Kelly Crigger's MMA Articles

March 2011 // Quick Hits
Taking Care Of Your Own

The number of soldiers returning from combat with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is higher than it’s been since Vietnam. Suicide, alcoholism, and homelessness are plaguing our troops, but luckily we have people who are stepping up to take care of our own, even in MMA.   Former Army Sergeant and lifelong fighter Todd Vance returned [...]

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November 2010 // Quick Hits
Fight Tested Inside And Out

The U.S. Armed Forces produce more than just the world’s best military. It also helps churn out some of the best mixed martial artists in the world. Check out these five fighters with credentials inside and outside of the cage.   RANDY COUTURE   Inside: Couture (1910) is a former three time UFC Heavyweight Champion [...]

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August 2010 // Features
The Finisher

The Trident Bookstore and Café is just how it sounds – a sleepy, pseudo hippie hangout on the west side of Boston set in an old Brownstone with several floors of reading material and acoustic tunes to enhance your reading experience. Surprisingly Kenny Florian avoids the decadent Cape Codder sandwich and orders a mandarin orange [...]

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May 2010 // Features
The Sweet Science

The history of boxing is a history of man. From the beginning of time, men have used their fists to settle scores. Ironically, Mother Nature never intended our hands to be used as offensive weapons. If they were, the bones in the hand and wrist would be tougher and the tendons would be more flexible [...]

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April 2010 // Features
The Top 20 MMA Gyms in America

Champions gravitate toward each other. Fortunately for MMA, the sport has grown to a point where ultra-talented fighters and trainers are no longer restricted to only a handful of facilities like they were five years ago. Before the 2005 explosion of MMA, there were less than ten gyms producing all the top-tier talent of the [...]

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June 2010 // MMA Life
Battle Buddies

Whether he was leading Marines or fighting in the WEC or UFC, Brian Stann had the same goal—defeat the enemy. The tactics and weapons of the Marine Corps were, of course, gallactically different than the tools of his new profession, but the end result remained the same: get close, overwhelm the adversary with superior firepower, [...]

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March 2010 // Quick Hits
Hire Heroes

Brian Stann led a Marine Company that numbered nearly 950 men at one point. Now, he leads only seven, but the rewards are no less satisfying. As the executive director of Hire Heroes USA, Stann’s mission is to provide career placement assistance in the civilian job market for returning servicemen and women when they separate [...]

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February 2010 // Features
Catch As Catch Can

Anywhere you find bored blue-collar men, you’ll find competition. It’s in our blood. Some whittle away their disinterest with camel racing, some with soccer, but the more combative types box or wrestle. In 19th century Lancashire, England, the lads who worked the local mines oftentimes found themselves with enough energy to wrestle for bets after [...]

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January 2010 // Features
The Way Of Yielding

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not traditional Japanese “jujutsu.” Let’s get that straight right now. But jujutsu’s evolution from a feudal last line of defense to today’s dominant joint-locking discipline may be the best example of a martial art adapting itself to changing environments while maintaining its core mission: to defeat a larger, stronger opponent with superior [...]

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December 2009 // Features
The Empty Hand

Judo can be directly attributed to Jigoro Kano. Sambo was the work of Vasili Oshchepkov and Viktor Spiridonov. Karate is not so lucky. It’s a nebulous maze of styles that lacks a clear path back to a single man or even to a group of men, its lineage traceable only as far back as the [...]

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October 2009 // Quick Hits
“Putting The White In Red, White and Blue”

Dana White isn’t used to walking through a crowd and not being the center of attention, much less going nearly unrecognized. But even with Kenny Florian flanking him, he is relatively anonymous at the 2009 Armed Forces Foundation Gala, despite being one of the night’s honored guests. Unless you were living in a cave and [...]

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October 2009 // Quick Hits
BOO Jitsu

Not many people aspire to fight a demonic spirit. Fedor, sure. But a ghost? Zak Bagans wants to submit one, preferably by armbar. After a close encounter with a paranormal spirit in his Detroit apartment, Bagans set out to capture an apparition on film in order to provide irrefutable evidence that ghosts exist. Along with [...]

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September 2009 // Features
Defending the Motherland

Its technical name is “Sambo.” While it’s not incorrect to translate it as “Sombo” or even “Sam,” it is actually an acronym that stands for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya, meaning “self-defense without weapons” in Russian. Like a diversified mutual fund that draws its strength from investments in a multitude of strong stocks, Sambo was created and [...]

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October 2009 // Features
The Intercepting Fist

“Rags to riches” stories are a dime a dozen. It’s almost cliché to wax poetic about a determined soul who worked his way out of austere conditions to hit the big time. But your mother always taught you that hard work pays off and were he alive today, Bruce Lee would kick you in the [...]

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July 2009 // Quick Hits
Weight Cutting Cravings

“Cut thirty-five pounds in thirty days and see if you don’t crave something,” Thiago Alves says. No thanks. Some people have a sweet tooth, but I have a sushi tooth that can’t be ignored or I chew through a rice paddy like a mole rat. Cutting weight is just a step above self-mutilation and can [...]

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August 2009 // Features
All Powers

It would be very pretentious of us to think that fighting is a modern development. Throwing fisticuffs dates back to earliest man, and even the oldest known civilizations, like ancient Babylon, knew the meaning of a good schoolyard scrap. As soon as we learned how awesome women are, we started brawling. But putting all that [...]

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July 2009 // Names in the Game
New Blood

DamienStelly Name: Damien Stelly Professional Record: 10-2 Division: Light Heavyweight Damien Stelly walked into the FIAS World Sambo Championships armed only with a desire to see how far he could go in the competition. A lifelong wrestler, he had no delusions of grandeur, but when it was all over he’d won the whole tournament in [...]

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June 2009 // Features
Maximum Efficiency Minimum Effort

“Your Jiu-Jitsu is no good here.” If T-shirts with snappy sayings had been fashionable in 1880, Jigoro Kano would have stood at the gate of Eishoji temple proudly brandishing this phrase across his chest. After studying several different styles of Jiu-Jitsu, Kano took the best parts of each, added his own principles of throwing and [...]

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June 2009 // MMA Life
A Lunch Every American Should Have

“You should have killed me when you had the chance,” Matt Hughes mutters as he holds up a gunmetal gray shirt and reads it to himself. On the shirt is a soldier with a prosthetic leg and the phrase that is apropos for the situation. Flanked by his friend and coach Marc Fiore and Army [...]

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May 2009 // Names in the Game
MMA Takes On Post Trauma Stress Disorder

“I hate being medicated,” Marine Lieutenant Lee Stuckey says through a thick Alabama accent. “But without it, I can’t sleep right. I get night tremors, sweats, the works.” Stuckey’s situation is not uncommon among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a [...]

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April 2009 // Features
The Art Of The Eight Limbs

“Khai Muay kap kum mak kup,” Mark DellaGrotte chants as he locks up his Muay Thai Academy at the end of another long day of training. As if praying, he clasps his hands together at his forehead and bows, uttering the Thai phrase that means, “Thank you for all you have given me.” Anyone walking [...]

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March 2009 // MMA Life
The How-To Guys of MMA Victory Belt

Everyone grows up eventually. After graduating college, Erich Krauss set out to live the life of a wandering writer in Spain, Morocco, Thailand, and South America while living on as little money as possible. But at thirty years old, Krauss found the vagabond lifestyle getting a bit tiring, and he decided to accomplish something with [...]

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January 2009 // MMA Life
Unmasked

There’s a difference between dreamers and visionaries. All of us dream of the way we want the world to look, but visionaries have the courage to change it. The man who would reinvent himself as a pseudo-comic book hero called “Mask” started out as a dreamer in Rancho Cucamonga, California when he was still Charles [...]

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June 2008 // Features
The Basement Legacy

“It’s gonna be crowded tonight,” a skinny guy in glasses says in an almost indecipherable language known as Bostonian. Eighteen students sprawl around a former basement apartment in various stretching positions, preparing for the intermediate Muay Thai class. A group this small wouldn’t even register in a multi-thousand square foot gym, like the gargantuan one [...]

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