Muscle Sport Magazine

Stephen “The Praying Mantis” Speck Headlines June 15 MMA Card

At 38, Stephen Speck is not a member of MMA’s typical age-bracket. Despite being a husband, father of two, and an accomplished Athletic Director & Facilities Coordinator at Winters Mill High School in Carroll County, MD, he will be making his return to the cage on Saturday, June 15 at Promote Tim Tibbs’, “Chaos in the Cage” show. The fight card is set to take place at the Prince William County Fairgrounds of Manassas, VA and Speck’s bout is slated as the Main Event of the evening. It will be the same venue in which Speck earned a dominant submission victory at roughly a minute and a half of the first round in September of 2012.

A Pennsylvania native for the last decade, Speck grew up competing as both a wrestler and boxer. He was drawn to Mixed Martial Arts as a culmination of the two art forms that he has loved for most of his life. Recognized by his cage name as “The Praying Mantis,” Speck attributes the overwhelming majority of his success to a well-balanced, “triangular” regimen. His personal trainer and manager, Bryan Hamper, has been by his side since the duo joined forces several years ago, stemming from a strong, long-standing friendship. Additionally, Speck completes a large portion of his sparring and practice out of the Carroll County Kenpo Academy, led by head instructor and owner, Mike Guercio. “The Mantis” rounds out his preparation with a rigorous strength and conditioning program at the trusted hands of fitness coach, Stan Jones, a man Speck affectionately addresses as “The Witchdoctor.”

When asked what his partnership with Tibbs has meant to Speck, he replied by saying, “Working with him has proven to be the perfect fit for me. Tim (Tibbs) and I have found success in dealing with each other and I am grateful for the treatment I’ve received since climbing on board. As long as my shelf-life lasts and I’m capable of performing at a level in which I believe I can take pride, I’ll definitely aim to continue our partnership.” Speck went on to add, “The promotions with which he’s been involved market a product centered around their fighters. So far, I’ve enjoyed being one of them. He’s worked with the best, including UFC Hall of Famer, Dan Severn, and his company, ‘The Danger Zone.’ I trust him.”

Speck will be fighting for the second consecutive bout at 155 pounds. He reports that his training camp has been extremely beneficial and feels very confident about how solidly it has run. Follow Speck on Twitter @MantisMMA24

Photo courtesy of Tim Tibbs



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