Mike “The Man” King

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MMABeats: What is your Martial Arts/ Combat Sports Background?

Mike: My first wrestling match was when I was 4 years old and my last one was at age 18. I started kickboxing at age 17. my background in kickboxing and wrestling benefitted me when I started training in MMA.

MMABeats: Who would you say is your biggest influence in your MMA career and why?

Mike: My girlfriend. Because of her I started taking MMA seriously. She told me she saw something special in me and that made me want to do it to the very best of my ability and to make her proud.

MMABeats: How long have you been involved in MMA ?

Mike: My first amateur fight was in 2007. My first professional fight was in 2010.

MMABeats: What advice would you give a young fighter wanting to make MMA their career?

Mike: If you want to make a career of MMA take it seriously from day one. You only have so many years to train and fight. Make the most of those days.  Martial Arts is a strict lifestyle, and you must give it one hundred per cent

MMABeats: What is a typical training week like for you?

Mike: I have 12-14 training sessions a week. Two Boxing sessions, two grappling sessions and two kickboxing sessions. And then have three strenghtening/ conditoning sessions and three striking/pad work sessions a week depending on the opponent I will be facing. 

MMABeats: How long have you been fighting for CFA ?

Mike: I signed a five fight deal with them not to long ago that has a Zuffa clause which says i can sign with the UFC if i get an offer from them before my contract is up.

MMABeats: Would you like to give a shout out to anyone?

Mike: I would like to thank Titin Tech, Crossfit Redline, Herbalife, Fresh Start Entertainment, Signature Web Design, MMA Owl, @jayfreshstart , Zookies Bar and Grill.  I would like to give a special thanks to Ray Thompson and Stephen Thompson and Upstate Karate for inviting me to train and and making me feel like a part of their martial arts family as well as a part of their actual family.

Be sure to watch Mike King’s welterweight bout vs Oscar Delgado May 24, 2013 for CFA on @AXSTVfights and check out his website http://www.mikekingmma.com


Coach Jamie Huey: The Ultimate Fighter 17 Team Sonnen Striking Coach

MMABeats: What is your MMA/ Combat Sports background?

Coach Jamie: My background is amateur boxing and co-founder of the second largest boxing program in the pacific northwest.

MMABeats: What is it like coaching Chael Sonnen?

Coach Jamie: When I am working with Chael it is more of a partnership than me coaching him. In all honesty Chael is more of a coach to me than i am to him. He is an amazing athlete to work with.

MMABeats: Who would you like to work with that you havent worked with before?

Coach Jamie: I would love to work with a guy like Frankie Edgar. But even more with guys I feel like could make a big improvements with my help. Also any of the guys from The Ultimate Fighter 17 Team Jones. like Adam Cella. I would love to work with several guys who didn’t make it onto the TUF17 show. Kito Andrews would be on the top of that list. I am willing to work with most anyone who is coachable, but my number one need is LOYALTY. I turn down a lot of work from fighters I call “gym jumpers” . They are fighters that jump from gym to gym their whole career. It is great to cross train at other gyms, and other teams, but I make it a priority to dedicate myself to the right people. Disloyal fighters are why I turn work down all the time. A fighter that is disloyal is the only type I will not work with.

MMABeats: I heard that Jon Jones tried to hire you away from Chael as his coach. What are your thoughts on that ?

Coach Jamie: Jon offered to retain my coaching services. he offered to double what ever Chael was paying me, but little did he know that Chael over pays his coaching staff. My counter offer to Jon was after Chael beats him on April 27,2013 is that when Chael retires i would be willing to help Jon get the title back. That is a true story, it happened in front of the cameras in the TUF gym, and nothing happens in the TUF gym without it being recorded.

MMABeats: How did Team Dark Side come into existence?

Coach Jamie: I told Coach Clayton Hires that he should show appreciation to his boss Brian for letting him take time off on such short notice to travel to corner Chael against Brian Stann. Clayton got Chael to sign the fight towel that was used during this fight for his boss whose name is also Brian. Chael won the fight by an arm triangle submission. Clayton gets the towel and asks Chael to sign it and to make it out to brian. Chael assumes Clayton meant Brian Stann. Chael looks at Clayton and says “Welcome to the dark side coach.”  Everyone knows we are the bad guys so Team Dark Side became our team  for TUF17.

MMABeats: During training camp what does a typical week consist of ?

Coach Jamie: 6-7pm boxing. 7-8pm padwork. 8-9pm sparring, and on Sundays add to that hill sprints and /or running steps to work on cardio.

MMABeats: What kind of music do you listen to while training ?

Coach Jamie: I listen to hiphop and Chael listens to 70s conutry.

I just want to thank Coach Jamie for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to me. I enjoyed this interview and look forward to talking to him again.

Colleen Brown: In Her Own Words What It Takes To Make Being An MMA Wife Work

colleen and matt brown wedding pic 2

What True Love Looks Like

So being the wife of a professional mixed martial artist in the UFC is amazing, fun, entertaining, crazy, different, unique, stressful, and hard!
Matt and I have 2-year-old twin boys which definitely makes everything about his career that much harder but everything about life a lot more enjoyable.  There’s a few different reasons why having kids makes things a bit harder for the wife.  For example, rest is a very important part of Matt’s career and especially during a training camp. It’s important for him to have time to rest and recover, which means that I don’t get to sleep in too often.  This has definitely been an area for arguments with me and Matt because of course everyone likes to sleep in, but its all about communication and when I really need a couple extra hours I tell Matt and he has no problem getting up early with the twins. Of course spouses who don’t have kids wont have this problem but if and when they do it’s definitely important to let your spouse get the rest he or she needs because they are putting their bodies through extreme workouts almost everyday and without the rest their body won’t be able to keep up with their mind.
Another really tricky area is dieting. For most people, we can say “I’m going on a diet” and try to eat clean and healthy. But for a fighter, it’s not a diet its a lifestyle. It’s important for the spouse to understand that it’s not easy for the fighter to eat salad when he is craving a pizza but you have to be there and support him and not tempt him. It really is a lifestyle change for the spouse too, unless he or she was a total health freak before they met but for me, I didn’t even eat salad when I met Matt so filling the fridge has been a huge challenge for me and I’m still trying to get better at it…its all about trying…if you don’t try you wont be helping the situation at all and you will only make it harder on the person you love who is trying everyday to become the best he or she can be.
Trust. Matt travels a lot, especially lately.  I’m sure everyone can understand how hard it is for your husband or wife to leave for weeks at a time, but its even harder with kids. But I trust that Matt is doing what he needs to do for his career which supports our family. Trust is also important in regard to traveling for the relationship.  Matt is gone for weeks at a time and it can get lonely but he trusts me that I’m not off being a bad wife and I trust him that he is being a dedicated faithful husband.  I think that this is harder for new couples  it was harder for me when matt and I started dating because the relationship was new and he was going off to Seattle, Hawaii, Ohio (we lived in Vegas at the time) and I didn’t fully trust that our relationship was solid enough to keep him from giving into temptation. Luckily it was and now its a lot easier for me to be comfortable with him leaving to all these different cities and even countries. But in the beginning of a relationship I would tell the spouse of a fighter to be open with each other and if there’s any doubts or questions be up front about them. Dont snoop thru emails and phones, just be straight up and honest with one another. Tell each other your worries and fears about being away from each other for extended periods of time and you will work thru any potential issues.
Finally I would say patience is a must when you are the spouse of a fighter.  Sometimes I want Matt to do things at a time when he will be training, or I want him to go to a doctor’s appointment for the kids at a time when he is out-of-town for a fight, and sometimes he is just too tired!  Its frustrating but I try to be very patient and understanding. Fighters seriously put their bodies thru SO much and when a fighter is at the peak of their career the spouse really needs to be patient and understand that there WILL be time, maybe just not ‘today’

MMABeats:  As you can tell the life of an MMA fighters wife isn’t always easy but when you truly love someone it can and will work. Thank you Colleen for taking time to tell me what your life with Matt is like.

XFC spotlight on Fighter Zach Underwood

(Tampa, FL) – Xtreme Fighting Championships is returning to the state of Kentucky with a fully stacked lineup that is now scheduled to include recent Featherweight signee, Deivison “The Dragon” Ribeiro against challenger Zach “Thunderwood Underwood in the feature bout of the evening Live on AXStv. Ribeiro joins his teammate Sapo Santos, as the two Brazilians make their XFC debut on April 19th at XFC 23: Louisville Slugfest.

Ribeiro (23-8) has been fighting since 2005 mostly in his home country of Brazil, until recently moving to South Florida where he began working with American Top Team and Sapo Fight Team. At 24 years old, Ribeiro promises to be one of the most dominant fighters in the XFC Featherweight division for years to come. The Brazilian enters the cage in April following wins in 4 of his last 5 fights.

Zach Underwood (10-4) will be the underdog in the bout and will have to make up the experience factor. However, what Underwood lacks in number of fights he makes up for with time spent in the cage with 10 of his bouts going the distance, including his most recent win over Bellator vet Chris Coggins. Underwood is one of the top Featherweights in the region, following a career that started in the Lightweight division. He is one of the toughest fighters to be featured in the XFC, having only suffered 1KO loss in his pro career while delivering 3 TKO’s of his own.

With the Lightweight divisional ranks established, both Ribeiro and Underwood will have the opportunity to solidify their positions in the Featherweight division as the XFC looks to determine the top contenders at 145-pounds.

XFC President John Prisco finalized the bout with an official statement. “I’m excited to have signed Ribeiro, and to have lined him up for his first fight in the XFC. I have seen this guy in action and immediately after watching I knew that he is one of the toughest, most impressive fighters I’d seen. I’m excited to have him fighting in the XFC, he’ll be a great representative for our organization,” Prisco proclaimed. “Underwood is a really tough guy, he’s going to bring the fight to Ribeiro, and he’ll bring it for three rounds. He hasn’t finished many fights, but he hasn’t been finished often either. If he can take Ribeiro to the judges he’s got a chance at earning a huge win!”

Xtreme Fighting Championships journey’s to the Bluegrass state for XFC 23: Louisville Slugfest on April 19. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and ThroatPunch Ind. Apparel and will air live on AXStv from the Kentucky National Convention Center beginning at 9pm. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.OfficialXFC.com. Follow the promotion for daily updates and news on Facebook and Twitter ‘@OfficialXFC’.

Article by N. Ganster



Mike Straka

Mike Straka

MMABeats: How did you go from being a VP and Executive Producer at Fox News to being involved with MMA commentating and the shows you were a part of like Fighting Words and MMA Uncensored Live?

Mike: I was wearing many hats at Fox News, and one of them was part time on air talent. One of my bosses called it red light fever…once you get it it’s hard to shake, and if you’ve ever watched Fox News you know I’m in no way their idea of full time on-air talent, so I took my bat and ball and went to HDNet to do Fighting Words. I had hopes the show would have a long run, but to quote Mark Cuban, “the numbers just aren’t there,” so after just 32 episodes (and less than 1/4 of my fox salary) I was out on my ass. The irony is there are no  numbers for anything on HDNet because they enjoy very little distribution but that’s another story. So I bounced around for most of 2011, freelancing and trying in vain to get a full time job. I worked briefly for ABG and the TapouT guys and that was Jamie Salter doing me a solid to be honest, and just when I was going to go back to producing news MMA Uncensored came along, and even though Spike was at war with UFC I had no choice but to take the job and hope for the best. In reality it was a dream job for me, a big budget show that covers the sport I love, but we all know how that ended.
Such is the life of an MMA outcast. I certainly can’t make a living fighting for credentials to cover shows for one fledgling network after another, so to answer your question – ‘how did I go from being a VP and Executive Producer at Fox to where I am today?’ I’d call it some pretty fucking bad luck.

MMABeats: What is your background in MMA / Combat sports ?
I was a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do who won every tournament I ever entered. One day while I was at Rutgers where I ran the TKD club we entered a tourney at Yale University and I met Herb Perez, who invited me to train with him. I went every day from 1989 to 1992 while Mr. Perez trained for the Olympics and turned from a point fighter to a full contact little machine, largely due to the ass kicking he gave me day in and day out. Herb would go on to win the gold at Barcelona, while I went on to become a page at CBS where I learned the basics of the TV and the TV news business. I was also a district champ wrestler in High School and wrestled for Rutgers University as well, although I was more of a practice squad player than much of anything else.

MMABeats: On your show “Fighting Words” who was your favorite interview and why?


Mike: My favorite was Dana White, because at the time he did my show, he was at war with HDNet over some Randy Couture business. I helped those guys get their UFC credentials back based on my relationship with the organization, but then they cancelled my show – the numbers just weren’t there.

MMABeats: What are your thoughts on TRT use in MMA ??

Mike: I think they should legalize marijuana and TRT. I wish there was TRT for broadcasters.

MMABeats: Do you think now that the UFC has a women’s division that WMMA will be more accepted by the “mainstream” MMA viewer ?


Mike: I don’t think MMA will ever be mainstream. There’s a reason every single ancillary business that enters the space dives in with a huge splash and goes out with little notice, after spending all of its seed money – RYU is the latest but there were my friends at Tokyo 5, there was BSN, Gaspari just exited MMA – just go back to the UFC fan expo exhibitor lists and see the dozens if companies that no longer exist and that will answer your question.

MMABeats: What advice would you give someone wanting to cover MMA as a media person?

Mike: Make your Fuck You money before you quit your job. Also be sure that whoever you sign on to work for is not in the UFC’s crosshairs.

MMABeats: What kind of music do you listen to while training ?

Mike: Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce and Harry Chapin – all slow tunes that harken on better days and woe is me sentiment.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Mike for taking the time to talk to me and do this interview!

Chris Pfeil: Chasing His Dream

Chris Pfeil

MMABeats: How did you and Evan Thompson (UFC Fighter Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson’s younger brother)  meet and become training partners?

Chris: I bumped into Evan at Wal-Mart and started talking. He asked me if I wanted to come train with him and as they say the rest is history.

MMABeats: What is your martial arts background?

Tae Kwon Do  and Karate.

MMABeats: What made you want to start training in MMA ?

My back ground was one of being a standup fighter. About two years ago started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, six months after that started kickboxing and started an MMA team with Evan Thompson. To start with it was just Evan and I. Then it wasnt to long after that there were a few of us on the team. Now we are a solid team.

MMABeats: What does a typical training week consist of  for you?

Chris: Two a days with cardio and weights in the morning and then in the evening MMA Training in the evenings, and then spar two times a week

MMABeats: What kind of music do you listen to while you are training ?

Chris: I stay away from depressing country music and heavy metal but other than that i listen to everything as long as it is upbeat.

MMABeats: What advice would you give a young fighter wanting to make MMA a career?

Chris: I’d say to study many styles as possible!  Be a jack of all trades as they say, that will keep the interest so you don’t get burnt out also don’t rush going pro, starting younger, you have time to get comfortable in the cage and get experience.

MMABeats: April 6, 2013 is your next fight . Where and for what promotion will you be fighting?

Chris:  Sugar Creek Showdown at the Sugar Creek Casino. I’m fighting for the 185 pound title to go with my 170 pound title I won a few months back.

MMABeats: What advice would you give a young fighter wanting to make MMA a career?

Chris: I’d say 2 study many styles as possible! jack of all trades as they say, that will keep the interest so u don’t get burnt out and don’t rush going pro, starting younger u have time to get comfortable in the cage and allow yourself time to gain experience.

MMABeats: What are your goals for your MMA Career ? 

Chris: I’m taking my career 1 step at a time now hoping to make a successful career fighting and supporting my family! For me my ultimate goal is UFC.  It started out as I wanted one  fight for my bucket list! After that first one I was addicted.

Thank you Chris for taking time out of your busy training schedule to talk to me.

Joseph “Crush” Corneroli XFC Debut 2-22-13

Joseph and the Team Pitch Black folks

Joseph and the Team Pitch Black folks

I recently had the opportunity to interview Joseph “Crush” Corneroli who has his XFC debut on February 22, 2013 in Charlotte, NC. This debut has been six months in the making. Joseph is a welterweight with an MMA record of 8-1.

MMABeats: What is like training at Upstate Karate, with what are in my opinion some of the best fighters in the world ?  

Joseph: It is awesome! The sparring is very high level. When you are training with UFC fighters it is going to be at a high level. Two of my training partners are UFC fighters, Stephen “Wonderboy”  Thompson and Josh Janousek. The trainers are always pushing for me to give my very best and that keeps me progressing and improving.

MMABeats: What is your Martial Arts background ?

Joseph: Seven years ago I started training in kickboxing at Upstate Karate and 4.5 years ago I started training in BJJ  and MMA and training with Team Pitch Black. And 4 months after that i had my first MMA fight.

MMABeats: Are you an instructor at Upstate Karate or just training with Team Pitch Black ?

Joseph: I am an instructor, I teach Kempo Karate and adult and kids BJJ. I generally teach 5-6 classes a day. When you are an instructor you are showing others the techniques and by doing that you are more aware of what you have to do to get the move right, it makes you a better fighter and instructor.

MMABeats: I have heard that this fight had been previously scheduled. How does it feel to finally get this fight scheduled and know you are finally getting to make your debut ?

Joseph: It is nice to know I am finally going to get to fight. My opponent Ricky Rainey is a good striker and athletic but his only advantage will  be his reach. I feel like it is a good matchup.

MMABeats: What is on your Ipod that you like to  listen to while you are working out?

Joseph: All  kinds of music is on my Ipod. It isn’t necessarily work out music but I enjoy all kinds of music.

MMABeats: What do you do for fun?

Joseph: I enjoy hunting and camping and hiking and spending time outdoors. I also really enjoy spending time with my family.

MMABeats: What are some of the goals you have for your future in MMA ?

Joseph: To take it as far as I can and fight the best and become the best PERIOD !

MMABeats: What advice would you give to young people wanting to start training and fighting in MMA ?

Joseph: Find a good school or gym. Do research on the instructors and find the very best instructors you can find that will help you reach the goals you have for yourself.  Check out their martial arts pedigree. Also be willing yo work hard and have dedication and a solid work ethic. If you do not show up to practice do nt expect to see positive results.

 Thank you for your time Joseph!  I can not wait to watch you fight next week on AxsTv.

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