bamaleigh123 March 3rd, 2010
Mixed Martial Arts: Valentine’s Crush
By: Christie Bohorfoush, Senior Staff Writer
Mixed Martial Arts has come to Moody, Alabama through the help of Peter Zahel, owner and founder of The Cage MMA and Fitness, Inc. Zahel is a Karate Instructor – USA National Karate Champion in 2008 (one gold and two silver metals) – European Euro Cup Champion – two time Czech Republic National Cup Champion – and has a professional sports background since 1987.
This writer, once a huge fan of the WWE, found Mixed Martial Arts about four years ago and was immediately hooked by the sport. While some may argue why a woman, or any sports fan for that matter, might enjoy what some consider to be a rather barbaric sport… Mixed Martial Arts is actually a very safe sport. While indeed the sport consists of besting your opponent at grappling, kicks, and punches; the fighters have tremendous respect for each other and never simply beat the heck out of one another. The sport is purely based on who has the most skill and knowledge in the field of martial arts. This is exactly why I lost interest in the WWE, after viewing several Mixed Martial Arts fights… staged fighting simply lost its appeal to the REAL sport of martial arts fighting.
What Peter Zahel is bringing to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts is his own group of trained fighters from his The Cage MMA and Fitness, Inc. Club. As with any start-up club, he has fighters that are learning the skills of Mixed Martial Arts. How do they train? How do they know if they are growing in the sport? For those of you who do not all ready know that Mixed Martial Arts is the hottest and fastest growing sport, the best way to train and grow in the sport is by competing against other clubs. This is what Zahel is helping to bring to Moody and the state of Alabama.
On this particular evening, Zahel’s club played host to “Valentine’s Crush” (well, since it was February and all) pitting his Mixed Martial Arts fighters against others from varied clubs across Alabama. In fact, each club hosts an event… with the next event to be hosted at the Crossfit in Trussville, Alabama on March 6, 2010. This is the idea… each match helps the fighters to learn from their last fight and grow in the sport, bringing what they have just learned to the mat and helping them to master their skills.
I thoroughly enjoyed my evening of eight Mixed Martial Arts matches at Peter Zahel’s The Cage MMA and Fitness, Inc Club. From my front row seat, it was easy for me to view the fighters as they brought their best to the cage. It is my intention to continue to follow Mixed Martial Arts in Moody, as well as throughout Alabama, and to help this sport continue to grow here. Let me add that if you are a true fan of Mixed Martial Arts, you will find great thrills and the ride of watching these fighters as they improve their skills and best each other in the cage and on the mat. In fact on this evening, many of the fighters who won their matches came out of The Crossfit Club in Trussville; and so, I look forward to the matches that are lined up for March 6th.
Be sure to catch The Cage’s next event, at their gym in Moody on March 27th. Visit www.thecagemmaandfitness.com for more information on their events; as well as classes and instructions in the art of MMA.
Match One: Justin Suggs of Ranburn, AL vs Shannon Whittle of Verbena, AL
Shannon Whittle dominated the match with his strikes to Sugg’s mid section most of the opening match. Whittle defeated Suggs, by forcing him to tap out, after getting Suggs in a arm lock.
Match Two: Brad Collins of Parrish, AL vs Jason Ware of Clanton, AL
At 1:45 seconds in the first round, Brad Collins took Ware with a triangle leg hold that forced Ware to tap out. After the match, Collins exclaimed; “I wanted to win so damn bad!” From the moment that Collins entered the cage, his intensity for the sport and his skills never wavered.
Match Three: Bradley Johnson from Brookwood, AL vs B.J. England from Verbena, AL
After an upward kick from B.J. that staggered Johnson, B.J. was able to take Johnson to the mat and lock-in a scissor hold around Johnson’s neck that forced him to tap out.
Match Four: Joe Henry of Talledega, AL vs. Jason Rawlinson of Verbena, AL
After an opening kick to the side of Henry, Rawlinson slammed Henry to the mat. At 1:47 seconds into the first round, Rawlinson caught Henry in an arm lock that forced him to tap out.
Match Five: Jeff Patton of Parrish, AL vs. Fred York from Trussville, AL
This was a hard fought match, with both fighters pretty evenly matched. At two minutes into the second round, however, York’s skills out bested Patton’s and he won by tap out
Match Six: Alek Miller of Pelham, AL vs. Reshan Kahn of Birmingham, AL
Kahn took a beating from Miller, after Miller full mounted Kahn and pummeled him with his fists. The Ref stopped the match, due to strikes, as Kahn was unable to defend himself.
Match Seven: Nate Bordilon of Odenville, Al vs. Cody Southwood of Madison, AL
The match began with a back and forth barrage of flying fists. At one minute nineteen seconds in the first round, however, Cody Southwood full mounted Nate on the mat and pounded him with his fists. The ref stopped the match, due to strikes, as Nate was unable to defend himself against the fists of Southwood.
Match Eight – MAIN EVENT – Nick Collins of Parrish, AL vs. Caleb Machen of Moody, AL
This was a match between welter weights, weighing in at 135 pounds. Although small and thin, this is clear proof that even the smallest of people can learn to defend themselves through the skills they learn in Mixed Martial Arts.
The match began with both fighters exchanging kicks to the mid sections. Machen soon found himself, however, pinned to the mat and taking a barrage of fists from Collins; but managed to fend off the blows from the mat and make it to the second round.
In the opening of round two, and having taken a kick from Machen, Collins soon found his footing and the will to fight back and use his skills. Machen slammed Collins to the mat; and although Collins was on his back and on the mat, he used his knowledge of mixed martial arts skills to apply a triangle leg hold to Machen and forcing him to tap out.