Thursday, August 31, 2017

Interview with MMA amateur Destiny McCubbin

Mixed martial artist Destiny McCubbin, formerly of West Haven, has been in Las Vegas a while, training very hard as she pursues her goals in the cage. (She's seen above training in the Rich Castro photo and in the two mat photos below she's training with Dewey Cooper) On Saturday, Sept. 16, in Mesquite, Nevada, she's part of a TuffNUff card at the CasaBlanca. McCubbin, whose moniker is "My Time," faces Cindie Torango.

I recently interviewed the Northern Utah fighter:
UTAH FIGHT GAME: Destiny, relate some about your experience training in Las Vegas? The gym, your gym mates, your trainers, how has it improved your skills and cardio and strength? 

DESTINY: Hey Doug! My experience thus far training in Vegas has been everything I expected and more. I knew it was going to be straight grind mode day in and day out once I stepped foot through those doors. It's different here. This is all people have it's all we do. Train, Eat, Rest, Repeat. Xtreme Couture is great. It is a big gym with big names. Lol I went from being a big fish in a small pond, to a tiny fish in a huge lake. Awesome coaches full of so much knowledge, and they've all seen and done it all. My head coach is Dennis Davis, a vet of our sport. Dewey Cooper is my striking coach - Black Kobra Striking Systems. He's amazing. Also a vet. I'm his only amateur, and although he trains fighters such as Kevin Lee (UFC), Raquel Pa'Aluhi (Invicta FC) and tons of great boxers , he still puts the time and effort into me. Both of my coaches are very dedicated to coaching and being the best, I'm definitely blessed to be apart of their team. Miesha Tate works with me a lot as well whenever she is in which is awesome because she's such a vet. It's cool to see her still care so much about helping WMMA grow even though she is retired. 

Not only great coaches, but I'm surrounded by teammates who are hungry and grind day in and day out. They push me way passed my limits, Making me dig deep. (They) give me the beatings I need in the gym so we have a nice day come fight night! My two main training partners are Cheyenne Vlismas and Gina Mazany. Cheyenne is getting ready to turn pro. If you haven't watched her check her out. She is actually who inspired me to move to Vegas. I used to tell Josh (Morales, Destiny's friend, and a pro boxer), one day I'm going to train with her - just wait. Now she's my main partner and has helped me so much. Gina recently signed under the UFC. That girl has taken me under her wing and is always there to remind me who I am whenever doubts kick in. She's helped a lot with my wrestling and has made me fall in love with it. 

As far as for me, it's made me so much stronger. My body is starting to change into the body of an athlete. My skills have leveled up so much! I'm stoked about my next fight to see where I stand in this sport now. Something tells me I'm going to shock everybody, including myself. Since I've been here I've been training full time. It's hard training full time as well as working full time, so sometimes it's a struggle staying above water. And it's not like there's not money to be made, it's Vegas. There's money all over the place at the tip of my fingers. But I didn't come here to work a ton of hours at a hotel serving cocktails (lol), or sit and work a 9-5 at a desk. I came here to grind, and grow and chase this crazy dream of mine. So that is what I will do, no matter what it takes. I miss my family and they help me so much whenever they can so I've been blessed with them.

UTAH FIGHT GAME: What do you know about your opponent?

DESTINY: I know she has some slick hands and she's a 4 stripe blue belt in Jiu Jitsu from Missouri with a record of 5-1. I think she's going to bring a good fight for sure but I know there isn't any situation that the fight can go to that I haven't been in during my training. It's funny, everybody asks "Is she tough?" or "So is she good?" Lol , yes of course she is. At this point in my career, even as an amateur, they are all going to be good with the sport evolving like it has everybody is pretty well rounded. And even if she's not, as far as I'm concerned she's the best in the world and I have to train to go out there and beat the best in the world. 

UTAH FIGHT GAME: What do you think your main cage strength is?

DESTINY: Four months ago I would have said stand up, mostly boxing with that "pull the trigger" demeanor. Now I feel so much more well rounded in my wrestling, and ground game. Dennis has tons of cool, dirty tricks up his sleeve that I can't wait to use! My stand up isn't just a boxing stand up anymore either after working with Dewey. He's showing me how to use all of the weapons I have. "No hesitation with the combination " as he always says. I've only been with him about 2 months now, but I'm very excited to see where my striking is at in 6 months.

Thanks so much for sharing time with us, Destiny, and good luck on Sept. 16. 
Some tidbits: Former Davis County prep athlete Court McGee, now well-known as a UFC veteran, returns to the Octagon on Nov. 11, where he'll meet Sean Strickland in Norfolk, Va., as part of UFC Fight Night 120.

Fierce Fighting Championships is unveiling its card in Tooele on Sept. 30. Main event matches Trever Carlson versus Antonio Arroyo. Another pro match that seems very interesting matches veteran Tanner Cowan against Nate Kearsley.

MMA pro Mike Jones, who often fights locally, will compete against Adam Vigil at Legacy Fighting Alliance 22 on Sept. 8 in Broomfield, Colo.

Next week the blog will interview MMA pro John Valentine on his upcoming SteelFist bout on Sept. 16 against Rowdy Akers. The week after we should have an interview with Akers. It's the final pro bout for both.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Updates, my take on Mayweather versus McGregor

Some news tidbits that we've heard.

Thomas Hughes (above right) , who won his pro MMA debut earlier this month, is planning to fight on a SteelFist card in October. Hughes also plans to train in Las Vegas.

MMA pro Francisco Cisco Alcantara has plans to get back in the cage. There are reports he will fight Carson Gregory on a SteelFist card soon.

Also planning to fight again on a SteelFist card is Ogden MMA pro AJ Garcia.

We interviewed amateur MMA fighter Bryce Edminister recently. He fought undefeated Kellen VanCamp in Boise last weekend. Two excellent prospects fought three hard rounds with Edminister, who trains out of The Garage, losing a decision.

We'll be interviewing 40-something MMA pros John Valentine and Rowdy Akers, who are squaring off in a farewell bout Sept. 16 in SLC at SteelFist.

UPCOMING EVENTS:  Here are upcoming events courtesy of the state athletic commission. I have rumors of a boxing card in October but so far it's not listed. In September, besides SteelFist we have Fierce Fighting Championships on Sept. 30.

MY TAKE ON MAYWEATHER VERSUS MCGREGOR: Tomorrow night, Floyd Mayweather, a semi-retired boxing legend (49-0) will meet Conor McGregor (21-3), the most celebrated current UFC MMA champ. It's a boxing match, albeit with 8 ounce gloves, usually boxers fight with 10 ounce gloves.

Floyd Mayweather has beaten everyone placed in front of him. As he gets older (and frankly, I doubt Mayweather has the power to KO a featherweight contender at this point in his career) the chances increase that he humiliates himself with a loss. McGregor is not a qualified boxing opponent for him. He has some amateur experience, that is it. (Let me just add that if this was an MMA fight I'd say the same about Floyd.)

What Mayweather has is incredible, Hall of Fame defensive skills. Even the best boxers have trouble hitting him when he's in a corner covering up. I can't see McGregor landing more than a couple of punches a round. It's easy for me to see Mayweather landing jabs and medium shots all night against McGregor's aggression.

Allow me to point to a preliminary boxing bout roughly 20 months ago in Davis County between a young boxing prospect named George Vigil and Ogden's Pat Reeves, one of my favorite MMA fighters (he's now retired). In the cage, Reeves would beat Vigil. In the ring, Reeves was very aggressive, threw lots of punches and landed occasionally. But he missed many of his shots as the boxer Vigil would land counter shots and jabs through the entire fight. Reeves was game, but it wasn't his combat sport. The ring, and specific rules of boxing, favored the boxer, of course.

I understand I am comparing a preliminary boxing bout to a superfight between the best boxer and best MMA fighter. But it's my belief that the fight will follow the lines of Vigil versus Reeves, with an aggressive McGregor throwing lots of punches at Mayweather, landing once in a while, but missing most. Mayweather will outbox him, counter effectively. I don't believe he will knock out Conor, who will tire in the final half of the bout while Floyd will stay on automatic. An easy unanimous decision for Mayweather.


Louie's Boxing gym is having a fundraiser on Sept. 10. Jose Haro will be there to gtreet fans. All the info is in the photo below.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Photo gallery from Horn's Elite MMA card at Weber County Fair

From the very talented Katie Aurich, Utah Fight Game blog presents a a photo essay of the Aug. 11 MMA card from Jeremy Horn's Elite Fight Night at the Weber County Fair in Ogden. Go here for results. Your blogger is busy so no time today to do captions but we'll try our best over the weekend. Some info: Thomas Hughes, who won his pro MMA debut, plans to fight again in Salt Lake City in October. Also, Utah fight fans, here's an ESPN feature on new U.S. boxing champ Jose Haro.