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Sunday, Apr 20, 2003

Florida’s Rich Crunkiltonset To Make His Ownsudden Impact At Ufc 42

By Loretta Hunt

Florida’s Rich Crunkilton
Set to Make His Own
Sudden Impact at UFC 42

      It’s as simple as this. Since the age of fourteen, Rich Crunkilton has wanted to be in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Now 23 years old, and with thirteen professional bouts [all wins] behind him, this Florida native is on the brink of realizing his dream– and in front of a hometown crowd at that. Making his UFC premiere against fellow first-timer Hermes Franca at UFC 42: Sudden Impact this Friday, April 25th, Crunkilton will get his chance to make the all-important first impression. A versatile lightweight that has both submitted and knocked out the likes of Victor Estrada and Bao Quach, Crunkilton’s name has floated about the fighting circles for quite a few months as a fierce up-and-comer. Let’s take a look at the UFC’s latest lightweight addition.

FCF:   For some reason your nickname is not an obvious one to me. Why are you called "Cleat?"
RC:     Cleat is a name my dad calls me — kind of all the guys in our family call each other that. When my dad was younger, that is what they called all the athletes in the school. Growing up, him and all his brothers would call each other Cleat, so then it was passed on to me.

FCF:   Let’s find out a bit about your career thus far. Who has been your toughest opponent to date?
RC:     I believe my toughest was a guy named Zviad [Abuseridze from WEF:Rumble at the Rodeo 2]. He was a Russian fighter. That’s just the toughest fight I can remember.

FCF:   Have your other fights been less memorable and not as difficult? Some of your other fights have gone the distance.
RC:     Yeah, but I don’t think they were that hard. That’s the one I remember being the hardest. For those other fights, they were good opponents and — [pause] I never really was in shape for those fights. None of those fights were under "Crazy" Bob.

FCF:   When did you start training under "Crazy" Bob Cook and the American Kickboxing Academy team?
RC:     It was a little over a year ago. I came out to California to visit my [then] fiancee and I was looking around for fights. I was asking around town if anybody knew about fights going on, because I wanted to make some money. I was looking up "no holds barred" and "karate" and "fighting." I was living in Fresno and eventually got hooked up with Team Fresno [Terry Dole and Phillip Perez] there. "Crazy" Bob came by and wrestled with me a bit and then invited me to come up to San Jose. I ended up moving to San Jose a week later.

Click here to continue interview

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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