December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009
Southeastern Fight League’s
Hooters Friday Night Fights

1. Jordan Chailland vs. Zack Taylor
Winner: Jordan Chailland

2. Johnathon Stevens vs. Matt Hayes
Winner: Johnathon Stevens

3. Travis Canty vs. Daniel Mizell
Winner: DRAW

4. Shaun Love vs. Chance Bailey
Winner: Chance Bailey

5. Michael Sanders vs. Derek Stanley
Winner: Michael Sanders

6. Miguel Mellow vs. Lance Blalock
Winner: Miguel Mellow

All I can say about Friday night’s fight card is – WOW! There was the feeling of a coliseum inside the Southeastern Fight Center, the weather was rainy and cold, but around the octagon there was a tight circle of cheering fans. The fighters on the fight card stepped into the ring and when the referee said go- they set the place on fire. Fans who have been attending these fights, come to see fighters step into the ring from week to week, begin to have certain preconceived notions about who might win the match. Fans be cautious of this! Just because a fighter is stepping into the ring for the first time or that he is rumored to be just a “bar room brawler” and the more experienced fighter is sure to win, is not always the case. That is part of excitement each Friday night, fans can always know that they are in for a night of watching the gladiators in the octagon and not knowing from week to week who will win.

The third fight of the night between Canty and Mizell was awesome.  It was a good match of equal talent.  Both endured three rounds and neither looked fazed.  Canty threw a lot of punches and Mizell took them and gave it right back. The judges made the only call possible - a Draw.
This was the second draw out of all the fights that have been held at the Southeastern Fight League. 

Fight four: Love vs. Bailey
Bailey was stepping into the octagon for the first time and I have seen Love fight several times.  Love is a very intense fighter. When he steps into the ring he is very intimidating and his fighting has proven his intimidation goes beyond how he looks as a fighter.  Love throws some hard brutal punches. Bailey didn't let Love's reputation bother him and after two minutes thirty three seconds and some blood spatter, Bailey was the winner. 

Fight Five was like watching a boxing match for the first round- Sanders vs. Stanley
These two fighters bounced around the octagon like they were equal sides of a magnet. Neither got close enough to throw a hard punch and avoided eachother waiting to counterstrike and react to their opponent.
In the second round Sanders decided to stop the dancing and hammer punched Stanley until he tapped out.

The Main event- Mellow  vs. Blalock
I watched Mellow fight Curtis a few weeks ago Nov. 13th and I was impressed with his fighting ability.        Sean Curtis vs. Miguel Mellow
 Winner: Sean Curtis. Fight went three rounds and the judges called the winner
If I had been a judge for that fight I would have had to call that fight a draw.  Both of Curtis and Mellow are talented fighters. Curtis fought last week against Dean and won his match.  And this week it was Mellow in the octagon against Blalock.  It was a good fight.  Mellow dominated and Blalock had to tap out.

DON’T FORGET, Mark the calendar - If you can make it to Tallahassee, FL January 23rd to support these fighters at UBERSMASH II held at The MOON, 1105 E Laffayette Street, Tallahassee, FL
Southeastern Fight League come show your support for MMA local fighters- Andy Wade, Chris Moody, Zack Lasseter, and Sean Carthon.!

If you couldn’t make it to fight night and want to see the play by play of these fights, or if you are a fan, the video is available for purchase. Please contact the Southeastern Fight League for information.

The next local fight night will be Friday December 18th 8:00 PM at the Southeastern Fight Center, Brannon Stand Road, Dothan, Alabama. Open call for fighters. For fight information call (334) 794-1150 or visit the web site www.southeasternfightleague.com .

December 4, 2009

This is late posting but here are the results from Dec. 4 2009

Southeastern Fight League’s
Hooters Friday Night Fights

1. Doug Roach vs. Jarvis Bracy
Winner: Doug Roach

2. Alex Wilson vs. Justin White

3. Greg Gordon vs. Jason Moody
Winner: Jason Moody

4. Kevin Tice vs. Derek Stanley
Winner: Kevin Tice

5. Tyler Bounds vs. Tyler Schrader
Winner: Tyler Schrader

6. Jason Dean vs. Sean Curtis
Winner: Sean Curtis

These fights are high adrenaline. Several fighters that have won some matches at the Southeastern Fight League are going to fight in a professional match January 23, 2010 Tallahassee, FL. These fighters are: Andy Wade, Chris Moody, Zack Lasseter, and Sean Carthon.


Mark the calendar - If you can make it to Tallahassee, FL January 23rd to support these fighters at UBERSMASH II held at The MOON, 1105 E Laffayette Street, Tallahassee, FL

MMA Fans come show your support!

If you couldn’t make it to fight night and want to see the play by play of these fights, or if you are a fan, the video is available for purchase. Please contact the Southeastern Fight League for information.

The next local fight night will be Friday December 18th 8:00 PM at the Southeastern Fight Center, Brannon Stand Road, Dothan, Alabama. Open call for fighters. For fight information call (334) 794-1150 or visit the web site www.southeasternfightleague.com .



Sean Curtis- Team Revolution

Sean Curtis vs. Jason Dean
before the fight prep.

Sean Curtis "The Warrior"

Team Revolution
Sean Curtis and his brother Tyler Schrader

Sean Curtis is a man that doesn’t care to see sand for awhile, he just returned to the United States from Iraq. He said he doesn’t even want to see the beach. Originally from Ohio, he is very personable and said he is not missing the snow up north either. Being in South Alabama is alright with him.

Q:What do you Like / hate about MMA?
Curtis: I like the competition, there really isn’t anything I don’t like.

Q:Who is your hero?
Curtis: Ron Paul

Q: Is there a fight you wished you had not been in or a fight you regret?
Curtis: No, I do regret not doing better in some fights.

Q: Are you superstitious or have a good luck charm or a routine you do before a fight?
Curtis: I pray.

Q: In your career you get to travel, but is there any place you want to go?
Curtis: I will go anywhere in the world when I get the opportunity, there isn’t any one place.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?
Curtis: I can shoot guns.

Q: What makes you mad?
Curtis: Liberals

Q:With it being close to Christmas, did you have a favorite toy when you were young?
Curtis: Ninja Turtles

Q: What MMA training have you had?
Curtis: Training in Jui-jitsu, & MMA classes now

Q:What was the last promise you made your mother?
Curtis: That I would take care of my younger brother, Tyler. He lives with me and is in high school; good student.

Curtis is very close to his brother, pictured with him above. Friday night his younger brother fought before him and won his match. Sean Curtis is a talented athlete and went two rounds with his opponent in the octagon before winning against Jason Dean.

On a personal note- Thank you to all our Armed Forces and their service. Without them, there wouldn’t be a United States of America- the land of the free. I’m proud to be an American.

The Southeastern Fight League has Hooter’s Friday Night Fights every Friday night.
Miss a Fight? Want to see a fight again? Video of the fights are for sale. Contact the Southeastern Fight League for information.


Tyler Bounds MMA Team Wolfpack

I have been watching Tyler Bounds in the octagon now for several months. He lost his first couple of fights and kept at his training and started winning . He’s at 3-2. Usually after the fights he’s been hard to catch, but he didn’t fight this last Friday night and I got an interview with him. He’s a Junior at Dothan High School and hopes to one day be famous. He asked me if I would make him famous but I told him he is responsible for his own fame.

Tyler, wishing you the best, good luck!

Q: What do you love about fighting MMA?
TB: Adrenalin

Q: What do you hate about fighting MMA?
TB: Losing

Q: What advice would you give someone that is interested in fighting in the octagon?
TB: Go into training, and know your opponent before you get into the ring.

Q: What is the biggest challenge in your life today?
TB: To graduate High School in 2011.

Q: What kind of MMA training have you had, where did you start?
TB: I started fighting with Team Underdog, but I’ve been fighting all my life. Training in Jui-jitsu, MMA, and boxing.

Q: Have you ever been in a fight you wished that you had not been in?
TB: No, not really. I’ve learned from every fight I’ve been in.

Q: Do you have a unique fighting style?
TB: I prefer stand-up fighting. I really like boxing.

Q: You’re young, have you traveled anywhere and where would you like to travel?
TB: I’ve lived in Europe/ Holland and South Africa, I hope to travel the world.

Q: What is something that you didn’t like but like now?
TB: Stand-up fighting. I was good at grappling but since I’ve been boxing I really like stand-up fighting.

Q: What was the last promise you made to your mom?
TB: That I would graduate High School.

Nov. 13, 2009

Hooters Friday Night Fights
November 13, 2009
The Southeastern Fight League had a full fight card of seven fights for the night.

The Southeastern Fight Center on Brannon Stand Road was packed out with a large number of fans that came out to support their favorite fighters. Attending the fights from week to week, draws out the MMA fan in all of us. Sometimes all it takes is attending one live fight night just like the one last Friday night to become a fan.

Here is the Fight card and the winners:

1. Cody Calhoun Team Climax vs. Jordan Chailland Team No Mercy
Winner: Cody Calhoun

2. Daniel Serna vs. Caleb Smith Team Wolfpack
Winner: Daniel Serna TKO

3. Sean Love Team Climax vs. Josh Cheek Team NSK Systems
Winner: Sean Love TKO

4. Brad Morgan Team Wolfpack vs. Chris Reams Team No Mercy
Winner: Brad Morgan Tap out

5. Mike Yates Team Wolfpack vs. Jeremy King
Winner: Mike Yates Tap out

6. Sean Curtis vs. Miguel Mellow
Winner: Sean Curtis. Fight went three rounds and the judges called the winner

7. Erik French Team Wolfpack vs. Steve Carthon Team Wolfpack
Winner: Steve Carthon Tap out

Come to the fight center and expect to see some great talent. The main event was enough to bring fans to the fight center. Erik French has a lot of fans and so does Steve Carthon. They are both good fighters.

The fights leading up to the main event had the crowd on the edges of their seats and the fight of the night was not the main event, the fight of the night had to go to fight 6 between Curtis and Mellow. These two athletes still had two more rounds of fight in each of them after the third round. Seeing a fight like this brings fans back time and time again.

Miss a Fight? Want to see a fight again?  Video of the fights are for sale. Contact the Southeastern Fight League for information. 

These fighters come into the octagon as amateurs and with a few losses and a few wins they get to show off their training and talent. Make plans to come out to the next fight , this Friday night Nov 20, 2009.

No fights the following week as we all observe Thanksgiving. Fights to resume the first Friday of December.


Fight Night 13

Hooter’s Friday Night Fights are back- Every Friday night!

Cold outside? One place that is Hot is
the Southeastern Fight Center.
They are heating it up on Friday nights.

Friday nights are very hot with the Southeastern Fight League.
The octagon is on fire and the fighters that enter the cage fuel the fire! The Hooter’s ring girls make it even hotter! Come out for the MMA amateur fights – then come out to the after party at Hooter’s and watch the Hooter’s girls put on their UFC gloves and bikinis to fight.

SAFETY is Important at the Southeastern Fight Center.

The Southeastern Fight League is committed to providing a safe place for these athletes to compete. Before each fight the fighters, coaches and corner men meet and the referees go over safety in the octagon. Maneuvers are discussed and what is allowed and not allowed within the ring. Safety is important and every measure is taken for the fighter’s safety, right down to making sure the mat in the ring is properly clean. Every fighter knows the risk when they step into the ring; they are going to get hit, kicked, kneed and possibly even knocked-out. These fighters give all they’ve got when they enter the octagon to prove their MMA (mixed martial arts) skills. Paramedics are on site for concussions, bloody noses and anything broken.

Fight Night 13

Fight 1
Jason Dean (Team Wolfpack) vs. Daniel Reese
Winner: Jason Dean

Fight 2
Josh Cheek vs. John Reese
Winner: Josh Cheek

Fight 3
Steve (Ollie) Carthon (Team Wolfpack) vs. Andrew Larson
Winner: Andrew Larson

Fight 4
Tyler Rigsby (Team Wolfpack) vs. Jeremy Oliver
Winner: Jeremy Oliver

Fight 5 Main Event
Tyler Bounds (Team Wolfpack) vs. Zach Farrington
Winner: Zach Farrington

If you couldn’t make it to fight night and want to see the play by play of these fights,or if you are a fan, the video is available for purchase. Please contact the Southeastern Fight League for information.

The next fight night will be Friday October 30th 8:00 PM at the Southeastern Fight Center, Brannon Stand Road, Dothan, Alabama.

Open call for fighters. Think you want to be a MMA fighter? Steve Baxley's Wolfpack MMA offers a variety of training. Wolfpack MMA is at their new location in the Fountain Plaza, next to Ted's Jewelers on the Ross Clark Circle. If you are interested in the classes they offer, call (334) 677-2002 or visit the web site www.mmadothan.com.

For fight information call (334) 794-1150 or visit the web site www.southeasternfightleague.com .


Shawn Carthon MMA

Shawn Carthon MMA Team Wolfpack

For fight night #11 Shawn was matched up to fight Desmond Peterson (Team Underdog).

Peterson “Chicago” had fought Eric French “The Hitman” (Tallahassee MMA) Fight Night #8 (I think that night his fight name was “Dynamite” and he changed to “Chicago”) That match went for a full three rounds. From that win, Peterson was 3-0.

Shawn is not as bulky as Peterson. Peterson 182 lbs / Carthon 153 lbs. Weight difference doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to skill.

Before fighters come into the ring their coaches yell at them pumping them up for the fight, then some slaps to the face, and the fighter takes that aggression into the ring with him and unleashes it on his opponent. You can never predict the outcome of these fights, even with a great fight record. Both of these fighters gave it their all in the octagon.

Carthon won this match by putting Peterson in a guillotine and Peterson tapped out.

Carthon is trained in Judo and Goju-ryu Karate. Goju- ryu is a traditional Okinawan style of karate. Goju-ryu karate teaches self-defense. It is primarily a stand up form of fighting (open and closed fist) techniques of how to block strikes by using angles, and then subdue the opponent with hand and leg strikes.

I was able to interview Shawn after his win.

Q: What do you love about fighting?
Shawn: I’m good at it.

Q: What do you hate about fighting?
Shawn: Losing

Q: What is unique about your fighting that will entice someone to come and watch you fight?
Shawn: I have an explosive fighting style with my strikes.

Q: What qualities do you look for in a fighter and want to achieve?
Shawn: I like Silva. He is a humble fighter he hides his emotions but still delivers.

Q: Have you ever been in a fight you wished you had not entered?
Shawn: I used to get jumped at school.

Q: What are you doing when you are not doing this?
Shawn: I work a night job.

Q: What is your hidden talent?
Shawn: I’m a rapper.

Q: What is something that you like now that you used to not like?
Shawn: Onions and pickles

Q: What things do you hate?
Shawn: Snakes

Q: What is the last promise you made your mother?
Shawn: I promised her I would be going pro.

We should see Shawn’s name on upcoming fight cards and follow him as he makes that promise to his mother come true.

Best of luck Shawn!


Fight Night 11

First, let me say with great disappointment Dray and George lost their first professional fights last weekend in Tallahassee, FL. Hopefully that will be the last fight either of them loose for a while. (HINT HINT) Whenever their next listing on a fight card is known, I’ll post an announcement. Keep showing your support for these fighters and the ones up and coming through the amateur fights that are held right here in our area at the Southeastern Fight Center.

Steve Baxley has a full calendar coming up for the fight center. Future events for the fight center will include live local bands on Friday nights and for all of the fight fans- Fights are going to happen every (yes, I said every) Saturday night. Some big screen televisions are going to be installed and it is going to be the place to be to watch sports. Just make plans to come out to the Southeastern Fight Center on Brannon Stand Road every weekend and be a part of what is happening. Tell your friends and come out for something different than the usual.

Oct. 10

Jason Dean vs. Scotty Chavers
Winner: Jason Dean

Tyler Bounds vs. Mathew Joyner
Winner: Tyler Bounds

Ryan Phillips vs. Craig Gordon
Winner: Ryan Phillips

Michael Sanders vs. Dale Fukerson
Winner: Michael Sanders

Daniel Reese vs. Joe Jackson
Winner: Joe Jackson

Desmond Peters vs. Shawn Cathown
Winner: Shawn Cathown

The popular maneuver of the night was the guillotine. Only one of these fights (Sanders vs. Fukerson) went into a second round and that round lasted just long enough for Sanders to land a punch that made Fukerson see stars and he said he was done.

If you couldn’t make it to fight night and want to see the play by play of these fights,or if you are a fan,  the video is available for purchase. Please contact the Southeastern Fight League for information.

The next fight night will be Saturday October 17th 8:00 PM at the Southeastern Fight Center, Brannon Stand Road, Dothan, Alabama.

Open call for fighters. For fight information call (334) 794-1150 or visit the web site www.southeasternfightleague.com .


How it all began

George, Steve Baxley, Coach Johnny Trawick, and Dray Burch
Photo by Susie Helms with Knockout Images

UFC ® Ultimate Fighter Championship is no stranger to the Dothan area. In 1997 Dothan hosted UFC® 12 which marked the first UFC appearance of Vitor Belfort “the Phenom”, who just won the title of Middleweight Champion in UFC® 103 beating Rich Franklin “Ace”, Sept.19, 2009 in Texas in a pay-per view match.

With the growing popularity of the UFC, many of the area fighters were fighting in “back alley” type venues without rules or safety guidelines. Many of these fighters were trained at the Wolfpack MMA(Mixed Martial Arts) school. Dothan local, Steve Baxley owns Steve Baxley’s Wolfpack MMA, where he has been teaching full time since 2004. Steve has over 27 years of MMA experience. He was aware of the fights but concerned about his students fighting without supervision or safety measures.

In May of 2009, the Wolfpack MMA dojo became the location for fights and the Southeastern Fight League was born. The fights drew a large crowd and soon he had to look for a bigger location to have the fights. Steve acquired a building on Brannon Stand Road and opened the Southeastern Fight Center. The Southeastern Fight League has hosted 10 fights this year.

Fighters from these fights are MMA athletes going on to careers within the sport. One of the fighters, Dray Burch, from the Southeastern Fight League, will have a professional debut on October 3, 2009 in Tallahassee, FL at The MOON. Burch has been training with the Wolfpack for the past three years. His amateur record is 10 wins and 2 losses. Burch’s future professional fights will be televised events.

Steve Baxley and his business partner Paul Grise, from Kentucky have plans on making the Southeastern Fight League a well know name within the UFC. Grise and his associates in Kentucky have been promoters for big MMA shows in Kentucky and Tennessee for several years now. The Wolfpack Pro Team has in the works for a MMA fight promoter (a former major boxing promoter) to have the Southeastern Fight League MMA fights televised. The Southeast Fight League is the premier fight league in Southern Alabama and the only one in this area connected to a legitimate pro promoter.

Baxley has a fantastic team; Mr. Grise, Coach Johnny Trawick (trainer of 3 World Champion Boxers and a Hall of Fame Boxing Coach) his staff of MMA trainers, fighters, and corner men. The Wolfpack Team has already started to get the attention of some well known celebrities. George Foreman, two time heavyweight boxing champion’s son, who is also a MMA fighter, has asked for one of the Wolfpack for a possible fight in the future.

MMA is growing so fast in this area that Baxley is moving his dojo, Wolfpack MMA to a new location in the Fountain Plaza on the Ross Clark Circle. It will be twice the size of the present location. If you are interested in the classes they offer, call (334) 677-2002 or visit the web site www.mmadothan.com.

The next fight night will be Saturday October 10th 8:00 PM at the Southeastern Fight Center, Brannon Stand Road, Dothan, Alabama. Open call for fighters. For fight information call (334) 794-1150 or visit the web site www.southeasternfightleague.com .


Fight Night 10

The rain came down, the  football game was on T.V. and there were live fights at the Southeastern Fight Center on Saturday night. The fight card had a line- up of only four fights. Four of the fighters were new to the octagon. I wasn’t sure how good the fights would be with these newbie’s, but everyone has got to start somewhere.

Fight ONE
Guzowski  Team Wolfpack 202 lbs.  vs. Miller 198 lbs.
Both of these fighters were 0-0. Guzowski dominated and Miller took a lot of hits to the head. Guzowski won by a TKO (Technical Knock out)

After Fight ONE the MC said that Kevin Tice “TLB” (Tough Little Bastard) was there and was looking for an opponent. Saturday night there were a lot of fighters in the fight center that were not on the fight card.

Fight TWO
Bonds (0-1) 152 lbs. vs Helms( 0-2) 156 lbs. Team Wolfpack
Bonds must have been training a little since his last fight, he started the first round by putting Helms in a guillotine. Bonds got a lot of hits on Helms his striking while standing was impressive. Bonds won the match by Side controlling Helms then he put him in a rear naked choke and Helms had no choice but to tap out at the exact same time the horn blew for the end of the 1st round. Bonds is now 1-1.

During the intermission the MC announced that “TLB” had an opponent and they would fight the last fight of the night. Steve Baxley also got into the octagon to announce Dray and George’s fight in Tallahassee, FL at The Moon next Saturday night Oct. 3, 2009. These guys are very excited to be fighting outside of the amateur ring.

Coleman (Wolfpack) 235 lbs vs. McKenzie (Bad Company) 230 lbs.
This pair was another first into the octagon. Both were 0-0 when they stepped into the ring. It is hard to judge a fighter by his corner guys or his physique. Coleman had a crowd in his corner, and McKenzie had a corner guy that looked like he never stepped into the ring. In the first round McKenzie took control and had Coleman in a top mount. When the horn blew and the fighters went to their corners both fighters looked tired. In the second round both got in a lot of hits while standing and when they made it to the ground they got in such a tangle the ref. had to separate them. The crowd was on it’s feet watching these two throw punches. In round three these two went the distance and the judges called McKenzie the winner.

Fight FOUR
Mitchell (1-0) 190 lbs. Wolfpack vs. Morgan (3-0) 190 lbs.
Mitchell is a really tough fighter. In his last fight he broke his opponent’s nose and knocked out some of his teeth. His fighting stance was solid. Morgan took some of those power strikes, but he gave Mitchell a show of his strength and at the end of round one, Mitchell couldn’t continue to round two. Morgan was announced the winner. Morgan (now 4-0) will be a fighter to watch in the future.

Tice “TLB” vs. Shawn C. Team Freestyle
This match got added to the fight card after the first fight. I had seen Shawn in the crowd as he watched the fights. It is hard to spot a fighter in plain clothes. Both of these fighters average around 150 lbs. I didn’t hear the exact weights. In round one Shawn went full force at Tice and was able to pick him up and slam him down to the mat on what looked like his head and left shoulder. The whole octagon rocked. Shawn took control and pounded a lot of strikes to Tice. Tice was in a total defense fight he did all he could to hold him back trying to get free of his reach. The ref. stopped the fight and Shawn was announced the winner.

Fight Night 10 did not disappoint even with only four fights on the fight card. These fights are thrilling because these amateurs can really surprise you. They each come into the octagon with fresh talent and if you come to the fights, you can expect that no matter who steps into the octagon, it will be a night to remember.

If you are a fan or just want to have a copy of the fights, each fight night is recorded and a copy is for sale. Contact the Southeastern Fight League.

The next fight night will be Saturday October 10th 8:00 PM at the Southeastern Fight Center, Brannon Stand Road, Dothan, Alabama. Open call for fighters. For fight information call (334) 794-1150 or visit the web site www.southeasternfightleague.com .

Don't forget - If you can make it to Tallahassee next weekend  October 3rd to support Dray and George, at Ubersmash 1 held at The MOON, 1105 E Laffayette Street, Tallahassee, FL  http://www.moonevents.com/  come show your support!


Dray Burch Wolfpack MMA

Dray Burch

Strength vs. Burch
Photos by Susie Helms

When Dray Burch showed up to fight August 8th the MC made the announcement that Dray was still looking for an opponent for the evening. No one answered the call. With his stats at 9-2 – he was intimidating to say the least. A few years ago when he started to train with Steve Baxley at his dojo, his physique was that of a body builder, he had a lot of bulk. He took the advice given to him to slim down and focus on being quick and work on his techniques instead of on being muscular.
He is a fighter to watch with a career in MMA.

Dray “Block Rocker” is from the wiregrass, right out of Rehobeth, AL. I interviewed him while he was getting his knuckles wrapped. He seemed relaxed before his fight.

Q: How long have you been fighting MMA?
Dray: About three years with the Wolfpack Dothan.

Q: What do you do during the day, do you have a day job?
Dray: No, I run. I’m training.

Q: What do you love about fighting?
Dray: The aggression

Q: What do you hate about fighting?
Dray: Losing

Q: Tonight will be my first time watching you fight. What is unique about your fighting style that I should watch and entice others to watch you fight?
Dray: My striking and Stand –up Fighting. I like fighting standing up.

Q: What is your advice to someone who wants to be a MMA fighter?
Dray: You have to love it. You have to have a heart for it.

Q: Have you ever been in a fight you wished you had not entered?
Dray: Yes, I was a corner guy for a fight and the opponent dropped out so at the last minute I jumped in and I had just taken two months off due to an injury and I wasn’t ready to fight, I lost that fight. I had to tap out.

Q: You have a certain passion for fighting where did that come from?
Dray: My Grandfather was a boxer in the Navy, and I grew up fighting.

Q: What is your hidden talent?
Dray: My charm. I’m charming.

Q: What was the last promise you made your mother?
Dray: That I’ll always love her.

I’m sure Dray’s hidden talent will shine as he continues winning and gains fans, including me.
Watch Dray fight this weekend, Saturday September 5, 2009 at the Southeastern Fight League, 8 PM.
* UPDATE Fights were cancelled for Sept. 5th.  Next fight night to be announced. 
Good fighters did not start out as good fighters. Every fighter will have a story of before they were a fighters I’ll share my interviews here. Check back from time to time and leave a comment if you like.
It takes a lot of training to make these MMA athletes. If you are interested in MMA contact the WOLFPACK or call  (334) 794-1150.


Andy Wade Wolfpack MMA

Photos by Susie Helms
As the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” don’t judge a MMA fighter by a first impression. I met Andy Wade, “The Terror” while he was waiting to get his knuckles wrapped before his fight. Andy is a 19 yr. old who was polite, honest, and well mannered when he answered my questions.  So this well mannered nice guy is a MMA fighter?

First impression of him when he walked into Steve Baxley’s MMA dojo, he did not look like he does today, he had long hair and when he said he could fight, those who heard him wanted him to prove it. Prove it he did.

He cut his hair and now sports about a #1 razor trim all around. His haircut isn’t the only thing sharp about him, on his chest he has a tattoo of “X X X” the three x’s symbolize a straight edge lifestyle. A straight edge is someone who will abstain from drinking alcohol, smoking and illegal drugs, and no pre-marital sex. Don’t underestimate Andy Wade; he is a MMA Wolfpack fighter.

Q: How did you get the nick-name “The Terror?”
Andy: Paul Grise, my trainer, came around and we decided on it tonight.

Q: How long have you been fighting MMA?
Andy: Just a month. This is my second fight.

Q: What is your advice to somebody who wants to be like you and be a MMA fighter?
Andy: Don’t give up.

Q: Are you superstitious? Or do you have a good luck charm?
Andy: I have a lucky bracelet I never take off.

Q: What is your hidden talent?
Andy: I can solve a Rubik’s cube in 1 min. 18 seconds.

Q: How are you feeling about tonight’s fight?
Andy: Nervous

Q: What is one thing that you used to dislike but that you like now?
Andy: Mustard

Q: What did you do today to prepare for tonight’s fight?
Andy: Today, I just showed up and I’m going to try to win.

Q: What is the last promise you made your mother?
Andy: Not to get hurt, I don’t have health insurance.

Q: What is your fighting record? 1-0
Andy Wade “The terror” terrorized his opponent and won his match, 2-0. Andy Wade impressed a lot of people with his performance, and I saw him after the fight, he kept his promise to his mother.   
Watch Andy Wade in upcoming Fight Cards at the Southeastern Fight League. The Southeastern Fight League host two fight events per month. The Weigh Ins are usually held two Fridays a month at Hooters of Dothan, AL. The fights are on the next day after the Weigh In, two Saturdays Nights a month. Open call for fighters.
For further information: www.southeasternfightleague.com or call Steve Baxley (334) 794-1150.



Saturday August 22, 2009

The tone for the night at the start of the Southeastern Fight League was set with music by the live band, Mind Trap. Hard rock music wrapped around the building and infected everyone within earshot. This was my second live fight and I regret that I don’t know fight lingo, but with fantastic help from the enthusiasts all around me, I am going to tell you about the event as I saw it. Watching these MMA fights on television does not compare to watching the fights live. There is something in the air that unites the crowd with the fighters in the cage and it is easy to get caught up in the excitement. It doesn’t matter if you know the play by play and could commentate on the fight or just walked in off the street. With a full fight card of ten fights, crowd expectations were high for what would be revealed in the “Ring of Fire.”

1st Fight (Exhibition)
Kirkland (Team Underdog) vs. Money
This fight was over in the second round. Kirkland was vicious in his strike attack on Money and just landed 9 punches when the horn ended the second round. It appeared Money might have been TKO before the 9 punches, but he wasn’t giving up. Money stayed in the fight the referee saw that he was fatigued but not incoherent.
Kirkland won the match.

2nd Fight (Exhibition)
Terry “The Weatherman”(Supreme Team/Wolfpack Clan) vs. Hodges “The Bone Crusher” (Wolfpack)
The Weatherman was the crowd favorite for this match. In the first 5 seconds Bone Crusher had Weatherman down on the mat. That didn’t last long, Bone Crusher took a beating through to the third round where he received a brutal strike attack to the head and ribs to be TKO’d. The Weatherman brought the storm!

3rd Fight
Duran vs. Ballanceau
This heavyweight match Duran 193 lbs. to Ballanceau 192 lbs. brought the crowd to their feet in the first round. First blood of the night was drawn from Ballanceau when he took a hit to the bridge of his nose. A point was lost by Duran due to an illegal move, but he was corrected and won the match by Tap out by Ballanceau.
If the illegal move had caused the opponent to be unconscious, then the violator would have automatically lost the match.

4th Fight
Flowers “Jaybird” (Team Underdog) vs. Tice “TLB” (Tough Little Bastard) (Wolfpack)
Loyalties to fellow fighters brought about this pairing in the ring. “TLB” won a match previously against Jaybird’s friend and Jaybird requested this fight. Jaybird 1-1 to “TLB” 3-0 is certainly a challenge when you look at the stats. This fight was fast and furious. “TLB” gave a ground and pound strike with knees and hammer fist to the head while in side control of Jaybird. Tice won the match with a TKO.

5th Fight
Strength vs. Burch “Block Rocker” (Wolfpack)
Block Rocker has been on a winning streak, his stats 8-2 put him in the running to break free from his amateur fighter rank. Nobody likes to get into the cage with the odds stacked against him like that. Strength’s 0-0 reminded me of a gladiator in the arena facing the lions. I hoped to see what kind of “strength” he brought into the cage to meet an opponent like Block Rocker. The round went for a whole 12 seconds. Strength was no match for the onslaught of strikes by Burch and he tapped out.
(Check back later to read my pre-fight interview with Dray Burch)

6th Fight
Maxwell “The Hero” vs. Wade “The Terror” (Wolfpack)
Both of these fighters were a good match in size and height –
The Hero – 5’9 140 lbs. The Terror – 5’7 145 lbs. did not disappoint the crowd that came to see a fight. The Terror’s first move was to slam Hero all the way down to a hard landing on the mat. When Hero got back to his feet the rest of the fight was standing, neither opponent wanted to go down. The Terror “terrorized” Hero with pounding fist strikes to the left side. Wade won the match with a TKO.
(Check back later to read my pre-fight interview with Andy Wade)

7th Fight
Widner “The Axe” vs. Jordan “The Destroyer” ”(Supreme Team/Wolfpack Clan)
Again these were another great fight card match, both 0-0 within an inch difference in height and a pound difference in weight. After a quick strike exchange the Destroyer scored a takedown. The Axe threw some hard punches and managed to get back on his feet and somehow had the Destroyer fight most of this fight upside down. He still landed some brutal shots to Axe’s chest and when the horn blew at the end of round one, Axe couldn’t seem to catch his breath in time for the start of the second round. Destroyer jeered at Axe,- “You can quit! You can quit!!” Axe took his offer and round two never happened. The Destroyer did a back flip to celebrate winning before he left the cage.

8th Fight
Grooms “The Grubber” (Team Underdog) vs. Reed “The Rooster” (Team Konflict)
When two heavyweights step into the cage, Grubber’s 50 lbs. of weight advantage had me wondering, will size matter? Grubber had a strong and hard beginning attack but got taken down by Rooster. When Rooster got back up, the two took turns using the cage to trap the other to tire the other one out. Both of these fighters knew the power in their legs and hit hard with the knees taking advantage of the stand-up. The Rooster executed a standing guillotine until Grubber tapped ending the fight.

9th Fight
Lamb “From the 229” vs. Bennett “The Insane” (Wolfpack)
Down on the mat Insane was brutal with his knees to 229’s ribs. At some point 229 lost his mouthpiece and the fight was paused for him to put it back in. Insane was able to dominate by top mounting 229 and was able to slide 229 ‘s head into the cage while he went “insane” with his strikes until 229 tapped out. The fans in the crowd yelled,”This is Wayne’s world!”

10th Fight MAIN EVENT
French “The Hitman” (Tallahassee MMA) vs. Peterson “Dynamite” (Team Underdog)
I saw the Hitman win during his last SFL match. Hitman is 5-1 to Dynamite 2-0
Hitman is another fighter to watch break free from his amateur status in the near future. When these two athletes stepped into the cage it was clear to see why they were the main event. Dynamite was clearly the crowd favorite. He brought with him to the SFL his entourage of fans.
The fight started with Dynamite taking Hitman to the ground, he had control in the first round, he tried his best to break the Hitman down, but at the end of the 1st round the Hitman didn’t seem winded in his corner and Dynamite looked fatigued.

At the start of the 2nd three-minute round Dynamite was determined and got Hitman down. Hitman twisted out and both were able to retake the dominant position several times but at the end of round two, Hitman took some hard hits to the head while waiting for the horn to blow.

Round three Hitman’s initial attack was strong and had Dynamite in a neck hold, Dynamite looked like he was struggling but he was able to break free and get the fight back to standing. It wasn’t long before Hitman was back on the ground at Dynamite’s focus on his advantage to deliver strikes to the ribs and head. Hitman was not giving up. The horn sounded for the end of the round before he was able to untangle from Dynamite’s grip. The Judges had to call the winner of the fight.

The MC gave Hitman two seconds of victory by mistakenly announcing him as the winner. He knew the call was wrong as soon as he heard it, it didn’t stop him or me from cheering anyway.
The announcer quickly corrected his call and announced Peterson as the official winner.

This was a great show by the Southeastern Fight League and I am already looking forward to the next fight night.


August 7, 2009

Last night I went to a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight with The Southeastern Fight League. Mixed martial Arts are a variety of different martial arts such as MMA grappling, JKA Shotokan Karate-Do, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing. This style of fighting has gained popularity with well known Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). MMA is intense fighting. The fights are held in an octagonal competition mat with a chain link cage. I’ve watched some UFC matches on television, last night was the first time I watched matches live. A friend of mine, Steve Baxley owns the venue, Southeastern Fight Center and started the Wolfpack MMA Dothan.

The line up for the night was for five fights. It was held in a new building on the outskirts of town. The building did not have air condition and it was hot. The air was thick with humidity and anticipation. Before the fights the fighters were warming up behind a black curtain. Through a break in the curtain I could see the fighters prepare. They prepare by punching pads and show their true personalities that pump up the testosterone and mental attitude to get into the cage. These fights have just a handful of rules:

Commission approved gloves

Weight classes

Time limits and rounds

Mandatory drug testing

No head butting or kicking to the downed opponent

No knees to the head of a downed opponent

No downward point of the elbow strikes

No strikes to the spine or the back of the head

No groin or throat strikes

State Athletic Commission approval in such major states as New Jersey, Nevada, Florida & Louisiana.

I had a front row seat right in line for blood and sweat splatter. I picked the spot because it was in line with a fan, (did I mention that it was HOT??) The building was crowded. Upon entry you could choose admission for sitting or standing. I chose sitting. I wasn’t sure how long these matches lasted and if the heat got to be too much I certainly wanted a seat. There were special effects lighting and a DJ/ announcer playing heavy metal music. The Southeastern Fight League fights draw a large crowd locally. The fights can have an attendance of close to 300 people. That’s the reason for the new building. The owner used to have the fights at his dojo but there was not enough room.

One of the trainers promoting his fighters, told me who to watch to win. Wayne the Insane and Rash guard. I met Wayne the Insane waiting in line for the unisex restroom. He was a scrappy kid and was calm and collected for someone with a name like “Wayne the Insane.” I asked him if he was nervous. He said he didn’t get nervous. I believed him.

The event started out with a presentation of the fighting style taught by the MMA Wolfpack. I have little knowledge of how these fights are won. Intense wrestling with kneeing and punches to the face and torso, arm twisting, and slamming into the chain link. At first thought I wondered if the way to win was the same as wrestling, where the opponent had to be held down by both shoulders for a count. I was wrong. There are two ways to win – a tap out, where the loser knows he’s met his match under a great deal of pain without any way to get out from his opponent. The second way to win is a knock out.

After the presentation the first round was announced. Kickboxing. The fighters were underage, under 18 yrs. Old, so they were padded up. Fighters 18 yrs. Old and under must have parental consent and pads to enter the ring. Anyone over the age of 18 is considered an adult and can get into the ring and get beat all they want without padding. The two fighters fought hard and I could tell that one of the fighters almost got knocked out. After a punch in the head I saw him wobble, lean down and put his hands on his knees while he counted his stars. Once he got done counting about 30 stars he seemed to shake them out of his view and get back into the fight. Sadly he didn’t recover and lost the match.

The second match was between two heavy weights one weighed in at 189 lbs. the second weighed in at 220 lbs. I wasn’t sure that weight made any difference with winning. The lighter of the two won the fight.

Wayne the Insane won the third match. (I was distracted with conversation and missed watching his fight, it seemed to happen really fast)

The forth match was with a Georgia boy who had traveled to the last three fight nights held by the Southeastern Fight League and didn’t have anyone to fight in his weight division. This guy looked like a fighter. He was all tattooed. His chest had an impressive star tattoos spread from one shoulder to the other. This was his first fight with the Southeastern Fight League. I like to root for the underdog so I thought his opponent would give him a good fight and might even take him. I was wrong, my choice had an explosive attack to start, but Georgia boy won.

The main event of the night fighters- Rash guard (Wolfpack team) 6’2” 155 lbs. and his opponent, B. 5’9 155 lbs. I did pay attention to this fight. I was lucky enough to be at one of the corners where I could over hear the trainer speak to his fighter. The noise was loud, but the trainer and the fighter stayed in tune with each other. The trainer watched from outside the chain link and clearly told Rash guard the moves to make, “Relax, lean towards him,” and “Lets see some knees.” At which Rash guard would hear and do what the trainer told him. At the end of the first round Rash guard was struggling. During the second round he still followed the trainer’s instruction and won the match. I was impressed with the trainer and the teamwork between him and the fighter.

The Wolfpack won all their matches and that speaks well about the training and preparation for the matches. They train male and females. After the fights a friend of mine stopped by to say hello and told me his daughter is training to fight with the Wolfpack. I could see the pride in the father thinking of his daughter fighting these fights. The fighters seemed young to me but they enter the ring with fighting track records and know what to do when they are in the ring, unleash their speed, power, and flexibility!

Going to this live Southeastern Fight League match was new to me. For a thrilling night I would recommend it to anyone to watch it live. I would go again. I would like to see more of the pre-fight behind the curtain. That is where the fighter’s real personalities shine. When they get in the ring they are focused, and do what they are there to do.