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Total MMA (PDF)


  • pg 1
									Total MMA
  Volume 2, Issue 1: August 5, 2007: WWW.TOTAL-MMA.COM

By Jonathan Snowden

They call him the Axe Murderer
and he looks the part: Wander-
lai Silva is 205 pounds of ripped
muscle, a shaven and tattooed head,
complete with a menacing glare.
Right now, that 205 pounds of fury
is staring at the ceiling, looking
up at the new Pride Middleweight
champion Dan Henderson. A left
hook put him there, a big right
made sure he stayed.

“It was the highlight of my career
because I dominated the whole fight
and knocked him out,” Henderson
said. “And no one expected that.
And to do it to a fighter of his stat-
ure…definitely the highlight.”

Fast forward three months and it’s
almost déjà vu. The long standing
and nigh unbeatable champion at
205 pounds is staring at his con-
queror with glassy eyes. This time
it’s Chuck Liddell and the new
champion is another Pride stalwart,
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Normally this would be poetic sym-
metry but nothing more. But a new
day has dawned for Mixed Martial

Dan Henderson                                                                                                  Page 2

Arts and where once there were two major promotions
only one remains. And it isn’t inconceivable for the         “(Lack of knees on the ground and the addition of
Pride champ to stroll into the Octagon and challenge         elbows) isn’t the only difference. Fighting in the cage
the new UFC title holder. Not inconceivable at all.          is a big difference and I’ve got to prepare for that too,”
This year we’ll finally get to put to rest any controversy   Henderson said.
about who is the best in the world. Henderson is confi-
dent he’s the man.                                           No matter what challenges Jackson presents, Hender-
                                                             son has answers, has all the tools to adapt and over-
“I’m a better wrestler than him (Jackson), I’m better on     come. After ten years in the sport he’s seen it all. In
the ground than him, we’re                                                                 the beginning, it wasn’t a
probably about even stand-            “I don’t usually look                                passion. His passion was
ing up,” Henderson said. “I                                                                wrestling and he repre-
don’t usually look for sub-         for submissions during                                 sented the United States
missions during a fight, I’m                                                               in the 1992 and 1996
looking to throw punches.           a fight, I’m looking to                                Olympics. Until this
But I might make an excep-                                                                 millennium he was just
tion in Quinton’s case be-           throw punches. But I                                  moonlighting in MMA.
cause he’s not as good on the
ground as some other guys.”        might make an exception                                  Despite playing second
                                                                                            fiddle to wrestling, the
Henderson and Jackson are               in Quinton’s case                                   wins and MMA accolades
not strangers (Jackson has                                                                  kept piling up. Hender-
trained with Henderson’s           because he’s not as good                                 son won the RINGS King
Team Quest fight squad in the                                                               of Kings tournament in
past). Their meeting in the         on the ground as some                                   2000, racking up wins
Octagon wasn’t exactly tense.                                                               over superstars like Anto-
Still, Henderson is ready to               other guys.”                                     nio Rodrigo Noguiera and
fight his friend, and he has an                                                             Renata Sobral and tak-
ace up his sleeve. His train-                                                               ing home the $200,0000
ing partner Matt Lindland is intimately familiar with        grand prize.
                                                             “It was important because it allowed me to train for
“He fought Lindland (at WFA King of the Streets on           wrestling full time,” Henderson said. “I didn’t expect
7/22/2006) and I thought Matt won that fight. It’s           to win, I was just looking to bring back some appear-
an advantage because I can train with Matt, but I’ve         ance money for my wrestling training. I did almost no
trained with Quinton, too. I know what he’s about,”          MMA training going into RINGS.”
Henderson said. “I’m going to try to knock him out
on our feet and I’m going to try to knock him around         That seemed to be the case all too often during Hen-
on the ground. He’ll probably try to do the same (to         derson’s early MMA career. He made his U.S. debut
me).”                                                        in 1997 at UFC 17. After beating jiu jitsu player Allan
                                                             Goes, Henderson went on to defeat future UFC Welter-
Henderson’s game plan for Jackson isn’t set in stone.        weight Champion Carlos Newton, winning the Mid-
There’s still tape to be watched, still plenty of training   dleweight tournament in a classic fight. And he did it
and plenty of healing to do after breaking his hand on       all with no preparation.
Silva’s head in February. The opponent won’t be the
only obstacle he faces when he stands across the Octa-       “I knew Carlos was a jiu jitsu guy, but he came out
gon from Rampage. The rules will be very different as        kicking my leg,” Henderson said. “I had done very
will the venue.                                              little training and no sparring and I didn’t know how
Dan Henderson                                                  Page 3

                to stop the kicks. It was a great night, despite a little
                bit of a sore leg, but I wish I had known a little more
                MMA then. It would have been a lot easier night”

                Newton and Goes weren’t Henderson’s first encounter
                with a submission specialist. In 1997 The Contenders
                was an attempt to start a professional submission wres-
                tling league, and Henderson took on Pancrase veteran
                Frank Shamrock in one of the feature bouts.

                “I knew nothing then. That wasn’t a fight, it was a
                grappling exhibition, but he acts like it was a fight.
                Even then it might have been different if striking was
                allowed,” Henderson said. Today? “I’d run right
                through him. Look at the Renzo Gracie fight (Sham-

                    “I’ve JuSt got a natural aBIlIty to hIt

                     hard.    and I’ve worked on my total

                    game BecauSe the Sport haS changed.”

                rock fought Gracie in February on Showtime). I
                wouldn’t even try to take down, I’d just knock him out
                on the feet.”

                Knocking people out comes easily for Henderson.
                Despite his Olympic wrestling background, he relies
                more on a heavy right hand than any wrestling throws
                or submission locks.

                “I’ve just got a natural ability to hit hard,” Henderson
                said. “And I’ve worked on my total game because the
                sport has changed. Just wrestling isn’t enough.”

                Former Olympic wrestler Kurt Angle begs to differ.
                He told radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge that
                his wrestling was so superior that he was confident he
                could beat the best the UFC and Pride have to offer.

                “Kurt’s just looking to drum up publicity to try to go
                into MMA. He was a great wrestler, but it’s going to
                be a big surprise for him,” Henderson said. Take for
                example Hammer House, a fight team featuring Mark

Dan Henderson                                                                                                       Page 4

Coleman and Kevin Randalman. “They aren’t even
good on the ground. They’re great wrestlers but you             “I’m still the Pride champion in two weight classes,”
need more than that.”                                           he said. “When they start running shows again I have
                                                                to be there.”
First it was the Gracies, then the Lion’s Den, then
Miletich Fighting Systems. Enter Team Quest. You’re             And he expects to be there as champion. Although
only as good as the people you train with and Hender-           Henderson is challenging for Jackson’s UFC Light
son works with the best. It would have been easy to             Heavyweight title, he doesn’t see it as a unification
stay a “Real American Wrestler,” to do just enough to           bout.
win some, to stay with the skills you’re confident in.
That wasn’t enough for                                                                            “It can’t be,” he said.
Henderson or longtime                                                                             “Without Pride rules,
friends Matt Lindland                                                                             and in a cage, it can’t
and Randy Couture. At                                                                             really be Pride can it?”
Team Quest they train
submissions and box-                                                                              (Editor’s Note: UFC has
ing along with their                                                                              since announced the fight
                                                                                                  will be a unification bout).
wrestling and the results
speak for themselves.
                                                                                                  While he waits for the
                                                                                                  situation in Japan to sort
“Just look at where the
                                                                                                  itself out, he prepares
three of us are today,”
                                                                                                  to step into the cage
Henderson said. “That
                                                                                                  on the world’s biggest
says it all.”
                                                                                                  stage. He’ll step into
                                                                                                  the Octagon, but as a
Dan Henderson is the
                                                                                                  Pride fighter.
Champion. He’s
                                                                                                “I’m still under Pride
challenging Quinton
                                                         contract,” Henderson revealed. “It would be nice to
Jackson to control the entire weight class. For most
                                                         get some of that pay per view money, sure, (the UFC
fighters, that would be more than enough. But Dan
                                                         has started paying main event fighters a percentage of
Henderson is different. In between beating up the
                                                         the PPV income) but after I win I’ll have three fights
toughest men in the world at 205 pounds, he drops
                                                         left on my contract. As champion, I’ll definitely be
down to 185 pounds where he is also the Pride World
                                                         one of the guys they’ll want to take care of. I just have
Champion. In a sport in which weight cutting is so
                                                         to win. That’s my job.”
prevalent, where even the slightest advantage can be
key, how can Henderson step up to fight men so much
                                                         At 37, these could be among the last fights of Hender-
                                                         son’s career. Despite Randy Couture popularizing geri-
                                                         atric fighters, Henderson doesn’t intend to follow his
“I’m right between (the two weights). If I can beat
                                                         friend’s example.
everyone at 205, why should I drop 15 pounds to 185
every time?” Henderson asked.
                                                          “I don’t want to fight forever,” Henderson said. “I’m
                                                         already cutting back to spend more time at home. I’ve
Pride’s status as an independent promotion is up in the
                                                         got a lot of other things I want to do.”
air. That’s quite a predicament for one of Pride’s big-
gest stars. Henderson still loves Pride, loves the Pride One of Henderson’s new ventures is the Clinch Gear clothing line. You
rules, and is ready to go to Japan when the time comes. can go to www.clinchgear.com to see his new t-shirts and board shorts.
Strike Force Live                                                                                        Page 5

Cung Le brings the fight to Tony Fryklund in front of his rabid hometown fans. Le brought his record to 4-0.

By thomaS hackett                       heavy on local talent slugged its      moment.
                                        way through 13 action-packed
A few weeks have gone since             bouts, with hardly a slow moment       The most important news to re-
Total-MMA had the privilege of          from a 4 pm preliminary bell time      port is that Frank Shamrock won
attending EliteXC/Strike Force’s        to its finish near midnight. Helped    his headline fight by completing a
“Shamrock vs. Baroni” show-             along by a glamorous stage show        viscous beating of Phil Baroni with
down in San Jose, CA.                   complete with fireworks, a hydrau-     a rear naked choke in the second
                                        lic lift, and a DJ scratching and      round.
Pundits like Dave Meltzer called it     mixing, not to mention an army
“probably the best MMA show of          of ring girls more numerous than       While mostly dominated by Sham-
the year” and some hailed its main      many events entire fighter rosters;    rock’s cleaner and quicker strikes,
event as a candidate for fight of the   StrikeForce/Elite XC has clearly       Baroni landed several flurries to
year honors.                            found a winning formula to send        stagger Shamrock, particularly to
                                        their California crowds into hyster-   the San Jose native’s body. The two
I’ll wager if you ask anyone in         ics.                                   brawled on their feet, scrambled on
attendance at HP Pavilion in San                                               the mat, and ultimately hobbled to
Jose, California that night, you’ll     But, was it really that good? Well,    the bout’s conclusion. Shamrock
get the same impression. A roster       yes and no, but more on that in a      would describe a litany of injuries

Strike Force Live                                                                                          Page 6

in a post-fight interview, including (incredibly) a torn   round in Thailand. But the Denver, Colorado native,
ACL and MCL, to explain his fade. Baroni was said to       who memorably made his ring entrance to the tune of
have suffered a hernia and a pulled groin.                 the Karate Kid “You’re The Best” theme, exited to the
                                                           theme of the evening when he was eventually drawn
Earlier, San Jose’s Cung Le continued his undefeated       into a brawl. Daley landed a huge right hand in a sec-
MMA career with a third round stoppage of Tony             ond round exchange and ended the bout with strikes
Frykund. Le began exhibiting the arsenal typical of        on the ground to collect a minor upset.
his previous San Shou career, scoring with kicks and
punches seldom seen in MMA. But he too would               This brings us back to the original point made by Mr.
slow as the rounds progressed, allowing Fryklund to        Meltzer. Sure, it was a great and emotional night in
take some advantage in the second with some fairly         San Jose, but I still mostly disagree with his
crisp counter boxing. Early in the third, a Le launched
a blitz of lefts and rights to end the bout. The Mili-
tech-trained Fryklund’s career has taken something
of a nosedive lately, and he would admit in the locker
room, “I didn’t have confidence in my ground game.”

Again, the hometown fighter didn’t fail to electrify
the fans, but he also failed to show any progress from
his previous MMA bouts and perhaps revealed a new
problem in his stamina.

Murilo “Ninja” Rua completed a successful North
American MMA debut in yet another wild brawl
against Joey Villasenor. Rua recovered from a hard
left hook from Villasenor, who would later remark “I
thought I had him. I lost it and I don’t know why.”
“Ninja” used his familiar wide-open striking style to
claim an advantage and finally get the stoppage in the
second stanza.

Not to be outdone, super heavyweights Paul Buentello
and Carter Williams combined for another yes, wild
toe-to-toe exchange. Buentello knocked Williams
senseless with a series of uppercuts, then electrified
the crowd by dedicating his brutal knockout to his           Middleweight Phil Baroni tested positive for Boldenone
“compadres mexicanos.”                                       and Stanozolol Metabolites, the California State Athletic
                                                            Commission announced Tuesday afternoon. The 31-year-
It was a rare bout that evening in San Jose which            old from Long Island, New York has been fined $2,500
would offer more technique than aggression. On the           and suspended 365 days from the conclusion of his loss
undercard, Chris Cariaso displayed a clean and mea-         against Frank Shamrock on June 22 in San Jose. The final
sured southpaw Muay Thai attack in his decision win          51 days of that suspension will be fulfilled at the start of
over Anthony Figueroa. Duane “Bang” Ludwig and               Baroni’s next licensing year, should he decide to reapply.
Paul “Semtex” Daley followed the main event and
sadly, their fine bout would serve as an afterthought.        Frank Shamrock, Cung Le and Anthony Fryklund all
Ludwig dominated Nottingham’s Daley in a deliber-              passed their tests for both steroids and street drugs.
ate first round which recalled the slow pace of an early

Strike Force Live                                                            Page 7


                    Writers have always struggled to express what’s great
                    about the fight game(s). The truth is what makes them
                    compelling isn’t due symbolism, because the truth is
                    much simpler. Despite its intricate nature, the appeal
                    of MMA is at its heart is simple. Max Kellerman may
                    as well have been talking about MMA when he said
                    what makes boxing great is “totally literal... it’s ten-
                    nis without the ball.” In fact, maybe it’s a better fit for
                    his analogy: with its fewer rules, its toe-to-toe nasty
                    brawls bring out adrenaline that perhaps nothing else
                    in sports can muster.

                    With that in mind, StrikeForce/Elite XC may not be
                    the Wimbledon of the fight games (yet), but they have
                    created a product that’s a sight to behold. Watch the
                    phenomenon of Cung Le’s flag waving fans, listen to
                    the near-religious devotion to Frank Shamrock, and
                    see their guys go toe-to-toe, bringing out that fight
                    night adrenaline.

                    Again, there’s the temptation to sink into hyperbole.
                    There’s clearly too much true, raw emotion and too
                    much skill behind a show like this to compare it to
                    junk food. But lacking a single fighter among the very
                    best of their division or a classic technical display, it
                    may be fair to say that that on June 21 2007, Strike-
                    Force/Elite XC offered MMA fans more of a sudden
                    and emotional rush than a lasting impression.

                                 Event Results
                    Seth Kleinbeck d. Sam Spengler – TKO (Strikes) 2nd Round (2:55)
                    Chris Cariaso d. Anthony Figueroa – Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds)
                    Rex Richards d. Ray Seraille – TKO (Punches) 1st Round (:34)
                    Luke Stewart d. Jason Von Flue – TKO (Strikes) 3rd Round (2:17)
                    Mike Pyle d. Aaron Wetherspoon – Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds)
                    Nik Theotikos d. Nikk Covert – KO (Punch) 1st Round (1:13)
                    Edson Berto d. Victor Valenzuela – Sub (Heel Hook) 1st Round (:47)
                    Paul Buentello d. Carter Williams – KO (Punch) 2nd Round (:10)
                    Murilo Rua d. Joey Villasenor – TKO (Strikes) 2nd Round (1:05)
                    Josh Thomson d. Nick Gonzalez – Sub (Rear Naked Choke) 1st Round
                    Cung Le d. Tony Fryklund – TKO (Strikes) 3rd Round (:25)
                    Frank Shamrock d. Phil Baroni – TKO (Rear Naked Choke) 2nd Round
                    Paul Daley d. Duane Ludwig – TKO (Strikes) 2nd Round (:42)

Ufc73: Stacked                                                                                                                     Page 8

By roBIn JahdI                                  I had a very grave fear as this show ap-        was no problem, as he simply dominated

                                                proached: as big name and exciting as it        them on the ground. Sadly, his career has
        shall endeavour not to get car-         ostensibly was, there was always the very       not been filled with Tamura-level fighters,
        ried away with the mind-blowing         real danger, with the three top matches         so he has endured lengthy assaults from
        stackedness of this card, despite       featuring effective MMA wrestlers, of a         Mirko Filipovic and Bob Sapp before
Mike Goldberg’s grand proclamation that         touch of lay and pray. With two of those        finally overcoming them, not to mention
this is the finest card of fights ever formu-   matches being five-rounders, that danger        the unreal ground and pound from Fedor
lated; my effort will be made retroactively     was profound indeed. But before we get          Emelianenko, of the brutal kind there is no
easier by the actual broadcast PPV belying      into those, there was the little matter of a    heroic rallying from.
the paper quality of the show.                  debuting Nogeira.
                                                                                                This nearly came to a frightening head at
Still, viewers were treated to two title        Antonio Rodrigo (shame on Buffer for the        UFC 73 in the closing moments of the first
fights (a mixed blessing if ever there was      mispronunciation, and on Rogan for skip-        round of his fight with Heath Herring, a
one), a grudge match between two stars,         ping the surname altogether) Nogueira is a      man he has twice comfortably defeated.
the debut of an elite heavyweight fighter       fighter who fills me with massive concern.      That high kick thrown by Herring, which
and even a freebie lightweight match.           While he is indubitably one of the finest       downed Nogueira like few shots have,
As a Bravo viewer, ergo one who didn’t          heavyweights this young sport has yet           seemed to be enough for Herring to steal
pay PPV rates, this was actually quite the      seen, his strategy seems to involve wading      a round Nogueira had handily won until
show. Not the best this year or anything (I     into enemy fire until he finds a way to win;    then. Fair enough, as Heath was closer to
terms of sheer thrills, that last Pride USA     this is a strategy that is visibly taking its   finishing than Nogueira had been.
show is still king), but it was the finest      toll on the man.
Zuffa show in some time.                                                                        What the ‘Texas Crazy Horse’ will no
                                                Against grapplers like Kiyoshi Tamura this      doubt be ruing, though, is his inability to

UFC 73                                                                                                                            Page 9

finish a clearly imperilled Nogueira, instead trying to wave the        ally feared for his safety of consciousness.
ex-Brazilian Top Team totem to his feet, thereby killing both time
and his chance at a massive upset. (Indeed, Herring should have         Sean Sherk used to be routinely referred to as a smaller Matt
thrown caution to the wind at this stage; a win over Brad Imes          Hughes, but that is hard to believe. Against even top notch op-
will only buy so many lunches.)                                                                  ponents like Penn, St. Pierre and Trigg,
                                                                                                 his wins have come inside the distance.
With round one in the record books, and                                                          While Sherk has the same stoppage rate
Nogueira slowly collecting his faculties,         “But for every easy                            at Hughes (seven out of their last ten
the flow of the fight ebbed irrevocably                                                          wins), Sherk’s wins over high quality op-
back in the favour of the former Pride        takedown Sherk won, and                            position – Diaz, Florian and now Franca
                                                                                                 – have been awarded by the judges. It
FC heavyweight champion. Nogueira
predictably enjoyed the best of the            for every time he passed                          is frustrating as a viewer to see a man
ground action, though it is to Herring’s
credit that the Texan wasn’t as open to
                                               Franca’s guard like a hot                         so eminently skilled, so strong both of
                                                                                                 sinew and will, so unable to stop his op-
submissions as last time they fought,
which ended with a glorious anaconda
                                              muscle shark through but-                          ponents in the big show.

choke. By the end of the fight, Noguei-        ter, I couldn’t help won-                         Rogan expressed his amazement at
ra’s cleaner boxing style and majority of                                                        Sherk’s brilliance during the fight, and
the offence meant he would be spared           dering why the stoppage                           some writers have expressed the opinion
                                                                                                 that boredom during this last fight must
the indignity of the UFC debut loss that
has haunted such names as Herring and          neither arrived nor even                          be due to ignorance; there really seems
                                                 looked imminent. As                             to be something of the naked Emperor
                                                                                                 about Sherk. One wonders how much
Sean Sherk is an incredible athlete. He
maintains a sublime body in that it is
                                              outclassed as Franca was,                          of this is genuine feeling, or whether it
                                                                                                 is instead an over-protesting reaction to
incredibly thickly muscled but manages        I never actually feared for                        the UFC attendees who boo ground work
to avoid tiring over the five round course                                                       due to their own ignorance, or even the
of a twenty-five minute fight. Joe Rogan               his safety of                             UFC matchmakers who reward people
                                                                                                 for clumsily trading punches in a bar
commented that he was the epitome of a
champion, an assertion with which, his              consciousness.”                              brawl-style fight.
hard work and high skill level accepted, I
will have to disagree quite vehemently.                                                           I love grappling. I am even a fan of Dean
                                                                        Lister, Ricardo Arona and Paolo Filho; I was bored by that match.
The main reason why I cannot agree with Sherk epitomising the           I was bored because Sherk averaged one serious submission
MMA champion is because I see little inspiring in him, and I            attempt per round, because his ground and pound was largely
firmly believe a champion (certainly the epitome thereof) should        non-existent; I was bored because, for a man dominated, Franca
be as much about inspiration as dogged perspiration. With that in       made more of an active effort to finish the fight, with his knees
mind it is hard for this fan to be inspired by a fighter who actually   and guillotine attempts. As technically great as Sherk is, I fear his
seems intent on working for a decision over a stoppage.                 reign may hinder the public thirst for lightweight mixed martial
                                                                        arts; that he is such a powerful champion renders the fear quite
I’m not saying Sherk is lazy in the slightest, nor am I disparaging     profound.
Hermes Franca. Franca, a representative of the last time UFC had
a lightweight division through his battles with the likes of Caol       A champion I never fear watching is Anderson Silva. It is safe
Uno and Yves Edwards, and vanquisher of TUF 5 alumni Gabe               to say that after dismantling four straight opponents in the UFC,
Ruediger and Nate Diaz (I suppose Gabe isn’t technically an             Silva has certainly arrived. I would have said that Nathan Mar-
alumnus due to getting kicked off the show early) seemed a pretty       quardt represented Silva’s sternest Zuffa-based test yet, but then I
logical opponent for Sherk. He was certainly more qualified as a        thought Franklin would be a big test for him, before they fought.
lightweight than either Florian or, indeed, Sherk were when they
challenge for the belt originally.                                      Yes, on a card that fulfilled the promise of both Sherk-Franca
                                                                        and Ortiz-Evans (I’m not even going to bother with that one,
No, Sherk’s performance was near-constant domination of a very          other than to say I dread the rematch) bouts going the distance,
good lightweight veteran; a masterclass in technique and stamina.       I dreaded this one. Said dread was based in no small part on the
But for every easy takedown Sherk won, and for every time he            Nate-Salaverry (and if Ivan has really retired, I’d like to wish him
passed Franca’s guard like a hot muscle shark through butter, I         all the best, as he was one of my favourite fighters. It is rare that
couldn’t help wondering why the stoppage neither arrived nor            someone can deliver highlight reel submissions in the UFC, then
even looked imminent. As outclassed as Franca was, I never actu-        blow kisses to his fans) fight that both still haunts my nightmares
                                                                        and got both guilty parties fired.
UFC 73                                                                                                                          Page 10

                                                                       stand him in good stead. Hopefully this is a sign he intends to
The ray of hope came in the vicious beating Nate gave to the           keep his buttocks syringe-free.
tough Dean Lister, but my assumption was that Silva’s aggres-
sion would lead to the Nate of the Salaverry fight, rather than the    In all, this was a fine card. Not the greatest PPV ever, as outlined
Lister – or even the Doerksen – fight. Thankfully, both Marquardt      above, but an incredibly solid card from top to bottom; it’s just
and Silva came with fireworks in their fists, and Silva displayed      a shame a couple of the marquee fights were rather damp and
the most terrifyingly accurate ground and pound bomb since             squibular. If this was Stacked, it seems rather a misnomer com-
‘Shogun’ stopped Overeem at Pride 33. This fandom of Silva             pared to the treats August promises, in the shape of Gonzaga vs.
comes not simply from the fact that he throws bombs and pleases        Couture and Koscheck vs. St. Pierre. The UFC seems to be on a
the great unwashed, but because he takes calculated risks in the       roll – as long as they stop screwing UK audiences with TV-level
heat of battle.                                                        cards, eh?

Calculated risks paid off for ‘Lights Out’ as Chris Lytle im-
pressed against Jason Gilliam, though I am unsure to what
extent a win over Gilliam should impress. The final moments of
the fight were excellent, as Lytle worked two submission holds
simultaneously. Though the tap was announced to be from the
marvellous reverse triangle from top, it was the arm that Gilliam
was gingerly moving post-match.

Lytle is a fighter I never groan about, but it is hard to say I am
dying to see him fight again soon given the fact that 170 is so
stacked with talent. With nothing against Lytle, I would much
rather watch the imminent St. Pierre vs. Koscheck and Fitch vs.
Sanchez bouts. A win or two over name competition should see
                                                                       CSAC STATEMENT
‘Lights Out’ re-ascend to a PPV position, wherein we viewers can
discern what he really has left.                                       * Sean Sherk, the reigning UFC World Lightweight
                                                                       Champion, who last competed on July 7, 2007 in
Less impressive was returning fellow TUF alumnus, and friend of        Sacramento, has tested positive for Nandrolone
Rich Franklin, Jorge Gurgel. Despite a fair amount of TUF hype,        Metabolite. He has been fined $2,500. His suspension
writing on his passion for the sport, and his ostensible talent, the
                                                                       period runs from the conclusion of his bout on July
Brazilian fighter is still yet to show he deserves placing among
the elite in MMA. While he won a unanimous 30-27 decision, I           7, 2007 through the remainder of his licensing year
fail to see how he won the second round over compatriot Diego          which is June 26, 2008. Furthermore, he has been
Saraiva, who nailed him with numerous effective, if sloppy,            assessed an additional 10 days in order to fulfill the
punches to little riposte.                                             terms of his suspension (365 total days). The addi-
                                                                       tional days will be added at the beginning of his next
That said, Gurgel did just enough in the slower rounds one and
three to secure the decision. He was a tad more consistently of-       licensing year when he reapplies.
fensive on the feet, and delivered ground and pound that, while
never particularly dramatic, logged unanswered points in a frus-        Normal levels of Nandrolone range from 2 ng/mL
trated and neutralised Saraiva guard.                                  (average person) to 6 ng/mL (athlete engaged in
                                                                       rigorous activity). Mr. Sherk’s reported level certified
Though less auspiciously placed on the card than he was a couple
of years ago, Stephan Bonnar attained temporary respite from           by the Director of Science and Technology from the
the career freefall that has thus far seen consecutive losses to       laboratory that conducted the tests was 12 ng/mL.
Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin (the latter coming by a far           Both the “A” sample and “B” sample were tested and
clearer margin than their Finale 1 fight, and both hot on the heels    confirmed as positive.
of a controversial win over Keith Jardine) compounded by testing
positive for horse steroid Boldenone.
                                                                       * Hermes Franca, who last competed for UFC on
While opponent Mike Nickels is far from career-saving in stature,      July 7, 2007, has tested positive for Drostanolone.
Bonnar’s first round rear choke victory was an impressive show         He has been fined $2,500. His suspension period
of grappling against a Machado purple belt. The ‘American              runs from the conclusion of his bout on July 7, 2007
Psycho’ has an appealing demeanour and, though he is unlikely
                                                                       through the end of his licensing year which is July 5,
to challenge the likes of Quinton Jackson or Mauricio Rua, his
combination of second-tier skill and charming personality should       2008.

Kimbo Slice                                                                                                             Page 11

 A N Y wAY Y O U S L I C E I T,
By mIke Farrow                              body that he is an athlete and not just a    these people as they are the same peo-
                                            street thug.                                 ple who praised PRIDE for years, while

          evin Ferguson has lived an                                                     ignoring the amount of junk matches
          interesting life as Kimbo Slice   Now, everybody who got very excited          PRIDE promoted in that time.
          and has an interesting way of     by this win needs to take a deep breath.
making a living. His recorded brawls        The Floridian showed that he has some        Next up is a match with “Tank” Ab-
on the internet have gained him fame        brains and was willing to learn some         bott on the 14th of September, which
and notoriety and one of his oppo-          proper technique. He closed the dis-         is more of a test for Kimbo than Ray
nents, Sean Gannon, gained such fame        tance, got to a clinch and went for a        Mercer represented. However, the
from defeating Kimbo that it led to         takedown, but Mercer showed little in        level of that test is dependant on Ab-
his own fighting career for the UFC,                                                     bott’s desire and dedication to fighting.
which quickly hit the buffers after a                                                    Since his return to MMA in 2003, Tank
crushing defeat to Brandon Lee Hinkle                                                    has lost six out of seven fights, with his
in his first bout. Kimbo’s journey is                                                    last two losses combining for a mere
much different.                                                                          three minutes of action. Should Tank
                                                                                         not turn up in shape, one would assume
After being offered a bout against Ray                                                   that Kimbo will win comfortably. If
Mercer for Cage Fury Fighting Cham-                                                      Kimbo can survive the fast start, Tank
pionships this year, Kimbo put himself                                                   will gas, so he has to go in with the idea
on the road to change.                                                                   that he can outwork him once Tank has
                                                                                         blown his load.
Kimbo left Florida and headed out           Kimbo Slice has worked as a body-
West to train with Bas Rutten and Sean       guard for RK Netmedia, a Miami              You have to question how far an MMA
Tompkins. Kimbo seemed to take this         based pornography company. His               novice with a streetfighting background
bout seriously, which was at total odds      bareknuckle boxing record is 7-1.           can go at the age of 31. It would seem
with his lifestyle. Kimbo surprised                                                      doubtful that Kimbo Slice can climb to
                                                He is undefeated in MMA.
himself and others by turning himself                                                    the heights of a major world champion,
into a mixed martial artist.                the way of skills and thus was quick-        but his engaging personality, interest-
                                            ly submitted. If anything is clear, the      ing personal story and desire to fight
Kimbo’s quick submission victory over       learning curve starts here.                  leave him poised to continue on the
Ray Mercer was impressive in its econ-                                                   same path which he has been tread-
omy. He fooled the world and fought         Cage Fury feels they have a star on their    ing, that of an underground cult hit that
like a mixed martial artist. After he       hands in Kimbo Slice. He certainly has       occasionally pops its head above the
complained about Sean Gannon’s us-          an attraction to a niche market. How         parapet.
age of mixed martial arts techniques        big that market is and whether they can
in their streetfight, he executed a smart   pay the bills is another matter entirely,    He is surprisingly aware of himself and
gameplan against the limited Mercer.        but there is definitely an interest in the   how far he can go. Bas Rutten speaks
                                            streetfighting Floridian within the press    highly of Kimbo’s ability, and Bas is
Eschewing a potential boxing match,         and the MMA world.                           a serious man when it comes to fight-
where Mercer would beat Kimbo with                                                       ers. One thing is for sure, if the people
his experience, Slice took the bout to      Of course, there is certain snootiness       and the press of Atlantic City remain
unfamiliar territory for Mercer, win-       about being interested in Slice, with        supportive, Kimbo will be returning to
ning the match via guillotine choke         many people calling the Mercer match         Cage Fury for the foreseeable future.
from the guard. Kimbo showed every-         a freak show. I cannot help but ignore

Tom Gentleman Rankings                                                                                                  Page 12

                  4. RANDY COUTURE – TEAM COUTURE                    14. PAUL BUENTELLO – AKA
                  5. MIRKO CROCOP – CROCOP SQUAD GYM                 15. PE DE PANO – GBCT
                  6. TIM SYLVIA – MFS                                16. BRANDON VERA – 10th PLANET JJ/CCFA
                  7. ANDRE ARLOVSKI – TEAM PITBULL                   17. JAKE O’BRIEN – TEAM PUNISHMENT/DAMAGE INC.

                  1. SHOGUN RUA – CHUTE BOXE                         11. HOUSTON ALEXANDER – TEAM DOYLE
                  2. DAN HENDERSON – TEAM QUEST                      12. RICARDO ARONA – BTT
                  3. WANDERLAI SILVA – CHUTE BOXE                    13. ANTONIO ROGERIO NOGUEIRA – BLACK HOUSE
                  4. QUINTON JACKSON – TEAM COUTURE                  14. ALISTAIR OVEREEM – GOLDEN GLORY
                  7. TITO ORTIZ – TEAM PUNISHMENT                    17. STEPHAN BONNAR – TEAM COUTURE
   LIGHT          9. JASON LAMBERT – NCFA                            19. DAVID HEATH – TULSA TOP TEAM

                  1. ANDERSON SILVA – BLACK HOUSE                    13. MARTIN KAMPMANN – TEAM COUTURE
                  2. RICH FRANKLIN – TEAM GURGEL                     14. TRAVIS LUTTER – LION’S DEN DALLAS
                  3. YUSHIN OKAMI – WK NETWORK                       15. DENIS KANG – ATT
                  5. ROBBIE LAWLER – MFS                             17. CHAEL SONNEN – TEAM QUEST
                  6. PAULO FILHO – BLACK HOUSE                       18. AKIHIRO GONO – TEAM GRABAKA
                  7. FRANK TRIGG – J-SECT/R1 GYM                     19. JOE DOERKSEN – TEAM MUNDURUCA/ELITE PERFORMANCE
                  8. MAYHEM MILLER – TEAM QUEST                      20. THALES LEITES – NOVA UNIAO
                  9. MATT LINDLAND – TEAM QUEST                      21. FRANK SHAMROCK – FRANK SHAMROCK TEAM
                                                                     22. MURILO NINJA – CHUTE BOXE
                  10. JEREMY HORN – ELITE PERFORMANCE
                                                                     23. PATRICK COTE – BTT CANADA/SITYODTONG USA
                  11. TREVOR PRANGLEY – LION’S DEN IDAHO
                                                                     24. PHIL BARONI – HAMMER HOUSE/TEAM COUTURE
                                                                     25. AMAR SULOEV – RED DEVIL SPORT CLUB
                  1. MATT SERRA – SERRA/LONGO JJ                     14. JOSH BURKMAN – TEAM QUEST
                  2. GEORGE ST. PIERRE – TRI-STAR GYM                15. DREW FICKETT – ACS
                  3. MATT HUGHES – MFS                               16. PE DE CHUMBO – GRACIE PITBULL
                  4. JOSH KOSCHECK – AKA                             17. MARK MILLER – GILBERT GRAPPLING/HELLHOUSE
                                                                     19. JOSH NEER – MFS
                                                                     20. THIAGO ALVES – ATT
                  8. SHINYA AOKI – PARAESTRA TOKYO
                  9. JON FITCH – AKA                                 21. MARCUS DAVIS – MFS
                                                                     22. FORREST PETZ – STRONG STYLE FIGHT TEAM
                                                                     23. OUTLAW DAN HARDY – ROUGH HOUSE GYM
                  11. KUNIYOSHI HIRONAKA – ACADEMIA AZ
                  12. NICK DIAZ – CESAR GRACIE                       24. DAIZO ISHIGE – SK ABSOLUTE
                  13. AKIRA KIKUCHI – KILLER BEE                     25. SATORU KITAOKA – PANCRASEISM

                  3. JZ CAVALCANTI – ATT                             13. SEAN SHERK – MINNESOTA MARTIAL ARTS ACADEMY
                  4. MITSUHIRO ISHIDA – T-BLOOD                      14. YOSUKE ENDO – GOKITA GYM/KIGUCHI DOJO
                  5. TATSUYA KAWAJIRI – T-BLOOD                      15. FRANK EDGAR – RHINO FIGHT TEAM
                  6. MARCUS AURELIO – ATT                            16. HERMES FRANCA – TEAM ARMORY
                  7. HAYATO SAKURAI – MACH DOJO                      17. TYSON GRIFFIN – TEAM COUTURE
                  8. VITOR SHAOLIN – NOVA UNIAO                      18. CAOL UNO – WK NETWORK
                  10. JOACHIM HANSEN – TEAM FRONTLINE                20. DIN THOMAS – ATT

              2. HATSU HIOKI – ALIVE
                                                                     14. TENKEI FUJIMIYA – STG YOKOHAMA
                                                                     15. SAKAE KASUYA – K’Z FACTORY
                   3. JEFF CURRAN – CURRAN JJ                        16. WICKY AKIYO – STG YOKOHAMA
                   5. LION TAKESHI – STG YOKOHAMA                    18. JOAO HERDY – DAMAGE INC./TEAM MONTEIRAO
                   6. RANI YAHYA – ATIADA JR JJ                      19. EBEN KANESHIRO – KAMOLE JJ
                   7. KID YAMAMOTO – KILLER BEE                      20. JOE PEARSON – MFS
                   8. FREDSON PAIXAO – GBCT                          21. CUB SWANSON – MOREIRA JJ
                   10. URIJAH FABER – CCFA                           23. ANDRE DIDA – CHUTE BOXE
                   11. MIKE BROWN – ATT                              24. YOSHIRO MAEDA – PANCRASE INAGAKIGUMI
                   12. HIDEO TOKORO – TEAM ZST                       25. DJ TAIKI – KIBA
                   13. MARK HOMINICK – TEAM TOMPKINS

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