There was a published report over the weekend from the Northweast fight scene that one coach punched another in the face at a local MMA event.
There is always an invisible line between words and violence leading up to an altercation. Last night that line was crossed. Please allow me to state the obvious when I say “there is no place for violence in the business of mixed martial arts unless it's inside the cage”.
On the eve of Easter 2012, my family and I attended an action packed night full of terrific fighting entertainment at Inferno Fitness, home to Brave Legion. The house was packed with fighters and enthusiastic fight fans.
Tthe main event was between top ranked fighters Tommy Takemoto of Brave Legion and Sean Baker of Alive MMA. Sean Baker, known for explosive take-downs, was controlling the fight according to the game plan of his coach, Nick Gilardi. In the heat of battle and during an explosive clash into the cage door, the gate flew open and both fighters found themselves hurled outside the cage. At this point in time Sean Baker was clearly ahead in points over Tommy Takemoto.
For a few moments nobody knew whether or not the fighters were hurt from the fall. After the ringside emergency medical technician (EMT) waded through the aftermath, both fighters were cleared to fight again. Coaches Pat White and Nick Gilardi both encouraged there fighters to continue. The rivalry between these two is well known and tensions were high. When referees contemplated calling the fight, Gilardi protested claiming his fighter, Sean Baker, only required a customary 5 minute rest period. Takemoto seemed none the worse for wear and being a hard-nosed fighter, he was good to go. The crowd cheered as Takemoto and Baker entered the cage to continue the battle with the support of their coaches. The cage door was secured, and this time officials strapped the door shut ensuring a repeat occurrence of the fall would be impossible. The fight rolled on with Baker's unstoppable take-downs and Takemoto reversing position to deliver devastating damage. The fight ended by TKO with Takemoto as the victor.
Outside the basketball courts of Inferno Fitness Nick Gilardi and Pat White came face to face. Gilardi asked White about a rematch given the circumstances of the fight. Pat White shook his head indicating that his guy won fair and square – no rematch required. What happened next varies slightly depending on who you talk to. The fact that Pat White punched Nick Gilardi in the face is undisputed. White claims he felt threatened and that Nick Gilardi put his hands on him triggering the punch. Gilardi claims the punch was unprovoked. In either case, Gilardi did not retaliate with violence. As tensions escalated in a room full of cage fighters, nobody knew what was going to happen next.
UFC fighter and Brave Legion head coach Ricky Story was attempting to maintain control and clear the building. Promoter, Trent Standing was doing his best to defuse the situation as he asked the Alive MMA crew to vacate the premises. Gilardi and his brethren were staying put, “we're waiting for the cops – I'm done” responded Gilardi, who was fighting back his rage in a superhuman effort to keep his poise after being struck in the face. White yelled out, “kick his ass out of here Ricky!” Ricky Story looked perplexed and I thought all hell might break loose. At that moment police arrived and melee was averted.
It's understandable that tensions run high sometimes amongst fighters. It's a normal part of combat sports and another reason why coaches and mentors play such an important role. The expectation for a business owner involved in MMA is even higher. One's business reputation is important both professionally and financially. Punching someone in the face is OK inside the cage, even encouraged. Outside the cage it's called assault and it's illegal.
This kind of action, and the behavior that feeds into it, is selfish, it hurts MMA as a whole and strengthens those who dismiss MMA as “human cock-fighting”. Additionally, violence outside the cage scares off advertisers and chokes off revenue required to grow our sport. As a result, the ripple effect of such stupidity can often be felt by promoter, fighter, gym owner, and even MMA media outlets. We as a community spend too much time educating folks about how MMA is a safe and respectable sport worthy of spending our time and money on. For those of us who encourage professionalism, integrity, and honor within the sport of MMA, violent behavior outside the cage is intolerable and unacceptable. We must continue to speak out against it.
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Local reporter the Spaniard penned an impassioned response:
"Mixed Martial Arts shouldn't be about 30 cage fights lasting till 12am, cages breaking during competition injuring talented unpaid fighters, fluanty women at an all ages show, venue owner sucker punching a head coach, screaming fans cursing obscenities pushing their way to the cage with almost no security, media turning their cameras off when they should have been keeping them on, yet they didn't, in order to keep promoters friendships sustained.
Now it is all a memory, a good and talented, unpaid fighter was in the hospital with injuries. Tickets were sold, the venue made rent yet somone was hit in the face and then told to leave the building and not allowed to collect their stuff?
SHAME ON THE MEDIA WHO SAW IT AND IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH!!!!I CALL BULLSHIT!!! MY KID WAS THERE! MY STEPDAUGHTER, WHO DOES MMA, WAS SO DISGUSTED AT THE ACTIONS OF ADULTS THAT NOW SHE DOESN"T WANT TO ATTEND ANOTHER SHOW AGAIN! SHAME ON YOU! WE ARE BLOWING OUR CHANCE PEOPLE! THIS WILL MAKE OUR SPORT LOOK WORSE! IT WILL MAKE US LOOK LIKE ANIMALS ESP WHEN THE COPS SHOW UP TO CLEAN HOUSE. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SAVE THIS SPORT BEFORE IT'S TO LATE!HOPEFUFLLY THIS SONG PLAYS IN YOUR EARS>>>>>"
When the story appeared on the UG, a fuller image of what happened rapidly emerged. First from a spectator.
Member Since: 4/2/08
I cant speak on what happened after the show as we left about 11:00pm but that story above was not the way the event went for us..
I thought the promoter, split decision MMA, Trent & Heather Standing did a great job running the event. Great fights, at least up until we left, and a fun night overall... We had great seats, front row behind the ring girls and in front of Lindland, when he wasnt coaching his fighters. I thought the security did an good job. They clearned the way for the fighters to do there walk out to the cage, and I believe UGs own DJlastcall was rocking the music for the fighters. Security was moving people from the cage that were standing up, I thought they were very professional about it even though they wernt professional security people.. They also kept the fighters team behind the chairs and kept them down so the crowd could see.
I did have one interaction with one of the younger security guys... I bought a few beers (one for DJ, which i want credit for lol) and the security guy told me very politly that I had to keep the beer at the garden area (drinking area)..
As far as the fluanty women... I didnt think those ring girls were being flaunted anymore or less than any other event Ive been too.. In my opinion...
I thought the crowd was great, and at least in my area I didnt hear anyone cursing obscenities or anything out of line.. There was one lady screaming her lungs out but I dont recall anything too bad...
Again, we missed all the drama at the end, which I'm glad we did lol But up until we left I thought it went really well
I did sent a message to Trent to see if he'll respond to this to clear some of this up
This is just my opinion =)
Finally the promoter himself provided a fuller picture of what transpired.
Member Since: 6/27/04
I actually promoted the event.
A little background on the situation first:
Pat White and Nick Gillardi dont get along for some bullshit that went down years ago. Add to that Nick Gillardi runs right now one of the best MMA gym fight teams in Portland, and Brave Legion is the best MMA gym right across the river into Vancouver WA (about 15 mins away from eachother). Also, the #1 ranked Brave Legion 170 pounder in the NW Tommy Takemoto was fighting the #2 Ranked Sean Baker from Alive MMA- BOTH camps were very confident on getting the win.
A little more background: I RENT THE SPACE called inferno Fitness and Sports that is in the same building as Brave Legion that is the size of 3 basketball courts set side by side, so a rather large venue. I have also had a GREAT relationship to this point with AliveMMA and they had always shown great class at all events in victory and defeat. ~~IN 37 SHOWS THERE HAS BEEN 2 PHYSICAL INCIDENTS OF 1 PUNCH BEING THROWN.. NOT FIGHTS.. JUST ONE PUNCH~~
After a cage door incident when it popped open during the fight and the fighters fell out of the cage both teams decided on keeping the fight going against my plea to just have the fight called a no contest (it was mid round 2 of 5 round). Baker was clearly hurt from the fall out the cage door but his camp decided to keep fighting instead of having the fight called a No Contest. Takemoto put Baker away in round 3 and remained champion.
The next bit I did not personally see, but neutral partys to both Brave Legion and Alive MMA have told me the account went something like this:
Nick Gilardi was in the fighter area afterwards as Pat White was passing from inferno Fitness to his gym, a confrontation happend when Gilardi demanded a rematch and wanted a contract for a rematch. Pat told him to fuck off and went to turn to disengage. Gilardi put his hands on Pat to keep him from walking away and to face him. Pat said dont fucking touch me again and turned agian when Gilardi called him a piece of shit and grabbed Pats shoulder and Pat let loose with a left hook that wobbled Gilardi. After he hit him he backed up, had more words with Gilardi and left the area.
The AliveMMA crowd was then asked to leave the Brave Legion gym and they refused. After multiple attempts by me to try to diffuse the situation and Rick Story telling them to leave the area the police were called.
I have no fucking idea if thats what really happened BECAUSE I DIDNT SEE IT. But its what I was told from about 12 people that were on the scene.
Now I know Jake Thomas didnt write the first post and I know who it was copied from, but let me address some stupid shit:
""Mixed Martial Arts shouldn't be about 30 cage fights lasting till 12am"
---It wasnt 30 fights, it was 23 fights, a submission match and a tag team submission (that were used as intermissions)
" fluanty women at an all ages show"
--LOL Serious? Anyone else know of an event that has a 'dress code'? Seriously, you want me to dictate what people wear?
" venue owner sucker punching a head coach"
---Like I said before, I DIDNT SEE IT, but its awfully hard to put your hands on someone and get punched, and call it a 'sucker punch'
"screaming fans cursing obscenities pushing their way to the cage with almost no security"
---We dont have a 'bad language' rule at our events, maybe we should make one to prevent people from cursing!! And we had 20 security at the event of about 700 people, allong with 4 security that were stationed directly around the cage.
" yet somone was hit in the face and then told to leave the building and not allowed to collect their stuff?"
---This is absolute bullshit. I was the one talking to AliveMMA and telling them to get out of the hallway connecting the VENUE from the GYM. I told them to GO OUTSIDE or GET THE FUCK BACK IN THE DRESSING ROOMS TO COLLECT THEIR ITEMS. Instead they would not move and it created more friction with everyone leaving the venue through the gym (the ONLY exit). This is a total boldface lie.
"MY KID WAS THERE! MY STEPDAUGHTER, WHO DOES MMA, WAS SO DISGUSTED AT THE ACTIONS OF ADULTS THAT NOW SHE DOESN"T WANT TO ATTEND ANOTHER SHOW AGAIN! "
--- You could have very easily EXITED THE FUCKING AREA WHERE THIS WAS GOING DOWN LIKE YOU WERE INSTRUCTED TO. Instead you chose to get out your flip camera and record everything.
" IT WILL MAKE US LOOK LIKE ANIMALS ESP WHEN THE COPS SHOW UP TO CLEAN HOUSE."
---Know what the cops did? They told AliveMMA to get out just like I had instructed them to do
***NOW THE KICKER***
Not only was the 'MMA REPORTER' friends with Nick Gilardi but they had also lived together and grew up together in Bend Oregon. So perhaps as I pointed out above his account of the situation was a little bias?
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