22 LAS VEGAS WEEKLY by fjwuxn


                As mixed martial arts becomes a phenomenon in the U.S.,
                Las Vegas is poised to become its capital BY JOSHUA LONGOBARDY
 SINCE THE EARLY ’70s, when Bruce                                                                                                              bearing maximal cleavage; and of course
 Lee incorporated various disciplines of                                                                                                       the celebrities, like Carey Hart and Jenna
 unarmed combat into his karate style, the                                                                                                     Jameson. Most of whom had shown up for
 sport of mixed martial arts has been BIG.                                                                                                     the actual fights, and not just the social
 Like Tyson-Holyfield II BIG. Like NCAA                                                                                                        event UFC’s shows have become.
 Final Four Championships BIG. Like                                                                                                                “The last boxing match I worked as part
 Super Bowl BIG. (Think 90,000 insatiable                                                                                                      of the Nevada State Athletic Commission
 fans at Tokyo National Stadium for Pride                                                                                                      was the Oscar De La Hoya-Ricardo
 Fighting Championship’s Shockwave/                                                                                                            Mayorga fight (which, you know, was a
 Dynamite event, cheering and anguish-                                                                                                         major event), and at the first match of the
 ing as if the world depended on the out-                                                                                                      undercard there was no more than 500
 come of each fight.)                                                                                                                          people scattered across the arena,” said
     But just not in America, where mixed                                                                                                      Marc Ratner, who attended thousands of
 martial arts—otherwise known as                                                                                                               fights as executive director of the NSAC.
 MMA—is just starting to grow. It used                                                                                                         “But at the Liddell-Sobral fight, there was
 to be that fighters like Heath Herring                                                                                                        a good 5,000 watching the first fight.”
 and Kevin Randleman, two Las Vegas                                                                                                                And they stayed to watch the main
 guys who do combat with more than just                                                                                                        event, with volcanic enthusiasm—the type
 their hands, and without anything to                                                                                                          of noise and energy typical of big American
 assist them but four- to six-ounce gloves                                                                                                     spectacles and consistent with the atmo-
 on their knuckles, had to go east, to the                                                                                                     sphere of the Strip—cheering on Liddell as
 other side of the world, where mixed                                                                                                          he waged battle with the challenger inside
                                             Chuck Liddell gives his warmest regards to Babalu Sobral.
 martial arts was BIG enough to make                                                                                                           UFC’s trademark Octagon ring, 38 feet in
 them more than a daily wage: It made                                                                                                          diameter and enclosed by a cage fence four
 them into celebrities.                      Saturday Night Raw with                            first match of the night’s card commenced      feet high and locked shut.
     But then, in 2001, the Ultimate         the Lean, Mean, Ultimate                           three hours earlier and then erupted by            They cheered even louder when Liddell
 Fighting Championship organization          Fighting Machine                                   the time the champion Liddell emerged          won, knocking Sobral out with a dozen
 was reborn in the States, and, spear-          August 26, 2006:                                from the locker room, with Sobral already      strikes and one concussive blow. Sobral,
 headed by owners the Fertitta family,          Before a loud and lively crowd at the           out and ready for him. And that’s because      a crafty Brazilian well-versed in many of
 of Station Casinos fame, just last year     Mandalay Bay Events Center, UFC super-             most of “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell’s           the sport’s disciplines, such as jiu-jitsu and
 it made MMA big business in America.        stars Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin            fights end by way of first-round knockout.     kickboxing, blew his load early and ran
 Not yet BIG, but large enough that two      put on stellar shows in their respective               Sobral had been waiting to fight Liddell   straight into his demise just one minute
 new major players in Las Vegas, attor-      fights. And like all big-time fighters before      since 2002, his last loss, which came to the   and 35 seconds into the first round.
 neys Louis Palazzo and Ross Goodman,        them, they got the Saturday night party on         hands of Liddell. At 6 feet, 3 inches and          As it oftentimes happens in the UFC,
 would start a new MMA organization          the Las Vegas Strip off to a dynamic start.        205 pounds, with a Mohawk, a slight beer       the fight was so quick, wild and dictated
 right here in Las Vegas, and pour tons of      The main event, Liddell’s bout against          gut and very heavy hands, Liddell was          by primal instincts that even this cham-
 money into signing fighters like Herring.   Renato “Babalu” Sobral, was a title fight,         waiting for him too, with the raucous sup-     pionship bout featuring two of the most
 And large enough that a BIG organiza-       for the light heavyweight champion-                port of the crowd behind him.                  well-prepared fighters in the world turned
 tion like Pride FC in Japan, for which      ship belt, and so it was scheduled for five            Nobody in the UFC is adored by the         into a brawl lacking art or science. But
 Randleman fights, would bring its first     rounds instead of three, like most UFC             masses the way Liddell is. There were          this, in essence, strikes a primordial chord
 show to America this Saturday, October      fights. But few anticipated it to last that        9,000 in attendance, and they formed a         in the audience, and they left the arena on
 21, at the Thomas & Mack Center. Not yet    long, evinced by the general antsiness in          crowd typical of UFC events: bad dudes in      Saturday night absolutely invigorated.
 BIG, but just about there.                  the crowd, which was rumbling when the             Tapout T-shirts and their bad-ass chicks,          “Ah man, I’m so fucking pumped,”

24   LAS VEGAS WEEKLY                                                     PHOTOGRAPH BY LOUIE TRAUB                                                                  OCTOBER 19-25, 2006
  said David Knight, a 29-year-old fan from                                                                                                         which host small events just about every
  California. “That was an incredible fight,                                                                                                        week of the year, and an MMA fighter
  and now I have Vegas in front of me, baby.                                                                                                        must surmount these before he can reach
      “Whooooooooooooo!”                                                                                                                            UFC, Pride or, now, the WFA—and the
      On the contrary, Griffin’s fight against                                                                                                      WFA is by far the coolest, the most open-
  Stephan Bonnar demonstrated that pro-                                                                                                             minded, and they are serious about this.
  fessional mixed martial arts is not just                                                                                                              Heath Herring, veteran Pride and K-1
  two pit bulls unleashed within a locked                                                                                                           fighter out of Las Vegas who just made big
  cage. In three rounds of sustained action                                                                                                         news in the MMA world by signing with
  and calculated strikes, Griffin and Bonnar                                                                                                        the WFA on October 3, and will thus be
  showed that there is thought, tactic and                                                                                                          returning to home soil for the first time in
  above all timidity in the cage. That is, two                                                                                                      seven years (as told to mmaweekly.com): I
  human beings vying to win a competition.                                                                                                          actually called Quinton up and asked him
      Both young fighters got their start in                                                                                                        about these guys. He said they were good
  the organization on UFC’s reality series,                                                                                                         guys. I know Jeremy Lappen, who is CEO
  The Ultimate Fighter, on Spike TV. The                                                                                                            of the company, and I think there are some
  show, now in its fourth season, has been                                                                                                          intelligent people behind this company
  the medium of UFC’s prodigious growth                                                                                                             that know what they’re doing.
  throughout America, says UFC’s president                                                                                                              If you had a good deal of money
  and micromanager of all its operations,                                                                                                           to start an MMA organization, as it
  Dana White. For not only did it expose                                                                                                            appears the WFA does, would you focus
  the fledging sport to the masses, it also                                                                                                         your operations in Las Vegas?
  acquainted the fans with individual ath-                                                                                                              Brandon Adamson, an MMA fighter
  letes like Bonnar, 29, and Griffin, 27. So                                                                                                        from the esteemed Miletich wrestling camp
  that on Saturday night, when they fought                                                                                                          in Iowa: Definitely. Vegas is the fight capi-
  the rematch of their legendary battle at                                                                                                          tal of the world. The majority of the fight-
  the conclusion of the show’s first season, it                                                                                                     ers here are elite.
  was as if the fans in the crowd were cheer-                                                                                                           UFC President Dana White: For us, Las
  ing for friends or even family.                                                                                                                   Vegas was the natural decision.
      The fight went all three rounds, and                                                                                                              Scott Ence, part owner of Fight Club,
  in the end of a close and bloody match,                                                                                                           near Valley View Boulevard and Tropicana
  the judges declared Griffin the winner.                                                                                                           Avenue: Las Vegas is the best now. There’s
  After the fight, as is customary at MMA         Forrest Griffin strikes the pose.                                                                 gyms popping up all the time, and you can
  events, a microphone was handed to                                                                                                                train in them side by side with top-class
  Griffin in the middle of the Octagon,           half ago, when pay-per-view sales hovered              At the press conference following          athletes. It all goes back to the UFC and
  so that he would seduce the crowd into          around a respectable 280,000 (at $34.95            the fight, at which the BIG media was          the success they’ve had. We have a lot of
  loving him, because just as the gladiators      each), and four years before that, when the        absent—the ESPNs and the USA Todays            UFC fighters who train at our own gym.
  in ancient Rome knew, winning over the          new UFC had been raised from the grave             and the Sports Illustrateds—Dana White             Jeremy Lappen, who revived the dor-
  coliseum is critical.                           by its risk-taking owners, Dana White and          introduced Liddell as the light heavy-         mant WFA early this year with the mon-
      Griffin did.                                the Station Casinos moguls, Frank and              weight champion of the world. This, by         etary backing of Las Vegas attorneys Louis
      And they cheered him, like a hero.          Lorenzo Fertitta.                                  and large, was not accurate, because there     Palazzo and Ross Goodman (as told to
      Yet, he would later say that he does not        The UFC has been around since 1993,            is competition Liddell must first conquer      Whaledog.com): Everyone saw how suc-
  yet feel like a celebrity; and that’s because   but for good reason it suffered the bad rep-       before earning that status. Even Liddell       cessful the UFC was; everyone sees there’s
  the UFC in specific, and MMA in general,        utation of being little more than human            understood this, and so he, who will           now money in it. We wanted to resurrect
  is not yet BIG in America.                      cockfighting. Even Marc Ratner, then               fight fellow UFC superstar Tito Ortiz on       the WFA brand. We have money and the
      Not BIG like Oscar De La Hoya, who          the venerable head of the Nevada State             December 30, pointed out on several occa-      political power to compete with Zuffa [the
  sold more than 1 million pay-per-view           Athletic Commission, went on TV and                sions that he wants nothing more than to       UFC’s parent company]. The UFC needs
  subscriptions for his fight last May, and       said the UFC would never take place in             fight the best: Wanderlei Silva, a Brazilian   competition. Without it, they cannot go as
  made over $20 million for himself when          Nevada. But then White and the Fertittas           warrior from the Pride organization, and       far as they want to.
  it was all said and done. Not yet BIG           took over, and got the sport regulated—            Rampage Jackson, the formidable bulldog            Urijah Faber, one of the world’s best 145-
  like Mike Tyson, whose selling power            gave it rules, weight classes, fight doctors,      from MMA’s newest sensation in America,        pound fighters, on why, in mid-September,
  has been so strong during the past two          judges—and then got Ratner not only to             the World Fighting Alliance.                   he chose to sign with the WFA: They offered
  decades—not only bringing in hundreds           endorse the sport, but also to do so, start-                                                      me really good money compared to what
  of millions of dollars in merchandise,          ing in May of this year, as part of his new        A Few Bare-Knuckled                            the UFC does.
  advertisements, ticket sales and pay-per-       job: the vice president of government and          Questions About the                                Dana, whenever we speak to MMA
  view buys, but also sparking a substantial      regulatory affairs for the UFC.                    Upstart WFA                                    fans, they without fail bring up fight-
  increase in the Las Vegas economy dur-              “No sane businessman would have got-              Why did you sign with the new-              ers’ salaries in the UFC, and—
  ing the weekend of any of his fights—that       ten into mixed martial arts in America             est organization, the World Fighting               UFC President Dana White: How do
  even now, old, washed-up and disgraced,         when we did,” said White, who owns 10              Alliance [WFA]?                                they know what my fighters make? We’re
  he has been recruited by UFC’s competi-         percent of the UFC but receives 90 percent            Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, former           not boxing, we’re not the NBA, and we
  tion in Japan, the MMA organization             of the credit for its hard-earned success.         Pride superstar and the last man to beat the   don’t operate under the guidelines of those
  Pride Fighting Championship.                    “The turnaround came with a lot of hard            UFC’s Chuck Liddell, after participating in    sports. Problems arise when everyone
      But the UFC, a pay-per-view business        work over the last six years. It feels like it’s   the WFA’s first event, in July 2006: To be     knows how much you make. Does every-
  that now holds five or six events a year and    been 60 years.”                                    real. I’ve fought for a number of different    one know how much you make? Listen,
  is set to begin holding events in Mexico and        Now MMA has been approved by ath-              organizations—it’s true: There are several     my guys are smart—Chuck Liddell got a
  other countries, is getting there, the num-     letic commissions in 20 states, and by all         grassroots organizations around the world      degree in accounting from Cal Poly; Rich
  bers indicate. On this night tickets sold for   indications, MMA insiders say, the other
  between $100 and $750, and more than            30 are soon to follow. For, now, on account
  $3 million poured in through Mandalay           of the bountiful field the UFC has plowed,             [WHAT IS MMA?]
  Bay Event Center’s gates. These days UFC        there is good money to be harvested off
  events, above all those featuring Liddell or    MMA in America, MMA observers have
                                                                                                         JIU-JITSU: In short, submission wrestling. A sly and graceful form of grappling
  Griffin, surpass 400,000 in pay-per-view        stated on sports Internet sites and in fea-
                                                                                                         on the ground in which smaller men can make bigger men say uncle by manipu-
  buys (at $39.95 each) around the nation,        ture articles in major American newspa-
                                                                                                         lating leverage. MUAY THAI: The art of eight limbs. This discipline emphasizes
  and pack as many as 17,000 fans into the        pers. The West is becoming fertile ground
                                                                                                         eight points of striking, the hands and shins and elbows and knees, and makes one
  arenas, for the most part in Las Vegas.         for MMA events.
                                                                                                         think he’s engaged in underwater battle with an octopus. KARATE: Ever seen The
  (To put things in perspective: the World            And now UFC fighters are almost
                                                                                                         Karate Kid? BOXING: The sweet science. A discipline of fighting in which combat
  Wrestling Entertainment, a BIG entertain-       famous. “I do get some fan mail, and a lot
                                                                                                         is limited to the hands. Ali proved it to be an art as well. KICKBOXING: Just as
  er in America, routinely does 550,000 pay-      of hellos and hand shakes at the super-
                                                                                                         the name implies: Boxing, but with the permission to strike with the lower legs.
  per-view buys for its major shows.) Which       market,” said Griffin. “But I don’t feel like
                                                                                                         WRESTLING: Like they do in the Olympics, not the WWE.
  is a significant spike from just a year and a   a celebrity yet.”

OCTOBER 19-25, 2006                                                          PHOTOGRAPH BY WESLEY GATBONTON                                                            LAS VEGAS WEEKLY         25
 Franklin was a math teacher—don’t you                                                                                                          mouth superstar from UFC. Whom
 think they’d be aware if they were being                                                                                                       Kevin says he would fight for free. Any
 cheated? When one of them leaves me or                                                                                                         place, any time. Or, if it were a known
 even complains, that will be news.                                                                                                             pedophile, whom Kevin might continue
     Quinton Jackson, as told to Las Vegas                                                                                                      pounding long after the bell rung.)
 Weekly in July: The WFA’s paycheck blew                                                                                                           The ring. The thought made him antsy.
 everyone out the water.                                                                                                                        So antsy he cut short his prescribed rest
     Lappen (to Whaledog.com): We’re try-                                                                                                       time. Just wanted to get back to train-
 ing to build a fighter-first organization.                                                                                                     ing, to fighting. His girlfriend sighs, says
 My experience is that the UFC tries to                                                                                                         he’s hardheaded, but what are you gonna
 build their brand, not their fighters. Even                                                                                                    do? She chose to cook for him, get his
 now, with the UFC’s success, it’s still:                                                                                                       body weight back up to a solid, shredded,
 Who’s Chuck Liddell? Where’s he from?                                                                                                          spectacular 215 pounds. To take care of
     Jackson, on the different approach the                                                                                                     his website, his affairs. Even his phone
 WFA has taken to promoting: We went                                                                                                            calls sometimes. Whatever it takes to
 to the nightclubs. They were drunk in                                                                                                          spare her man the time and concentra-
 there—they didn’t know who I was. But if                                                                                                       tion needed to train. Now, for Mauricio
 that’s how you gotta do it now ...                                                                                                             Shogun Rua. Or just Show-Gun. His
     Lappen: We’re trying to get the                                                                                                            opponent this Saturday, October 21. No
 news out to the masses. Make our                                                                                                               doubt impressive and dangerous.
 fighters known.
     And the WFA, which, like most sports                                                                                                           Pride, with its BIG following back east,
 that aren’t yet BIG in America (such as                                                                                                        the old world, and its preeminent spot in
 bodybuilding, drift racing), relies on Internet                                                                                                the universe of mixed martial arts, has
                                                   Kevin Randleman spars with Brandon Adamson.
 sites first and foremost, in a statement                                                                                                       decided to hold its first card in America.
 issued through Sherdog.com on October 3:                                                                                                       Without hesitation, Pride chose Las Vegas,
 The World Fighting Alliance will return               —11:00 a.m., Mon. - Sat.: Boxing and      2004, this was.                                what UFC president Dana White, and
 with its second event, at the Aladdin             Muay Thai practice (sparring on t/w/th)           Went overseas. To Pride, in Japan,         boxing patriarch Don King before him,
 Resort and Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada,              —6:30 p.m., Mon. - Sat.: Wrestling and    where fighting is BIG. Has been BIG since      calls the fight capital of the world. Or just,
 on December 9. Newcomers to the WFA               Jiu-Jitsu practice                            the turn of the 21st century, in fact. Pride   as Associated Press sports reporter Tim
 Urijah Faber and Heath Herring will be                He works out with the best competi-       wanted him there. Wanted his charm,            Dahlberg puts it: “Fight Town.”
 featured in respective matches, as will           tion possible. Sometimes with guys from       his charisma, his gesticulate speech. His          Pride officials saw that the market for
 Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.                        the UFC, like Forrest Griffin and Joe         fast hands, his supernatural athleticism,      MMA had been cultivated in America
                                                   Stevenson. Sometimes with guys from           his doctorate in wrestling. They paid          by the UFC, their competitors; and their
 The Ballad of Pride Fighter                       Pride, like Hammer House teammate             him better there. The competition was          presence in Southern Nevada this autumn
 Kevin Randleman                                   Mark Coleman. Or, other times, with any       superior there—for these weren’t just the      speaks volumes in regard to how fertile
    A congenital fighter, Kevin                    of the myriad top-notch fighters who have     baddest dudes from America, they were          that field has become, say MMA insiders.
 Randleman just wants to get in the ring           come to train in what Randleman calls         the baddest dudes from Brazil and Russia       So fertile, in fact, that Pride is even willing
 again and to fight at home, in the United         the new mecca of MMA, Las Vegas. And          and the eastern hemisphere, as well. The       to conform its rules to the Nevada State
 States of America. Rest and resolve have          he works out at a variety of gyms, like the   crowds were bigger there, more invested.       Athletic Commission’s standards in order
 permitted him to do the first, and his            Fight Club, Cobra Kai and Combat Club.        He became a celebrity there. The black         to host their show here.
 employer, the renowned Pride Fighting             Randleman knows what he’s doing. No           incredible hulk with blond hair and a              And thus, no karate uniforms will be
 Championship organization in Japan,               doubt. He’s been training like a profes-      40-inch vertical. It was wild, man. But he     worn, no knees or kicks will be inflicted
 has granted him a chance to do the                sional for the past 10 years, and fighting    missed home. America.                          while one’s opponent is on the ground,
 second, on October 21, at the Thomas &            for much longer than that.                        Then he got hurt. Well, better put:        no stomping will be permitted, and the
 Mack Center here in Las Vegas.                        Randleman was born one of 12 children     He realized he had been hurt. Torn right       first round will be condensed from 10
    Which, of course, is great news to             in the state of Ohio. As a kid he was short   bicep. Fucked-up right shoulder. Fungi the     minutes to five.
 Randleman, a Las Vegas resident 5-feet            and round. He endured derision because of     size of a 10-year-old’s hand in his lungs.         The event has been tagged “The Real
 10-inches tall and 205 fatless pounds,            it, you can be sure. Had to wear corrective   And the list goes on. Doctors told him to      Deal,” and now Randleman can fight
 with two NCAA national champion-                  braces for bowleggedness, too. Absorbed,      have surgery. So he did. It was painful—       again, at home.
 ships in wrestling to his name. Because           of course, a good deal of playground jokes    both the surgery and the not fighting.             “I don’t always see eye to eye with Dana,
 after taking his first year off from pro-         for that one. But then the braces came off,       And the not going out, too. For an         especially about money,” says Randleman,
 fessional mixed martial arts in more              and he got to running. Anywhere; every-       extrovert—gregarious, ineluctable—it           “but I have a ton of respect for what he’s
 than a decade, to recover from a string           where. And fueled by the built-up aggres-     was torture to stay in. He dropped to 185      done. We can fight in America, now.”
 of nine surgeries in 11 months, and               sion of so many years being teased. That’s    pounds. Walked around his Las Vegas                Now, Randleman is ready. He’s restless.
 after searching the world for game                how the fat came off.                         house in a stupor for two months, and          He’s been punched in the face by the world
 competition and viable paychecks, he                  Then a teacher raped him. He was still    if it weren’t for the unwavering loyalty       biggest bad-asses; it doesn’t matter much.
 feels like a Corvette right out of the            a little boy then, 10 years old, Kevin was.   of his girlfriend, Elizabeth, a tall and       He’s fought the best MMA fighter in the
 mechanic’s shop: revived, and better              You can imagine the lifelong implications.    indomitable Italian woman, Kevin’s not         world—Emelianenko Fador (who will be
 than ever. He is antsy as hell from the               Rage was one of them. Randleman           sure he would have made it. He also            in Las Vegas to fight on October 21)—and
 time he wakes up (early in the morning,           grew up mad at the world. He destroyed        enjoyed the fidelity of his employers—the      almost won. He’s been knocked out by
 to do cardio) to the time he goes to bed          people in street fights. Older dudes who      Dream Stage people who own and oper-           UFC’s Chuck Liddell. He’s encountered
 (where he’ll continue to soak the sheets          hit his sisters. Drug dealers who messed      ate Pride—who are so rich that they own        the best of WFA star Rampage Jackson, a
 with anxious sweat). And you don’t                with his family. Even guys who prob-          islands in Hawaii yet found time and           fight after which he ended up unconscious
 have to be around him for more than               ably didn’t deserve it. Then he took it       compassion to visit him in Las Vegas           on his back. Moreover, he’s known pain
 a couple of minutes for it to show: He            out on the wrestling mat at Ohio State        while he was sick. “For me, people come        all his life. Been in car accidents. Seen his
 lets out spontaneous and intermittent             University, where he was a three-time         first,” Randleman says. “I like people, and    friends shot. Had his father die on him.
 yelps. He oscillates about the gym like           All-American. Felt good, to be the best in    I like people who put people first. That’s     Pain ain’t unknown to him. And so he ain’t
 a Latin dancer and bounces around his             America. A steaming bull.                     why Pride has earned my respect.”              scared of it. Just wants to get in there and
 house like an incurable boxer. And he                 Then, in 1999, he charged through the         It was then, during his convalescence,     fight. A homecoming of sorts, with his fel-
 is happy, total and true, now able to do          UFC, where he didn’t care he was fighting     that his change came to completion. Then       low expatriates Mark Coleman and Josh
 what he does best. To fight.                      guys who outweighed him by 50 pounds.         that he found the peace that had been in       Barnett (also a former UFC heavyweight
    And to train to fight. It’s what fills         Hell, no. He was just doing what he does      his back pocket the whole time. That he        champion). He just wants to bring the
 his days, what he looks forward to in the         best: fighting. They started calling him      realized his people and his fighting made      adrenaline to Las Vegas, to show them
 sparse hours he isn’t working out, what           the monster—and the name stuck. Won           him a happy man, and there was no reason       what a BIG event an MMA show can be,
 keeps him in shape and out of trouble. And        the UFC heavyweight championship belt         to vaunt his rage and aggression anywhere      and what an unstoppable fighter he is.
 this is what it looks like:                       in 2000. The monster.                         but inside the ring.                               “Man,” he says, bouncing up and down
    —6:30 a.m., Mon. - Sat.: One hour of               But it wasn’t enough. The cage didn’t         (Now, it’s no longer personal with         in his Las Vegas home, like a kid days
 weight training and 40-60 minutes of car-         exhaust all the monster’s rage. He            other fighters. Except, of course, if you’re   before Christmas. “I just want to be a win-
 dio, typically atop of Mt. Charleston             got into some shit. Like selling drugs.       talking about Tito Ortiz, the motor-           ner again. The king of my own town.”

26   LAS VEGAS WEEKLY                                                           PHOTOGRAPH BY IRIS DUMUK                                                               OCTOBER 19-25, 2006

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