New Jersey has always been a pioneer of MMA, blazing the way for the sport to become as mainstream as it has.  Nick Lembo, counsel to the NJSACB, is one of the people most responsible for the growth of MMA in the United States.  Nick helped unify the rules and he runs a tight ship in New Jersey where MMA flourishes.  Not only does the state host the biggest promotions (the UFC is coming to Newark on March 27), he presides over local shows that are a springboard to the big leagues for many local fighters, including the Miller brothers, Mike Massenzio, Frankie Edgar, Jay Silva and many more.  Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat promotion was the home of many UFC stars, including Matt Serra, Pete Sell and a host of others.

Matt Serra is training hard for his upcoming fight against Frank Trigg at UFC 109 on February 6.  There are quite a few videos out there with him and I've compiled the best ones for your viewing pleasure.  Check em out!

Great quote from Cris Cyborg today at the Strikeforce conference call. She was asked: Cris, you beat Gina Carano, who was the face of women’s MMA fighting. I guess now you are the face of women’s MMA fighting. Do you like that role? Cyborg replied:
I wasn’t thinking about who is the face of MMA when I fought Gina. Gina was just another opponent like anyone else. With me being the face of women’s MMA or not, I’m just going over there and doing my job, making sure I’m training hard and leading up the pack for all women in MMA.
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Our good friend Igor from Russia has some new Team Fedor pics.  Igor is close to Fedor's camp and always delivers the goods.  Thanks, Igor!!

 

I had the pleasure of hosting the fights last Saturday night in Dover, NJ, for the Evolution Amatuer MMA promotion, run by Jose Suarez.  Jose did a great job with the event and the place was packed.  Steve Katz, a very well known figure on the tri-state MMA scene did a great job of matchmaking and running the show.  Plus we got to see him all dashed out in a suit that was even cooler than mine.

The fights were amazing and featured some great new talent.  I was in the ring doing the announcing and was joined at the commentary table by pro fighter Andrew Montanez, who writes for this site on occasion (check him out on Twitter twitter.com/AndrewJitsu). We had a blast doing the commentary, which was live on GoFightLive.tv.  In fact you can see all the action for free on their website.

There were some spectacular KOs and subs and the action was so good the crowd didn't want to leave after the show.

It's always great fun getting to hang out with NJ's Nick "Luscious" Lembo and the gang.  Dr. Sherry Wulkan was on hand to ensure the fighters' safety along with the birthday boy, Dr. Eaton.  Not only is Dr. Eaton a great doctor, he is also apparently an aspiring audio director (don't quit your day job, doc!).

All in all in was a great debut for this new promotion and the next show is already scheduled for March 6.  My thanks to Jose and Steve Katz for getting me involved.  And thanks to all the fighters for leaving it all in the cage...you guys rock.

For a complete writeups, check out Jim Genia's blog and MidAtlanticMMA

Complete results after the jump.

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There are two reasons why you should know and love Brazilian MMA fighter Joaquim "Mamute" Ferreira:  the first is that he is the only fighter to not only defeat UFC heavyweight mangler Junior Dos Santos, but finish him with a slick armbar; the second is that he is an old school Sepultura fan and the Cavalera brothers are what got him into fighting.

You say you have no idea who or what a "Sepultura" is?  You probably either get the senior discount on your McDonald's coffee, listen to Michael Bolton, or you're an avid badminton fan (not that there's anything wrong with any of those exemplary qualities).

Before we get into the interview, let's discuss Mamute's losses.  A quick glance at his 8-3 record does not relate the full story nor reflect the talent that this young man exudes.  He suffered his first two losses on the same night in the XFC tournament in Rio De Janeiro.  He first engaged Andre Mussi to a grueling decision that most believed Mamute should have won, and as a testament to this, Mussi was unable to continue in the tournament finals because he was too worn-down and injured from Mamute's submissions.  Exhausted himself, Mamute stepped up and took Mussi's position in the tournament finals later that evening against a man named Junior Dos Santos.

Tonight is the premier of the Tri-State Battle.  They're having their first amateur MMA event in Dover, New Jersey and yours truly will be at the show doing the ring announcing and commentary for the Internet broadcast.  I believe the event is going to be broadcast live on GoFightLive.tv where you can catch all the action FREE!

Aslo, be sure to check out the promotion's website: EvolutionAMMA.com.

See you at the show!

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Mike Constantino of AMA Fight Club announced yesterday that UFC fighter Dan Miller was just awarded his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt.  Here's the announcement:

Congratulations to UFC Fighter Dan Miller who was promoted to Black Belt today by his BJJ Instructor, Renzo Gracie black belt Jamie Cruz!

During our Pro MMA Practice today Jamie surprised Dan and awarded him his black belt. Dan has been training BJJ for only 4 years…

Some of Dan’s notable submissions have been on the sports biggest stage…Jake Rosholt & Rob Kimmons in the UFC as well as submitting Ryan Mcgivern to win the IFL middleweight championship & submitting BJJ Black Belt Dave Phillips in what was Dan’s IFL debut. The latter submission being dubbed “The most brutal guillotine in MMA”

Congratulations to Dan Miller, Jamie Cruz & all of the AMA Fight Club Family!!!

You can check out Dan's most brutal guillotine after the jump.

Way to go, Dan!

This is not it:

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