Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sports Legends Train Locally

Harbor Bay Club gym enthusiasts got an eyeful over the weekend as the world’s top, big name mixed-martial-art (MMA) superstars trained there. Frank Shamrock and his brother and rival Ken, Marco Ruas from Brazil, Maurice Smith, Bas Rutten, and others lift weights and do cardio at the Harbor Bay Club on a daily basis and are all MMA stars.

"Hopefully we didn’t cause a lot of chaos," said Frank Shamrock. "We’re happy to sign autographs for kids and adults. I think they know us know from the TV shows like ‘Ultimate Fighting Championship’ (UFC). In Japan, crowds of 5,000 people follow me to the hotel or when I go out to eat. It’s nice to have a little less craziness here in Alameda while we prepare for our big show at the Oakland Arena."

The fighters were in town for an International Fight League (IFL) event which will soon debut on KRON channel 4.

Frank was in the main event last year for the very first California State Athletic Commission-sanctioned MMA show at the HP Arena that broke all North American gate and attendance records, eclipsing even the resident San Jose Sharks. MMA has overtaken professional boxing and wrestling both in television ratings and in pay-per-view revenue as the sport has exploded in recent years.

"They’re the biggest MMA stars on the planet and I can’t believe how big they are. What a surprise for us," said Harbor Bay Club member and MMA fan Seyed Jang. Many follow UFC which airs several weekly TV shows including a reality show: "The Ultimate Fighter."

"You have boxers, amateur wrestling greats, jiu-jitsu artists, and all the various disciplines represented," said Frank. "They have legends coaching teams and many of the world’s greatest fighters on their roster."

Source: The Alameda Sun

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