UFC XXIX Weigh-in
& Fighter Meeting
By "The Mouth of NHB" Joel Gold
Miyako Hotel Tokyo
Friday 15 December 2000
A packed room filled with reporters and fighters sat through the rules meeting. Referee Mario Yamasaki spoke of the rules for UFC 29; an interpreter translated each word into Japanese. Noticeably absent from the meeting was Pat Miletich and Matt Hughes. Both fighters were on the way to Japan a day late as mechanical difficulties delayed their arrival.
ON TO THE WEIGH-IN…After the fighter rules meeting, it was time for the weigh-in. Each fighter stepping on the scale made weight and then began to replenish their depleted bodies, when an objection to the scale was made by Yuki Kondo’s camp complaining the scale weighed very light.
Kondo [pictured above right], many pounds under the middleweight limit wanted a new scale and another weigh-in for his opponent, Tito Ortiz[pictured above left]. No dice, as Ortiz had already begun to drink and eat. Matchmaker, John Perretti voiced that all fighters weighed in on the same scale and if it were a problem, it should have been addressed before the weigh-in, not after. The scale was said to be from the gym of Yuki Kondo, and all parties knew which scale was to be used 2 days prior to weigh-in.
As all settled, it was now time for the fighter press conference and each fighter was given a chance to say a few words. Tito Ortiz stated he was willing to put his life on the line to defend his middleweight belt, so Kondo better be ready for a war! World War III! While Kondo replied, "Tito better be ready to defend that belt." Evan Tanner thanked the crowd and stated he was happy to be back fighting in the Octagon and Japan. His opponent Lance Gibson wished Tanner well and went on to state it was nice to be back in the land of the samurai. It would be a battle of the Canadian warrior against the American warrior. The meeting ended with a photo op of all the fighters for the Japanese press.
From the DSE/Pride:
Bad news…Allan Goes, who was supposed to face to Akira Shoji, will be unable to participate in PRIDE.12 due to injury to his neck, Ricardo Almeida will take his place. In addition to the news another match was announced.
Ricardo Almeida vs. Akira Shoji
PRIDE FC "Cold Fury" a.k.a. PRIDE12 finalized matches
To Fight Shoji
Ricardo Almeida, a Renzo Gracie black belt, in Japan for Ryan Gracie’s Pride 12 fight against Kazushi Sakuraba, has been asked to step in for an injured Allan Goes. Goes, who was scheduled to fight Akira Shoji in the Pride 12 show on December 23rd, is out reportedly due to a neck injury incurred during training.
Be sure to check back tomorrow, and learn about the "Big Dog", Ricardo Almeida. We will have an interview with Ricardo from the current issue of Full Contact Fighter.
By "The Mouth of NHB" Joel Gold
UFC Middleweight Champ Tito Ortiz made an apperance on Japan’s Kakutogi Jungle, a TV show that covers the world of fighting on Samurai TV [Sky Perfect TV]. Ortiz was asked questions about his upcoming bout this Saturday in UFC 29 against Yuki Kondo. Other questions included what foods he likes and what blood type he is–go figure. Overall it was a good, upbeat interview with lots of energy from the hosts–well, as far as I could tell since it was done in Japanese with an interpreter.
UFC PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW
With Josh Gross
Almost since its inception, Mixed Martial Arts has been a haven for world-class amateur wrestlers hoping to compete. Randy Couture, Mark Coleman, Kevin Jackson, Mark Schultz and Mark Kerr have all graced the Octagon, now it’s Matt Lindland’s turn. A father of two, the 30 year-old Lindland was the Greco-Roman 167.5 lb. silver medalist at the 2000 summer Olympic games in Sydney, Australia. Training with UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and RINGS King of Kings Champion Dan Henderson, Lindland feels there is a natural transition between wrestling and MMA. Fighting for the first time in three years, he faces savvy veteran Yoji Anjoh in what promises to be a good match. I had the opportunity to speak with Matt before he headed off to Japan for his UFC debut on Dec. 16th.
FCF: Matt, as soon as the Olympics were over did you have plans to start training in Mixed Martial Arts?
FCF: What has your training been like?
FCF: You wrestled at 167.5 lbs. yet you’re fighting in the 170-199 lb. weight class, is there any particular reason?
FCF: What do you know about your opponent Yoji Anjoh?
FCF: Good luck in your return to MMA and congratulations on your silver medal.