The Heavy Hitters Weigh-in
The Heavy Hitters Weigh-In
By Jim Genia
(Friday, June 3rd, Atlantic City, New Jersey) The non-stop rain lashing against the shores of Atlantic City could do nothing to dampen the spirits here at the Trump Plaza Theater, as hundreds gathered to watch the heavy hitters of UFC 53 weigh in. There were no angry staredowns, insults nor bad blood. But for the card stacked with knockout punchers and KO artists, there was a ton of anticipation, and the fans made that anticipation known.
With the air of a champion, UFC Heavyweight Interim-Title holder Andrei Arlovski took to the scales and came in at a trim 241 pounds. A clear fan favorite, the powerful Belarusian striker appeared none too intimidated by underdog opponent Justin Eilers, who himself tipped the scales at 228 pounds. However, weight difference and experience notwithstanding, few can deny the Miletich-trained Eilers’ chances at dethroning the interim king — namely, the chances any knockout puncher has against another with fists just as deadly. As the two posed for the cameras, many cheered for the slugfest these two will surely have tomorrow night.
Sharing in the championship spotlight, middleweight title contender Rich Franklin took the scales to a round of applause. Coming in at 185 pounds, he too seemed confident in the presence of champ Evan Tanner — probably due in no small fact to his TKO victory over Tanner at UFC 42. But what happened at light-heavyweight won’t happen at middleweight. That is, if the 186-pound Texan has anything to say about it.
"Ultimate Fighter" light-heavyweight Forrest Griffin was all smiles as he weighed in at 204 pounds, and kept that smile even as he squared off against the 204-pound Canadian Bill Mahood. One-hundred seventy-pound Long Island-native Matt Serra was all business, though, as the welterweight jiu-jitsu stud stood across from 169-pound judo ace Karo Parisyan. And in what’s scheduled to be the opening bout of the pay-per-view broadcast, the heavy-handed Paul Buentello came in at 250 pounds — a heft advantage over 228-pound newcomer Kevin Jordan.
In the preliminary match-ups, Caesar Gracie-student Nick Diaz weighed in at 171 pounds, nine pounds heavier than 161-pound Pancrase welterweight rep Koji Oishi. Still flashy after all these years, veteran Shonie Carter sported a pair of sunglasses as he stepped on the scale. Coming in at 182 pounds, he’s sure to have his hands full against the 185-pound Team Quest standout Nate Quarry. Rounding out the card, Canadian David Loiseau was 185 compared to rookie Charles McCarthy’s 186.
With all the fighters making weight, UFC 53 is officially a go. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll see some knockouts!
UFC® RETURNS TO MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS FOR UFC 54: Boiling Point;
TICKETS GO ON SALE MONDAY, JUNE 6
Las Vegas, NV, June 2, 2005 … The long, hot summer will get even hotter this August 20 when UFC® 54: Boiling Point takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.
Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, for the all-star, eight-fight card go on sale at 10 a.m. PT, Monday, June 6, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com, www.mgmgrand.com and by telephone at 800-929-1111 or 702-891-7777. Ticket purchases are subject to transaction fees.
UFC 54: Boiling Point also will be available LIVE on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EDT on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, Echostar, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada. The suggested retail price is $34.95.
From the event’s promoter:
TKO 21: COLLISION – POSTPONED TO JULY 15th
TKO 21 TO FEATURE A TRIPLE MAIN EVENT!
MONTREAL (CANADA), June 2nd, 2005 – Groupe TKO MMA would like to announce the postponement of TKO 21: COLLISION. Stephane Patry, TKO president, commented "TKO did everything in its power to provide an exciting card for its loyal fans. Unfortunately, it just did not seem to be in the cards this time. Robbie Lawler was forced to withdraw due to the same nagging elbow injury that prevented him from competing at UFC 51. We tried very hard to come to terms with Joe Riggs. Even though we had a verbal agreement and his manager advised us to start advertising, in the end Riggs felt that he could not accept the fight at this time. If that wasn’t enough, Serge Cloutier (Sam Stout’s opponent) and Peter Franchi (Fabio Holanda’s opponent) were also forced to withdraw from their fights because of injuries sustained while training. I was left with no choice."
Postponing a fight card is an unpleasant task and TKO would like to apologize for any inconvenience that their fans may have experienced. In addition, Stephane Patry remarked "our fans have come to expect great things from us and therefore, we didn’t want to deliver an event that may have been considered less than TKO caliber."
TKO will regroup and come back stronger than ever on July 15th, 2005 with a triple main event! TKO Lightweight Champion, DONALD OUIMET (10-3-0) will make his fourth title defense against the man who has the Canadian MMA scene buzzing, SAM STOUT (6-1-1). This is a long anticipated match-up between Canada’s best lightweights! Is it time for the torch to pass to the young phenom they call "HANDS OF STONE"? Or will Ouimet continue to show his unwavering resilience and possibly cement himself as the greatest TKO champion of all time?
MARK HOMINICK (7-4-0) will defend his Super Lightweight Championship against the undisputed number one contender, RYAN DIAZ (9-8-0). Those fortunate enough to have seen these young warriors in their most recent performances will attest to the fact that this match-up has candidate for fight of the year written all over it! This will also be a rematch between Hominick and Diaz; in their first encounter "The Machine" displayed his incredible hand speed and striking power in a 2nd round TKO victory.
This stunning fight card will also feature ICHO LARENAS (3-1-0) in his first Heavyweight title defense against the undefeated SERGE LAFOND (2-0-0). THIERRY QUENNEVILLE (6-3-0) will go to war with the newest member of Team Tompkins, JAMES HAOURT (0-0-0). Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master FABIO HOLANDA (1-3-0) will go head to head against Canadian lightweight contender BLAKE FREDRICKSON (7-2-0) as "The Snake" will try to avenge his teammate Kultar Gill. Canadian standout JASON MACDONALD (8-4-0) will finally make his long awaited TKO debut against an opponent to be announced shortly. The rest of the card will be announced in the next few days.
Considering the quality of the new TKO 21 fight card, one month seems a very short time to wait. Montreal is a beautiful place to visit in the heart of summer. There is no better time to enjoy a TKO show. On July 15th, the hardest hitters in Canada will take center stage intending to deliver a lot of jaw dropping and awe inspiring collisions!
TKO WILL NOT CHANGE YOUR TICKETS, all the fans who bought tickets for TKO 21 on June 11th – KEEP YOUR TICKETS for the show; they will be accepted at the door.
Order your tickets now through the TKO Ticket office (1-866-445-8886). All tickets will be sent by priority courier. Tickets are going at a swift pace, so please hurry and reserve your seats for this exceptional event!