As the accolades pile up for Team Greubel, of Greubel's Mixed Martial Arts, so does its reputation. Which is why when the U.S. kickboxing team was rounding up fighters for its competition in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend, it turned to the Martinez gym to fill out the majority of the roster.
Jon Greubel, Nathan Key, Zack Day and Steph-anie Stafford, four of the U.S. team's seven members to earn an invitation, will represent their country when they travel to the Caribbean island for Sat-urday's bouts.
"You've already got your natural pride and the pride of fighting for your gym, but now to fight representing your country, it adds something to it," said Day, who will be fighting in the middleweight division in the pro-am event in Tacariqua.
Greubel, undefeated as a professional, will fight in the main event against Rodney Ramlal, who is also unbeaten.
Greubel has plenty of international fighting experience from his time in the World Combat League. He said he's confident going up against the unbeaten Trinidadian sensei.
"I definitely not going down there to lose," he said.
The strong presence on the U.S. team is just one of a few high points for Team Greubel this month.
Key, Edgar Nickson, Patrick George, Nicholas Torrance and Kesha Springle each walked away with belts at the International Kickboxing Federation World Championships in Orlando, Fla.
For Torrance, who is also a decorated junior boxer, the IKF world title was his third in four years.
Nickson and Pringle each won belts in their first attempt at one of the premier amateur kickboxing tournaments.
"(After the fight) I just had a big smile on my face. I still have a smile on my face," said Pringle. "I still can't believe that I've got a belt."
Nickson defeated fellow Team Greubel member James McPeake in the title bout of the 130-pound division.
"When the fight was over, I actually thought that James had won," said Nickson. "But when I found out that it was me I was shocked and overwhelmed."
Team Greubel's Chris Richardson was also a finalist.
McPeake will fight in the main event at Augusta's ISKA Extreme Fight Night Saturday at the Bell Auditorium. He is 4-2 in his amateur career.
Reach Joey Jones at (706) 823-3304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.