Posts Tagged ‘Dan Henderson’

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To say Robert Follis is good at what he does is an understatement. Not only is he one of the lead trainers at Xtreme Couture, he’s also one of the best. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Follis heads one of the more intense, yet highly skillful Gi and No-Gi jiu-jitsu classes in all of Mixed Martial Arts. Training the likes of current Ultimate Fighting Championship stars such as Evan Dunham, Martin Kampmann and Chael Sonnen, along with legends like Dan Henderson and Randy Couture, Follis has risen in MMA lure as one of the greatest technique coaches of all-time.

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Follis got his start in Martial Arts at 22, when he was a bartender. “I was asked to throw someone out of the bar,” he said. “I didn’t know that was part of the job, so I told myself, ‘I better start training some Martial Arts’. I started working with one of the bouncers at the bar and that’s what got me started.” As his training progressed, he got wind of an up-and-coming fighter that was going to the UFC and needed some training partners. “I was training at a cutting-edge gym when I heard about [Randy] Couture needing someone to spar with,” Follis said. “No one really knew who he was at the time so I thought, ‘yea, I’ll go throw some punches at that guy.”
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Those training days turned into training nights, and soon a friendship blossomed between Couture and Follis. Eventually, a career was formed for Follis amidst all the training and sparring sessions, and he’s never looked back.

The son of a preacher, Follis has long taken after his father in order to get the full potential out of his students. Analogies are a big part of how Follis coaches, and says the use of them makes it easier for his students to correlate what he tries to bestow upon them in the MMA world.  “At one point, tying our shoes was extremely confusing,” he said. “The more you practiced it though, the easier it became. That’s exactly how jiu-jitsu is.”Image

His training with adolescents and young adults helps prepare them for where the sport may be heading in the future, no matter how adverse or challenging it may seem.

“You can be in massively good shape,” Follis said. “But if you doubt yourself and don’t believe in what you’re doing, you won’t succeed. Conversely, you can be the most positive thinker in the world but if you don’t ready your body, you will fail.”

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His love for the sport intertwines with his affection for changing people’s lives with what he teaches at the gym. The self-promoting change has been personal for Follis as he says it was Martial Arts that led him out of a place in his twenties where he lacked any direction and felt unsure of what he wanted in life.

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“Here’s what really makes me love Martial Arts and MMA,” Follis said. “It’s the ability to change your life solely based on the training. To take those lessons and apply them to facets of your life; that’s what it’s all about. That’s huge.”

Tuff-N-Uff – Las Vegas’ premier amateur mixed martial arts organization – is proud to announce the promotion’s return to the Orleans Hotel & Casino on Friday, Feb. 11, with the 15-bout event “Tuff-N-Uff: Xtreme Couture vs. Team Quest II.”

Fighters from UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture MMA camp will look to again defeat the traveling crew PRIDE, UFC and Strikeforce great Dan Henderson’s Team Quest Temecula academy. Xtreme Couture claimed victory in the first meeting between the two academies, which took place in August 2010.

In addition to the Xtreme Couture vs. Team Quest series, the Feb. 11 event will also feature a Tuff-N-Uff lightweight title fight, as current champion Dustin Chevalier (4-2) meets undefeated 10th Planet Riverside fighter Sean Bollinger (1-0-1), as well as a key semifinal bout in Tuff-N-Uff’s talent-laden 145-pound female tournament – which kicked off this past November – as undefeated prospects Tori Adams (3-0) and Ashlee Evans-Smith (2-0) meet in the ring.

“The first Xtreme Couture vs. Team Quest series provided such an exciting night of fights, and the two camps are ready to face off again,” Tuff-N-Uff president Barry Meyer said. “The quality of athletes from these two academies is truly world-class, and I’m sure they’ll deliver another great night of fights.

Tickets for “Tuff-N-Uff: Xtreme Couture vs. Team Quest II,” which start at just $25, are available at the Orleans Hotel & Casino’s box office or online at OrleansCasino.com and TuffNUff.net.

Fans from around the globe can watch the fights live at GoFightLive.com or TuffNUff.net, while highlights of the action air in more than 47 million homes across the nation on Tuff-N-Uff’s weekly series, which airs on SportsSouth and Sun Sports.

The evening’s main event features lightweight champ and Striking Unlimited disciple Chevalier seeking the first defense of a belt he earned with a second-round TKO stoppage of Tyson Chartier this past September. A three-time Tuff-N-Uff veteran, Chevalier has earned three career wins via stoppage – including two in the opening round.

Meanwhile, Bollinger looks to remain undefeated in his second bid for the Tuff-N-Uff 155-pound belt. The head instructor of 10th Planet Riverside, Bollinger made a memorable bid for the belt against Ryan Couture in March 2010. The jiu-jitsu ace locked in a deep triangle choke attempt that left Couture unconscious just as the bell sounded to end the second round. Couture continued, and the matchup was judged a draw after three rounds.

In female action, Greg Jackson’s MMA product Adams meets Evans-Smith with a shot at Taylor Stratford for the title on March 12th.

Adams looks for the fourth-straight win to open her amateur career despite suffering an exhibition-bout split decision loss to Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents in the tourney quarterfinals. Adams was granted passage when Brents competed eight pounds heavier than the bout was scheduled for. Despite the massive disadvantage, Adams fought valiantly and many feel she still won.

Meanwhile, Evans-Smith utilized a controlling grappling game in her quarterfinal matchup against kickboxing specialist Jessamyn Duke en route to a clear-cut unanimous-decision win. The bout was the Gladiator Training Academy’s first under the Tuff-N-Uff banner.

The winner of the Adams vs. Evans-Smith bout meets teenage prospect Taylor Stratford in a March tournament final with Tuff-N-Uff’s inaugural 145-pound female championship on the line.

Other intriguing main-card matchups include a rematch between female 135-pounders Emily Peters-Kagan (2-1) and T.J. Cunanan (3-2), who have a score to settle after Peters-Kagan earned a hotly contested split-decision win in their initial August 2010 meeting, while top bantamweight prospects Jerry Shapiro (4-0) winning all by submission and trains at legendary Cobra Kai takes on to the very game Jamie Hernandez (4-1) looking to take on the toughest guys out there at 135.

The full fight card is available for viewing at TuffNUff.net, and the entire event will stream live on GoFightLive.tv.

Come see “The future stars of mixed martial arts!”