Let The Onslaught Begin!ufc 41 Weigh-ins Are History
Let The Onslaught Begin!
UFC 41 Weigh-Ins Are History
By Loretta Hunt
The official weigh-ins for UFC 41 "Onslaught" were held earlier this evening at the Trump Plaza and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey — and while for the most part were uneventful by "Las Vegas" standards–did still attract a small crowd of spectators hoping to catch some pre-event fireworks. There was not much explosiveness to speak of, but that did not spell disaster for Zuffa who managed to still pull a couple of surprises from their sleeves.
For starters, male fans will be especially pleased to welcome former Playboy Playmate and FOX Sports Network sports journalist Lisa Dergan into their homes as she becomes the UFC’s first-ever female post-fight interviewer (and yes, she’s a knockout in her own right.)
Boxing great Felix Trinidad will also handle the commentating for the UFC’s Spanish-speaking audience, along with female fighter Erica Montoya who is tearing up the 125-pound scene in Japan. For us English-speakers, it can be confirmed with 100% certainty that Ken Shamrock will indeed join Mike Goldberg in the announcer’s booth. Shamrock is in great spirits and says he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge of the game with the viewers once again.
As for the weigh-ins themselves, with the New Jersey Athletic Commission out in full-force and known throughout the "biz" for being one of the toughest commissions around, the proceedings were slow moving at first as the fighters and their cornermen completed their necessary paperwork. There was a bit of restless angst among the fighter’s camps, knowing that some of the fighters were anxious to hit the scales and then the buffets–but once the weight tallying was underway, it was smooth sailing.
The first couple to makes their way to the stage were heavyweight champion and Las Vegas native Ricco Rodriguez and his challenger, Miletich Martial Arts-bred Tim Sylvia. Rodriguez looked poised and readied as he weighed in at 238 pounds. The "Maine-iac," whose second UFC fight to date might deliver him the ultimate prize if he plays his cards right tomorrow night, came in at 252 pounds. Rodriguez, however, will be one tough customer.
Lightweight contenders BJ Penn and Caol Uno will reach the end of the road tomorrow night when they clash for the vacant 155-pound title. Hawaiian implant Penn, cheered on by his loyal crew from Hilo, came in at a light 152 pounds. Japanese superstar Caol Uno came in on the dot at 155 pounds. It is a second shot at the crown for both these men and it inevitably comes down to who wants it more, for both these specimens surely have ample skill to take it all.
The third-to-last fight on tomorrow night’s pay-per-view telecast may very well be the most anticipated of all among the general masses for one reason alone. Win or lose, it’s Tank-time tomorrow night, when he takes on young 23-year old stud Frank Mir. Mir calmly worked his way onto the stage, weighing in at a fit 250 pounds, then quickly backed up to let his rambunctious opponent claim the spotlight. Through the irony of it all, today marked the first weigh-in ever for returning David "Tank" Abbott, whose fifteen appearances inside the Octagon are the most ever accumulated by any competitor ever for the sport. Tank soberly stepped onto the scales in his socks and a T-shirt and when heckled by the crowd to remove his top, declined by saying he was wired with a microphone. Although his slimmest yet at 248 pounds, don’t be fooled. His trademark pot belly will also be making the trip down the fighter’s ramp tomorrow night.
No UFC weigh-in would be complete without a little drama and middleweights Matt Lindland and Phil Baroni filled the quota easily. The story wasn’t their weights–they both came in at 184 pounds. It was the way they acted afterwards when Lindland presented an embroidered T-shirt for Baroni to don after their fight was through. Without looking at it’s message, Baroni angrily threw it back at Lindland and like a game of "hot potato," Lindland tried to toss it right back. Referee "Big" John McCarthy stopped it all by grabbing the shirt and handing it to UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta, while the two men separated to exit the stage. But the audience was eager to see just what the shirt said, so Fertitta gladly held it up for all. Baroni, as serious and emotionally-charged as ever, stormed over to Fertitta and yanked the T-shirt from his hands–spitting on it before throwing it back in Lindland’s direction. Lindland had already left the stage, but it appears that the damage this Team Quest fighter hoped to incur with his eloquent Internet trash-talking has been done.
Brazilian veteran Pedro "the Rock" Rizzo will meet a Russian rock of his own tomorrow in Vladmir Matyushenko. It’s do or die for Rizzo, with his last three UFC appearances all coming up short. Rizzo is obviously aware of this stark reality–he came in the sveltest he has in as many fights, winning today’s "most improved" award hands-down. At 230 pounds, educated fans will be able to see the difference in his face alone (he looks five years younger easy). Matyushenko, who hopes to enjoy a smooth ride to a title shot since jumping up to the heavyweight division, was in good form as he came in at 218 pounds. This fight is the "hidden gem" of the group and among the fighter’s camps has been deemed the match-up to watch. Rizzo is likely to push this fight to its very limits–he really has no other choice.
Lightweights Din Thomas and Matt Serra made their weights respectively at 155 and 154 pounds. Thomas, who has recently joined Florida’s American Top Team was quiet and reserved, showing little emotion as he walked through the paces. Opponent Serra was loud and boisterous as he encouraged the mostly subdued East Coast crowd to cut loose, but paid his respect to formidable foe Thomas as they turned into their staredown together.
Quiet giant Gan McGee was next to weigh-in at 264 pounds. At 6’10", it is hard not to notice his towering frame. Brazilian Alexandre "Cafe" Dantas, a dark horse at 231 pounds, last appeared at UFC 27 as a light-heavyweight (yes, under 205 pounds), taking a loss to Yuki Kondo. McGee is coming off a devastating knockout win over Pedro Rizzo at UFC 39. With little memory of his last performance, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Dantas is starting with a clean slate.
Dubbed as the "Battle of the Nice Guys" by this reporter, lightweights Yves Edwards and Rich Clementi were the final pair to weigh-in. Edwards looked ready at 154 pounds, while Clementi came in just a pound heavier. Edwards is fast becoming the "go to guy" on the UFC roster–this is the second time he will be replacing an injured fighter. Being the only "newbie" to the card tomorrow night, Clementi, (formerly of New Jersey, but currently residing in Louisiana) has the power of the Miletich team behind him and plans to move up to the Iowa camp next month now that his career seems to be kicking into high gear. The prelude to UFC 41 ended with applause for these two youngsters, but the audience’s praise quickly grew to acknowledge every single fighter that had stepped onto the scale today. Another weigh-in for the books, it’s on to the "Onslaught" tomorrow night.
Click here to see photos from the weigh-ins
From the event’s promoter:
U.F.C.F. and Hook & Shoot proudly present
An evening of non stop fighting action
Saturday March 1st 2003
8PM first fight begins
Tickets available at Lucky Eagle Casino
Muay Thai fight
North American Continental Bantamweight Pankration Championship
Pacific Northwest Muay Thai Championship
North American Continental Lightweight Pankration Title Defense
All fights triple sanctioned by:
From the event’s promoter:
RITC 45 – This Saturday Evening
Saturday, March 1, 2003
Doors Open: 6 PM, Fight Time: 7:30 PM
Advance Ticket Prices: $10, $15, $20, $30 and $40 ($5 extra day of show). Call (602) 379-2888 immediately for best selection and lowest fee.
1. Our new $40M venue (Dodge Theatre, capacity 5,500)
Triple Main Event:
Edwin Dewees (205 lbs) vs Homer Moore (205 lbs)
Fred Leavy (155 lbs) vs Jesse Moreng (150 lbs)
Tim Tynam (240 lbs) vs Melville Calabaca (235 lbs)
There will be 12 fights
Fight Card subject to change
Eight fighters will be travelling from out of state for RITC 45 to compete against Arizona RITC fighters.
Travis Fulton (225 lbs) Iowa
RITC 45 official weigh-ins are scheduled as follows:
Friday Feb 28, 2003
6PM – 7:30PM Commission paperwork, licensing, pre-fight physicals and weigh-ins.
Only 2 fighters, scheduled to arrive in town on Saturday from Iowa and Indiana, are excused from this activity.
McDuffy’s Sports Bar
The Post-Fight Party, immediately following RITC 45 on Saturday night, will also be held at McDuffy’s.
Out of town fans can stay at Days Inn Tempe (480-968-7793) and receive a $69 room for $53 by mentioning RITC.
Days Inn has a courtesy shuttle servicing Sky Harbor Airport.
Directions to Dodge Theatre:
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