Spot-light on the coach: Alvey Kulina
Alvey is coach to both fighters and father to Jay Kulina. Kulina is the owner and founder of Navy St. Gym in Venice, California. A decorated mixed martial arts champion himself, Alvey recently looked to up his gym’s profile by hiring a professional fighter to train and fight for the gym, in this he found Ryan Wheeler, who he coached to the King Beast lightweight title. Alvey is also coach to his son, Jay Kulina, who is on a win streak after returning to fighting from time off.
Alvey has been a bit of a mess in recent episodes since he discovered his wife and co-owner of Navy St., Lisa has lost their unborn son. Alvey is clearly feeling the loss and the disconnection from Lisa, which we see him taking out on his students in the opening scene of the episode as he challenges them to go 5 rounds of heavy sparring with no head-gear and then proceeds to beat the daylights out of all of them and eventually himself, almost throwing up all over the MMA mats. Check out more here at Kingdom the TV series.
Alvey has a huge conflict of interest in this fight and has chosen to sit it out at a local bar instead of in Ryan’s corner, a move which has not comforted or supported Ryan and you can see it on his face as the build up to the fight begins. Alvey has also just learned that he is now the defendant in a law suit against him for his run in with the cyclist last week, it seems Alvey can’t catch a break at the moment and the situation he faces at the moment is not just one of his fighters winning the Championship but also, one of them being put out of commission with a heavy loss. Alvey is not short of problems at this current moment.
Best friends, now pitted as rivals, these two champions, Ryan ‘The Destroyer’ Wheeler and Jay Kulina have been on a path to this super fight for some time. With Jay Kulina returning to the cage after a hiatus, only to tear through all opposition that faces him finding himself on the back of a two fight win streak to face the current King Beast Champion in Ryan Wheeler. Training has been going well for Jay and he comes into the fight fully fit, in a good mental head space and at a good weight after a minimal weight cut. His current form and his fitness make him the favorite going into this fight. He will be cornered by his brother and sparring coach, Nate Kulina, who himself is another potential champion from the Navy St. team but has had his career put on hold after a medical suspension resulting from his recent loss in Fresno.
Since Wheeler joined Alvey Kulina’s Navy St. fight team, he has progressed as an athlete and a fighter, taking a three fight win streak and becoming the King Beast Lightweight champion. A hard worker in training, with a chip on his shoulder from the media hype around his father, Ryan is keen to show the world that he has what it takes to defend the title against Jay. The odds are stacked against his after he took a knee injury from a drunken fall after a victory party 11 days ago where Jay won his title shot against him. The injury has healed somewhat, but we look to the fight to see how it will affect his performance tonight. Mentally he seems to be in a good head space, if not a little frustrated that his coach won’t be in his corner for the fight tonight.
As the action is ready to get underway, both fighters are looking focused and ready to go, they touch gloves and as the bell sounds, it’s off to war for these two warriors for the King Beast Lightweight Championship title. Ryan opens well, putting solid pressure on Jay with good striking combinations and quick hands, Jay ties him up and they move against the fence, grappling, exchanging elbows and trying to establish under hooks. It’s Jay that breaks the clinch and tries for the suplex take-down which is blocked by Wheeler hooking his calve to stop the move. Turning to a Thai clinch, Jay lands some heavy knees and a big right hand to Ryan, as Ryan breaks away from the clinch. Another big left from |Jay and a Lyoto Machida style front kick to the stomach send Ryan to the mats, with Jay pouncing on him to capitalize with some ground and pound strikes to the body The bell sounds for the end of the first with Jay in full control, TeamMcBryde score it 29 – 28 Kulina.
With the end of the first round, Jay gets his corner advice from his brother, Nate, while Ryan is still looking shaken from the big left and ground and pound at the end of the round. So far, it’s Kulina with the upper hand as we go into round two.
The second begins with both fighter tagging off on each other and Jay throwing a front kick that is caught by Ryan, which he uses to put Jay into a take-down, both scramble on the floor and great jiu-jitsu transitioning skills sees them battle for each other’s backs, only to stand it back onto the feet again, Ryan presses and lands a good combination on Jay, before taking him down again and taking Jay’s back stretching him out to the mat and slipping in a rear naked choke. Jay holds on, with unconsciousness looming and his mother watching on in terror, the bell for the end of the round sounds with Wheeler unable to finish the choke. This tables have turned and TeamMcbryde gives this round to ‘The Destroyer’ 29-28.
With things now even going into the third, Nate advises Jay to go for Ryan’s injured leg if he wants to win, Ryan is looking more confident and the bell sounds for round three.
Jay immediately attacks Ryan’s injured leg with a series of brutal inside leg kicks. Wheeler, slowing down is looking quite frustrated that Jay would pick this strategy. He answers back with some quick hands and a good combination followed by a take-down, forced Jay into full guard. Using clever dirty boxing from the inside, he lands some good strikes and elbows but loses focus and gives Jay his arm which Jay pins and transitions into a triangle choke. Ryan is in deep trouble as he tries to get free, but Jays grip on the choke is deep and tight and after holding on for as long as he can, Ryan passes out unconscious without tapping, forcing the ref to step in and stop the fight.
Kulina wins via triangle choke in the third round and is the new King Beast Lightweight champion. A tough loss for the ex-champ, Ryan Wheeler. As he was revived from unconsciousness his anger was apparent. The look of concern on Jays face was grave but lifted when Ryan was brought around by the medical staff. With Ryan not being fully fit and the way the fight went, we can see that a re-match between these two is on the cards in the near future and TeamMcbryde can’t wait for #KulinaVsWheeler 2!