Melendez Signs New Multi-Year Agreement with Strikeforce

Two-time STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight Champion (155 pounds), Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (18-2), has signed a new, multi-year agreement with the San Jose, Calif. based world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion. “STRIKEFORCE is my home, they’ve always been like family to me and I’m looking forward to continuing my career with them,” said the talented, exciting, 5-foot-9, 28-year-old protégé of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Cesar Gracie and Muay Thai legend Jongsanan Fairtex.  “There are a lot of great fights out there for me – lots of challenges. I can’t wait to get back into the cage, do my thing and show the world that I’m still at the top of my game.’’ Melendez is seen in most MMA circles as a Top 5 Lightweight, with most placing the Cesar Gracie product only behind the UFC tandem of Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard. Melendez debuted in Oct. 18, 2002, and roared out to a 13-0 record while competing in the WEC, Shooto and Pride Fighting Championhips Organizations. Notable victories for Melendez include Shinya  Aoki, Josh Thomson, Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Melendez captured the STRIKEFORCE interim lightweight belt with a second-round knockout (punches) over Rodrigo Damm on April 11, 2009, in San Jose. “I’m healthy again and excited about fighting again real soon,’’ Melendez said. “It doesn’t matter who I fight. I just want to get back in there and...

Vladimir Matyushenko wants redemption, predicts Jones vs. Bader and Silva vs. Belfort

Many fans would identify Vladimir Matyushenko as a staple in the sport of mixed martial arts. The forty-year-old Belarusian has been in the sport for over a decade and fought some of the most notable fighters it can offer. But make no mistake, Matyushenko claims he is far from done and is eyeing his next bout. Speaking with from his ‘VMAT’ gym in El Segundo, Matyushenko shared his plans. “Nothing is official and I would like to fight before Summer, but I want to fight the winner of Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Noguiera. It is a common sense fight for me. Both of those losses still bug me. It would be a way to redeem myself and it would be a great fight for Tito or Noguiera.” It would appear that redemption is big motivator for Matyushenko, who lost at the hands of up-and-comer Jon Jones 6 months ago and went on score a stoppage win over Alexandre Ferreira only three months later. The stoppage win would be the first for Matyushenko in five years. “I didn’t get hurt in the Jones fight. Well, my ego got hurt I guess [laughs]. But that was good for me, and I was healthy enough that when the UFC called me up shortly after I immediately took the fight against Ferreira. I never like walking around with a loss on my shoulders.” Being a veteran of the sport, Matyushenko has seen his fair share of paradigm shifts. Yet Matyushenko claims the rise of younger fighters throughout the years wouldn’t have been possible without the groundwork laid down by him and...

Kheyfets Looks to Take on Meisha Tate and Sara Kaufman

  DM: How did you get started in MMA? Did you start off as a fan or did you transition from wrestling, BJJ, or something else?   MK: I wanted to get back into martial arts after taking some time off while in college. There was an ATT right near my house that was opening up and I decided to start training. I got hooked and became interested in competing. When I was little I trained in Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu and was always a martial arts fan.   DM: Why MMA? What about this sport makes it appealing for you to be an athlete in?   MK: It’s so challenging mentally and physically and that’s what’s appealing to me. I also love the atmosphere at the gym. Lots of cool people training, working hard and having a good time.   DM: What did you do (for work) before you started training in MMA? MK: I am still working in TV post production. That’s what I went to school for and I’ve been working ever since I graduated.   DM: What do you feel is your biggest challenge in being a female in a predominantly male sport? Finding training partners? Finding competition? Getting exposure?   MK: No I think the exposure is actually easier being a girl. Most MMA fans really embrace it. It is challenging to find other women who train…so yes I’d say finding sparring partners. However, rolling and sparring with the guys really prepares you well. It gives me confidence on fight night that I’ve been in some wars at the gym with the...

Lew Polley-Seeking Greatness

Lew Polley—Seeking Greatness


By Dave Mikle

Lew_PolleyA multi-sport star in high-school and life-long wrestler, the move into mixed martial arts was a natural progression for Lew Polley.  A fierce competitor who “hates losing more than I like winning,” Polley’s accomplishments to date are merely “preparation for a future highlight.”   Dropping down to middleweight for the first time in his career, Polley envisions himself as top 5 in the division within 3 years.  As for what he wants to accomplish in his mixed martial arts career, Polley aims to have an umbrella of business under his fighting brand, and hopes to be remembered in the same light as the great Muhammad Ali.  Explained Polley, “I want to have a great legacy but I want my legacy to pale in comparison to the mention of my integrity and fighting spirit.


Mixed Martial Arts: The Balance Between Sport and Entertainment

Mixed Martial Arts:  The Balance Between Sport and Combat Entertainment

By Drew Young


In sport, excellence is determined by the results of competition, and the primary emphasis is on winning.  As a sport, the preeminent goal of a mixed martial artist should also be winning.  Prize fighting, however, can have unusual and competing incentives.  The pressure to increase marketability and earnings potential influences athletes and promoters to choose more “entertaining” styles and strategies.  Likewise, in addition to the pressure to present marketable personas and fighting styles, the bonus structure of major promotions also serves to exert pressure on the athletes competing.


Eight Questions For the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association (MMAFA)


The questions below have been asked, in one form or another, by various members of the media.  Our responses to a number of these questions are set forth below.  If you have any questions, please contact us and ask!


How does an Association differ from a Union?

A “union” seeks to gather members for the purposes of “collectively bargaining” conditions of employment with a common employer.  In connection with collective bargaining, unions also obtain the protection of federal labor laws.