January 8, 2011 by Post Team
Darth Maul, The gym, located in a parking garage at the end of an alley, is well off the beaten track. It looks – and the war against Fight Club that trains there – life has changed Tony Harvey.
“I needed another source to control my anger,” Harvey said, taking a break from the heavy suitcase. “I got out of prison and need something to keep me busy.”
Harvey, 24, is about to celebrate its first anniversary as a free man. A drug addiction led to a stint at the Marion Correctional Institute, where he came to realize that the treatment and doping was not for him.
Waiting outside for the Ashland native was a chance to hook up with some dedicated cage fighters. Soon he was one of them.
“Every police officer in Ashland knew who I was, but now I am a different lifestyle,” said Harvey. “I work 10 hours a day as a machinist, run after work and then come here (the gym) for two hours every night. ”
Harvey, who participates in the 145-pound division, will put his 3-0 records on the line Jan. 15 at “Mansfield Mayhem X”, the latest revelation shows the struggle against United in Fairhaven Hall. Also on the card tonight are MMA fellow club members and neighbors Aaron Mike Williams. They will both fight for the titles of RFO at 135 and 155 pounds, respectively.
“When I wrestled in high school, you could not do certain things,” said Harvey. “Here, you do standup and taken and when you’re on the ground in the sport you take a hit, too, so you better keep moving. ”
Harvey, neighbors and Williams all have the same goal – to turn pro. In Ohio, it means that you must have at least five sanctioned fights and good curriculum vitae.
“I’m not ready, I still have much work to do to me,” Harvey said. “But I want to eventually make my way into the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). We need dedication, but it will not come to you. You have to work for her.”
The All Out Assault Fight Club has attracted a devoted local, partly because its members are not allergic to work.
A winter evening finds activity taking place in all corners of the low-cost, old school gym 32-x 68-feet. Ronnie Webb, who owns the garage and runs the club, has purchased four wrestling mats off Craigslist. It has support for heavy bags from the exhaust pipe, so that the blade bags and presents a moving target. Even the weight of the sled and trunk-like containers where fighters hiding from their vehicles have been built by hand.
“It’s a gym primitive” goatee Webb said, smiling. “I am a mechanic (in Hale) and my boyfriend is a mechanic, so we can build anything.”
Webb, a former prison guard, has never fought, but he has an extensive background in martial arts and taught self-defense without weapons for the Department of Correctional Services.
“A couple of my friends were in the cage fighting, but they had no place to train, so we put our equipment together and got sponsors,” said Webb. “Guys pay premiums (and 20 per month), and everything we make goes back into the gym if you do not have money, we do not address the issue, I am not here to make money. I am here to teach ‘em. ”
Webb help in this department is Matt Hatfield, a former boxer and wrestler Mansfield Senior.
“I love watching sports,” said Webb, who learned boxing at the Friendly House under Henry Russell, the late father of former pro Tony “The Tyger” Hanshaw. “Matt and I took the knowledge we had and added a few new ideas. It seems to work on.”
Neighbors, the nephew of Webb, have no complaints. Like Harvey, he is 3-0 and feels he is ready for his title fight.
“It happened sooner than I thought, but I’m as ready as anyone else,” said Webb, 23, a former wrestler and baseball player at Mansfield Senior. “I like it Different styles of fighting. It’s not just struggling. You can do whatever you can find your opponent is slipping.
“I box three years at the Friendly House for cardio and work on my hands. I do not think I would become a (cage fighting). But I came here, started working on my technique on the ground, and with the work I had done in the past as a wrestler and boxer, everything fell into place.
“I think it should be. And it’s fun … dependency. ”
The heavily tattooed Williams, whose body art includes 15 to 20 hours of work on the head (including a forked tongue), said he did not do it to intimidate opponents in the cage. But it had that effect.
Apparently, one opponent had doubts about this double clash against Darth Maul.
“I had to fight against one child, but when he heard that he was fighting he said,” No, I’m not, ‘”said Williams, of Ashland. “I love body modifications. I got my first tattoo when I was 18 and started working my way. ”
Williams, 26, has trained in martial arts since he was 7 and has three black belts in Tae Kwon Do. His record MMA sanctioned in Ohio is 4-2, but overall he says he is 14-2.
“None of my (Tae Kwon Do) instructor wanted me to do more than work begins, but I want to be a pro fighter. I’ve been an amateur too long.
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