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Stroke my Ego, watch me compete soon.

James Funaro

Amateur Fighter
Jan 21, 2007
Reaction score
Currently I am 4-3 in amateur MMA. Lost my last two matches by TKO, which sucks. Took time off to work a lot and am now starting to train again. Should have a good schedule set up soon.

I figure my schedule will look like this:
Mon: BJJ morning, Kickbox night
Tues:Lift morning
Thurs: BJJ (no gi) morn/night
Fri: Lift morning
Sat: BJJ morning
Sunday: BJJ (no gi) morn

Also I plan on sparring at a local boxing gym once a week.

My goals are to get my boxing and grappling to be awesomefantasticextremecoolgreat.

No MMA competitions for a while, I plan to concentrate on being a competitive grappler and eventually boxer for a while to aid my goals.

Also looking to get my lifts up. Goals(as 1rm)/Current
Deadlift - 500 / 455
Bench - 315 / ? 100lb DB for 9 reps
Row - 200 (t bar strict form) /160 for some odd reps
DB press - 90 / 70 for 3
Weighted Pullup- 135 / 105

OK, off to gym.
Have an order of beta alanine, creatine, GABA, and Inhibit-E (ATD) coming in. Going to wait a while on the ATD but definitely going to need creatine and beta alanine to help recovery for the work I plan to be doing.

The GABA is for the great sleep once in a while, honestly the best sleep I ever have is when I use GABA.

Also just ordered the Fairtex Saftey Training Glove, I feel like it's Christmas for me lol.

As for the gym I just got back, it was good. Not used to being up this early in a while so while I had a good workout things will go better once I get in a groove of things.
Good to see, James. What weight do you compete at?
yeah also curious as to your size, as 455 is a big pull.
I am going to be competing at 170 but my past fights were all at 175-180 as that is what my opponents weighed.

I weighed 170 when I pulled 455, and am currently 170.
Lifted weights on Monday. Had previously pulled my back but it went well.

DB Bench at 90 went for 5,3,2,1,1 in one rest pause set where you lift a few reps, 20-30 second break, lift a few, etc. Trying that as it keeps all the reps explosive and fast.

Chest supported T-Bar Rows- 5x135, 1x160, 5,6x135
Leg Press- 3x540

Didn't go all out as I didn't want my back to re-injure. I replaced the squat with leg press as I feel deadlifting and squatting on top of all the other martial arts work is too much to recover from.
Tuesday night was BJJ. Lots of sparring, 3 rounds of 6 minutes with a 15 minute king of the hill at the end, stayed in the whole time, was tired but made it through.
Blew through a new white belt first and just saw what I could do and if my back would be OK. It was so I kept rolling.
Next went with a purple and happy to say I took his back and had control for a few minutes. While I was attemoting a kimura he reveresed and NS choked me. I noticed I am able to defend chokes a lot better now, it might take them a good minute or two to get the tap or I get out. Where I used to tap almost immediately.
Last roll went on with another blue, we stalemated with him on bottom half guar and me on top with an overhook. We end up there a lot, both trying to move but we just nullify each other there so much.
BJJ then straight into kickboxing tonight. Hour each.
Went well, recently I have been jumping right into armbar from the knees when I am getting stiff-armed and it is working a lot.
Also, been using the counter shot a lot and it works 100% of the time anyone has my leg as long as I can sprawl out. Puts me in side mount easliy.

Sparring in kickboxing I made sure to stay tight to my partner so they would try and punch me in the head, worked head movement the whole time. Didn't get hit too much and occasionally I would counter, though I was really just working head movement.

Made sure to let my partners know for next time that they have to REALLY try and hit me, and not to worry about pulling punches. I even let them hit me a few times and didn't react to make sure they got used to hitting me and weren't trying to be all nice.
Lifted this morning and was supposed to go to BJJ tonight but I fell asleep. Did a lot of sparring and work the past few days so I think I am still getting used to the intensity.

Should be fine next week.
Today was a big sparring day, went to NYC'S The FightHouse to meet a bunch of people and spar (yes Bullshido TD).
Couple rounds of grappling followed by kickboxing/boxing/pankration/MMA rounds.

Had a Sambo guy just turn his back to me and roll into toe holds at least 5 times as he showed me how to counter and avoid those attacks. Spent time fixing my leg attacks and making them tigher, staying high side, etc.
Most of the other rolls I had were with people less experienced in grappling so I just worked some new things I don't normally d, or just took my time and stayed technical.

On boxing I felt great, lots of head movement, lots of counter punching, and good defence. Kept a high guard when fighting in tight which worked well ( I used to do this, it worked good, then for some reason I stoppped). Able to stick my jab in a lot and use it to set up combos.

Kickboxing rounds went OK, fought some guys from the Wat and Sitydong who kicked me in the face a lot. But I felt my boxing was doing well and kept to low leg kicks/teeps/boxing mostly. Even snuck in a few sidekicks which scored nicely when I used them.
Again I tended to do better when I extended my punches (bad habit of not doing it sometimes) and worked my boxing.

Took a hard kick in the head that put me down for a minute, I am at the moment susceptible to high kicks unfortunately, need some tuning up on that.

Did one MMA round with one of the Thai boxers and felt I got the better of the standup exchanges, feel more natural in MMA striking, proabbaly they are just more leary of throwing those kicks. Worked the corner a few times, press him up and punch/knee, and finished it with a kneebar.

Look forward to some more hard contact standup real soon.
Some video of the sparring:

Me vs a guy that trains at Sitydong in Boston I think, kickboxing rules:

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Me vs him MMA:

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Me vs a guy from, somewhere, I don't know, pankration rules:

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I had just met these guys so we went at it a bit but stayed nicey nice a bit, just good sparring. This is all that got recorded.

I see I have been keeping my hands down which is a bad habit from trying to work my head movement so much I think. When I was working that I would put my hands down to entice people to hit my head, and so I would get a lot of practice in head movement in.
Also, I need to pull my kicks back faster and hit harder. I am pulling my kicks for some reason and this slows them down and allows them to be caught or countered easily I imagine.
Had a boxing workout the other night where we started with square one. Just lots of detail spent on hand position, foot position, foot work, stance, and all that stuff I should have down pat anyway.
Then some conditioning mostly for my shoulders, goal is to keep my hands up.
Today we had an open training session that got about 20 guys total to come down and spar.
Had a lot of boxing rounds in with 2 guys who went hard and gained a lot of good experience.
Should be meeting up with a group hopefully at least everyother week now to work on everything with guys from different schools.

Did well with my head movement and avoiding punches compared to a few months ago, was able to land my jab well, but hands drop and I get tired, I get hit. Only way to fix it is to keep on sparring and get my conditioning in.
2 hour BJJ today.
A good amount of time rolling (38 minutes total in rounds) and did well. Positionally controlled and submitted the whites and other blues.
Was also a purple's bitch lol.

Attacked from sidemount mostly and worked the keylock/kimura. Focused on isolating the far arm from sidemount and then trapping the near arm between my legs, then just going back and forth slowly until I got what I wanted from one of the arms.

Against the purple I kept getting NS'ed and gi choked a lot. I couldn't move his base at all, I usually feel like crap from bottom NS so I obviously need to work on that. I would say that is my worst position to be in, worse than mounted or back mounted which is pretty bad.
Guess I know what I am working on for a while now.
Scheduled a fight so I'm back to logging this crap.
I am not ready to get into top conditioning, I still want to gain 10 lbs (so I can cut to 170 and fight), and I just want to fight anyone and often for experience......

So I took a smoker in Sept. Hopefully I will have 2 smokers in Sept, back to back in two weeks. I am excited. Video will be posted ASAP on these ones.

Been training a lot more boxing and my head movement is insame compared to what it used to be (when I got TKO'ed in my last fight). In fact, whenever I do standup sparring or similar I get compliments on my headmovement.
I intend for this to show through on these two fights.

My power as always is good. I stopped deadlifting for a bit. I split my 2 lift days into one power and one strenght. So day 1 is Bench, Leg Press, Row (plus other odds and ends) where day 2 is Clean, Jerks, Zercher Deadlift, Zercher Squat (plus some odds and ends if any).

Starting the heavy sparring today with Joe as he needs more for his upcoming fight, plus I could use it. Also, should be heading to Ray Longos on Fridays, they do MMA sparring with the 16oz gloves I'm told and go heavy, I can use that with the new partners.
Tuesday night BJJ I was feeling burnt out a but so I didn't roll hard. Mostly I rolled to gain and keep top control(which I was successfull at) but was laid back about searching for subs. Mostly worked on transitioning and moving my partner around.
Was feeling sluggish today and so took a nap after work rather than heading to the beginner BJJ class like I usually do. It's only an hour class but every bit counts, however I am training 3 sessions tomorrow so I wanted to be rested.
9:30 to 11 I went to the gym as I do every Wed and Friday for my "Hector Workout". Hector is a PT at the gym who is also a boxing trainer, strength and conditioning coach (with real certs and experience, not the fake PT BS).

He makes my hands good, get me into good condition, and enjoys torturing me. We have been doing a lot of boxing work recently but today was a conditioning workout of sprints, 4 types of medball ab exercises, followed by 15 pullups, all done for 35 seconds a piece consecutively for 5 rounds. Had a break on the last 2 rounds for 35 seconds. It sucked balls but I kept the intensity up, needed assistnace on the last 2 sets of pullups, and wanted to die in general.
That was folllowed by some speed bag and heavy bag work for 15 minutes and we called it a night.

Back at home I'm gorging myself with good food, creatine, beta alanine, and a lot of sleep to be recovered for tomorrow's sessions.
Before bed though I need to do a grip workout on the CoC's and some plate pinching.
So here's what happened since I decided to schedule those two fights.
I fought 2x in September, against MFSNY fighter Anthony Abatelli on a Friday night and then against Kirkland Campbell in the UCL that same Sunday.

Fight #1: Friday-
Friday the fight was at 170, rules were no knees/elbows everything else under unified rules was pretty much good.
We traded on the standup but as expected he took me down twice, each time I was easily able to regain guard and throw strikes while setting up subs, threw up a few triangles/armabrs and almost finished with a triangle, don't know how he didn't tap.

I was abit unhappy as there was obvious tension about the call but I know the arm was breaking and already hyperextended. Good fight overall and one of my tougher opponents.

Standing again I throw a front kick, get taken down, keep very active in my guard and lock in a triangle that I transition to an armbar late in the first round. Referee stops the match as his arm was about to snap, guy was not goin to tap.

Fight #2: Sunday-
This was against Kirkland Campbell in the UCL. Rules were Vale Tudo and as such no weight class, I was 170 (as I had to be for my fight onnly 2 days ago!) and Kirkland was ~180-185ish.
I'll just post the video but once again it was a good performance, as expected he went for a takedown and I fell back with a guillotine attempt rather than sprawl, kept a VERY active guard with strikes and subs, and got the KO in round 2. Even though I spent the whole 1st round on bottom my guard and even bottom sidemount were very effective and his corner told him NOT to take me down in the 2nd round, a first for him as in all his past fights he strictly goes for GnP.


Both fights I kept a very active guard and was winning from bottom, felt in control almost the whole time in both fights, even from under sidemount in the Kirkland fight as you wil see. It was also my first time I threw any kicks in an actual MMA fight so I am happy to be more comfortable with more tools.
As always, I never sought the takedown but was more than confident on the ground when taken there. I never really fight the takedown much, rather I just go with it and set up subs/position in the way down. So far so good.

Lastly, I was happy with my opponents ability as they both had not been defeated until that weekend. They were both strong fighters with like 4-0 and 6-0 or something. So I'm happy!
Here it is, I'm the white guy:

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