5.31.2009

Cageside Seats Episode # 2 - Sunday, May 31 at 11 PM ET


Tonight at 11 PM ET, Cageside Seats Radio, brought to you by the Fight Ticker Radio Network, will be premiering our second episode, hosted by myself with my co-host Puddin. We will be speaking to Brent Thompson and Scott Wells, Co-Founders of Fight For Life USA.

Full details, including how to listen and call in, can be found on FightTicker.com.

For those not able to listen live, the show will be archived for free downloading shortly after the end of the episode.

-PreView


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5.28.2009

ICF: Sacrifice Post-Event Interviews


I recently had the chance to attend Intimidation Cage Fighting's ICF: Sacrifice event at Turfway Park in Florence, KY. After the event, I had the chance to speak to a few of the fighters and ICF promoter Steve Stanton.

Check after the jump for links to all of the interviews on FightTicker.com

Post-Fight Interview with ICF Promoter Steve Stanton.

Post-Fight Interview with Luke Zachrich.

Post-Fight Interview with Mark Crawn.

Post-Fight Interview with Dave Heidorn.

Take some time and check them out - all four guys had some great things to say.

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5.25.2009

HardRock MMA 7: Jealousy is Earned Night Honors


Saturday night, I was able to attend HardRock MMA 7: Jealousy is Earned. When I cover live shows, I hand out my own "Of the Night" Honors. My apologies to the fighters - my awards don't come out with a $60,000 check like the UFC often hands out - it's bragging rights only. To check out my awards from the show, check out my post on FightTicker.com.


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5.23.2009

HardRock MMA 7: Jealousy is Earned - Live Blog


I'm here at the National Guard Armory in E-Town, KY, getting ready to live blog for HardRock MMA 7: Jealousy is Earned - check out my live blog, with updates between every round, on FightTicker.com.

-PreView


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UFC 98 Roundtables on FightTicker.com


On FightTicker.com a number of the bloggers, including myself, participated in a couple roundtables for this weekend's UFC 98 event.

For our thoughts on Serra vs. Hughes, go here.

For our thoughts on Machida vs. Evans, go here.

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5.22.2009

FightTicker.com DVD Review - Machida-Do Karate For Mixed Martial Arts


In my role as a blogger with FightTicker.com, I occasionally get the opportunity to review various MMA related products including books and DVDs. Thanks to the folks over at Victory Belt, one of the leading publishers of instructional books and DVDs, my most recent review is of Lyoto Machida's Machida-Do Karate for Mixed Martial Arts. For the full review, head over to FightTicker.com.

To purchase the 4 DVD Box Set, head over to Budovideos.com.

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5.20.2009

FightTicker.com Exclusive - Fight For Life USA Announces Formation of F4L MMA Team


Fight For Life USA recently spoke exclusively to me in my role as a FightTicker.com blogger about the formation of their new fight team, the F4L MMA Team.

For the exclusive announcement as well as comments from Fight For Life USA Co-Founders Brent Thompson and Scott Wells, as well as Team Manager Larry Combs, go to FightTicker.com.

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HardRock MMA 7: Jealousy is Earned - this Saturday in E-Town, KY


HardRock MMA is hosting one of the largest shows that the tri-state area has ever seen, this Saturday, in Elizabethtown, KY. I will be covering the show for FightTicker.com. You can get all of the details from a recent post of mine on FightTicker.com

Check back Saturday night for a link to my live blog of the fights.

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Exodus Gate News, Contests and New Promotion


The Exodus Gate, the first book in the Rising Dawn Saga, is one of the newest epic fantasy books on the market and now you have a chance to get your copy for free. A number of blogs are doing giveaways for the book - you can find those here and here, along with interviews with the author himself.

Additionally, I have received word from Zimmer that Seventh Star Press will be running a new promotion where buyers that send them a copy/scan/picture of their receipt from purchasing The Exodus Gate will receive a free set of seven glossy art cards and two bookmarks that were printed as special promotional materials for the book. For those of you in the Cincinnati, OH area, purchasing your copy just got easier, as the Cincy Joseph-Beth Booksellers is now carrying The Exodus Gate.

Check back for my review of The Exodus Gate as well as an interview with Zimmer.

For more info on Zimmer, including an inside look at his travels to various conventions and book signings, check out his blog, Fantastical Musings.

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5.18.2009

Cageside Seats Episode 1 Archived


Any of you who follow my work on FightTicker may know that my role in the Fight Ticker Radio Network has changed slightly. I was co-hosting the flagship show on the Fight Ticker Radio Network, and I now have the honor and privilege of hosting my own show, Cageside Seats, the first new show on the Fight Ticker Radio Network.

My co-host is a familiar face around these parts (and FightTicker.com), none other than Puddin' himself.

Our first show is officially in the books now, archived and now available for free downloading. You can get connected to the site by checking out the embedded BlogTalkRadio badge in the right column of Previously Viewed, or you can check out our page on the BlogTalkRadio site here.

Whereas the original Fight Ticker Radio show focuses on national MMA news, Cageside Seats will feature a more regional focus, starting in the KY/OH/IN/TN area, but eventually expanding to cover regional promotions nationwide. Our first guest was pro fighter Julio Gallegos. Check out the show to hear what we had to say.

Enjoy.

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And here is the rest of it.
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FightTicker.com ICF: Sacrifice Night Honors


In addition to my live blog from last night's ICF: Sacrifice event, I also posted my picks for the well-known "of the Night" honors. These include Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night and KO of the night. You can check out my choices on FightTicker.com.

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5.16.2009

ICF: Sacrifice Live Blog


I'm here at Turfway Park to live blog for ICF: Sacrifice. Check it out on FightTicker.com.

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5.14.2009

FightTicker.com Exclusive: Interview With "Simply Believe" Director Bobby Razak


Only a couple of months ago, the mixed martial arts world lost a giant. When Charles "MASK" Lewis was killed in a tragic car accident, the MMA community at large mourned. Numerous articles and posts popped up over blogs and news outlets across the country and memorials in the form of online tributes, letters to the TapouT company, tribute websites, original artwork, and an empty seat at UFC and WEC events all served as reminders of a man who did so much to change the face of MMA in his own way.

Another tribute emerged as a short but poignant look at the man known to the MMA world as Mask - a tribute in the form of a 15 minute short film that juxtaposed iconic images and quotations from Mask alongside comments about Mask and his contributions to the MMA world from some of the biggest names in the fight game.

Check after the jump for the full interview as well as some videos from Razak.

Pulling together such a great film so quickly after Mask's death, and doing it in such a way that would be true to Mask's legacy happened under the watchful eye of one director, a man no stranger to TapouT and their style, an indie filmmaker that Sports Illustrated believes "may be king of the (mma) screen" - Bobby Razak.

After learning more about Razak through a mutual friend, I sought him out to get some comments from him on the development of Simply Believe and his own background.

Razak was born and raised in London, England and had what he describes as a typical English school boy background. He moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college to make his mark in the movie business. He left his family and friends behind for this new chapter in his life, and told me, "It was hard but had to be done."

Razak is no stranger to the combat sports world either. He has trained in boxing, thai boxing, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and even kung fu and Kyukoshin Karate. In addition to Razak's extensive work with TapouT, he has also directed other films about mixed martial arts and non-fighting related topics as well.

FightTicker: What made you want to get into filmmaking?

Bobby Razak: I always wanted to make films since I was a young boy. I saw Spartacus when I was 5, the house was being renovated and I was upstairs watching it in the small box in my parents room.. It brought so many emotions into my body. I just knew I wanted to create something like that, Spartacus just blew me away. That and a whole heap of destiny - I was born to do this.

FT: Who are some of your film influences?


Razak: I love Film Noir, the destructive path of a man who is a victim of circumstance has always fascinated me. Its like Macbeth and Shakespeare , Macbeth was a victim of his circumstance as opposed to his individual Greed. Macbeth was a loyal soldier did his King no wrong but the prophesy of the three witches and the Greed of his wife convinced him he had to take this path. I always felt if Macbeth had let the course run naturally he would have been a great king as opposed to forcing the issue with deceit.

This is the core of film noir and It always tripped me out. (Mr Henry my English studies teacher - wherever you are - one love.) Some film noir classics: Robert Ryan, The Setup, to me is the greatest fight film of all time. Of course Double Indemnity, Asphalt Jungle by the great John Houston is a stunning piece on the post-McCarthy paranoia that was sweeping America in the 50's. Sunset Blvd. is a great social commentary on Hollywood and lure this town has in the process of selling your soul for the almighty dollar and fame. I love movies, also the Run Run Shaw Kung fu films of the seventies greatly influenced me to, , 36 Chambers, Drunken Master, Fatal Flying Guillotines. I love movies - they transport you into another world and another life. I still use films as a tool for when I want to escape being Bobby Razak

FT: With your own fighting background and interest in film, was fighting related filmmaking something you always had in mind?

Razak: Kinda sorta - Dad purchased me a Bruce Lee poster when I was 6 - the booklet with the 3 marks on his chest, from Enter the Dragon . I finally watched it and it blew me away. I knew from then that martial arts would always be a big factor in my creative endeavors. Bruce Lee was a giant to me; his energy, grace, power, speed, his presence always keep me in awe. In many ways I think he is the grandfather of modern day mixed martial arts along with Helio Gracie

FT: Was there one thing that really made you want to do film work on fighting?

Razak: Yes, the love for martial arts. I trained, I fought and competed, and I bounced for many years. It's in my blood. I'm from East London, you got to fight for respect there.


FT: What was your first mma film?

Razak: Rites of Passage

FT: Tell me about and Rites of Passage.

Razak: Rites was the first intelligent documentary on the overall state of what was beginning to mold itself into the sport of MMA. When I made Rites there was no MMA - it was NHB [No Holds Barred].

FT: What is the overarching message you want people to take from your work?

Razak: Choices. Whatever choices you make in life will determine the final outcome. Destiny can play a role in these choices but at the end of the day you make that choice, for better or worse. I also want to inspire people. When you watch something I direct and produce I want you to look deep within and think "How can I take myself to another level?".

FT: How did you get hooked up with TapouT?

Razak: Ive known the guys 12 years now. Mask came to me when I was making Rites and asked If he could get his T-shirts on the fighters and his logo on the box. Mask said he had no cash but would make it up to me one day and help my career. He was a man of his word.

FT: What all have you done for TapouT?

Razak: Wow thats a lot - ok here goes
Bloodline commercial
Bloodline short film
Pit fight Redux Commercial
Pit fight Redux short film
Underdogs commercial
Underdogs short film
Robert Drysdale commercial
Underground Kings promo
Mask man commercial
Mask man short film
Skechers Ninja spot
Skechers ninja short film
(the last four have not been aired yet)

FT: From the TapouT shows and interviews and things, it’s not hard to see that all three of that TapouT guys, particularly Mask, were involved in all levels of the company – how closely did they work with you when you were working on all these projects?

Razak: Not too close, I did my own things, they trusted my vision. Pit fight was shot like seven years ago and after the success of Bloodlines Mask wanted to show something retro from back in the day. All the fights in Pitfght were real .

FT: You were tasked with a huge project – directing “Simply Believe”, the Mask tribute – what does it mean to you to be able to do a project based on someone who had so much influence on the MMA scene?

Razak: It was my honor and I felt it was my right. Nobody else could have directed Believe or even the Underdogs short. I knew this man intricately, his life and what he went through. I got thousands of emails for Simply Believe , even M. Night Shyamalan (director of The Sixth Sense and The Village) reached out to me and watched. It was amazing to get that response. It also drove me a little crazy. I started filming Believe the day after Charlie died, it was too much emotionally for me. I also lost my father in March three years earlier. I don't know if I could ever put myself through that again. I also had a lot of negative people in my life who were just hating on me so the combination of energies was rough but it was a great learning experience and a great eye opener to how people can be jealous of you when you things are going big for you and what to avoid [Laughs].

FT: What is it that you want people to know about Mask from Simply Believe?

Razak: Man, Mask was all love, brother.

FT: Are there any of your personal experiences or impressions with and of Mask that you’d like to share with us?

Razak: He was about to jump off a huge building for his Mask man commercial, he didn't know the full ramification of what he was going to do, he was terrified. I had to take him back on the stairs and speak to him that he was always pushing for people to bring their "A" game and to never let fear hinder them and now it was his shot to do something crazy and prove to the world that he had balls of steel by jumping off this building with a couple of wires.


FT: Obviously your main medium is film and visual portrayals, but what words would use to describe what Mask did for the sport?

Razak: Mask kept the sport alive in the early years financially, with support, with his energy. He is one of the founding fathers of our sport, he is part of that interwoven fabric which created the evolution of our sport. He is as important as Takuan Soho , Miyamoto Musashi, Usheba, Jigaro Kano, Mas Oyama, Bruce Lee. He is Charles "Mask" Lewis.

FT: What are some other projects you’re currently working on?

Razak: I'm in post-production for the Underdogs feature which is on the history of MMA from a southern cali perspective and I just booked a new film and commercial and another short - top secret right now but it's gonna be amazing - I start shooting second week in June.

FT: Are there non-fighting films/documentaries you’re doing/have done?

Razak: Yes, I did a love film called Love Pain Eternal which was got accepted at Cannes last year. I also love romantic comedies and love stories so I definitely want to move more in that direction in 2011 after the big films are finished. I'm known to be a romantic [laughs], and people say I'm funny so want to give it a shot.

FT: Who are some of your favorite fighters in MMA?

Razak: Fedor and GSP

FT: Anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout out to?

Razak: My lawyer, J. Fagerholm, my editors Chris and Gabriel. To Jade , thank you for everything and your support. To my composer Rob Persuad - two Tottenham boys in Hollywood doing our thing is crazy buts its happening.

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Thanks to Bobby for taking time out of his schedule to talk with me and answer some questions. In addition to everything else, he is currently working on two feature-length films: one is Underdogs, that will be an in-depth look at the history of MMA as a whole - Razak mentioned it could run close to three hours. The second is a piece about Mexican fighters and the impact they've made on the sport as seen through their eyes, featuring UFC fighter Cain Velasquez among others.

I'm also including some video segments, including Simply Believe, some of which Razak directed, some of which he is featured in.

For more information on Razak and some more of his videos, check out his myspace page.

Simply Believe

Simply Believe from Bobby Razak on Vimeo.



Underdogs Video Blog

Underdogs Blog from Bobby Razak on Vimeo.



Rites of Passage Trailer

Rites of Passage Trailer from Bobby Razak on Vimeo.





(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)


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5.11.2009

A PreView of Things to Come Installment # 2 - Weight Classes and Weight Cutting


A short while ago, I posted the inaugural article in my original series, “A PreView of Things to Come”. The first installment dealt with sponsorships, both on regional and national levels, and my thoughts on how that aspect of MMA will develop over the next few years.

With this second entry, I am going to examine two obviously related topics – weight classes and weight cutting. Since I have never had the (dis)pleasure of cutting weight, I decided to go to the experts for some comments on methods of cutting weight, short and long term effects on the body, and general thoughts on the makeup of the MMA weight class layout. To that end, you will hear from sports medicine professional and MMA enthusiast Dr. Johnny Benjamin, professional fighter Chad “H-Bomb” Hinton, and a friend of mine who was a high school state wrestling champion and national powerlifting champion who wishes to remain anonymous so I will call him “Power”.

The majority of the article will focus on the weight-cutting side of things as opposed to weight classes, but I feel at least a cursory look at the weight class structure of MMA is a good set up to the second half. Additionally, given that my experience in following and reporting on MMA is almost entirely based on promotions in the United States, it is weight classes in U.S.-based organizations that I will discuss.

The UFC, the sport’s premier promotion, offers fighters the choice of fighting in one or more of five weight classes:

Lightweight - over 145 lbs. to 155 lbs.
Welterweight - over 155 lbs. to 170 lbs.
Middleweight - over 170 lbs. to 185 lbs.
Light Heavyweight - over 185 lbs. to 205 lbs.
Heavyweight - over 205 lbs. to 265 lbs.

However, as many people who follow the sport beyond the UFC know, other promotions (including the WEC, owned by the same parent company as the UFC) utilize more weight classes, some on the lower and some on the higher end of the spectrum.

These classes include:

Flyweight – Upper limit of 125 lbs.
Bantamweight – over 125 lbs. to 135 lbs.
Featherweight – over 135 lbs. to 145 lbs.
Super Heavyweight – Anything over 265 lbs.

The weight classes are not generally determined by the promotion but instead by the Athletic Commission of the state in which the promotion is hosting the show. However, the UFC does not stray beyond its five-class set-up except in cases of a catch-weight, which is most often used when a fighter fails to weigh in at the appropriate weight. However, the UFC will host a catch-weight fight as the main event of UFC 99 on June 13th in Cologne, Germany when Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva meet at a catch-weight of 195 lbs.

Many pundits have argued for the inclusion of more weight classes, not just of the ones not commonly featured in the UFC, but for a new structure of weight classes altogether, most readily comparable to the scheme used in professional boxing. In fact, a proposed resolution from the Association of Boxing Commissioners would allow a total of fourteen weight classes in MMA starting as low as 105 lbs and rising in ten pound increments until it increased to twenty and then forty between the last three classes. You can find the proposed chart on the MMA Weight Class wikipedia page (linked above).

There are numerous arguments for or against the inclusion of additional classes or for overhauling the system altogether. Ultimately, I think all of these arguments should fail, an idea further evidenced by the fact that the UFC and a number of state athletic Commissions such as Ohio and New Jersey have rejected the 14-weight class scheme.

For one, more weight classes tend to water down the divisions. Now instead of having X number of fighters in an extremely stacked Lightweight division, you’re going to have X number of fighters spread across three or possibly four different divisions that are all around lightweight. Further, more weight classes would allow for fighters to try and jump around the different classes more so that they could gain the most advantage on their opponents. Fellow FightTicker.com blogger Mike Menninger and myself were recently discussing the idea of adding more weight classes and we both agreed that regardless of how many classes there are, the vast majority of the fighters are still going to try and get their weight down to the lowest they possibly can so that they can fight in a division where they might have more strength or weight than a given opponent once they put the weight back on after the cutting process. In fact, while one of the stated reasons for a larger number of weight classes is actually safety, the addition of more weight could put a larger number of fighters at risk for weight cutting related health issues.

Think about it. For a fighter who normally cuts to 170, under the 14-class system, there is no 170 lb class, it’s either 165 lbs or 175 lbs. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a lot of guys would probably give 165 a try to see if their bodies could handle it. Just like Mike and I said, the majority of the fighters will do whatever they can to get to the lowest weight at which they could compete.

Consider a guy like Rich Franklin, who seems to have his weight cutting down to an exact science. Instead of stopping at 185 lbs he could just alter his diet a little bit more and make the drop down to 175 lbs. Then you have a guy in the 175 class who would enter the fight probably over 200 lbs. Facing a guy who may have dropped to 175 from 190, Franklin would already have a ten-pound advantage over the guy as well as likely having a generally larger frame than most guys who would fight in that class.

Beyond the issues of fighter safety, the addition of so many new classes would be a logistical nightmare. As I stated before, guys could jump back and forth to classes more easily than under the current system. Additionally, can you imagine having fourteen different champions in the UFC? Granted, the UFC does not utilize all of the weight classes available, but still – thinking about both the UFC and WEC (both owned by Zuffa), between the two organizations, there could be thirteen champs. I say thirteen because I don’t think Dana would ever let in a Super Heavyweight class. The Heavyweight division is already the shallowest division in the organization and adding an additional division for even bigger guys would only make the talent that much harder to find.

The UFC should continue to utilize the five class structure. In addition to fighter safety and logistical concerns, weight cutting is a part of the sport a fighter can train for and prepare for, and the fighters who have cultivated this skill better than others should not be penalized for it.

At the close of a recent article, FightTicker.com blogger Mark Figula recently asked the question, “Does anyone see a reason same day weigh-ins shouldn’t happen?” Figula’s article spawned an interesting discussion between a number of different FightTicker readers. Figula raised some interesting points, but since I view effective and efficient weight cutting as a fighting tool all on its own, making a fighter do same day weigh-ins would be akin, in my mind, to telling a guy like Dustin Hazelett that he is only allowed to do flying armbars, none on the ground. It would not completely hamper Hazelett’s ability to use an armbar as an effective fighting tool, but it would seriously restrict when he could use it, just as same day weigh-ins would restrict how serious fighters could effectively use one of the tools in their arsenals. It wouldn’t completely take it away, but just lessen its effectiveness.

Another suggested change would be having fighters fight at a monitored walking around weight. In this scenario, fighters would be randomly weighed throughout the year and a mathematical formula would be utilized to determine their fighting weight, something like an average of their weights catalogued throughout the year. Again, I think this would unduly burden the commissions and also the athletes. Any state that adopted this method would be required to monitor all of the athletes on their rosters more than they already do. With some states having already initiated year-round drug-testing (a measure I think is much more important), these commissions would have to provide further employees to travel around to various camps and weigh these athletes. What if an athlete fights primarily in Las Vegas but lives elsewhere, as is often the case? If the athlete had to travel to Las Vegas to for one of these additional weigh-ins, who is going to pay for that expense? I’m guessing it’s not going to be the commission. Then the fighters have even more expenses.

The times would have to be random or guys could just cut weight before these off season weigh-ins. However, with out of state athletes, if they’re given time to travel, then hypothetically they could try to quickly cut weight before the weigh-in. This could put fighters at risk because many would likely try a quick cut to have their average weight be lower.

Also, new rules would have to be made to take into consideration athletes who might be injured and cannot train so they may have put on more weight than their normal walking weight. It’s also likely that rules would not be made for fighters who just tend to walk around at a heavier weight. Take a guy like Wanderlei Silva or even Joe Stevenson – both are rumored to walk around much heavier than their fighting weights. I don’t want to penalize a guy (or girl) for walking around at a higher weight during their “off season”. Mandating more regulations like this would only put a bigger burden on the fighters. In spite of the fact that MMA is, at its core, a sport where technique can be used to overpower a heavier opponent, weight can clearly make a difference in MMA.

Everyone who is reading this can probably think of a time when two fighters both made weight in the same class but then stepped in the cage and the two looked nothing alike in relation to size. Just think of Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar. Granted, the Heavyweight class has more leeway, but still – the site of the two of them facing off at the weigh in showed two fighters of drastically different sizes and when they stepped into the Octagon the difference was even more pronounced, as it was heavily rumored that Lesnar was cutting from somewhere in the area of 280-300 lbs to make weight at 265.

However, some states have other safeguards in place. Take Ohio, for example. When I arrived at the weigh-ins for the recent ICF: Breakout event, I was told that the pro fighters were going to have to weigh in again the next day prior to the event, and that they could not have gained more than thirteen pounds from the first weigh-in or they would be penalized. However, this is thirteen pounds from their actual first-day weigh-in number, not just thirteen above the class. Take Chad Hinton who won his fight that night with the FightTicker.com KO of the Night over former UFC fighter Jeff Cox – had Hinton weighed in at 154 lbs the first day, he would have been penalized if he had weighed in at more than 167 lbs the second day. (For the record, Hinton made weight both days without a problem.)

Totally unaware of this procedure until I arrived at the weigh-ins the night before the event, I spoke to the rep from the Ohio State Athletic Commission who was there the day of the event and he said that rule had been in place for a while, and that all pro MMA fighters were subject to it across all promotions – so yes, all of the fighters who have fought in the UFC events in Columbus and Cincinnati also had to deal with that rule and weigh in both the day before the fight and the day off.

The rep from Commission also showed me these Ohio Administrative Regulations:

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3773-7-03 Weigh In Procedures

(E) When a weigh-in is conducted the day prior to the event, with the exception of the super-heavyweight class, all other contestants must weigh-in at a second weigh-in the next day scheduled by the commission within eight hours of the starting time of the event. The contestant may not be more than thirteen pounds heavier than their recorded weight from the day prior.

(F) No contestant may lose more than three pounds in less than a two-hour period. This rule applies to a second-day weigh-in also. This does not apply to light heavyweight class and above.

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Whatever your thoughts on the addition of weight classes or same day weigh-ins, I encourage you to check out Figula’s brief article and the discussion it spawned – lot of great comments from FightTicker.com members.

Weight classes would not be discussed as much as they are were it not for all the news that pops up because of weight cutting. Most recently, Cris “Cyborg” Santos failed to make weight against Hitomi Akano – failed, and failed miserably. Claiming it was due to “female problems”, Santos forfeited part of her purse and the two met at a catchweight with Santos emerging the victor by TKO in the third round. Additionally, we have all seen the stories about fighters failing to make weight, some much more notorious than others – Thiago Alves, Nick Diaz, Paulo Filho, Gina Carano, and Joe Riggs to name a few. Additionally, some who do make weight are criticized after the fact when it is realized that they tested positive for a diuretic (banned substance that aids in water loss) – again, Thiago Alves, and Donald Cerrone, to name a couple. In Cerrone’s appearance on the popular TapouT reality show he claimed that he had used it to help deal with a staph infection, and both Cerrone and Alves have gone on to enjoy successful careers, but especially in the case of Alves, people question his ability to make weight. Missing weight before his fight with Matt Hughes didn’t help his cause in spite of the fact he claimed an ankle injury had seriously cut back on his ability to do cardio before the fight.

However, it was none of these things that really made me want to write this – it was the report that Rory Markham suffered a collapsed lung due to the weight cut before his fight with Dan Hardy at UFC 95. I had heard of a number of different ill effects from weight cutting but never anything that severe.

What does weight cutting involve? Different fighters swear by their methods – everything ranging from lots of cardio to the use of sauna suits to serious reduction in calories in the days leading up to a fight even to excessive spitting.

In doing some generic google searches on "weight cutting" and after trolling some various forums, I came across a number of articles. As a disclaimer, I do not endorse or recommend any of these methods - I am just putting these few out there for informational purposes. Check out the articles here, here, and here.

For some other commentary on the issue, you can find posts here, here, and here.

(Clearly there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other articles and posts out there on the subjects, but I thought these few were representative of the whole.)

Pro fighter Chad Hinton uses methods like specific diet adjustments to achieve his fighting weight of 155 lbs. Normally walking around between 180-185 lbs, Hinton does things like cut out all sodium and sugar, boosting his water intake and restructuring his protein to carb ratio. Hinton also ups his cardio training, in his words, “120% training until I can’t get off the floor.” He stated he’s generally already at his fighting weight on weigh-in day that he’ll just eat and drink very little until time to weigh in.

Hinton leads Team Xtreme, out of Cincy MMA and Fitness, and notes that the guys on his team who have wrestled before have a general idea on weight cutting, but even the guys with no experience are eager to follow the plans to drop weight. In speaking of ill effects suffered from a weight cut, Hinton lists minor problems like nose bleeds and getting a cold or the flu, but also mentioned that he usually boosts his Vitamin C intake in the last four weeks before the fight to avoid getting stick. Hinton also mentioned that it’s definitely possible that some of his in-fight injuries came from a result of the weight cutting as well.

Hinton further noted that most of the weigh-ins he has participated in are somewhere between 24-27 hours before the fight. However, Hinton has also participated in same-day weigh ins and mentioned that it is hard to cut weight and be at 100% by fight time. He specifically mentioned one fight where he weighed in at 11:00 am and fought at noon.

When I inquired about Hinton’s views on weight cutting in general and the idea of walking around weight, Hinton stated that he thought it should be at a fighter’s discretion. He further stated, “In the end they [the fighters] are ultimately responsible for their failure or success. Most of the fighters are adults. If they’re getting pummeled while walking around and competing at 170 lbs at 13% body fat, they should consider doing the work and dropping to 155 lbs at 8% body fat.”

Speaking of the weight classes offered in the various promotions, Hinton opined that he’d like to see the UFC add bantamweights, featherweights and super heavyweights, in spite of the fact the WEC already showcases bantamweights and featherweights. He was not in favor of the 14-weight class structure but also feels that the sport is still in its infancy so things should naturally evolve as opposed to being rushed.

Hinton’s comment about wrestlers on his team already being used to the weight cutting reminded me that one of my best friends – let’s call him Power (trust me, if you knew his powerlifting record, you would call him that, too) – was a high school wrestling champion and national powerlifting champion. I vaguely remembered a few stories he had told me about weight cuts, so I contacted him to get some more details.

Power cut weight for both wrestling and powerlifting. He wrestled at 152 lbs and cut from 172-174 lbs. For powerlifting, he cut to 148.75 lbs from 165-168 lbs.

When asked about his weight cutting methods, Power mentioned that he would run if he was still over near the weigh-ins but that he mostly used the dehydration method, stopping drinking water a day or so before the weigh-in, chew cinnamon gum and spit in a bottle. During wrestling season, he would also practice in multiple layers of clothing. He did acknowledge that his weight cutting methods were generally more extreme than his teammates. To that end, Power acknowledged that he had suffered ill effects due to his weight cutting methods, but not often during the meets themselves. He specifically stated that he would not recommend his methods and mentioned some long-term ill effects he has suffered, specifically that his circulation and digestion “aren’t what they could be”, and that people who weight cut this way are setting themselves up for future renal problems.

After the weigh-ins, Power would first re-hydrate, drinking large amounts of Pedialyte, Gatorade and/or Powerade. When discussing this he made sure to mention that “after a day or so without drinking, you’d be surprised how wonderful it feels”. After re-hydrating, he would generally indulge in junk food: Chex Mix, canned cheese spread, bologna sandwiches, Milk Duds, etc. About this odd mix, he stated, “People who had an ounce of common sense ate more healthily.”

With the wrestling and powerlifting meets he participated in, he noted that there was generally an hour between the weigh-ins and the start time. He also noted that if you didn’t make weight the first time your group was called, you would have to spend more time cutting and got sent to the back of the queue, so those competitors would then have less time to recover. Power estimated that 90-95% of his wrestling teammates cut weight – more than in powerlifting, and also that the wrestlers were generally cutting more weight.

When I asked Power about his general views on weightlifting he had this to say:

“I absolutely support weight cutting as an essential part of any sport that involves weight classes. It is simply another aspect of sacrifice/competition, and it really demonstrates how much you want to be successful; how much you are willing to sacrifice. In addition to this, I actually – believe it or not – miss cutting weight. I get downright nostalgic about it, and I feel that it is an essential part of any sport with a weight class. I absolutely oppose efforts to eliminate weight cutting as I feel they reward people who simply don’t want to put forth that extra bit of effort; they encourage laziness. At the same time, certain efforts to limit weight cutting may be beneficial – I definitely support more education about healthy weight cutting. I think that efforts to eliminate weight cutting are examples of the disintegration of our collective social respect for sacrifice and arĂȘte. Sometimes excellence involves redemptive suffering.”

I agree. While I may not encourage people to practice Power’s methods of weight cutting and re-hydration, I think he has a point about sacrifice. The majority of fighters, those who truly take the sport seriously, sacrifice a great deal to get where they are at and that sacrifice should not be lessened by a competitor who did not take things as seriously as they.

Due to that, while I am not in favor of same-day weigh-ins or the idea of fighters competing at their walking weight, I am absolutely in favor of higher penalties for fighters who miss weight. Awarding a larger percentage of their total purse to their opponents and perhaps even license suspension if they miss weight so many times within a specified time frame would both be acceptable penalties. As it stands, the forfeiting of a certain percentage of a fighter’s purse is a decent sanction, but I think it lacks the deterrent factor necessary to make fighters really not want to miss weight. A regulation that would prevent the fighter from fighting at all if they were a certain number of pounds over the allowed weight sounds nice in principle, as it would have a huge deterrent factor, but this would also penalize the fighter who did make weight as they would not have a chance to compete in the fight they had been training for and likely missed out on a chance to compete for more money in the form of a win bonus or even one of the famous “Of the Night” bonuses.

However, in spite of any deterrent factor, money issue, or various weight class structures, the paramount issue is clearly fighter safety and in addition to the fact I have never had to cut weight, I also do not have a medical degree or any medical training besides general first aid and CPR. Clearly not expert in the medical field, I sought one out. FightTicker.com contributor, medical expert and MMA enthusiast Dr. Johnny Benjamin readily agreed to answer a few questions I had.

FightTicker: First, what are your views on weight cutting? Do you view it as an acceptable (or necessary evil) part of sports like MMA, or do you think competitors should be monitored throughout the year so they must compete at something more like their walking-around weight?

Dr. Johnny Benjamin: Weight cutting continues to be a reality in MMA. For obvious reasons, if on fight night one is significantly larger than their opponent they have manipulated the rules to create an advantage.

FT: One of the most popular methods of weight-cutting involves massive dehydration, through excessive cardio workouts, the use of a sauna or sauna suit and various other means – what are some of the dangers associated with these processes?

Dr. Benjamin: Massive and rapid dehydration places a significant burden on the kidneys. There have been numerous cases of athletes going into kidney failure from this very practice.

FT: What are some potential problems that could arise from improper RE-hydration?

Dr. Benjamin: Rapidly dehydrating then rehydrating the body is a potential recipe for disaster, especially in kids. Serious kidney injury and electrolyte imbalances leading to cardiac arrythmias (serious abnormal heart beats) have lead to sudden deaths in otherwise fit young athletes.

FT: Based on your extensive medical knowledge, is there one method of weight-cutting that you feel is safer than others?

Dr. Benjamin: Every fighter says “I done this millions of times” and “I know my body” just before they pass out praying that someone finds them and calls 911. Rapid weight cutting is dangerous period…just because you’ve done it before and gotten away with it does not guarantee that you will be so luck next time.

FT: A number of MMA critics have opined that there should be more weight classes in MMA, lessening the divide between the different classes (like in boxing). First, what are your thoughts on this in general? Second, what kind of difference (if any) do you think this will make?

Dr. Benjamin: MMA doesn’t need more weight classes. It just needs to adequately monitor the ones that exist. If fighters were required to step on an official scale 30 and 15 days prior to fight date and be no more than 5% and 2% respectively overweight, then you would have adequate enforcement that protected the safety of the athletes and integrity of the system.

FT: After his loss to Dan Hardy at UFC 95 in London, Rory Markham claimed that he had suffered a collapsed lung prior to the fight – a condition his camp blamed, at least in part, to a very hard weight cut. Is suffering a collapsed lung from cutting weight possible? Is it probable?

Dr. Benjamin: Without proper hydration the body loses tissue pressure called turgor and extreme potentially life-threatening organ system failures can occur.

Weight cutting is similar to riding a motorcycle. Ask anyone who’s been riding for years and they can give you a story about a crash or a near miss that they will never forget. Ask any elite level wrestler and if they are honest they have had a similar experience with weight cutting.

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So there you have it – Installment 2 in the books. Since we have a number of fighters and active competitors on the site, I would love to hear from you guys on your thoughts - what methods do you use to cut weight? Have you ever suffered any ill effects?

Until then - Thanks for coming along for the ride – again.

-PreView

(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)


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5.07.2009

FightZone TV Adds European Flavor By Partnering With Cage Wars Championship


FightZone TV, in their third year of nationally broadcasting the Best of Independent MMA Programming from around the country, will now have to change that to "Around the World" as Cage Wars Championship and FightZone TV have linked across the Atlantic to deliver premium European MMA to the US audience.

“We are delighted to become part of the FightZone Family," said Patrick Mooney, Creative Operational Officer for CWC.

"FightZone has been building the sport of MMA at a grass roots level for some time now and all their hard work has moved them into over 20 million US homes multiple times weekly.

This is the first time the CWC brand has given their live event to a TV network in the USA and we could not be happier.

The CWC brand is now one of the leading native European Cage MMA events and continues to grow the sport of MMA throughout the UK and Europe.

Having FightZone as our US partner is the perfect way to continue our quest to deliver quality European MMA product to the fans in the US. This is a historical day for European MMA and all the young talent that has yet to be seen in America. CWC puts the sport first, and that is why we fit well with FightZone. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with FightZone TV.”

FightZone TV co-owner, Al Martino states, " We could not be more excited to bring our MMA fans some of Europe's finest fighters. Every since my partner, FightZone Co-Owner and Commentator Extraordinaire, Jay Adams and I started this venture in 2007, we have been fortunate enough to work with some of the finest regional MMA promoters in the country and their consistency in always delivering a superior product is a big part of our success and the demand for our broadcasts. Adding CWC to our growing family of MMA partners Library such as RFC, UWC, XFA, WFC, Mainstream. CFC, RCC, Pure Combat and many others will only strengthen our new goal of bringing the Best MMA fights and Interviews from around the World to our audience. Plus we're looking forward to Jay learning another language - English. Fresh off of the incredible exposure of hosting 3 straight events streamed live on Sherdog to hundreds of thousands of Internet viewers, he can't wait to work the next live Cage Wars Event being planned in Spain this summer. "

This year Cage Wars Championship will deliver 5 events from their live catalog and all the upcoming events for 2009. The first 5 events will feature top European and International talent such as Sami Schiavo (France), Colin Robinson (Ireland), Jason Jones (Holland), James Head (USA), Augusto Frota (Brazil), Vincent Latoel (Holland), Tommi Ninimakki (Finland), Bogdan Cristea (Croatia), Michael Kita (Poland), Heman Gipson (USA), Paul McVeigh (UK), Peter Duncan (UK), Colin McKee (N. Ireland), Jimmy Mills (USA), Daniel Tabera (Spain), Tim Estes (USA), Thomas Ahrens (USA), Danny Ver Bergen (Holland), Jeff Monson (USA), Dan Severn (USA), JC Pennington (USA), Arno Rotgans (Holland), Bryan Goldsby (USA), Casimir Bendy (France), Reuben Vasquez (Spain), Thomas Karlsson (Finland), Ivan Mussardo (Italy), Cristian Binda (Italy), Marcello Lopez (Switzerland), Luis Wagner (Brazil), Michael Angelista (Holland), Moen Takalou (Holland), Sergej Maslobojev (Lithuania), Aurelius Kerpe (Lithuania), James Orso (USA), Jonatas Novaes (Brazil) and many others.

To keep up-to-date with CWC visit www.cagewars.co.uk

Currently airing on FightZone TV in May is Xtreme Fighting Association from Las Vegas. The XFA is all about exciting, knock down, knock out fighting and that’s exactly what you’ll see in the second installment of XFA: Xtreme Fights. Top female fighters like Amy Davis and Miriam Nakamoto both have tremendously exciting fights in this show, and Vernon “Tiger” White takes on bare knuckles Muay Thai champ Anthony “Hitman” Brown during this show. Add in Canadian sensation Mark Holst and this episode of XFA: Xtreme Fights is packed with non-stop XFA action. For more info visit www.xfalive.com

Next up in June will be Cage Wars "Decade."

For Updates, Airing Schedule, List of Available Cities, Commercial availability or to request a Media Kit, visit www.FightZone.TV or email FightZoneMedia@aol.com or call 727-577-5500.

FightZone TV is now available to over 21 million homes on Fox Sport Net's (FSN) affiliates SunSports, SportSouth, and nationally on DIRECTV, The Dish Network and AT&T U-verse, reaching over 20% of US homes with cable TV up to 6 times weekly including FightZone Presents and Jay Adam's Brawl Call.


ABOUT CAGE WARS
Cage Wars Championship - CWC is the brain child of Patrick Mooney and Chris Kelly from Ireland. Both men have been involved in promoting nearly 50 MMA events at all levels and are the fathers of the Cage Fighting scene in the UK. Cage Wars Championship has now become the number one Cage MMA event in Europe.

Cage Wars is a Mixed Martial Arts promotion that began in 1999 to promote and teach the sport of MMA. During that time the CWC team brought the first ever cage event to the UK in 2001 which has lead to the explosion of MMA promotions in the UK. MMA is now the fastest growing sport on the planet today.

The first event took place in the Guild Hall in Portsmouth, England and was soon followed by the first ever London event which was a sell out. Ireland, Scotland and Belfast followed over the years and last year two events were held at the world famous Kings Hall, which once again were a phenomenal success.

Cage Wars is one of the largest and longest running UK MMA events company and has hosted or introduced many of the biggest MMA stars including Seth Petruzelli, Shonie Carter, Jess Liaudin, Brian Gassaway, Sami Schiavo, Dan Severn, Joachim Hansen and Jeff Monson to name but a few.

The Cage Wars team have been involved in over 50 MMA events in the last ten years. They also produced the first ever MMA documentary “Underdogs” with LA film director Bobby Razak; the film featured UK fighters preparing to travel to the US and fight for the first time. The DVD was released globally and was heralded as the quintessential MMA documentary.

The Cage Wars team produced the first ever UK MMA publication to demonstrate that there was a market for a publication dedicated to the sport of MMA. Today there are several monthly MMA magazines.

At the end of 2008 the Cage Wars team produced the first ever MMA lifestyle social network at www.thefightfactory.eu and in a few short months the site has become hugely popular.

Currently the CW team are in pre-production for the first ever MMA lifestyle magazine TV show as well as producing Internet TV shows for several websites - FIGHT FACTORY TV and FF MMA NEWS.

The Cage Wars team have had a massive influence on the sport of MMA in the UK and Ireland and will continue to develop live events and TV projects throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe in the near future.

Upcoming events this year will be held in the UK, Spain and Ireland and later in the year CWC will introduce “Saturday Night Fights Live” which is a smaller show for all the young contenders across Europe to compete at a higher level.


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5.04.2009

FightTicker.com Exclusive: XFC 8 Post-Event Interview with John Prisco


The final in this series of XFC 8 Post-Event interviews comes from none other than the XFC President himself, John Prisco. Not unlike the XFC’s inaugural event in Tennessee, Prisco put on another great card of exciting fights. The XFC’s sophomore show in Tennessee with the main card televised live on HDNet gave XFC fans and newcomers alike a chance to see some of the up and coming fighters that Prisco often speaks of.

Check after the jump for my conversation with Prisco.

In our most recent interview Prisco stated, “ [t]he XFC strives to be an open market for all rising MMA superstars – no matter where they’re from or who they are….” Those able to tune into the broadcast definitely got a taste of it, as did the members of the live audience. Even many of the undercard fights would not have looked out of place on the televised portion of the broadcast, particularly Corey Krebs’ FightTicker.com KO of the Night win over Dean Hamilton. I got a chance to speak with Prisco after the show about the XFC’s second show in Tennessee and their continuing plans for expansion.

FightTicker: Another great card of exciting fights, a bigger crowd than your first show in Tennessee, how did you feel about everything?

John Prisco: How could I not be excited? For two-and-a-half years our vision was – we knew we had a good product, and we knew it was just a matter of time before the world got to see it, and we got to show them tonight and it’s a big step in the right direction for the XFC.

FT: Tell me some more about your plans for international expansion.


Prisco: We signed a deal. I can’t tell you the specific details right now, but you will hear something very soon. You’ll hear dates and locations very soon. We’re going to be very aggressive in Europe, as well as continuing to be aggressive in the states. We went from a local to a regional to a national, and now an international product, all in six months. We’re tired [laughs], but we’re going to enjoy this.

FT: Did you have any personal favorite fights tonight?


Prisco: I kept saying, my mind changed as the night went on. I think the last fight of the night [Bruce Connors vs. Jarrod Card]. Bruce Connors is a warrior as well as Jarrod Card and I knew whoever walked away with the belt tonight was going to be very good for the XFC, it really was. They’re not only incredible fighters but class acts and they lived up to the billing, they really did.

FT: So your next show will be in September back in Tampa?

Prisco: Yes, September 5th, back in Tampa. That’s our next one.

FT: And it looks like Lashley will be on that card?


Prisco: Yes, it looks very very positive. Bobby will be on that card.

FT: That’s another big name for you – you’re building a very impressive roster of young fighters.

Prisco: Thank you, and it’s growing and it’s growing. What’s happening is that the word’s out about the XFC and that we’re about finding the most talented young fighters out there. This [televised event] just helped us even more. Before it was 20 fighters a day contacting me, and now I imagine it might be 30 or 40. We’re always listening and we always pick up the phone. We look at a lot of video and we check these guys out so what you saw tonight wasn’t something that was a fluke, it’s something that we’re going to keep building on.


(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)

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FightTicker.com Exclusive: XFC 8 Post-Event Interview With Announcer Christopher James


One of the two XFC staff members I got the chance to speak to was XFC host/hype man/announcer Christopher James. At the first XFC show I attended in Tennessee, James was working the crowd making sure everyone was hyped up before the fights. At this second event, James took on a big role as an announcer, making his national television debut on the live HDNet broadcast. I caught up with James after the event to talk to him about his role with the XFC and even got the inside scoop on the entertaining story about how John Prisco discovered James.

(From Left to Right - Kenny Rice, Christopher James, Ron Kruck)

The full interview, with comments from XFC President John Prisco, is after the jump.

FightTicker: What did you think about the show tonight?

Christopher James: It was unbelievable. The fight card was sick, from top to bottom. The undercard had great fights and then the live side – unbelievable. I haven’t seen a fight card like this from any organization and I’m not saying that just because I’m with the XFC and I work here. I walked the crowd, listened to everybody – you tell me, have you seen a fight card this stacked?

FT: It was stacked for sure. Great fights all around. You were in good company tonight with the other broadcasters, Kenny Rice, Ron Kruck, Guy Mezger – how did you enjoy the announcing side of things?

James: This was my first live TV broadcast and I’m going to tell you honestly, I threw up this morning. I did. I was nervous, I was scared. I was a little emotional, my Dad died a few years ago, I lost him to cancer, and the woman I loved with all my heart, I lost her to cancer last year before we did the show in KY. I honored them tonight, I felt like they were here with me. I was all shaky and crazy but here I am. I work with a great group of people. I don’t know how I got here today, but here I am, I want to make the most of it.

FT: So you’re ready for a full-time career for the XFC?

James: If they’re going to have me, I’ll stick around for as long as they want me. But if they choose to go somewhere else, this is how I look at it – if I never get a chance to do it again, then you know what, I’ve had an excellent ride and an opportunity that some people will never get. I got to live a dream today because of John Prisco. I did a show for them in November of 2007. I wasn’t [yet] working officially for the XFC in that capacity. I work in a night club and I was announcing their bikini contest outside the plaza at the St. Pete Times Forum. As luck would have it, I got to step inside the cage in front of over 13,000 people – the largest crowd ever in the southeast for an MMA show – I got to go in there for three minutes and in that three minutes, I lit the crowd up. Not to be cocky, but I did. Like you said, I’m a hype guy. About a month later John [Prisco] came over to my club and sat outside and listened to me on a speaker and the rest is history. He sat outside, had a couple cocktails I think – maybe that’s why he liked me [laughs]. John sat outside for about an hour and listened to me and said he felt a good vibe from me and wanted to make me part of the team. I stepped in March of 2008 and did a few things and in the middle of the show he decided to make a change and that I was the guy he wanted. We’ve gone through some other ring announcers and hosts and now he lays it on my shoulders. It’s the coolest thing that he puts all that responsibility and respect on me and let’s me run the show. It’s a big deal, TV tonight, all across the country. He says to me, “You’re the man, make it happen.”

(At this point in the interview, XFC President John Prisco came over to offer a few comments on James.)

James [to John Prisco]: I was telling him about how when you decided to hire me you were sitting out in the parking lot listening to me, why don’t you tell him your spin on that?

John Prisco: I heard a lot about Chris and I wanted to check him out – he’s [working] in a strip joint, I knew my wife wouldn’t go for that so I went out in the parking lot. I was very lucky, there’s a speaker on the outside of the building, so you hear him on the outside. [Laughs] So I decided it was safe out there, I went and picked up a six-pack and listened to him. After ten minutes – next day I called him and he was hired and I’m very glad, he’s dynamite.

James: Like I said, he lets me go in here and do this, puts a lot of faith and responsibility in me. He’s a hard guy sometimes, he gets on you if you don’t do it right, but he makes me a better guy. He teaches me valuable lessons on doing the right and being a man, basically, so it’s all the honor and respect to this guy [Prisco], without him being here…

Prisco: It’s all our team. You know, the reason why we got to this place is we have an incredible bunch of people who are very passionate about our product and we’re not stopping until we’re successful and I think tonight we made a big step in that direction. We always knew we were good, we always knew we had a good product and now the country knows so we’re real excited about it. Thank you for all your support. Without all guys do online and all you talk about us, we wouldn’t get this support so thank you very much.

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James did a great job with his national television announcing debut. His background as a host and a hype man definitely served him well - some guys are great announcers but can't read the crowd. James was able to tune up the crowd at the right times and made sure the fighters got the response they deserved.

-PreView

(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)

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FightTicker.com Exclusive: XFC 8 Post-Event Interview With Chris Barnett


The last in my series of post-fight interviews with the fighters from the recent XFC 8 event comes from Chris Barnett. Barnett, fighting out of Team XFC, made his pro debut against veteran Johnathan Ivey (27-39). Barnett scored a unanimous decision win over Ivey who spent a fair amount of time in the fight taunting his opponent. Barnett impressed me, not only in his dominating victory over such an experienced opponent, but also in his athletic ability. Even as a Heavyweight, he was throwing various jumping spin kicks and flying knees among other things. I caught up with Barnett after the event to speak with him about his first MMA win – Barnett jumped straight to the pros – no amateur MMA fights were reported on his record.

You can find the interview after the jump.

(Barnett is in the black and camo trunks, Ivey in white - Pics from Brawl and Maul's event album.)

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FightTicker: First pro win tonight, a decision win over Johnathan Ivey, who taunted you a lot throughout the fight - and I’ll tell you what man, you’re pretty athletic for a big guy – how were you feeling going into the fight?

Chris Barnett: [Laughs] Going into the fight, what really had me motivated was that I was being extremely humble and then in an interview out of nowhere he [Ivey] started talking [smack], so I was like, “Okay,” and that was extreme motivation, and I’ve seen some of his fights on YouTube where he tried the crane kick and what not, so I was expecting some kind of antics. I wanted to make sure I could establish control somewhat and then put the show on for the crowd. I want to thank the Tennessee [athletic] Commission for letting me take this fight against a guy who has so many fights. It was a rush. I’ve never been calm in the cage like that before where I felt I was controlling the situation like that.

FT: What’s next for you?

Barnett: I’m supposed to have a fight in Santa Barbara on the 22nd [of May] just depending on the management talking it through. Anything they throw at me I’m ready to take on.

FT: In the promo for the fight, it said you have a background in Tae Kwon Do. Obviously that’s not a style you see a lot of in MMA – how useful has that proven for you?

Barnett: A lot. There’s two different types of TKD. There’s point sparring and there’s WTF. I was more the Olympic/WTF style of TKD. The Olympic style sparring you see isn’t so much point [sparring] and stop. So a lot of the fighters, you see them throw leg kicks and they’re more sloppy with their style but a lot of the fighters have a better overall game. With the whole fight game, I like being able to add my kicks. You’re not expecting someone from 265 to be kicking like that. Just being able to throw TKD in there has helped me a whole bunch, the balance and flexibility, stuff like that.

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FT: You came out in a Brawl and Maul shirt tonight – are they one of your sponsors?

Barnett: No, but I’m trying to get on [smiles].

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It was an impressive showing by Barnett in his pro debut. He really showed a solid MMA skill set – crisp striking, good kicks, trying to work a submission game on the ground, and a good wrestling base as well. I’m looking forward to his next few fights to see how he evolves with even more training.

-PreView


(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)


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5.02.2009

First Edition of FightTicker.com Super Rankings


The first edition of FightTicker.com's Super Rankings (May 2,2009) have been posted. Compiled by former PV (and current FT) contributor Puddin, the rankings features a complicated mathematical formula, assigning different values to the different polls used to compile the Super Rankings.

Puddin also designed the logo for the rankings. Make sure to take a look - the idea of Super Rankings isn't totally original, but the formula that the FightTicker.com version uses is superior to our competitors.

See for yourself.

-PreView


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