Work, sweat, dedication bring pro belt
Hours and hours of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) workouts involving lots of pain and agony recently paid off for both trainer and fighter at the Training Compound, LLC in Tipton.Owners Julio and Kristie Ramirez have been working diligently for the past three and a half years training Augusta “Ice Ice Baby” Tindall and he won a Pro Lightweight title belt in October.Augusta won the Spartan Fighting Championship (SFC) Featherweight belt in Raceland, Kentucky by TKO/RSC (Referee Stoppage from Strikes) over his opponent, JP Felty, 3:55 in the second round of the scheduled five round bout. After beating his opponent into submission, Augusta helped him up and embraced him.“It all has to do with respect, in and out of the ring,” said Augusta. “I don’t go in there to hurt somebody. I just go in there to win.”He said he started MMA just for something to do after his brother took him out to the Compound. Since then the facility has become a second home, giving him a sense of accomplishment every time he completes a three-hour workout.“I had never been in a physical fight in my life so coming out here and accomplishing the things that I have is pretty amazing,” Augusta said.He lost his first two fights as an amateur but won eight consecutive before turning pro. He is currently 2-1 as a pro fighter.Julio is a MMA instructor and USJA Judo Black Belt instructor while his wife Kristi is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. The couple said they opened The Training Compound (TTC) four years ago and are happy with its size and location. The business owners take pride in their training ethics and said Augusta represents the compound well as the only MMA pro fighter in Lenawee County.“We’re the only place in Lenawee County that has professional fighters,” Julio said. Augusta is our first pro fighter. He is the first pro in Lenawee County period,” said Julio.“I’ve been in martial arts since I was 13,” Julio said. “I started out in traditional karate and then went to taekwondo. I used to compete and ranked second in the U.S. in full contact when I was a teenager.”After joining the Coast Guard Julio said he walked into a school for Kempo Jujitsu and fell in love with the style and eventually earned his second-degree black belt.He first began training MMA at the YMCA in Adrian after being approached by another athlete and his business grew from there. He said it was an unusual program for the YMCA to offer, as many believe that it is a violent sport.“Everybody has this stereotype about it,” he said. “It’s a sport to us. There’s nothing violent about it to us. Yes, there is blood but there is also blood in boxing, football and many other sports.”The Training Compound’s amateur record is an impressive 29-8 since officially opening approximately four years ago.“We’re a legitimate, insured business,” said Julio. “We take it serious and are very professional.”Augusta trains for three hours a day in addition to working a job and raising a two-year old boy Tristan. MMA Fighters tend to have a variety of styles but specialize in stand up toe-to-toe boxing or kicking or grappling on the ground.“I’m a stand up guy. I’ll stand up with you all day,” Augusta said with a sly smile. “I prefer to beat you on my feet but if I have to take you to the ground I can.”Julio also holds a first-degree black belt in judo and incorporates throwing, grappling techniques into his Compound MMA training.“I want to take it to the next level,” said Augusta. “My main goal is the UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] right now. But you’ve got to take steps to get there. I’m taking it one fight at a time.”He’s already fought and won by TKO at the Palace of Auburn Hills.“It was sweet,” he said. “It was great watching all those people cheering you on. That was fun stepping into the cage in front of all those people. Afterwards it was even more amazing.”“It is not easy to go pro,” said Julio. “People just assume they can take a bunch of fights and turn pro. It’s nothing like that. You have to find a promoter who will even give you a shot. That is probably the hardest part.”Julio is currently training a female who will be entering the ring shortly and hopes to take her to Kentucky in January for a pro-amateur bout. In addition to MMA training, The Training Compound, 4007 US 12, Tipton, offers a mixed Judo and Jiu-jitsu program for adults and children.Julio said that especially now with schools having no tolerance for violence, his Judo and Jiu-jitsu program is good for children because it doesn’t teach them strikes.“Judo and Jiu-jitsu do not teach strikes, so children learn to defend themselves and never have to throw a punch,” he said. “We have a rules for engagement for kids. They know, avoid a fight at all costs.”The Training Compound can be reached at 517.252.4882 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.