Friday, February 9, 2007

EliteXC reaches to the past to launch what it hopes is the future of MMA

By Steve Sievert

Is Elite Extreme Combat the next big thing in mixed martial arts?

The newest MMA promotion makes its debut tomorrow night with a show aptly named "Destiny" in Southaven, Miss. You read that right - Southaven, Miss.

Shamrock's thoughts on the bout:
"For me, I was the Michael Jordan of this sport when nobody was watching. I beat everybody in the world. I beat every world champion. I fought in 10 different styles, and unfortunately, at that time, it was not the popular thing to be doing. So I sat out of the sport and I started some businesses and built some wealth for my family and I continued to train in martial arts. As the sport grew and as I watched the idea of MMA become accepted in our society, I grew more and more excited about fighting. I have fought for promotions in the past — some of them good and some of them bad. I have built and launched quite a few promotions and I have launched quite a few shows. I am very interested now in reestablishing my name as the name for mixed martial arts. I believe, and whether everyone else believes it yet or not, I believe that I am the greatest fighter in the world and I am just looking forward to showing that to everybody."

Insight from Gracie:
"I feel like I am in the best shape of my life and I feel when I train with the young guys like I can still have a top game. Even though you need a lot of time to dedicate yourself towards fighting — and I have a lot of business going on right now — my school has 560 students and business is booming and I need to expand — but I enjoy so much to fight. Since my childhood, it has been my aim to become a fighter. This is a dream come true. I never expected to make my living out of my teaching and I can fight. For sure, I will be involved in this for the rest of my life."

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