Flirtatious Fighters Nab Coveted November Sweeps Week
By Loretta Hunt
Is M-M-A fast becoming America’s latest F-A-D? It would appear so with all the added attention the fledging sport has been getting via the small screen.
In recent months, mixed martial arts hopeful Josh Hayes was featured on the hit MTV series "True Life" training and then competing in his first pro fight in the WEC. On a separate episode, cameras followed Muay Thai and part-time MMA fighter Kit Cope to Thailand for his "true life" experience. Let’s not forget "The Ultimate Fighter," the UFC’s reality show set to premiere this January on Spike TV.
Next on that growing list, reality dating show "Blind Date" has also jumped onboard for some MMA-centric programming. The long running series, which pairs strangers together through a host of engaging activities in the hopes of catching a love connection (or repulsion) on air, shot five separate episodes with Ultimate Fighters Tim Sylvia, Wes Sims, Josh Thomson, Pete Spratt, and Tiki Ghosn last July in Las Vegas.
Apparently, higher-ups have been so pleased with the episodes as they’ve been edited that "Blind Date" executive producers, in correlation with NBC/Universal officials, have decided to air them during TV’s coveted "sweeps week," set for November 15th through 19th.
"The UFC is obviously very hot these days, so we’re taking advantage of that through sweeps week," says "Date" producer John Pepper. "We definitely save the best for that slot. That’s when the most viewers, the most eyes will be looking at Blind Date, so we wanted to save our absolute best for it."
"Date" reps were especially impressed with heavyweight Wes Sims’ encounter with his date, described as a young woman who was quite nonplussed by the 6’8" giant’s antics and chosen profession. It’s reported that Sims’ time went so rocky, that the outgoing fighter ended up at a Vegas strip joint by night’s end, his defiant date in tow.
Blind Date has enlisted "specialty" contestants before for themed weeks, from Tropicana showgirls to WWE characters. This will be their first collaboration with UFC fighters.
Cage Rage 8 – Knights of the Octagon
Held Sept. 11, 2004 – Wembley, London, UK
Results By David West
Hometown hero Lee Murray brought his legion of fans to the Wembley Conference Centre to see him square up to Pride veteran Anderson Silva in the biggest test of the Briton’s career. Murray’s fans went home unhappy after Silva proved too slick for their hero, comprehensively out-boxing him with sharp punches and some dazzling kicks for three rounds. Mark Weir made short work of Luta Livre fighter Johil De Oliveira and at the end of the evening challenged Anderson Silva for the Cage Rage Middleweight Title. In other titles fights, Peter Tiarks retained his Featherweight Title by tapping out Ian Butlin, while the vacant Heavyweight Crown was claimed by Ryan Robinson when the tall and lanky Carlson Gracie student ground and pounded Kuljit Degun into submission. Ian Freeman presented Robinson with his belt and promptly challenged him to fight for it in November.
Pigment Dyed Full-Zip Hooded NHB Sweatshirt
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From the event’s promoter:
Results of FFC XI
Held September 10th, 2004
at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi