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If Jake Paul defeats Anderson Silva, will he finally prove he belongs?

Does a win this weekend give Jake Paul the respect he deserves? 

YouTube sensation turned pro boxer Jake Paul (5-0) will be testing his skills against one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time Anderson Silva (3-1).

The main event will take place on Showtime pay-per-view at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday, Oct. 29. 

How Paul’s career began

It has been a short but impressive career thus far for “The Problem Child.” Paul, 25, earned his first TKO victory in 2020 over YouTuber Ali Eson Gib. “I thought I was going to be nervous,” Paul told reporters after his first-round win.  

“I thought there was going to be an adrenaline dump like in my first fight. But it literally felt like a sparring match. I was super calm, composed and just kept my movement. We stuck to the game plan even in the first two minutes.” 

Paul moves on

Paul would make his second fight ten months later look easy, flatlining NBA star Nate Robinson in the second round. After this vicious knockout, it was clear the boxer raining out of Cleveland, Ohio, needed a step up in competition.  

A step up in competition

Apr. 17, 2021, Paul earned his third straight TKO victory after defeating former Bellator champion Ben Askren in the first-round. Despite leaving all his opponents unconscious up to this point, many people wanted Paul to face an active fighter – not someone who is retired or plays a different sport.  

“Jake Paul is going into the ring against non-boxers. That has to stop. Now we need to see him against guys that actually fight, like box,”   

Stephen A. Smith told First Take on Apr. 19.  

When he took on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Paul attempted to answer these questions. In this eight-round war, Paul proved he could take a punch and had the cardio to make it competitive wherever the fight goes.  

Does beating Woodley twice earn some respect?

Still, it was not enough. People wanted more. Paul was then scheduled to fight Tommy Fury, Tyson Fury‘s half-brother. Paul versus Fury was supposed to reveal how the 25-year-old would deal with an actual professional boxer. Unfortunately, Fury pulled out due to a rib injury, forcing Jake Paul to rematch Woodley.  

In the rematch, at 2:12 in Round 6, Paul immaculately set up a right hand that left Woodley face down in the center of the canvas. The knockout seemingly gained some respect from fight fans: 

“If Jake Paul wasn’t Jake Paul. If he wasn’t this YouTube guy. If he was just a boxer, and you see a boxer knockout the former UFC welterweight champion… You’d be like, ‘oh man,’ have you seen this Jake Paul kid coming up?”

Joe Rogan said on The Joe Rogan Experience

Success breeds hate

Despite the viral knockout, people still failed to give Paul credit for his accomplishments: 

“Go out and fight a boxer. There are thousands of them, your weight, your age, in your prime… Please, Jake, next time, can you just fight a f***ing boxer? Someone in their prime. Please?” Michael Bisping said on his YouTube channel. 

After all the noise, Paul now finds himself set to fight Silva – something UFC president Dana White thought he would never dare to attempt.

“I f***ing guarantee you this; you aren’t going to see Jake Paul calling Anderson Silva out, that I f***ing promise you,”

White told the media on Sep. 14. 

White is not the only one thinking Paul is biting off more than he can chew. Former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub told Fight Hub TV Silva “100 percent” beats Paul.

What Paul plans on doing Saturday

Despite all the backlash, Paul promises to deliver another spectacular performance:

“It’ll be a tough fight in the beginning. But, I’ll slowly pick him apart and create an opening and knock him out. I’m a knockout artist. That’s what I do. I set up my opponents, get them feeling comfortable, get them in the exact spot I want, and then put them away,”

Paul told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi 

How Paul can respect

Paul is taking a massive risk against the 47-year-old southpaw. Even though Paul has age on his side, Silva recently defeated former WBC champion Julio César Chávez Jr. (53-6-1). Despite many saying he was in way over his head, Silva earned the split-decision win.

Whether you like Jake Paul’s personality or not, you will have to give him his respect inside the ring if he delivers yet another knockout Saturday night.

Mike Tyson is back: Can the 54-year-old legend wash Roy Jones Jr.?

Mike Tyson is back.

And he looks scarier than ever.

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.’s long-anticipated bout will finally arrive on September 12, but the rules will be different.

The two legends agreed to hold an exhibition fight in Carson, California, but it doesn’t seem that they will be trying to end each other.

“This isn’t a situation where they’re going out there to try to take each other’s heads off,” California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster said.

“They’re just going to be in there moving around the ring and letting fans see these legends.”

With this fight being the debut, Tyson has introduced a new venture called the Legends Only League, which is pretty self-explanatory. Legends only, any sport, back in action.


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Introducing my new venture. Legends Only League, bringing back legends of all sports. @legendsonlyleague Link in bio.

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The last time that Tyson stepped into the ring was in a loss to Kevin McBride in 2005. Jones last fought in 2018 in a win against Scott Sigmon.

Tyson and Jones will be brawling over eight rounds without headgear, but they will be wearing larger gloves. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem as if the pair are hyping up this fight as a bloodfest.

Though this is much different, we can’t help but think of another recent star-studded fight that saw one fighter’s return.

Floyd Mayweather’s 2017 return against MMA superstar Conor McGregor was a passion-filled brawl for the ages, but it was under different circumstances.

McGregor was trying to prove that his abilities extended beyond the octagon, and Mayweather was just trying to smash McGregor’s head in.
The fight also nabbed the two athletes a combined $410 million.

Tyson and Jones’ returns, on the other hand, carry a level of respect between the two.

“I think it’s going to be very interesting,” Mayweather said.

“I’m not here to say Tyson’s going to win, I’m not here to say Roy’s going to win. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be entertaining.”

Of course, no fight would be complete without the signature pre-bout trash talk.

“You think you fly, huh, you ain’t s**t!” Tyson bellowed in a hype-up video. “I’m gonna get him back in front of these f***ing people.”

“His legs are huge, his thighs are huge, his arms are huge, his neck is huge,” Jones responded. “It’s very risky, yes, but God’s in control of all.”


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🥊🥊🥊#royjonesjr #miketyson #legends #fight @miketyson @mercedesmusic18

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It might be just as entertaining to watch these two engage in a normal conversation.

Regardless, September 12 is going to be a fight for the ages. It has been a long several months since we have seen some premium sports content, and even longer since we have seen a boxing legend make their return.

This could very well be the match to electrocute the sports world into a frenzy of excitement following months of quarantine and disappointment.

We will absolutely be tuning in on fight-night, and we cannot wait to see Iron Mike make his long-awaited return.

The future of sports entertainment: UFC 249 draws over 700,000 PPV buys

Sports fans tuned into UFC 249 en masse this past weekend, with a reported more than 700,000 people paying for the pay-per-view product alone.


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Saturday night DELIVERED! 🍿 Slow down the evening with #UFC249 Fight Motion. (➡️ Watch now on YouTube)

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Dana White, President of the UFC, would not substantiate the numbers but expressed extreme satisfaction with how the event went.

He told Yahoo Sports, “We absolutely destroyed it. It was a home run by every measure. The early trends were good and they continued.”

Such a feat is impressive especially when considering there were no major headliners on the card for UFC 249. One could argue Tony Ferguson, but he got his a** whooped handily, and he’s no Khabib or Conor McGregor.

Justin Gaethje is the fighter who beat Ferguson in the interim lightweight championship.


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Justin Gaethje tossed aside the interim lightweight title belt he won at #UFC249. “I’ll wait for the real one.” @espnmma

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UFC 249 was the first live sporting event in the U.S. since the coronavirus outbreak shut down the country’s economy in mid-March. Dana White was adamant about holding a card even amidst the countrywide shutdown, clearly seeing the economic opportunity in it, but also surely understanding sports fans were starving for some content.

UFC 249 had no fans in the building, and all people present had to be tested for coronavirus before being allowed in. Still, slightly jarring and all, a deadly and transmissible virus that most of us have not seen during our lifetimes changes the rules, and we must evolve with the times.

No fans present may be eerie at first; the echoing of the competitor’s words, the natural sounds blasting into mics that would otherwise be waterlogged with fans cheers and oohs and ahs.

But it is ultimately the same sport being played, the same outcome of joyous and uproarious fans cheering and screaming, just at home instead of there in the building.

Hopefully, the UFC’s restarting is a beacon of hope for other sports. Germany’s Bundesliga is resuming this Saturday, and as the top league in the country, has some exceptional talents and teams gearing up to resume.

Soccer, a team sport with 22 players on the field at almost all times, is much harder to organize around the coronavirus than a one-on-one matchup like the UFC, but Germany must feel confident in its approach.

Who are we to question Chancellor Angela Merkel?

The extreme prosperity the UFC saw this past weekend does not just serve as a model for resuming sports in the world of COVID-19. It could serve as a model for future sports endeavors regardless of global conflict.

The pay-per-view system is extremely lucrative, and its success is largely predicated upon the popularity of its stars.

That is why numbers have been so high when Conor McGregor is winning, when Ronda Rousey was kicking ass, now even when Khabib is set to fight.

But this past weekend’s revelation may be about more than the coronavirus. The UFC is willing to shine its lights and host an epic night of competition and content even when no one else will.

Fans like that, they respect that, and even without a bonafide superstar on the card, it would not be at all surprising if the UFC continues to see its numbers rise.


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Conor McGregor thanks those involved in making #UFC249 happen and wishes them luck ☘️ (via @thenotoriousmma)

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Safety comes before all else, and there are certain guidelines that leagues across the U.S. and the world must adhere to. For some sports, it is exponentially more difficult than others, especially when taking into consideration travel plans.

But everyone right now is pivoting, at work, at home, in how all business and other affairs are handled. The UFC did it; what say you, other sports leagues?

Can we get all 30 NBA teams to be safely quarantined and tested in Vegas or Orlando, and all play in one or two arenas? It doesn’t seem altogether improbable. The UFC is perhaps the fastest-growing sports league in the world, and the main reasons for this are innovation, dedication to crafting an exciting product, and smart marketing.

Its most recent success is possibly its greatest accomplishment yet; a massively successful and exciting night of action with no discernible starfighters to average fans. Sports fans are starving for content.

Will sports leagues follow the UFC’s trailblazing path or slowly watch months and years of promise and prosperity wither away? The sports landscape is in a fascinating area right now. And oh the times they are a-changing. UFC Fight Night continues tonight on ESPN+.


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BACK ALREADY! 👏 ➡️ #UFCJAX coverage begins at 6pmET with first fight at 7pmET on ESPN+

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If Mike Tyson made a return to the boxing ring would you tune in?

Is Mike Tyson returning to boxing? Well, he is back and he is swinging.

And he doesn’t mith.

The previous undisputed world heavyweight champion and youngest-ever boxer to win a heavyweight title recently released a video of him back training. His words uttered at the end?

“I’m back.”

Tyson looks incredibly fit and agile, strong, and forceful. It’s not surprising that he’s kept with him the strength and the power that he can throw in a punch. But what is surprising is how agile he still is, how quick his feet and hands move, how crafty his moves are with gloves on.

Tyson, one of the most enigmatic and polarizing athletes of all time, has taken a step away from boxing in recent years. His podcast, “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson” has occupied some of his time, as well as many personal ventures such as appearing on talk shows that have sparked headlines.

In the aforementioned “Hotboxin’,” Tyson and his co-hosts revealed that they smoke 10 tons of weed at Tyson ranch a month.

“It may not be over yet,” Tyson said in a Facebook livestream.

“Anything’s possible. I feel unstoppable now. The gods of war have reawakened me, ignited my ego and want me to go to war again. I feel like I’m [young] again,” Tyson continued.

One of the most feared fighters of all time, Tyson won 44 of his 50 victories by knockout, and in 1990, five years into his career, was undefeated.

Iron Mike has not fought a professional fight since he lost to Kevin McBride in 2005. Polarizing as they come, if Tyson stepped into the ring again, love him or hate him, people would tune in en masse.

Tyson’s quickness in the training videos he released is almost too amazing to believe. But for a man that has been labeled as crazy and insane before, what else can we expect other than the unexpected?

Whatever these videos mean for the sports world, for boxing, for entertainment, is not to be stressed. Watching Tyson go in with gloves on is a much-needed sight for sore eyes. If he happens to step into the ring again, possibly fighting Holyfield or another boxer, we will all tune in.

But even if not, Iron Mike has still got it. And I wouldn’t want to be facing him in the ring.

Fight Kulture: Reese Scott’s Women’s World of Boxing Part I

What are you fighting for?

When heard initially, the word “fight” may prompt visuals of violence, gore, or an old 90s action flick. But the word speaks to so much more. It’s mental, emotional, it’s universal and when said it can be felt by all.

For too long, the idea of fighting was seen as solely masculine, building a multitude of social constraints that discouraged women from participating in combat sports and while these constraints have slowly been lifting, they still exist.

One of the many pillars supporting and fueling women in combat sports is none other than Reese Lynn Scott, owner of New York City’s first women’s only boxing gym, Women’s World of Boxing

Right at the tip of Harlem lies a getaway, a  safe space, a home to women of all ages to do one thing. Fight

Fresh off of its two year anniversary, WWBOX has built a community for women in the city to be themselves. At the heart of this community is Scott, full-time trainer and soul-sister to all. 

Scott fell in love with boxing at a crucial time in her life. On the surface, she had it all – the career, the finances, but at the end of the day, she wasn’t happy even though society told her she should be.

This disconnect led her to fall into a deep depression, compromising not only her emotional health but her physical as well. 

One day, Scott walked into a boxing gym near her office and never looked back. While her determination and newfound energy in fighting helped her find new fulfillment, the manner in which herself and other women were treated in traditional boxing gyms didn’t sit well. 

Scott took a bet on herself and quit her esteemed publishing gig to open a safe haven where women didn’t have to worry about their appearance, their presumed ability or hearing disingenuous remarks during their workout.

She set forth to open a place where women could just be themselves and continue to fight their fight without having to consider any opinions other than their own. 

Peep the video above for Part I of our chop up with the charismatic enigma about her journey and the roots of the iconic gym.


UNINTERRUPTED debuts ’40 Days’ docuseries for Canelo vs Kovalev fight

“Accomplishment is something that is addictive,” said UNINTERRUPTED CEO Maverick Carter in Episode 1 of the brand new series, 40 Days: Canelo vs Kovalev.

40 Days is a docuseries created by DAZN and UNINTERRUPTED that chronicles the lead up to a fight from a boxer’s perspective.

The first installment features Mexican phenom Canelo Alvarez in his quest to move up two weight classes and defeat Russian giant Sergey Kovalev for the light heavyweight world championship.

40 Days: Canelo vs Kovalev features exclusive commentary from DJ Khaled, Draymond Green, Gabriel Iglesias, and Maverick Carter.

“Many great fighters we’ve seen in the past, once they conquer a weight division, the only next step is up.”

“They’re conquerors,” said Carter.

In episode one of this three-part series, Canelo and Kovalev meet up before the fight. They are friendly with one another, almost exceedingly so, with Kovalev putting his arm around Canelo to take a selfie.

Kovalev notes how Canelo has gotten bigger, but the size difference is still readily apparent. In addition to the large disparity in reach, Canelo is listed at 5’9”, and Kovalev is listed at 6′.


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Canelo is aiming to do what’s never done before. Moving up two weight classes is difficult enough, but fighting Kovalev, a powerful, ruthless boxer, is a risky mission.

Kovalev, on the other hand, is in an interesting situation himself. Everyone knows how skilled Canelo is, and most people would consider him the best boxer in the world right now.

But Kovalev is bigger, taller, and comfortable in his weight division. This is his division, his home, and, as Draymond Green points out, the fear of losing to an outsider is a mental battle in itself.

“When self-doubt starts to creep in, it’s tough to overcome.”


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Canelo is aiming to win a title belt in a fourth division, already having claimed world titles in light-middleweight, middleweight, and super middleweight divisions.

Mexican soccer superstar Carlos Vela is also a part of the project as an executive producer.

DAZN is the largest global sports streaming service in the world, operating across nine countries over four continents. DAZN features all sports but is particularly popular for its coverage of the combat sports industry.

UNINTERRUPTED, the athlete-empowerment brand founded by Lebron James and Maverick Carter, aims to give athletes opportunities to tell their stories outside of the brief moments on tv, and fans the ability to see these stories.

This is just the latest example of UNINTERRUPTED’s unrivaled ability to produce and create content that would otherwise be unavailable.

The lead-up to any major sporting event is big, but for boxing, it is just mono a mono. The mental fortitude required amidst the hype of a big-time fight is something that separates the good from the great. With Canelo vs. Kovalev and Canelo’s weight-class jumps, there is even more hype going into this fight.


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🇲🇽 2 SEMANAS 🇺🇸 2 WEEKS #CaneloKovalev

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Kovalev is looking to stand his ground and emerge victorious on the biggest stage of his career.

Canelo is looking to be a conquerer.

Amidst a flurry of reporter’s questions about Kovalev’s advantages and whether or not he is crazy for agreeing to the fight, Canelo responds, “yes I am crazy.”

“You have to take risks to make history.”

Canelo and Kovalev are set to fight on Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Golden Arena in Las Vegas.


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WBO Champ Michael Bentt tells all in new Netflix doc, Losers

Michael Bentt, now 55, thought he would never live to see 30. In the new Netflix docu-series, Losers, Bentt recalls his experiences as a top amateur boxer, WBO champion, and actor.

Diving into acting and the arts from the fight world seemed to be a pivot Bentt was destined for.

He’s a natural writer and student of film since he was a youngin. I had the chance to chop it up with Bentt about his experiences as both a fighter and now a creative, something Bentt believes we all are. 

“We’re all born creatives.”

Bentt’s Jamaican-born father admired famed-Muhammed Ali and wanted his son would grow to be a boxer of the same magnitude. Unfortunately, for pops, Bentt wasn’t a fan of the sweet science at all.

“I never wanted to be a professional [boxer] in the first place,” Bentt said in the first episode of the series while describing his mindset after beating Tommy Morrison for the WBO Championship in 93’.

Bentt was born in the UK and moved to the Cambria-Heights section of Queens in 1974. His father who insisted Bentt to become a top boxer forced him to start training at an early age.

Four-time Golden Glove Champion, three-time United States Amateur Boxing Champion, and Bronze World Amateur are just a few of the crowns he held.

Bentt flexed so hard as an amateur, it’s hard to believe his head wasn’t in the game, but it really wasn’t. When he tried to voice his dislike for boxing to his father as a kid, his father responded by way of force, which told him one thing. He didn’t have a choice. 

Bentt went pro partially to escape his father’s scrutiny.

He recalled moments growing up where his family and friends would talk about success and what it meant to be worthy as a man, “if I don’t have a thousand dollars in my pocket, I’m worthless,” said Bentt.

He continued,

“Do you know how many times I’ve been in boxing camps or had estrangements with managers and I was flat broke? I didn’t have a thousand dollars in my pocket, I didn’t have two cents in my pocket. How many times I felt dejected and down in the dirt because those things that my father was saying was echoing in my brain? How difficult it was navigating that nonsense? Or how difficult it was to start unbelieving that nonsense?”

As an amateur stud, Bentt faced heavy heat when he got knocked out in his first professional bout against Jerry Jones in 89. In the Netflix doc, he paints a vivid picture of how he was tormented and blacklisted from getting another fight.

Losers artwork by Mickey-Duzyj

Someone even left a nasty note on a parking ticket on his car. From the lack of support and self-hate he acquired, he almost committed suicide, but something told him it wasn’t his time. 

With a build-up of emotions and determination to prove the haters wrong, he was able to get a manager and climb back up the ranks. After 10 straight wins, Bentt was offered what came to be the highlight reel fight of his career against “The White Mike Tyson”.

Bentt was looked at as a good warm-up fight for Morrison who was gearing up for a $8 million dollar payday. Bentt came in as the underdog but ended up dropping Morrison three times in the first round, winning the championship via TKO.

It was after his next fight, to Herbie Hide, where he received such severe brain damage, that doctors told him boxing was out of the question for him. “I knew, somewhere deep down, that I didn’t have what it takes to be a heavyweight champion,” Bentt recalled while walking into the Hide fight.

Losers artwork by Mickey-Duzyj

Months after he left the hospital, he enrolled in a local community college, picked up radio and TV majors, and took an acting class as an elective. He was in pursuit of work as a commentator overseas and wanted to learn the essential skills. After his first acting class, he knew he found his new steez. He said,

“I am never doing anything other than this, if I have to starve, if I have to rob a bank or two or three, I’m gonna do this thing for the rest of my life.”

Fighters get a bad rap and are stigmatized as aggressive and unrelatable, but in Bentt’s eyes, they’re honestly some of the kindest people on the planet. Fighting is an emotional rollercoaster, filled with love, hate, doubt and vulnerability that is often only seen by those behind the scenes. 

“I come from the fight world, I’m a sensitive human being. Boxers are some of the most sensitive creatures on the planet but we don’t see that. The violence-it’s primal…

Bentt continued,

“But behind the whole primal venire are the most sensitive, sweet people. Of course, we have these triggers, and when they’re pushed we respond to those triggers. When you’re conditioned to be one thing and one thing only, you only know one thing and one thing only. You respond with one thing and one thing only.”

Bentt found solace in the arts as a kid, after his middle school teacher was amazed by his style of writing. He found himself writing screenplay-esque scenes in a composition notebook amidst the rigorous training schedule forced upon him by his father. He had to constantly dubb what he was passionate about to do something that wasn’t even his dream. If he didn’t, his dad would hurt him.

His life became a twisted cycle Bentt had to unlearn.

“I don’t like the struggles that I experienced, but I appreciate them. Not that I’m giving my father a pat on the back, I’m not. I think my father is damaged, but I survived his damages and I’m able to use his damages in a positive way.”

Being told that he couldn’t box again was immediate relief and tapped into his mindset as a creator and life long student of the arts.

“Honestly, if Michael Bentt doesn’t find the world of acting and the arts, the person who you saw on the Netflix documentary, that’s a completely different person. That person would definitely be a person trying to hide and explain and be appropriate. The person you saw on Netflix, he doesn’t care about being appropriate, he cares about being authentic, and expressing what others can’t express.”

Contrary to what you might think, Bentt sees a lot of parallels with boxing and acting, qualities that have helped him flourish to be the person is his today.

“To me, boxing and acting, they’re kissing cousins essentially, only with acting, you have to be naked and vulnerable and a boxer can’t afford to be naked and vulnerable.”  

Bentt went on to write for Bert Sugar’s, Fight Game after the two met at an HBO Press Conference. Writing for the magazine gave Bentt a platform to express what he saw and experienced as an elite amateur and a pro that’s had his elite moments.

The job opened up the conversation about Bentt bringing his creative and combative backgrounds together to act, direct and consult on several major-motion films and theatrical shows, many relative to boxing.

Starring as the famed-Sonny Liston opposite Will Smith in Ali, Bentt also starred in other Hollywood boxing flicks like Girlfight and Million Dollar Baby with Clint Eastwood.

Being both on camera and behind-the-scenes, helped him fused both a mixture of his talents in a way that finally allowed him to be honest and unbothered, something he couldn’t do as a fighter. Fighters are bred to ooze machismo, be the best at their craft while deflecting any sense of insecurity.

In mass media, combat sports athletes are so closely depicted as being neanderthal-like characters with primal mentalities, but they are so so much more.

“Your opinion of me is not my reality.”

Bentt made acting his priority, putting it at the center of everything he did which naturally led him to learn under mentors like Ron Shelton, Fred Burner, and others. He gives props to his mentors for helping him take experiences from his boxing life to show the many dimensions fighters possess through acting.

“Who can’t relate to being betrayed? That takes place in boxing, in life. Who can’t relate to being overcome by fear, who can’t relate to failure? Those things that I experienced in boxing, I get a chance to express and experiment with as an actor with wonderful directors and actors who believe in me.”

Being a member of the acting community and working alongside names he only dreamed of, proves Bentt’s sentiment that if you really put in the work and commit to what you love, destined opportunities will find their way to you.

“I’m a firm believer that if you put in the energy to commit to studying what you love, at some point on your path, you will meet a mentor who will further augment your experiences and your craft.”

Fighter. Actor. Writer. It’s an understatement to say that Michael Bentt’s journey as a creative is one that we all can take notes from. No matter what your passion is, it’s never too late or too wild to do what you love.

So what are you waiting for?

Fight Kulture: Why Wall Street is still recovering from FNT Vol. IV

In New York, the first week of Feb. means three things: failed resolutions, REALLY brick ass weather and New York Fashion Week. Last Friday, FNT flipped the script on all of that as the fight party took over 30 Wall Street for the fourth installation of its fight series and probably the most poppin’ party of 2019 thus far.

FNT’s first event of the year also marked a special milestone – 10 whole years since founder/ringmaster, Bekim Trenova decided to throw a boxing match with friends that eventually bloomed into the cultural event, bridging the gap between fight culture and nightlife.

Just steps away from the New York Stock Exchange, hundreds of eager fight fans, creatives, and baddie models lined up to see another night of addictive madness.

The ground-level venue was raw, rustic, and embodied the perfect canvas for the production that goes into fight night. Similar to earlier volumes, this venue had an intimacy that made you feel as if you were a part of the show rather than just a spectator.

The usual suspects collaborated with Trenova to bring the night together; MATTE Projects, Mike Washington, Tom Sconzo and the ISKA sanctioning team. The night was set with a stacked card of MMA and Muay Thai fights along with music performances by Flipp Dinero, Malibu Mitch, Venus X, and M!NT. Sheeesh.

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | In Photo: Flip Dinero

Trenova set the tone for the night early on the mic during the opener. Now when a ski mask-clad Bekim tells you to turn the fuck up…YOU TURN THE FUCK UP.

Starting off with the fights–they BANGED! When I say they banged, I mean each fight added a different X-factor to the night that drew you in more and more. The momentum of the night increased fight after fight and the slick moves from Team Kitty Koalition during intermissions amplified it.

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | In Photo: Kitty Koalition

The fight card featured local fighters from Renzo Gracie, Evolution Muay Thai, Team Demolition, Striking 101, Red Kickboxing, and Progressive Martial Arts. It’s fashion week, fighters gotta drip too-both red and blue corners were draped up in Under Armour gear and G&S gloves.

The shocker of the night came by Olympic bronze medalist and wrestler, Hamdy Abdelwahab with a 15-second K.O. on Jamal Pottinger in the first round. Abdelwahab trains under the legendary Daniel Gracie who is set and locked in with FNT for future fights.

The main event was no sleeper either, Diego Jagessar and Will Cavali lit up the ring with Jagessar earning a technical TKO at the bell. The night also included a drumline performance by Brooklyn Express Drumline which was too lit for me for me to put in words.

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | Diego Jagessar vs. Will Cavali

Where else have you heard of a fight event having a drumline?? It plays not only to Trenova’s Georgia roots but also to the artistic athleticism that is showcased all throughout FNT. This is where FNT bridges the gap between cultures.

During intermissions when people typically check their phones, FNT hits your senses with something you would never expect, something that may be new to you, but will prompt you to chat with the stranger next to you, build a new connection and new experience. New York needs that shit.

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner

One of the most intriguing elements of FNT is the unique room it draws. There’s something for everyone- fight fans, fashion kids, music heads, you name it.

Fight night saw the likes of combat sports vet and BATS-TOI founder, Mario Mercado, Daniel Gracie, Overtime Larry/a>, Binx, amongst others from the creative and fight communities in the city.

The night certainly set the precedent for FNT’s stacked year. The fight circus heads back to LA, Miami, and Chi-Town to close out the first half of the year.

I still wonder if those brokers have any clue how hot that block was that night…

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | Joseph Lyles vs Jose Olivaez

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | Joseph Lyles vs Jose Olivaez

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | In Photo: Malibu Mitch

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | In Photo: Kitty Koalition

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | Bekim Trenova

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner

Grayson Gunner | In Photo: Brooklyn Express Drumline

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | Diego Jagessar vs. Will Cavali

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | Diego Jagessar vs. Will Cavali

Photo Cred: Grayson Gunner | Jamal Pottinger vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are making heavyweight boxing lit again

Set to take place on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, undefeated Deontay Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight championship against former WBA, WBO, IBF, AND IBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

These two heavy hitters have very different fighting styles and boxing records that bring much excitement to this well-awaited match. Former 2x World Champion and current Showtime boxing commentator Paulie Malignaggi says,

“It’s a trash talking contest as well as a contest of who is going to be the better fighter.”

The two faced off in a heated and chaotic final press conference, where the intensity between both men began building.

33-year-old American Deontay Wilder has held his WBC Heavyweight championship since 2015 and holds an astonishingly polished record of 40-0, 39 KO, and defending his title seven times.

With a heavy right hand and otherwise formidable punching power, Wilder continues to finish fights with a spectacular display.

An orthodox fighter, Wilder will be going up against Fury’s switch between orthodox and southpaw and lends curiosity to all boxing speculations and predictions.

From the other side of the pond hails British heavyweight boxer, 30-year-old Tyson Fury. He brings an unorthodox fighting style, from orthodox to southpaw, but is also one of the most lively, exciting, and characterful heavyweight fighters to date.

With a strong record of 27-0, 19 KO paired, and his dethroning Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, Fury stands as a formidable challenger and worthy opponent of Deontay Wilder.

Most predictions are leaning towards Wilder via KO, while others say Fury will stick in there for a decision victory. Boxing icon Mike Tyson is leaning towards the man who was named after him saying,

“Although Wilder’s punch is strong, nothing can compare to the mental strength Fury has shown both in and out of the ring. It’ll be a close call, but I think Fury’s got a true fighting chance.”

On the other hand, former heavyweight legend George Foreman is going for Wilder saying,

“I think Wilder wins a close decision.”

Upon all of the odds and speculation, one thing is for sure — until fight time Tyson Fury will continue to antagonize and attempt to get into the head of Wilder. Tyson Fury says,

“No one forced me to fight Deontay Wilder, I picked Deontay Wilder because I believe he’s an easy touch.”

Wilder isn’t backing down either and will continue to smother Fury’s growing confidence with trash talk of his own. He said,

“Every time I said I’d knock someone out I did it, how I said I was going to do it, I did it. I can’t wait to see your body shaking.”

This is a battle of the words as much as it is of boxing. But come round 1 tomorrow, all of the trash talking will be put to rest and we’ll have a unified heavyweight champ.

This battle of giants will be one you don’t want to miss. Tune in December 1, 2018, 9pm ET/6pm PT live on Pay-Per-View via Showtime.

Why kids who do combat sports at a young age are better prepared for life

Children partaking in combat sports has been a hot debate for a long time now due to the aggressive nature involved. Many parents believe combat sports such as boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and karate promote violence and lead to a violent temperament.

Combat sports, boxing, in particular, has been plagued over many years by medical controversy, in particular, head/brain injuries. It’s important to remember while spectating, that these fighters are trained to not get hit.

The goal of getting in the ring with another boxer is not to get punched in the face, but rather to dodge those blows defensively and prevent the opponent from gaining points.

Unfortunately, not all fights happen in the ring, and at some point, your child will find him/herself in a disadvantageous situation. Truth is these sports have many health benefits for kids and teenagers of all ages.


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In a recent study done at the Transilvania University of Brasov,

“Findings suggest, engaging in boxing activity does not directly reduce violent inclinations, but it does so indirectly. This is due to the fact that individuals involved, compared to other sports athletes, exhibit a lower stress predisposition, which relates to two factors of aggressiveness: wrath/anger and enmity.”

Stress release is just one of the many benefits of combat sports.

No matter which way you slice it, physical activity will always trump video games when it comes to keeping healthy at any age. Physical activity helps release stress that growing kids take on from school, growing/changing bodies, and social lives.

Let’s be honest, contemporary society is technology-focused and it can be hard to peel your child away from their cell phone. All of that attention they are giving to a screen can’t be healthy. In sports, such as Jiu-Jitsu, kids are boosting their social skills by grappling with other kids while simultaneously increasing their focus.

Per the Jiu-Jitsu Times via PR Newswire,

“Jiu-Jitsu will give your child mental clarity and improve on their mental mind-state. The physical part plays a big role, but the mental aspect is just as important. Your child will develop a sense of discipline which results from the “never give up” attitude that Jiu Jitsu instills in people.”

Gaining self-confidence is yet another characteristic children take on as a result of participating in combat sports. As grown-ups, we all know the trials and tribulations of being a kid and growing up.

Peer pressure and falling in with the “wrong crowd” is just one of the many obstacles children face today. Fitting in is dangerous nowadays from the opioid epidemic to street gangs. Combat sports gives children something to work toward.

Not only do they help to keep kids off the streets, but it also gives them something to be excited about and learn self-discipline in order to succeed. These sports are grueling, make no mistake about it. But they teach kids to keep going, persevere, and never give up.

In addition, kids will learn to eat better as they’re surrounded by people that have the same goals as them, wake up earlier and take initiative to get to bed on time and get rest, do their homework in order to make training, and realize their potential.

In a world full of threats it’s important kids know self-defense. If nothing else, this is the most important point in kids being active in combat sports in case they are ever in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s easy to close your eyes and imagine how you will handle yourself if ever put in a bad situation. Truth be told: it’s a lot different when it actually happens.

Muscle memory and reflex is something that everyone gains from experience training. After a while, you won’t need to think much about countering because your body will do it for you.

If a child that trains in combat sports is ever put in a bad situation, no matter how emotionally shocked they are, the time they spent training will have their back.

The lessons children learn in combat sports will stay with them for a lifetime. As adults, they will find that the lessons learned in combat can be applied to any and all situations they encounter in life.