QUEEN MMA Media / Thomas Vickers


Taylor Starling is no stranger to combat sports. She made her amateur MMA debut back in January of 2015. As an amateur Starling went on to gather up a four fight career; fighting under the established King of the Cage promotions on two occasions, and finishing with a shot at the vacant NLFC (Next Level Fight Club) flyweight championship title. Over the past few years the “Killa Bee” has been collecting a mix of tools to add to her fight game, making her professional kickboxing debut in July of 2019 and her pro boxing debut in October of 2020. Starling made her pro MMA debut in October of 2019 at Road to M-1 USA 3 and has went on to produce a (1-1) pro record with her victory coming by way of first round (TKO) verbal surrender. The twenty-four year old trains out of Modern Warrior in Rock Hill, South Carolina and brings real toughness and a genuine desire to throw hands. On February 5, 2021 Taylor “Killa Bee” Starling will make her appearance in bare knuckle boxing, set to debut on what many believe to be Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship’s most hyped card since its launch back in June of 2018.

Starling has always had a desire to pursue boxing. She is a lady who simply enjoys striking and what a perfect place to find it, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. With the support of family and friends behind her Starling will be looking to make a big impression come fight night. Starling is set to face Charisa Sigala at KnuckleMania. The thirty-six year old Sigala fights out of California and has produced a solid (4-2) record as a pro in MMA.

Bare Knuckle brings a raw edge to the combat sports world along with a fragrance of yore and the grit of ancient days. It is fast paced and the action is electrifying.  Under the guidance of David Feldman the BKFC promotion and the sport of bare knuckle is growing rapidly in popularity among fight fans.

QUEEN MMA Media caught up with TAYLOR “Killa Bee” STARLING for a quick Q & A

QUEEN MMA Media (T. Vickers) – “I understand you have gained both pro boxing and pro kickboxing experience. I also am guessing you like to strike. With that said what was the main reason you decided to jump into bare knuckle?”

TAYLOR STARLING“The main reason I decided to jump to bare knuckle is because my fighting style is very knitty, gritty, in your face brawler so BKFC seemed like a match made in heaven for me.”

 QUEEN MMA Media (T. Vickers) – “Sigala, your upcoming opponent seems to like to throw hands as well. It appears you will have perhaps a 3 inch height edge and most likely a noticeable reach advantage against Sigala. Do you feel this will work to your favor?”

TAYLOR STARLING “I believe it’ll work in my favor because I am very good with my range and I love using it to my advantage.”

QUEEN MMA Media (T. Vickers) – “Is there anything different that you have added to your fight camp for bare knuckle that you normally do not have in your MMA, boxing, or kickboxing fight camp?”

TAYLOR STARLING “I have done a lot of conditioning on my knuckles and done a lot of different things preparing for the rule set in BKFC and really getting that feel for not having anything on my hands and my approaches with defense and offense.”

Don’t let the beauty fool you. Behind this pretty face is a warrior who is always prepared for war.

Bare Knuckle is not like other combat sports.  Many variables come into play with bare knuckle. Cuts come easy and can quickly end a fight.  The forehead is perhaps the hardest bone in the human body and is several times harder than the fist.  Things can change for a fighter the first time they eat a bare knuckle fist.  Like other sports it is a game of inches and a game of timing.  A bare knuckle fighter must use strategy not just to formulate an attack plan or perfect a full proof defense but take into consideration controlling the power and accuracy of their punches in an effort of preservation.  Both Starling and Sigala will be making their bare knuckle debuts at KnuckleMania.  The outcome may easily be determined by who will not wilt away from the action.  Odds are the fists will fly and the blood will follow.  Expect primetime fury from both Starling and Sigala.  Be prepared for every fight on the KNUCKLE MANIA card to deliver non stop excitement covered in carnage.  A true fight fans dream. 

STARLING vs SIGALA will be part of a colossal card headlined by celebrity UFC star Paige VanZant who has made the transition to make her bare knuckle debut against one of BKFC’s veteran sluggers Britain Hart. The event will be compliant to social distancing guidelines with advanced tickets being $55. For ticket information (1-888-397-0100) online www.rpfundingcenter.com. For more info – www.bareknuckle.tv

By: T. Vickers (MMA – Journalist)


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QUEEN MMA Media / Thomas Vickers



Paige Vanzant is a veteran of nine fights in the UFC, two of which she finished via strikes.
Vanzant drops a hard right hand on Rachael Ostovich. January 19, 2019 at UFC on ESPN + 1

Who will it be Britain Hart, Jenny Savage Clausius, Rachael Ostovich, Bec Rawlings, or is there another waiting to jump into the fray? There is no question the Vanzant BKFC debut frenzy has generated considerable interest and noticeable chaos throughout the bare knuckle community and at this point I would not be surprised to see Jake Paul or Logan Paul gravitate towards Vanzant with a boastful challenging call out across social media.   Paige Vanzant’s last fight was an MMA pro flyweight bout against Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 in July of 2020. Vanzant lost the match via first round armbar.  Regardless of the loss, the fact remains Vanzant quickly reached star popularity status with a combination of talent and looks shortly after debuting in the UFC in 2015. Over the past several years the twenty-six year old Vanzant has built an (8-5) pro MMA record while facing some big names in the sport.  Such opponents include; Rose Namajunas, Michelle Waterson, Jessica-Rose Clark, and Amanda Ribas to mention a few.  The BKFC fans have been buzzing about the addition of Vanzant since it was first announced and the rumor mill has been whirling nonstop ever since. 


Britain Hart and “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship belt before their big fight at BKFC 2.
Britain Hart went the distance against heavily favored Bec Rawlings in a hard fought split decision war at BKFC 2.

It all seemed to begin to grow when bare knuckle boxer Britain Hart defeated Randine Eckholm at BKFC 14 back in November of 2020 via a fourth round KO/TKO.  The referee raised Hart’s hand in victory.  Seconds later while still in the ring Hart was handed the microphone.  Microphone in hand she walked over to the edge of the ring. Leaning on the ropes she looked down at Paige Vanzant who was in attendance at ringside and exclaimed “You are fucking next.” The Miami, Florida crowd reacted with excitement over what seemed to be a clear call out of the popular former UFC star.

The thirty year old Britain Hart has a professional boxing background and made her bare knuckle debut at BKFC 2 in August of 2018 against UFC veteran MMA fighter “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings.  The 135 lb matchup played a large part in putting BKFC on the combat sports map.  Hart battled the heavily favored Rawlings to a close split decision.  Despite coming up short in the electrifying and action packed bout Hart gained the respect and following of the early BKFC fan base.  In April of 2019 Hart went on to face BKFC’s most dominating female fighter Christine Ferea at BKFC 5.  Hart lost to Ferea by way of doctor stoppage in the second round but continued to demonstrate her unwillingness to wilt away from a challenge.


Jenny “The Tennessee Gangster” Savage
Jenny Savage Clausius blasts Sheena Brandenburg with a solid overhand left in bare knuckle debut at BKFC 15.

In December of 2020 pro MMA fighter Jenny Savage Clausius entered the action by making her bare knuckle debut with a decisive win via second round doctor stoppage over Sheena Brandenburg at BKFC 15.  Brandenburg AKA Sheena Starr was no stranger to the bare knuckle fight game having made a cross over from an (0-4) pro MMA career to debut at BKFC 5 with a round two KO/TKO win over Ivana Coleman.  Sheena later went on to fall short at BKFC 8 against Delaney Owen. Not long after Jenny Savage Clausius’s bare knuckle debut win over Brandenburg rumors begin to surface of Clausius gaining a possible matchup with Vanzant at BKFC 16.  Clausius is (3-4) as a pro MMA fighter and currently (1-0) in bare knuckle. 


Rachael Ostovich
Rachael Ostovich slams a right to the chin of Paige Vanzant during UFC fight back in January of 2019.

As of late a new rumor has been tossed into the bare knuckle mill, talks of a Rachael Ostovich versus Paige Vanzant fight.  Ostovich and Vanzant had squared off in the UFC cage back in January of 2019.  Vanzant won the contest with a second round armbar and perhaps a possible rematch by way of bare knuckle is in the cards. 


Paige Vanzant and “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings eye to eye before meeting in the UFC cage back in 2016.
Bec Rawlings produced an undefeated record of (3 – 0) while fighting under the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship promotional banner.

If the rumor mill was not already loaded to the brim Bec Rawlings has expressed “I would love that fight” when recently asked about possibly facing Vanzant again, but this time-a-round in bare knuckle.  In August of 2016 Vanzant finished Rawlings in the second round with a hard head kick at UFC Fight Night.  “She would take a beating in BKFC”, explained Rawlings who generated an impressive (3-0) record in bare knuckle before shifting back over to MMA competition under the Bellator promotional banner. 

There are some fans that see Vanzant as being a mediocre striker from the UFC who gained her fame due to her stunning good looks.  Many others see Vanzant as a tough warrior who brings serious experience, real skill, and is not afraid to fight. 

Despite all the flying rumors and claimed verbal agreements it all means nothing until someone signs the dotted line.  And so the drama continues to expand. 

It seems obvious to most fight fans Paige Vanzant was brought onto the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship roster in an effort to spark epic attention and the only thing that can be confirmed thus far is mission accomplished.

By: T. Vickers (MMA – Journalist)


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CODY LAW vs KENNY CHAMPION / Featherweight Preliminary Bout / BELLATOR 254


On December 10, 2020 at the Mohegan Sun Arena two talented northeast area fighters will meet in pro MMA featherweight action at Bellator 254. 

Kenny “Rise of the Phoenix” Champion is an exciting fighter who is riding a strong three fight winning streak.  Champion is (2-0) in the cage as a professional with both victories coming by way of first round KO/TKO finish. Champion is a believer in hard work and he demonstrates it in every fight.  Kenny has smooth standup and accurate striking.  He is a smart fighter with good presence.  The Connecticut warrior has a background that includes Muay Thai and grappling.  He has sharpened his abilities with each fight and is ready for what many believe to be his biggest challenge to date inside the steel cage. With enormous challenges come enormous rewards.  Champion will be given the opportunity under the shining lights of Bellator to introduce a worldwide audience to the “Rise of the Phoenix”.

Cody Law carries serious skills.  He is a very well rounded fighter and brings a (1-0) pro record into the bout.  The Pennsylvania athlete made his professional debut at Bellator 250 with a big first round finish over Orlando Ortega via D’Arce choke.  Cody shined as an amateur producing a (5-0) record before turning pro in November of this year.   The twenty-five year old is riding the momentum of an impressive six fight winning streak and trains under American Top Team.  Cody wields stout wrestling and a tenacious attitude.  He has quick, hard effective hands in standup exchanges and can distribute a potent right.  Cody is dangerous on his feet and on the ground.  He made a solid impact on the Bellator scene in his debut and has shown he is clearly ready to evolve to the next level. 

KENNY CHAMPION vs CODY LAW set to collide at BELLATOR 254

This could turn out to be an important bout for both up and coming 145 pounders. Despite the featherweight matchup being scheduled as a preliminary bout do not be surprised if this fight produces as much excitement and energy as the main event. This fight has what it takes to be an explosive matchup, two hungry young guns eager to unload, and when the smoke clears we will find out who will walk away the winner.  It is fair to say both Law and Champion have what it takes.  Both have the tools to end it and neither fighter should overlook or underestimate the other.  There is little doubt both of these gladiators will leave it all in the cage come December 10, 2020.  Who wins this fight?  The lion with the greatest hunger. 



By – Thomas Vickers (MMA Journalist)




NORTH EAST MMA Media took the time to take a look into the amateur atomweights of the northeast.  In recent years the northeast region has produced some outstanding amateur atomweights who have moved on to have success at the professional level. Such atomweight standouts include; Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt, Marisa “Spider Monkey” Messer-Belenchia, Elise Reed, and Jillian “Lionheart” DeCoursey. Lindsey VanZandt worked hard as an amateur atomweight and has gone on to fight as a professional under such prestigious promotions as Bellator, Invicta Fighting Championship, and Rizin. Marisa Messer-Belenchia produced a strong (4-1) record as an amateur and has went on to make an impact among the pro atomweights with an appearance at Invicta Fighting Championship and wins with both CES MMA and Premier FC. Jillian DeCoursey was a dominant northeast amateur atomweight who finished her amateur career with an excellent (8 – 1) record. DeCoursey has moved on to fight under Invicta FC and Cage Fury FC as a professional. Elise Reed is a New Jersey fighter who finished her amateur career with an exceptional record of (7 – 1). Reed has built an undefeated (2 – 0) record as a pro. Reed made her pro debut with Bellator and recently won the Cage Fury FC vacant Strawweight Title with a split decision victory over a very tough and talented Jasmine Jasudavicius.

It may be sometime before the northeast fans see another batch of atomweights rise up from the northeastern region to equal the most recent class of Lindsey VanZandt, Marisa Messer-Belenchia, Elise Reed, and Jillian DeCoursey.  With that said the northeast does continue to generate tough amateur atomweights with real talent and some of these amateurs may very well become tomorrows future pro prospects.


Brooke Fahey has tremendous potential for a nineteen year old amateur.  She has become a strong presence among the northeast amateur atomweights. Brooke made her amateur debut in June of 2019 with a unanimous decision victory over Taylor Samarco at Maverick MMA 13. The New Jersey fighter went on to win the vacant Primal Fight Promotions amateur atomweight title via second round armbar submission against Rachel Penkower, a northeast atomweight competitor who carried more experience in the amateur cage. All of Fahey’s bouts have been with northeast regional promotions and two of her three victories have come by way of submission.  Brooke is currently undefeated with a (3 – 0) record and has quickly established herself as one of the top amateur atomweights in the northeast.


Alejandra Betancourt fights out of Kentucky and has built a (4 – 2) record as an amateur.  The thirty-five year old Alejandra made her debut back in February of 2015 with an impressive win at Valor Fights 20 over Linda Gray by way of KO/TKO in the second round. She has made two appearances in the northeast; coming up short against Marisa Messer-Belenchia at Reality Fighting in May of 2016 and a big win over Meghen Williams via unanimous decision at Pinnacle FC 17 in June of 2018.  In August of 2018 Alejandra won the BCM Promotions amateur atomweight championship title with a third round rear naked choke finish of a very tough Jennifer Hicks.  Alejandra brings talent and considerable amateur experience into the cage. 


Ariana Cruz fights out of Connecticut and has produced an undefeated (2 – 0) record as an amateur.  She made her debut in June of 2019 with a very close split decision win over Ariana Melendez under the lights at Reality Fighting. Cruz brings fierce aggressive energy into the cage.  She has demonstrated she can deliver fast hands, sharp punching, and knockout power.  Ariana debuted as a strawweight and fought at atomweight in her last bout proving she can perform at both weight classes.


Rachel Penkower has produced a solid (2 – 2) record as an amateur.  She made her debut in October of 2017 as a strawweight gaining a win over Fernanda Alvarado at Ring of Combat AM 26.  The twenty-two year old fights out of New Jersey and has had all of her amateur bouts with northeast regional promotions.  She has proven she can win at both strawweight (115lbs) and atomweight (105lbs).  Currently her only loss at atomweight was against Brooke Fahey the number one ranked amateur atomweight in the northeast. 


Amy Golding is an aggressive atomweight with a strong background in wrestling.  She entered the amateur MMA game debuting against Elise Reed who many believe is one of the best strawweights in the northeast.  Her win over Jennifer Hicks and her loss to Samantha Seff proves she does not shy away from a challenge.  Golding has faced some of the top fighters in the region.  The combined amateur record’s of her opponents (13 – 8) is a clear example of this fact.  Her amateur record of (1 – 3) does not give a true indication of what she brings into the cage.  Look for her to begin the climb upwards as her striking improves and her experience grows.

By – T. Vickers (NORTH EAST MMA Media)




The sport of yesteryear has returned to the spotlight. Bare knuckle boxing has grown tremendously in popularity over the past few years. Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is the first promotion to gain permission to hold a legal, sanctioned and regulated bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889. BKFC is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and headed by President and former professional boxer David Feldman. BKFC is based on the Broughton rules which had governed bare knuckle fighting in the 19th century, requiring combatants to “Toe the Line” which begins every round with fighters facing one another only a few inches apart.

“Most fighters are afraid to get hit by my kind of violence.  I am in the best shape of my life and I like to fight.” – Dan “The Bull” Bunyan

Deep in the dark cold north, a howling can be heard.  A young hungry bull salivating to bury his horns into BKFC. NORTH EAST MMA Media caught up with Dan “The Bull” Bunyan and discussed his desire to pursue the fast growing sport of bare knuckle boxing. Fighting plagued Dan Bunyan throughout his childhood. He explained how he had to overcome a lot while a youth, being unable to walk multiple times due to injuries, but he never gave up. Dan began training in combat sports several years ago. He believes he has the hands for Bare Knuckle. “I would be a perfect fit,” he explained. Dan has more than just heavy hands. He wields fists that bring wrecking ball devastation. At twenty-five years of age he fights out of New York ironically not all that far from the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame located in Belfast, New York. Bunyan has produced an undefeated record of (2-0) as an amateur MMA heavyweight, brutally finishing both opponents in the first round. Fight fans thrive on seeing scary punching power and Dan brings it every time.  When asked if he felt he could handle a BK heavyweight punch Dan responded by showing me a bloody photograph where he had been clocked in the forehead with a 10,000 pound excavator at full swing with its bucket.  “It never put me on my ass.  I just turned around and went back to work,” explained Dan. Bunyan has never been knocked out. He has never even been knocked down, not even in training. “Most fighters are afraid to get hit by my kind of violence.  I am in the best shape of my life and I like to fight,” continued Bunyan. Considering the carnage Bunyan can deliver he seems like a nature fit for BKFC. It is fair to assume he would definitely bring explosive hard hitting heavyweight action to BKFC and its fans. Dan believes signing with BKFC would change his life.

NORTH EAST MMA Media – What attracted you to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “Bare Knuckle is blood and gore, pure violence that don’t slow down.  That’s what attracted me to the sport.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – Who would you want to be your debut opponent if you got the chance?  And why? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “I want to fight the big names.  That’s how I get paid and earn a title shot.  I don’t get paid a lot for no names.  I get paid for big names. “

NORTH EAST MMA Media – It is my understanding you’re hungry for Arnold Adams.  Is this correct?  And if so why?

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “Adams and Stamps would be easy work because they run and can’t take punishment.  Adams grabbed my attention from trying to scare their announcer.  Shows me he doesn’t wanna fight tough guys, he wants to fight people that can’t fight. Adams’ time is over and I am the one to take his place.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – It is my understanding you broke the punching bag while working on your striking at Atlas in Glens Falls, New York.  Is this true? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “I broke the bag at Atlas jiu jitsu Glens Falls, New York and it never got put back up.  I became known as the one that broke the punching bag.  My jiu jitsu trainer Joe seen it first hand and his eyes widened and he was silent.  You can always ask Atlas who broke the punching bag, they gonna say me.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – Would you take on any of the BK heavyweights?

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “Sarro, Mir, Adams, Beltran, Shewmaker, Lopez, all interest me.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – It is my understanding that you would welcome with open arms a fight with the hard hitting Chris Sarro.  Is this true? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “YES.”

NORTH EAST MMA Media – Some people feel Chris Sarro and yourself are two of the hardest heavyweight sluggers in the northeast.  Do you agree? 

DAN “The Bull” BUNYAN – “I definitely agree that me and Sarro are hardest hitters to come outta the northeast.  I think a lot of fans would agree that me and Sarro are the two hardest hitters outta the northeast. A fight between Sarro and myself would probably be the most gory fight in BK history if it went the distance.”

Dan “The Bull” Bunyan is a beast that brings one hell of a show. “The BULL” clearly wants BKFC and he wants it bad.

Article by – T. Vickers

Below are two brief videos of Dan “The BULL” Bunyan.




On January 31, 2020 at Rivers Casino & Resort Amy Golding will defend her championship belt in front of her hometown fans.  Golding was offered the opportunity to fight for the Cage Wars vacant amateur atomweight championship on short notice due to a pullout because of injury back in November of 2019.  Amy quickly stepped up and eagerly accepted the challenge.  The fearless Golding not only leaped at the chance, she capitalized on it.  On November 23, 2019 Amy Golding won the title via unanimous decision against a tough, experienced opponent, Jennifer Hicks at Cage Wars 44.  The New York based fighter silenced any critic with a strong performance and walked away the new Cage Wars atomweight champ.


Amy Golding sends Jennifer Hicks mouth guard airborne with a smashing right hand at Cage Wars 44.


Golding started wrestling in the sixth grade and evolved into a decorated and accomplished Olympic caliber wrestler.  She made her amateur MMA debut in December of 2018 and has demonstrated from the start the level of commitment and stamina needed to climb the amateur MMA mountain.  A little over one year later she is the current Cage Wars atomweight champ ready to put her title on the line against Samantha “The Wolf Queen” Seff at Cage Wars 45.


QUEEN MMA MEDIA was able to gain a brief (Q & A) with Amy Golding before her January 31, 2020 Cage Wars atomweight title defense.

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – Congratulations to you on winning the vacant Cage Wars title against a very game Jennifer Hicks.  How did it feel to get that victory?

Amy Golding – I was very excited to win the last fight against Jennifer Hicks and become the Cage Wars champ.  It has been very difficult for me to find opponents who will compete locally here in NY, with two opponents pulling out last minute on me, so I was just happy that it went through.  I have to give Jennifer a lot of credit for showing up and giving me a tough fight, she’s one tough girl!

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – How are you feeling at three weeks out from the fight?

Amy Golding – I’m three weeks out and feeling great.  Not a single complaint from me.  My camps going well my body’s feeling powerful and explosive and my mind is sharp.  I am exactly where I want to be 3 weeks out.

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – Your opponent has considerable experience in the cage with a nine bout amateur career.  She has a grappling BJJ style and is not too shy to throw hands upstairs.  Are you aware of Samantha Seff, or do you generally avoid looking into your opponents?

Amy Golding – Scouting is a part of competing in any type of high level sport.  Yes, I have seen her compete many times and analyzed what she does in her fights.

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – This fight looks to be a classic wrestling versus BJJ match up if the fight goes to the mat.  Are you confident in your highly decorated wrestling background against a dangerous BJJ artist?

Amy Golding –I am extremely confident in my wrestling skills to be able to dominate all positions in the fight.

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – I have followed your amateur MMA career from the start.  I am impressed by the progress in your stand up game in your title win.  Is stand up striking something you have been focusing on as of late?

Amy Golding – “I have been working on the same striking drills as always, but concentrate more on hitting and dodging, not letting anything land and tiring the opponent out.

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – How do you see this fight playing out?

Amy Golding – “I visualize this everyday since she agreed to the fight so I can answer this easily, I will win in a total domination.  I’m not scared to brawl and am in fact looking forward to it!  Can’t wait to put on a show for everyone!


Amy Golding is ready to put her title on the line against Samantha “The Wolf Queen” Seff. Amy Golding vs Samantha Seff at CAGE WARS 45.

By: T. Vickers (MMA – Journalist)


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January 31, 2020 Samantha Seff will face Amy Golding for the CAGE WARS amateur atomweight championship at Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, New York.  Samantha “The Wolf Queen” Seff fights out of North Carolina and brings to the cage a (5-4) amateur record and a ton of experience.  “The Wolf Queen” has demonstrated the effectiveness of her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills with four of her five wins coming by way of submission finish, three of the finishes being in the first round.  Queen MMA Media is proud to have honored Samantha Seff last month with the Queen MMA Media Amateur of the Year (2019) award.


Samantha “The Wolf Queen” Seff battles it out with Shelby Koren for the Combat Night Strawweight Title at Combat Night Pro 15

Tommy Vickers of Queen MMA Media reached out to the Wolf Queen for a quick (Q & A) leading into her championship bout at CAGE WARS 45.

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – How are you feeling three weeks away from Cage Wars 45 atomweight title bout?

SAMANTHA SEFF – “Hungry for the cage and out for blood. No place I’d rather be than in an octagon.”

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – Are you going with your standard fight camp or have you changed anything in particular for this fight?

SAMANTHA SEFF – “I have a world champion BJJ instructor (John Schell) and a top Muay Thai coach (Josh Robinson) who are always in my corner and prepping me at Schell Shock BJJ. I’m also fortunate enough to train 3 times a week in Wake Forest with UFC strawweight Hannah ‘Shockwave’ Cifers and her excellent team of coaches Joel Garcia, Tiago Silva, and Carlos Martin.”

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – Your opponent, Cage Wars atomweight champion Amy Golding is (1-2) as an amateur having won the title via short notice fill in due to injury.  Amy won the vacant title against a game Jennifer Hicks via unanimous decision.  Amy has a strong wrestling background and made her debut against a former Cage Wars atomweight champion Elise Reed.  Are you aware of your opponents?  Or do you generally not focus to closely on the opponent?

SAMANTHA SEFF – “I do a bit of research on my opponents and their game, but my primary focus has always been playing to my best skill sets and training to fine tune any areas that need improvement. I’m also lucky that my partner’s daughter is an excellent wrestler and Jiu Jitsu athlete and helps me prep.”

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – Your BJJ is serious level and dangerous, how do you see it matching up with Golding’s wrestling talent?

SAMANTHA SEFF – “I train as hard as possible to be dangerous in every position available. I will never approach a fight with the fear of being outworked. The hard work will be put in all throughout camp and the fight is my reward. I’m bringing the fight to her and I expect carnage and technique on the feet and on the ground. It won’t go the distance.”

Tommy V. (Queen MMA Media) – How do you see the fight playing out?

SAMANTHA SEFF – “The plan is to make a statement with this fight and turn pro with my sights set on the top. This fight will have an exclamation point at the end for sure. I’m always bringing that big dick energy.”



Smantha Seff is a well rounded fighter and will no doubt deliver a big show for the fans and a colossal challenge for the current Cage Wars atomweight title holder.  Will Samantha Seff’s strength and BJJ win the ground battle?  Or will Amy Golding’s decorated wrestling background prove the better?  This title fight has everything needed to become a fierce showdown.

By: T. Vickers (MMA – Journalist)


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LINDSEY VANZANDT talks about upcoming RENA KUBOTA rematch




LINDSEY “Damsel” VANZANDT continues her dynamic climb to the summit of the Atomweight mountain.  

(QUEEN MMA Media) – Lindsey VanZandt (7 – 2) and Rena Kubota (9 – 3) first collided in June of 2019 at Bellator 222 under the lights at Madison Square Garden.  The bout began with exciting stand up exchanges and ended with VanZandt taking control on the ground and putting Kubota asleep via choke.  All by the 4:04 mark of round one.  On December 31, 2019 VanZandt will travel to the other side of the world to face Kubota once more, however this time in her own backyard (Japan).


RENA KUBOTA waiting for the start of round one in their first encounter at Madison Square Garden for Bellator 222.  Photo Credit – Esther / MMA Fighting

Tommy Vickers of QUEEN MMA Media got the pleasure and opportunity to chat with top atomweight Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt leading into her upcoming MMA rematch with Japan shoot boxing sensation Rena Kubota.

Tommy V. (QUEEN MMA Media) – “In your first bout with Rena you gained an amazing victory via choke in the first round. Big congrats to you! How did the win feel?  And to top it off it was at MSG.  Most fighters can only dream of getting the opportunity to fight at Madison Square Garden, Congrats to you.”

​Lindsey VanZandtGetting my hand raised in the middle of MSG was a feeling words can’t do justice. Beating one of the best fighters from Japan, and getting recognized as one of the top 25 professional Atomweight’s in the world felt right. I knew going into that fight with Rena, the only ones who believed I was walking away the winner was my coaches, my family and my management. Sean Rockwell (Manager – Prime Elite Management) even predicted I would finish her in the first via submission.

Tommy V. (QUEEN MMA Media) – “How did it feel to rumble in a venue that has become a sports icon?”

​Lindsey VanZandtMSG is historical for so many reasons, and to be able to compete there, with over 100 of my friends and family there, was absolutely magical.

Tommy V. (QUEEN MMA Media) – “How are you feeling going into this fight?”​

Lindsey VanZandt – “I feel great! I have enhanced my Muay Thai thanks to Stockade Muay Thai; I have improved my Jiu Jitsu under Brian McGlaughlin and Precision MMA; My strength is at its peak thanks to Kings of Fitness. I am more ready then I ever have been.

Tommy V. (QUEEN MMA Media) – “How do you feel about fighting for Rizin?” ​

Lindsey VanZandt – “Given the opportunity to fight in Japan and for Rizin is a surreal feeling. Some of the biggest names in the industry have fought in Japan. I grow up on older UFC and Pride VHS videos, and now I get to be a part of this legacy. The staff at Rizin has been nothing but welcoming, professional and cooperative as we prepare for this trip. Additionally, it was Shannon Knapp and Invicta FC that helped my manager setting this all up and giving their blessing for me to take this huge opportunity.

Tommy V. (QUEEN MMA Media) – “Are you excited about going to Japan?​”

Lindsey VanZandt – “100% This will be the first time I have ever traveled internationally, and I get to go with two (2) of my coaches who are also great friends.

Tommy V. (QUEEN MMA Media) – “It is my understanding that Rena considered the outcome of the first fight to be a fluke.  Is this the reason you agreed to the rematch?”

​Lindsey VanZandt – “My management, coaches and I all agree that Rena does not deserve a rematch, however being able to go to Japan and beat her convincingly (again) in her ring and in front of her fans will be nice. Her and her camp feeling this way is frustrating, but I am ready to make a statement. Sometimes you need to admit to yourself that you lost and just try and get better. Its stupid to lie to yourself.”

Tommy V. – “Some people may say because you won the fight the first time around you have very little to gain and more to lose a second time around.  How do you see it?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “It is true, there is more risk than reward for this rematch. With that said, this fight will bring my name and face to a whole new audience… as well as quiet the doubters who want to use, “the cage”, “jet lag”, etc. as an excuse.

Tommy V. – “I have followed your career from your early amateur days. With a black belt tae kwon do background you have always had good striking. Today your striking in my opinion has evolved to become extremely good. Timing, movement, footwork, range, angles it all seems to be coming together for you.  I consider Rena to be a highly intelligent striker. Going into your first match up with Rena I was interested in the striking match up and how the stand up would play out. I figured you would start out early and test the stand up against Rena and then if needed or if the opportunity came up you would take it to the ground. This seems to be the way it played out in your first encounter.  Is this how you see it?” ​

Lindsey VanZandt – “I think Rena is a very dangerous opponent, especially in her striking, however, I feel I got the best of the stand up in the first bout and plan on showing my KO power in this fight.”

Tommy V. – “Did the first fight against Rena at MSG go as you had planned?” ​

Lindsey VanZandt – “Yes. Everything my coaches and manager put together in the plans went how it was written. It could not have gone more perfect.”

Tommy V. – “You delivered a strong first round finish the first time around.  Do you feel she may have taken you lightly in the first match up?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “​I am not sure if she was taking me lightly or not; I think what happened was her weakness got exposed.”

Tommy V. – “Do you feel she may have perhaps neglected doing her homework on you before the bout?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “No. I am sure as a professional, she and her team did all the homework they could. Last New Year’s Eve I was offered a fight in Japan against her and her team turned it down. Maybe she came in over confident.”

Tommy V. – “I noticed two things in the first fight and both Rena and you may disagree. The first thing I noticed was she may have surprised you a little with her accuracy and hand speed in the stand up exchanges. The second thing I noticed was she seemed surprised by your physical strength when entangled or grappling.  Is this something you noticed? Or did you see it different?”

​Lindsey VanZandt – “I wouldn’t say surprised, but she does have fast hands. Idk if she was surprised or didn’t know how to handle it. I work really hard at Kings of Fitness with my strength and conditioning coaches.”

Tommy V. – “In your first bout versus Rena you both exchanged some brief stand up striking moments early before the action went to the ground. If I may be forward with you it looked as if she may have clipped you with a right hand shot which got your attention and moved you towards seeking a take down.  Would you agree or disagree? Why?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “She did clip me with a nice cross, but that’s really it. I stuck to the game plan. Why wouldn’t I take the fight where I have an advantage?

Tommy V. – “Were you surprised with Rena’s stand up game? Or was it pretty much what you expected?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “​I wasn’t surprised at all. I knew going into the fight that Rena is a skilled and decorated striker.”

Tommy V. – “I think you fought a smart fight the first time. I think you saw the moment, nailed it, and closed the show. You were ruthless with your efforts to secure the choke. You saw your moment and simply refused to let it slip away. It was a big win for you.  It was Rena’s first time in a cage. In my opinion I think the cage played a noticeable part in her loss.  I may be incorrect with this view and Rena and yourself may or may not agree with me, but it appeared she had little experience fighting with her back flat against a cage.  It would seem logical for her to have taken into consideration the cage and perhaps trained with a cage to prepare.  This I am not sure about.  However I do think she quickly realized her movement options had been noticeably reduced compared to the ring ropes she is accustomed to. The ropes and the cage are two very different monsters, as most fighters will agree who have had the opportunity to have experienced both. I believe Rena may not have considered the impact of the cage and how it would affect her skill set and defensive strategy.  Would you agree? Or do you see it differently and how so?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “​I don’t believe the cage played a significant advantage. I secured takedowns without the cage assistance. I also think it will be easier in a ring.”

Tommy V. – “The rematch in Japan may or may not be different. Had you pinned Rena against Rizin ring ropes the first time rather then a cage the motion of the action may have progressed in a different direction.  Fighters can push or bull an opponent and get the strong support of the cage to re-enforce their control over their opponent. The control factor is considerably weakened when holding an opponent against ring ropes. I understand you gained your final take down with Rena’s back free from the cage. There is no question your ability to scramble for position is most credible, yet it seemed to some people her game plan and focus was already shaken by the early engagements against the cage.  Have you taken into consideration how the ropes of the Rizin ring will affect your game plan? Or is this something you feel will not be a factor?” ​

Lindsey VanZandt – “I think everything is a factor, the ropes, the ring, the allowance to through knees and kicks to the head of a downed opponent. However, even with those factors in play, my game plan has been and is being developed with them in mind. I am not concerned even a little.”

Tommy V. – Do you have experience fighting in a ring with ring ropes?

Lindsey VanZandt – “I have experience in a Muay Thai stand point, and we have been training in a ring only leading up to this fight.”

Tommy V. – “And do you see it possibly forcing you into more standup exchanges?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “​I do not think the ring and the ropes will affect my game plan at all. I am excited to exchange in the standup and show my evolution as a complete MMA fighter.

Tommy V. – “Rizin is a different jungle with different rules. Head and face stomps, knees to the head while on the ground, ring corners, and several other things are all fair game at Rizin.  Do you see this being a factor in the rematch?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “​I don’t know if these will be a factor or not, but I hope so. Being allowed to legally soccer kick is something I have always wanted… and now I am able to. It also opens up a lot of offense in which you would normally be scared because an accidental illegal fault.”

Tommy V. – “In your first bout with Rena she began implementing her standard attack mode, moving forward, backing her opponent up, and landing surprisingly quick strikes. Some may feel and I agree, a key to beating Rena is forcing her to fight while backing up. Few have been able to do this. Or perhaps set up a perfect strike. Her other weakness, some may feel, is being forced to fight on the ground. I believe you have a sizable edge if the battle goes to the ground as you proved in the first encounter.  How do you see the match up if it goes to the ground?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “To most people’s surprise to know, Rena has a good submission game. However, if this fight goes to the ground, I WILL FINISH HER.”

Tommy V. – “You did manage to land some clean shots in the early part of round one, how would you evaluate and grade your stand up in the first fight against Rena?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “​If I had to grade myself, I would give it a B-, I am the toughest critic on myself, but I think I was able to implement my plan from the opening bell, to when she passed out. Also, staying calm and confident in such a big arena. All thanks to my mental coach Rob Dawson with Mind Sport Consulting.”

Tommy V. – “You are a confident and determined fighter and I know you enjoy stand up action. I am sure you will be gunning for a KO. Often fighters can get caught up into seeking the stand up battle and forget or willingly ignore the ground game in an effort to show the world they can out strike a striker. You have become a smart fighter and have shown on numerous occasions your alertness and ability to find the weak link in an opponent.  Are you going to take the win when it shows itself? Or do you see yourself looking to try and win a striking battle?”

​Lindsey VanZandt – “I plan on taking the fight and win however it goes. I am not looking for a submission, I am not looking for a KO, I believe they come and I will get the finish.”

Tommy V. – “What can the fans expect to see from you in the rematch​?”

Lindsey VanZandt – “FIRE… There will NOT be a judge’s decision in this fight, there will be a finish.

Tommy V. – “How do you see the fight playing out?”

​Lindsey VanZandt – “I see this fight going similar as to the first fight, I will dictate where this fight goes, when it goes there and how it gets there. I see me standing in the middle of the Rizin ring getting my hand raised and gaining the respect of the entire crowd.”

There is no question VanZandt is confident and ready to put on a show in front of the large Saitama Super Arena crowd.  This is going to be an exciting fight.  Lindsey VanZandt is an amazing fighter and in my opinion has proven herself to be one of the top atomweights in the pro MMA fight game.



By: T. Vickers (MMA – Journalist)


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This will be QUEEN MMA MEDIA’S third annual Professional Athlete of the Year award.  In 2017 Lindsey VanZandt was selected professional of the year.  In 2018 Kathryn Paprocki was voted professional of the year.  In early November Queen MMA Media began accepting nominations for professional of the year (2019).  We invited our fans and followers to nominate the fighter they felt should be Queen MMA Professional Athlete of the Year (2019).  The deadline for nominations was December 1, 2019.  Queen MMA is proud to present the 2019 Professional Athlete of the Year Nominees.

Queen MMA Media received sixteen nominees for the Professional of the Year award this year.  This list was narrowed down to those who received the most nominations.  Included with the nominees name is a brief quote taken from one of the nominations sent in.  The official top ten nominees for Queen MMA Media Professional of the Year (2019) are as follows:

OLIVIA “Phoenix” PARKER – Liv fights out of Tennessee and trains under Knoxville Martial Arts Academy.  The thirty-seven year old lightweight produced an undefeated (5-0) amateur career.  She turned pro in 2019 and has generated a (3-0) record winning all three of her professional bouts.

“I nominate Liv Parker.  Her story of victory is a huge inspiration to many folks.  A wife, a mother of two kids, a school teacher, a track coach, and still managed to compile an (5-0) amateur record and a (3-0) pro record.”

LEAH “The Curse” McCOURT – Leah fights out of Northern Ireland and trains under Straight Blast Gym Charlestown.  She went (2-0) in 2019 with both victories coming by way of first round finish under the Bellator promotional banner.  The twenty-seven year old featherweight is fast developing into a top level professional.

“We love Leah.  She has made us so proud.  She deserves your award.  She deserves the best.”

MARISA “Spider Monkey” BELENCHIA – Marisa fights out of Connecticut and trains under Ultimate MMA CT.  Marisa had a productive 2019, capturing multiple victories as an atomweight in MMA and gaining a win in the sport of boxing.  She is a well rounded fighter with a ton of grit.

“Marisa is a fighter.  She is as tough as it gets.  Marisa always brings it.  I nominate Marisa for you pro award.”

“Hurricane” HOPE CHASE – Hope fights out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and trains under Indio Dojo and White Viper Martial Arts.  The twenty-one year old went (2-0) in 2019 finishing both victories in the first round.

“Hope is unbelievable.  She is going to be in the UFC someday!  I nominate Hope Chase for professional of the year.”

HILARIE ROSE – Hilarie fights out of Massachusetts.  She is on a four fight winning streak and went (2-0) in 2019.  Hilarie has fought all of her pro bouts under the CES promotional banner and continues to evolve in a positive direction as a professional.

“I would like to nominate Hilarie Rose for professional athlete of the year.  She has won her last four fights plus she gives so much to others in the sport.  Thank you Queen MMA for what you have done to help women’s MMA.”

JENNY SAVAGE – Jenny fights out of Tennessee and is riding a two fight winning streak in 2019.  She is a fierce pro level competitor who always gives one hundred percent.

“I nominate Jenny!  She fights the hardest and looks the hottest.  Her fights are always the most exciting.”

KATIE “Maquina Asesina” PEREZ – Katie fights out of North Carolina and trains under Team Phoenix.  She climbed to the top of the amateurs with a solid (4-1) record before turning professional in November of 2019.  Look for this twenty-six year old atomweight to continue sharpening her skills into 2020.  Katie is a promising new professional.

“I seen her win the Ogitchidaa Fight Promotion (OFP) Atomweight title.  I have been a fan ever since.  She is one tough girl.  I nominate Katie!”

GENIA GOODIN – Genia fights out of Kentucky.  She compiled an amazing (8-0) record as an amateur.  In June of 2019 she gained her professional debut victory under the Invicta Fighting Championship promotional banner.  Genia is an outstanding strawweight who many believe will have a spectacular pro career.

“Genia Goodin!  She was the best strawweight in the amateurs and she will be the best in the pros.”

“All Hail” HAILEY COWAN – Hailey fights out of Texas.  She went (2-0) in 2019 and is riding a four fight win streak.  Hailey has spent her professional career under the Legacy Fighting Alliance promotional banner and is fast becoming a name among flyweights.

“Hailey has proven herself at LFA.  The crowd loves her.  Hailey is a great flyweight.  I nominate Hailey Cowan for the Queen MMA pro award.”

JILLIAN “LionHeart” DeCOURSEY – Jillian fights out of Queens, New York and is always a game opponent.  She is a top quality professional atomweight who has experienced the ups and downs of the pros.  Her desire to never quit continues to shine bright.  In November of 2019 Jillian gained a convincing victory putting her back on the road to the top of the mountain.

“I have known Jillian for a long time.  I know a lot of female fighters and Jillian has the heart of a lion just like her nickname says.  Put Jillian DeCoursey down as a nominee.”  

Queen MMA Media extends a BIG congratulations to the nominees! Keep your eyes open for these ten Professional Athlete of the Year (2019) nominees as they will be posted on the QUEEN MMA MEDIA facebook page for open voting to determine Professional Athlete of the Year 2019 – very soon!


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This will be QUEEN MMA MEDIA’S third annual Amateur Athlete of the Year award.  In 2017 Helen Peralta was selected amateur of the year.  In 2018 Andrea Howland was voted amateur of the year.  In early November Queen MMA Media began accepting nominations for amateur of the year (2019).  We invited our fans and followers to nominate the fighter they felt should be Queen MMA Amateur Athlete of the Year (2019).  The deadline for nominations was December 1, 2019.  Queen MMA is proud to present the 2019 Amateur Athlete of the Year Nominees.

Queen MMA Media received twenty-eight nominees for the Amateur of the Year award this year.  This sizable list was narrowed down to those who received the most nominations.  Included with the nominees name is a brief quote taken from one of the nominations sent in.  The official top eight nominees for Queen MMA Media Amateur of the Year (2019) are as follows:

SAMANTHA SEFF – Samantha “Wolf Queen” Seff fights out of North Carolina and trains under Schell Schock BJJ.  She is an accomplished atomweight mix martial artist who is always striving to be the best she can be.

“I nominate Sam because she is the toughest person I know.  Her dedication speaks for itself.”

GLORY WATSON – Glory “The Fury” Watson fights out of Maine and trains under Young’s MMA.  Watson produced an extremely positive year in the cage gathering four wins in 2019 as well as the New England Fights Amateur Flyweight Championship Title.  

“I have been beside Glory for her entire eighteen month fight career and you would be hard pressed to find someone with more heart and dedication to this sport than her.”

ALANA DELVA – Alana Delva is out of Florida and has proven herself to be an outstanding combat sports athlete.   She is currently state champion for Pankration MMA under the USFL, National Pankration MMA champion, Panda Cup Pankration MMA champ, 3-time ISKA sport MMA world champion, and the only athlete to earn double gold at the IMMAF world championship in Rome (2019).  All at the age of twelve years old.  

“At a young age Alana has become one of the most talked about and known MMA athletes in the state of Florida.  She has become a positive role model for the youth.”

MEGAN ROSADO – Megan Rosado is a bright bantamweight prospect who fights out of Maine and trains under Evolution Athletix.  She went (4-0) in 2019.

“I would like to nominate Megan Rosado.  She has become one of my favorite New England amateur fighters.  I enjoy watching her get better with every fight.” 

KENDAL HOLOWELL – Kendal Holowell fights out of Arkansas and trains under Without Limits MMA.  She put together an impressive (3-0) record in 2019 against top quality opponents.

“I nominate Kendal Holowell.  She is (6-1) as an amateur.  She went undefeated in 2019 and captured the Pyramid Fights amateur Strawweight title.”

CHELSEA TUCKER – Chelsea Tucker fights out of Maine and trains under First Class Fitness & MMA.  She went (2-0) in 2019.

“I would like to nominate Chelsea for Queen MMA amateur fighter of the year.  I have been following amateur MMA for many years and I have never seen an amateur fighter turn the direction of their career around so dramatically.  In my opinion through commitment and grit Chelsea is becoming a serious MMA fighter.” 

KELSEY HILDAL – Kelsey Hildal fights out of Mississippi and gained five victories during the 2019 year.  In August of 2019 she captured the Premier MMA Championships Amateur Strawweight title via unanimous decision.

“I love watching Kelsey fight.  She trains hard and fights hard.  I nominate Kelsey for the Queen MMA amateur award.”

AMY GOLDING – Amy Golding fights out of New York.  In November of 2019 she won the Cage Wars Amateur Atomweight championship title by way of unanimous decision after taking the fight on extremely short notice. 

“Amy will take any challenge anytime.  She is an amazing athlete who works hard and never quits.  She inspires more people than she realizes.”

Queen MMA Media extends a BIG congratulations to the nominees!  Keep your eyes open for these eight Amateur Athlete of the Year (2019) nominees as they will be posted on the QUEEN MMA MEDIA facebook page for open voting to determine Amateur Athlete of the Year 2019 – very soon!


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