King Mo Lawal“It’s good to be the king.”


Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is as well known and highly acclaimed in combat sports today as this famed and equally classic Mel Brooks’ one-liner. Currently, the Bellator warrior and Strikeforce veteran stands 11-2-1, with Roger Gracie, Gegard Mousasi and Seth Petruzelli representing only a handful of the peers he has slain in his path.


The best thing about Mo? You never know what’s coming next. Whether it’s a vicious knockout blow in the Bellator cage, an insightful look into MMA politics, shedding light on steroid use, or the fact that he recently signed with TNA Impact Wrestling, Lawal never fails to keep his fans on their toes.


With an arsenal of talent, a sharp wit and a game plan like Mo’s, how can one fail when they are already destined for greatness?





Abdullah “Bull” Lawal before his Victory at Legacy FC 19.

SJ Sports: What was your experience like cornering your brother, Bull, in the Legacy FC cage, being that this was his MMA debut?


King Mo: Personally, I hated it because he’s so young. There’s a lot that I was saying for him to do but he couldn’t do it because he had no idea what it was. So, I was getting frustrated. I was proud of him, but at the same time, he only trained five months for this. He’s a basketball player, so he had no contact experience whatsoever. Most people that wrestle, they’ve been wrestling for a while so you kind of know what to do, but hell, he’d only been wrestling five months. So every time I yelled something for him to do, he said, “What’s that? I don’t know what that is.” I’m like, “Keep on; just take him down!” It was just frustrating and nerve wracking because he’s my little brother. It was good to see him win and fight through, push through to get that W.


1374371822SJ Sports: Do you think Bellator trying to compete directly with UFC (for example, PPV) is a good idea? Or should they try to evolve and become their own complimentary brand?


King Mo: Here’s the thing: they’re not trying to directly compete. It’s just like when Strikeforce was around; years ago, Dana White said, “Hey, Strikeforce is doing a great job; they have a reasonable promotion.” As soon as Strikeforce started saying, “Hey, we’re going to go nation wide,” and just have shows nationally, UFC was like, “’F’ Strikeforce; they’re wrong; they’re our enemy.” The thing is, UFC wants to be the only show; the only big show. With Bellator, you don’t ever hear Bjorn Rebney talk about UFC. He doesn’t say anything about the UFC. You hear Dana White talk about Bellator all day, every day. Bellator does things different: we have a tournament system to determine who gets a title shot. The UFC, all you have to do is just look good and say the right things and you’ll get a title shot. Bellator’s more ‘sport’ and the UFC is more ‘spectacle.’


SJ Sports: Is mixing a “real” sport like MMA together with pro-wrestling dangerous for integrity or are some people overreacting?


King Mo: I think people are overreacting. For one, pro-wrestling, the objective is to pin somebody, one, two three, or make him tap out with a move. You don’t ever see anyone jump to the top rope in MMA. You don’t see anyone poking people in the eye in MMA, because it’s against the rules. The organization I fight in, we fight in a cage. In pro-wrestling, it’s usually a ring and if it’s a cage, the rules are to climb up the cage to get out the cage. In MMA, if you grab the cage, you could be disqualified or lose a point. There are big differences. There’s no way to get them mixed up unless you’re new to both sports. If you watch pro-wrestling and you watch MMA, you can see the difference right there. Big-time difference.



Brothers at Legacy FC 19.

SJ Sports: There has been a lot of talk lately in sports media regarding PEDs and suspensions. Seeing as you have also been recently suspended for steroid use after your fight with [Lorenz] Larkin, what is your stance now on using them?


King Mo: When I fought Larkin, I wasn’t, like, injecting anything; it was over the counter. It’s like a pro-hormone. It’s like if you go to Wal-mart and buy something called ‘DHEA.’ That’s illegal; you couldn’t use that. It’s illegal in sports all across the board. I’m hoping to do year-round drug tests; I’m open to it. I’ll be drug-tested by Bellator and TNA. I’m cool do to whatever.


SJ Sports:When people think of PEDs, they think of athletes sticking big needles in their necks. Is that a huge misconception?


King Mo: Yeah, it’s a big misconception! You could get nasal sprays that have performance-enhancing drugs [in them.] Too much caffeine and you could fail a test. Alcohol. Marijuana. People say marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug because it calms your nerves and gives you a steady hand. It’s pills, it’s injections, it’s nasal sprays. Even IVs. When I used to wrestle, last year, IVs got banned because they were considered performance enhancing. You have to be careful what you buy. I don’t take anything in pill form besides Iron, Vitamin C and B-Complex. Everything else is powder or oil. Omega-3s and Fish Oils. I don’t take any type of pre-workout pills. None of that stuff. I don’t mess with no crazy supplement companies. Things pop up here and there. I saw something on Twitter; this company was sponsoring the Olympics, or the governing body for the Olympics, or a sport like USA Wrestling, or something like that. I don’t know which governing body, but the supplements they had had some type of pro-hormone in it, so they had to can the whole supplement because it had an illegal substance in it. It happens all the time. had stuff they were shipping out that had traces of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in it. There’s no regulation for it. It’s not FDA-approved. There is no governing body that oversees the way supplements are made or if they even work. Now, I’m thinking they don’t really even work because if they did work, they’d be banned.


SJ Sports: So you obviously disagree with the fact that the commission overturned your win into a no-contest?


Mo LawalKing Mo: Well, yeah. You’ve got to decide: what did I do? The dude had no ground game, but it’s the rules. At the same time, I’m not going to go out there and use some kind of steroids to defeat somebody that had no ground game. I could have taken him down anytime, at will. It is what it is. I’m passed that, but at the same time it’s just bitter; it’s bitter in my heart.


SJ Sports: Speaking of the Olympics, do you think a lack of Olympic wrestling will affect MMA?


King Mo: Yeah, I think so. You’ll get more sub-par wrestling. How can you determine what world-class is if you don’t have the Olympics or world championships? There are four or five world-class wrestlers in wrestling: me, Joe Warren, Ben Askren, Daniel Cormier, Yoel Romero, Alexis Vila…and that’s about it. No one else there competes at the world-level in amateur wrestling. There’s college wrestling. College wrestling is tough, but it’s not world-class wrestling, in my opinion.


SJ Sports: Who, in your opinion, is the most “overrated” fighter?


King Mo: I think we all are. It’s true; everybody talks about fighting like it’s the biggest and baddest thing, but it’s just fighting. It takes a lot of training and work, but it’s just fighting. So, in this instance, we are all overrated. It’s just entertainment. It’s nothing earth shattering.


SJ Sports: More important for a fighter’s career: winning or being an entertainer?


King Mo: I think winning. You could be a good entertainer, but if you you’re losing, you’re a loser. In real sports, how many football games you been to where you’re like, “Man, that was a boring game.” Or you see the commissioner saying, “Hey, you know what? Buffalo Bills, you guys win, but you’re boring, so this year you’re not going to be playing football.” Let’s be real; let’s be honest. In true sports…MMA is not a true sport, really…it’s more of a spectacle, but in true sports, people don’t care about ‘boring.’ They care about winning. If the game goes to overtime, all they care about is the result. “Oh man, it went into overtime. It was a great game, even though no one scored. It was all defense.”


SJ Sports: Then again, football is a team sport; MMA is not.



Cornering Brother, “Bull” at Legacy FC 19.

King Mo: No, but at the same time, it’s a sport.  It’s like tennis. The result is winning. To me, tennis is boring. Same with golf, but people watch it for the result. Tennis and golf are bigger sports than MMA.


SJ Sports: So you would say MMA isn’t really considered “mainstream” yet?


King Mo: I think it’s real mainstream, but I don’t think it’s a true sport just yet. There are a lot of things lacking. There’s no true ranking system…true media. It’s controlled by certain people in the sport. Say you were in the UFC and you put me on the cover of your magazine, they might be like, “Guess what? Just because you did that, you’re not going to get your credentials anymore.”


SJ Sports: Has MMA reached its money-earning potential for fighters, or will it get better?


King Mo: I have no idea. I think it’s oversaturating right now if you look at it. The clothing companies are falling by the wayside. They’re doing too much. The Ultimate Fighter and all the reality shows have fallen off. The reason football never gets oversaturated is because you have seasons. When football season’s over, you got a long break. That’s why everybody’s like, “Man, I can’t wait till football season.” Same thing with basketball. Same thing with baseball. The seasons keep it fresh.


SJ Sports: Who were you most impressed with and what shocked you about your experience calling Invicta FC?


Invicta FC Commentary

“King Mo” Lawal, Julie Kedzie & Mauro Ranallo at Invicta FC

King Mo: It’s not the fighters that shocked me, because I knew they’d be good. The women always bring it. It was how much momentum Invicta has garnered within a year. The first show had a little hype. The second show had a little bit more. By the third show? I was like, “Damn, we got something going here.” After that, it just got bigger and better.


SJ Sports: Cris Cyborg is ‘The Terminator.’ She’s amazing.


King Mo: Not many women are going to beat her. There are not many women that can match her skill and athleticism and wrestling.


SJ Sports: Have you heard a timetable of when you are getting your title shot?


King Mo: I’m hoping it’s November. We’ll see what’s up. I’m open to fight whenever; I’m always in shape.


SJ Sports: What’s the dumbest rule in MMA?


King Mo: You can’t knee a down opponent. That’s it.


SJ Sports: Does Silva win the rematch over Weideman?


King Mo LawalKing Mo: I don’t know. You never know what’s going to happen. Anything could happen in MMA. Silva could win and Silva could lose. We all have opinions until something happens. I could believe what happened. To me, the biggest upset in all sports, to this day, was when Mike Tyson got knocked out. Mike Tyson was a 30-1 favorite. Anderson Silva was only like a 2 or 3-1 favorite. MMA is such a new sport that everyone’s trying to figure out, “Oh, he’s the greatest-of-all-time!” The sport’s only been around for 20 years. They do that for marketing purposes so people will go and watch. When I first started watching MMA, the greatest of all time was Royce Gracie. Then, after that was [Kazushi] Sakuraba, then after that it was Wanderlei Silva, after that it was Chuck Liddell, then after that it was GSP, Matt Hughes, Randy Couture. The first one came out was NHB, No Holds Barred. So, since I’ve been watching the sport, or the entertainment, we’ve had like eight greatest-of-all-times. There’s Fedor [Emelianenko]: greatest-of-all-time. Then it’s Anderson Silva. Jose Aldo. Jon Jones. Nope! Cain Velasquez. Nope! Brock Lesnar. Every three years, we have a greatest-of-all-time. People try to say that the greatest woman fighter of all time is Ronda Rousey. She’s good, but then you’ve got Megumi Fuji smashing girls with submissions, all sorts of submissions for years, but she’s got no recognition because she’s Japanese. Megumi Fuji’s been fighting for a long time. Thing is, greatest-of-all-time in women’s MMA…women’s MMA has only been around for about 15 years, if that. Megumi Fuji is revolutionary because she was doing what Ronda Rousey is doing now, back then.  She fights a different weight class, but people don’t know that. People have forgotten about her, but she’s an all-time great. People didn’t grow up fighting. They probably saw MMA for the first time on TV, so they will believe whatever people tell them. They’ll say, “Okay, he’s the greatest-of-all-time because Joe Rogan said so on TV.”


SJ Sports: Who do you think is the best promoter in MMA?


King Mo: I don’t know. People say boxing is a dead sport. Boxing is not dead and boxing will always be a bigger sport than MMA because of the way it’s run. There’s more money and more match-ups. A guy like Shane Mosley could lose four fights and still make big fights and make big money. In MMA, you lose two fights? You’re done. That’s what’s kind of stupid. In MMA, the promoter is the organization, so they just promote their fighters. Let’s say all the fighters in the world fight for Bellator. They could take a bum from the street, clean him up, get him the right match-ups and people would think he was a great fighter. Anybody could turn pro. Bull turned pro after five months! The right promoter could make you into a star.


SJ Sports: Let’s talk about wrestling. We know you’re signed with TNA. When can we expect to see you get in the ring?



Lawal’s Introduction at TNA Impact Wrestling

King MoWell, I’m hoping this year. I’ve been doing this pro-wrestling school in Ohio Valley and people don’t understand how hard pro-wrestling and pro-wrestling school is. One practice would be anywhere between three to five hours getting slammed with hitting the ropes or something like that. The typical guy that’s a pro-wrestler in TNA or the WWE will spend six to ten years at the pro-wrestling school before you make it big. I’m on the accelerated route. I’m in wrestling matches for OBW and I’ll go back and wrestle more matches within the next few weeks.


SJ Sports: What is more physically demanding? Training for pro-wrestling or training pro-MMA?


King MoThat type of training [pro-wrestling.] MMA, I can take people down; I can block stuff. In pro-wrestling, you’re doing stuff for the sake of entertainment. You’re like a stuntman. You get body-slammed. You get thrown over the ropes. You fall. You’re taking chair shots. You’re getting power-bombed. If you look at the average wrestler, at 40-years-old and you look at an average MMA fighter of the same age, the MMA fighter looks much younger and much fresher than the pro-wrestler. An MMA fighter fights three to four times a year. A pro-wrestler is kept on the road doing wrestling matches four days a week. You put on a show; it’s brutal. I see Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan can barely walk. Pro-wrestling is like a soap opera. It’s drama-filled. You’ve got a bigger stage. You’re still using talent and skill like in MMA, but you take it over the top.


SJ Sports: Did you get support from your MMA fans when you announced your deal with TNA?


IMG950134King Mo: Yeah! The ones that didn’t like it were the fans that were one-type minded. They didn’t understand that I could get paid from many areas instead of one area. Many MMA fans think this is ‘life’ when it’s just a job. To me, [MMA] is a job in my style. It’s cool to watch. I like to watch more boxing. I’ll go watch the guys I know, but I can’t just go to a UFC fight or Bellator and just sit down and watch a card. I do it every damn day. I need a break from it.


SJ Sports: I know, in the past, you’ve expressed interest in teaming up with Rampage. Has there been any talk of you joining the Main Event Mafia?


King Mo: What! Nah, I’m going to do my whole thing. Maybe I’ll tag team partner with Rampage, eventually, but I’ll do my own thing.


SJ Sports: That being said, who wins? Tito or Rampage?


King Mo: If Rampage is hurt, I give the match to Tito. If Tito is hurt, I give the match to Rampage. The training camp is what counts. You can go into a training camp feeling good and leave beat up. Depends, though. Eventually I think maybe Rampage has the advantage, but as far as them two? They trained together, so somebody knows what’s up or the secrets. Somebody knows more than the other guy. I just don’t know who. That’s all.


SJ Sports: Do TNA obligations ever interfere with MMA obligations or training?


King Mo: Nah, not right now. TNA knows that MMA comes first and they allow me to let that come first. In between camps, and here and there during camp, I’ll go to pro-wrestling school to do a few matches here and there.


SJ Sports: Do you think you will continue with both or eventually choose one sport over the other?


King Mo LawalKing Mo: My goal is when I’m done fighting to keep on doing pro-wrestling and having fun. After a while, I’d probably pick that.


SJ Sports: Is there anyone you would like to thank?


King Mo: First, I’d like to give a shout out to my boy, Frankie. That’s my dawg. Lana’s Egg Whites, Nutrition Zone, MMA Elite, Ohio Valley Wrestling, and TNA Impact Wrestling.


SJ Sports: Who would you want to play you in a movie?


King Mo: I’d like my little bro to play me.


SJ Sports: Biggest pet peeve?


King Mo: Keyboard warriors.


SJ Sports: Movie that if it comes on you have to watch it, no matter what?


King Mo: Black Dynamite, I’m Gonna Git U Sucka, Troop Beverly Hills and IP Man.



Follow King Mo on Twitter.


Photo Credits:  Special thanks to King Mo    Mike Calimbas Photography

For Marcus Sursa’s version of the story, click here.


Part I: Rebuttal interview with Nate James:


Nate James

Nate James

SJ Sports: I don’t know if you got a chance to read the article. I know Paul [Buentello] wanted me to talk with you and get your side of the story. I would be really grateful if you could tell us what you would like to say about the situation.


Nate James: I had the fight offered to me. Paul’s not my manager, by the way. He’s just my friend and teammate. I think Marcus probably met Paul earlier in time than I did, but I doubt he’s spent as much time as I have with Paul. I got zero coaching about how to fight Marcus from Paul.  In fact, everybody I talked to out here was telling me not to take the fight with Marcus, because he’s bigger than I am. I was coming off of a loss in Bellator and was released. I kind of had this hope for myself; a little bit of a kamikaze mindset, like, “I know this guy’s bigger than me, but you know what? I don’t care. I just want to start fighting.” So, I took the fight with Marcus and I won and that got me into Strikeforce.


So, we get out there, we go to weigh-ins. We’re fighting at a catch-weight; it’s been so long now, that I don’t even remember what the catch-weight was, but Marcus was overweight. So, we had a big fiasco at the weigh-ins. The Boxing Commission asked me, “Hey, what do you want to do about that? Do you still want to fight?” I said, “Yes, I still want to fight, but if you’re able to negotiate a penalty. $200 a pound.” But then [Marcus] was like, “Woah, wait! $200 a pound? I’ve got a baby on the way,” and all this stuff. I said, “I don’t care about the $200 a pound, I just want you to make weight!”


For about an hour, we went back and forth negotiating. This is something that I’ve told very few people. Marcus brought my coach, Andy Fong, and me into the back room where we had the weigh-ins and for about a half hour, pleaded with us not to take the fight. I really could not believe what I was hearing from him. He was confessing that it wasn’t a good fight for me, that it wasn’t a good fight for him because he doesn’t do well against little guys. He also asked us if we would just take the show money and leave. I didn’t come all the way to Texas from California, make weight and not fight. I love fighting and I love the sport. So, after about a half-hour, I told him that I needed to take some time to talk with my coach to figure out what to do. At that moment when he stepped back out the door, I took one look at my coach, like, “What the f**k? What the hell just happened?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Basically we were like, “There’s no way we’re not going to take the fight now; he was basically groveling.” We decided to take the fight, so we said, “Okay, $100 a pound; let’s do it.” So I got $100 for every pound that he was over. I think it was like four or six pounds or something.


So, we had the fight. In the article it said, “split decision.” I guess it was? What sticks out to me was in that third round, he was really trying to rally: a lot of moving around, a lot of head movement, but it became really predictable for me. It was like child’s play. He was almost running his head into my chest and things like that. So, he was coming forward and I was able to maneuver around it. It made it easy in that third round.


James in the Bellator Cage

After the fight, we are in the back room and I was about to do a radio interview. Marcus was walking right next to my coach and my coach said, “Good job; good fight,” and Marcus said, “F**k you!” So, Andy says, “F**k me? F**k you!”  Marcus and Andy go into the other room and I’m giving this interview. All of a sudden, I hear tables flying. I think to myself, “Oh, it’s just a bunch of huffing and puffing; it will blow over; nothing’s going to come out of it. Marcus is just a theatrical kind of guy.” But, it continued so I stopped the interview and go into the back room; all I see is my coach, his back foot planted, ready to drill him. As far as the altercation, I didn’t see it because I was in the other room, but the way I understand it is that Marcus was trying to fight my coach and as he went to other room, Paul got in the middle to separate them and Marcus took a swing at Paul, telling him, “You set me up!” So then Marcus threw a punch at him and Paul slipped it and hit him and then they got in a wrestling match after that. The fight was really between Andy and Marcus. Paul did probably hit him, but it was in retaliation of Marcus throwing a punch at Paul. Paul went in to be a mediator, trying to say, “Hey, fight’s over, let’s pull back,” and Marcus felt like he was set up on the fight. After the scuffle, there wasn’t a scratch on Paul, though. He was right as rain. He looked like he didn’t fight at all.


SJ Sports: Have you talked to or seen Marcus since that time?


Nate James: No. I’m not really trying to paint him in a bad light, but I’ve never heard anything positive about him. Even that negotiation in the back at the weigh-ins, I told my coach that I would be embarrassed using my son as an excuse to get out of a fight that you had already agreed to. A lot of people applauded me after the weigh-ins and said, “You really handled yourself professionally.” Undisputed MMA was probably very disputed [laughs]; there were a lot of rubber checks that they gave us; mine included.  But, everyone complimented me on my professionalism. I’d heard this is how [Marcus] does; he has the “lowest common denominator of the sport” type of mentality.


SJ Sports: What is your opinion on why the TDLR wouldn’t grant Sursa this fight against Paul?


Nate James: I don’t know all the legalities; for one, I’m not the type of person to have to worry about that kind of stuff. I think he’s proven to be a bad element; more of a hassle than anything and maybe that’s why they don’t want to deal with him.


Part II: Rebuttal interview with Leon Aragon (Witness to Sursa’s scuffle with both Paul and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.)


Legacy FC 22’s Paul Buentello

SJ Sports: Sorry that we have been playing phone tag! Definitely wanted to get your side of the story as a witness to what happened with regards to Sursa’s altercations with Paul and Donald.


Leon Aragon: It’s nothing like the way I read it. I was there when the incident with “Cowboy” happened and I was there for the incident with Paul. Me and Paul go back a long ways, so it’s not that I’m sticking up for either one of them, but I know the way Sursa is and how it’s laid out.


SJ Sports: Yes, absolutely. Go ahead. Let’s start with Paul first.


Leon Aragon: It didn’t start at the fight; it started at the weigh-ins. Me and Sursa go back a ways. Every weigh-in, he’s going to cause some kind of problem. Always. We were at Shark Fights and we were at the weigh-ins and he had words with his opponent.  He wound up head-butting the guy and kicking him.  Doing a favor for Sursa, I was cornering him at the time; I almost got a one-year ban because of it.


SJ Sports: You were cornering Sursa?


Leon Aragon: Yes; we used to be friends. All the stuff that he’s done, I threw him out of my gym. He ended up saying a bunch of nasty stuff on Facebook about me and my gym and I lost a lot of customers. This is what kind of character he is. As far as the Paul fight goes, he was mad at Nate James over the not-making-weight situation. Well, Paul and Nate James go back because they both train out of AKA out in California. So, that’s where that came from. It wasn’t that Paul was trying to do Sursa in or anything like that.


Anyhow, going into the fight…Sursa was actually yelling at Andy [Fong,] who was another cornerman for Nate James. Excuse my language, but I am going to tell you exactly how it went down: Marcus came out and said, “F**k you!” and I was like, “Who the hell is he talking to?” because he’s coming out of his locker room and Nate was giving an interview. Andy says it back to him and Paul comes up and is like, “Hey, hey; what’s going on?” Sursa was like, “F**k you, Paul! You did this to me!” Paul’s like, “I didn’t do anything to you. You need to calm down.” He grabs Paul by the shirt and pulls him back into the locker room. That’s when Sursa took a swing at him, Paul hits him back and it turned into a big brawl. That’s when Sursa head-butts him and so Paul says, “Oh, you want to head-butt me?” and head-butts him back. It just kind of escalated. Sursa’s dad had to pay a fine for Sursa because he was overweight of $700.


With Sursa, I think the kid has so much talent; believe me, he has a lot of talent, but his head is just not there. I’ve seen him pull a lot of stuff at weigh-ins, where he causes fights and he will take his show money and not the fight money. That’s what he tried to pull with Nate James. Nate was like, “I did not travel all the way from California to Amarillo, Texas, just to take some pocket money. I came here to fight.” So, the fight almost didn’t happen because of the way Sursa acted.


Donald Cerrone

The Texas Commission afterwards kept calling me and I wouldn’t answer them. They said they needed to talk to me about the incident with Paul Buentello and Marcus Sursa. So I called Paul and I said, “Hey bro, what do you want me to do?” Paul told me to drop it and just not to answer them.  One of the questions that was posed to me was that by pulling Paul into the locker room and holding him there, Marcus would have been looking at up to two years in jail for false imprisonment. Even though Sursa had done me so wrong and lost me a bunch of customers, I never said anything.


SJ Sports: What happened with Cerrone?


Leon Aragon: [Laughs] Okay. So, we were in Clovis, New Mexico. Sursa had been dating the girl that “Cowboy” is dating now. Sursa came down to where we were at; he was the main event. It was kind of like a “rodeo” arena. There was a big room, but there was a curtain between us: red corner, blue corner. The main event guys actually had their own rooms. Sursa comes out of his room, clear across the rodeo arena and walks up to “Cowboy.” I was standing right there. He’s like, “What’s up? What’s up?!” starts cussing and “Cowboy” never said a word to him. Sursa throws a swing, hits him in the mouth. “Cowboy” gets up to defend himself, but Sursa got the short end of it. That’s how that brawl broke out. So, “Cowboy” walks away and he was supposed to help me corner one of my guys that night. He said, “Forget this; I’m going to go sit down. Come and get me and I will walk out with y’all.” Marcus comes up to him again and keeps talking crap and keeps stirring it up. “Cowboy” never said a word to him; totally ignoring it. Finally, the guy that was running the fights came up to them and said, “Both of you guys, get the hell out. Y’all are both done.” They both got kicked out of the building. I know for a fact that “Cowboy” did absolutely nothing to start that fight. It got out and he had to explain to Dana White what had happened.



A few notes:

1) At this time, still no official response has been received from the TDLR.

2) You can find Paul’s personal rebuttal HERE.

Again, for Marcus Sursa’s version of the story, click here.


Photo Credits:    Paul Buentello   Nate James


By: Mark Carrillo

calimbas1 MMA fighters are a sexy species. Am I right? With their chiseled bodies, ass kicking ability and sweet tattoos, one must admit: they are modern day gladiators and chicks dig that sh*t. Trust me, I know. I have my first MMA fight coming up in a couple weeks and the amount of attention I have been getting from girls is crazy. Just the other day I had to get a physical for my fight. As soon as I get to the doctor’s, I see a girl and she wants to check my blood pressure and temperature. Then, I go to the store and I walk in and this older lady is all, “Welcome! Have a nice day!” Then, I’m standing in line and this other girl screams out, “I can check you out down here!” She totally crossed the line, but you see what I mean. So how do you tame one of these tigers and make him your boyfriend? I got all the answers ladies, so read on and take notes and get ready to bag yourself an MMA fighter.


First off, if you are not a fan of violence to some degree don’t even try. Dating an MMA fighter will only cause a rise in blood pressure and the risk for a heart attack. That being said, you don’t have to be crazy into violence, so don’t go joining a fight club. You just can’t mind seeing a little blood and people getting knocked out. No fighter wants a girlfriend that’s going to have some kind of meltdown in the crowd if he gets knocked out; tough skin is a must.
Secondly, you have to be patient and ready to deal with the mood swings that come with cutting weight. This is where a man can become a boy; you can easily make him mad enjoying a cookie in front of him. Next thing you know, he’s telling you how you don’t care and that you never say, “I love you” first. It’s horrible, taking away a man’s food and water.


Third, you should be good at doing laundry. This is not a must, just a plus because when your boyfriend works out twice a day he goes through a lot of underwear. It’s ridiculous I mean I’m doing laundry four times a week now; this could also be because I don’t own many pairs of underwear but should still be considered.


Fourthly and lastly of all, you have to know how to be supportive. Your boyfriend will get his ass kicked some days and needs a strong woman by his side. Ready to get his pain meds when he can’t walk, ready to eat like a rabbit in front of him while he cuts weight, and ready to refrain from any funny business leading up to a fight: and by funny business I mean sex.


It’s a tough job being an MMA fighter’s girlfriend, but it is worth it, because they all make love like Picasso. It’s a fact, I saw it somewhere online once a few years ago… scientist said so.



Follow Mark on Twitter 

Buy tickets to Mark’s upcoming ammy MMA fight HERE.

He will face Ramon Nanes on August 31st at EAC 6 – Lonestar Showdown II in Bryan, Texas.

Special thanks to Mike Calimbas Photography.

Marcus Holding Pads for One of his Students

In preparation for my interview with Legacy FC 22’s Paul Buentello, I stumbled across another story that piqued my interest.


On July 22nd, broke the news that James McSweeney was to replace Buentello’s original opponent, Marcus Sursa [12-8], citing only that he had been “forced out” of the light heavyweight main event.


What does that even mean, “forced out?” Was Sursa injured in training? Did he ultimately decide a fight on August 23rd just wasn’t feasible for him at this time? More importantly, how do we go about finding out why Amarillo-born Sursa hasn’t fought in his home state of Texas since 2011?


Shark Fights Face-Off

I soon discovered that Sursa did not vacate the card on his own accord: the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration [TDLR] had not approved the fight with Buentello. Speculation as to why this happened can often get a bit carried away, so I decided to educate myself further on the regulations handed down by the TDLR [found here].  Under Chapter 61.20, it states that, “Professional combative sports contestants… who… participate in a regulated professional event authorized by the Code must be licensed or registered by the executive director.” Chapter 61.19 discusses sanctions and penalties.  It reads, “If a person violates Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2052, or a rule, or order of the Executive Director or Commission relating to the Code, proceedings may be instituted to impose administrative sanctions and/or recommend administrative penalties…”


Upon further research, I came across this 29-page chart provided by the TDLR dated March 5, 2010. Sursa is the only fighter listed as “suspended indefinitely” with an otherwise blank entry, besides a note that curiously reads “CONTACT TX.”


Was Sursa’s problem a valid license? Not according to his manager, Train, who informed me that Marcus’ paperwork was, to his knowledge, up-to-date. What I did find out, however, is that the TDLR did give a reason to Sursa’s camp regarding his dismissal from the Legacy card…but not one Train could find on the regulations.  “[The TDLR] said he was ‘too volatile’ for weigh-ins,” Train explained. “That’s a matter of opinion. You’ve seen weigh-ins where guys punch each other all the time and yell at each other. It’s a combat sport. He’s never done anything at weigh-ins that I’m aware of. He’s got in some verbal arguments or some pushing matches, but so have a lot of guys.”

Buentello training at Bastos BJJ in Midland, Texas.


“We have requested to know what the basis for suspension is, legally, so we can appeal it by the book,” says Train in earnest. “We have contacted Greg [Alvarez, Assistant Combative Sports Program Manager] and the Regional Director of the ABC [Association of Boxing Commissions] Josef Mason, but have not received a response from either.”


I did confirm a suspension levied by the commission, one that Train insists Sursa completed after an incident with none other than would-be opponent, Paul Buentello, in 2011.  “There is no existing suspension or code that cited for him not getting a license in Texas that I’m aware of,” he says. When I asked, Buentello confirmed that the two fighters were, indeed, in a fistfight on June 18, 2011. Upon receipt of this information, I noted that Sursa had fought that night for now defunct Undisputed MMA promotion out of Amarillo. Finally, I begin to connect the dots.


I wanted to wait a few days to see if I could get in touch with Marcus and get his side of the story. After a few tries, I was able to get several details, including what incited the blowout between him and Buentello in 2011.


“It’s complicated,” Sursa begins. “All I know is that the commission won’t accept or give me my license to fight. I’ve already done my 90-day suspension and Paul’s already done his 90-day suspension. They cleared Paul to fight, but they won’t clear me to fight. I think Paul doesn’t want to fight me.”


Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

Are these simply the musings of a downtrodden opponent? Sursa has a different story. “[Paul] used to be my first boxing coach. I know all about him; I’ve trained with him a bunch. [That night] I was fighting Nate James out of American Kickboxing Academy.  I saw Paul was in James’ corner, which pissed me off because Paul’s from my hometown; we’re both from Amarillo. You don’t corner against someone that’s your friend or someone that you’ve coached. I would never corner against Paul. NEVER.”


Sursa continues, “After the fight was over, I ended up losing a split decision. I felt like Paul was a lot responsible since he was in my opponent’s corner. I told Paul when we were going back to the locker room that I thought they hadn’t beat me and they were all, ‘Ha-ha! We beat Marcus Sursa!’ and laughing about it. So I walked over and I was like, ‘Screw you guys; you won a s****y decision and you didn’t beat me.’ Paul got in my face and was like, ‘Well, I’ll beat your ass,’ and I was like, ‘I bet you don’t.’ I told him to get out of my face and he goes, ‘Make me get out of your face!’ so I head-butted him. I split his head open and I split mine open. He knocked my dad down…knocks two of my coaches down. So I threw him in the corner and started beating on him and some people pulled me off him.”


“I did some investigation on why Paul was in his corner,” Sursa admits. “Come to find out, Paul was managing Nate James. I thought he was my buddy, my friend. He was asking me how training was going and how my weight loss was going…questions about my camp.  I gave him the answers because I didn’t know he was a part of Nate James’ camp.”


“He knows I beat his ass in that locker room,” Sursa says with confidence. “He’s looking for a fight that’s going to make him look good and get him back in the show [UFC]. He doesn’t want to lose. James McSweeney is an easy win for him. If James does take Paul down, I think he could win the fight; but I think he will try and stand with Paul.

Marcus and his Glowing Girlfriend, Carah Christensen.


Perhaps contributing (and ultimately unhelpful to his cause) was Sursa’s previous altercation with UFC 155er, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in October 2010. According to several reports, including one from, the brawl took place backstage at an Evolution Combat Sports card in Clovis, New Mexico, where Sursa was to fight in the main event that evening. Sadly, the bout never came to fruition. Cerrone showed up with Sursa’s ex-girlfriend and both got heated after several choice words were exchanged. Sursa ended up with a cut above his eye and “Cowboy” with a busted lip.


“I was in my locker room, where it was supposed to only be people on the team and people that had corner passes. No family members, no friends could be back there,” Sursa tells me. “I have my phone, my wraps, and all my stuff in my hands. Then Donald Cerrone is standing inside the locker room where no one was supposed to be. I see him and I see my ex-girlfriend and they look all mad. So, I take my headphones off and I’m like, ‘What’s up man?’”

Sursa explains further, “My girl broke up with me and started going out with Donald. She broke up with Donald, came back and started dating me again and told me a bunch of stuff. So, I told him, ‘This girl was cheating on you when she was with you.’ So he’s like, ‘You talking s***t?’ and I was like, ‘What’s up?’ and he pushes me. So we got into a pushing contest. I go to push him again and he sticks me right in the eye with his right hand and it cuts my eyeball. I went crazy and I pushed him kicked him and knocked him down. I went to kick him again and knock his head off, but my dad came through the curtains and pulled me off. So that’s how that went down…Donald initiated it. He came into the locker room to look for trouble.”


I ask Marcus if he thinks this incident is being held over his head, in addition to the scuffle with Buentello. “Definitely,” he laments. “There’s another thing that gets on my nerves. They talk about how I’m aggressive at weigh-ins. Well, Jim Larsen [now deceased] and Brent Medley, the two presidents of Shark Fights…they used to tell us, ‘Get in each other’s faces; go crazy and yell at each other. It will pump the fights up for us so everyone will want to come out and watch.’ So, that’s what I would do. I would get up in the opponent’s face and build the fights up so there was some drama. I mean, we’re going to fight each other, not playing dominos. Now, I’m reaping the consequences off of all of that.”


Proud Father, Marcus & Son, Orion Hunter Sursa.

Train recounts that Marcus has had a hard road and was very much looking forward to this fight. “He just had a kid,” he tells me. “We received the contract [for Legacy FC 22] and we were fighting in it. He had a warrant in Amarillo for some child support payments and basically, to show how responsible he is, he drove 18 hours to Amarillo and spent nine days in jail, so he wouldn’t get picked up at the fight. So, he spent everything he had to go down there and take care of that, so he would legally be okay for that date to fight. All of this happened when he was in jail, so he didn’t even know that they denied his license. When he got out, he was expecting to have a main event fight and a nice payday and he hears that they’re not going to license him. [Marcus’] position is if he’s too volatile to fight, the guy that he got into it with is still fighting,” says Train. “If they were worried about volatility or someone doing something in the back room, that’s a contradiction in itself.”


With that, the question still remains: what code did Sursa violate that prevents him from fighting under the Legacy banner, or in Texas at all, for that matter? What would have happened if Sursa had attempted to fight someone other than Paul Buentello? All questions that, for now, go unanswered.


A request to the TDLR for more information has been submitted, but no response has been received as of yet.



LEGACY FC 22 will take place in Lubbock, Texas, on August 23, 2013.



Catch Sursa next at Shogun Fights in Maryland on October 10th and follow him on Facebook.

Marcus would like to thank: “All my family, Premier Combat Center here in Omaha, Nebraska, Jason Brilz, Houston Alexander, Anthony Smith, my coach, Kurt Podany, for helping me not only training, but getting my life back together and back to winning again!”


Photo credits: Special thanks to the Marcus and the Sursa family. Paul Buentello photo credit to Bastos BJJ – Midland. Donald Cerrone photo credit to


…Thoughts expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer….


Powerful War Machine

The following interview is not for the faint of heart.


It’s not for those with sensitive ears and is certainly, in no way, politically correct. War Machine [born: Jonathan Koppenhaver, 12-4] takes pride in the fact that no matter what the circumstance, he keeps true to himself…and with no apology, either. If this Bellator MMA warrior has an opinion, you’re going to hear about it, rated X or not. His name remains one of the most infamous in MMA today and, love him or hate him, no one can seem to get his name out of their mouths.


Read our one-on-one below where Jon opens up to me about everything: his upcoming fight in Bellator, his qualms with MMA sponsorships, the meaning behind his tattoos and his hard knocks as a kid. He even reveals the name of his current girlfriend and shares a few personal photos.


Hang on tight… it’s going to be one crazy ride.




Stephanie: Obviously you pay attention to the news and social media and you know that a lot of critics are saying that Bellator made a mistake signing you recently. How do you plan on proving them wrong, both inside and outside the cage?



Navy SEALs BUDS Training Center on the O-Course

War Machine: Well, it doesn’t even make sense what they said. How can they not sign me? There are only so many good MMA fighters that are out there and there’s only so many of those are marketable, you know? I don’t care how much people hate me or whatever, but I’m one of those marketable guys. What did I do so wrong? I f*cking robbed an old lady? I f*cking raped a kid? I’m an arch criminal? I got in a fight. I’m a fighter; that’s what fighters do. Everyone wants to talk shit, but they’re just a bunch of haters. I’m going to go in there and I’m going to fight. That’s what I do and how I make my money and it’s going to be me, you know? It’s their problem if they get sick and tired of seeing me on TV. It’s not my fault.


Stephanie: Do you think that you have a temper? Do people set you off easily?


War Machine: No. I actually have a great temper. It takes a lot to piss me off…I’ll get mad easy but I won’t get violent unless there’s a really good reason. Those guys that I hit, in real life, they deserved it; they deserved it a lot. They deserved it 100 percent; that’s why I don’t feel bad about it. The Somalian dude that was breaking into my car? I didn’t even touch him, so that shows my temper isn’t even that bad. I think most fighters would have beat him up.


Stephanie: Where are you training now?


War Machine: I train at a gym called ‘Und1sputed.” My jiu-jitsu coach is Baret Yoshida. He’s been my coach since 2006, so a long time. Then, I have a really good boxing coach named Joe Vargas. My teammates, I have a good bunch of up and coming guys like Herman Terrado and Nick Barnes; a bunch of tough, new guys. We go in there and we train hard. You have everything you need right there.


Stephanie: How many hours a day are you at the gym right now?


War Machine: You know, guys lie to you and they tell you they train eight hours a day; it’s not even possible, you know? People like to lie a lot. I train about four and a half hours a day: an hour and a half in the morning and an hour and a half at night…maybe 45 minutes in the afternoon. It just depends. I’m training full time; it’s a full time job.


Baret Yoshida and WM’s trip to Japan, training with Shinya Aoki and Imanari.

Stephanie: Do you have anything you are trying to work on more specifically for your upcoming fight against Blas Avena?


War Machine: My boxing. I’m always going to be a ground person at heart. My weakness will always be as a striker, so I focus more on that. I’m trying to get that up to the highest level I can.


Stephanie: I was checking out your opponent’s record and I noticed a lot of his fights ended by TKO or knockouts. Is that why are you focusing more on your standup?


War Machine: Yeah, him losing that way.


Stephanie: I saw he won his last fight by knockout in the first round…


War Machine: Yeah, he won his last fight by knockout. He’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu and he’s basically good, but his record kind of sucks. He’s a straight jiu-jitsu guy and he doesn’t stay up on his feet a lot. Now, he’s been training more standup.


Stephanie: Will you try and keep it standing and avoid taking it to the ground?


War Machine: Besides the black belt, [the fact that he is good at jiu-jitsu] doesn’t mean nothing to me because I train with guys [that are] better than him every single day. I’m not worried about it; I’m a better wrestler, so I’ll be on top. I’m not worried anywhere, on the feet or on the ground, but I know he’s not as good on his feet so I am going to try and exploit that a little bit. That doesn’t mean I won’t take him down, though. I’ll probably take him down, too. Wherever I feel he’s the least comfortable, that’s where I want to have him.


WM training one of his students, Julian.


Stephanie: You don’t see it going a certain way at all?


War Machine: Just that I win. I don’t like to have a game plan or try and visualize certain sh*t happening because the first thing that happens when you do that is you go in there and whatever you expect him to do, it’ll go the opposite and it f*cks up your whole game plan and ruins everything you had planned. I go in there and just fight to win. He has to fight me; I don’t care what he’s going to do. That’s his problem. When you’re new, like when I was younger, I was like, “Alright…” I’d sit there all night long and was like, “He comes out and throws a jab, and I’ll do this. He comes out and throws a kick, I’m going to do this…” That’s f*cking bullsh*t. You never really know what’s going to happen. You go in there and you fight and your training takes over and the fight happens, man. That’s it.


Stephanie: Iron Man 3 just recently came out and they have a character in the movie named James Rhodes. He calls himself the “Iron Patriot,” but in the comics he was actually “War Machine.” Is that where you got your name from?


War Machine: No. My buddy, my old mentor, Phil Baroni, he just named me that one day. I got these two tattoos and they’re, like, biomechanical; it’s like my skin’s tearing off like I’m a robot underneath, like I’m a machine. I don’t know, I was new; I was like 20-years-old, 21 and he was like, “We got to find you a nick name, man.” I said, “F*ck, I don’t know,” and then he came up with “War Machine,” so it stuck. I think that was just a coincidence because that was, like, an obscure comic. I actually didn’t find that out until recently that there was a “War Machine” comic. Plus, that guy is black anyway. I would never name myself after a black guy. If I wanted to be a comic guy, I would pick someone that looked like me.


Stephanie: You recently garnered a lot of press talking about MMA sponsorships on social media. What set that off? What was the original situation that made you upset?



WM and his Cousin, UFC vet Jared Papazian

War Machine: What set it off is that these guys that own the clothing companies are millionaires. My agent has a f*cking million dollar house on the beach, do you know what I mean? Everyone’s rich and all the fighters don’t have health insurance. We’re broke, we’re miserable. Right now, I have a torn ACL, I have a hernia, I’m busting my ass every f*cking day training…I’m going to fight on TV in front of a million people, these a**holes have the nerve to try and pay me $500 bucks to wear their shorts? Or $2 or $300 bucks for a t-shirt? It’s chump change. All these stupid fighters that have no balls to negotiate and accept all these bullsh*t, lowball offers. So, because five guys accepted $3 or $400 bucks to wear those shorts, now they have the balls to ask me to wear them for $500. No, it ain’t going to happen. It’s the fighters’ fault, because the fighters are so stupid. They’re so stupid and they’re so eager to get in there and fight and make a penny. They would take anything, you know? Not me, I won’t take anything; I won’t do it. I’ll have ten sponsors for $500 bucks each? I’ll just go out there with nothing on and make no money instead of wearing that sh*t. Everyone says, “Oh, you’re an idiot,” but guess what? Today I get an email and now I have a big ass sponsor at a high-paying amount. I’m going to be the highest paid guy at Bellator with my shirt. All the other guys that are fighting…these guys are fighting, like, title fights for Bellator…and they give them $1500 bucks to wear a t-shirt, you know? I’m getting three, four times that. I want to f*cking slap them in the face. What pisses me off too is that my sports agent is trying to pressure me into accepting that sh*t. You know what I mean? You know why? Because I went on Twitter and I started bashing Sprawl and Sprawl started crying a river…called my agent, “Why was he saying that about us?”, blah blah blah. So now, Sprawl is staring to not sponsor, like, ten of those other guys [fighting in Bellator]. The agent is going to make $400-$500 bucks off the same guys…so he’s trying to pressure me into signing this deal for $500 bucks because for him, it’s not [just] $500 bucks. It’s ten guys at $500 bucks. I got this hernia, I push that shit back in my stomach every day. It’s popping out. I got a torn ACL, I’m fighting my ass off and this guy’s got a million dollar house and he’s trying to tell me to sell me for $500 bucks.


Stephanie: At least you got a good sponsor in the end.


War Machine: Yeah, because I’ve got balls. They’re a company called Saint Apparel. “Saint” like “a saint,” like me. They’re from Canada.


Stephanie: Tell me about your venture into porn and how that happened.


War Machine: After I was on The Ultimate Fighter, I started getting kind of popular and all of a sudden porn girls would write me on MySpace. So I started going to L.A. and started boning them [laughs]. So, I knew all these porn girls and then one day I was talking to them and I was in a weird mood…I said, “I’m going to try porn…f*ck fighting. I’m going to take some time off.” So I just went there and did it; it was fun.


Stephanie: How much porn did you do?


War Machine: I did, like, 20 scenes or so.


Stephanie: So, why did you stop?


War Machine: I got jumped at a party and I beat up a bunch of guys who were kind of powerful and they blackballed me from the industry. I also got engaged.


Stephanie: Did you ever get married?


War Machine: Yeah. She got deported when I went to jail. She’s back in Hungary; I’m not married [now], but I have a girlfriend.



WM and his wife, before she was deported back to Hungary

Stephanie: I know that you’re a fan of WMMA; what do you think about Cat Zingano having to pull out of The Ultimate Fighter against Ronda Rousey?


War Machine: I don’t know. Did she really get hurt, or is it a lie? I bet you the UFC probably paid her to say she was hurt because they didn’t want her on the show; they wanted to have Miesha Tate instead. I wonder if it’s real or not. I wonder if they were like, “We want the prettier girl on the show, here’s f*cking $20 grand to say you’re hurt.” I’m curious. It’s bullsh*t because the UFC had their hearts set on Ronda Rousey and stupid “Cupcake.” They got screwed over because Cat won and Cat’s not as much of a pretty girl or whatever…I don’t know, man. Rousey is so one-dimensional. The best MMA girls aren’t even in the UFC. I’d rather watch the girls over in Invicta or Bellator.


Stephanie: I read on Twitter that you want to tell millions the truth about MMA; is that related to the sponsorships or is this something different?


War Machine: The sponsorship thing…just everything, man. It’s how the whole sport is and it’s the UFC’s fault. Bellator is doing the best they can, but they’re limited in the amount of budget and sponsors they get. The UFC is screwing it up so much. If a big company, like Reebok, would step up and sponsor Bellator and give them the money they need to really compete with the UFC, it would be different. It’s all about the sponsors; that’s where all the money is.



WM’s wife, who was deported while he was incarcerated.

Stephanie: So, basically, your whole point is that it’s the fighters who are doing all of the work, but not the ones making the money.


War Machine: Yeah, exactly. I saw a statistic of some sh*t…I forget…but it was like the NFL or the NBA, pro-sports. The profits of every pro-sport, like 70 percent or 80 percent, goes to the players. That’s where the profits go, you know? And in f*cking MMA? 17 percent of the profits of the UFC, goes to the f*cking fighters. 17 percent! Compared to, like, 70 everywhere else in the world. They can afford to give all of us good paydays, but instead they want to have eight Lamborghinis instead of three. Why do they want to be so greedy and rich? It’s f*cked up.


Stephanie: What’s the story with you and the UFC?


War Machine: They kicked me out because when Evan Tanner died…and I still think he killed himself, or I think he went out there because he wanted to die. That’s what I still believe. I said the reason why he did this is because he was a f*cking champ and he never made any money. Now, he’s at the end of his career, he can’t win any more fights, he has no retirement, no savings, he has to start fresh, he can’t fight anymore and so I think he went out there to die. I said, “Mark my words, you’re going to see a lot of fighters in the future, when they can’t fight anymore and they have no money to show for their whole career, killing themselves.” And it’s going to f*cking happen, I promise you. The UFC was like, “Dude, you’re saying that we don’t pay you guys enough so you’re all going to kill yourselves when you get old?” I wasn’t being supportive of the UFC so they fired me; that’s why. [For full story, click here.]


Stephanie: Do you believe that after your performance in Bellator that the UFC will reconsider and ask for you to come back?


War Machine: If I win a tournament and I win the f*cking belt, of course they are going to want me back. 100 percent guaranteed; they’ll have to come. But Bellator’s not going to let me go; my UFC days are done. Bellator has the last right of refusal; they have the right to match the UFC’s offer. They will never let me go! I’ll be one of their biggest stars after that. You know what? I don’t want to go back to the UFC because I’m not going to sit there and watch every word I say and I’m not going to tolerate that bullsh*t. They’re like a bunch of Nazis, man. I can’t tolerate that, I can’t be there. I’m happy at Bellator; I don’t give a sh*t.


Stephanie: Tell me about your tattoos.


War Machine: I got a bunch, man. I got some Kanji on my back that says, “Survival of the Fittest,” in Japanese. I have some Kanji on my right foot that says “Yamato Damashii,” which basically means “Samurai spirit.” I got anarchy signs on my hands because I hate the government and I hate rules. I have a circle on my neck; a circle means to me, like, everything that matters to me, like my circle, the few people that I care about, that I trust…I got a bunch of stuff.


At Und1sputed training with the team and Kid Yamamoto.

Stephanie: I know you have a grenade on your neck, right?


War Machine: Yeah, that was just a marketing gimmick. You know, you see a fight on TV and the next day, you don’t know who the f*ck [the fighter] is. There are tons of fighters out there [like that.] You have to have something to stick out; some dudes have a mohawk, Tito Ortiz had his little bleached blond hair; you got to have that something. I’ll walk by people and they won’t recognize me and then they’ll see my neck and they’re like, “Oh! You’re that guy,” you know? It’s probably one of my best ideas.


Stephanie: One of the fan questions was, “What’s his knuckle tatt say?”


War Machine: It says, “DGAF,” “don’t give a f*ck.”


Stephanie: Tell me about your childhood and growing up. Are you still close with your family?



War Machine & girlfriend, porn star Christy Mack.

War Machine: No, my family sucks. My mom’s a f*cking drug-addict loser, my dad died when I was 13, my brother is a piece of sh*t; I hate my brother. I have my sister, that’s all I talk to.


Stephanie: Where did y’all grow up?


War Machine: We grew up in the L.A. area.


Stephanie: Did you do any sports in grade school or high school?


War Machine: Yeah, I always played football growing up. I did water polo, swimming and wrestling.


Stephanie: So the wrestling led into MMA?


War Machine: Me and my dad used to watch these “Gracie In Action” instructional videos when I was in seventh grade, but wrestling was my real first training.


Stephanie: How did you decide to make the move to training MMA, then?


War Machine: I was in college and I was a biology major. My mom stole all my tuition money and spent it on drugs, so all my credits were frozen and I couldn’t transfer them. My other thing besides going to college and being an officer in the military was being a fighter, so I just moved to San Diego and started training with Ken Shamrock…and then [I’ve been with Und1sputed] since 2005 when it first opened up.




At Und1sputed training with his current team, taken last week.

Fan questions:


Stephanie: I know in a previous interview you mentioned that you were in the hole the entire time you were in prison, but did anyone ever try and start a fight with you while you were in there?


War Machine: No, they’re all a bunch of pussies and a bunch of bullies and they’re all talk. None of them had the balls to ever try anything. That’s a joke.


Stephanie: You were incarcerated at the same time and in the same prison as Floyd Mayweather. Do you have a friendship with him?


War Machine: No, he was in a different unit; we were just there at the same time.


Stephanie: Who is your favorite current UFC champion?


War Machine: [Georges] St. Pierre. I look up to him, but then my favorite is Dominick Cruz. He’s a friend of mine; he’s my buddy.


Stephanie: These two questions are from Stephie [Daniels]: She wanted me to ask you about “Pow-Pow?”


War Machine: [Laughs] “Pow-Pow” is just a funny word I use for sex. If I say, “I need some f*cking Pow-Pow,” it means I need to get laid.


Stephanie: …and then she said something about a pizza box?


War Machine vs. Roger Huerta

War Machine: [Laughs] I did a porno one time in a boxing ring and I had my dick through a pizza. It was stupid, she’d gotten done working out and I was the delivery boy and she knocked me out and I was in a dream and the pizza was on my lap and my dick was sticking through and I f*cked her with it.


Stephanie: Oh my! [Laughing] Last fan question: “I want to know how often during the day he wants to punch someone in the face.”


War Machine: Uh…I don’t know. I think about punching people in the face less than I think about having sex. I think about having sex every three and a half seconds.


Stephanie: Well, hopefully your girlfriend lives near you!


War Machine: She doesn’t, she lives in Vegas. Hey, put my girlfriend’s name on there.


Stephanie: Oh, okay. What is it?


War Machine: It’s Christy Mack.



War Machine with Phoenix Marie and girlfriend, Christy Mack.

Stephanie: [Writing] Christy Mack…


War Machine: She’s a porn star. She’s a real popular porn star. Those f*ckers are really going to hate on me when they see that sh*t. Everyone hates on me, you know? When everyone finds out she’s my girlfriend, they are REALLY going to hate on me.


Stephanie: Who would you like to thank going into this next fight?


War Machine: I would like to thank my sponsor, Garden of Life and I want to thank my new sponsor, Saint Apparel. I’d like to thank my coach Baret Yoshida and my coach Joe Vargas and all my training partners at Und1sputed gym.



Watch War Machine take on Blas Avena when a new season of Bellator MMA premieres on June 19th on Spike TV and follow him on twitter @WarMachine170.


Photo credits: War Machine



On Houston’s 610 Sports Radio’s Mad Show this morning, Dana White revealed that if Cain Velasquez successfully defends his UFC heavyweight title at UFC 160 this Saturday against Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, his next title defense will be held in none other than HOUSTON, TEXAS. 


HUGE NEWS for the ‘Chopped n Screwed’ …and for Texas MMA in general, too! Click HERE for the full audio interview.


Follow me on twitter @stephaniejoplin for more breaking news and witty banter.



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MMA: UFC 155-Dos Santos vs Velasquez 2

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