Martial Arts Magazine
Fulton - on the road to the top
Bob McCauley 11/1/99
When the Gracies brought BJJ to the states, they never envisioned the rapid rise of American submission fighters. The Brazilians had started at their art at an early age and participated in the no-rules contests throughout their lives. Yet in just a few short years, the Americans have started to move into the forefront of the previously all-Brazilian stronghold. Many fighters names can be brought to mind, Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Dan Severn, Pat Militich, etc., but there is another name that is emerging that may dominate the sport in the future that of Travis Fulton.
Travis started training in submission fighting four
years ago at the early age of 18. He
brought a well grounded background of being an Iowa-State wrestling
competitor, a golden-gloves boxer, and an American Kenpo second-degree
black belt. Fulton is also
a professional boxer with a 2-0-1 record.
After witnessing the first few Ultimate Fighting Championships,
Traviss life took a new vision.
Before really training for submission fighting, he signed up for
a no-rules bout with Dave Strasser, which he lost after Dave got him in
a rear choke hold. Undaunted, he later beat one of Pat Militichs
student and got another lease on this new life.
Unfortunately after four more wins, he was beaten by Matt
Anderson, a veteran of the UFC who outweighed Travis by 15 pounds.
He realized that he needed to train with someone.
In his next fight, he beat Dennis Anderson and this again gave
him the confidence to continue. He
moved to Davenport and trained for two weeks with Pat Militich and this
was the start of a new Travis Fulton.
His next fight was with Brad Kohler who was
54 and weighed 235 who was from the Hammerhouse school run by Mark
Coleman. This fight was
during the time where the fighters were bare knuckled and head butts
were legal. This fight, put
on by the Hook-n-Shoot in July, 1997 was the longest recorded match (52
minutes). Even though
Travis lost he saw the light at the end of the tunnel and went on to
submit Dennis Reed in the first round of his next fight, proving his
credentials as a submission fighter.
He next went to a draw with Jeremy Horn.
Fultons next fight made an IFC record
with a 14 second knockout of Paul Moeller in North Dakota.
By then he a completed 82 fights, including two draws with Jeremy
Horn. He lost his next
fight with Dan Severn and again to Pete Williams in UFC XX when he was
caught in an arm bar. Travis
says that he was just too excited and made some big mistakes.
He then beat David Dodd in UFC XXI.
At that time, Travis began traveling overseas.
He fought Sanae Kikuta in Japan where the fight went to a draw. Kikuta had previously fought Renzo Gracie to a 50 minute
Traviss record is now 60-16-5 and 8 of those
fights were in the his first 2 years. His record in the last two years
is 48-8-4, and these losses were to top fighters.
One of these fights was a 15 minute battle with Vladimar
Matyushenko. Travis won the
Vale Tudo in Brazil last year with wins over Alex Naldo Cerquiera,
Augusto Ferreira, Luis Clavlio, all BJJ practicioners.
In November 1998, Travis won the SuperBrawl in Hawaii, defeating
Kawika Pa´lhui, whom he beat in one minute with an arm bar.
He has fought twice in the Pancreas, going to a draw both times.
Travis holds the record of winning the IFC three times.
Fulton is a full time instructor in Davenport, Iowa
where he trains 50 students at the Martial Arts Institute. One of his students, Mark Jaquith recently went the
distance with Dan Severn in a 15 minute match.
He uses this as a base to keep in shape to fight up to three
times per month. As an
indication to Traviss conditioning and physique, he has only been
hurt one time and that was with a broken nose.
He is ready to fight anyone now and would love to battle Rickson
Gracie, but the fight he really wants is with Frank Shamrock, whom
Travis feels is a good fighter, but has had incredible luck.
Travis is an intelligent fighter who analyzes his
opponents in detail over and over before a fight.
His analysis of Frank Shamrock makes him think that he wouldnt
have any problems with Kens little brother.
Travis has developed a Tank Abbott reputation of being a
party boy fighter, but that is far from reality.
He is a dedicated professional that trains as hard as anyone.
However, he doesnt mind having the reputation it causes his
opponents to be overconfident.
Travis tries his best to avoid street fights, but
they have in the past come looking for him.
In one such fight, he was jumped by a very large aggressor, who
went away quickly after Travis put a hole in his cheek.
One of Traviss passions is golf where he goes to relax and get
away from the world of aggression.
However, in a recent trip to the links, he was attacked by a
rowdy college kid on the greens who came at him swinging a 9-iron.
Travis quickly neutralized the golf club and sent the man off the
golf course badly beaten.
At 22 years of age, Travis is just maturing as a submission fighter. His star is rising and his sights and vision is on one thing to be the recognized no-rules fighting champion, recognized in the US, Japan and Brazil.
|36-10-2||W-KO||Felix Lee Mitchell|