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Pride has Four New World Champions!

Edmond Oklahoma brought home four World Titles at the TBA Muay Thai Classic this weekend in Des Moines Iowa.  

Kickboxers from Pride Mixed Martial Arts competed in the tenth annual TBA Muay Thai Classic tournament that saw over five hundred competitors from twenty-eight states and four countries.

Kannon Manis- 2016 TBA Mens Super Lightweight World Champion

Cade Garrett- 2016 TBA Junior Boys Heavyweight World Champion

Brandon Vann- 2016 TBA Junior Boys Middleweight World Champion

Mia McGinty- 2016 TBA Junior Girls Pinweight World Champion

Eden Eastman- 2016 TBA Muay Thai Classic Silver Medalist

Keelie Cargill- 2016 TBA Muay Thai Classic Silver Medalist

Josh Trevino- You never know how a fighter will do their first time competing.  The crowd, the pressure, the nerves, they all add up.  Josh fought three hard rounds against a shorter, stockier opponent.  There were some great exchanges.  Ultimately, Josh let the nerves get the best of him and strayed from the game plan.  Instead of using his speed and footwork, he decided to play the big man’s game and stand toe to toe and trade licks….until he ran out of gas.

It was a great fight against a great opponent.  Josh has tremendous talent.  Now that we have the first one out of the way, it’s time to get back to work.

Eden Eastman- 2016 TBA Muay Thai Classic Silver Medalist

This was Eden’s first fight and definitely not his last!  He fought a taller, more experienced kid.  He showed a lot of heart and determination and backed away.  He made some simple firsts-timer mistakes that we will fix in training.  This kid has a great attitude and maturity about competition that is rare for kids his age.  He is definitely a future Champion.

Mia McGinty- 2016 TBA Junior Girls Pinweight World Champion

This was a close fight between two determined athletes.  Her opponent had great boxing and used her reach advantage well.  Mia stuck to the game plan and kept chopping that front leg.  Both fighters were exhausted, but Mia pushed past pain and fatigue to capture the title.  

Brandon Vann- 2016 TBA Junior Boys Middleweight World Champion

This kid was hungry!  Brandon went full beast mode keeping constant pressure on his opponent.  After his loss last year, Brandon came back with the right attitude and tools to capture the title.  It was a great fight against a tough, skilled opponent.

Jack Manis- One thing you can say about Jack is that he is always willing to fight.  He has a lot of heart and is an inspiration to all that know him.  He fought in one of the toughest junior divisions against a strong and experienced opponent.  Jack is a brawler, he loves to get in close and mix it up.  His opponent, shorter and stockier, out worked him in the clinch.  Jack didn’t stick with the game plan of using his reach advantage with his boxing and it cost him.  We learn a lot from our losses.  This is no different.  Jack was born for this, he will be back! 

Keelie Cargill- 2016 TBA Muay Thai Classic Silver Medalist

Fought two extremely talented opponents.  First fight was an excellent display of Muay Thai from both opponents.  Keelie stunned her opponent with an elbow in round two and turned up the pressure and intensity in round three.  She advanced to the finals.

She lost her fight in the finals to a bad decision (that is currently up for review).  She dominated her opponent for two out of three rounds, with a third being questionable.  I don’t want to make anything away from her opponent.  She fought hard and well.  I’ll let the video of the fight speak for itself.

Keelie has really turned the corner with her training and it showed.  These last two fights were her best performance to date.  I am proud of how far she has come.  Sometimes the judges don’t see it your way.  How you handle disappointment and defeat speaks a lot about your character.  She handled like a true Champion.  She will be back!

Kannon Manis- 2016 TBA Mens Super Lightweight World Champion

Now two-time World Champion, Kannon Manis returned to capture his second World Title. His opponents were just as hungry to win as he was which made his bouts some of the most exciting to watch,

Kannon used his kicks to set up his clinch game where he put on a knee clinic.  His clinch game has gotten extremely slick.  Kannon has calm and focused and stuck to the plan perfectly.  When talent meets hard work you get Kannon Manis.

Cade Garrett- 2016 TBA Junior Boys Heavyweight World Champion

There’s a reason we call him Sharknado!  Cade is one of the most talented fighters I have ever trained.  His talent is only matched by his work ethic.  Cade is a machine.  He is a now two-time World Muay Thai Champion.

His first bout, he fought an extremely tough, determined kid (who I know will go far in this sport).  I am surprised his opponent was still standing at the end of the fight.  Cade hit him with everything, and he kept coming back.  He just didn’t have the tools to beat Sharknado.

Cade’s second opponent didn’t make weight and had to forfeit.  I am always disappointed when fighters don’t make weight, especially at a tournament like this.  The kid made weight on Thursday, got the bye on Saturday, and was allowed a 1% weight increase on Sunday.  Oh well..

No one becomes a champion on their own.  Proverbs 27:17 says, “As Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Pride is a family, and when one of us is victorious we all are victorious.  Our success is shared through the blood, sweat, and tears we all poured out together in training sharpening one another.  

I am extremely proud of our team.  Not, because of the belts and accolades.  I am proud of them because through victory and defeat they were humble, gracious, and respectful.  They encouraged one another, they lifted each other up.  They showed the true character of a Champion.  

Thanks for reading,

Coach Epps