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  • Drew Upshaw is February’s Martial Artist of the Month


    Drew Upshaw just had his first amateur MMA fight…but it sure didn’t look like it was his first.


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    Expectations are usually tempered for an athletes first martial arts competition or MMA fight. There is no way predict how someone will handle the pressure and expectations of performing is front of a large group of people, including their friends, family, and training partners. For Drew, it didn’t seem to matter one bit.


    Drew has been training at Straight Blast Gym Buford for 2 years, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Muay Thai, and Mixed Martial Arts. He was prepared for his first Kickboxing match in the summer of 2016, but an injury kept him from competing. He was then ready for his first MMA fight in November of 2016, but his opponenet backed out. This past January, he finally had an MMA fight that came to fruition.


    After months of hard training and dieting, Drew stepped into the cage amped and ready to go. After 3 short minutes and a tight guillotine choke, Drew’s opponent was left unconcious, earning Drew his first amateur MMA victory!

    Muay Thai Coach Jim Sheppard had this to say about Drew:

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    “You never know how someone is going to handle that first fight. Backstage he looked cool and relaxed, and he carried that into the cage. He looked like he had been out there a dozen times. The future is bright for this guy.”


    Drew is a prime example of trusting his coaches in route to victory. Drew has a reputation for being extremely coachable in Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, and MMA classes at Straight Blast Gym Buford, and that showed during his MMA fight.


    Congratulations Drew, and we look forward to seeing you back in action.

    Jim Sheppard

    is one of the co-owners of Straight Blast Gym Buford and Straight Blast Gym Atlanta. He has been training / coaching / competing in Muay Thai since 2013 and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.