“Gator MMA Dominates NAGA”
Gator MMA is not a place where you will see black belts being earned. You won’t find any hot
heads trying to prove they are the king of the jungle. You surely won’t find hostility or envy of one another’s abilities. Upon arriving at the gym you will find dedication, determination, and a family atmosphere like few others. You are sure to find decorated martial artists spanning a wide range of disciplines. The coaching staff is made up of variety of people representing an even broader variety of martial arts. Their ages range as far as their diverse disciplines. The fight team, Team Assassin, is made up of young hungry fighters. Each of them is trying to become the best martial artists that they can be. Outside of the 22 foot cage that calls Gator MMA its home, you will find the matted floors full of wrestlers and Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Lining the far wall you will find numerous punching/kicking bags hanging from the roof. The equipment available to anyone interested is vast, but it is not the equipment that makes Gator MMA a place worth spending your time. The key factor in the success of this gym, believe it or not, is technique.
Technique is the key essential factor behind their success. Gator MMA is a very unorthodox
gym. They teach in unorthodox ways, but they teach technique. Technique is key to the success of any practitioner, whether in tournaments or in the cage. Coach Daniel Blevins commonly says “It’s not about wins or losses, it’s about technique”. That is seen quite often amongst the members that call Gator MMA their home gym. You won’t see someone go off in anger or be disrespectful for being tapped out or having a bad sparring session. What you will see is someone get tapped out and immediately consult one of the coaches on how they can avoid that next time. Even the coaches are not exempt from learning. You will often find any one of the coaches learning from each other as well as anyone else in the gym. One of the more decorated coaches is not at all what you think. He is a 7 year old with a work ethic unlike all others. He is rarely pushed by others; he pushes himself with his own determination to be great. Not only is he the first child athlete to have a clothing line through Fear the Fighter, but he is a highly decorated grappling champion. Ethan is surely a great representative of the future of the sport. He takes time out of his own training to teach new students at the gym, truly defining the deed of paying it forward.
This higher level of learning was on display this weekend at the NAGA Pan Am
tournament in Lakeland, FL. Gator MMA was represented by 6 competitors in 7 divisions, with
Ethan competing in 2 divisions. Of those 7 divisions, the Gator MMA team took 1st place in 4 of
them and 2nd place in the other 3. That is nothing short of amazing for a gym that is redefining
how to learn. For a gym that is so unorthodox, domination like this gains attention. It sparks
interest from other gyms, other fighters, and most importantly furthers the evolution of mixed
martial arts. As Gator MMA/Team Assassin gets ready to host their 1st MMA event, the gym is
well represented at one of the largest Jiu Jitsu tournaments in the world.
The Results are as follows:
Ethan “Lionheart” Blevins: 1st place Expert No-Gi division
Ethan “Lionheart” Blevins: 1st place Expert Gi division
Juan Marty Jr (Ethan’s training partner, also future MMA fighter): 1st place Beginner No-Gi
Dean Stupar: 1st place Expert No-Gi division (defeated a pro MMA fighter in the final round)
Fritz LaForest: 2nd place Beginner No-Gi division
Christa “Half Pint” Marty: 2nd place Beginner No-Gi division
Preston “Leo” LeGrand: 2nd place Beginner No-Gi division
(Divisions are separated by weight classes)
Saturday December 15th, Gator MMA will host their 1st MMA event. Global MMA Fight
Championships: Beach Brawl will be held live at BOGIES BEACH BAR in Pinellis Park, FL.
The doors will open at 1:30pm, the fights start at 2:30pm. This fight card features a title fight
with Team Assassin member Ladarious Jackson. Dean Stupar and Zenon Herrera, also of Team
Assassin, will also be on this fight card.
You can find out more about this fight card and Gator MMA in general here:
Watch the videos of NAGA and all Gator MMA videos here: