Art Jimmerson: Where Is He Now?
It's one of the most powerful and provocative images of the past century: The XIX Olympiad. October 16, 1968. Mexico City. Tommie Smith and John Carlos. The black glove. Black power.
Despite the symbol's cultural resonance, if you're part of the MMA cognoscenti, "one glove" means something much different to you: UFC 1. November 12, 1993. Denver. Art Jimmerson. The boxing glove. Ridicule.
"It's funny looking back, I just never knew," says Jimmerson, now 45 years old and retired from ring and cage. "But I said, 'No problem,' because it was only going to take me one punch."
Three decades before lacing up his one glove and banking on one punch, Arthur Lee Jimmerson Jr. was a shock-headed youth raised in St. Louis, his childhood coinciding with the cultural crumbling of the city. By the time he had reached grade school, the city's culturally rich Gaslight Square -- which played host to the likes of Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, Lenny Bruce, Miles Davis and Woody Allen -- had become victim to urban decay, beginning its uneasy alteration from a cultural capital to a perennial contender for "America's most dangerous city."
"I got picked on a lot in grade school basically," says Jimmerson. "There was one guy who always bullied me, so there was a point where a friend of ours in the neighborhood who took us to the boxing gym and I went. The rest is history."
Jimmerson become part of St. Louis' next-gen boxers looking to follow in the footsteps of Olympic gold medalist and world champion brothers Leon and Michael Spinks. After winning the National Golden Gloves as a middleweight in 1983, Jimmerson turned pro in 1985. Success was hard to come by, and he tallied only a 9-2 mark through his first 11 bouts. However, in July 1988, Jimmerson was selected as a tune-up opponent for regionally popular light heavyweight action fighter Lenny LaPaglia. Jimmerson, then known by his long-discarded nickname "Zorro,” brutally bashed LaPaglia in a stirring six-round upset, giving his career a shot in the arm.
Photo Courtesy: Art Jimmerson
Jimmerson was born and
raised in St. Louis.
"[UFC 1] doesn't really bother me because I know who I am as a fighter," says Jimmerson. While Jimmerson often sounds as though he's talking about another lifetime when he speaks of his boxing career, the LaPaglia bout remains a clear touchstone for him.
"If you go on YouTube, and see me fight LaPaglia, that shows the real me," he assures.
He wouldn't go on to become a world champion, like St. Louis contemporaries Eddie Cook, Ed Hopson and Carl Daniels. However, Jimmerson became a solid journeyman, putting together 15 straight victories in the lead-up to UFC 1, and was in the running for a considerable payday as an opponent for an aging legend in Thomas "Hitman" Hearns.
While Jimmerson was eyeing a crack at a hall of famer, Rorion Gracie and Art Davie were looking for willing participants in their grand infomercial for Gracie jiu-jitsu. To sell the UFC, it would require the Bloodsport-esque style-versus-style hook, and to validate the strength of jiu-jitsu, there certainly needed to be a representative of the sweet science...
Snubbed by TUF 9 Wallhead is calling out UFC fighters
He's regarded by many as the No. 2 welterweight fighter in the UK, behind Dan Hardy yet he fell short in making the cast of The Ultimate Fighter 9: U.S. v. U.K.
That has Brit Jimmy Wallhead in a surly mood especially when youngsters like Tom Egan are calling out bigger names in the UFC. Egan, an Irishman, lost in his UFC debut against John Hathaway at UFC 93.
For some reason, Egan is now calling out Dan Hardy. Wallhead trains with Hardy and told MMAUnlimited he isn't happy with Egan's attitude:
Filho Wants Lawler In Strikeforce
Former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho (16-1) is looking for a meeting with Robbie Lawler on a Strikeforce show.
"We have offered Paulo to Sengoku or Strikeforce and that is where we want, if possible straight into a fight with Robbie Lawler,” his coach Jorge Guimaraes told Tatame today.
UFC Looks To Make Early Stop Right For Riley
“The UFC is looking to make things right, so hopefully I’ll get a rematch in with Shane at some point, but I’m just really looking to get back in action as soon as possible,” he said. “I’ve already expressed that to Joe Silva, and he’s looking to make that happen.
“He told me they were booked through August, but he also told me that if there was a chance to get me in, he’d try to get me in. If anything happens where somebody drops out or gets injured, he can look to juggle the schedule around and get me in.”
Rashad Claims 'Rampage' Is Ducking Him
“Just listening to Rampage when we were in the ring talking he was kind of like, ‘Yeah man you’re lucky I wasn’t 100 percent’ and he started making excuses,” said Evans.
“I was thinking like it sounds like an excuse-fest is about to happen, so I know he ain’t going to take no fight with me. He’s making excuses now.”
Respect To Rampage, Jardine Upset With Loss
Though he came up short on judges’ scorecards, Keith Jardine won a moral victory against Quinton Jackson at UFC 96 by sticking with the game plan and staying in the fight when things got tough.
“The fight went pretty close to the way I thought it would go,” Jardine said at the UFC 96 post-fight presser.
In the past, he had paid for straying from his plan. Wanderlei Silva ended his night early at UFC 84 when he went against coaches’ advice, exposing himself to punches with a leg kick.
Is Bad Kickboxing the Future of MMA?
Perhaps it's too soon to call it a trend, but the lack of submissions during UFC 96 is worth discussing. Saturday's card in Columbus marked the third event in the organization's last six that failed to produce a submission (tapout to choke or joint lock).
Prior to UFC 96, 94 and 92, the last time a UFC card finished submission-less was February 2007, at UFC 67 -- a span of 36 events. Over the course of 94 Zuffa-era UFC events, only eight have failed to yield some sort of submission. That three of those cards took place in the past four months is at a minimum noteworthy, at worst disconcerting.
Just once has the UFC come up short on submissions in consecutive events. Way back when, in 1996, UFC 9 and 10 saw plenty of finishes, just not a tap from a rear-naked choke, triangle, armbar or countless other ways to end a fight via lock or choke. Understandably, that was an entirely different era.
Sell Fine, Lavigne Admits He Screwed Up
In comments made by both earlier today, Pete Sell did not criticize referee Yves Lavigne for his refereeing in his fight with Matt Brown at UFC 96, and Lavigne acknowledged that he "screwed up" and he'll learn from his mistakes in refereeing the fight.
Torres, Escudero Sign on With Bud Light for Latino Outreach
MMAPayout.com has mentioned previously the efforts to better reach the Latino demos. The UFC is not alone, though, in these efforts, as key sponsors of the UFC are looking for synergies with the UFC”s outreach efforts to better serve Latinos. One of these sponsors is Anheuser-Busch. Bud Light has consistently sought out a better grasp of Latino market share and they have recently boasted of their sponsorship efforts with UFC fighters in their overall spending in the Latino sports segment:
Anheuser-Busch currently sponsors the Mexican National Soccer Team, Chivas de Guadalajara, WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Angel Torres and UFC Lightweight Efrain Escudero. ….. The company has the No. 1 and No. 2 beer brands in the Latino market — Bud Light and Budweiser. To learn more about these efforts, please visit http://www.Latinobud.com.
While Torres has been mentioned in regards to Bud Light before, this is the first mention I have heard of Escudero in connection with a Bud Light deal. Efrain’s win in the TUF Finals gave him a high profile that Anheuser felt they could capitalize on to reach the Latino demographic. Torres and Escudero are proof that if you are young, Latino and have archived a level of accomplishment in the MMA, the world will be your oyster marketing-wise.
Rashad Evans To Create The First Signature Fighter Clothing Collection
Silver Star Casting and “Suga” Rashad Evans are both undefeated, on the rise, and serious contenders. With the union of two industry forces, Silver Star and Evans are creating a full collection of premium tops and accessories inspired by the the line’s signature high-octane look, and Evans’ status as an undefeated MMA champion.
Evans, who holds the Light Heavyweight champion title, is best known for defeating MMA star, Chuck Liddell, and Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael Bisping. Most recently, Evans defeated Forrest Griffin, the winner of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV show, and retained his title of Light Heavyweight champion.
Rapidly becoming the clothing choice for MMA fighters and fans, Silver Star Casting Company’s series of premium signature fighter shirts will be expanded to include the first full signature fighter collection, in collaboration with “Suga” Rashad Evans.
By working with Rashad, we’ve brought a champion from the fight world into the apparel industry to bring a whole new vision and feel to the marketplace” says Silver Star owner, Luke Burrett. “Rashad has Silver Star’s full support and together we’re introducing a product line fight fans can wear with pride.”
The “Suga” Rashad Evans signature collection will include the Silver Star’s signature graphics, premium cuts, and envelope-pushing details. The collection will hit stores in May 2009.
Evans Expects Machida at UFC 98
Despite every assurance made during Saturday night’s UFC 96 pay-per-view broadcast, UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans doesn’t believe Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will be standing across the Octagon to face him at UFC 98 on May 23.
Rampage tells Joe Rogan stop being a hater about his boxing
Quinton Jackson has made the transformation from one-dimensional power wrestler dude back in his Japan days to a well-rounded fighter who can now strike and box at a high level. But there are some like UFC color analyst Joe Rogan who think he's fallen in love with the straight boxing. Cage Writer and Ariel Helwani sat down with Jackson in Columbus during our postfight show right after UFC 96 and told him about Rogan's criticism:
"You telling me that Joe Rogan is criticizing me telling me that I'm just boxing, who cares, it's MMA. I can do whatever I want to do," said a heated Jackson. "It's my fight, right? It's my fight style. I can come out doing kung-fu if I wanted to."
Jackson said Rogan isn't objective when judging a fight because his background is in groundwork.
DeFranco’s ultimate survival tale (TUF9 cast member)
A few weeks after a snafu with the NCAA Clearinghouse had cost him a half-athletic, half-academic scholarship to Wagner University, as well as an internship at then-New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s office, Santino DeFranco found himself in a mixed martial arts gym in Arizona.
DeFranco was a wrestler and knew next-to-nothing about MMA. He showed up just to learn to grapple a bit and to stay in shape in anticipation of walking onto Arizona State’s powerful wrestling team.