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Alabama Underground >> Ray Echols Ruins Alabama MMA (cagepotato link)


1/27/12 3:11 PM
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Fat Tony
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MMA news website accuses promoter of being the "Michael Vick of parenting".

http://www.cagepotato.com/outrageous-news-of-the-day-man-who-cornered-12-year-old-son-in-one-of-his-illegally-promoted-events-is-alabamas-first-licensed-promoter/
1/28/12 1:39 PM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:51 PM
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1/28/12 1:39 PM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:52 PM
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1/28/12 2:55 PM
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Fat Tony
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My name is Tony Sullivan.

You are lying. Watch me prove it.

This write-up was created by some dude in Canada. That's right. NO personal or business connections of any kind, much less "grudges".

Try again.
1/28/12 9:01 PM
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Josh J
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Tom, I don't know of anyone from Triad ever going anywhere where it wasn't made very clear who we were.  Now, we've had to pretend we were nobodies just to get in the door at some places..... but we've always made it clear once we were there.

You'd be amazed at how many instructors will turn you away and not even let you in their school if you tell them your credentials.   Many bullshit their students into believing they are BJJ gods, and don't want to get busted being tapped by white belts. 
1/30/12 9:20 AM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:52 PM
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1/30/12 12:21 PM
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Josh J
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Edited: 01/30/12 5:36 PM
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We just want to roll/spar with different people  We don't go there to prove anything.  We definitely aren't hostile.  Most people will tell you we are extremely respectful.  We visited Dustin Rhode's school a few months back.  It was a nice pleasant visit.  We visited Jason Sanderson's.  We've visited Joey Marimbergawtfeverhisnameis' school. We've visited Tod Chappel's school.  It's always nice and pleasant.

We even visited Ray's school once, and it was nice and pleasant.  No one "beat up" anyone.  We spar with whoever wants to spar.  We stop when the say stop.  We hit as hard as we are being hit.  When people tap, we let them go.  We don't brutalize anyone.    There are actually times when we SHOULD get hostile, yet we don't.

I've never lied to get into a school, I just didn't tell them who I was or where I trained.  I'm sick of people telling me "oh... we are doing renovations" or something to that effect.  I swear to god, I've been on the phone with people and they say "oh yeah, come on down... no problem" then have them say "oh wait...we are having are floors re-done that night" after I mentioned I was a blue belt.  WTF?

I go to other gyms TO focus on my developement.  You need to roll and spar with new people.  Also, when you visit another school they almost always stry to smash you, so it's similar to competition type grappling and sparring.  I love training at other schools.  If I have to leave out where I train or my rank to get in the door, so be it.  I tell them anything they want to know once I'm in the door.

And by the way, I do have a LOT of respect for BJJ.  If an instructor is claiming rank they have not earned, or are just flat lying I do feel obligated to expose him.  If they are lying, it will be obvious.  If they aren't, that will also be obvious.

EDIT:

By the way Tom, on Facebook you did say "written".  I'm sure Tony saw that as well.

FYI, Tony is a writer as well.  Tony used to write for MMA magazines.

   
1/30/12 7:11 PM
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Fat Tony
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Edited: 02/01/12 6:57 PM
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My name is Tony Sullivan and you're a liar. Watch me prove it.

As it's demonstrable, the article was written by Mike Russell and posted to the UG by Mike Russell. (You remember Mike Russell. He's the one who swiftly eviscerated your credibility when you lied on his thread.

A link to this article was reposted by someone else on the general forum and after all this I reposted the link to the article on the state forum. So it wasn't WRITTEN or POSTED by the people you say, but at the most, REPOSTED. (Since you get paid to use words and to know what they mean...)

It's also demonstrably wrong that my motivations for doing so resemble your accusations. (And that would be because you're lying.)

Stick to writing; it's an appropriate position for the morally bankrupt. The legacy of bushido is quite safe left to the experts. (I have a nice little belt from that big ol' school in Cullman that says so...)


****Edit 2-1-12****

For readers new to this thread: The elements of douchey-ness in this post were a literary mimicing of the liar Tom Stedham's pretentious allusions to his education and pedigree. My references to his posts remain, though his have disappeared once he was faced with the situation that I was his physical, intellectual and moral superior.
1/30/12 9:18 PM
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Matt Ward
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My name is matt ward. I'm not a writer, but I know when someone just got a verbal Beatdown. Phone Post
1/30/12 9:47 PM
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rappygracie
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My name is Daniel O'Brien, and it sickens me when people post about MMA or any form of fighting for that matter when they themselves no nothing of it. Tom, people might start respecting you more if you knew what you were talking about. People like you and Ray are in the same boat, it all started the moment you watched your first "ufc"... you saw an opportunity to make money, you made a bunch of false claims that you know how to make people champions in "ufc fighting", and you open an overnight school...You guys are crooks and deserve no respect!
1/30/12 10:46 PM
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goquickly
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Edited: 01/30/12 10:54 PM
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I trained in Alabama for 2 years off and on at Triad in Cullman, AL. My first experience with Ray was when I was thinking of getting into BJJ/MMA/Shape when I lived in Hartselle, Alabama. I stopped in one time at Clairday's gym - which looked to be sketchy at best. But, I decided to hold off - I didn't really feel like training with Meth heads and yes there were a couple there. I wasn't really that impressive of the place to train at, and it looked like they we're just getting their feet on the ground. Not worth the money in my opinion.

About 3 months later I heard about Triad through a co-worker Josh J. I was nervous, but I went one time and it became family. Very respectful of my experience, not a mcdojo of any sort and most of all the trainer had all the credentials to charge for it. He also had another black belt and 2 brown belts at the time.

Within minutes of getting to know someone, I can tell whether they are fit to charge for their specialty or not. Ray is not, and Tom you are not worth paying much for either. Ray would be considered blue belt at best and charges for being a golden glove champion at some point in his life. He comes off more as a "My dad can kick your dad's ass" kinda guy that gets drunk and challenges anyone smaller. I watched a couple cage fights of his at the "dirt" barn that everyone is speaking of. It had zero talent and at one point they didn't have a female competitor so they called one from the crowd to fight a girl with "some" training.

Ray is in it for the money. If he was in it for the students - he would get his credentials first before training them.

On a side note, I got in fist fights when I was a kid all the time. None of which my dad built a cage for and watched. My dad is a very tough guy, even rode with California bike gangs at one point and served in the ranger battalion prior.. but wouldn't even have had the nerve to do this to me as a child.
1/30/12 11:14 PM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:52 PM
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1/30/12 11:24 PM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:53 PM
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1/30/12 11:32 PM
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Josh J
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TomStedham - Tony...
if we're gonna argue over the definition of "posted" vs "re-posted" then it's gonna be a long thread. Since this thread was started by you, I'm claiming that you "posted" the article... even though you edited it later to say (cagepotato link) or whatever.

CLEARLY, the folks from Triad have some sort of beef or issue or whatever word you want to use, with Ray, and this is the reason for the post (or "re-post", if you want, Tony). So, I don't believe that I'm "lying" when I make that comment.

There were at least a dozen "unsanctioned" shows around Alabama in the last 6-8 months, and yet THE ONLY ONE you guys gang up about is the one Ray did... Now that may be because it's the only show that had teenagers fight on it, but still...
Why on earth does anyone care if Ray's son fought? Clearly, the commission didn't care!
***************


Frankly, I just started fight camp and admittedly I'm not at my mental best late at nite right now. I do have more important things on my mind at the moment.

***
Tom, a week ago there was an article in the Cullman Times where Ray claimed he told his students not to fight illegally, and that he didn't promote any shows illegally.  The article also said Jack Whitfield had been on a huge layoff waiting on the commission.  Ray promoted a show during the time he claims he didn't, he cornered his fighters while he claimed he didn't, he allowed his son to fight and cornered him while he claimed he didn't, and Jack Whitfield fought just a few months before the article.  He told a bald faced lie.  When asked about this, he will not give an answer as to why he lied.  He just asks why we won't let the past be the past, when it was only a week ago.  In this same article, he sort of throws other promoters under the bus for promoting shows during that time.   This is from the article:

One of his fighters went to a show in Auburn because he really wanted to compete, even though Echols clearly informed him of the potential consequences. The illegal event didn’t end up getting busted by police, but Echols said he wouldn’t have made the same decision if it had been left up to him.

“I personally wouldn’t have because I’m not willing to take that chance,” he said. “I’m not playing Russian roulette.”

He admits it's illegal there, and says he was against it when he DID THE SAME THING.  If that fight was illegal, so were the events he promoted, so was his son's fight, so was the fights his students took part in.  This is why I have a problem with it.  He lied through his teeth to the city of Cullman.  He tried to come across like a saint while criticizing others for doing the exact same thing he did.  It's disgusting.  It's shady as hell.  If you can't understand why this would piss some people off then I don't know what else to tell you. 
1/30/12 11:34 PM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:53 PM
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1/30/12 11:35 PM
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Josh J
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:47 PM
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TomStedham - Josh, who are you to determine if an instructor is claiming rank they "haven't earned"???

I know a certain 350-lb asshole in Tuscaloosa who is a legit purple belt under Jacare... But he doesn't know his ass from his wrist watch. But, if you are rich, and can afford "private lessons", then some otherwise legit instructors who need that money will eventually promote you. That's the way the world works. Sadly.

And I'm talking about "Orcaman", Mike Shuttlesworth. He has an "Alliance" school, I think, somewhere in Tuscaloosa. He sucks, completely, but hey, his belt is "legit". You NEVER see his guys at competitions. Or in fights.

Feel free to go to his school and roll with him or his guys. Hell, I'll chip in on gas money... as long as you tell me how it went afterwards. I'm pretty confident that any new blue belt at TRIAD could smoke Mike Shuttlesworth and his entire school, in a row, without breaking much of a sweat.

And I'm not being sarcastic. The guy is a moron.

Serious question: Triad has a great reputation. Daniel is going to Pan Am. Hell, I talked to most of you guys at a tournament somewhere a year, year and a half or so ago.

Why is the story so important??? Seriously. If the commission doesn't care, why keep posting (or "re-posting") the article? Why keep talking about it?

Do you think this will somehow reflect on Triad? Like, someone will link your school, or what you do, to that fight? "Oh, you guys are from Alabama; you let teenagers fight!" Is that it?

Just look them in the eye and say "No. We're Triad; we don't do shit like that."

 That's the type of people I like to expose.

As for why I won't let this go....

 I think people like Ray and Robert Clairday are why we needed an Athletic Commission.  I think they are a detriment to the sport.  I think they are the reason people from other states make fun of Alabama MMA.  Even John Salter commented and said promoters like Ray made it extremely difficult for him to get legit fights in the state.  I think him lying in the newspaper just proves this point even more.  It proves to me that he is exactly the person I thought he was.   He lied in a newspaper for thousands of people to read.  His lies need to be exposed to thousands of people as a result. 

He's never once pointed out any inaccuracies in the article, or what we are saying... only "why won't you guys just let this go".  He's even started making personal insults about our school.  People taking up for him have physically threatened people in discussions about the article.  One of the people taking up for him even said "what does it matter... most of the stuff in the paper is a lie anyways".  I think as many people as possible need to know aout the lie.  I don't care enough to go door to door informing people, but it's worth the trouble of posting the link in a few places.  If the article is a lie, he should say so.  If it's inaccurate, he should say so.  He shouldn't expect us to just drop it because we feel bad for him.
1/30/12 11:43 PM
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goquickly
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Tom to say the commission didn't care... the commission didn't exactly know either. I'll just be upfront about it. I'm sure they know now and they will review his license soon with all the mentions in the media lately.
1/30/12 11:44 PM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:53 PM
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1/30/12 11:50 PM
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Josh J
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:51 PM
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The commission doesn't enforce laws.  The governor signed a bill making it a felony to promote events.  That's up to the DA to enforce that law, not the commission.  The commission can't go out and arrest people.  Ray said himself that he was threatened with arrest if he didn't cancel his show late last year.  He cancelled it and said "I've never been to jail and don't plan to".  

I care what Ray said.  Cullman has been home to Triad since the early 90's.  If he hadn't lied in the paper, I would have never said anything about this.  I tried to ask him about it directly.  I posted it in the "MMA in BAMA" group because I know he posts in there regularly.  I posted a link to the article and said "Seriously Ray?  Were you misquoted?"  It was deleted and I was banned.  Then, I decided to get involved.
1/30/12 11:50 PM
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TomStedham
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Edited: 01/30/12 11:53 PM
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1/30/12 11:52 PM
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TomStedham
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Last thing: yes, Josh: HIS LAST SHOW, late in the year. The shows before that WERE NOT ILLEGAL...

I'm not a lawyer. I pay lawyers to tell me things, and the one I paid talked to other lawyers and they said that it wasn't illegal, until that time frame you are talking about.

EVERYTHING BEFORE THAT WAS IN A "GRAY AREA"... not "illegal".

Seriously, I'm out.
1/30/12 11:56 PM
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Josh J
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 If the show last year was illegal, so was the one in June.  Everything after April of last year was illegal.  It was a Class C felony to fight or promote, and a misdemeanor to attend the events.

See, that's what annoys the shit out of me.  Liars like him are why we needed a commission.  HE'S PART OF THE PROBLEM.  Yet, people say crap like "thanks to him... we have sanctioned MMA in Alabama".  That's why I won't let this go.  He isn't a saint.  He made it worse.
1/30/12 11:57 PM
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Josh J
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Edited: 01/31/12 7:01 AM
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I see you deleted the "thanks to him we have sanctioned MMA" comment I was referring to as well as the "so what if Ray lied" comment.  Not sure why, but now my post looks silly.  

Thanks Tom.  Now it looks like we are arguing with ourselves.
1/31/12 9:36 AM
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justacook
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Actually, Josh, he's left periods where he deleted all his comments so we know something was said. I just figured he didn't want the world to see what he said.
I haven't been able to jump in till now, but as a parent, I'd like to explain to Tom what the problem is with having a 12 yr old fight to make money to stuff in his fathers pocket. He was 12. That is all the reason needed. You can pretend it's just like kids football, but we all know that's just not reality. Everyone knew that the guidelines were going to be lining up with boxing and boxing rules said that nobody under 18 could fight. How simple is that?
To be honest though, I'm remembering rumors I've heard about him from years back. I don't know if it's true or not, but I heard that the 2 boys had done this sort of thing before at a VFW hall or some such venue in Decatur. I didn't believe a parent would let their children do that sort of thing till I saw the video from the article and I honestly was shocked. It makes me wonder what other sorts of things may go on. For example, he had a convicted child molester on the sex offender list http://www.icrimewatch.net/offenderdetails.php?OfndrID=554128&AgencyID=54027 fight for him and apparently train in the same facility as his son and possibly other children. That makes me think he has incredibly poor judgement when it comes to the safety of his son. For me, that's the deal. Sure, I think he's a piece of crap for lying like he did in the Cullman Times article, but his poor judgement with his son may have long term effects. I would think long and hard before I sided with a man that not only had been caught in so many lies, but had also put his son in so much danger all for the love of money.
1/31/12 10:18 AM
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TomStedham
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Guys, I told you: I'm out... I'm working on things here in Miami, and this just really isn't that important to me. I believe one thing; you guys another. I'm done with it.


I only came back to post this link, in case you Triad guys didn't see it...

*************
SportFight X President Gibbs said "We want the best of the best wherever we go but in this case it could be tough to find that by screening on paper alone. For example take Matt Ward, a purple belt in BJJ with a 1-0 record. He is on a different planet skill wise than any other 5-0 guy that I have ever seen. He destroyed the former Tennessee ISKA Champion who was 11-2 in the first round."

http://www.examiner.com/mma-in-birmingham/so-you-wanna-be-a-fighter
***************


It has nothing to do with Ray; I just wanted to make sure you guys knew about this article...

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