Daniel Griffin is the CEO of MMA Gospel, Inc. He was raised in southern Louisiana, and also spent much of his life in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The son of a former Navy SEAL and Top 10 ranked full contact Karate fighter, he began to study the martial arts at only four years of age.
His love of mixed martial arts also started early in life when his father called him into the living room in 1993 to show him a video tape of the very first UFC event. Dan studied Shotokan Karate and Tae Kwon Do as a child and began studying Isshin-Ryu Karate under six-time World Police and Fire Games kickboxing champion “Magic” Morris Polion, and currently holds a black belt in TKD and a 5th degree black belt in Isshin-Ryu karate. He fought in four world Karate championships and won six consecutive Alabama State Karate Championships before beginning to fight as a kickboxer at age 16. After building an overall 36-2 kick boxing record (7-2 professional) and earning the moniker “Dynamite” for his aggressive, fast paced style, he turned his attention to fighting mixed martial arts on a regional level, winning two championships at welterweight and lightweight in the Mississippi-based O-1 Productions Slugfest promotion.
After several shoulder injuries, Dan stepped away from the cage and started the Griffin Fighting Systems fight team in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The GFS team was very successful on an amateur level, with 13 active fighters and a combined 27-3 record including Dan’s brother, Adam Griffin, who went undefeated in the Slugfest promotion and held their bantamweight title, and “Iron Man” Robert Thompson who went 10-1 as a GFS fighter. He also started the Southern Fighting Alliance promotion and put on three successful shows before leaving the promotion due to personal reasons.
Daniel currently lives in Joliet, Illinois with his girlfriend Mallory and manages a Verizon store for a local agent. He still follows MMA very closely, stuffing his DVR with UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, and Bellator events and watching older bouts on a regular basis. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dan_MMAGospel and www.twitter.com/MMAGospel.
Mallory Mejia is a lifelong resident of Joliet, Illinois (commonly referred to as “Prison City” because of the Joliet State Prison/Stateville Correctional Center).
She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of MMA Gospel, as well as its Live Event Staff Photographer. She has several years of experience with journalism, copy editing, and layout and design, and was the Editor-in-Chief of an award-winning monthly publication. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2007 with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management with a concentration in Record Label Management. The overall decline of the music industry and its transition to digital formats caused her to reconsider her direction in the business setting, and she now focuses her aptitudes towards sports, namely MMA.
Her passion for MMA comes through in her pictures and in her rants commonly found on Twitter. Be on the look out for MMA action as seen through the eyes of Mallory, and check out her MMA Gospel photo galleries at gallery.MMAGospel.com. Aside from being a loyal MMA fan, Mallory is an avid follower of baseball and hockey, and she also enjoys watching football.
Some of her favorite fighters are Thiago Silva, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Ben Saunders, Shane Carwin, Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, Mirko Filipovic, Nick Diaz, Jon Jones, Alessio Sakara, Chris Lozano, Anthony Pettis, Ben Henderson, Anthony Johnson, Pat Barry, and Mauricio Rua.
Cole Moorman is a south Mississippi native and has lived along the coast his entire life. At an early age, he learned boxing from his stepdad and at age ten began studying karate.
It wasn’t until high school that he saw his very first MMA fight: “Shogun” Mauricio Rua vs. Richardo Arona. Blown away by the insanely aggressive fighting style of Shogun, he became an immediate fan of both the fighter and MMA itself, and has since studied and followed the sport closely.
Although not a student of any MMA gyms just yet, Cole devotes a lot of time to power lifting, strength training, and polishing his boxing skills. He also lives a strict and healthy lifestyle.
Some of his favorite fighters are Mauricio Rua, Georges St. Pierre, Thiago Silva, Frank Mir, Alistair Overeem, Patrick Cote,Hector Lombard, and Goran Reljic. Follow Cole on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Cole_MMAGospel.
From the state that spawned America’s team, Pantera, and the certainty that everything there is bigger: Dallas, Texas is where “TJ” Tristan Martinez resides.
TJ is a recent graduate of The University of Texas: San Antonio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology focusing on Exercise Science. At 22-years-old, he currently is in pursuit of getting into graduate school to fulfill his aspirations of becoming a Physical Therapist. Having suffered a career-threatening knee injury during a football game in high school, TJ credits his therapist for rehabbing and getting him ready to play by the start of the next season. He would love to return the favor to others, especially athletes, frequently joking with “Shogun” Mauricio Rua’s problematic knees in mind.
TJ’s athletic career stems from playing football at age five. The martial arts also run deep in his family – since the age of nine, TJ has been a black belt in Tae Kwon Do with experience in Kenpo thanks to his father’s influence. His father is a black belt and avid practitioner of the arts.
When not studying or volunteering in college, TJ was often found working out or sparring in the school’s recreation center with the “Martial Arts Club”. Along with his love for living a healthy lifestyle, he hopes to take part in either Muay Thai or Jiu-Jitsu by early 2011, graduate school priorities allowing. In his off time TJ enjoys hitting the gym, playing Xbox and guitar, watching MMA fights, and spending time with friends and family. He works as a waiter as well as a clerk at Gold’s Gym.
A few of TJ’s favorite fighters are Forrest Griffin, Jason Miller, “Rampage” Jackson, Thiago Silva, Mauricio Rua, Gray Maynard, Jose Aldo, Pat Barry, Matt Serra, Eddie Alvarez, and Gina Carano. Follow him, admire his good looks, and feed his ego all at once on Twitter. Please do because Match.com and eHarmony will surely turn him down: www.twitter.com/TJ_.
Born and raised in San Diego, California, Patrick Guera has taken MMA and made it his sport. Patrick was first exposed to MMA when he and some friends ordered the UFC 1 Pay-Per-View; they instantly were completely hooked.To this day Patrick still uses the Gracie front kick as his main defense tactic.
When MMA began to grow as a sport in the mid 2000’s, Patrick used the incredible access the Internet provided to become a rabid MMA fan and is never short on an opinion of the sport on any given day. He has written several prophetic blogs on various aspects of Mixed Martial Arts and op‐ed pieces for large publications. He is hoping to spread the word with the ever growing community at MMA Gospel.
Patrick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Television, Film and New Media from San Diego State University and is currently a freelance Director and videographer with music videos playing on MTV and award‐winning short films to his name. He is a white belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Cadu Francis, and his Brazilian nickname is “grappling dummy”.
Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MMAGospelPat.
Ronald Young Jr.
Ronald Young Jr. is an IT professional working in the Washington, DC area. He also works part-time for the radio station WIHT or Hot 995, which serves the greater Washington, DC area as well as Maryland and Virginia.
He stumbled upon MMA by watching an Ultimate Fighter marathon on Spike in the summer of 2008. Even before this he was an avid Kimbo Slice fan and a casual MMA follower, but that one fateful summer changed a lot of things for Ron. He has since become immersed in all aspects of MMA – UFC and otherwise.
Some of his favorite fighters include Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Frank Mir, Pat Barry, Nick Diaz, and Kenny Florian. Follow Ronald on Twitter at www.twitter.com/OhitsBIGRON.
“Tiger” Tony Saade is an amateur mixed martial artist with three-and-a-half years of experience under his belt. He made his debut in March 2009 with the Texas Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Association. Having studied the martial arts since the age of six, Tony has trained in BJJ, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Judo, TKD, and Savate.
Tony’s father, Ayoub, was in the Lebanese Armed Forces before coming to America and meeting and marrying his mother Denese. Ayoub Saade is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a brown belt in Judo, in which he has won many competition medals in both styles. He was Tony’s teacher since he came of age to practice in martial arts.
After Tony left community college, he trained at numerous gyms around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He made many new friends along the way, and continues to train to this day at “The Gym” in Arlington, Texas in preparation for more fights, and, with a little luck, a pro contract one day.
Tony currently resides in Arlington where he works in the Department of Homeland Security at the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport. In his down time, he enjoys hitting the gym, watching horror and comedic movies, and playing “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and the “Call of Duty” franchise on XBox Live.
Tony is an avid fan of MMA, and follows the sport closely. His favorite MMA fighters are Anderson Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Njokuani, Randy Couture, Jason Miller, Jon Jones, and Georges St. Pierre. Follow Tony on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ASaade87.