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UFC - 10 PAGES OF UFC COVERAGE INSIDE!!! - UFC

BUILDING A WINNING BODY We Show How!

HENDERSON VS BISPING The Ultimate Fighter Coaches Challenge

UFC 95 Diego Sanchez Joe Stevenson

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MUAY THAI - KICKBOXING - MMA - K-1 - BOXING


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IT’S COMING... The The Ultimate Ultimate Guide Guide to to Everything Everything Martial Martial Arts Arts

Will you be in it? You’d be M A D not to! For For aa free free information information pack pack e-mail e-mail us us at at MAD@martialartsinprint.com MAD@martialartsinprint.com or or call call us us on: on: 0121-344-3737 0121-344-3737 // 0121-356-7616 0121-356-7616


CONTENTS 7

NEWS ROUND-UP Domestic & International

CONTENTS

10

BUILDING THE WINNING BODY The Ground Work For Knock Out Performance

14

UFC 2008 AWARDS By Dale M

EDITORIAL 18

SEEKING INSPIRATION, KNOWLEDGE & A SUN TAN IN THAILAND

MMA shows the others the way forward

By Kru Shaun Boland - Part 2

Once again, the fractures in UK Kickboxing and Muay Thai have been shown the way forward by the cocky upstart, MMA.

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PHIL GLOVER Mr Nice Guy Outside of The Ring, Inside The Ropes Technical & Relentless

Perhaps seeing the stand up sports as an example of how not to conduct your business, the major UK MMA promoters have come together to attempt to eradicate the plethora of organisations and belts that plague the aforementioned ringsports and that threatened to do the same to Mixed Martial Arts.

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No Hold’s Barred - Part 2 36

The new British Fighting Championship (BFC) is a joint venture whose aim is to include established and new promotions across the UK regions, allowing them to grow their fighter talent in an open, unrestricted marketplace. A unified group appeals to spectators, fighters and most importantly, the media.

Heavyweight Champion of The World

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PADBOX Survival of The Fittest

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THE ADRENALIN BUZZ Sheree Halliday

55

MMA TECHNIQUES Defense to “Ground and Pound”

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UFC 93 Henderson Wins a Shot at Bisping

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UFC 95 PREVIEW Battle of The Ultimate Fighters FIELDS DYNAMITE!! New Year Eve 2008

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ULTIMATE FIGHTER 1 Report by Cris Janson-Piers

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WAKO PRO RANKINGS

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ISKA EVENTS 2009

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Whilst MT and KB talks, MMA does............ Marcus

TIGER MUAY THAI No Pain No Gain!

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The founders of BFC include FX3, Ultimate Force, Ultimate Warrior Challenge, AMMA & Cage Warriors who between them will provide the UK MMA scene with 12 BFC shows in 2009 including an end of year Night of Champions when the 2009 season contenders for the British belts go head to head to determine one true champion. £250,000 in total tournament purses is available!

NEIL ‘THE GOLIATH’ GROVE Ultimate Challenge

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Following on from many discussions during 2008, this alliance of MMA promoters have come together to help the growth of the sport in the UK and to assist home grown talent to the international stage by creating a unified set of British Belts. Wow, easy as that...see guys, it can be done!

THE FIGHT PROFESSOR

ISKA MUAYTHAI AND KICKBOXING RANKINGS

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INDEPENDANT BRITISH THAI BOXING RANKINGS


Picture courtesy

UFC 93 Henderson beats Franklin page 10 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK PUBLISHER/MANAGING DIRECTOR Paul Clifton EDITOR Marcus Haig SENIOR DESIGNER Mark John Davies GRAPHIC DESIGN Kevin Thompson ADVERTISING/SALES Julie Davies (0121 356 7616) UK THAI SUB EDITOR Dan Green UK MMA SUB EDITOR Rob Nutley UK BJJ SUB EDITOR Carl Fisher UK KICKBOXING SUB EDITOR Cris Janson-Piers UK BOXING SUB EDITOR Joe Holroyd

CONTRIBUTORS THAI / KICKBOXING Tony Myers, Paul Hennessy, Shaun Boland, Neil Holden, Carl Sams, Colin Payne, Rob Cox, Charlie Joseph, Dawn Whillock HOW TO GET WORK PUBLISHED Drop us an email at fighters@martialartsinprint.com or give the editorial team a call on 0121 344 3737 NEWS ITEMS For all news related items, simply mark your envelope “FIGHTERS NEWSLINE” and together with a photograph (if required) and a covering letter, send it to: FIGHTERS, Head Office or E-Mail: fighters.news@btconnect.com HEAD OFFICE: FIGHTERS, 135 Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham. B42 2ET. Tel: 0121 344 3737 Fax: 0121 356 7300 E-Mail: fighters.magazine@btconnect.com ADVERTISING DETAILS If you would like to advertise in FIGHTERS email us at fighters@martialartsinprint.com to obtain details, deadline dates and costs. DISCLAIMER FIGHTERS is published by Martial Arts Publications Ltd, Regent House, 135 Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2ET. The publishers reserve the right to reject editorial and/or advertising material as they see fit. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material. However, the Publishers will endeavour to return such matter providing that it is accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. Any material accepted by the Publishers shall be revised or altered should the Publisher deem it necessary to do so. The act of submitting manuscripts and/or materials shall be considered an express warranty that such material is original and in no way infringes upon the rights of others. It is expressly forbidden for any part of the magazine to be reported whatsoever without the permission of Editor / Publishers. The views or comments expressed in these pages are not necessarily those of the editor or Publisher. Distribution by COMAG, Tavistock Works, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 7QE. No part of this magazine may be produced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior permission. Fighters, may not be sold at more than the recomended retail price shown on the cover. SUBSCRIPTION RATES To take out a subscription to Fighters, just send your cheque for the correct amount made payable to Martial Arts Publications ltd. to: Subscription Dept. 135 Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2ET. or telephone: 0121-344 3737 12 issues = UK @ £38.95 EUROPE @ £70 (Airmail) REST OF WORLD @ £85 (Airmail)


Page 10 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2009

Building

the winning body Part one: the Ground-Work for Knock Out Performance By Drew Price BSc MASc Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach and Registered Nutritionist

Strength, power and the physical conditioning to use it, are the factors needed to perform at your peak. In the next few articles we’re going to look at addressing the different components of the strength and conditioning picture, giving you the tools you need to build power and the ability to apply it all the way through the fight. There’s a huge amount of information available but we’ll integrate the different ingredients in one package, covering:Part two: Strength and power training Part three: Conditioning and endurance Part four: Joint mobility, range of motion and flexibility Part five: Recovery between sessions In short all the tools you need to increase performance and your chances of victory. However, before all this we’re going to take a moment to discuss the groundwork, why and how you should train

to increase performance, avoid injury and the pitfalls of poor training practices. Although there’s no sets and reps, and no exercise combinations mentioned below this might just be the most important training article you read this year.

BE CLEAR ABOUT GOALS Myth: You can only work on one thing at a time. Truth: You can work on a several things at once but in order to do so you have to train smart and with clear purpose. Train for one overall goal at a time This might seem pretty basic advice but bears talking about. Your goals are simple, increased physical performance the strength and power to win and the conditioning to apply it all the way through the fight. However these goals can be diluted or lead astray by other concerns: a better physique or a triple bodyweight deadlift etc. Get it clear in your head from the start: remember why you’re training and what you’re training for, don’t get side tracked by spurious, unimportant goals and that pull you in different directions. The kind of strength and conditioning that we’ll look at will grow muscle, burn fat and build strength but they’ll be more

like a welcome by-product. Work on bettering your fighting performance, the rest will follow.

FORGET ‘FITNESS’ Myth: Athletes need to be fit. Truth: Athletes need to be very good at their particular physical skill. ‘Fitness’ is the ability to do physical work which comes in all shapes and sizes. Athletes, the more specialized they become, the less ‘fit’ they are. We’re not here to get fit. I don’t need you to be able to adopt extreme yoga poses or run 10km in a good time. No, I need you to be able to produce useful blows at any time in the fight. The ground we’ll cover will increase your performance in a lot of physical areas, you’ll be fit, but it’s impossible to train for everything. Fighting demands its own qualities, train these and fitness will increase but not all qualities will increase equally.

STRENGTHS VS WEAKNESSES Myth: If you excel in a few areas it will save you in the ring. Truth: If you don’t cover all the bases at some point you are going to be found out and taught a painful lesson...


BUILDING THE WINNING BODY - PART ONE Page 11

Photo’s by Carrie Austin www.carrieaustin.co.uk Illustrated by kickboxing instructor and professional boxer Matt Hainey. To contact Matt call 07887 602555

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Page 14 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2009

UFC 2008

Awards By Dale M

2008 was an absolutely brilliant year for the UFC. Great events, great fights, amazing submissions, vicious knockouts, and shocking upsets. 2008 had everything, but certain fights and fighters stand out as the tops of 2008, read on to find out who won what and why. Event of the Year: UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008. UFC 92 was the best MMA event of the year, not just UFC, but worldwide. All 7 fights shown on the PPV were amazing; it wasn’t just the knockouts and upsets, but the atmosphere and production value that made this the greatest event of the year. UFC 92 was simply spectacular. Honorable mention goes to UFC: Fight for the Troops and UFC 80: Rapid Fire.

St. Pierre vs Fitch

Both events featured great fights and unbelievable knock outs.

Fight of the Year: In the UFC, there were a lot of great fights in 2008, but the one fight that stands out in my mind as fight of the year is Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch at UFC 87. This is a personal opinion, as a hardcore GSP fan, watching him put on a 5 round clinic on his way to a unanimous decision was beautiful.

Honorable mention goes to Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture at UFC 91, Forrest Griffin and Quinton Jackson at UFC 86, and Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin at UFC 90. I’m sure there are fights that I’m missing, but those are the ones that stand out in my mind.

Round of the Year: It’s tough to remember rounds, but there was one round in the GSP/Fitch fight that I’ll never forget. The third round of the fight was simply amazing. An amazing show of skill on GSP’s part, and an inspiring show of heart on Fitch’s part. Fitch was completely dominated and dropped twice and he still kept fighting. Watching GSP move was spectacular, he was quick and precise, it was as if he was floating. While Round One was one of the most exciting rounds I’ve seen, Round Three was the best round of MMA I saw in the UFC in 2008.

Comeback of the Year (in a single fight): The man known for his epic comebacks wins this one hands down. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria’s come from behind submission victory against Tim Sylvia at UFC 81 was what MMA is all about. Nogueria was rocked early and often by Sylvia and it seemed that Sylvia was going to jab his way to a unanimous decision. Nogueria was hurt bad early in Round Three but used his brilliant Jiu-Jitsu skills to catch Sylvia in a guillotine choke...


UFC 2008 AWARDS Page 15

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Brock Lesnar

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Page 24 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2009

Phil

Glover

Interview by Cris Janson-Piers

“Mr Nice guy outside of the ring, inside the ropes technical and relentless” I recently enjoyed interviewing someone whom I consider one of the real gentleman of the sport, Phil Glover of Maltby, Rotherham. Although a name which many may relate to Thai Boxing he started off in traditional styles before becoming a very successful kickboxer. It is because of Phils experience in the various styles and ring sport itself that I requested this interview. Knowing he would get a full, fair and unbiased opinion and where he sees the various styles going at the moment. Outside the ring he’s a true Gent, inside the ring he’s an unforgiving technical fighter with a tireless energy! Phil, I know you are a quiet guy really and don’t like shouting about things but I am interested to know how you think the sport has changed and your views on other interesting areas, as I know people will respect your input because of your background.

PHIL GLOVER: OK Cris lets give it a go!

When did you start in the martial arts?

PHIL GLOVER: I first began with karate in 1974 but it wasn’t until 1977 that I really found what suited me, it was Lau Gar kung fu which I practiced for 9 years in Doncaster. How and when did you become involved with kickboxing and thai boxing?

Phil Glover & Sandy Holt PHIL GLOVER: After a year or two doing Lau Gar I was thirsty for more especially on the combat side and George Wellington who was Lau Gars chief instructor in Sheffield opened a new club teaching ‘Full Contact Karate’ as kickboxing was known back then. I went along and after that first lesson I was hooked. What about the Thai Boxing?

PHIL GLOVER: My first introduction to Muay Thai was around 1979 when Master Toddy put on his well known weekend courses in Blackpool, I had no means of training in Manchester at that time so it wasn’t until around 1987 that I began my training in Muay Thai but this time with Master Sken. He really is an amazing martial artist and is everything you expect of a true master. I was there at a time when he had some superb fighters such as former world pro boxing champion Carl Thompson, Oliver and Humphrey Harrison, Sandy Holt, Mark Russell, the list goes on. I was in very good company.


THE PHIL GLOVER PROFILE Page 25

Didn’t you eventually train at Master Toddys gym though?

PHIL GLOVER: Yes I left Master Sken’s camp due to other commitments, eventually I returned to Manchester but this time I asked Master Toddy’s permission to train at his gym and being an old friend he accepted me as a student, I have a lot of respect for these masters as they along with Master Woody are the reason why we have good Muay Thai in this country. Training at Master Toddy’s was very hard but once again I was surrounded by some great fighters and I loved it, sadly all good things come to an end and Master Toddy left for the USA and bigger things. The gym was then left in the very capable hands of Master A who was like a carbon copy of his elder brother so the training was still excellent but again after a few years running a club, work and kickboxing commitments I began to train nearer home. When was your first fight?

PHIL GLOVER: My first fight was in 1979 in Barnsley, I remember it well because I got the biggest beating of my life!, it’s true when they say that your first fight is your hardest. You fought for quite a long time didn’t you?

PHIL GLOVER: I actually fought through three decades the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s my retirement fight was in 1998 over in Italy challenging for the WKA World Kickboxing title, low kick rules over 12 rounds but I lost on a stoppage in the fifth round. My opponent Marco Costaguta was very much on form having over 70 fights all over Europe on a regular basis winning many by K.O. or stoppage, and he was only 21 years old. I’m glad he was that good because if he had been rubbish and beat me I would have wanted to fight him again but I knew he was better than me and that was that, I always said that if I retire I would stick by my word and I did...

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Phil Glover Former British & European Kickboxing Champion


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The

‘Goliath’ Ultimate Challenge Heavyweight Champion of the World Neil Grove Regular readers may already be familiar with Cage fighting sensation Neil Grove as in 2006 we ran an article on him following his very first fight in the cage. The reason he was of interest then was that it was unusual to see a Traditional Karate fighter actually stepping up to fight in that environment at that time and as a Goju Ryu Shodan in Daigaku Karate Kai, Neil was very much a traditionally trained fighter. Two years and eight fights later, Neil is standing at the very top of the pile. On Saturday 6th December 2008, Neil ‘Goliath’ Grove defeated James ‘The Hammer’ McSweeny to take the most prestigious MMA title in the UK today Ultimate Challenge World Heavyweight Champion. We spoke to Neil again to find out about his fights, his training, and his future. Neil, firstly, congratulations on winning the title. You must be very proud?

Thank you. Yes, I am proud of what I have achieved so far. But I’m not done yet!

Ultimate Challenge vs James McSweeney

Ok, well we’ll talk a little about that in a minute but first, can you remind us who is the Goliath?

Sure, my name is Neil Grove, I hold the rank of Shodan Black Belt in Goju Ryu Karate under Gavin Mulholland. I am a qualified Personal Trainer and Sports Therapist working from Whitepost Retreat, Billericay in Essex. I specialize in Vibration Training but most importantly, I’m married to my beautiful wife, Emalene and have a little boy named Ethan Samuel. I’m originally from South Africa, where I played semi professional rugby, competed in athletics at a high level so I’ve always been physical and I have always had a very competitive nature! Yes, I think there are six or seven men can testify to that since we spoke last! When did you come to the UK Neil and what did you do when you arrived?

I moved to the UK in 1996 and because of my size, I soon found myself working on the door of an Irish nightclub in South London. It didn’t take too long, but I ended up working in a place called The Church, nothing more than a congregation of Ozzie’s, Kiwi’s, South African’s and squadies! Definitely a recipe for trouble, and because of one really big incident, I met my Sensei, Gavin Mulholland...


NEIL ‘THE GOLIATH’ GROVE Page 37

To read the rest of this article why not order a back issue, for details call +44 (0) 121 344 3737


Page 46 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2009

Padbox

Survival of the fittest Joe Holroyd looks at a boxing-trainer course with a difference at The Peacock Gym. itness and martial arts are now an industry. An industry which, in many sectors - despite overwhelmingly downwards economic trends - is flourishing. Recently I, along with hundreds of other personal trainers, martial arts instructors and other industry professionals from all over the country, enrolled for the weekend Padbox course at the Peacock boxing gym in east London. Almost every one I spoke to alluded towards - not merely business as usual - but actually having taken-on a significant number of new clients over the last few months. So why are so many sectors of the fitness and martial arts industry weathering the current financial storm?

F

It has a lot to do with the ‘streamlining’ that Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King

recently mentioned when asked about the proposed government bail-out of Woolworths. King argued that such casualties as the closure of Woolworths are a necessary and healthy step on our road out of the recession. His point was fundamentally a simple one: hard-times force us to address what is wrong with our economy - and perhaps society more generally. Times of economic difficulty also tend to signal a need for personal change. Just as the financial health of our nation benefits from a shift towards new, more effective business models, so the physical health of our nation may also flourish with the tightening of the fiscal belt. The high-street and the high-life are suffering - there’s much less partying and clothes-shopping on the credit-card and

the expense-account - and people are, increasingly, turning to healthier activities to occupy themselves. The sprawling, flabby Woolworths are remodelling themselves as the lean, lithe niche-boutiques of tomorrow. And just as the hard times force an economic Darwinism on the market-place - killing-off the weaker business-models - so the survival of the fittest maxim starts to pervade people’s personal outlooks too. But, leaving this journalist’s meandering, pretentious over-simplifications aside for just a moment, one thing certainly is clear: meeting a client’s specific needs is the key to sustaining growth in the fitness - as any - industry. And this is exactly why Padbox is flourishing. With their backgrounds in amateur and professional boxing and strength and conditioning training, Padbox’s Ian Burbedge and Andy Scott have devised a unique training package. Having worked extensively as a personal-trainer and kickboxing instructor myself, when Ian invited me along to check-out the course I was, initially, slightly dubious. The fitness-industry does, in fact, suffer from some of the aforementioned Woolworths-style flabbiness. In order to maintain your ‘Personal Trainer’ status on the R.E.Ps register, you must attend a certain minimum number of training activities each year. Inevitably enough, some of these are much better devised than others: there are no shortage of half-arsed courses which simply run-through the


PADBOX - SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST Page 47

motions without any real substance nonetheless allowing attendees to keep their ‘Qualified Personal Trainer’ status and course operators, of course, to keep their profits. So here we go, I thought: two days of shuffling-round a fitness studio pretending to look interested and wondering why I bothered to put my track-suit on. No such luck. Padbox is the real deal and that tracksuit absorbed one hell of a lot of sweat! Right from the get-go, this course means business. Whilst orientated primarily towards the fitness industry, Padbox makes no concessions on boxing essentials. You will be made to drill your basic punches until you get them right. As Andy Scott patiently reminds me: ‘If you haven’t got your technique quite right on that hook - if your elbow isn’t quite comingup so that your shoulder turns-into the punch - how can you demonstrate it accurately to your client? How can you spot the flaws in your client’s technique if your own isn’t quite right?” Through a sheen of sweat I blink my agreement and turn back to the pads. The entire 2-day course is devised around partner work. Each set of techniques is modelled by Andy, Ian and a number of their other expert team of coaches, who then circulate providing guidance and demonstration where needed.

All of which may sound less than entirely revolutionary: certainly not quite worth invoking Darwin for. What sets this course apart, however, is the subtlety with which your expertise evolves as Padbox builds upon the basics to develop you into the role of trainer. You will take a very active role in this process: activities are designed around you working-out what punches combinations logically flow into oneanother; around you-working out what what punches should be thrown inside what range; around you working-out what counters should be thrown against what attacks.

The course culminates in a formal assessment with detailed feedback provided to all participants. The skills you have developed/sharpened over the weekend will be thoroughly tested, but also consolidated by this process, and you will leave - not only qualified - but a far more competent and confident trainer. You may have noticed that I’ve switched to addressing you directly in the latter half of this article. That’s because you’re next: Padbox is the best fitness-industry weekend course I’ve ever done and you would be mad not to try it. For more info go to: www.padbox.co.uk


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Henderson wins a shot at Bisping UFC 93 took place in Dublin, Ireland; and as it has been the case with many of the non US based UFC events, it did not feature the strongest card. In the main event, Rich Franklin took on Dan Henderson for a chance to coach the upcoming season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. Oddly, the Franklin-Henderson fight was at 205 lbs, despite the fact that the winner would face our very own Michael Bisping, the opposing “Ultimate Fighter” team coach at 185lbs. The co-main event was a rematch between Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Mark Coleman with both fighters returning to the Octagon following a long layoff. This is how the event played out:

Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle This was a bout between two former professional boxers, and both fighters vowed to keep the fight on the feet prior to the event; in essence we had a bout of cage kickboxing. Davis refused to follow Lytle to the ground despite knocking or throwing him down on several occasions. Lytle was the aggressor throughout the fight, overwhelming Davis in the beginning of both the first and second rounds. This forced Davis to literally turn his back and run away

Davis vs Lytle

in the second round. However, Lytle was not able to capitalize on this as Davis successfully played the role of a counter-striker. This very close fight ended with a split decision for Marcus Davis (28-29 on all three scorecards, with two judges calling it in Marcus’ favour and the third picking Lytle.)

down for another takedown and was caught off guard in a guillotine choke by Belcher, ending the fight there and then without much struggle from Kang. All in all, it was a disappointing debut by Kang, a highly rated fighter.

Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher

Leglock master Palhares dominated veteran Horn for the majority of the bout, dragging or slamming him down multiple times in each round. Palhares wasn’t able to do much damage to Horn on the ground or even have any close submission attempts. This made the fight not much of a spectacle to be honest. Horn had a slight edge in the stand-up stakes, due to his reach advantage, and briefly gained dominant position in the second round...

In his Octagon debut, Denis Kang controlled the action for most of the first two rounds, during which he won the stand-up and took Belcher down at will. Kang was able to pass Belcher’s guard a number of times, first attempting to secure a D’arce choke, then a Kimura. Belcher defended Kang’s submission attempts and hung in there despite not offering much in the way of offence. Late in the second round, Kang shot

Klang vs Belcher

Jeremy Horn vs. Rousimar Palhares


UFC 93 - HENDERSON DEFEATS FRANKLIN Page 57

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Page 60 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2009

Battle of the

Ultimate Fighters The winner of TUF 1 will take on the winner of TUF 2 when Diego Sanchez squares off against Joe Stevenson at UFC 95. This matchup of champions of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series is a great fight and adds more intrigue by way of the fact Sanchez is making his first appearance at 155. Dropping down from 170, Sanchez will test his metal in a smaller frame against Stevenson. This is a very important fight for both competitors. A win over Sanchez once again catapults Stevenson up the ladder at 155, after suffering a loss to Kenny Florian, which took away some of the steam from the former lightweight title challenger. For Sanchez this is a chance for him to make his mark in a new weight class. His career at 170, while very successful, hit somewhat of a roadblock when he entered into the domain of American Kickboxing Academy. The San Jose, California gym which bred two exceptional welterweights in Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch, would stall Sanchez’s rise to become a title contender. Nobody got in the way of Sanchez until he fought both Koscheck and Fitch, who defeated the Mexican-American pugilist by decision. However, Sanchez is a couple big wins away from getting a legit shot at being a top contender at 155. He could revive his career and fulfill what

Stevenson vs Tibau @ ufc86

he believes is his destiny—to become a UFC champion. It would be a similar story to that of Sean Sherk, who also dreamt endlessly of wearing UFC gold, but could not achieve it at welterweight. He dropped down to 155 and found himself winning the belt. But before any of the hoopla of achieving that goal, Sanchez must fight an extremely tough challenger looking to score the same title one day in “Joe Daddy” Stevenson. Here’s how the fight breaks down:

BJJ Both fighters are exceptional grapplers in the MMA world. Excellent BJJ skills have been a constant asset in their toolbox over their career. Stevenson has a strong ground game and utilizes his submission knowledge and strength to his advantage. Although he has been rear naked choked by both Kenny Florian and BJ Penn in recent bouts, it is rare to catch “Joe Daddy” in a sub, as

it is usually him who is on the aggressive with submission attacks. Sanchez has an excellent ground game and can hang with the best on the ground. In an Abu Dhabi submission match, Sanchez was able to hold his own and show some great skill and tenacity against the best in the business on the ground in Marcelo Garcia. In the MMA world Sanchez compliments his submission attack with a ruthless ground and pound assault. It is the intense desire to win and a highly aggressive competitive spirit which allow his skills to shine to the fullest potential on the ground. Sanchez could possibly have the edge in this area but likely the two ground savvy fighters will negate each other on the ground.

WRESTLING This is another very evenly matched area. Both fighters are exceptional wrestlers and usually score the takedown when they go for one. Both will likely have the ability to get the other on the mat, who will be able to hold the other down longer will be a key question. Both fighters have some great scrambling ability but this area is a particular specialty of Sanchez. While he can hold his own just find from his back, he is very intent on getting back to the feet or reversing position. In his fights with Karo Parisyan and Nick Diaz, Sanchez showed that he is very capable of getting off the bottom against tough grapplers. It once again stems from a very strong drive to win and not let the other fighters score points against him.


BATTLE OF THE ULTIMATE FIGHTERS Page 61

STRIKING In this striking realm a reach advantage for Sanchez will could make the difference in the fight. Both fighters can stand and bang, but they are most comfortable pounding their opponents on the ground. If it is a stand up fight they can dish it out and take punches just fine, so they will likely be able to slug it out without hesitation. Neither fighters is a pure KO artist, so power might not play too much of a factor, but Sanchez’s aggressive and reach could give him a slight edge here.

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NEW WEIGHT CLASS How will Diego Sanchez adjust to moving down to 155 and making his debut at lightweight? That is a very tough question to answer. Perhaps he will be rejuvenated and realize he should have been fighting in this division his whole career. Or he might find himself weakened at a lower weight category and perhaps drained out from a gruelling weight cutting process. This is going to play into the fight, and might give Stevenson and edge. While Sanchez is a highly experienced veteran and possesses a heart which allows him to break through any adversity, the physiology and new feeling of moving down to 155 could throw him off.

CARDIO Both fighters should be good to for 15 minutes. We have seen “Joe Daddy” put on a performance once that showed some lack of full conditioning when he took on Josh Neer in the UFC. While it is not fair to hold that against him now, we have to give Sanchez the edge in this category because he is always in 100 percent pristine cardio shape and we expect no less this time out, even in a new weight category.

THE OUTCOME These two fighters are evenly matched in almost every category. It’s going to be a very entertaining bout and a great first fight to see how Sanchez adjusts to 155. In the end it might come to who wants it more and who is the better striker. It’s really a tough fight to call because the dynamic nature of both fighters and high level of skill they possess make for so many possibilities on how the fight could play out. But in the end a potential striking and cardio edge coupled with hyper aggressive fighting style should give Sanchez the fight by decision.

Diego Sanchez


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FieLDS

Dynamite!! New Years Eve 2008 SAITAMA, December 31, 2008 — On a fight night full of spectacular KOs and deft submissions, it was the stunning upsets that really stood out. MMA fighters Alistair Overeem and Gegard Mousasi shocked K-1 stars Badr Hari and Musashi in K-1 bouts; while in another big surprise, diminutive MMA-fighter-turned-K-1-sensation Melvin Manhoef become the first man to KO big Mark Hunt with punches. The latest installment in Japanese New Year’s tradition, FieLDS DYNAMITE!! 2008 featured eleven DREAM MMA Rules bouts in a variety of weight classes; a quartet of K-1 Rules contests; and the culmination of the inaugural K-1 Koshien high school tournament. The fightsport extravaganza was held before a sellout crowd the Saitama Super Arena.

DREAM MMA Rules Bouts Melvin Manhoef vs Mark Hunt Dutch dynamo Melvin Manhoef wasn’t even supposed to be in the ring, but when Jerome LeBanner’s influenza knocked him out of the event, New Zealand slugger Mark Hunt needed an opponent for his Heavyweight bout. On less than 24 hours notice, Manhoef — who weighs some 40kg/88lbs less than

Hunt — accepted the fight The bell rang, and after sizing up his opponent for moment, Hunt barreled in with his fists flying. Manhoef however met the attack soundly with a left and then a right to send Hunt to the mat. In a flash, Manhoef stepped over the downed Kiwi and began pounding down the punches. With Hunt neither defending nor attacking, the referee dove in to stop it. The crowd went wild. “I’m a small guy, only 88 kilos [194lbs], he was 40 kilos more but I wanted to show that even heavy guys can fall” shouted Manhoef from center ring. Semmy Schilt vs Mighty Mo Three-time K-1 World GP Champion Semmy Schilt of Holland met SamoanAmerican slugger Mighty Mo in a Heavyweight (93.1kg/205lbs+) test of the standup fighters’ MMA skills. From the start the pair closed to the clinch, where Mo’s attempts to grab Schilt’s legs were answered by knees. When they did go to the mat, Mo was on top, where he hoped to use Schilt’s size against him, but Schilt long legs from the guard kept Mo at bay. The Samoan stood and passed promisingly with the right, before being drawn


FIELDS DYNAMITE!! NEW YEARS EVE 2008 Page 65

Mighty Mo vs Schilt


Page 66 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK February 2009

es, many of which made decent contact. The second saw an increasingly fatigued Sakuraba fighting increasingly defensively. Tamura also pulled back here, and both fighters were re-stood and cautioned for lack of action. Tamura stung Sakuraba with a couple of low kicks before executing a single-leg takedown, and although Sakuraba got top position in the next trip to the mat, it was still Tamura putting the strikes through. Some late maneuvers by Sakuraba failed to get anywhere, and Tamura took the win by unanimous decision.

into a triangle choke from which he could not escape. Schilt with the submission victory. Kazushi Sakuraba vs Kiyoshi Tamura The Main Event, a Middleweight (80kg/176lbs) contest, featured a couple of Japanese living legends — submission specialist Kazushi Sakuraba, nicknamed “The Gracie Hunter” for his success against MMA’s most celebrated family; and pro-wrestler Kiyoshi Tamura, a contemporary of Sakuraba’s who has also enjoyed an illustrious career.

Minowaman vs Zimmerman

The fighters, who will both turn 40 in 2009, lacked some of the vigor of their earlier years, but nonetheless made a fair go of it. After a Tamura low kick, Sakuraba dove in with a single leg takedown and the pair went to the mat, Sakuraba’s position spoiled by a reversal that landed Tamura on top. The two would remain in that position for most of the 10-minute first round. Tamura did some damage here, passing Sakuraba’s guard with hammers and punches; while Sakuraba kept his legs high in an apparent attempt at a triangle choke. Tamura stayed clear of the trap, picking his spots to fire in punch-

Sakuraba vs Tamura

Mirko CroCop vs Hong-Man Choi Croatian MMA star Mirko CroCop stepped in against Hong-Man Choi of South Korea. In a Heavyweight bout. CroCop is known for his dangerous high kicks, but could he get them up on the 218cm/7’2” Choi? Circling clockwise, CroCop started with a hit-and-retreat strategy, darting in kicks to Choi’s legs and body and just missing with a high kick before getting locked up in a bear hug that went to stalemate. A lack of engagement earned both fighters yellow cards midway through the 10-minute first round, before a CroCop kick landed below the belt, resulting in a time stoppage and recovery period for Choi. After resumption, a CroCop left kick caught the inside of Choi’s left knee. The big Korean took one awkward step forward, then collapsed to the mat in a heap of pain...


FIELDS DYNAMITE!! NEW YEARS EVE 2008 Page 67

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Cro Cop vs Choi


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