Raymond Daniels (martial artist)
Raymond Lee Daniels (born April 29, 1980) is an American Kenpoist, Karateka, Tae Kwon Do practitioner, kickboxer and mixed martial artist known for his flashy and aggressive style of fighting. He currently competes for Bellator Kickboxing.
|Born||Raymond Lee Daniels|
April 29, 1980
Sun Valley, California, United States
|Other names||The Real Deal|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||171 lb (78 kg; 12.2 st)|
|Reach||74.0 in (188 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Long Beach, California, United States|
|Team||Los Angeles Stars|
Team Paul Mitchell Karate
World Champion Karate
Classic Fight Team
|Rank||Sixth degree black belt in American Kenpo|
Sixth degree black belt in Shotokan
Fifth degree Kukkiwon black belt in Tae Kwon Do
|Mixed martial arts record|
last updated on: March 21, 2016
Daniels is the current Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight champion.
As of June 1, 2019, he is ranked the #8 welterweight in the world by Combat Press.
Daniels was born in Sun Valley, California and raised in Palmdale, California. His grandfather Frankie Daniels was a professional boxer as well as a Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He began training in American Kenpo karate in 1985 under the tutelage of his father Frank Daniels and earned his black belt in 1992.
While still in high school, Daniels became a single father. Seeking a better life for him and his son, Daniels realized his boyhood dream of becoming a police officer with the Long Beach Police Department at the age of 21. After more than 7 years of service, Daniels retired to concentrate on his martial arts career.
Daniels had humble beginnings as a junior competitor in sport karate competitions. By the age of 19, he would go on to become a top ranked fighter for both the National Black Belt League (NBL) and the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA). Among his titles are eight NBL World Championships, at least two NASKA world championships, a second-place finish at the $50,000 World Pro Taekwondo Championship in Croatia in 2010, and nine overall championships at the W.A.K.O Irish Open.
Don Rodrigues, coach and co-founder of the famed Team Paul Mitchell Karate, recruited Daniels in 1999. Daniels left the Paul Mitchell Team in 2001, joining other teams in successive years.
In 2006, Daniels began fighting for Chuck Norris' World Combat League as captain of the Los Angeles Stars. Daniels fought in the 80 kg/178 lbs and 88 kg/195 lbs weight divisions, compiling a 17–0–0 (9 KO) fight record. Daniels had a highly anticipated bout with fellow undefeated kickboxing star Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson. Daniels initially won the bout by technical knockout due to a knee injury suffered by Thompson.
Daniels would then set his sights on the world of mixed martial arts and was touted by Strikeforce as "the next Cung Le". On June 27, 2008, he made his MMA debut against twelve fight veteran Jeremiah Metcalf at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson. Daniels was defeated by submission via rear-naked choke in the second round.
Daniels defended his gold, in the 84 kg semi-contact division, in a rematch against Michael Page at the W.A.K.O. Irish Open 2009.
Daniels defeated Michael Page in their trilogy bout at the W.A.K.O. Irish Open 2011, securing gold in the 84 kg semi-contact division.
In his first outing under full Oriental kickboxing rules, Daniels defeated two opponents in Dublin, Ireland on October 8, 2011 to win the four man 84 kg/185 lbs tournament at the Pain and Glory event. After knocking out English Muay Thai fighter Andy Bakewell with a spinning heel kick in the semi-finals, he took a split decision over Irish kickboxer Mark Casserly in the final.
He replaced Marc de Bonte in the Glory 13: Tokyo - Welterweight World Championship Tournament in Tokyo, Japan on December 21, 2013 for undisclosed reasons and suffered his first kickboxing loss at the hands of Joseph Valtellini in the semi-finals. He initially caused some problems for Valtellini with his unorthodox karate style but by round two the Canadian began to hurt Daniels with low kicks. Daniels was knocked out by a high kick in the third round.
Daniels scored a spinning kick KO over François Ambang inside the opening round at Glory 16: Denver in Broomfield, Colorado, United States on May 3, 2014. His performance was hailed by Glory as the "Knockout of the Century."
On February 6, 2015, Daniels was part of a one-night, four-man welterweight tournament at Glory 19: Virginia. In the semifinals, he faced Jonatan Oliveira and won via TKO. Daniels knocked Oliveira down with a spinning heel kick to the head in the first round and scored another knock down with a spinning kick to the body early in the second round. A knee to the groin of Oliveira led to a short intermission, after which Daniels hit Oliveira with another spinning kick to the body, forcing the TKO at 2:15 of the second round. In the finals, he faced Nieky Holzken and was knocked down early in the first round by a punch to the body. Daniels was unable to deal well with Holzken's pressure, who cut off the ring and locked Daniels up in the corners whenever possible. The second round saw Daniels being knocked down twice more, before scoring a controversial down himself in the third with one of his spin kicks. Holzken then locked Daniels up in a corner once more and knocked him down with a right hook to the head, forcing the stoppage at 1:25 of the third round after four knock downs.
After Joseph Valtellini vacated his title due to health issues, Raymond Daniels was set to face Nieky Holzken for the welterweight world championship at Glory 23: Las Vegas on August 7, 2015. Daniels won the first two rounds on the judges scorecards due to a higher output of strikes. In the third round, Holzken managed to corner him and scored a combination which ended with a jump right knee that cut him above the eye prompting referee John McCarthy to stop the match.
Mixed martial artsEdit
More than a decade after his first MMA bout, Daniels returned to mixed martial arts and faced Wilker Barros at Bellator Birmingham on May 4, 2019. He won the fight via knockout in the first round.
Daniels is a father and currently lives in Orange, California. He is an instructor at World Champion Karate in Orange, California with his business partner Steven Horst. Daniels recently co-founded "ICE Martial Arts", a personal training and nutrition institute. He refrains from recreational drug use.
Daniels is engaged to fellow mixed martial arts fighter Colbey Northcutt, sister of Sage Northcutt, who is also a MMA fighter. They are scheduled to be married on August 24, 2019 in Temecula, California.
Championships and awardsEdit
Points fighting (Kickboxing/Sport Karate)Edit
- North American Sport Karate Association
- 2004 NASKA World Championship
- 2002 NASKA World Championship
- National Blackbelt League
- 2010 NBL World Championship
- 2009 NBL World Championship
- 2008 NBL World Championship
- 2007 NBL World Championship
- 2006 NBL World Championship
- 2005 NBL World Championship
- 2004 NBL World Championship
- 2003 NBL World Championship
- World Association of Kickboxing Organizations
- 2015 W.A.K.O. World Champion
- 2014 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2012 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2011 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2010 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2009 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2008 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2007 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2006 Irish Open Grand Champion
- 2005 Irish Open Grand Champion
Kickboxing (Full Contact)Edit
- Pain and Glory
- Pain and Glory -84 kg/185 lb Tournament Championship
- World Pro Taekwondo Championships
- 2010 World Pro Taekwondo Championships Runner-up
35 Wins (22 KOs), 3 Losses
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|2 matches||1 win||1 loss|
|Win||1–1||Wilker Barros||KO (punch)||Bellator: Birmingham||May 4, 2019||1||4:36||Birmingham, England, United Kingdom|
|Loss||0–1||Jeremiah Metcalf||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson||June 27, 2008||2||0:59||San Jose, California, United States||Middleweight bout|
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