SSF McDojo or not?
Hey everyone my name is John Renken. I am a retired MMA fighter that fought in Pancrase, Shooto, Pride, and IVC. Never was a top tier fighter or anything but just loved a good scrape. I am a Kru in Muay Thai under the USTMA, Black Belt in BJJ under Matt Larsen, instructor with Erik Paulson, an instructor under Lance Campbell in Sambo, 2nd degree black belt in Judo through USJA Judo, Level IV Master Trainer in MACP, and SOCP Instructor.
To be upfront I have challenged Ron Dayley to a fight on November 3rd which he has verbally agreed to. After years of him publicly trashing me and calling me a fraud he stepped over the line last week and began trashing my wife on his FB page.
Ron Dayley moved into town several years ago claiming to be the latest and greatest evolution of MMA training. He stated he trained with Erik Paulson, Rick McCoy, Frank Shamrock, Ken Shamrock, Jerry Boholander, Frank Cucci and several others. There are quite a few things not lining up with his story such as his qualifications, timelines, and experience. He states he is a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu but can't name his lineage. Who gave him his blue? Who gave him his purple? He also claims to have an Old School Sambo Black Belt (never heard of him ever even wearing a Gi.) But once again no mention of lineage. He also claims that He says he trained in the Lions Den in the early 90's but Frank Shamrock in a Facebook forum ran by Sambo Steve said he has never seen him or heard of him. He also claims to have several MMA bouts that he can't seem to recall when, where, or who against while a part of the Lions Den. Once the ASA with Sambo Steve had their discussion on the above mentioned page he became a Catch Wrestling instructor. Once again no mention of his lineage. Then he states he has had fighters in UFC, Pride, Strikeforce, Dreams, & K-1. I know that he managed a fighter (Brad Morris) in the UFC and has gotten two of his young guys on StrikeForce, but K-1, Pride, and Dream? Lastly, claims to have had one of the highest levels of security clearance but can't recall where exactly he was living on the FB forum mentioned above.
So here is my question. Can anyone vouch for his rankings, his MMA experience, his Sambo or Catch Wrestling experience, or even seen his fights he claims to have? Doesn't this sound like McDojo in the extreme?
Man, I had to join to get in on this. I remember Ron Dayley when he used to live and train in Fredericksburg,VA. This was probably around 2003-2004. The school is The Lab owned by Lloyd Irvin Black Belt Chad Lebrun. At the time the school was not as big as it is now. I don't remember much of Daley because there wasn't much to remember. Just another white belt like everyone else. He started his SSF gear line at a time when everyone and their brother was making a fight gear line on Myspace. Basically he made a logo, slapped it on some plain shirts, and then started selling other generic MM gear acquired wholesale on a plain website. I can vouch that he at least met Ken Shamrock once. There was a 2-hour seminar at an affiliate school one night. Hardly the Lions Den itself. He seemed like another eager guy trying to get into the lifestyle. Next thing you know I see he opened up a school in Tennessee with all these claims of high level training. I'm like thinking how is this the same dude?
According to his bio, he's a Brown Belt. I would tend to believe that. As far as his record of who and where he has trained, its probably stretched. He probably lumps in all the people he has met, or had a seminar with as guys he's "trained under". Now I don't don't know what he has done in those years since. But it seems like a guy who made an okay living in mma by opening a school and hiring decent trainers, and having average training himself in a area that may be a little thin on quality mma.
Whats funny is if you read his bio he began training at the Lions Den in the early 1990's. How could you be a white belt in 2003 if you began training in the early 90's.
It reminds me of what my friend does when he gets a few drinks in him. He starts telling people I trained at the Lions Den just because I met Ken Shamrock and took a 2 hour seminar.
I laugh whenever anyone claims they trained at the Lions Den back in the day. Anyone with a bit of knowledge about it knows that when the Lions Den was started in the early 90's it wasn't just some regular academy you could go sign up at. It was Ken, guys like Mezger, Vernon White, and Pete Williams, and then guys that went through try outs to join the team. Those guys were usually living with Shamrock and had deals where here was essentially their manager. At any time in the 90's if you went there, it was because you were a Lions Den fighter. I call BS.
While I can't vouch for any of the claims you report, I can ask you to provide evidence of your claims when starting a thread here. Do you have links to Ron's website or SSF's site where these claims are made? Do you have any evidence confirming or denying these specific claims?
Originally Posted by thesaint
As far as Ron's stats, you can search for fighter stats on Sherdog (Link) which should give you the first step in gaining evidence to back up your claims.
Here's an example: I've pulled your stats on Sherdog here.
From this evidence, I can see that your claims of fighting in Pride, SFC, etc. are legitimate, as your record reflects these wins, losses, and draws.
See what you can find out, bring it back here, and you'll probably get a discussion going.
For those interested,
Morgan Kurz teaches Aerobic Pole Dancing at SSF. Morgan has been teaching pole dancing at SSF since early 2007. She is currently completing her thesis for her Masters in Biology from APSU. Morgan also teaches biology for APSU and is a certified ISKA representative for the state of TN.
Tiffany Norbeck teaches Aerobic Pole Dancing at SSF. Tiffany has been taking classes at SSF since its opening in April 2007. Starting in late 2009 she began teaching pole dancing at the gym as well. A graduate of APSU, Tiffany also holds a Masters in Library Science from Western Kentucky. She is employed at Miller Motte as an Admissions Rep.
Sounds like an interesting gym.
There was a very long "investigation" on Ron Daley/SSF on our ASA group page on facebook (dateing back to April, 2012). I have screen shots of all his old claims and website from before he changed them. He told lots of fibs on his mutitude of websites regarding many things. Frank Shamrock came on the discussion and cleared up that Ron was never a Lion's Den fighter as he claimed. Much of Ron's sambo claims were bogus as well. People were looking into his Catch and BJJ claims, but that stuff was not really the topic of the thread on the ASA page. He tells a very tall tale.
Wow all of that over a chick? It's evident he didn't want to fight you for the record, it was for your woman. Why would he bring up fighting you and talk **** on your wife at the same time? If his pathology was to inspire hatred for ring fights to his advantage, then all bullshit aside, kick his ass, but on another note why is your wife teaching women how to be strippers? It's not a bad workout, i know plenty of women that do it without working in that particular group, but it does cause much stress for the male in spite of agoraphobia.