March was good for Toronto’s Tap Star. Four times, its fighters stormed into Montreal and left with 1st-round finishes. UGC 26 saw Misha Cirkunov pound out a 56 second TKO. Michael Imperato finished with a rear-naked choke in 34 seconds. Two weeks later at Rising Star 2, Imperato returned on a day’s notice to finish with an ankle lock at 1:09. In the main event, Steve Simms rear-naked choked Yohan Gariépy in 2 and a half minutes.
I spoke recently with Tap Star’s head coach Sam Zakula about what’s giving his fighters an edge, why he emphasizes grappling, the surrealism of MMA coming to Ontario, why team mates should be willing to fight each other, and much more.
(26:37, click play below to listen, or download here)