Maurice Salmon is a professional Mixed Martial Artist who has a penchant for being an exciting knockout artist, while compiling a series of stunning first round knockouts. Maurice is commonly known setting the state of Florida KO record in 2012 with an 8 second KO victory over Jay Beharry, or his KO victory in World Series of Fighting in front of 1.3 Million viewers in what has been labeled as the longest first round in the organization's history (12 minutes), or defeating the undefeated and heavily favored Craig Fruth by first round knockout to capture the United Combat League Welterweight World Championship.
American mixed martial artists Maurice Salmon was born November 3, 1975, in Savannah, Georgia. Salmon played sports in high school and college before becoming an engineer and professional mixed martial artist. During his time, Maurice has competed in over 40 grappling tournaments and has fought in over 17 sanctioned fights in kickboxing and pro mma. His highest ranking was a top 3 professional ranking in the state of Florida during his career. Maurice has also trained and coached MMA champions at all levels as well as being a cornerman in nearly 300 fights. This resume has allowed Maurice to become one of the most decorated mixed martial artist in northeast Florida.
After college Maurice worked as an Engineer, Project Engineer and Project Manager for the department of defense with contracts to companies such as General Electric, Rolls Royce and Oshkosh Defense Systems. While in Beijing, China working as a Project Engineer for the government, Maurice made the decision to continue practicing martial arts and studied Jeet Kun Do at the Ming Dynasty. After training in one of the traditional martial arts systems in China, Maurice returned to the United States and began to train and pursue a career in fighting combat sports. Returning to the U.S. over time Maurice trained in wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, brazilian jiu jitsu, combat submission fighting, muay thai and various systems under instructors; Greg Eldred, Professor Henrique Caique Elias, Erik Paulson, Professor Roberto Cuartero, Danny Hawk, Richie Greene, Professor James Smiley and others.
Martial Arts Career
From 2007 Maurice began competing in grappling tournaments throughout the U.S., his first event was winning the gold medal at the Michigan Open and followed up with a string of tournaments and victories over the next 5 years. His first kickboxing bout come early in 2009, Maurice lost by split decision against a tough experienced fighter. After the bout Maurice trained to come back and compete in Kickboxing in early 2010 winning both his bouts via unanimous decision. After making the decision to become a pro fighter, Maurice won his first bout via first round TKO/KO against a more experienced fighter with many more fights. The string of victories continued as Maurice helped packed venues throughout the state because of his exciting fighting style and ability to finish opponents quickly and in some cases violently. The string of victories led to one of his most notable accomplishments in setting the state of Florida professional mma KO record at 8 seconds in front of a packed crowd on May 12, 2012 at the Veterans Arena. What made this victory significant, was 2 weeks before the fight Maurice went through knee surgery for a torn MCL he suffered 19 days before the fight. The doctor that did the surgery (Dr. Paul Shirley) said he had never seen such a recovery and determination in any athlete. Even after his coaches pleaded to reconsider fighting, Maurice decided the fight was worth the risk and nothing would keep him from competing. The decision turned out to be one of the greatest nights of his career.
Later, after suffering an injury in 2013 that kept him sidelined most of 2014, Maurice returned to the cage in 2014 to face TUF ( The Ultimate Fighter) veteran and heavily favored MMA champion Torres on the big stage at World Series of Fighting on NBC. In what turned to be a highly controversial bout, that Maurice was able to secure the victory via knockout/doctor stoppage in the first round and greatly improve his stock for future opportunities. With the next opportunity coming in 2015 to face a highly decorated undefeated opponent in the United Combat League promotion. Maurice was traveling to the Midwest to face the undefeated champion under the most difficult circumstances. Fighting a hometown undefeated champion, without a cornerman, without any coaches and flying during a weight cut on the day of weigh-ins. All this was a part of his desire to be a champion. Maurice finished that fight at 1 minute and 30 seconds via first round knockout to become the new UCL champion. After a couple of title fights against a pair of UFC veterans, Maurice decided it was time to pass the torch and fighting on to the younger generation of fighters. Happy with where his place is within the sport and what he set out to accomplish, he now looks to train and coach individuals with a similar mindset for achieving goals at the highest level. Currently Maurice holds the rank of brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under black belt James Smiley and is working towards obtaining his black belt. Maurice teaches MMA and BJJ classes 3-4 nights a week.
Personal Life and Legacy
After a lengthy career as mixed martial artist, Maurice has found that motivating people to get out of their comfort zone and chase goals is a part of his calling. Maurice has been coaching and training everyone from professional fighters to children that need self-defense against bullying. Maurice has a passion for seeing people in a positive mindset for setting and attaining goals. Maurice founded and created Legendz Combat League to give young martial artists an opportunity and platform to pursue their passion of competitive martial arts. As President of a budding martial arts league, it’s important to Maurice that the league remain true to promoting combat sports for those that want the experience of being a fighter. At the same time it is important for the athletes to learn some of what it takes to become a professional in and out of the ring. The league has been created in a way that says, “There is something in combat sports for everyone interested.”
His style of teaching and training is to get the very best out of everyone around him. Teaching people to set goals and see their benchmarks as they reach them is an art in itself, it allows people to see their progress while they work through the obstacles on the path to a goal. As a man of faith, Maurice’s foundation is based on principles founded through teachings, faith and experience. That foundation has set records, made champions and solidified many relationships in martial arts and life. This mindset allowed Maurice to become a cast member for the movie Fight Church, a film about pastors and churches competing in mixed martial arts. One of the fighters coached by Maurice was a main character in the film. Maurice is also a staff writer for Fighter’s Digest the magazine and Fightersdigest.com. This is where he writes featured articles and gives his input on combat sports, mixed martial arts and fighting in general to the MMA community. To this day Maurice’s number one role model and supporter remains the mother that raised him to become a man of character and responsibility. Growing up in a home with a mother that worked hard, instilled values, set boundaries and taught responsibility.
There has been no greater appreciation as an adult, than to have a parent that took the time to raise a child prepared for the world. Through many sacrifices, trials and lessons learned, she raised a son, an athlete, a leader, a visionary, a fighter, a speaker, a missionary, an educator and a diverse businessman.
This instructor has worked with the following martial arts
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
- Traditional Boxing
- Krav Maga
- Muay Thai