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Blessed with Venom: Sino Safarov

Sino and I met when he walked into the gym one day at Team Nogueira Dubai. He’s a Tajikistan native with a background in the Russian martial art of Sambo and wrestling. What sets Sino apart is his dedication to perfecting his trade. Always eager to learn, even when class was over, he would pull me aside and ask me …

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Black Samurai: The Misadventures of a Black American MMA Fighter in Japan

Growing up, I didn’t really read comic books. It wasn’t until I moved to Tokyo that I would learn more about them. In Japan, Ashita no Joe (Tomorrow’s Joe) & Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit) are two popular boxing about a young boy that learn to face obstacles head and achieve their dreams as professional boxers. One day I was …

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Blessed with Venom: Amit Thapa

Amit Thapa is another great fighter that I had the honor of coaching. A native of Mumbai, India, Amit moved to Dubai to pursue a career in MMA and as a personal trainer the fitness industry. Amit and I met when he joined us during our pro MMA training at Team Nogueira Dubai. He’s a strong Muay Thai kickboxer and was …

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Tunnel Visions: Memoirs of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion

When I retired from the sport of MMA in 2009, one might say that it was before the sport really took off; before it was mainstream. What many do not know is that the sport had thrived in Japan for years. This is my story as a young teenager with a dream to become a professional mixed martial artist. The …

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Blessed with Venom: Ali Ahli

During my time coaching in Dubai, I had the pleasure of working with another athlete that  really made me remember why I love coaching in the first place. His name is Ali Ahl. Ali is Emirati; a native of the United Arab Emirates. He is one of the most humble and coachable athletes that I have had the honor of …

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That time we were on House Hunters International

When I accepted the job as head MMA coach at Team Nogueira Dubai, we had no idea what life in the Middle East would be like. We filmed House Hunters International in Dubai. It was cool to have the crew come into the gym, film students training, etc. Everyone really enjoyed it! We had hopes of filming another episode in preparation …

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Juggs vs Japan: A Documentary on MMA in Japan

Once upon a time, Japan was the mecca of the mixed martial arts. Many of the sport’s best coaches got their start in the Land of the Rising Sun. Do the name’s Ken and Frank Shamrock ring a bell? How about Erik Paulson and Washington state native, Matt Hume? These are just a few MMA legends whose roots can be …

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Blessed with Venom: Mounir Lazzez

During my years working as the head MMA coach at Team Nogueira Dubai, I was presented with the a great opportunity: To help put Team Nogueira on the map in the region as the home of MMA champions. I had the honor of working with many great athletes. One that come to mind is Mounir Lazzez of Tunisia. On March …

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A Couple that Trains Together, Stays Together:).

Before embarking on your dream to open Fight Gods MMA Academy in Seattle, WA, we took a six month sabbatical to travel and train in Thailand. Relaxing on the beautiful beaches is great but, it couldn’t top training together in paradise. Big thanks to Phuket Top Team! A couple that trains together, stays together:). Invite your significant other to join you …