Baguio-Based MMA and Muay Thai Team Bridging the Gap to Build Future Champions
Take a stool and observe one of Coach Christian Gazmin’s grappling or MMA classes. Handling a packed night class, the retired US Marine’s voice is loud and clear. Then you remember that this is Baguio, and you’re almost sure that a future world champion could be right there listening intently.
“Efficiency and hard work go hand in hand. We drill a lot so the techniques become second nature. We make sure the holes in our game are recognized and addressed.” Emphasizing the basics, Coach Christian, or Coach Cricket as he is fondly called, makes sure every technique is drilled perfectly down to the smallest detail before moving on to the next.
This great attention to detail, along with experience and sheer skill, is perhaps what got Coach Brent Velasco the coaching chores for the Muay Thai national team once again. Coach Brent is, of course, a three-time world Muay Thai champion and the founder of Team Torogi, the Muay Thai-based MMA team that merged with Gazmin’s Tribal Submission to form this new formidable team.
How Did Rafael Dos Anjos Fair Against Tarec Saffiedine?
After enduring three main card bouts that went the distance, many people would probably remember Holly Holm’s third-round head kick KO of Bethe Correira as the highlight of UFC Fight Night Singapore. While it’s hard to argue against that, perhaps a lot of you would agree that Rafael dos Anjos’ welterweight debut against Tarec Saffiedine was the most intriguing of the main card bouts. A former champion moving up or down in weight is always an interesting prospect. The perennial question of whether they retain their speed or power, among other attributes, could be glimpsed during their debut in the new weight class. And so, here’s our breakdown of RDA’s welterweight debut performance.
Many critics point to the size differential between lightweights and welterweights in general as an obvious disadvantage for Dos Anjos. Saffiedine in particular enjoys a significant height advantage over RDA, and he is not shy about using his range to maim his opponents with kicks. Last night, we saw RDA neutralize Saffiedine’s range by cutting the Octagon and making Tarec fight in the clinch. Dos Anjos would move forward and use his signature left body kick and right leg kick to keep Saffiedine in the pocket. He would then slug with the Belgian to get close enough for the clinch. Inside the clinch, RDA fires powerful knees that visibly bucked Tarec’s midsection. Dos Anjos’ inclination to target the body paid dividends as Saffiedine showed incredible agility whenever RDA went headhunting, but could not escape the Brazilian’s left body kick which repeatedly found its home throughout the three-rounder.
Regaining Glory Starts at FightCon
After defeating heavy hitter Mario Sismundo in 2012, Team Sprawl’s Miguel Alo went on hiatus to focus on life outside of MMA. This came as a shock to rabid fans as the wrestling hotshot had a promising career, having also beaten former URCC featherweight champion Red Romero and shared the ring with Will Chope.
“This is the first time I’ll be fighting while having an 8-to-5 job. I can say that training after office hours is very difficult as compared to doing only MMA. But it makes you a tougher person, and that quality carries over inside the cage and other aspects of life.”
On May 13 at FightCon, he will be up against Submission Sport’s Benjo Penzon, who despite not having as much professional MMA experience than Alo, has remained active in the grappling scene during his time off. Alo, however, maintains that he is in shape 365 days a year even if he’s not competing.
In his words, “I hibernated for five years, but I’m always fighting in my dreams when I’m asleep.”