiser, again, not sure what you’re getting out. You made a statement that what I said is inaccurate yet you fail to point out how. You want to squabble over the use of “few” instead of “several,” go for it and see how much traction you get with that in trying to make the case that I’m guilty of “poor journalism.”

    And when have I said I am friends with fighters from the Philly gyms? I’m not trying to portray anything. The reality is that I do in fact train and I go to the local shows. This may be a shock to you, but when you train and go to local shows, you sometimes actually converse with fighters. How do you think I’ve gotten so many scoops about Jersey and Philly area fighters?

    And I’ve taken more than a few classes. I trained five years in Kung Fu. Before that I did a few years of boxing and Karate. After undergoing back surgery for an injury I sustained while training, when I was healthy I went into MMA. I trained at Daddis for a full year. I’ve got the receipts to prove it. And yes, I got destroyed in my smokers. The first one I did was after only three and a half weeks of MMA training. The third smoker I did was after not having trained at all. I showed up to watch my wife fight and asked Brad if I could fight. He said yes. But all of that is irrelevant because if you’re trying to offend me by calling me a shitty fighter, it’s not going to work. I’ve never claimed to be a fighter.

    I know what I am, which is a writer. I don’t make my living fighting and don’t have the ability to (if I did, I’d be competing instead of writing about other people competing). I’ve never trained with the intent of trying to make it as a professional fighter. I know what’s it involved and what it takes, and I have no trouble admitting that I don’t have it. I train as a hobby and nothing more. I couldn’t care less about someone’s appraisal of my fighting ability considering I am not trying to be a fighter. But I have taken more than a few classes and I have gone so far as to get into a cage and experience the sport first-hand, which I believe gives me a unique perspective that not too many other journalists in this industry have. And I continue to train and who knows, I might decide to do another fight and redeem myself from my past performances.

    As for the Fight Firm, have you trained there? If not, how can you question the quality of the training? It’s a relatively new gym so to judge them if you haven’t gone there is a total joke. You want to talk inaccurate? Calling Tuan a “joke” is flat out wrong. I’ve seen the kid fight and he’s legit. He fought a WKA champion this weekend and more than held his own. You sound like nothing more than just some disgruntled hater who is feeling bold behind the safety and anonymity of his computer. If he’s such a joke, why don’t you try and fight him?

    So why don’t you stop posting under an alias and let us know who you really are? Why not tell us your name so we can judge whether you are qualified to make some of the statements you made? I mean, maybe you are someone who speaks from experience… so why not let us verify it?

  • Budweiser says:

    Wow….just…wow. I just read your reply Sam and although I can’t post a response now at work, I will get to it tonight. You are truly delussional and I hate to say that b/c I really enjoy your site.

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