Q&A With Andre "Maneco" Leite

Andre “Maneco” Leite is currently a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor at the Emerald Smoke MMA gym in the River West neighborhood of Chicago, but that title only scratches the surface of what this fighter is all about.  Andre has won many tournaments and titles in his career.  Most recently, at the age of 41, he... Read more »

Q&A with Maurice Greene, a professional fighter from Chicago

Q&A with Maurice “The Pirate” Greene On August 4th, heavyweight Maurice “The Pirate” Greene will go up against MTC’s Ed Carpenter at the Flawless Fighting Championship. At 6-feet-7 and 235 lbs, he is the first Emerald Smoke-trained fighter to compete professionally. With all eyes on Maurice and his first professional fight just a couple weeks... Read more »

Mixed Martial Hockey?

As a codicil to this post, I would like to say that I am a huge hockey and, obviously, a huge MMA fan.  But I never thought I’d see the day when the two sports were combined.  I feel like that is what I am watching during the current NHL playoffs.  There seems to be... Read more »

MMA in Chicago - Conversation with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney

I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney today.    A gracious and friendly visionary, it is becoming pretty clear that Bellator has become a true force to be reckoned with in the international MMA scene.   Set forth below are some of the questions and answers I posed,... Read more »

The Journey of MMA

About 10 months ago, a young guy walked into my gym asking about being a fighter.  From Detroit, he sported a variety of tattoos and a whole lot of Eminem-esque attitude.  He told us stories about his upbringing and the reasons he moved to Chicago, all significant factors in his life (and too personal for... Read more »

UFC Announces Second Headline Fight for Fox Event in Chicago

The UFC just announced that the enigmatic Chael Sonnen will meet Mark Munoz at its Fox event here in Chicago.   This adds the second wrestler vs. wrestler main event to the UFC’s card.  Munoz and Sonnen, however, are known for good, exciting scraps.  Both guys have emerging stand-up skills and love to go blow... Read more »

UFC Chooses Headliner for Chicago Matchup on Fox

It is official, the UFC has made Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis at least one of the headlining fights for the UFC on Fox 2 event here at the United Center in Chicago.  Both Evans and Davis come from extremely strong wrestling backgrounds.  Evans has developed a stronger stand-up game while Davis exhibits extraordinary raw... Read more »

Humility Important in MMA

I just read a fantastic excerpt from Matthew Polly’s book entitled Tapped Out.  In a sport like MMA, there can be a great tendency for people to watch events on TV and think “I can do that”.  For some, these flawed ideologies manifest themselves when they walk into MMA gyms and immediately believe they are... Read more »

MMA Saves Lives in the Real World

As you might have heard on the news, two Oregon men in Los Angeles for a grappling tournament recently used their knowledge of jiu-jitsu to subdue an armed robber at a Korea-town hotel.  Often, given the proliferation of grappling tournaments, sport jiu jitsu takes precedent in the gym.  Emphasis on how to score points and... Read more »

Baseball Players Join the MMA Train

In an interesting interview by Ted Gruber this morning, it appears that MMA training has crossed over from a tool used by those in contact and/or combat sports into the national past time.  While the MMA-inspired off-season training habits of football players like Clay Matthews, Patrick Willis, Matt Leinart, Mercedes Lewis and Keith Rivers have... Read more »