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April News Part 3


Quote of the Day

"Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting."

Elizabeth Bibesco

Minotauro Update: PRIDE Dynamite (Shockwave) 2

Tatame editor and Sherdog correspondent JM Costa reports that Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira will return to the ring at "Dynamite 2," after a few rounds under the knife.

After losing the PRIDE heavyweight belt to Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE 25, "Minotauro" is taking time off to tend to some physical issues that have bothered him for a while.

He's already undergone one surgury for his nose, and had a bout of eye infection to contend with. After these issues are taken care of, he's got one more to go -- this time, in his elbow.

As the next PRIDE event will showcase the middleweights, "Minotauro" should be ready to fight in August, at the second edition of "Dynamite!"

This previous Saturday, Nogueira was in the Northeast of Brazil with Ricardo de la Riva, teaching jiu-jitsu techniques to 80 people. Some of the audience came from other states just to see them. Last Monday, Minotauro went to his birth city, Vitória da Conquista, Bahia and received from the politicians a tribute for being a national champion.

Source: Sherdog

UFC 42 Highs and Lows
by Jake Rossen

There might have been ambulances wailing and streaking away from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida this past Friday night, but it's unlikely any of them were housing a condition critical fighter. I'm more apt to think they were rushing the UFC's free preview show into the ER, where it enjoyed its final moments after gasping and wheezing during airtime.

Thankfully, the actual Pay-Per-View presentation fared better. But when it was important for the Ultimate to exploit thirty minutes of ad space, they stumbled badly. More on this, plus all the highlights and lowlights, inside.


Weeks away from the program, my level of excitement was rather dull: after two (admittedly anticlimactic) comebacks for UFC pioneers Abbott and Shamrock, this event was more of a building block, with half the athletes featured making their UFC debuts. With the Internet such a pivotal presence in the sport, why not make it a priority to assemble video or text features of all combatants and personify these guys on their official site? Hell, even some diehard bootleggers had trouble getting psyched for the bouts due to their complete ignorance of the athletes.

True, sites like Maxfighting seek out interviews and profiles near the start of events, but we can't get 'em all. Magazines have it far worse: with rosters inevitably changing in the weeks leading up to the show, it's hard to remain current. With television exposure nearly non-existent or limited, this might be a viable way of generating some pre-show hype. You gotta use what's available to you.

Perhaps with that in mind, Zuffa planned a live pre-show featuring a preliminary fight culled from earlier that evening. Loiseau/Weir ended with a KO in the first; Crunkilton/Franca was a three round war. It's likely that iNDemand may have frowned upon a KO finish on their unscrambled airwaves. So even though a fifteen-minute bout gave them far less time to generate more hype for the program, that's what got the slot.

It wasn't a bad choice. But the production values of the pre-show itself? Forced into being broadcast live for purposes that escape me, it was disastrous. A live mic caught behind-the-curtain wrangling; host Joe Rogan screamed at viewers to order the program in a style reminiscent of a PBS pledge drive host on meth; hostess Lisa Dergan provided inane chatter with single-celled attending fans; and the fight itself was presented with zero introduction, then choppily edited between rounds to accommodate more amateurish shilling. It was a bizarrely abrupt presentation.

The effect was a seedy and seam-showing disappointment, with the UFC coming off as a kind of pseudo-Toughman event. Those same thirty minutes could have been taped earlier that evening, coming off far more polished in the process. Why not insert a brief and electric explanation of MMA? Why not slot in pieces on the main event fighters? Why not roll fights featuring Lawler and Hughes?

Rogan and Dergan signed off with Rogan again extolling the virtues of the UFC, slyly eyeing Dergan's two qualifications for her employment. (Somehow, I can't visualize Jim Lampley in the same position.) Dergan seems pleasant, but again I wonder why it's impossible to find an attractive woman who also knows her way around the sport. Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? Daisy Fuentes has been a fan of the Gracies and MMA for several years now. Anyone giving her a call?

Inexplicably, the Carmen Electra experiment continues.


Though it may not have done any good for the people turned off by the public access pre-show, the production values of the actual telecast were quite good. The "Gladiator" opening montage sets a nice mood and works well.

With Mike Goldberg having prior commitments, Rogan was moved over as anchor, while Zuffa flew in Phil Baroni to fill the fighter's slot. Admittedly, my confidence in this combo working was non-existent. Rogan does a very good job of maintaining enthusiasm and knows his stuff, but two wisecracking, excitable personalities with no buffer were destined to be too much.

While I'm still not of the mind this would work every time out, it came off surprisingly well. Baroni left much of his "New York Bad Ass" at home and spoke with intelligence and wit two notches down from his usual bluster. I always knew Baroni was smart - any effective self-promoter has to be - but he didn't get shell-shocked by the circumstances. When his athletic career is all said and done, and with a year or two invested into broadcast training, Baroni has a nice future ahead of him in the booth.

Rogan pal Eddie Bravo entered as a backstage reporter and then segued into the Harold Lederman role as unofficial scorekeeper for the main event. Bravo was fine and comes off very smooth, but we again come to the problem of having multiple hyper personalities on one show. Zuffa again seems complacent in playing musical chairs with a broadcast team, the importance of which shouldn't be undervalued. With a revolving roster of fighters, fans like seeing at least a couple consistent faces every time out. I appreciate the UFC is intent on finding the right mix, but fourteen shows in, this is getting ridiculous.


As shallow and single-minded as I am when it comes to big marquee fights between well-known names - age, talent level, and reasoning be damned - I would have been perfectly happy with Genki Sudo and "Bang" Ludwig (Duane, where'd your first name go?) headlining. These guys have the charisma and talent necessary to catapult this thing into the mainstream. And as forward moving as they are, I doubt a win/loss record means a damn. I'll pay to watch these two fight any day of the year.

I'm surprised more wasn't made of Ludwig KOing defecting champ Jens Pulver, especially since perpetual title contenders Penn and Uno couldn't do it. It warranted only a brief mention: I would've shelled out for the broadcast rights to the KO itself.

I don't know if the ultra-masculine contingent allowed themselves to really appreciate Sudo's entrance, dressed as a Kabuki girl and demurely easing down the ramp. This is the kind of thing that creates an identity for a fighter.

The fight itself lived up to expectations. I thought Sudo's wrestling and grappling would eventually be Ludwig's downfall, and it may have been, if not for an illicit rule that negates a fair re-start after checking a cut. It seems ridiculous Sudo could deliver that kind of damage and then be cheated out of a finishing position solely because of it. Something must be done about this, not the least of which should involve a rematch.

But politics aside, c'mon: Sudo attempting the wheel while in Ludwig's guard? Ludwig making instant fans out of every '80s kid watching by invoking the Crane Stance? I don't know if a more compulsively watchable fight will be held this year. Shame on those who cried foul on the UFC for not "building" these guys and holding off on this bout. They accomplished a year's worth of promoting in fifteen minutes.

I watched with only slight interest as "Cabbage" Correira walked through the largely inactive and badly matched Sean Alvarez; Dave Strasser and Romie Aram slugged it out in near-obscurity; and Rich Franklin immediately got placement on the radar with the W over the perennially underrated Evan Tanner. It was solid, if unexceptional, filler.

For the co-main event, the UFC did a nice job invoking the drama behind the Pete Spratt/Robbie Lawler battle. Casual viewers got a sense of why the fight was matched, what dangers were there, and why it was an important fight for both. Really, this should be done to varying degrees before every contest. I realize time is a concern - perhaps the source of outright paranoia after UFC 33 - but again I remain convinced that making sure viewers care about these guys is a priority above anything else.

Most didn't give Spratt a shot here, especially coming off a horrendous loss to Carlos Newton late last year. But he and Lawler gave in to pride and let their fists and feet fly. Spratt's kicks were just too much for Lawler, who will certainly be back, perhaps this time with a better arsenal. This derails Zuffa's push for Lawler somewhat, but that's to be expected. This is why pro wrestling turned to scripts. Anytime you match your Golden Boy, you'd better be prepared to promote his opponent. Let's hope they have something in mind for Spratt.

The main event went as expected, although it's frightening to think Hughes barely training and Sherk training balls-out still resulted in a rather one-sided victory. I was impressed with the video montages for both, with the audience again aware and informed of why the fight was matched the way it was. If there's any justice in the world, Sherk has won over several new fans. His heart is undeniable, and his brief turnaround midway through the bout was amazing.

Baroni and Rogan signed off by playfully mocking Dergan's vacuous disposition. It was a fitting end to the evening.

UFC 42 was essentially a night of very compelling action brought down a notch or two with hiccups in production. Instilled with the powers of the Almighty, I'd vanquish Dergan back to soft-core Maxim shoots; I'd have Rogan working all the shows or none at all; I'd find a regular place for Phil Baroni behind the mic; I'd beg, borrow and steal to get back Bruce Beck, easily one of the most credible and talented broadcasters I've ever heard anywhere; I'd max out resources to personify every single main card fighter; and I'd take Tito's delusional financial demand and split it six ways between Hughes, Sherk, Spratt, Lawler, Sudo, and Ludwig.

Those guys? Now, those guys get it.

Source: Maxfighting


This was sent to us from the man himself, Dennis Hallman.

"Hughes has called out (Frank) Trigg, who has done nothing but run his idiotic arrogant trap about how he can stomp Hughes.

"Well I've been there, done that I've slayed the lion in the cage twice. (And Matt there is no such thing as a lucky decision, as I read from your MMA weekly interview.)

"Sure twinkle kick used his patented "groin kick escape" to win a bullshit (shouldv'e been a no contest) paper WFA world title belt, but hey Francis if you really are the Bad bitch people used to think that you were then lets Fight again (I bought a steel cup) and after it's over the UFC will have someone that they can legitimatly market as an opponent for Hughes.

Quit being the coward of Real American Wrestling. Quit overpricing yourself and using that as an excuse not to fight, and most of all wake up and realize that the WFA belt you have is merely a piece of paper you earned by kicking someone in the nuts. I would love to hear the stories you tell your grand kids. "Ya JR. I was fighting this guy and he was lighting me up on my feet, he split my lip in two, I tried to take him down but he was too strong so, hey here is a family secret, just between me and you JR, shhhh I kicked him in the groin" Shhhh Don't tell gramma cause she couldnt handle the fact that i have been a coward my whole life. UFC PLEASE SET ME AND TWINKLE PUSS UP SO THE WINNER (me) CAN RETIRE YOUR CHAMP.



Source: MMA Weekly


Duane "Bang" Ludwig commented on his UFC 42 fight with Genki Sudo on Monday's MMA Weekly Radio Show.

Ryan Bennett asked Ludwig about the controversial stand-up near the end of the fight, and Ludwig made no bones about the fact that he was "pretty much stuck in that position," to use his own words. Ludwig said that it was very hard to get out of that position because any escape attempt could have resulted in Sudo applying a submission.

Ludwig said that he wants to spend more time in the future training in ground escapes. He went on to say that he would give Sudo a rematch anytime, anywhere.

Ludwig also said that he was feeling frustrated during the fight because of Genki Sudo's dancing around the ring, and also because Sudo was saying things in Japanese when Ludwig was in Sudo's gaurd.

Ludwig said that he had to keep his cool during the fight and channel all of his energy into the late flurry, which he felt was appropriately topped off by the Karate Kid pose at the end of the fight.

Duane is a true gentleman and said he looks forward to his next fight. When asked if he would fight Yves Edwards, he said "yes" and even though they were friends he would fight him.

Source: MMA Weekly


On Monday's MMA Weekly Radio Show, Tom Erikson told host Ryan Bennett that he expressed a desire to fight Bob Sapp, Emelianenko Fedor, and
Wes "Cabbage" Correira.

According to Erikson, his Pride contract dictates that he will fight at least one more time in Pride, and he's hoping to fight on Pride's June 8 show. Out of all the aforementioned names that were presented to Erikson as possible opponents, he seemed the most enthusiastic about fighting Bob Sapp, even going so far as to jokingly say, "I get a hard-on when I think about fighting Bob Sapp."

Erikson remarked that he thought he was going to fight Bob Sapp a long time ago, but then Bob Sapp became a mainstream celebrity in Japan. Erikson thinks that the promotional people behind Bob Sapp are going to do everything possible to give him ideal opponents that they think he can beat.
Erikson also said that if he wanted to, he would be able to cut down to 265 pounds, which is the maximum weight allowed in the UFC heavyweight division. Erikson said that he would have to make a commitment to himself and the organization to lose that much weight, and so in return he would want a commitment that he's going to get a multi-fight deal when he gets under 265 pounds.

When asked why so many fighters have avoided fighting him over the years, Erikson said it's because good stand-up fighters know that he can take them down, and good ground fighters know that he can stay on his feet if he wants to. Overall, Tom Erikson came off as a man who is confident in his abilities, but is also a very classy guy above all else.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC On TV: What's the Hold Up?
By Ivan Trembow

A weekly TV deal for the UFC is necessary to make the sport of MMA grow on a mainstream level, but getting such a TV deal off the ground is much more difficult than you might think. UFC president Dana White discussed many of the obstacles standing in the way of a TV deal in the MMA Weekly Interview of the Week. The biggest obstacle is the fact that cable networks are still scared to death of the UFC product. Members of top-level management at cable networks still view the UFC as the no-holds-barred blood bath that was promoted in the mid-90s. Even those who know full well that the UFC is a legitimate sport and is far safer than boxing, are still too worried about public perception to sign on the dotted line.

In addition, many cable network executives are concerned that very few companies will want to "attach themselves" to the UFC product by purchasing commercial time on any potential UFC show. Whether that's an accurate assessment or not, it also doesn't help the UFC that cable networks would very likely want to sell the advertising time themselves and keep the majority of the advertising revenue. Zuffa is already losing huge amounts of money with every PPV they produce, and would also lose large amounts of money with every TV show that airs (especially given the fact that they want to tape original fights for the purpose of airing them on TV). Production costs and fighter salaries would far outweigh any potential revenue the TV show could bring to Zuffa directly. Zuffa knows this and is willing to accept it, in order to grow the sport, bring in new fans, and hopefully increase PPV buys.

Most cable networks will always insist that a company like Zuffa actually pay them for the air time, rather than Zuffa being paid a fee for the rights to air UFC programming. Dana White said in the MMA Weekly interview that one of the only things the UFC is not willing to do in order to get a TV show is pay for air time. While some networks are no longer insisting on Zuffa paying for the air time like an infomercial company, the majority of them probably still are. The WWE has paid UPN a whopping $350,000 per week for the past three years to air "Smackdown" on UPN. Having to pay a weekly fee to the network just for the air time is something that is going to take the UFC out of the running with most cable networks right off the bat, but it's very encouraging to hear Dana White say that there have indeed been some networks that are not insisting on getting a weekly airtime fee from Zuffa.

Due to concern about the content of the UFC, any cable network that Zuffa negotiates with is going to want to be able to edit pre-taped fights and hand-pick fights that they deem "not particularly violent." Many of these networks would want complete creative control and would essentially be taking the show out of Zuffa's hands in terms of who has the final say. Some of them might also want to buy a minority stake in the company so that they could have some level of control over the rest of the UFC's business operations. Selling a minority stake in the company is something that Zuffa is willing to do, but they would have to be very careful to avoid putting themselves in a counterproductive situation by doing so.

If a cable network aired a UFC TV show and didn't own a percentage of the UFC, that would have the potential to be counterproductive in a completely different way. The whole purpose of any UFC TV show would be to build up MMA as a sport over the long haul. Any cable network with a weekly show is going to be thinking the exact opposite. They're going to want ratings right here, right now, and they're probably not going to care about what the show is doing for MMA in the long run. This problem could be alleviated if Zuffa sold a percentage of the company to a cable network (thus giving the network something to gain from the UFC's future success), but would you really want to hand over any level of control to a cable network which could then try to tell you how to run the rest of your business?

All of the obstacles described above would stand in Zuffa's way during negotiations with any cable network, but at the same time, each individual cable network poses its own set of potential problems and obstacles. Dana White can't comment on individual networks, and that's understandable given the fact that he is still negotiating with several of them. But even without confirmation from Dana White or anyone else at Zuffa, many of the obstacles that individual networks would pose can be figured out with a basic knowledge of the TV industry. Others require more specific knowledge about the obstacles that have previously stood in the way of pro wrestling companies. Comparing MMA to pro wrestling is valid in this case because a cable network is very likely to approach negotiations with an MMA company in much the same way that they would approach a pro wrestling company. The difference is that it would be even harder for an MMA company to get on the air given the public perception factor.

ESPN told MMA Weekly about a week ago that talks between ESPN and Zuffa are "dead," to use their own words. Dana White would later say in the MMA Weekly interview, "We were never really that far with ESPN," which is a statement that refers to ESPN negotiations in the past tense as if they're no longer going on. ESPN would probably be the last network to take what it perceives as a huge risk by being the first national cable network to air a weekly UFC TV show. ESPN is always thinking about maintaining its image as a "highbrow" sports network, and the UFC doesn't fit that image in the mind of anyone who is ignorant about MMA and thinks it's some kind of blood sport. Again, even the executives who know what MMA is really all about are still extremely wary of public perception. ESPN executives may also be difficult to negotiate with, given their general attitude that they are the god of all sports and can demand whatever they want financially.

TNT and TBS would probably be out of the running for a UFC TV show very quickly due to the notorious "Standards & Practices" division of AOL Time Warner. Looking back at Vince Russo's time as the head writer for World Championship Wrestling, he failed for many different reasons, and one of them is that in his own words, he "got his head cut off" by Standards & Practices. Anything remotely controversial would either be shot down immediately by the censors, or would only make it on the air in a toned-down fashion after long periods of tedious discussions with S&P. Most of the ideas that were shot down or censored by S&P were far more tame than many of the movies that air on TNT and TBS, but movies are given more leeway because they are viewed as being more "respectable."

TNT in particular would be unrealistic as a potential cable home for the UFC, given TNT's general tone that they're above anything like pro wrestling, boxing, MMA, or anything else that isn't a "highbrow" movie. TBS seems like an ideal match for the UFC given its focus on trying to brand itself a "man's network" with strong male demographics. Nonetheless, the entire TBS management team could want the UFC and would still have it shot down by Standards & Practices.

HBO is the one network that is owned by AOL Time Warner and is not controlled by the company's Standards & Practices division. Unfortunately for the UFC, HBO is controlled to a certain degree by its strong ties to the boxing industry. The same can be said for Showtime. While Dana White was probably correct when he said in the MMA Weekly interview that boxing people are probably not going out of their way to cut off a UFC TV deal at the pass, this still doesn't change the fact that some senior-level boxing officials do indeed feel threatened by the UFC.

Much like the WWE, boxing officials don't feel threatened by the UFC product of today... it's what the UFC could be in five or ten years that scares boxing and pro wrestling officials. While the UFC's attempts to get a weekly TV deal may or may not be flying under the radar of boxing people right now, it would be very hard to miss if it were right there on HBO or Showtime with a prominently featured weekly TV show. Of course, HBO and Showtime are not owned by the boxing industry and can do whatever they want, but they certainly are influenced by the boxing industry to some degree, and the last thing they would want to do is ruffle the feathers of any boxing executives.

USA Network is not in a position to take any risks due to the fact that its parent company, Vivendi Universal, is in shambles. USA Network has been on a downslide since last year when Vivendi bought back its controlling interest in the company from Barry Diller for several billion dollars. Vivendi itself has been bleeding billions of dollars ever since it merged with Seagram, and is now looking to sell off its properties one by one. With USA Network being on the sale block and having unstable management as it is, now is not the time for USA Network to be "taking a risk" with the UFC.

Even if USA Network wasn't in shambles, the negotiating waters have already been poisoned by one too many start-up wrestling companies. USA's policy for the last two years has been that any pro wrestling company that wants to get on the air has to put up $30 million as a sort of security deposit, and the pro wrestling company doesn't get that money back unless it produces X amount of ratings for X amount of months or years' worth of TV shows. When you take the likelihood that USA Network would have a similar policy with any MMA organization, and combine it with the fact that USA Network itself is a bleeding organization waiting to be chopped up, it seems extremely unlikely that the UFC could get a TV deal with USA Network anytime soon.

The National Network, TNN, is going to be renaming itself "Spike TV" as of June 16 and is planning to be a completely male-oriented network. Look past the ridiculous new name for the network, and the network sounds like a good fit for a company like the UFC that has so much potential appeal to the 18-to-35-year-old male demographic. Maybe it would be a perfect fit, but we'll never know thanks to the WWE's relationship with TNN. TNN is more dependent on the WWE for its average ratings from week to week than any other cable network is on any other single property.

Even if TNN wanted to add the UFC to the line-up, it can't. The WWE's contract with TNN's parent company, Viacom, specifically states that the WWE is to be the exclusive provider of "sports entertainment programming" on any Viacom-owned network. While the UFC certainly isn't the same thing as the WWE, lawyers for the WWE could (and would) argue that the UFC still falls under the category of "sports entertainment." The WWE probably win in court due to the vague wording in the WWE-Viacom contract, and the fact that WWE lawyers don't lose very often in general. Fortunately for the WWE, that case would never even go to court, since TNN would never want to do anything that would upset or alienate the company that provides the vast majority of its big ratings numbers.

MTV is another network that could be a great fit for the UFC thanks to the potential appeal to the 18-to-35-year-old male demographic. Unfortunately, MTV just recently disassociated itself from pro wrestling because it didn't have anything to do with music, and the same logic would apply to the UFC. Also, strange as it sounds, MTV was actually far more finicky and censorship-happy with WWE programming than even a broadcast network like UPN. The final nail in the coffin of a potential UFC-MTV deal is that even though it doesn't air WWE programming anymore, MTV is still bound by the terms of the WWE's contract with MTV's parent company, Viacom. So even if they wanted to air UFC programming, they would be blocked from doing so.

Fox Sports Network aired two UFC specials last year in the time slot that is normally occupied by Sunday night boxing, and the UFC more than doubled the usual boxing ratings, despite getting almost no promotion or fanfare from Fox Sports. UFC stars have also appeared on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" several times and have produced some of the highest quarter-hour ratings in the history of the show. You would think this would make Fox Sports Net eager to sign a weekly TV deal with the UFC, but apparently that's not the case. Zuffa is likely running into a lot of the same problems with Fox Sports Net that they did with ESPN, in the sense that Fox Sports wants to be perceived as a "highbrow" network and probably doesn't think the UFC fits that mold. Fox Sports is probably more educated about MMA than any other cable network, but it's still just as worried about public perception as every other network.

Even if the UFC did sign a deal with Fox Sports Network, they would face a unique set of problems, due to the fact that Fox Sports is so reliant on regional and local programming. In the Washington DC television radius where I live, Fox Sports Net's prime time line-up consists of regional programming from "Comcast SportsNet," and Fox Sports' normal prime time line-up doesn't hit the airwaves until several hours later each night. The same is true to one degree or another in most metropolitan areas in the United States. Fox Sports has regional programming overriding national programming all over the place, and even in parts of the country that usually get the national prime time line-up from day to day, Fox still wants to be able to pre-empt any show at any time for regional programming.

It's a mess, and one of the biggest reasons that Fox Sports Network hasn't come close to challenging ESPN's dominance as the #1 sports network. The UFC could advertise a certain time slot for a TV show on Fox Sports Net, and in fact the truth of the matter would be, "This is the time slot... unless you live in an area where regional programming controls the prime time block, in which case the show might air at 11:00 PM, or it might air at 9:00 PM, or maybe at midnight, or maybe not at all... and if you do live in area that normally airs Fox Sports' national prime time line-up, the show could still be pre-empted by local programming at any time." That's not the ideal way to get people to watch a TV show, although it would be better than having no TV deal at all. Without some kind of firm commitment from Fox Sports that the UFC TV show would air in the same time slot, every week, in the vast majority of the country, any UFC TV show on Fox Sports Net would be more like a syndicated show than an actual national TV show.

One of the networks that is most overlooked by fans as a potential home for the UFC is actually a sister network of Fox Sports Net: FX. FX does well in the age and gender demographics that the UFC also appeals to. Just as important is the fact that FX isn't bogged down by the regional programming mess that continues to mar Fox Sports Network. The UFC could still take advantage of its relatively good relationship with Fox, and with FX they would be able to advertise a time slot that would actually be a legitimate national time slot that would be the same throughout America. Also, FX has a long history of airing Toughman Contests. While it would be sad if FX executives thought that MMA is comparable to a Toughman Contest, it's ultimately good for fans if it makes a UFC TV deal more likely to happen.

The UFC could end up with a weekly TV show on any of the networks mentioned above, but as it stands right now, it's very unlikely for any of them except Fox Sports Network and FX. Out of those two networks, FX is the ideal home for the UFC if Zuffa wants to be able to advertise a consistent and national time slot, and Fox Sports Net is the ideal home for the UFC if Zuffa would strongly prefer to be on a "sports network" as opposed to a "non-sports network."

In the meantime, with all of the national TV negotiations still pending, MMA journalist Josh Gross is reporting that Zuffa has signed a 20-episode TV deal with The Sunshine Network. The show will reportedly feature previous UFC fights, in much the same way as the two UFC specials that aired on Fox Sports Net last year. The Sunshine Network is a regional network based out of Florida that is available in approximately six million TV households in America (the US has a total of more than 100 million TV households).

If the UFC has indeed signed a TV deal with The Sunshine Network, or if such a deal is signed in the future, you may be thinking that it's meaningless to you unless you live in one of the six million homes that has access to the network. In fact, a deal with The Sunshine Network or a similar network could be the key to helping Zuffa get a national cable deal. Given all of the cable networks that are afraid of the content of a potential UFC TV show, or skeptical about what kind of ratings the show would produce after a couple weeks or months, or concerned that not enough advertisers would want to associate themselves with the product, this is a golden opportunity for Zuffa.

After 20 or more episodes of the UFC TV show have aired on The Sunshine Network, Zuffa would then have concrete facts to bring to negotiating meetings with national cable networks. Zuffa would be able to say, "This is the show that we ran for 20 episodes on a network that reaches six million US homes, this is the content of the shows that aired... nobody died, nobody protested the UFC being on the network, here are the good ratings that the show did, here are all the advertisers that were willing and happy to buy advertising on the show," and so on. Having this as a negotiating tool wouldn't make it a foregone conclusion that the UFC would get a weekly TV deal with a national cable network, but it would make it much more likely to happen. When it does eventually happen, more people than ever before will be exposed to the sport that we all know and love.

Source: MMA Weekly


Quote of the Day

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson

Relson Gracie Hawaii Boys at the Gracie Museum & Capture Rare Photo...

Here are a couple more pictures courtesy of our man wth the cell camera. Both were taken when the guys visited the Gracie Museum in Torrence, California located at Rorion Gracie's academy. They are scheduled to fly back in the late afternoon or night.

Bobby "Mr. Cellular Camera Man" Moss, Mike Onzuka, Gye Nitta & Malcolm Ahlo

The Gracie Hawaii team was able to capture this rare glimpse of, the thought to be extinct, grappling leprechan. You may know him by his latin name "Annoyus Maximus in a Small Paximus." (Paximus is package in Latin, well, not really, maybe in Pig Latin) This one answered to the name Shane and consumed mass quantities of Skittles and Motzarella cheese sticks. Obviously the group was shaken up by the sighting which could explain why the team did not do better.

Maui Jiu-Jitsu Instructor and Rickson Gracie's right hand man, Luis "Limao" Heredia just called and said that he won the Black Belt Senior Featherweight title and came in 2nd Place in the Black Belt Senior Absolute division at the Pan-Ams. Congrats to Luis and all the other boys from Hawaii that put it on the line and tested themselves at the Pan-Ams.

Kid Peligro Jiu-Jitsu News
2003 Pan-Ams - Great Event

by: Kid Peligro

The 2003 Pan Ams took place this past weeekend at the UCSB's Robertson Gym in Santa Barbara, Ca. With over 850 participants the event was the largest Pan-Ams to date. Except for the problems at the weigh-ins/registration, and a 'hoax' Bomb threat that sent Police officers to the site, the event ran extremely smoothly with a large number of great fights.

Highlights in Kid's perspective had to be Rener Gracie securing the Gold for the U.S.A team in the Heavyweight Division of International Team Brazil v USA by submitting two times World Champion Fabio Leopoldo via triangle at 9:30 minutes of the match.

Rener was also involved in the other 'best match' of the event, against Roberto 'Gordo' Correia in the regular event. Rener secured a solid triangle on 'Gordo' 1 1/2 minutes into the match. The resilient 'Gordo' remained there until the 7th minute when he somehow managed to escape and then pass Rener's guard for the win.

Of note also was Carlson Gracie's Black Belt Aaron Lapointe who redifined the word guts and strength of human spirit. For those who don't know, Aaron does not have use of his right arm and fights with it trapped in the belt. Aaron fought against the Brazilian National Champion in the International event and lost big points, however it took the Champ over 4 minutes to pass Aaron's guard. Aaron returned in the main event and lost his first fight by points but not without scoring several advantages by near sweeps. In a word 'AMAZING'. Aaron I take my hat for you! All the respect!

Kid wants to apologize for the delay and briefness of this post, but we will have a great photo gallery and more details later this week!

Team Results:

1 Relson Gracie
(This is due to our two young guns, Rolan Gracie & Kyle Snyder-Olivares)

2 Yamazaki
3 Franco De Camargo

1 Machado
2 Gracie Barra
3 Clovis

1 Gracie Barra
2 Aliance USA
3 Machado

1 Alliance USA
2 Carlson Gracie
3 Cleber Luciano

Source: ADCC/Kid Peligro


We are currently looking for fighters to compete in Muay Thai, Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts that will be taking place on Saturday July 5, 2003. We are trying something new and want to see how the fans will react. For those that are interested please email matchmaker with bios at
pfc.hawaii@verizon.net or go to www.pfchawaii.com to fill out an application.

Source: Event Promoter

Rumble On The Rock 3 Is In The Works!

The Penn family's Rumble On The Rock event is scheduled for August 9th in Hilo, Hawaii.

2003 Hawaiian Championships of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
On May 24th

Brazilian Freestyle Jiu-Jitsu will host a BJJ tournament which will feature both gi and no-gi divisions.

Date: Saturday, May 24, 2003
Start time: 10:30AM
Place: Klum Gym, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Early registration fee is $35 (before May 1st) and $40 after that date.
$10 extra wil be charged if you want to compete in both the gi & no-gi divisions.

Date: May 23, 2003
Time: 12:00-1:00PM or 6:00-8:00PM
Place: UH Athletic Complex Studio 4

Contact: Romolo Barros @ 392-8330 or James Tanaka @ 223-9363 (or email James at
jkt@lava.net) for more information or to obtain applications.

Standing Up for What's Right
By Josh Gross

Let's sound this out. Maybe it'll make a little more sense after we read through it once or twice. (Though I'll take bets it doesn't.) You're a dangerous striker. You get taken down and pummeled until blood streams from your face. You're on the verge of losing, either by stoppage or decision. Your safety is in question. The fight is halted and you're stood up so a ringside physician can determine whether or not you're fit to take more punishment. It's discovered you can: Jackpot!

You'll get to fight on your feet -- the place in the ring you want to be above all others.

And that's how Duane "Bang" Ludwig was able to defeat Genki Sudo on Friday night. Take nothing away from the young fighter's heart, skill or desire -- he displayed each in an inspiring performance -- but his victory, it seems, was tainted by the fact that an illogical rule had more to do with the result than anything else.

"If that wasn't stood up it could have been a different fight," UFC president Dana White said late Friday night.

"I'd be chirping about it if I were Genki's people."

With Ludwig on his back, bleeding heavily from his nose after several powerful Sudo punches, the referee in charge of the action, "Big" John McCarthy, stepped in to call timeout. The fighters were stood up and Ludwig was brought over to the ringside physician.

The kid, it was determined, could fight. And rightfully so, they don't come much tougher than "Bang." But instead of directing the fighters back to the mat where he found them, McCarthy restarted action on the feet.

Clearly, he holds no blame here. The stand up was not a subjective one. McCarthy was interested solely in Ludwig's safety. The problem, however, lies in the aftermath. "I went up and said something to John afterward," said White. "And John said 'It's the rule, man.'"

McCarthy, like each Florida, Nevada, New Jersey or other mixed martial arts-friendly state licensed referee, was just doing his job: adhering to a rule that makes little sense.

It seems, now more than ever, a petition for a regulation change would be something worth exploring. "It would have to be brought before the commissions," said White. "What would have to happen is when a guy is down on the ground, you check a cut and you put them back in the same position.

"It would be a lot of work."

Work should not be an issue in this. Simply stated: It's a matter of right versus wrong. And while Ludwig should be commended for continuing to scrape and claw his way versus Sudo, I can't help but question the rule that played a large part in giving him an opportunity to regroup, thus totally shifting the fight's momentum in the final minute 45 seconds.

There's not one rational reason for the current regulation to remain, unless (and don't be surprised if this is the case) promoters are working under the assumption that the "stand up" rule encourages excitement.

Because, clearly, it doesn't do much in the fairness department.

There are other more extreme examples. Just last month, Carlos Newton controlled Anderson Silva on the ground for the first six minutes of their PRIDE 25 fight. He passed the guard, delivered strikes and dominated position. Yet when the referee deemed Silva to be stalling, the fight was stood up. What happens? Newton, the better grappler, is subsequently knocked out with a flying knee while Silva landed a rather pretty yellow card. One would think that type of penalty is not worth enforcing -- unless, of course, your last name happens to be Silva.

Exciting? Maybe. But not always.

Fair? No way. Never.

"How a guy can lose controlling position to check a cut?" White asked, stating out loud the question that came to my mind the moment Sudo-Ludwig was restarted on the feet two-thirds of the way through round three.

"It's not right," White said.

You better believe it.

Best ever?

In trying to get a sense for Matt Hughes' frame of mind (and his conditioning) in the days leading up to his title defense versus Sean Sherk, one theme rang true amongst those I spoke with: he spent hardly any time training in Iowa with Pat Miletich and the rest of the crew in Davenport -- but, still, it was obvious no one was worried.

He didn't train at all for Castillo, it was said. And for the rematch versus Newton he was in the gym less than two weeks. It's getting to the point with the UFC welterweight champion that you can't tell if he spent time in the gym or not -- and you almost don't want him to so he doesn't win too dominantly.

The last fight he invested significant amount of time in the gym was for his first title defense, a subsequent four-round drubbing of Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. In the three bouts that have followed, he's been as equal a force -- training omissions be damned.

It seems the only opponents that may conquer Hughes are complacency and boredom. He's cleaned out virtually the entire welterweight class. At this point, the only interesting option is Frank Trigg. But he's not as skilled as Hughes, and is far too inactive to be any more of a threat than Sherk, Castillo and Newton were. Sure there are calls for Hughes to avenge two losses to Dennis Hallman. But it's hard to imagine the outcome wouldn't be entirely different when the two step in the ring for a third time.

So where should, as odds maker Danny Sheridan dubbed him, "Gentleman" Matt Hughes find his next challenge? (And this is presuming he's even looking for one at this point. It's been said that if he could make as much money farming as he does fighting we might never see Hughes again.) I think it's clear that his future should be at 185 pounds. With potential match ups versus the likes of Dan Henderson (if he signs with Zuffa), Matt Lindland, Phil Baroni, David Loiseau (who's dispatched a handful of Monte Cox's fighters), et al, the anticipation of watching future Hughes' fights jumps ten-fold.

But then again, Hughes has said he could drop down to 155 pounds. What the heck, maybe we're looking at the sports' first three-division champion?

Lawler Injury Update

Robbie Lawler, who quit on his feet in the second round of his bout versus Pete Spratt on Friday, is scheduled to undergo an MRI when he returns to Davenport, Iowa this Tuesday. As of Sunday night there was nothing new to report on the status of his injury. There has been plenty of speculation that he may have suffered a dislocated hip following a Spratt leg kick, however Monte Cox told MaxFighting that it may just be a bone chip.

Source: Maxfighting

Shaolin's Quest for the Shooto Title Continues

SHOOTO: May 4th - Tokyo, Kourakuen Hall

Class B - 2 x 5 minutes rounds:

Welterweight [-70.0Kg] 2003 Rookie Tournament 2nd Round
Tomonari Kanomata vs. J-Taro Takita

Middleweight [-76.0Kg] 2003 Rookie Tournament 2nd Round
Yoichi Fukumoto vs. Hirosumi 'C-Bozu' Sugiura

Middleweight [-76.0Kg]
Yasuyuki Tokuoka vs. Shigetoshi Iwase

Bantamweight [-56.0Kg]
Masatoshi Abe vs. Junji Ikoma

Class A 3 x 5 minutes rounds:

Hideki Kadowaki vs. Makoto Ishikawa

Featherweight [-60.0Kg]
Masato Shiozawa vs. Marco Roulo

Lightheavyweight [-83.0Kg]
Martijn de Jong vs. Shikou Yamashita

Bantamweight [-56.0Kg]
Robson Moura vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani

Welterweight [-70.0Kg]
Ryan Bow vs.
Vitor 'Shaolin' Ribeiro

Featherweight [-60.0Kg] Survivor Tournament Final
Kentaro Imaizumi vs. Ryota Matsune

Source: ADCC


UFC President Dana White sat down with MMAWeekly's Ivan Trembow and the hot topic was television as rumors continue to swirl about the possibility of the UFC going on t.v.

Ivan Trembow: What obstacles have you faced in trying to get a cable TV deal for the UFC?

Dana White: Basically, what's happening is that we've gone out and talked to a lot of different TV companies. We make it all the way up to the top... you know, the ground level people want it, but once it gets to the top, they shoot it down. They're just afraid of it. Basically, they're just afraid of the product right now. Perception is still out there very strong even though we're back on pay-per-view, we've changed it, and we're sanctioned. Perception is still what's killing us.

Ivan: I would imagine the first thing a network would say is that they would never allow a live fight in a million years. They would say, "Somebody's going to die out there" even though no one ever has.

Dana: Exactly. If we do eventually come to a deal, which I know we will, we're still in talks with a lot of people right now... it's going to be taped fights. Then they can hand-pick through them, and they've even talked about editing. We were going to sell the Tito Ortiz-Ken Shamrock fight to a large network and they wanted to do it, but when the fight was over, they said the fight was too brutal.

Ivan: But you would have fights on TV that are specifically taped for TV, kind of like with UFC 37.5?

Dana: What we would do is, we'd do a smaller show, like here in Vegas, and we'd have 20 fights, tape them all, and then cut them up and turn them into like three or four different TV shows.

Ivan: Have there been some networks that want partial ownership, like maybe a ten percent stake in the company?

Dana: Yeah, that could be a possibility, too.

Ivan: Is that something Zuffa would be willing to do for a TV deal?

Dana: We'd be willing to do anything. We'd listen to anything that anybody had to say. If it makes business sense for us, then yeah, we'd do that.

Ivan: In the case of HBO or Showtime, do you think they're so embedded with boxing that they wouldn't want to ruffle the feathers of any boxing people who might perceive the UFC to be a threat in the long term? Have you run into anything like that with those networks, or even ESPN since they also have ties to boxing?

Dana: I don't know if that's really true because we've definitely butted heads with some boxing guys, but Lorenzo and I both come from boxing, so we have a lot of relationships there. I really don't think that it's the boxing powers trying to squash us. We've had a couple of run-ins and a couple of headbutts, but nothing real big.

Ivan: Is it even looked at as a possibility to have a syndicated deal with a regional group like The Sunshine Network out of Florida, or are you strictly looking for just a national cable deal? Would you be willing to do a syndicated deal?

Dana: It would depend on the deal. I don't know what I would do unless we got in a room and started talking. But just off the top of my head, I can say that we're out there every day working to get a TV show.

Ivan: Has Zuffa's relationship with ESPN been damaged by the whole "Outside the Lines" situation, where they filmed footage at ten UFC shows and aired almost none of it, and changed what they were going to air at the last minute? Has that put any kind of a damper on negotiations?

Dana: Not really, because we had been talking with ESPN, but at the end of the day, it still all depends on the deal. We were never really that far with ESPN. We were never to the point where we had a deal with them.

Ivan: Are you pretty much just negotiating with Fox Sports Network, or are there other cable networks involved?

Dana: There's a lot of other cable networks involved.

Ivan: Are you able to comment on which networks you have negotiated with, or are negotiating with, or can you not really name specific networks for legal reasons?

Dana: Specifically, I don't want to do that. Just because of the business, I don't want to specifically say who I'm talking to and who is interested.

Ivan: With networks that are afraid of the product as you put it, what can you do to show them that there's really nothing to be afraid of?

Dana: You just go out there and let them know what the sport is all about now that it's changed and it's sanctioned. You know, show them some fights and show them some stuff. There's not much else you can do. Believe me, everything you can possibly do, we've done it and then some. It gets all the way to the top, everybody wants to do it, and then the top guy shoots it down because nobody has the balls to take it right now.

Ivan: What are some of the financial difficulties, like having to pay to get on the air or selling advertising...

Dana: That's the other thing. At the end of the day, they don't think anyone is going to want to attach themselves to it and buy advertising.

Ivan: Wouldn't you probably get a lot of the same advertisers that boxing gets on TV, or do the networks think that those companies wouldn't want to advertise with you?

Dana: I really don't understand because we did the ratings that we did on Fox Sports Net for the two specials, and it more than doubled what they normally get for boxing in that time slot. You can't tell me that the people who are advertising during the boxing slots wouldn't want to advertise during MMA events, when they're getting more eyeballs watching it than they would with the boxing.

Ivan: Is the amount of money that the networks would want you to pay every week to be on TV a high enough amount that it would potentially be financially crippling for the UFC?

Dana: I would never pay to be on TV. That I won't do.

Ivan: Well, I know that at least with any pro wrestling company, which the networks would probably approach in much the same way they would approach MMA, the networks are saying the exact opposite. They won't pay for rights fees, and they want any new company coming in to pay them a fee every week for the air time. Have there been networks that have been willing to bend on that issue, and not insist on the UFC paying them to get on the air?

Dana: Yeah, definitely. That has definitely happened.

Ivan: That's great to hear because that's a major hurdle to clear. But going back to something you mentioned earlier... I think the assumption has been that if the UFC gets a TV deal, it would be something like the show you have in Britain right now, or the two specials on Fox Sports Net last year. It would be more about developing personalities and showing fights that have already happened, with no fights taped specifically for the purpose of airing on cable TV...

Dana: Those fights on the specials weren't for the hardcore fans, they were to bring in new viewers. But when you talk about people having already seen those fights, you're talking about like 40,000 people, and the viewership we did on those specials was over a million people.

Ivan: But you're saying this would be different, and that you would tape fights specifically for the purpose of airing them on free TV?

Dana: Yeah. I mean, it would do us no good to just keep doing the British show and air it in the US. Plus, we would run out of content eventually. The reason we want to do it the way I'm talking about with smaller-type shows is so that we could build up guys into pay-per-view stars.

Ivan: So you would have guys getting built up on the TV show and moving up to the pay-per-views, and maybe guys who are on losing streaks on the pay-per-views would move down to the TV show. So it could be kind of like a developmental system.

Dana: Absolutely, just like they did with boxing. What we would do is that I would have guys who are already my pay-per-view guys like, say, Chuck Liddell and Tim Sylvia and a bunch of other guys. Then we would take one of the younger pay-per-view guys like Robbie Lawler, and he would be the main event on a TV show... and the rest would all be up-and-coming guys, where we're out shopping for new talent to build.

Ivan: Would you have the TV tapings like once a month?

Dana: That would just depend on how the TV deal was structured, like how many fights we had to show, how often the show was on, and things like that.

Ivan: Would you say that you're farther away from a TV deal than you were a few months ago, or closer to a deal, or has there not really been any change?

Dana: No no no, we're definitely closer. I just thought this was going to be a much quicker process than it has been. We're working on it every day. All we do day-to-day is work on getting on free TV. It's not like we're just not into it and don't care about it. That's all we do.

Ivan: Alright, I've got one final question that is completely unrelated, but I have to ask you this. What do you think about Pride's recent statement that they want the US to be their primary market in the future?

Dana: I think it's insane. I know that if I were drawing 50,000 or 60,000 fans to stadiums in America, I certainly wouldn't go to Japan and hope to sell 10,000 seats. That would be the last thing I would want to do.

Source: MMA Weekly


Quote of the Day

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

Louisa May Alcott

Pan-American BJJ Tournament Update:

These are not official results just what Mike could remember off the top of his head.

Relson Gracie Team:
Shane Agena 3rd Place Brown Belt
Mike Onzuka 3rd Place Masters Brown Belt
Reyn Morimoto 1st Place Masters Purple Belt
Malcolm Ahlo 1st Place Seniors Purple Belt
Gye Nitta 3rd Place Master Blue Belt

Eben Kaneshiro (Kamole) 2nd Place Purple Belt

Black Belt Matches:
Roberto "Gordo" Correira def. Rener Gracie
Marcio "Pe De Pano" Cruz def. Todd Margolis
Todd Margolis def. Amal Easton

Black Belt Matches:
Marcio "Pe De Pano" Cruz won
Rener Gracie finished his opponent via triangle after his Fabio Leopoldo escaped an extremely tight foot lock.

Relson Gracie Team:
Rolan Gracie 1st Place Juvenile, Blue Belt, 16-17yrs old
Kyle Snyder-Olivares 2nd Place Juvenile, Blue Belt 16-17yrs old, 148-160lbs
Todd Tanaka 3rd Place Purple Belt
Brad Scott - 1st Place Blue Belt

Enson Inoue and Josh Barnett return to the ring
...the Pro Wrestling Ring

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) organization make 5 matches MMA in next show.
Date : May 2nd 2003
Place: Tokyo Dome
Start: 17:00

1st Match : IWGP Heavyweight Title #1 Contender Match:
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Koji Tanahashi

2nd Match
Takashi Iizuka vs. Ken Shamrock

3rd Match : IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title:
Koji Kanemoto & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Heat & Tiger Mask 4

MMA 5 Matches

4th Match MMA rule
Ryoto Machida (Inoki Office) vs. Kengo (Pancrase ism)

5th Match MMA rule
Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka (Team Alliance)

6th Match MMA rule
Shinsuke Nakamura (NJPW) vs. Jan "The Giant" Nortje (K-1)

7th Match MMA rule
Josh Barnett (AMC Pankration) vs. Jimmy "The Titan" Ambriz

8th Match MMA rule
Manabu Nakanishi (NJPW) vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (Inoki Office)

9th Match
Enson Inoue vs. Kazunari Murakami

10th Match
Kenta Kobashi vs. Masahiro Chono

11th Match : IWGP Heavyweight Title:
Yuji Nagata vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

Source: Koichi "Booker K" Kawasaki

Koka & Fa'agai Sponsored by Second To None Fight Wear

If you have not figured it out by now, Onzuka.com's primary mission is the help bring notoriety to Hawaii's MMA and fighters, promoters, events and martial artists. So with that in mind, we are posting this information that was sent to us because hopefully it encourages larger sponsors to support Hawaii's fighters, allowing them to realize their full potential. If you know of a fighter that is sponsored, please send us an email and we will recognize him or her.

FIGHTERS that are sponsored
Kolo "ICE COLD" Koka (Grappling Unlimited)

Jacob "Hitman" Fa'agai (Untaimed Bloodline Fight Club)
*Recently fought in Amateur Fighting Competition & Pacific Fighting Championship

Source: Second To None Fight Wear

KOTC 'SIN CITY' - A Preview!
by: Keith Mills

Las Vegas, NV - Excitement is growing as we get closer to the next King Of The Cage pay-per-view. As reported earlier,
Ronald Jhun takes on Shonie Carter for the vacant Welterweight belt. Like the UFC the title action is not the only Welterweight fight for the night, as Diego Sanchez takes on Mike Guymond and Joe Stevenson takes on Thomas Denny.

The current KOTC Welterweight rankings are:

Champion: Vacant
#1 Ron Jhun
#2 Dennis Hallman
#3 John Alessio
#4 Shonie Carter
#5 Joe Stevenson
#6 Karo Parisyan
#7 Diego Sanchez
#8 Thomas Denny
#9 Benji Radach
#10 Jeremy Jackson
#11 Marcos Santos
#12 John Cronk

Although this may be Stevenson’s last fight at 170 before dropping to 155 at 15-5-0 he is still ranked #5 in the KOTC rankings. Other promoters and matchmakers say Joe is a person to beat, always on the cusp of making it big but falling short when facing the top talent in the world. In his debut he caught Steve Horton in a submission before he lost in the finals of a four-man tournament to Jens Pulver by KO. He went on the beat Joe Camacho before losing to Chris Brennan in KOTC 1 by triangle choke. After picking up four straight wins he ran into KOTC #1 ranked Ronald Jhun and lost by decision. Two wins later he lost his first fight to Brad Gumm but after picking up another win rematched Gumm and won. He went on another winning streak including EC 50 tournament finalist Cruz Chacon and impressive up-and-comer and KOTC #10 ranked Jeremy Jackson to finally take the 170 belt but in his first defense was matched up against Romie Aram. Romie took the belt by decision before vacating it to fight in the UFC. Stevenson went on to pick up two more wins in Gladiator Challenge and now looks to leave the 170 division at least for now on a winning streak.

KOTC #8 ranked and Shooto A Class fighter Thomas Denny also suffers from the “limelight hurdle”, with losses to Shooto’s #2 ranked Middleweight Jutaro Nakao, KOTC #3 ranked John Alessio, UFC vet Duane Ludwig known as the man who KO’d Jens Pulver, KOTC #4 ranked Lightweight Chris Brennan, and UCC Canadian champ George St. Pierre. Denny is coming off a win in KOTC where he totally controlled Justin Stanley.

Most insiders are giving the edge to Denny standing, with his background in kickboxing and his powerful strikes, while Stevenson is looked at as having the edge in wrestling and ground-and-pound. With both fighters experienced in submission defense but preferring to strike don’t look for this one to end with a tapout. Denny has 1” on Stevenson and both are said to cut roughly the same amount of weight, so unlike Romi’s fight with Joe, body type and size shouldn’t be a factor. Denny may have a slight edge in cornering, having gone through both UCC and KOTC with the three KOTC belt holders from Millennia Jiu-Jitsu in his corner while chances are HOOKnSHOOT Middleweight Champion Phillip Miller may be cornering Stevenson. Faith in Stevenson as the favorite is running high as evidenced by the fact that although he hasn’t yet fought at 155 he is currently ranked #3 in the Lightweight class in-between former champion Javier Vasquez and Chris Brennan who has beaten Joe before.

'King of the Cage: Sin City ' will be held on Friday, May 16, 2003 from the Orleans Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gates open at 4:30pm PST, fights start at 5:30pm. In addition, 'King of the Cage: Sin City' will be televised on pay-per-view! The pay-per-view broadcast begins at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST and is available via DirecTV, The Dish Network, TVN, Bell Express Vu, and Viewer s Choice. For more information on pay-per-view availability, check your local listings.

Source: ADCC

Roy Jones Jr. Says NO Tyson
Fight If He Signs With King

By Ron Heard

April 26, 2003; Now that Roy Jones Jr. has decided to stay at heavyweight the boxing world is waiting to see who he will be fighting next. The two most talked about names are Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. In a conversation with Murad Muhammad this morning Boxingtalk asked Murad who the front runner was to face Roy and this is what he had to say. "I hear that Don King has offered Mike Tyson $10-20 million dollars plus 5 automobiles to sign with him. If this happens Roy Jones will not be facing Mike Tyson. Roy has made it clear that he will not be involved in another fight where Don King owns the other fighter and is also the co-promoter - King must be one or the other, not both." When asked about Evander Holyfield, Murad explained, "Evander is free and clear of Don King so this fight is still a possibility. King will be the co-promoter and that is o.k. as long as King does not own the fighter."

Source: Boxing Talk


Quote of the Day

"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into."

Wayne Dyer

KAOS Full-Contact Fighting Challenge 2 Results
Dole Cannery Ballroom, Honolulu, Hawaii
Saturday, April 26th

KAOS Full-Contact Fighting Challenge 2
Dole Cannery Ballroom, Honolulu, Hawaii
April 26, 2003
By Chris Onzuka - Chris@Onzuka.com

Amateur MMA (2 Rounds X 3 rounds)
Mike Bauer (HMC) def. Raymond Ursua (808 Fight Factory)
Unanimous decision [(20-17-20-16), (20-17)]

Amateur MMA
Tommy Woo (808 Fight Factory) def. Ben George (Bulls Pen)
Unanimous decision [(29-24), 29-24), (29-24)]

Professional MMA:
Bob Ostovich (JIL) def. Shimone Yuhuva (Team Rukus)
Submission due to exhaustion and bad position in Round 1.

Professional MMA:
John Naole (HMC) def. Paul Laga (Bulls Pen)
KO via straight right at 7 seconds in Round 1.

Professional MMA:
Brad McCall (NG) def. Jerome Kekumu (Hard Knocks)
Unanimous decision [(20-17-20-16), (20-17)]

Kickboxing: (3 rounds - 1.5 minute)
Scott Redoble (Hawaiian Self-Defense) def. Lenny Liua (Bulls Pen)
Unanimous decision [(29-24), (29-24), (29-24)]

Professional MMA:
Alex Serdyukov (Next Generation) def. Harris Sariento (808 Fight Factory)
Submission due to Kimura key lock in Round 1.

Professional MMA:
Dez Miner (808 Fight Factory) def. James Stanford (Hard Knocks)
Submission, fighter did not want to come out after the end of the first round.

Professional MMA:
Kauai Kupihea (Brausa) def. Vai Togia (Hard Knocks)
TKO via referee stoppage in Round 1.

Professional MMA:
Ron Jhun (808 Fight Factory) def. James Meals (Team Pain)
Submission due to strikes to the body.

Some Quick Pan-American JJ Tournament News

Here are some of the guys who have placed in the first day of the Pan-Ams.

Rolan Gracie (Juvenile 16-17yrs old)- 1st Place
Kyle Snyder-Olivares (Juvenile 16-17yrs old, 148-160lbs) - 2nd Place
Brad Scott (Blue Belt) - 1st Place

Half the team has competed and the other half competes today.

KOTC Pre View: Shonie Carter versus Ronald Jhun
by: Keith Mills

One of the three title belts to be awarded at the next KOTC pay-per-view will be the 170 belt on the line between Shonie Carter and Ronald Jhun. This fight comes just over six months since these two fought to a draw for the SuperBrawl belt back in December, a controversial outcome to say the least. For that bout many spectators gave the first round to Carter and the second to Jhun but in the third round Jhun knocked down Carter, forcing a mandatory 8-count and in many people’s eyes giving Jhun a 10-8 round and therefore the win. The judges didn’t see it that way and the fight was ruled a draw with scores of 28-29, 29-28, and 28-28. There currently is no SuperBrawl 170 champion.

Carter went on to pick up a win in another controversial fight in his return to KOTC in February. Many thought in that fight Fernando Vasconcelos had the first round while Shonie had the second but the controversy arose when Fernando’s corner, who insisted they were told the fight was only a 2-round fight, refused to come out for the third round and the fight was ruled a TKO for Shonie by corner throwing in the towel. In March Shonie won a decision in Shooto before losing a decision in WEC in the fight of the night to Jeremy Jackson and picking up yet another decision win in Shido earlier this month. Shonie is known for his unorthodox style, which excites the crowd even if it does usually result in a judge’s decision.

808 Fight Factory’s Jhun “only” fought twice since facing Shonie six months ago, with a draw to Dennis Hallman in KOTC in December and a win over Mike Panalber in SuperBrawl 28. Although Jhun, based out of Hawaii, is usually thought of as a powerful striker he has proven he can whip out a submission win from time to time and usually puts on a great show. The first fight with Shonie was Jhun’s first at 170.

Now these two much-feared warriors rematch for the King Of The Cage 170 belt which is up for grabs now that Romie Aram left to fight in the UFC and vacated the belt. Romie never defended the belt, having taken it from Joe Stevenson back in October. This fight looks to be one of the closest and most exciting so far on the next KOTC card and quite possibly the fight of the night. Detractors for Shonie complain he takes too many fights and doesn’t prepare enough against specific opponents to be a top star while Jhun’s say he is too inconsistent, both arguments which now seem outdated; Carter in his fight against Jackson knew enough to try to take him down right away and when that didn’t work tried to stay out of distance with kicks while Jhun looks to have snapped out of his losing streak that plagued him last year and reportedly is back to his old self.

Whoever wins this belt will have some tough competition to defend it against. Romi’s teammate John Alessio is still the KOTC Superfight Champion and fights at 170, although rumors of his possibly moving on have been circulating. California also has some tough Middleweights like KOTC vet Jeremy Jackson and IFC 170 Champion Nick Diaz who would both make great contenders. To further elevate the respect of this belt Chris Lytle, the current HOOKnSHOOT champion, or Jason Black, the UCC champion, could both be recruited.

The bottom line is not only does this fight have great potential but looks to carry the momentum of UFC 42’s attention on the Welterweights forward into May and make that whole division possibly the one to watch throughout the summer.

'King of the Cage: Sin City ' will be held on Friday, May 16, 2003 from the Orleans Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gates open at 4:30pm PST, fights start at 5:30pm. In addition, 'King of the Cage: Sin City' will be televised on pay-per-view! The pay-per-view broadcast begins at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST and is available via DirecTV, The Dish Network, TVN, Bell Express Vu, and Viewer s Choice. For more information on pay-per-view availability, check your local listings.

Source: ADCC

Hughes Dominates, Franca and Ludwig Surprise In Sunshine State
By Loretta Hunt

UFC 42: Sudden Impact will certainly not go down as one of the more dramatic evenings of MMA action. Held in Miami, Florida at the American Airlines Arena, the event drew a respectable yet far from sell-out crowd (Zuffa estimates attendance at somewhere between 6,500 and 7,000 spectators). Although there were a couple of surprise upsets on the card, it was not enough to overcome a lacking energy in the arena -- contributed to a stilted pace and atmosphere.

Here's a rundown of the night's action:

It was a clear-cut domination by welterweight champion Matt Hughes this evening, as he easily displayed his superior strength and skills to best fellow wrestler Sean Sherk. With a sense of urgency, Hughes shot in for the takedown off the bat, pushing Sherk to the fence and down to the ground. The champ went on to dominate Sherk for the first two rounds, positioning his challenger against the cage for some punishment that opened various wounds on Sherk's face. The Minnesotan rallied in the third, shooting in for his first takedown which Hughes amply defended. Another double led attempt had Hughes against the fence and eventually down, but Sherk was far less effective in the top position. Hughes even capitalized from below, almost catching Sherk in a tight Kimura. Hughes was able to achieve full mount by round four, but Sherk held on, all the while taking more damage with little chance to mount a counter. By round five, Hughes' ground tactics were just too overwhelming, but to Sherk's credit, he was able to go the distance. Hughes was awarded the unanimous decision (48-45, 48-47, 49-46).

For the co-main event, "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler suffered the first loss of his career against Pete "The Secret Weapon" Spratt, a former Golden Gloves boxer and expert kickboxer. Getting Spratt to the ground first via a takedown and then by a Hughes-like slam, Lawler looked promising, but Spratt's damaging leg kicks soon took their toll. Spratt was able to get a takedown himself late in the round and maneuvered to mount just as the bell was sounding. In round two, Lawler worked his knees in the clinch and the bout was stopped briefly when a deep cut opened up over Spratt's right eye. The action was continued with Spratt landing one more right high kick before Lawler, grasping his side, abruptly (verbally) submitted at 3:25 in. At the time of this writing, it is still unclear exactly what kind of damage Lawler took and when and how it was inflicted.

In the "swing bout" for the night, former King of The Cage welterweight champion Romie Aram dropped opponent Dave Strasser out of the gate with a clean right. Aram went in for the kill, but an experienced Strasser recovered nicely, settling Aram into his guard. Aram inched Strasser to the fence, but the fight would soon be back up on its feet. Dodging a shot by Aram, Strasser twisted behind his opponent and followed him down to the ground into the mount, but was unable to finish the job from there. Much of round two and three had Aram on the defensive, with the action split between the ground and standing at a fairly even pace. However, neither fighter was able to make much of an impression on the by-then disinterested crowd. Strasser via unanimous decision (30-27 all).

Hawaiian heavyweight
Wesley "Cabbage" Correira delivered exactly the performance fans came out to see him for. After weathering a mostly uneventful first round in which Renzo Gracie pupil Sean Alvarez tried time after time to take him down, Correira unloaded on Alvarez three minutes into the second after recovering quickly from the sole takedown of the bout. With Alvarez visibly stunned, referee John McCarthy stepped in along the cage to end the fight at 1:47 in round two.

In the second televised bout of the night, Meattruck Inc.'s Rich Franklin was able to beat the sizable odds against him by avoiding opponent Evan Tanner's wrath on the ground. Tanner never shot in for the takedown, while Franklin quickly overcame his lack of Octagon experience, warming up into some crisp punching combos and kicks. The Team Quest fighter defended well at first, but Franklin soon got inside, stumbling the vet and then following up quickly with more strikes. Referee Larry Landless stopped the bout when Tanner, from his angle, fell to his knees and hunched over. Although it appeared Tanner could continue after the men were separated, he handled the somewhat questionable referee stoppage like the true professional he is, congratulating Franklin immediately for his impressive debut. Franklin gets the TKO via ref stoppage at 2:20.

In a much anticipated match-up of showman versus no nonsense competitor, Japan's Genki Sudo and opponent Duane "Bang" Ludwig started off the live pay-per-view with, well, a bang. Sudo had dominated in his UFC premiere, but with world-class kickboxer Ludwig standing across from him this time around, it would be America's chance to see if "the Neo Warrior" was more than just a court jester. With striking mastermind John Hackleman in tow, Bang made his way to the ring and quickly settled into his corner, probably knowing that his opponent's entrance would be no ordinary one. Sudo garbed in a long black wig, white kabuki mask and kimono, resembled a dainty female as he danced down the ramp to the audience's approval. He started the bout with his back to Ludwig, trying to taunt his opponent out into some kind of attack. Ludwig wasn't biting. Sudo posed and preened, and got little resistance from Ludwig as he took him down to the mat. It looked like Ludwig was in trouble for Sudo had half mount by 2:50, side mount by 2:45, and full mount by 2:30. Thwarting an armbar, Ludwig managed to get to his feet and reversed Sudo on the cage. Ludwig landed his first shots in the second, and as suspected, the K-1 vet was too fast and too hard, forcing Sudo to shoot in for the takedown. Stalled action had both men brought back to their feet, where Ludwig began to expose Sudo's weaknesses on his feet, and before long, the showman was dropping his shtick and doing more to defend. Round three was Sudo's to take. He easily got Ludwig to the ground and pinned him against the fence while reigning down punches to end the bout. Big John McCarthy's decision to halt the fight was the best thing to happen to Bang. Bleeding profusely from his face it looked like the doctors would stop it, but fans were about to witness the biggest rally of the night. Bang came alive with less than two minutes to go, gaining the key top position and turning the tables with some ground and pound of his own to garner the unanimous decision (29-28 all).

In Preliminary Action:

Two of the fastest rising teams in the business put forth the best they have to offer in tonight's first lightweight match-up of the evening. Fans were treated to it all from devastating strikes to hairsplitting submission escapes in an explosive first round. American Kickboxing Academy's Rich Crunkilton came in with a powerful right hook that he dispatched quickly and effectively. American Top Team's Hermes Franca was ready though--much to the surprise of those that considered the Brazilian jiu-jitsu untested on his feet--countering well and landing a few punches of his own which Crunkilton ate at first with little emotion. With a beautiful judo throw, Crunkilton navigated the action to the ground, and Franca dug in with a reversed heel hook that "Cleat" narrowly escaped in the first of many close calls for the night. The crowd was eating it up, cheering on local boy Franca and applauding Cleat for his uncanny counter grappling. By round two, Crunkilton began to show the wear and tear of round one's frenetic pace, while Franca began to pick up some steam with decent jabs and aggressive groundwork. Round three saw Franca work from a triangle choke to an armbar to a Kimura attempt, which torqued Crunkilton's elbow out of its socket and back in again. An exhausted Crunkilton had just enough to defend, but not enough to get back on the offensive. Franca was handed the unanimous decision (29-28 all).

Those that were hoping for a stand-up war between England's Mark Weir and Canada's David "the Crow" Loiseau might have been surprised, but ultimately not disappointed, for their bout ended in dramatic fashion. After one weighing kick from Weir, middleweight Loiseau went in for the takedown, pushing the lanky against the cage. The action staled as both fighters tussled for position but finally Loiseau got Weir to the ground by switching to the single leg. In Weir's guard, Loiseau played a patient game picking his shots when he could, as Weir threw some occasional leather up or maneuvered for a choke. At first glance, it seemed that Loiseau might be slowing, but with 1:10 left he unleashed an onslaught of shots that Weir could not defend. The Crow gets the win with a knockout 3:55 into the first round.

Source: FCF

UFC 42 After the fact, News and Notes

The UFC’s first foray into Miami came through with mixed results, To kick things off, the production on the whole was poor, with the UFC coming off looking like a “B” level production with the Free Preview looking very second rate. The card on the whole was a mixed bag with some good fights and interesting turns of events and a few unfortunate disapointments, such Robbie Lawler injuring himself.

The Crowd was announced at 7500 fans, well short of a sell out considering the size of the arena, the fans that were there, seemed involved in the fights despite the ocasional booing. The lack of a sell out or close to a sell out must be disappointing considering recent past events had tickets selling very well for the UFC. The PPV numbers are far from coming so how good( or not so good) the PPV numbers will be is unknown at this time.

Speaking of Robbie Lawler, the word on the street is that Robbie Lawler dislocated his hip sometime in the first round, it is unknown at this time, when the injury actually took place but he went to the hospital to get it checked out, but the hospital line up was around the block so he could not get into the hospital to get it checked out! He left shortly after to get it checked at another time.

In the Genki Sudo Vs Duane Ludwig fight, many fans were upset about the fact that the Referee checked the bleeding nose of Duane Ludwig when he was against the fence and taking punishment. The fight got stood up from there and Duane won on the strength of the damage he inflicted after he was stood up out of the bad position he was in. Genki was in control of the third round up to that point and was pounding “Bang” with solid shots that bloodied the nose of Ludwig. The Athletic Commission rules state that after the doctor checks the cut, the fight cannot be resumed in the same place, it is restarted from the standup position. So that is the reason that the fight was restarted from the standup, but the question remains why the Ref checked the bloodied nose when the nose does not bleed into the eyes. In the minds of many, the nose was not bleeding enough on it's own to warrant a cut check and the resulting standup…

The Crow, David Loiseau, who was not mentioned at all during the telecast, won his fight with Mark Weir convincingly by knockout, but it was not the back and forth fight of the night slugfest that everyone was hoping for. Mark Weir came out and hit him with a front kick and David decided to take the fight to the ground. He took him down and grounded and pounded him from the guard with hard shots to the head until he knocked him out cold from the punishment. Impressive debut for the Canadian who was not mentioned on the Broadcast.

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For those of you who missed it, the results of UFC 42 were as follows:

David Loiseau defeats Mark Weir via K.O Round 1
Hermes Franca defeats Rich Crunkleton via Decision after 3 rounds
Duane Ludwig defeats Genki Sudo via Decision after 3 rounds
Rich Franklin Defeats Evan Tanner Via K.O Round 1
Cabbage Defeats Sean Alvarez Via K.O Round 2
Dave Strasser Defeats Romie Aram Via Decision after 3 rounds
Pete Spratt Defeats Robbie Lawler Via Verbal Tapout Round 2
Matt Hughes Defeats Sean Sherk Via Decision after 5 Rounds

43 Taking Shape In A BIG Way

Usually about this time, 6 to 10 weeks out from a UFC event, info starts trickling in about the event taking shape. We always bring you what we know to be true and then add in our thoughts as well that are most logical at the time. So, lets break down the UFC 43 event and give you what we think we know up to this point.

First, the line up.

1. Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture

2. Tank Abbott vs. Kimo

3. Vitor Belfort vs. Marvin Eastman

4. Ken Shamrock vs. Ian Freeman

5. Pedro Rizzo vs. Tra Telligman

6. Matt Lindland vs. Falaniko Vitale

No. There will be no sign of Tito Ortiz showing up for a fight so don't hold your breath. The 7th and 8th fight is still out of the picture, but if it hasn't been speculated on yet, it isn't a big fight and neither will most likely be for a Title. With that said, the Liddell-Couture might well be for an Interim Light Heavyweight Title. It puts more pressure on Ortiz, clearly defining an already unclouded picture. Redundant? We know. There would be no other reason to give Liddell such a tough fight if it wasn't for some kind of huge reward. With Tito sitting out, once again, you would be hard pressed to find another light heavyweight to challenge him except for Horn. Tanner would be moot for 2 reasons. He is fighting at UFC 42 and the is no way in hell Chuck would be able to take him out in a more devastating fashion that Ortiz did. I know what your thinking, but Vanderlei legally can't make the trip. Boohoo.

Tank will finally get someone his own speed and he should be able to handle Kimo who's wrestling ability looked terrible against Lajcik in his last WFA outing. Shamrock will have his hands full against Ian Freeman. If Ken can pull out the win and Tank wins, look for a titanic showdown of epic proportions at UFC 45 in October-November between the two. If you want to see hype of UFC 40 caliber, keep your fingers crossed. It would be both Ken's and Tank's last fight on their standard 3 fight deal.

Vitor will return! And it ain't gonna be easy against Eastman, but he should prevail. If Vitor wins, maybe he can face Tito. Oh wait, Chuck beat Belfort. Niko Vitale will finally make his long awaited UFC debut, but against Lindland, he might choke.

Finally, Rizzo will get an opponent who will make him look good! Remember the first Rizzo-Tellignman outing? War! With Telligman's improved boxing skills and Rizzo's current shape, Tra just might come right at him again. Keep your fingers crossed. This is the best match the fans could hope for, considering they are forced to watch Rizzo yet again.

UFC 43 is scheduled for Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack Center. The venue holds about 17,000. With Belfort, Liddell, Shamrock, Tank, and Couture on the Vegas card, it should sell out easily, making it the biggest crowd ever to witness an MMA event in North America.

Source: MMA Ring Report

by Chris Rothey

(Editors Note: Chris Rothey is our television columnist who covers professional wrestling pay per views and boxing pay per views for many big sites, and of course he does the UFC pay per view tv column for us here at MMAWeekly.com.)

My friend Neil said it all when we first saw the broadcasters open the show. After watching the opening moments of the broadcast, Neil made the remark, "Is this amateur try out night or what? What are they doing? Who are these people and how did they get on t.v.?"

If UFC 33 was a disaster to Zuffa as far as the actual fights go, UFC 42 will go down in history as one of the worst produced shows I've ever seen period.

Where to begin? When will Zuffa learn that we have no idea what happened in the David Loiseau and Mark Weir fight? Once the actual pay per view started, there was no mention of what happened. The Canadian fans are probably rioting at this hour and they deserve too. This guy wasn't even mentioned? What the hell?

Folks that's just the beginning. Let's start with fake crowd noise. The UFC hired a company who used to work for the WWE at UFC 39. This company, for some reason, piped in fake crowd noise, ala pro wrestling which became very apparent especially at the end of the main event.

With the entire crowd almost gone and Matt Hughes doing an interview with Lisa Durgan, Hughes finished the interview as a few people stuck around to actually listen to what was being said.

After Hughes concluded, the crowd erupted like he just got a knockout. The only problem? There was no crowd in the building to even cheer that loudly, so to hear a crowd go crazy when there was only six people in the building was down right foolish to say the least. They did this the entire night, piping in this crowd noise after each guy would walk to the ring. I love the heart of Dave Strasser, but a guy from Ohio has that kind of following in Florida? It sounded like the immortal Hulk Hogan was making his way to the ring as the crowd really loved a guy we had never seen before. (touch of sarcasm)

For some reason there were plenty of techincal issues. Joe Rogan tried to throw to a taped piece with Lisa and Tank Abbott and the guys in the production truck were either asleep or taking a coffee break, because it took 10 seconds to get to the piece on television.

There wasn't any audio for the Sherk vs Hughes preview package before the main event. There were many technical problems and it was a sad show as far as presentation goes. As far as the broadcast team goes, can we please hire the professionals you guys had from UFC 33 to UFC 40 please?

The UFC put Joe Rogan in a bad spot as a play by play announcer, when they should have flew a guy like Ryan Bennett or Jeff Osborne in who have called MANY MMA events and kept Rogan in his strong suit of the analyst role. Joe Rogan and Phil Baroni, the two New Yorkers, were average on the broadcast.

They seemed to be o.k. once the fights started, but both guys had a blank look once the camera was on them and it was like they were embarrassed to be there. It was tough to watch in some spots as Rogan starred at the camera with a blank, what the hell are we doing now look.

The duo's best quality moment came at the end of the show when they dissed the ditzy Lisa Durgan. That was actually very funny and I wanted to see Baroni go off more like that on the broadcast. Baroni seemed too reserved on the broadcast and I would have liked to see him have more fun.

Lisa Durgan - For the love of god..... Dana and Lorenzo FIRE her beautiful ass yesterday, please! Your credibility was shot last night as this woman continues to embarrass herself and the company by not having a clue of what's going on.

I've seen some bad interviewers in the past. The worst was "Herb" in UFC 1 and 2. James Werme was a close second as he was a baffoon and looked as though he always had bad gas, but Lisa Durgan may have passed Werme for the second worst interviewer of all time.

Durgan continued to make amazingly bad comments with some bizarre statements like "You got him with a good knee kick"?

Uh, excuse me? What the hell is a knee kick? Durgan is taking this sport to record lows with the fact we all know she doesn't have a clue what she's saying and she can't help the sport grow.

If we want eye candy, then we would watch the ring girls. The scripted questions didn't even help, as she doesn't have a clue what is going on. She couldn't tell an armbar from a candy bar and it's time to bring Ryan Bennett and Jeff Osborne back to your broadcasts immediately with play by play voice Mike Goldberg.

Joe would be fine as the third guy in the booth, but if you want any kind of credibility you need to change yesterday.

Eddie Bravo - Bravo was a strange, weird guy who acted like he had a big secret to get out by saying "Robbie Lawler was laughing his ass off at the commentary of Joe Rogan and Phil Baroni". He didn't add anything insightful and had no significant role on the broadcast.

Bruce Buffer - It wasn't one of his better days. He introduced Romie Aram as Dave Strasser, then started to introduce Aram and as he started to introduce him, his mic was immediately cut off. Not sure why he stopped in mid sentence.

This was a very bad effort by the UFC and I wouldn't be surprised if some guys lose their jobs in the truck when it's all said and done. Bring back the pro's and let's get rid of the.....you get my drift.

Source: MMA Weekly


Quote of the Day

Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built.
Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure.

Jim Rohn

UFC 42: Sudden Impact Results

David Loiseau Def Mark Weir KO (Punch) at 3:55 minutes in Rd 1
Hermes Franca Def Richard Crunkilton Decision via (Unanimous) after 3 rounds
Duane Ludwig Def Genki Sudo via Decision (Split) after 3 rounds
Rich Franklin Def Evan Tanner via TKO (Strikes) at 2:40 minutes in Rd 1
Wesley Correira Def Sean Alvarez via TKO (Strikes) at 1:46 minutes in Rd 2
Dave Strasser Def Romie Aram via Decision (Unanimous) after 3 rounds
Pete Spratt Def Robbie Lawler via Submission (Verbal due to injury) at 2:28 minutes in Rd 2
Matt Hughes Def Sean Sherk via Decision (Unanimous) after 5 rounds

2003 Pan-Ams . . Are you ready?

Word from the IBJJF is 'All Systems Go!' for the 2003 Pan-Ams. The braintrust of Carlos Gracie Jr, Marcelo Siriema & Andre Fernandez have been working late into the Am to set up all the details and scheduling for the LARGEST BJJ tournament is America ever!

Competition will start on Saturday with the International Team event: U.S.A. v Brazil and continue throughout the weekend with some great fights in all belts.

Marcelo Siriema told us that they even brought the IBJJF's Technical Director Alvaro Mansor, who will be on hand Friday during the weigh-ins to answer any and all rule questions for the instructors and referees.

Everything points to a great turnout and some great matches. See you at the Pan-Ams.

Here is the schedule fo fights:


9:30 Brazil x USA
11:30 Black Belt master and seniors 1, 2 and 3
12:00 Blue Belt Juvenile
12:30 Blue Belt Adult - Rooster, Super feather, Feather and Light
14:30 Blue Belt Adult - Middle and Medium Heavy
17:00 Blue Belt Adult - Heavy, Super Heavy and Super Super Heavy
18:30 Purple Belt Adult - Rooster, Super Feather, Feather, Light and Middle
20:00 Purple Belt Adult - Medium Heavy, Heavy, Super Heavy and Super Super Heavy


9:30 Blue Belt Master - Rooster, Super Feather, Feather, Light and Middle
10:40 Blue Belt Master - Medium Heavy, Heavy, Super Heavy and Super Super Heavy
12:00 Blue Belt Seniors 1, 2 and 3
13:20 Purple Belt Master and Blue Belt Master Open class
14:40 Black Belt Adult
16:00 Purple Belt Senior 1, 2 and 3
16:20 Adult Black Belt Open Class Sign in
16:30 Females (all divisions)
17:40 Brown Belt Adult
19:00 Brown Belt Master and Seniors 1, 2 and 3 - Purple Belt Adult Open Class


Source: ADCC/Kid Peligro

Pac-Rim Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament Rumor

The large gi and no-gi tournament is rumored to be taking place in the last week of July or August, possibly sooner. I am awaiting confirmation on this. I will let you know as soon as I know.

Tito Responds

Tito Ortiz confirmed on MMA Weekly Radio yesterday that he is asking for a three-fight contract that would culminate with Chuck Liddell being the third fight on the contract. Ortiz said he wants to fight Liddell, and that Liddell just "needs to be built up more" before the two of them fight.

When Tito was asked specifically about Josh Gross report that he wants between $1.3 million and $1.75 million spread out over three fights, Tito replied, "There is some truth to that," but would not name any specific numbers. Tito feels "blessed" to have his new management team negotiating for him, and said that it's all up to UFC president Dana White at this point. When asked point-blank if he is injured in any way, Tito said that this is purely a financial dispute and that he is not injured.

Ortiz also said that his contract expires in two and a half years, and that he's "not even going to be in MMA in two and a half years." Tito said he wants to fight, but would have no problem sitting out for that time period because he is excited about his potential future in Hollywood.

Tito has no interest in going to Pride because "Rampage (Quinton Jackson) can have Pride and dominate over there, I don't want Pride." Tito said that he is trying to take a stand for all MMA fighters, and yet minutes later when Ryan Bennett asked him about the UFC fighters who are only making $3,000 per fight, Tito said that those fighters should "start to work harder and get a little charisma." Tito said that Zuffa has promoted him a lot, but certain guys are more marketable than others. As an example, he said that Zuffa would never be able to give a similar push to guys like Matt Hughes or Tim Sylvia.

The rest of the interview can be obtained by subscribing to MMA Weekly.

Source: MMA Weekly

Frye vs. Coleman: The Rematch?

MMAWeekly broke some news last weekend about a possible fight between Don Frye and Mark "The Hammer" Coleman.

Frye told MMAWeekly at the ICC event last weekend that he was in negotiations with Pride about a possible fight against Mark Coleman.

Judging from this picture from Indemand PPV, it looks as though Pride is planning on the same thing. The show called "Bad to the Bone" has Frye and Coleman as the main guys on the poster. Then you can also see Fedor and Fujita in the background as they are also on the poster. Look for a big announcement to be made from Japan very soon.

Source: MMA Weekly

Royce Gracie: Gracie Under Fire!
By Mike Sloan

In the cult classic movie Airheads, one of the characters asks the question, "Who would win in a wrestling match; Lemmy or God? Trick question! Lemmy is God!" Well, when it comes to mixed martial arts, specifically the UFC, Royce Gracie is Lemmy.

Royce has never lost in the UFC (that loss on his record after he suffered from dehydration in UFC 3 is bonk; he never physically lost), winning the early tournaments three times. Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn and Kimo all fell victim to Royce's unbelievable Brazilian- er, I mean, Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

Mike Sloan: Royce, you are probably the busiest guy that I personally know, probably even busier than Dana White. What is going on? You train, teach, do seminars, etc.

Royce Gracie: Well, thank Mike Hogan (laughs). Thanks, Mike Hogan! I'm traveling and my schedule is already booked for the next six months. At least six months, man. I'm working on a book right now and a video.

The book is based on all the questions I get asked at my seminars, like what food do I eat when I fight, when I'm at home, when I'm on the road. What is the Gracie Diet? How do you combine the foods? What kind of stretching I do, if I do yoga, what kind of weight program I am on. Do I run, bike, swim and when I get ready for a fight, what kind of leg work do I get into?

All of that, so that's why I'm doing a book with my strength coach. He used to train at USC, he trained the Rams when they were back in LA, he trains Keyshawn Johnson, Serena Williams, everybody. So we're working together and just putting the puzzle together and getting it ready. It will tell what I do, what kind of cardio, the food I eat in the off season, what kind of striking program. I'm also working on a video, not an instructional video, but more of what I go through to get ready for a fight.

Mike Sloan: Will all of this be in both the book and video?

Royce Gracie: No. The book is one thing, the video is another thing. It's two different concepts that we're working on right now between juggling my family and seminars. I've been doing a lot of cop seminars, a lot of law enforcement.

Mike Sloan: When do you think these will be available for people to buy?

Royce Gracie: The book by September, but the video doesn't have a time yet. The video takes a long time.

Mike Sloan: Aside from all the seminars and traveling, how often do you get to actually train yourself?

Royce Gracie: I train every night that I teach. I just got done teaching a seminar in Raleigh, NC, and for the last half hour, I trained with a bunch of the guys. I have another seminar tomorrow in Chapel Hill, NC, and after the seminar, I'll be with everybody again.

Mike Sloan: When you do train yourself, besides jiu jitsu, do you train in a lot of stand up fighting like Muay Thai or boxing?

Royce Gracie: Not so much right now because I'm doing so much teaching on the road and doing jiu jitsu, so I don't have that much time to fully train for myself. But if I have a fight coming up, I'll cut everything off and lock down and train just for myself. I have to concentrate just on myself and cut everything out; stop traveling, teaching and just concentrate on just my training.

Mike Sloan: Speaking of your fights, when you last fought in PRIDE, what exactly happened? I never saw you tap, but the ref thought you did and stopped the fight. In your words, what happened there?

Royce Gracie: Judo people like to, how do you say…, they like to play the referees, like cheat, let's say. They-… I don't want to say 'cheat' because that's not the right word, but they like to play the referees. If the referee bought it, hey, the referee bought it. So what the guy did was he covered my face, covered my eyes, looked at the ref and said, 'Ref, he's out!' The ref bought it. He never gave me a chance. He never walked around to see. It was the referee's mistake. He wasn't in position and it was a mistake. We put in the contract that the referee was not allowed to stop the fight. We put that in the contract, so he breached the contract right there. So, he put it over my face, played to the ref and the referee never bothered to walk around and my people stood on the apron on the other side.

Mike Sloan: Do you think the referee was paid off or bribed?

Royce Gracie: I think he was innocent, the referee. He was, uh, he just made a mistake. He just made a mistake. I can't say that he was paid off or bribed because I'm not sure on that. But if you ask me my personal opinion, then yes, I think I got set up. I think I got set up, but I can't prove that because nobody knows.

The tape of the fight is right there, just look at the fight. In that fight, I got him in a foot lock fast. I was squeezing his foot and as soon as I got him in the foot lock, he tried to go for my foot. His foot slipped out and as soon as he touched my foot, the referee looked at me and said, 'Catch,' meaning that he caught me. I looked at Matt Hume, who was the referee (he stops talking to me and asks his manager who the referee was). Yeah, it was Matt Hume. So, I said to Matt Hume, 'Don't you dare stop this fight! Don't let them stop the fight.'

Then the referee comes over and said, 'Catch.' I was like, 'What the fuck is that?' I looked over at him and he didn't even have the foot lock and I was like, 'Don't you dare let them stop the fight!' Then the referee said that it was okay and a little while later, the second time, he stopped the fight because my eyes were covered. He thought I was out and didn't even look or step over. After the fight, he said he did it for my safety. I was like, where were they when Bob Sapp was smacking Nogueira on his head? Where were they when the guy was getting choked unconscious over here? (Chuckles in disbelief)

Mike Sloan: It sounds like a setup to me.

Royce Gracie: Yeah, but I can't prove it. I can't say that because, you know, I gotta play politically correct.

Mike Sloan: Have you been trying to get a rematch with him?

Royce Gracie: We've been talking, but I think we're going to wait until something big comes up to sell out the place. They (PRIDE) know I can sell out the stadium. When they come up to me, they tell me that they are going to move up from 64,000 in the Tokyo Dome to 75,000 then to 91,000. I know how to sell out the place.

Mike Sloan: Okay. Now, speaking of selling out the place, I was recently speaking with Dana White. Actually, I interviewed him and I asked him when you were going to return to the UFC. He laughed it off and dodged the question repeatedly. By the way he was laughing and avoiding the question, it seemed pretty clear that there are plans on a Royce Gracie return to the UFC. Come on, Royce, fill me in.

Royce Gracie: (Laughing as he speaks) Well, there's always that possibility, you know what I mean? Just like you and me, we've been playing phone tag. (Laughing even harder) You know how hard it is to get a hold of me. We are playing phone tag, you know? (Laughs again)

Mike Sloan: I don't know, but for some reason, I get the feeling that you are fighting on the June card. Are you?

Royce Gracie: (Chuckling in avoidance) I don't know. I've been calling him, he's been calling me. We've been playing phone tag for the past week! Hey, hang on one second, okay? (At this point, there is a lengthy pause and I could hear Royce ordering food: "No, just cheese and chicken, plain." (He comes back to the phone). Sorry, man.

Mike Sloan: Hey, it's alright. You have to eat.

Royce Gracie: Yeah, I'm trying to get some dinner and I had to wait. But, uh, we've been playing phone tag. Maybe he wants to talk me, maybe we want to talk to him (snickers).

Mike Sloan: Who is Zuffa trying to set you up to fight?

Royce Gracie: Uh, say again?

Mike Sloan: Who are they trying to set you up to fight, Ken Shamrock?

Royce Gracie: I don't know. I don't know. I haven't talked to him (Dana) yet. We just play phone tag.

Mike Sloan: Hmm. With the way Dana answered my questions and with the way you keep laughing, it certainly sounds like you are coming back, probably in June in Vegas or the next show.

Royce Gracie: I don't know (laughs yet again). Like I said before (about the Octagon); that's my house. They're just renting it (laughs loudly). Zuffa, come on, man, where's my rent? (Chuckles)

Mike Sloan: You and Ken basically created the UFC. You two were the original superstars and you never lost in the UFC.

Royce Gracie: (Interrupting) Well, they did say I lost that one match in UFC 3 against Harold Howard. That never happened.

Mike Sloan: Nah, that's not a loss. I totally disagree with that because you never entered the Octagon and got defeated.

Royce Gracie: They said because I had bad dehydration and couldn't fight, I lost. They said that if I would have stayed in my room and never came out, it wouldn't have been considered a loss. But since I walked out, it's considered a loss, but whatever. Go ahead.

Mike Sloan: Why did you leave after you won UFC 4? No, I'm sorry; you had the super fight at UFC 5. Why did you never return?

Royce Gracie: It's because they put in the time limits. And when they put in the time limits, there was no way for me to beat somebody back then. If they would have had time limits like they have today, three five minute rounds, when I was fighting, I would have lost, you know what I mean? Like with Dan Severn; he was dominating me for the first 15 minutes. But in the last minute and a half, that's when I caught him.

Mike Sloan: Well, say you do come back, and I still think you are, how are you going to adjust your gameplan with the time limits?

Royce Gracie: It's something we're going to have to work out.

Mike Sloan: If you do fight and it's going to be in Vegas, I doubt the Nevada State Athletic Commission would allow a fight with an unlimited time frame, or a thirty minute round.

Royce Gracie: We'll make arrangements here and there (laughs). There will be some arrangements. Nothing's impossible.

Mike Sloan: When you do return, will you come down to the Octagon and fight in your gi?

Royce Gracie: Maybe (chuckles). It depends on who I'm fighting, then yes, I'll probably wear the gi.

Mike Sloan: Aside from the addition of time limits, do you like the UFC the way it is now with all the rules, or do you prefer the original setup?

Royce Gracie: Man, the old one when it first started, it was raw. There was no gloves. I've been there, done that. It was tournament style. See, it was raw. It was style against style. With today, I don't think it's doable to fight three or four fights in one night. That I don't think will ever be repeated.

Mike Sloan: I wish it would because I love tournaments. I think tournaments are the greatest.

Royce Gracie: Yeah and it was style against style. Today, it's who is the better fighter? Who is better prepared all around? You see wrestlers knocking people out, you see kickboxers choking people out, you know what I mean? So, it's everybody is so all around (trained) today and the competition isn't really style versus style, so it makes it very difficult to have a tournament.

If there was a tournament with no time limits, it makes a big difference for the fighters and whatever was done in the past, man, I don't think will ever be repeated. You can't ever take that and do it again.

Mike Sloan: You fought in both PRIDE and UFC. Which organization did you like better?

Royce Gracie: (A long pause of pondering). The UFC… Oh man. I would say… That's a tough question right there. The difference is probably… PRIDE, I think, probably pays you more and gives you more stuff, you know what I mean?

Well, at the same time, they are both very famous for being unfair to the fighters like calling out the wrong fights. Like, for example, when Royler fought Sakuraba. In their contracts, if they finished the fight, it would be a draw. Even if Sakuraba was winning, it would be considered a draw. Another one is Sakuraba and Guy Mezger. I totally think Guy Mezger won that fight. Anybody who saw that fight thinks Guy Mezger won. But at the last minute, they had an extra round for Mezger and, come on, that wasn't in the contract and Guy forfeit.

So a lot of times, they are biased towards the fighters. Just like the last time when I fought. Yeah, they treat you really good, but you can't trust them always. In the UFC, they treat everybody real good, it's just they-… It's a tough question. They're both very good, I would say. I'm just very bitter with PRIDE right now. Besides what happened with my last fight, they've always treated me very good. Every time I come over there and I have my requests, they always fulfill my requests because they know I am going to put on a good show.

Mike Sloan: Plus you're a legendary fighter with a legendary name and people want to see you. I've never seen you fight live, just on tape, but if I heard that you were going to fight somewhere near me, I'd pay to see it just because it's Royce Gracie.

Royce Gracie: Yeah. (Laughs) It's a show, man! When I fight in PRIDE, man, I fill the entire stadium. It's awesome.

Mike Sloan: Is there anybody out there right now that you'd like to fight, like Vanderlei, Hughes, Arona?

Royce Gracie: Oh, there's a bunch of tough guys out there. There's a bunch! There's a bunch of tough guys! Like I said, it's not about style against style anymore. Everybody's an all-around fighter, so there's a bunch. It's hard to pick one person because there are a bunch of guys out there who would put up a very good fight.

Mike Sloan: Well, who are some guys? Give out some names of guys you'd like to fight.

Royce Gracie: Oh, I prefer not to give out any names.

Mike Sloan: Why is that?

Royce Gracie: (Laughs loudly) I prefer not to give any names, man!

Mike Sloan: Alright, alright, I gotcha. Okay, here's a question that I'm sure you've been asked hundreds of times. Out of all the Gracies who have ever fought, who is the best? Is Rickson really the best Gracie? Out of them all; you, Renzo, Rickson, Rorion, Royler, who is the best?

Royce Gracie: I would say Rickson. People don't see much of his fights, people don't see much of him. But if you ever walk up to him- No, actually, I would have to say my father is the best! Excuse, it's not Rickson, it's my father, man! Out of the Gracies, I would have to say my father. The things that he did weighing only 135 pounds and beating guys twice his size and fighting for 3 hours and 45 minutes. You see, fighting with no rules, no rounds, no time limits and being only that size and taking on guys much bigger than him. I would say my father because of the whole thing that he created.

Mike Sloan: Why didn't Rickson ever fight in the UFC? I know he wanted a lot of money to fight in the first few shows, but was that the only reason?

Royce Gracie: Probably. That's probably the best reason as to why he never signed a contract. I never really asked him that but he signed a contract to fight in Japan and he couldn't come back to fight over here. But money probably was the main reason.

Mike Sloan: I've been trying to get in touch with Rickson even longer than I was with you. With you, you at least called me back many times and we've spoken many times, or at least your manager called me back. There was some sort of communication. With Rickson, I never got anything! No managers, no agents, no Rickson. Rickson is like a ghost. Why is he so hard to get a hold of? It's like he doesn't exist!

Royce Gracie: (Laughs) I don't know. That's how he is. I talked to him about that before, too, but that's how he is.

Mike Sloan: Is he a mean guy?

Royce Gracie: No, no. He just doesn't get into the internet, no computers, hardly any cell phone calls. He's just a very private kind of guy. He is very hard to get a hold of. I have a hard time getting a hold of him. I can never get a hold of him!

Mike Sloan: Yeah, I've actually given up on Rickson because it's impossible. At least I can get a hold of you, we just played phone tag for God knows how many months.

Royce Gracie: (Snickers) Yeah. Hey, can we only do a few more questions? My food is on the table and its getting cold (cackles).

Mike Sloan: Sure, no problem. Okay, Sepultura is one of my all-time favorite music bands. How did they contact you, or did you contact them, to be in their video for Attitude?

Royce Gracie: He used to take classes with me. Well, he used to, when he lived in Brazil, but he used to take classes with me all the time.

Mike Sloan: Who?

Royce Gracie: Paulo, Jr. He's their bass player. So he used to take classes with me all the time and when they came up with the song, he came up to me and I was like, 'Yeah, man! Let's do it!'

Mike Sloan: Are you a fan of Sepultura's music?

Royce Gracie: Uh, not (laughs loudly). Not much! I like them, but they're a little too crazy for me, man!

Mike Sloan: What do you have to say to all your fans out there who've been there from the start and loved you since the beginning?

Royce Gracie: I would say to them; everything in life is doable. You just gotta know what you're doing. It's like speaking another language or learning how to bike ride. You just gotta know how to do it. That's all. Do it and be good at it in anything you're going to do. You see, anything's possible; you just gotta make a choice.

Mike Sloan: Okay, Royce. Thank you very much for the interview! It's been a long time coming and it's an honor to interview you. I deeply appreciate it.

Royce Gracie: (Chuckles) Thanks, Mike. Bye-bye.

Well, there you have it. The way Royce dodged the question about him coming back and the way he laughed, it seems clear that he's coming back to the UFC sometime in the near future. I just wish we'd have more time to talk.

Source: Sherdog

"UFC 42 Is Bigger, Better? Part 1"
Arnold "The Sushiboy" Lim

The always very vocal fans of MMA are letting it be known that they are unhappy. Why are the fans unhappy you ask? Because in the minds of many a fan, the UFC is doing a disservice to their loyal fans by leaving the superstars at home and trying to grow the sport with new faces and lesser known fighters. Does the UFC owe it to the fans to put on a superstar laden extravaganza every time out? Maybe the more important question is whether the UFC CAN push out a super show every time out. The UFC cannot please every fan out there, that much is obvious to any sensible fan, fickle or otherwise, there will always be someone out there that thinks the sky is too blue or the Octagon too round. Where does the common ground lie?

Any and all sports organizations have to grow a measure of talent from within, as great as it is sounds, snatching a high priced Mega star from the grasp of an opposing team is not always the best answer. It would be great for the UFC to pick up a great fighter like Rodrigo Nogueira or someone else with a hefty price tag but would that actually help the UFC in terms of fan base and fan support? The UFC's primary competition, the Pride Fighting Championships groomed Nogueira, he started his Pride career against Gary Goodridge, then on to Mark Coleman, Heath Herring, Enson Inoue, and eventually Bob Sapp. He did not just appear on the horizon and command respect, he earned it through his growth as a fighter. Sakuraba and others are the same. At the UFC 37 show a last May an unknown fighter named Robbie Lawler fought as a Preliminary bout and captivated the audience with his exciting style and boundless energy. One year and a handful of fights later he is now the semi-main event on the UFC 42 card and one of the best young fighters in America. At UFC 17, an unknown pasty white kickboxer with a Mohawk named Chuck Liddell fought his very first fight in the UFC. That same card, UFC 17 Redemtion, featured the very first UFC fights of fellow unknown entities named Carlos Newton, Dan Henderson and Jeremy Horn. Chuck Liddell was the very first Prelim on the card. Those four names alone are among the biggest in the sport today, yet they too started out as Preliminaries and unknowns. Last but not least a fighter that is taking a bit of a brow beating from the same Internet forums is a guy named Tito Ortiz. He started out in the UFC as an alternate in the very first alternate bout of the evening. He wouldn't of even been on the main card had Enson Inoue not dropped out of his bout with Guy Mezger due to an injury. Tito Ortiz is now the Light heavyweight champion of the UFC. Remember he started out his career as an alternate without a guarantee of even fighting on the main card...

Pride Held a show on June 4, 2000 appropriately called "New Blood", that show seemingly did not feature any popular names on the card, there was no Sakuraba or Takada or any Gracies to sell the show to the Japanese fans, but when one looked closely at the card, we see that the smaller show served a higher purpose. The very first fight of that evening was a fighter named Willie Peeters facing off against an unknown Texan named Heath Herring. Heath Herring fought his very first Pride bout that night annihilating, and eventually choking out the overmatched Peeters. Today, he is one of the best Heavyweights in the world. On the same card that same night, another unknown American fighter named Ricco Rodriguez got his first shot at the big show and grounded and pounded his way to victory in the Pride ring. Before he was the Heavyweight champion of the UFC Rodriguez was an unassuming, unknown, fighter on what was considered the "B" show of a big organization. Look where he is now. Having said all that, showcasing predominantly new faces on a single card in a brand new area without a big name attached to card as a foundation isn't necessarily what I would consider the best strategy. A card with established stars mixed in with some newer talent would seem ideal, but remember the two biggest names mentioned in this article, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell were originally meant to meet on this card. The cards obviously did not fall the way everyone would have liked, but I don't imagine anyone would be complaining about the card if the Headliner was Chuck Liddell Vs Tito Ortiz with a co main events of Matt Hughes vs Sean Sherk and the same undercard, the difference is only one fight on the card. One fight out of eight or nine fights on a card. A little bad luck and everyone is riding this UFC as the worst ever. Remember UFC 33? That card had a handful of legitimate headliners such as Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Jens Pulver, and Murilo Bustamante fighting, and was supposed to be the second coming, remember how that UFC turned out? Hmmm….wasn't that one of the worst UFC's ever too?

Look out for these fighters, and many other lesser known but very exciting fighters at the upcoming UFC 42, look up and down the card, remember a couple of names and see where those names are a year from now, that is the only way to truly gauge how successful or unsuccessful a show like UFC 42 will have been. They will all come to fight at UFC 42, and much more importantly at many many, more UFC's in the future. Support the Sport.

Source: MMA Ring Report


Quote of the Day

The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.

Theodore Roosevelt

The Relson Gracie Hawaii Team
safely arrives in Calfornia

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology via a cell phone camera, here is a picture of the boys. As more pictures and news come in, I will post them. With these ugly mugs, it is a good thing that the camera is low resolution so you cannot see detail.

Amateur Smoker Muay-Thai fights

Hawaii International Muay-Thai Boxing Association, is Hawaii's First and Only Sanction Body for American Kickboxing, Muay-Thai, Oriental, Free-Style, Unarmed Combat for Amateur and Pro competition, presents our first Amateur Smoker Muay-Thai fights this Saturday, April 26, 2003, from 12:00 PM.

Event will held at Giraldi Muay-Thai Gym.
99-1421 Koaha Place, Bay 3.
Halawa Valley, down the road from Pepsi-Cola.

All fight bouts will be fought under Muay-Thai Modified Rules.
MUAY-THAI the "King of the Ring"!

Bout 1:

Preston Panoki (Professional Training Center)
Tai Chadwell (Gee Yung International)

Bout 2:

Niimoto Giraldi (Giraldi Muay-Thai)
TBA (HMC Kickboxing)

Bout 3:

Niimoto Giraldi (Giraldi Muay-Thai)
TBA (HMC Kickboxing)

Bout 4: Exhibition

Oxendine Giraldi (Giraldi Muay-Thai)

Come and check it out, FREE to the public. Street parking.
Coaches and Amateur Fighters, the next Smoker event May 31, 2003, FREE to the public. We would like to put together at least 10-14 bouts. Safety equipment mandatory, head gear, cup, 16 oz gloves, shin pads.

For more information call Tony Giraldi at 808-487-0678.

Mahalo Mike and Chris for ALL your HELP!

Source: Tony Giraldi

UFC 42: Sudden Impact Today!

Hawaii start time is as follows:
Channel 78 PPV
Countdown: 3:30PM
Starts: 4:00PM

Welterweight Championship Bout
Matt Hughes vs. Sean Sherk

Welterweight Bout
Robbie Lawler vs. Pete Spratt

Light Heavyweight Bout
Evan Tanner vs. Rich Franklin

Heavyweight Bout
Wesley "Cabbage" Correira vs. Sean Alvarez

Lightweight Bout
Duane Ludwig vs. Genki Sudo

Lightweight Bout (prelim)
Rich Crunkilton vs. Hermes Franca

Middleweight Bout (prelim)
Mark Weir vs. David Loiseau

Welterweight Bout (swing bout)
Romie Aram vs. Dave Strasser

KAOS Full-Contact Fighting Challenge 2 This Saturday!
Dole Cannery Ballroom, Honolulu, Hawaii
Saturday, April 26th

The weigh-ins will be at
808 Fight Factory
94-143 Leokane Street
Waipahu, Hawaii 96797
Friday, April 25th

Here is the tentative fight card:
*subject to change

Amateur MMA
Mike Brewner (HMC) vs. Tommy Woo (808 Fight Factory)
Kawika Bennett (HMC) vs. Raymond Ursua (808 Fight Factory)
Joe Nayo (Hard Knocks) vs. Jonathan Taamu (Rough House)

Sheldon Abela (JKD Hawaii) vs. Tom Pacenu (Hawaiian Self-Defense)
Scott Redoble (Hawaiian Self-Defense) vs. Ben George (Bulls Pen)
Marcus Moreno (Bulls Pen) vs. Phillip Ping Jang (Hawaii Kenpo)

Professional MMA:
Brad McCall (NG) vs. Jerome Kekumu (Hard Knocks)
Harris Sariento (808 Fight Factory) vs. Craig Park (Hard Knocks)
Jay R. Palmer (Rough House) vs. Paul Laga (Bulls Pen)
Bob Ostovich (JIL) vs. Shimone Yuhuva (Team Rukus)
Marc Moreno (Bulls Pen) vs. Alex Serdyukov (Next Generation)
Dez Miner (808 Fight Factory) vs. James Stanford (Hard Knocks)
Kai Kamaka (808 Fight Factory) vs. Rich Moss (Brausa)
Kauai Kupihea (Brausa) vs. Vai Togia (Hard Knocks)
Ron Jhun (808 Fight Factory) vs. James Meals (Team Pain)

Tickets are available at these fine sponsors;
Designer Body, I&I Sports, Rad Motor Sports and 808 Fight Factory

$20 tickets are limited so get them quickly.

If you have any questions regarding KAOS FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS please email

More information out KAOS can be found on their web site:

by: Keith Mills

Honolulu, HI - On Friday May 9th SuperBrawl XXIX takes place featuring, among other phenomenal bouts, Bao Quach vs. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto fighting at 145 lbs. Yamamoto may be the 2-1 favorite but Bao is one that insiders have kept an eye on for a long time. In Gladiator Challenge Bao most recently beat Cole Escovedo, previously thought to be unbeatable with his triangle choke, in what turned out to be Escovedo’s first decision outcome. Can this KOTC, WEC, and Ultimate Athlete vet beat the man who has only lost to Stephen Palling?

KM: Your next fight is coming up in SuperBrawl. What are your thoughts on Kid Yamamoto?

BQ: I know he’s a really good wrestler with crazy ground and pound action. He knocks out people in the guard. Hopefully the fight is going to be an exciting fight for all the fans and everyone is going to talk about it.

KM: He’s the #3 ranked Shooto guy.

BQ: Yeah, I think so.

KM: And you are currently ranked #5? #6?

BQ: They moved me up to 6th. Joao Roque is 5th.

KM: It used to be 5 and now it’s 6th?

BQ: It used to be 5 and then I didn’t take a fight in Shooto and Joao took some fight with somebody. (Note: Naoya Uematsu in January).

KM: And that affected the rankings. This is a chance for you to move up in the Shooto rankings again. What are your thoughts on being #6?

BQ: It’s cool either way. It’s a good opportunity. People go ‘oh, he’s ranked #6’ and I get paid a little more.

KM: Exactly. It’s leverage for a bigger paycheck. Yamamoto is seen as being the favorite, ranked #3.

BQ: There are a bunch of upsets always in mixed martial arts.

KM: Does that have any effect on you?

BQ: No, it doesn’t. I’m going to go out there and fight a fight. I want us both to make the crowd go ‘damn!’.

KM: You’ve been fighting mostly at 155 but recently at 145?

BQ: Yes.

KM: Isn’t this your fourth at 145?

BQ: Third.

KM: The first was against…

BQ: Uematsu (note: Bao beat Uematsu 9/16/02).

KM: I didn’t get a chance to see that one, I’ve only seen Erica Montoya’s fight from that Shooto show. Chris (Brennan) was telling me it was a close decision.

BQ: It wasn’t close. Something like 26-20. I think I dominated the whole fight the whole time.

KM: Walk me through the fight.

BQ: When I first took the fight I didn’t think I was going to win. I was going to go out there and give it my all. On Shooto.net everyone said Uematsu had a 100% chance of winning. I went out there and I was stringer than him cutting down from 155. I just controlled him, had an armbar at the end of the second round.

KM: Here it was your first time fighting at 145, your debut in Japan…

BQ: Even when I wrestled I never cut that much weight.

KM: So it’s not really that indicative of a performance of you. There is also the time zone difference. Of all those factors what do you remember most?

BQ: There are really no disadvantages. You weigh in the day before and think you are pretty good to go. You get to eat unless you are cutting a lot of weight. Ten pounds is not that much I don’t think.

KM: Here in the US we don’t really have as many opportunities at 145. Even Hermes Franca had to move up. As far as the other 145s what is your perspective on how you fit in?

BQ: Jeff Curran is good. Me and him fought.

KM: That was at 155 though.

BQ: Yeah, 155. It was a close decision. I thought that was a good fight. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to. That was a cool fight. It’s all good.

KM: That was at WEC4, your last at 155. I remember that fight. What was the decision to drop to 145?

BQ: Shooto just asked me to fight at 145. It was a good opportunity and Chris told me to take it because of the opportunity to go to Japan.

KM: (To Chris) What were you telling me about Kid? Isn’t he one of Enson’s guys?

CB: He’s Enson’s guy, Baret (Yoshida, fighting Rami Boukai) is Egan’s guy. Kid is from Purebred and the other guy is from Grappling Unlimited.

KM: (To Bao) Any perspective on that? Here it is one of Enson’s students against one of Chris’ students.

BQ: I think the fight can go either way. He could finish me or I could finish him. It’s going to be an explosive fight. Both of us will try to kill each other, go at it. Have you ever seen him?

KM: No.

BQ: He was punching after the ref stopped it so hopefully…

At that point the tape cut out. For more information on Next Generation check out www.chrisbrennan.com. For more on SuperBrawl check out either www.superbrawl.tv for the news or to see videos of previous fights.

Source: ADCC

Cabbage Correira Rematch Against Tim Sylvia

Well, actually it was a rematch on the UFC video game. There is a picture on FCF's news site of them playing.

F.C.F. in F.L.A.

Full Contact Fighter has touched down on the sunny shores of Miami, Florida to bring you all the latest from the front lines of UFC 42: Sudden Impact. First stop today? An outdoor meet-and-greet on the front steps of the Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant in downtown Miami. With two large video screens hosting the latest UFC Tapout 2 home video game, fans were able to take on the likes of heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia or Chuck Liddell -- that's if they could wrestle the game controls from the rest of the fighters' hands! Tomorrow's 3PM (EST) weigh-ins are scheduled to take place outdoors (another first!) at the Marriott's Coastal Terrace with the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay as backdrop. Join us there via fcfighter.com!

Source: FCF

An "Axe Murderer" Hungry For Victims!
Wanderlei Gets Ready For Jackson
As His Fighting Hunger Continues To Increase
By Eduardo Alonso

PRIDE Middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva has been forced to stay on the sidelines since his TKO win over Hiromitsu Kanehara at PRIDE 23. After quietly dealing with numerous knee problems during more than a year, Silva finally felt he couldn't delay his previously so avoided knee surgery anymore, and ended up doing it on December of 2002. From then on it was all recovery to the Chute Boxe star, and Wanderlei has been counting the days to return to the PRIDE ring. Known for his aggressiveness inside the ring, Wanderlei was caught up in a recent post-fight incident with NHB and K-1 stand out Quinton Jackson, hyping their future confront even more and leaving many wondering how much credibility such incident had, considering where it took place. With a renewed hunger for action, Silva takes his time to explain it all to FCF in this honest interview, where he also tells about his recent experiences outside of the ring, his first son coming up and much more! So, step aside and enjoy your read cause Wanderlei Silva is craving for another victim, and Full Contact Fighter won't want to be in the "Axe Murderer's" way! Would you want?

FCF: You recently stayed in Japan for the longest period of your life there, close to three weeks I believe, and during your stay, you shot a TV Commercial for Japan's most popular razor. How was the experience of acting on such a commercial?
VS: It was a very interesting experience, since it was a commercial of that importance. I think it was a smart move by the Japanese brand cause I'm famous there, and I believe it's going to be a success. Everything we fighters do these days creates interest in the media and this brings even more media to the brand for free. I hope some other companies will have this vision and will use fighters in their advertising campaigns, because fighters are now more in evidence than ever.

FCF: What else did you do in Japan during your stay?
VS: The period I spent there was very useful. I recorded a number of interviews for several magazines and TV stations there. Thank God I worked a lot during my stay there.

FCF: Did you miss your home a lot during the trip since it was, I believe, the longest of your life?
VS: I missed my home a lot! My wife is pregnant, so I couldn't wait to comeback to my house.

FCF: How was the reaction of the TV producers in Japan regarding your participation on the shaver commercial? Do you think we'll see more Wanderlei in future TV ventures?
VS: I think so, cause I stayed in touch with the company that did the commercial and they told me they will want to do some other projects with me still this year.

FCF: What is easier? Stepping inside the ring to fight against the likes of Cro Cop, Dan Henderson and others or act along with Mark Coleman on a TV commercial, having to "feel his shave"? [Laughs]
VS: Man! [Laughs] This was really hard cause I didn't have this sort of contact with another fighter ever before. But from all the other, non-Brazilian, PRIDE fighters he is the one I like the most. A very nice guy and a true professional. But I'm only used to touch girls you know, it was hard! [Laughs]

FCF: Getting back to your fighting career, you have been recovering from knee surgery since the end of 2002. Give us a brief rundown on how is your recovery going along.
VS: I'm already feeling very well. I'm already training close to everything, like Muay Thai, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling. My recovery has been going great and I believe I'll be like 110% in August! Without a doubt.

FCF: Are you going to attend the June PRIDE show as a guest then?
VS: I'll go there to promote my next fight.

FCF: On that PRIDE subject, you were on the last show to support your teammate Anderson Silva in his fight against Carlos Newton. Anderson won the fight in great fashion with a Knockout despite what some people thought would happen. What did you think of the fight?
VS: I thought that Carlos Newton entered the fight very well prepared. He was strong, and you could see he had trained a lot. Anderson faced a tough opponent and he really surprised people. In fact, Anderson can even surprise us. He really managed to score a beautiful knockout.

FCF: Who do you believe will carry the Chute Boxe flag in the June PRIDE show, with you still being forced to stay on the sidelines?
VS: I believe Assuerio Silva is going to be fighting in it. They are cogitating a fight between him and Waterman or Herring, but it is all still in the talks, nothing sure yet. Assuerio is in great shape now and training very hard.

FCF: MECA 8 is coming up in Curitiba [May 16th] and some of your teammates are already training for the event. You fought in one of he fist MECA shows, and never returned since you gained a international star status. Do you feel any will to fight again in front of your hometown fans when you see all the guys in the academy training for it?
VS: Sure I do! The public here is eager to see me fighting live again and I think that I may be fighting again in Brazil soon, in my hometown city of Curitiba.

FCF: Speaking of the "will to fight", you once told me that you are truly eager to fight again and feeling upset because your injury has prevented you from fighting in so many PRIDE shows. How has been for you to stay on the sidelines watching so many events with the fans requesting your presence?
VS: It has been very tough to me, since there have already been two events that I couldn't fight in so far. Everybody was asking me to fight and I couldn't, and this is very painful to me because I love fighting! I like the fighting rhythm, that atmosphere of the preparation for a fight or the event you're coming to fight. As of now I realized I can't live without it. On the other hand this has been pushing my recovery to come faster, and driving me to train even more to be able to fight again soon! Now I'm training full time everyday, and doing nothing more than this, I'm 100% focused towards my next fight now.

FCF: So you'll be in an even better shape and condition in August?
VS: Without a doubt! I'm already doing an entirely different preparation, a special one. Don't get surprised if Silva comes back way stronger and in great shape.

FCF: Your wife is expecting a baby for August. Are you afraid the date of the baby's birth may be in conflict with PRIDE's date?
VS: No, I think my son is coming to add a lot to my life, and there won't be any problems if he gets to be born near the PRIDE show. My wife here knows how to handle things and if it happens I'm going to offer him my next fight. I'm think this is a destiny thing and it's maybe a sign that my kid is coming to this world to be a fighter.

FCF: Have you and your wife already chosen a name for the baby?
VS: As of now it's going to be Thor, then I'm going to chose a middle name, and then of course Silva. I think it's a very strong name.

FCF: By the way you always stated in your interviews that you wanted to have a son badly, since you already have a daughter. I know you were in Japan when your wife got the result of the babys gender, but she waited till you came back so you two would find it out at the same time. What did you feel when you finally got to know it is a boy?
VS: On the day that I went for Japan was the first day that the doctor could check the baby's gender. Then I went to Japan but I never thought I was going to stay there for that long, so I called my wife and she told me she was going to check it, but I asked her to wait my comeback so we could do it together. She accepted and waited for three more weeks, very anxious, to find it out! When we checked it and the doctor told us it's going to be a boy, man! It was a feeling I can't describe! I felt a huge sense of happiness, my hand was sweating and I was shaking, I couldn't believe it. It was something very strong and unexplainable.

FCF: Will your son help you to protect little Rafaela [Wanderlei's 6-year-old daughter] from the boys in the future? [Laughs]
VS: For sure! [Laughs] Without a doubt, he will have to take care of his sister. Her future boyfriends will have now two reasons to worry.

FCF: There's no way not to talk about what happened after Quinton Jackson's win over Kevin Randleman. A lot was talked about it, and I want you to be very honest as always and tell us what really happened there. Was it staged to some extent? or did you really get mad at Quinton?
VS: The only thing that was set and could be called somewhat "staged" was that I knew that I was going to be challenged by the winner of that fight. I already knew I was going to be challenged, and then they put me there at ringside. Besides that not even I could imagine what would happen, since I had never been challenged in person before in my life. To be honest when I heard him talking to me like that my blood got hot and I wanted to fight right there! I was already eager to fight again and that made me want to go after him immediately. I wanted to solve things right there.

FCF: Did you think he was disrespectful in challenging you?
VS: No, I didn't like the way he was sounding, the tone of his voice. I don't understand English, but I really didn't like the way he was talking to me and in those cases I really go after the guy.

FCF: So you're not suited for one of those post fight "tough-guy" antics that we see after some fights...
VS: No at all! Not with me, I'm a real fighter.

FCF: Was there any translator by your side during Jackson's speech? And what would've happen if the PRIDE people didn't break you two apart?
VS: No, there wasn't any translators there. If they wouldn't have break it I would go all after him! I would throw bombs at him!

FCF: Well, then we can expect this same intensity in August when you two finally fight each other!
VS: A lot more! I'll go right after him, and don't be surprised. I'll knock him out.

FCF: What do you think about Quinton Jackson's skills as a fighter?
VS: I think he is a great fighter, and his fighting style will make for a great fight between us!

FCF: Do you believe he will accept to trade strikes standing up?
VS: If he is a man he will accept it.

FCF: We'll have to wait till August to see it! But do you believe this fighting is surely going to happen?
VS: It will, it will! I'm sure he is going to be my next opponent.

FCF: Speaking of stand up trading, we just had the STORM GP in Curitiba with some of the best Muay Thai Brazil has to offer. You even refereed some of the fights, so what did you think of the event?
VS: It was truly the best Muay Thai event ever held in Brazil, with all the production the sport deserves. I believe Muay Thai in Brazil is growing a lot and soon we will be exporting Muay Thai fighters for the biggest competitions all over the world. We also expect to bring some Muay Thai fighters from other countries to compete here in Curitiba in the near future.

FCF: Speaking of exporting, how are the plans for your clothing brand going along?
VS: My brand is going to be available in the USA soon. I'm already selling in Japan. People in Japan loved it and the first batch I sent there sold out in like three days in the Japanese stores! They really loved the products there. Everyone that likes fighting wants to have at least something from the fighters. My public knows exactly what's my intention and this is why WAND is growing more and more. I expect that the people on the USA will also enjoy my products, and those of you who are fans won't be disappointed.

FCF: Speaking of projects, I know you have been wanting do seminars for a long time. Despite your tight schedule, are you planning to do seminars abroad in the future?
VS: I already have my seminar ready and planned, and the first country I'm going to visit with it will be the USA. I want to show people in my seminars, not only fighting techniques, but a bit about my fighting spirit. I'm still young and I know how tough it is for a guy to do all the things the society expects from us, and to earn his living and the likes, so I know all the fears and expectations that go on inside our heads, and in my seminar I will not only approach fighting but also tell some backstage stories, and talk about motivation and how someone like me, that came out of nowhere managed to be a champion!

FCF: In past interviews you always mentioned that your wife suffered during your "sparring sessions" with her. Now that the pregnancy is getting to the later stages, are you having to spend your energy only in training for Jackson? [Laughs]
VS: I don't know how it goes abroad, but here in Brazil we use to keep all activities running as usuall [Laughs] Here we never stop! I'll only stop when it's time to for the baby to be born [Laughs]

FCF: So he'll be born learning already? [Laughs]
VS: For sure! [Extending the words as he says them] [Laughs]

FCF: Your next opponent is really going to be Quinton Jackson, or will it be Mark Coleman or the Japanese shaver? [Laughs]
VS: [Laughs] There you go, I knew you would make fun of it [Laughs] Anyway I'm doing a lot Boxing and I'm hitting very hard, so everybody better watch out!

FCF: But the shaver is sold separately right? [Laughs]
VS: Man! [Laughs] For sure, And it's a good one too [Laughs]

FCF: Any final messages for your fans that were already missing our interviews?
VS: I want to say that I'm anxious to go to the USA since I only have been in the country once, when I fought at the UFC in Birmingham [Alabama]. I know I have a lot of fans there, and the guys that will have the opportunity to meet me in person will see that Silva has something to tell you, and that I'm a friendly guy. I expect to be able to meet and talk to as many fans as possible, so when you guys get to know that I'm in a nearby city, take your time to go and talk to me 'cause I'll be very happy to talk to everybody. I also want to tell those of you who want to send me messages to access my site at www.wanderleisilva.com.br cause I'm starting to answer some messages in English as well. I hope that you guys are going to continue to follow my fights, 'cause soon you'll have the chance to see me fighting live!

FCF: Thanks a lot for the interview!
VS: It was a pleasure as always!

Source: FCF


Quote of the Day

He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.

Andrew Carnegie

KOTC 'SIN CITY' Preview: May 16th on PPV!
by: Keith Mills

Las Vegas, NV - Now less than one month away, King Of The Cage “Sin City” features three title bouts; Shonie Carter vs.
Ronald Jhun for the World Welterweight belt, Vernon White vs. Jeremy Horn for the World Light Heavyweight belt, and the World Super Heavyweight belt. There is minor confusion existing due to conflicting reports on whether Superheavyweight Champion Jimmy Ambriz will defend his title against Eric Pele or Dan Christiansen, The only 'TBD' is Tony Bonello’s opponent, who hasn’t been publicized at this time.

The official card so far is:

SUPERHEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Eric Pele vs. Jimmy Ambriz
LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Vernon White vs. Jeremy Horn
Ronald Jhun vs. Shonie Carter
Dan Severn vs. Cory Timmerman
Thomas Denny vs. Joe Stevenson
Art Santore vs. Joe Crilly
Mike Gaimond vs. Diego Sanchez
Brent Stevens vs. Brian Pardoe
Bobby Gamboa vs. Dave Rivas
Tony Bonello vs. TBA

'King of the Cage: Sin City ' will be held on Friday, May 16, 2003 from the Orleans Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gates open at 4:30pm PST, fights start at 5:30pm. In addition, 'King of the Cage: Sin City' will be televised on pay-per-view! The pay-per-view broadcast begins at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST and is available via DirecTV, The Dish Network, TVN, Bell Express Vu, and Viewer s Choice. For more information on pay-per-view availability, check your local listings.

Source: ADCC

UFC 43 - Rumored Matches

For those who missed the iNDEMAND UFC 43 poster appearing on the MMA forum this weekend, here's the UFC 43 poster, from the official iNDEMAND site for UFC 43. The poster features:

For the UFC interim Light Heavyweight Championship
Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell
(UFC just confirmed this match)

Ken Shamrock vs. Ian Freeman (UFC just confirmed this match)

Tank Abbott vs. Kimo Leopoldo (UFC just confirmed this match)

Vitor Belfort vs. Marvin Eastman

Frank Mir vs. Wes Simms (Hammer House, 6'10" & 255lbs)

Source: Sherdog

Under the Microscope
A Closer Look at Hughes vs Sherk

By Mike Sloan

Matt Hughes is the man. He has morphed into sort of the same unbeatable figure that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had become. Since his third, and thus far last, loss of his career way back on February 8, 2001 at the hands of Jose ‘Pele’ Landi-Jons on the Shidokan Jitsu- Warriors War 1, Hughes has been near perfect.

He’s toppled every foe that had the balls to stand in front of him, going 11-0 in that three year period, scoring six knockouts, four submissions and one decision. With such names as Carlos Newton, Gil Castillo and Hayato Sakurai on that most recent string of wins, it’s a no-brainer that Matt Hughes is alone at the top of the welterweight mountain. Who’s close to this guy?

Sakurai, Newton or Frank Trigg? Sure, they’re close in the ranks, but Hughes stands head and shoulders above them all. With a remarkable MMA record of 29-3 and only losing to two different fighters, Hughes not only is far and away the best welterweight in the world, he’s become arguably the best fighter on the planet, pound-for-pound.

Facing him in the main event at UFC 42 this Friday in Miami is the young, tough and undefeated Sean Sherk. He’s walked through every man he’s faced, save for the lone blemish on his record, a draw against Kiuma Kunioku in the Pancrase 2001 Neo Blood Tournament. Aside from that, Sherk’s been untouchable.

Though he’s not a household name by MMA standards just yet, Sherk is out to prove the critics wrong and snatch the gold-plated belt from around Hughes’ waist. Though Sherk is an undefeated fighter with a solid record of 15-0-1, he hasn’t faced nearly as good opponents as Hughes has. Most of his victories came over lesser-known fighters that most MMA fans have either never heard of or have forgotten. The most notable victims on Sean’s resume? Jutaro Nakao, Tiki and Benji Radach. Aside from those two, the only other upper echelon foe he’s faced was Kunioku, which resulted in a draw.

So, okay, Sherk hasn’t faced the likes of Newton, Sakurai or Castillo, but that doesn’t mean he stands no chance of winning. Sherk hasn’t moved into the UFC’s #1 contender spot for nothing. He’s an incredible fighter with immense skill and raw strength. He’s also a world class wrestler and should give Hughes a run for his money. Neither Hughes nor Sherk have crippling punching or kicking power. Instead, they rely and takedowns, slams and slowly punishing their opponents with precise, accurate attrition. Both welterweights have honed in on their submission skills, but I wouldn’t consider them specialists like Nogueira or Newton just yet.

By methodically upping his opposition levels and reappearing in the UFC, Sherk shouldn’t come down with a case of stage fright. In fact, he’s been ready to face Hughes for quite some time. It just took a few shows for all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to fall into place. Sherk insists that he’ll be making history by defeating Hughes and becoming the new welterweight champ, but Hughes disagrees. Matt is coming to defend his title for the fourth time and keep the Miletich camp at the top of the food chain.

Let’s break the fight down a bit and try and figure out who will be victorious on April 25th in Miami, shall we? Who has the edge in which categories?

Hughes is the younger of the two, but by a mere few months. They have relatively equal wrestling experience and both are decorated in their own ways. It’s hard to say who has had more matt time as far as wrestling goes, so I have to say that neither man is better than the other in this category. Edge: Even

Well, Sherk is getting better at submission, but he only has a select few on his fight resume. Hughes has submitted over a dozen fighters. Even though most of those submission victories were by injury or strikes, he has eight by way of either armbar, triangle, keylock or rear naked choke. Sherk only has a handful of submission, most of which by rear naked choke. Hughes has fought twice as many times as Sherk, but has well over four times as many submission victories. Plus, Hughes works with the better submission-oriented team. Edge: Hughes

Stand-up striking:
Neither Hughes nor Sherk is known for having world class Liddell-esque striking ability, but both have been improving in this area for quite some time. Hughes has scored a ton of KO/TKO victories by way of strikes, but the vast majority of those came after he ground-and-pounded them into oblivion. Same goes for Sherk. If Hughes lacks anything, this is the area. Unfortunately for Sherk, he sorely lacks in this area as well, so he can’t truly capitalize on Hughe’s lone downfall. Both have solid sprawls, but when it comes down to just stand-up striking, Hughes appears to be just a tad better. Edge: Hughes

Both men are about as strong as a bull and would easily throw me around like as if I was a stuffed pigeon. I’ve seen Hughes toss Newton and Sakurai around with ease, but then again, I’ve seen Sherk do the same to his last few opponents. This is a very difficult area of skill to judge, but I think Hughes is just a tad stronger. Besides, he grew up on a farm bucking hay every day of his life and wrestling cows. Edge: Hughes

Hughes has been fighting longer than Sherk, but has only gone the distance a few times. Sherk has fought less than Hughes, but had to go the distance several times. Hughes seems to have unending stamina and the same goes for Sherk. It’s been almost two full years since Hughes was stretched to go the allotted time, but Sherk was taken the distance at UFC 36. Another tough category to pick. Edge: Even

Hughes is the best in the world in his weight class and he intends to keep it that way. Aside from Tito Ortiz, Hughes is Zuffa’s main man, has been a champ for quite some time and will stop at nothing to remain the best. Sherk, however, is on the outside looking in and is starving for Hughes’ glory. Sherk wants what Hughes has and then some. Hughes could be taking Sherk lightly because he isn’t as well known as Newton or Trigg, and that could play into Sherk’s plans. This is the fight of Sherk’s life. It’s not for Hughes. Edge: Sherk

This is the easiest of the categories to gauge. It’s a no contest in my eyes. Hughes has fought more than twice as many times as Sherk, knows what it’s like to lose and he doesn’t want to feel like that again. He’s fought arguably the best the weight class has to offer besides Trigg and beat them all. Compared to Hughes, Sherk is a novice. Edge: Hughes

Overall edge: Hughes

Neither guy ever called me back to do an interview, so that must mean that they are both feverishly working on their gameplan, or they simply hate my guts. However, without speaking to either one as of right now, it’s tough to pick who is more focused. With that said, I safely pick Hughes to win a decision in a tug of war wrestling/striking match.

So, will Hughes remain champ and continue in the Miletich Team’s winning ways like Sylvia did to Rodriguez? Or will Sherk continue the string of upsets that has been running rampant lately? Nogueira, Sakuraba, Newton, Pulver and Rodriguez, all heavy favorites, lost to their foes. I just don’t see the same upset bug infecting Hughes.

Source: Sherdog

The Inside Scoops on Tito and the UFC
MMA Weekly Show with Ryan Bennett

Ryan Bennett recapped UFC president Dana White's appearance on the Live Audio Wrestling radio show on Sunday night. When asked about Tito's recent statement that he would be willing to fight Chuck Liddell for $150,000 to show up and $150,000 more to win, Dana White confirmed Internet reports that Tito is actually demanding more than 150/150. White said, "If Tito thinks Liddell vs Ortiz will be bigger than Shamrock vs Tito then he is crazy... 150 and 150 was NOT what they (Tito's lawyers) were asking for. I don't want to get into what he asked for. He needs to tell his attorneys because his attorneys did not ask for that (150 and 150). If he thinks him and Chuck are bigger than Shamrock vs. Tito, he's out of his mind. It's a harder fight, but not a bigger fight."

During the interview on the LAW show, Dana White also reiterated his previous statements that what he's officially hearing from Tito's people is, "Tito is injured." The hosts of the show said told White when Tito was on the show himself, Tito made it very clear that the dispute was based on money and not about any injury. When asked if the UFC would eventually strip Ortiz of the Light-Heavyweight Title if he continues to refuse to honor his contract, Dana White's reply was, "Yes. We owe Chuck this fight. The time is right now. Chuck stepped aside for the Shamrock fight, and it was huge for the sport. Now it is Chuck's time. It's 100% not fair to give Chuck his due."

To conclude the recap of Dana White's LAW radio show appearance, Ryan Bennett talked about the establishment of an "interim" Light-Heavyweight Title and the things that Dana White had to say about it. White said that because Tito's camp is telling the UFC that Tito is injured, the UFC can't strip him of the belt altogether, and so they can only create an "interim" Light-Heavyweight Title for the time being. (And though Dana White couldn't say it for fear of legal repercussions, what will happen is that the UFC's "interim" LHW champion will become the full-fledged LHW champion if Tito still hasn't fought after a certain amount of time.)

Just when the talk of Dana White's radio appearance was over, it was time to talk about the biggest breaking news story of the day, for which full credit goes to MaxFighting's Josh Gross. Gross' news story was the first to publicly detail exactly what Tito's side is asking from Zuffa. Tito's current UFC contract pays him $80,000 to show up and $80,000 more if he wins. According to Josh Gross, what Tito's side is offering is a new three-fight deal that would progress as follows. First, Tito would fight Guy Mezger and would be paid a flat rate of $400,000 or $450,000 to do so. Second, Tito would fight an opponent to be determined at a later time (Tito's side is suggesting Frank Shamrock), and Tito would be paid a flat rate of $500,000 or $550,000 to do so. Finally, the third fight on Tito's proposed new contract would pay him a flat rate of $750,000, and that fight would be against Chuck Liddell, if Liddell remained undefeated throughout this timeframe.

Ryan Bennett continued recounting the news from Josh Gross' ground-breaking story. Tito's lawyer, Henry Holmes, said that he doesn't think Tito's current contract is "appropriate," and he compared Tito to Lennox Lewis and Roy Jones, Jr. A letter obtained by MaxFighting that was written by Henry Holmes brings up a boxing law in Nevada that "prohibits agreements that oblige a fighter to fight exclusively for one promoter." Ryan Bennett emphasized that this is a law for boxing and that it has never been applied to MMA before, and that Tito's lawyers is trying to be the first to apply it to MMA. (If Tito's lawyer were to be successful with this action, three things would happen. A) Tito's UFC contract would be null and void, B) It would be illegal for any MMA organization that operates in Nevada to sign an exclusive contract with any fighter, and C) As a result of this, it would be illegal for Tito himself to sign an exclusive contract with any MMA organization that operates in Nevada, which would include the Pride in addition to the UFC.)

Ryan Bennett concluded the recap of these breaking news stories by saying that if they rip up Tito's UFC contract, then all UFC contracts would be gone. (It would be illegal for the UFC, Pride, or any other MMA organization that operates in Nevada to sign any fighter to an exclusive contract.) Ryan Bennett also read a quote from Tito Ortiz on The Underground Forum where Tito said, "I am ready to fight in June," implying that he is not injured and is physically ready to go. Ryan Bennett said that Tito and his side should either say it's about money or say it's about injury, but they shouldn't say both things and contradict themselves. Bennett said that it is basically all about the money. He said that Tito should be more direct about it, and that he looks forward to giving Tito the opportunity to do just that when he appears on the MMA Weekly Radio Show this Wednesday.

Ryan finished up his commentary on the Tito Ortiz situation by saying that $150,000 to show and $150,000 to win is one thing, but when you go up to somewhere in the range of $1.6 million over the course of three fights, at that point it's a very tough sell. Ryan said that there's no way the UFC is going to give him that, and that he doesn't think Pride would give Tito that much money if they were free to negotiate with him.

Source: MMA Weekly

Horn to fight in UFC Again!

MMAWeeklY Radio talked with Jeremy Horn's manager Monte Cox yesterday and Cox talked to host Ryan Bennett about the possibilities of Jeremy fighting in the UFC.
He said Horn will fight in the 185 pound weight division in the UFC in August. His immediate focus though is fighting Vernon "Tiger" White at the next King of the Cage in a few weeks.

Cox said "I think he can do what Murilo Bustamante did and go right through that division in the UFC. He has won 38 of his last 40 matches, so expierence will be a factor in the fight.". Cox finished by saying that UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva will select an opponent for August.

Source: MMA Weekly

Sean Sherk Interview
By Ryan Bennett

Ryan Bennett then aired an interview with UFC Welterweight Title challenger Sean Sherk, who will be fighting Matt Hughes for the belt this Friday at UFC 42. The interview was recorded on Monday morning before the radio show went on the air. It was done this way rather than being live because Sherk was on his way to his daily training session. Sean Sherk started off by saying that he's very excited to get this opportunity, and that this is what he has been working for throughout his career.

Bennett asked Sherk if was frustrating to have a record of like 22-0, and be in the UFC, and still not have his fights shown on the pay-per-views. Sherk replied that he would have liked to get one PPV fight before challenging for the title, and that it will add a lot of new pressure to him knowing that so many people are watching him fight who have never seen him fight before. Sherk said that he has been on an emotional roller coaster ride that has been full of adrenaline but also nervousness.

Ryan Bennett asked Sean about his training for this fight. Sherk said that he always trains hard, but he has trained even harder for this fight because of the caliber of fighter that Hughes is. Sherk said that he has been training hardcore in boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, ground escapes, and a lot of endurance training. He said that the endurance training is very important for this fight in particular because he thinks the fight will ultimately come down to which fighter can be the first to wear down the other. Sean said he's pretty confident that neither guy is going to finish off the other quickly, and he is preparing for the long haul.

When asked about the similarities between himself and Matt Hughes, Sherk said that it's almost like a mirror match. People have been telling him to prepare to fight himself, and that in any situation he has to try to think what Matt Hughes would do in the same situation. Sherk did say that Hughes definitely has better wrestling credentials since Hughes was a two-time All-American in college and Sherk didn't wrestle in college, but overall, Sherk feels that he has many of the same strengths and weaknesses that Hughes possesses. Sherk said that people in the gym tell him that he has quick hand speed and is a good boxer, but that he doesn't consider himself a good boxer until he does it during an actual fight.

Ryan Bennett noted that it's unusual for a fighter to be training so much during the week of a fight, and asked Sherk why he is still training so hard just four days before the fight. Sherk said that he wants to be in top shape, and since it only takes him a day or so to recover and be ready for a fight, he's going to train his butt off until Wednesday and then stop. Sean said that he is still going to be doing grappling, weightlifting, swimming, running, and all of the other things that he normally does.

When Ryan Bennett asked about his weight, Sherk said that at the time the interview was conducted on Monday morning, he was about 182 pounds. Sherk said he would probably be down to about 172 pounds when he finished training, and he would probably be back up to 180 pounds before he goes to bed. Ryan said it's amazing that fighters can do that, and Sherk replied that it's just a matter of training for a whole day at a time and eating healthy food. He said you eventually get to a point where your body doesn't store much fat anymore.

Bennett asked Sherk how much he thinks he'll weigh when the fight starts on Friday night. Sherk said that he generally likes to fight at 175 to 178 pounds, and that he will probably be 178 pounds for this fight since Hughes is a little bigger. Sherk said that he feels too light if he fights at any weight lower than 175 pounds, and at the same time he feels slower and more sluggish when he fights at any weight higher than 178 pounds. Ryan said that Matt Hughes normally weighs about 185 pounds at fight time, and asked Sherk if he's okay with that. Sherk said that he has no problem with that, and that he has given up weight in most of the fights during his career.

With so many fighters changing weight classes recently, Ryan Bennett asked Sean Sherk if he's comfortable fighting as a welterweight. Sherk said that he loves fighting in the 170-pound weight division because it's stacked and one of the deepest in all of MMA with great fighters like Matt Hughes, Carlos Newton, Robbie Lawler, Anderson Silva, and Frank Trigg. That concluded the interview. Throughout the interview, Sherk came off as very humble and down-to-earth. He showed amazing maturity for a man of his age and with his record.

Source: MMA Weekly

Monte Cox Interview

Ryan Bennett was then joined live by Monte Cox. Cox is the manager of many different fighters, including Matt Hughes and all of the other fighters from Miletich Fighting Systems. Cox started off by saying that as Sean Sherk's former manager, he can say that Sean Sherk is a great guy, and that he is now getting the chance that he has been waiting a long time to get. Monte said that Sherk left on good terms, and that the only reason Sherk left is because a promoter or manager can only represent two fighters in any UFC weight class at any given time. Cox said that Sherk found himself in the exact same situation that Jason Black is in right now. Black can't be in the UFC welterweight division because there are already two fighters in the UFC welterweight division who are represented by Monte Cox (Hughes and Lawler).

Ryan Bennett asked Monte Cox if he thinks that rule should be abolished, and Cox basically said no. He said that he won't allow any two fighters that he represents to fight each other. Therefore, he said, if you have three or more guys in the same weight division with the same manager, you have too many guys who can't fight each other, and it comes down to a matter of available slots. With the UFC only having six shows per year, every fight has to have some kind of tangible meaning, whether it's a title fight, or a fight that will potentially develop a title contender. Monte said it's a hard situation, and that Lawler and Hughes are never going to fight each other because "we don't do that."

Bennett asked Cox what he thinks will happen in the Hughes-Sherk fight. Cox said that Hughes is better at straight-up wrestling, but that doesn't gaurantee him a win in the fight because it's an MMA fight, not an amateur wrestling match. Monte said that the wrestling factor is overrated because it's more than just a wrestling match. He elaborated that it depends on how Hughes approaches the fight. He thinks Hughes is very likely to win if it turns into a wrestling match, but if Hughes starts throwing punches and kicks, then Sherk is more likely to catch a leg or otherwise take Hughes down. Monte did say that if Sherk is able to get Hughes on his back, it will be very hard to keep him there.

Ryan Bennett asked how many fighters Cox is currently representing, and Cox said 29 fighters. That means not only signing the contracts and setting up the fights, but also making sure that he's picking the right guys for his clients to fight, and the right places for them to fight. He said it's not easy to keep a guy undefeated while still giving them good fights, but he has done it with several fighters including Tim Sylvia, Rich Franklin, and Jason Black.

Bennett asked about the possibility of Matt Hughes or Robbie Lawler moving up to middleweight. Cox said that Hughes doesn't have much interest in changing weight class, and that he's having a lot of fun taking on all comers in the 170-pound division. On the other hand, Monte said that Robbie Lawler is a 20-year-old kid who is still growing, and that people are going to be surprised by how big Lawler looks at UFC 42. Cox said that as it is right now, Lawler has to struggle to cut more than 20 pounds to make weight, and that he's not going to be able to do that for much longer. As a result, he said that you can probably expect to see Robbie Lawler move up to middleweight in the not-too-distant future.

Regarding his background, Monte Cox said that he went to college to be a newspaper editor. He worked for several different newspapers during his 18-year career in that field, and he also started a boxing career that consisted of about 20 professional fights. Monte hilariously said that the reason he decided to move from fighting to promoting was that people kept hitting him in the head, and that didn't happen when he was promoting. Cox said he still had the newspaper job when he met Pat Miletich. Miletich armbarred him and choked him, which caused Cox to say, "Wow, this is great stuff!" and become a big fan of MMA. Miletich was very persistent in trying to convince Cox to promote an MMA event in the Quad Cities area, and when they finally did, it drew 8,000 fans. Cox quit his newspaper job, and the rest is history. Monte said that he doesn't have a 401k plan or anything like that, but he loves his job. He jokingly said that he might be living on the street when he's 65, but in the meantime he's having a hell of a good time.

When asked about Jens Pulver, Cox said that his situation was similar to Tito's. Cox said that he might get in trouble for saying this, but the difference between the two situations is that Pulver did the right thing and fulfilled his contract before he said, "Look, we need to renegotiate." Monte said even though he's a manager, that's the right way to do things whether you get the pay raise you want or not. Cox also said that if you're not going to honor contracts, "What's the point? Why should anyone sign someone to a contract if they won't honor it the first time something goes wrong?"

Ryan Bennett said that Monte is right, and that's probably why people respect what Jens Pulver and Murilo Bustamante did more than they respect what Tito Ortiz is trying to do right now. Cox asked where it would end if you could renegotiate in the middle of contracts whenever you wanted. He said, "No one is going to say that the UFC didn't make Tito Ortiz. They completely did." Monte said that situations change for fighters sometimes, but they change both ways, and both sides should have to honor their contracts. (This is referring to situations like Pedro Rizzo's, where the UFC signed him to a big-money, six-fight contract and then he went on a losing streak, but they're still honoring his contract in full.) Monte Cox said that Pulver only made $11,000 to show up and $11,000 more to win for his victory over BJ Penn, but Pulver held up to his word by finishing his contract, and it was the right thing to do.

Monte Cox said that they were actually trying to get Pulver back into the UFC earlier this year, but with the way Pulver left last year and with the loss to Duane Ludwig, the UFC wanted Pulver to get another win or two under his belt before he returned to the UFC. Monte said that Jens Pulver belongs in the UFC in the long run. Cox also said that Pulver misses fighting in the UFC enough that he is willing to forget about his previous financial demands. Cox hopes to see Pulver back in the UFC sometime after his stint in Shooto is finished.

Regarding Pulver's deal with Hook-n-Shoot to fight Jason Maxwell on May 24, Monte Cox said that the fight is going to serve as a sort of warm-up fight for Pulver and give him some exposure in the US, but that he still has a four-fight contract with Shooto. Pulver's first fight with Shooto will take place in August and will end up with him fighting Takanori Gomi. Monte said that he is really looking forward to Pulver vs. Gomi, because Gomi is the only top-ranked lightweight other than Din Thomas that Pulver hasn't beaten at one time or another.

Regarding Pulver's loss to Ludwig, Cox said that sometimes things happen. He commented that Ludwig certainly wouldn't knock Pulver out ten times if they fought ten times, just as BJ Penn wouldn't knock Caol Uno out ten times. At the same time, Cox gave Ludwig credit for his victory and said that you can't take anything away from the guy. When Ryan Bennett asked if Pulver is anxious to have a rematch with Ludwig, Cox said that most of fighters don't get hung up on rematches or dwell on them. He said that Pulver isn't hung up on getting revenge against Ludwig, in much the same way that Matt Hughes isn't hung up on getting revenge against Dennis Hallman.

The Monte Cox interview continued with Monte continuing to dispense information about several of the fighters he represents. Regarding Jeremy Horn, he said that something clicked in Horn's mind when Tim Sylvia won the UFC Heavyweight Title. Monte said that Horn sort of looked around and realized that everyone around him had a title belt at some point, and he finally cared about the fact that he wasn't in the UFC actively pursuing a title fight. Up until that point, Horn didn't really mind and was having a blast fighting throughout the country and the world. Horn has now decided for the first time that he wants to actively pursue a UFC title belt, and he wants to do it as a middleweight. Cox said he thinks Jeremy Horn can go through everyone in the 185-pound weight class just like Murilo Bustamante was going to. Monte confirmed Dana White's statement on the LAW show that Horn is definitely returning to the UFC. Cox said that Horn will drop to middleweight right after the fight with Vernon "Tiger" White, and that his UFC comeback is planned for August against an opponent that has not yet been determined.

Regarding Pat Miletich's future as a fighter, Monte Cox said that Miletich would like to fight a couple more times. It was a big setback for Miletich to suffer the neck injury that he suffered while training to fight Frank Trigg a while back, a neck injury that Cox said was very similar to the one that Randy Couture had a few years ago. Monte said that Miletich rehabbed his neck for six months with no sparring, grappling, or other kinds of training. Miletich is now back in training and is looking forward to returning to action. Monte said that Miletich wants to fight a big-name guy like Frank Trigg or Hayato Sakurai. (No mention was made of where Miletich would fight, given the current reports that the WFA may be forced to shut down for financial reasons.)

Regarding Ian Freeman, who just recently joined up with Monte Cox, Monte said that Freeman was very frustrated after his loss to Andrei Arlovski. Cox said that Freeman is a great guy who trains like a maniac. Cox and Freeman were very happy when the opportunity came up for Freeman to fight Ken Shamrock at UFC 43 in June. Monte said that it's a no-lose situation because even if you lose, you're losing to the biggest legend in MMA today. Cox said that he thinks Freeman matches up pretty well with Shamrock, and that there are definitely going to be some fireworks in that fight.

Regarding Dave Menne, Cox said that he still has one fight left on his UFC contract. Cox said that after Menne's loss to Phil Baroni, Cox requested and received permission from Zuffa for Menne to fight on smaller shows for a little while. He said that Menne looked great in his recent ICC victory, and that he will probably take one or two more fights on smaller shows before returning to the UFC. Cox said that you'll probably find out when Menne is returning to the UFC in about two or three months (which implies that his return could be at UFC 44 in August, or at UFC 45). Ryan Bennett asked if Menne is planning on cutting down to welterweight, and Cox said no because it would be very hard for Menne to cut that much weight, and even if he did, Monte already has two fighters in the UFC welterweight division (Hughes and Lawler) and one waiting in line (Jason Black). Cox also said that the middleweight division is very attractive for fighters because it's so wide open right now.

Regarding Rich Franklin (who is fighting Evan Tanner at UFC 42 this Friday), Monte Cox said that he has a versatile set of skills and he's very flexible. Cox said that Black never drinks, never smokes, and is training with Meat Truck Incorporated, as well as Jorge Gurgel for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. Monte said that people saw Rich Franklin dismantle Aaron Brink and were like, "Holy cow, who is this guy?" Then he arm-barred Marvin Eastman in a a minute on a WFA show. Monte said that he felt comfortable with Mike Van Arsdale as Franklin's opponent before Van Arsdale had to pull out of the fight due to a neck injury, and that's there's a little bit more anxiety now that Franklin's opponent is Evan Tanner. At the same time, though, Cox said, "You can't hand-pick your opponents, and we're going to go with it."

Ryan Bennett asked Cox to name a few guys that fans should look out for in the future. Cox said he would have said Emelianenko Fedor last year, but of course everyone knows how good Fedor is now that he has beaten Heath Herring and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Cox said that Rich Franklin is going to be a star in MMA with or without a win against Evan Tanner at UFC 42. He also said that Rich Clementi is going to do very well in this sport with his work ethic and training habits, despite his recent loss to Yves Edwards. Monte also mentioned Jason Black, saying that he wins everywhere he goes, and that the list of people he has beaten is just getting bigger and bigger. Cox also mentioned Justin Eilers, a former college football player whom he described as "one of the best athletes we've ever brought into the Miletich camp" but unfortunately "he doesn't know crap about MMA yet." Cox said that Eilers is learning quickly and is getting better all the time. He lost to Dan Severn by decision in his MMA debut, and since then he has racked up several wins in a row.

At this point, the Monte Cox interview ended. Besides serving as a fountain of information, Monte seemed like one of the nicest and most personable guys in the whole sport. I'm a big Monte fan after listening to this interview.

Source: MMA Weekly


Quote of the Day

If you view all the things that happen to you, both good and bad, as opportunities, then you operate out of a higher level of consciousness.

Les Brown

Journey to the Pan Ams Begins

The Relson Gracie team leaves for LA and then the drive to Santa Barbara to compete in the Pan American Jiu-Jitsu championships that will be held this coming weekend. Almost 20 members of the team will be leaving on a flight tomorrow and competing to represent Relson and Hawaii. There are a few others from other schools that will compete as well and we wish everyone from Hawaii good luck and a safe trip home.

MaxPreview: UFC 42
First-Ever Florida Show Spotlights the "Quiet Ones"

Whether it's smart business is open to interpretation, especially coming off of two high-profile programs featuring established fighting veterans. Nonetheless, UFC 42: Sudden Impact, to be held April 25 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, will cast a spotlight on the lesser-known combatants. Of the sixteen fighters participating, eight will be UFC rookies.

Even the main event, a welterweight title showdown between Matt Hughes and Sean Sherk, features a contender not ever seen on a Pay-Per-View. With any luck, casual fans will do some research before settling in for an evening of not-so-familiar faces.

Have a look at what's scheduled to go down.

Main Event
For the UFC Welterweight (169 lb.) Title
Matt Hughes (Champion) vs. Sean Sherk (Challenger)

The Lowdown: Next to Royce Gracie and Frank Shamrock, has there ever been a more consistently dominant force in the UFC than Matt Hughes? The Pat Miletich-disciplined fighter was always renowned for his immense strength and wrestling ability, but in 2001, he appeared to develop a finishing streak to accompany it. First there was the bizarre bout for the title against Carlos Newton, a fight that resembled Rocky II in its dramatic who-will-show-signs-of-life-first finale. Then Hughes handled highly regarded Hayato Sakurai, rarely ever showing any real concern. Then Hughes put an exclamation point on the Newton controversy by pummeling him in the rematch. 2002 closed with a negligible victory over Gil Castillo, the fight halted due to a headbutt.

Sherk has been quietly working under the radar for a number of years, amassing an incredible 22-0 record. His recent UFC appearances - victories over Jutaro Nakao and Benji Radach - went untelevised, meaning that it may be difficult for spectators to gauge his chances. Like Hughes, Sherk uses coiled strength to positionally dominate his opponents. Unlike Hughes, Sherk has not been tested by the elite in the class. That's about to change.

Wild Card: What are either one of these guys going to do when one of them winds up on their back? Hopefully, they both saw what happened to Kevin Randleman there in his fight against Randy Couture, and come prepared.

Odds On: Hughes by decision. It will be interesting to see how he copes with a wrestler his near-equal in strength, but a far more decorated career, a strong corner, and the confidence that comes with a title all favor Hughes to begin 2003 with a bang.

Welterweight Bout
Robbie Lawler vs. Pete Spratt

The Lowdown: Between this penultimate bout and the main event, the Miletich crew should keep busy come Friday. Heavy hitter Lawler cut his teeth on feeder shows before his decision-victory war against Aaron Riley in May of '02. KOs of Steve Burger (displayed for a national audience on FOX) and Tiki Ghosen followed. With a confident drawl and a penchant for finishing, Lawler is a candidate for mainstream stardom.

Looking to derail his ascent will be Spratt, a journeyman fighter who was easily overcome by Carlos Newton in November. While he also possesses heavy-duty power in his gloves, his record of alternating wins and losses is a sign of trouble somewhere: his camp, his motivation, or his skill level. It's probably a little bit of everything.

Wild Card: Lawler will finally face someone with real potential to knock him flat. Can he handle it?

Odds On: Lawler by KO. While Spratt is no joke, his desire is in question. Spratt recently came out to say this would likely be his last fight, win or lose. For someone in otherwise good health, that's not encouraging.

Light Heavyweight (205 lb.) Bout
Evan Tanner vs. Rich Franklin

The Lowdown: Tanner looks to come in tanned, rested, and ready nearly a year after his last Octagon appearance. The durable fighter's only black mark in recent history is a flash KO at the hands of Tito Ortiz. Tanner enjoys getting an advantageous position on the mat and then delivering fight-ending elbows. A look at his record also proves an extreme comfort level with submissions. Not a wrestler, not a striker: Tanner is a fighter.

On the surface, the bout looks to be a lopsided contention between an established UFC veteran and a game rookie. Look closer, though, and you'll see that Franklin holds a submission win over Marvin Eastman and an immaculate record. While he's got his work cut out for him, Franklin is not as green as one might initially perceive.

Wild Card: Could Tanner come in too sedated after time off and with no hype surrounding his opponent?

Odds On: Tanner by KO. Franklin may prove to be tough to put away, but Evan has the potential to win belts in this class. He'll eventually get another chance to prove it.

Middleweight (185 lb.) Bout
Mark Weir vs. David Loiseau

The Lowdown: Weir returns after two impressive showings in the Octagon, albeit for entirely different reasons. His debut could not have been more dominant: a seconds-in KO against a game Eugene Jackson in July. In the follow-up, he could not have been more unfortunate. After dictating most of the action against Philip Miller, he was outworked temporarily, but long enough for a submission to be sunk in. Weir is lanky and efficient with his strikes.

Loiseau is an import from the Canadian UCC organization, where he's appeared in nearly all of their programs. Two losses are offset by his most recent win, a bloody TKO over Tony Fryklund in January.

Wild Card: A total pick 'em. Both guys like their strikes and submissions in equal measure.

Odds On: Weir by TKO. Getting past those first-time UFC jitters shouldn't be undervalued.

Lightweight (155 lb.) Bout
Genki Sudo vs. Duane Ludwig

The Lowdown: The showstopper. While all of the matches are intriguing, perhaps none offer the near-guarantee of fireworks...save this one.

Sudo represents the Japanese contingent in Miami, and while US crowds are infamously biased, they may have to rethink that here. In between unorthodox striking and lightning-quick ground attacks, Sudo concerns himself with entertaining his audience as much as he does with winning. His UFC debut, a submission win over Leigh Remedios in July, won over his opponent's UK home crowd in little time flat.

Equally flamboyant is Ludwig, finally in the Ultimate on the heels of his surprise KO of Jens Pulver in January's UCC event. While his ground game instills little fear, Ludwig's stand-up, polished by the hammer-legged Bas Rutten, is enough reason to respect him. Sudo generally likes to play on the feet: against Ludwig, that may be ill-advised.

Wild Card: The whole deck. Can Sudo's showboating style frustrate Ludwig? Can Ludwig defend himself on the ground until a new round begins? Can Sudo withstand Ludwig's ferocious kicking, kneeing, and punching?

Odds On: Sudo by submission, and by a nose. Ludwig deserves all the honors for finally knocking Jens Pulver off his perch as the number-one lightweight. Still, Sudo's slick groundwork is likely going to be Ludwig's downfall here.

Heavyweight (205 lb. and over) Bout
Wesley Correira vs. Sean Alvarez

The Lowdown: Though the granite-headed "Cabbage" didn't put up much of a fight against current champ Tim Sylvia in September, observers say he's got far more to show in the ring. Correira will look to silence critics by continuing his impressive KO showings that began in Superbrawl.

Alvarez makes his UFC debut after a sporadic career in MMA over the past six years. The bout harkens back to the classic style/style bouts of old, with slugger Correira looking to pummel the jiu-jitsu expert.

Wild Card: Correira claims he was out of shape for his beating at the hands of Sylvia. Even so, he lasted far longer than UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez. Sylvia, by the way, is a monster.

Odds On: Correira. So long as he recognizes the value of training, there won't be much to keep him from KOing the overwhelmed Alvarez.

Lightweight Bout
Rich Crunkilton vs. Hermes Franca

The Lowdown: Preliminary action sees two newcomers battle for bragging rights. Crunkilton has mixed up his wins by way of KO, decision, and submission. Franca is more submission-oriented, and will need to look out for Crunkilton's more competent hands.

Wild Card: No egos, no big money...maybe even no television exposure. When fighters have little to lose, fireworks are usually the result.

Odds On: Franca by submission. He may be too slick a mat technician for Crunkilton.

Welterweight Bout
Romie Aram vs. Dave Strasser

The Lowdown: Aram makes a long-awaited visit to the Ultimate after a solid run in King of the Cage and Gladiator Challenge. He first gained notice with a decision win that derailed the comeback of Lion's Den staple Jerry Bohlander.

Strasser has experience to spare, with a laundry list of opponents and wins by every conceivable manner.

Wild Card: Same as above. Both men should look to try and make a statement here.

Odds On: Aram. Though Strasser more of a vet, Aram looks to be running with a little more momentum.

Source: Maxfighting

Rift Between Ortiz, Zuffa Grows

Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder Tito Ortiz has asked Zuffa, promoters of the UFC, for a renegotiation of his current contract that could pay him somewhere in the range of $1.3 to $1.75 million over three fights, MaxFighting has learned.

Neither Ortiz's lead counsel, Henry Holmes, a Los Angeles-based entertainment lawyer, who represents George Foreman and Hulk Hogan among others, nor representatives of Zuffa would confirm the dollar amount of the proposed deal. Sources close to the situation, however, intimated that the initial proposal from Ortiz's side would make him one of the highest paid fighters in mixed martial arts history.

Holmes says the offer is "proportional" to what other mixed martial artists make. Currently signed to a long-term deal, Ortiz is attempting to renegotiate while a fight versus UFC number one contender Chuck Liddell awaits him.

The past year has seen deposed UFC champions, Jens Pulver and Murilo Bustamante, part ways with Zuffa following failed contract negotiations. Ortiz, however, is the first to demand a renegotiation while under contract.

"We honor all our contracts and we expect all the people that fight for us to honor theirs, too," said UFC president Dana White. "Especially someone who's been treated as good as Tito."

"We don't think his contract is appropriate," counters Holmes, referring to Ortiz's current deal. "He's as much a champ as Roy Jones Jr., Lennox Lewis and Oscar de la Hoya. As important as Bill Goldberg."

Holmes appears to be challenging the validity of Ortiz's contract as it relates to Nevada law. In an April 10, 2003 letter obtained by MaxFighting from Holmes to Zuffa general counsel Kirk Hendrick, Zuffa's role as promoter, manager and sanctioning body as it relates to putting Ortiz in the Octagon is challenged.

"…Nevada law expressly prohibits agreements that oblige a fighter to fight exclusively for one promoter or at the option of the promoter," the letter states.

"Zuffa's contract specifically provides that Tito 'shall not participate' in any bouts other than [those] promoted or co-promoted by Zuffa,'" the two-page document continues. "Zuffa's form bout agreements, therefore, clearly do not present the true nature of the relationship between Tito and Zuffa, which is, as the title of the contract implies, an 'Exclusive Promotion' relationship.

"In light of the broad powers with which Zuffa acts under this contract, the law imposes on Zuffa the highest standards, and mandates that Zuffa act to protect Tito's interests above all others, including his own. Simply stated, Zuffa has not done so."

Should the Nevada State Athletic Commission hear Ortiz's challenge, the statutes in question would be closely scrutinized to see if they should be changed. NSAC general counsel Keith Kizer would not comment on Holmes' claim, offering only that "Mr. Holmes and Mr. Hendrick were two top-notch attorneys. I am sure they will fully explain their respective positions if the need arises."

On the surface it appears as if Holmes' argument is a compelling one. However, Kendrick played a large part in drafting several of the current Nevada unarmed combat laws and sources inside Zuffa have told MaxFighting that they feel confident in the validity of their contracts as they pertain to Nevada law.

Liddell, despite his number one contender slot, stepped aside for Ken Shamrock last November. In doing so, his contract guaranteed his next bout would be for the UFC 205-pound belt. Initial plans called for the Ortiz-Liddell bout to take place this week in Miami at UFC 42. That never panned out.

Citing injuries incurred during his TKO victory over Shamrock, Ortiz turned down the spring bout. Following backlash from fans and media, Ortiz stated numerous times that the Liddell contest would take place this coming June. On March 14, Holmes informed Zuffa that Ortiz would not sign the Bout Agreement that would pit him versus Liddell in June, thus delaying the highly anticipated bout yet again.

On March 19, Holmes contacted Hendrick with a verbal offer that would have had Ortiz fight in June for double the purse currently outlined in Ortiz's contract (he received $160,000 versus Shamrock) versus someone other than Liddell.

As the June UFC drew near - Liddell forced into the ring due to the terms of his contract, and Ortiz later claiming he was unfit to compete - White says Zuffa had no other option than to create an interim title bout, featuring Liddell versus former heavyweight champion Randy Couture.

"…Zuffa has attempted to impose its will on Tito as his exclusive promoter and manager, by unilaterally creating an interim title to be issued by the UFC at its matches in June," Holmes states in his letter. "By threatening to create this paper champion, Zuffa not only violates the duty it owes to Tito, but also confirms that it is acting as a sanctioning organization in violation of Nevada law."

"The thing is, we've received a letter from Tito's camp saying Tito is injured," counters White. "His former manager, and Tito, told me he has a hand injury, knee injury and just had Lasic surgery on his eyes. Plus his new attorney told us he had 'entertainment' obligations at the same time as our June 6th event. So he couldn't fight in June. Chuck had to fight in June per his contract and it had to be for a title. Chuck Liddell is fighting for an interim title."

As far as Zuffa is concerned, Ortiz is currently under contract and is obligated to fight the winner of the Liddell-Couture contest the next time he steps into the ring. "Tito is the light heavyweight champion and as soon as he's back in shape, back in form -- whatever his deal is -- the light heavyweight champion will fight the light heavyweight interim champion to see who the real number one guy is at 205,"said White.

According to several sources, however, Ortiz has no plans on fighting Liddell in the initial bout of the proposed three-fight deal. First, that plan has him earning $400,000-$450,000 to face Guy Mezger, a fighter Ortiz split bouts with before becoming champion in 1999.

Holmes didn't express an interest in Mezger when MaxFighting spoke to him two weeks ago, but he did seem excited about the prospect of Ortiz stepping into the Octagon versus Frank Shamrock, who delivered Ortiz's last loss. Following the second bout on the proposed three-fight contract that would pay $500,000-$550,000, Ortiz, purportedly, would earn $750,000 to face Liddell.

With Zuffa unwilling to renegotiate Ortiz's current deal, the light heavyweight titleholder cannot idly sit on the sidelines waiting for his contract to run out. The Las Vegas-based promoter holds an option to extend Ortiz's contract equal to the amount of time he sits out due to injury. He's already missed nine months in 2002 following surgery for a torn ACL and his current ailments are sure to add several more months to the agreement.

"Tito signed a contract," said White. "We honor our contracts with all our fighters. If you don't think I've cut bad deals before where I've done a long-term deal with guys and two fights in, let's say someone has a six-fight deal, it's not going the way I thought it was going to go and the guy is on a two-fight losing streak, I'm going to honor the contract."

Ortiz, meanwhile, doesn't seem to be working under the same thought process. Saying that bouts versus Liddell and Shamrock could be "huge," Holmes and Ortiz are posturing for two hefty paydays before a potential Liddell fight.

"We want this to happen, obviously," said Holmes.

Any Zuffa-promoted bout featuring Frank Shamrock seems like a long shot, especially after an already strained relationship turned ugly in recent months. "Frank Shamrock is not under contract with us and we have no relationship with Frank Shamrock," said White.

The name on everyone's mind, however, is Liddell. Assuming he gets by Couture, the contract situation between Ortiz and Zuffa will not be any easier to resolve. Fans can expect Zuffa to address the situation on their upcoming April 25 UFC pay-per-view.

Source: Maxfighting

Evan Tanner: Full Time Fighter

Evan Tanner knows how quickly things can change in the UFC. He was 3-0 in the Octagon and had earned a shot at champion Tito Ortiz. Fighting was still a casual endeavor for the Amarillo, Texas product, and his training habits weren't marked by the intensity necessary to compete at the top level. Ortiz ended the bout quickly, in 30 seconds, with a crushing slam that proved a wake-up call for Tanner.

He responded aptly.

"Each fight before Tito, I'd train maybe for a month and a half," Tanner told maxfighting.com. "It wasn't till I fought Tito that it hit me that I was at another level. I realized I would have to commit to the training full time rather than just hanging out."

Tanner has been impressive in the bouts following the Ortiz loss, beating Homer Moore, Elvis Sinosic, and Chris Haseman. He feels he's better than ever, because now he realizes that what came so easily isn't as readily obtained - there are too many tough fighters at this level to get by on anything less than a full-blown commitment to the sport. He was once "The toughest guy in Amarillo," and he got there on a lark.

"It's kind of a funny story. I was passing through Amarillo, and there was a little local shoot fight. It looked kinda cool. I thought, hey, I can do that, then, ho, I don't have anything to prove," Tanner said. "I finally decided to join up on the next show, just for fun. I won a heavyweight tournament that night, and then the USWF title. And then I thought, hey, having a title is cool. Maybe just once more, and then once more again…"

He'd won two state high school titles at 171 lbs., and pretty much felt that was enough of a pedigree to keep going, despite early indicators that other factors were creeping in that could pose problems for a wrestler lacking the complementary submissions skills. Sparring in practice was his first wake-up call.

"(Training for my first fight) guys were doing submission grappling. I went in there, I had good wrestling skills but I just got beat up. I though, I'm gonna fight, I gotta learn some techniques. There was really no one there to teach both wrestling and submissions and explain how they worked together," Tanner recalled. "I got the Rorion and Royce Gracie videos. I had a friend, and we'd watch it in the living room and roll on the carpet and try them out."

As low-tech as the approach seems, it worked. Tanner took off to Japan and won five straight Pancrase matches, utilizing his new submissions skills, seeming like an old hand at it. Then after his early UFC successes, the Ortiz fight happened and left him wondering what he'd missed.

"After Ortiz, it was tough, " he recalled. "Like I said, fighting was never really a dream of mine. I'm not one of those macho guys that feels I want to be tough or beat people down. I didn't really train for Tito Ortiz, maybe thinking, hey I can pull this off, maybe get a UFC belt."

Pitted against 9-0 Rich Franklin in UFC 42, Tanner, 16-2, approaches this Saturday's bout knowing full well that he is believed to be a stepping stone for Franklin. Ironically, he's training full time like he knows he should have been leading up to the Ortiz loss, rolling in strenuous sessions in Portland with Randy Couture.

The morning regimen consists of 1.5-2 hours of strength and conditioning, and plyometrics; afternoons are 1.5-2 hours of working on fighting techniques, hitting mitts, sparring, and doing a variety of fight-related drills. Tanner is also fan of mountain biking which helps break up the routine of constantly being in the gym. He's a regular guy when he's not training, too.

"I have a '99 Harley and my fiancé has a 2002 Fat Boy," he said. "It's really beautiful up here in Portland. I also get tied up on the Internet goofing around on Ebay."

Those things are largely moved to the back burner for now, though. He knows Rich Franklin is looking to make a name for himself, and is a lot like how Tanner used to be when he was coming up as a highly regarded prospect, gunning for the big time. Tanner knows what it's like to lose and go away knowing he could've trained better, and represented his skills differently. He also has learned a thing or two after the intense training with Couture, who is slated to fight Chuck Liddell if Ortiz vacates his title.

"Who would win? I couldn't tell you, I've never sparred with Chuck," Tanner said. "One thing about Randy, he just has an extremely solid base. It's hard to get that guy off balance and move him or do anything with him. Randy can make 205. He has never really concentrated on losing weight since he's been fighting heavies. If Randy wins the title I have no problem sitting out on the fringes fighting who they bring in. I'm not really big on going for the title if it's him."

"But after the Ortiz fight I had to reevaluate what I wanted to do with it, if I did want to walk away," Tanner concluded. "And it's kind of hard to walk away."

Source: Maxfighting


Quote of the Day

Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values.

Joshua L. Liebman

Super Brawl Supports Our Troops!

If you or someone you know is currently in the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, we'd like to tell them 'Thanks'. Give us their Name, Rank, Unit Number and Address and we'll send them some free SuperBrawl videos to keep them company over there.

Thanks guys! Keep up the great work!!

Go to the link below to register the information. And don't even try to put an address like Nanakuli, Iraq. Onzuka.com would also like to say that we stand behind our troops 100% and hope that everyone comes back safe and sound after we crush Saddam. Our hearts go out to the families that have lost loved ones in this war and commend them for their sacrifice as well!


Source: T. Jay Thompson

Pacific Fighting Championships

On behalf of Pacific Fighting Championships, we would like to thank all the team and fighters for their participation. We also like to thank the fans that showed up to support Pacific Fighting Championships on April 17, 2003. We felt it was a great success for a first show outdoors, we also are very pleased with the outcome and will only continue to strive forward and make this better and better for the fighters and especially the fans. We would like to give a special shout out to the judges Falaniko Vitale, Kai Kamaka and Mike Onzuka and to our sponsors 808 Fight Factory, HAWAII411.COM and Second 2 None Fight Wear. And of course the always supportive Onzuka Brothers and FightersTV.

Source: The Promoter

Date: June 8th, 2003
Place: Yokohama Arena

DSE/PRIDE announced 1 more match up for the next show, PRIDE 26:

- Nino “Elvis” Schembri (Brazil/Gracie Barra Academy)vs Kazuhiro Hamanaka (Japan/Takada Dojo)

Already Announced:

Emelianenko Fedor (PRIDE Heavyweight champion, Russia/Russian Top Team) vs Kazuyuki Fujita (Japan/Inoki Office)

* this match is not title match.

Here is the re-vamped schedule for PRIDE, thru the beginning of 2004:

PRIDE.26 - June 8th
Place: Yokohama Arena

PRIDE GP 2003 Middleweight Tournament Opening - August 10th
Place: Saitama Super Arena

PRIDE GP 2003 Middleweight Tournament Final - Late October or Early November
Place: Tokyo Dome or Saitama Super Arena

PRIDE.27 - January, 2004
Place: Las Vegas

PRIDE.28 - March, 2004
Place: Saitama Super Arena or Yokohama Arena

Kazuhiro Hamanaka - Curriculum

Team: Takada Dojo
DOB:October 24 1978
High: 172cm
Weight: 90kg
Martial Arts: Amateur Wrestling

2000 Inter College 2nd
2000 All Japan trials 3rd
2000 KBS Cup (Korea) 2nd
2001 All Japan Trials 97kg class free style 2nd
2001 All Japan Society 85kg class free style 1st
2001 All Japan Cup 97kg class free style 2nd
2002 All Japan trials 84kg class free style 4th
2002 All Japan Society 96kg class free style 2nd

Source: Booker K

HOOKnSHOOT's Absolute Fighting Championship 3 To Feature JENS PULVER!

Former UFC Champion at 155 lbs bound for Florida and HnS

HOOKnSHOOT is a few days away from announcing the complete card of the 'Absolute Fighting Championship 3', scheduled for the Ft Lauderdale, FL Memorial Coliseum on May 24th, 2003, but word is leaking out that Jens Pulver has signed for a match on that date.

'I am still working on our May 3rd show.' quips matchmaker Miguel Iturrate. 'It is true though - I have been speaking with Monte Cox, Jen's manager, and we have come to an agreement. Jens will do a superfight at HOOKnSHOOT, on May 24th, 2003 against one of the HnS up and comers, Jason Maxwell'.

Maxwell is a tough customer, who is young and well trained, and has a 3-3 record that will fool most observers. His first loss, in 1999, was in the limited rules of the old Texas USWF, when Maxwell was 19 years old. He lost his first two MMA fights, both against known opponents - Tiki Gohsen and Duane Ludwig - and neither fighter finished him. Since then, he is coming off three impressive showings, incuding a spectacualr KO win over Gunnar Olsen at a HOOKnSHOOT event last year in Massachusetts. Against Pulver, he will definitely be the underdog, but Pulver will have to be aware that Maxwell's balaaanced attack makes him a threat from anywhere.

Pulver is expected to move on to SHOOTO, where he has a verbal commitment for a 4 fight deal.

Source: ADCC


Sean Sherk... Earns His Shot At The UFC Welterweight Championship & The Abu Dhabi Championships

Sean Sherk will break out of his shell at “UFC 42: Sudden Impact” in what can be seen as the toughest and most important fight of his short, but active MMA career. You see, the undefeated Sherk, a veteran of Pancrase, Reality Submission Fighting, KOTC, UCC and Ultimate Wrestling, is relatively unknown to the UFC PPV audience, but his outstanding record of 22-0-1 has earned him a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship belt. I first met the 170-pound wrestler after his “UFC 30: Battle on the Boardwalk” victory debut win by verbal submission over Tiki of then Team Punishment. He was as unassuming outside the cage at the post fight party then, as he is now talking on the telephone. But Sherk is on a tear and recently defeated highly regarded Benji “The Razor” Radach at “UFC 39: The Warriors Return” by TKO at 4:16 Round 1. A recent UFC press release stated: “this victory made him the undisputed number one contender for the welterweight crown. During a meteoric career, he has beaten some of the world’s top fighters, including Martin Armendarez, Brazilian Claudionor Fontinelle and Japanese submission fighter Jutaro Nakao.”

Won, lose or draw, just 3 weeks later, Sherk is then heading to the 2003 Abu Dhabi Submission Grappling Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Known for his Ground & Pound fighting style, Sherk understands no fists are allowed at Abu Dhabi, and that’s fine with him “I’ve been working submission for 5 or 6 years,” said a confident Sherk, “I’ll have nothing else to do but go for submissions.”

I talked with the Midwestern warrior just 1 week out from his upcoming title shot in the UFC and his long awaited debut in Abu Dhabi.

JC: You’re heading to “UFC 42: Sudden Impact” to face Matt Hughes for his UFC Welterweight Championship belt. How do you see it going? SS: It’s hard to say. Matt’s a great fighter. If anything, it’s going the distance. I don’t think either of us is going to slow down. I think it’s going to be an all out war to the end.

JC: I’ve seen your 3 UFC fights, and 1 in KOTC, and you clearly have a record that shows you have the heart, determination, training and ability... though Matt has the same. Coming into the fight he has one thing over you in that he is the champion, though that is a pro and con. Pro is you have to take it from him. Con is he has everything to lose. Comment? SS: I agree definitely. If I’m going to be the UFC Champion I have to take that belt. Anything that is close, it’s probably going to him. I’ve been thinking about that throughout my training and I’ve been pushing myself harder and harder everyday.

JC: You continue to train in Minnesota? SS: Yes, at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy with Greg Nelson.

JC: The latest news is you’re heading to Abu Dhabi? SS: I’ve wanted to go to Abu Dhabi for a while now. I’ve always known about it as the toughest submission tournament in the world, so this is a great opportunity for me. I’ll be coming out of my UFC fight, win, lose or draw, I’m going to be in great shape, so I’m definitely going to try to win the Abu Dhabi also.

JC: Will training for Abu Dhabi be very different for you? SS: I think training for the Abu Dhabi will be easier. I’m not going to have to work striking. I’m not going to have to work any punches on the feet. No punches on the ground. I get to take out a few workouts during the day.

JC: So, the transition from UFC style training to Abu Dhabi style training will be easy for you? SS: Yeah, it’ll be easier. The only thing I’m going to have to do differently is work wrestling take downs, rather then take downs with punches.

JC: There’s an influx of new talent or first timers heading to Brazil this year. Have you talked with people in the past about going, or have you just thought about going? SS: I’ve mentioned it here and there about wanting to go to Abu Dhabi and how it came about was a couple guys at my gym talking about it and how it wasn’t going to be in the Middle East this year, but in Brazil. I told one of my training partners that it would kind of cool to compete and a couple of days later he told me you can go if you want, that he talked with the guy and they want you to go. That’s how it happened for me.

JC: Then you’ll be training more wrestling, more take downs, controlling positions or looking for points in your wins? SS: I want to do both. I want to score as many points as possible. I know there’s no scoring points in the first 5 minutes, but I also want to get submissions. A lot of people don’t know it, but I’ve been working submission for 5 or 6 years and before that I was doing shoot wrestling, so I do know submissions. And seeing how this is Abu Dhabi and there are no punches on the ground, I’ll have nothing else to do but go for submissions.

JC: Funny you should mention no strikes on the ground. Clearly your style is GnP first, but you’re also well versed in submissions. Are you ranked in Jiu-Jitsu or are you a hybrid submission grappler trained guy? SS: I’ve never tested for any type of belt... not Muay Thai and not Jiu-Jitsu. Basically I train just to fight. Rankings do not mean anything to me. I just want to be the best fighter I can be. My trainer is Greg Nelson, a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and we have a brown belt at our school and a whole group of purple belts at out school, so I get to work out with these guys everyday. I work out with and without the Gi.

JC: How would you look to score the win in the end? SS: I want to score as many points as possible mixing it with submissions and just be dynamic and turn some heads to open some doors.

JC: What new doors would you look to open? SS: There are scouts from around the world there in submission fighting and NHB, so I’ll look into anything. This is what I do for a living, so I want to explore as many options as I can get.

JC: You’ve been wrestling three quarters of your life, placing in states about a dozen times and the nationals a few times. You also train in Jiu-Jitsu. What other disciplines to you train? SS: On the ground we do shoot stuff and Vale Tudo. I’ve been playing around with boxing my whole life, but I really didn’t have any formal boxing training until 1994. I’ve been doing Muay Thai for about 4 to 5 years as well. I do it all... that’s what my life is dedicated to... martial arts.

JC: You’ve been doing submissions for 5 or 6 years and we’ve talked before about you doing stand up as well. We haven’t seen your submissions and we haven’t seen your stand up. Hopefully I will see you bring all your disciplines together one day. SS: Yeah, it will happen. It’s just a slow process. Like you said, I’ve been wrestling three quarters of my life and that’s second nature to me. I’ve been doing that my whole life and it’s hard to veer away from that because I feel so comfortable with the wrestling aspect.

JC: Who are your influences? SS: My biggest influence in wrestling would have to be my older brother Kerry Sherk. He’s about 6 years older then me and he has helped me by taking me under his wing and turned me into a great wrestler. As far as MMA, my biggest influence is Greg Nelson. I’ve been with him since day 1... ever since 1994, and he molded me into the fighter that I am right now. Those are the 2 biggest influences in my life right now.

JC: What is 1 word to describe Sean Sherk? SS: Focused.

JC: Why focused? SS: I have my goals and there’s nothing I won’t do to achieve my goals. I put everything else second behind my goals, and my goal is to win the UFC Welterweight title.

JC: And that’s this week. SS: Yes, Sir.

JC: I’m real happy for you and this opportunity. You’ve earned it. I think it’s unfortunate that people don’t know you like I do, or like they know Matt... and I blame the UFC for never having you on a PPV. SS: Yeah, but I’ve gotten a great amount of publicity for this show. I think the UFC has done a great job with the commercials. I’ve been to radio stations in the last month. They’ve done a real great job this time around. So I thing they’ve made up for [laugh] the lack of in the past.

JC: I’ll give them that. SS: They listen to the people. You’re their Main Event, and when people say Matt Hughes vs. Sean who, they had to act.

JC: You’re doing more radio? SS: I’m actually on 93X Morning Show, which is the biggest rock show here in Minnesota. I’ve been wanting to be on the show for a long time, so I’m actually kind of pumped about it.

JC: Any thoughts on what you’re going to say or will you do a Q&A? SS: I’ll do a Q&A. I’m going to arrive a little early. Listen to the show and jump in... sound like I know what I’m talking about.

JC: I think you’ll do fine. It’s the people asking the questions. They have to know what they’re talking about. SS: I’m not bad doing interviews. I prefer when they are spontaneous. I don’t like time to prepare. If someone asks me a question and tells me they want the answer 5 minutes for now, I’ve already thought how to answer that question 10 different times. That way you’re not going to get a very honest answer out of me. Spontaneous is good just like I am talking to you now.

JC: I know you fairly well, but many in the MMA community do not. Can you tell me one thing about Sean Sherk that would have people saying, “hmmm... I didn't know that?” SS: That I got engaged to Heather Moore over Christmas!

JC: Is there anything you’d like to say? SS: I really haven’t been on the internet in a while. I’ve been in my own shell... getting in the zone and train and figure out what I need to do to win this fight. I’d like to thank the fans and all the people who have always supported me... and my family who have always been there with me. They’ve traveled the world to support me and that makes what I do so much more fun.

For more information on this cage, mat and ring warrior, check out: www.SeanSherk.com.

Source: ADCC

Florida's Rich Crunkilton
Set to Make His Own
Sudden Impact at UFC 42

It's as simple as this. Since the age of fourteen, Rich Crunkilton has wanted to be in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Now 23 years old, and with thirteen professional bouts [all wins] behind him, this Florida native is on the brink of realizing his dream-- and in front of a hometown crowd at that. Making his UFC premiere against fellow first-timer Hermes Franca at UFC 42: Sudden Impact this Friday, April 25th, Crunkilton will get his chance to make the all-important first impression. A versatile lightweight that has both submitted and knocked out the likes of Victor Estrada and Bao Quach, Crunkilton's name has floated about the fighting circles for quite a few months as a fierce up-and-comer. Let's take a look at the UFC's latest lightweight addition.

FCF: For some reason your nickname is not an obvious one to me. Why are you called "Cleat?"
RC: Cleat is a name my dad calls me -- kind of all the guys in our family call each other that. When my dad was younger, that is what they called all the athletes in the school. Growing up, him and all his brothers would call each other Cleat, so then it was passed on to me.

FCF: Let's find out a bit about your career thus far. Who has been your toughest opponent to date?
RC: I believe my toughest was a guy named Zviad [Abuseridze from WEF:Rumble at the Rodeo 2]. He was a Russian fighter. That's just the toughest fight I can remember.

FCF: Have your other fights been less memorable and not as difficult? Some of your other fights have gone the distance.
RC: Yeah, but I don't think they were that hard. That's the one I remember being the hardest. For those other fights, they were good opponents and -- [pause] I never really was in shape for those fights. None of those fights were under "Crazy" Bob.

FCF: When did you start training under "Crazy" Bob Cook and the American Kickboxing Academy team?
RC: It was a little over a year ago. I came out to California to visit my [then] fiancee and I was looking around for fights. I was asking around town if anybody knew about fights going on, because I wanted to make some money. I was looking up "no holds barred" and "karate" and "fighting." I was living in Fresno and eventually got hooked up with Team Fresno [Terry Dole and Phillip Perez] there. "Crazy" Bob came by and wrestled with me a bit and then invited me to come up to San Jose. I ended up moving to San Jose a week later.

FCF: "Visiting" your fiancee? How were you two separated?
RC: I had met her at college. She was going to college with me in Florida at Pennsicola Christian College. Then, she went back to her family in Washington, but she had relatives in California.

FCF: What did you study at Pennsicola?
RC: Biology, but my main reason for going there was wrestling. It was the only [college] wrestling team in Florida at the time.

FCF: How had your wrestling career gone up to that point?
RC: I was a Greco and Freestyle state champion four or five times outside of the high school season. You know-- USA Wrestling. It's the major amateur wrestling association. Because of Title 9, there's a lot of politics right now and all the college wrestling schools dropped their programs years ago. I went to Pennsicola for two years and then it became too much for me to handle. It's a fundamental Baptist college and it's really strict.

FCF: What kind of strict are we talking about?
RC: The rules basically. They don't allow us to watch any movies or have any music or go out past 10 o'clock on the weekends. The male and female students aren't allowed to talk off-campus without a chaperone or they'll get expelled.

FCF: No movies? So, I guess popping in a tape of the UFC was out of the question.
RC: Right. Actually, for my first pro fight I had to lie and say I was going to my parent's house. It was in New Orleans so I drove about seven hours from Pennsicola to do this fight. If they had found out, I would have been expelled.

FCF: It sounds like you were really determined to become a fighter.
RC: Yeah, I must have seen UFC 2 or 3 on pay-per-view. I was really young, but I wanted to be in it one day. Ever since I first saw the UFC, I was on a mission to get in there.

FCF: What was this first fight like for you? How were you prepared?
RC: I was just a college wrestler. That's it. I just winged it and tried to beat him up. I had watched a lot of fights and did a lot of kicks from karate, but it was basically point karate.

FCF: You had studied karate as well?
RC: Yeah. I took Chun Kuk Do karate for three or four years on and off. It's the system Chuck Norris is affiliated with.

FCF: Were you a big Chuck Norris fan?
RC: Yeah [with a laugh]. I guess.

FCF: Luckily for the fans, you eventually ended up in California with the AKA team. Tell us about your training there now.
RC: My training with AKA has made me a much better fighter. I never really did any kind of conditioning before I came out here. I train with Bob and Javier Mendez and Frank Shamrock and the all of the fighters out here and they've really sharpened me up in a lot of areas. I do boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, submissions-- everything basically. I do a lot of work with Frank -- wrestling and sparring. If I'm uninjured, I train five to six days a week with two to three sessions a day.

FCF: You also have another up and coming lightweight on the AKA team to train with in Josh "The Punk" Thomson. Josh was originally slated to fight Genki Sudo on this UFC card as well before he succumbed to an injury.
RC: We train together and we're friends. I wouldn't see us fighting each other anytime soon, if at all.

FCF: Tell us about Rich Crunkilton the Ultimate Fighter.
RC: I like to do a lot of throws. I use a mixture of wrestling and judo. I studied judo for six or seven years and have a black belt in it. I'm very universal. I like to do a lot striking, a lot of high altitude throws...

FCF: And it seems a few of your fights have ended in submissions.
RC: I train there, but any fights I've had by submission I kinda just fell into. I can do submission holds, but I'd much rather stand and fight--kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai-- I like it all.

FCF: Let's talk about your upcoming opponent Hermes Franca. What do you know about him?
RC: I know he's from American Top Team and that's a really good group. I know he's a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I haven't really seen any of his fights yet, but I've heard he has pretty good stand-up and really good submissions.

FCF: Knowing that he is a BJJ specialist, what are you anticipating in this fight?
RC: I think he's going to try and hit me with every kind of triangle choke, arm lock--all that kind of stuff. I really want to try and avoid the takedown and keep the fight on its feet and see how it goes that way. I think that [stand-up] is one of my stronger points right now and something I've really been working on. I'd rather go out there and win the fight fast.

FCF: Is this a one-fight deal for you?
RC: Yes.

FCF: So, the pressure must be there to turn it up and make it an especially exciting fight.
RC: Yeah, yeah. Definitely.

FCF: Why do think you got the "big call" from the UFC?
RC: I took Javier Vasquez's place [in the show]. He hurt is knee and... [pauses] I don't know. I guess they'd heard of me from Bob and others. I think they had wanted me to fight a little while before, but at the time I was just moving back into town and not training. I needed more time.

FCF: What do you think Rich Crunkilton has to offer the UFC lightweight class that the fans haven't seen before?
RC: A lot of unconventional stuff. A lot of excitement. I like to do spinning kicks and whatever I can hit the guy with--just a really fast pace, not a lot of resting and laying around.

FCF: What would you say your strengths are as a fighter?
RC: I have a lot of heart. I don't like to quit. Good wrestling. I do it all.

FCF: What are your weaknesses as a fighter?
RC: I don't know. Anything that I consider to be a weakness, that's what I'll train on the most.

FCF: What do you train the most?
RC: Probably submissions [chuckling], but I don't really consider that area a weakness because I've been working on it a lot.

FCF: What are you goals in mixed martial arts?
RC: My goals are to do the best that I can do and go as far as I can go with it. I really like this sport and I enjoy training and competing in it.

FCF: When your time as a professional fighter has come and gone, do you foresee yourself staying involved in MMA in some way?
RC: I'll probably be working the family business, which is a jewelry store and a pawn shop. There's also construction. My dad has a lot of businesses going. I'll probably end up having a small dojo to teach and train people.

FCF: What does fighting in the UFC mean to you?
RC: I'm really excited. I can't wait. This will be a really big step getting in there and I look forward to it.

Source: FCF


Quote of the Day

"Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are,
and doing things as they ought to be done."

Harriet Beecher Stowe

KAOS Full-Contact Fighting Challenge 2

The weigh-ins will be at
808 Fight Factory
94-143 Leokane Street
Waipahu, Hawaii 96797

Friday, April 25th

The UFC will be replayed, food and drinks will be provided
(don't count on any being left if I make it down there in time).

Source: Event Promoter

Searching for a Sifu Beronica

We received an email from a Kung Fu stylist looking for a Sifu named Beronica. The spelling may be wrong, but his former teacher recently passed away and Sifu Beronica knows his deceased instructor and hopefully can provide some information about him.

The only other information given was that Sifu Beronica studied Kung-Fu in Europe under a Sifu Yamoto and he is supposed to be living somewhere in Hawaii.

We have a number of readers of various different styles, so if Sifu Beronica is in Hawaii, someone must know of him. If you know how to get in touch with Sife Beronica or can provide any leads concerning how to get in touch with him, please
email us and we can pass on the information.

Thank you in advanced.

BJJ's Makua Rothman is the Big Wave Killer

Kai Garcia student Makua Rothman has had a good week. First, he gets his blue belt, then he wins his share (est.$50,000.00) of the $110,000 prize money at a big wave competition on the mainland. Here's the story below.

Rothman wins big wave competition
April 20, 2003

HAWAIIAN 18-year-old surfer Makua Rothman has defeated competitors twice his age in winning $110,000 for riding the largest wave of the last year.

Rothman rode a wave measured at 66 feet (20.12 metres) to defeat Australia's Cheyne Horan as well as fellow Hawaiian Noah Johnson and two Frenchman at the annual Billabong XXL awards for the year's largest ridden wave.

Rothman started surfing the outer reefs of Hawaii when he was just 13 and last November rode the largest wave of his life at outer reef break Jaws.

"I started on 10-15 foot surf and worked my way up to the 20 stuff and when I felt I had good experience is when I wanted to tow Jaws," Rothman said earlier this year, of where surfers are towed into the wave behind jetskis.

"This is my high in life. It is kind of like I don't experience fear much and I just do what comes natural and feels right. I use my emotions to my advantage when I'm surfing."

Horan, 42 and a four-time runner-up for the world title, nabbed his huge wave at the same session as Rothman while two unknown Frenchmen - Fred Basse and Sebastian St Jean - made a late run for the title.

The pair surfed the largest waves ever ridden outside of Hawaii at the Bay of Biscay last month.

Contest director Bill Sharp said the decision would cause controversy because of the difficulty in measuring waves.

"Once they (the waves) were measured, the rideable faces of all five of the nominated rides were within a foot or two of each other, in the 64- to 66-foot range," said Sharp.

"It's been determined the margin of error of these measurement techniques is about three to four percent, and all five fell within that range. The rules define that if one wave is not distinctly larger, the nod goes to the heavier wave, and in that case there was no debate.

"In the first ballot it was an unanimous decision...all eight judges had selected Rothman."

Source: Eric Goo

On the road to the 2003 Abu Dhabi Championships
with Eddie “The Twister” Bravo

by: Joseph Cunliffe

Eddie Bravo won the lightweight division at the Abu Dhabi North American Trials on October 5, 2002, qualifying for a spot at the 2003 Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling Championships to take place on May 17 & 18 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Machado brown belt will be facing some of the best 145 pound submission grapplers in the world, including 2001 Champion Royler Gracie of Brazil, Chris Derkson of Australia, Teemu Launis of Findland, Rany Yayhra of Brazil and Katsuyuki Hirata of Japan. Admitting his recent strength training has definitely changed his game, The Twister is confident, but not stupid in his abilities and says “the strength training is helping me pull off my tricks -- if you know anything about my game, it’s very unorthodox.”

JC: You’re 1 month away from Brazil. How are you feeling? EB: I can’t wait for it to begin. I’ve been training really, really hard since I won the North American Qualifiers. I didn’t wait to start training a couple months before the event, I started right after the trials in October, hard core. I started doing things that I never did before like hitting the weights. I hit the weights really hard and blew up to 170 pounds. But now I’m in the process of shredding down. Right now I’m 156 pounds, so I’ve got about 10 pounds to lose but all I really need to be at is 150 and the other 5 pounds is water... that’s a joke... that’s easy. So I’m ready. I’m ready to go!

JC: You’ve talked about not lifting or running in preparation for the Trials, but you’re lifting for the Championships. EB: Yeah, for the Qualifiers I didn’t lift weights and like I said before I never really lifted anyways, but I always knew I would have to eventually, to take my game to the highest level. I’ve always done Jiu-Jitsu just for the love of it and the love of the game. I really didn’t want to do anything that was strenuous and boring, and I always thought lifting was the most boring thing you could do, but now my ass is on the line and this is the big show... it really doesn’t get any bigger than Abu Dhabi. I’m going to fight guys that were black belts when I was doing zendoryu karate [laughing] so I need every bit of strength I can muster up. I started lifting October 15 and have been consistent ever since. I’m no Matt Hughes, but I am definitely twice as strong as I was before. I feel really, really confident at 145 that I’m not going to be over powered, and that was my main focus.

JC: What are you benching today? EB: It’s still not that much, but for me its epic! [both laughing] When I started I was doing 135 like 7 or 8 times, but now I can do it 20 times. I’m still pretty weak, but it’s definitely changed my game 100%.

JC: How has strength training changed your game? EB: All of a sudden I’m rolling with guys I was never able to sweep or control, and now I’m tapping them out. That’s how I know the weights have improved my game. It’s evident by the people I roll with... those I had trouble with before, I’m not having the same problems anymore. And those I wasn’t able to tap before, much less sweep, control... now, I’m sweeping them, passing the guard, controlling them and choking them out. My body is much stronger now and I’m just really, really confident that I am going to do well. I’m not stupid though, I know I can get caught. I’ll be in there with the best grapplers at 145 in the world and when you’re dealing with Leo Viera and Royler Gracie, you make one mistake and it’s over. But I know I have the technique to tap every guy in my division, whether I can that one chance I get to roll with them... well that’s a different story, anything can happen.

JC: You were nervous going into the Trials, but came out of it pretty confident. Would you please explain? EB: The Trials are basically, in the US, the most important tournament there is... the Abu Dhabi Trials. If you win there, you’re going to the big show in the Middle East, or in this case, Brazil... and that’s the biggest show. It wasn’t like your everyday mom and pop tournament, this was the big show. This is your ticket to Brazil. There’s a lot at stake. But I’m nervous for every fight. What gets me through it, is that I know I can win nervous. I’ve won before when I was super nervous. I think for Abu Dhabi I will be nervous again. What’s going to carry me through it is knowing that I can win nervous. I think most fighters get at least a little nervous, except for some guys... like Matt Hughes, that guy never seems to get nervous, or Robbie Lawler. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m a bad ass or cold as ice or anything. I am really concerned about making a mistake and getting careless, or falling into someone’s trap. But as long as I’m playing my game and moving forward and not getting too cautious, then I really feel confident that I can win. Come May 17 and 18, I’m going to throw everything I have onto those mats and win or lose, you’re going to see some exciting stuff.

JC: You’re up against some of the best grapplers in the world @ 145, including Royler Gracie, who is one of my black belt instructors. How is your grappling preparation going? EB: Well, you know what, everything else has been the same for me except for the strength training. The strength training is helping me pull off my tricks -- if you know anything about my game, it’s very unorthodox. I’m coming at people from different angles and I do stuff that many people haven’t seen. The strength is just helping me pull it off easier and faster. It’s adding new elements and variations to my game... making it even crazier. So for me, my game plan isn’t really to study want anyone else is doing, except for Royler, I’m concerned with his foot locks, so I’m working with Gerald Strebendt, a fighter that I train who has fantastic leg locks, he’s a leg lock wizard and I have him attack my legs, which keeps me on high alert for foot locks that Royler or anyone can throw at me. As far as anyone else, I’m not worried about their game. I think they have to be worried about my game. It’s going to be really strange for people to defend my stuff and that’s what makes me confident. Most people don’t know the traps that I leave and they fall right into them, and I’m relying on that for success at Abu Dhabi. But like I said before, I know it’s not going to be easy and who knows I can make a mistake and get caught in a trap left by some unknown fighter, some dark horse that could come out of nowhere. These guys are the best, but No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu is my specialty. I do train with the Gi and I’m pretty good there too, and I know I can compete with the best black belts out there, but No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu is where I’m going to shine. And in a month we’ll find out.

JC: Abu Dhabi is a No-Gi tournament, so whether you’re a white, blue, purple, brown or black belt... the belts come off and you’re a No-Gi grappler. EB: Yes, exactly... exactly! But then, you know, with the Gi I probably wouldn’t be as confident going against Royler, although I would love to go against him with it on.

JC: You’ve talked about hanging with black belts. What belt rank are you? EB: I’m a brown belt and I have been training 9 years.

JC: Who are you ranked under? EB: Jean-Jacques Machado.

JC: You were named the “Most Technical Fighter” at the Trials. Why were you tagged that an how did it felt out of all the competitors there that day? EB: I was pretty blown away hearing that I won that award. I’ll tell you exactly why I won it, right out of the mouth of Miguel (the show’s organizer), you see I’m known for “the twister” submission that I learned in high school wrestling, it’s actually called a guillotine, but Jean-Jacques just started calling it the twister because the guillotine to him was a front head lock. It just kind of stuck. Well anyways, they made that illegal in the Trials, and apparently in Abu Dhabi as well, but it wasn’t clear in the rules meeting. But I guess it’s probably my fault for not bringing it up and making it clear. So my first opponent I get in the twister and the referee stops the match and asks me to release what he called a spine lock. I protested briefly but let it go and ended up getting him in a rear naked choke. I was a little disappointed but oh well at least I won. What I did with my second opponent is I got him in a twister, but I didn’t crank it. To me it isn’t a dangerous move. I’ve applied it many, many, many times and one person or two people may have gotten hurt, but nothing that serious considering people get hurt from leg locks much more frequently then the twister. My second opponent I got in the twister, but I didn’t crank it, I just wanted to show that if I wanted to get it, it was there. I’m always working for it and I got it. After a few seconds, I let it go and wound up winning on points. Then I went on to beat Alan Teo in the finals. And Miguel came up to me and said, “Listen, we took away your best move and you still won, so you’ve earned the Most Technical Fighter Of The Night.” I was pretty excited! There were a lot of top fighters there: Dean Lister, Marc Laimon, Pablo Popovich, David Terrell even Alan Teo, who was smoking through his first couple of fights. I won it, and it blows me away! I couldn’t have asked for a better night. I was flying high that night. Free trip to Brazil to fight legends like Royler Gracie and I got the most technical fighter of the night. It was pretty awesome and could not have gone any better.

JC: Would you look at the twister as a crucifix? EB: Nah, they look at it as a spine lock and that I am going to ruin someone’s spine. I do the move on a daily basis and no one gets hurt. If anything gets hurt, it will be the neck. It’s kind of like a neck crank, so if neck cranks are banned form Abu Dhabi, I can understand. But it’s not a spine lock. No one has ever tapped from their spine being locked from this move, but it is a neck crank and so I do understand it being banned based on that. Someone’s knee can pop form it, but that shouldn’t factor into the decision why it’s banned because heel hooks are far worse for the legs and they're not illegal. I don’t mean to hurt anyone, I just want them to tap. I’m really not happy with it being banned as it’s my favorite move, but rules are rules and I’m just happy to be there. I’m going to do my best and I have plenty of other stuff, although I would like to get Royler in the twister, that would be nice [both LAUGHING].

JC: Is there anything you’d like to say? EB: I want to talk about my protege, the only MMA fighter that has mastered all my unorthodox moves including the twister. His name is Gerald Strebendt, I mentioned him before, and he’s going to be fighting in the next couple of months in a very big show. Nothing is finalized yet, but he’s going to show the world what he can do on the ground. His guard is amazing. Like I said before, his leg locks are top shelf and he's working with Paulo Tocha, a world famous Muay Thai instructor at “The Bomb Squad” in Hollywood, who lived in Thailand for 20 years. With Jean-Jacques and myself working his ground game and Paulo Tocha, who has 4 Muay Thai Champions in his stable, working his striking, Gerald has a bright future ahead of him in the world of MMA, he really is something special.

JC: Thank you, Eddie... and best of luck in Brazil. EB: You’re welcome.

Source: ADCC

Phil Baroni Out of Action!

To the delight of some and the dismay of others, Phil Baroni could be sidelined for the next few months with a torn right pectoral muscle (chest muscle). A blow not only for Baroni but the fans who love him and those that love to hate him.

Last week FULL CONTACT FIGHTER reported that Baroni tore the pec while attempting to bench-press over 465lbs! Baroni underwent surgery to reattach the torn muscle and is expected to recover completely.

This does take Baroni out of the ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships. Rumor had it that Baroni was slated to be one of the skilled-sixteen fighters to enter the 77-87kg division.

This would have created potential matchups for Baroni up with guys like Renzo Gracie, Nino Schembri, Saulo Ribeiro and Erik Pauslon (also string rumors from Indiana, Paulson's hometown, state that he is going)! Another wild one would have been a rematch with Matt Lindland who is also strongly rumored to be going!

Guess we'll have to wait to find out how 'bad' Baroni can be at submission wrestling.

Baroni will be put through rehab and physical therapy for the injury. Often if the injury goes untreated, the muscle rolls up into the upper chest or shoulder and shrivels to nothing.

Similar injuries have occurred with Phil Johns (a torn bicep and pectoral) and Kevin Randleman (a torn quad muscle).

Best of luck and a speedy recovery!

Source: ADCC

KOTC 23 Lineup, PPV
Jhun vs. Carter for the KOTC Title

Ron Jhun vs. Pete Spratt photo
"King of the Cage: Sin City " is proud to feature a stellar fight card. Three K.O.T.C. World Titles will be up for grabs: The K.O.T.C. World Super Heavyweight Championship, The K.O.T.C. World Lt. Heavyweight Championship Match and The K.O.T.C. World Welterweight Championship Match.

The Giants amongst men “Big” Erik Pele and Dan Christianson will face one another in an earth-shattering Super Heavyweight Match. In the World Lt. Heavyweight Championship Match Jeremy Horn takes on the fierce Champion Vernon “Tiger” White. And be prepared for the World Welterweight Championship Match between Ronald “Machine Gun” Jhun and “Mr. International” Shonie Carter. Also on the card… MMA Legend Dan “The Beast” Severn, Joe Stevenson, and Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez. This event promises to go off with a bang, so mark your calendars and get ready for the best night of fights ever to hit “Sin City”

"King of the Cage: Sin City " will be held on Friday, May 16, 2003 from the Orleans Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gates open at 4:30pm PST, fights start at 5:30pm. In addition, "King of the Cage: Sin City" will be televised on pay-per-view! The pay-per-view broadcast begins at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST and is available via DirecTV, The Dish Network, TVN, Bell Express Vu, and Viewer’s Choice. For more information on pay-per-view availability, check your local listings.

For tickets, go to www.ticketsplus.net or call 1-800-585-3737.

Eric Pele vs Dan Christiansen for the now-vacant KOTC Super-Heavyweight title

Jeremy Horn vs Vernon White for the Light-Heavyweight Title

Ronald Jhun vs Shonie Carter for the Welterweight Title

Dan Severn vs Cory Timmerman

Joe Stevenson vs Thomas Denny

Joe Crilley vs Art Santore

Diego Sanchez vs Mike Giomond

Brent Stevens vs Brian Pardoe

Dave Rivas vs Bobby Gamboa

Source: Sherdog

Couture vs. Liddell Official?

The old saying, a picture tells a thousand words is so true about this particular poster. InDemand has accidentally let the cat out of the bag with this picture/poster of UFC 43, now called "Meltdown".

From the poster we see a few things. There is a belt above Liddell and Couture which could mean this will be for the title. It also confirms something we reported a long time ago and that was Tank Abbott taking on Kimo. Ken Shamrock will also be part of the card, same as Vitor Belfort and a new name which we didn't have and that is Frank Mir.

It looks like it's just a matter of time before it becomes official. Chuck Liddell will fight Randy Couture in the main event for UFC 43.

Source: MMA Weekly

Unfortunately no news is bad news for UFC fans. It appears there will be no television deal in the forseeable future for the UFC. After months of exhausting talk, Zuffa is not any closer to a tv deal that they were many months ago.

MMAWeekly.com talked a bit with a few representitives at ESPN and they told MMAWeekly.com that any deal that was talked about is "dead" with the company.

There was talk months back that the UFC could be close to signing a deal with ESPN, but unfortunately, the ESPN aired a negative piece called "Outside the Lines" that made the UFC extremely upset. Basically ESPN producers met with Zuffa officials for many hours and days and out of no where changed their focus from the UFC to "smaller" MMA promotions. The UFC was not happy and the piece turned out drastically different that first hoped.

Now Zuffa is back to square one. Their ratings have shown a weekly t.v. show could be successful, as a result of the solid ratings in Canada and the U.K, but until a major network wants to step up, it appears there is no t.v. deal in sight.

Source: MMA Weekly

Javier "Showtime" Vazquez
Responds to Terry Trebilcock

Part 2 of 2
By Arnold "The Sushiboy" Lim

From Part one
MMARR: So you think that Romie should have let you go out? Would you have been upset at Romie, if maybe he would have thrown in the white towel?

Javier: He knows better then to do that. We have already had that discussion before.

MMARR: Could you blame him if he did?
Start of Part 2

Javier: Yeah!!! Because I specifically told him before, “Don’t ever throw in that towel!”We have had this discussion before. He feels the same way, John Alessio feels the same way, we all feel the same way, exactly the same way. We have the towel but we are not going to use it. We will let the referee stop it or we will let ourselves tap out. That is just the way I am, that is just the way we are.

MMARR: So you never thought for one moment, “Well my career is going to be on the line, I should just take it easy for this fight?”

Javier: NO! Because the way I was thinking was if I would have lost that fight outright, if I would have been healthy and Alberto Crane would have knocked me out or submitted me or whatever, he would have beat me outright, I was going to retire.

MMARR: Retire?!?!?! Those are big words, you are still too young!

Javier: Why? Because I am broke! I want to make money, I want to work full time, I don’t want to work and fight at the same time anymore.

MMARR: Are you working and fighting at the same time right now?

Javier: No, that is why I am broke. I am going to work throughout my recovery. I am going to train and work, and do other things and make money in between you know, because it turns out they don’t exchange my bills for Privates (private lessons), I gotta make money and once I do come back, I am just going to train full time again.

MMARR: Do you feel that if you were healthy, that Alberto Crane would have standed any chance against you?

Javier: Not a chance in Hell! Because he would have never taken me down.

MMARR: So you were planning on keeping the fight standing up the whole time?

Javier: The whole time, that is all I have been doing is boxing. I have been boxing with Pro’s and amateurs that is all I have been doing. People don’t know what my standup is because I have never had to show it. I never got my chance to show it but, it is a lot better then what people expect. A lot better.

MMARR: What do you think of Romie Aram? It looks like he is going to be fighting in the UFC. I guess his fight with Dennis Hallman is off?

Javier: Yup, He is fighting Amaury Bitetti. (as of press time Amaury has dropped out and will be replaced by Dave Strasser)

MMARR: What do you think of Romie entering the UFC? What do you think of his chances in the UFC?

Javier: I think he is going to do very, very well.

MMARR: Do you think he can beat Matt Hughes?

Javier: If anyone can, he can. With his style, Romie is a lot better on the ground then a lot of people realize.

MMARR: You are going to be back in about six months or so do you think having the surgery is going to affect your future abilities down the road having two surgeries on the same knee?

Javier: I don’t think so. My doctor promises me everything you know, the first time I had the surgery he was like “You are never going to fight again you realize that right?” This guy is telling me “you are going to!” So he is instilling a lot of confidence in me, and I am going to have faith in him. I am not going to come back till I do feel good.

MMARR: Everyone else has faith in you.

Javier: That is what I am starting to see…


MMARR: I saw that fight (His fight with Alberto Crane) on Pay Per View and as soon as I saw that little thing with your knee, I was like ahh man it was that same knee. Javi has to give up, or Romie has got to throw in that towel. I thought at any minute he was going to throw in that towel, it got to one minute, to two minutes, you went to the first round, the second round…. I though "What are they thinking!" I mean I was just going crazy, I was so amazed you actually made it to the fifteen minute mark. No one would have said anything to you, anything at all if you had just given up after the first round. I have seen people do it before and no one would have said anything. I mean you are a fighter, you are in a fight, and Alberto Crane is trying to rip your head off. He is trying to hurt you. He is not taking it easy on you. When he saw you hurt your leg he threw a leg kick! I mean obviously it is a fight, so you are not going to take it easy on the guy, but obviously he wasn’t, you went in and finished the fight with a torn ACL and that was amazing.

Javier: Thanks I guess…I wasn’t even thinking about quitting. It wasn’t even an option.

MMARR: I am sure you have tonnes more fans on the underground all the people are talking about you, everyone is talking about Javier, You didn’t win anything!

Javier: Yeah I LOST!!!

MMARR: Well you won yourself a hell of a lot of new fans because of what you did. The only thing that I was ever worried about because I know you personally, is because maybe it was going to affect your career, maybe you were going to get hurt. That was the only think I was worried about.

Javier: Like I said, if I would have lost that fight, I would have retired. I told the guys that before I fought.

MMARR: That fight you lost because of an injury, you didn’t lose because you lost.

Javier: A lot of people don’t… my teammates were like no way. The guys that I am training with they know how I am. They train with me all the time, John Alessio and those guys, ask every one of them and they said “He wouldn’t have lasted a Fucking round with you, “No way, No fucking way” I know for a fact that I would have knocked him out. For a fact.

MMARR: You got pretty close with one leg, you hopped around with one leg and you made it as close possible. With both legs obviously you could out wrestle him all day long.

Javier: He would never take me down.

MMARR: No, he would never take you down, but he has got awesome submissions, you can’t take anything away from him

Javier: No no, the kid is sweet on the ground. He is good on the ground let me tell you. He is very, very good. I have nothing personal against the guy. I really, really don’t. He is really a sweet guy. I have met him before, I have spoken with him, the kid is a sweet guy. No doubt about it. Nothing personal, there was just a lot of things that were built up and he was just in the middle of it.

MMARR: I am going to let you go now but I have all this on tape so it is alright if I put it up on the site right?

Javier: Yeah, just Hey don’t misquote me.

MMARR: No I never Misquote anyone.

Javier: Or we are going to “Canadia” to take care of ya!

MMARR: Hey calm down on that Canadia stuff alright! Are you going to be at the next UCC?

Javier: As far as I know, Do you know where it is at yet? It is supposed to be in New Jersey but I don’t know man.

MMARR: I just talked to Stephane Patry (The owner of the UCC) yesterday and he says it is probably going to be in Quebec city, Quebec. He says it is going to be in April. ( Word is the UCC 13 show will now be in MAy) As long as it is in Canada. I mean anywhere in Canada is better then anywhere in America everyone knows that so…


Javier: Right………… Right………….

“My brother jumps in and says “Alright Javi!!!!”

MMARR: See! everyone loves you man.

Javier: Not everyone... ha ha

MMARR: alright take care bro.

Javier: Ok bye.

Source: MMA Ring Report