The Arena’s Fight Team was recently profiled in a great article reprinted here:
The A Team – Brothers In Arms
By Nicholas Armitage
If you are a follower of Mixed Martial Arts, the biggest news in recent months was the UFC’s purchase of rival promotion Strikeforce. While many MMA fans are divided on the pros and cons of this purchase, it is clear that the UFC has gained even more control of the market. It now has only its much smaller rival Bellator standing in the way of its complete dominance of the U.S. MMA scene.
If the UFC stays true to form, then Strikeforce will be run for a time as a separate promotion and then absorbed, just like the WEC and Pride, two other competitors the UFC acquired in the past. The upside for MMA is that the UFC is a juggernaut that is constantly moving forward and will keep on acquiring new fans as it expands its reach. This is good for the sport as it continues its quest for mainstream acceptance. The downside is that there are fewer options for fighters, limiting their potential exposure as well as income. It also limits the potential for fight managers and teams, as the UFC only has so many spaces for competitors in its various weight classes.
So it is critically important for these managers and teams to stay as active as possible and seek out as many sources of competition for their fighters wherever they can. This means fighting in events whenever they present themselves, including internationally. Without an ability to get fights for their athletes, as well as properly prepare these athletes, managers and teams wither and dry up as fighters search for greener pastures.
Fortunately, that is not happening with San Diego MMA gym The Arena. Instead, in recent weeks The Arena proved why it is considered to have one of the most active MMA Teams in the world. The Arena Team had 10 of its Team members, as well as 2 additional fighters who finished their training camps at The Arena, battle it out in 7 different shows across 4 different countries. The results: an outstanding 10 wins. Even more noteworthy was the amazing 80% rate in which the fights ended by wins for The Arena Team in the 1st round. The Arena Team also had one of its members, Chris Cope, fight on this season of The Ultimate Fighter. And coming up shortly, The Arena has at least 12 more fights booked for its pros, as well as numerous shows set for its amateur MMA team to compete in.
When many gyms and teams are struggling to stay afloat, how is The Arena continuing to expand and dominate? The reasons are threefold. The first is that The Arena has created an extremely tight-knit group. With many of its trainers and fighters coming from the military, The Arena knows the importance of running a professionally organized fighting unit where its members have each other’s backs. This A-Team or “The Brotherhood” as The Arena likes to call it is all-important. With its team members constantly pushing one another to succeed, The Arena fosters a competitive yet supportive environment where the operative phrase is “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”.
The second reason for the team’s success is the extremely high level of professional coaching present at The Arena. This professionalism is carried throughout daily team practices, as well as in individual and customized training for its team members who have upcoming fights. Overall fight team training is run by standout MMA coaches Pat Speight and Jeff Clark, with other outstanding coaches available including 170 lb. contender Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, who is a highly skilled trainer as well as fighter.
The third reason the team is thriving is management. The majority of The Arena’s fighters are managed by Jeff Clark, who is not only a coach, but also one of the leading MMA managers in the industry. Jeff has an extensive network of international fight connections and has managed such notable fighters as Dominick Cruz and Diego Sanchez. Along with the rest of The Arena crew, Jeff’s mission is to continue to build one of the best fight teams in the world. To date, the mission is proceeding to plan. For more info on Jeff, The Arena and its A-Team, go to http://www.thearenagym.com.
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