MMA in Australia

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mma in australia

MMA in Australia

During the UFC 84 Media Conference, Knucklepit.com asked Dana White which country he was eyeing off next, now that the UFC is in USA, UK and Canada.  Dana replied, “We’re focused on Germany, the Philippines and Australia next.” 

This was originally published on September 5, 2008 and has been archived

Michael David Smith then asked: Where does Brazil fit in?  And how important is it that five of the 10 fighters on the main card at UFC 84 are Brazilian?

Dana White: What’s funny is, I had recently, probably about three weeks ago, I did an interview and said, ‘You know what, Brazil isn’t even in our radar right now’.  And that’s changed. Actually in the last three weeks, we’re seriously looking at Brazil right now.  There are a lot of interesting economical things going on down there right now.  And we’re interested.

Doug Jeffrey then asked Dana how important fighter safety was to the UFC.

Dana White: Very important.  I mean if you look at the track record we have in the nine and a half years that we’ve been in this business alone, there’s never been a death or serious injury in the UFC.  I don’t even know if badminton can say that.  Even if you look at the UFC back in the crazy days, you know, same thing: There’s never been a death or serious injury.

Now, let’s say since we’ve taken over, all we’ve done is run toward regulation.  We want to get all the states regulated and even when we go over to the UK, where the commission isn’t overseeing us, we overdo it with medicals before events.

I’m a huge advocate of all these smaller shows.  These guys that fight in the smaller shows have to fight in shows that are in states which are sanctioned where you have to get medicals done before the fight. You know, EKGs, CAT scans, MRIs, et cetera, et cetera.  Believe me, I’m all about safety. Most of the guys fighting in this sport are my friends.  I like these guys and I care about them.  I don’t ever want to see anybody get hurt in this sport.

Doug Jeffrey: How soon is Brazil a possibility?

Dana White: I don’t know. We just started talking about it.  The Philippines is definitely happening.  We’re working on that right now.  Australia and Germany, those three are right now.  And we’re starting to focus on doing something in Brazil.

The Grapevine: Latest unconfirmed rumors kicking around are that the UFC will be arriving in Oz in 2009.

 MMA GYMS IN AUSTRALIA

NSW

Double Dragon Martial Arts Gym

Mick Spinks

55 East parade Sutherland NSW

www.doubledragon.com.au

02 95890400

Fully equipped full time gym developing all aspects of Mixed Martial Arts Fighting

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Sinosic Perosh Martial Arts

Elvis Sinosic and Anthony Perosh

29a Majors Bay Road Concord

Concord: 02-8765 8526

and

Level 1, 224-238 George St Liverpool

Liverpool: 02-9602 4183

Website:

www.spma.net.au

Email:

concord@spma.net.au

Liverpool@spma.net.au  

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Customised Fitness Solutions

Jon Leven

Suite 5, 49-51 Eton Street, Sutherland, NSW

02 9521 3918

0419 252 602

www.customisedfitnesssolutions.com.au

CFS gym is set up with cage panels & a half cage built by Warriors Realm to replicate a true MMA experience whilst the Zebra MMA floor mats are the same as used by the UFC in the Octagon.

The dedicated MMA area also features padded walls, numerous bags & a mirror for shadow boxing.

Catering for beginners through to professional fighters, classes are taught by Jon Leven who has over 20 year’s martial arts experience including amateur & professional MMA fights throughout Australia & overseas.

CFA also has the best weight training & cardio equipment built by American manufacturers Tuffstuff & Precor, supplied by Adv anti Fitness.

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Boxing Works Sydney

Larry Papadopoulos:

boxingworks@ozemail.com.au

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Diamond Martial Arts

Phil Monaghan

14 Keona Circuit, Coffs Harbour

026 651 4646

diamondmartialarts@gmail.com

www.GoDma.com.au

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QUEENSLAND

Combined Martial Arts

Bill Wakefield

46-50 Spencer Road, Nerang, QLD

0755 274 911

www.c-m-a.com.au

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Ken Twaddell

Loganholme, QLD

0422 275 793

www.knucklepit.com/mixed-martial-arts-ken_twaddell.htm  

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IMA Gym

Danny Higgins

23 Wolverhampton St, Stafford, QLD

0409 595 280

www.integratedmma.com

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VICTORIA

Academy of Combined Arts

Mick Nicholls

0394 663 472

Freestyle_karate@iprimus.com.au  

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Extreme Jiu-Jitsu 

John Donehue

Address: 1st Floor 680 Warrigal Rd, Chadstone, 3148

Tel: 9568 4999

Website: www.extremejjg.com

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Extreme Mornington

Jeroen Lynders

jeroenlynders@bigpond.com 

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ACT

Phoenix Gym

Anthony Manning

Sandford St Mitchell ACT.

www.phoenixgym.com.au

02 62412402

Fully equipped full time gym developing all aspects of Mixed Martial Arts Fighting


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WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Mach 1 Gym

Habby Heske

454 Scarborough Beach Road

Osbourne Park, WA

+61 89 443 1227

www.fightclub.wa.com  


MMA in Australia

by Marc Wickert

(previously published at www.ufc.tv)

Mixed Martial Arts has come a long way in Australia since UFC’s inception.

Prior to November 12, 1993, we were experiencing the Dark Ages of martial arts. Then Ultimate Fighting Championship caused a renaissance in the fighting arts, when UFC thunder-crashed across p-p-v screens around the globe. It was no coincidence UFC 1 was named The Beginning.

Legendary referee Big John McCarthy says, “The UFC has done more to change the way people think of the martial arts in the last 10 years than probably anything else has done in the last 100 years before that. The UFC made people take notice of what truly worked in a fight. All of the flash and fancy movement wasn’t doing too well in real fights.”

For the first time, fight instructors had to justify what they were teaching their loyal students. The secret and deadly skills they possessed now had a proving ground in the Octagon. Some styles stood up to the challenge, but most went back to the dojo drawing board or retreated into the Dark Ages.

Originally Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – courtesy of the Gracie Family – seemed to be The Style. But as Bruce Lee stated, “No way is The Way.” And it became apparent that fighters had to be more rounded: A fighter needed a good striking system, good takedown techniques, and adequate submission skills, whether they be by way of BJJ-type grappling or by persuasive ground’n’pounding techniques.

The influence of Ultimate Fighting Championship has not been restricted to America, but has ridden the crest of the technological age internationally. Today fighters from all over the world are competing in Ultimate events. In UFC 44, Andre Arlovski fought against fellow soviet fighter Vladimir Matyushenko in what was unofficially the Battle of Belarus.

The fans are watching from around the world also. The introduction of cable and satellite TV has enabled fight enthusiasts to view the planet’s crème de la crème of no-holds-barred competition from their living rooms. The result is a continual evolution of the ultimate fighting system.

For this reason MMA fans and practitioners are demanding nothing but the best. They won’t settle for one style such as just boxing or just karate. UFC trainer and former champion Pat Miletich has witnessed this trend.

“As a whole, anywhere our sport has been sanctioned by athletic commissions, boxing has died. Boxing has consistently not been able to sell out, and it’s getting smaller and smaller crowds. Because people now realize the guys in our sport are pound-for-pound the toughest in the world. When they talk about boxers being the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, to us and to most people who are educated about it now, boxers are not fighters – they’re boxers; we’re fighters,” says Miletich.

There is also the suspense factor involved in watching MMA events that is absent in other fighting tournaments. In boxing, if a fight doesn’t go the distance, it will end by a punch or disqualification. In Jiu Jitsu it will be by submission. However, a UFC fan doesn’t know what the fighters are bringing to the Octagon or how the bout will finish.

And it’s easy to tell a boxing crowd from a UFC audience without looking at the ring: Boxing fans are renowned for being restless during preliminary bouts, often leaving their seats and asking, “When does the main event start?” By contrast, UFC fight fans stay poised for every bout because they know every fight is of main-event standard.

Australia is a sporting nation, and viewing of UFC tournaments is very popular on p-p-v TV here also. Maybe it’s due to our convict-settlement heritage, but Aussies have always loved fighting – both in and out of the ring – so the reality fighting aspect of UFC naturally appeals to Australians.

Whilst Randy Couture, Matt Hughes and Pat Miletich are very popular in Australia, Tank Abbott is an obvious favorite amongst martial artists and fight fans here. Gold Coast Karate, Muay Thai and Arnis instructor Peter Ogilvie expresses this sentiment. “I reckon Tank’s brilliant…A true fighter. He loves doing it. Tank’s attitude…He’ll take on anyone, and it doesn’t matter if he loses, Tank just loves to fight,” says Ogilvie.

Ken Twaddell has forty years experience in martial arts, having spent ten of those years bouncing at some of Sydney’s toughest bars. Twaddell instructs in Kung Fu, Thai boxing and Qi Gong, and is a big UFC enthusiast. “I like the reality of the Octagon fighting. When you’re working on the door, the last place you want to be is on the ground. I particularly enjoy watching Tank Abbott and Chuck Liddell for their realistic street approach,” says Twaddell.

Because Australians tend to be both participants and spectators, UFC-type MMA styles are also flourishing Down Under.

Former World Kung Fu Champion and Sydney martial arts instructor Mick Spinks says, “The UFC made all progressive martial artists consider and evaluate the direction of their art. I personally have always searched for more. UFC made me realize the importance of ground-fighting styles. I consider it created the next major progression in MMA since Bruce (Lee) added spice to tradition. I have spent the last eight years training in BJJ and I enjoy exploring the no-gi training concept at the moment,” says Spinks.

Shotokan Karate instructor Bill Wakefield runs one of Australaia’s most successful martial arts academies from Nerang, Queensland. “The UFC has introduced a realism and practicality never before seen in the fighting arts. Students can still study traditional styles, but I encourage them to attend our MMA classes, which incorporate all facets of street defense: striking, grappling and submission. But the real beauty of UFC’s influence has been the way it has opened up martial artists of various codes to one another,” says Wakefield.

The huge interest in UFC in Australia has created a demand for MMA events across the country. Tournaments such as Spartan Reality Fight Series, Extreme Fighting Championship (XFC), King of the Mountain, and Shoto are some of the more popular competitions.

Spartan promoter Kerry Dunne has been presenting his Reality Fight Series for three years, and he is delighted with the public’s support. “At our last event we had another full house and had to turn over one hundred people away. The first bout was actually delayed due to the number of fans outside. And each time the response is bigger. A lot of the people who come along are total laymen, but they soon develop a respect for what’s going on and they get caught up in the vibe,” says Dunne.

Martial arts web site www.knucklepit.com is an Australian-operated site with a rapidly growing readership, catering for national and international traffic. The aim of the site is to meet the demands of UFC and other MMA supporters – both in Australia and overseas – and includes interviews with some of UFC’s biggest names, such as Tank Abbott, Randy Couture, Oleg Taktarov, Matt Hughes, Tito Ortiz, Pat Miletich and Karo Parisyan.

Also available online is the street defense manual “knucklepit.com – The Book”, which demonstrates striking, takedown and submission techniques that are practical and street effective, frequently referring to methods used by UFC fighters. This reality book takes you straight to the sidewalk and is available at www.knucklepit.com now.

(Dear readers, the above article first appeared at UFC’s Official web site: www.ufc.tv  It has also been sent to all major MMA sites in America. I would like to thank UFC for their continued support of martial arts in Australia. UFC 46: Super Natural takes place on January 31, 2004 – Australia Day weekend. Please check with your pay TV provider to ensure they are televising the program).

SAD TIMES FOR OZ MMA What sad times these are for Australasian martial arts: For the first time UFC fight tournaments will not be televised in Australasia by Main Event.  

HOW YOU CAN HELP TO GET UFC BACK ON IN AUSTRALASIA: Please visit www.petitiononline.com/ufcppvoz/petition-sign.html and let Main Event know, by signing the petition, you want to see future UFCs in Australia. As previously stated, the televising of MMA events such as UFC encourages viewers to take up a martial art, and helps promote all martial arts styles in Australia. Let’s make sure we don’t miss out on UFC 47.  

UFC 47: IT’S ON! Tito Ortiz v Chuck Liddell Andre Arlovski v Tim Sylvia (heavyweight title)

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