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TABLE OF CONTENTS Features

ISSUE 16

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INSIDE THE MIND . . . OF FORREST GRIFFIN The down home Southern boy has already made his mark in the UFC . . . but he is not even close to done yet. After a stint as the light heavyweight champion he is taking a step up by stepping down facing middleweight champion and pound for pound king Anderson Silva.What he has to say could confuse you. By RJ Clifford

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11 Questions for Jose Aldo One of the most fiery and dangerous 145 pound fighters in the world has exploded onto the America scene in just one year’s time. By RJ Clifford

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New York Looking to Legalize MMA MMA fans have been clamoring to see a fight at Madison Square Garden ever since the sport was banned in 1997. A brief look at when we can finally see it. By Mike Harris

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The Ultimate Supplement Guide Mid-July already and you don’t have your beach body toned and honed? Get a little help from some of the best products to short cut your journey to buffness. By MMA Worldwide Staff

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Cain Velasquez: Rumbling Through the UFC Undefeated and on the rise,Velasquez has made the UFC heavyweight division his own personal stomping ground. But how far can he go? By RJ Clifford

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Beauty and the Beast What do you get when a promising young fighter falls for an international supermodel? An MMA love story you thought you would never see. By Dave Rubman

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The Dark Ages of MMA - Part 1 Life wasn’t all glitz and glamour in the UFC. Banned and bankrupt, the sport pushed on. Here’s the story from the man who lived it. By Clyde Gentry III Cover photo by Frank Fontanilla


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TABLE OF CONTENTS Columns

ISSUE 16

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From the Chairman The boss man keeps us all updated with what is going around in the MMA industry. From TV shows to Gym Associations to MMA Worldwide’s next move, we got you covered.

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The Fight Nerd With Lyoto Machida bringing karate back better than Justin Timberlake brought sexy back it leaves us with a big question. Is there still a place for traditional martial arts?

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True or False? UFC 101 is just around the corner. MMA Worldwide’s finest minds answer the questions you are dying to ask.

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From the Publisher UFC 100 is yet another stepping stone in MMA’s long journey to acceptance. But what exactly did it teach us and where do we go from here?

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The Last Word It’s almost standard issue attire for MMA fighters to have tattoos but sometimes some cross the line. Adam Villareal takes a look at one of the better ones.

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Against the Fence Part 9 of our ongoing series brings our hero face to face with his biggest test to date,“The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine.

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From the Editor The scoring and judging need a lot of changes but there is one glaring issue that can be resolved TODAY; open scoring. Its time the commissioners get an ear full.

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MMA Worldwide Rankings Where does your favorite fighter rank? Some big shakeups at light heavyweight and middleweight plus a big summer ahead can turn the rankings upside down.

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Expert’s Roundtable It seems the strikers our taking over with knockouts coming left and right. We ask the guys that know why the best; the best striking coaches from the best camps in the country.

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MMA Worldwide Organization Robert Pittman Chairman/ President Sheree Brown-Pittman Co- Chairman/ Editor Bobby Pittman Publisher

FROM THE CHAIRMAN... Welcome to our 16th issue. As you read through this issue, I want to throw a big shout out to our Editor-inChief RJ Clifford for his remarkable job day in and day out. RJ handles the editor’s duty for both magazines and has stepped up when we needed him the most, and for that, thank you and job well done. MMA Worldwide TV Show starts airing August 7th on HDNet. This is an action-packed MMA show featuring Bobby and his crew as they make the magazine come alive. If you don’t subscribe to HDNet, please go out and get it. This is a 10-week show with only 1 minute of commercials. MMA Worldwide Gym Association: If you have a gym, be it MMA or traditional, give Jeffrey Kimberlin a call at 714-226-0585, so he can explain our Gym Association and how it can benefit you. We are focused on three major priorities: 1. Get you more students 2. Retain your students longer 3. Make you more money

Nicole Barton Controller/ CFO Dan Harkey General Manager RJ Clifford Editor-in-Chief Patrick Clowers Sales Manager Craig Vaughan Director Mark Allen Director Jacob Wells Editor Jeffrey Kimberlin Sales Rick Lee Director of Website Operations Molly Kimberlin Customer Relations/ Circulation Director John Nguyen Customer Relations Fred George Executive Staff/ Tour Crew/ Fitness Editor Mike “Joker” Guymon Executive Staff Tour Crew Adam Villarreal Senior Contributing Writer

As we try to keep our heads above water in this economy, I can only think of the horrific amount of people who have been laid off with nowhere to go. I feel such a sense of empathy and can’t relish in any growth or success we see when I know so many families who can’t even afford a roof over their heads.

Lisa Williams Graphic Designer

Just like every business, we too have felt the economy in ways like never before. Even the strong advertisers are pulling ads and scaling back. One of the ways to solve this and to maybe help someone in need is to open our sales positions to the people being laid off. We offer a good amount of selling platforms and sales commissions for anyone needing some extra supplemental income. Just give us a call and ask for Dan Harkey at 714-226-0585.

Please Recycle This Magazine

Don’t forget to buy the latest UFC Magazine at your local newsstand. This will be the premier issue and it’s a keepsake that you will treasure. Along with this banner issue is the premier first-ever UFC Fan Expo to be held on July 10 and 11 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Just go to UFC.com for further information. People who accomplish things didn’t fall on top of the mountain. They crawled their way up there with persistence, dedication and hard work.

Robert “The Closer” Pittman 12 The World-famous

PRINT WHAT WE SELL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY At SMP Inc., we believe in minimizing paper waste by printing what we sell. We do not flood the magazine into mass markets, which typically sell fewer than 40 of every 100 copies they receive, and discard the unsold magazines. Our stance costs us sales, but saves extremely large amounts of paper. We encourage all publishers to put the environment first.

ISSN 1937-1071 SMP, Inc. as a publisher is an advertising platform and does not endorse or make representation, warranty or guarantee concerning the safety or effectiveness of either the products and services advertised in this magazine or the martial arts ads or other techniques discussed or illustrated in this magazine. The publisher expressly disclaims any and all liability relating to the manufacture, sale or use of such products and services and the application of the techniques discussed or illustrated in this magazine. The purchase or use of some of the products, services or techniques advertised or discussed in this magazine may be illegal in some areas of the United States or other countries. Therefore, you should check federal, state and local laws prior to your purchase or use of these products, services or techniques. The publisher makes no representation or warranty concerning the legality of the purchase or use of these products, services or techniques in the United States or elsewhere. Because of the nature of some of the products, services or techniques advertised or discussed in this magazine, you should consult a physician before using these products or services or applying these techniques.


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REACHING A MILESTONE by Bobby Pittman today. I just knew that I loved watching the fights and would continue to follow the sport, regardless of whether that meant watching it on PPV or via the Internet.

If you’re like me and follow MMA religiously, then you would probably ask yourself the same question I do every month: What the heck do I write about now? Each issue I write a column here, where I have one page to try and sum up my thoughts on either what is happening with our company or talk about one of the most important, current issues in MMA. While there is a lot going on with both, there is one thing consuming my mind at the moment: UFC 100. While this event truly marks a milestone for the biggest company in MMA (UFC), it also marks a milestone for our entire industry and everyone in it. We can all look back on the years where the “mainstream media” called us a joke and said we were nothing but a spectacle. I have to be honest and say that during a portion of these years I was busy being a kid with no real sense of the business side of MMA. Of course, I always saw the potential and thought it was going to be something big, but my 11-year-old mind (I was 11 when the UFC started) didn’t dream of anything close to what we are 14 The World-famous

However some people never saw the potential in this sport. Some people tried their hand in MMA, but gave up when they didn’t quickly reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone who has followed MMA knows that our sport and our business has been through some very tough years. However with a group of pioneers who were willing to see things through, we have come to a time where we should take a moment to pat each other on the back. That would be a great time, huh? You may have read that last question and wondered what I meant. Well, as with any industry or business, you’re going to have your relationships that have gone wrong. You’ll have people who feel as though they’ve been used or mistreated. I wish it wasn’t this way, but there doesn’t seem to be a damn thing I can do about it, except maybe give a few name drops and thank the people who have helped get us to this point. I want to thank the people who always believed in our sport, like the Gracie family who gave birth to MMA and continue to train and teach every day. I want to thank Dana White and the Fertitta’s for putting their time and money into building our sport, as well as all of the other promoters who were there early on. I

want to thank guys like Jeff Sherwood and Kirik Jenness for carrying the sport through the “dark ages.” I want to thank guys like Eddie Goldman, Todd Hester, Kid Peligro and many more who have spent their time reporting on something that everyone thought was a waste of time. Most of all, I want to thank the fighters and martial artists who put all the blood, sweat and tears in the gym, just hoping we would have a real sport someday. Like I said, UFC 100 is a true milestone. Some may look at it as just another fight, but everyone in the industry should look at it as something to be truly proud of, as we have all helped get us to this point. Each and every one of you fans who are reading this should watch UFC 100 and get even more excited for the coming years of MMA. I speak humbly when I say that our company and our sport has not even scratched the surface of what can and will be achieved. We strive to continue bringing you some of the best MMA coverage around and in the coming months you will see some enormous improvements, like our new website at www.mmaworldwide.com as well as our TV show on HDNet, MMA Worldwide. I look forward to the day when we can all sit back together and feel a sense of pride by what we have built. Realize Your Dreams, Bobby Pittman


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Cage Chat Open Scoring by RJ Clifford

Dear NSAC Commissioner Bill Brady, NJSAC Commissioner Larry Hazzard and CSAC Interim Executive Officer Dave Thornton, Greetings chairmen of your respected state commissions. I would like to introduce myself not as a member of the media or a journalist or ever a fighter, but as a die hard fan who is watching the growing pains of MMA like a parent watching his kid learn how to walk. The potential is undeniable, but the development can be painstaking. With the debacle that is the Association of Boxing Commissions proving to be as effective as Cheick Kongo’s takedown defense, it is up to you three to make some changes around here. Since I’m not writing a novel, I am going to focus on one change that needs to me remedied sooner rather than later: OPEN SCORING in MMA. There are a lot of problems with the scoring system of MMA today. How to rank strikes versus grappling, can you win off your back, how much does a submission weigh in at, etc., but this is one change that can be made quickly and effectively. The problem with the current, closed scoring system is every judge is different and sees a fight through his or her own, sometimes hazy, eyes. The scoring system is vague (which is another issue altogether) so the fighter does not know how the judges

are scoring close rounds. With an open scoring system, a fighter will know exactly how the judges are seeing his action and can adjust accordingly. Football, baseball, basketball and nearly every other sport has an open scoring system so the athletes know how they are doing and, just as important, the fans know what is happening. Imagine the third round of a tied bout where both fighters and the fans know the next round will decide the winner! The fighters will leave it all in the cage trying to steal the last five minutes and the fans will be on the edge of their seats eagerly awaiting a victor. How about the final round of a fight where Fighter A is down by two rounds and must finish his opponent in the third to win? If that fighter had any heart at all, he would be attacking like a rabid panther. MMA’s older brother “boxing” has had matches with open scoring systems before and they have come with less than stellar results. Inevitably the fighter coming up on the scorecards will play it safe and avoid exchanges in the later rounds, so as not to risk his decision win. This problem can be solved, however, with an effective stalling penalty. First off, the three or five rounds in MMA are more forgiving to the twelve rounds of boxing. The most an MMA fighter can run is one or two rounds. A stalling penalty will take care of the rest. When a fighter refuses to engage his opponent to protect a lead, the referee will issue one warning for stalling. The second offense will be a second warning and the third offense will be a point deduction. Points can be taken away for

RJ Clifford can be reached at RJ@MMAworldwide.com 16 The World-famous

several reasons including grabbing the fence, illegal strikes and grasping clothing, so why not take a point away when a fighter doesn’t fight when he is in a fight? Look at collegiate wrestling. The open scoring system of wrestling adds to the excitement. When a wrestler is down by a narrow margin at the end of a match, that wrestler is relentlessly looking for the last takedown, escape, pin, etc. The audience watches in anticipation to see if the wrestler that is down can get the point or if the wrestler that is up can hang onto his lead. The difference here is the stalling call. In wrestling you have one warning for stalling and then the ref starts taking points. It is almost standard procedure for a referee to make stall calls at the end of a match for a wrestler who is up on points and not engaging his opponent. Imagine the urgency of a fighter who knows he cannot win on points in the third round unless he A) finishes his opponent or B) is so aggressive he pushes the pace to a point where the other fighter begins to stall and losses points. Respected chairmen, MMA needs an open scoring system and a penalty for stalling. There, I fixed it. Sincerely yours, RJ Clifford


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MAILBAG MICHAEL BISPING Bisping is definitely doing a good job getting hype for his fight with Henderson but I’m still skeptical. Henderson was a champ in the same two weight classes that Bisping has fought in. Where as Bisping couldn’t even handle a one-time champ who isn’t even as good a wrestler. —Kevin Strothers, Jacksonville, FL Even if Bisping wins against Dan Henderson it won’t change anything because then he’ll have to face Silva . . . and I think we all know how that’ll go. —Derrick Noons, Yuma, AZ Michael Bisping showed off once again his brash attitude on The Ultimate Fighter this season but I think we are starting to see some development as well. He admitted he was a little hot headed and even complimented Dan Henderson on the way he composed himself and expressed a desire to be more like him. Let’s see how that translates to his fighting ability. —Pete Ford, Dublin, CA

ANDERSON SILVA I think the UFC made a good choice in putting Silva against Forrest Griffin at light heavyweight. This will get fans interested in Silva again while at the same time providing what looks like on paper to be a very entertaining fight.

KRZYSZTOF SOSZYNSKI

FACE OFF

That guy really is an experiment taking on two fights back to back like that in the UFC and finishing them both in the first round. The rest of the UFC really needs to take notice. This isn’t the same Krzyztof that fought in the IFL.

I guess you guys were wrong about Wanderlei winning against Franklin. Granted it was close but still, the guy has lost five of his last six fights. Doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence when the guy you’re fighting only has four losses in his whole career.

—Pat Grabowski, Los Angeles, CA —Hank, Myspace

GOING HOLLYWOOD BUSHIDO Am I the only person who realized that “Fighting” is almost the exact same movie as Van Damme’s 1990 “Lionheart?” Well Adam did but still that and “Never Back Down” being the same as “The Karate Kid,” Hollywood needs to be a bit more creative. —Jen Orser, Otisville, MI

When people think of the beginning of MMA they always forget the long tradition of combat sports in Japan. Professional Shooto existed before the UFC and has been carrying on strong ever since. Obviously the UFC has brought MMA to new levels Shooto never could but it is important not to change history. Nothing is more dangerous. —Gabe Wellington, London, England

—Sean Evans, Boston, MA To C o n t a c t M M A Wo r l d w i d e : Email us at mailbag@mmaworldwide .com or check us out on Myspace at www.myspace .com/mmaworldwidemagazine . Make sure to include your name and hometown. 18 The World-famous


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TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS: Do They Have a Place in MMA? by Matthew Kaplowitz

The UFC light heavyweight title was in a constant flux for the longest time. After Chuck Liddell dropped the gold to Quinton Jackson, Jackson lost it a year later to Forest Griffin, who then lost it to Rashad Evans, and then he lost it to Lyoto Machida. Increasing his undefeated streak to 15 wins, Machida looks like he might be the man to wear that belt for a lengthy reign. Utilizing his family’s custom style of shotokan karate, Machida is an argument that traditional martial arts are just as strong as today’s MMA hybrid style, but how much fact is there in this argument? In the golden days of the UFC, style vs. style was the only way to fight. And what fights they were, answering questions of who would win, Muay Thai vs. judo, ninjitsu vs. kung fu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu against just about everything! But as the events rolled on, we started to see repeats of these stylistic bouts, but with different outcomes, proving the styles might not be what makes the fighter. By the time the UFC had reached double digits, we had started to see wrestling making an impact, adapting to BJJ by introducing ground and pound and neutralizing the grappler’s tactics. Strikers soon learned to counteract the wrestlers by sprawling and brawling. The grapplers were forced to get off their backs and learn to throw leather. It was not long before a hybrid style spawned from these new methods and slowly materialized into what we consider mixed martial arts.

Machida was not necessarily the first fighter to employ a traditional background. Karo Parisyan has been effectively using his judo background to toss many a foe to what would be an “Ippon” in judo competition, but has adapted his throws into MMA. Kyokushin karate has always been a part of Georges St. Pierre’s repertoire, and even Chuck Liddell’s karate roots pop up every now and then in the form of a spinning back kick. If you do not consider TMA to be limited to only Japan and China, fighters who use Muay Thai as their primary style have been faring exceedingly well in caged combat. Anderson Silva has fractured too many noses to count in his lifetime, along with other members of Chute Boxe and other teams that are heavy in Muay Thai. My point for that brief history lesson? Any time a fighter shows something unconventional to modern MMA, fans clamor to know more about it. When Silva (Anderson or Wanderlei, your choice) began caving in people’s faces with his knees and unbreakable Thai clinch, we all decided Muay Thai was the ultimate thing to concentrate on. When Royce Gracie was armbarring karatekas at UFC II, BJJ was the way to go. When Josh Barnett began touting catch wrestling as the ultimate style, some fans thought we would see a reprise in the old style of position over submission. Essentially any time we see dominance in one style, our eyes seem to focus on that one aspect.

other MMA fighters, cross-train in multiple styles. The key to note is that there is a serious focus on one style, but it does not shut the door on other forms of martial arts. Any fighter who trains in one style from a young age and continues to do it through adulthood will obviously excel at that style. Learning martial arts as a child teaches discipline and commitment, and ultimately, the style might not be as important as one thinks. MMA is about evolution. This sport is still producing different traits that move some fighters ahead and leave others behind in the dust. It is how they adapt their knowledge that makes them effective. The proper application of any style will result in a great fighter, pending he or she can adapt it to their new environment. Machida was able to take his karate and make it work in a new area of combat through his skills and ability to evolve with the changing landscape of fighting. If you were about to dust off your old karate gi and head back to your dojo, by all means, do so! But jumping from one bandwagon to another will not make you a better fighter; it is commitment and the ability to adapt your knowledge that will truly make you a dangerous fighter. To quote Bruce Lee, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Machida has reclaimed honor for karate, but let us also remember that he, like all

Matthew Kaplowitz is the editor of thefightnerd.com, you can reach him at thefightnerd@gmail.com. 20 The World-famous


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THE LAST WORD

The Tattoo Debate By Adam J.Villareal

In MMA, fighters are as diverse as anything you could ever come across. Some fighters look like fighters with crooked noses, horrible cauliflowered ears and other things. Some look like nice choir boys who’ve never been in a gym, and then there are women like Gina Carano who you’d expect to see somewhere else like a volleyball court or a softball field. My point is, no two fighters look the same. Why am I bringing this up? Well, like everyone else in the world, fighters express themselves in a myriad of ways. Jens Pulver (usually) and Jonathan Goulet rock crazy hair with mad dye jobs, and there’s a guy like Jason “Mayhem” Miller who is known for his over-the-top, albeit entertaining entrances. Then there are the tattoos… Now I could spend all day writing about tattoo-laden fighters, but I don’t care to spend my Sunday that way. Instead I’ll give honorable mentions to the guys most would know: Brock Lesnar and his “sword” tattoo, Joe Riggs and his “Diesel” tattoo, Cub Swanson and his ode to Southern California complete with Palm trees, Jeff Monson and his collage of ink dedicated to Anarchy, and I’ll close with Alessio Sakara and his Roman-influenced ink. Then there’s Cain Velasquez and his “Brown Pride” tattoo. I bring him up specifically because his art has caused a lot of blogging on the forums. Now first off, I

completely believe in the right to self expression and Freedom of Speech, but I also know that it’s a double-edged sword. I know that people can take freedom and the ability to say what they want to sometimes offensive levels and that’s the trade off. My question is this: should a person get so offended when they see something that embraces a person’s heritage? By the way, does anyone have an opener for the can of worms I’m about to break out? Now I know what you’re probably thinking; what if it said “White Pride” or something along those lines right? Well here again is that trade off I spoke of. It’s apparent that some people equate these types of tattoos as racist and offensive, possibly bearing a connection to gang or illegal activity. I guess you can’t blame them. Some people see “Brown Pride” and they may think of the Mexican Mafia; some people see “White Pride” and they may think of some Aryan group and so on. If this is the case, should we get upset when a fighter uses their heritage as part of their identity? For example, Tito Ortiz used to come out with the American and Mexican flag, while Marcus Davis uses the moniker “The Irish Hand Grenade.” Seriously, are we to believe the only thing we can accept is “American”-inspired art or expression? It’s funny how many people love Jake Shields’ tattoo that reads “American Jiu Jitsu”; I haven’t heard anyone complain about that one (and yes, it is a cool tat). In the end, what’s all the fuss about? Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard stories about guys not being allowed to fight because their tattoos bear obvious references to gangs and such. I’ll be honest; I’d get offended if I saw a fighter blatantly brandishing a swastika or any other racist

imagery. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong to think tattoos, as long as they aren’t extreme and obviously offensive, are no big deal. Perception, as they say, becomes reality. I don’t think Cain Velasquez is out to mock the United States with his tattoo, as some people in certain forums have stated. I think everyone should be proud of what they are and be able to represent it in an honorable and tasteful manner. I couldn’t imagine Tito without his flags, Marcus Davis without his nickname, Mirko minus the CroCop, GSP without the Fleur De Lis, etc (hell I couldn’t imagine Balboa not being the “Italian Stallion”!!!). These are the things that make each fighter unique and I think they all should be able to represent themselves in any manner they see fit. Again, this can be a double-edged sword, but we’re also in America the last time I checked. Get over it or get in the cage and settle the tattoo debate with whomever you have the problem with…that’s what I thought! For the record, here’s a quote I found from Cain: I got my tattoo because I wanted people to know I was Mexican and that I was doing good things with my life. I'm really proud of what I went through to get where I am. Growing up, there wasn't anyone in the media [who was of Mexican decent] who I could look up to. There wasn't anyone who looked like me [in the media], so I never thought I would do something good. I figured I would just go out and join the regular work force. I never thought I'd make a career out of wrestling or fighting. I just wanted everyone to say I was just like them and that I was good at what I did.

Give me your thoughts and we may publish them in the next issue. Email me at adam@tapoutmagazine.com and let’s see who gets “The Last Word”! 22 The World-famous


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FACE

The UFC lightweight championship is once again on the line at UFC 101 August 8th. BJ Penn will make another title defense against The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 veteran Kenny Florian. Will Penn claim another victim on his long list of conquests or will Florian rise to the occasion where other lightweights have failed?

Kenny “Ken Flo� Florian RECORD 11-3 Has consistently been fighting adequate opposition in the UFC and reeled off two very big wins against Joe Stevenson and Roger Huerta to put himself in title contention LAST FIVE OPPONENTS Win Joe Stevenson, Win Roger Huerta, Win Joe Lauzon, Win Din Thomas, Win Alvin Robinson +1 Florian GREATEST VICTORY In a battle of lightweight contenders Florian beat and battered Roger Huerta for three rounds taking a decision over Huerta who had not lost in 17 fights STRIKING The Mark DellaGrotte trained fighter has grown leaps and bounds in the Muay Thai department and brandishes some of the best elbows in the UFC Tied WRESTLING Wrestling has always been his Achilles heel but has been working diligently on it in the last few years and has made a marked improvement SUBMISSIONS A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Florian has always leaned on his submission skills to get him through tough fights and has several key submissions of his own EXPERIENCE Has only 14 fights in his over 6 year career but most have been on the big stage in the UFC as well as having main event and championship experience to boot INTANGIBLES Coming in as the hungry underdog, great conditioning, has been preparing for this fight for eight months, faces the pressure of fighting the #1 lightweight in the world +1 FLORIAN

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BJ “The Prodigy” Penn RECORD 13-5-1 Perhaps no other fighter has fought better competition in more weight classes than “The Prodigy”. Some of his opposition include Sean Sherk, Matt Hughes (2X),Takanori Gomi, Lyoto Machida and Georges St. Pierre +1 Penn LAST FIVE OPPONENTS Loss Georges St. Pierre, Win Sean Sherk, Win Joe Stevenson, Win Jens Pulver, Loss Matt Hughes GREATEST VICTORY Went up in weight and challenged for the welterweight title against the division’s king Matt Hughes and defeated him by rear naked choke in the first round +1 Penn STRIKING A true boxer, Penn’s quick and powerful hands have bloodied some of the better fighters in the lightweight division including Sean Sherk, Joe Stevenson and Jens Pulver Tied WRESTLING Not much of a takedown artist but still one of the toughest guys to takedown in all of MMA with his grappling and flexibility allowing him to stay on his feet when he wants +1 Penn SUBMISSIONS Also a black belt in jiu-jitsu but this black belt has a world championship as well. Prefers chokes after first breaking the will of his opponent +1 Penn EXPERIENCE Has fought all over the world in some of the biggest promotions and biggest venues MMA has ever been in +1 Penn INTANGIBLES Defending champion, cardio issues, is coming off a crushing defeat to Georges St. Pierre BJ PENN WINS 5-2 Florian has improved more than perhaps any other fighter out of the UFC’s reality show but he may have bitten off more than he can chew with Penn. The punches, takedown defense and jiu-jitsu skills of Penn will be too much for Florian in his second bid at the UFC lightweight title. www.mmaworldwide.com 25


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by Andrew Bonsall and RJ Clifford

At UFC 95 ring announcer nightmare Mike Ciesnolevicz and Neil Grove went toe to toe in the UFC heavyweight division. At a weight class where it is more common to see two giant men sling leather at each other until one falls down, this bout turned into a great grappling match. Just a minute into the first round, Pat Miletich trained Ciesnoleciz snagged a heel hook and did not let go until Grove was wincing in pain and tapping profusely. Grove did not appear to be in any danger until the very end.

GROVE DID NOT TAP UNTIL HIS KNEE POPPED. WHAT HAPPENED?

WHAT HAPPENED? Approximately 70 percent of all traumatic knee injuries are to the ACL.

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A heel hook is a leg lock affecting multiple joints, and is applied by transversely twisting the foot either medially or laterally. It is one of the more dangerous submission holds in MMA due to the fact that the injury can be substantial with little warning from pain. By the time the victim feels the pain of a heel hook the damage is already done. The heel hook does not injure the heel or ankle at all but the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a major ligament in the knee. The torsional force put on the heel severely torques the ankle, which in turn transfers torque to the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament is the primary restraint to forward motion of the shin bone (tibia). The anatomy of the knee joint is critical to understanding this relationship. Essentially, the femur (thigh bone) sits on top of the tibia (shin bone), and the knee joint allows movement at the junction of these bones. Without ligaments to stabilize the knee, the joint would be unstable and prone to dislocation. The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding too far forward.


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Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

Femur Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

Medial Collateral Ligament Medial Meniscus

Lateral Collateral Ligament Tibia

Lateral Meniscus

HOW BAD IS IT?

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The immediate symptoms of a cruciate injury vary according to the degree of injury involved. The most common immediate symptom is a loud pop that you both feel and hear. Next your knee may give way.

An athlete that has sustained a cruciate injury should apply “RICE� (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) as soon after the injury as possible. Then, see a sports injury professional immediately. A sports injury professional will firstly aim to correctly diagnose the injury. This may be achieved by performing specific tests such as the Lachman Test. The Lachman test is performed to evaluate abnormal forward movement of the tibia (shin bone). By pulling the shin bone forward, your surgeon can feel for an ACL tear. If there is an ACL tear, the shin bone will move too far forward.

The severity of ligament injuries are graded on a scale of one to four: 1. First-degree sprain is an acute mild trauma. A few ligamentous fibers have been torn, resulting in mild pain but no joint instability. 2. Second-degree sprain is an acute moderate trauma. A moderate number of ligamentous fibers are torn, resulting in moderate pain, swelling and disability but little or no joint instability. 3. Third-degree sprain is an acute and complete tear of the ligament. Swelling and pain may range from minimal to severe. Disability is always severe, and the joint is rendered unstable. 4. Fourth-degree sprain is a complete rupture between the ligament and the bone. Pain, swelling, and disability are severe, and the joint is rendered unstable. Frequently the limb is rendered immobile by a cruciate injury. Even if you can move a little, you certainly cannot continue the activity that caused the injury. Your knee may begin to swell immediately and continue to do so until reaching its worst state 2 to 3 hours after the damage was first done. Even if the injury is mild enough to allow you to stand, your knee may feel unstable as if it wants to bend too far back.

Conservative treatment will consist of: ice and heat treatment, electrotherapy (TENS) and ultrasound, manual therapy treatments, advise on a specific rehabilitative exercise program, which may include: quadriceps and hamstring strengthening, gait reeducation and balance training using wobble boards. Severe ACL damage will generally require surgery and a long rehabilitation program. It is important to remember when practicing heel hooks and leg locks in general to give your opponent ample time to tap out to the hold. Unlike a choke, holding a leg lock too long can result in serious injury.

Andrew Bonsall has a BA in Kinisiology from Long Beach State University and a Masters in Educational technology. He is also a credentialed medical illustrator. www.mmaworldwide.com 29


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FEATHERWEIGHT 145

1

Mike Thomas Brown

2

Urijah Faber

3

Hatsu Hioki

4

LIGHTWEIGHT 160

1

BJ Penn

2

Joachim Hansen

3

Shinya Aoki

Dokonjonosuke Mishima

4

Eddie Alvarez

5

Leonard Garcia

5

Tatsuya Kawajiri

6

“Lion” Takeshi Inoue

6

7

Wagnney Fabiano

7

8

Jose Aldo

9

Marlon Sandro

10

Rafael Assuncao

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No question! Defeats Faber again.

Trying to get back on the winning track at WEC 42.

Now has five KO wins in a row in WEC.

WELTERWEIGHT 170

1

Georges St. Pierre

2

Jon Fitch

3

Thiago Alves

4

Jake Shields

5

Josh Koscheck

Kenny Florian

6

Matt Hughes

Gesias “JZ” Calvancante

7

Martin Kampman

8

Carlos Condit

Tough title defense against Kenny Florian coming up at UFC 101.

Defeats Toby Imada to become the first Bellator lightweight champion.

Looks to defend his title for the first time against Gilbert Melendez.

8

Frankie Edgar

9

Sean Sherk

9

Karo Parisyan

10

Josh Thomson

10

Mike Swick

Looks good even up a weight defeating middleweight ace Robbie Lawler.

Rumored to face Frank Trigg in his return to the UFC.

Has reeled off four straight wins at welterweight.


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TITLES UFC

DREAM

WEC

STRIKEFORCE

SHOOTO

DEEP

WAMMA

SENGOKU

MIDDLEWEIGHT 185

1

Anderson Silva

2

Dan Henderson

3

Jorge Santiago

4

Yushin Okami

5

Vitor Belfort

6

Demian Maia

7

Robbie Lawler

8

Nate Marquardt

9

Thales Leites

10

Yoshihiro Akiyama

BIG challenge against the huge light heavyweight Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.

Great middleweight matchup at Affliction: Trilogy August 1st.

Drops a submission loss to welterweight Jake Shields.

AS OF June 26, 2009

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT 205

1

Lyoto Machida

2

Rashad Evan

3

HEAVYWEIGHT 205 AND ABOVE

1

Fedor Emelianenko

2

Frank Mir

Forrest Griffin

3

Josh Barnett

4

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

4

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

5

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

5

Brock Lesnar

6

Rich Franklin

6

Brett Rogers

7

Keith Jardine

7

Andrei Arlovski

8

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

8

Randy Couture

9

Luis Arthur Cane

9

Alistair Overeem

10

Thiago Silva

10

Shane Carwin

While you are reading this, Evans and Rampage are filming The Ultimate Fighter 10.

Takes close decision over a very game Wanderlei Silva.

Looks to get back on the winning track against Keith Jardine at UFC 102.

Faces the biggest fight of his life against Fedor Emelianenko August 1st.

Welcome to the big leagues. KO’s Arlovski in 22 seconds at Strikeforce.

Will make the first defense of his title at Strikeforce August 15th.

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TRUE OR FALSE? UFC 101

We asked our panel of MMA experts to weigh in on some of the key points of UFC 101, which will take place on August 8th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, headlined by BJ Penn’s lightweight title defense against Kenny Florian.

■ TRUE OR FALSE? BJ Penn’s gas tank will be able to go five rounds. Bas Rutten, legendary MMA fighter, coach and announcer: FALSE But I hope I’m wrong. Adam Villarreal, Senior Contributing Writer: FALSE BJ's long career is catching up with him and Kenny is looking to press the action. Ricky Bonnet, host of the Sirius Fight Club: True RJ Clifford, Editorin-Chief: FALSE In a fight where his opponent pushes the action, Penn cannot even go three rounds. Even after his two round shellacking of Joe Stevenson, he could barely stand up. Aaron Tru, MMAworldwide.com contributor: FALSE BJ Penn’s gas tank only holds 2.75 rounds. ■ TRUE OR FALSE? Kenny Florian will score two or more 36 The World-famous

takedowns in this fight. Rutten: TRUE Villarreal: TRUE Kenny is ready to “Kill the Master" and make a statement about deserving this shot. Bonnet: TRUE Not only has Kenny Florian’s strength and speed improved with each fight, but his striking gets crisper with each fight. This will enable him to engage BJ and set up the takedowns. Clifford: TRUE Not in the first and probably not in the second, but Florian will continue to push the pace and tire out Penn. Once Penn’s infamous lungs start to give out, Florian will start scoring takedowns. Tru: FALSE BJ Penn will control the fight from the jump. ■ TRUE OR FALSE? Anderson Silva hits harder than Forrest Griffin. Rutten: FALSE Villarreal: TRUE Uh...hell yeah! Bonnet: FALSE In my opinion, Forrest Griffin is

one of the hardest hitters in the sport. While Silva does have power, the key to his striking is his speed and accuracy. He bombards his opponents with barrages of dead-on punches, kicks and knees that startle and eventually take them out. When you have the number of weapons in your arsenal that Silva does, you don’t need to go for the one punch KO. Clifford: TRUE Even though Forrest is bigger and stronger, neither fighter has one punch KO power. What Silva does have is elbows and knees which could end a fight at any moment. Just ask Tony Fryklund. Tru: FALSE ■ TRUE OR FALSE? Forrest Griffin’s size will be a major factor in his fight with Anderson Silva. Rutten: TRUE Because it means Forrest will have less speed. Villarreal: TRUE I think Forrest may be the one to get Anderson down and keep him there longer than anyone else. Bonnet: FALSE Forrest needs to focus on his speed and agility if he does not


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want to be another notch on the Spider’s belt. We saw what happened to a strong James Irvin who threw a kick, only to have Anderson catch it mid-transition and put “The Sandman” to sleep. When you are toe to toe with a fighter as technical as Silva, size does not matter. Clifford: FALSE But only because his size comes with a price tag: speed. Griffin may be able to overpower Silva, but he will also be slow enough for Silva to pick his shots and evade a wrestling match. Tru: TRUE Forrest is huge; fighters moving up a weight class have not been successful as of late. ■ TRUE OR FALSE? Anderson Silva cannot be knocked out by Forrest Griffin. Rutten: FALSE Everyone can be knocked out. Villarreal: TRUE He's Anderson “frigging” Silva, a superhero as far as I’m concerned.

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moniker “anyone can be knocked out,” which is true, I highly doubt the first person Griffin knocks out in the UFC is the master strike dodger Anderson Silva. But who knows? Tru: FALSE He is not Fedor; Silva is human. ■ TRUE OR FALSE? The over a year layoff will hurt Amir Sadollah badly. Rutten: FALSE Villarreal: TRUE Cage rust baby! Bonnet: TRUE MMA is all about activity. We have seen countless examples of fighters who have taken an extended time off due to injury or contract disputes, and 9 times out of 10, it does not end up benefiting the fighter (ex. Shogun Rua). The sport is constantly evolving, and in order for a fighter to thrive, he MUST stay active. With all of the newcomers and the shelf life of fighters constantly dwindling, a fighter must be productive to stay relevant.

Bonnet: FALSE If there is one thing I have learned from covering this sport is that anyone can be knocked out at this level, especially by a brawler like Forrest Griffin. If he catches Anderson, it will be over. But that will be a tall task; the angles and various array of strikes Anderson brings to the table makes knocking him out very difficult.

Clifford: FALSE Will it hurt? Yes. Will it hurt badly and drastically affect Sadollah’s performance? No. The guy came into The Ultimate Fighter with no fights, so he basically came in on a 28-year lay off and won the whole show. A one year layoff should be a piece of cake.

Clifford: TRUE Outside of the standard issue

Tru: TRUE Amir will wish he had ring

worm and not ring rust when he steps into the cage. ■ TRUE OR FALSE? Ricardo Almeida will submit Kendall Grove. Rutten: TRUE Villarreal: TRUE Multiple Abu Dhabi competitor and Gracie Barra team member. I just see it happening somehow. Bonnet: FALSE You could call this fight the battle of the choke artists and not in the way you think. Both Grove and Almeida have had a number of victories via choke submission. Though BJJ is Almeida’s bread and butter, Grove is coming off an impressive win over Jason “Dooms” Day. Look for a big year from “Da Spider” as he is motivated, focused and hungry; that combination will make him a force to be reckoned with. Clifford: TRUE Almeida is one of the top three best Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters at middleweight in the UFC. Grove’s submission skills have grown leaps and bounds over the years, but not enough to catch up to a Mundials (World) Champion. Tru: TRUE Unless Grove can swap his lengthy limbs with Sean Sherk, he is in trouble. www.mmaworldwide.com 37


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11 QUICK QUESTIONS WITH...

Jose Aldo

Interview by RJ Clifford

The Brazilian featherweight fighter made his mark instantly in the WEC and has never looked back. Sporting a 15-1 record, the Nova Uni達o trained fighter has knocked out all five of his WEC opponents and is looking for his shot at WEC gold.With Mike Thomas Brown at the top of the heap, Aldo is ready and willing to show his fans once again what he has to offer. 38 The World-famous


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1

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6

MMA WORLDWIDE: Did your eight second KO over Cub Swanson at your last fight at WEC 41 go the way you planned? Did you plan on throwing that knee right from the beginning?

belt?

JOSE ALDO: I train everyday this knee in my gym, but this time I knew Cub wanted to put me on the ground. Because of this I tried the flying knee.

7

2

MW: The Nova UniĂŁo camp is known for their great submission artists but you are a striker. How did that come to be? JA: I started training Muay Thai four years ago, but I train hard two times a day for four years with Rodrigo Ruas.

3

MW: What do you attribute your great striking skills to?

JA: I think because I have a good mind and believe in my skills.

4

MW: After one of your fights you ran into the stands. What was that all

MW: Has the WEC spoken to you about a title shot for the 145 pound

JA: Not yet, but I believe the next fight for me is the title shot. MW: How do you think you match up against Mike Thomas Brown?

JA: I think it is hard fight for both of us, but I believe in my hands and my game.

8

MW: How do you compare the fans in America at WEC to the fans in Brazil? JA: America has much more fans than Brazil. The people in America love the fighters, same as Japanese fans.

9

MW: What is your favorite way to end a fight?

JA: PUNCH!

10

MW: What motivates you to succeed in MMA?

about? JA: To give my family a better life. JA: After that fight I wanted to celebrate with my fans. I love the fans.

5

MW: What did you think of the main event at WEC 41 between Urijah Faber and Mike Brown? JA: That was a great fight. Faber and Mike are dangerous opponents.

11

MW: Anything else you want to say to your fans?

JA: Thank you to all my fans and for all the credit they give to me. I always try to give my fans the best show. Thank you again for everything. I love you guys.

America has much more fans than Brazil. The people in America love the fighters, same as Japanese fans.

“

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Odds Improving for MMA to be Sanctioned in New York By Mike Harris 110, promoted at the sold-out Madison Square Garden, will be an all-New York card featuring a star-studded array of Empire State fighters such as Matt Serra, Matt Hamill, Jay Hieron, Phil Baroni and others.

UFC

Wait a minute. Isn’t MMA currently banned in New York? You are correct, sir. So at least for the time being, the tantalizing Garden scenario is merely a fantasy, though one – or one like it – that UFC President Dana White and company are lobbying hard to make a reality. While more and more states – close to 40 at last count – continue to sanction MMA as the sport skyrockets in popularity and mainstream acceptance, New York – arguably the biggest, most lucrative sports market in the country – isn’t among them. Not yet, that is. In June, the New York State Assembly's Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports passed by a 14-6 vote on Bill 2009-B, which would sanction and regulate MMA by the New York State Athletic Commission for an

Gov. Paterson says he will sign bill to legalize MMA.

initial three year trial period. While the bill still has a long legislative road to hoe before it reaches the desk of Governor David Paterson for his signature, one of its sponsors, Assemblyman Steve Englebright, is optimistic that it will. “I think that this bill is likely to make it through this gauntlet of legislative pitfalls and I’m looking forward to the governor having it on his desk this month,” Englebright, chair of the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports committee, said in early June. Englebright, a Democrat, said he believes MMA should be sanctioned in the state because of its growing mainstream acceptance. “It has become a part of popular culture,” he said. “I think the fact that it is available on television defeats the argument that this is too violent for exposure to the general public. It’s already available to the general public. The only difference is www.mmaworldwide.com 43


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will be a strong recommendation to him. But he has his own counsel and he’s someone who I have learned should not be taken for granted. So I will not try to anticipate his thought process.” But Randy Gordon, a former chair of the New York State Athletic Commission from 1988-95, said that based on an interview he did with the governor last year, he’s confident Paterson will sign the bill, thus at last legalizing MMA in New York.

Assemblyman Steve Englebright

that the people of New York do not have access to live exhibitions.” Englebright said he doesn’t even consider himself an MMA fan. “I’m just a legislator and as a matter of public policy, it seems to me that we’re ready in this state to authorize a threeyear experiment to test the way in which this might be received by the public and conducted by the industry,” he said. If and when the bill comes before fellow Democrat Paterson, will the governor sign it? “I do not know,” said Englebright, “I think that the fact that it reaches his desk

44 The World-famous

“I said, ‘Off the record, are you in favor of it?,’” recalled Gordon, an opponent of MMA being sanctioned in New York while he was Athletic Commission chair, but now a strong advocate of it via his Sirius Satellite talk radio show Fight Club. “And he said, ‘Even on the record, I’m in favor of it.’ Just from that conservation I had with the governor, I am 100% certain that should it get through all of the red tape that is needed in the state of New York, and it gets to his desk, he’s signing it.” Gordon said Paterson noted that the current chair of the state Athletic Commission, Melvina Lathan, is a big supporter of MMA. “One thousand percent in favor of mixed martial arts,” Gordon said. As Athletic Commission chair, Gordon encouraged then-Governor George Pataki to ban MMA in the state in 1997.

Randy Gordon former chair of the New York State Athletic Commission

A boxing purist in those days, Gordon said he found the early “no holds barred” UFC cards of the early 1990s to be “ridiculous.” But years later, after stumbling upon the much more regulated UFC on Spike TV – which has been credited with helping bring MMA to the masses and give it mainstream respectability – the sport started to grow on him to the point “where I just fell in love with it.” “I used to think to myself, ‘How ironic is this? That when I was the top dog in New York, I turned it down. Now I’m just Joe Citizen and I love it, never thinking that I would become the host of a mixed martial arts radio show.”


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The study found that a UFC event in New York City would generate $11.5 million in “net new” economic activity: $5.3 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in non-lodging visitor spending and $4.9 million in indirect/induced benefits.

Assemblyman Bob Reilly is MMA’s staunchest critic.

Leading the charge to have MMA legalized in New York is the UFC, the biggest, most prestigious MMA promotion in the country, owned by Las Vegas-based Zuffa, LLC. The argument the UFC pushes hardest is that sanctioning the sport in New York would result in millions of dollars being pumped into the state’s troubled economy. A study the UFC commissioned New York City-based HR&A Advisors, Inc. to conduct concluded that UFC events in New York City and Buffalo “would have a significant impact on state and local economies by generating tax revenues, creating jobs and boosting tourism industries,” the promotion stated.

NY native Matt Serra would love to fight in his home state.

The study, which can be found on MMAfacts.com, an advocacy website the UFC set up as part of its lobbying effort to get the sport sanctioned in New York, also concluded that a UFC event in Buffalo would generate $1.7 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in visitor spending, and $2.1 million in indirect/induced benefits. “At a time when the New York economy is in crisis, it would be a mistake for the state to miss out on the considerable revenue that our events would generate,” said Marc Ratner, UFC Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs. “UFC’s popularity is surging, our fan base is expanding and our presence is growing. “We are eager to bring both the excitement of our new sport as well as its major tax and tourist revenue to New York State,” Ratner said. “We look forward to being able to meet the tremendous demand that exists for our events in upstate New York as well as New York City.”

White said he hoped New York legislators “will recognize the tremendous economic opportunity it represents. “Our events have brought millions of dollars in tax and tourist revenue to nearly every city we have held an event in. We are constantly breaking arena records for concession sales, merchandise and ticket sales. We’re thrilled about the prospect of bringing our sport to New York.” That would be to the great disappointment of one Bob Reilly, another New York State Assemblyman who has emerged as the leading voice of opposition to sanctioning MMA there.

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UFC veteran Matt Hamill trains in New York.

Up until Englebright’s bill got out of the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports committee, Reilly said he was optimistic that at least in the short run, he could prevent MMA from being sanctioned in New York. “My hope was that I could have it defeated in the tourism committee,” Reilly, also a Democrat, said. “Before it got out of committee, and I saw how much money is behind this, I would have answered yes, I was hopeful.” And now? “I’m not gonna answer no,” he said, “but I just gave you another answer.” Reilly said he opposes sanctioning MMA in New York because, “I believe that it’s a violent sport and therefore dangerous to the fighters.” As evidence, he cited extreme injuries that two fighters suffered in late May: 20-yearold fighter Zach Kirk, who broke his neck and was paralyzed during a Mayhem Martial Arts show in Shenandoah, Iowa, and Minnesota fighter Jessica Bednark, who fell into a coma after a training session. A cat scan later revealed a ruptured artery in her brain and during emergency surgery, part of her skull was removed. “I believe violence begets violence,” Reilly said. But other sports, including boxing and football, are also violent and injury-ridden and unlike the major sanctioned MMA promotions, have resulted in deaths. Yet 46 The World-famous

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Reilly isn’t trying to ban them in New York, is he? Reilly replied that during a conference with MMA writers, one scribe said to him, “‘You know, two guys were killed in boxing in the last eight weeks and they claim no one’s ever been killed in MMA, which I disagree with, but even if that’s the case, I said, ‘You know, that’s a great argument. Two guys have been killed in boxing in the last eight weeks, therefore we should legalize MMA.’ And that says it all to me.” But former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra, a New York native who more than any other fighter is the face of the campaign to get MMA sanctioned in his home state, disputed Reilly’s arguments. He noted in an opinion piece he wrote recently for the New York City-area daily newspaper Newsday that a bill similar to Englebright’s died last year “because some Assembly members were concerned about what they call the ‘violent nature’ of the sport.” “What they forget is that mixed martial arts is a combination of several Olympic sports: martial arts disciplines like jiu-jitsu, karate, Greco-Roman wrestling and judo – sports that prize discipline and strategy,” Serra, who is featured prominently on the homepage of the UFC’s MMAfacts.com site, wrote. Serra further noted that the sport’s safety standards have evolved greatly since its early 1990s “human cockfighting” days – as Arizona Sen. John McCain so memorably put it – to significantly better protect the fighters. “Contrary to popular belief, mixed martial arts competitions are anything but ‘noholds-barred,’” Serra wrote. “There are weight classes, judges, time limits and more than 30 moves that are against the rules.” Serra said athletic commissions in the 37 states where the sport is regulated set additional rules that govern each fight. “They oversee and enforce things like medical testing, ringside doctors, post-fight MRIs – even what type of gloves we wear,” he wrote.

UFC light heavyweight Matt Hamill, another strong proponent of sanctioning MMA in New York, echoed Serra in dismissing Reilly’s contentions. “The sport of MMA has proven itself to be as safe, if not safer, than all other combat sports,” said Hamill, a native of Ohio who now trains in Utica, New York. Serra said a 2006 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study concluded, “The overall injury rate in MMA competitions is now similar to other combat sports, including boxing," and "knockout rates are lower in MMA competitions than in boxing.” “That conclusion, combined with the fact that the most serious injuries in all the UFC fights have been broken arms and legs, should put safety concerns to rest,” Serra wrote. Perhaps with Reilly in mind, Hamill said, “There will always be people who don't understand what we do, but we need to continue educating people on the sport and the quality and character of the athletes that are participating in it.” New York City has long been a capital of boxing. Are there entrenched boxing interests there working to keep MMA – which many believe is supplanting boxing as the fan fight sport of choice – out of their state? “Not to my knowledge,” Reilly said. “I wouldn’t doubt that because of the competition. But I don’t know that for a fact.” Gordon, meanwhile, said he has heard unsubstantiated talk that hotel unions in New York are trying to keep Zuffa out because of the open shop policy in their casinos in Las Vegas. “Apparently, there is something to that, though I don’t know how much,” he said. Englebright, however, said that’s news to him. “That has not reached my ears and has not been a part of our committee’s consideration,” he said. Reilly said that in a poll he conducted of enrolled voters in his district earlier this


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year, 67% percent said they were against sanctioning MMA in the state. “Enrolled voters tend to be older, and that’s the only bias I can see,” he said. “I’ve never had so many people come up to me, people who I don’t know, and say, ‘You’re absolutely right in this. I’m glad you’re fighting it.’” But doesn’t Reilly’s poll contradict the all-but incontrovertible evidence that MMA is the fastest growing sport in the country? “I don’t deny that,” he said. Englebright said his bill has to be approved by a second Assembly committee, the Standing Committee on Codes, before it can come up for a vote by the full Assembly. The bill also must be passed by a pair of committees in the State Senate, and if both legislative houses approve it, it then gets forwarded to the governor. Englebright said he expected a vote on the bill in both houses prior to June 22, when legislators recess. But Reilly wasn’t so sure. Normally, he said, there would be enough time for the bill to wind its way through the legislative process prior to the June 22 recess. But in early June, he noted, the state Senate was thrown into disarray when two Democrats defected to the Republicans, apparently giving the GOP control of that chamber. Reilly said he expected the issue of who now controls the Senate to be the subject of lengthy litigation and a determination by the courts. “The bottom line is, it’s a complete mess,” he said. “So I don’t think nothing’s going to happen in the next two weeks.” If so, Englebright’s bill could be stalled until next year, Reilly said. New York’s lawmakers are not scheduled to come back to work until January, he said, though they could

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be called back earlier by the Governor or the legislative leadership. Englebright said that if Paterson signs the bill, it would become effective within weeks. At the end of the bill’s initial threeyear trial period, he said, “We would have a report back on how the sport has conducted itself. [We would see] what the economic and other implications are and recommend whether we should proceed to reauthorize at the end of this three-year trial initiative.” As for the UFC’s argument that live cards would pump money into New York’s economy, Englebright said, “That’s part of what we would be watching.” In his Newsday opinion piece, Serra noted the irony that while he’s fought all over the country, one place he hasn’t fought is his native state. “I've never had the excitement of hearing a sold-out crowd at Nassau Coliseum chant my name as I entered the Octagon – our sport's answer to the boxing ring,” he wrote. “I've never been able to compete in front of all my friends and family. And New York has never captured any of the revenue these hugely popular events bring.” For those reasons, Serra said, MMA should be sanctioned in New York. “As leaders in Albany struggle to deal with the state's fiscal problems, they should think outside the box and inside the Octagon,” Serra said. “Our elected officials in Albany have a lot on their plates right now, but they should consider regulating mixed martial arts in New York. “As a professional athlete, I can't imagine anything more exciting than competing in front of a hometown crowd. And as a New York taxpayer, I would hope that our legislators are open to new ideas to bring more entertainment dollars into our state.”

QUOTATIONS FROM CHAIRMAN BOB Like other opponents of MMA, New York State Assemblyman Bob Reilly displays a staggering ignorance of the sport in talking about his reasons for leading the charge against it being sanctioned in the Empire State. Some of his other statements and opinions about MMA are well, curious to say the least. But let the man speak for himself. Here then, are some choice quotes from Reilly’s interview with MMA Worldwide: “The martial arts, with the exception of Ultimate Fighting, are based on long histories and development. They have behind them – and I’m not that familiar with them – Jiu-Jitsu, whatever, a philosophy behind them. And a certain sense of discipline. Ultimate fighting lacks that. It comes right off the street.” “Who this (MMA) appeals to are the kids in the inner city who are going to believe that this is OK and acceptable. Now we have in the city I’m sitting in (Albany) a real problem with violence among teens. Serious violence of kids shooting kids to death. Now, do I blame that on Ultimate Fighting? Not completely.” “Dana White says he will never change the rules to make this safer.” “If you go to the UFC website, they’re selling clothes for six-month-old infants. Now if you’re dressing an infant in Ultimate Fighting gear that says ‘Cage Fighter’ on it, how can this kid grow up not in a culture of violence?” “We did have in a suburban school, right here, twenty kids formed an Ultimate Fighting group or gang if you will, that the cops had to break up, saying ‘this is nearcriminal activity’ because of the harm they were doing to one another.” — Mike Harris

As MMA Worldwide went to print, the bill to sanction MMA in New York State had just passed a second Assembly Committee – Codes – and was in a third Committee – Ways and Means – when the Assembly recessed for the year until January. Thus, unless Gov. David Paterson takes the highly unusual step of calling back both the Senate and the Assembly for a special session to further consider the bill, MMA won’t be sanctioned in New York State at least until early next year. www.mmaworldwide.com 47


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THE ULTIMATE SUPPLEMENT GUIDE ADAPTX LABS CardioFactor™ by AdapTx Labs™ is the first ever cardio supplement developed exclusively for MMA fighters. Taking CardioFactor™ daily helps fighters avoid gassing out. Price: $49.95 www.AdapTxLabs.com

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MMAterial GRAPPLE ARTS FOR THE IPHONE iPhone users now have a new way to take their submission knowledge anywhere.

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This application, developed by Stephan Kesting, is a brand-new and completely different mode of grappling instruction. This is the very first application of its kind, designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. www.grapplearts.com/iphone

Use for sparring, thai pads, focus mitts, heavy bag, ground and pound... Available in 14 and 16oz. www.cagesidemma.com

EXTREME FIGHT GAMES Extreme Fight Games, Inc. is releasing the first ever Original Mixed Martial Arts Board Game! This new patented product will be the newest sensation for MMA fans of all ages, simulating all aspects of the sport from Stand-Up and Ground fighting, all in a realistic, educational and captivating way. The object of the game is to win by knock-out or submission, or accumulate enough winning rounds to win be decision. $29.95 www.ExtremeFightGames.com 54 The World-famous


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MMAterial HEADLUBE SPF 30 For all you guys that sport the shaved head; you need sunscreen!! HeadBlade is committed to helping you maintain your signature look. Sure, they make great razors, clippers, and shave cream, but they also know how important it is to protect that investment. This new HeadLube SPF 30 complements the company’s hot selling spray, HeadShade SPF 15. The new HeadLube SPF 30 goes on silky smooth without that greasy feel. Use code MMA and get 25% off your online purchase at www.headblade.com

AUTOGRAPHED LIMITED EDITION PRINTS OF GEORGES. ST. PIERRE Georges St. Pierre and nationally-renowned artist Brian Fox have teamed up to offer the first-ever, individually autographed limited edition prints. “I love this painting,” said Georges St, Pierre. “I’m a good guy, and when I fight, I am another guy. Brian’s work shows that to me. He is a master on his canvas, and I am a master on mine. I hope my fans love it as much as I do.” $599.00 www.brianfoxstudios.com www.mmaworldwide.com 55


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I think I’m right up there in like the

top ten. I mean, Cheick Kongo was next in line for a title fight and I

think I’m right up there with those guys, but I think I need more

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experience for sure.


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Cain Velasquez Shooting to the Top Interview by RJ Clifford

After preparing to fight the 260-pound grappling veteran Heath Herring at UFC 99 halfway around the world in Germany, Cain Velasquez instead got a 6’4” striking machine in Cheick Kongo. Unfazed by the opponent change, Velasquez turned in a dominate performance against his toughest adversary to date, battering and beating the Frenchman for 15 straight minutes. On the heels of his greatest victory, Velasquez’s career is looking up. But what’s next? MMA WORLDWIDE: So what have you been up to since your big win? CAIN VELASQUEZ: Just relaxing and taking some time off to be with family. MW: Is that pretty standard for you after a fight to take some time off? CV: Yeah, usually I’ll take like a week off—but the woman—she said I had to take two weeks off mandatory. I had to do it. MW: Looking at the Kongo match, it was a one-sided affair. It was the first time you didn’t win by TKO. Is that something you were going for or was the game plan to take it easy and not make any mistakes? CV: Not make any mistakes, but at the same time keep on the pressure and hopefully get the TKO, but never think that you’re going to get one. As far as the fight, I think it was on the ground OK. I just have some stuff to work on my feet. I need to get a lot better and I’m going to do that. MW: You definitely got caught early in the first two rounds. You recovered, but how in trouble were you? CV: It was a split second. I got hit and pretty much snapped out of it right away and that’s pretty much it.

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I went to college

and told my coach that I wanted to

fight. He told me to finish out with

wrestling and get

my degree first, and then he’d set me up with the right people.

MW: Did you feel like you needed to get the takedown as a wrestler’s natural reaction? CV: It probably is a natural reaction, but his legs were right there and I just took them. MW: What did you think of Kongo as an opponent as opposed to Heath Herring, your original opponent? Did you think one was better for your career at this point? CV: I thought Kongo would be the tougher fight, even though Herring beat him. I thought he had really improved on his takedown defense and his overall being as an MMA fighter. So I think I preferred Heath Herring over Kongo just because I think Kongo is the better fighter. MW: It seems like he brought more of a striking danger than Herring and that’s the thing you’ve been working on the most coming from wrestling. Did that present a greater challenge for you? CV: No, it’s been a smooth transition 60 The World-famous

with the stand-up game. I just didn’t show it very well that night. MW: Now you’ve only had six fights, but people are already talking about you as a title contender. Where do you put yourself in the UFC heavyweight division? CV: No, I think I’m right up there in like the top ten. I mean, Cheick Kongo was next in line for a title fight and I think I’m right up there with those guys, but I think I need more experience for sure. MW: How do you think you got so good so fast? You’ve had six fights and six wins and you’re already in line for a title shot. What’s your secret? CV: I think just putting in all of the time in the gym and listening to my coaches. I really try to learn all aspects of MMA and really the only thing that I can do is be in the gym, so that’s it. MW: So what got you into martial arts in general, along with wrestling and fighting?


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CV: Well I’ve been wrestling since junior high. My brother wrestled and he was two years older, so when he did it, I followed and loved it. Then I went to college and told my coach that I wanted to fight. He told me to finish out with wrestling and get my degree first, and then he’d set me up with the right people. He got me into American Kickboxing Academy and got me with my current manager right now, so it all turned out pretty good. MW: What was it like growing up?

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CV: You know, it’s a good gym with great coaches. It’s really cool to be able to go to a gym where the guys have been there before; they’re experienced so you can learn from them and improve. It’s pretty awesome. MW: What do you like to do for fun? CV: Right now, I have a daughter who is six weeks, so I’m just hanging out with her and my family. At home, I like watching a movie, cooking dinner and hanging

CV: I think it’d be fun. My girlfriend has been there a bunch of times for her job. I think it would be a pretty cool experience, something that you only get to do a few times in your lifetime.

CV: I would be coaching wrestling in high school or college. MW: Do you still follow college wrestling when the finals come around?

MW: You’ve got the brown pride tattoo and you’ve always expressed a lot of pride in your heritage. Where do you think that came from?

CV: Yeah, you know a good friend of mine is an assistant coach over at ASU and I do keep tabs with him on who the top guys are and how things are going and what not. I always watch the national tournament.

CV: Well you know my parents are both from there (Mexico) and just the story of my dad coming over to the US and getting deported seven times because he kept coming over illegally. But he came here to make a better life for us.

MW: You always give the vibe of a no b/s-type fighter whose not there for the thrills. You’re just there to work hard. These days a lot of fighters are in it to be a “fighter” where as you’re in it to fight? Where does that come from?

MW: What does he think of your fighting?

MW: Tell me about working out at AKA. What do you think of the gym and your teammates and the whole experience living in San Jose?

MW: Is there a certain thing about Europe that would make you want to go there or do you just think that it would be fun?

MW: If you weren’t fighting, what do you think you’d be doing?

CV: I grew up in Yuma, Arizona. You know I was right next to the border so my parents made it a thing to travel to Mexico every weekend to spend some family time over there and visit other relatives. The town wasn’t too great, but for me, it was a great place to grow up.

CV: He loves it! He wanted me to be a boxer when I was younger, so now I’m doing this. He didn’t really know what MMA was and I tried to explain to them, but there really isn’t a word to describe it. So I had him watch UFC tapes and now that’s pretty much what he watches.

through out the different parts there. I think that’d be really cool.

out with them. That’s pretty much it. I like to train and hang out with them. MW: True family man, huh?

CV: You know, I think it’s just the mentality from my parents. My mom and dad were hard workers and I like to think that I got my work ethic from them.

CV: Yeah.

MW: Anyone you want to thank?

MW: If you had a dream vacation, what would you do and where would you go?

CV: I just want to thank my friends and family for all of their support. I can’t wait to get back in there again and have another good performance. Obviously I’m getting better, so with every performance, it’s going to get better.

CV: For me I think just going back to Europe. I think that it’d be cool to take my family to Europe and take a train all

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E

ver since the early days of MMA, men, women and children nationwide have taken up the art of submission grappling. Presently there are literally hundreds of Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools in the United States. Add to this the more traditional styles of wrestling and judo, and you have hordes of grapplingbased students in every major city looking to prove themselves in competition. Grappling tournaments are nothing new. The more prominent schools have annual competitions and there are a few nationallybased organizations that offer tournaments on a grand scale. However, there has never been a single organization that has promoted events on a monthly basis, moving from city to city. Also many competitors often complain about the lack of professionalism at many tournaments. It is not uncommon to arrive at an event at the scheduled time only to wait, sometimes hours, before your bracket is called. Also many competitors feel ripped off when they lose their first match and the tournament is over for them. These issues led to the creation of the Grappling Experience or Grappling X. Early in 2008, Fight Lab owner Cory Cass and Total Combat fighter coordinator Shawn Fowler devised the idea of offering the public a well-run tournament circuit that would allow grapplers to compete consistently in their own communities. Both Cass and Fowler had experience running local tournaments at the Fight Lab in Murrieta, California. It is because of this experience that they came up with the ground shaking idea that competitors wanted to be treated with respect. This respect was lacking in many of the larger tournaments, which eventually gave birth to the six tenets of Grappling X.

1.

All tournaments will start on time and will continue to run on time throughout the day.

2.

All competitors are guaranteed at least two matches due to GX’s double elimination format.

3.

A ranking system of all competitors and schools will be kept that encompasses all GX tournaments.

4.

Awards will always be given at every event and grand awards will be given to standout competitors and schools at the end of each GX season.

5.

GX will always be on the move and will appear in as many cities as possible.

6.

Every competitor, regardless of skill level, school or instructor will be treated with the utmost respect.

GX began with just gi and no-gi grappling, but has since expanded into Pankration and even karate tournaments. Working direct64 The World-famous

ly with the California State Athletic Commission, GX was pivotal in reversing the CSAC decision to ban all pankration tournaments in California. Grappling X has already run over 20 successful events. But what’s more amazing is that many of the larger and older promoters like On The Mat, The Gracie Nationals and Millennia Jiu-jitsu have hired GX as consultants for their tournaments. GX was also chosen to be the submission grappling and jiu-jitsu organization to be represented at the Disney Martial Arts Festival.

With every month that passes, GX continues to land prestigious contracts in addition to their own tournament circuit. In June 2009, they will be doing the Orange Expo in San Bernardino and the Long Beach International in August. GX is also running the Guns and Hoses grappling tournaments that pit firefighters against law enforcement officers. GX is also expanding its equipment and mat rental business. GX has hired Combat Sports media expert, Brian Piepenbrink, to handle the press and public relations. “As far as Grappling X is concerned, the skies the limit,” says GX co-owner Shawn Fowler. And by all indications, he appears to be correct.

i

For more in formation, log onto the official website at www.grapplingx.com.


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Beauty and the Beast By Dave Rubman

just like one of those love stories straight out of a fairy tale. A beautiful maiden falls for a handsome warrior. The only difference is this love story is not from centuries ago; this one takes place in present day amid the MMA world and the top fashion runways of New York.

It’s

Top-ranked Wisconsin mixed martial artist “Smilin’” Sam Alvey and professional model Brittany “McKey” Sullivan are an odd mix. He’s a fierce fighter used to battling it out with an opponent in the cage; she’s a beautiful young lady who’s strutted New York catwalks, been the face of CoverGirl makeup and was named one of People Magazine’s “Most Beautiful People of 2009.” She is best known for winning the 11th cycle of the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model. But when it comes to the “anything-goesand-opposites-attract-life-of-relationships,” it shows how two people from different worlds can find happiness and depend on each other for support. And if history tells us anything, some things just go together, like the mutual attraction celebrity athletes have for celebrity models and artists, and vice-versa. Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo, Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong, Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman, Brooke Shields and Andre Agassi, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, and the list goes on. Interestingly enough, McKey’s and Sam’s worlds collided as part of a medieval fairy tale set against the real backdrop of the Bristol Renaissance Festival in Northern Illinois. Sam sold steak on a stick; McKey sold flowers. The two felt the sparks fly between them and soon started dating. Unlike the hundreds of other celebrity relationships that develop (and sometimes fail) every day, this one has developed into a very special bond because of their unique life paths. When they first met, Sam was an amateur wrestler who was just about to start a journey into the competitive, yet sometimes brutal world of MMA. McKey was just getting her start in the similarly-competitive, brutal world of modeling by winning a regional competition. “It’s just like any other relationship,” Sam said. “But this one


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is very cool because we get to share our unique careers together.” So why do beauties have an eye out for muscle and sweat over and over again? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that each can consistently wow, grow and even compete with each other. On many levels, athlete/model couples are equal, yet different. According to Sarah Levin in her article Athletes and Celebrity Couples: What Draws Them Together?, “When the members of a couple are involved in different, but similarly high profile occupations, though, there is still room for each to be impressed by the other. There is no personal competition and each gets to achieve the highest echelons of success, but doesn't have to bypass their significant other in the process. Also, as the line between athlete and celebrity continues to blur, athletes are mixing more and more with the Hollywood set, making access between the two groups even easier. While there may be several possible psychobabble explanations, the simplest one might be this: what is good enough for us non-celebrity mere mortals is good enough for athletes and stars. Maybe they actually just like each other.” In addition to all of the added pressure of celebrity, McKey and Sam have determined to stay together despite the distance put between them and long hours demanded by their professions. McKey moved to New York City because of her work while Sam stayed in Manitowoc, Wisconsin where he began training with the Metz Combat Club. In October 2008, he won a professional contract with King of the Cage as a prize for defeating opponents 60 pounds heavier at an MMA event in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, McKey continued her modeling aspirations and won a spot on the 11th cycle of America’s Next Top Model. McKey proved herself by wowing the judges on the catwalks and ultimately won the competition. Along with the title of America’s Next Top Model, she was awarded a contract with CoverGirl cosmetics and representation with Elite Model Management. She also received the cover and a six-page editorial spread in Seventeen Magazine. She plans on traveling to Europe this summer for a modeling shoot.

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However, McKey’s beauty masks a fierce competitive side which she uses to corner Sam during his fights. Interestingly enough, she has cornered Sam in all but two of his fights since going pro. “She is my corner person. She can read the other fighters very well and can pick out their nuances. She’s very effective at devising a game plan and telling me what to do. She knows the sport very well.” Her own martial arts training gave her a better understanding of what Sam experiences every time he steps into the ring or cage. “I tell him that if he takes a beating, it’s because he’s not listening to me.” (So much for a consoling and protective girlfriend!) “I’ve only missed two of Sam’s fights and one of those was in Russia when I had to stay behind and work in New York. But I try to be there as much as possible to keep him focused and to give him the encouragement to take down his opponent.” She’ll continue to be his moral anchor ringside this summer as Sam has three major fights scheduled, including a match at King of the Cage: Connection on July 18th at Lake of the Torches Resort Casino. “I’m working my butt off. I want to win all three,” he said. Their mutual support for each other continues away from the ring as well. Sam and McKey talk several times a day on the phone, giving each other the emotional support that is often non-existent in either world. “He’s always there to tell me I’m beautiful and to give me the confidence to continue in a profession where compliments are few,” McKey said. Sam has also traveled to attend many of McKey’s fashion shows, even venturing to Amsterdam and England to see her impress members of the fashion world on the other side of the pond. “He doesn’t get much of a chance to see me during the show because I’m so busy. However, we meet as soon as we can and he tells me what he thought of the show.” Where will this blossoming relationship lead to? No one knows, but both say they are lucky to have each other in their corners when it counts. And Sam and McKey definitely prove that beauty and brawn is a winning pair. www.mmaworldwide.com 67


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DeepThought s...

by Forrest Griffin

Interview by RJ Clifford “I don’t want to be on the cover. I’m sick of me, but if you want an interview, that’s fine.” This was the exact text message I received from former light heavyweight champion and The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner Forrest Griffin. The charismatic and sometimes unforgivably blunt character is set to face middleweight champion Anderson Silva, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA, at UFC 101. Famous for his “Average Joe” demeanor and neversay-die fighting style, fans all over the world have flocked to this unlikely champion. In order to fully appreciate the Forrest Griffin experience, here is the unedited, unfiltered raw version of my interview with the goofy Georgia fighter in all its unadulterated glory. Enjoy! MMA WORLDWIDE: So have you started training for your Anderson fight or is six weeks out still too early? FORREST GRIFFIN: I’m not really training anymore. I like smoking cigarettes and drinking a lot better; it’s a lot more fun too. MW: Well it’s probably easier on the body than fighting. FG: I think so, and it works. MW: What are your thoughts on fighting Anderson Silva, a guy who’s a middleweight when you’re a light heavyweight? FG: Man, I don’t know. Shit, I’ll fight anybody and a south paw is hard to fight, but shit man, what are you gonna do? MW: You have the rep of always being willing to fight anyone, so obviously you took the fight, but how did it come about? FG: Um, I don’t know shit. I guess I just don’t really know man. I’m not very helpful I know, but they just suggested it and I said, “Sure, no problem.” You fight one Silva then you fight a different Silva, but who cares.

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“I’m watching The Colbert Report right now, so if this interview sucks, that’s why.”

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MW: Is the game planning per opponent mostly on your own or do you leave that exclusively to your coaches? FG: Nah, I do it and then I bring my strategy to my guys and see what they think. I always want to hear what they have to say about it and get their input. (Mike) Pyle is the guy that I definitely look to for some game plan and stuff.

FG: I try to keep him to myself.

weaknesses that we just don’t know yet.

MW: So why do you think they chose you to fight Anderson? Do you think that after his last two performances that they wanted someone who was going to go after him.

MW: You think that current champion Lyoto Machida is the guy that will hold it for awhile?

FG: That would be my thought. MW: And with him being a counter striker, are you going to change your aggressive standpoint since that kind of plays into his plans? FG: I’m open to your opinion. What do you got? MW: Well you don’t want to come rushing in head-first because that hasn’t worked for others in the past. You probably want to stay out of the Thai clinch I’d imagine as that’s a place you don’t want to be. FG: I don’t want to be the one who gets caught with his head down in the Thai clinch, but I wouldn’t avoid the clinch at all. MW: Ok, so you would enjoy a clinch battle with him? You do have a lot of size on him so that would definitely be to your advantage.

MW: So why Pyle specifically?

FG: You still got to play to your strengths even if they’re the other guy’s strengths too.

FG: He just happens to be good at it man…I don’t know. He’s just the kind of guy who can watch a fight and tell what the guy is gonna do or should do. He’s just one of those guys. MW: Is he kind of the de-facto coach for the rest of the team there at Xtreme Couture as well or do you just kind of pick him specifically?

MW: Let’s talk about your previous fight against Rashad Evans. The light heavyweight title just seems to be jumping around in people’s hands. No one has been able to keep it longer than one fight since Chuck. Why do you think that is? FG: It’s a good division, but we’re looking at a guy who might hold it. There might be some

HIGHS & LOWS WIN Stephan Bonnar (Becomes the 1st Ultimate Fighter and spawns a new era of prosperity in the UFC)

1

APRIL 2005

WIN Bill Mahood

2

FG: There are guys that can beat him. Quinton (Jackson) on the right night I know can beat him because he’s got the power to put anybody to sleep. But we’ll see. He’s definitely looking like he’s the real deal. MW: What do you think separates him from the rest of the light heavyweights? FG: He’s a f***ing ninja… I really don’t know man. He’s so quick and such a good counter striker. Honestly he’s a game planer too. MW: Is that a style that you try to emulate a little bit? FG: We got to play to our strengths and that ain’t me. I wish I could, but I haven’t spent the last ten years getting my distance and speed like he has. MW: Going back to Anderson, do you think size is going to play a crucial element in this fight? FG: You know, I actually don’t think that I’m that much bigger than him. I’ve met him and looked him straight in the eye and everyone says that he’s a pretty big guy. He looked big when he fought Irvin. He actually had to lose a couple of pounds to make weight. He had to go sit down in a sauna for a couple of hours to make weight…that much I know. MW: Where does this fight put you in terms of rankings or your position at light heavyweight since he’s coming up as a mid-

Like any fighter not named Fedor, Forrest Griffin has had a lot of ups and downs in his career.Take a look at the rollercoaster ride that is Forrest Griffin’s UFC career.

WIN Elvis Sinosic

3

LOSS Tito Ortiz (Drops his fight in the UFC but proves he belongs with the big by losing a close split decision)

4

5 WIN Stephan Bonnar (The sequel looked almost as good as the first with both fighters leaving it all in the Octagon)


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dleweight? What do you gain in this fight other than a paycheck and another good fight? FG: He’s the best guy in the world and it’s a tough fight in terms of his counter striking and him being a southpaw. If you can fight him, then you can fight anybody. MW: Was that one of the first things that you thought, fighting the best guy in the world? FG: It’s a chance to test myself to become mentally strong. I failed that test today, but what can you do?

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drinking expensive beer?

Did you just get caught and what do you think happened?

FG: You know, I’ve got some pets. I’m a 30year-old man who owns a hamster. Here in Vegas, there are a lot of foreclosures going on with houses, so people are just kind of packing up and leaving their pets. So there’s just this hamster running around in the street and I just sort of caught it. I put signs up around the street, but then I realized that out of the eight houses that had gone into foreclosure on my block that this guy probably belonged to one of them, and they just let this shit go. So you can’t just let him go because he’ll die. He can’t survive out here in the desert.

FG: I don’t know man. Obviously the kick to the body wasn’t a very great idea and that’s what started it and then I tried to rest on the ground. I thought I could rest for a minute and then try to work some submissions. I thought that I’d have a little bit of an advantage from that position. Other than the fight with (Jason) Lambert he didn’t really show me a lot of great ground and pound. His ground and pound almost looked a little bit lazy. Not in my fight though; I got knocked out. MW: How were you scoring that fight leading up to the third round?

MW: Are you a big animal lover? MW: What happened today? FG: I don’t know man…nothing. Not a thing. It was just one of those days when you don’t feel like doing it and you don’t want to get out of bed. And you know how that is, right? Just one of those days. MW: Too much cigarettes and alcohol, huh? FG: You know, I should really start drinking again because I miss it. It’s such a good stress reliever. MW: What is your drink of choice? FG: I just like beer, like Newcastle…just dark. I don’t mind drinking for the taste; I’m kind of sick of Coors Light. That’s what my parents got me for my college graduation was cases of Coors Light, which was my drink of choice at the time. But I’m big time now; I’m f***ing highbrow and unfortunately I’ve got expensive beer taste. MW: What else do you do for fun besides

FG: Well I like animals a lot more than I like people. That’s my problem. That’s why I’m such an asshole because I’m a cat person and not a people person.

FG: Well fortunately you don’t have to score it because it was a knockout. It never went to

MW: I would have thought you’d be a Siberian husky kind of guy.

Photo by Frank Fontanilla

FG: You know man, they don’t do so well out here in the desert with the heat and you have to play with them. My yard looks like a postage stamp; it’s just this block of fake astro turf. And I wouldn’t have a little dog. I’d get a big dog that needs like two hours of exercise a day and I don’t have two hours in a day to f*** around with a dog unfortunately. That’d get into my TV time. MW: You watch a lot of TV too? FG: I do, you know, movies and TV. I’m watching The Colbert Report right now, so if this interview sucks, that’s why. MW: Going back to your last fight, it seems like you got caught and you lost by TKO.

9 LOSS Keith Jardine (Just when Forrest started to gain some steam gets knocked out in an emotional loss)

6

8

WIN Hector Ramirez

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WIN Mauricio Rua (Stuns the #1 ranked fighter in the world with a late fight submission)

WIN Quinton Jackson (Becomes the UFC light heavyweight champion after a drag out five round war)

10 LOSS Rashad Evans (Ground and pounded into a loss by TKO in his first title defense) DECEMBER 2008


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the judges so I don’t really know about that. To be honest, I’m not very good when it comes to scoring those sorts of things, so I really don’t know. MW: How are you as a fan of MMA in general? FG: To be honest, I’m inundated with it. I spend four hours of the day everyday. I talk to people and I’m obviously like – I don’t care about fighting anymore – I like doing it, I like training. Talking fighting is like singing about architecture, there’s just no translation. You try to talk about something that’s complex to describe visually. MW: Who else do you like? Whose style do you enjoy watching or try to emulate? FG: I like (Antonio) Nogueira’s ground

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questions from earlier. But I just wanted to tell people my story and how I was affected by the sex slave trade at a very young age, and you know, my exploration into the black market sex industry. MW: Really? FG: No, not at all, but it’d be a much better story. A lot more interesting, so yeah, I’ll just lie. MW: Who picked the title, The 50 Zen Principles of Hand to Face Combat? FG: Well if you go to a bookstore and open up to the front page, there’s an explanation as to the title and everything. MW: Now you’re on the cover of both your book and UFC Undisputed. What is that like and how does it feel?

“I’m a 30-year-old man who owns a hamster.”

Photos by Frank Fontanilla

game as far as jiu-jitsu, but for stand-up, I’m kind of just doing my own thing. I would like to fight like a lot of guys, but I can’t really do it. MW: How have you liked living in Vegas these last couple of years? FG: I kind of like it, but I feel sometimes like I’m paying way too much money for a piece of dirt. I mean, eventually we’ll run out of water and this will all be worthless you know? I bought a house back in 2006 right before the market took a dive, so I’m kind of a genius like that. Like literally, if you were to loan me some money, I could lose at least half of it for you in no time flat. I am the guy to avoid at all cost. MW: What inspired you to pursue writing and how did that all come about? FG: Well had you read the book, you probably could of skipped the first 5 or 6 78 The World-famous

FG: It’s sad really because I’m one of the few fighters who don’t play video games; it’s too much reading I suppose. There are just too many buttons and I get frustrated cause I’m not that coordinated. MW: Well I heard you beat my publisher’s ass back at the THQ party for the video game, so I think you might be sand-bagging me. FG: No, not at all. I’ve played that game and like only that game. Well, that and I tried Gears of War because it looks f***ing cool. But no, I just kept throwing a left head kick cuz I’m that asshole who will just keep pressing the same button and I actually beat quite a few people like that. Check the official Forrest Griffin website at www.forrestgriffin.net.


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A WILD RIDE THROUGH THE DARK TIMES Part 1 Story and photos by Clyde Gentry III

I

clearly remember the moment that would change my life forever. It was May 30, 1997, and I was at a buddy’s place gearing up to watch UFC 13 on pay-per-view. Sure I had heard stories that the UFC could get kicked off pay-per-view due to absentminded politicians looking for an easy target. But I didn’t care; nobody was tak-

had a satellite was not a fan and didn’t care to watch it. So I’d cough up the money, give my friend a tape, he’d record it off for me and leave it out on the front porch. Then I’d swing by around midnight anxiously waiting to return home so I could watch the show from beginning to end. It was frustrating. After a year and a half of putting up with this nonsense, I finally thought, “You know, the only way for me to truly enjoy myself is to just go to the events.” On January 8, 1999, I attended UFC 18, but not as a fan…as a writer. Now I wouldn’t call myself a journalist. Sure I’ve written my share of articles on various subjects and even wrote a book in 1997, Jackie Chan: Inside the Dragon, the first book on the Hong Kong action star. But I knew how to research a subject and certainly wasn’t afraid to call up or go up to anyone and get answers. So arming myself with the Jackie Chan book, I got a hold of Joe Silva, who was and still is, the UFC’s best kept secret—a logical mind that works toward a sport, not a spectacle from many angles.

Rutten battles Randleman in a match that would change the sport to 5 minute rounds.

ing away my UFC. Despite the hearsay, the show started on time, but as I watched Guy Mezger make his way to the Octagon to face Christophe Leninger, the feed cut off and went to black. I immediately scrambled to my feet and called my pay-per-view provider who told me they aired the show by accident, but cut it off because the carrier didn’t want to run it anymore—no more UFC! Now I had to spend my time combing the Internet trying to find out when, where and who about my favorite pastime. On top of that, I learned that satellite service still offered the UFC, but my friend who

Silva, who was at that time more of a researcher and co-matchmaker compared to his full-fledged position today, knew my book was real and extended a hand— read “backstage passes”—to witness my passion up close and personal. The feeling was overwhelming as not only did I get to meet so many of the fighters I had only seen on TV, I got to ask a lot of questions without any red tape, managers, agents or the like to tell me “No.” And from that moment, I knew I had stumbled upon a tremendous story…even if that story had an uncertain ending because the UFC I had grown to love had fallen on very hard times. To be honest, whether it was Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Iowa, the situation looked grim. The venues were out of the way surrounded by sparse places to eat or do much else—though New Orleans had plenty to offer if debauchery was your game. Time and time again during this period which stretched from January 1999 to September 2000, I

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would literally hear fans asking for Royce Gracie or Ken Shamrock, completely oblivious of the fact that these names had long left the marquee. And if you’ve ever been to a live event, you’ll know the uneducated fans. You know, the ones who laugh and make sexual jokes when someone is in the guard. Well, back then, why don’t you dumb down that audience by 20—it was that bad. And with all the recent talk of Zuffa phasing out media passes for Internet sites, back then a media pass was given to virtually anyone who wanted to write about the event; sometimes the pass was literally a sticker slapped across your chest. The mainstream media that had punished the early UFCs was no longer interested; the “major controversy” was now relegated to the minors. At UFC 18, I remember seeing a quiet young man with a duffle bag hunched down near the Octagon looking at everything around him. Looking somewhat familiar, I called out “Tito,” and sure enough it was Tito Ortiz who was making his return on that night. The Tito Ortiz that many people love to hate was the ultimate soldier for the sport back then. I befriended his manager at the time, Sal Garcia, who took Ortiz to Ultimate Brazil and “walked the room” ala Jerry McGuire which ended up getting him another shot after his rookie mistake against Guy Mezger from UFC 13. Garcia masterminded a plan for Ortiz and the Huntington Beach native took the baton. Before I knew it, I’d see Ortiz and friend Tiki Ghosn showing up carrying duffle bags of Team Punishment shirts and selling them to the crowd. Sure, TapouT was very much around, but Ortiz Backstage with Tito and the boys gearing up for fight time.

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was the first to really brand himself with a merchandising line…something that has become par for the course, even for newbie fighters. But when I think back to that event, it was Bas Rutten that I remember most. Unless you knew Bas already, you had no idea that not only was he a tough guy, but also extremely charismatic, a jokester and altogether unpredictable. I remember one night out at a hick bar that probably oozed smoke, booze and trouble if you were looking for it on a daily basis—but not this night. This was about the only watering hole in town and this is where all the fighters showed up to get their drink on. Frank Shamrock, John Lober, Bas Rutten and many others were just kicking back doing their thing, soaking up the local flavor.

to the hospital; the next day his hand sported a lot of stitches! During my short time going to these UFC events in what I call the “dark times,” everybody knew about Andy Anderson. Nobody knew how much money he had or where he got it, but they knew he had money and knew how to spend it. Anderson fought a token match at UFC 5 and lost part of his vision in one eye due to an eye poke, but since that time, he had become the “Where’s Waldo?” for MMA. At every UFC event, if you looked hard enough, you’d see Andy, and typically a bevy of girls around him, in the audience. Chuck Zito is the Andy Anderson of today, but during this time, there were no celebrities—b list or not. Andy was the life of the party, but he’d come to your aid if you needed it. And he’d bend your ear about wild stories aplenty, including a tale about his Totally Nude Steakhouse. I thought that one was a joke until he actually showed me the newspaper clipping on how the town paid him off to shut it down.

By the end of the night, Rutten was hammered and I remember watching in astonishment when the Dutchman interrupted a pool game between two big cowboys, pushed all the balls into their pockets and pro- An empty Octagon and a ceeded to get on top of the small venue during the pool table for a nap. And UFC's darker days. nobody said a thing. Bas made it home okay and his gutsy fight against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka proved the Pancrase fighter could handle the UFC rules just fine. No, the two events were not back to back. As for John Lober, that was another story. Lober was the man who introduced Frank Shamrock to his first MMA loss and he was a resident bad boy in his own right from Huntington Beach. Though I had left for the evening, I was informed that Lober exited the bar and was dared to karate chop the top off a beer bottle by a couple of drunks. Unlike the movies, Lober accomplished the task, but split his hand open and showered the bar entrance with blood. Leave it to Andy Anderson to drive Lober

In Part 2, we get into some shenanigans with Kevin Randleman, party of Tank Abbott and further delve into the unbridled UFC I knew…not that I have many problems with the one we have today. But back then, the show was…I’ll save that for next time.

i

Clyde Gentry III is the author of NO HOLDS BARRED, the first true history book on mixed martial arts that was originally published in 2000 and republished in 2002 and 2003. Well over 100 interviews were personally conducted to tell the no-holds-barred truth about MMA.

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Ms. MMA Worldwide

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Becky-B


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Height 5'8

Dream Vacation Mediterranean

Measurements 34D-25-34

Favorite Activities Dancing / Traveling

Hometown Miami, FL

Turn Ons Cocky Guys

Favorite Food Sushi

Turn Offs Guys with dirty fingernails

I am a bartender and model. I spend most of my time traveling for work and a little bit of pleasure. I love meeting new people everywhere and anywhere I go. I stay in shape by dancing....LOL I love to dance. A few things I can't live without are my friends, my family & of course, my phone!!!! I love to be in front of the camera, always ready to WOW the photographer & deliver amazingly HOT images. I'm a bit feisty so watch it.

I've

been

told

I

can

pack

a

punch...haha!!! www.mmaworldwide.com 85


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Experts Roundtable by Connor Bell

Striking Coaches Q

How did you get involved in boxing/kickboxing and how did that lead you to MMA?

HOWARD DAVIS JR. (AMERICAN TOP TEAM): At age 15, my father asked me if I wanted to go to the movies. He did not ask me what movie we were going to see, and for some strange reason, I didn’t ask. The movie was a biopic on Muhammad Ali, which so inspired me that at 4:30 in the morning, I got up and ran, and that was my trek into boxing. From there I trained for five years, and at age 20, I went to the Olympics. After the Olympics I turned pro and had 44 fights, won 38 and lost 6 with 14 knockouts. After a couple of brief comebacks in ‘94 and ‘96, a friend from Florida called me and said they needed a boxing coach for American Top Team. Six years ago I came down and I’ve been down since. JAVIER MENDEZ (AMERICAN KICKBOXING ACADEMY): I was in tae kwon do when my instructor was Scott Coker, who ended up becoming one of my best friends. He became a promoter back in 1985 and basically I used to help him doing kickboxing promotions back then. (Coker went from producing K-1 USA to Strikeforce, which can now be seen on Showtime and CBS.) [Coker] got me started in kickboxing and I decided to pursue it further. So I took up kickboxing religiously, quit TKD and felt really driven by boxing and the competition. I started teaching on the side, starting with boxing and tae kwon do, and eventually implemented judo. It got big enough that I opened up my own little gym. From there my first student was Brian Johnston, who was a successful amateur kickboxer. We got him into the UFC and that’s when I met Frank Shamrock at one of the fights. Frank ended up moving to the San Jose area and needed a place to train, so I said he could work out at my gym. I asked if he needed any help with what I knew and he said sure. So I started training Frank way back in ’97 and then came BJ Penn as a result of Frank…the rest is history. MIKE WINKELJOHN (GREG JACKSON’S MIXED MARTIAL ARTS): In 1980 I got into kickboxing for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to be a better fighter and wasn’t very interested in the sport aspect of it, but I started fighting about six months later. I fought all over the world and 88 The World-famous

JAVIER MENDEZ

For more information on American Kickboxing Academy: www.akakickbox.com


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won several different titles and championships. I was lucky when I ran into Bill Packer, a big name in the kickboxing world back in the 1980s. I feel blessed that I walked into his gym. Toward the end of my career, I had just beaten one of the Thai legends of kickboxing, Coban, and the UFC was just starting up. So I went to one of my friends, All-American college wrestler Chris Latrel, and we started wrestling. We wrestled all the time and we found Greg Jackson who was teaching a lot of street selfdefense; we put our heads together and worked out all the time. I had my kickboxing school and he had his ground fighting school, but we always trained fighters together. When MMA blew up, we got Diego Sanchez on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and the rest is history. SHAWN TOMPKINS (XTREME COUTURE): I started training in martial arts when I was six years old in shotokan karate and studied karate until age 18. I was a two-time world karate champion, but I started to get disqualified in a lot of my tournaments for excessive contact and knockouts. So my trainer at the time turned me onto kickboxing. I started kickboxing and racked up 47 pro fights; I was a North American champion two times in the cruiserweight division. I decided to try my hand at MMA (in the Quebec promotion TKO), but unfortunately here in Canada there really wasn’t anything in way of wrestling or jiu-jitsu training, so I did it straight up as a kickboxer. It was not a real successful career in that, but I learned a lot about the sport and I loved it. Around 25 years old I met Bas Rutten, who was doing a seminar out in Quebec, and we hit it off real well and he invited me out to the Beverly Hills Jiu-Jitsu Club. I stayed with him for awhile and learned a lot about MMA and about being a trainer and a coach. I opened my first gym actually when I was 18 years old and that gym is still alive and well today in London, Ontario, Canada: Team Tompkins Muay Thai and Submission. I was given some great opportunities to work with some of the most talented people in the sport and eventually got involved with the IFL through Bas. My fighters were very successful and I ended up taking over the team, so Bas could do more commentating and other jobs for the IFL. From my connections that I made through that, I ended up working for Randy Couture over in Vegas once he opened up his gym and the rest is pretty much history.

Q

Was it difficult transitioning from coaching boxing/kickboxing to MMA striking?

MW: I think that it was a pretty smooth transition because I was there on the ground floor with Greg and we were always working out together. It wasn’t very bad; it is a different type of game and you have to be in a different place with a different balance situation sometimes. I was just blessed to be in this situation to work out with some great athletes. I love MMA because usually it comes from people who have been involved in martial arts and they have great truthful values. There’s not as much posturing or as I say “idiots” involved with MMA as there is in the boxing world.

HOWARD DAVIS, JR.

For more information on American Top Team: www.americantopteam.com

JM: No, it wasn’t difficult at all. All you need to do in the MMA world is know you can’t be an expert at everything because it’s too difficult. You have to get the right people behind you and have them teach that area of expertise that you want to obtain. It’s too hard to become proficient, so you need to have specialized individuals in other areas. That’s why I have a boxing coach here as well as a Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu coach. I don’t really think it’s possible for one guy to really give a fighter the best benefit at the present time. You have to cross train with good people. ST: Not for me because I’ve always had that steady side of the sport since the age of 12. I’ve always wanted to be a coach and to be able to work with fighters at that top level and build champions. I’ve always loved training and instructing people and making them improve both emotionwww.mmaworldwide.com 89


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ally and physically in many different ways. It was a very easy transition for me. HD: No, not really. There are so many different disciplines in MMA that you have to train for. From kicks, you have to train for takedowns; there are so many disciplines in mixed martial arts. You have to keep your hands up, but you can’t move too much from side to side and you can’t roll as much as an MMA fighter, or else you’ll get kneed. It’s not too difficult to train, so I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult. It was a pretty easy transition.

Q

How would you rank the striking level in MMA?

JM: It’s definitely improved; some of these guys are low to mid range pros in the boxing and kickboxing world. Some are better who come from kickboxing or boxing, but on the boxing level, they are not elite but definitely mid-ranged. So they’re getting up there, not all of them, but there’s a lot of progression. Most are in the amateur stages when it comes to their technique, but then you get a guy like Anderson Silva, who in my opinion, is a high-level professional in the striking area. ST: I’m really impressed to be honest with you, but I’m still surprised by some of the guys who have been in the sport for so long and don’t seem to be improving their striking level. They continue for many years to be one-dimensional fighters without catching up on that side of the game. We’ve got guys now like Georges St. Pierre who are seeing how equally important it is. There was that old Gracie saying that 90% of all fights end up on the ground, but I’ve always understood that 100% of all fights start on the feet. So I am impressed with the fact that the new and younger fighters are really rounding out the game and becoming elite strikers. MW: It’s definitely improved. I mean, no doubt about it, you can see over the years how much it’s improved. First the jiu-jitsu guys were submitting everyone off their backs and then the wrestlers were putting everyone down, but now people are starting to put it all together. They set up their takedowns with their hands and vice versa, but what’s really interesting are the strikes that you see in between the stand-up and the ground game. That to me is pretty interesting to see evolve. HD: Well going back to the embryo stages of the UFC, when I first saw it, the striking was horrible. Not too many people knew Brazilian jiu-jitsu come to speak of, but like any other thing, it evolves. The striking has gotten much better and everything is evolving. It’s the sport of the future.

Q

What are some of the most common errors MMA strikers make?

ST: I see so many of these guys who just give up their trainers in MMA and go to straight, traditional boxing coaches. It’s kind of like Andrei Arlovski going to Freddy Roach, but there’s more to it than that. If they’re a great coach in boxing, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be a great striker when it comes to MMA. I really think there’s a huge difference in the footwork, the stance and the punches you got to lead with in an MMA fight. Because you have to deal with a different types of balance, I don’t buy the whole people going to Thailand for three months to train for an MMA fight. It makes absolutely no sense to me. It doesn’t transition to the sport of MMA; you have to have a striking coach who understands mixed martial arts. MW: Most have a tendency to throw punches and look to see if there’s damage. There are so many people who get caught with those counter punches, which they shouldn’t but that’s real common. HD: They’re still throwing punches kind of wild, which leaves you open to getting kicked or kneed and hit back. You definitely need to keep your 90 The World-famous

MIKE WINKELJOHN

For more information on Greg Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts: www.jacksonsmma.com


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guard close, keep your defense and be alert. So what I see is that the punches are still sort of wild. A few good fighters have great striking like Thiago Alves, Din Thomas and GSP. So those guys, including Chuck Liddell, are in a sport that’s evolving. The fighters are getting better and the trainers are getting even better at training in this sport now. JM: I don’t know if it’s so much mistakes as it is experience since they’re all learning. In amateur kickboxing or boxing, there’s an area of learning for all of them since they’re all going to make mistakes. Before they turn pro, some of them may have hundreds of amateur bouts. So imagine an MMA fighter having a hundred amateur fights before he goes pro. He’s going to correct a lot of mistakes that he made early on in his career and I think a lot of these guys are in the same boat. They’re going pro without much of an amateur background, and that’s because with places like California, there are no amateur bouts—it’s all pro. So when people here have their first fight, it’s as a professional. Is that realistically justified? No, because they look like beginning amateurs but they are fighting at a pro level.

Q

Dominant MMA styles come in cycles from BJJ to wrestlers, but it seems the strikers are making a comeback. Would you agree and why?

HD: What you need to do is look at one thing, or one person I should say. Chuck Liddell had about 24, maybe 22 pro fights in the UFC, and most of his wins came by way of TKO; it’s the reason why so many people love him. Arm bars are nice, omoplatas are nice too, but knockouts are fantastic! That’s why everyone loved Chuck Liddell because BAM! He came to knock you out. He’s only had one choke out or submission in his whole MMA career and that’s pretty amazing. I think people saw Chuck Liddell as the premier fighter and they started striking better. When Muhammad Ali came along, everyone wanted to fight like him and he was the premier fighter at one time. The same can be said for Tyson, Jones and Mayweather. It comes and goes; the sport evolves. And that only makes for more exciting fights. The fighters are really starting to pick their striking up and that makes it more exciting. ST: I absolutely agree and I think we can thank a lot of that to Dana White and the way that he puts more pressure on the fighters to be exciting. You don’t just go out there and win fights anymore; you have to be more exciting, and let’s face it, the fans come to watch the fighters stand on their feet and be technical, but also have that brawling mentality with striking. I truly believe that’s really pushed fighters to be more competent at the stand-up arts. JM: I would say that striking is making a comeback only because they aren’t really rewarding the guys for being on the ground as much and are quick to stand them up. If a guy isn’t active on the ground for a period of time, they tend to stand them up. So they’re more encouraged to be strikers than grapplers based on the rules. If we went back to the old Gracie rules where there was no time limit, how much striking would we see? Probably not as much because these guys are so good on the ground that they’ll stay down there and weather it out for hours. The entertainment value would go down because how much of that can you watch? Let’s face it: fans are still more prone to like striking vs. the ground. Some are starting to appreciate both, but I think the majority of fans still really like that good ole knockout.

SHAWN TOMPKINS

For more information on Xtreme Couture: www.xtremecouture.tv

MW: I definitely agree with that. It seems like we’re winning most of our fights now standing up, as of recently, and less on the ground. That’s the thing about striking; you’re always one punch away from finishing the fight or getting knocked out. The submission game people have gotten so good at defending things that the fights tend to last a lot longer with the scramble, but with those small gloves, anything can happen in the blink of an eye. www.mmaworldwide.com 91


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