The UFC’s golden boys grace the pages of Maxim
By Gaby Genia
There’s no doubt about it, boys and girls: MMA has hit the mainstream media, and hit it hard.
If the much-touted 60 Minutes piece didn’t convince you, January’s issue of Maxim surely will. Usually known for its pictorials of nearly nude women, this issue features a seven-page spread of the UFC’s golden boys modeling formalwear. Not wanting to stray too far from their pugilistic roots, the shoot depicts a dapperly dressed Georges St. Pierre on the receiving end of tuxedoed Chuck Liddell’s famous right fist – the blood flying from GSP’s mouth nicely accentuating the red velvet of his blazer. Another full page is devoted to Liddell adjusting the cufflinks below his bruised and bloody knuckles. Also appearing in the spread are the very menacing and yet dashingly debonair Jorge Gurgel, Chris Lytle and Josh Koscheck.
The January 2007 issue of Maxim is now available on newsstands
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Explosion: Gilbert Grappling Shines at Debut Event
Report by Dustin Lee DePue – Photos by Riley Kerestes
Tinley Park, IL — Mixed Martial Arts in Chicagoland can add another notch to its belt as a new promotion has jumped into the fray. Cage Fighting Championships Underground held its debut event, "Explosion," on Saturday at the Holiday Inn Select Convention Center. The eleven fight card, cut down from fourteen for various last-minute reasons, turned out to be a real showcase for Gilbert Grappling as their fighters went 5-0 in front of nearly two thousand fans.
The fight of the night was a great match of styles as Steve Kinnison’s many armbar attempts finally paid off after a grueling three-round battle. His opponent, Miletich fighter Ryan Bixler, dominated the stand-up throughout the fight, landing several hard right straights that opened a cut above Kinnison’s eye. Kinnison was content to let Bixler control the pace and was selective in his punches. This worked to Bixler’s favor as he landed a lot of punches and scored points for aggression and control. Bixler also secured several takedowns and added plenty of punches from the top as he easily took the first round.
The second round saw more of the same as Bixler continued to push the pace scoring punches and takedowns, however, Kinnison began to latch on armbars the second they hit the mat. Bixler would figure-four his arms in defense, nothing would happen for twenty seconds, the ref would stand them up and Bixler would score punches and go for the takedown and the whole process would repeat again for the entirety of the second round.
Going into the third, it didn’t look like Kinnison was going to be able to secure the armbar. Bixler’s defense was just too strong. Behind on the judges cards, Kinnison needed to catch Bixler in something he could finish. He found it after throwing a high kick that Bixler was able to catch and use to slam Kinnison. Unfortunately for Bixler, he landed right into a triangle choke that Kinnison used to finish the fight. A great fight top to bottom with both fighters showing their considerable skills. Hopefully both will be featured on future cards.
In the Main Event of the Evening, Gilbert Grappling Tommy Lee was able to control Norm Alexander throughout all three rounds in the only fight of the night to go the distance. Lee was able to take Alexander down at will and nearly ended the fight twice in the first round with strikes from the mount. Give it to Alexander, he was a survivor and managed to hang on throughout the beating, surviving several tight looking side chokes and a fights worth of ground and pound. Lee wins by unanimous decision.
Though classified as a pro bout, Jay Estrada’s fight with Josh Lee was run on three minute rounds. Had the rounds been five minutes, this likely would have been a first round stoppage as Estrada worked over the less experienced Lee. Estrada was able to put Lee on the mat with a pair of wicked hip tosses and calmly work toward finishing him. Lee scored several reversals but wasn’t able to capitalize as Estrada was able to get back on top, where he created enough space to unload a truck-full of stiff ground and pound, landing several hard shots that forced the referee stoppage and earned Gilbert Grappling another "W".
As much a victim of poor management as Estrada’s superior wrestling, Lee might want to find a corner man who doesn’t yell for him to use moves that are illegal in Illinois (elbows on the ground) and who doesn’t forget to bring his fighter water for use between rounds.
Brian McGuiness survived an early suplex by opponent Duke Oursler, escaping Oursler’s rear-naked choke attempt by sneaking out the back door. Back on the feet, McGuiness was in his element as he landed a big right hand that put Oursler on the fritz. Held up by the fence, Oursler crumbled to the mat after a second punch. McGuiness wins by KO.
Dan Hornbuckle manhandled Max Fowler for just thirty seconds before a giant knee to the jaw led to Fowler’s verbal submission. After the submission, Fowler was holding what may have been a broken or otherwise injured jaw.
Gilbert Grappling’s Kevin Knabijan and Grant Sarver came out throwing bombs. Knabijan got the better of the exchange, prompting a takedown by Sarver. Knabijan came close with several submissions before Sarver attempted an armbar of his own. Knabijan escaped the attempt, broke Sarver’s guard, got to side control and slipped into an armbar of his own for the win.
Jacob Hey hurt Mike Higgins with a big slam and knocked him out seconds later with punches from the top.
In amateur action, Gilbert Grappling’s Ted Juricic nearly ripped off Jim McDonald’s arm with a nasty Kimura midway through the first round.
Overall, it was a solid debut for Caged Fighting Championships Underground. Explosion should provide a workable base from which they can improve upon. Surely, Chicago-area fans are looking forward to the second installment set for March 2007 with a headliner bout featuring 135-pound sensation Miguel Torres.
Professional – 3×5 minute rounds
Professional – 3×3 minute round
Amateur – 3×3 minute rounds