Utah MMA Returns to California


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Utah MMA fighter, Braeden Kilpack will once again be fighting in California. This will be Braeden’s 5th mixed martial arts fight, this time against an opponent whose record is 5-3-0. Roques Reyes, Braeden’s opponent, will be looking to derail Braeden’s … Continue reading

Absolute Mixed Martial Arts Continues Support of Utah MMA


_RAN5315-EditLance Gorman of Absolute Mixed Martial Arts will be entering a three round, mixed martial arts bout on February 8th. Showdown Fights X will be holding an event for both amateur and professional fighters in Orem, Utah. This event will be a another illustrious occasion for Utah MMA. Lance will be looking to improve his 6-6-0 record over Mike Gahan, a fighter out of John Hackleman’s camp in California. Mike’s record is 4-0-0 and he is known as a tough striker. This bout will be a professional match at 145 lbs.

Good luck, Lance. We are looking for a good fight on Friday. Come support Lance in his return to the cage!

Denver Merrifield-Nirva Wins Showdown Fight – Utah Mixed Martial Arts

Absolute MMA Fighter Denver Merrifield-Nirva

Sorry for the late post, gang. We wanted to make sure and share Denver’s performance at the latest Showdown Fights: Lightweight Championship. Denver fought a professional Utah Mixed Martial Arts match against Agustin Espinoza at Bantamweight, 135 lbs.

First round domination

The first round saw Denver pressuring his opponent as soon as the bell rang. Taking control of the center of the cage, Denver forced Augustin to the edge and immediately put him on the defensive. Pressure from punch and kick combinations gave Augustin little chance to use his heavy hands and aggressive style. Denver continued his assault, striking almost at will and taking no damage in the first round.

The second round had more action as Denver started to put more of his striking skills into play. Jumping knees, head kicks, and submissions dominated this round.

At one point, Denver had secured an armlock from the guard on Augustin. Showing great strength and determination, Augustin picked Denver up to slam him. As Denver was being lifted up, he changed his attack to a go-go plata. As Denver’s back hit the floor, he rolled Augustin to his back and it looked like he had the choke on!

Augustin managed to move just enough to avoid the choke which allowed Denver to transition to knee on the belly. From here he threw punches and elbows to set up a flawless arm bar. Herb Dean stopped the fight due to arm lock in the second round. Denver improved his record to 5-1 with this impressive victory.

Congratulations Denver!  Great fight! We are proud to have you represent Absolute MMA.

Your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class.

So you’re going to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and you don’t know what to expect. That’s not uncommon, it’s new, it’s unfamiliar, it’s to be expected that you won’t know what to expect. We’re going to talk about a few things that, hopefully, will set your mind at ease.

Let’s talk a little about your motivations for going to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class in the first place. There are many reasons a person decides to take up BJJ. There are those of us who are looking for an unconventional (and highly effective) way to get or stay in shape. Maybe we live in a rough part of town and want to learn to defend ourselves. Perhaps you have the hopes and aspirations of being a cage fighter. There are many reasons and all are valid. There’s one underlying goal which ties them all together: Learning. We’re all there to learn. It should be our priority and if you ask anyone who’s practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for any length of time, they’ll tell you it’s inevitable. You WILL learn regardless of whether you’re in the right mind-set or not. But it’s important, to get the most out of your experience, to be in the right mind-set.

You’ve made your way to the gym, it’s your first day, you have your Gi on… or maybe you don’t, that’s okay. Someone has shown you how to tie your belt and class is about to start. (If the students have not already introduced themselves to you, introduce yourself to them. They don’t bite). You get through the warm-ups, you’re already starting to sweat; breathe heavily and are wondering if you’re going to be able to make it.

“How do these guys bend their bodies this way? Did that guy just do a somersault??? I’ve never moved my body this way in my life! Who knew my head was this heavy?!”

The instructor begins to teach the technique(s) for the day. The instructor, in most cases, is a professor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; a black belt. In some cases the instructor may be a lower ranking belt designated by the Professor to teach for the day. In other cases a lower-than-black-belt instructor is all that’s available in the area. That’s okay, too. They will more than likely be able to teach you quite a bit. The instructor will demonstrate a few techniques and allow each of the students to practice them on each other in break-out sessions. They will bring the group back together occasionally adding details and perfecting the movements to complete the techniques. They will also be available to answer questions in-between instruction. Don’t be afraid to ask.

“What is an armbar? D’arce? Guillotine? Triangle Choke? Wait… Choke? No one said anything about chokes… I didn’t sign up for this!”

After the instructor… well… instructs, it’s time to put into practice what you know. (If this is your first class, then it is very little, if any. Which is okay). We call this “rolling”. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is unique in that we can practice our sport with 100% resistance from our opponent with a reasonable expectation of not getting hurt. Which is unlike boxing, or other striking arts where if you sparred with your partner at 100% someone is going to end up getting hurt. In a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools, beginners don’t take part in “rolling” on their first day. A lot of times, they don’t even roll until they’ve learned the basics: Guard, Mount, Half-Guard, Back-mount, Side-mount, Half-mount; basic grips, holds, movements; submission defenses, etc.. It is always up to you to decide when you’re ready to jump in during rolling time. Don’t be afraid jump in and get going but don’t hesitate to say: “I’m not quite ready” if you don’t feel quite up to it.

First and foremost: Your training partners are not trying to hurt you. They’re there to learn just as much as you’re there to learn. If you do feel like your partner is trying to hurt you, tell someone. It’s likely they’re newer to the sport as well, and don’t realize they’re being potentially harmful. Your safety is important and you have the right to request a different, more experienced partner to train with if you feel your safety is at risk. Conversely, you are not there to hurt your partner either. It’s important to remember, especially when training with a more experienced partner, that they’re going to match your speed/intensity/strength/etc.. That is to say: they’re going to go just as hard as you… or just as light. If they feel that you’re trying to hurt them, they’re going to do something to prevent that and it will more than likely not end in your favor… which leads me to my next point.

You are going to get submitted. You will tap. You will say “uncle”. This is not a bad thing. It is, in fact, a good thing. You and your training partner are each working on different parts of your respective games. In this case your partner is working on their submissions and you are working on recognizing the submission and tapping early. Tapping early to inform your partner that the hold/lock/choke/etc. has been applied effectively and that you’re “submitting”. That’s right: Tapping. Early. Don’t try to see how long you can hold out before tapping. As soon as you recognize you may be in trouble, tap. Tap your hand, at least twice, on your partner’s body (anywhere). If you’re unable to move your hands, say: “tap” loud enough for your partner to hear. Sometimes we have to use our feet to tap, but those are rare cases. Tapping is something we should do a lot of and, as I said earlier, a good thing. Try to see every tap as an opportunity to learn. Learning happens on both ends: your partner learns what is and isn’t an effective way to apply that submission and you learn how to recognize the submission in order to avoid it next time. Whatever you take away from each tap is up to you. Whether it be “I’m not going to get submitted that way again”, or “What did I let happen in order for that submission to be applied?”. Take these questions to your instructor, ask that your partner repeat what just happened and break it down for you, then ask how you could have prevented it. What you take away from it will depend heavily on your mental attitude. “Man, I SUCK!”, “I can’t believe this LITTLE GUY is submitting me AGAIN”, or “I lift weights, I should be able to SMASH this guy!” will more than likely hinder your progress toward preventing it from happening again and learning Jiu Jitsu in general. That being said, if you are ever uncomfortable for any reason, tap. If you can’t breathe, tap. If you feel like you’re going to vomit, tap. If you’re panicking for any reason whatsoever, tap. Our training partners have been conditioned to stop whatever they’re doing and give us space to recover when they feel someone tap on them. There’s no wrong reason to tap.

Breathe! This cannot be emphasized enough. We need oxygen for our minds and muscles to work properly. If you’re not getting enough (because you’re holding your breath) then neither of the two will be working right. It’s easier said than done, we know. Try to be mindful of when you’re grunting and holding your breath when exerting yourself. It happens a lot when we try to push someone off of us or try an explosive move. We hold our breath and strain against whatever it is we’re trying to move (ourselves, someone else… or both!). Holding our breath while exerting ourselves can cause injury, let alone makes it significantly more difficult to accomplish the movement we’re attempting. Everyone who has never grappled, or doesn’t continue to grapple on a regular basis is out of shape for BJJ. There’s no two ways about it. You cannot be in shape for your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class before you get to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. Expect to wear yourself out and prepare for it. You will sweat a LOT, especially if you’re wearing a Gi. Bring water. Drink water all day leading up to class. Be hydrated beforehand so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re in class. Sip water if you need to, to maintain your hydration, but you should already be hydrated by the time you get there.

While all of this is happening, while you’re sweating and breathing heavy, while you’re tapping and getting smashed, tossed, rolled-up, flipped and flopped, learning and having fun is of paramount importance. I’ve heard a Grand Master say: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong”. Have fun and learn. All the while accomplishing the goal you set out to attain. Whatever it may be.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a very dynamic and effective martial art, with some potentially harmful locks and holds. When practiced in a controlled and constructive environment it is 100% safe and can be applied without injury. Now, that’s not to say that accidents don’t happen. You run the risk of stubbing your toe every time you get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Understanding these risks is key to preventing them. Application of the things mentioned in this post can minimize risk, but that’s not to say there aren’t more things we can do to ensure our safety and the safety of our training partners. Use your head for more than just keeping your ears apart.

So, let’s recap:
No one is trying to hurt you. Don’t try to hurt them.
You will get submitted. Tap. Early.
Ask questions.
Drink water.
Have fun :)
Most importantly: Learn!!!

Once you get past your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, these things will get easier. Just take it one class at a time.

Salt Lake City Mixed Martial Arts | Second Fight For Absolute MMA Teammate

Steelfist Fightnight IX, “The Warior Within” is this Friday! July 13th will see William DaBell in his second mixed martial arts fight! He will be fighting an independent fighter out of MMA21 named Adam Vrondos at 185 pounds. William has been consistent in his training and looking to apply his improved skills in this fight. William finished his last opponent in the second round with an arm triangle from the top.

Those of us at Absolute MMA who train with William know his work ethic, his skill, his power and determination. William is a beast on the mat and is someone to lookout for when sparring. He continues to make improvements in his game, training regularly on his Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and his Wrestling.

Steelfist Fight Night IX will open their doors at 6:00 pm and fights start at 7:00 pm. This is a 21 and older event and will be held at 100 south and 536 west in Salt Lake City. Tickets can be purchased from William at the gym.

Come out this Friday and support William in his fight and represent Absolute MMA with your t-shirts and enthusiasm! We will see you there! Absolute MMA!!!!

Showdown Fights: Breakout! Utah MMA Fighters to Showcase Their Skills

Showdown Fights: Breakout is on February 24! Absolute MMA will have two fighters in this show, Koffi Adzitso and Steve Sharp.

Koffi has been training regularly and is looking good. His punches are blindingly fast and his conditioning is top notch. Koffi always puts on crowd pleasing fights so don’t miss your chance to watch and be a part of the excitement. You can get tickets in Koffi’s section at Absolute MMA.

Steve is working hard and refining his timing as he had knee surgery not too long ago. He is always a dangerous fighter and brings knockout power to his fights. Another great fighter that knows how to put on a great show. Don’t blink when Steve fights because it can be over that quick. Get your tickets and cheer for our team!

Absolute Mixed Martial Arts; Grillguards Custom Mouthpiece Giveaway.

Absolute Mixed Martial Arts had a giveaway contest in December of last year for a Grillguards Custom Mouthpiece. The student with the most classes attended during the month would be the recipient of one custom mouthpiece valued at $120.00. We had great participation and the competition was fierce. The contest was close for the first two weeks and then one started to pull away from the pack. Rebecca Rodriguez put together a string of days with two and three classes a day. Kick Boxing, Kettlebells and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, sometimes all in one day are what contributed to her winning the prize and finishing with 26 classes for the month. This was a good 10 more classes than the closest runner up. Congratulations, Rebecca!

Grillguards Custom Mouthpieces are used by the majority of our students and 100% of our staff at Absolute MMA. We have found them to be the best quality equipment we can find in mouth protection. The mouthpieces are custom fit so we never have an issue with our protection being loose or not fitting correctly. Of all the people using these mouthguards; amateur and professional fighters, coaches and serious or occasioanal students, we have not had one come to us and say it was faulty or didn’t live up to what Grillguards stated. Thanks to Grillguards Custom Mouthpieces for the great product and for supporting Absolute Mixed Martial Arts.

Absolute MMA Fighter, Koffi Adzitso, to Tryout for The Ultimate Fighter!

Absolute MMA teammate, Koffi Adztso, is trying out for The Ultimate Fighter show this Sunday! Koffi has been training consistently and intensely for quite some time. It looks like this may be his opportunity to show the world his skills and take his game to the next level. Koffi, nicknamed “The Lion King”, has an impressive record of 17-8-0. Koffi is an exciting fighter, well respected for his lightning fast hands and knockout power. Nine of his 17 wins have come by knockout or TKO.

Koffi has been a member of Absolute MMA for a few years now, adding his experience and work ethic to the MMA team training and Jiu Jitsu classes. He always is respectful of his partners and works at a level that both can benefit from. Koffi has one of the best work ethics around. Not one to take days off or relax during training, he always puts forth his best effort and is an excellent example of “work first, talk later.”

All of us at Absolute MMA wish Koffi success at The Ultimate Fighter tryouts. We would wish him luck but we know his skill set makes that unnecessary. We look forward to seeing Koffi get his shot at the big show. Knock ’em out, Koffi! Do what you do best.

Absolute MMA Doiminates MMA Fights with Jiu Jitsu!

Absolute MMA victory! Showdown Fights: Evolution proved to be a showcase for Absolute MMA fighters. Two of three fighters came home with a victory and all put on a good show.

William DaBell was the second fight of the evening. This was his debut fight in mixed martial arts. William was a bit nervous in the locker room but warmed up well and had a look of determination in his eye as he walked out to meet his opponent. The fight started out with each fighter looking for openings with jabs and crosses. William’s opponent took a shot and got a big double leg takedown but William popped right back to his feet, defended a guillotine choke and the fighters exchanges punches. The two circled a bit with jabs and body blows being exchanged. William was put up against the cage and after some good takedown defense, got lifted and driven to his back. The round ended with William covering against the last 10 seconds of punches form his opponent.

Round two opened with punches, William taking some to the head and a few uppercuts until he clinched and the two ended up on the ground with William in his opponent’s guard. William stood to pass the guard and got tripped up as his opponent grabbed both ankles to take him down. The position reversed, William defended punches and then applied Behring Jiu Jitsu self defense to finish the fight! As his opponent drove forward, forearm in his throat, William passed the arm to one side and applied an arm triangle. His opponent, busy defending the choke, could do nothing as William moved his hips out to the side until he had enough leverage to reverse the position and secure his victory in the mount, forcing his opponent to tap. Round two win via arm triangle! Congratulations, William!

Eduardo Rivera was fight number three on this card. Edurado fought a much taller opponent. Eduardo came out swinging and landed some early shots, pushing his opponent up against the cage. The two separated and clashed a few more times, each time Eduardo would land a few head shots. His opponent turned the tide quickly, however. Keeping Eduardo at distance he started to fire off punches which Eduardo was unable to respond to. Adding leg kicks to the barrage seemed to disorient Eduardo and he clinched with a body lock and went to the back to avoid damage. His opponent locked in a Kimura and took Eduardo to the ground. As Eduardo avoided the shoulder lock he fell into a straight arm lock which his opponent finished belly down, preventing Eduardo form anything but a tap to end the fight.

Denver Merrifield-Nirva came into this fight with a 3-1 record. His last fight was a loss and he was looking to get back on the winning side of things. Denver’s opponent had a 5-6 record and was looking to do the same. First round the two touched gloves and circled. Denver’s opponent threw a few punches with bad intention but didn’t land. The two clashed while standing a few times with both landing some hard crosses and hooks. Denver ended up eating a hook which knocked him off balance and forced him to put a hand on the ground to keep his feet. He was rushed but sprawled beautifully and forced the clinch as he put the other fighter into the fence. A few strikes and some knees later, Denver controlled his opponent’s legs and took him down, right up against the fence. His opponent scrambles and Denver takes his back, pulling him backwards. There is another scramble and the two get back to their feet, throwing punches as they separate. Denver catches a hard left on his forearm as he blocks and circles away. The next time the two go for punches, Denver drops his level and executes a beautiful double leg takedown. Denver’s opponent looks to roll and escape but ends up on knees and elbows eating punches under his arm to the face and to the side of the head. He takes a couple big shots as Denver passes his guard, rolls again and catches Denver in his half guard and eventually full guard. Denver wants none of it and stands up to throw punches with ill intent. Forced to defend against the barrage of strikes, the other fighter rolls again. This time Denver maintains top position as he continues to deliver devastating punches which force more movement from his adversary. Denver flows through side mount, knee on back, knee on stomach, half mount, back and mount again as his opponent desperately tries to get away from the constant hammering of elbow and fists. Denver sticks him in side mount, bouncing elbows off his head and sets up an arm bar. His opponent defends by grabbing two hands together and gets rewarded for his efforts with a crushing hammer fist to the face. Denver places the leg back over his opponents head and finished the arm bar with little trouble to secure a second round victory! Congratulations Denver!

We are proud of all our fighters! Congratulations on a great night!

Jiu Jitsu was the finishing factor in all Team Absolute fights that night but Muay Thai played an important role as did Wrestling.! Come train at Absolute MMA for all your MMA needs.


Utah MMA Gym Sparks Weight Loss.

Ruben Cervantes is one of our student successes. Ruben has been a student here since March of 2011. In that time, he has lost 20 pounds and drastically improved his fitness. Ruben came to us with the goal of losing 30 pounds, going from 185 to 155. As you can see he is well on his way. One of our regulars for the morning class, Ruben trains four days a week, both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trains hard, pushing himself when his body wants to give up and breaking the physical limits he used to have.

Ruben is one of many stories at Absolute MMA that have achieved their goal of weight loss. There are many more on our team that could tell a similar story. The positive attitude and teamwork that is present every day helps us all to better ourselves and each other.

We are proud of Ruben and all our teammates who have made progress with weight loss and improved fitness. We look forward to sharing more success stories with you. See you on the mat!