October 24, 2021

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For Bryant family, battling is in their blood | Sports

HUNTINGTON — Get in touch with it function reversal.

Nikki (Eplion) Bryant was in the seats watching son Daniel struggle in the 33rd once-a-year Tri-Condition Toughman Contest at Mountain Health Arena.

Flashback to the early 2000s when Daniel and brother Kyle were being escalating boys viewing mom contend in the ring as an newbie, then pro.

The southpaw, who nonetheless resides in South Position, Ohio, with partner D.J., gained 3 Toughman contests and then turned professional and posted a 14-3-2 record.

One battle was the unforgettable showdown against unbeaten Laila Ali for the Environment Super Middleweight title in July 2004 in Bowie, Md., Ali won by fourth-spherical TKO. The fight was a pay out-per-look at.

Bryant attended Ashland Paul Blazer his senior year and then was a wander-on to the College of Kentucky soccer staff for two decades. He ditched football not too long ago and turned to Blended Martial Arts (MMA). He resides in Lexington and trains at Response MMA in Nicholasville.

Bryant has dropped 100 pounds given that he started off MMA instruction sixth months back beneath teacher Rob Nickerson III. Now 21, this was Bryant’s to start with Toughman. He competed as a cruiserweight and received his opening bout Friday night. Bryant returned Saturday night to earn two times, the 2nd by determination over Anthony Melbar for the championship. That will make it six Toughman jackets in the spouse and children — three for mother, two for D.J. and Daniel’s.

“Two years and it didn’t get moving,” Bryant mentioned right after his victory. “Step aside for this. I understood I was fantastic at battling. Get in the gym to prepare. This is my existence.”

Bryant returned to Lexington to resume teaching-life before he heads to California to be a part of brother Ryan. Even though at Paul Blazer, he competed in soccer, basketball and monitor and gained the Kentucky point out title in the shot put.

“This is magnificent,” Bryant reported of his new occupation.

Eplion, now 42, termed it a vocation in 2005 following her final bout (loss to Kathy Rivers). She and D.J. watched Daniel carry out both equally evenings. There was a time when she introduced the two little ones to the gymnasium although training.

“I was content to see her battle,” Bryant reported. “I was joyful when she stopped. Out to California now and abide by Kyle. We’ll see what out there holds.”

Bryant’s nickman is the very same as mom’s — “No Slack.”

“It was weird,” mom mentioned of seeing Daniel battle. “He’s doing what he wants.”

7 champions ended up topped Saturday night time. Two women of all ages and 5 guys.

Heather McDonald over Barbara Lawson at light-weight.

Justice Lephew above Gabriella Rodriguez at welterweight.

Garrett Parsons won more than Brittni Vaughn at light-weight.

Brendan Kelly beat Corey Robertson at welterweight.

Hunter Meade defeat Aaron Shull at middleweight.

Jake Williams defeat Joseph McDavid at heavyweight.

Williams is a Chippendale stripper in Portsmouth, Ohio. The 6-foot-9 fighter’s nickname is “Porn Star.”

“I just like dancing,” is how Williams mentioned he received into the company. “In boxing, you dance to box.”

Williams mentioned his height compensated off.

“I retained him absent and obtained in when I could,” he claimed.

Meade, from Huntington, stayed on offense equally nights. He dominated the 3rd spherical to win by TKO in excess of Aaron Shull for the title and jacket.

“I experienced to get inside,” Meade explained. “Got him with the hook. Wasn’t going to leave without the need of the revenue.”

For Lephew, this was her 3rd title this time and she’s only 18. She received previously in Parkersburg and Clarksburg.

LePhew is from Rainelle and is effective as a rafting information for whitewater rafting on the Gauley River.

“Dad problem all us young ones,” she explained. “Do not acquire the easy way out. Boxing is about life’s issues. It sets up nicely.”

This party acquired moved from January to this day thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. Promoter Jerry Thomas mentioned all 8 demonstrates are scheduled for 2022. The Huntington quit is Jan. 7-8. This demonstrate was offered to enjoy on pay back per see.