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Pride Auditions
Stars come down while new talent emerges from shadows at Pride auditions
UCLA campus, Los Angeles, CA
By Keith Mills

Los Angeles, CA (Nov. 20, 2004) — A who’s who of unsigned North American MMA talent descended on the campus of UCLA for invite-only auditions for Pride FC. A complete list of fighters and even amount of fighters per weight class is currently unavailable but said to be available in the days to come. The Lightweights had the greatest representation by far with at least 72 fighters while Middleweights had about 31 and Heavyweights around 44. Here is a partial list FCF compiled:

Adam Lynn (Next Generation)
Mac Danzig (Millennia Fight Team)
Frankie Bollinger (former KOTC Bantamweight Champion)
Ricardo Nogueira (American Top Team)
Steve Bruno (American Top Team)
Heath Simms (ranked in Pancrase)
John Alessio (Millennia Fight Team, former KOTC & TKO Champion, UFC/Pride vet)
Thomas Denny (Team Oyama)
Robert Emerson (Team Oyama)
Manny Reyes (KOTC/AFC vet)
James "Lightning" Wilks
Keith Wilson (American Kickboxing Academy)
Akbarh Arreola
Steve Berger (UFC vet)
Jake Draves
Stephen Haigh

Mike Seal (KOTC/SportFight vet)
Marcos Avellan (Freestyle Fighting Academy, ADCC North American qualifier winner)
Chael Sonnen (Team Quest)
Charles McCarthy (Freestyle Fighting Academy)
Tim McKenzie (Team Cesar Gracie)
Buck Greer (Next Generation)
James Lee (former Gladiator Challenge Champion)

Mike Kyle (American Kickboxing Academy, UFC vet)
Jimmy Ambriz (former KOTC Champion)
Wojtek Kaszowski (Team Warrior, trained by Carlos Newton)
Paul Buentello (American Kickboxing Academy, KOTC Champion)
Bobby Hoffman (UFC vet, former KOTC Champion)
Kadillac Marshbanks (KOTC Champion)

Bas Rutten and Matt Hume demonstrate what they will look for
Bas Rutten & Matt Hume demonstrate what they will look for

Fighters were led to the audition area behind a floor-to-ceiling curtain in groups of six where they performed two minutes of standup, two minutes of takedowns, and two minutes of submission work for three judges including Bas Rutten and Matt Hume. Some of the pairings were told to "go live" for full sparring while at least one group which included Chael Sonnen, Marcus Avellan, and Charles McCarthy was further divided for thee of the fighters to show more for the judges. One pair was brought in by themselves for even further study, the pairing and reason for which will be revealed in an upcoming issue of Full Contact Fighter magazine. After the group pairings each fighter was given one minute in front of a camera to talk about why they deserved to be there and who they were.

The fighters now have to wait four weeks for "winners" to be posted. Some clues were visible but fans will have to look for complete coverage in an upcoming issue of Full Contact Fighter for more details and insights.

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posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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