It’s the debut of the Monday version of MMA DieHards Radio!
In our first episode, we are joined by MMA cartoon and entertainer Tommy Toe Hold (Twitter: @TommyToeHold). Tommy will be gracing the show as the creator, not the character, which will be a pleasure as we get a peek into the mind that produced the cartoon we all love.
And, of course, we’ll break down what’s new in the MMA world.
Anthony Birchak is carrying family tradition and passing it down en route to accomplishing his next goal.
Birchak (Twitter: @abirchakMMA) is making his first trip to Canada, as he is set to scrap Ryan Benoit on May 10 at MFC 37 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Aside from a terrific training camp, Birchak was given some other great news during preparations.
He and his fiancé Mercedes White, who is also a mixed martial artist, are about to have their first child. Birchak already has one boy, while White has two girls, so he said now the house will be evened out with three males and three females. After all, equality is required when your home resembles an MMA gym.
“I’m building a little fight camp,” Birchak told MMADiehards.com. “I’ve got my wrestlers, my little strikers, my jiu-jitsu camp; every one of the kids takes a liking to a different martial art. It’s pretty cool to see. My first son, I wanted him to be a wrestler like me, but he’s gravitating more towards muay thai or boxing. It’s cool to see what he personally likes. It’s awesome.
“And Mercedes, she is the CEO of Luta Elite Sports Management. She manages fighters, she fights, she runs the household, she’s the mother for the kids, I mean this girl is superwoman. She’s been chomping at the bit seeing as she can’t do anything, so I let her throw on some 16 ounce gloves and I put some head gear on. I went on defense while she threw her wing dingers and I let her get her aggression out.”
While White is one tough woman, Birchak still needed some training with opponents of the same gender. The Kimurawear fighter’s day-to-day training takes place at Apex Mixed Martial Arts in Tucson, Arizona, where he worked with the owner, Joey Rivera, who competed on TUF 16. Other notable training partners included Chris Cariaso, Freddie Lux, George Roop, Ed West, Michael Parker and an athlete by the name of Casey Kenney, who Birchak proclaims is a stud that was essential to his grappling practice.
Furthermore, Birchak made a trip to Las Vegas in order to get some work in with a few outside sources, but it just so happened he picked the perfect time to go.
“I went to Xtreme Couture the week of The Ultimate Fighter tryouts,” Birchak said. “I don’t go to tryout; I go with teammates who were trying out. I usually just go there to train with striking coach Tim Lane, but this time I couldn’t have timed it any better. I got to train with the best bantamweight guys in the world; they were all there, so it was great. I bonded with a few guys from Pat Barry’s gym; they knew I had a fight coming up so they kept me busy.”
Birchak is constantly surrounded by fighters, whether it is at home or the gym, and that’s only going to prove beneficial to his success. Being around so many combatants isn’t new to Birchak, though. It’s a family tradition that he is instilling in his own children while he makes his way to the top of the MFC.
“I come from a long line of wrestlers,” Birchak said. “One of my uncles is the first state champion for his high school back in 1960-something. My other uncle, my wrestling coach, was a two-time state champ for my high school in ’82 and ’83. My brothers, cousins, everyone else wrestled too. It’s kind of sucks because I’m the only one without a high school state title. All these other bastards got one except me. I made it up by winning four Greco- Roman state championships, three freestyle state championships and a Greco-Roman All-American. Now I’m on the quest for an MMA world championship.”
Based on history, it is likely that 20 years from now Birchak’s son will be on that same quest.
It’s been four long weeks, but MMA DieHards Radio has returned.
Tonight, hosts Jason Kelly and Joe Rizzo welcome MFC president Mark Pavelich to the show.
Pavelich (Twitter: @MarkPavelich) leads Canada’s premier MMA organization. The promotion is approaching MFC 37: True Grit, which takes place on May 10 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. We’ll get the charismatic Pavelich’s thoughts on the event and the future of MFC, which will surely be entertaining as the organization’s leader holds no punches.
Gasson (Twitter: @Pecker17) is a grappling tournament promoter in Ontario, Canada. The Team Tompkins product is also the manager of Adrenaline Training Center, which is home to MMA standouts such as Sam Stout an Mark Hominick. Gasson will fill us in on the upcoming events he is behind.