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EASTERN EYE February 26, 2010

BID: Shahid Khan

Businessman to buy Rams?

AMERICAN businessman Shahid Khan is poised to takeover the St Louis Rams after agreeing to buy a controlling stake in the NFL giants. The 54-year-old is the president of auto-parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate. Reports suggest he will purchase the 60 per cent of the Rams owned by Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, the children of famed Rams owner Georgia Frontiere. And he hopes Stan Kronke, who has shares in Arsenal FC, keeps his 40 per cent stake in the Rams to keep up some local connection. “He doesn’t need any money from Stan,” the source said. “He can handle the deal on his own if he has to. But he has a strong desire for Stan to stay so he would have a St Louis partner and a strong link to the community.”

Ennis pulls out of Delhi event

WORLD heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has revealed she will not be competing for Britain at this year’s Commonwealth Games. Ennis, who was crowned world champion in Berlin in August 2009, claims that competing in Delhi in October will harm her chances of winning the following year’s European Championships. “I sat down with my coach and we decided the Commonwealth Games isn’t a good option,” said Ennis. “October is a difficult time to peak so we decided the main focus should be the Europeans Championships.”

PLAN: Tosh Masson

Masson wants more matches

HARLEQUINS centre Tosh Masson is hoping he will have enough time to impress his bosses to earn a new contract at the end of the season. The 24-year-old becomes a free agent at the end of the season and is currently out of action following surgery to an ankle problem. But Masson is confident he will get a chance to continue his career, whether it’s at the Stoop or elsewhere in the league, though Quins remain his number one priority. “I just want to play rugby. I’ve reached one goal, now I want to achieve another by playing in every game during a season, rather than just parts of it,” he added.

no pain, but

UK cage fighter Shah Hussain on his mission to spread the word of MMA to the sub-continent and beyond... EXCLUSIVE by Zohaib Rashid SOME see it as barbaric and dangerous, others see it as a good way to spend a night out. But there is no denying that the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is becoming one of the biggest sporting attractions around the world. Thanks to the explosion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), interest in MMA is growing everyday, even eclipsing the popularity of boxing. As the scene has grown, MMA has become more than just two guys locked in a cage beating the other senseless. These days, you’ll see fighters combine different arts, including jujitsu, kickboxing, wrestling and even capoeira. And as a spectacle, there’s nothing quite like watching two combatants finding new and inventive ways to beat their opponents, either through knockouts or submissions. While the sport is massive in America, there is also a thriving scene in Britain, with fighters such as Michael Bisping and Alex Reid putting MMA in the mainstream news. Reid is probably more famous for being married to glamour model Jordan, but the spotlight has also fallen on his profession, and any publicity is good publicity when it comes to minority sports like this. Desis have also been bitten by the MMA bug, with many attending fights held by different promotions all around the country. And some, like Shah “No Pain” Hussain, have even gone one step further and stepped into the Lion’s Den. But why would anyone want to step into a steel cage to take on someone who is looking to take you out by any means necessary? “The thing about MMA is that it’s not just about kicking and beating the hell out of your opponent,” Hussain told Eastern Eye. “I don’t see it as a brutal sport. For me, it’s an art form. There are different elements to the sport and each fighter has different abilities and expertise in different martial arts.” The 30-year-old had a background in wrestling and kickboxing, but decided to give cage fighting a go four years ago. He describes himself as an allrounder, but likes

KICKING OFF: Mixed martial arts star Shah ‘No Pain’ Hussain in action in the cage to take fights to the ground. “In this sport, you have to be an all-rounder. So while I like to fight on the floor, and think more about submissions, I can handle myself in the air and standing up as well. “The more you fight and train, the more you learn about the sport. You learn it’s not all about

the punches, there are so many other ways to win fights.” Unlike most people, Hussain bypassed the amateur route and fought his first professional fight against the more experienced Eric Cebarec at Peterborough back in November 2006. Hussain lost his first bout but since then, has gone on to fight four more times, winning three. The middleweight fighter is in love with the sport, so much so that he is funding a trip to Pakistan to help develop MMA in the sub-continent, where there is a growing interest. He will be hosting fighting seminars in March with amateur fighters in partnership with PAK MMA, who are doing their bit to give exposure to the sport in the country. “The thing about the Asian population inherently is its culture has a fighting spirit,” said Hussain. “PAK MMA are trying get to that talent and make the sub-continent the place not only for cricketers but fighters as well.” And there is a demand for spreading MMA across the world, especially in Asia and the middle-east. The UFC are planning to hold an event in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the next year. There is also a reality television show in Dubai called Fite Selektor, which pits the best amateur

fighters together. The organisation has linked up with PAK MMA for a prospective show in the future that will pit the best from Asia against each other. In his day job, Hussain helps protects celebrities and high-profile personalities as a bodyguard, as well as running a car garage. But it is in the gym where you are most likely to find him training with Team Crossface, led by David Lee, who has fought in the UFC. “I’m in the gym most days, and it’s always intense. Everyone’s always giving 100 per cent,” said Hussain. “David Lee is one of the top featherweights in the country and has great experience of fighting in MMA.” Indeed, Hussain was in the gym nearenough everyday preparing for his bout against Chris Greg in February, but had to cancel because of an injury weeks before the fight was to take place. “It’s never good to pull out of a fight,” said Hussain. “You train hard and want to get in there and show people what you can do. “But I’ve recovered now and will be back in the action in a couple of months or so.” Hussain has fought in a number of promotions around the country, but said that there is a need for an overall body in Britain to regulate and professionalise the sport. Two of the biggest promotions in this country include Ultimate Challenge

Eastern Eye Article on Shahid Hussain  

Pak MMA fighter Shahid Hussain was interviewed for British newspaper Eastern Eye to discuss his MMA plans as well plans for Pakistan

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