Monday, March 19, 2007

Stars of Sport and Screen Take in IFL L.A.

The stars were out for Saturday night's IFL event in Los Angeles, with celebrities from the world of television, movies, and the mixed martial arts world in attendance. The UFC's Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and announcer Joe Rogan took in the action, as did jiu-jitsu and MMA legend Royce Gracie. Current Pride champion and 2008 IFL coach Dan Henderson also came to see the IFL's stars, as the L.A. Anacondas took out Frank Shamrock's Razorclaws

But fighters weren't the only IFL fans on Saturday. Actress Amy Smart and Playboy model Joanna Krupa also liked what they saw at the L.A. Forum. So did Ethan Suplee of "My Name is Earl" and Cam Gigandet of "The OC".

Several others enjoyed the non-stop action, as the Sabres and Condors thrilled the packed house with their match-up. To see more pictures, check out's multimedia section.

(More Pictures)

UFC's welterweights really giving us something to talk about

By Serene Thio

It’s been almost two weeks since Couture’s win over Sylvia and people are still talking about it. There were, however, two other major matches that happened that same night that have been less discussed.

In the middleweight division, Rich Franklin got back in the game with Jason MacDonald, whose corner called a stop at the end of the second round due to the cut he acquired over his left eye. Franklin looked good and ready. So did MacDonald, but obviously not ready enough. (Side note: I ran into Jason MacDonald buying himself a little treat at Starbucks the afternoon of the fight. I was gobsmacked as I thought he’d be off prepping himself for the big fight, not treating himself to a vanilla latte. He was, however, very gracious and accommodating as he stopped to take pictures and chatted with us.)

Earlier that night, I had the brief opportunity to speak to middleweight Nate Marquardt, whose victory over Dean Lister and humble demeanour really won me over. Yes, I have a bit of a crush on him. He was unable to confirm the rumours of him being Anderson Silva’s next contender, but he did mention that if a title shot were to take place, it would most likely be sometime in July.

I love Franklin, but I’m not sure what he would have on Silva at this time. I think Nate “The Great” has would have a better chance against The Spider. Marquardt is a great striker with solid takedowns and an equally solid ground game - that would be a beautiful fight to watch.

In the UFC’s most-talked about division - the welterweight class - there was the match between Hughes and Lytle. Lytle was a great contender and really gave Hughes a run for his money despite losing by unanimous decision after the most boring final round I’d ever seen. Both fighters simply rotated through a series of side controls with minimal attempts at submissions. It wasn’t the most exciting return for Hughes. It was clear that Hughes wasn’t going to knock Lytle out, and because he hadn’t submitted anyone since his non-titled fight again Joe Riggs in UFC 56, I figured it would be no different this time.

Despite the poor showing, what’s exciting about this win is that it now makes the buzz in the welterweight division just that much tastier. With all that’s happening, Matt Hughes’ return, along with the other current highly profiled welterweights, fans and their forums will be kept busy talking about this division for a while.

The upcoming UFC 69 - featuring headliners Georges St-Pierre and Matt Serra fighting for the welterweight title - also features the highly anticipated rematch between Diego Sanchez and Josh Koscheck. Most fighters begin each bout with a respectful hand slap, but don’t expect that from the Koscheck/Sanchez fight. The rivalry between the former “Ultimate Fighter 1” cast mates has made this upcoming match all the more exciting. Rumour has it, Sanchez trash-talked Koscheck on his Myspace page, calling him “a human blanket”, among some other choice statements. Them’s fightin’ words!

Winning this match would give the victor full and legitimate bragging rights, as well as earning the position of possible contender to the title, making the win that much more desirable. This leads to the next discussion topic: Which fighter will get the next shot at the title?

Another fighter worth mentioning at this time is BJ Penn, former welterweight champion and current coach on “Ultimate Fighter 5”. He will be leading a team opposite former lightweight champion, Jens “Little Evil” Pulver. In a fairly recent training seminar with The Prodigy, he had casually mentioned that he would be very interested in a rematch with Matt Hughes, and a couple more with Georges St-Pierre, as he likes to see these matches done in threes. That should work out nicely, as the UFC seems to schedule fights in trios as well. Whether or not he’ll get the opportunity, I’m sure BJ Penn fans would love to see him get back in the octagon with Hughes. Fans may have to wait awhile though, as Penn’s rematch with Jens Pulver at the conclusion of the series, has him currently in the lightweight division.

How’s that for some topics to keep fight fans talking for a while?

Interview: "The Fight Professor" [Pt 2]

By William Davis

William Davis: This has been a huge year for MMA already. Let’s start with Elite XC’s deal with Showtime and their consequent event that aired in February. What was your overall impression of the show?

Stephen Quadros: I think it’s a really big step (for MMA) that Showtime is getting into broadcasting Mixed Martial Arts, and having a Gracie versus Shamrock main event seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, the match was anti-climatic due to Frank’s disqualification for the illegal knees to the back of Renzo’s head. It was an unfortunate thing to happen. The match didn’t live up to the expectations excitement-wise, but I really get the impression that they’ll have a rematch down the road. There’s always that rivalry between the Gracies and the Shamrocks.

I felt that Gina Carano really established herself as someone to watch with her personality, image, and fighting style. She fought a great opponent (Julie Kedzie) that brought out the best in her. Charles Bennett, Krazy Horse, scored what a lot of people thought was an unexpected KO over KJ Noons, and that was pretty exciting. Overall, I thought it was a pretty decent first step. I think they have a few things to workout presentation-wise, but overall I enjoyed it.

William Davis: Speaking of Gina Carano, Dana White recently said that he couldn’t see a time when Women’s MMA ever made its way to the UFC. Do you think that Women’s MMA has a chance to make it to the mainstream organizations (UFC and PRIDE FC)?

Stephen Quadros: I really don’t know. The UFC is doing so well right now. It’s not like they need to start showing women’s fights. It’s up to Mr. White, and I respect his decision because the formula he has for his company is extremely successful, and they're (UFC) having some of the greatest fights in the world already.

William Davis: Let’s move on to the most recent PRIDE event and start with the Nick Diaz’s win over Takanori Gomi. Were you surprised at the result of that match?

Stephen Quadros: No, I wasn’t surprised at all. The only thing that surprised me was that Gomi ran out of gas. Gomi’s only fought in the US one time before, in Hawaii against BJ Penn. BJ beat him up pretty good and got him in a rear naked choke. Gomi also lost to Marcus Aurelio, in one of the infamous PRIDE non-title fights, by submission. I said, in my preview, that Nick Diaz was going to be dangerous, especially once the fight went to the ground.

I really enjoy watching Nick Diaz fight. To me, Nick Diaz is one that brings everything he’s got. He’s so young, and so much of his potential still lies ahead of him. Even though he’s had three or four losses in his last five or six fights in the UFC, those have been against some of the greatest fighters in the UFC like Sean Sherk, Karo Parysian, and Diego Sanchez. So, going into the fight with Gomi was a dangerous move. Especially since Gomi, in his pre-fight declarations, said he wanted to fight the best of the UFC. He mentioned Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, and Matt Hughes. The problem is that Nick Diaz, right now, isn’t even ranked close to those guys.

I did not expect the gogoplata. I’ve only seen one other gogoplata (in MMA competition) and that was in the last PRIDE from Aoki when he put it on Joachim Hansen. It’s a move that was originated by a guy named Antonio “Nino” Schembri, a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, who has fought in PRIDE a number of times. I hadn’t really seen the move effective in MMA, but now we’ve seen it in two PRIDE events in a row.

The outcome was exhilarating because Nick Diaz is such a warrior. He came back after getting battered. It’s a huge victory for the fans.

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Elite XC Fighter Jake Shields

By William Davis

Jake Shields is an anomaly in Mixed Martial Arts. He’s been able to fight entirely on smaller shows while still getting world wide recognition for his skills. He is almost universally considered to be one of the top fighters in the 170 pound weight class.

Jake took time out of his schedule to discuss his deal with Elite XC, his tournament wins over Yushin Okami and Carlos Condit, and his career as a whole.

William Davis: Thanks for taking the time for the interview, Jake. You were recently in Costa Rica to take part in a BodogFight reality show. I know, due to contractual obligations, you can’t talk about any of the results, but can you give a basic outline of what the show is all about?

Jake Shields: It’s a great show. (BodogFight) brought us out to Costa Rica to fight. Right now, they have the Russia series (on ION network). They’ll probably show the Costa Rica show in a couple months.

William Davis: Have you signed a contract with Elite XC?

Jake Shields: Yeah. I signed a three fight deal with them. It’s not exclusive, so I can still fight on other shows as well.

William Davis: Will you be taking part in Elite XC’s June show?

Jake Shields: Yeah, I think it’s June 9th. I don’t have an opponent yet, but they’re working on it. I would like my opponent to be Frank Trigg, but I have a feeling he’ll turn it down.

William Davis: Is that your next scheduled fight?

Jake Shields: Yeah, right now it is. I’d like to fight sooner, but I don’t think Pro Elite wants me fighting right before the show (in June). So, I’ll probably just be training until then.

William Davis: Last year, at Rumble on the Rock, you had two tough 3 round fights against Yushin Okami and Carlos Condit. How tough were these fights for you, and how do you keep your conditioning at such a high level?

Jake Shields: Both those fights were really tough. They’re both really good fighters. Condit was really tough, that’s one of the tougher fights I’ve had. Condit tapped Trigg out in a minute (in his first fight of the night), so he was fresh. I had to just suck it up and go out and fight. To get in shape for that is tough. Obviously, running and sprints help. Hard sparring and a lot of strength and conditioning training to get my muscles ready for it. But it’s hard to be fully ready for something like that. A lot of it is just being mentally tough. Fighting in a tournament, if you have a tough first fight, it’s all about focusing and going out in fighting in the second.

(Continue Reading)

Ali Still "The Champ" A Generation After "The Rumble"

By Will Graves

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The chant began before the eighth round flickered onto the screen, an echo from a day long past.

"Ali bomaye! Ali bomaye!"

Muhammad Ali shook slightly as the chant -- which means "Ali! Kill him!" -- washed over him. He looked up from his seat and smiled.

The Champ was at the Muhammad Ali Center on Sunday, joined by several witnesses to the "The Rumble in the Jungle." They watched a film of the famed bout and told old stories about what some consider Ali's finest hour in the ring, when he chopped down mighty George Foreman with the "Rope A Dope" and took back the heavyweight championship on Oct. 30, 1974.

There was Angelo Dundee, the legendary trainer who never doubted that Ali, at 32, could handle the hard-hitting and hard-charging 25-year-old Foreman, the one who many experts predicted would destroy the former champion.

There was Leon Gast, director of the Academy Award-winning documentary "When We Were Kings," who can remember the heat and the crowds of people who flocked to see Ali.

There was Howard Bingham, Ali's personal photographer, wincing when recalling the punishment Ali took early in the fight as Foreman pushed Ali into the ropes and attacked with the right hand that had knocked out 38 of his previous 40 opponents.

And there was Foreman, laughing as he talked about the supposed quick 10-count by the referee that ended his first reign as heavyweight champion.

"In that fight, Muhammad beat me," Foreman said. "If I'd gotten up, he would have killed me."

But mostly, there was Ali, holding court as only he can.

Even now, at 65 and his body worn down from a long battle against Parkinson's disease, Ali delighted the crowd of 175 that traveled from points across the world to meet the man whose greatness touched their hearts and whose generosity made him a global icon for peace.

Ali posed for pictures, signed autographs and even did a little conducting when the crowd hailed him with a belated rendition of "Happy Birthday," holding his left hand for just a second to extend the final note.

"This is just what we envisioned for this center," said his wife, Lonnie. "For people to be able to experience this when he's still here with us, not when he was gone."

Screen images of that hot early morning in Kinshasa, Zaire, showed Ali conserving his energy as Foreman gradually weakened. Then Ali attacked in the eighth round with a flurry that sent Foreman stumbling to the canvas and the 60,000 in attendance into what Gast called "the happiest moment in boxing history."

Dundee can still remember the way Ali never appeared to get rattled, even as Foreman lashed at the former champion, eager to showcase his dominance. Dundee laughs now, admitting he was worried Ali would somehow get flipped out of the ring for backing too far into the ropes, ropes that Dundee concedes were probably too loose.

Yet more than the fight, Dundee remembers the way Ali was embraced by the people of Zaire, who followed him wherever he went in the weeks leading to the bout and screamed with joy when the referee counted Foreman out.

"In every town, Muhammad captured the town," Dundee said. "That night, Ali captured a country."

And he made inroads on a world stage.

"He was more than just a boxer before the fight, but that one showcased his humanity," Gast said. "The way he brought in the people, the way he treated them with respect, it really spoke to who he is."

Though it seemed the oddsmakers were against Ali -- who was a heavy underdog -- Dundee never lost belief that Ali would find a way.

The proof is in a moment Gast captured during the filming "When We Were Kings," a moment that didn't make it into the documentary because of technical problems. Dundee was watching Ali dance around the ring when he turned to someone and predicted the outcome.

"Angie said 'Look at the shape he's in. No way this guy is going to get beat. He's going to take (Foreman) out in eight rounds, I swear to you,"' Gast said.

Dundee's words proved prophetic, though even Dundee said he wasn't exactly in on Ali's plan to use the "Rope A Dope" on Foreman.

"I said 'I guess you know what you're doing,' and he did," Dundee said. "He was always smarter than me anyway."

Yet Ali's appeal goes far beyond the victories. Many of those who visited him Sunday weren't alive when Ali first shocked the world by beating Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title in 1964.

Robbie Anderson was 4 years old and growing up in England when Ali defeated Foreman. His memories of Ali in the ring are of an aging champion fighting a losing battle with time. Yet Ali's fighting opened Anderson's eyes into Ali the man and inspired him to help others.

On Sunday, the 36-year-old Anderson brought his 9-month-old son, Charlie, to meet Ali. He wanted to show his son the man who inspired him to volunteer for a humanitarian group and spend two years helping build hospitals and churches in Africa.

"He's such a giving person," Anderson said. "I truly believe he's an angel, he's been touched by God. There's something about the man. There's just an aura about him that inspires me. Actually not just me, but millions."


Royce Gracie & Brock Lesnar in Hero's in June?

As with Pride, Hero’s, K-1’s MMA branch, also has its eyes on the US market. The pronouncement of interest by the Japanese directors in holding an event in the United States would have been made in the beginning of the year, however, now the desire takes a different shape.

According to information in the American press, Hero’s should carry out its first edition in the USA on the 2nd of June, likely in Los Angeles. And to attract the local crowds it is likely the organizers will call up well-known names in the international scene. Two possible participants being mentioned are Brock Lesnar and Royce Gracie.

More information should be released by Hero’s organizers this month.


Shaolin positive about IFL

‘Antoine kicked butt for Ruas’ team

On his way to the airport to return to Rio de Janeiro, Vitor "Shaolin” Ribeiro took time to analyze the March 17 edition of the IFL, in California. Beyond the K-1 Hero’s star’s presence in the crowd at, the latest event of the American MMA league saw a 5 to 0 trouncing by the Anacondas, the team of the new coach Shawn Tompkins, who substituted the now-tv announcer Bas Rutten.

At home, the Cobras of Los Angeles beat the Razorclaws, of the Californian Frank Shamrock, and took the lead in the IFL, passing the Pitbulls of New York in the number of victories. The Sabres, of Tokyo, surprised Marco Ruas’ Condors. Shaolin enjoyed the show and complimented the performance of his colleagues.

“Luca [Atalla, GRACIE Magazine editor] had already told me how the structure of the IFL was awesome, and I went to see for myself. The show really deserves its congratulations, and Antoine kicked butt in the ring for Ruas' team against Wayne Cole, in his knockout victory, and Rodrigo Ruas also fought very well, but was not able to connect with a good punch against Antonio McKee, and he ended up losing the decision," said the Nova União black belt.


Ed Fishman lawsuit being finalized

By Zach Arnold

A major roadblock in any sort of purchase of PRIDE is about to be finalized. Ed Fishman and his attorneys are expected to finalize their lawsuit against Dream Stage Entertainment either tonight or early tomorrow. The lawsuit will be over breach of contract, and it will include a focus on putting all of PRIDE’s major players past and present (Nobuyuki Sakakibara, Yukino Kanda, Hideki Yamamoto, etc.) under court deposition. What could be revealed under court deposition?

(Continue Reading)

“IFL Battleground” Episode 2 Tonight

By Ben Fowlkes

The second episode of MyNetworkTV’s “IFL Battleground” airs tonight – Monday, March 19th – on MyNetwork. The first episode premiered last Monday to some controversy, but successive episodes promise to offer a better look at past IFL action, as well as a deeper look into the lives of IFL athletes.

Tonight’s episode is expected to look at one of the IFL’s hottest teams, the Los Angeles Anacondas. Undefeated lightweight Chris Horodecki, along with welterweight Jay Hieron and middleweight Benji Radach and other will be featured on the show. The episode also looks at other IFL action and the future of the league and its young fighters.

“IFL Battleground” airs on MyNetworkTV at 8 p.m. in most areas. Find your MyNetwork affiliate by checking our TV Schedule, and while you’re there, don’t forget to check the air dates of our Fox Sports Net show.

While “IFL Battleground” takes a behind-the-scenes look at the personalities and ongoing storylines of the IFL, the Fox Sports Net show features IFL fights from live events all over the country.

The most recent FSN episode focused on the exciting team contest between the defending champion Silverbacks and the up-and-coming Anacondas. That show, which premiered on March 16th, will be replayed throughout the coming week.

Check’s TV Schedule for more details, and don’t miss episode two of “IFL Battleground” tonight on MyNetworkTV.

PFL: Genesis...Meet Tim Sylvia, Rich Franklin & Sean Sherk

Open to all media, closed to public.
(Please contact us if you are media and would like access to the weigh ins).

Doors 5:00 pm, First Fight at 7:00 pm.

TIM SYLVIA, RICH FRANKLIN AND SEAN SHERK with autograph session at 5:30 PM.

*Tickets from $20-$120. Check keyword Panther Fight League for ticket levels and availability!

*these ticket prices include tax and Miami city facility fee.


Cyborg ready for Cage Rage

Photo by Marcelo Alonso

The striker from Chute Boxe Evangelista Cyborg, is almost ready for the dispute of the Light-Heavyweight belt at Cage Rage 21, that will be held on April 21st in London , capital of . Cyborg, who will face James Zikic, said that he doesn’t know a lot about his adversary. “I don’t know many things about my adversary. I am getting prepared since January, because I had a bout inFebruary but it didn’t happen.

If the fight takes place in ten days I would be ready”, said Cyborg, who has already a defined strategy. “I will try to impose my own rhythm. I am training the ground game and Wrestling game to be not taken for the ground. I will trythe KO. I must fight on my best game, and I fight better under my opponent”, finished Cyborg. Check out the complete card:

Light-Heavyweight Title:
- Evangelista Cyborg vs. James Zikic;

Other Bouts:
- Robert Berry vs. Bob Sapp;
- Ivan Serati vs. Vitor Belfort;
- Daijiro Matsui vs. Mark Weir;
- Murilo Ninja vs. Alex Reid;
- Rowman Webber vs. Mark Epstein;
- Paul Kelly vs. Paul Daley;
- Abdul Mohammed vs. TBA;
- Cyrille Diabate vs. Ryan Robinson;
- Alex Owen vs. Brad Pickett;
- Xavier Foupa Pokam vs. Tom Watson;
- James E. Nicoll vs. Matt Ewin.


Bizarre submission

Finalist at South East Asian Grappling Games wins in most unusual way

Silver Medalist in the light heavy weight elite division at the South East Asian Grappling Games in Thailand over the weekend, Nicolai Holt won one of his fights by a most unusual and unpleasant submission, when his opponent threw up... on his head. The win will go down as a submission from a body squeeze lock, as there is no classification for a win from involuntary vomiting.



PRESS Release

FightDVD, the leading MMA DVD distributors in Europe will be exhibiting with the Ultimate Fighting Championship promoters at this year’s Seni show. FightDVD Chairman Ian Allan and President of UFC UK Marshall Zelaznik have confirmed that the two companies will share a stand at Seni 07 on 19th and 20th May which will be a UFC experience.

“We have a very strong relationship with the UFC,” said Ian Allan of FightDVD “With our knowledge of the British market we’re hoping to help push the UFC into the mainstream.”

FightDVD is part of the Clear Vision Ltd Company (est. 1989) and was launched in 2004 to License their MMA titles. The UFC Licence was granted to Clear Vision in 2002 and since then they have released over 70 UFC DVD titles, with a continued release schedule of a new UFC DVD release each month.

Although names are yet to be confirmed, Fight DVD and UFC will have some top UFC stars appearing exclusively on their Seni stand for meet and greets, signings and Q&A sessions. Various names have been mentioned such as Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson, Chuck Liddell and Mike Bisping.

The UFC/Fight DVD stand is set to be one of the highlights of this year’s Seni and will be interactive and inviting for the shows visitors. As well as getting to meet the UFC stars, customers will of course be able to buy or order every UFC DVD released by FightDVD as well as an extensive range of official UFC Merchandise.

This year’s Seni is expected to draw in the biggest crowd to date as the Worlds largest combat sports expo moves from the NEC to the Excel Centre. For the first time since its inception Seni will relocate to London, ExCeL to bring an extensive range of fight sports, classic martial arts, culturally stimulating displays and cutting edge health and fitness knowledge to a new audience expected to be in the region of 40,000 people over the weekend.

With 30 minute queues around the Fight DVD stand at Seni 06 last year the trouble shooting has already begun. One thing’s for sure, the UFC/Fight DVD stand is going to be the place to be for any MMA fan.

Bill “The Butcher” Mahood vs. Khalil Ibrahim on Tuesday’s Episode of BodogFight

Tune in to ION Television Tuesday, March 20 at 11 pm/10 pm Central for an all new episode of the hit TV series BodogFight: St. Petersburg. This week’s mixed martial arts action features a quartet of hard-hitting light heavyweights. On Tues. March 20th, the fury continues with Mahood vs. Ibrahim and Steinbeiss vs. Ford.

Nicknamed "The Butcher", Canada’s Bill Mahood first experienced the combat arts as a spectator in his father’s boxing club. Since then, Mahood has continuously trained in every form of matial art available. He stands 6′ 2" and weighs 205 lbs. His record is 15-5-1. Can "The Butcher" slice up "Scorpion Heart"? Palestine’s Khalil Ibrahim made a name for himself at the vaunted Abu Dhabi Combat Club, earning himself the title of "Scorpion Heart". Prior to that, Kahalil acquired his 3rd dan Black belt in karate and became a kick-boxing instructor. He stands 5′ 10" and weighs 206 lbs. His record is 6-0-0.

These fighters will leave it all on the mat, with an opportunity to compete at BodogFight’s April 14th pay-per-view spectacular, "BodogFight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Lindland, Clash of the Nations", at stake. Visit our award-winning MMA website for more information, or to watch the BodogFight: St. Petersburg series via streaming video. Biographies of all BodogFight: St. Petersburg fighters, exclusive footage and unedited interviews from the filming in Russia are continuously added to BodogFight official website, Plus, check out the site for weekly contests!

Nobuyuki Sakakibara Spoke about PRIDE.34 and Lightweight GP

A Press Conference was held on Thursday, March 15th at the DSE office in Aoyama, Tokyo where fight cards were announced for PRIDE.34 "KAMIKAZE" to be held at Saitama Super Arena. Aoki Shinya, Makoto Takimoto, and DSE President & CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara attended the press conference.

"There are voices here and there from Japanese fans stating that PRIDE seems to be directing all its attention towards the U.S., but PRIDE is after all a product of Japan so we need to maintain a firm grounding. I'd like to work towards regaining Japan's fervor in order to strive 10 to 20 years down the road."

Mr. Sakakibara delivered this message to Japanese fans in his opening statement at the Press Conference. After an interval of 4 months, PRIDE will be held in Japan for the first time since last year's New Year's Eve event. Although PRIDE has moved towards developing its foothold in the U.S., that doesn't mean that events in Japan will be any less engaging. To illustrate this point, PRIDE will welcome a new fighter to Japan in answer to "demands from many fans who have voiced their desire to see him fight for PRIDE."

That fighter is Zelg "Benkei" Galesic, who will battle against Makoto Takimoto. "Although he received offers from other organizations, his debut was fixed out of his own will to fight for PRIDE where the world's strongest men are determined. The DSE staff worked hard towards acquiring him, but I think the fan's voices also reached his Team Trojan and that played a big part," Sakakibara commented.

Standing up against the menacing newcomer is Takimoto, who will return to the ring for the first time in 10 months. Sakakibara threw a stern remark in Takimoto's presence, "He first came to PRIDE as a top Judo competitor, but he has yet to produce the results we would have anticipated from such a man. The next match will be one in which Takimoto will be expected to show what he has been doing for the past 10 months." He continued with words of encouragement, "I want him to win glory for himself. I don't want to see him end here. The match will most likely serve as a forecast to his future as a fighter. I want him to heat up the fans."

But Sakakibara warned, "His opponent is a formidable adversary. We're not putting Benkei on the ring to make Takimoto shine. He's young and powerful. It should be an interesting fight."

Making an impressive debut with a KO victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at the February 24th Las Vegas event, Sokoudjou will next challenge top Middleweight contender Ricardo Arona.

"No one ever thought he could fight so well against an opponent like Rogerio. That was the biggest upset of the evening. There were numerous demands from Japanese fans wanting to watch him fight live, and BTT wasn't going to leave things the way they are after Rogerio's defeat, so that's why we've decided to pit him against Arona. Sokoudjou accepted the challenge saying "the answer's yes whether my opponent is human or giraffe or Arona." I implore everyone to look forward to the fight. He's only 22 years old, and if Arona were to be taken down, I think it would be against a fighter like him," Sakakibara explained placing high hopes on Sokoudjou.

In regards to the rest of the fight cards, he hopes to announce the remaining 5~6 matches within the next 7 to 10 days. Sakakibara spoke as follows.
"As PRIDE's 10th anniversary, this year marks the end of one chapter. We hope to set up cards that are suggestive of the 10 years. We plan to center the cards around Heavy and Middleweight bouts, with 1~2 Welterweight matches, and the only Lightweight match being that of Aoki," affirmed Sakakibara, saying that they have set up the cards giving consideration to the fact that the Opening Round of PRIDE Lightweight GP at the end of May will be all Lightweight matches.

Although following the event in Las Vegas, there were talks of setting up a rematch between Takanori Gomi and Nick Diaz in April, "Gomi won't be fighting (in April). We've been talking with Gomi about focusing towards the Lightweight GP. Diaz has an injury, so we're not even sure if he can start fighting again in May. If a rematch cannot be arranged as part of GP, I think a title match sometime during the year would be just as fine." The plan is to settle the battle within the year.

In regards to the PRIDE Lightweight GP scheduled to be held in late May, Sakakibara gave out a cry of delight stating that "it's difficult to narrow them down to 16 fighters. We will gather the best fighters to decide the world's strongest. Even if they've never fought for PRIDE, we're also calling on several fighters whom fans would approve of nonetheless. Although we can't announce their names just yet, we are negotiating with new fighters for the event in May. Not all of the 16 competitors will be selected from those who have been fighting for PRIDE, but will also include fighters who have been achieving good records in other organizations." There will be about 5 to 6 Japanese fighters.

Although in the beginning of the year it had been announced that a title match would be held at every event of the number series, "it hasn't been decided for PRIDE.34. We were thinking of a Welterweight title match, but it would be difficult to set one up especially since Dan is injured." A title match seems unlikely at the event in April.

As for the cancellation of the April 28th Las Vegas event, which has been a topic of rumor, "it was postponed for a good reason. After our event in February ended in such success, we had doubts about being able to organize an event in only 2 months that would surpass both our 1st and 2nd U.S. events. In addition, we were unable to proceed with the main card that we had originally planned, so we decided to reschedule the event. Our next U.S. event will be held in late June in California. We hope to do 3~4 more events this year in places such as Las Vegas and New Jersey. We might also squeeze in PRIDE.35 in Japan in early June."

In regards to rumors about Fedor fighting in events of other organizations in Russia, "our staff is currently verifying the situation. When we last met with Fedor in January, he said "I want to fight in Russia. It would be fine if PRIDE comes to Russia, but otherwise I want to fight at M-1." This isn't sanctioned under the terms of our contract, but we will discuss the matter with him. Holding PRIDE in Russia with Fedor's match as the main card is not totally out of the question either. Conclusions should be reached from our discussion in about a week."

In addition, PRIDE.34 will be broadcasted live from Japan for the first time in the U.S. The event will be shown live in four countries, including Japan, the U.S., South Korea, and Brazil.


Five Ounces Of Pain Report: PRIDE Sold to Fertittas!?

By Sam Caplan

Normally I don't post rumors of Pride being sold to the UFC because those rumors usually surface on message forums at least once week. However, reports indicate that Greg Savage of said on Sherdog Radio that Pride has been acquired by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta (primary owners of the UFC) for $65 million. An announcement could be made on Wednesday. Interestingly enough, Zach Arnold of is claiming that Pride CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara is traveling to Las Vegas in the next couple of days. Zach's report mentioned nothing about a buyout.


President of Pride praises Chute Boxe

By Gracie Mag

Note: Translated From Portuguese

President of the Pride, Nobuyuki Sakakibara yesterday folloied a aulão with more than 100 pupils in the headquarters of the Boxe Kick, in Curitiba. Very likeable, the commander of the Japanese organization commented that he was excellent to return the Curitiba after three years. Cartola standed out the excellent relation between the Boxe Kick and the Pride and did not save compliments to the master Rudimar Fedrigo in such a way how much the Wanderlei Silva.

“I said this in other chances and I repeat in the front of all vocês, the Rudimar master is the leader greater of team between that they participate of the Pride”, Sakakibara said, with the aid of an interpreter. It also commented that one day was asked by an American TV which fighter represents the essence of the Pride. “With certainty it is Wanderlei Silva”, answered.

Other information is that Maurício Shogun or Wanderlei will have to participate of the next event, that occurs in Japan, in day 8 to April. The confirmation must happen in the next days. Sakakibara also gave words of incentive to the aspirings to the Pride. “In vocês the Boxe Kick they are in the place for chances, for this they train with will and they listen to its masters”, said.

The event was opened the public and counted on many spectators. As the amount of participants was immense the trainings were divided in sequences. It had space for beginning, the women, graduated and masters. This last stage called more attention the president of the Pride, that observed some potential fighters for the international event. The end of the Fedrigo trainings it thanked the presence of as many integrant and pupils of the academy and commented that this persistence can open doors for many of them.


Brad "One Punch" Pickett - By Team Titan

20 basic questions with TUF 5 fighter Joe Lauzon

By Robert Cheshire

Joe Lauzon is one of the fighters on Season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter. Does the name sound familiar? He TKO’d Jens Pulver, at UFC 63, in what many thought would merely be a tune-up match for Pulver. Joe took the time to answer “20 basic questions” so the fans can get to know him a little better before the season starts.

1. Name: Joe Lauzon

2. Do you have a nickname? J-Lau, Baby Joe

3. Place of birth: Brockton, MA

4. Birthday: May 22, 1984

5. Fight Record: 14-3

6. How long have you competed in MMA? Since 2002

7. How did you get started in competing? Started doing grappling and did well. Then helped some of the guys in my school get ready for fights, and wanted to do it too.

8. Who do you train with? Team Aggression/RSD in Bridgewater, MA... And Steve Maze at Bishops Boxing in West Bridgewater, MA

9. What is your favorite UFC moment? Randy beating up and dominating Tim Sylvia

10. What is your favorite TUF moment from the previous seasons? Mikey Burnett trying to run through the wall, which is followed closely by Jorge Rivera’s impression of "Phonie Carter."

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A note from Mike Bisping

By Michael "The Count" Bisping

Hi, and thanks for all the support. For all the haters, oh well its to be expected.

There has been a lot of talk about elvis being a can and a silly match up for me. I think the poeple with this atitude are completely wrong. He is a tough well rounded experienced fighter who has faced some of the worlds best. Sure he hasnt got the best record but look at some of the guys he's fought.Also a little more respect for the guy as a long standing mma fighter wouldnt go a miss.

Training going well. Obviously one or two hiccups here and there but thats always the way. Looking forward to the fight and im sure you guys wont be dissapointed. Elvis always comes to fight and I sure as hell do so expect fireworks.

Also, all the guys bitching on sherdog constantly need to stop being so pety and look at all the positive developments that are happening in the ufc and mma in general. Its an exiting time for the fans and the fighters so just enjoy it and stop moaning for fuck sake.

The Count.

Interview with the King of Rock and Rumble: Elvis Sinosic

By Sean McClure

Elvis Sinosic is a UFC veteran and class act through and through. He has fought some of the best fighters in the world at 205 pounds and at UFC 70 Elvis will look to get back in the UFC's win column against the Ultimate Fighter season 3 winner, Michael Bisping. Elvis took time out of his training to answer a few questions for us concerning his fight on April 21st.

MaxFighting: Elvis, how good does it feel to be back in the UFC and on the first UFC card in England in a loooong time?

Elvis Sinosic: It's always great to be back in the UFC. This is actually their second card in the UK, the first was UFC 38. I also happened to be on that card as well. Regardless, it is awesome to be back facing the best fighters out there. It's also great to be back in the UK.

MaxFighting: Was this a multi-fight deal or a one time gig?

Elvis Sinosic: It's a 3 fight contract. But I always look at one fight at a time.

MaxFighting: When you heard you were facing Michael Bisping, what was your reaction?

Elvis Sinosic: Actually I was very happy. I suggested this match to Joe Silva after he resigned me back with the UFC. He said this was just the match he was thinking of. We have a common opponant, Mark Epstein. I've recently fought in the Uk, and he of course is very well known there. I also think our styles match up to make this an exciting fight. I think this is a great fight and opportunity for me. I am really looking forward to it.

MaxFighting: Do you feel that this will be a real test for you as a fighter?

Elvis Sinosic: Every opponant I face is a real test for me as a fighter. I never underestimate any opponant. Bisping is undefeated. He has legitimate skills and is very dangerous. Why wouldn't this be a real test for me?

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Huerta brings confidence and faith into UFC 69

By Roberto Cepeda

Roger Huerta will match up with Leonard Garcia on April 7th in Houston at UFC 69. These two fighters match up well on paper: Roger at 5’9” and 155 and Leonard at 5’10” 155lbs. The difference at least in Roger’s mind is his approach to a fight and his driving force in life.

Roger’s style is to come at his opponent with what the Armed Services call “violence of action”, come in fast, come in hard and use overwhelming force. His nick-name is El Matador for his systematic and methodical approach to taking out his opponents. He is apparently good at this since he is 18-1-1 in his professional MMA career.

He lost early in his career to Ryan Schultz in an eight man tournament, when he was kneed in the jaw and suffered a dislocated jaw and he couldn’t answer the bell. Roger is a relative newcomer to the dangerous world of MMA, his career initiated in 2003 after wresting at Augsburg College for only one year. His love for MMA led him to dedicate himself full-time to training and opted out of collegiate wrestling. He is presently only two credits from graduating with a Business Management degree.

Roger is certainly a man who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. When I spoke with him recently he said, “I feel sorry for Leonard, I’m going to knock him out.” Roger continued explaining how he couldn’t wait to take him apart and finally admitted, “I don’t feel sorry for him, he’s my opponent.”

This served to enlighten me on his psyche, no fear, no hesitation, like a thoroughbred biting at the bit, prancing and ready to go all out. This ex-title holder from the IFC is already planning to be the UFC champion in two years. He has his plan, he is working hard and seems to enjoy the combat. So how did he get to this level? What is his driving force?

Roger was born in Los Angeles, Ca. but grew up in Texas. He spent some time in Mexico and El Salvador when he was suddenly deposited there by his parents. They were experiencing personal and marital problems. In fact Roger hasn’t seen his mother since he was eight years old and hasn’t seen his father since he was fourteen. Roger remembers being beaten physically by his mother as well as being verbally abused. He mentioned having to spend all his time indoors while in El Salavador because of the civil war that was causing havoc and taking lives.

And just as suddenly Roger was back in Texas after his father came for him. His experience back in the U.S. wasn’t much better. He found himself in a drug house, living with a gang. He was abandoned again but this young man found a refuge in school.

“They had free breakfasts and lunches for low-income students, but I really enjoyed going, I felt good there.” He mentioned that he found good teachers there. He was soon in a foster home, where he stayed until he was eighteen. At school he started wrestling and excelled in that sport due in part to his work ethic and indomitable spirit.

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Valimaki-Sakara and Kongo-Silva Confirmed for UFC 70 Card

By Thomas Gerbasi

Two significant crossroad fights will be featured on April 21st’s UFC 70 card at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England, as Victor Valimaki and Alessio Sakara clash in a light heavyweight match, and Cheick Kongo and Assuerio Silva square off in a heavyweight battle.

Italy’s Alessio Sakara (14-5, 1 no contest) will be looking to get back to the .500 mark in the UFC after back-to-back losses to Dean Lister and Drew McFedries. ‘Legionarius’ is confident that he will achieve that goal against Valimaki.

“I think we are gonna have a good fight because we both like to fight standing,” said Sakara, a former pro boxer. “We will see who is the best.”

25-year old Victor Valimaki (9-3) made a positive impression in his Octagon debut last December, as he went toe-to-toe with unbeaten David Heath before losing a close three round split decision. His gutsy performance garnered him a return invite to the UFC, and he looks at Sakara as simply an obstacle to be removed on his way to the top.

“He’s a good boxer, but I believe I'm on my way up and he's in my way, and that's unfortunate for him,” said Edmonton’s Valimaki.

After his first two UFC wins, France’s Cheick Kongo (19-3-1) was seen by many to be the next big thing in the heavyweight division, but a disappointing split decision loss to then-unbeaten Carmelo Marrero derailed his progress. On April 21st, Kongo aims to put his ship back on course against Brazilian veteran Assuerio Silva (32-4), who is searching for his first UFC win after defeats at the hands of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera.


By Ken Pishna

Just as Pride FC’s run at the American mixed martial arts market has stalled out, another Japanese promoter is taking aim at audiences in the United States. For some time now, officials at K-1 have been hinting at their Hero’s debut in America (Hero’s is the MMA arm of K-1) and recently, their plans have established a foundation.

According to K-1’s Mr. Tanigawa, K-1 HERO'S will be holding a press conference in the U.S. at the end of March where they will reveal their "plan and strategy." Stated Mr. Tanigawa, "It's going to be a really interesting press conference that will have a lot of content to convey to you, something that will surprise Dana White as well."

Although the press conference will no doubt shed more light on the exact plans that K-1 has in mind for the U.S., sources are coming forth with some of the details for the Hero’s debut in America.

K-1 is planning a Hero’s show for June 2nd in America, most likely at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. The L.A Coliseum would be a rather bold move. The seating capacity for the L.A. Coliseum, according to their website, is 92,000. The current largest live audience to ever attend an MMA event in the U.S. is 19,079, which was set just recently by the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Columbus, Ohio.

Matches such as Hideo Tokoro vs. Kazuya Yasuhiro, Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Kazushi Sakuraba, and Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Melvin Manhoef have headlined recent K-1 MMA events; not exactly match-ups that promise to grab the attention of the masses in the U.S. But according to K-1’s Mr. Maeda, “In the case of America, we have some fighters who have what you call star quality already on standby. They are ready and prepared to go into the ring." Maeda also feels that they have "a world network capacity" that will help them succeed in the U.S.

It appears that Brock Lesnar, a former World Wrestling Entertainment professional wrestling champion and talent acknowledged to have caught the attention of UFC president Dana White, is one of the “star quality” fighters that K-1 has in mind for their Hero’s debut in America. He is on tap to face Hong Man Choi, the 7-foot 2-inch goliath from South Korea. Lesnar is sure to draw some attention when he makes his MMA debut against Choi, but it’s not likely the type of match that will put K-1 over in the U.S.

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Vitale victorious by TKO

By Michael Tsai

After surviving 2 minutes and 41 seconds with mixed-martial arts fighter Falaniko Vitale Saturday night, Mavrick "Soul Collector" Harvey had to be happy to have his head more or less intact.

The bout was one of two main events at the X-1 World Events Xtreme Fighter 2 at Blaisdell Arena. Wesley "Cabbage" Correira lost a grinding match to Texas fighter Chris "Monster" Marez in the other headline match.

A crowd of more than 3,000 watched as Vitale deflected a vicious kick to the head and wrestled Harvey to the canvas. Vitale then maneuvered onto Harvey's back, where he delivered nearly a dozen blows before the match was called.

Harvey remained on the canvas for several minutes before staggering to the locker room with the help of two others.

"I have six lumps on the back of my head but not a scratch on my face," Harvey said, still holding an ice pack to his bruised-n-tattooed noggin a half-hour after his first-round TKO defeat.

Harvey was miffed that the referee didn't intervene when, Harvey said, Vitale struck him repeatedly on the back on the head, which is illegal in the sport.

"They should have (separated) us after the first one or two, but he got seven shots in," Harvey said.

Vitale said that if he inadvertently struck the back of Harvey's head, it was because Harvey was turning away from his punches.

"I let the ref judge that," Vitale said. "You can't control it if you're hitting the guy on the side of the face and he turns his head. What really hurt him was when I went around his arms and hit him on the side of the head."

In the other main event, Marez, a corrections officer, gained the decision despite fighting with a badly bruised right thigh, which he suffered during a sparring accident two weeks ago.

Marez said the injury affected his conditioning because it kept him from running. He said it also made it difficult to pivot on his punches.

"I didn't want to tell anybody before the match," he said, lifting his boxing trunks to reveal a badly discolored, cantaloupe-sized bruise on his inner thigh. "When I came here, I had to take medication just to bend my leg. I iced it for 18 hours the last three days."

Marez and Correira stood and punched for all but a few seconds of the bout.

The first round was interrupted twice, first when Correira accidentally poked Marez in the eye, and again when Marez did the same — accidentally — to Correira.

The eye-for-an-eye routine continued as the fighters alternately leaned, clutched and punched each other with little impact other than mutual exhaustion.

In the third round, Correira tried to slam Marez to the mat, but Marez twice grabbed the rope to stop himself, an illegal move that drew a chorus of boos from the crowd.

"I felt so bad," Marez said. "I didn't want to do that, but I did."

Marez said Correira got even a minute later by worming his fingers inside Marez's glove, immobilizing Morez's hand while he punched him in the head.

"He's a good guy," Marez said. "I told him to let go and he did. He's a clean, class act."

The fighters exchanged a few flurries in the opening round, but much of the match was spent with Correira leaning Marez against the ropes and working his body.

"There was not much difference between us," Correira said. "I thought I could put him down, but he was just too big."

The undercard featured several highlight-worthy matches, including "Sugar" Shane Nelson's three-round decision over Kolo Koka, a match that featured textbook ground-and-pound technique, and Tonya Evinger's second-round knockout of Shoni Plagmann.

Evinger said she had been forcing herself to gain weight in preparation for what was supposed to have been a match against Kelly Cobalt. When Cobalt pulled out and was replaced by Plagmann, Evinger tried to drop the weight. The see-sawing didn't put her in a good mood going into the bout.

"I wanted to knock her the (expletive) out," Evinger said.

Ten seconds into the second round, Evinger did just that, landing a haymaker right hook flush on Plagmann's chin. Plagmann fell straight backward and lay unconscious for several seconds while Evinger flexed for the cameras.

Also on the undercard, "Dirty" Dave Moreno, the self-proclaimed "sexiest man in 145" (weight class) earned a second-round victory over David "the Tan Superman" Padilla, bloodying Padilla in the first round then choking him to submission in the next.


Chris Leben vs Kalib Starnes at UFC 71

Hey, what's up Myspace fans?

It's been a while, but here's what I've been up to. Nothing's signed but the word is I'm fighting Kalib Starnes in May. I'm really excited about the fight and I'm pumped to be getting back in the cage. I took last month off to get a bit of tattoo work done, snowboard, ride dirtbikes, relax - so I was ready to get back to training. I've been hitting the gym like crazy, splitting my time between AMC and Team Quest and I've been staying away from alcohol completely as I'm sorting out some past issues. The support from everyone has been fantastic and I will be at an MMA show in Kentucky at the end of the month - check back for more info! Thanks for the support!

- Chris "the crippler" Leben

Wineland set for defense

By Steve Sievert

Houston native Eddie Wineland will take a break from his day job to defend his World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight title this weekend in Las Vegas. The 22-year-old, who logs more than 40 hours a week as a laborer for a steel contractor, claimed the WEC crown with a first-round knockout of Antonio Banuelos last May.

Wineland, now fighting out of Portage, Ind., turned pro when he was 18. He's developed into one of the top strikers in the 135-pound division, with half of his dozen victories, against four losses and a draw, coming by knockout or TKO.

Wineland will step into the cage for one of three title fights Saturday night on the WEC card at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Chase Beebe, who's won nine of 10 mixed martial arts fights by submission since turning pro last year, will provide the opposition.

As part of WEC's deal with Versus, the event will be taped to be part of the promotion's first live show on the cable network in June.

Jardine fights way into title mix

By Steve Sievert

With one more win, Forrest Griffin was likely in as the next opponent for UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. Unfortunately for Griffin, he experienced a close encounter with Keith Jardine's right hand at UFC 66 in December.

Jardine upset Griffin with a technical-knockout victory — an outcome that shook up the 205-pound division and transformed Jardine from perennial underdog to title contender.

"They were really building up Forrest as one of the top contenders for the title shot, but I think the way I beat him, I took that position," said Jardine, who earned a UFC spot after his performance during the second season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. "Right now, people have to consider me whenever they talk about who's a contender for the title."

The 31-year-old "Dean of Mean" trained for the fight against Griffin expecting a give-and-take, three-round battle of attrition. Griffin had been stopped only once in 16 fights and had never been knocked out by a punch.

Instead, Jardine finished the season one TUF champ with a flurry of nine unanswered shots in the first round after landing a right hook-left uppercut combination that dropped Griffin to the mat.

"I wasn't surprised," Jardine said of his breakthrough effort. "I had hoped to finish it somewhere in the second round. I had a lot of confidence going into that fight."

Internet message boards were heating up earlier this month with word that Tito Ortiz would be next in line for Jardine at UFC 71 in May. The speculation was premature.

"They (UFC) really don't know who I'm fighting yet," Jardine said. "Whoever I fight next, I'm going to beat, so they've gotta figure out who they want to risk. They know I'm a contender, but I think they want to build me up a bit more."

Jardine will be in action at UFC 71, but Ortiz won't provide the opposition. Ortiz is expected to face Jardine's training partner, Rashad Evans, in July.

"I want to fight a top contender," Jardine said. "I want to fight Tito, and I'd love to have the honor of fighting Chuck, but I might get someone who's a steppingstone. I don't like steppingstones. Man, they're hard to train for. They're trying to take what you have."

Griffin can attest to that.

FIT NHB's Coty Wheeler

By Keith Mills

As the ’07 scouting race picks up steam many eyes are on the teams that produced breakout fighters in previous years. If the last twelve months were a breakout year for Carlos Condit leading up to his upcoming title fight in WEC than it makes sense to watch for the rest of his team to see if they will be as successful. Carlos’ FIT NHB teammate Coty “Ox” Wheeler who fights at 135 could be one of those to watch.

On the one hand Coty’s aggressive yet unorthodox standup style is not only exciting to watch but is a breath of fresh air in the division. On the other hand opportunities at 135 in North America are few and far between. In his last fight Coty defeated Justin Thrift, a student of UFC vet Din Thomas, by unanimous decision in Ultimate Warrior Challenge. Ox next fights on March 31st at Fight World in Albuquerque.

From a business or promoter’s perspective Coty also has a couple angles working for him. From the human interest angle a local newspaper in Albuquerque recently ran a piece on Coty describing his troubled past in and out of jail and detox and how fighting turned his life around, an angle that has in the past drawn in readers/viewers that don’t normally follow MMA. Coty is also of Apache descent with very strong family support, an angle that could well work to his advantage if he were to fight for instance in Japan where image is more important than in North America. The bottom line is remember the name Coty “Ox” Wheeler as this won’t be the last time you hear about him this year.

KM: You have a fight coming up at the end of the month in Fight Party? CW: Fight World. It is just like a party, nothing but fun. The show is Fight World coming up the 31st. My opponent is out of Texas. He is a good boxer, good grappler, and that is about all the background I need to know. I don’t know his name or date or birth.

KM: What is your training like at FIT NHB? CW: I train five to six days a week for about two to four hours a day. I’m also a college student. My last fight in Florida my physique wasn’t there so when I got the video I looked a little soft compared to a lot of my prior fights.

KM: That one in Florida was the only one of yours I saw so far. Despite your physique being off was that indicative of your style? CW: That is normally how I fight but my physique was soft. I still had the holiday food in me and cardio wasn’t 100%, my weight lifting and training wasn’t 100%...I went in and did what I had to do to get by.

KM: But the Ox Wheeler fighting this month is the ‘real’ Ox? CW: Basically you will see another fighter out there.

KM: One thing that impressed me about FIT NHB at Ultimate Warrior Challenge was you guys were from out of town and didn’t have UFC vets in your corner but took out all the fighters with UFC vets in their corners. You beat a guy trained by Din Thomas. CW: Don’t get me wrong, I respect Din Thomas and American Top Team. They put out a lot of good fighters and train hard. I just did what I’m trained to do and that is win a fight. All I need in my corner is FIT NHB and the guys I train with getting me ready. I’m ready for any fight they put in front of me with any corner.

KM: What is it like training at FIT NHB? CW: It is a great camp, like a family. The guys I train with are like brothers from another mother.

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Gladiator Challenge: ST PADDYWACK - Quick Results

-Drew Montgomery defeats Will Torres TKO (cut) 0:33 R1
-Chris Werner defeats Joel Crawford TKO 0:41 R3
-Adrian Garcia defeats Jerry Espinoza SUB 1:17 R2
-Jesse Bowen defeats Nelson Ocampo DEC 5:00 R3
-Dave Rowan defeats George Rodriguez TKO 1:28 R3
-Thonglor Armetsena defeats Andy Salazar KO 0:12 R1
-Jeremy Ybarra defeats Garrett Dugger TKO 1:32 R1
-Gigo Jara defeats Noah Schnable TKO (cut) 3:33 R2
-Jaime Jara defeats Jeff Morris SUB (triangle choke) 1:48 R1
-Emanuel Newton defeats Arthur Cesar DEC 5:00 R3
-Dave Huckaba defeats Ross Clifton KO 1:58 R1