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Tuesday, Aug 15, 2006

A Closer Look At “the Comeback” Part One: The Welterweights

A Closer Look at "The Comeback"
Part One: The Welterweights

By Peter Parsons

"The Ultimate Fighter’s" fourth season hosts some familiar faces.

A prerequisite of first three seasons of SpikeTV’s "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series has been its participants be up and coming fighters who had never stepped foot into the UFC octagon. The twist to season four is that the cast will consist of UFC veterans who have already had their shot on the big stage of the UFC. Not only will the winners of season four win a $100,000 prize, they will also earn a title fight in their respective weight classes.

In the welterweight division, eight fighters are looking for another opportunity at UFC glory.

Mikey "The Eastside Assassin" Burnett
Pro Record: 5-2, UFC Record: 2-1

Mikey Burnett - Photo by Tom DeFazio
Mikey Burnett made his UFC debut in the first-ever 170-pound (then called lightweight) tournament at UFC 16 in March of 1998. The Oklahoma native scored a TKO victory over Brazilian Luta Livre legend Eugenio Tadeu in the first round of the four-man tournament. Unfortunately, Burnett could not continue on to the finals, due to injury, to face eventual tournament winner Pat Miletich.

Burnett wouldn’t have to wait long to get his shot at Miletich. In October of 1998 at Ultimate Brazil, Burnett fought for the first ever UFC 170-pound (then called lightweight) title against now UFC legend and world-renowned trainer Miletich. Burnett lost a split decision in a lackluster fight. The former Lion’s Den fighter only fought once since, winning a unanimous decision against Olympic wrestler Townsend Saunders at UFC 18 in January of 1999.

Burnett was known as a scrappy boxer/wrestler with well-rounded skills for his time. At 5’6, he will be a small welterweight in today’s competitive market, but his inclusion on the shoe adds a bit of nostalgia to the proceedings: hardcore fans have been long awaiting the return of Burnett to the Octagon. After seven years away from MMA competition, Burnett will not get an easy comeback fight against a competitive TUF 4 cast, though, which features UFC veterans who have been active in MMA competition.

Shonie "Mr. International" Carter
Pro Record: 71-15-7, UFC Record: 3-2

Shonie Carter - Photo by Joel Gold
As his nickname suggests, "Mr. International" has fought all over the world and is one of the most experienced fighters in the world of MMA and other combative sports like Shidokan, San Shou, and judo to name a few.

Shonie made his UFC debut at UFC 24, defeating Brad Gumm by unanimous decision back in March of 2000. Carter came back three months later earning another unanimous decision victory over Adrian Serrano at UFC 26.

"Mr. International" stayed busy, mainly in the Pancrase organization in Japan, before returning to UFC 31 in May of 2001. It was in this fight against fellow TUF 4 housemate, Matt Serra where Carter earned a spot on the UFC highlight reel. Carter landed a spinning backfist that knocked out Serra with nine seconds left in what was one of the best fights of the year in 2001.

The UFC brought Shonie back immediately to UFC 32 to fight former welterweight champion Pat Miletich where he lost by knockout (kick) in the second round.

Illinois native Carter was then away from the UFC for four years, fighting in many organizations in the US and abroad, going 16-6-2 in that period. Carter returned to the Octagon at UFC 53 in June 2005, losing to TUF 1 standout Nate Quarry by TKO in a middleweight (185-pound) match-up.

Shonie is known for his unorthodox fighting style. He will throw punches and kicks from all angles and he possesses some beautiful throws. Carter is also known as an escape artist on the ground where he is difficult to submit.

34-year-old Carter possesses all the credentials as a fighter, but it is his flamboyant personality that makes him the perfect fit for the reality TV world.

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From the event’s promoter:

Portion of ticket sales to benefit Police Activities League of Greater Portland

NEW YORK, August 16, 2006 — The International Fight League (IFL) today announced that it will pay tribute to men and women in uniform at the IFL World Team Championships at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon, on September 9. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Police Activities League of Greater Portland.

"The fifth anniversary of September 11 weighs heavily on all of us, so we felt that, with our Portland event taking place just two days prior, this was a fitting way to show our support for men and women in uniform," said Gareb Shamus, President of the IFL. "The people who serve this country — from police officers and firefighters, to members of the military — have always been big supporters of mixed martial arts and this is one way that we can honor them while supporting a very worthy cause."

The week prior to the event, IFL athletes will visit with local families of service personnel and first responders killed or injured in the line of duty. The families also will be honored during opening ceremonies on Sept. 9.

The Police Activities League of Greater Portland, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides educational, recreational, and athletic programs to the youth of the Portland / Gresham metropolitan area with an emphasis on "disadvantaged" youth. Fans purchasing tickets to the event should mention the code "PAL" to ensure their ticket purchase will count toward the donation.

The IFL World Team Championships will see the debut of two new MMA teams. The new Wolfpack, based in Portland and coached by Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland, will take on the Tigersharks, based in Seattle and coached by World Kickboxing champion Maurice Smith. In the second matchup, the Los Angeles-based Anacondas, coached by world champion Bas Rutten, take on the new Tokyo-based Sabre Tigers, led by wrestling legend Antonio Inoki. In a bonus match, Lindland will take on Jeremy Horn to highlight the 11-bout fight card.

For ticket and event information, call 877-789-ROSE (7673) or visit www.RoseQuarter.com.

About International Fight LeagueTM
Founded in 2006 by Kurt Otto, a highly successful real estate investor and a life-long martial arts participant and Gareb Shamus, chairman of the comics empire Wizard Entertainment Group, the International Fight LeagueTM (IFL) and Pure SportTM were created to establish a centralized and structured organization that brings the power and influence of the mixed martial arts industry together. For more information and action, go to www.IFL.tv.

From DSE/Pride:


LOS ANGELES, California – PRIDE FIGHTING is proud to announce its first ever show on American soil, "THE REAL DEAL"! The event will take place on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21st at the THOMAS & MACK CENTER in LAS VEGAS, NEVADA.

In preparation for the August 20th ticket sale date for the REAL DEAL, there will be a week of festivities for the fans and media! Be sure to stop by and meet the fighters.

Dates and Locations:

Wednesday, August 16th
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Best Buy
3675 Pacific Coast Hwy
Torrance, CA 90505

Scheduled to Appear for Autographs: Fedor Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Mark Coleman, Phil Baroni, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

Thursday, August 17th
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Field of Dreams
@ The Forum Shops, Caesars Palace

Las Vegas, NV

Scheduled to Appear for Autographs: Fedor Emelianenko, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Phil Baroni, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Frank Trigg

Saturday, August 19th
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Fox Sports Grill
Irvine Spectrum

31 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

PRIDE FIGHTING NIGHT will feature a meet and greet at the Fox Sports Grill in Irvine, California! Scheduled to appear: Fedor Emelianenko, Mark Coleman, Phil Baroni, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Josh Barnett, Dan Henderson

A free, limited edition PRIDE Fighting poster will be available with purchase at both the Best Buy and Field of Dreams events.

Fighter appearances are subject to change.

Tickets to PRIDE FC’s "The Real Deal," go on sale Sunday, August 20 and are available at 1-866-US FIGHT. Ticket prices range from $50 to $700. PRIDE’s first U.S. card will also be featured on Pay-Per-View for $39.95. Check your local cable or satellite provider for details.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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