Sunday, September 12, 2010

MMA comes to Manassas Park


When I started covering MMA, I was driving back and forth to Atlantic City to see fights, then fights came to DC, then to Fairfax, and now we've got MMA right in my backyard here in Manassas Park!!!

Former Mannasas Park wrestling alumni Tim Tibbs is bringing Dan "the Beast" Severn and his Danger Zone promotion to Manassas Park. UFC hall of Famer, Dan Severn has put on over 40 mixed martial arts events, and now Dangerzone is coming to Virginia. The card promises to pit some of our local talent against some of up and coming mixed martial artists from Michigan, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Manassas Park wrestling alumni Patrick Hollyfield will be making his MMA debut at the show, as well as Cory Tangen from Osborne. We had a chance to talk with Patrick about how he came to enter the cage at DangerZone!

BloodyKnux- What do you know of your opponent, Andrew Murray, age 22 out of Bone Shatter MMA in Maryland and what kind of fight do you expect him to bring for you?

Patrick Hollyfield- Unfortunately I don't know anything right now except he has been training hard for several months and has lost a lot of weight. I am sure he is confident in his ability or else he would not have signed to fight. We will see what happens the night of the fight.

BK- When and where did you start training, and where do you train now, and

what styles do you train in?

PH- I still practice TKD with co-workers that are involved in the sport and have been for over a year. I have always been a heavier guy and struggled with my weight but that never kept me out of sports. I wrestled in HS and played softball for the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) softball team. Although I am heavier than the other guys, I played left field and they respected my abilities.

BK-With your background in wrestling and your experience in Taekwondo do you consider yourself a grappler or a striker?

PH- I like hitting people but am not afraid of the ground game either. I hope to be able to do both when needed. Wrestling has given me the ability to think on my feet. I helped coach a middle school wrestling team and I told the boys "wrestling is like being in a building that is on fire, if you know where the exits are then you get out safe, if you don't then you are done. When you wrestle if you know several ways out of a situation then you are safe, otherwise you are done".

BK- While competing in other combat sports like wrestling where have you been

able to travel and compete?

PH- I have fought in a few TKD tournaments but have been all local facilities. I had to go to Georgia in order to test for my black belt. I attended Naval Post Graduate School (NPS TDK) here in Stafford for around five years in order to get my belt. I consider it all great experience.

BK- Who are you inspirations in martial arts?

PH- Of course you have to include Bruce Lee, but also Jet Li as well as Jason Statham. I love to watch guys that are strikers as well ans wrestlers. You never know when a standing fight will go to the ground.

BK- How did you first get exposed to MMA?

PH- A friend of mine Tim Tangen called and asked me to go to an amateur fight in Winchester. I went and thought it was great. These guys were every-day guys that wanted to test their skills and see what they are made of. it interested me so that is why I decided to give it a try.

BK- How did you get started in MMA?

PH- This is my first fight. I am not your standard MMA fighter. I am 44 years old, married with 4 kids and I am a computer specialist for the Department of Navy. I am a heavy guy but love sports. I hope that I can relay to someone that although you might strugle with your weight and carry extra pounds that you should never give up trying. Exercise and do the best you can all the time and there is no shame in that. Being healthy is what you are striving for. Not everyone will have that skimmer's build or have ripped abs, but never stop trying to better yourself and see what happens.

BK- What brings you to MMA, what motivates you to compete in this sport?

PH- As a blackbelt and a former wrestler you always want to know what your skills can do against an opponent. I can imagine every type of scenario in your head and in every situation I know just what to do. However when I face an opponent in which I have no idea how he will respond then it's a new ballgame. I don't know how fast he is or what he will come at me with. It goes back to being able to think on your feet, respond both physically and mentally. It makes to aware of your surroundings more and brings all your senses to life.

BK- As alumni from Manassas Park's wrestling program how do you feel about

fighting in Manassas Park?

PH- On the one hand it is great. There are friends I grew up with that will be there. I live in Stafford, but the Park will always be my hometown. I want to represent myself as well and any coach I have ever had to the best of my ability. On the other hand I am nervous about letting my friends down and not being my best. Being a part of the wrestling team for Manassas Park is one of the greatest things I will ever do in my life. Last year myself and three other former wrestlers went to see our high school coach Mark Bowersox. I have not seen him in over twenty years and yet I still feel about him now as I did then. I have the highest level of respect for him as a coach and human being. His life mission it seemed was to help young men realize their potential and then work to achieve it. I can never stress the importance of a positive attitude, and he gave me that all the time.

Check out Manassas Park's first event Saturday September 18th at the Manassas Park Community Center - 99 ADAMS STREET MANASSAS PARK VA 20111

For ticket information visit http://www.the-dangerzone.com

Manassas Park Hall of Famer Tim Tibbs and UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn

Doors open at 7pm TO MEET 'THE BEAST' also Elite XC and Bellator star Wilson Reis will be in attendance- Show begins at 8pm

- Jim "DC Books" Kirkland