Minotauro Nogueira – The Legend Continues

MMA legend and all round nice guy Nogueira made his return to the octagon this weekend after a 16 month layoff due to hip and knee surgery. After losing 2 of his last 3 fights many thought his age, injuries and career of epic wars inside the cage/ring were catching up with him. Against the young, athletic Brendan Schaub, who was riding a 4-fight winning streak, Nogueira was a +195 betting underdog. The pressure was on him to perform in front of his home crowd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a loss surely would have sparked talks of retirement.

In true Nogueira fashion he started the fight by absorbing punishment. He’s pulled off a number of shocking comeback victories in his career but his ability to repeat take shots has come into question as of late. The quick and powerful Schaub looked dangerous, surely Nogueira would have to look for the takedown. Well apparently not as Nogueira backed Schaub up against the cage and landed an overhand right and a left hook that dropped Schaub to the mat. (KO Gif here) The frenzied Rio crowd launched into an uproar as the hometown underdog shocked the room with the thrilling stoppage.

Nogueira has a long list of career highlights: submitting Mirko Cro Cop for the Pride heavyweight belt, submitting Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight belt, guest appearing as a Bolivian solider in The Expendables. Now he can add upsetting Brendan Schaub in his first ever fight in Brazil to that list.

Who knows what’s next for the legend, perhaps a rematch with Frank Mir could be on the cards. All that is for sure is as long as Big Nog keeps smiling, we’re smiling too.

– Jonathan Cooke from VT1 Gym

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Potential Australia vs UK series of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

If you’re an Australian MMA fighter then you better start training hard because the UFC could be bringing you the opportunity to fight you’re way into the organisation. In this article from The Sunday Telegraph Dana White keen to promote Australian ‘Ultimate Fighter’ competition Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development states “I’d like to think that before the end of the year we could be into pre-production. The pieces are certainly coming together.”

If you’re wondering what the process is to be selected to go into the house then here is a report from TUF 14 tryouts.

“At the NJ tryouts, the first round was the grappling session. 30 fighters were brought in at a time and formed a circle, while two grapplers went at it for about 90 seconds to two minutes. Dana White offered to pay $100 for every submission they pulled off. For the rest of the day, White gave out $100 bills to fighters for every time they submitted their opponent.

After each round, the numbers were cut down by half. “If you get cut, it’s probably not for your grappling or striking,” Dana White declared after the round, “You’re probably getting cut for your record.”

After this came the mitts phase, where fighters had about a minute or so to show off their hands and feet to the judges.

For those lucky few that made it to the last round, they now had to go through a deceptively simple interview, simple when compared with showing off their physical abilities but for some, more difficult to show that they will make for good television. The producers in the interview room told the fighters that this is not a job interview and that they want to see their personalities and learn more about them and asked for interesting stories.

The tryouts did not end until late into the night, about twelve hours after it had started. Of the nearly 600 fighters that came hoping to get in, only a fraction made it to the final phase, and only 14 of those men will be cast into the show and have their chance at becoming the next ‘Ultimate Fighter’.”

– Jonathan Cooke from VT1 Gym

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Ben Henderson v Jim Miller – Reasons for Success

Henderson taking down Miller during a 3 round war

In this weekend’s UFC on Versus 5 Ben Henderson fought the experienced Jim Miller who was on a 7 fight winning streak. As the (-150) betting favourite, many thought Miller was on his way to a title shot. That was not to be as the underdog Ben Henderson fought his way out of some early submission attempts to put on a dominant display, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, winning a unanimous decision.

Taking a look at the fight it was almost entirely a grappling battle. Miller has a high school and college wrestling background as well as being a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has used this skill set with success against top level UFC competition. Henderson has similar wrestling credentials and is a brown belt in BJJ. On paper it would seem that Miller had a slight grappling advantage so how did Henderson manage to win a fight determined by grappling?

1. Athleticism
Miller is a strong 155-er and has outmuscled some tough competition. However Henderson appeared to match Miller’s strength with an increased level of speed. If you look at the size of Henderson’s legs it’s easy to see why he had so much power behind his shot and why it was hard for Miller to finish his leg lock attempts. With the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts increasing and the standard of its fighters improving, the bar for athleticism is at a new high. It is no longer a matter of being either quick or strong but fighters need to excel at both.

2. Component Training
Many fighters once they make the transition to professional MMA only train ‘striking for MMA’, ‘wrestling for MMA’ and ‘jiu jitsu for MMA’. As discussed by VT1 Gym Head Coach Liam Resnekov in this article Guaranteed Ways to Lose an MMA Fight – Learn to Win! this can be detrimental to your ability to best develop in those areas. Miller is a black belt and Henderson is a brown belt however Henderson as well as fighting in MMA has regularly been competing in pure BJJ competition. In the 2011 World Championships he was the bronze medallist in the brown belt division. This preparation would have helped Henderson to hold his own on the ground with Miller in the fight.

3. Position before Submission
Miller had a number of close submission attempts in the first round including a standing head arm choke, a kimura and a guillotine. It would have been great for him if he had secured them but unfortunately in each case he ended up in bottom position receiving punishment from Henderson. This is a risk/reward scenario and it is up to the fighter to make the decision in the moment. However as the fight went on Miller continued to employ the same strategy with the same results. Attempting the same submissions meant Henderson was only more likely to see them coming and the fact that Miller was tiring throughout the fight meant they would be harder to finish. Although he showed promise in the first round, one judge scoring it 10-9 Miller for the submission attempts, it seemed as though he needed to change strategy in the later rounds because Henderson won the fight from maintaining position and landing his shots from on top.

The future looks bright for Ben Henderson as after defeating Mark Bocek and Jim Miller he is perhaps only one win against top competition, such as Glay Guida or Melving Guillard, from his shot at the title.

To learn more about MMA check out VT1 Gym’s C.O.R.E. MMA System

– Jonathan Cooke from VT1 Gym

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Guaranteed ways to lose an MMA fight, learn to win!

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson wrote an interesting article over here and as a well traveled, experienced coach and creator of VT1 Gym’s C.O.R.E MMA system,  I agree with a lot of it.  MMA is a rapidly growing sport and unfortunately most MMA programs are still in the dark ages. There are some points I also disagree with, such as MMA being a sport not an art. Let’s examine this interesting paragraph:

“5. You lose by thinking you need to do more “MMA” to improve your MMA game. Contrary to what we all purport, MMA is really not a sport, it is a sporting event. MMA is really the name that is provided to the mixing of all of the arts together. When you lose, it not because you need to learn “boxing for MMA” or “Judo for MMA” or “BJJ for MMA” it’s because either your boxing, judo, wrestling, BJJ, or Muay Thai needs work. Take some time to isolate the problem, jump into the area of focus, fix it and return. You can’t just do MMA and get better at MMA, just like you can’t drive a car faster and hope that it gets faster. You have to pop the hood and change the engine for it to be able to go faster. The same goes for your MMA career.”

I disagree about MMA not being an Art, however he does have a point, one of the WORST things an athlete can do is learn “BJJ for MMA, Boxing for MMA, Wrestling for MMA”.

It’s the saddest thing to see young athletes coming in, immersing themselves in pure MMA and then getting their ass kicked by a pure BJJ guy with terrible standup and takedowns. Luckily with the right MMA program this wont happen as is demonstrated here when VT1 Gym  fighter Richard Walsh fought fantastic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt Adriano Magnani and utilized the system’s fundamentals to defeat him. In a pure BJJ match Adriano would certainly have won.

Some of the cutting edge programs (*insert plug here! :)*) such as  VT1 Gym’s C.O.R.E MMA system have integrated the ranges and created an MMA System that is unique from each of its elements/arts. HOWEVER once you have grasped the concept of integration the fastest way to improve in each range such as the striking range, clinching and ground range is to immerse oneself in the arts that have an expertise in this range.

MMA is not at the point yet where one coach can provide expert training methods in each area as well as providing a competitive outlet in each range individually. However being an expert wrestler and boxer does not mean that you will be able to box INTO wrestling SEAMLESSLY (watch GSP outwrestle Koschek, Frank Trigg etc). This is where programs such  as VT1 Gym’s C.O.R.E MMA system come in, providing methods such as the Core Entry System which act as the pathway between ranges.

Arts such as Sanda, Shootboxing etc are moving more towards integrating two ranges but even then, generally they are not strong enough in either to provide an MMA hopeful with the ability to be a cut above the rest in those areas.

So don’t give up your kimono, boxing gloves, thai pads or wrestling boots just as yet! You are doing yourself a great disservice!

Liam Resnekov

Head Coach of VT1 Gym Mixed Martial Arts Academy

390 Eastern Valley Way

Unit 19B

Chatswood, NSW 2067

(02) 9417 1001


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Tito Ortiz Vs Rashad Evans II video, Gifs and things we should learn from it!

Click HERE for Gifs/Video

My eyes almost teared up watching a once great fighters second wind come to a halt. Tito really gave it a valiant go. After stopping a young titan in Ryan Bader, Tito announced he was going to fight a former rival and title contender, Rashad Evans.

The first aspect that was glaringly obvious was that the former king of Gnp, Tito Ortiz, has failed to evolve so that his transitions between Striking, Clinch and the Ground were quite raw still. He struck effectively with his Muay Thai, then paused and shot a double leg which was easily stuff. Within a minute Rashad demonstrated some beautiful transitions of his own, what we call #2 Right in our C.O.R.E MMA System at  VT1 GYM, smoothly taking Tito down and securing the first round with some very effective ground and pound.

Secondly,  his strategy off of his back has also failed to evolve and this is ultimately what lead to his demise. If you watch Rashad’s response to Tito’s takedown attempt it is vastly different to Tito’s. Ortiz made no attempt to utilize his environment to regain his footing and Rashad slowly chipped away at until his spirit broke. This was also demonstrated in the Brian Ebersole Vs Dennis Hallman match. Hallman, a more experienced and devastating  submission grappler, was ground and pounded to a stoppage when he remained on his back using ineffective submissions.  The art and strategy of utilizing the cage defensively or “wall walking” is vital to modern MMA and can be the path to victory or the slippery slope to defeat in a lot of fights.

Lastly, fighters and coaches need to learn to pick their fights better! Tito fought under 1 month ago. Not only does this not provide enough time for a fighters body to recover but it also does not provide enough time for his mind. Tito is a fighter that is known to burn out, particularly towards the end of his career. Lastly Rashad is a top contender that is constantly evolving, Tito needs a comprehensive strategy to beat him. With one weeks rest after Bader and then straight into training it would be almost impossible to be strategically effective. In all fairness Tito did have shades of greatness, his kicks and knees looked effective, his guillotine as well.

The quote by Vince Lombardi: ‘fatigue makes a coward of us all’  in the end applies to Tito’s downfall combined with his inability to evolve.

– Liam Resnekov

VT1 GYM MMA Head Coach, North Shore, Sydney


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Kickbox Parkinson’s disease in the head, Torture your coaches.

Guys the 28th August is the annual VT1 Gym Mixed Martial Arts Academy walk to raise money for parkinson’s disease (not for it, but rather to cure it!). Last year was an awesome effort, but this year we set the goal of raising 10,000 dollars.

More information is coming tomorrow and we start the competition this friday. What is the competition I hear you say? Lets just say the incentive involves some serious Coach Torture!

Torture the Coaches…beat Parkinson’s….get fit…thats what VT1 Gym is about.

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Fedor Vs Henderson, magic, how Henderson destroyed the indestructible.

Click HERE to see the Video/Gifs

Dan Henderson’s victory, last night at Strikeforce over the previously indestructible Fedor Emelianenko, left fans wondering if Fedor is done. The short answer is no, which we will get to, but most importantly people want to know how it was done. I am going to discuss 3 ways in which you can knock your opponent out in MMA, Boxing or Thai Boxing WITHOUT power, no matter how good their chin is. However let me just state that Dan Henderson has and always will have incredible power in both of his hands, particularly his right hand.

The 3 Methods for KOing any opponent with or without power:

1.  The opponent doesn’t see it coming ( AKA it comes from a tricky angle.)

2. The opponent’s eyes are closed. (There are some easy ways to cause this to happen)

3. It lands in the “orange” or “red” zone. (Obviously striking to the back of the head or the “red” zone is illegal but the “orange” zone is not)

NOTE: of course punching on the chin, neck or temple is also vital, but that is a given that everybody already knows.

The punch that caught Fedor is one that we teach in our C.O.R.E MMA system as part of our 4-Part Quarter Position offence and it played right into Fedor’s back defense. The strike travels under the armpit and causes alot of damage. It’s usually setup by the other 3 strikes as well. Normally if he was turtled up tightly, the worst that would have happened was a broken nose (as the strike lands in a vertical manner from chin to forehead) as his chin would have been tucked in, however as he popped up to the tripod position, he ended up catching a very powerful strike under the chin, one that he couldn’t see coming (Rule #1).

A lot of people cry that Chuck Liddell, Fedor, Vanderlei Silva etc are done when they lose to a knockout and there is some evidence to say that the former may be, however if the educated fan watches their knockout losses they will realise that almost all of their KO’s abide by the basic rules of how to knock somebody out, without relying on power. Franklin vs Liddell, Chuck walked past him and ate it from the side. Wanderlei vs Leben, Wanderlei was hit on the back of the head, Wanderlei vs Rampage, his eyes were closed when the strike landed (plus it was on his chin).

So when analysing your own game, check that you are constantly working on systematically having your striking (standing and GNP) adhere to these rules and you will have a lot more success in switching off the lights.

See you on the mat,

Liam Resnekov

VT-1 Gym Head MMA and BJJ Coach,


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