Friday, Apr 27, 2001
Elvis In The Meadowlands…
Elvis In The Meadowlands…
Fans have been itching to find out who is next in line to fight UFC Champ Tito Ortiz. Well, after an impressive performance in his UFC debut against top contender Jeremy Horn, Elvis Sinosic is getting his shot at the title. He will face off against Tito for the Light Heavyweight Title at UFC 32 on June 29th in New Jersey’s Continental Airlines Arena. Stay tuned to FCF for more details on what promises to be a huge event…
Heart of a Lion
By Josh Gross
There’s always something incredibly fun about watching smaller guys excel against larger competitors. In the early days of mixed martial arts it was not uncommon to see two men-despite a 50lb or more weight difference-square off. Those days are gone because in a sport where the skill level has risen so quickly, even 10lbs can make a difference.
King of the Cage Middleweight Champion Joe Hurley has had to deal with being the smaller man since he first started taking money to fight. "I’ve always liked fighting," he told Full Contact Fighter after a training session at the Lions Den in Chula Vista, California. "I’ve fought for money since I was 13 years old, and I fought 20-year-olds. I got kicked out of high school for fighting. It’s not something I’m proud of.".
After a tumultuous childhood, Hurley joined the Lions Den in Napa, California at the age of 16 and began his training-not only in the fighting arts, but in the art of life. Perhaps his greatest lesson came three years ago in Abu Dhabi when his arm was on the wrong side of a Fabiano Iha arm-bar..
The injury came at a bad time for the youngest active fighter in the Lions Den stable. "When I went to Abu Dhabi back in 1998, my girlfriend at the time was six-months pregnant," he said. "I got my arm broken really bad, and it was just hard to do anything. Losing with the baby on the way made me look at it and say, ‘If I’m going to fight, I have to do it and learn everything.’ I put the pedal to the metal.".
His newfound commitment, both as a father and as a fighter, has begun to pay off. Tomorrow, at the Colusa Casino in Williams, California, Hurley puts his belt on the line for the second time since earning the title with a KO victory over Chris Brennan last September. Once again, the man hoping to take away Hurley’s title will be bigger..
"I’ll fight anybody," when asked about his upcoming opponent, Gil Castillo. "I’d really rather not fight big guys. I hate fighting in the 175-180lb weight class when I’m a buck-sixty, but I’m just going to take whomever they throw at me.".
"I think everyone always puts me as an underdog. I love making people shut up, I really do. I don’t talk trash. I’m nice to everyone, but I do my talking in the ring.".
The response by Hurley’s opponents has always been the same after stepping into the ring with him. He’s any combination of stronger, faster, more skilled and/or harder puncher than his appearance would lend itself to believe. The word is getting out, and it’s doubtful whether people will be surprised by any of these attributes anymore..
"Conditioning," he quickly answered when asked what he believes his best physical attribute is. "I have decent power, but the main thing about me is I don’t stop. I keep going always pressing no matter what. After 10 minutes my opponents are thinking, ‘man it’s been 10 minutes, the second round is over and he’s not stopping.’".
It’s this sense of constant pressure that has confounded Hurley’s opponents and aided in an unblemished 11-0 record. Yet, his ultimate drive during the fight can be traced back to that day in Abu Dhabi when his arm snapped. The commitment to himself and his daughter is the thing with Hurley..
"I think that’s what really motivated me," he said when asked about nearly two-year-old daughter Morgan. "For all my fights in the past I’ve worked a full-time job. At some points, like when I fought Scott Bills, I was working 80 hours a week. I watch my daughter in the mornings and her mother watches her at night when I train. I busted my ass and it’s really because my daughter is my motivation.".
Through the commitment to his fight game, the injury also helped completely morph Hurley as a fighter. "It was a real lesson," he stated as he played with the once mangled limb. "I started boxing because I couldn’t wrestle and post on my arm anymore. Actually, it’s a good thing that it happened because it made me look at arm-bars closely. I was a leg lock freak back then, and it made me go and become good at all this jiu-jitsu stuff.".
The last several weeks, Hurley has returned to his Mecca-Lions Den San Diego. Home to Lions Den captain Ken Shamrock, fighters are now required to train in the Southern California facility the weeks leading up to a scheduled fight..
"I think it’s good," said Hurley about the time spent in sunny San Diego. "It’s really hard leaving my daughter behind. It’s a necessity, and I’m learning things down here that I’m not learning up in Napa. Now, I’m down here and I’m training with Miguel Reyes and I’m learning a lot about Thai boxing and how to clinch effectively. Now I have technique on top of the will.".
Hurley has already proven his heart and skill in the ring. Another defense of his title tomorrow at KOTC 8, and his name will start to be uttered among the top fighters in his weight class..
"I want everyone to know that I’m coming," the 22-year-old champion said with conviction. "People are going to start looking at me, and like everyone else I have my holes. I’m getting better, so is everyone else. I’m not unbeatable, no one is, but I’m coming and I won’t stop."
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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