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Local fighters win national titles

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A local gym has produced two Canadian National MMA Championships 2017 titles. Last week in Lethbridge, Warrior Strong International’s Grey Patino TKO’d his Calgary opponent Toshio Arai in the second round to win the bantamweight title. Coach John Stanley says Patino’s style was a little different going into this fight. He adds that usually he is too laid back.

“We were really working on the mental aspect of the game this time. The big thing is we wanted him to let it all hang out there and not be so defensive minded. This time he was super aggressive.”

Patino says he is proud to take home his very first big title to Grande Prairie. He adds that this was the first fight that made him anxious leading up to match.

“I think we finally figured out what mind set I need to be in to be the best version of myself in the cage. In other fights, to be honest, it wasn’t that the fighters had better skills than me. It was that I wasn’t in the right mental state.”

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Jared ‘Poundcake’ Tordoff was also fighting out of the Warrior Strong gym. He took the welterweight title over the weekend. Patino was ringside watching Tordoff and he says the fight started as dirty one. He explains that Ramil Kamilov out of Calgary skipped tapping gloves at the beginning of the fight and instead opted for a kick to the head. Tordoff bounced back and submitted his opponent in the second round.

“The one thing that is Jared’s secret weapon is his coconut head. It does not matter how hard you hit him. You can get a two-by-four and swing as hard at his head and he will not go down. 99 per cent of the population would go down like a sack of beans.”

Will Robbins and Justin Knoepfli out of Champion Gym also fought under the coaching of Bill Mahood in Lethbridge. Knoepfli won his first two matches but lost in the semi finals by split decision. Robbins lost by split decision in a single elimination bout and did not move forward to finals.

Patino and Tordoff are off to the Middle East to represent Canada in the fall of 2017.

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