A Hard Rockin’ Meltdown Weigh-in
A Hard Rockin’ Meltdown Weigh-In
By Loretta Hunt
A substantially lengthy line of UFC fans snaked around the corner of The Joint, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, to catch today’s fighter weigh-ins for UFC 43: Meltdown. It was an encouraging sight, despite (unofficial) talk that ticket sales may be lagging just a bit for tomorrow night’s event, to be held at the UNLV Thomas & Mack Center. With pens and posters in hand, the crowd watched their favorite fighters and teams slowly congregate on the affair, almost like the kind of high-profile red carpet entrance you might see at a Hollywood movie premiere.
Among the crowd, perennial favorite and Lion’s Den patriarch Ken Shamrock, who sported a knee brace after tearing his ACL two weeks ago. Shamrock reported that he will go under the knife shortly to correct the problem, opting for the surgery that will take tendons from his hamstring to recreate the torn area. Although somber, Shamrock was still willing to spend time with the throng of fans eager to get a glance and a word from the living legend. There is no indication of if and/or when he might return to compete.
Other notes of interest:
Team Quest’s Dan Henderson is recovering nicely from his own ACL surgery, and anticipates being back on the mats in a month’s time. Henderson chose the "cadaver" procedure to rectify his injury.
Lightweight stud BJ Penn has become the latest member of the Pit, John Hackleman’s California gym that has churned out the likes of Chuck Liddell and Gan McGee as of late. Penn is in town to lend his support to his new teammates.
John Hackleman, himself will be doing double-duty tomorrow night. He will first corner middleweight Matt Lindland in his preliminary match-up (Lindland started training his stand-up with Hackleman prior to his second encounter with Phil Baroni). Then, it’s to Liddell’s corner, with Lindland across the way in Team Quest teammate Couture’s corner.
On to the weigh-ins:
The first pair to make there way to the stage — masters of the game Randy "The Natural" Couture and Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, who will battle it out for the organization’s first-ever "interim" title in tomorrow night’s main event. Challenger Couture was the first to step up to the scales, weighing in at exactly 205 pounds. For those that are used to seeing the former heavyweight at his usual weight of 220 to 225 pounds, his appearance might
For those into nostalgia, opponents Kimo and David "Tank" Abbott were the next two to make their way to the stage. The 35-year-old Kimo slipped down to his jockeys to reveal his impressive collection of tattoos that decorated his still youthful 248 pound physique. As if to meet the challenge, Tank opted to take his T-shirt off this time and came in at 251 pounds (He weighed in at 248 pounds at UFC 41). With both coming off less than stellar performances, the betting lines have the two fighters even at this point, properly reflecting that this one will indeed be a toss-up.
In what could be a barnburner of the highest degree, slugger Marvin "the Beastman" Eastman will make his UFC debut tomorrow night against a focused-looking Vitor Belfort. Both men weighed in at 203 pounds today and looked ready to roll. Eastman is on a hot streak after knocking out PRIDE stand-out Alex Stiebling at his last outing [WFA 3]. Belfort, sporting a wild haircut and twelve o’clock shadow, will be looking to redeem his decision loss to Chuck Liddell at UFC 37.5.
Two-week replacement and Lion’s Den rep Vernon "Tiger" White was the next to step up to the stage. He weighed in a light 208 pounds for his heavyweight match-up with British brawler Ian Freeman, who came in at 220 pounds himself. Ironically, White’s last opponent Jeremy Horn (from a somewhat controversial fight at KOTC 23 three weeks ago), will be in Freeman’s corner tomorrow night.
Oozing confidence, heavyweight Wes Sims tipped the scales at 244 pounds. His opponent, the reserved and poised local Frank Mir was a fit 248 pounds. At 6’10", Sims sticks out in a crowd, even among the group of larger-than-average specimens you’d finds at such affairs. Paired up against 6’3" Mir, the match-up should be a visually pleasing one– that’s if Sims can remain standing. Said "the Project" of his premiere tomorrow night, "It’s gonna be bloody and it’s not gonna be my blood."
Chomping on a Krispy Creme donut, lightweight Yves Edwards elicited some laughs from the crowd as he made his fifth appearance atop the official UFC scales. He weighed in on the mark at 155 pounds, while challenger Eddie Ruiz made the cutoff at 154 pounds. Making his UFC debut, Ruiz is the X-factor of the entire event. Not many have had the chance to see this Tank Abbott teammate fight, so the sky’s the limit for this fighter to come in and impress. This bout has been designated the "swing bout" for the evening.
The second Lion’s Den member to make tomorrow night’s card, always-confident Tra Telligman weighed in at 218 pounds today. Adversary Pedro Rizzo weighed in at 231 pounds and says he is unfazed by Telligman’s recent 4-2 foray into professional boxing. Stand-up fireworks are almost a 100% probability for the bout.
The final pair to weigh-in today were middleweights Matt Lindland and Falinko Vitale, who are scheduled as the second preliminary bout tomorrow evening. Consummate professional Lindland came in at 184 pounds. Hawaiian import Vitale did not make his first call to the stage, however, and under NSAC regulations, was given thirty minutes to make weight. He eventually made his way to the scale and came in at 184.5 pounds. Sixteen weights logged in later, UFC 43 is a go.
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From the event’s promoter:
BAMA Fight Night 21
I just wanted to write this letter to everyone out there that has supported our events in the past.
I am sorry to say that we will have to postpone our next event.
We’ve just received several fighter cancellations due to either sickness or injury. This would mean that we would have to cancel our 4-man light-heavyweight tournament, 1 of the main Muay Thai fights, and 2 other shootfights. The unfortunate part was that the notifications of the cancellations came in at the last minute, leaving little time to find appropriate replacements.
The other problem is that as of February 1, 2003. The NJSAC has changed a few of their rules to help keep our sport safe. One of the main rules is that there is no more pro and amateur. If you fight and there is striking, you are a pro. Plain and simple. The only way to fight amateur is to do grappling only without striking. The other thing needed to fight is a license. Each fighter that wants to fight in the state of NJ need to be licensed. Your license only lasts 1 year from the day you register. I called some of the schools sending fighters and only 2 guys are licensed. There is just not enough time to get things set for this date.
The good news is that things will be set for the next BAMA Fight Night to be held either the last Saturday in September or the first Saturday in October.
I am truly sorry for the cancellation and I hope that you have enough time to pass around the word and hope to see you in the Fall.
A Prelude to Combat
By Jim Genia
The West Coast has "King Of The Cage". The Midwest has "Extreme Challenge." The South has the "Absolute Fighting Championship." What does the East Coast have as its premiere mixed martial arts event and stepping-stone to the big leagues? Promoters Lou Neglia and Ray Longo’s Ring of Combat III. With the 160-pound and 185-pound belts on the line, the action unfolds on Saturday, June 7th, at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. The third incarnation of their show will feature representatives from Team Renzo Gracie, Team Tiger Schulmann, Team Endgame/BAMA, Pitt’s Penn and Ultimate Sambo — the best in top local talent. Here’s a brief look at some of the fighters:
MMA Rocks MD Radio
By Keith Mills
Baltimore, MD — WIYY Baltimore radio, more popularly known as 98 Rock, helped promote the upcoming UFC by having local fighter John Rallo as a guest on their morning show Kirk, Mark, and Lopez or KML for short. Rallo is a vet of the WEC and owns a Team Renzo Gracie affiliate in downtown Baltimore.
"It’s cool to be here," says Rallo, "I was here a few months prior talking about the fight I had at WEC 4, kind of educate Baltimore on what Ultimate Fighting is about. It was a real positive experience; they liked how the interview went, they played it the following day as the highlight of the day before show, on the weekend they broadcast it again as the best of the morning show, and they told me anytime I had something new to let them know. We’re here now to talk about the UFC."
Going on the air live about ten minutes after 9 AM Rallo gave his thoughts on the UFC and the heavyweight division, previewed his next fight in NJ, and clarified questions of one of the three DJs. All three hosts were courteous and seemed educated about mixed martial arts.
The states of the Mid-Atlantic which make up the majority of the original 13 colonies are sprinkled with historic battlefields from Revolutionary War to Civil War, making a fitting place to possibly open the next chapter in sanctioning of MMA. With mixed martial arts illegal in Maryland and professionally in the surrounding states, this exposure and education of the mainstream public provided by 98 Rock is just what the scene needs to open the doors that may one day lead to sanctioning in the Nation’s capital. Special thanks go out to 98 Rock for their time and support.
From the event’s promoter:
X-treme Championship Fighting
June 8, 2003 7 pm
Ft. Wayne, IN
Wrigley Field Bar and Grill
Don’t miss this night of action packed Mixed Martial Arts Sunday June 8th in Ft. Wayne, IN. This will be the 10th Ft. Wayne show that Becky Levi has promoted and the Northern Indiana fans eat the sport up! Brett Al-Azzawi will be taking on Roger Sexton at 170 lb. Mark Long will be fighting Jerry Hackney and Layne McDaniel is matched up against Ft. Wayne’s own Guy Hinton. Along with the three pro bouts are 4 tournaments for titles and a single amatuer bout. MO Amin, Shane Barnaby, Chris Higi and Ryan Rinshceid will be in one tournament. Mike Coughlin, David Hayes, Marcus Wilson and Branden Western in another tournament. At 196-210 lb. Eric Wilson, Dan Lamping and Kelly Rundle. 211-and above tourney pits Jason Petitt, Robert Walker and Cecil Akins. At this point there should be 15 fights scheduled, this will all depend on the actual count at the fighter meeting June 8. Look for another show to be schedule in late Aug. For more information you can contact Becky Levi at email@example.com.
From the event’s promoter:
RITC 49 – This Saturday Night!!!
Saturday, Jun 7, 2003
Doors Open: 6 PM, Fight Time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Prices: $15 (rows 14-25), $25 (rows 1-13)
The first 500 advanced tickets purchased at the Celebrity Theatre Box Office will receive a FREE RITC T-SHIRT. Rage in the Cage fans are in for a real treat. RITC is offering a fantastic fight card, unbelievable roll back ticket prices, free RITC T-Shirts and other activities for this special fan appreciation night. Miss RITC Contest with the Arizona Dream Girls. The RITC UFC pre-fight party and RITC 49 post-fight party will be at:
June 6 – UFC Party, $2 cover
Fight Card subject to change.
Order your $25 Row 1 – 13 or $15 row 14 – 25 tickets now by calling 602-267-1600.
From the event’s promoter:
USA EXTREME CHALLENGE
PROFESSIONAL FULL CONTACT
LAST YEAR EVERY FIGHT ENDED IN A KNOCKOUT!!!
8 MEN WILL ENTER – 1 MAN WILL SURVIVE!!!
8 MAN HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION: 190 – 300 LBS.
SEE WHO WILL BE LEFT STANDING!!!
FOR TICKETS CALL: 954-974-4218