BLACKFOOTâ€”Rayce Ranstrom of Pingree, and Jonathan Turpin of Blackfoot, for Team Mayhem brought home some impressive wins this past Saturday.
They earned those victories at the Mixed Martial Arts Showdown 2 at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Convention Center.
Turpin, a 2009 graduate of Snake River High School, has an extensive background in wrestling, including qualifying as a state finalist his senior year. Although his love for wrestling will never falter; Mixed Martial Arts has slowly but surely become his new passion.
"It helps keep my life stress-free," said Turpin.
Just a year ago Turpin learned about the art of MMA, but claims that he had initially never thought he'd ever actually compete.
A year later, Turpin is officially a member of Team Mayhem, and trains with professional MMA trainer Gabriel Pelayo, and striking coach Shaun Shields at the Down to Bang gym in Blackfoot.
His first amateur level fight was set on Feb 23 at the Mixed Martial Arts Showdown at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Convention Center. He was unable to fight because his first opponent forfeited, and his second opponent weighed in 17 pounds over weight, making him ineligible to fight.
Disappointed, but determined, he was forced to wait until this past Saturday to fight in the amateur level.
"Having to wait an extra couple of months gave me more time to improve and get stronger," Turpin said.
These past few months leading up to his fight not only consisted of countless hours of training and preparation, and piled on endless amounts of drive and motivation to win his next fight.
Turpin says, "I was training at up to four hours a day, five times a week. I would train with Gabriel and Shaun at the Down to Bang Gym for a couple hours, then later I would head over to Anytime Fitness to maximize my training."
On May 18, weighing in at 135 pounds, Turpin was calm and confident in the minutes that led up to his fight against Michael Lower from Team No Excuse (base out of Boise).
Turpin earned a well-deserved win after a few rounds of exchanging blows and utilizing his grappling skills in the last two rounds against Lower, to solidify his split-decision win.
"I didn't think I was going to win it. I thought I'd just go out and have some fun, release some stress, have lots of confidence, and try to stay as calm as possible. I didn't have any reason to be nervous, I trusted my trainers, and used what I was trained during the fight," Turpin said.
This marked Turpin's first career win as an amateur MMA Fighter. He said he would like to thank Powell's Body Shop for sponsoring him and making it financially possible for him to get all of the equipment he needed to be able to fight.