On a crisp November morning in Culver City, Calif., Gina Carano pulled up in front of Sony Pictures Studios. It was the final day of cuts for "American Gladiators," the popular spandex-laden, physical-challenge driven TV series that thrived on Saturday night television from 1989-1996.
Carano hadn't been aware of the show when news leaked of the latest guilty pleasure revival. She hadn't waited in the lines of thousands that churned out as many pull-ups as they could muster at rapid-fire pace or catapulted their bodies from end-to-end of a gymnasium in the hopes of catching the right producer's eye.
Instead, NBC producers had seen Carano -- who had fought two of her five career MMA bouts under the newly-formed EliteXC banner that year on Showtime -- and wanted her. She had turned down audition after audition, until her coach of four months, six-time UFC champion Randy Couture, encouraged her to head down to Los Angeles and at least give it a try.
Sitting outside the studio, looking up at the massive white building in front of her, Carano made a decision. She started her car, pulled out of the parking lot, and kept driving until she reached a friend's house in San Diego.
"I didn't want it to take away from who I am. I wanted to live up to my responsibilities of being a well-known female MMA fighter," says Carano. "I wanted to be good for the sport."
Carano's name, along with her beautiful face and a physique more suited for modeling then fighting, had become a regular fixture of EliteXC advertisements played in diligent rotation on Showtime. Carano's gutsy performance with fellow femme Julie Kedzie for EliteXC "Destiny" that previous February has not only helped launch the fledgling promotion, it had cemented at least a temporary home for female fighters.
The dimple-cheeked 26-year-old was crowned "The Women's Face of MMA," and with good reason. EliteXC executives saw that same intangible quality that fueled NBC producers to go back to the raven-haired beauty one last time and convince her to finally join the "American Gladiators" cast the night before shooting was scheduled to begin. This time, Carano hesitantly agreed.
The Hotbed Is Hot Again-ASU Reinstates Wrestling Program
Less than 2 weeks ago, it was announced that Arizona State University was dropping it's wrestling program for financial reasons. The program was considered an MMA hotbed because of the talent it's produced. But now it's back-the program has been reinstated because the money to save the program was raised by the program's supporters-in only 10 days.
Brian Stann on Howard Stern show
Brian Stann was on Howard Stern today. this is a summary from one of the biggest Stern fan sites out there.
Howard said that they had one of the fighters, Brian Stann, from the World Extreme Cage Fighting in to promote some upcoming fights. Howard spent a minute talking to that guy about his time served in Iraq as a Marine and things like that. Howard asked him about the mixed martial arts stuff that he does. He asked Brian what he thinks of the war over there. Brian said that he thinks that they should finish the war now that they're already over there.
Howard asked Brian if he thinks they should have gone over there to begin with. Brian gave his thoughts on all of that. Gary said that Danielle hadn't taken her eyes off of him the whole time. Brian spent a few minutes talking to Brian about the war, the Marines and the cage fighting stuff.
Brian claimed that he fought 15 gang members at the same time once. Howard that a bunch of the women in the room probably just orgasmed hearing that. Howard told Brian that he's a ''real man'' unlike Brian in the studio.
Howard asked Brian about the kind of guns he was using over there in Iraq. He also figured that he wasn't afraid of black people or anyone like that. He asked Brian about his next fight which is coming up in August on the Versus network.
Brian's wife is a former cheerleader. Brian said that he had to be persistent with his wife to pick her up. She said no to him at first when he tried to ask her out.
Howard said that he felt sorry for Brian if he didn't get to kill anyone over in Iraq. Brian gestured that he had killed some people so Howard was wrong about that.
Artie talked about how he feels kind of like a pussy for going over to Iraq to just do the comedy show over there. Brian told Artie that he should be fine over there when he goes. Howard asked Brian where you jerk off when you're over there. Brian said that you have to find a port-a-John or something to do it in. Brian said that when he was out there he was living in abandoned houses and stuff and it was pretty dirty.
Howard read some notes about Brian and how they were ambushed when they were going over a bridge. Brian told a story about a suicide bomber attacking his group and how he thought that he had lost all of the guys. they ended up having some wounded but no one died so they really lucked out with that.
Howard had Brian present the check to the winner of the contest. Brian told Tiffany that he hopes that she can put the money to good use and presented the 5 grand to her. Tiffany said she's going to use that money for a driving school.
Matt Lindland cruises to Republican primary victory
MMA veteran and aspiring politician Matt Lindland won Tuesday's Republican primary for the Oregon House of Representatives in the 52nd district -- by 14 percentage points.
According to today's report from KATU.com, Lindland secured 2,410 votes (57 percent); opponent Phyllis Thiemann recorded just 1,803 votes (43 percent).
Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva Scheduled To Appear At Guys Choice Awards
The following is a press release from Spike TV:
New York, NY, May 20, 2008 - Spike TV will once again gather many of the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports that guys love most for the second annual “Guys Choice.” From Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl Marissa Miller to “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull” star Harrison Ford, the night will be a homage to the best in “guydom.” Scheduled to tape Friday, May 30 at the Sony Studios in Culver City, CA, “Guys Choice” premieres Sunday, June 22 (10:00 PM-Midnight, ET/PT).
Scheduled appearances include: Selma Blair, Steve Carell, David Duchovny, Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, E!’s “The Girls Next Door,” Summer Glau, Meagan Good, Chad Johnson, Kim Kardashian, Chuck Liddell, Linkin Park, Seth MacFarlane, Jenny McCarthy, Eva Mendes, Marisa Miller, Anderson Silva, Nikki Sixx, Slash, Tila Tequila, Kat Von D and many more to be announced.
Spike TV will pay special tribute to an American icon; Playboy editor-in-chief and chief creative officer, Hugh Hefner. As Playboy marks its 55th anniversary in December, “Guys Choice” will honor Hefner with the first-ever Alpha Male award for his pioneering vision and ground-breaking achievements that forever changed the face of entertainment for men. The night will also offer other discretionary honors to be announced shortly.
Captain America to invade Canada: Xtreme Couture set to open gym in Toronto
Xtreme Couture — the mixed martial arts (MMA) training facilities that are affiliated with none other than Randy Couture — is breaking ground in Canada with the opening of a 33,000 sq. ft. facility in Toronto’s west end.
The grand opening is scheduled for May 31.
The state of the art facility is loaded with a 14,000 sq. ft. health club along with a 19, 000 sq. ft. MMA training facility that comes complete with an Octagon and ring. The instructors who are on the roster so far include accomplished fighters such as Mark Bocek, Chris Horodecki and Mark Hominick.
The club will open with a bang as Randy Couture will be on hand on the Saturday for an autograph signing and meet and greet with the fans during the grand opening party. The following day, Randy will host a two-hour seminar from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
With the explosion of MMA in Canada, Xtreme Couture is seemingly leading the way with this new facility.
Space is limited for the seminar and the gym will be offering promotional membership fees during the grand opening. For more information please click
C.B. Dollaway On the Death Of ASU Wrestling
A graduate of Arizona State University and its wrestling program, which was recently dropped in the face of budget constraints, cuurent TUF contestant C.B. Dollaway has written a column about the move and its likely impact on wrestling & MMA today and tomorrow.
American Gladiators To Feature Another MMA Fighter
The TV show "American Gladiators" will soon feature its first contestant who also happens to be an MMA fighter. Aaron Simpson, an Arizona Combat Sports fighter, will be a contender on the current season of the series on a future show, competing alongside his wife who will be a women's contender.
Get To Know Them: The Life Of An MMA Photographer
In his most recent online column, former UFC fighter Sean Salmon wrote about Tracy Lee, a photographer who works various MMA events and training camps. Salmon says she's proof that you don't have to be a pretty face with a camera to get close to fighters and their camps & after-parties.
MMA Hotbed Shut Down, Start Of Trend?
A recent hotbed of mixed martial arts talent, Arizona State University on Tuesday announced the discontinuation of its wrestling program due primarily to budget constraints. Cain Velasquez, C.B. Dollaway, Ryan Bader, and Aaron Simpson are all ASU alums. They all emerged from the university’s wrestling program. This could be the start of a trend among educational institutions, potentially a future detriment to MMA.
Redbelt movie review: One part anti-hollywood, one part MMA
I once said of Syriana — labeled as one of the smartest films of the last decade — “Just because it’s hard to follow, doesn’t mean it’s smart.”
Something similar can be said of David Mamet’s Redbelt. Just because it’s vague, doesn’t mean it’s Zen.
Redbelt follows jiu-jitsu master Mike Terry (Chiwetel Eliofor), who is down on his luck financially and forced — because of a strange series of events — to enter a mixed martial arts tournament run by manipulative, crooked promoters. Fighting for competition goes against Terry’s philosophy and integrity, but he must do it to save his dojo, as well as to satisfy several other debts he incurs during the course of the film.
Writer/director David Mamet (best known for writing the stage and screenplays for the brilliant Glengarry Glen Ross) spins a complex web of plot points — probably too complex for the length of the film. But Eliofor is outstanding as the lead actor, which makes the film interesting until the end.
It costars Tim Allen (who is surprisingly good as an aging action film star and boozehound), Alice Braga (Terry’s hardnosed, opportunistic wife), Max Martini (Terry’s prize pupil/police officer), Emily Mortimer (a frazzled lawyer whose inability to deal with a recent tragedy launches this entire series of events), Rodrigo Santoro (Terry’s corrupt brother-in-law), Joe Mantegna (a crooked Hollywood producer) and Ricky Jay (a crooked fight promoter).
ProElite.com Introduces MMA Video On Demand
ProElite.com, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) social networking and entertainment Web site, today unveiled its online offering of video-on-demand (VOD). Leveraging their industry-leading library of MMA events, ProElite.com’s VOD features high-quality streaming, top-notch competition, and world-class fight brands.
MMA fans will be able to purchase VOD at ProElite.com on a fight-by-fight and full-event basis starting as low as 99 cents and $4.95, respectively. Fighters include Kimbo Slice, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Gina Carano, Jake Shields and more going toe-to-toe in events produced by EliteXC, ShoXC, Cage Rage, ICON Sport and Rumble on the Rock. ShoXC’s undercard footage, featuring the up and comers of MMA, will be offered free of charge.
Additionally, ProElite is introducing the “ProElite Fight Pass,” which provides unlimited access to the entire VOD library and any future PPV event streams for an introductory price of $7.95 per month. Fight Pass is regularly priced at $12.95 per month.
Galavisión And UFC® Partner To Present El Octágono Del UFC™
Galavisión announced today it has partnered with Ultimate Fighting Championship® ( UFC® ) organization to present El Octágono del UFC™ ( The UFC®’s Octagon™ ), a weekly program that features highlights of the best showcases the UFC’s most compelling fighters, thrilling battles and over-the-top mixed martial arts action. El Octágono del UFC™ will launch Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 8pm ET/PT ( 7pm central ) on Galavisión.
El Octágono del UFC™ will highlight matches from some of the biggest names in the sport and Hispanics' favorite fighters, including, Diego Sánchez ( Winner of the original The Ultimate Fighter® season ), Kenny Florian ( top lightweight contender ), and highly popular Roger "El Matador" Huerta who is 6-0 in the UFC. The show’s first episode features Huerta vs. Leonard García, in one of the most thrilling matches in the organization’s history.
“We are very excited to bring our viewers this one-of-a-kind show which highlights the best of the sport;” said Joanne Lynch, Senior Vice President General Manager, Galavisión. “Partnering with organizations like UFC allows us to offer our viewers more of the diverse programming they want to see, making Galavisión the perfect choice in Spanish-language cable.”
Hermes Franca eyeing return to MMA
With former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk preparing for his return to active mixed martial arts competition having fulfilled his suspension after a positive drug test stemming from his successful title defense over Hermes Franca last July, it harkens wonder to what the other half of that title match is doing.
Franca, who is still currently on suspension until early July, had built up tremendous momentum heading into the fight with Sherk, having won eight fights in a row prior to the title showdown.
It appeared he could have more than a chance to fulfill his goal of Ultimate Fighting Championship champion, but was denied, losing a five-round unanimous decision to Sherk.
Shortly after the fight it was revealed that both Franca and Sherk had tested positive for steroids. Unlike Sherk, however, Franca did not deny his usage of performance enhancing drugs, thus inciting a year-long suspension.
Since then Franca has left the team he was with prior to that fight, The Armory, and has kept busy with other things in anticipation of a return to action within the coming months.
“I’ve been teaching seminars,” said the Brazilian born fighter. “I’m the head coach at Premier Martial Arts, which is all over the United States, like 50 or 60 academies, and some in Canada.
“I’m doing the jiu-jitsu program over there. So I’ve been really busy doing a seminar almost every week for two or three months.”
Tracking the progress of The Ultimate Fighter 1 contestants - Part I
There is no question that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality series - better known as ‘TUF’ - has been the most influential vehicle for promoting the success of UFC, and to a lesser extent MMA in general, in North America. The careers of most contestants have been boosted like they could have never imagined. Even the ones who never came close to winning were still given a chance to prove their worth in the UFC, and many of the fighters released from the UFC were instantly picked up by smaller organizations simply because of the newly acquired name recognition.
With the show now in it’s seventh season, let’s take a look back at where it all started. The first season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ took place in 2005, and featured 8 middleweights and 8 lightheavyweights competing for two ’six figure’ contracts with the UFC. Most of the contestants were virtually unknown in the MMA world at the time, yet all are now very familiar names for most fans...
Arizona Officially Regulating MMA
The state of Arizona recently passed legislation that will allow the state boxing commission to regulate MMA within the state. This new law will allow the boxing commission to use the regulations first introduced by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission that are widely know throughout MMA as the “unified rules” to sanction and regulate professional MMA.