UnderGround Forums Gannon in Thailand Part II-Maximum MMA at Strelka

10 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 60455

Notes:
•This occurs about one month after the previous piece where Maximum MMA hosted Alex Garcia and the Tristar Team prior to their big victory at UFC Shanghai.
•Due to the media blackout we are not allowed to directly communicate with Sean Gannon, but we get occasional updates from mutual friends. This time that friend is an anonymous fighter and involves their personal correspondence.

10 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 60456
AF - What's it like out there at you new fight camp?
 
SG - It's pretty wild out here, like no MMA program I've ever seen. Professor Svensson keeps telling me, "It's a small program, not a lot of fighters, mostly white belts." But Patong is where the world's toughest martial artists all go on vacation, and what I actually run into every day is Russian Masters of Sport - Sambo, European BJJ black belts on vacation, and tough as nails Eastern European guys from hardnosed security companies. This is in addition to a full-scale Muay Thai program with four rings and five highly skilled coaches.
 
On Thursday this Finnish Catch Wrestler/BJJ blackbelt is training with us, and hears we're taking our crazy Russian (Anton "The Tourist" Kolotvin) to the big Russian Strelka promotion in Phuket the next day. He says, "I'm on vacation and I haven't fought in 10 years, but I'm a Finn, it's Winter, and they're Russians, I have to fight." We put together a brief "training camp" at the end of the session. Not much you can do on 24 hours notice, but we gave him slow-motion punches with the big gloves on, just to build his comfort, confidence and timing getting past strikes again. Turned out his striking wasn't far behind far behind his Catch Wrestling and BJJ, but would it be enough in the Thai heat with no training camp?
 
He was very savvy, and cut short the drills at exactly the right time and headed home (this is really threading the needle on a 24-hour fight camp and only very experienced martial artists understand how much is too much or too little with such a small window to prepare).
He even prepared some Grade A Connor McGregor style anti-Russian trash talk, but when we got there the Russians were all really cool, and we felt too awkward actually say it. However, it's top shelf trash talk, and just so it isn't lost to posterity, I'm going to say it here. And for background, Finland and Russia had a bitter Winter War a long time ago, and somehow Finland ended up winning. The Finn fighter said - "I wanted to give a big speech in Russian for your promotion, but I only know the same two Russian words every Finnish man is taught - RUKI VER!" This translates to 'HANDS UP!'" and he points his fingers as guns...Priceless!
 
Our Team leader is the funny and charismatic Professor Svensson, but he runs a full-sized commercial gym (with attached Crossfit and Muay Thai programs) in addition to teaching classes, and things tend to go to hell without him there, so he told me to take the fight team. He also told me I was taking France to the fights. We don't have names on our team; due to the unique international demographics of the gym, there is only one person from each country on the fight team, and you're simply addressed by your country - the Finnish fighter is Finland, the French fighter is France, and I’m just America. Professor Svensson said he can't be bothered to remember our names and we're all pretty much the same anyway.
 
I said "Who is France? I've never met him".
 
"He only does Muay Thai, you don't know him."
 
"What is his name?"
 
"I don't know his name" said Svensson. "He is France."
Edited: 10 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 60457
We all meet up at the fights, they're hosted by Chok Chai Muay Thai (a beautiful facility by the way).

 

 

Gannon with Master Chok Chai.
 
There is a scary Russian pro with 50 fights that nobody wants to fight and a mixed bag of other fighters. There are some (actual Thai) Muay Thai fighters at the event and I saw their Thai coach shooting doubles on them and having them throw knees to the face with proper timing to stop him. I spoke to my fighters and had them make adjustments. It will be interesting to see when there gets to be enough money in MMA that the Thais really decide they want to start winning it, they've got an amazing tradition and tremendous training methodology, they'll be a force if they want to be.
 
Our Russian, Anton, wins his first fight in textbook fashion -
 
 
Finland wins his first fight with similar brutal efficiency, but his opponent wasn't a Russian, and Finland decides to fight the scary Russian nobody else will fight. "Gonna get myself a Russian!" he says on the video. Good to see him remembering his trash talk, if MacGregor taught us anything it's that quality trash talk can really sell a fight.
 
Here is Finland vs. Russia -
 
 
SPOILERS -
 
In some historical irony, Finland loses Winter War to Russia due to intense heat. He just didn't have the conditioning on one day's notice to get another takedown in the hot Thai sun. On the plus side, Finland and Russia are neighbors, and they're going to set up an official rematch, I'll keep you posted.
 
Strelka lets you pick the rules you want to fight by - MMA, Muay Thai, or Boxing. France was Muay Thai only, but took a boxing match because he really wanted to fight and that was all that was available. Strelka boxing is pretty cool, it's boxing plus body slams and hockey fighting...with 4-ounce gloves. And if you're a fan of previous Strelka fights, France's opponent was Drunk Boxer.
 
France became visibly frustrated when he kept getting clinched up and couldn't knee (and was getting tattooed with 4-ounce gloves) but we improvised and I taught him how to hockey fight on the fly. This was an impressive piece of corner coaching considering they had no official round breaks. I had to grab people by the head, stuff them down and fake hit them till he got the picture. It was a tough fight, far from his element, but he gutted it out until both fighters were bleeding and they declared it a draw. This may not have been entirely fair considering his opponent took the fight with a big bandage on his head, but I'll take what I can get.
10 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 60458
 
 

France after fight, blood cleaned up.
 
We went 2-0 against another rival team, and our overall record of 2-1-1 (with only 3 fighters) was enough to make us the winningest team at the whole Strelka event. They also made me Special Guest and Master of Ceremonies when they found out who I was, which was really cool. Not bad for my first 2 months in Thailand.
 
Coach Gannon's fighter executes a victory backflip as Master of Ceremonies Gannon bows and awards show money to the Thai kid.
 
Strelka has a really progressive fighter revenue sharing system based on youtube clicks, so please Share these fights with anyone you think might be interested, it really helps the fighters.
 
I'm not much of a drinker anymore, but when Finland and Russia called after we got home, there were few men I would rather drink with. And Chang beer is either the most incredible beer nobody in America has heard of, or no beer tastes better than on a hot day on a Patong beach after the fights.
 
Russia brought his beautiful Russian girlfriend to make the view better, and Finland (actual name Jasse' Junkarri) turned out to be a really interesting guy, a real student of the game that has written extensively about martial arts in his native Finnish and would be right at home on the Underground. He gave permission to use one of his translated articles on the Underground, just so you can get a grasp on the caliber of martial arts mind we're talking about. Another great day in Phuket with Maximum MMA!
 
At Strelka, on the right, Anton “The Tourist” Kolotvin, on the left, some Russian Master of Sport that threw Gannon on his head before Gannon knew who he was.
 
This referee is famous in Russia. he is like their Big John McCarthy.
 
Gannon with Strelka owner, an Old School fight promoter and real character.
 
At Maximum MMA, on Gannon's right, Finland - Jasse' "The Winter Warrior" Junkkari, on the left, Russia - Anton "The Tourist" Kolotvin
10 days ago
8/3/11
Posts: 18354

Fedor's MMA Union up in arms against Strelka

https://forum.valetudo.ru/showthread.php?t=25068

ChP on NTV

The Mma Alliance declared a crusade against "illegal" activities.
The TV issue is not very interesting, it was made on the principle to be something hot, but from the result it can only be understood that the film Fight Club was watched on NTV and nothing else. The heat happens in the web, in the comments of the group. Representatives of the union MMA accuse Strelka organizers of inciting ethnic hatred, lack of patriotism, earning money on children's blood and much more, as well as threatening them with the competent authorities.
Supporters of the Strelka retorted that people are all adults who want to participate, they do not force anyone. And for the union of MMA is recommended first to deal with the children's battles in the notorious Chechen club. (to which there was an answer that it was all rumors and in general untrue, there was no bullying from Akhmat to Fedor - here I was neighing to myself)
Who thinks what the situation is?

10 days ago
12/11/05
Posts: 2693
This is a fun read, thanks.
10 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 6741
Awesome!
10 days ago
4/9/02
Posts: 10923
Very cool
Edited: 10 days ago
6/29/10
Posts: 6989

The production value for that promotion is pretty crazy considering where they are.

They had a 4-camera shoot going by my count.

A-cam - C100

B-cam - thai guy w/ the 80D

C-cam - Russian ZNed in camo + crocs A6300 maybe?

Plus a drone can be heard?? But no aerial footage. And A-cam and C-cam are both running audio.

The editing leaves some things to be desired, but for a sand pit in Thailand, they are fucking pro.

10 days ago
12/18/10
Posts: 10796
What happened with Gannon and the police force and what not?
10 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 2209

TTT 

10 days ago
9/8/13
Posts: 356
0
10 days ago
12/22/10
Posts: 6688
touch -

Fedor's MMA Union up in arms against Strelka

https://forum.valetudo.ru/showthread.php?t=25068

ChP on NTV

The Mma Alliance declared a crusade against "illegal" activities.
The TV issue is not very interesting, it was made on the principle to be something hot, but from the result it can only be understood that the film Fight Club was watched on NTV and nothing else. The heat happens in the web, in the comments of the group. Representatives of the union MMA accuse Strelka organizers of inciting ethnic hatred, lack of patriotism, earning money on children's blood and much more, as well as threatening them with the competent authorities.
Supporters of the Strelka retorted that people are all adults who want to participate, they do not force anyone. And for the union of MMA is recommended first to deal with the children's battles in the notorious Chechen club. (to which there was an answer that it was all rumors and in general untrue, there was no bullying from Akhmat to Fedor - here I was neighing to myself)
Who thinks what the situation is?

Outside of Russia.  How is it illegal and why do they care?

10 days ago
8/3/11
Posts: 18362
quality -
touch -

Fedor's MMA Union up in arms against Strelka

https://forum.valetudo.ru/showthread.php?t=25068

ChP on NTV

The Mma Alliance declared a crusade against "illegal" activities.
The TV issue is not very interesting, it was made on the principle to be something hot, but from the result it can only be understood that the film Fight Club was watched on NTV and nothing else. The heat happens in the web, in the comments of the group. Representatives of the union MMA accuse Strelka organizers of inciting ethnic hatred, lack of patriotism, earning money on children's blood and much more, as well as threatening them with the competent authorities.
Supporters of the Strelka retorted that people are all adults who want to participate, they do not force anyone. And for the union of MMA is recommended first to deal with the children's battles in the notorious Chechen club. (to which there was an answer that it was all rumors and in general untrue, there was no bullying from Akhmat to Fedor - here I was neighing to myself)
Who thinks what the situation is?

Outside of Russia.  How is it illegal and why do they care?

They like to cockblock.

10 days ago
9/1/04
Posts: 25005

I linked the article on Reddit too.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MMA/comments/7q3iog/having_a_great_time_in_thailand_even_the_camps/

10 days ago
12/19/10
Posts: 2138

Awesome stuff! Thanks GG

10 days ago
9/9/11
Posts: 2680

Really cool, just came to Thailand for the first time a couple days ago, loving it so far. How to Thai's generally feel about MMA? More importantly the grappling aspect. Are they open to it, or is it a mix?

10 days ago
5/11/06
Posts: 10894
grappling in the sand would not be much fun, should have a mat.
9 days ago
9/1/04
Posts: 25006
EckY - grappling in the sand would not be much fun, should have a mat.

That's the spirit! I'm sure back on the beaches of Brazil, Renzo and the boys would say "I'll fight you, but not on the sand, we must find a matted area first!".

It's actually one of the historical surfaces the Brazilian Jiujitsu was developed on (and for). I learned a lot as a martial artist just preparing my guys to fight on it. They're all now much more prepared to defend themselves on beach areas and unconventional surfaces (and we all live in a wild  beach party town).

I always try to remember that in Mixed Martial Arts, the Art is bigger than the sport. There is a sport that is a huge part of it, but it's also about martial arts and learning to defend yourself and your loved ones in the most efficient and effective way possible. Not always fighting and training on a mat is part of that.

9 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 55316

Great stuff, awesome thread.

7 days ago
9/1/04
Posts: 25007
CrazyPope -

Really cool, just came to Thailand for the first time a couple days ago, loving it so far. How to Thai's generally feel about MMA? More importantly the grappling aspect. Are they open to it, or is it a mix?

I don't speak Thai and I haven't been here all that long, but from what people tell me, they find it...distasteful. They're a small country that has created what was demonstrably the best face to face fighting art in the world, one that is beautiful and they love, deeply respect, and has a special sacred place in the nation's heart. They think you should be here learning Muay Thai...and there are a lot of strong arguments for that case. They also don't even like "run and gun" tactics in fighting (Muay Thai scoring penalizes Muhammed Ali style dancing away from your opponent) so you can imagine their opinion of avoiding striking altogether by wrestling someone on the ground. You also, sort of replaced them in a way as "The Baddest Man on tthe Planet"...even if your style is one third copied from Muay Thai, it still doesn't sit well.

 

They like the money it brings, but it's sort of like some old, fat gringo dating their sister and saving the family farm. They appreciate that he saved the family farm, but would have preferred that he had saved the family farm himself by winning Lumpinee. Or founding a kick ass business. Or won it gambling. Or found it out on the street. 

 

Don't get me wrong, the old, fat gringo is a nice guy, he retired from Apple and helped develop the iphone and all kinds of cool things that make the world a better place, and the Thai guy doesn't hate him, he just prefers that he wasn't dating his sister.

7 days ago
9/1/04
Posts: 25008

Believe me, when the Thai's decide they like MMA, we'll know it. They'll be the next Brazil or Russia in no time.

7 days ago
11/29/11
Posts: 8883

Good read. I want to go to Thailand so bad 

6 days ago
9/9/11
Posts: 2685
GladiatorGannon -
CrazyPope -

Really cool, just came to Thailand for the first time a couple days ago, loving it so far. How to Thai's generally feel about MMA? More importantly the grappling aspect. Are they open to it, or is it a mix?

I don't speak Thai and I haven't been here all that long, but from what people tell me, they find it...distasteful. They're a small country that has created what was demonstrably the best face to face fighting art in the world, one that is beautiful and they love, deeply respect, and has a special sacred place in the nation's heart. They think you should be here learning Muay Thai...and there are a lot of strong arguments for that case. They also don't even like "run and gun" tactics in fighting (Muay Thai scoring penalizes Muhammed Ali style dancing away from your opponent) so you can imagine their opinion of avoiding striking altogether by wrestling someone on the ground. You also, sort of replaced them in a way as "The Baddest Man on tthe Planet"...even if your style is one third copied from Muay Thai, it still doesn't sit well.

 

They like the money it brings, but it's sort of like some old, fat gringo dating their sister and saving the family farm. They appreciate that he saved the family farm, but would have preferred that he had saved the family farm himself by winning Lumpinee. Or founding a kick ass business. Or won it gambling. Or found it out on the street. 

 

Don't get me wrong, the old, fat gringo is a nice guy, he retired from Apple and helped develop the iphone and all kinds of cool things that make the world a better place, and the Thai guy doesn't hate him, he just prefers that he wasn't dating his sister.

Thanks for the reply, that's kind of what I figured. I hope they embrace it in the future

6 days ago
1/9/06
Posts: 12930
Fun read, as always.