This weekend was our team’s first appearance at the TBA Muay Thai Classic, and it was bittersweet. Six of our fighters competed. We came home with two Champions and four silver medalists. We all came home a better team and stronger because of our experience this weekend.
First I would like to say The TBA Muay Thai Classic is the best, most organized, and well run tournaments I have seen. I can’t say enough about how positive the experience was for our team and their families. We will definitely be back next year!
I want to thank two people that really don’t get enough recognition for all they do.
First is my wife Melissa. She works so hard coordinating and planning, to make sure I get to where I need to be. She always has all the little details taken care of and keeps me on track. I am grateful for all she does behind the scenes.
Second is Coach Jessica Cargill. She works so hard making sure the fighters were on track with their training and diets. She coordinated a lot of the team training and handled all of the communicating with the parents, and with the promoters. Without her tireless efforts we would not be the family we are.
The competition was extremely tough. Some of the toughest I have seen for an amateur event. Our fighters stepped out of their comfort zone and took on some tough challenges. Jack moved from B class to A class to fight an extremely talented kid. He beat the kid back in 2012 for the IKF World Title, but this time Jack couldn’t match the kid’s clinch game. Jack was stopped in round two, but he will be back.
Kenna moved from juniors to the adult division as the other fighters in her weight class dropped out of the tournament. She fought a tough undefeated fighter out of Canada. Kenna, understandably, let her nerves get the best of her. She didn’t stick to the game plan and fought the other girl’s fight. Kenna is extremely talented and hard working fighter- when SHE starts truly believing that, NO ONE will be able to touch her.
Keelie fought a hungry opponent. This kid was amazing, and brought it all to the ring. It was an action packed fight. Keelie simply ran out of gas and couldn’t set the pace. It’s been hard to match Keelie up because of her small size and age, so she's been out of the game for a while. She forgot how intense three rounds can be. She underestimated her opponent. After some reflection Keelie realizes she didn’t push as hard this training camp and she let her opponent out work her. That being said, Keelie is one of the MOST talented martial artists I have ever trained. She literally could be the next Ronda Rousey (I don’t say that lightly). I believe Keelie will learn a lot from this defeat and will put the hard work to match the talent.
Brandon fought taller, more experienced opponent and gave all he had. I couldn’t be more proud of how he pushed through the pain and frustration. It didn’t go our way this time, but it was a heck of a fight. This was his first experience in the ring with all the pressure. He learned so much that will make him a much better fighter. I cannot wait to see him fight again!
Cade was an unstoppable force. After his first fight and loss at Striking, he came back more determined and better prepared. All of his hard work paid off. His first match was against an extremely tough kid. Cade’s footwork and pace brought him through to victory. In the Championship round Cade dominated from the very beginning. He was relentless. The kid couldn’t deal with the pressure and intensity. I am very proud of Cade.
Kannon fought some of the toughest fights of his career the weekend. His first match was against a say opponent with an unbelievable clinch game. It was a very close match. Kannon picked up some new tricks from this guy that he can’t wait to apply on his next opponent. The Championship fight was a WAR! This guy was a strong and aggressive mma fighter. Kannon took some hard shots, but was able to keep his composure and dominated the his opponent in the clinch with some great elbows and knees. In the end Kannon came home with the Belt (and a broken nose).
We came back with a lot to work on. I am thankful to the TBA for giving my fighters the opportunity to test themselves against some excellent competition. We learned so much individually and as a team.
I am proud of our team.
Posted on Wed, July 8, 2015
by Jason Epps filed under