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The eternal MMA thread

Discussion in 'Sports' started by silver1, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

  2. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    In typical K-1 Freak show fashion, they have Akebono vs. Royce Gracie.

    They also pulled a major coup signing Karam Mohammed Gaber Ibrahim for an MMA fight.

    Gaber won the Greco Roman gold medal in Greece (for Egypt) and is seen as one of the most dominant amateurs ever.

    Pride, WWE and K-1 were all salivating at the chance to sign him. He's young, freakishly powerful (suplexing his olympic opponents at will going up like 12 points in a minute in his matches) and he is also said to have more good looks/natural charisma than The Rock and Stone Cold combined.

    He's young too (25 I believe).

    They're thinking of matching him up against either Fujita or Bob Sapp.

    It'll be a tough fight for him regardless of who he's against because even though we will literally be able to toss those guys at will, like Gardner with no MMA experience, he's likely to get subbed by Fujita or not be able to finish off Sapp.
     
  3. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    P.S.

    Just noticed this one too:

    Pulver vs. Gomi is gonna be sweet!!!!

    The Pride show is gonna kick ass.
     
  4. redeyes

    redeyes TRIBE Member

    ^^that's going to be a ruckus.

    i'd like to see Ralph Grace get a rematch with Gomi. that was an awesome attempt by Ralph to injure Gomi's knee by ramming it at full speed with his face. maybe he'll have a new gameplan if there's a rematch.

    peace
     
  5. MrMarcus

    MrMarcus TRIBE Member

    actually no... even the japanese fans don't wanna see this again. DSE is on crack!
     
  6. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Mike Coughlin looks at the Fighter of the Year award

    Just to preface this article, the Wrestling Observer newsletter holds annual awards for the pro-wrestling & MMA scenes, and also has their own hall of fame for both pro wrestlers and mma fighters. Despite the fact that it has no official attachment to any organizations, the Wrestling Observer awards are very highly regarded among industry members. Seeing this article today got me thinking about what my picks will be for shoot match of the year and fighter of the year will be.

    Unfortunately, having only seen BJ Penn's fight against Hughes, I can't really offer any opinion on whether Penn is deserving of the fighter of the year title, but the author makes a pretty good argument.


    Mike Coughlin looks at the Fighter of the Year award


    “The Half Guarded Truthâ€
    By: Mike Coughlin
    michaelcoughlin8@yahoo.com

    Over the course of the next month fans from all over the world will be voting in this year’s Wrestling Observer Awards. This is the 25th (wow) edition of the industries most prestigious awards, and over the next two weeks I’m going to take a look at two specific categories: Shootfighter of the Year, and Shoot match of the year. I may give some generic thoughts on some other categories, but I kinda feel I’m most qualified to discuss MMA than anything else. So, this week it’s time for me to make a case for who I think should be given the award as the top MMArtist of the year. And the (hopeful) winner is…

    BJ PENN!

    Baby James started the year by tapping out Matt Hughes in the first round on Jan. 31 at UFC 46. Please, sit for a minute and think about how incredible a feat that is. Hughes wasn’t just good, he wasn’t just great, he was almost a solid unbeatable rock of a champion. When I previewed this fight I wrote, “Matt Hughes isn’t a fighter, he’s a force of nature.†It looked like the only man who was going to seriously challenge Hughes was Frank Trigg, and Matt tapped him in the first round of their fight at UFC 45. So when BJ Penn, a lightweight who couldn’t even capture the LW title from Hughes teammate Jens Pulver, and failed to defeat Caol Uno in the finals of a LW title tournament, was announced as Hughes’s opponent the MMA world kind of laughed and said “you’ve got big balls kidâ€, then wrote Penn off. It wasn’t that people didn’t think Penn was good (he had had a reputation for not living up to his potential though) but this was Matt freaking Hughes! Then Penn taps him out in a fight that looked uncompetitive. BJ controlled the fight from the opening bell and if someone had never seen either fight they would think that it was Hughes who was in over his head. But flukes happen in MMA. Even Matt Hughes was due a bad day, and surely BJ would be exposed later on, right?

    After becoming the number one fighter in the world at 170 lbs, after having competed at 155 lbs his whole career, BJ took on the linear LW champion of the world, Duane Ludwig. When BJ was beaten by Jens Pulver at UFC 35, that cemented Pulver’s claim as the top dog of the lightweight division. When Pulver lost to Ludwig, that meant that Duane now laid claim to the title as #1 fighter in the LW division. Ludwig cemented this status by defeating Genki Sudo at UFC 42. So, when BJ Penn stepped into the K1 ring to fight Duane, it was for the linear LW championship of the world. Penn tapped “Lil Bas†out in the first round at the K1 Romanex show on May 22, making him the #1 fighter in the world at two weight classes at the same time.

    A quick side note: There were two other people with really strong reasons to demand recognition as the sports top 155 lb fighter going into this fight: Takanori Gomi and Jaochim Hansen. Penn tapped out Gomi in 2003, and Hansen lost to Vitor Riberio in that same year. Realistically, Penn and Ludwig (with Riberio also deserving some acknowledgment) were tops of the 155 class.

    Penn now stood atop two divisions in the MMA world, and because UFC had stripped him of the Welterweight championship for fighting on the K1 show (a weird situation that should’ve been handled differently), he was oddly enough without an official title. It mattered little because most would agree that Penn was the man. Most fighters would be content to stand on top of two divisions, but not BJ Penn. Just this past November he went up another weight class, this time to the 185 lbs class and took on a world class fighter in Rodrigo Gracie. Gracie was seen as a new generation of Gracie, capable of the great jiu-jitsu that is expected from the family, but also possessing decent standup skills. The official weigh in had both men listed in the 180-182 lb range, meaning it was a fight in the Middleweight division. As he did before, Penn proceeded to beat his opponent, this time by unanimous decision in three rounds on November 20.

    Gracie was not the top fighter at 185 lbs, so Penn will have to wait another day to lay claim as the king of that division. But Rodrigo was a very good fighter, and had been undefeated in his 5 fights for PRIDE. In one year, BJ Penn defeated the top fighter at 155 and 170, as well as a very talented 185 lb fighter. This type of performance is reminiscent of a prime Sakuraba, as Penn beats people bigger and stronger while making it seem incredibly easy. For all these reasons BJ Penn is the best choice for shoot fighter of the year. This wasn't just the best year of any fighter in 2004, this was one of the best years of any fighter EVER!

    There are a few other men who’re worthy of consideration, and I’d like to take a look at them really quickly.

    CHUCK LIDDELL

    Chuck had a great year. He had two fights that have a very good chance at being in the top 3 for fight of the year. He demolished Tito Ortiz and had an out of this world exciting match with Vernon White. His feud with Tito might be the feud of the year and he easily made himself the solid number one contender for Randy Couture’s title. The win over Tito erased all the losses Chuck had previously and made Liddell into the man. I’d be wiling to bet that more people are aware of Chuck beating Tito than are Randy beating Tito. The match had been built for years and Chuck did exactly what he promised when he kayoed Tito in the second round. Chuck also used this year to seemingly round himself out more as a total package. He seems more comfortable with interviews and I think he’s beginning to understand what his role is and how he needs to act on TV. I think that, even more so than Randy, this year saw Chuck become the face of the UFC. The high profile nature of his victories may get Chuck the nod from a lot of voters, but shootfighter of the year is supposed to be based on the in ring quality displayed, and Penn’s accomplishments were simply too incredible.

    FEDOR EMELIANENKO

    If he’d won the PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix, he would have been my pick. His wins over Coleman and Randleman were very impressive. Most people seem to agree that Fedor is a scary man, and that’s he incredibly talented, but here’s a really scary idea: his three wins during the calendar year saw him performer essentially three moves! When he fought Mark Coleman, Mark was pushing him around for a minute while Fedor threw a few shots. As soon as Fedor was on his back, he arm-bared Coleman. That’s move number one. When he fought Randleman, he was again pushed around for a bit, culminating with Kevin delivering the greatest German suplex in the history of the world. Fedor popped up, reversed the position, and tapped “The Monster†out with a kimura. That’s move number two. When he fought Naoya Ogawa, he got on top and used an arm bar to win in under a minute. That’s move number three. His fight with Noguiera was the first that saw him have to actually do anything! Still, Coleman is older and past his prime, Randleman is a LHW, and Ogawa isn’t exactly a threat to anyone. Fedor also defeated Yuji Nagata as last years’ NYE show, which falls under the voting period, and that was like the Ogawa fight: a non-factor. If he’d beaten Nog, and become the Grand Prix champ, Fedor would’ve gotten the nod, but without that victory he’s just a tad bit short.

    ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUIERA

    If HE’D won the PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix, he would have been my pick. His win over Yokoi, Herring, and Kharitonov were very note worthy. He beat two top 10 HW fighters and that’s a very good record. Just like with Fedor, a win in the final of the GP tournament would have clinched it for him. In fact, if he’d beaten Fedor in the finals I would have called it one of the greatest years of any MMA fighter ever, and certainly one of the greatest single night performances. But, he didn’t get the win, and awards don’t get doled out based on “what if’sâ€. A great year, but Penn’s was better.

    WANDERLEI SILVA

    He fought three times this year, and only once against someone his own weight. His win over Ikuhisa Minowa didn’t show anything, as Minowa is just a glorified 185 lb fighter. A talented fighter, but still a weight class below Silva. Kondo is a super talented 190 lb fighter, but still gave up too much weight to be a serious threat to Silva. (Kondo at 185 would be a force though.) So Silva really had one match to be judged by, and that was his FOTY candidate against Quinton Jackson. It was a great fight, a great win, and it solidified Silva’s standing as the top of PRIDE’s 205 class, but one win doesn’t get someone the honor of shootfighter of the year.

    RANDY COUTURE

    He only had two fights and “lost†one of them. He basically fought Vitor Belfort once, as the first fight was a non-fight if I ever saw one. He beat Belfort and solidified his standing as the top UFC’s 205 division, but one win doesn’t get someone the honor of shootfighter of the year. Wow, déjÃ_ vu!

    Other fighters had good years, including guys in Shooto and Pancrase who never get the recognition they deserve, but 2004 was BJ Penn’s year, end of story. This was a year that will be remembered for a long time and Penn deserves to be recognized as the Wrestling Observer shootfighter of the year.

    http://www.liveaudiowrestling.com/wo/news/headlines/default.asp?aID=11907
     
  7. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Also, if I had to pick a shoot match of the year, the easy winner would be the Silva / Jackson fight from the last Pride. Holy fuck was that an awesome battle.
     
  8. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Mirko Cro Cop vs. Kevin Randleman has officially been added to Pride's NYE show. This is a freaking awesome card!

    • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fedor Emelianenko for the Heavyweight title & the GP Heavyweight Championship
    • Rulon Gardner vs. Hidehiko Yoshida
    • Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Wanderlei Silva - for the LHW title?
    • Mirko Crop Cop vs. Kevin Randleman
    • Yuki Kondo vs. Dan Henderson
    • Jens Pulver vs. Takanori Gomi
     
  9. Pk Ripper

    Pk Ripper TRIBE Member

    holy sheit! that is a sweet card!

    kondo vs. henderson! what!

    jens vs gomi! what! 155lbs? hopefully this means they are going to show some lighter fighters now!!! sweet!
     
  10. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Pride is planning on doing a LW GP tournament next spring starting in March
     
  11. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

    *splurt *


    While I love the big guys, being a small person myself, I really appreciate the skills the lighter fighters bring to the ring. It's not always about power.
     
  12. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    UFC would be wise to add one or two of their fighters to that Pride LW GP, just like they put Chuck Lidell in the LHW GP, since the LW divisions seems to be their strength.
     
  13. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Unfortuneately UFC (i.e. Dana White) has said that they won't be sending any of their firghters for any kind of Pride event until Pride comes through on their promise to send some of their fighters UFC's way for an event.
     
  14. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

    fair is fair I guess...

    Who do you think they should send?
     
  15. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Well, back when they said they'd send someone over, they said they'd send Sakuraba and Fujita.

    It never happened.

    Saikakibara (sp?), Pride's president, is all about talk and hype.

    We're never gonna get to see Wand vs. Randy or Wand vs. Chuck :(
     
  16. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    I guess it depends on what exactly Pride's LW division would encompass. And anyone below LHW, I always get mixed up with their weight divisions, so go easy on me if I'm way off here. ;)

    Matt Hughes could dominate a GP type tourney, and Yves Edwards comes to mind too, but they might not even be in the right weight class.
     
  17. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

    Oh right...Fujita and Sak in the Octagon would be hoots!

    I remember wanting to see a Cabbage / Fujita fight.

    and Sak vs. anyone lol

    I think it's a shame that they all just can't get along and boost each other by trading fighters everynow and then.

    It's a win win win win situation < - (DSE) (ZUFFA) (FIGHTERS) (FANS)
     
  18. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Actually, I'd argue that the only real winners in all of it would be the hardcore fans.

    Zuffa would have to pay bigger bucks to bring over a Pride guy for a fight. And with how relatively small MMA is in North America, anyone they brought would probably only be known by a small percentage of hardcore fans who follow both promotions (Pride PPV numbers in North America are pretty weak). So Zuffa pays more for someone their fans really haven't heard of.

    On the flip side, DSE could bring in a UFC guy who the fans in Japan are for the most part unfamiliar with for a cheaper price, but then they run the very possilbe risk having an "unheard of" guy from an inferior american promotion beating one of their built up stars.

    Business wise it doesn't make much sense because of the relatively unknown existence of the other promotion to their respective casual fans.

    That being said, I'd give my left arm to see Wand vs. Randy or Wand vs. Chuck.
     
  19. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

    A hardcore fan, I see ;)
     
  20. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Some good updates from MMAWeekly.com in the last week.

    Randy Couture interview:

    It’s been a roller coaster ride of a year for Randy “The Natural†Couture. After achieving immense success in 2003 when he captured the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship, 2004 started off on a low point as Couture lost the title to Vitor Belfort on what most would call a very poor call due to an accidental cut. Forced to sit and wait months for his rematch Couture came back and recaptured the belt in dominating fashion at UFC 49 from Belfort.

    Since then it’s been a non-stop accelerated ascension as Couture shot the upcoming UFC reality television show for Spike TV, hosted his Sportfight promotion’s developmental TV show and is now in the midst of a Californian business trek that will culminate with a part in a Steven Seagal movie. MMA Weekly’s Mick Hammond spoke to Randy during a brief break in his busy schedule about the that has been for Couture personally, professionally, and what lays ahead.


    MMA Weekly: First off Randy, it’s been an interesting year for you to say the least. Tell us your thoughts as you look back over 2004 and how it went for you.


    Randy Couture: I think it was a fantastic year. It started out a little shaky with the Belfort outcome in January, but things like that happen. Getting the rematch and settling that score at least for me the way I thought it would go was good. Getting the opportunity to work on the reality TV show was really, really good for the sport as well for myself. I just kind of continue to march on. I’m looking forward to April and competing again, giving Chuck (Liddell) a rematch, and working on some acting gigs here and there, just kind of exploring options in that area and having a great time.


    MMA Weekly: You mention the fights you had with Belfort this year. It took some time to get that rematch signed, how did it feel to have to wait and go through all that especially with very anti-climatic way the first fight ended?


    Randy Couture: It was a little frustrating to wait clear till August, I was hoping to get a shot in April or June and it wasn’t to be. Vitor wasn’t ready to step up and with all the things going on in his personal life, that was understandable and so I just had to be patient and see that it would work out how it was supposed to when it was supposed to. It gave me some time to recover and continue to train and take care of some other business with our school, our show Sportfight (which Couture co-promotes with teammate Matt Lindland), and so it was good all around.


    MMA Weekly: Of course you finally got the rematch with Vitor and thoroughly dominated the fight. How did it feel to get that kind of performance after having to wait all that time to get back in the cage with him?


    Randy Couture: It was great. I felt terrific in the fight and things went exactly how I thought they would go. It kind of felt satisfying to have the game plan come off and get the win.


    MMA Weekly: You mentioned working on your Sportfight organization during that down time. The show has grown tremendously over the last year and has become one of the best MMA shows around. How do you feel about the growth your promotion had made over the last year?


    Randy Couture: I think that we’ve got some really exciting stuff going on. The show continues to grow. It’s getting good recognition from the fighters. Coming into this as fighters we (Couture and Lindland) kind of know what fighters need and try to treat them with the respect they deserve. We’d always like to pay them more, but that’s getting better. We signed a sponsorship deal with Sportsbook.com that’s going to cover some of the fight purses for the show which alleviates some of the burden financially that we encounter trying to make end’s meat with the small show. It allows us to pay the fighters a little bit better on a regular basis, which is great. We are working on a 13-episode pilot season for Sportfight TV that we’re finishing up the editing on and that we are going to start shopping around to networks here this month. So we’re real excited about that, the potential and opportunity for Sportfight and the sport to start moving into the mainstream television market.


    MMA Weekly: You’ve been through a lot over your career with various organizations. Did you consciencely go into Sportfight with the idea of how you’ve been handled over the years and use that experience to shape how you were going to make things go with Sportfight?


    Randy Couture: Yeah I think that Matt and myself try to represent the sport with integrity and we want the show to represent that as well. We tried to create an atmosphere that was a little more family oriented so people could bring their kids to watch the fights. Yeah it’s still a contact sport, a combative sport, so you’re going to see blood and stuff like that, but we try to minimize that and not emphasize that. We are a little classier with the ring card girls and the atmosphere we create and try to play off on the patriotism and the other things that Matt and I feel strongly about. I think it’s going very, very well. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feed back from the fans in the northwest who have made it out to our shows and the following is really starting to grow so we are really excited about that.


    MMA Weekly: This past year and a half you’ve really become a figurehead for our sport and have gotten a lot of exposure thanks to your success in the cage. How does it feel when you look back over this year and how you’ve really grown in the public’s eye as a focal point for MMA?


    Randy Couture: Well I think personally it’s still a little strange to be recognized in public places and things like that. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that. I think for the sport I’m very comfortable with my reputation and the kind of demeanor that I try to represent the sport with. I think that demeanor is marketable in the mainstream marketplace. It’s not what the people expect from somebody who fights in the cage. That’s not their impression of how guys who do that act and would be like, so I like that. People are kind of taken back by that kind of being a little more soft spoken and not being brash at all is a good representation of our sport. There are a lot of athletes that have the same attitude and I think that will carry us a lot further than a lot of the talking and the brashness in selling this sport and making people understand how it is we do what we do. To finally feel like we are getting a response from that approach is rewarding, I like that, it’s good.


    MMA Weekly: Do people recognize you from things outside of fighting such as your participation in movies or your public appearances and television exposure?


    Randy Couture: It’s pretty much all fighting. I’ve had some small parts here and there but I don’t think I’ve ever been recognized from one of those things, it’s all pretty much been from the PPV and fighting.


    MMA Weekly: With the upcoming UFC show that will be available to millions of people via Spike TV, how well do you think you’re prepared for what could possibly be a tremendous change in your exposure and life?


    Randy Couture: I’m not sure what to expect. I think that you’re probably right, things are going to intensify. The last few years have been pretty crazy years, moving down to the light-heavyweight division and winning the title and all of that and kind of doing it at an age that no one expects you to be very competitive. Being on the cable show and talk shows like The Best Damn Sports Show, those sorts of more mainstream exposure has been fun but strange at the same time. I think it’s only going to get worse, if worse is the right word, it’s only going to get more so that way when the show starts airing this January. I’m actually the host of the Sportfight TV show as well, so if that sells well and does well on the cable networks then potentially things are going to get wild. I’m not sure if I’m prepared for it at all, but it kind of comes with the territory.


    MMA Weekly: Obviously you travel a lot as is with the promotional appearances, seminars, and your fighting career, are you prepared to create a balance between that and your personal life considering things could get far more intensified?


    Randy Couture: Yeah I have to try to get a handle on that. My family has made a lot of sacrifices already coming to this point and I think it’s only going to get more challenging, so I’ve probably got to make some changes in priorities. With a new small boy it’s a little harder for my wife to travel and she spends a little more time home alone with the baby than she should. All those things are a factor with what’s going on. I definitely have to keep that in mind and up front.


    MMA Weekly: We’ve seen with other fighters how sometimes a change in exposure can sometimes take away from their fight game. Being a top tier fighter and champion, how hard could it be to maintain that high level of competition and balance the other aspects in your life?


    Randy Couture: I think that’s going to become more challenging. But I try to do a pretty good job of not accepting any outside responsibilities or scheduling anything in that 10-week period before a fight. I don’t travel or do anything like make any appearances or do any seminars, I won’t take any acting roles or anything like that in that period. I concentrate on preparation for a fight. I know at the same time I have to balance that. I am 41, I’m not going to be able to fight forever and I need to rally all the exposure and so forth into the next thing, into what’s going to carry me into my 50’s and 60’s. So that becomes a challenge and difficult thing to balance especially when balancing a personal life on top of that it’s difficult, it’s very difficult.


    MMA Weekly: Well I’m sure your fans would like to see you fight for many years to come, maybe into your 50’s especially if you stay in such great shape.


    Randy Couture: (Laughs) I don’t think that’s not going to happen.


    MMA Weekly: Do you ever feel pressure from fans or anyone to continue to do what you do, being the most one of the dominant fighters in your weight class, and maybe push yourself a little further than you need to and perhaps fight longer than you had originally planned?


    Randy Couture: I don’t feel pressure that way. I think I’m already fighting longer than I expected. I truly thought I was on my way to retirement after losing to (Josh) Barnett (at UFC 36) and (Ricco) Rodriguez (at UFC 39). I had one more fight on my contract and was scheduled to fight again in the heavyweight division against (Andre) Arlovsky (at UFC 42) and then everything changed. I got the opportunity to go down and fight at light-heavyweight which certainly suits me fighting guys a lot closer to my size and I think has allowed me to be fairly dominant at that weight and I intend to stay at this weight. I think I’ve always done this because of me, not because of those external things. I love the competition and the training and as long as my body holds up I’m going to continue to do that because it’s what I love to do. I’ve gotten pretty good at listening to my body, I know when I need to rest, I think I’ll know when it’s time to hang it up and I don’t think that time is here yet, but I don’t think it’s that far away either.


    MMA Weekly: Is there ever a time you feel like a typical 41 year old person might rather than the man who gets into the cage and dominates fighters nearly half his age?


    Randy Couture: I don’t know, that’s tough to answer. I feel great, physically I feel better than I have ever in my fight career. I think technically and physically things are going very, very well. I’m constantly learning new skills and refining what I do and yeah I feel fantastic, so I’m not sure. I don’t know how to relate to what other 40-year-olds feel like (laughs), but I know at 41 going on 42 I feel pretty damn good.


    MMA Weekly: The 205lb weight class is, and has been for quite some time, one of the most stacked divisions in MMA as far as talent goes. How do you see the division over this past year and into the future as far as competition for you goes?


    Randy Couture: I think that the next step and next thing that needs to happen is a unification title fight (with Pride Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva). I think the UFC right now is kind of the same three or four guys in this division that are all top-notch guys but at some point now it seems like the UFC will just keep giving guys rematches. That is fine, I want to compete and progress, but what needs to happen is that Pride and the UFC need to come together and come to some kind of agreement to make a unification fight and really take the sport to the next level. That’s something that I look forward to and hope we can manage to do.


    MMA Weekly: This past August at UFC 49 you actually were in the octagon with Silva and in your interview expressed how much you wanted to fight Wanderlei and reiterated this at the post-fight press conference. How important is it to you, not just for the sport, but you personally to fight Silva and settle once and for all who is the best fighter at 205lbs?


    Randy Couture: That’s my goal, that’s what I set out to do. He’s kind of the guy that’s standing there that everyone is comparing me to. It’s important to me; I want to see that happen both personally and professionally. I think it will be a huge fight on a global scale and personally I see it as a challenge that I need to take on.


    MMA Weekly: Moving on to Team Quest, it was a big year again for the team. Not only have things been productive for the elder statesmen, yourself, Lindland, Dan Henderson and Evan Tanner, but also the young guys have really stepped up this year and have begun to make an impact. Looking back over this year how do you see the progress that Team Quest has made?


    Randy Couture: Well the school and the fight club/competition team has just been doing awesome, it’s growing leaps and bounds. We are in the middle of expanding and doubling our square footage and adding a whole new mat space and adding a striking area. Our student base has grown to over 250 members now. We’ve had a lot of really good up and coming fighters that show a lot of promise, four or five of which are ready to step up into the UFC or Pride and compete with anybody in the world. We’ve got guys like Chael Sonnen, Chris Leben, Nathan Quarry, Ed Herman, Ryan Schultz, Heath Sims, which I feel are all capable of making it. That’s six guys are as good of guys that I’ve ever run across.


    MMA Weekly: I’m sure everything that’s going on is probably driving head trainer Robert Follis a little crazy huh?


    Randy Couture: (Laughs) Robert is the busiest guy I know. He’s not only spending hours a week running our school and making sure all the ends are covered there, but he’s cornering me, Matt, our young guys and coming up with game plans and implementing training to help us prepare to be front runners in Team Quest. He’s doing a masterful job and a great guy and is a very dynamic teacher and doing a great job with the business.


    MMA Weekly: I’m sure with all he does it helps you keep your mind on what you have to do and not get sidetracked with everything else going on.


    Randy Couture: That’s kind of why we hooked up. He has expertise in the business part of it and I’ve always known he was a good teacher and we compliment each other well that way. And yeah it’s nice for me to focus more on my competition and also kind of sharing those experiences and techniques with the competition team and the guys who are up and coming.


    MMA Weekly: How does it feel to see how great of a progress you’ve made with Team Quest? Not only have you developed training that works for yourself, but for others as well and have developed talent that can continue to make the team a force in our sport for some time to come?


    Randy Couture: It’s a blast. It’s gone way further than I expected it to go. I think it’s going to go a lot further yet. We are looking into creating franchises and an association. We’ve started a curriculum for instructor certification that a lot of people not only in our area but abroad are interested in getting involved with. The sky’s the limit really, so it’s really exciting.


    MMA Weekly: As you look forward to 2005, how interesting of a prospect is it to see that all the success and growth you and the team have had could get even better next year?


    Randy Couture: It just boggles my mind. I keep pinching myself now to make sure I’m awake. I can’t imagine the potential to grow and take it to a whole new level is sitting right there, it’s so unreal sometimes. It’s interesting to see what unfolds next year.


    MMA Weekly: How much longer can Randy Couture keep all of this up?


    Randy Couture: Who knows? I don’t know, I haven’t placed any limits on myself and haven’t set any deadlines. Certainly the school and working with all the guys can go on forever, but how long I can hold up physically and train and prepare to compete that’s always the question. Everybody keeps expecting me to act my age but I don’t see that happening any time soon.


    MMA Weekly: Knowing you and spending time with you it’s easy to understand how people could have such admiration for you and all you’ve done, accomplished, and continue to accomplish. How does it feel knowing that you get such respect and adornment from people?


    Randy Couture: I don’t know, I don’t really think about that. I think the best part of my job is all the people I get exposed to and get to meet. I’ve met some fantastic people along the way and that’s really the coolest part of what I do. I love getting in the ring and competing, but all the people you get to touch and be around is really the gravy, that’s the fun part.


    MMA Weekly: In closing things out, is there anyone you would like to thank or anything we can look forward to from you in the coming year?


    Randy Couture: I’m real thankful that Sportsbook.com has stepped up and supported Team Quest and Sportfight. I’m working on a couple of more big sponsors, but always HCK, Howard’s Combat Kimonos has been with me since day one, we’ve kind of grown together, Howard has always been gracious and supporting of me and Team Quest. I’m grateful for those relationships and hopefully the things are that brewing right now will be real big and I’m looking forward to those opportunities. I got my website up and running now RandyCouture.tv and I’m excited about the direction that’s going and I’m thinking about coming out with a new line of clothes, Couture Gear, and marketing that. My wife helps me a ton, she helps with my website and my emails and things like that I just don’t have time to get to. Things are definitely looking good.
     
  21. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    16 Athletes Compete To Win Ultimate Fighting Championship® Contracts Willa Ford To Host New Reality Series, Premiering Monday, Jan. 17, 2005

    LAS VEGAS – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® and Spike TV® have assembled 16 athletes from across North America to determine who has what it takes to earn a UFC contract in The Ultimate Fighter™, a new and exciting reality-based television series.

    The original series, hosted by top recording artist and model Willa Ford, premieres on Monday, Jan. 17 at 11 p.m. (check local listings) following WWE Monday Night Raw and runs for 15 exciting episodes, including a LIVE event. Craig Piligian (co-executive producer of Survivor I, II and III) serves as co-executive producer.

    New episodes premiere Mondays with encore presentations on Fridays (midnight-1 a.m. EST/PST), on Saturdays (7 p.m. EST/PST) and on Sundays (5 p.m. EST/PST). Competitors in The Ultimate Fighter are not voted off the island, fired by a CEO, or eliminated in a rosy ceremony. Instead, the ones sent home are those who lose in the Octagon® or are sent packing by their coach.

    “Sixty-year-old Sylvester Stallone may be looking for a contender, but the UFC is looking for a champion,†boasts Dana White, UFC President. “The Ultimate Fighter goes behind the scenes to see what it takes when 16 hard-core guys from around the country live, train, and fight together – all with one ultimate goal.â€

    Viewers will be able to follow the 16 fighters as they train, workout and live together. At the end of each week, one fighter from each of the two teams must fight in the Octagon® until only two remain in each of the two weight divisions. In the end, The Ultimate Fighter will be decided by a competition match -- a head-to-head fight inside the Octagon – LIVE on Spike TV.

    The competitors are all accomplished athletes, disciplined in the sport of mixed martial arts which combines boxing, wrestling, judo, karate, kickboxing and Jiu-Jitsu. For seven weeks during taping, the competitors were under the strict supervision of two of the most successful and well-known UFC fighters and trainers: UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and UFC Light Heavyweight #1 Contender Chuck Liddell.

    In each episode, the competitors also will compete in team “Challenges†designed to push the fighters to the edge of their physical and mental capabilities. The challenges revolve around old-school training techniques, physical stamina and mental strategy. The team that wins the challenge controls which combatants must fight and face elimination.
    The Ultimate Fighter was taped in Las Vegas at the UFC Training Center™ under the supervision of Piligian, the show’s creator and co-executive producer. Piligian, from Pilgrim Films and Television, also is known for his work on American Chopper, American Hot Rod and American Casino.

    Robert Riesenberg (executive producer of NBC's The Restaurant) of Full Circle Entertainment also serves as co-executive producer. Riesenberg is president and CEO of Full Circle Entertainment, a New York Company. Full Circle Entertainment is an independent production company specializing in developing and producing programming that services the marketing needs of advertisers. Full Circle Entertainment is a wholly owned unit Omnicom Media Group, which is part of the Omnicom Group.

    The Ultimate Fighting Championship, based in Las Vegas, NV, is the world’s premier mixed martial arts sports association. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, the UFC programs six live pay-per-view events yearly through cable and satellite providers. In addition, UFC programs are distributed on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, Fox Sports Net, Bell ExpressVu and internationally through Viewers Choice Canada, WOWOW, Inc. in Japan, Globosat in Brazil, Sky Network in New Zealand and Premiere Network in Germany.

    Zuffa, LLC, licenses the distribution of UFC video games through Crave Entertainment, TDK Mediactive, and Take Two Interactive, its fight show DVDs through Studioworks Entertainment, a Ventura Distribution company and its music CDs are published by Nitrus Records/DRT Entertainment, the official publisher of UFC music. “Ultimate Fighting Championship,†“Ultimate Fighting,†“UFC,†“Submission,†“As Real As It Gets†and the Octagon cage design are registered trademarks or trademarks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC, in the U.S., Japan and other jurisdictions. All other marks that may be referenced herein belong to their respective holders.

    The UFC’s next pay-per-view telecast will be UFC 51: Super Saturday LIVE at 10 p.m. EST, Feb. 5, 2005 from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nv. Locate the UFC on the Internet at www.ufc.tv.

    Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 87 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc., owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, mtvU, VHI, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, MTV INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 12 digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
     
  22. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    BARONI VS LAWLER: LOSER LEAVES TOWN (OR UFC)

    To say there is a little bit on the line at UFC 51 when Phil Baroni faces Robbie Lawler would be a bit of an understatement. When Baroni squares off against Lawler in Las Vegas in eight weeks, their UFC careers will be at stake.

    MMAWeekly has talked with a few different camps and it seems as though the loser of this fight will definitely be out of the UFC. Both fighters did not sign multi-fight deals with the UFC. They both just signed a one fight deal for this fight.

    Lawler has lost three of his last four fights. Baroni has lost three in a row. Both fighters have one thing in common. Their last loss was to Evan Tanner.
     
  23. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    MMAWeekly.com's projected card for UFC 51

    Phil Baroni vs Robbie Lawler

    Chris Lytle vs Karo Parisyan

    Tito Ortiz vs Vitor Belfort

    Nick Diaz vs Drew Fickett

    Mike Kyle vs James Irvin

    Joe Riggs vs David Loiseau

    Tim Sylvia vs Andre Arlovski - UFC Interim Heavyweight Title

    Evan Tanner vs David Terrell or Rich Franklin - UFC Middleweight Title

    Justin Eilers vs Paul Buentello
     
  24. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Am I the only one who has absolutely no clue who Willa Ford is?

    Is she just a pretty face that Spike TV was able to get for cheap?
     
  25. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    I googled her. She doesn't look familiar so I'm guessing ya. cheap pretty face.
     

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