Gut Check Championship Series pulled off another triumphant evening of fights last Saturday, September 24th. The region’s premier promotion for kickboxing and Muay Thai has been on a hot streak of events this year, and this one was no different. With roughly half the fights on the card ending in a finish, it was an action-packed evening fans won’t soon forget.
The main event saw the Gut Check 155 pound Muay Thai title, recently vacated, up for grabs. Top Flight MMA’s Doug Addison, who is trained by UFC Veteran Ron Stallings, took on the unorthodox Nathan Maul out of High Voltage, walking away victorious.
In the co-main, highly-touted prospect Jay Delgado, teammate of UFC fighters such as Joe Pyfer, made his amateur debut. In his way was the experienced and talented Octavious Slaughter, who showed off a diverse array of striking skills.
This card also featured an exciting scrap between Justin Bonner-Lui and Dorendra Persaud at 135 pounds, as well as exciting finishes from Jake Mcgee, Seamus Lonergan, and Lumison Jean.
Before the action got started, Henry Smythe was able to sit down with a few of the fighters and discuss their background, preparation, and thoughts on their matchups.
Henry Smythe: So, I was hoping you could tell me alittle bit about your experience and what gym you’re fighting out of. Also, I know it’s been a little while away from the ring for you – what’s led you to make your return?
Isaac Glendening: I started Muay Thai to get myself in shape. I used to be 300 pounds and it got me in the best shape of my life. I fought a bit, took on a coaching role, and then I just felt like it was time to get back in there and do the thing I like to do the most. Do my thing, basically.
M: In terms of training, have you done anything differently? I know you’ve been over at Rami Elite, as well as your own gym, Jai Singh. Did you anything in preparation for this fight specifically?
I: The whole experience was different because I’m used to a different camp. It was a completely different approach, from the way I cut weight, to the running, to the padwork – but it was awesome. I really had a fun time learning and I really enjoy learning and I feel like it made sense to me.
M: In terms of the stylistic matchup, what do you feel like your advantages are? Do you have a game plan you’re going to try to implement?
I: The little I know is that he’s got a very MMA style and he’s southpaw. It’s just going to be bread-and-butter Muay Thai being effective against all other striking styles. There’s a reason why Muay Thai is the dominant striking art in the UFC.
M: Any predictions?
I: I’m gonna win. Whatever it takes, whatever I gotta do. I’ll listen to my corner, follow directions, and win.
Henry Smythe: First question – tell me a little bit about your background and your experience.
Jay Delgado: I’ve been training for about six, seven years now. Training with the same coach, same team – it’s been a blessing to be able to be trained by John Marquez and Daniel Gracie and all those top guys – to experience that at a young age. It’s inspiring. It made me want to chase my dream more. These guys – the expect so much. So I have to live up to those expectations, go out there and put in work.
M: Absolutely man, you do. That’s one of the best parts of having a good team.
J: My team is my family, without them, I wouldn’t be nowhere.
M: That leads right into my next question – you’re up at Marquez, training with elite guys, some of the best in the world every day – did you do anything differently for this camp or was it just business as usual in the gym?
J: Not really man. Everything was pretty much the same. Same Patricktern, different aggression.
M: I hear through the grapevine about the work you put in at the gym. Guys in the UFC talking about this Jay Delgado kid – what’s that like for you, training with guys that are in the spotlight?
J: It’s inspiring man. To see what they go through – mentally, physically – it makes you wanna push. You might be tired one day and then you see this guy going hard as hell on the pads. It motivates you, it uplifts you. It’s been a blessing being with my team and my coaches. I give it all to them.
M: That’s what I like to hear. Let’s talk about the stylistic matchup a little bit – obviously this is your debut, but how do you feel your skills might match up? What will your advantages be?
J: To be honest, I don’t think I think about it like that. I don’t want to sit up here like “oh yeah I’m better than him” because there’s always someone better. That’s why I just keep the same mindset, just go out there and work. It’s time to work. I’m expecting to pressure and everything, but it’s the same gameplan – just go out there and work.
M: Do you feel any pressure to be in the co-main event?
J: It’s a blessing for sure.
M: Any predictions?
J: We’ll see. We’re just gonna go out there and rock out.
Henry Smythe: How are you feeling?
Nathan Maul: I’ve got that warm feeling in my chest. But that always happens.
M: That’s how you know you’re gonna be in a fight. First thing I wanted to get was your thoughts on fighting for a belt. What does it mean to you at this point in your career?
N: To some people, I feel like it means everything. But for me, it’s like cool to have – but at the same time, it’s just an achievement. It’s like my black belt – it takes so long to get it, but once you have it, as my Sensei says, it doesn’t really mean anything. The journey is what’s important. Today it’s gonna feel like that – it took me seven years to get my black belt, but my fights up till now feel that same way.
M: Tell me a little about your background – the gym you train out of, your experience – what’s your relationship to martial arts?
N: I grew up pretty much as a fan. I grew up watching Power Rangers and going, “I want to be a Power Ranger.” As the years progressed I became a fan of Asian cinema: Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and those guys. And then when I was 16 I told my mom I was gonna get a job and start taking Karate. Right after high school I found High Voltage MMA right down the road. I’ve been there since 2012 – ten plus years now. Me and my Sensei really have one mind now.
M: Did you do anything differently to train for this fight?
N: This time around it was last minute. My Sensei texted me last Saturday like, “what do you think?” This whole week was just mind-rattling. I have work, I’ve been trying to get together with my trainers… I did also spar with a bunch of other guys at CFS Academy, I was up there a few times.
M: Stylistically, what do you think about the matchup?
N: I didn’t really search anything about my opponent. I’ll see a picture or something, but I like to be surprised. I know he probably watched film on me, but I can’t say for sure what could happen.
M: Sometimes it’s good to go in with an open mind. That being said, any predictions?
N: Anything can happen.
Henry Smythe: So, you’re fighting for a belt tonight. What does that mean to you?
Doug Addison: This is belt number 6 for me. It’s not anything new, it’s just business.
M: Tell me a little about your background. What’s your relationship to martial arts?
D: Been into it since I was a kid. Watching Power Rangers, Mortal Kombat, all the Jean-Claude movies. My parents didn’t really like the idea, but I always had friends that were into martial arts and would teach me what they knew. As I got older, I got into it myself – Karate, Kung Fu. Next thing you know, I’m in Maryland and I found my gym Top Flight MMA. I’ve been there for 8 years, ever since.
M: So I wanted to ask a little about your training. As you said this is nothing new, but knowing you were going to be handling a championship opportunity – did that change anything for you?
D: What you should always do is stay focused and treat everyone as the most dangerous opponent you’ve ever fought. We always train hard, push ourselves to the limit, and try to be better than we were before.
M: What do you see as your advantages? What do you feel you’ll be able to use to control the fight?
D: Probably my speed and my dynamic movement. I’m used to fighting taller guys. I know I need to stay close, and most people can’t handle my boxing.
M: Any predictions?
D: Just pressure. I know I’m gonna put that pressure on him.
Henry Smythe: So tell me about your background. How long you’ve been training, where out of, all that.
Octavious Slaughter: I started training probably 2020, COVID. I used to play basketball – but then with COVID, all the basketball got shut down. So I was spending a lot of time in my room watching movies, playing video games. I would watch a lot of Bruce Lee, play a lot of Tekken if you know what that is –
M: Hell yeah. Who’s your main?
O: Marshall Law. I was a beast with Marshall Law for a bit. And I was like “I could probably do this in real life.” That’s what got me. So I started training at Quintella, because I used to train there when I was younger. My dad and my family have been really into martial arts for a while, so when I was younger he put me and my siblings in Muay Thai and Karate. Just not enough that I would remember it. So that’s where I went back to, and I’ve been fighting for two or three years now.
M: Going into this fight you’re against an opponent with an 0-0 record but a lot of hype. Do you feel like you did anything differently in preparation for that or is he just another guy?
O: Definitely not just another guy. Everytime I fight somebody I think they’re the best guy in the world. I don’t know much about his style. Really I just had to refine myself for this. Just had to know that I can do what I know I can do.
M: Any specific mental preparation?
O: I didn’t do anything on purpose, but I’m coming off a loss right now. That affected the way I think about this a lot. It made me work a lot harder. I’ve been working really hard every day, because that was rough man.
M: You mentioned you don’t know too much about what he might do, but what do you feel your advantages are in general?
O: I’m a distance striker. I like striking from distance, I like clean shots, I like throwing people off. I don’t like getting hit. So I’m gonna try to work as many shots in from far as I can, stay away from his shots. So I think as long as I do that, I’ll be able to have the edge on him.
M: Any predictions?
O: I don’t like predictions or getting set on any specific outcome.
Justin Carter vs Max Bradley
Round 1: Carter out storming. They’re swinging. It’s wild folks. Bradley stumbles and they’re right back at it. Good uppercut from Bradley and a hard knee. A spinning back kick goes low from Bradley and that’s a break. Good body jab from Carter as they resume but now Bradley is keeping him away with kicks. A good jab from Bradley. Carter is just wading in swinging but mostly hitting air. A good left hook stumbles Carter. Bradley is looking for a huge counter uppercut as well. The pair trade big right hands to end the round. What a barnburner already.
Round 2: Good right from Carter who is swarming. He lands a couple hard punches and a knee lands from Bradley. Good jab from Carter. Bradley is tired and a huge missed backfist isn’t helping. A knee from Bradley drops Carter for a count but Bradley is fading slightly. Carter is leaning on him trying to swarm but Bradley is countering. Carter is diving into the clinch with his head low and a huge knee to the head lands for Bradley. Carter is out cold. This is a bad knockout – we hope Carter will be ok as they stretcher him out. This will be a DQ loss for Bradley.
Justin Carter by DQ
Kai Lindsay-Veney vs. Jake McGee
Round 1: Good low kicks and body kicks from McGee. He’s moving around the ring well and peppering Veney. Veney can’t quite get to him. Good body kick from McGee. Big right hand from McGee puts Lee into the ropes. He makes it to his feet but can’t continue. That’s that.
Jake Mcgee by KO
Mustafa Denizkurdu vs. Logan Camp
Round 1: No touch. Denizkurdu backing Camp up who throws a couple wide punches. They clinch and it’s an elbow from Denizkurdu. Two more. He’s pushing Camp to the ropes and they’re broken up. Flying teep misses and Camp falls. Nope. He misses on a spinning kick too. A couple good punches from Camp and he’s swinging now! Denizkurdu is rocked! He clinches up, turns Camp and dumps him. Camp goes high with a kick. Denizkurdu walking after him but not much offense. Big overhand from Camp. They clinch. Another big right hand from Camp at the bell.
Round 2: Denizkurdu jabbing in. Camp ducks and comes up swinging. They clinch. Good kick from Camp. Good sidekick as well. Spinning elbow almost lands from Camp but he’s met with a straight right. Camp stepping in with punches. 3-2 from Camp and now hard knees in the clinch. Camp with a dump. Flying teep again, only it partially lands this time. Another right hand. They clinch and it’s Camp starting to move Denizkurdu there too. Big kick from Camp to end the round.
Round 3: They’re swinging in the center to start this round. Hard left kick from Denizkurdu. They clinch. Denizkurdu moves Camp into the ropes but they break. Big left hook from Denizkurdu. Camp turns him with a low kick and gets a nice dump off a caught kick. Camp to the body. They exchange and clinch up. Knees in the clinch from Denizkurdu. Left kick misses from Denizkurdu and Camp clinches. Good teep from Denizkurdu. They swing against the ropes and clinch. There’s the bell.
Camp by UD
Billy van Dyke vs Patrickrick Nwanah
Round 1: No touch. Kick from Patrick and a leg teep. Good kick from Billy. Nice combo from Billy and Patrick counters with a low kick. Another good body kick from Billy. Patrick launches a beautiful left kick to the body that lands clean. They exchange and Patrick takes the center before firing a good kick. They clinch and Patrick pushes him to the ropes. Another good left kick from Patrick. Good elbow from Patrick. He pushes him to the ropes again. Billy pushing now and they break. Another hard left kick from Patrick and Billy lands a counter elbow. They clinch till the bell.
Round 2: Good left kick from Patrick right away and they exchange. Billy is looking for an elbow and he lands an opportunistic spinning kick. They clinch and Patrick gets some good knees off. He lands an elbow in tight. They’re exchanging knees on the ropes. Teep from Billy and a step-in knee. Low kick from Patrick. Billy catches a leg and plows Patrick straight out of the ring! He gets back in and the action resumes. They commence clinching and a crisp elbow from Billy drops Patrick for a count! He makes it and a hard left kick from Patrick at the bell moves Billy out of his stance.
Round 3: Exchange of kicks to begin. Billy moving Patrick with punches. Hard left kick from Patrick and Billy answers with a kick and a knee. He pushes to the clinch and lands an elbow. Good knees on the ropes. Billy controlling the clinch here and sinking hard straight knees. They break and there’s that left kick from Patrick. They clinch and break. Sweep from Patrick and a high left kick but he’s clinched and a big knee lands for Billy. They exchange and fall into a clinch till the bell.
Billy van Dyke by MD
Justin Binner Lui vs Dorendra Persaud
Round 1: A touch of gloves. Lui blocks a body kick and returns a teep and a left kick. They clinch and here are some knees back and forth. Elbow from Persaud. Lui jabbing. An elbow pad comes loose and there’s a brief break. Good 3-2 from Lui. Good high kick lands from Lui and they clinch. Good knees from Persaud but Lui controls and pushes him to the corner. Persaud landing elbows but Lui answers with good body shots in combination. They clinch and Lui controls. Persaud turns him. Lui turns back and finishes the round controlling Persaud on the ropes.
Round 2: They touch and it’s a good teep from Lui off the bat. Left kick lands from Lui but it’s answered by a right kick from Persaud. Persaud enters a clinch and pushes Lui to the ropes. He’s holding him here. It’s broken and Lui takes the center and teeps. He’s landing kicks in combination now, up and down the body. He’s adding punches as he gains some momentum. Good hook from Lui and a spinning kick to the body. It seems like Lui is starting to run away with it but then Persaud opens up with a couple hard right hands and it’s now a brawl! Persaud lands a flurry of hooks and Lui might be hurt! Lui IS hurt! Persaud is stalking but Lui fires off the ropes! The end the round in a clinch with Persaud controlling. Extremely exciting frame.
Round 3: Touch and Lui is moving and trying to kick. Persaud is pushing in with a jab but Lui is sticking and moving. Persaud pursuing Lui around the ring. Good left kick high kick slaps Persaud. Lui showboating a little but not landing lots. Good low kick from Lui but Persaud tags him with a right. Good left kick from Lui answers! He presses to the ropes but Persaud is firing back. Lui looks to spin with an elbow. Lui attacking on the ropes and touches the body. Kick from Persaud. They’re hacking at each other’s legs and Lui misses a wicked spinning kick. They clinch till the bell and that’s the fight. Super fun scrap.
Lui by MD
Jay Delgado vs. Octavious Slaughter
A lot of hype coming into this one. Delgado is 0-0 taking on a 3-1 opponent, but there’s big things being said about this young man. Definite tension in the air as these two walk to the ring. Fans of both guys are on their feet as they make their entrances. Delgado looking calm and collected in his corner as he waits to work. Slaughter is bouncing and looking eager to begin fighting.
Round 1: There’s the bell. It’s on fast. Big punches from Delgado and they clinch. Low kick from Slaughter and Delgado slips to the mat. Slaughter moving off and kicking the legs and body. Delgado down again off a slip. Big right hand from Slaughter and a jab to reset. High kick from Slaughter and Delgado clinches. Big right from Slaughter fihter on the break and another high kick that’s caught. Delgado settling a bit but Slaughter still moving well. Good low kick from Slaughter and a right hand. Delgado in with some punches but Slaughter pivots offline. One-two and a low kick from Slaughter. That straight right is landing for Slaughter. Good right for Delgado as the bell sounds for round 1.
Round 2: Jay coming in hard with a low kick and a punch that catches Slaughter off balance – he falls but it’s not ruled a knockdown. Delgado is looking for more kicks this round and they clinch. Big right from Slaughter. Jay looks to trip and they clinch again before breaking. Good jab from Delgado as they reset but Slaughter lands an uppercut. Elbow in the clinch from Slaughter. Good uppercut again from him on the break. Slaughter misses a backfist and they’re trading kicks. Big knees in the clinch here from both guys. Good elbow from Jay as he steps in. Counter knee from Slaughter. They clinch and seperate. Slaughter looks for a spin but misses. There’s the bell.
Round 3: Slaughter pressuring and looks to spin again. Couple good punches from Delgado drive Slaughter back across the ring. Delgado circling and Slaughter jumps for a kick. They clinch and it’s a big dump for Delgado. Good knee from Delgado. He’s pushing him to the ropes and Slaughter turns him. He puts Delgado down with a trip of his own. Slaughter pressuring. Slaughter with a knee. Delgado clinches him but Slaughter turns and lands a good right hand. Delgado slips off a kick and falls. He gets up but Slaughter is pressuring hard. He lands a good jab and clinches for a knee. He presses him to the corner and lands another. Delgado drives back across the ring in a clinch but there’s the bell.
Slaughter by UD
Nathan Maul vs. Doug Addison
The 155 strap is on the line here. Doug “The Bearded Warrior” Addison vs Nathan Maul.
Round 1: Good punches here from Maul who is already touching the body. Addison looks to be trying to stay calm and read but he’s getting touched here. Couple good left kicks from Maul land. Nice left hand from Addison. Left hook to the body from Maul and a teep. Nice right from Addison and Maul kicks again with the left leg to the body. Addison is starting to move now and he’s avoiding punches and countering well. Good exchange to finish the round.
Round 2: Maul in jabbing to start and a kick from him lands. Another left kick and he tries a reverse crescent kick- Mikazuki Geri. He looks to spin but misses and Addison counters with punches. Maul spinning again here now but Addison is backing him up with punches. They clinch for the first time and Maul is moving Addison but not landing much offense. They separate and Addison continues moving Maul back with punches. Maul rallying, but he’s having a hard time breaking this pressure. He misses a kick and falls and takes his time getting up. He might be a little tired. Good combo from Addison and Maul clinches. Short right from Addison at the bell.
Round 3: Maul trying to play the game here with some teeps, feints, and off-balances but Addison is largely unfazed. He’s pressuring with those punches but not many kicks from him. Good 3-2 from Addison. Nice jab. Addison’s boxing is much crisper than Maul’s and it’s showing. Body hook from Doug. Touches with a low kick and Maul responds. Maul is teeping a lot here but Addison is catching and countering. Sidekick and teep from Maul as Addison keeps stalking from the outside. Addison chipping away with punches here. Maul looks for a spinning elbow but there isn’t much on it and Addison blocks. He resets to distance and starts picking away at Maul again. There’s the bell- we head into the championship rounds.
Round 4: Kick combo from Maul to start. Face teep from Addison and Maul counters with a flurry. HARD body kick from Addison. They exchange. Good left kick from Maul as Addison tries to touch his way in. Another. Spin kick partially lands from Maul. Good pair of kicks from Maul and Addison touches the body as he advances. He presses Maul to the ropes and looks for an uppercut. They exchange, Maul favoriting kicks and Addison punches. Brief clinch and now Addison lands some good body kicks. Round 4 ends and we’re on to the final frame.
Round 5: Final round. Addison jabbing and Maul looking to chase with kicks. Addison kicking on the outside and lands a 1-2. Maul catches him with a 2, and he’s starting to open up with kicks and some body shots. Spinning backfist lands partially for Maul. Good jabs from Addison and Maul is going for broke with some spins but they don’t land. Maul follows him around the ring and Addison catches a kick and sweeps. Good left hook for Addison as Maul advances and “The Bearded Warrior” sweeps Maul again off a kick. Maul is briefly back to his feet before he’s swept yet again. There’s the bell. Very collected performance from Addison, with Maul proving a game and unorthodox opponent.
Addison by UD, becomes the new Gut Check 155 Pound Champion