One Gold, 3 Silver, and 1 Bronze Medal from WAKO/IBJJF at UFC Fan EXPO
The Cellar Gym traveled to Las Vegas, NV to compete in the 2015 WAKO North American Kickboxing Championships. Last year this tournament was held in partnership with the Mr. Olympia Fitness convention, but this year WAKO partnered up with the UFC and was held during the UFC Fan Expo at the Sands Convention Center. The energy in this place was insane as the build up for the McGregor vs Mendes fight reached it’s max! The Cellar had four fighters competing at the event: Ryan Sternberg, Antonio Dvorak, Ian Greer, and Shahar Journo.
Ryan Sternberg was first up for the team as he drew Joseph LoCicero in the opening round of the 4-man bracket. The two had a close first round, but Ryan turned it up in the 2nd and 3rd rounds to get the judges decision. In the finals Ryan faced Chris Burgett in a rematch from the finals of the 2014 tournament. The two battled back and forth once again, but Chris edged out Ryan with the decision; Ryan took the silver medal.
Ian Greer was up next, after getting a bye in the first round, he faced Team USA Kickboxing member, Adam Poore in the finals. It was a great match of opposing styles. Adam was the busier fighter with combinations and footwork, but Adam landed the stronger, more effective strikes, smashing Adam’s legs and dropping Adam with a strong left hand. In the end, the judges sided with the busy style of Adam and Ian took the silver medal.
Antonio Dvorak was only in a two person division of Super Heavyweights. His opponent had apparently told tournament organizers that he had planned to knock out Antonio early in the fight, so that gave Antonio a little extra motivation going into this match. Antonio was also lucky to have UFC/Glory/K-1 Superstar and friend, Pat Barry help out in his corner alongside Coach Chris. Antonio came out swinging with great punches and dropped Noe Tarango twice with head kicks before finishing the fight in the 2nd round via 3-knockdown rule. Antonio wins the gold medal by TKO!
Last up for The Cellar was Shahar Journo who bravely traveled to Las Vegas to compete in his first ever kickboxing fight in the novice division of the tournament. Shahar was facing a novice fighter that had 3 fights experience, but Shahar was up for the challenge. The two battled back and forth for 3 rounds with Shahar landing some great low kicks and easily winning the third round, but unfortunately it was too little too late, he lost the judges decision and took the silver medal. It was still a fantastic performance for his first ever fight.
In addition to our kickboxing competitors, youth BJJ student Javen Guzik also traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the IBJJF American Nationals, also a part of the UFC Fan Expo. Javen took home the bronze medal in his gi division!
Congratulations to all of our competitors!