Team News

Ashley Cummins Victorious!

“Smashley” Cummins defeated Chelsea “The Italian Princess” Colarelli via rear naked choke in the 5th round.

In defeating Colarelli, Cummins earned the XFL title in the 115 pound weight class, and secured her spot as one of the top female fight prospects in the country.

With the close fight potentially up for grabs, Cummins landed a head kick and scored a takedown. After moving to the mount, Colarellis gave up her back and Cummins submitted her via rear naked choke to secure the victory.

Ashley is now 1-0 as a professional.

Ashley Cummins to fight Chelsea Colarelli For XFL Title

115-pound Ashley Cummins looks to make her pro debut a memorable one by defeating Chelsea Colarelli.

The fight — scheduled to take place November 18th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma — will be for the women’s title in the 115-pound division.

Cummins takes a successful amateur career and multiple amateur titles into her first pro fight.

Colarelli is 6-3 as a professional. She lost her last fight via tap out  to rear-naked choke in the second round.

Good luck Smashley. We’re rooting for you.

Matt Ricehouse Set To Fight Bill Cooper

Lightweight Matt Ricehouse has been matched up with Bill Cooper for the November 18th Strikeforce Challengers event at the Palms in Las Vegas. The event is set to air on Showtime.

Ricehouse is 5-0 as a professional with a 3-0 record in Strikeforce events. Of his 5 professional victories, 2 have come via TKO, 1 via submission, and 2 were decisions.

Cooper is 2-0 as a professional and holds a 1-0 record in Strikeforce events. Both professional wins came via submission.

Other fights on the card are:

Antwain Britt vs. Lumumba Sayers
Julia Budd vs. Ronda Rousey
Adlan Amagov vs. Anthony Smith

Ellenberger Runs Through Jake Shields

Team Vaghi Omaha member Jake Ellenberger earned knockout of the night honors at UFC Fight Night 25 by living up to his “Juggernaut” nickname.

After a short “feeling out” session, Ellenberger stuffed a Shields takedown attempt before landing a wicked knee that dropped Shields.

Once Shields hit the mat, Ellenberger pounced and started delivering vicious blows before a referee stoppage.

Shields later said that the fight may have been stopped too soon, but the replay clearly shows he was out.


Benoist Wins UFC Debut

Lance Benoist was battered and bruised, but walked away with a unanimous decision in the first UFC bout of his career. A broken nose in the second round looked like it could have swayed the judges in Riddle’s favor, but Lance — and his broken nose — won a 29-28 decision in the end.

The first round was all Benoist. He looked like the better striker, and performed an impressive sweep toward the end of the first round and ended up mounting riddle and landing some nice blows. Round: Benoist

The second round was still Benoist, although Riddle looked much better in this round than he did the first. Riddle utilized his wrestling more in this round and tried to use his size and strength advantage to keep Lance in close. A knee landed square in the middle of the round which left Benoist with an obviously broken nose. Round: Benoist

The third round was all Matt Riddle as Benoist valiantly defended his nose from some vicious ground and pound. Lance does a great job of controlling Riddle’s posture and doesn’t take a ton of damage. Round: Riddle

The biggest question (from those of us outside of Team Vaghi) was whether or not Lance could handle a three round fight being that a majority of his amateur and professional bouts never left the first round. After a three round war with a bigger and stronger opponent, I think the answer is a resounding yes, he can handle a war.

Lance Benoist to Fight Matt Riddle in Octagon Debut

Lance Benoist, of Team Vaghi is pitted to fight Matt Riddle in his octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 25: Battle of the Bayou.

Riddle — a TUF alumn of Season 7 — is 5-2 with all of his professional bouts coming inside the octagon. A purple belt under Cameron Diffley, Riddle trains at Throwdown Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Riddle last fought Sean Pierson in December when he lost what many deemed “Fight of the Night” (the award and $100k bonus went to Koschek/St. Pierre) at UFC 124. The fight went to the judges and was unanimously awarded to the 5-2 Pierson.

Lance is 5-0 as a professional and this will be his first fight with the UFC. All five wins have come via stoppage with 4 submissions and one TKO. None of his 5 professional fights have left the first round.

The fight is scheduled for September 17 and will air on SpikeTV.

Lance Benoist Signs Multi-Fight Deal with UFC!

Team Vaghi blue belt Lance Benoist signed a 4 fight deal with the UFC on Saturday.

Benoist, who is 5-0 as a professional, trains with Rodrigo Vaghi in Fenton and Mike Rogers at St. Charles MMA (a Vaghi satellite school).

All 5 of Benoist’s wins have come via stoppage (4 via submission). Lance also had a 16-0 record as an amateur with most of his fights ending via TKO.

He also has a notable win over “The Ultimate Fighter” season 11 cast member Cleburn Walker whom he finished via head kick KO. In fact, Lance tried out for “The Ultimate Fighter” season 13 but was not selected.

Good luck to Lance from all of us at Team Vaghi!

via MMA Junkie

Matt Ricehouse Hands Ryan Couture First Career Loss

In the co-Main Event of Saturday’s Strikeforce Challengers 16: lightweight Matt Ricehouse (5-0) handed favorite Ryan Couture (2-1) the first loss of his career via unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 to give Ricehouse a huge win over the son of UFC legend Randy Couture.

“Ricehouse (5-0, 3-0 SF) fought well in the clinch, stayed off his back and countered effectively throughout the 15-minute affair. He backed up Couture — the son of UFC hall of famer Randy Couture — with crisp counterpunching and well-placed kicks to the body. Ricehouse also scored with the only two takedowns of the fight.

“It wasn’t easy,” Ricehouse said. “I think I did pretty good. He’s no joke.”

via – Sherdog

Team Vaghi Kids MMA Summer Camp

The focus is on safe grappling techniques that can be done on a daily basis with no more fear of injury than any other contact sport. Each aspect will feature a strength and endurance building warm-up, followed by demonstration and practice oftechniques after which athletes willengage in practice sessions with other athletes of their own level. Throughout the week, athletes will be preparing for the Friday afternoon grappling competition. They will be taught how to earn points, be aggressive, defend against and submit an opponent. It is a truly demanding workout with a strongly cerebral aspect and a sense of purpose and skill that will truly capture the imagination.

The Specifics:

Monday June 20 – Friday June 24

9 AM – 3 PM

Cost:  $150.00 (includes camp shirt)

  • Wear T-shirt and shorts.
  • Training occurs bare-footed.
  • Bring lunch with a drink.
  • Lunches will be kept in a refrigerator in the morning.
  • Water bottles for use during training are encouraged, but not required.
  • All campers must have a completed release on file before training can begin

A camp day includes:

  • Warm-up
  • Featured Training
  • Break
  • Featured Training
  • Lunch
  • Warm-up
  • Featured Training
  • Break
  • Featured Training
  • Camp Day Ends

Grappling CompetitionFriday afternoon will be the final grappling competition where campers will be able to show off their new MMA skills and compete to win medals. Weigh In starts at 1 PM, Competition starts at 1:30 PM. Parents are encouraged to attend!

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques, from a mixture of martial arts traditions and nontraditions, to be used in competitions. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu  is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense  system that focuses on  grappling  and especially ground fighting. Muay Thai is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. Boxing is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists for competition. Wrestling  is a martial art that uses grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. Self Defense  is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one’s property or the well-being of another from physical harm.


Rodrigo Vaghi

Nick Sanders

Featured Training with national champion guest trainers.

Find out more, or download the brochure and sign-up form, HERE!

Rodrigo Vaghi Interview

Want to know a little bit more about Rodrigo Vaghi? Rodrigo sat down for an interview with Martial Arts Direct. Here is a copy of that interview which gives some information on who Rodrigo Vaghi is and what his training was like back in Brazil.

[Q] How did you get your start in the martial arts?
[A] I started at 4 years old in Judo.

[Q] You were the Rio de Janeiro State Judo champion for 5 consecutive years. How old were you at that time?
[A] 11 to 16 years old. From 1981 to 1986.

[Q] You were very successful in Judo, but then you started training in Jiu Jitsu and have been ever since. Why the switch?
[A] I was 15 when my father took me to Master Helio’s school, who was a friend of his. At the time, Alexandre, a friend of mine (he was 15 too) and I trained together and he finished me 3 times with movements that I never saw before. I was very mad that day and all night, but the next day I was there to sign up. Since then, my life and friends are all related to Jiu-Jitsu.

[Q] You trained at Helio Gracie’s original academy in Rio de Janeiro for 13 years under the instruction of the now well-known names of Rickson, Royce, Royler, and Rolker Gracie, as well as Grandmaster Helio Gracie. Tell us what it was like training there.
[A] I started in 1985. It was a very special time. Very few Jiu Jitsu players enjoy this experience. It was my other family. We used to fight all the time. Sometimes we would get together 3 or 4 guys (all 15 or 14 years old) and attack Royce, Roller, or Rolker. It was a game of submission and a great time. I remember being the only kid allowed in Rickson’s class.

It was a great time as everybody was in the same school at that time. Can you imagine all together: Master Helio, Rickson, Relson, Roller, Rolker, Royce…? It was a special time.

[Q] Of those names listed, who would you say was the biggest influence on you and why?
[A] I can’t say just one because all of them Master Helio, Rickson, Roller and Rolker always helped me in different things and Rickson still helps me to understand better techniques.

[Q] You were also an instructor at the Academy, weren’t you?
[A] Yes, I taught in the Gracie academy in downtown Rio and helped with anything I could.

[Q] How long did you teach there?
[A] I think a year and a half.

[Q] You have been quite successful in your Jiu Jitsu career, too. Can you tell us a little about your competition achievements?
[A] My early times as a blue and purple belt was no doubt my best time. I won a lot of tournaments in Rio and Niteroi fighting in my division and the open division. At the time, these were the only places that had tournaments. In the brown I competed once and won.

After that I went into the stock market and competition and finding the time to train was very hard. I worked every day from 7:30a.m. to 8:00p.m. for 5 years. Finding the time to train was hard- to keep the motivation and to train hard- but the love of Jiu Jitsu helped me to get through it.

[Q] Do you still compete in tournament Jiu Jitsu?
[A] I plan to compete in no gi, but about a year and a half ago I injured my neck and after that it’s been hard to keep training with the consistency needed to compete. I always train when I can with my students and with my full recovery, for sure I will compete no gi.

[Q] Have you ever competed in Vale Tudo-type events?
[A] No. Only some disagreements and street.

[Q] You also have some students who have done quite well in both Jiu Jitsu and Vale Tudo/MMA haven’t you?
[A] Yes, I have a great group of guys who are very loyal and I love to spend my time with them teaching and traveling. Sometimes the problem is our location in St. Louis. Most of my guys are doing great in MMA. Tracy Taylor and Mike Rogers are the most active, but others are Todd Fox, Ed Shobe and Brian Guidry. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there’s Mike R., Jonathan, Joe, Bill, and many more ranging from 16 to 54 years old.

We train hard. We’ve been doing great and winning most of the tournaments we enter. I wish one day to bring all of my students and get all the divisions. This is my dream. In Tennessee and the Arnold Classic we were close to that but I couldn’t bring some of my top students. Maybe half of my team. At the Pan American’s we had some champions.

[Q] How did you end up in St. Louis, Missouri?
[A] I was invited by another Brazilian and some police officers to stay.

[Q] What do you consider your greatest achievement in martial arts?
[A] I think being a champion is something special and a lot of work, but making champions is my most challenging achievement. I love to teach for the people who stick with me and see that they go all the way. I want to have the best students. I’m very dedicated to that.

[Q] Do you follow the Gracie diet? Or any specific diet?
[A] No. Only a healthy diet.

[Q] What’s a typical workout schedule for you?
[A] I work out every morning and train Jiu Jitsu Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

[Q] Of anyone in the martial arts world, who do you admire the most and why?
[A] All of the Gracies that I grew up around for their friendship, teaching and great memories.

[Q] What other arts have you trained in besides Judo and Jiu Jitsu?
[A] I did some boxing for 3 to 4 years with Claudio Coelho and Tortinho. It was very fun.

[Q] Do you feel that you will train in Jiu Jitsu for the rest of your life? And if so, why?
[A] Yes, for sure, because Jiu Jitsu is more than a martial art. It is a way of life and friendship.

[Q] What do you most want your students to get out of their Jiu Jitsu training?
[A] Submissions… Submissions all the time! Friendship, Respect, & Loyalty. This is the beauty of Jiu Jitsu.

[Q] What’s it like to roll with Rickson?
[A] It’s amazing! I really don’t have a lot of chances to be with him as much as I want. But to give you an idea, he has been here in the US since 1989 and doesn’t really have anybody good… good black belts to train with every day. But all the champions from Brazil, World champions and more – you can list the top ones up until today – and all get smoked and dominated with his technique.

[Q] One last question that I have to ask you – Have you ever made Rickson tap?
[A] I love to push the training and learn but I don’t feel any pleasure going after my teachers. Anybody else is hunting time.