Filtering by Tag: Minnesota

Getting Sponsors: KO Sports Gear


If you have any contact with local MMA or BJJ, you are probably already at least somewhat familiar with KO Sports Gear ( 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...

Chaos At Canterbury 2 MMA Results (4/27/13)

Yesterday I spent the night eating sushi and drinking martinis with members of the liberal media at an event [name deleted]. Anyway, it didn’t take me very long to realize that I am not only pretty stupid, but also pretty uninformed. I didn’t know have the names of the politicians, couldn’t place out Governor by face and found it difficult to keep up with people that seem to drink even more than I.


All through that, all I could think about was (besides wondering how the f*** I ended up there), was how it was the other side of the railroad tracks for me both socio-economically and intellectually.


And it was boring as f***. I really wanted someone to throw a punch, or for one of the old grey hairs to put them on the glass, but no…no…


I am a simple man. I like a good steak, whiskey and two men that have the desire and ability to dislocate someone’s jaw. I like a train wreck or a 10-car pile up. I like guys that use some redneck country song for walk out music, fighters that get their own names tattooed across their backs and women stuff into ill-advised outfits (for better or worse).


I want some mother f***ing fights! And now I get them. 16 of them.


Be careful what you wish for, huh?


Erik Skrivseth (0-0) vs. Steve Moore (0-1)

Round 1) The action opens quickly with the two trading shots and flurries. Moore goes for a leg trip with double unders, but Skrivseth is able to reverse it and work to mount. Moore is able to escape and the two stand. Moore works to Skrivseth’s back and is able to get a seated takedown, eventually getting both hooks in. The round ends with Moore digging for a rear naked choke he can’t find.


Round 2) Moore shoots early and Skrivseth sprawls perfectly. Moore falls to his back and Skrivseth moves forward with a flurry. Both stand and trade solid strikes. Moore pries for the takedown against the cage and lands in full guard. The action moves across the cage and Skrivseth lands a beautiful upkick that wilts Moore. Unfortunately, Skrivseth isn’t able to finish the fight and the round ends with both fighters on their feet and Moore landing a solid punch combination.


Round 3) Moore gets a slow double and stacks Skrivseth against the cage. Skrivseth covers up and defends twenty or so unanswered punches…that’s the whole round…where it started and where it ends.


Winner: Steve Moore via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-27)


Gregorii Zajets (0-0) vs. Ron Weathers (1-1)

Round 1) The two fighters chase after each other trading leg kicks, but it is Weathers that gets dropped with a flush right cross to the chin. Zajets pounces and gets mount, rolling out of it to set up a triangle choke. Weathers tries to slam out of it, but Zajets rolls back to mount and continues to drop punches. Weathers is eventually able to sneak out the back, but right into a guillotine attempt. Zajets switches almost immediately to a tight kimura and Weathers is forced to tap.


Winner: Gregorii Zajets via submission due to kimura at 2:43 of the 1st round


Josh Treseler (4-3) vs. Sam Nelson (1-1)

Round 1) Nelson lands some strong opening strikes and Treseler circles away covering up. Treseler is able to close the distance and get a slamming belly-to-back suplex. Nelson gets half guard and Treseler flattens him out. Nelson is able to get full guard again and Treseler seems to be having trouble passing. The round ends with Treseler grinding it out from in guard.


Round 2) Nelson has the clear advantage on the feet as Treseler’s kicks look off-balance, but Treseler is able to close the distance and get another sick, slamming belly-to-back suplex, landing in cross-side. Treseler works to north/south and gets his arm under Nelson’s chin to sink in the choke. Nelson taps out.


Winner: Josh Treseler via submission due to north/south choke at…sorry, missed it, ring girl Liesl…you understand…


Logan McPadden (4-3) vs. Nick Reece (3-1)


Round 1)  Reece shoots for an early takedown and McPadden sprawls, standing up with a very deep standing guillotine against the cage. Somehow Reece is able to survive and McPadden throws a knee that lands flush with Reece’s face. The ref breaks the fighters and takes a point from McPadden. Reece is okay and works against the cage working for the takedown for the remainder of the round.


Round 2) McPadden sprawls again and comes up with another guillotine that Reece is able to avoid….Reece gets a takedown…sorry, kind of drifted in and out of that round. I’ll try better next round. It’s been a long day and I’m hungover as f***.


Round 3) McPadden sprawls against another takedown attempt and is able to circle around to Reece;s back getting both hooks, but being a little high to get a choke. Reece turns back into closed guard and the two stand. Reece immediately shoots and gets McPadden to his butt…I want pizza, I’ve been doing a low-carb cleanse and pizza sounds like ambrosia right about now.


Winner: Majority Draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)…pizza time!


Someone in the crowd just came up and asked if I wanted a shot of tequila. I said yes not remembering it was the woman from my infamous announcing fights that I bought tequila for. It’s nice to be infamous.


Joe Willson (0-0) vs. BJ Haugdahl (0-2)


Round 1) Willson shoots for an immediate takedown and lands in top cross. Willson keeps up a frenetic pace as he lands shots to the ribs and head of Haugdahl. Haugdahl is able to reguard and turn his hips for an armbar attempt. Willson picks him up and lands a hard slam, immediately landing shots to Haugdahl’s face. The rounds end with Haugdahl a little dazed and bloodied.


Round 2) Willson hits and outside legs trip and moves to scarf hold. Haugdahl works to walk the cage but Willson holds on tight. Haugdahl starts to stand and Willson gets and arm around his neck. He is out of position, but doesn’t let go. Willson is able to work to the back flat Haugdahl out as he sinks in the RNC. Haugdahl is a tough kid, but he has no choice but to tap.


Winner: Joe Willson via submission due to rear naked choke at 1:34 of the 2nd round


Nick Schmidtke (2-4) vs. Dalton Albrent (7-4)


Round 1) …sorry, I was texting about my infant son and booze…to different people, don’t worry. Anyway, stuff is happening. Albrent avoids a double leg and almost locks in a guillotine as he gets elevated. Schmidtke is able to finish the takedown and Albrent locks up an armbar. Schmidtke lifts him again and slams him hard, moving to cross side. Schmidtke drops a hard, falling punch as the round ends.


Round 2) The two trade a few kicks to open the round. Schmidtke lands a nice belly to belly takedown off the cage and gets cross side. Albrent is able to roll away and the two stand. Schmidtke gets the single leg and lands in top half guard. Albrent rolls out again and the two stand. Albrent goes for a single leg and Schmidtke locks up a kimura grip nearly getting an arm bar as the round comes to an end.


Round 3) Albrent is looking a lot fresher of the two as he circles around working kicks and punches form a distance but not setting up any combinations. Albrent is taking his time and Albrent closes the distance, tying up against the cage and nearly getting the takedown. There is no urgency for Albrent to finish this fight. Let’s see if the judges agree with his assessment.


Winner: Nick Schmidtke via unanimous decision (all judges said 29-28)




Crap, I’m disappointed. No, not on the outcome of the fight. You silly’s. I thought there was going to be a break in the fights and I’d have time to go out to the trunk of my car for some…um…”inspiration”. Sorry, you’re gonna get more of the same for a while.




Zak Ottow (2-1) vs. Jesse Midas (5-4)


Round 1) The Aryian Barbarian…okay…well, I suppose if Castenada can be the Sexy Mexi… Said Barbarian forces Midas into the cage early. Midas works some knees to the body. Midas looks to have a cut over his eye, maybe from an incidental headbutt. The two work around the cage trading knee shots. Ottow gets Midas to the ground and starts to throw elbows. Midas tries to turn away, but gets stuck and covers up to protect. Ottow lands too many unanswered strikes, the ref calls it off.


Winner: Zak “The…I’m not even gonna say it again” Ottow via TKO at 4:00 of the 1st round


Sean Casey (2-0) vs. Heath Rud (2-0)


Round 1) Both men are throwing a little wild and Rud is able to pull for a takedown and transition to mount against the cage. Casey tries to cage walk and Rud is able to control a wrist as he starts dropping punches. Rud goes belly down and has a look of agony on his face. Rud keeps landing shots until the ref finally saves Casey.


Winner: Heath Rud via TKO at 2:35 of the 1st round


Break! About f***ing time. I can’t remember where the hell I parked. Thank God it’s a 20 minute break.


…now that my nerves have been calmed a bit, I’ve had time to think about life, the universe and all that stuff. Not really, actually I was wondering if there was a Little Caesar’s around here somewhere cuz I could kill for a $5 large pepperoni pizza right about now.


For some damn reason both doctors are back in the lockerroom stitching someone up and the fights can’t start again without a ringside doc. I’m gonna have a hangover again by the time this gets going.


Jordan Griffin (3-3) vs. Alex Van Krevelen (2-0)


Round 1) Van Krevelen (VK from now on) touches gloves and immediately sticks out a cross. The two tie up against the cage and VK lands a couple of nasty hooks, then a trip against the cage. VK has the momentum and works to get Griffin’s back. Griffin drops for a rolling knee bar, but VK turns out of it and takes mount. Griffin turns his back and stands, VK stays tight and works for the RNC. VK lets the choke go, but stays tight. Griffin tries the takedown and VK sprawls, taking the back again. Griffin hits a brutal suplex as the round comes to an end. VK finishes with one more takedown.


Round 2) VK’s right hand is finding a home, almost as often as VK is on Griffin’s back…which he is, again. VK looks a little tired as he blocks a high kick from Griffin and a couple more punches. Griffin grabs a guillotine and tries to roll, but VK escapes and they stand. Griffin grabs for another guillotine and it looks TIGHT, but VK survives again. VK passes to half guard and works to Griffin’s back again with a body triangle then drops hard to his back with a slam, VK is forced to let go as the crowd goes crazy. Then VK lands a flush upkick that staggers Griffin. VK pulls hard for a single leg as the round ends.


Round 3) Griffin looks spent, but VK doesn’t look that much better. VK blocks another head kick and Griffin rushes to clinch. VK lands a knee as they break and Griffin tries a flying knee to respond. VK sprawls and goes for a single of his own. VK is eating hard hammer fists as he refuses to leg go of the leg. Oh, are you f***ing kicking me?!


Yes, that is a spray of VK’s blood across my face….pardon me while I find a Wet Nap. Griffin pounces and keeps landing shots but VK won’t give up. Griffin is all over him from top to back. Somehow, somehow, VK survives this amazing fight. Though after that brutal round, it is up to see if the judges gave it a two point round. Fight of the Night so far.


Winner: Jordan Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)


I haven’t the slightest idea how the judges didn’t give the first two rounds to VK, at worst, this should have been a draw.


DeAngelo Curtis (1-2) vs. Vyron Phillips (1-0)

Round 1) Phillips gets the early trip against the fence and lands in top half. Phillips works short shots as Curtis works overhook control. As soon as Phillips postures, Curtis springs up, but Phillips keeps his overhooks and throws the fight back to the ground into cross-side. Phillips traps Curtis’s arm in a crucifix for a moment, but Curtis escapes and gets back to half guard. Phillips passes again and locks up an anaconda grip as Curtis turtles. The two stand and Curtis pulls hard for a takedown that Phillips reverses and lands on top again.

Round 2) Curtis shows some early movement, but it is Phillips that brings the fight back to the ground. Curtis works back to his feet, but Phillips is able to drag it right back down into top half guard. Phillips postures and starts to land some brutal shots that Curtis is just barely able to keep away from. Curtis works a few elbows from the bottom. Curtis turns over and Phillips flops onto his back, but doesn’t secure the position and Curtis is able to turn back to half guard. Phillips stands and lands a few more punches as the round ends.

Round 3) Curtis starts the round looking to keep is range and work strikes a little more, but Phillips only endures for a few moments before taking the fight back to the ground. Curtis goes belly down, but Phillips doesn’t even try to get hooks, moving to the side and throwing a knee to the ribs. Curtis moves back to open guard. Curtis pulls for an armbar out of nowhere and it looks nasty but somehow Phillips is able to maneuver out of it. The ref stands the fight, but Phillips brings it right back to the ground as the round ends.

Winner: Vyron Phillips via unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)

It’s past my bedtime. I’d like to see three straight first round knockouts please.


Garrett Olson (6-4) vs. Chase Waldon (3-1)

Round 1) Both men are thrown heavy early with nothing connecting. Olson dives in for a takedown and Waldon jumps and arm-in guillotine. It actually looks pretty deep and Olson goes to the ground. The ref sees something…Olson is unconscious!

Winner: Chase Waldon via guillotine choke at 0:47 of the 1st round



Frank Young (16-13) vs. Andre Tieva (3-0)

Round 1) Young starts out the striking and Tieva comes in for the takedown. Young tries to roll through and grabs an arm-in guillotine in half guard. He gets Tieva back to guard and it appears they are talking to each other. Huh. Tieva clears his head and stacks Young against the fence as he drops short shots. Young turtles up and Tieva gets both hooks in, sinking the RNC immediately after. The tap is a foregone conclusion.

Winner: Andre Tieva via submission due to rear naked choke at 2:36 of the 1st round.



Jason Benson (2-4) vs. Billy Christianson (6-3)

Round 1) Benson falls to his knees immediately after eating a stiff jab. Christianson pounces and gets his hooks immediately! And the choke comes tumbling after.

Winner: Billy Christianson via submission due to rear naked choke at 0:31 of the 1st round


I know no one believes me that I actually requested that (granted I asked for KO’s), so I actually showed a fellow writer as proof. Thank you fighters, I love you very much. Can we keep the 1st round streak alive? I will take a K.O., sub, whatever. I’m not picky.


Stephen Watt (3-1) vs. Dan Moret (3-0)

Round 1) Moret counters with an early jab and ties up against the fence. The two trade reversals off the cage and Watt is able to drag the action to the ground and get top cross side, Moret stays mobile and the two stand. Moret forces the action, but Watt is able to evade. Moret hits a solid kick and ties up, taking the fight to the mat. Watt gets closed guard. Moret is looking to posture for flurries, but Watt does a good job moving. Moret switches to elbows and Watt stands. Moret drives for the takedown that Watt reverses. The round ends with Watt in top half guard. Moret has a big cut under his left eye.

Round 2) Moret works to set up some kicks and stick a few jabs, but Watt really has excellent movement. Watt is able to scoop a takedown and land in top cross side. Moret stands and is able to bully his own takedown. Moret is looking to slice with some elbows as Watt does well to avoid the brunt of the damage. Moret unloads a flurry of elbows and both men stand. Moret moves in and finds his timing on his strikes before getting another takedown. Watt is able to turn it over and Moret closes guard as the round ends.

Round 3) Both men come out with an agenda and are looking for the big shots. Watt goes for a trip, but Moret avoids. Moret lands a good knee and gets the takedown. Watt is able to close up his guard again. Moret starts with the elbows again. Moret stands and lands some kicks to the down Watt’s legs before diving back into guard. The two men stand and the fight ends tied up against the cage.

Winner: Dan Moret via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)


Driller Promotions Amateur Welterweight Championship Fight


Gary Granholm (5-0) vs. Elliot Laughlin (2-0)

Because of my standing policy on Amateur title fights, I will give one sentence updates per round, unless inspiration strikes (doubt it, buzz is gone and it’s 11:22 pm with two fights left to go)

Round 1) A lot of yelling in my ear…Granholm gets a jaw crushing RNC.

Winner: Gary Granholm via submission due to rear naked choke at 2:45 of the 1st round

Don’t f***ing boo, you a**holes. Just cuz the local guy lost doesn’t mean you need to be so classless as to boo a guy that just legitimately won a fight.


Main Event


Matt Larson (4-1) vs. Reese Hernandez (6-3)


Round 1) Larson comes out like a bull and immediately ties up and throws knees. He pulls for a takedown and Hernandez lands on top, but Larson is immediately out and on top cross side. The two stand and Laron works some dirty boxing against the cage. Hernandez lands a three punch combination all on target, but Larson pressures back in. Hernandez lands a couple more punches off the cage and Larson is backed up this time. The two go toe-to-toe with Hernandez getting the better of it. Larson’s eye is looking pretty badly beaten at the bell.


Round 2) The two square up and Hernandez lands a hard shot that puts Larson on his heels. Larson staggers to the cage and Hernandez swarms him. The ref dives in to save Larson from further punishment.


Winner: Reese Hernandez via TKO at 0:13 of the 2nd round


BJJ Gyms: Affiliation vs Cult


Don't get me wrong, cults can be a lot of fun. You get to wear robes all day, pretty open bedroom policies and some righteous chanting. The problem is that sooner or later they want you to cut off your b***s and drink some kool-aid so you can hitch a ride on a comet.

I ain't drinkin' your kool-aid.

Which is a hard thing so say, because I f***ing love grape kool-aid.


Sad to say that cults aren't just for Waco or Pennsylvania Dutch country. They seem to be for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, too.

Maybe it is because we are a small sport. By which I would say BJJ is on the fringe of fringe sports. Minnesota has (generously speaking) maybe 600 active BJJ participants. MAYBE.

There are more people than that in some softball leagues.

Perhaps it is the fringe element and the business side of things that forces people to try and milk every cent and every ounce of common sense out of there students.

Recently there has been a lot of unnerving revelations in a major BJJ affiliation. I don't think I need to name them, if you have any link to the BJJ community, you know. And while we all may gasp and ask ourselves how could this happen, I wonder if it happens around here.

People get obsessed with being the best, being a world champion, chasing a medal. Everyone wants to think that the person that teaches them BJJ is the best there is, that they are hitching their ride to the winning horse. They are will to dilute themselves and put up with a lot of bulls*** for it. They are willing to put aside what they say is right out of fear of being an outcast. For fear of being labelled "not good enough".

That's all f***ing bulls**!!!

And we don't serve that here.


Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to determine what quality of a person you are dealing with at a gym:

1) Do they talk trash about other gyms they have never been a part of or even visited?

2) Do they claim to know the best and only way to do something?

3) Do they talk a big game and refuse to compete?

4) Do they refuse to be a part of another gym's events (seminars, comps, etc) without giving any reason?

5) Do they tell you to do anything that makes to second guess if it is the correct, or even legal thing to do?

6) Has your health, safety or membership ever been threatened?

7) Are you afraid to bring up any of the questions above?

I hope you can't answer yes to any of these. I really do.

I couldn't care less if you are a part of a huge international team like Gracie Barra or Alliance or if you are a part of a gym that is just doing what it can to keep up.

My concern is that people are putting aside their own instincts because they are bullied or forced into a mold that someone else created. We are a fringe sport, we are all f***ed up in some way, shape or form otherwise we wouldn't do it. So to say that you must conform within our sport is the epitome of stupidity.

You may not like the way something is done. You may claim their is only one way to lock in a triangle choke, that gi is better than no gi (or vice versa), that one affiliation is better than another, that is your right, you can think whatever the f*** you want.

But for the love of all that is descent, don't you dare ostracize or judge another grappler because they don't fit your mold.

BJJ isn't a cult, it is a family. We have our differences and our own paths, but we should be united by our shared love of the game. Money and medals blind those that neither love the game, nor appreciate their fellow grapplers enough to treat them like humans above all else, humans with the right to choose and live.

And please, if you ever feel like you have been threatened physically or sexually at a gym, contact the police. Tell someone, even if it is a douchebag like me, I will listen and do everything I can to help.

I love this game, it saved me in a lot of ways, don't let someone take away something you love. Ever.