Blog Archives

Nicco Montano, UFC’s First Navajo Champion, Sends Message of Hope (TUF 26 Finale)

After Nicco Montano captured the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight championship at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, she recounted her time in the fighter house on the show and how her upbringing on a Navajo reservation helped develop the resolve she needed to be one of the lowest ranked fighters on the show, but still overcome the odds and defeat the Top 3 seeds to win the title.

‘Jiu-Jitsu Saved My Life’: Dorchester Gym Helps Youths With Struggles At Home

Jiu Jitsu 1by Shira Springer, WBUR News, June 21, 2017

Walking up crooked, dimly lit stairs, you wonder, “Is this the right place?” There’s sheet rock, an old toilet and a discarded vent pipe in the stairwell, but no signs for Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts.

After a couple flights, you hear music and follow it. You open the door to Level Ground and step into a big, bright, welcoming gym with music pulsing from a stereo, kids readying for class and the founder’s dog, Corn Chips, roaming around like he owns the place. Read the rest of this entry

Another UFC win for B.C.’s Kajan Johnson

Burns Lake native Kajan Johnson (top) scored a big win Saturday at UFC Fight Night 75 in Japan. POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Burns Lake native Kajan Johnson (top) scored a big win Saturday at UFC Fight Night 75 in Japan. POSTMEDIA NETWORK

There are a lot of good guys in the sport of MMA that you can’t help but cheer for. Local fighter Kajan Johnson (21-11-1) is near the top of that list, and he was back in a UFC Octagon Saturday night.

It’s been a lifetime of adversity for the 31-year-old from Burns Lake. For well over a decade, Johnson’s one dream was to make it to the UFC, but a second career-threatening orbital bone injury in 2012 almost derailed those plans. Read the rest of this entry

Fighting the grief

John Fox Jr at the Black Devil MMA club in Toronto, Ontario.

John Fox Jr at the Black Devil MMA club in Toronto, Ontario.

by Barb Nahwegahbow, Anishinabek News, June 26, 2015

TORONTO –Twenty-five hours a week, John Fox Jr. is training at the Black Devil gym across from Honest Ed’s in Toronto. The 20-year-old citizen of Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve is a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter. MMA is a full-contact sport that combines different fighting styles, including karate, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling. It requires enormous discipline and focus, “but this is what I love,” said Fox. “This is what I’m passionate about.”

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Mixed martial arts builds aboriginal youths’ confidence

Darwin Douglas from the Sto:lo nation teaching youth at the Four Directions gym in Cheam, "BC."

Darwin Douglas from the Cheam nation teaching youth at the Four Directions Martial Arts Academy.

Sto:lo coach uses MMA to teach discipline, confidence and respect

By David Geselbracht, Jumy Dapo, CBC News, April 15, 2014

Kolton Higginbottom is being choked and is struggling for breath.

From the seats surrounding the ring, hundreds of people are watching intently as Higginbottom twists and turns, attempting to escape his opponent. Read the rest of this entry