Ortiz Dominates Sinosic And Retains Title;highest Attendance In The History Ofamerican Mixed Martial Arts Shows
Ortiz Dominates Sinosic and Retains Title;
Highest Attendance in the History of
American Mixed Martial Arts Shows
By Josh Gross
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — In a two day span the UFC announced intentions to run a show in Las Vegas, announced a signed deal with iN DEMAND for its return to cable television, and, last but not least, held the largest mixed martial arts show — 11, 492 paid in the Continental Airlines Arena — in the history of the U.S. Hard to believe Zuffa’s only been in control for six months isn’t it?
Headlining the huge event was light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz against Australian challenger Elvis Sinosic. After a grand entrance, Ortiz made sure Sinosic had a rough departure. Following the initial exchange of punches and knees, Sinosic did as expected and pulled the fight into his guard. Unfortunately, that would mean Ortiz was on top, and these days it’s not wise to be in that position. Holding the Aussie against the fence, the champion rained down vicious elbows. "Big" John McCarthy stepped in a stopped the fight 3:32 of round one. The win gave Ortiz his third championship belt and, without a doubt, planted himself as the "man" in mixed martial arts.
It looks like the hype is true. BJ Penn is "The Prodigy." He proved it tonight, as he took out the third ranked fighter in the 155-pound division, Din Thomas, in only his second UFC fight. Early on, after a Thomas takedown, Penn nearly nailed an omoplata (arm lock using the legs). Thomas defended by standing up, but that gave Penn the opportunity to blast his opponent with a perfectly timed knee. Stunned, Thomas hit the ground and Penn followed with three flush punches. The fight was stopped 2:42 of round one. With his performance, Penn has already placed himself in the middle of the mix for a title shot in the deepest division in the UFC. Talk from the UFC brass has a possible Penn-Rumina Sato match up in the near future.
Following the small guys, two giants faced each other in the bloodiest contest on the card. Josh Barnett faced close to seven foot Semmy Schilt in a match that had the near capacity crowd roaring. Schilt opened with a kick, but Barnett caught it and quickly took the big man down. Quickly he secured side control and knee-in-belly. He took advantage of his position and mounted Schilt with plenty of time left in the round. From there Barnett rained down vicious elbows, which opened several cuts on Schilt’s face. Despite being on the bottom, Schilt delivered an elbow of his own that opened a gash on Barnett’s forehead. As the time ran down, Barnett attempted an armbar, but couldn’t finish it and ended up on his back. From the guard he went for another armbar and secured one. Schilt fought it off, but 4:21 of round one he had to tap as Barnett finally finished the submission hold.
Next was the highly anticipated rematch between ex-UFC welterweight champion Pat Miletich and Shonie Carter. Miletich, who had a difficult time making weight, and had to take fluids intravenously at the hospital just hours before the fight, came in off the heels of losing his title to Carlos Newton at UFC 31. Carter on the other hand was riding high after defeating Matt Serra with a spectacular spinning back fist at the last show.
Miletich was angry, but calm as the fight started. Shonie looked slow and was unable to hurt Miletich with strikes. In fact, his defense was so good that the majority of Shonie’s punches and kicks were either blocked or just out right missed. The 33-year-old Miletich brought the match to the ground with a hip toss. Once there he mounted and delivered small punches. Carter was unable to escape as the first round ended there.
As the second round started Miletich turned up the heat. From the clinch he delivered a nice elbow-knee combination and also delivered two and three punch combos. After breaking the clinch Miletich delivered a big right hand followed by a high roundhouse that caught Carter flush on the back of the head. He dropped and referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the contest 2:42 into the second round.
It was time for the little guys again as Fabiano Iha made is debut at 155 pounds against the second ranked lightweight in the world, Caol Uno. After a great deal of success, Uno fought Jens Pulver at UFC 30 and was defeated in a very close five round fight. Iha opened the fight with a high kick that just missed connecting flush — it was a sign of things to come. Uno took down Iha, and sat in the explosive Brazilian’s guard. Iha immediately started looking for submissions, but the slick ex-Shooto champion wasn’t having it. Back on the feet, Iha showed good striking skills and Uno once again took him down, this time with by a single leg. After an armbar attempt by Iha, Uno landed two huge bombs that severely stunned his opponent. The referee stopped the fight 1:49 into the fight and Uno evened his UFC record at 1-1.
After a change in the line up, the much-anticipated fight between Vladimir Matyushenko and Yuki Kondo kicked off the main draw. The styles — Matyushenko a wrestler, Kondo a stand up fighter — caused many different predictions by fans and pundits alike. As it turned out, the wrestler came out on top. Matyushenko opened with a straight kick that surprised the former King of Pancrase. From there, much of the round was spent with Kondo on his back. Matyushenko controlled Kondo’s hips as he sat in the guard and passed to the side. Kondo tried to strike from within his guard, but the open palm strikes did little to fend of the wrestler.
Round two proved to be boring. After a huge double leg takedown by Matyushenko, he sat in Kondo’s guard the majority of the round. After winning the first two rounds, Matyushenko opened with a huge straight kick to Kondo’s stomach that stunned the tough Japanese fighter. From there Matyushenko proceeded to sit in Kondo’s guard, doing little while there. After three full rounds Matyushenko earned a unanimous decision as judges Tony Mullinax and Eddie Andujar scored the fight 30-27 and judge Doug Crosby scored it 30-26.
Hometown boy Ricco Rodriguez returned to the New York area as he faced Andrei Arlovski in the second prelim of the evening. Rodriguez – who had been stripped just a couple weeks earlier of his King of the Cage heavyweight title because he took this fight – came into the ring with enormous pressure. Arlovski, still a relative unknown despite a victory over Aaron Brink at UFC 28, came in looking for his second victory in UFC competition. Both men circled to open the fight, and after clinching against the fence Rodriguez slammed Arlovski with a huge double-leg takedown. Back on the feet Arlovski was effective with hand strikes as he made Rodriguez look off balance. After another solid shot by Arlovski, Rodriguez pulled him into his guard. Rodriguez quickly reversed position and punched from the half guard. Rodriguez then went for a kneebar and nearly got it. Orolvski defended well, but was mounted as round one ended.
Opening with big punches, Arlovski hurt Rodriguez but couldn’t finish him. Rodriguez answered with a one-two combination that drove his opponent to the fence. After taking him down, Rodriguez mounted, controlled the back and remounted as round two ended.
Arlovski was visibly tired as round three started and Rodriguez was replenished with his second wind. After two solid rights, Rodriguez took the fight to the mat, controlled the side, mounted and proceeded to rain down punches. Referee Mason White stopped the fight 1:23 of the third round. In the biggest fight of his life, Rodriguez came home and fought the best fight of his life.
The first prelim fight kicked off as the crowd still filled in the arena. Tony DeSouza, unshaved and rugged, came in after defeating Steve Berger at UFC 31. His opponent, Paul Rodriguez, was making his Octagon debut, and unfortunately for him it was a short one. As the fight started, both men circled, they clinched and DeSouza pulled Rodriguez down into a front headlock. After controlling position DeSouza, slipped his arm underneath Rodriguez’s neck and secured a guillotine choke. Rodriguez tapped out 1:13 into the fight. With the win, DeSouza runs his record to 2-0 in the UFC and adds his name to the heavy pool of fighters vying for Carlos Newton’s welterweight title.
Ortiz, Sinosic Weigh-In;
Excitement Builds for UFC Tonight
By Josh Gross
The time for talk is over. We’re less than 10 hours away from UFC 32: SHOWDOWN IN THE MEADOWLANDS officially becoming the largest mixed martial arts event in U.S. history. Official weigh-ins concluded this morning and things ran surprisingly fast. Tito Ortiz and Vladimir Matyushenko were the only two men that had to weigh-in a second time as each was over weight by merely three-quarters of a pound. Both UFC light heavyweight champion Ortiz and the challenger Elvis Sinosic look relaxed and confident. In the end, it looks like Ortiz will once again have a distinct weight advantage. All the talk of Sinosic bulking up proved to be a mute point as he weighed in at an even 200 pounds, however don’t expect that to stifle the Aussie’s fervor.
Here are the official weigh-in tallies as taken by Larry Hazzard and the New Jersey Athletic Control Board:
Elvis "The King of Rock ‘n Rumble" Sinosic
BJ "The Prodigy" Penn
Heavyweight Bout — 3 Rounds
Welterweight Bout — 3 Rounds
Shonie "Mr. International" Carter
Lightweight Bout — 3 Rounds
Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko
Welterweight Bout — 3 Rounds
Din "The Dominator" Thomas
By Josh Gross
Din Thomas makes his UFC debut Friday night. It’s been a long road traveled for the third ranked fighter in the lightweight division. Thomas has not been defeated since losing to Kaoru Uno in September of ’99 and hopes to continue his streak as he faces the incredibly skilled BJ Penn. Thomas, despite a better record against tougher competition, comes in a slight underdog. Full Contact Fighter caught up with Thomas as he kicked back after the press conference at the ESPN Sportszone on Thursday.
Full Contact Fighter: Din, tell us a little about how you became involved in fighting.
FCF: Were you involved in any others sports before you became involved in fighting?
FCF: What about wearing shorts like Tito does?
FCF: When did you stop being so skinny that you didn’t mind it anymore?
FCF: Do you find it a problem to fight guys that cut weight and then put it back on before the fight?
FCF: Tell me about BJ Penn as an opponent and what problems you think he could present for you.
FCF: How much do his jiu-jitsu skills concern you?
FCF: What can the fans expect from you Friday night?
By Josh Gross
Elvis Sinosic returns to the UFC for the first time since defeating former number one contender Jeremy Horn last February by submission. The win gave him the opportunity to be matched against UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz for a chance at the belt. The Australian native has trained full-time for the first time in his career, and will need every thing to go his way if he is to defeat Ortiz. Well spoken and easy going, Sinosic doesn’t seem like much of a threat outside the ring, but as Horn and Frank Shamrock found out first hand, looks can be deceiving. Sinosic and Ortiz face each other in the main event Friday night in the Continental Airlines Arena.
Full Contact Fighter: Elvis, first off tell me your feelings on the huge announcement made today about the UFC returning to cable television.
FCF: You’ve come from smaller shows and are now fighting in the largest show ever in the US. What are you thoughts on that?
FCF: This is the first time you’ve really had the opportunity to train full-time for a fight. As we sit here on the eve of the fight, do you notice a difference now than how you normally feel?
FCF: This is the first time Tito doesn’t really have a noticeable size advantage. He’s taken advantage of that in the past, how do you think it will play out this time?
FCF: You are an underdog in this fight, yet a lot of the fans seem to think you have a really good shot at winning. What do you think they see, that the odds makers don’t?
By Josh Gross
Returning to UFC action since his brutal KO loss to Pedro Rizzo, Josh Barnett faces mammoth Dutch fighter Semmy Schilt. No stranger to nearly seven-foot fighters — Barnett defeated 6’11" Gan McGee at UFC 28 — he needs a win over Schilt in order to be considered among the top heavyweights in line for a title shot in the UFC. At only 24 years of age, Barnett has faced and beaten some of the top fighters in the division. He appears to have taken the fight seriously, as evident by his new streamlined body. Full Contact Fighter caught up with him after the rules meeting on Thursday night.
Full Contact Fighter: Talk a little about your training. You appear to be in the best shape of your career
FCF: What do you account for the change in your body appearance?
FCF: Your opponent, Semmy Schilt, is extremely unorthodox because he’s nearly seven-feet tall. How will his size impact your fight?
FCF: In your last appearance in the UFC you fought and lost to Pedro Rizzo. You made an effort to stand with him, do you think you’ll do the same this time around with another kickboxer, Schilt?
FCF: What do you think about the possibility if you taking him down and submitting him?