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Saturday, Jul 21, 2001

Nevada Athletic Commissionto Rule On Fate Of Mma

Nevada Athletic Commission
to Rule on Fate of MMA

By Aaron Crecy

LAS VEGAS–July 23, 2001 has the potential to be a joyous day for the sport of mixed martial arts fighting-or it could be remembered as Black Monday. That’s because the Nevada Athletic Commission will convene in Las Vegas to vote upon whether or not to sanction MMA competitions in the state. However, insiders are confident that the Commission will give its approval, a move that would serve to move MMA a measurable stride in the direction of mainstream recognition.

Established in 1941, the Nevada Athletic Commission is a five-member committee appointed by the Governor to regulate all contests and exhibitions of unarmed combat, including licensure and supervision of promoters, boxers, professional wrestlers, kickboxers, seconds, ring officials, managers, and matchmakers. The Commission is the final authority on licensing matters, having the ability to approve, deny, revoke or suspend all licenses for unarmed combat.

The Nevada Athletic Commission currently sanctions boxing and kickboxing but has been considering a set of uniform rules for mixed martial arts that already have been adopted in New Jersey and California. If approved, it is conceivable that these new rules could be presented at the annual convention for the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC), July 25-28 in New Orleans. With both Nevada and New Jersey on board, there is a likelihood that MMA could soon be sanctioned in most states, if not all of them.

MMA organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pride Fighting Championships are eager to host events in Nevada, and in Las Vegas in particular. Headquartered in Las Vegas, the UFC’s ownership group, Zuffa LLC-led by Lorenzo Fertitta, himself the former vice-chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission-already has tentative plans to hold its next event at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on September 28th. Meanwhile, Pride has expressed considerable interest in bringing its event to the U.S. to challenge the UFC on its home soil.

Both events would benefit from Las Vegas’ ability to draw fans from the lucrative California market, an MMA hotbed. In addition, Las Vegas represents a significant upgrade in terms of the overall fan experience and image, as Pride and the UFC would ally themselves with upper echelon casinos that offer a multiplicity of entertainment attractions.

"Being sanctioned in Nevada is huge for the sport," said UFC president Dana White. "It puts more of a spotlight on the sport and it puts us in the mainstream. Nevada is a state where all of the legitimate [combat] sports take place, and it has the best athletic commission in the world."

Mario Sperry Talks About
Managing, Fighting & The Top Team

By Eduardo Alonso

      Zé Mario Sperry is considered one of the top submission fighters in the world, both with and without the gi. Bringing home top honors in all type of events, from the BJJ Worlds to the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling Championships to NHB fights around the globe, Mario has accomplished a lot during his career in the ring. But now he is not only successful inside the ring, but outside as well! Zé Mario has now taken on the additional task of fighter manager. FCF got the chance to talk recently with the "Zen Machine" about his new role as manager, his future inside the ring, and the recent events concerning the Brazilian Top Team.

Mark Kerr choking Mario Sperry
FCF:   Everybody knows Mario Sperry as a fighter, winning several BJJ championships, fighting in Abu Dhabi and in NHB events all over the world. Now, apart from your career as fighter you’re also helping some young fighters, working as their manager. How has this latest experience been for you?

Mario Sperry:   This experience, as fun as it may sound, happened in a very natural way. At first I always helped my teammates, like to get to Abu Dhabi back in the days when there were no trials and stuff…And even today I recommend some friends to fight there, and I was always a very spoken person, very happy, and since I speak English very well, I was always able to close some good deals and contracts for myself! The younger fighters were always watching me, paying attention to the decisions that I made and stuff like that. So, at a certain point in Ricardo Arona’s career he asked me if I could help him to get a deal with RINGS, because I got a call from RINGS and I mentioned it to him. So I said, "Of course Arona, I’ll help you! No problem!" So I went there with him [a couple of times] to Japan, and on the third time I told him that I couldn’t do it anymore, because I have my own things to take care of. So he said, "Zé Mario, let’s make it official then!" But I told him that it was tough, because we’re friends and it involves money and stuff, but he said, "But Zé Mario, if it won’t be you, it’ll be someone else! And I would like to have you as a manager, because I like you a lot, we’re friends, and we know each other from a long time, etc." So I accepted it, and started to work as his manager. Minotauro, who was a bit lost and stuff at that time, saw that and asked me to be his manager too. I thought it was funny, because people were approaching me to be their manager, because of my honesty I think. So I started to work as Minotauro’s manager, and today I manage Minotauro, Arona, Minotauro’s brother, Dustin Dennis, and I help a lot of people without any compromise! That’s how it all started!

Click here to continue with the Mario Sperry interview

The Road To the Rematch!
SuperBrawl 5th Anniversary

July 21, 2001 – Blaisdell Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii
By Chris Onzuka – Chris@onzuka.com

      T. Jay Thompson wanted to mark the 5-year anniversary of SuperBrawl with a bang and that is just what happened. Earlier in the week, Thompson sent out a press release/promo reminiscing about SuperBrawl’s humble beginnings (back then it was called Future Brawl) in a biker bar by the Honolulu International Airport. One my vivid memories was a huge bar fight that broke out at one of the events, which caused me to ALWAYS watch the fights with a beer bottle or some other hard object in my hand at all times. Another brawl broke out in the ring at the last event, SuperBrawl XX, when one of the corner men jumped into the ring and jumped on one of the fighters. Well, those days of yester-year were almost revisited again last night. You would never have guessed but Marcelo Tigre had something to do with it. Heh heh. The event was billed as "The Road to the Rematch" and it was supposed to build interest in the rematch between Marcelo Tigre and Egan Inoue after their epic battle two years ago.
Cabbage vs. Tigre
      Originally this event was supposed to pit Marcelo’s best student fighting Egan and Egan’s best student fighting Marcelo. Marcelo’s student had to pull out of the fight due to some trouble outside the ring and Marcelo was stuck fighting Egan’s student, Cabbage, who outweighs him by an incredible 77lbs. To make a long story short, Marcelo could not take the big man down and Cabbage had no problem absorbing Marcelo’s strikes for the whole first round and even rocked Marcelo a couple of times. In the second round, Tigre caught a kick thrown by Cabbage and took him down. At this point, I guess Tigre wanted to make up for the damage that he was NOT able to unleash in the first round, so he worked his hands on the inside of Cabbages’, cocked his head back and laid into a huge head butt that connected right in the center of Cabbage’s eye brows. This caused referee, Haru Shiminishi, to immediately stop the fight (head butts are not legal) and have the doctors check the gash that was produced. Shiminishi then disqualified Tigre and declared Cabbage the winner. The crowd booed Tigre for breaking the rules and started throwing things into the ring at him. Marcelo responded by telling the crowd that they were "number one" with both hands, using that sign language that we all know and love. Egan and Enson Inoue jumped into the ring along as a large Grappling Unlimited contingent gathering outside the ring. Team Tiger gathered their forces on the other side of the ring. Luckily, things were cooled down on both sides…well, cooled down enough for both camps not to start a battle royal. The stage was set for THE REMATCH, but it may have also caused this much-anticipated fight to be called off due to Tigre’s rule-breaking antics. Only time will tell… The next issue of Full Contact Fighter will feature comments from Tigre, Egan, Enson, Cabbage and T. Jay Thompson concerning this incident. This is why you HAVE to subscribe to FCF!

David Yeung (Muay Thai, 1-1, 149lbs) def. Gabe Lemley (Team Extreme, 3-3, 149lbs)
Unanimous decision [(20-18), (20-18), (20-18)] after 2 rounds

Paul Ano (Grappling Unlimited, 1-0, 197lbs) def. Rick Graveson (Team Extreme, 21-12, 217lbs)
Submission via inverted key lock (Kimura) at 1:05 of round 1

Gary Freitas (Grappling Unlimited, 3-1-1, 150lbs) def. Kim Morishita (Brazilian Freestyle Jiu-Jitsu, Maui, 2-1, 153lbs)
Forfeit due to a no show

Ben Earwood (Team Extreme, 20-2, 176lbs) def John Crisostomo (Grappling Unlimited, 7-6, 174lbs)
Submission via foot lock at 4:38 of round 1

Niko Vitale (Grappling Unlimited, 8-1, 195lbs) def. Dennis Reed (Team Extreme, 32-22, 192lbs)
Submission via arm bar from the guard at 43 seconds of round 1

Ronald Jhun (Jesus is Lord, 21-5, 180lbs) def. Dave Strasser (Team Extreme, 17-3, 189lbs)
Submission via arm bar from the guard at 4:42 of round 2

Egan Inoue taps out Brett Al-Azzawi
Egan Inoue (Grappling Unlimited, 7-2, 186lbs) def. Brett Al-Azzawi (Team Extreme, 10-10, 177lbs)
Submission via forearm choke from the cross position at 1:29 of round 1

Wesley "Cabbage" Correira (Grappling Unlimited, 4-2, 283lbs) def. Marcelo Tigre (Team Tiger, 36-2, 206lbs)

Disqualification, Tigre disqualified for intentional head butt from the guard at 54 seconds of Round 2

After the fight, Mike and Tigre tell promoter T Jay Thompson they want Egan

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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