#LocalMMA Monday: NAAFS & Driven MMA

June 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Local / Regional MMA, News

The first installment of IntimidationMMA.com’s #LocalMMA Monday features perhaps the biggest name in all of Local MMA, as the co-branded NAAFS/Driven MMA organization kicks us off. Based out of Canton, Ohio, the North American Allied Fight Series was founded in 2005 as “Gladiator Fighting” with current CEO Greg Kalikas in conjunction with veteran kickboxer Duke Roufus. NAAFS in the FlatsSince then, the organization has promoted more than 125 live events in the Midwest and has become one of the most respected amateur leagues in the country.

Kalikas’ NAAFS developed into a powerhouse on the local scene, holding the majority of their events in Canton, Akron and Cleveland before eventually branching out from events in Northeast Ohio to hold events all over the state. Then the organization was one of the first promoters to hold an event in West Virginia when the state regulated MMA in 2012. Over its nearly decade as an organization, the NAAFS has come to be known as a leader in amateur MMA, women’s MMA, and producing top talent for the UFC, Bellator MMA and other national organizations.

Stipe Miocic UFCThe list of names that have competed inside the NAAFS cage reads like a who’s who of MMA, including current welterweight top contender Matt Brown, current UFC heavyweight contender Stipe Miocic, women’s MMA star Jessica Eye, UFC veterans Jason Dent, Forrest Petz, Ben Rothwell, Dave Herman, Phil Davis, Donny Walker and more along with current TUF 19 star Dan Spohn, former Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion Daniel Straus, Bellator knockout artists Brian Rogers and many more.

In addition to its top names, NAAFS has come to be known for featuring women’s MMA, spearheaded by the first woman of Ohio MMA, Jessica “Evil” Eye. Eye competed in the first women’s bout in NAAFS history, headlined the first all-female card, became the first female amateur NAAFS champion, and became the first female to headline a card featuring men for the organization as well. NAAFS has also featured other top female talent, including Aisling Daly, Carina Damm, Rebecca Heintzman, Jessica Zomcik, Tamikka Brents and more.

Donny Walker NAAFS ChampionOn top of all of this, the NAAFS is one of a limited number of Local MMA promotions to co-promote events with Bellator MMA having worked together  on Bellator 51 in Canton and Bellator 66 in Cleveland, Ohio and Bellator 71 in West Virginia.

While the pro fighters brought fans to NAAFS events, it has been the astounding amateur talent that has kept them there. The NAAFS National Amateur Series is a true proving ground for amateur fighters who want to make it to the next level, and many top names have claimed NAAFS amateur gold before turning pro. Those names include Isaiah Chapman, George Comer, Nick Duell, Jessica Eye, Jerrell Hodge, and many more.

“It is hard to deny the resume that the NAAFS has built in the past decade,” stated Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing, LLC. “Now with Driven MMA they put on the cards that everyone else in the Midwest looks at and wishes they could duplicate. Few organizations have done more to further Local MMA in the USA, especially East of the Mississippi, as the NAAFS.”

The organization promotes many must-see events, including the annual “Fight Nite in the Flats” and “Rock N Rumble” summer events at Jacobs Pavilion in Downtown Cleveland, as well as their annual “Night of Champions” to award amateur titles.

John Hawk & StrongStyle wearing Local MMAIn 2014, the NAAFS became an all amateur series, with the berth of a new wing of the organization, Driven MMA. Driven MMA debuted in March 2014, and Driven MMA One was the biggest MMA card to hit Ohio in years. The event featured an all-pro lineup that showcased top fighters, including Bellator MMA veteran Dan Hornbuckle, UFC veteran Rodney Wallace, former NAAFS champion Frank Caraballo, and rising local stars like Chapman, Comer, Kyle Rozewski and more.

Now, the two wings will team up for the first time, as Driven MMA presents NAAFS: Fight Nite in the Flats 10 this weekend in Cleveland. The card features both professional and amateur talent, and it is headlined by Frank Caraballo taking on UFC veteran Tommy Hayden in a featherweight match-up. Also included on the card are several familiar names for Ohio MMA fans including Chapman, Rozewski, Hodge, RJ Buck, Dave Lastafka and more.

 

By David McKinney
Intimidation Interactive Media Staff Writer

Intimidation Clothing Athlete of the Month – Dan “Dragon” Spohn

August 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Athlete of the Month, News, Sponsorships

Life as a fighter is full of highs and lows, and one mixed martial artist who has experienced both in his career is light heavyweight Dan “Dragon” Spohn. A dedicated father and family man, the Columbus native has competed as a martial artist for nearly his entire life; Spohn is a black belt in Kachido Akijitsu and is known for his creative striking style and well-rounded mixed martial arts game. A longtime member of Team Intimidation, Spohn is the Intimidation Clothing Athlete of the Month for August 2013.

Dan Spohn MMASpohn was on top of the world in September 2011, as he had just earned the second fastest knockout in Bellator history with 9-second KO of Dane Bonnigson in his debut at Bellator 51, moving his record to 6-0. Then the NAAFS champion after a victory over John Hawk earlier in the year, Spohn signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator with the intent to eventually earn a place in one of the organization’s tournaments for a chance to fight his way to #1 contender status.

And that’s when the tough times started. Spohn lost his next bout in Bellator just over a month later, as he fell to Kelvin Tiller via split decision at Bellator 56. Then Spohn got an opportunity to fight for Bellator once again in Ohio, as he welcomed Attila Vegh to the U.S. for the first time. The bout was back-and-forth through three rounds between the two counter punchers, but once again Spohn was on the wrong side of a split decision.

After the loss, Spohn received one more opportunity in Bellator, as he signed on to defend his NAAFS light heavyweight title against Josh Stansbury at Bellator 71 in West Virginia. And for the first time in his career, Spohn was finished as he lost via submission to Stansbury in the very first round. While Spohn was left to ponder his fighting future, Vegh began his run in the Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament at that same event and proceeded to win Bellator’s 205lb belt.

Dan Spohn MMABut despite the three-fight losing streak, Spohn remained upbeat and never got down on himself as a fighter. He made changes in his training and went back to controlling his own fight camps, and earlier this year he made his debut for the Columbus-based UVC organization with a submission victory over Robert Morrow in the main event at UVC 22. Suddenly Spohn was on his way back up the mountain, and his fighting career was given a new light with an organization that was willing to feature him as a main event star.

Spohn returned to the UVC in May, and once again earned a submission victory, this time stopping Aaron Mays with an arm bar in the first round. Now with two straight wins and a 8-3 pro record against some very tough competition, Dan Spohn is now ready for his next big opportunity. With an eye on the August 24th NAAFS Light Heavyweight title fight between John Hawk and Josh Stansbury, and the recent fights from the UVC closer to home, he should have several nice opportunities to extend his winning streak and gain national prominence.

“Dan is truly one of the good guys in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts,” stated Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing, LLC. “Few carry themselves with so much class and it is an honor for our brand to work with Dan and his wonderful family. I am truly pleased to have Dan Spohn as our August Athlete of the Month.”

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of lifestyle apparel & MMA training gear with a growing national presence and over 50 authorized dealers across the USA. The Intimidation brand is regularly featured on multiple sporting events on SpikeTV, AXS TV, SportsTime Ohio, MTV2, FUEL TV, The Comcast Network, Comcast  SportsNet and EpixHD as well as MMA highlight shows on Spike TV, AXS TV and more. In addition to over 110 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts and sweatshirts for men, women and children and is also known for their premium-quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts. Anyone interested in becoming a dealer can apply to sell the Intimidation brand as a dealer and they can be found for sale online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can also follow the marketing wing of the Intimidation brand, Intimidation Interactive Media, @IntimidationIM, like Intimidation Clothing on Facebook or follow @IntimidationMMA on Twitter.

Intimidation Clothing to sponsor three fighters, sell at Bellator 78 in Dayton, Ohio

Intimidation ClothingTM is pleased to announce that the company will be selling at Friday’s Bellator 78 event in Dayton, Ohio. Along with having a fully stocked booth of premium quality Intimidation products, the Intimidation brand will be sponsoring three fighters, including knockout artist Brian “The Predator” Rogers, on the fight card as the company continues to strengthen its presence in Ohio and throughout the Midwest. MASH Fight Team at Intimidation's Bellator 75 boothBellator 78 takes place on Friday, October 26th at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio with the MTV2 broadcast beginning at 8 pm ET.

The Intimidation brand, already one of the most recognizable brand in the MMA and combat sports industry across the Midwest, will be sponsoring three fighters on the Bellator 78 card. In addition to Brian Rogers (pictured, left), owner of the flying knee KO of Vitor Vianna at Bellator 61, Bellator’s #1 Knockout in company history, the Intimidation brand will also sponsor two other middleweights on the card in Mojo Horne (10-4) and Jason Butcher (4-0).

“We have been telling the world that Intimidation is the premier brand in the MMA industry throughout the Midwestern USA for some time now,” stated Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing, LLC. Brian Rogers MMA - Bellator“But actions speak louder than words and this will be the 4th Bellator event we have sponsored with previous events in Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia in the past five months. Everyone in Ohio associated with the fight game knows the Intimidation brand as we continue to prove to be the biggest supporter of local MMA in the Midwest.”

Previous Bellator events which have seen the Intimidation brand with a booth at the venue have included Bellator 66 in Cleveland, Ohio and Bellator 71 in Chester, West Virginia and most recently at Bellator 75 near Chicago in Hammond, Indiana. At Bellator 66 the brand sponsored seven fighters including Brian “The Predator” Rogers in the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament semifinals and Top 10 ranked 125 lb female fighter Jessica “Evil” Eye and others. A regular sponsor of Bellator fighters for the past two seasons, at Bellator 71 Intimidation sponsored four fighters including NAAFS Light Heavyweight Champion Josh “The Sandman” Stansbury.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA and a growing national presence having been featured on multiple events on MTV2 and HDNet in recent months.  In addition to over 50 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium- quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts, as well as vale tudo shorts, rashguards and more available online at  IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation on Facebook and follow Intimidation Clothing on Twitter @IntimidationMMA.

Photo of Brian Rogers courtesy of Hexlinc Photography.

Intimidation to sponsor unbeaten middleweight Jason Butcher live on Spike.com at Bellator 78 in Dayton, Ohio

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Fighter Sponsorships, News, Sponsorships

Intimidation Clothing is pleased to announce its sponsorship of unbeaten middleweight Jason Butcher (4-0) at Bellator 78 and on Spike.com. Butcher is set to face fellow unbeaten middleweight Shaun Asher (5-0) as part of the night’s preliminary card, and the bout will be shown on Spike.com. Jason Butcher MMABellator 78 takes place on Friday, October 26 at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Butcher finished a 6-2 amateur record before turning pro in 2011, where he immediately picked up where he left off with a 45-second knockout over Strikeforce veteran Dom Steele in his pro debut. The 27-year-old continued his streak with three straight submissions, including back-to-back victories via his patented triangle. Most recently, he impressed in his Bellator debut at Bellator 71 in his native West Virignia, where he took just 63 seconds to tap Duane Bastress at the event. Now living and training in Southwest Ohio, Butcher is a member of the Jorge Gurgel Academy with the likes of Bellator women’s champion Zoila Gurgel and former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin.

Intimidation will also continue its long-standing sponsorship of super popular middleweight Brian “The Predator” Rogers as he fights in a featured bout as part of the MTV 2 main card broadcast at the event as well as middleweight Mojo Horne on the preliminary card.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA and a growing national presence having been featured on multiple events on MTV2 and HDNet in recent months. In addition to over 70 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium-quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts, as well as vale tudo shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation Clothing on Facebook and follow the Intimidation brand on Twitter.

Intimidation Clothing to sponsor three fighters, sell at Bellator 75 in Hammond, Indiana

Intimidation ClothingTM is pleased to announce that the company will be selling at Friday’s Bellator 75 event in Hammond, Indiana. Along with having a fully stocked booth of premium quality Intimidation products, the Intimidation brand will be sponsoring three fighters on the fight card as the company continues to strengthen its presence in the Hoosier State. Intimidation Clothing booth at Bellator 71The Bellator 75 event will be held at The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN just 25 miles outside of Chicago on Friday night, October 5th with the MTV2 broadcast beginning at 8 pm ET.

The Intimidation brand, already one of the most recognizable brand in the MMA and combat sports industry across the Midwest, will be sponsoring three fighters on the Bellator 71 card. This list includes defending Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Champion Eric “The American Soldier” Prindle in the night’s main event as well as a pair of bantamweights in former WEC Champion Chase Beebe (pictured below) and rising prospect Bo Harris.

“We have been telling the world that Intimidation is the premier brand in the MMA industry throughout the Midwestern USA for some time now,” stated Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing, LLC. Chase Beebe MMA“But actions speak louder than words and this will be the third Bellator event we have sponsored with previous events in Ohio and West Virginia in the past five months. In addition, this marks the third major MMA event we have sponsored and sold at in the state of Indiana in the past three weeks. This is why Intimidation is proving to be the biggest supporter of local MMA in the Midwest.”

Previous Bellator events which have seen the Intimidation brand with a booth at the venue have included Bellator 66 in Cleveland, Ohio and Bellator 71 in Chester, West Virginia (booth pictured above). At Bellator 66 the brand sponsored seven fighters including Brian “The Predator” Rogers in the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament semifinals and Top 10 ranked 125 lb female fighter Jessica “Evil” Eye and others. A regular sponsor of Bellator fighters for the past two seasons, at Bellator 71 Intimidation sponsored four fighters including NAAFS Light Heavyweight Champion Josh “The Sandman” Stansbury.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA. In addition to over 50 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium-quality MMA fight shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation on Facebook and follow Intimidation Clothing on Twitter @IntimidationMMA.

Photo of Chase Beebe courtesy of Hexlinc Photography.

Intimidation to sponsor Tim Carpenter live on MTV2 in Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament semifinals at Bellator 72

July 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Fighter Sponsorships, News, Sponsorships

Intimidation Clothing is pleased to announce the sponsorship of Tim Carpenter on Friday night at Bellator 72 in Tampa, Florida. Carpenter (9-1) will face Travis Wiuff (67-14) in the semifinal round of the 2012 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament. Tim Carpenter MMAThe Bellator 72 event will take place on Friday night July 20th at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, with the MTV2 broadcast beginning at 8 pm ET.

Tim Carpenter (9-1, 4-1 Bellator), who was originally supposed to fight Intimidation sponsored John Hawk at Bellator 71 in West Virginia in June, was a last minute replacement and took on Beau Tribolet on 24 hours notice. He proceeded to defeat Tribolet by 2nd round armbar to advance to the semifinals and improve to 4-1 in five Bellator fights with his lone pro loss coming to reigning Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Christian M’Pumbu at Bellator 42.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & fight training gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA and a growing national presence regularly being featured on multiple sporting events on MTV2, FUEL TV, EpixHD, AXS TV and SportsTime Ohio as well as MMA highlight shows on Spike TV and HDNet/AXS TV. In addition to over 70 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts and sweatshirts for men, women and children. The company is also becoming known for their premium-quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts, as well as vale tudo shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like the Intimidation brand on Facebook and follow Intimidation on Twitter.

 

Photo courtesy of Hexlinc Photography.

Intimidation & NAAFS Light Heavyweight Champion Josh Stansbury agree to expanded, exclusive sponsorship deal

July 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Fighter Sponsorships, News

Just days after winning the NAAFS Light Heavyweight Championship at Bellator 71 and online at Spike.com, Intimidation Clothing is pleased to announce an expanded sponsorship deal with Josh “The Sandman” Stansbury. The deal will make the Intimidation brand Stansbury’s exclusive clothing and gear sponsor moving forward after Intimidation sponsored the highly popular Stansbury in his Bellator 71 victory on June 22nd. He will now be seen in future fights with Intimidation from head to toe after the two parties quickly came to an agreement after his recent win.

Josh Stansbury & Branden Hinkle MMA

Josh Stansbury (right) with 3-time UFC veteran Branden Hinkle.

Josh “The Sandman” Stansbury (4-2) who made his Bellator debut in his win over Dan Spohn (6-3) at Bellator 71, won his 4th straight pro fight at the event to add yet another belt to his collection. A former amateur Champion for the NAAFS and Next Level Fighting, Stansbury NAAFS Light Heavyweight Championship belt to his collection as he picked up his 4th straight 1st round stoppage victory. A pro since 2009, Stansbury has fought all of his pro fights with the NAAFS and Bellator and went 10-2 as an amateur fighting many of the top names throughout the Midwest.

“We are extremely happy to have expanded our deal with Josh Stansbury,” said Luke Jernigan, President & CEO of Intimidation Clothing, LLC. “Josh’s reputation as a great fighter, and more importantly as a great person, aligns him well with how we look to build the Intimidation brand with honesty, integrity and hard work.”

A product of Team Impact in East Liverpool, Ohio, Stansbury prepared for his NAAFS title fight with 3-time UFC veteran Branden Hinkle (pictured) while also cross training at Fight Club Pittsburgh. A teammate of another recent Intimidation signee Joey “The Hitman” Holt at Team Impact, Stansbury volunteers his free time as an assistant wrestling coach for the East Liverpool junior wrestling program.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & training gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA and a growing national presence regularly being featured on multiple events on MTV2, EpixHD and SportsTime Ohio as well as MMA highlight shows on Spike TV and HDNet. In addition to over 50 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium-quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts, as well as vale tudo shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation Clothing on Facebook and follow the Intimidation brand on Twitter.

Intimidation Clothing & popular Lightweight Joey “The Hitman” Holt agree to expanded, exclusive sponsorship deal

July 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Fighter Sponsorships, News

Intimidation Clothing is pleased to announce the signing of exciting young lightweight Joey Holt to an expanded, exclusive sponsorship deal. Joey Holt MMAHolt, who improved to 3-0 as a pro in January, is best known for his highlight reel flying knee KO of Clint Musser at Bellator 51. Most recently Holt was scheduled to fight at Bellator 71 in Chester, West Virginia but the fight was cancelled 24 hours prior to the event due to his opponent not making weight.

Fighting at Bellator 51 in Canton, Ohio in September 2011, Joey “The Hitman” Holt (3-0) was an underdog on paper to decorated wrestler Clint Musser (2-1). After spending much of the first round surviving Musser’s ground and pound attacks Holt landed a flying knee to the head of Musser while he shot for a takedown. The resulting knockout was featured on HDNet’s Indside MMA multiple times throughout the Fall of 2011 and was a finalist for Knockout of the Year and immediately put Holt on the regional and national MMA map. In three pro fights Holt has yet to be taken out of the 1st round scoring two KO wins and a submission victory.

Holt went 7-5 as an amateur and regularly trains at his home gym while cross training at Strong Style Martial Arts in the Cleveland area and Fight Club Pittsburgh. The 27 year old product of Team Impact in East Liverpool, Ohio, joins teammate Josh “The Sandman” Stansbury as the newest Intimidation signees as both have agreed to exclusive deals with one of the fastest growing MMA apparel brands in the combat sports industry.

Joey Holt KO of Clint Musser Bellator 51Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & training gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA and a growing national presence regularly being featured on multiple events on MTV2, EpixHD and SportsTime Ohio as well as MMA highlight shows on Spike TV and HDNet. In addition to over 50 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium-quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts, as well as vale tudo shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation Clothing on Facebook and follow the Intimidation brand on Twitter.

UFC Heavyweight Shane Carwin praises Intimidation Clothing on MMA Underground Forums at MixedMartialArts.com

June 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Event Sponsorships, Fighter Sponsorships, News

In the midst of another busy weekend for the Intimidation brand, yet another well known UFC fighter is singing the praises of Intimidation Clothing. In a discussion thread about fighter sponsorships and the value of sponsoring fighters UFC Heavyweight Shane Carwin chimed in along with others telling of their experience with the Intimidation brand.

Intimidation Clothing - Impose You WillSaid Carwin: “100% agree Luke is a hard working guy and his team does a great job for a smaller up and coming brand. They even get on Bellator.” The former Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion went on to say “I think IC is a great example of a brand working harder then its endorsed athletes. He uses what is given to him vs getting the support he deserves. What a lot of the guys he sponsors do not realize is when they get to the UFC (because of his help) there will hardly be any sponsors willing to pay them what he pays for their non televised fights. If I was the sponsored athlete I would be working my tail off to make sure they sold product and could (c)ome with me to the next level.” The entire thread including positive comments from others including Carwin can be found on the thread at MixedMartialArts.com.

The comments from Carwin and others on the UG Forum come on the heels of record exposure of the Intimidation brand. In addition to sponsoring many of the top MMA promotions in the Midwest the company has sponsored a large number of Bellator fighters in recent months and sponsored Bellator 71 on June 22nd at the Mountaineer Casino & Racetrack in Chester, West Virginia.

Intimidation Clothing is a fast-growing brand of MMA apparel & training gear based in Ohio with a strong presence throughout the Midwest USA and a growing national presence regularly being featured on multiple events on MTV2, EpixHD and SportsTime Ohio as well as MMA highlight shows on Spike TV and HDNet. In addition to over 50 styles of high-quality, bold t-shirts, the company is also becoming known for their premium-quality EliteFighter MMA board shorts, as well as vale tudo shorts, rashguards and more available online at IntimidationClothing.com. Fans can like Intimidation Clothing on Facebook and follow the Intimidation brand on Twitter.

Intimidation Clothing’s Luke Jernigan on ESPN Radio-Ashtabula today at 4:40 p.m. ET

June 27, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Intimidation Clothing President & CEO Luke Jernigan joins 970 WFUN – ESPN Radio’s affiliate in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Jernigan joins “The Sports Report” hosts Russ Simione and Cody Slaybaugh at approximately 4:40 p.m. ET to discuss the latest happenings in the world of Mixed Martial Arts including UFC 147, UFC on FX 4 and Bellator 71 from this past weekend.

A free stream of the show is available at www.espn970wfun.com.

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