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Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003

A Hard Rockin’ Meltdown Weigh-in

Hardrock Cafe
A Hard Rockin’ Meltdown Weigh-In
By Loretta Hunt

      A substantially lengthy line of UFC fans snaked around the corner of The Joint, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, to catch today’s fighter weigh-ins for UFC 43: Meltdown. It was an encouraging sight, despite (unofficial) talk that ticket sales may be lagging just a bit for tomorrow night’s event, to be held at the UNLV Thomas & Mack Center. With pens and posters in hand, the crowd watched their favorite fighters and teams slowly congregate on the affair, almost like the kind of high-profile red carpet entrance you might see at a Hollywood movie premiere.
      Among the crowd, perennial favorite and Lion’s Den patriarch Ken Shamrock, who sported a knee brace after tearing his ACL two weeks ago. Shamrock reported that he will go under the knife shortly to correct the problem, opting for the surgery that will take tendons from his hamstring to recreate the torn area. Although somber, Shamrock was still willing to spend time with the throng of fans eager to get a glance and a word from the living legend. There is no indication of if and/or when he might return to compete.

Other notes of interest:

Team Quest’s Dan Henderson is recovering nicely from his own ACL surgery, and anticipates being back on the mats in a month’s time. Henderson chose the "cadaver" procedure to rectify his injury.

Lightweight stud BJ Penn has become the latest member of the Pit, John Hackleman’s California gym that has churned out the likes of Chuck Liddell and Gan McGee as of late. Penn is in town to lend his support to his new teammates.

John Hackleman, himself will be doing double-duty tomorrow night. He will first corner middleweight Matt Lindland in his preliminary match-up (Lindland started training his stand-up with Hackleman prior to his second encounter with Phil Baroni). Then, it’s to Liddell’s corner, with Lindland across the way in Team Quest teammate Couture’s corner.

On to the weigh-ins:

Couture vs. Liddell
Couture vs. Liddell

The first pair to make there way to the stage — masters of the game Randy "The Natural" Couture and Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, who will battle it out for the organization’s first-ever "interim" title in tomorrow night’s main event. Challenger Couture was the first to step up to the scales, weighing in at exactly 205 pounds. For those that are used to seeing the former heavyweight at his usual weight of 220 to 225 pounds, his appearance might
be (dare I say) a bit jarring, but Couture has assured all that he is very familar with the weight cutting process from his years as a Olympic-level wrestler. The other challenger Liddell (remember, Tito Ortiz still holds the title, despite his absence from the promotion at this point to rehash out his contract) weighed in at 205 as well. Both men, who have been with the promotion since UFC 13 and 17 respectively and hold a staggering total of 18 UFC fights between them, could do nothing but smile to one another in their staredown.

Tank vs. Kimo
Tank vs. Kimo

For those into nostalgia, opponents Kimo and David "Tank" Abbott were the next two to make their way to the stage. The 35-year-old Kimo slipped down to his jockeys to reveal his impressive collection of tattoos that decorated his still youthful 248 pound physique. As if to meet the challenge, Tank opted to take his T-shirt off this time and came in at 251 pounds (He weighed in at 248 pounds at UFC 41). With both coming off less than stellar performances, the betting lines have the two fighters even at this point, properly reflecting that this one will indeed be a toss-up.

In what could be a barnburner of the highest degree, slugger Marvin "the Beastman" Eastman will make his UFC debut tomorrow night against a focused-looking Vitor Belfort. Both men weighed in at 203 pounds today and looked ready to roll. Eastman is on a hot streak after knocking out PRIDE stand-out Alex Stiebling at his last outing [WFA 3]. Belfort, sporting a wild haircut and twelve o’clock shadow, will be looking to redeem his decision loss to Chuck Liddell at UFC 37.5.

Two-week replacement and Lion’s Den rep Vernon "Tiger" White was the next to step up to the stage. He weighed in a light 208 pounds for his heavyweight match-up with British brawler Ian Freeman, who came in at 220 pounds himself. Ironically, White’s last opponent Jeremy Horn (from a somewhat controversial fight at KOTC 23 three weeks ago), will be in Freeman’s corner tomorrow night.

Oozing confidence, heavyweight Wes Sims tipped the scales at 244 pounds. His opponent, the reserved and poised local Frank Mir was a fit 248 pounds. At 6’10", Sims sticks out in a crowd, even among the group of larger-than-average specimens you’d finds at such affairs. Paired up against 6’3" Mir, the match-up should be a visually pleasing one– that’s if Sims can remain standing. Said "the Project" of his premiere tomorrow night, "It’s gonna be bloody and it’s not gonna be my blood."

Chomping on a Krispy Creme donut, lightweight Yves Edwards elicited some laughs from the crowd as he made his fifth appearance atop the official UFC scales. He weighed in on the mark at 155 pounds, while challenger Eddie Ruiz made the cutoff at 154 pounds. Making his UFC debut, Ruiz is the X-factor of the entire event. Not many have had the chance to see this Tank Abbott teammate fight, so the sky’s the limit for this fighter to come in and impress. This bout has been designated the "swing bout" for the evening.

The second Lion’s Den member to make tomorrow night’s card, always-confident Tra Telligman weighed in at 218 pounds today. Adversary Pedro Rizzo weighed in at 231 pounds and says he is unfazed by Telligman’s recent 4-2 foray into professional boxing. Stand-up fireworks are almost a 100% probability for the bout.

The final pair to weigh-in today were middleweights Matt Lindland and Falinko Vitale, who are scheduled as the second preliminary bout tomorrow evening. Consummate professional Lindland came in at 184 pounds. Hawaiian import Vitale did not make his first call to the stage, however, and under NSAC regulations, was given thirty minutes to make weight. He eventually made his way to the scale and came in at 184.5 pounds. Sixteen weights logged in later, UFC 43 is a go.

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From the event’s promoter:

BAMA Fight Night 21

      I just wanted to write this letter to everyone out there that has supported our events in the past.
      I am sorry to say that we will have to postpone our next event.
      We’ve just received several fighter cancellations due to either sickness or injury. This would mean that we would have to cancel our 4-man light-heavyweight tournament, 1 of the main Muay Thai fights, and 2 other shootfights. The unfortunate part was that the notifications of the cancellations came in at the last minute, leaving little time to find appropriate replacements.
      The other problem is that as of February 1, 2003. The NJSAC has changed a few of their rules to help keep our sport safe. One of the main rules is that there is no more pro and amateur. If you fight and there is striking, you are a pro. Plain and simple. The only way to fight amateur is to do grappling only without striking. The other thing needed to fight is a license. Each fighter that wants to fight in the state of NJ need to be licensed. Your license only lasts 1 year from the day you register. I called some of the schools sending fighters and only 2 guys are licensed. There is just not enough time to get things set for this date.
      The good news is that things will be set for the next BAMA Fight Night to be held either the last Saturday in September or the first Saturday in October.
      I am truly sorry for the cancellation and I hope that you have enough time to pass around the word and hope to see you in the Fall.

Dan Miragliotta

A Prelude to Combat
By Jim Genia

      The West Coast has "King Of The Cage". The Midwest has "Extreme Challenge." The South has the "Absolute Fighting Championship." What does the East Coast have as its premiere mixed martial arts event and stepping-stone to the big leagues? Promoters Lou Neglia and Ray Longo’s Ring of Combat III. With the 160-pound and 185-pound belts on the line, the action unfolds on Saturday, June 7th, at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. The third incarnation of their show will feature representatives from Team Renzo Gracie, Team Tiger Schulmann, Team Endgame/BAMA, Pitt’s Penn and Ultimate Sambo — the best in top local talent. Here’s a brief look at some of the fighters:

Nardu Debrah
Nardu Debra
The current 160-pound Ring of Combat champ, Debra fights for Team Renzo Gracie/Universal Defense. He’s extremely versatile, and is capable of winning with striking on the feet or submissions on the ground, as evidenced by his victories over the tough Danny Suarez and Themi Papadimitriou. This time around, Debra is defending his hard-earned title against challenger Elvis Garcia — and he’ll need all that versatility to survive the Team Tiger Schulmann fighter’s aggressiveness. Says Debra: "I’m excited to get back. I just can’t want to get back in there. I’m training like a maniac for this fight and it’s going to be great."

Elvis Garcia
Constantly punching. That’s the best way to describe Garcia’s style. He’s won both of his recent matches by overwhelming his opponents with strikes, and there’s no doubt he plans something similar for the person standing across from him at Ring of Combat III. As adept at avoiding submissions as his striking is accurate, look for Garcia to put Debra’s chin to the test no matter where this fight ends up.

Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez
Representing Pitt’s Penn, Rodriguez lost a controversial bout at the first Ring of Combat show to Steve Anshelewitz. The 195-pound title was up for grabs then. It’s the 185-pound title that’s up for grabs now. Bringing with him into the ring a solid grappling game and two fists of stone, Rodriguez isn’t afraid to bang. And neither is his opponent: Team Renzo Gracie’s James Gabert. With both men known for standing and trading, expect some sparks to fly in this one.

Erik Shaver
Eric Shaver
A Bellmore Kickboxing Academy fighter, Shaver has been on a tear lately. At prior shows, he submitted Paxton Ryan and John Rotendella via keylock. His opponent this time out, though, is Jay White. A heavyweight out of Team Renzo Gracie and a skilled grappler himself, White probably won’t make the same mistakes others have. Watch for a very technical chess match once these two big guys hit the mat.

Dave Tirelli
Dave Tirelli
At Reality Fighting III, Team Tiger Schulmann representative Tirelli laid a serious beatdown on his opponent, unleashing a nonstop barrage of striking to get the TKO. This time out, he’ll be facing Luke Cummo — a Matt Serra-trained jiu-jitsu man who will no doubt be looking to test Tirelli on the ground. "I know he’s well trained," says the confident Tirelli. "But I’ve been training hard too." His prediction for the fight: "I’m just going to kick butt, man. Put your money on me."

Peter Sell
Pete "Drago" Sell
Drago went to war at the last Ring of Combat show, outlasting Mass Destruction champ Ted Govola Jr. to get the decision. A jiu-jitsu stud under Matt Serra, he’s a submission threat from any position, and his striking keeps improving under the tutelage of kickboxer Ray Longo. On June 7th Drago will square off against Team Endgame representative Derek Johnson. Can he keep up his winning streak?

John Rallo at WEC 4
Rallo at WEC 4

MMA Rocks MD Radio
By Keith Mills

Baltimore, MD — WIYY Baltimore radio, more popularly known as 98 Rock, helped promote the upcoming UFC by having local fighter John Rallo as a guest on their morning show Kirk, Mark, and Lopez or KML for short. Rallo is a vet of the WEC and owns a Team Renzo Gracie affiliate in downtown Baltimore.

"It’s cool to be here," says Rallo, "I was here a few months prior talking about the fight I had at WEC 4, kind of educate Baltimore on what Ultimate Fighting is about. It was a real positive experience; they liked how the interview went, they played it the following day as the highlight of the day before show, on the weekend they broadcast it again as the best of the morning show, and they told me anytime I had something new to let them know. We’re here now to talk about the UFC."

Going on the air live about ten minutes after 9 AM Rallo gave his thoughts on the UFC and the heavyweight division, previewed his next fight in NJ, and clarified questions of one of the three DJs. All three hosts were courteous and seemed educated about mixed martial arts.

John Rallo on the air at 98 Rock
Rallo’s next grappling superfight is for NAGA in Wildwood, NJ where he takes on the American Top Team’s Wade Rome. Rallo will be co-headlining with Pride vet Rodrigo Gracie and HOOKnSHOOT vet Moacir ‘Boca’ de Oliveira, also representing Team Renzo Gracie and the American Top Team.

The states of the Mid-Atlantic which make up the majority of the original 13 colonies are sprinkled with historic battlefields from Revolutionary War to Civil War, making a fitting place to possibly open the next chapter in sanctioning of MMA. With mixed martial arts illegal in Maryland and professionally in the surrounding states, this exposure and education of the mainstream public provided by 98 Rock is just what the scene needs to open the doors that may one day lead to sanctioning in the Nation’s capital. Special thanks go out to 98 Rock for their time and support.

Rallo with the on-air team: (l-r) Mark Ondayko, John Rallo, John's mother, Kirk McEwan, and Lopez
(l-r) Mark, Rallo, John’s mom, Kirk & and Lopez

From the event’s promoter:

X-treme Championship Fighting
June 8, 2003 7 pm
Ft. Wayne, IN
Wrigley Field Bar and Grill

Don’t miss this night of action packed Mixed Martial Arts Sunday June 8th in Ft. Wayne, IN. This will be the 10th Ft. Wayne show that Becky Levi has promoted and the Northern Indiana fans eat the sport up! Brett Al-Azzawi will be taking on Roger Sexton at 170 lb. Mark Long will be fighting Jerry Hackney and Layne McDaniel is matched up against Ft. Wayne’s own Guy Hinton. Along with the three pro bouts are 4 tournaments for titles and a single amatuer bout. MO Amin, Shane Barnaby, Chris Higi and Ryan Rinshceid will be in one tournament. Mike Coughlin, David Hayes, Marcus Wilson and Branden Western in another tournament. At 196-210 lb. Eric Wilson, Dan Lamping and Kelly Rundle. 211-and above tourney pits Jason Petitt, Robert Walker and Cecil Akins. At this point there should be 15 fights scheduled, this will all depend on the actual count at the fighter meeting June 8. Look for another show to be schedule in late Aug. For more information you can contact Becky Levi at dzmatchmaker@yahoo.com.

From the event’s promoter:

RITC 49 – This Saturday Night!!!

Saturday, Jun 7, 2003
Celebrity Theatre
Phoenix, AZ
Doors Open: 6 PM, Fight Time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Prices: $15 (rows 14-25), $25 (rows 1-13)

The first 500 advanced tickets purchased at the Celebrity Theatre Box Office will receive a FREE RITC T-SHIRT. Rage in the Cage fans are in for a real treat. RITC is offering a fantastic fight card, unbelievable roll back ticket prices, free RITC T-Shirts and other activities for this special fan appreciation night. Miss RITC Contest with the Arizona Dream Girls. The RITC UFC pre-fight party and RITC 49 post-fight party will be at:
Landsharks Billiards Sports Lounge
1112 E Apache (East of Rural)
18 and older only

June 6 – UFC Party, $2 cover
June 7 – RITC 49 Post Fight Party, no cover, DJ Music and Miss RITC Finals

Updated Card:

  • Joseph Riggs (230 lbs) vs "A-Dawg" Sullivan (225 lbs)
  • Drew Fickett (170 lbs) vs Shaun Beckett (170 lbs)
  • Gabe Casillas (170 lbs) vs Brodie Farber (170 lbs)
  • Edwin Dewees (210 lbs) vs Robert Beraum (250 lbs)
  • Cory Timmerman (300 lbs) vs Steve Sayegh (230 lbs)
  • Jamie Varner (160 lbs) vs Justin Nauling (165 lbs)
  • Adrian Foster (180 lbs) vs Mike Fettkether (185 lbs)
  • Adam Durant (155 lbs) vs James Attwood (155 lbs)
  • Roger Mejia (205 lbs) vs Sid Fisher (215 lbs)
  • John Lansing (180 lbs) vs Chappo Montijo (200 lbs)
  • Josh McKeever (180 lbs) vs Joe Frainee (180 lbs)
  • Ray Elbe (170 lbs) vs Mike Ptak (170 lbs)

Fight Card subject to change.

Order your $25 Row 1 – 13 or $15 row 14 – 25 tickets now by calling 602-267-1600.

Upcoming Events:

  • Arizona Desert Quest #5
    Grappling / BJJ Championship
    Saturday, Jun 14, 2003
    Westwood High
    945 West 8th St
    Mesa, AZ 85201

  • RITC 50 – Tucson
    Saturday, Jul 12, 2003
    Wildcat House (Tucson)

  • RITC 51 – Invasion from the North
    Saturday, Jul 26, 2003
    Celebrity Theatre (Phoenix)

From the event’s promoter:








FOR TICKETS CALL: 954-974-4218

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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