Month: May 2022

Teshay Gouthro - Andy Cotterill

Teshay Gouthro – They’re going to see a calm, calculated savage in there.

Teshay Gouthro at Niagara Top Team after his last hard training on fight week. Photo by Andy Cotterill

Teshay Gouthro – They’re going to see a calm, calculated savage in there.

By Andy Cotterill

It’s fight week for Teshay Gouthro, and he’s flat on his back wincing in pain.

Fighters can get hurt in a myriad of ways, but for the Niagara Top Team Bantamweight prospect this pain doesn’t have anything to do with getting hit.

The source of his discomfort is Michaela, the NTT physical therapist who is digging her thumb deep into one of his leg muscles at the end of his last hard training session before his fight with American opponent Efren Escareno at Cage Fury Fighting Championship in Philadelphia on Friday night.

He laughs. “You can see it on my face, can’t you?”

Gouthro and Escareno will be pitting their 4-1 records against each other in a matchup that might not have happened had Gouthro not sent a needling message.

“This guy said no to me three times.” Gouthro remarked.

“Twice last year and once at the beginning of this year. I don’t know if he said no or his coaches said no, but they made the right decision.”

“So I messaged him at the beginning of this year and I was like, ‘You’re a little pussy’ and I put laugh out loud. He didn’t look at it but I know he saw it.”

Gouthro smells blood in the water.

“At the weigh-ins I’m going to let him know that I’m already in his head. You already thought about me, you already said no because you know. Deep down you fucking know what’s going to happen. We all know.”

This fight will be aired on UFC Fight Pass, and the potential is there for a large number of eyes to see him ply his trade inside the cage. I asked him what the fans who might be seeing him for the first time can expect.

“They’re going to see a calm, calculated savage in there. They’re going to see me smiling, having fun, breaking this guy down, talking to him, just enjoying my time in there and putting on a show.”

Ligrit Sadiku Wins Ammy Debut Niagara Top Team

NTT’s Ligrit Sadiku Wins Amateur MMA Debut

NTT’s Ligrit Sadiku Wins Amateur MMA Debut

Niagara Top Team’s Ligrit Sadiku entered enemy territory tonight and defeated opponent Joe Nelson via TKO in just 1:16 of the first round at K4 Fighting: Contest of Champions in Buffalo, New York.

This was the first ever MMA fight for Sadiku, and outstanding amateur wrestler, and he displayed excellent poise and power, dropping Nelson once, then a second time before the referee intervened.

Sadiku is just one of many athletes that Niagara Top Team is helping guide toward martial success, and we’re all very proud of him.

NTT Goes 2-0 With Powell and Pye Getting Wins

Zack Powell and Clayton Pye

Zack Powell (left) and Clayton Pye

NTT Goes 2-0 With Powell and Pye Getting Wins

Niagara Top Team Athletes won fights in 2 different Provinces this weekend.

Zack “Pow Pow’ Powell increased his professional record to 6-1 with a decision victory over the tough Matt Krayco at Unified MMA 44 on Friday night.

On Saturday night at MFL 21 in Montreal, former Canadian University Wrestling Champion Clayton Pye secured the win in his first ever MMA fight, finishing Michael Asiffo with a body slam that knocked him out.

Pye’s fellow wrestling champion turned mixed martial artist Khaya MacKillop faced disappointment when her intended opponent, Tammy Mino, withdrew from their scheduled bout.

NTT Observe

A Fighter Is Never Alone

A Fighter Is Never Alone

Coach Chris Prickett heading wrestling class at NTT. Photo by Andy Cotterill

By Brian Appel

Log on.



Your fighter has a new fight.


The hype begins.

It could be days, could be weeks out, but you’re excited now.

You begin watching the opponent’s previous fights and do your own breakdowns, seeing where the holes might be and where your fighter has the upper hand.

Fight week and you secure your pay per view.

The weigh ins are live.

You tune in and congratulate your fighter for making weight like a true champion. You’re proud of your fighter and can’t wait to watch them make their walk to the cage.


Edge of your seat.


You hold your breath.


Remind yourself to breath.

Every punch, every kick, every takedown you ROAR!

Score every round like you’re a judge.

Fight over.

You still remind yourself to breath.

You pull your phone out to record the final outcome.

Your fighter wins!

It feels like you won too, and if things don’t go their way it would have been a kick in the gut.

15 minutes.

15 minutes to show the world who you are. What you can do. Why you deserve to climb the rankings and break into the premier leagues.

Like any sport, success here is based not on just skill, but marketability and social following, and 15 minutes is not a lot of time to make an impression.

Good or bad, you could go viral either way, on repeat forever.

You crush a KO and you have the world at your feet, your foe does it and you’re last year’s news.

Fight night is over and most fans step away until the next event.

For some it’s much deeper than that.

Some very fortunate people are with their fighter in the trenches as well, in their own, special way.

In no way do I know what it’s like to be a fighter and I will never pretend to know, but from my family’s privileged position at a fighter gym let’s us observe close hand what they go through every day.

Watching them sweat, and bleed, and get ready for their next challenge.

The sacrifices they make.

Watching food intake down to single calories.

Multiple hard training sessions.

In the room while high caliber athletes are training is quite humbling.

Seeing the fatigue and the injuries and yet they continue to push themselves with every ounce of their being right to the end.

A gym family feeds off one another, pushes each other, complements one another.

When the physical part of training is over they discuss what they just worked, giving pointers, and offering to drill it out some more later in the day.

For a new fighter working their way through the ranks it’s not lucrative, just another sacrifice and struggle.

Sacrificing luxuries so they can train, taking whatever sparse fight opportunities that come their way and doing so for little pay, or none at all for amateurs.

Every like and share from a fan increases social media presence and helps to get sponsorships, even the most meager of which helps tremendously.

Being up close to witness the sacrifices, the struggles, the highs and the lows, has made us fans for more than the 15 minutes these athletes ply their trade… has made us fans for more than just the fighter. It has made us fans of the fighters as people.

The world can be extremely thankless sometimes, so I thank the athletes and coaches for allowing us to be witness to the training, the conversations, the inspiration to become a healthier, the advice, and most importantly for being positive role models for everyone that walks into their gym, young and old alike.

“Fighter are you ready?”