Tuff-N-Uff Shines On Local Vegas Scene

Sean Bollinger and Eddie Bravo

No better way to spend a Friday night than at Tuff-N-Uff

Las Vegas – This town is the mecca of mixed martial arts, and for good reason. It’s home to a handful of the best fight camps in the world and the place where the world’s biggest fight promotion calls home.

It’s also the home for some of the best local mixed martial arts you’ll find anywhere. Because prestigious fight camps such as Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture or Shawn Tompkin’s Tapout Training Center make their home base here, the fight cards you’ll find – even on the amateur scene – is of a significantly higher quality that you’ll find in most locales.

Take Tuff-N-Uff, for example. The company has been putting on cards in Las Vegas for just about as long as anyone can remember. They’re a rowdy, sweaty good time, and the locals dig the amateur slugfests that typically take place at the Orleans Casino just off the strip.

Last Friday night, Tuff-N-Uff returned to the Ballroom at the Orleans for a unique concept: Xtreme Couture vs. Team Quest. Not every fighter participating in the event came from one of those two camps; both Eddie Bravo and Frank Mir had fighters on the card. But the main thrust of the evening was a team-style matchup between fighters trained by Randy Couture and Dan Henderson, and what it lacked in technical expertise it more than made up for in explosive, wild action.

The opening bout of the night between Tyler Jeppesen and Jimmy Blakey was the kind of brawl that would fit perfectly on any UFC broadcast. The fight went the distance and was essentially a fight between two guys who didn’t mind taking thirty punches to land one of their own.

Tuff-N-Uff’s mantra is “The Future Stars of MMA,” and the co-main and main events certainly lived up to that billing. Local favorite Jerry Shapiro defeated Jamie Hernandez by decision in a fight that featured a ton of great ground work from both men. The talent level of Shapiro and Hernandez was a stark contrast to the wild brawls from earlier in the evening, and it’s easy to see that Shapiro may have a future in the sport.

The main event featured Sean Bollinger – best known for facing Ryan Couture in an amateur bout – submitting Dustin Chevalier by rear-naked choke in just 1:38. Bollinger has improved greatly since his bout with Couture, and the 10th Planet jiu-jitsu product is someone to watch out for in the future.

The night wasn’t perfect, though. A WWE-style confrontation between a media guy and some other dude left a bad taste in my mouth. There’s no need for campy stuff like this, even on a local card and even if it’s supposed to build up a future fight. I’ve been told directly by Jeff Meyer, the Vice President of Tuff-N-Uff, that the altercation was not planned by Tuff-N-Uff and, in fact, they were told directly by the two guys who got involved in the altercation that no such thing would happen. The blame cannot be placed on Tuff-N-Uff, and they were blindsided by the actions of the two guys in the cage.

If you’re a member of the media, you have zero business being in the cage in the first place, especially if you’re trying to pass yourself off as a serious journalist. It was embarrassing and something I would avoid in the future if I wanted to be taken seriously as a member of the media.

As far as local events go, Tuff-N-Uff shined. There’s hardly a better way to spend a Friday night, and if you’re ever in Vegas when one of these events is held, I highly encourage you to check it out.