Monday, July 24, 2006

EVER WONDER WHAT THE BIG BOYS GET ?


Minus bonus money and special deals , here's how it lays out ....
UFC 59Event took place on April 15, 2006 and aired on PPV-Tito Ortiz: $200,000 (defeated Forrest Griffin in co-main event)-Andrei Arlovski: $90,000 (lost to Tim Sylvia in co-main event)-Tim Sylvia: $90,000 (defeated Andrei Arlovski in co-main event)-Evan Tanner: $40,000 (defeated Justin Levens)-Karo Parisyan: $16,000 (defeated Nick Thompson)-Sean Sherk: $16,000 (defeated Nick Diaz)-Forrest Griffin: $16,000 (lost to Tito Ortiz in co-main event)-David Terrell: $12,000 (defeated Scott Smith)-Nick Diaz: $10,000 (lost to Sean Sherk)-Jeff Monson: $10,000 (defeated Marcio Cruz)-Jason Lambert: $8,000 (defeated Terry Martin)-Thiago Alves: $8,000 (defeated Derrick Noble)-Justin Levens: $5,000 (lost to Evan Tanner)-Nick Thompson: $5,000 (lost to Karo Parisyan)-Marcio Cruz: $5,000 (lost to Jeff Monson)-Derrick Noble: $3,000 (lost to Thiago Alves)-Scott Smith: $3,000 (lost to David Terrell)-Terry Martin: $2,000 (lost to Jason Lambert)Gross Totals:Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $539,000Known Event Revenue: $18.77 million to $19.57 million (includes PPV revenue of $16.58 million to $17.38 million; plus live gate of $2,191,450)UFC 60 Fighter SalariesEvent took place on May 27, 2006 and aired on PPV-Royce Gracie: $400,000 (lost to Matt Hughes in main event)-Matt Hughes: $110,000 (defeated Royce Gracie in main event)-Jeremy Horn: $70,000 (defeated Chael Sonnen)-Brandon Vera: $32,000 (defeated Assuerio Silva)-Diego Sanchez: $24,000 (defeated John Alessio)-Mike Swick: $14,000 (defeated Joe Riggs)-Spencer Fisher: $14,000 (defeated Matt Wiman)-Joe Riggs: $12,000 (lost to Mike Swick)-Gabriel Gonzaga: $10,000 (defeated Fabiano Scherner)-Melvin Guillard: $10,000 (defeated Rick Davis)-Alessio Sakara: $10,000 (lost to Dean Lister)-Dean Lister: $10,000 (defeated Alessio Sakara)-Assuerio Silva: $8,000 (lost to Brandon Vera)-Chael Sonnen: $5,000 (lost to Jeremy Horn)-Fabiano Scherner: $3,000 (lost to Gabriel Gonzaga)-Matt Wiman: $3,000 (lost to Spencer Fisher)-John Alessio: $3,000 (lost to Diego Sanchez)-Rick Davis: $2,000 (lost to Melvin Guillard)Gross Totals:Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $740,000Known Event Revenue: $26.87 million (includes PPV revenue of $23.97 million; plus live gate of $2,900,090)UFC 60 Note: The final PPV buyrate for UFC 60 is not yet available because smaller cable companies throughout the United States have not yet reported their PPV sales. Therefore, we are using the "absolute minimum" number for gross PPV revenue, based on the numbers that are known for UFC 60 (see the PPV article for more details). The final buyrate for the UFC 60 PPV will be higher once all of the late buys from smaller cable companies throughout the U.S. have been counted.UFC Ultimate Finale 3Event took place on June 24, 2006 and aired on Spike TV-Kenny Florian: $12,000 (defeated Sam Stout in main event)-Michael Bisping: $10,000 (defeated Josh Haynes)-Kendall Grove: $10,000 (defeated Ed Herman)-Rory Singer: $10,000 (defeated Ross Pointon)-Mike Nickels: $10,000 (defeated Wes Combs)-Matt Hamill: $10,000 (defeated Jesse Forbes)-Kalib Starnes: $10,000 (defeated Danny Abaddi)-Keith Jardine: $10,000 (defeated Wilson Gouveia)-Solomon Hutcherson: $5,000 (lost to Rory Singer)-Josh Haynes: $5,000 (lost to Michael Bisping)-Ed Herman: $5,000 (lost to Kendall Grove)-Ross Pointon: $5,000 (lost to Rory Singer)-Jesse Forbes: $5,000 (lost to Matt Hamill)-Danny Abaddi: $5,000 (lost to Kalib Starnes)-Luigi Fioravanti: $4,000 (defeated Solomon Hutcherson)-Sam Stout: $4,000 (lost to Kenny Florian in main event)-Wes Combs: $2,000 (lost to Mike Nickels)-Wilson Gouveia: $2,000 (lost to Keith Jardine)Gross Totals:Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $124,000Known Event Revenue: $589,214 (includes live gate of $253,214 and TV ad revenue of $336,000)UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5Event took place on June 28, 2006 and aired on Spike TV-Anderson Silva: $36,000 (defeated Chris Leben in main event)-Rashad Evans: $24,000 (defeated Stephan Bonnar)-Stephan Bonnar: $16,000 (lost to Rashad Evans)-Jon Fitch: $16,000 (defeated Thiago Alves)-Josh Koscheck: $14,000 (defeated Dave Menne)-Jason Lambert: $14,000 (defeated Branden Lee Hinkle)-Luke Cummo: $12,000 (lost to Jonathan Goulet)-Rob MacDonald: $10,000 (defeated Kristian Rothaermel)-Mark Hominick: $8,000 (defeated Jorge Gurgel)-Chris Leben: $7,000 (lost to Anderson Silva in main event)-Thiago Alves: $6,000 (lost to Jon Fitch)-Jonathan Goulet: $6,000 (defeated Luke Cummo)-Kristian Rothaermel: $5,000 (lost to Rob MacDonald)-Jorge Gurgel: $5,000 (lost to Mark Hominick)-Justin Levens: $5,000 (lost to Jorge Santiago)-Dave Menne: $5,000 (lost to Josh Koscheck)-Branden Lee Hinkle: $4,000 (lost to Jason Lambert)-Jorge Santiago: $4,000 (defeated Justin Levens)Gross Totals:Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $197,000Known Event Revenue: $358,368 (includes live gate of $134,368 and TV ad revenue of $224,000)UFC 61 Fighter SalariesEvent took place on July 8, 2006 and aired on PPV-Tito Ortiz: $210,000 (defeated Ken Shamrock in co-main event)-Tim Sylvia: $120,000 (defeated Andrei Arlovski in co-main event)-Ken Shamrock: $100,000 (lost to Tito Ortiz in co-main event)-Andrei Arlovski: $90,000 (lost to Tim Sylvia in co-main event)-Frank Mir: $56,000 (defeated Dan Christison)-Joe Stevenson: $24,000 (defeated Yves Edwards)-Jeff Monson: $20,000 (defeated Anthony Perosh)-Drew Fickett: $12,000 (defeated Kurt Pellegrino)-Josh Burkman: $10,000 (defeated Josh Neer)-Hermes Franca: $8,000 (defeated Joe Jordan)-Yves Edwards: $8,000 (lost to Joe Stevenson)-Josh Neer: $6,000 (lost to Josh Burkman)-Cheick Kongo: $6,000 (defeated Gilbert Aldana)-Dan Christison: $5,000 (lost to Frank Mir)-Joe Jordan: $4,000 (lost to Hermes Franca)-Anthony Perosh: $3,000 (lost to Jeff Monson)-Gilbert Aldana: $2,000 (lost to Cheick Kongo)-Kurt Pellegrino: $2,000 (lost to Drew Fickett)Gross Totals:Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $676,000

Thursday, July 20, 2006

CHUCKS NORRIS TO PROMOTE NEW FIGHT LEAGUE


The World Combat League, which has a team format (six members for each team including one woman, each in a different weight class), uses a format with one quick three-minute round that emphasizes aggressiveness and the technical aspects of combat.The new format, and a ring designed for better visibility, came from Norris' frustration with other fighting leagues like Ultimate Fighting Championship, where bouts take much longer. The World Combat League is "action at full throttle at all times. You don't really have time to go to the bathroom," Norris said."The fighters tend to pace themselves [in other events]," said Angel Huerta, a fighter with the Houston team, while the WCL penalizes passivity. "This is a sprint."The upstart league has eight teams, two of which are from Texas, and has organized only two events in the last year, but Norris is convinced of its potential. His stated goal is to make combat martial arts "the fourth- or fifth-biggest team sport in America. There are millions of martial arts practitioners."

ESPN PAYING ATTENTION TO MMA?

If you needed any further proof of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s ascension to the top of the MMA food chain, look no further than ESPN’s “Hot List,” which the company used as a platform to officially announce that Matt Hughes will be fighting George St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Title on September 23rd on pay per view (UFC 63).
Make no mistake about it – this is big news. Not necessarily the announcement of the actual fight, which many insider fight fans knew was coming for months, but the fact that the announcement was made on ESPN. The fact that the UFC is receiving publicity on “The Worldwide Leader” illustrates how far this sport has come in recent years. In fact, appearing on ESPN may have overshadowed what was actually announced!
While the UFC has been discussed on ESPN’s “Hot List” before, they were never allotted such an opportunity to put over the promotion and its individual fighters. Both Hughes and St. Pierre were in studio, and they took turns promoting the showdown. The two fighters came off very well, as they were able to establish a “big fight” vibe for the upcoming matchup, which is critical when given a chance to reach such a large national audience that is still likely unfamiliar with the product as a whole. As we’ve seen in the past, not all UFC media appearances have come off well (i.e. Dana White on O’Reilly Factor).
Now, to touch on the actual fight itself. While many other UFC bouts may have brought more box office luster to the table, Hughes-GSP is the fight that I am most looking forward to in 2006. Both guys are at the top of their game right now, and there may not be a better battle inside the Octagon for MMA fans than this. Throughout 2005/06, Hughes has been unstoppable, winning in dominant fashion over the likes of Frank Trigg, Joe “Diesel” Riggs, and the legendary Royce Gracie. To understand how dominant Hughes has been as champion, take note that none of those top-level fighters have made it past the first round against the Welterweight king. The challenger, St. Pierre, has been equally as impressive over that time frame having also beaten Frank Trigg, not to mention Jason Miller, Sean Sherk, and BJ Penn. The victory over Penn is what resulted in St. Pierre getting his shot at Hughes.
Of course, long time fight fans know that Hughes and St. Pierre have already fought once, with Hughes prevailing via armbar submission at exactly the five-minute mark of the first round. The submission came out of nowhere, and has seemed to motivate St. Pierre ever since. Expect a much more competitive fight this time around.
Hughes is no stranger to publicity and box office attraction, as his last fight against Gracie drew a MMA record 600,000+ buys on pay per view. To put that number in perspective for the wrestling fans reading this, that’s more than both WWE Backlash and Judgment Day – COMBINED!
Other tidbits from the week that was:
While the UFC is reveling in it’s growing amount of television exposure, over in Japan the same cannot be said for PRIDE. Still reeling from being dropped by Fuji TV (due to alleged dealings with the “Yakuza” – that’s the Japanese mob), PRIDE and its parent company Dream Stage Entertainment have yet to really capitalize on the MMA boom in the United States. Last week’s announcement of the semifinal pairings of the Open Weight Grand Prix should have been a bigger story, but with all the UFC coverage, the news seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Another news item, PRIDE’s first ever US PPV – which will take place on 10/21, was able to grab headlines, but really only amongst the MMA faithful.
The Open Weight Grand Prix is an interesting concept, which newer fans may be unaccustomed to. Weight limits are thrown out the window in this tournament, as fighters can actually be paired against other fighters not in their respective weight class. Through the first two rounds of the tournament, weight differential hasn’t been a real factor, as the vast majority of fighters were Light Heavyweights and Heavyweights. Simply put, the standout fighters in PRIDE’s lighter divisions (such as Takanori Gomi) didn’t want to risk a potentially devastating injury in the competition.
Oh yeah, the actual pairings. In one semifinal, it will be Josh Barnett vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and in semifinal #2, it’s Wanderlei Silva against Mirko Cro Cop. If I was a betting man, I’d say to expect a Nogueira vs. Cro Cop final. The other big news for this event is the return of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to the PRIDE ring. Coming off an injury, “Shogun” is still considered one of the world’s premier fighters, regardless of organization.
Speaking of Wanderlei Silva, there still remains a large buzz about his potential showdown with UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell. I still question the timing of President Dana White’s announcement, which occurred on the company’s last PPV over a week ago. Silva has the Open Weight Grand Prix to contend with, and as the only non-heavyweight left in the field, I’m not giving him much of a chance to even make it to the finals. Regardless if Silva wins or not, he is assured the date with Liddell, provided he is not injured. But, what about Liddell? “The Iceman,” must first defeat Renato “Babalu” Sobral August 26th at the next UFC pay-per-view, and be injury-free as well. Needless to say, these aren’t exactly minor details!
However, as fight fans, let’s keep in mind the big picture. This fight is a dream bout in every sense of the term, and the fact that UFC and PRIDE are working in conjunction with each other IS the story of the year. Once again, to put it in perspective for you wrestling fans, imagine Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair – in 1988! I have to imagine that all fans of MMA have to be awaiting Liddell vs. Silva with eager anticipation.
Finally, a name that all pro wrestling fans are familiar with, Bill Goldberg, is also coming to the world of Mixed Martial Arts. Goldberg will serve as color commentator for this Saturday’s WFA: King of the Streets PPV. As of this writing, it is still unknown what exactly Goldberg’s future with the company is. When I spoke with him two weeks ago, he made it known that he is merely subbing for Bas Rutten, who will be competing against fellow legend Kimo at the show. The main event of the 7/22 card is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Lindland, both of whom are UFC vets. In addition to his tremendous interviews, Jackson is well known for being one of three fighters to own a victory over Chuck Liddell. Liddell has won return bouts with the other two fighters, Jeremy Horn and Randy Couture, but has yet to get a second shot at “Rampage.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

UFC's LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION

SORTING OUT THE UFC LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION by Greg Kalikas @ 2:47:00 PM on 7/18/2006
With the talk of title fights and grudge matches making all of the UFC headlines these days, many of the “newbie” MMA fans may be overlooking what may play out as the most exciting and deepest division the UFC has to offer today. Since the return of the “little guys” in March of this year only one thing has been decided, Yves Edwards is not the UFC’s uncrowned lightweight (145-155lbs.) champion as he and others have declared in the past. After what many considered an upset loss to the hands of Canadian slugger Mark Hominick at UFC 58, Edwards has opened the door for numerous fighters to step up and claim the throne of lightweight king.
The contenders:
Sean Sherk (30-2-1) - A dominant welterweight for the past six years Sherk recently decided to drop to 155lbs and make a run at the lightweight title. Sherk should be a powerhouse as a lightweight with an accomplished wrestling background and underrated striking. His overall strength, agility and past experience will be a major factor for any fighter looking to contend in this division. Rumor has it that Sherk has already been assured to fight for the lightweight title as early as UFC 62 in late August.
Jens Pulver (21-6-1) To this day, Pulver is still recognized as the only UFC lightweight title holder in the thirteen year history of the organization. After a brief stint overseas, “Lil Evil” announced his return to the UFC last month and will likely be back in the Octagon at some point this fall. Already considered a devastating striker, Pulver’s recent professional boxing experience will make him that much more dangerous and packs the resume to compete with anybody at 155 lbs.
Joe Stevenson (25-7) – It’s been a great year thus far for Joe “Daddy” Stevenson who after capturing the TUF 2 welterweight contract on national television, made an impressive UFC debut as a lightweight at UFC 61 against Yves Edwards. In one of the bloodiest beatings in recent memory, Stevenson’s TKO of Edwards in the opening round, vaulted him directly in to the lightweight mix. An improving striker, Stevenson has few flaws on the mat and ranks up with there with Sherk as far as raw strength. Stevenson’s biggest question mark may be his cardio (or lack there of) which will no doubt be tested as he continues to climb the ladder.
Spencer Fisher (18-2) – Another welterweight who recently dropped to the lightweight ranks, Fisher should not be overlooked as a threat to the belt. A disciple of the legendary Pat Miletich, Fisher may be the most well rounded fighter in the division. An accurate striker with KO power, Fisher can also put you away from his back with nearly half of his wins coming via submission. A recent loss to Sam Stout (UFC 58) was a temporary set back for “The King” who will ultimately earn the right to fight for the title should he decide to stay at 15lbs.
On the Bubble:
Kenny Florian (6-2) – Among the most inexperienced fighters in this category, Florian has shown thus far that he belongs with impressive wins over renown striker Kit Cope and his most recent win over Sam Stout. A cast member from season one of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, Florian has shown improvement in each of his last three fights, all wins. However KenFlo still lacks the experience and strength to contend with a fighter like Sean Sherk who is being rumored as Florians next potential opponent.
Yves Edwards (28-11-1) – At one time regarded by many as one of the premier lightweights in the sport, Yves Edwards is hanging on to his UFC life by a thread. Edwards has dropped three of his last four fights and has nearly fought his way out of the UFC picture all together. Edwards has the tools and has won enough in the Octagon to warrant another opportunity which contractually he may get but confidence may now be a factor for the 30 year old founder of Thug-Jitsu. A two or three fight win streak will help cure any confidence issues and may place Yves back in the mix but the clock is ticking.
Sam Stout (9-2-1) – After his biggest career win over Spencer Fisher, a split decision back in March, Stout promptly lost his next fight to Kenny Florian in what was a disappointing performance. A world class kickboxer, Stout’s style of fighting is one that appeals to fans and to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva who will likely bring Stout back for another opportunity.
George Gurgel (12-2) – Originally from Brazil, Gurgel is one of the most accomplished grapplers in the weight class with above average striking to go along with a marketable personality giving him added value to the UFC. Injuries have slowed Gurgel’s progress thus far as the former TUF 2 cast member looks to recover from a recent loss to Mark Hominick. Even with the loss, Gurgel has won four of his last five fights and could be a factor once completely healthy.
Mark Hominick (11-5) – This former Canadian champion has made a big splash in his first two UFC appearances, both wins over Yves Edwards and George Gurgel, but his “play it safe” approach may be a concern for the UFC. Hominick has shown a well rounded game with few flaws but has still not convinced me that he can stay consistent enough to make it to the top of the division. A recent loss outside of the UFC (to Hatsu Hiko at TKO 25) did not help his case.
Hermes Franca (15-5) – A member of the prestigious American Top Team, Franca was considered a top three UFC lightweight in 2004 but times have changed and the rest of division has passed Franca by. Still among the elite submission specialists in the division, Franca should never be counted out but lack of striking and the inability to finish A-level opponents will leave Franca on the outside looking in.
The Sleepers:
BJ Penn (10-3-1) – If Penn decides to stay in the UFC and move back down to his original fighting weight of 155 lbs (that’s a big if), he could easily contend for the lightweight crown. Penn already owns wins over Matt Hughes, Bang Ludwig, Takanori Gomi and two Gracies (Rodrigo and Renzo) but a split decision loss to George St. Pierre at UFC 58 has sent Penn back into hiding with no mention of any future plans. One thing is certain, Penn is one of the world’s premier fighters in any weight class. A healthy and focused BJ Penn is as dangerous as they come.
Takanori Gomi (24-3) – Yes, I said Takanori Gomi. Considered by many as the worlds top lightweight, the PRIDE FC lightweight king had won ten straight fights until a recent stumble to ATT’s Marcus Aurellio who may also be in the UFC’s radar. It may seem unlikely that Gomi will ever step in to the Octagon but after all, nobody thought we would ever see Liddell vs Silva in the UFC either.
Duane Ludwig (13-5) – Ludwig has world class striking to go with a solid ground game and could throw a wrench in any fighter’s plans when he’s on top of his game. Ludwig’s eleven second KO of Jonathan Goulet back in January of this year, reminded fans exactly how dangerous Bang can be. If Duane can commit himself to mixed martial arts, he can certainly be a player.
Waiting in the Wings:
Roger Huerta (14-1) – An accomplished wrestler from Texas, Huerta may be the best lightweight you have never heard of. Rumors are circulating that Huerta may be on his way to the UFC very soon and will be an immediate impact if this is the case.
Tyson Griffin (7-0) – Unbeaten and rising quickly is Tyson Griffin of Santa Rosa, California. Wins over Bang Ludwig and Urijah Faber have put Griffin on the map who normally fights at 145lbs.
Urijah Faber (14-1) – Size may be his only weakness at 155lbs. Faber, who usually competes at around 140lbs is the current King of the Cage lightweight champion and is surging to the top of the class with wins over Ivan Menjivar and Charles Bennett among others.
Jason Dent (18-6) – With wins in five of his last six fights, Dent is on the verge of breaking through. A technical striker with a relentless attack, Dents biggest asset may be his defense particularly on the mat. One or two more big wins may warrant an invite from Joe Silva and co.
Summary:
With all the talent in this weight class fans can certainly expect to see fireworks while the division sorts itself out in the next few months. I predict that when the smoke clears and all is said and done, we will see Sean Sherk standing on top of the lightweight mountain looking down on a pile of battered and beaten bodies in what may be the most competitive division in the UFC.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

UFC 63 NEWS


Las Vegas, NV – With one second left in the last round, nearly two years ago, a young Canadian fighter named Georges "Rush" St. Pierre found himself locked in an armbar, losing a championship title fight to the now legendary Matt Hughes for the then vacant welterweight crown. Ever since that day, and because of the tremendous athleticism and skill displayed during that fight, UFC® fans all around the world have waited for these incredible athletes to face each other, once again, in the Octagon™. Today, the UFC announced that the time has come, and that the two fighters will square off again -- with the welterweight crown at stake -- at the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization’s UFC 63: HUGHES vs. ST. PIERRE taking place live from the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Saturday, September 23, 2006.

"I hope he’s ready," said Hughes. "No one has been able to stop me yet, and I don’t see myself giving up my belt any time soon. I’m looking forward to a good fight, but at the end of the night I will still be the UFC Welterweight Champion."Hughes and St. Pierre last fought October 22, 2004 at UFC 50: THE WAR OF ‘04 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At the time, St. Pierre had a perfect record. But Hughes ended up giving St. Pierre his first career loss, forcing him to tapout at the end of the first round. Since that day, Hughes has maintained the welterweight crown, and St. Pierre has aggressively fought to put himself back in line for the title, defeating former champion BJ Penn, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Frank Trigg and Sean Sherk. Meanwhile, Matt Hughes defeated Frank Trigg, Joe Riggs, and most recently the legendary Royce Gracie, who was previously undefeated in the UFC.Matt Hughes (41-4) 5’9"/170 lbs., fighting out of Hillsboro, Ill., is considered by many to be the greatest welterweight champion in the history of the UFC. He started fighting in 1999, at UFC 22, and spent two years climbing his way up the division. Finally, at UFC 34 (11/02/01) he won the UFC Welterweight Championship by defeating Carlos Newton by KO. From there, he won five consecutive fights, holding the title for three years before losing it to BJ Penn at UFC 46 (1/31/04), succumbing to a rear naked choke at 4:39 of the first round. Matt regained the vacant welterweight crown at UFC 50 (10/22/04) by stopping Georges St. Pierre with an arm bar at 4:59 of the first round, and defended his title at UFC 52 (4/16/06) against Frank Trigg, winning by a rear naked choke. He fought Joe Riggs at UFC 56 (11/19/05) in a non-championship bout and submitted him by Kimura at 3:28 of the first round. Hughes then defeated Royce Gracie by TKO at UFC 60 (5/27/06).Georges "Rush" St. Pierre (12-1-0) 5’10"/170 lbs., fighting out of Montreal, is the Canadian Welterweight Mixed Martial Arts Champion. He is an excellent athlete who combines solid stand up skills with an impressive ground game. After scoring UFC wins over Karo Parisyan, Jay Hieron, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Frank Trigg, Sean Sherk and BJ Penn, St. Pierre is hungry for another shot at world champion Matt Hughes and is ready to prove himself as being the top welterweight fighter in the world.

UFC 62 ICEMAN COMETH

One of the game’s true superstars, Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell has defended the crown he won from Randy Couture in April of 2005 twice, most recently with a second round knockout of Couture in their February rubber match. Sidelined since then due to a toe injury, Liddell knows that a victory on August 26 will set-up perhaps the most anticipated matchup in MMA this year with the San Luis Obispo resident taking on Brazilian superstar Wanderlei Silva.
But Sobral is no one’s stepping stone, as evidenced by his ten fight winning streak since the first bout between the two, won by Liddell in November of 2002. In that almost four year period, Sobral has truly fought his way to the number one contender’s slot, submitting Travis Wiuff,
Chael Sonnen, and Mike Van Arsdale in his last three UFC bouts, and even beating world-class combatants Jeremy Horn, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Trevor Prangley in a single night in 2003. Winning the world title has long been Sobral’s dream, and he has no intentions of letting that dream slip away.
Also announced for UFC 62 is a second meeting between Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, the two light heavyweights who fought each other at The Ultimate Fighter® Season 1 finale. UFC fans will remember Bonnar vs. Griffin 1 - an epic battle that consisted of three non-stop rounds of fighting that ultimately inspired Dana White to award both light heavyweights a six-figure UFC contract. That fight took place over a year ago on April 9, 2005 with Griffin winning by unanimous decision. Since then, Bonnar has defeated tough opponents including Sam Hoger, James Irvin and Keith Jardine, but lost a three round decision last month to Rashad Evans. Meanwhile, Griffin defeated equally tough opponents including Bill Mahood and Elvis Sinosic, but lost a split decision to Tito Ortiz last April at UFC 59 – a fight that stands as one of the most exciting light heavyweight matchups in the UFC.
Bonnar vs. Griffin 2 promises to be another classic fight, with the winner moving up as one of the top contenders in line for a light heavyweight title fight
The remaining fighters and bouts for UFC 62: LIDDELL vs. SOBRAL will be announced in the near future.

MARINES GET TREAT

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.(July 17, 2006) -- Marines actually looked forward to giving up their lunch hour Friday.That's because Randy "The Natural" Couture, Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove, Brandon "The Truth" Vera and Dean "The Boogeyman" Lister, competitors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, visited Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Friday to meet and greet the troops, exchange fighting tips and get some hands-on experience with some of the Corps' warfighting tools.Arriving in a tricked-out, shiny black Hummer and accompanied with his entourage, San Diego resident and top light-heavyweight contender, Brandon Vera, made his rounds around the desert-camouflaged Marines with handshakes and autographs, alongside Lister and Grove.Vera has been on the fast track to a shot at the UFC's heavyweight championship, currently held by Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia. With three straight wins since his UFC debut, Vera credits his newfound success to his time as an airman."You know that trumpet they play in the morning to wake you up for PT? That's still in my head," said Vera, referring to the sound of reveille. "It's that discipline to get up and run early in the morning that I got in the military, that keeps me training today."Couture, a UFC hall of famer and former two-time heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion, also served his country in the U.S. Army.Wanting to display their own grappling skill set, the Marines of Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, put on a Marine Corps Martial Arts clinic, with two Marines at a time squaring off against each other.The Marines had the luxury of having Lister and Grove in each of their corners. Grove recently won The Ultimate Fighter 3 middleweight champion on the hit reality show, "The Ultimate Fighter."Shouting out similar commands and tips they would normally receive in the octagon, Grove and Lister helped the Marines assume full and side-mount positions, choke attempts and body-softening blows.After wrapping up their visit with the 1st MLG, the UFC fighters headed to the northern part of Camp Pendleton at Camp Horno, where the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment eagerly anticipated their arrival.The UFC, which has recently experienced a surge in popularity thanks to increased cable television and pay-per-view exposure, along with a modest acceptance in mainstream sports, has recently developed a relationship with the military.Tito Ortiz and Andrei Arlovski were the first UFC fighters to embrace Camp Pendleton when they visited Marines and Sailors here before their respective fights at UFC 59 in Anaheim, Calif.Dana White, president of the UFC, hinted at running a UFC event at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., during a media conference call in May, and Couture said he is heading to Iraq at the end of the month for 10 days.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

MISS SPELLED

OUR apologies to ZACK BLASCZCYK for not spelling his name correctly in the last photo report.

JULY 13th PRO FIGHT NITE

JAKE KLEMME started us out in a MMA match against LOUIS ROBERTs and JAKE was victorious over LOUIS with a TKO in the 3rd.
ROD MONTOYA got the choke on ANTWON EUELL.
KYLE CONSIDINE won a boxing match against JEREMY DAVIS.
ZACK BLASCZCYK took the victory over DOUG SHELLY.
The main event of the evening was between RYAN " DIRTY " ANTLE and TROY " THE PIT BULL" SALISBURY. This was a very good fight , TROY came out hard and RYAN defended well, then RYAN had a flurry of punches before TROY could make way out of the corner,and after that flurry in the beginning of round 2 TROY seemed to have gassed out and RYAN got him down and submitted him in the middle of round 2 by way of tapout.This was an excellent mian event and we thank both fighters for giving us a great ending to a long hot night.

JULY 6TH report

Apparently the fight report for the week of the 6th never uploaded, i didn't check it , sorry..so here we go.
MIKE CAVANUGH not pictured def THOMAS RICHARDSON due to a tapout from a gilotine choke.
BRYON GROTHUS also won by tapout from KEVIN POWELL.
TRAVIS CHRIST outlasted RYAN WALKER for a victory.
JORDAN beat ALLIE not pictured -in a sumo suit match.
MIKE LINDQUIST won over TORY BOGGUS and last but not least KRISTIE DAU and JESSICA MIX had their MMA match and KRISTIE won that one.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

THE UFC MAKES MOVES

Major UFC vs. PRIDE Show On PPV?, Liddell/Silva, & Much More

More On Vanderlei Silva In UFC, Relationship With PRIDEBy MMANews.com
As announced during the UFC 61 "Bitter Rivals" pay-per view telecast this past Saturday night, UFC president Dana White confirmed Vanderlei Silva will fight for the company. They claim if Chuck Liddell beats Renato "Babalu" Sobral at UFC 62, they will make the MMA dream match, champion versus champion, for November.
Apparently there is a deal in place already, and Silva has as many as three fights in the UFC.
There is a lot more to this one than you would think, as PRIDE has their drama going on in Japan with the Fuji TV/Yakuza scandal, and they're about to debut in the United States in October, literally one week after that month's UFC show (which is also in Las Vegas). Obviously this has something to do with the two mega-MMA companies working together now.
PRIDE Confirms Fujita To Fight In UFC In NovemberBy MMANews.com
According to the official Japanese website of PRIDE, Kazuyuki Fujita will be making his UFC debut in the Heavyweight division this coming November.
PrideOfficial.com reports Fujita will be making his debut for the American-based MMA organization against an unknown opponent at this time, on the same card that the PRIDE 205 lb. champion Vanderlei Silva will meet UFC 205 lb. champion Chuck Liddell (if Liddell gets past Renato Sobral in September).
According to the article, Fujita himself has confirmed his scheduled upcoming participation with the Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Las Vegas, Nevada this coming November.
Phil Baroni To Fight For UFC In November As WellBy MMANews.com
Former UFC Middleweight and current PRIDE Bushido fighter "The New York Bad Ass" Phil Baroni recently revealed that he will as well be part of the upcoming November UFC card in Las Vegas.
Other PRIDE fighters that are confirmed are Vanderlei Silva (fighting Chuck Liddell if he gets past Renato Sobral in September), and earlier today it was rumored that Kazuyuki Fujita will also be fighting on the same card against a yet-to-be-announced UFC Heavyweight.
Now Baroni, in a post on The Underground MMA forum at MMA.tv, claims he'll be on the November card as well against "a top UFC Middleweight."
Looks like we've got a bit of a UFC vs. PRIDE card in the works. If these three fights come off, it would only take two more to fill up an actual PPV-televised card consisting of all UFC versus PRIDE bouts.
News articles from www.MMANews.com

HOFFMAN RETURNS TO IOWA, MONTOYA TO FIGHT

BOBBY HOFFMAN
Age: 39 Birthday: 10-28-1966 Hometown: Centerville, IA Fighting Out Of: Bad Seed Inc. Height: 6'2" Weight: 260 lbs. Record (W-L-D): 35-8-2 Bio: Bobby Hoffman is one punch away from beating any heavyweight in the world and has beat some of the best that the sport has to offer. In his eight year career Bobby has racked up an impressive resume. He is a UFC veteran and has held several heavyweight titles including: Extreme Challenge, Rings, and King of the Cage. Bobby is a wrestler at heart with granite fists and a high pain tolerance. This combination along with an intense will to win makes Hoffman a main attraction where ever he fights. Bobby began his career in Iowa but hasn't faught in his native state for a few years. Now he is back and excited to fight for Mainstream MMA's Heavyweight Title in his home state. ALSO Rod THE MEXICUTIONER Montoya ...who you know from our show MIDWEST KINGS OF THE RING will also be fighting ...lets support ROD !!
Age: 21 Birthday: 12-22-1984 Hometown: Columbus Junction Fighting Out Of: MFS and Midwest MMA Height: 5'11" Weight: 170 lbs. Record (W-L-D): 6-2-0 Bio: I have always been very competetive. I started wrestling in 5th grade and was an above average wrestler,not satisfied with my overall high school wrestling career I decided I needed to do something else to prove to myself I could compete with anybody if I was willing to push myself. I started boxing in Laramie Wyoming, then came back to Iowa and discovered MMA I started training at Militich and currently training with a few different teams throughout Iowa and Illinois. I am willing to do whatever it takes to be one of the best fighters in MMA and only time will tell how far I can elevate myself from where I stand now.

The Main Event of the evening will feature a heavyweight title bout between Chuck "The Reverand" Grigsby and Bobby "Bad Seed" Hoffman. Grigsby is returning with his undefeated record and impressive KO power that was proven in Mainstream MMA's The Calling. Some say that Grigsby hasn't truly been tested yet, but after he fights Bobby Hoffman this will be no more. If Grigsby can overcomes Hoffman this will legitimize his record, add a title to his resume, and prove that he is ready to compete at the highest level. Bobby Hoffman has a reputation that any fighter in the sport must respect if they are going to step in the cage with The Bad Seed. Bobby is back in Iowa after fighting and beating some of the best talent in the world. His experience and brawling style promises to match up well with Grigsby's precision striking and overwhelming size.


Mainstream MMA 3 - Inferno
(Saturday August 12, 2006) Doors open 6pm First Fight 8pm
Official Card
Main Event Heavyweight Title Bout 12. Chuck Grigsby vs. Bobby Hoffman
Co-Main Event Lightweight #1 Contender 11. John Owens vs. Vern Jefferson
Feature Bouts 10. Dennis Reed vs. Brian Green 9. Luke Johnson vs. Allen Hernandez 8. Mike Adams vs. Nick Marin
Undercard 7. Josh Howat vs. Paul York 6. Dan Hutton vs. Eldred Nunn 5. Rod Montoya vs.John Schwering 4. Aron Hingtgen vs. Tom Grubb 3. Mika Washington vs. Cyle Geertz 2. Nathan Kirby vs. TBD 1. Prentice Wolf vs. Sean Forbes

Monday, July 10, 2006

UFC 61 POST FIGHT QUOTES AND COMMENTS


Some post-fight notes and quotes:
Tito Ortiz: "I was three elbows away from finishing him off. I dominated the fight. I think there's no question I won … Maybe next time, if you thought the fight was stopped short, next time you can bring a stretcher and a bunch of doctors and we can have the first death in the history of UFC. Is that what you want?"
Ortiz, on making grave-digging gestures after the fight: "After the first fight, I was respectful to him, and he basically spit in my face. Then after Ultimate Fighter he basically bumped into me with his shoulder, like something out of junior high. He said he was praying to God. I never heard that from him before. Did God have mercy on his soul? I guess, since they stopped the fight quick."
Dana White, on the stoppage of the Ortiz-Shamrock fight: "You have to remember the referees have two people's lives in their hands every time they step into the octagon. Even if I don't necessarily agree with their call, I respect their judgment."
Tim Sylvia: "Andrei has always fed off of being the big bully. I don't think he knows how to react when someone stands up to him. It was like someone standing up to the bully." As for whether the fight was considered boring: "I'm a standup fighter. I'm going to fight my game. I'm not going to go for a shoot."
Dana White was a bit vague in talking about the Wanderlai Silva-Chuck Liddell fight, saying he'd have more details next week. He did say Silva is contracted for three fights and that UFC will be able to use PRIDE footage to promote the show.
When asked about PRIDE, Sylvia said: "Bring 'em on. All I ever hear about is people b---ing that the UFC heavyweight division is weak. I want to take on Fedor, I want Cro Cop, I want Sapp. Fedor has never fought someone my size who's primarily a standup fighter. I think this is great, bring it on."
Arlovski was taken to the hospital after the fight to stitch up his cuts; Shamrock did not show for the press conference.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

UFC 61 REPORT


Sylvia Outlasts Arlovski; Ortiz Gets Quick Win over Shamrock
By Thomas Gerbasi LAS VEGAS,
July 8 – The rubber match between Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski didn’t match the brief and explosive nature of their first two bouts, but Sylvia did enough to outlast ‘The Pitbull’ in their war of nerves before a sold out crowd of 12,400 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Scores were 48-47 twice and 49-46 for Ellsworth, Maine’s Sylvia, who repeated his April 15th win over Arlovski. The Belarus native defeated Sylvia via submission on February 5, 2005. “I definitely saw myself winning,” said Sylvia, 24-2. “Arlovski fixed his chin because I hit him hard many times. He’s a tough, tough guy.” The pace was measured early, with Arlovski working his leg kicks effectively and Sylvia looking for the big bomb. With a little under three minutes left, Sylvia’s first heavy salvo rocked Arlovski briefly, but after a short clinch, ‘The Pitbull’ came firing back and fought with a relaxed ease as Sylvia appeared tense as he stalked the challenger. The heavy punches kept coming in the second round, with Arlovski still scoring, but Sylvia answering by opening a cut on the left side of his foe’s head and the tense drama continued to play out in round three, with Sylvia starting to show the scars of battle via a mouse under his right eye as Arlovski again landed the cleaner blows between sporadic bursts of activity from the champion. The fourth round saw the crowd get restless, and Sylvia responded by picking up the pace and opening up cuts under Arlovski’s right eye and on the side of his left eye, but the final round played out like the previous four, with both fighters having all too brief moments of scoring activity, and leaving the bout in the hands of the judges, much to the chagrin of the packed house. In the UFC 61 co-featured bout, it may be safe to say that the feud between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock is far from over as Ortiz made it two in a row over his longtime rival, stopping the UFC hall of famer with a series of forearm strikes just 1:18 into the first round. The bout was not without its share of controversy though, as referee Herb Dean’s stoppage drew loud boos from the capacity crowd and prompted the Las Vegas police to enter the Octagon to keep an irate Shamrock from getting at Ortiz. “Look at my face,” said Shamrock, 26-11-2 who stated his case to fans after storming from the Octagon. “See, no marks.” But despite the protests, there was little doubt that the stoppage was just, after Ortiz landed five consecutive forearms on the head of Shamrock, who was not defending himself. “I was just doing my job, dropping elbows,” said Ortiz, 15-4, the former UFC light heavyweight champion. “He wasn’t responding or defending himself and Herb Dean did his job.” Shamrock looked to get the job done himself as he came out throwing heavy punches as he bulled Ortiz to the fence. But once Ortiz got his bearings, he picked Shamrock up and slammed him to the mat, leading to the fight ending series of strikes. Ortiz stopped Shamrock in three rounds in their first meeting on November 22, 2002. Josh Burkman scored the biggest win of his UFC career, earning a hard fought three round unanimous decision over Josh Neer in a welterweight bout. Scores were 29-28 twice, and 30-27. The two welterweights fought at a fast clip in the first round, trading strikes, with Burkman (18-3) holding a slight edge due to a knockdown scored with little over a minute left in the frame. Neer (17-4-1) rebounded in the second as he controlled matters at close quarters and on the mat. But midway through the round, it was Burkman rallying with hard punches to the head. Des Moines’ Neer, bleeding from a cut around his left eye, disdainfully called for more, and when it appeared that the momentum was going to swing back to him, Burkman finished the round with a slam to the canvas. Neer pushed the pace in the final round, and after some standup work, he got Burkman to the mat and attempted to lock in a triangle choke. Burkman responded with a thunderous slam and escaped further danger. Neer wasn’t done yet though, as he tried to work submissions on Burkman from the mat, but to no avail as the Salt Lake City native finished strong. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir won his first fight in over two years, eking out a three round unanimous decision over Dan Christison. All three judges scored the bout 29-28 for Mir, who was sidelined for 16 months due to a motorcycle accident in September of 2004. His first comeback fight, on February 4, saw him get stopped by Brazil’s Marcio Cruz. “I needed my confidence back as a fighter,” said Mir, whose last victory was his title-winning effort over Tim Sylvia on June 19, 2004. The first round was a tale of two halves, as Mir dominated the first 2:30 with strong strikes on the feet as well as a takedown of his foe, and Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Christison roared back in the final stages of the round with an armbar attempt and some solid standup strikes of his own. With Mir at 262 pounds, way over his prime fighting weight, fatigue looked to be an issue in the second for the Las Vegan, and Christison landed some hard point-scoring punches in the round. And once the fight hit the mat, Christison again was the more active of the two, even though he wasn’t in the dominant top position. Perhaps sensing that the fight was slipping away from him, Mir came out aggressively in the final stanza, and once he bloodied Christison’s nose, he pounded away with both hands, looking for the stoppage, but it didn’t come, sending the bout to the judges. Former welterweight Joe Stevenson made a successful jump to the 155-pound weight class with a bloody second round stoppage of Yves Edwards, whose cut forehead prompted a halt to the bout after 10 minutes of spirited action. “I can do anything I want to at this weight,” said Stevenson, 30-7. Showing why the lightweight division is the most exciting in the game, Edwards and Stevenson took turns in controlling the first round, with Edwards’ strikes dropping the Las Vegan to the mat, and Stevenson’s ground and pound piling up points in its own right. Edwards may have taken the round though with a triangle attempt in the final 15 seconds. Stevenson got the first takedown of the second round and pushed Conroe, Texas’ Edwards (29-11-1) to the fence in order to pound away with his left hand, opening a nasty gash on the top of Edwards’ head in the process. After a break in the action for the doctor to inspect the cut, the fight resumed on the mat, with Stevenson firing away but Edwards hanging tough and even making it to his feet before the bell. But though Edwards was ready to continue, the amount of blood from the cut forced referee John McCarthy to wisely call the bout on the advice of the ringside physicians just before the start of the final round. Hermes Franca returned to the UFC for the first time since April 2, 2004, and won his fifth consecutive fight of 2006 with an impressive third round submission win over late replacement Joe Jordan. “He’s a tough kid,” said Franca of Jordan, who replaced the injured Roger Huerta. “I tried to work my standup, and it worked well, but my jiu-jitsu’s better.” Franca (14-5) came out bombing with kicks and almost got Jordan’s back early, but the Iowan hung tough and avoided any more serious damage in the opening round, which drew the ire of the crowd due to the lack of sustained bursts of action. Picking up the pace in the second, Franca’s accurate strikes woke up the fans in attendance and drew a disdainful look from the iron-chinned Jordan (23-10-2). But practically all the offense in the bout was coming from the Brazilian, who potshotted the now bloody nosed Jordan. Looking to end matters, Franca quickly got a takedown in the opening stages of the final round, and after passing on a kimura attempt, a transition into a triangle choke finally produced a tap out just 47 seconds into the round. Olympia, Washington’s Jeff Monson, who caused a stir in the Mandalay Bay Events Center crowd by entering the Octagon to the strains of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, impressively stated his case for a heavyweight title shot as he halted Australia’s Anthony Perosh in the first round. “I deserve a title shot,” said Monson. “Arlovski and Sylvia are tough, but when I get the fight to the ground, it’s over.” After a fairly tame opening two and a half minutes, the two grappling standouts stood and traded on the inside, and Monson (24-5) landed a hard knee and right hand and Perosh (5-2) fell to the mat. A follow-up barrage brought in referee Herb Dean, and the fight was halted at the 2:42 mark. French kickboxing star Cheick Kongo made his UFC debut a successful one as he used a series of knees and uppercuts to stop Phoenix’ Gilbert Aldana via cuts in the first round. The end came at 4:13, as a nasty gash over the right eye of Aldana prompted referee Yves Lavigne to halt the bout after consulting with the ringside physician. “I’m happy to be here and to represent Europe,” said Paris’ Kongo, who lifts his record to 18-2-1. Aldana, who started strong behind two impressive slams to the mat but couldn’t stand with the technically superior striker, falls to 5-2. UFC newcomer Kurt Pellegrino got a rude welcome to the Octagon, as Drew Fickett submitted the Point Pleasant, New Jersey native in the UFC 61 opener. Pellegrino controlled the first round against the Tucson, Arizona veteran, both on the feet with his fast hands and on the ground with a solid but unspectacular ground and pound attack. The less than scintillating pace dipped even more in round two, with neither fighting gaining a decided edge in some uninspired groundwork. Pellegrino opened the third with a loud slam of Fickett, but a lapse of concentration on the ground allowed ‘The Master’ to lock in a rear naked choke that produced a tap out at 1:20 of the final round. “I was biding my time, hoping that I could get his back,” said Fickett, who improves to 30-4. Pellegrino falls to 13-2.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

JUNE 29TH ACTION


We started this night with action from LEANDER MOMS taking a split decision over KEVIN POWELL..this was a good fight to start the night.
ADAM JOHNSON ( not pictured ) broke AARON KUSTERS NOSE and this fight was over in round 1 , good punches !
RYAN HANSON made CHASE BROMWELL tapout in round 1 in a submission grappling match.
Next our referee JOE JORDAN stops the fight due to strikes by KYLE FISHER over ERICH GRUETZMACHER.
MICHAEL MAY out grappled DAVID BROWN in another submission match we had.
Next ZACH BLASZCZYK took out in style CURT BUIS in their NHB match.
NEXT to last JOEY HENDERSON simply took one look at ROD MONTOYA after they entered the ring and said ..."you win " so ROD MONTOYA gets the win by way of forfiet,Rod wanted to throw down as he always does , sorry Rod maybe next week.
And the MAIN EVENT of the evening was our PRO MAIN event in which could only be judged as a DRAW between two tuff warriors in a boxing match between RYAN " DIRTY "ANTLE and MIKE " THE MASSIVE MEXICAN " PENA. Both mewn threw hards shots and took it to each other till the very end , at which point the score cards were even. Good job and congrats to both fighters ,RYAN will be fighting again in our newxt PRO FIGHT NIGHT in a NHB match against TROY ' THE PIT BULL " SALISBERRY.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

TODAY THE UFC ANNOUNCED JOE JORDAN

Om the fourth of JULY what I brought to you days earlier became NEWS !

With UFC newcomer Roger Huerta forced to pull out of his bout with Hermes Franca at UFC 61 due to injury, Joe Jordan has been tabbed to replace his teammate against the Brazilian vet on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.“He’s world-class, one of the best out there, so I definitely have my hands full with him,” said Jordan of Franca. “He doesn’t have great wrestling takedowns, but he tries very hard so it makes up for some of the lack of skill there. He has world-class submissions and his striking is not real smooth or real pretty, but he’s got a lot of power and he tries real hard.”A 27-year-old native of Pikeville, Kentucky who now fights out of the Miletich camp in Bettendorf, Iowa, Jordan (23-9-2 in MMA) is a hard-nosed competitor who is currently riding a five fight winning streak, and he’s thrilled to be making his Octagon debut this weekend.“I know everybody says it, but other than a dream come true, it’s vindication,” said Jordan.

UFC 61 NOTES

It’s knuckle-up time for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
You’ve almost certainly heard about UFC by now, even if you’re not a follower of the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene. Their reality program The Ultimate Fighter has been a huge hit on cable television since its first season in 2005. Some UFC fighters have gained even more TV exposure by spending time on the professional wrestling circuit – perhaps none more so than Ken Shamrock. He parlayed a successful fighting career into a nice payday with the then-World Wrestling Federation in 1997.
Now back in the world of MMA, Shamrock has only fought eight times since his yearlong stint in the WWF, racking up a record of 3-5. One of those losses was to Tito Ortiz, another one of UFC’s more familiar faces. Shamrock gets his chance at revenge this Saturday night when he and Ortiz lock horns on a pay-per-view event called “UFC 61: Bitter Rivals.” The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas plays host.
Back in 2002, Ortiz convincingly beat Shamrock on the UFC 40 PPV. It was at the time the most-watched UFC event with the biggest gate in the short history of the organization. Most observers don’t expect anything different in the rematch. Ortiz is still fighting reasonably well at age 31, winning his last three bouts by decision. Shamrock, on the other hand, is 42 (albeit a well-conditioned 42) and has lost his last two fights in disappointing fashion. That’s why “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” is a +400 underdog Saturday. Ortiz is priced at –600 to win.
There may be an anticlimax in the works, but the marketing of this fight has been top-notch. Shamrock and Ortiz were featured as opposing “coaches” on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter. They had plenty of opportunity to hype their dislike for one another in front of a national audience. UFC continues the promotional push this week, using its considerable presence on Spike TV to sell the pay-per-view. Perhaps most importantly, this big-name fight is just one of nine matchups on Saturday’s card – and is scheduled to lead into the actual main event of the evening, a bout for the UFC World Heavyweight Title between champion Tim Sylvia and former champion Andrei Arlovski.
Sylvia (22-2 lifetime in MMA action) is not your typical UFC fighter. At a towering 6-foot-8, Sylvia’s form is ungainly, and he won’t be winning any bodybuilding contests. But don’t be deceived. Sylvia is trained in “Miletich Fighting Systems,” Pat Miletich’s hybrid of combat styles from around the world. Sylvia is also one tough hombre. In his 2004 match with Frank Mir for the UFC title, the fight was stopped when Mir used an armbar submission to break Sylvia’s arm. Sylvia was demonstrably upset with the decision; he wanted to continue.
Arlovski (11-4) is the –320 favorite in this bout. He’s trying to regain the title he lost to Sylvia in April; Arlovski knocked Sylvia down in that affair, only to have the big man get right back up and destroy Arlovski with a right hook for the TKO victory. But these men met once before that. Arlovski, a 6-foot-4 Belarusian monster, made Sylvia submit in Feb. 2005 with an Achilles lock after just 47 seconds. That result seems to be closer to what people are expecting Saturday. Still, –320 seems like a high price to pay when betting against Sylvia.