Interview with 1st UFC Champion Royce Gracie
MMAyou.com had the opportunity to speak with a legend in Mixed Martial Arts when we interviewed the first UFC champion; Royce Gracie. Check out what Gracie has to say regarding rematches with Ken Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba, what’s he up to nowadays, Rickson Gracie appearing in the Incredible Hulk, and much more!
Arizona Adopts Unified MMA Rules
Chalk Arizona as another state that's joined the action:
Arizona joins Georgia and North Carolina as the latest states to adopt the unified rules for mixed martial arts combat. The Arizona bill was sponsored by Jonathan Paton, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. An intelligence officer for the U.S. Army Reserve, Paton became a fan of MMA during his infantry training in Fort Benning, Ga. When he returned to Arizona, he began working out at Arizona Combat Sports, one of the top professional gyms in the Southwest, which has produced such fighters as current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner (Pictures) and TUF 7 cast member C.B Dollaway.
Tito Ortiz-This Is Gonna Hurt...It Certainly Did
I will get to the very few highlights of the book but believe me when I say there weren't many. If half the shit he talked about is true I certainly commend him for picking himself up and making a life for himself. While I have always enjoyed Ortiz's antics and for the most part his fights, I have lost a measure of respect for him as a person.
The book starts out talking about his early childhood, his mother and father were big time potheads. There's a picture of them sitting at a table cutting up marijuana plants. Tito grew up with two older half brothers. This is where his first outrageous claim starts. He says that he was smoking pot and drinking by the time he was 5, I don't know about you but I find that a little ridiculous. If it's true then his older brothers are the biggest dirtbags in the world. He was never a good student because for the most part he skipped a lot of school and was into getting in trouble. Nothing major but petty theft and the like. His parents never tried to hide their drug use and were very open about it. His father was injured at work and was on morphine to dull the pain, when that was no longer working his mom and dad were introduced to Heroin. Their habit was bad and it forced the family to move from place to place, live in motels, people's garages and trailers. Tito had no direction and was getting high and joined a gang.
This behavior continued throughout middle school and it wasn't until early on in High School Tito met a friend named Eric Escobdo who was on the wrestling team, this is where Tito's life began to turn for the better. He kept clean for the most part while wrestling but after the season ended it was right back to the drugs. He did everything but Heroin, he said he would never do that because of what it did to his parents. He was pretty succesful in wrestling right from the start and he really enjoyed it. He met his future wife Kristin while a sophmore and it was just a friendship then it wouldn't turn into love until awhile later. Tito went to jail during the summer of his sophmore year for stealing a car. This was one of many times he had run ins with the law, but as I said they were never anything major. He was very close to going to jail for a long time and he has wrestling to thank for not being involved. His friend Nacho begged him to go on a run with him to do some work for a guy, well he didn;t go because pf practice and his friend was arrested with a million dollars worth of speed, guns and bulletproof vests, his friend got 25 to life.
After high school his mom who was now remarried told him his stepfather wanted him out so he moved in with his stepbrother and his girlfriend. He got a job at a moving company and was miserable. He was still getting high and being a degenerate. He started dealing meth and other drugs and one night at a party he reconnected with Kristin, they started to hang out and that's how they began their love story. Then by chance he was at a bar and ran into an old wrestling coach. He helped Tito get financial aid, hooked him up with the wrestling coach and he was off to Golden West College. Tito started school in 1995 and was a physical education major, he said he would have loved to have been a teacher because he wanted to help kids avoid the pitfalls that life can throw at you. Kristin also attended the same school with him. In his first year he won the state title and led the state with the most pins. It was around this time when he became hooked on watching The UFC. One day while watching an event he recognized a guy he had defeated while in high school, his name was Jerry Bohlander and Tito was amazed.
After the wrestling season ended he was introduced to Tank Abbott who was looking for someone to help him train, so Tito went and trained with Tank for a few weeks. Tank taught how to work the crowd and make yourself a commodity. Tito went back to school and repeated as state champion in 1996. In March of 1997 Tank called Tito asking him if he was interested in fighting on an UFC card. He fought as an amateur so he wouldn't lose his student status. He trained for 6 months with Tank to get ready for his fight. To my surprise his first fight in MMA was not with the UFC, it was to fight in a gym against a BJJ guy, he wanted to test himself. That fight went to a draw.
His first UFC fight was May 30th, 1997 at UFC 13. He fought Wes Albritton a 5th degree black belt in karate. The fight lasted 22 seconds, they clinched Tito took him down and mounted him and nailed him with punches. To his surpise he fought again that night against Guy Mezger. Tito tapped out to a rear naked choke after some back and forth action. After that people started recognizing him and his life would never be the same. He then attended Bakersfield college and it was there that he started another life long problem, cheating on Kristin. With her back in Huntington Beach it was easy. This is also where his relationship with Tank went awry. Tito got into trouble, Tank promised him help and never delivered. He also had problems with the wrestling coach at Bakersfield, they didn't get along at all. He quit school after the season and went back to Huntington Beach and got a job at Spanky's Adult Novelty Store. He had a manager by the name of Saul Garcia who was trying to get him a fight with the UFC but Tank stabbed Tito in the back and said he would never fight for the UFC again if they hired Tito. He took a fight in a warehouse against a guy named Eugen Jackson a veteran of Extreme Fighting Championships. That fight ended up a draw as well.
Tito was fed up and him and his manager went down to Brazil to go see a UFC official named John Peretti, this trip was sponsored and paid for by the owner of Spanky's. After some needling Peretti called Tito and offered him a fight with his old high school opponent Jerry Bohlander. This took place on January 8, 1999 at UFC 18. Tito won by TKO at 14:31. Right before the fight he was approached by a porn production company and they paid him a couple grand to wear a t-shirt htat said I Just ****** Your Ass. This is where the t-shirt thing started. His next fight was on March 5, 1999 at UFC 19 against Guy Mezger once again. He beat him the whole fight and it was stopped at 13:00. That;s when he pulled out the Gay Mezger Is My Bitch shirt and this is where the war with Ken Shamrock started as Tito flipped of Mezger's crew.
Sakuraba Style at the DREAM 4 Weigh-Ins
Not only is the dude one of the all time greats -- probably the greatest Japanese MMA fighter of all time -- but he's also funny as hell and just does not give a shit. The photo at right is from the DREAM 4 press conference. Here's a SukiMMA translation of Sak talking about his opponent Melvin Manhoef a couple of days ago:
Interview with “Big” John McCarty
The past several weeks have brought controversial outcomes to several major bouts. At the center of the controversy at both EliteXC: Primetime and also at UFC 85 a week later was New Jersey-based referee Dan Miragliotta.
Herb Dean also found himself in the spotlight after deducting two points from Nathan Marquardt during UFC 85 bout vs. Thales Leites. Leites was declared the winner, but Marquardt would have won on the scorecards had it not been for the deductions.
Frank and Ken Shamrock to fight soon
Frank Shamrock will be facing his step-brother Ken in his next fight, according to a recent interview.
The California native told MMAYou.com that the deal is "pretty darn close" to being done.
"I think it's a good time for it," he said. The two were raised by the same stepfather - Bob Shamrock - but have famously never got along.
Shamrock also called out Tito Ortiz, who recently left the UFC, for a rematch.
Donald Trump Makes His Move
When the Affliction clothing line announced its Affliction: Banned pay-per-view event, there was a great deal of skepticism. To be blunt, there is no way that the show will be able to make a profit.
Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski have big money contracts, and the ceiling for non-UFC MMA pay-per-views has been around 50,000 buys. That includes the Las Vegas Pride pay-per-views which had comparably star-studded cards, world-class production and a much stronger brand name. As a live event the Affliction show will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, which drew a $1.98 million gate for the last UFC show featuring Chuck Liddell.
Fedor interview by mixfight-combat.com.ru
Are fighters born or made?
Fighters are made. There is a predisposition for it in one’s character, but I think you need to become a fighter.
Is there a difference between a fighter who grew up on the street and then came to the gym - and a man from a successful family, who was brought in by his father, and then started training?
It’s tough to say. I do think that children from either family can achieve great results. What’s probably more important is a child’s upbringing. Not in which conditions he lives in, but how he is brought up. The street doesn’t always harden a young guy, girl, or child; sometimes the opposite. We need to take the children away from the streets.
At the same time if a child lives not feeling a need in anything, and doesn’t have goals, interests, doesn’t go to the gym, or anywhere else - his character will rot. But if a child is busy training, that’s a whole other story. I would wish that there was mentoring at home and at the gym.
Cacareco Out, Ralek Gracie in at Dream 4
Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira has been pulled off the Dream 4 fight card due to visa issues that prevent him from entering Japan. He was scheduled to face Russian fighter Alavutdin Gadzhiev.
Replacing Cacareco will be Ralek Gracie, who takes the MMA fight on short notice. Gracie was originally scheduled to face Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in a special grappling rules match at Dream 4. The grappling bout, however, was scratched off the card when Cro Cop withdrew because of injury.
With MMA, UFC influence spilling over to wrestling, are Olympics next?
The U.S. Olympic wrestling trials begin Thursday in Las Vegas. It's the perfect location because so much of the chatter surrounding the event is focused on pushing the ancient sport to sexy, combative extremes.
"People aren't trying to pin each other anymore," said Jason Townsend, who is promoting a new style -- "Grappling" -- for USA Wrestling, the sport's national governing body. "They're trying to choke each other, arm-bar, leg-lock and get their opponent to say, 'Uncle.' How long can you hold out before you tap out?'"
You "tap out" before turning blue, feeling your knee burst or your arm snap.
Welcome to 21st-century international wrestling, and -- perhaps -- the future of Olympic wrestling. Buffeted by a perfect storm of marketing and cultural vectors striking Olympic sports, wrestling -- arguably the most traditional of all -- can be traced back thousands of years, when, Townsend said, "wherever people were, whether they were in a tree, they were wrestling. People have evolved with wrestling."
Freestyle, which is similar to high school and college wrestling, and Greco-Roman, in which no holds or actions are permitted below the waist, remain the classic Olympic styles and are on the Beijing program. But that almost certainly won't be the case 20, 10 or perhaps even five years from now.
"There is a school of thought among traditionalists that our sport will exist in its current form forever," USA Wrestling executive director Rich Bender said. "But even those within that traditionalist community would have to admit our sport has changed. We have to keep our eyes wide-open."
The International Olympic Committee has made it known it seeks to modernize its sports to better attract young audiences. Consider the advent of BMX cycling in Beijing this summer, or snowboarding in the Winter Games.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have exploded onto the sports scene recently, giving rise to the new wrestling style, Grappling, which was approved by FILA, the international wrestling federation, in 2006.
California likely to require clean drug tests for past offenders
California is poised to join Nevada in requiring fighters who previously tested positive for drugs to prove they are clean before being allowed to fight again.
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is working on this and other changes to regulations designed to stem the use of performance-enhancing and recreational drugs in combative sports. The proposed change to current rules in California would require a clean drug test for licensure or renewal of a license when an athlete has "previously tested positive for a prohibited substance in any commission state." This clean-test stipulation comes with no expiration date.
To cite a real-world example, this proposed rule change means that if former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk is to fight again in California, whether it's next month or 10 years from now, he will be required to pass a drug test before he's cleared to compete. This is similar to a rule on the books in Nevada, as Sherk was required to pass a drug test prior to his bout with BJ Penn last month at UFC 84.
"This is to assure us that they are safe to be placed into a competitive environment again and prevent repeat test failures," Bill Douglas, acting assistant executive officer with the CSAC, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It will only apply if they have had a previously verified test failure."
The proposed rule is working its way through the bureaucratic process in California. That includes a public-comment period, which closed last month, and reviews by a litany of state agencies. Douglas is confident that the rule will pass and be signed into law by the middle of July. If that timing holds, Douglas anticipates the rule would take effect approximately 30 days after being signed to give promoters ample notice of the change.
Few, if any, other states outside of Nevada require this clean test for fighters who have previously tested positive for drugs, according to Douglas.
Another rule change currently under review would permit the commission to overturn a victory when a fighter has won his or her fight and subsequently tested positive for a banned substance. The fight would be declared a no-contest. Currently, victories by fighters who fail a drug test stand.
Following this round of rule revisions, random testing is next on the CSAC agenda.
"One of the things that were also hoping to address in the future with a rules package -- more than likely the very next one I'll be working on -- is out-of-competition testing," said Douglas. "That's currently being done in Nevada, and California is hoping to do the same thing. We're not looking to do this a week or two before a fight. We want to be able to do it whenever we want. So if someone fights and then six months into their training, we can call them up with their date and time (for testing)."
Judo Olympian Ronda Rousey Could Be an MMA Star -- If Her Mom Will Let Her
There's a lot to like about Ronda Rousey. She's America's best hope for an Olympic medal in judo this summer, she's a passionate advocate for her sport, and she has a blog that shows she's smart and funny.
Unfortunately, beyond those two weeks in August in Beijing, she's not going to have many opportunities to be in the public eye, or to make a living as a professional athlete. So that's why it makes sense that, as Beau Dure of USA Today reports, she's considering turning her attention to mixed martial arts:
"I have quite a few people who have been trying to get me to do MMA," Rousey says. "A coach has been talking to me about teaching me striking (punches, kicks) after the Olympics....
"My mom's generally not a big fan of the idea, so we'll see if I can convince her,"
Guy Mezger on PRIDE and Worked Fights
From an interview with MMAyou.com:
MMAyou.com: Here’s a question from one of your fans that I thought was a really good question. Why did the Pride judges hate you so much?
Mezger: You know, I’ll tell you truthfully man, I wouldn’t play ball with them on certain things. They wanted me to do certain things that’s just not something that I’m gonna do. It’s against my, kind of my moral code and I think it pissed them off because I’m not gonna do some of the stuff that they wanted me to do
Josh thomson trains For Milendez (and doesn't like dog fighting)
Current lightweight champion Josh Thomson has joined Cung Le as the second Strikeforce fighter to record a PSA for California-based non-profit Knock Out Dog Fighting. The program is organized by For Pits' Sake, Inc., who "has recruited the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) to help teach children that dog fighters are losers and that it is not a sign of strength to torture helpless animals."
Testify, Brother Thomson:
Dog fighting is animal abuse, plain and simple. Torturing animals is not cool; nor is it a sign of being a real man. Real fighters stand up for what's right and protect those who are unable to do so.