Wednesday, May 31, 2006
How does the old cliché go? “Out with the old, in with the new.” Yes, it’s something like that, and after watching UFC 60 Saturday night, there truly isn’t another snazzy catchphrase in the English language that encapsulates what took place in Los Angeles. What’s out? The old school fighters of yesteryear. What’s in? Well-versed killing machines such as Matt Hughes (Pictures). Royce Gracie (Pictures), a living legend within the mixed martial arts realm in America, was soundly beaten by the younger, stronger and certainly more well rounded Hughes. The way Hughes, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight champion, handled Gracie was akin to how his Brazilian foe handled karate masters and one-gloved boxers in his heyday. Boy, when times change they are not easy on the pioneers, are they? Most so-called mixed martial arts “experts” figured that Hughes would impose his will against Gracie, utilize his immense strength and gradually ground-and-pound his opponent until the referee stopped it. Most everybody who predicted a Hughes triumph was accurate — he just did it much sooner than most expected. As it stood, Gracie was out-gunned, out-classed and simply overwhelmed. Hughes’ domination of Gracie, which finally came to a screeching halt at the 4:39 mark of the first round, symbolized what hardcore fans of the sport have gradually learned: that one must be a well-versed master of fighting in order to live among the elite of mixed martial arts. Being a master at one solitary form of fighting may be effective against lesser-known or nondescript opposition (or when teaching novices at one’s academy), but when it comes down to locking horns with the crème de le crème, honing multiple talents is not merely a plus, it’s an absolute must. Gracie’s choice to maintain almost a strictly jiu-jitsu fighting style has garnered him troves of fans and a plethora of notoriety as well as deep pockets. But in this day and age of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, his absolute mastery of the martial art that essentially created the sport in America wasn’t enough. Hell, he was almost submitted moments after the fight hit the canvas. If that doesn’t spell out that MMA has passed Royce up, nothing does. But that’s not to say that Royce Gracie (Pictures)’s legendary status is in question, nor is it right to question the man. Gracie is a UFC Hall of Famer and his loss to Hughes does nothing to take away from his legacy. Even if Royce fights on and continues to lose, that still will not diminish what he’s done for the UFC over the years and it certainly won’t take away anything from Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Royce is a legend and a man that I, and I hope everyone at Sherdog.com, will always cherish and respect. It was tough to see him rescued by “Big” John McCarthy and to witness the typically insouciant Brazilian warrior saunter despondently back to his locker room, his battered face a swollen microcosm of what he endured for nary a round, was disheartening. Royce said he’d be back and in all actuality, it would be a wise move on both his and Zuffa’s part to fight on, provided he tangles with someone more or less in his league. Someone like Ken Shamrock (Pictures), provided Shamrock is unsuccessful against Tito Ortiz (Pictures) in their rematch in July. Or Pat Miletich (Pictures), the living legend himself has been pondering coming back for one more fight before officially calling it a day. A fight like that would be enormous. But whatever Gracie opts to do from here on out, he’ll always have me on his side rooting for him. The guard has been officially passed, so to say, and the sport has been traveling in the direction of multiplicity among its fighters’ skill sets. If Saturday night wasn’t a boldface example of it, then nothing is.
by Mike Sloan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
THursday May 25th. First fight was Kevin Powell with a first round tapout of Dan Estal, then the next fight was Joshua Anspach Choking out Justin Tincher with a nice triangle choke to finish that in round one also.
Next was a heavyweight grappling match between the heavyweights,Dave Cavanugh and Travis Christ ..we didnt have a winnerhere it was a draw. I didnt get a pic of Dave , but Travis has been in the ring a few times before and rarley gets pictured so there you go ...heeeeerrreeess TRavis !
Kevin Powell stepped up again and TKO'd Matt Jenecheck in the fight before the main event .
Main event was Chris Walker taking it to Mike Cavanaugh and getting a TKO in round 2 , this was the best fight of the night , both guys were ready and willing to throw hard and take chances,congrats to Chris Walker.
Monday, May 22, 2006
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ARTICLE FROM THE BOSTON HERALD NEWSPAPER: Ultimate Fighting Championship Sunday, May 21, 2006 - Updated: 03:11 PM EST The Herald offers this exclusive inside report of all the latest news and action from the Ultimate Fighting Championship. If something’s happening behind the scenes, or inside the octagon, you’ll read it here first. UFC 61 set to go While most of the mixed martial arts world is focused on next weekend’s UFC 60, featuring the much-anticipated bout between Matt Hughes and Royce Gracie, here’s an exclusive to whet your appetite: UFC 61 is waiting in the wings. The pay-per-view event is officially called “UFC 61: Bitter Rivals” and it will take place on July 8 (10 p.m., EST) at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main event will be the rubber match between heavyweights Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. Sylvia, 30, won the title at UFC 59 on April 15 by getting up off the mat to stop Arlovski at 2:43 of the first round. The 6-foot-1, 265-pounder floored the “Pit Bull” with a right hand and quickly pounced with a flurry of punches, forcing the stoppage. The 6-4, 240-pound Arlovski beat Sylvia in February of 2005 in a mere 47 seconds, forcing a submission with an ankle lock. The score will be settled in July. “I’m excited about going out there to fight Arlovski again,” said Sylvia. “He’s the best in the heavyweight division - next to me.” The featured bout on the UFC 61 card will be another one that fans will be itching to see: Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock. The coaches from “The Ultimate Fighter 3” have been going at it for months during the show and will finally have the chance to settle their differences in the best way: battling it out in the octagon. Not that the hatred between the two is anything new. Its roots can actually be traced to a 1999 UFC show in Bay St. Louis, Miss. Shamrock, who was coaching at the time, had one of his fighters go up against Ortiz, who was a newcomer to the scene. Ortiz won, but Shamrock felt his performance was disrespectful and the two had words. They had a chance to settle things at UFC 40 in November of 2002. Ortiz won the fight by TKO after the third round when Shamrock’s corner felt its fighter had had enough. The Spike TV show has obviously brought the rivalry back to a head. Ultimate Fighter 4 Speaking of the Spike TV show, which culminates with a June 24 live bout headlined by Kenny Florian vs. Sam Stout, the fourth season will offer viewers an interesting twist. “The Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback” is set to debut Thursday, Aug. 17 at 10 p.m. on Spike. The fourth season will focus on fighters whose dream of winning a UFC title have never come true. The 16 former UFC fighters - eight middleweights and eight welterweights - are already gathered in Las Vegas for production of the series, which begain yesterday. Added to the drama of these guys all living in one house is the fact that some of them are former rivals, bringing revenge and redemption into the equation. The winning middleweight and welterweight will earn title fights and a six-figure cash prize. “The Ultimate Fighter 4 is the comeback season and it’s going to be the most exciting yet,” said UFC president Dana White. ‘Everyone knows these fighters, but it’s going to be a totally different show and we’re pumped to get started on it.” Instead of coaches for the two teams, prominent UFC personalities will serve as advisors and counsels for the 16 fighters. They include Randy Couture, Georges St. Pierre and Mark Delagrati.
lET ME START BY SAYING ...the man who fought 2 fights was as big as 2 men ...lol...wow Alex Kanellis at 290 and more than 6'6 destroyed the first fighter of the in boxing night by quickly taking out Chris Holmes as Chris could not continue after getting hit, later Alex also took out veteran MMA fighter and RK favorite boxing Ryan Antle,, Ryan hung in there but was really impressed how hard Alex hit and his determination to keep comming..Ryan got an almost donkey type punch that left him dazed for a few seconds he said.
Next Tommy Takas beat Brandon Martin in a exciting NHB style fight, also not pictured in another good NHB style fight was John Davis taking out Justin Kinkaid.
Jez Elizendo stepped up next to a returning Chris Holmes who was game enought try it again the same night. Jez put the whoop on Chris as Chris left the ring with still a big heart, I'm sure he'll be back for another round another night.
The Pro main event featured Mike Pena vs Eldred "2 to " Nunn. This was a full 4 rounds of action as Nunn came out strong against Pena, but was later deducted 1 point for pushing somewhere arond the second round, as we all saw Mike at 43 yrs old turn on that "old man strength" and continue to throw blows against the younger Nunn. this was a very exciting and close fight , if it was'nt for the1 point deduction this fight would of had to of been a draw , but the 1 point gave the edge and the win to MIKE PENA...this was a great full time limit fight that got the crowd going absolutley crazy with excitement..all in all it was a great night and we had lots of fighters that didnt get a chance to fight due to no opponents and then when they did find an opponent ,, we ran out of time ..great show !!!
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Spencer Fisher – “The King” Looks to Crown WimanPosted by Aaron Rift on 05/19/2006 at 04:22 PMSpencer Fisher – “The King” Looks to Crown Wiman at UFC 60 By Thomas Gerbasi Spencer Fisher couldn’t even finish the can of Dr. Pepper in his hand. Seconds after receiving the call from manager Monte Cox in early March, the lightweight contender hung up the phone, put his soda down unfinished, and stepped on the scale. In two days, he had to find a way to drop 20 pounds and prepare to face Sam Stout on short notice at UFC 58. Two days, 20 pounds. Most fighters, especially ones who had just fought two weeks earlier, would have declined such an invitation. And understandably so. Not Fisher. “The cutting weight always sucks, but this is the only job that I’ve ever wanted, so when they offered me this fight, I was all over it,” said Fisher, who replaced the injured Kenny Florian against Stout.” Fisher, at 30, is one of those few lucky ones who has found his niche in life, grasped it with both hands and isn’t letting go. 18-2 in mixed martial arts, the North Carolina native made his UFC debut with a win over Thiago Alves last October, and he has no intentions of leaving. But there was still that issue of the 20 pounds. Debuting in the UFC as a 170-pound welterweight, Fisher was ecstatic when informed of the return of the 155-pound lightweight division at UFC 58. But after a first round submission win over Randy Hauer at a Battle at the Boardwalk show on February 17, he figured he had some time before jumping back into the Octagon at 155 pounds – hence the Dr. Pepper. But when opportunity knocked, Fisher answered and immediately got down to the torturous business of cutting weight. That entailed hitting the gym hard that very night, and making the most important call of this process, to conditioning guru Billy Rush, who has helped cut more pounds than a chain of Weight Watchers establishments. The next day, Fisher was on a plane to Las Vegas, and by the time of the weigh-in Fisher had dropped the 20 pounds and came in at the lightweight limit. He made it, as he makes sure to note “with the help of my teammates”. Now he just had to fight against Stout, a hard-hitting Canadian kid making his Octagon debut and just as eager as Fisher to stake his claim in the reinstated lightweight division. Needless to say, the resulting bout was a memorable one, with twists and turns and haymakers and flush bombs landing with thuds. It was everything you wanted in a fight and by the end of the furious three rounds, the result was up in the air. Fisher had tired from the drain of making weight, but he never stopped swinging. The same could be said of Stout, and when the verdict was rendered, it was a tight one, but the Canadian pulled it out via a split decision. There were truly no losers in the bout, but Fisher wasn’t happy with what he deemed “a poor performance.” Anyone who saw it would disagree, but when ‘The King’ steps back into the Octagon on May 27th against Matt Wiman, he vows to really put on a show. “I’m looking to get back in there and give everybody the Spencer Fisher that they want to see,” he said, but what he would really like is to get back in there with Stout. “I don’t want to make any excuses,” said the gracious Fisher. “Sam beat me. All I ask in return right now is that after his next fight, I’d like the winner. Sam won that night, whatever the reasons were, let the fans make that decision and I’ll move on.” It must be something in the water in the Miletich gym in Iowa, because these are the kinds of athletes produced by perhaps the most prolific team in the sport. They’re no nonsense fighters without the airs of superiority you can find from some in the game. They come to fight, they tell it like it is, and when the fight’s done, it’s done. They’re blue collar in the best possible way, and you don’t see that too often in any professional sport these days. “The group of guys we have here, we’re all so similar,” said Fisher. “Something made us fight – maybe we’re a little crazy, I don’t know. (Laughs) But we’re a no BS school. You come in there, personal things get pushed aside, you’re there to train, and that’s how it is. No soap opera, you get stuff done, and I think everybody walks that line in our gym.” It’s paid off for Fisher, who is finally able to dedicate his entire life to the sport and actually see a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of winning a title and eventually making this a lucrative career. Not bad for someone who once dreamed of making a career in pro wrestling. “As a kid I grew up watching professional wrestling and my heart was set on doing that,” he remembers. “Well, when I panned out to be 5-7 ½ I figured that dream was probably not gonna come true.” He can smile about it now, but when he started putting all his eggs in one basket regarding his pro fighting career, he went through the same trials, tribulations, and incessant questioning that a lot of fighters go through when they decide that this is their path in life. “When I first told my family that this is what I wanted to do, they were like, ‘come on, where is this fighting stuff gonna take you?’” said Fisher. “But my wife’s family was always asking ‘where’s this gonna take you?’ If I wholeheartedly drop everything else around and just go for this, where’s it gonna take me?” But once Fisher’s mug started appearing on TV and the wins started piling up, the weather changed a bit. “Now, my wife’s mother is a schoolteacher and she actually shows my fights to her students,” he laughs. “So I have a lot of support from my family. My wife goes to every one of my fights and she’s my training partner as well, and anybody will tell you that anybody in Miletich, male or female, if you’re part of the team, you’ll get there and bleed and sweat with the rest of us. And she does. She’s a big supporter, and we live and breathe it in this house. It’s our house, but we rent rooms out to fighters – (UFC contender) Josh Neer is my roommate; my daughters do armbars.” With that type of support, Fisher can put 100% into his fight game and the results have been obvious. And in addition to his success in the Octagon, Fisher has also gained quite a fan following, with message board threads constantly singing his praises and dubbing him a future champion. “For people to say that about me, that’s a dream come true,” said Fisher. “I remember when I first watched this stuff, I always said ‘hey, I could do that.’ And then as time went on I said ‘hey, I can be a champion at this.’ That’s all I ever wanted, for people to back me on it, and to see me accomplishing things and having people backing me is something I always wanted, and I’m just excited about it.” When it comes to that lightweight championship, Fisher is eager to bring the title back to Iowa and the same gym where the last UFC 155-pound champion, Jens Pulver, makes his home. “In my mind, Jens is still the champion,” said Fisher. “No one ever took the belt from him. But to step into that spot and take the world title, that’s my dream. Anybody who’s ever stepped into the Octagon, you’ve got to have a goal of being a world champion or they wouldn’t be fighting. At least I don’t think so. People say belts don’t matter, and they do and they don’t, but for me personally, when I fight, I want to fight to be the best. To have that title, and I honestly believe that I will eventually, it’s just a matter of time and I’m excited for it. This is what I was born to do. I’m sure everybody says that, but really, this is the only thing in my life that I’ve ever done that I was successful at.” And he’s only getting better. But there’s just one question that needs to be answered. Who’s the best fighter in the Fisher household, Spencer or his wife? “I’m on TV, but she’s the champion in our house.” How can you top that answer?
Friday, May 12, 2006
NOTE; Click on image to see full size.....
On this Thursday , things were very busy, so not all fighters were pictured, we try to get all the fighters pictures but due to sometimes last minute set ups of the fights , pictures do not always get taken, I'm building a library of fighters and eventually we should have most everybody in a file..so without further adue..here's what went down.
The first match of the night was a grudge match with 133 lb fighter Corry Hopkey taking on the much bigger man 248 lb Sean Moriarity. Big ball-sack award of the night goes to ol' Hopkey on this one, he was almost knocked out on his feet at one time but he weathered the storm only to be choked out early in the second round by Sean Moriarty, the original report said Sean lost but that was wrong and was reported wrong due to a paperwork mixup caused by the ring literally falling apart during their fight, the ring was fixed and the fight went on, sorry bout the mix up .
Next was Chris Streeter getting the win over Donny Groch, when the fight was stopped due to a cut on Donny's hand, there could be potential for a rematch on this one.
The fighters for this next fight signed up in a hurry so there are no pics, but Daniel West applied a triangle choked perfectly to Michael May in the very first round , for a win by tapout.
Also not pictured is Dustin Holliday defeating Andrew Pierce, as Andrew was toppled like a big tree by Dustin only seconds into rd 1.
Next we had a lil sumo competition when Joella took on Jeska ,, Joella took the win by the the 3 fall rule, for a lil entertainment break on their behalf.
Next was boxer Lindsey Deal taking it to Jenna Nimms who was undefeated until this night when Lindsey took it to her, Jenna manage to attack her opponent with ferociousness on a female lion, but Lindsay out punched her to take the win by TKO.
The main event of the evening was 2 skilled fighters going way back to the likes of UFC 1 . Rod Montoya and Travis Christ ( Davey vs. Goliath )decided to go for it all in the big fight of the night.The fight wasn't the only thing big, as Travis Christ outweighed Rod Montoya by 127 lbs as Rod weighed in at 173 vs Travis' 300 lb frame. Rod got some good shots off to the head but he was unsuccessful in taking the big man down, Travis smothered him and dropped a few bombs of his own. Both fighters went the distance and held strong and Travis won this fight by split decision.
All fighters received prizes as we are now getting business owners stepping up and getting interested in getting some exposure at the fights,we have a great crowd full of good people and on every other Thursday we have a pro fight main event.
Come out and see us or take a part in the Thursday nights Midwest Kings of the Ring fight night.
A correction to last weeks report...it should have read..."Zach Broders got TKO'ed by Big Travis Christ in round one of their NHB match.", it was accidentally turned around...sorry Travis....its fixed now.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
International Fight LeagueFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The International Fight League is a mixed martial arts promotion billed as the world's first MMA league. Instead of the establish norm for MMA events, where matchups are strictly one-on-one affairs, each IFL card is a showdown between two teams of five fighters, each fighter fighting one match against another on the opposing team. The IFL is televised in the United States on Fox Sports Net.The IFL was founded in January 7, 2006 by real estate developer Kurt Otto and Wizard magazine founder Gareb Shamus, two well-financed devotees of mixed martial arts who were inspired by the Mark Kerr documentary The Smashing Machine to elevate the livelihoods of mixed martial arts fighters, many of them living meagerly, training without steady incomes and only earning small fight purses when they do fight. With the IFL, they intend to create a system not only showcasing mixed martial arts action but also to provide a business plan that will allow fighters to also share more of the profits of the sport. In a marked contast with the rest of the industry, instead of paying fighters only purses after fights, they are given a salary and health benefits to train and fight. The team concept is also conducive for television, where episodes can be regularly produced with a continuing storyline.It has been widely speculated the IFL, with the deep pockets of its founders, television deal and innovative business plan, may become a major circuit for MMA in North America, directly competing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Already, the UFC and IFL have a hostle relationship, as the UFC have accused the IFL of and sued them for illegally using proprietary information obtained by hiring executives from the UFC organization. The IFL shot back with their own suit claiming the UFC was threatening potential partners to not work with the IFL, including Fox Sports Net (a deal with Fox Sports was later signed before resolution of the suit).The IFL currently consists of four teams, all owned by the league, and each coached by a retired MMA fighter. The teams are: the Anacondas, coached by Bas Rutten; the Pitbulls, coached by Renzo Gracie; the Silverbacks, coached by Pat Miletich; and the Tiger Sharks, coached by Maurice Smith. There will be three episodes of the inaugural IFL season, with the winners of the first two episodes matching off in the finale. Future seasons may include as many as 12 teams.
If there is such a thing as ultimate fighting royalty, UFC welterweight champ Matt Hughes is king.
Only problem is his next fight is against the man who built the kingdom.
In a much-anticipated match of old UFC vs. new, Hughes will step into the caged Octagon against mixed martial arts legend Royce Gracie in a non-title bout May 27.
Gracie has built a larger-than-life reputation since winning the first three UFCs using his family's home-made mix of ground work and submissions. Gracie jiu-jitsu, which his father Helio developed, is now mandatory training for all UFC fighters.
And after 11 years relishing in mythical demi-God status, Gracie is returning to the octagon.
But if Hughes is supposed to bow and cower, someone forgot to tell 32-year-old farmboy from Hilsboro, Ill.
"He's a very one-dimensional fighter and he's preaching to the world that all you need to learn to be competitive in this sport is what he teaches," says Hughes, who has held the welterweight title almost exclusively since November 2001.
"I have an opportunity to prove to the world that maybe Royce Gracie's theory is not correct and that most of the time a well-rounded fighter is going to win."
Where Gracie stands for everything ultimate fighting once was -- no rules, no weight classes and no gloves -- Hughes epitomizes the new guard.
He's a well-rounded wrestler and former Greco Roman all-American. He can stand up and box while his ground work is as good as any jiu-jitsu expert in the game.
"Four out of my last five opponents I've beaten with submissions," says Hughes, whose record is 40-4-0.
He is also part of new-age UFC royalty -- trained in Iowa by Pat Miletich, whose camp boasts current heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia, middleweight champ Rich Franklin and UFC stalwart Jeremy Horn.
And while Gracie says he'll have his 95-year-old father Helio in his corner, Hughes says he can one-up that, too.
Hughes, a born-again Christian, has God on his side.
"The fight's gonna be in God's hand. It's whatever he wants" says Hughes, a father of two.
Asked about the strange marriage of Christianity and ultimate fighting, Hughes says he doesn't see any contradiction.
"I don't go in there to hurt somebody or put them in the hospital," he says. "I go in there for competition and to put food on the table for my family."
And on May 27 before a near sell-out crowd at the Los Angeles Staples Centre, he will also go in there to put an end to locker-room babble of what's better: Old UFC or new.
Due to problems logging into Blogger since Saturday night ,this weeks fight report will be short and to the point.
First match of the night a submission grappling match had Bill Bower def Alex Shipman by rear naked choke.
The next was a NHB match where David Brown def Dan Estal also by rear naked choke.Another submission grappling match made the 3rd win by choke of the night as Shane Grabasvh got the best of Josh Bill.Shane did it twice in one night as he also choked out Nick Hindahl.
Zach Broders got TKO'ed by Big Travis Christ in round one of their NHB match.(not pictured)
Next was girls Sumo and Kodi vs Terri and Terri winning by the three fall rule .
Ashley vs Marie in Sumo #2 of the night with Marie winning this one .
Next was a NHB match whereRandy Mills Choked out Evan Maxwell in round 1.
Jake Klemme the featured fighter of the week held on till almost the very end till he got an apponent and was a very good - go the distance NHB fight between him and Zack Mickelwright,Zack's defense was very haard for Jake to pass he said after the fight ...it was starting to wear on him , but Jake held on , kept stiking and trying to submit ol Zack until the final bell where Jake Klemme was the winner by split decision.
The Pro main event of the night was was very hard fought fight between a Miletich fighter making his pro debut against Mike Lindquist, although Mike fought hard , he was worked over by the Miletich trianed fighter and finally had to stop the fight with ADAM MOHR of Bettendorf the winner of this contest. Mike was heard later saying " man , I gotta buy that guy a beer, whew ! " Good job Adam and thanks to you Mike for being a very good warrior in this match.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Hockey has Wayne Gretzky, basketball has Michael Jordan and ultimate fighting has Royce Gracie.
At 39, the godfather of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is held in almost mythical reverence by fans and fighters alike.
His resume and reputation are unrivalled in the sport.
He won the first three Ultimate Fighting Championships dating back to 1993 -- a time when there were no weight classes, no gloves and, essentially, no rules. He once defeated four opponents in one night.
His discipline -- highlighted by a calculated mix of ground work and submission holds -- is a staple for all modern mixed-martial arts fighters.
He has trained big-screen stars like Chuck Norris, Guy Ritchie and Nicholas Cage and has also worked with the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and Navy Seals.
He is a member of the UFC hall of fame and, to this day, remains undefeated in the octagon.
So why would someone with seemingly nothing left to prove jump back in the cage?
"A lot of people are telling me I can't hang with the new guys in the UFC," the soft-spoken Gracie, who will take on welterweight champ Matt Hughes in a non-title bout May 27, told the Sun.
"Tell me what I cannot do and I'll prove you wrong."
One of nine children, Gracie was taught jiu-jitsu by his father, Helio, who had created his own hybrid of the Japanese art after learning from a family friend as a child and adapting the moves to his own frail frame.
At 18, Royce moved to California to join his brother Rorion in opening the first Gracie jiu-jitsu school outside of Brazil.
Today, his school is one of the biggest in the world and has spawned sister studios and clone academies around the globe.
But a lot has changed in the 11 years since Gracie last stepped into the UFC pit. There are timed rounds, weight classes and rules.
Lots of rules. Something he doesn't like.
"When we started this, it was about finding out which discipline was the best," says Gracie, who at 176 lb. has fought men twice his size, including a 490-lb. sumo wrestler.
"In the back of people's minds, they wanted to know who would win a fight, Muhammad Ali or Bruce Lee?"
Gracie's biggest knock on the new UFC is the timed rounds.
"I don't like the time limits," he said, referring to the three five-minute rounds for fights and five five-minute rounds for championship bouts. "I'm a technician, I need time to work my opponent."
The rules aren't the only changes.
Under the tutelage of president Dana White, today's UFC has become a slick marketing machine.
It has become so popular with young males that one night last week an episode of its reality show The Ultimate Fighter, drew bigger numbers in the U.S. among men 18-34 than the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs and a game combined.
Despite the new rules and new-found fame, Gracie says he has a strategy -- one he's not willing to share -- to have his arm raised in victory at the Hughes fight.
And he hints it may not be the last UFC fans see of the legendary fighter -- who has been scrapping in Japan for the better part of a decade.
Hughes, however, is more than a formidable opponent.
He is the longest-serving welterweight champion in UFC history and one of its most popular fighters. He can wrestle, he can strike and, yes, he knows his Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
It will be a battle of old UFC vs. new UFC. Master vs. apprentice.
But Gracie says he has a secret weapon for the May 27 bout at the nearly sold out Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
His father Helio, who turns 95 this year, will be in his corner.
Breaking News!Tito Ortiz' MRIs came back negative for tear on the ACL and/or LCL. ACL is healing, LCL streched. Slight break of fibula. Nagging bulging disc in his lower back.Don't question his heart, he's a warrior.Tito WILL BE FIGHTING KEN SHAMROCK IN JULY!