Getting Sponsors: KO Sports Gear

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If you have any contact with local MMA or BJJ, you are probably already at least somewhat familiar with KO Sports Gear (www.kosportsgear.com) and owner Jeff Swanson.

I’ve seen KO Sports Gear being worn in competitions and around events from gyms like The Cellar, Spartan, The Academy, MTT, McCune’s Martial Arts, MCFM, Warrior’s Cove and several others. If you have been to a local comp lately, you have probably seen Jeff tabling there.

Or giving away a lot of cool stuff.

I met Jeff about a year ago and did a write up for one of his rash guards, one that I still wear today. Jeff has been cool enough to sponsor our submission only tournaments and I’ve seen his table set up at NAGA, Grappling Games and local MMA events.

That being said, actually getting sponsored by KO Sports Gear isn’t easy.

This isn’t Jeff’s only job, so you can only imagine what kind of dedication it takes for a person to deal with not only distributors but gyms and grapplers/fighters for the fun of it, especially when it comes to the already saturated BJJ/MMA clothing and gear market.

Here’s the thing: Jeff actually sells and sells out of camouflage gis.

If that sentence didn’t blow your mind, then you don’t really understand this game. Traditional gi colors of white, blue and black have dominated the scene and I’ve only seen a handful of ads at most that ever feature camo gis. Most of them are targeted at armed forces combative training.

Jeff can’t keep them in stock.

I talked with a grappler friend about his, speculative about the gi as I love my traditional colors. His review was nothing short of resounding. He kept pointing out not only the durability but also the comfort.

I have to agree, as an owner of supposed “light” and “feather” gis, they feel like heavy down-filled jackets compared to Jeff’s camo gi.

But I digress. I’m here to talk about the company and the sponsorship.

Jeff already pounds the pavement, making his presence known at any gym that will let him in the door. More often than not, they will end up carrying gear for MMA, BJJ, boxing or all of the above. Frankly, I think it’s pretty sweet to have a local company that actually wants feedback on how to make their products better and up to the specs of the actual users.

Of course, when someone works that hard on their own, actual sponsorship is hard. Jeff briefly spent time sponsoring local fighters, but the returns just weren’t matching the output.

Let me say this for the hundredth time: if you don’t make them money, what good are you as a sponsored fighter?

Giving a shout out on Facebook or Twitter is all well and good, but I’m talking about putting up links, going on forums, actually talking about how much you like the gear to friends and training partners.

Now, Jeff already does part of that making some of the most affordable gear out there. In fact, when people new to BJJ ask me what gear to buy, I always say KO Sports Gear. Affordable and durable are all that newbies should be concerned about.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been classified as a newbie, and I still appreciate those qualities in my gear. I’m not the sucker…I mean sort of guy that will spend $200 on a gi when I know I could get two or three for that same price.

Odds are, the next time you are at a local MMA or BJJ event, Jeff will be there to with everything from boxing/MMA gloves to shin pads to focus mitts to gis to rashguards and everything in between. Stop by and say hi, check out his gear, do a double take at his prices.

Appreciate the local guy that is really out there just because he loves to do it and maybe, if you have any sense, you will realize how fortunate Minnesota is to have someone like Jeff in your gym’s corner.

And on a personal note: I can’t f***ing wait until the “smiley face” gi comes out. You have no idea how hard it is to…well, you’ll just have to wait and see…

http://www.kosportsgear.com

World Jiu-Jitsu Expo 2013 (Day 2) Results

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Here are the complete Day 2 results.

Oh, and I got a chance to go back and watch Caio vs Pham. Caio won by a pretty nasty omoplata/crooked armbar.

– Bruno Malfacine defeated Jeff Glover via points 5-2

As expected, Glover tried a little trickery, but Bruno didn’t fall for it, winning by a sweep and guard pass.

– Dean Lister defeated Trasis Humphreys via heel hook.

Duh.

– Paulo Miyao dominated the match against Jon Fitch but was unable to submit in the submission only format. It was declared a draw, but Fitch conceded that Miyao owned the match.

– Leandro Lo tried all he could to make a match against Jake Shields interesting…and failed. Draw.

Jake Shields could find a way to make lighting himself on fire boring.

Black Belt Grand Prix Results

1st place- Ricardo Rezende (via toe hold)

2nd place- James Puopolo

3rd place- Nathan Mendelsohn, Jackson Sousa

World Jiu-Jitsu Expo 2013 (Saturday Results)

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Why are you all missing this stuff in favor of boring UFC events? Shame.

Saturday’s Results

Phillipe Nover vs Efrain Escudero tied after 20 minutes in their no gi match.

João Miyao defeats Eduardo Telles 2-0 on advantages.

The Miyao’s are certainly out there to prove the neysayers wrong about their quick ascension to black belt. Can brother Paulo make it two for two?

Keenan Cornelius submitted Lucas Leite (armbar).

-Keenan set the armbar up off a half guard kimura. My personal favorite…I’m not saying that I’m the reason Keenan won, but I think the facts speak for themselves.

Rafael Lovato Jr and Murilo Santana tied after a 20-minute sub-only no-gi match.

– Lots of defense, a little boring for spectating purposes.

Caio Terra submitted Nam Phan.

Sundays Matches:

Jake Shields vs. Leandro “Lo” Nascimento (It has to be more exciting than Shields’s MMA fights, right?)

Dean Lister vs. TBA (I can’t remember if Paul Harris backed out, but this match no longer interests me)

Paulo Miyao vs. Jon Fitch (very interesting)

Bruno Malfacine vs. Jeff Glover (money on if Glover turns his back to start the match?)

Here is also the local BJJ connection, Inacio Neto of Gracie Barra, who participated in the Brown Belt Grand Prix tournament.The results of all his matches (matches were awarded points based on outcome. Those with the most overall points moved on).

Inacio was in Group B of the competitors

Travis Stevens defeated Inacio Neto by armbar
Inacio Neto defeated Bruno Iglesias by 6-0 points
Inacio Neto defeated Shiloh Roberts by 3-2 points
Tim Spriggs defeats Inacio Neto by 12-0 points
Felipe Silva defeated Inacio Neto by kneebar
Inacio Neto receives 3 points from absence of Arnaldo

2013 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Brown Belt Grand Prix Results:

1st– Tim Spriggs (via advantages 5-1)

2nd– Thiago Sa

3rd– Manuel Diaz, Felipe Silva

For all those that have trained with Inacio or seen him compete, now you realize how f***ing badass brown belt competition is at the very top levels. Congrats to Inacio for participating and having some truly impressive matches.

Mecca 2: MMA at Mystic Lake Results (11/02/13)

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A Day In The Life

I awake to the sound of salsa music. Confusion sets in as I neither own a salsa CD, nor tune my radio to a salsa station. All of my radios are tuned sadistically to Prairie Home Companion.

Rolling out of bed, I step over a dog. I no longer check to see if it’s my dog, just a dog. Lately, I’ve started to fall asleep without making sure all of my doors are closed. Sometimes I get strays.

Out of coffee filters, I a left over Twix from Halloween. It must be November. No, that’s what they want me to think.

The television glows with the Prozac and espresso-enema infused smiles of morning news anchors. The screen goes black as grab my laptop and opt for MMA news.

“[Some fighter] complains about Ronda Rousey”

“[Some fighter] complains about pay”

“[Some fighter] complains about TRT”

“[Some fighter] complains about NSAC judges”

There is no way to know what day it is. The cycle never changes on weeks without UFC PPVs.

My good sweatpants are dirty. I spend the next five minutes contemplating the series to events and repercussions that have led to a life where I can- and do- differentiate between “good” and “bad” sweatpants. Or a world in which I own more than one pair of sweatpants.

There are 3594 unread message in my inbox. I mark the overdraft notices from my bank as a phishing scam. I’ve long since abandoned opening any email that doesn’t contain job openings or promises of a celebrity sex tape involving Kim Kardashian in which she actually seems to be interested and enjoying herself…watch it for yourself (again) the sound is looped. She dubbed her own sex tape…jesus…

I watched the new one with her look alike Myla Minaj or whatever. It made me feel itchy and sad.

Over the last five months I can hardly remember the days of searching for jobs and taking a PAWG (look it up, you’re welcome) break. I can rarely pronounce the images I see these days. Words can’t describe without fear of people trying to revoke my 1st Amendment rights.

Side note to Japan: What the f***? Why are you blurring that out? To fool me? I mean, that is inappropriate, but a cartoon tentacle is completely acceptable?

I check my fridge. I have two 1.75s of booze, an expired bottle of lime juice, a large bag of Mickey Mouse shaped chicken nuggets from Costco and several empty six-pack rings. I already know that I will eat mac and cheese. Then, being too lazy to boil water again, I will eat a packet of Ramen dry, like a large, salty chicken-flavored Dorito.

I won’t be on the mat today, so I have no need to self-motivate with BJJ highlights. Instead I send out a couple of resumes and start a nonsensical cycle between music videos. Africa by Toto, Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson, Rosanna by Toto, Survivor by Destiny’s Child, Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley, Sister Christian by Night Ranger…and it goes on and on…

The hardest decision I will make all day (besides the decision not to give up and go to bed at 6pm) is deciding between watching the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie or the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode “Double 007” starring Sean Connery’s brother, on my phone.

I fall asleep deciding.

Disorientation sets in as I awake on the toilet. How did I get here? The churning in my stomach from all the processed starches provides an answer.

There are fights tonight, I think. Lack of preparation being my MO, I am out the door in a hoodie and jeans that make my sweats look like Armani.

I scan the fight card on my phone as I drive, I only recognize a few names. I know I’ve covered most of their fights in the past, but their names are as foreign as those of my own family. And much like my own family, they have a small window to earn my respect (like that matters). And, exactly like my own family, if they actually do earn my respect, there is a good chance I will forget about them by the time I reach the parking lot.

Guess what, that’s all the longer your win matters. Get back to work.

I pull into the parking lot and take a couple of slugs off the flask in my trunk to help dull my natural desire to rant instead of “report” the world as I see it.

Before I enter the venue I freeze, a single question scrolls through my head: whose life have I just revealed? While there are parallels to my day, I can only speculate as to what forces drove me to make all this s*** up instead of just getting on with reporting the fights. Perhaps it was boredom, perhaps a cry for help.

Probably the latter.

FIGHTS

Ed Albrecht (0-0) vs Darrien Mackiel (1-1)

Round 1) Mackiel lands a solid right to open and Albrecht  slaps a few leg kicks. Mackiel eats a hook as he closes the distance and Albrecht  forces him to the fence. Mackiel catches a kick and trips Albrecht, ending up in top half guard. Albrecht gets a lockdown on the leg, but the two stand quickly. A tie up and Mackiel throws a flurry before tying up again. The round ends with Albrecht against the cage.

Round 2) Mackiel leads with a teep and the two exchange combinations. Albrecht cuts off the cage and Mackiel lands a few solid shots, but Albrecht pushes the pace forcing Mackiel against the cage. Mackiel is punching flat footed and Albrecht drops for a takedown, almost giving up a guillotine. Jesus, why do I always get blood on me at fights. The round ends with me distracted. Big surprise.

Round 3) Albrecht throws heavy early on. He then jumps for an arm-in guillotine that he can’t finish and Mackiel briefly  moves to mount. The two stand. Mackiel is bleeding from the nose and from a cut above the eye. Albrecht tries for a doubt leg as the round ends.

Winner: Ed Albrecht wins via unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)

The best part was Albrecht’s corner getting yelled at post fight by the Combative Sports rep for entering the cage. Nice to see them taking charge.

Dale Walters (0-11) vs. Karter Holthusen (1-0)

Round 1) Holthusen almost immediately shoots and gets the double leg. He lands in cross side control and Walters holds a headlock. Holthusen clears the headlock and quickly takes mount. He briefly goes for an Americana before switching to an arm triangle and hopping back to side control. Walters has nothing left to do but tap.

Winner: Karter Holthusen wins via submission due to arm triangle at 1:13 of the 1st round

Note to Karter: don’t promise a KO next fight, just tap mother f***ers out.

 

Lucas Luloff (0-0) vs. Dana Gostomczik (0-0)

Round 1) How Gostomczik is 170 pounds is anyone’s guess, he’s f***ing huge. I’m also not spelling Gostomczik this entire fight. So, Gost comes out bouncing and clearly looking for a shot, which he gets in the form of an aggressive single leg, immediately taking mount and throwing hammer fists. Luloff survives and tries for an armbar, then a triangle, both of which Gost stands out of. Lull tries for one more armbar as the round ends. Luloff is bleed under the eye as he walks back to his corner.

Round 2) They two circle and Luloff gives up his back trying to avoid a takedown. Gost immediately sets up an rear naked choke and Luloff falls to his butt. Gost keeps the choke and sprawls. Luloff goes limp, the ref steps in to save Luloff’s life.

Winner: Dana Gostomczik wins via technical submission due to being unconscious at :51 of the 1st round

Recipe for the perfect Bourbon Old Fashioned

3 parts your favorite bourbon

1 small orange wedge

1 pure cane sugar cube

A few dashes of Angostura bitters

No, there is no cherry in this recipe. You should have got rid of the cherry in your teens.

 

Place the sugar cube on a napkin and cover with a few dashes of bitters. The napkin will absorb the excess bitters. Place cube in rocks glass along with wedge of orange. Make sure not to muddle the pulp or the rind of the orange as it will add an unwanted bitter taste. Add a dash of bourbon and some clear ice. Mix. Then more bourbon and more ice. Mix. Repeat for four or five layers. This will properly chill your cocktail and mix all the elements together.

Enjoy.

Adam Gilligan (5-4) vs. Otis Hamilton (2-1)

Round 1)  Hamilton takes an early shot, but can’t finish the takedown. Gilligan lands a few solid shots and almost turns a takedown counter into a falling kimura, but Hamilton straightens his arm and escapes. Gilligan goes for a solid armbar, but Hamilton stacks and eventually passes to side control, then back with one hook, landing some very serious punches from there. Gilligan tries for one more kimura as the round ends, but gives up side control again.

Round 2) Hamilton opens with a power double and turns that into mount. Gilligan turns over and Hamilton lands some hard shots. The ref steps in as some shots land on the back of the head, the two are stood up. Gilligan looks whobbly. Hamilton lands a nasty uppercut then a right cross that stiffens Gilligan like a board and drops him like a gun shot. Gilligan is out.

Winner: Otis Hamilton via knockout at 1:06 of the 2nd round

I’m guessing there is a picture out there of the look on my face as Gilligan went down. That punch was so hard that it hurt me.

Doug Deback (5-3) vs. Blake Bilder (2-0)

Round 1) Bilder gets the immediate takedown into top half guard and works to pass to mount, going to a momentary guillotine before passing fully. Bilder gives up mount for an arm-in guillotine he can’t finish. Deback stands and drops a punch as the round ends.

Round 2) A few light exchanges and Bilder catches head and arm control, dragging Deback to the ground, passing to the side. Deback gets a reversal and moves momentarily to mount. Bilder sweeps back to top half. Bilder tries a jumping arm-in guillotine and Deback slams him to the mat as the round ends.

Round 3) Deback is leading with his right instead of setting it up with his jab, but he catches Bilder, who stumbles back to the mat. Deback gets top half guard and tries an arm triangle set up and guillotine before getting turned over to bottom half guard. The ref stands the two and Deback goes quickly for a takedown attempt that Bilder sprawls out. Deback ends up in bottom half again for a moment before Bilder passes to full mount. The fight ends with Bilder throwing punches to the downed Deback.

Winner: Blake Bilder via unanimous decision (20-27, 30-27, 29-28)

I’m not sure how it ended up that I am sitting under the air-conditioner, but I appreciate that the ring girls are too. Especially the one with the flower tattoos. Well done.

Ash Majok (4-2) vs. Sam Nelson (2-2)

Round 1) Majok ties up early and moves to the cage. He spends a lot of time pulling for a double before finally getting Nelson to the mat. Nelson momentarily tries for an arm-in guillotine, but lets it go. Nelson works back to his standing, but Majok pulls the takedown again landing in mount. Nelson umpahs beautifully to top closed guard and unleashes punches, only a few of which are returned by Majok as the round ends.

Round 2) Majok ties up and Nelson gets a headlock takedown. Majok sneaks out the back and Nelson tries to turn into guard, but Majok slips his arm under Nelson’s chin and locks up the rear naked choke. Nelson taps quickly.

Winner: Ash Majok via submission due to rear naked choke at 1:05 of the 2nd round

Bryan Mortensen (6-3) vs. Jake Ouradnik (6-1)

Round 1) Mortensen catches a kick and takes Ouradnik down…not spelling that all fight either…Our ties up and angles for an armbar. Mortensen stands and passes to half, holding an arm-in guillotine from the top. Our turns Mortensen over. Mortensen works for a kimura, then cage-walks for an armbar, but Our stands and drops a hard right. They stand as the round ends.

Round 2) Mortensen tries a spinning back kick and gets power slammed for his efforts. In closed guard, Mortensen works wrist control and bump sweeps his way to mount, taking his time, trying to pick his shots. Our give up his back but turns into closed guard as the round ends.

Round 3) The first minute, I was thinking about turtles. The second and most of the third minute I was thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve eaten Big League Chew. Close fight…I dunno…split decision?

Winner: Jake Ouradnik via unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)

 

Chick fight. Yeah!

Jessica Bulver (2-0) vs. Chelsi Westdrop (2-0)

Round 1) Bulver comes out like an animal. I had a sexist metaphor at first, but I’m better than that sometimes. Westdrop is forced to tie up. Repeat. Westdrop tries for a trip and Bulver keeps throwing flurries. Westdrop just works to slow the frenetic pace of Bulver as the round ends.

Round 2) Bulver starts the round leading with a hard right. Westdrop catches a kick and Bulver grabs the cage to avoid the trip. Westdrop ties up and Bulver reverses a leg trip, ending up in top half guard, eventually standing up. Westdrop follows, looking tired. Bulver flurries again and they trade a few shots as the round ends.

Round 3) The pace has slowed and Westdrop relies on counter punches to Bulver’s combinations. Bulver eats a hard right and Westdrop gets the headlock takedown. Bulver gets guard but Westdrop passes. Short time, but Westdrop is not being aggressive. Bulver is able to stand as the round ends. Westdrop wins the round, Bulver wins the fight.

Winner: Jessica Bulver via unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)

 

PRO FIGHTS

I’ve never heard Morgan Freeman narrating an entrance before. Well played Vo.

Erik Vo (6-7) vs. Carl Deaton (4-1)

When I first saw this fight on the card I thought it said “Deaton vs V.D.”, which is really a different kind of fight, but I’m all for sexuality education. Now I see that his opponent is Erik VO. Oops.

Round 1) Vo is bouncing around the cage and Deaton shoots. Vo sprawls the cage, but Deaton is able to pull out the double into open guard. Vo stands and Deaton trips him back down, passing to side but Vo stands. The ref breaks the action and Daton catches a kick eventually getting the takedown and moving toward Vo’s back. The round ends there.

Round 2) Wrestlin’ and Vo takes a shot to the jewels. Insult to injury/boredom. I just saved you five minutes with that summary.

Round 3) Stuff happens here.

After the fight, Vo doesn’t hide his displeasure at the lack of actual fighting in lieu of collegiate wrestling. Though one might argue that to if you hate wrestlers…learn to sprawl.

Winner: Carl Deaton wins via split decision 29-28, 28-29, 29-28

Chick fight! Save me.

Driller Promotions 115 pound championship

Kyna Sisson (4-1) vs. Raquel Magdaleno (5-1)

Round 1) Magdaleno alternates punches high and low. Sisson takes a left hook to the chin and drops. The ref waves it off.

Winner: Raquel Magdaleno via TKO at :28 of the 1st round

 

Co- Main Event

Driller Promotions Welterweight Championship (5 Rounds)

As usual for 5 round fights, I invoke my right of Prima Nocta… which is either my right to only write a single sentence about each round regardless of entertainment (nothing against either fighter, I just hate 5 round analyses), or it’s my right to have martial relations with new brides on their wedding night. I’m cool either way, better they know disappointment now…

Josh Treseler (6-4) vs Kyle Todd (6-2)

Round 1) Treseler almost breaks Todd’s arm with his crazy bottom cross headlock Americana (Todd’s arms must be f***ing rubber). Then Treseler gets knocked out. Arguably twice.

Okay, it was a short fight, I’ll recap a little. Treseler went for the same crazy Americana that he got at the Myth fights and it looked pretty sick, but somehow Todd escaped. The two stood and Todd stiffened Treseler with a brutal punch. Treseler hit the cage, dazed and Todd backed away, presumably thinking Treseler was out, but then moved in and landed two more nasty punches to seal the deal and force the ref to step in. There. Happy?

Winner: Kyle Todd via KO at 1:47 of the 1st round

No one can say that Treseler wasn’t given a chance to defend himself.

 

Main Event

Adam Schumacher (5-3) vs. John Castaneda (2-0)

Round 1) The pace is fast and nasty as both men take turns getting takedowns and being in dominant positions. Castanada gets a second takedown and Schumacher tries a little rubber guard, but Castaneda is able to move to mount. Schumacher escapes  and they stand. Castaneda rocks Schumacher and pounces on the down fighter. Schumacher’s corner erupts with yelling, convinced that Castaneda is punching their man in the back of the head. Castaneda doesn’t slow his pace and Schumacher is forced to tap to strikes, rolling on the ground, holding the back of his head as Castaneda celebrates his victory.

Winner: John Castaneda via submission due to strikes at 3:32 of the 1st round

This one ended a little weird. Some of the strikes could have been to the back of the head, but I would need to see a replay. The greater interest was in Schumacher’s reaction. As no stranger to head trauma, I can’t say that I’ve ever grabbed the back of my head in pain.

On my resume, I have six concussions, two from football, three from boxing/kickboxing, and one from rock climbing where I actually bashed the back of my head on a f***ing mountain ledge. I did hold the back of my head, but that was to keep all my blood from draining out of my skull.

I’ve also been headbutted and had my head slammed in a icehouse door over an argument about how many minnows I was supposed to eat.

What the f*** was I talking about?

Oh yeah, given their heated reactions, I wouldn’t be surprised if Schumacher and his corner didn’t present a case for a no contest. Perhaps the theatrics at the end of the fight were with purpose…

Still, awesome fight!

I’m sleepy and a little disturbed after hearing a song on the radio called “Detachable Penis”. I like you JackFM, but you’re weird.