Convicted Artist Magazine

Mar 20th
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Danny Salinas: His Own Words Part 2

Edited for publishing

Been getting in some good training with some really tough guys; I just got through sparring with Luis Vega, Joe Rodriguez, Dee Jay Fuentes, Rocky Long, Luis Rubalcava, Julio Viramontes, and young up-and-comer Rolando Abundis.  The most important part of training is the ability to train at a high level with trustworthy individuals: people that will make you work without trying to rip your head off in the process. These guys have been exceptional and are very much appreciated. 


As a fighter, fear plays a large part in my life and is the driving force behind my training: the fear of failure, letting friends down, getting knocked out, and not making weight.  These are what push me to work hard. It's always in the back if my mind, nibbling away at my psyche.  I know that somewhere out there, there is a guy training to physically hurt me. Luckily, I've learned to harness that fear and use it as fuel to push myself hard and not give up. Historically, I have not fared well against Brazillians so I'm working harder than ever to change that. For the first time in a long time, I have a great supporting cast and I honestly believe that I will take this title home.

I've come too far to succumb to fear. This July 19th, I will come home a champion and put all doubts and fears to rest for good.


"Dangerous" Danny Salinas: Inside the MMA Mind

The following was edited for publishing

June 12, 2014

I know, at times, this job can just be flat out exhausting and frustrating: the aches, pains, and stress caused by it can make you question your time and effort.

Today, I just ran and trained submission wrestling, after working a full shift in the early a.m. 

Today, I just kinda took a deep breath and exhaled; the world, training, and fatigue just flat-out won. 

Tomorrow, I'll be back stronger and better than I was today.


One thing I've learned as a fighter is to really appreciate the people that are outside of the training areas, the ones who put up with my ups, downs, and everything in between. It takes a lot of patience to put up with a fighter; we are certainly a complex species and, at times, just flat-out whiners. 

My fiancée has shown unbelievable patience as well as understanding as she holds a job teaching and being a mother, all the while being the pillar of the household.  I also appreciate my parents for constantly going out of their way to help us out with our two year old, Malaki.  Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day and I feel spread thin: working full time, training all day and dieting; being a good role model can be tough but having my parents to lean on for advice is always appreciated. They love and take care of our son and do anything in their power to help me and Laura out.

Then there are the sponsors, like Tyrone Vasquez, Xavi Deleon, and Jason Guerra.  Those guys really go out of their way to make sure I never need anything.   In this game, you don't go far without a good team, and I'm extremely grateful for these amazing people as a I gear up for the toughest fight to date.


I also forgot to thank my boss, Noe Meza, at 9 Round Boxing:  that man goes above and beyond for me, always accommodating my constant schedule training changes.


"Dangerous" Danny Salinas: Inside the Mind and Camp of a Cage Warrior

Rio Grande Valley combatant Danny Salinas is currently preparing to face Jorge "Macaco" Patino on July 19, 2014 in Galveston, Texas for an MMA title. It is a great opportunity for the tough Texan and one that will be chronicled on Convicted Artist Magazine's MMA blog as Danny has agreed to give unfettered access during training camp.

Salinas will be sharing his thoughts, experiences and key situations that arise during this camp via a "journal" style format. This will not be a daily exercise log type of a report but will actually present readers with an honest view through the emotions, physical pains, family trials and inclusive lifestyle of a cage fighter. Danny has agreed to be as candid as possible and will attempt capture camp life in his own words.

Make sure to be checking back often as updates will be posted periodically.      

Sergio L. Martinez

Jon "Bones" Jones: Spineless?

The quality of Jon Jones is not something many legitimately question as the UFC light heavyweight champion is often regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in MMA. Overall, "Bone's" title reign has been an easy one except for his legendary bout against Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson. Prior to meeting the Swedish powerhouse who is based out of the All Star Training Center in Stockholm, Sweden, Jones was cruising.

Against "The Mauler", Jones found himself behind early and could not do to Gustafsson what he does best: take the imposing Nordic warrior to the cage floor. Gustafsson was able to stuff 12 out of the 13 takedown attempts by Jones. On top of that, "The Mauler" punished "Bones" with thudding leg strikes and detonated hard fistic blows which consistently hurt Jones. In the end, Jones managed to retain his title via a controversial decision but he appeared to be the beaten man. Since that fight, Jones has gone on to defend his title and Gustafsson has also successfully competed his way back into contention.

A contract offer has been made to "The Mauler" for the rematch which Gustafsson signed immediately. The reason this rematch is not official is because Jon Jones has refused to sign on the dotted line. Apparently, Jones is focusing on Daniel Cormier and has indicated that he wants nothing to do with Gustafsson. This is not meant to disrespect Cormier, but the real fight that everyone wants to see is a rematch between "The Mauler" and Jon Jones.

One can understand "Bone's" hesitation to fight the Swedish monster as their first battle was a grueling affair. Still, real champions that go on to beome legends overcome their fears and greatest challenges by facing them again and leaving no doubt as to who is the best. For Jones, Gustafsson is the one true threat to his reign so it is time for the champion to show that he is the best fighter in MMA in the world.  

Sergio L. Martinez

To Cut Weight or Not to Cut Weight: That is the Question

Regularly, fighters cut as much weight as possible in an attempt to gain an advantage when agreeing to engage in combat. Tools and techniques commonly employ are: sauna suits, sauna baths, starvation, dehydration, excessive amounts of training, diuretics and all sort of strange dieting methods to cut the desired amount of weight. These methods ensure that fighters can cut up to 40 pounds in a span of five to seven weeks.   Deprivation is the mantra of the vast majority of all camps.

It doesn't take a genius to question the positive viability of such tactics. Although the fighter feels a psychological edge after “coming down” in weight to be the “bigger” fighter come fight night, one still has to wonder the price being levied on the human body. Luckily, I was able to seek the counsel of a professional to get this answer.

For over 15 years, Pete Ramirez has been studying, competing, training and learning about the effects that exercise and nutrition has on the human body. He owns and operates his own personal training studio (Fitness Saves) and has a growing stable of MMA fighters and boxing professionals. Ramirez took time out of his busy schedule to provide his expertise.      

Cutting Weight Properly v. “Deprivation” Tactics

"The issue that is really at the core of this is that fighters really need to see themselves as 'year round athletes' and not just being dedicated for those five or six weeks of [training] camp. A dedicated athlete maintains his body fat at 10% or less year round. [Fighters] tend to be very stubborn and they have their own way of cutting weight so, as a trainer, I work with what I have in front of me. I really take time to explain how starving yourself and overall deprivation actually makes you weaker and gives you stamina problems come the fight. 'Clean eating' coupled with a comprehensive, year-round program will ensure that the fighter is strong, lean, healthy, and lightning-fast come the fight. This is what I instill in my fighters and my success so far speaks for itself."

Short-term and Long-term Effects

"In the short-term, cutting weight without proper nutrition results in the body losing muscle which obviously weakens the fighter. There is only so long a machine can run efficiently if it is not receiving the right fuel. In the long-term, going up and down over the course of years is just not a healthy concept. There are several health issues that may arise later in life because the body is just not equipped to be treated in this way."

Word to the Wise

"It is important to really take the time and make a decision if you really want to train and give yourself the best chance at success. The science is there and as a trainer, it is my job to know what works best. This is what I do and I'm always prepared. Any person that walks through my studio doors needs to be ready to make that commitment and follow the program given to them. I take a lot of pride in my work and I make sure that every person that I train, whether it be a fighter or someone just looking to learn to be healthy, I'm going to commit to meeting their goals. It's the only way I know how to apply my craft and it is the way I believe every trainer should approach every pupil. It's an honor."

Sergio L. Martinez

The Transformation from Human to Subhuman: Survival inside the Cage

The Transformation from Human to Subhuman: Survival inside the Cage

Although full contact contests are considered "sports," anyone directly involved with this type of business at the professional level will readily admit that this is not an accurate title.  At the core of areas such as mixed martial arts, there are disciplines in which basic competitions solidify the "sports" concept.  But once a fighter turns professional and steps into the cage, the "sports" aspect of MMA is lost. 

The cage is not a place to compete as much as it is a forum for survival.  MMA combatants, just like all other blood sport warriors, make great sacrifices during training and with life in general.  Self-deprivation of basic life enjoyments like food, recreation, family time and sexual contact are replaced by long days of strenuous exercise, starvation, constant thoughts of self-doubt intermixed with others' predictions of ultimate failure.  These types of self-imposed physical and mental defilements take a toll but are necessities to ensure that the viciousness needed to fight through the fear of failure and physical pain will be sufficient to overcome these obstacles.

This toxic combination, also known as training camp, molds and ultimately reveals the true face of the devil that once stood as a human.  As the fight grows near, the mask is eventually removed and the demon needed to conquer the battle in the cage rears its ugly head. 

This is what it takes.  This is the real face of MMA.

Sergio L. Martinez



MMA Team’s Nightmare: The Difference between a 2-0 Fighter and a Fighter with a 2-0 Record Listed

I’ve done the matchmaker gig in one of my several prior incarnations and I can tell you that it is one of the hardest jobs in all of sports. Things get even harder when you’re the guy responsible to match a pugilist in your own stable. Once a fighter decides to turn professional, the fighter’s “team” has the responsibility of charting a career path that is in their charge’s best interest. This is easier said than done as decisions are mostly based on experience level and this is where most teams falter.

A great example of how difficult this duty can be just occurred this past weekend at the South Texas Fighting Championship event in McAllen, Texas. The second fight of the night featured a Rio Grande Valley fighter in Raul Ramos taking on Eduardo "Teddy" Bustillos, from Saltillo, Mexico. Ramos was making his professional debut and, because he is from the area; Ramos had many supporters on hand. Bustillos was announced to have a record of two wins with zero losses.

I am sure that the team behind Ramos felt they had matched their fighter against someone he had a chance to beat. This perception quickly dissipated once the match began as Bustillos immediately imposed his superior skills and proceeded to batter the local fighter around the STFC cage. Ramos looked like a deer in headlights as his Mexican foe struck at will and walked through any type of offense Ramos attempted. It was a completely one-sided fight that was ended early in the second via submission.

After watching Bustillos apply his craft, I found it extremely hard to believe that he only had two professional fights under his belt. I approached one of his team members and asked about the fighter’s experience. This person advised me that the Mexican’s actual professional record is 14-0 but only two fights are officially registered. Those two fights happened to have taken place on previous STFC cards so the results are official, hence show up as his only bouts. The other contests allegedly took place in Mexico.

I’m sure Team Ramos will take this as a learning experience. This should also serve as a reminder that one never really knows what you’re getting from fighters that are based in other countries.

Sergio L. Martinez


South Texas Fight Championship promotional company, the premier MMA promotional outfit in South Texas has a great setup for the “May Day” event happening live tonight, from the McAllen Convention Center. The card features many of the Rio Grande Valley’s up-and-coming cage fighters including Victor Martinez and “Dangerous” Danny Salinas. Convicted Artist Magazine will bring you exclusive cage side coverage thanks to the amazing hospitality being provided by Javier De Leon. It’s going to be a great night of pure Texas MMA combats!

Sergio L. Martinez

It Is Official:Niklas Bäckström V. Tom Nimiimäki in Berlin UFC event

Coming full circle: Convicted Artist Magazine MMA Blog was one of the first to report about Niklas Bäckström ‘s quest to secure a bout against Tom “Stoneface” Nimiimäki in Berlin, Germany as part of a UFC event scheduled for May 31st. Andreas Michael, famed MMA trainer and the chief corner man for Niklas Bäckström, directly contacted this MMA blog and confirmed that the fight “is a done deal, brother.” Michael, who is the chief trainer at the All Stars Training Center in Stockholm, Sweden, added that he is “excited” for Niklas and believes that “Niklas is ready for this challenge and we look forward to war in the octagon.”

Niklas Bäckström is the eleventh fighter from the All Stars Training center to ink a deal with the UFC. It is safe to say that this MMA gym has one of the fastest growing and most talented professional stable in the world.

Keep checking back as Convicted Artist Magazine’s MMA blog is quickly gaining traction with the best MMA organizations in the world.

Sergio L. Martinez

Family Affair: UFC Ultimate Fighter Hector Urbina’s Younger Siblings Making Pro Debuts in McAllen TX

Eli (185 pounds) and Gilbert (170 pounds) Urbina are following in their big brother’s footsteps as both are scheduled to make their professional debut on tomorrow’s South Texas Fight Championship card in McAllen, Texas. The brothers are coached by their older sibling and mentor, Hector Urbina. Many are familiar with the eldest of the Urbina boys after Hector showed his pure grit as a contestant in the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter reality series.

Hector provided the following exclusive quotes to the Convicted Artist Magazine MMA Blog: “Man, today was a truly exciting day as two of my brothers weighed in for their professional debut. Emotions are high man! I’m so excited as tomorrow night, both my bros will get in the cage for war!   They are both ready to handle their business.”

Make sure to visit Convicted Artist as I will be reporting cage side from the STFC event in McAllen, Texas.

Sergio L. Martinez    

Internet Reports Indicate that Niklas Bäckström will face Tom Nimiimäki on May 31st

Update to an earlier blog entry: A couple of websites are reporting that Niklas Bäckström will face Tom Nimiimäki in Berlin, Germany as part of the UFC event. It is pertinent to add that as of this entry, the UFC website has not been updated to confirm this. Due to the time difference between the United States and Sweden, direct confirmation from the Allstars Training Center (the gym Backstrom fights from) is not possible at this time. Once more is known, this blog entry will be updated.

Keep checking back to get the accurate up-to-date information only Convicted Artist Magazine can provide.  

Sergio L. Martinez  


MMA Almost Legal in New York

The New York State Senate passed a bill today to legalize Mixed Martial Arts Fights in the State of New York.The New York Senate voted at 44-16 in favor.  This marks the fifth-year in a row that the bill has gone through the state’s Senate.The bill hast to now pass in the state’s Assembly in order to become law. The bill is in the same stage as it has been in the past several years. It is expected to stall there once again.

Mixed Martial Arts News

Niklas Bäckström Looks for Career Defining Opportunity against Tom “Stoneface” Nimiimäki

Niklas Bäckström (7-0), from the All Stars Training Center in Stockholm, Sweden is looking for an early career defining fight. The Swedish resident has been in training and is hoping to land a spot on the May 31st Ultimate Fighter Championship Fight Night promotion scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany. Bäckström knows that Tom “Stoneface” Nimiimäki (21-5-1) is currently without an opponent and the Swedish cage combatant wants the honor to meet “Stoneface” in the legendary UFC Octagon. Bäckström exclusively expressed to Convicted Artist Magazine’s MMA Blog that, “I’m always training and ready to fight.” Niklas added, “[Tom] Nimiimäki is a great warrior and one of the best featherweights around. I fight for the All Star Training Center and we always like to take on great challenges. I am ready for this challenge and all I need is the opportunity from Mr. Dana White to prove myself. [Tom Nimiimäki] let’s do this!”

Check back often to see if Niklas secures this fight!


Sergio L. Martinez

STFC Breaking News About May Day Event in McAllen,TX

The South Texas Fighting Championship Facebook page is reporting the following regarding the “May Day” event scheduled for May 16th (Friday): “With 3 Days away from STFC MMA Cage Fights: "MAYDAY" May 16th , Victor Martinez and Mike Moss' opponents had to pull out of their fights. They showed their true heart and warrior spirit by accepting to fight each other on 3 DAYS NOTICE!!! Our upmost respect for these two upcoming rising MMA Stars!!!! BUSTOS vs MARTINEZ is going to be an amazing CO-MAIN event! Good luck to both of you gentlemen.”

This is truly a testament of the desire and dedication from both combatants. It is obvious that both men are invested to not only their careers, but the Rio Grande Valley fans that have purchased tickets. If both their fights would be cancelled, chances are this fight card does not survive. Kudos to both battlers for taking this risk and agreeing to face the other.  

Sergio L. Martinez

Welcome to the Convicted Artist MMA Blog!

The Convicted Artist Magazine blog was created in an effort to keep our visitors up-to-date with breaking news and all things MMA.  There is no set time and/or schedule for the blog so do check back often to get the latest news and all kinds of exciting information about the world of MMA.  I truly appreciate everyone's time and look forward to this new venture.