Team Spotlight: Fightworks MMA

Fight Works MMA with their head coaches Brandy Quiocho (bottom left) and Pete Brooks (bottom right)

Founder: Brandy Quiocho

Year Founded: May 27, 2012

Brandy is former MMA practitioner himself, a father of two lovely girls and a very considerate coach to his pupils.

Quiocho started training BJJ with fast-rising MMA lightweight prospect, Isaiah “Ice” Ordiz and Manny Jimenez. He and his buddies at first, tried some BJJ tourneys, until one day, he found himself in front of a computer searching muay thai techniques through YouTube. Brandy really researched everything from the basics of Thai boxing, from how to properly hold the mitts to other basic things that a beginner should learn in the awesome sport of muay thai. Of course, with the help of Ordiz, Brandy integrated their grappling skills with their newly acquired Thai boxing expertise.

After honing their striking and ground skills, they entered in several amateur MMA competitions until they met the URCC Cruiserweight champion, Pete “The Professor” Brooks, who helped them with a lot of things that are related to training MMA.

“I came up with the name “Fightworks” with the agreement from Pete Brooks. Fighters from our team were kids from the streets like “tambays” construction workers (Out of school youth). I simply ask them if they wanna be fighters, some stayed and became fighters but some did not and left because of the hard training probably.”

Being a head coach and a gym owner at the same time is very difficult, especially when you don’t have enough resources to sustain other expenses that might occur in the future and no one would like to support your fighters whenever they have an up coming fight. But despite of the hardships, Brandy, still, persisted and continued to train young fighters in San Pedro, Laguna, because he knows that changing someone’s perspective in life through martial arts is priceless.

“The main reason I continued as a head coach and orchestrator is for my young fighters na nakikita kong nagkaka silbi ang buhay, it became a passion and didn’t realize the program is being effective for the team.”

Fight Works MMA’s Top 5 Fighters:

1. Isaiah “Ice” Ordiz

Currently signed by Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC)

Record: 2-1

2. Ernesto Montilla Jr.

Currently signed by Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC)

Record: 2-1

3. Rolando Dy 

Currently signed by Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC)

Record: 3-2

4. Venson Delopre

Record (amateur): 3-2

5. Carlo Laurel

Record: 10-2

Other up and coming fighters:

Francis Gajita and Jhayson Alcantara.

(Fightworks MMA is located at Pacita Complex, San Pedro, Laguna.)

Fighworks MMA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fightworksmma

Mark Striegl Inks A Sponsorship Deal With Vibram FiveFiingers Philippines

Filipino-American Featherweight phenom continues his journey to be one of Asia’s finest MMA fighters as he is now the newest endorser of arguably the most famous footwear for athletes today, Vibram FiveFingers Philippines.

Boasting a 12-0 (10 via submissions and 2 via decisions) in his pro MMA record, Striegl is undoubtedly one of the best MMA fighters Philippines has ever produced. Striegl is the first-ever Filipino fighter to be sponsored by Vibram FiveFingers Philippines.

Striegl is currently signed under Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC) and will make his third PXC appearance in August against Japanese MMA vet Takumi Nakayama, who successfully made his PXC debut against tough Hawaii fighter, Jonny Pecyna. Striegl and Nakayama will be the second round of the PXC’s four-man featherweight tournament. The first round was held last weekend at PXC 37 between Jang Yong Kim of South Korea versus Hawaii’s Nate Thorell. Kim submitted Thorell by way of first round submission victory (kimura) and catapults himself into the tournament finals and waiting for the winner between Nakayama and Striegl.

Newly-Signed ONE FC Fighter, Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton All Set To Climb 155 lbs. Ladder

With big names such as Shinya Aoki, Eduard Folayang, Eddie Ng, Kotetsu Boku, Zorobabel Moreira, Peter Davis,  and Lowen Tynanes, One FC’s lightweight division arguably the most stacked and exciting weight class in any Asian MMA promotion today.

With the continuous admiration of fight fans around the world, One Fighting Championship keeps on signing world-class talents who can be their biggest assets in years to come.

The latest addition to the ultra-talented One FC lightweight division is the Canadian-Costa Rican submissinon specialist, Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton (7-2-1).

Sexton is part Canadian and part Costa Rican. He was born and raised in Vancouver Canada and at 20 years old, he moved to Costa Rica.

He is a BJJ black belt under the tutelage Ryan, Renzo and Daniel of the Gracie family. His first teacher was Mauro Sergio, a BJJ black belt from Ryan Gracie. The Canadia-Costa Rican fighter loves all types of sports and martial arts. He is currently training at his own gym in Costa Rica at Athletic Advance. He is an MMA veteran who fought all over the world in many organizations and has won a few titles in MMA and BJJ, and he was also part of UFC’s reality show, TUF season 12.

I don’t know if how many fighters in the fight business today has the coolest nicknames, but Ariel Sexton in my opinion has one of the most unique moniker in the industry. He is called “Tarzan” whenever he is inside the cage.

“My nickname is “Tarzan” because when I first came to Costa Rica, I was to visit my family and stay for two months. Then that turned into 2 years without even going home. Obviously, it was because I found BJJ and wanted to stay. My friends in Canada think we live in trees in the jungle and were bugging me and said I’m like Tarzan..It stuck, plus I’m the king of the jungle.” Ariel said.

With “Tarzan” being the latest addition to the stacked One FC lightweight division, he is for sure, one of those fighters who fans are interested to see inside the cage as he comes from a good BJJ background. He is very thankful and pumped for the opportunity to fight in Asia’s biggest MMA promotion.

“I have always loved the Orient and follow many customs they have. I started fighting MMA because of watching Pride FC. I always wanted to fight in a place where they respect you not only for winning, but for your lifestyle and samurai spirit. For the last year, I have thought and investigated One FC. I wanted to get into that organization badly. With the help from friend and fellow fighter, “The Super Korean” Denis Kang, my goal was reached. This is the biggest and important event in my life to date. I will take it the utter most serious and will show the Asian public just how pro I am.”

Sexton has a six-fight deal with One FC. The lightweight prodigy from Costa Rica looks to make his debut against one of Asia’s rising prospect, Peter Davis on June 15th in associate organization and Malaysia’s biggest MMA league, MIMMA (Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts).

“I’m signed for 6 fights and want to make my debut as soon as possible. They have me on a waiting list because they have a ton of ready fighters. I was told that my first fight will be in Malaysia this June 15th in an affiliate organization called MIMMA. But was assured that I’ll be very active and fighting more often than not.”

Sexton has trained with the best people in the industry at some of the outstanding MMA gyms in the world. Though he started honing his skills under Renzo Gracie in New York, Sexton’s hunger to be a well-rounded fighter brought him to try visiting several gyms, who later helped him on becoming a deadly MMA fighter.

“Ever since I started training MMA seriously, I would do all my camps at Renzo Gracie Academy in NYC. Over the last 6 years, my MMA mentor has been the legendary Daniel Gracie. He has opened many doors and helped me grow as a fighter and person. I have also done camps with the Mark Dellagrote Muay Thai School in Boston and with The Edge Wrestling Team in Hoboken, New Jersey. My team in Costa Rica is top notch and also is more than a notable mention amongst these other schools.”

Training indeed with Daniel and Renzo Gracie made Sexton a better fighter inside and outside the cage. His game, personality and outlook in life changed ever since training with these amazing people,

“Well, when you get to train with people that are better than you and have been there before, it helps to minimize your errors and keeps you very humble. I have always had a great personality towards helping others and staying grounded.”

When asked on what are his biggest strengths and the things he need to work on the most,

“I would have to say my biggest strength is my heart and my preparation for bouts; over worker who never complains and does more than expected. As for the fighting, my speed and agility has not been matched, and my strength is like a middleweight. I need to work on everything because if I want to be a champ, I’m going to need to be the best in every area. BJJ is good, wrestling is fair and striking is descent. You will be the judge!”

Tarzan is a fighter who is comfortable to take the fight on both standing up or ground. Once he takes you down, he will impose his will on you and grinds you until you commit an error. His grappling is world-class and he has this striking who he developed during his training at Mark Dellagrote Muay Thai School in Boston. Despite of being such a good fighter, Sexton hates on calling opponents out,

“I don’t like to call out fighters because it’s a bit cocky, but I want the top level guys to show my top level game.”

Sexton defined what it means to be a fighter:

“Fighting to me is to have goals and reach them, to set your self apart from the ordinary person, to make sacrifices and maybe not live the normal 9-5 job with a steady pay and have security in your future. But to inspire other that if you love something and want to do a certain job to go after it and never stop until you fulfilled yourself. I enjoy the daily grind of taking your body beyond its limits and pushing your mental edge until it breaks down. I love the feeling of winning after a great camp and having people say “Wow, how did you do that, I wanna learn. Fighting has to be in your mind, body and soul; you have to be born with it.”

Being a lightweight fighter fighting under the One FC brand, Sexton is aware that the current lightweight champion is a great fighter and one of the most feared fighters in the world today. He respect Aoki, but if he would get a chance to fight him, he’ll push the pace and shock the world.

“Aoki is a great BJJ and MMA fighter. I think he has to be the most dangerous guy on the ground out there. He is a champion and always will be. I have a great amount of skills and determination to win my fights and first, I’ll concentrate on my bout coming up. But if I would get the honor to fight the champ, I would push the pace and shock the world.”

Costa Rican MMA fighters are not that really making huge buzz in the MMA world, except for Sexton, who is probably the most successful MMA fighter in Costa Rica today. But talent wise, there are a lot of skillful fighters down there.

“MMA in Costa Rica is very big and has been around for about 10 years. We have the highest level in Central and Latin America. Our only problem is that we are shadowed by soccer and it is very hard to get sponsors and even recognition. We have fighters that are fighting in Europe, Canada, USA, all over Latin America and now in Asia. We are so talented that we only export so the world knows of Costa Rica.” Sexton said.

Three more weeks until his much-awaited fight in Asia, “Tarzan” is working his tail off to impress thousands of One FC fans, and he promised to give very exciting and entertaining fight for his Asian MMA fans,

“Expect from me in my One FC fights to push the pace, throw bombs, flying knees, always the fight of the night, hard ground and pound with jiu jitsu scramble ability that crowds love. Plus, I can talk great and I always love to be in front of the camera, a true showman that respects others and wishes the best to the One FC family. See you soon!