Tom Theofanopoulos Response to the Letter From the Editor


(this has not been edited from its original form)

dear mr. gil, my name is tom theofanopoulos and i am the owner of oakdale/ merced/sonora mma. i am also the creator of the last stand fight team. a team im sure you have noticed shows nothing but respect to everyone, including our opponents across the cage. this attitude is no accident as i come from a traditional martial arts backround going back over 30 years. the incident with martin sandival was humiliating to me and? i can assure you i was the first to hang my head. however what disturbes me about your article is why you singled out martin sandival of "merced/oakdale"? where were you during countless other?times of "inmature, unsportsmanlike behavier"?? where were you when joey cabesa knocked out moses lera in seconds of the first round after moses signaled for joey to touch gloves and then got sucker punched. i was in moses corner and witnessed joey nodding his head in acknowledgement. after that incident i didnt go on line trying to bad mouth someone. i took it as a lesson and told my fighters not to worry about touching gloves. this is a fight after all and you have to be ready for anything. i teach my fighters?to let the ref lift their hand in victory and to always make sure that their opponent is ok. i teach them to congratulate the other fighter on a fine job, win or lose. i?even make them answer "yes sir" to seniors and to take off their hats when entering the academy. does this sound to you like "we at our gym need to go tell martin that these actions will and should not be tolerated"? i find it?very insulting mr. gil that you would think otherwise. martin came up to me after the incident and asked my forgiveness. he then went over to the other camp to say he was sorry. if i believed for a moment that martin had done something like that intentionally, trust me,?he would be off my team. martin assured me within minutes of leaving the cage that nerves had got the better of him and it was a bad reaction and an accident. maybe before writing your "letter from the editor", it might have been a good idea to get the other side of the story. in closing i want to say that as disappointed as i am at martin for allowing this to happen, i am more disappointed with bloodymahem for advertising such an embarrassing incident to the world. in the world of mma where you have tito ortiz flipping off ken shamrock and you have the disgraceful antics of the ultimate fighter, why in the world would you want to single out and further embares a young man, rattled by nerves, who made a single error in judgement, and disgrace a team that prides itself on honor and integrity?

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