This past weekend Ivey League MMA took to the road in a minivan and headed south, down to Virginia Beach to take part in a Kickboxing/Boxing event.
This event was hosted by our friends at OutFox Mix Martial Arts. A sister school run by my close friend and training partner Jose Villarisco.
This type of event is called “Smoker Fights”. Oh wait a second, real quick let me go over how smoker fights work and all that.
Smoker fights are exhibition fights that can be in Boxing, Thai Boxing or sometimes MMA. Most of the time they’re held at a gym, sometimes local and sometimes far away.
Smoker fights are a great way to help get up and coming fighters more comfortable being in front of a large crowd, which can be highly stressful if not used to it.
Smoker fights don’t count for a win or a loss. It’s not amateur or pro level. The true purpose of this type of event is to gain experience.
If that takes place and lessons are learned, consider it a success. As a fighter, or someone looking to start out slow, smoker fights are the perfect venue.
Think about it, You get to fight in front of a crowd in a safe, pressure-free, friendly environment. And you learn a TON.
You don’t have to worry about winning or losing. You just have to focus on your skills and go out and fight. Very little pressure on the fighter.
What you’ll learn about yourself during a smoker fight is invaluable. Both for the student and coaching staff. It’s a win-win situation.
We do our best to get involved in as many smoker fight type shows as possible and here at Ivey League we’ve been taking fighters to smoker events for over 8 years now.
Does all that make sense? I hope so. Okay cool now let’s talk about this particular event in Va Beach and how Ivey League Mixed Martial Arts stacked up.
I also wanna say that the road trip down to Va Beach in the IL Van was almost as fun as the fights themselves.
The kind of Fun you’d find at a summer camp. You know, with plenty of pranks and jokes that only a bunch of boys would truly understand. The downside is the van now smells like a frat house 🙂
Okay onto the fights.
Who fought and how they did.
We sent three of our best students to compete. Magnus Benz, Thor Davis and Joe “Huggybear” Huggins all stepped up to fight.
Proud of them is one way you could put it. No really man, they were awesome and really put on a show for the coaches and fans in attendance.
Read on below for the full rundown of their fights and how everything played out.
Huggy Bear ends up in a highly technical battle
Joe Huggins, or better known as “Huggy bear” around Annapolis, was fight #5 of the night. After multiple changes in opponents when the dust settled he ended up with a really good opponent.
I can’t remember the guys name but he was super nice and also super skilled at the art of Thai Boxing. By skilled I mean very skilled.
How skilled you ask? Well he’s fought on the under card for Glory Fights, one of the toughest and most high level Muay Thai Kick Boxing shows in the world.
All that skill is fine and dandy, but it didn’t matter to Huggy, he came to put on a show and fight, and that’s exactly what happened.
The fight started off with some good combos being traded back and forth with a few head kicks mixed in.
Thankfully Huggy understands the fundamental skill of keeping your hands up and avoided being sent to the canvas.
The fight went all 3 rounds and those in attendance were treated to some really smooth, technical Muay Thai.
Because it was a smoker, They don’t pick a winner if the fight goes the distance so it was declared a draw.
What a great fight really. Huggy and his opponent paid respect to each other and acknowledged the show they’d given everyone. Very cool.
Fight 6 – Thor makes his comeback!
The last to fight for Ivey League was the big man himself, Thor Davis. This was Thor’s first time back in a ring or cage in almost 3 years. It’s safe to say he was more than eager to get going.
I should point out also that if you’ve ever seen this guy then you know how big and intimidating he is.
This monster stands freaking 6’5 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds (on a good day). Yes he’s big as crap, and very heavy and also super athletic.
And to top it off, he’s got skill too. I mean, let’s be honest here, I wouldn’t wanna fight him that’s a fact.
So yea round one kicks off and Thor wastes no time at all going to town with strikes.
He landed everything from uppercuts to overhand rights to knees to what ended up being the fight stopper, a left leg switch kick to the head late in round 2.
I’ve really gotta give Thor’s opponent a lot of credit. This guy was one of the toughest bastards I’ve seen fight.
Thor hits like a ton of bricks, with his hands and legs, and this guy took it all till that switch kick, and kept coming forward.
Respect. That is all.
And what about Magnus…yeah about that.
Last but definite not least was 14 year old standout kid Magnus Benz. So okay Magnus was supposed to be the first fight of the night to kick things off.
This was also supposed to be his Boxing debut. Well it Didn’t happen. Unfortunately his opponent failed to make weight and the fight was called off.
Obviously, Magnus was totally bummed, as were we. It stinks but at the same time it’s going to happen from time to time to all fighters.
You just have to deal with it and move on. The good news is Magnus plans to bounce back on May 7th in Baltimore.
When it was all said and done, there’s little doubt, progress is being made.
So all in all it ended up being a great trip for everyone. The Ivey League Fighters looked good and for sure showed marked signs of improvement. That’s what we like to see.
Huge thanks to Coach Nick Kisner, Mouth, Sean, Matt Hawkins, and the Johnson family. You guys made the trip a really fun time and I’d do it again in heartbeat.
I’d like to send a huge thank you and shout out to OutFox MMA and all the fighters and gyms that took part in what turned out to be an amazing event.
Next up for the fight team is Boxing on the 7th of May, an MMA Event in VA on the 28th and Jeff makes his comeback on June 25th at Strike Off in Annandale Virginia. Stay tuned!