Amateur Record 5-1
Weight Class 125
Previous / Current Titles and Awards
Second2None flyweight champ
Absolute Action Flyweight champ
Numerous BJJ tournaments over the region
Martial Arts Style, MMA School or Training
BaDDoG MMA, Team Cruz Muay Thai/Boxing
How did you get started in mixed martial arts? What aspects of your training do you enjoy the most and the least?
Just like most people I saw an old VHS. It wasn't UFC 1 but it was close... I watched Royce Gracie do his thing and was hooked. I trained with friends wherever I could. And in 2007' I joined Highlander MMA. I never looked back.
As far as what I like the most and least, I love all parts of training. Just not a big fan of the dieting...
Do you have plans on going pro? If so when can we look for the announcement?
I was set to fight pro Oct 20. My opponent Cody Kessinger backed out last minute. While training for a new opponent I injured my ACL so I’m just healing up now. Well see what happens this year...
Where do you feel mixed martial arts will take you? What are your goals?
I love training so I will always be on the mat. Ill keep competing. I plan to do some boxing, muay Thai, and BJJ individually. A big goal is to keep growing the BJJ program at BaDDoG MMA.
How important is training in a Gi, even when your goal is strictly limited to MMA competition?
Very Important!!! We wear the Gi a lot at the gym. I love no gi/mma but the Gi keeps your game tight. I believe to compete at a high level, you have to wear the gi.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I definitely want to thank my gym. BaDDoG MMA. IM proud to be apart of the gym, and also to be the BJJ/MMA coach. Mike O Donnell my BJJ Coach, Rock Cruz my muay Thai/boxing coach. My sponsors... Revgear, French Kiss Productions, The wisdom Foundation, Gotti Fight gear, Accugraphix, Beau at Alliance SDS . All my teammates and training partners past and present.
Previous / Current Titles and Awards:
---1 Premier Fighting Challenge’s #1 contender for the women’s flyweight championship belt
---2.Premier Fighting Challenge’s women’s flyweight championship belt holder.
Martial Arts Style:
---I am a freestyle fighter.
What got you into martial arts and where do you feel it is going to take you?
---I got into martial arts through an old friend that I am no longer acquainted with. She was doing MMA at the time and thought it would be something I would enjoy. I went with her and her boyfriend at the time to a martial arts gym in Pound, VA and found that I absolutely loved it. I feel like it will take me as far as I will allow myself to go and I want with every ounce of my being to make it to the top. Eventually, I would love to see myself on an Invicta card. That is my dream as of now.
When doing research, I found your record listed on MixedMartialArts.com listed as 2-1 but your fan page your listed
as 3-2. Tell us a little bit more about your experience as a fighter.
---When I first began fighting back in 2008, my first fight was in Hazard, KY at the armory. There were only a handful of female fighters so I had to take what they would give me. My first match was against Tyesh Johnson. She took the fight literally the night before, as my intended opponent had to cancel for some reason I can’t recall. I weighed around 170 lbs. and she was a little over 200 lbs. I won that fight in the first round via TKO. My second
match was against Krystal Combs, the women’s heavyweight champion, but for some unknown reason my coach at the time
felt like I was ready and could handle it. She weighed in around 230 lbs and I was about 160 lbs. We went two rounds, standing, not once going to the ground. It was a very bloody fight, all my blood haha. She broke my nose and gave me two black eyes. The fight ended a little into the second round via doctor stoppage. My nose wouldn’t stop free flowing blood so they called it off. To this day, I still feel as though I could have continued, but that may just be my inner warrior. I do not give up. It’s not in me. Women’s weight classes were virtually nonexistent at that time and given my location there really wasn’t much I could do about it. I just wanted to fight so I took whoever they threw at me. After those two fights, I took a couple of years off to just train and focus on getting stronger and better. I wanted to lose more weight and fight in a class where I would have more quality opponents. Honestly, I felt like my coach at time was holding me back and not pushing me in the direction I wanted to go in. I eventually left that gym and went to the Dawg House, which is much closer to my home. There I found a couple of wonderful coaches, Steve Bolinskey and Ballard Jones, who have shown me better ways to train and have made me into the fighter I am today. Before training at the Dawg House I had almost no standup game whatsoever. After that two year break, they got me back in the cage. I became a completely different fighter and person.
What does a typical training week at Dawg House gym include? Besides training martial arts what are some other aspects of your training?
---Training at the Dawg House is unlike any other training I have ever experienced. We train hard. We are known for our stand up. There is not a day that goes by I don’t go home sore and I love that. We do a lot of cardio training. We have a variety of free weights, a bench, a bench press bar, and a curl bar for lifting. We also use an elliptical and a spinning bike. There are heavy bags, mats for grappling, some fencing so we can do cage control work, and a speed bag. We have a track that we run daily, and bleachers to run up and down. We use the tennis courts sometimes for cardio training. Ballard Jones, my Muay Thai instructor works our hands, kicks, elbows, and knees with us daily. He is wonderful. Steve Bolinskey, my head coach, works with us on our ground game and is in charge of booking all of my team’s fights. He is an amazing teacher. As a team, we all work together to help each other prepare for our fights. We do a lot of strength training and endurance exercises. We normally train 3 days a
week for around 3-4 hours, but that’s just standard. The gym is always open to us if we decide we want to come in on an off day. My coaches are more than accommodating and extremely caring. They truly want to see each and every one of my team mates and I succeed.
You are currently the PFC women’s flyweight champion, with 5 fights. Do you have any plans on going pro and if so when can we look for that announcement?
---I do have every intention of going pro sometime in the near future. I would like to have at least 6 wins under my belt before I make that leap. I understand that once you go pro that is a whole different ball game and the level of competition is stepped up greatly. At this point I do not feel ready for that but most definitely in the near future. If I had to give a time frame I would say by the end of 2013 at the earliest. I want to make sure I am
100% ready, mind and body.
You have an upcoming match in 2 weeks, what are some details of this match? Will it be a title defense?
---Unfortunately I had to cancel that match. I was supposed to fight Maddy Simmons in a flyweight match. However, I’m having some trouble with my wisdom teeth. It’s making it very hard to train and focus. I won’t go into a fight unless I am fully ready for an all-out war. I treat every fight as if it were the most important fight of my life. I won’t go into it with anything less. Luckily, it would not have been a title defense. I won the title for Premier Fighting Challenge and I won’t have to defend that until spring of next year, I believe. The fight I had to cancel was for Cage Brawl. They’re a different promotion. I’ve fought for them only once before.
Are there any sponsors or supporters you would like to thank or give a shout out too? Include anything else you would like to mention not included in the questions.
---I would love to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful coaches, Steve and Ballard. They are nothing short of amazing. I have never had coaches that cared so much about the fighter as an individual. I would also like to thank my team mates. Without them I wouldn’t be what I am today. They are my motivation. They keep me going. They are my brothers. I would like to thank Premier Fighting Challenge for all the opportunities they have given me. They are a great promotion to fight for and I enjoy being on their cards. Lastly, but definitely not least, I would
like to thank my grandfather, my dad, and my boyfriend. Every single time I step into that cage I fight for my grandfather. Those three men are my biggest fans and supporters. They’ve always had my back and my best interest in mind since the beginning.I would LOVE to take this time to thank Stacie and Paul Kaldy from UR Fight. They have been really good to me. They made my last walkout shirt and have made another one for my next fight. They have gotten me a great deal of exposure and i am forever grateful to them. One more, I would thank Miss Gina Begley for giving this opportunity to be interviewed. I appreciate all the exposure I get and am beyond thankful. Each time I am awarded with a new opportunity of any kind I am greatly humbled, so thank you.
Amateur of the week Brayden “The Dragon” Esposito
Grappling placed 37 out of 45 times, with 10 gold, 16 Silver and 11 Bronze
Youth MMA 0-1
I typically weigh in at 57-59 lbs
Previous / Current Titles and Awards
At this time I don’t hold any titles, but I am working towards two this summer. I was promoted to yellow belt in Judo in April and promoted to yellow belt in BJJ in September. I was only a 3 stripe white belt when I got promoted.
Martial Arts Style
I have multiple disciplines BJJ, Muay Thai, Judo, and MMA. My favorites are BJJ and MMA
I have several favorite fighters, Adult male fighter is my teammate Rob Hanna and Adult female is Zoila Gurgel. My favorite youth fighters are Female is Taylor “The Terror” Guerra and Male is Ben “The Tiger” Bagbek.
How old was Brayden when he started and why did he begin training in Martial Arts? PARENTS
Brayden was 9 when he started BJJ. He had a friend that was taking Karate for a while and Brayden had been asking us to try it for sometime. We finally gave in and started looking into the various Martial Arts and felt BJJ would better suit him. The Muay Thai, Judo and MMA came after seeing the adults doing it at the Gym. This was something he just wanted to try because he thought it was cool!
How did he become involved in competitive combat sport?
It just happened. He saw something about youth Naga matches on YouTube and asked if he could try it. After 2 weeks of training Brayden did his first NAGA and placed 3rd and the Dragon was born. Shortly after Naga he became very interested in youth MMA/ Pankration fights as well. He pestered the owner of the gym Mike Patt when he was going to offer youth Muay Thai classes, which he started in February of this year.
Juggling school and training can be a challenge, what does a typical week include? What classes do you attended, which ones are your favorite? Do you have favorite submissions or techniques you enjoy learning or using?
My typical week starts out with a 20-30 minute work out in the morning before school, then breakfast and school. If dad is home I go home eat and do some homework then pack up in the car and head to Dayton MMA (1.25 hour trip each way). If not I go to the sitters them mom picks me up and head to class. This is what I do 4 days a week and I have private lessons 1 day a week as well as I work out and train at home1 day a week. I am a Straight A student who is on the honor roll every quarter. I train Muay Thai and MMA on Mondays and Wednesdays Tuesday and Thursdays is BJJ, Judo. Private lessons change weekly. My favorite classes are MMA and BJJ. My favorite submissions are Arm bars and the Triangle chokes
You compete regularly and attend seminars, typically what competitions do you participate in? What competitions and seminars do you find most enjoyable?
I typically compete in NAGA, EGO and OGC and I am now starting to do some youth MMA/ Pankration. The seminars I like the best are the MMA and I like the youth MMA and Pankration fights.
What would you like to be when you grow up? How will your martial arts help you in what you hope to do?
I have the dream to become a professional fighter, But I know how hard it is to become one, I would be happy as a Navy SEAL. My training will help me with both choices for the navy SEAL it will help with hand to hand fighting and the discipline I will need to become a SEAL.
What awards and achievements have you acquired since your began your training?
I have only been at this a year but so far I am the youngest amateur MMA fighter in my gym. NAGA has me ranked #1 in OH for both Gi and No Gi. I am ranked #3 in Gi and #4 in No Gi in the Midwest for NAGA as well
My record is:
3rd place Novice no-gi @ NAGA Mid West 2011 (with two weeks of training in BJJ)
1st in GI Randori @ the 32nd Tri-State Karate/ Ju-jitsu Championship February 2012 10-11 year old advanced div.
3rd in GI @ the 32nd Tri-State Karate/ Ju-jitsu Championship February 2012 10-11 year old advanced div.
OGC Tri-State grappling challenge January 2012 4th place in gi and no-gi 70-80lb advanced div.
3rd in Gi and No-gi at the OGC Midwest open March 2012 in the 70-80lb weight class Advanced
2nd in GI randori @ the 44th Ohioan Karate/ Ju-jitsu Championship March 2012 10-11 year old advanced div.
3rd in GI @ the 44th Ohioan Karate/ Ju-jitsu Championship March 2012 10-11 year old advanced div.
1st place in Piqua Judo Tournament April 2012 10- 11 yr old div.
2nd Place No-Gi Naga Chicago April 2012 Beginner 50-59.9 LB Div.
3rd Place GI Naga Chicago April 2012 Intermediate 50-59.9 LB Div.
2nd Place Gi EGO Greenwood IN Beginner Fly Weight Div.
3rd Place No-GI EGO Greenwood In Beginner Fly weight Div.
2nd plce No Gi Grapplers Quest Ohio May 2012 Beginner 60-69.9 LB
2nd place No Gi Grapplers Quest Ohio May 2012 Beginner 70-79.9LB
2nd place Gi Grapplers quest Ohio May 2012 Beginner 60-69.9 LB
1st place Gi and No Gi NAGA Columbus Ohio June 2012 Beginner 60-69.9Lb
2nd place Gi and No Gi NAGA Columbus Ohio June 2012 Expert 50-59.9 LB
2nd Place No gi NAGA Hartford June 2012 Intermediate 50-59.9Lbs
3rd Place Gi Naga Hartford June 2012 Intermediate 50-59.9lbs
2nd Place Gi OGC Union Ky August 2012 Advanced 70-75lbs
2nd In Gi and No gi NAGA Illinois Chicago IL August 2012 Intermediate 60-69.9Lbs
1st place in Gi EGO Columbus Columbus OH September 2012 Intermediate 50-59Lbs
1st place in No-Gi EGO Columbus Columbus OH September 2012 Intermediate 50-59Lbs By Default all competiors backed out after our GI matches
2nd place No-Gi EGO Columbus Columbus OH September 2012 Intermediate 60-69lbs
3rd Place No Gi OGC Pickerington OH, October 2012 Advanced 60-69lbs
2nd Place gi and No Gi Naga Midwest Championships November 2012 Intermediate 60-69.9LBS
Youth Modified MAA record 0-1 First Fight Bloomington IL September 2012
I like playing video games MW3 and Black Ops are a couple of my favorites shooting my Airsoft gun, hanging with my friends and just being a kid
Is there anyone you would like to mention or thank including sponsors or fan page information?
All my fans, my Coaches Ryan, John, Eddie, Orion, Chris and my newest coach Robbie. I need to thank all my sponsors. Virus action, Fatal Clothing, Impulse Photography, Dayton MMA, Pain Theory Clothing, Stickem up Graphics, 7th Day media, and Cage Hero.
I can’t forget my Mom and Dad who take me everywhere I need to be.
You can check me out on the following
Brayden has had the opportunity to meet and train with some of the best in both adult and youth MMA and BJJ and has made some great friends along the way.
Brayden did a fund raiser for The Wounded Warrior Project and raised over $325.00 for them.
Naga Columbus 6/2012 Competed Intermediate 60-69.9 and won both Gi and No Gi divisions all matches were won by submission
Ego Columbus 9/2012 Competed Intermediate 50-59 and won No Gi division all wins were by submission. His first match was less than 10 seconds. He won Gi By default as all his competitors backed out because they didn’t want to face him again.
His accomplishments have all been done within his first year of training.
Some of his upcoming events
November Marcus Almeida seminar one of the youngest to be attending the seminar
December Cage Pankration in WI
January Bluegrass Brawl 5
February A submission only youth grappling Tourney
June TBA Classic in Des Monies IA
November 11, 2012
Amateur of the Week 8 year old Christopher Begley trains at the AFS Academy in Richmond, KY
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Submission Wrestling, Muay Thai, and Kali
WVFights Sports Radio amateur of the week is Christopher Begley. He is very well mannered bright young man, highly active in martial arts. He trains at the AFS Academy in Richmond, Kentucky where he also lives and goes to school. Chris has won multiple national and local gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu tournaments. With the popularity of MMA on a fast paced rise, more and more youth are getting involved in martial arts and competitions. Jiu-Jitsu offers a low injury risk competitive sport that many parents find practical not only for self defense and self esteem but also in keeping their child involved in an extra curricular activity. WV Fights took a second to catch up with one of the promising youth of MMA. Due to the age of the amateur, some answers were provided by the parent. Answers provided in italics were answered directly by Christopher Begley.
Chris is only 8 years old yet enters competitions in the expert divisions. This usually includes years involved in martial arts. How old was Chris when he started and why did he begin training in Martial Arts?
Chris was enrolled in the Youth JKD program at the AFS Academy when he was 4 years old. He was very young for the program but with some extra work on the weekends we were able to keep him caught up with the class curriculum. Initially Chris was enrolled in the program to help him burn up the high amount of energy he had that distracted him from task. The JKD program was very physical and focused a lot on discipline. Since he would be starting school soon, it seemed like a perfect fit for helping his focus. Chris had always been very physical so he took to the training very well. After training for a little over a year, a local competition came around. He entered and won. MMA has us hook, line, and sinker.
What does a typical week of training and school include?
Typically Chris attends school all day, comes home and does homework and reading immediately. Afterwards, he usually attends classes at the AFS Academy. While there he either participates in classes or does strength and conditioning workouts he can do on his own. When he is finished he usually reads or finishes up homework. After the gym he goes home to play do activities until its time for sleep. On the weekends he attends practices that includes drilling more specific to his individual goals or competitions. Everyday, he is also encouraged to drink a lot of water and eat a lot to make up the calories he burns in his classes. Saturday evening is usually spent chilling out at home, going to a movie, or doing something fun like play video games or watch TV.
What has been your best memory or moment since starting martial arts?
Going to Thai Camp
In the summer of 2011 Chris attended the Thai Boxing Associations North Pacific Training Camp. It is 4 days in the mountains of Oregon, camping in tents, training outside from 6 am until at least 8 at night. In the morning you get up and run 1 mile half of which is up a steep hill. For the rest of the day you will drill techniques in the open field taking breaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During that camp Chris was fortunate enough to train with the Ajarn Chai Sirisute, Guru Dan Inasanto, and Ajarn Greg Nelson just to name a few. He was given the bell boy award and worked very hard everyday of camp. Chris hopes to attend the 2013 camp.
You compete regularly, anything coming up soon?
NAGA Nashville next week! Chris will also be participating in a single match at the Bluegrass Brawl in Lexington, KY. They showcase youth grappling at their events. Considering the cost of traveling and competitions, we are excited to take part in a match close to home free of charge. The very next day on January 5th the Bluegrass Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu Open will be held in Louisville. It is relatively close and has some great competition. In the summer Chris will participate in the 6th Annual TBA Muay Thai tournament in Des Moines, IA. It would be nice to have at least one kickboxing match before this competition but that is the only definite match scheduled.
What is your favorite class and why?
Grappling. Doing chokes and stuff is fun.
What is your favorite submission?
Rear Naked Choke
Striking Technique or combination?
What would you like to be when you grow up?
Part of the army. A soldier.
How will your martial arts help you in what you hope to do when you grow up?
Punching, kicking, and defending if I don’t have a gun.
What awards and achievements have you acquired since your began your training?
February 20, 2010
Hayastan Grappling Tournament No-Gi : Gold
December 4, 2010
Southern Kentucky Grappling Challenge No-Gi : Gold
February 11, 2011
NAGA Atlanta, GA No-Gi : Gold
Gi : Gold
September 17, 2011
Ultimate Classic No-Gi : Gold
Halloween Bash No-Gi Gold
March 31, 2012
NAGA Nashville, TN No-Gi : Silver
Gi : Silver
May 12, 2012
BBJJO Louisville, KY Gi : Gold
June 9, 2012
OGC Lexington, KY No- Gi : Gold
Gi : Gold
September 29th 2012
Bluegrass Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Gi - Gold
October 1st 2012
Youth JKD Green Belt Promotion under Sifu Scott Elliott
2011 Pacific Northwest TBA Camp Award For Encouragement
Is there anyone you would like to mention or thank?
As a family we would like to thank our instructor Scott Elliott and everyone at the AFS Academy for all of their support. Thank you to all friends and family that support and contribute to Chris competitions and training. Please take a moment to like his fan page on Facebook.