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Friday, Jul 12, 2002

History In The Making

Royal Albert Hall
History in the Making
By Loretta Hunt

      Tonight is a night of firsts. Not only will UFC 38 mark the inaugural time the event has touched down on Europe’s shore, America’s premiere mixed martial arts event will open its doors at a truly regal venue. When the fighter’s make their entrances, it will be hard for them not to stop and gasp, as they will be entering one of the world’s most inspired architectural masterpieces to ever grace mankind. The Royal Albert Hall, built by the Lucas Brothers and opened by Queen Victoria on March 29, 1871, has become a cultural mecca for Great Britain, hosting an array of musical, political, scientific and sporting events. Within its 155 feet walls constructed with over six million bricks; the great composer Wagner has conducted, the first British suffragettes met, the "Morse" apparatus (for Morse code) was demonstrated, and even a 26 mile marathon was ran (by 520 circuits of its arena). Its versatile halls have accommodated Liza, Sammy, Ella and Frank- just to name a few. Spinal Tap, Sting, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins Paul Simon and Meatloaf have all appeared as well. The British Academy Awards have been telecast from "the Hall" as well as the famous Prince’s Trust concerts. During World War II, its doors were closed for nearly a year due to bomb threats and it survived the eventual war blitz in the Fall of 1940.

Royal Albert Hall

      In 1908, the first amateur boxing competition was introduced and by 1958, the martial arts made its premiere with the first black belt judo exhibition. And now, it is mixed martial arts turn. With approximately 6,000 (mostly British) attendees this evening, MMA will truly get the respect it deserves within such an exquisite setting. From a Louisiana parking lot to the Royal Albert Hall, you’ve come a long way baby.

London Sound Bytes
By Loretta Hunt

Ian Freeman and Elvis Sinosic

It’s just hours away from UFC 38 "Brawl At The Hall," and the tension is mounting. Here are a few thoughts from some of tonight’s competitors, including the four British fighters slated to enter the infamous Octagon this evening.

Ian Freeman
Ian Freeman, three-time UFC heavyweight veteran, on sticking around long enough to see the UFC debut his homeland:

"I never thought the UFC would get here so quickly. I thought when I started fighting two years ago in the UFC, it would open doors for more English fighters to come fight in the States, but that never happened. So, the show actually coming to England itself, was something I thought would never happen- not in my lifetime anyhow. Obviously, I’m overwhelmed. To be back for my fourth time, I want to show the English fans that I can do it just as well here as I can abroad."

Leigh Remedios
Leigh Remedios, the UK’s number one ranked lightweight, on the "stacked" UFC lightweight class:

"I don’t think the UK is up to the [United] States’ standard just yet, and I don’t necessarily want to fight the top guys yet. However, I’ll fight anybody they put in front of me."

Mark Weir
Mark Weir, UK’s top middleweight entry, on opponent Eugene Jackson:

"He’s obviously smaller than me. I know that he’s probably stronger than me. But I’ve got reach and speed over him. I’ll probably go for the knockout, if you ask me. I’ll try and out-speed him while he uses his power and overwhelm him."

James Zikic
James Zikic, hometown light-heavyweight, on making his UFC debut:

"This means everything to me. This has been my goal for the last eight years and I’m hoping to take this opportunity and run with it. Now that the UFC’s making its way through Europe, its popularity is going to just explode."

Genki Sudo
Genki Sudo, Japanese lightweight phenom, on his predecessor’s (Hayato Sakurai) past performance:

"My first time in Octagon, but I don’t care. He [Sakurai] is just he, I am myself. I watch many Octagon fights. I wait five long days here to fight. I [am] ready."

Carlos Newton
Carlos Newton, top-ranked welterweight contender, on second chances:

"I’m going to do pretty much everything the same. I’ll wrestle with him [opponent and UFC champion Matt Hughes] a little bit more this time, and not just rely on my ground skills. I’d like to stand-up and duke it out. I’m looking for the knockout."

Super Brawl XXV
Press Conference/Weigh-in

Friday 7/12/02 1:00 PM at 24 Hour Fitness
By Michael Onzuka – Mike@onzuka.com

Inoue vs. de Jong
All the fighters showed and made weight for this large card coming up tomorrow night. There is a lot of good match ups that should make for interesting fights from the start to the finish of the card. A couple of fights to watch are the Deshaun Johnson/Dain Agbayani fight and the Nonaka/Lopez fight. Agbayani is giving up some weight, but has some hand skills to match that of Johnson. The fans can expect some good stand up exchanges unless Agbayani can take the fight to the ground where he may have the edge. Johnson may have a slight edge standing due to his proven use of knees, kicks, and hands. Dain is known for his quick, powerful hands. This should be a great fight. Jose Lopez, who may have one of the best left hooks this side of Bozo Palling looks to see what he can do against the well rounded Nonaka who has had success in Shooto. Coming from Enson Inoue’s gym, Nonaka has to be a warrior and Lopez has already treated Hawaii fans to exciting fights in the past.

Baret Yoshida makes a return to the Hawaii squared circle to face a mysterious Jason Bress. Bress is listed as an undefeated kickboxer and Baret has just rocked the highly ranked Abe in Japan a short while ago. Can Bress keep the fight standing and prove that he is the better striker or will Yoshida take the fight to the ground where he has shown that he is among the best in the world? I would not be surprised for Baret to throw some bombs standing. His teammates say that he can send shivers down your spine with some of the good shots he throws. Eddie Yagin puts his undefeated streak on the line again another Japanese fighter unknown to the Hawaii fans. After the last two monsters that came from the land of the rising sun, the Hawaii audience looks forward to any Japan-based fighter to show their goods.

Carter vs. Koka
The original playa from the Himalayas returns to Hawaii after having mixed success in the big show, the UFC. Shonie Carter brings his unorthodox style to Hawaii to face a straight ahead hard hitter in Kolo Koka. A win by Koka will shock everyone, including Carter, but with the way Koka hits, one punch may be all it takes. Carter has been knocked out before.

What is listed as the retirement match for the largest draw of MMA in Hawaii, Egan Inoue will face the number 4 Shooto fighter in Martijn de Jong from Holland. de Jong will look to keep the fight standing, but does have some ground experience. Egan has proven that the ground is his world and would probably like to go out with a solid stand up performance to leave his impression in the MMA world of being a total package. Look for both fighters to let it all hang out here.

Tickets are still available, but are going fast. This card has to be a crowd pleaser because of the many great match ups. Get down to the Blaisdell to see the fights live!

Super Brawl XXV Fight Card
Saturday, July 13, 2002
Blaisdell Arena – Honolulu, Hawaii

Martijn de Jong 180.0 lbs
(Golden Glory, Holland) 14-4
Egan Inoue 181.0 lbs
(Grappling Unlimited) Super Brawl Champion 13-3

Shonie Carter 166.6 lbs
Kolo Koka 165.4 lbs
Grappling Unlimited

Kimikito Nonaka 131.8 lbs
(Purebred Omiya, Japan)
Jose Lopez 132 lbs
(Shark Tank, CA) Super Brawl #3 Ranked 1-0-1

Jin Kazeta 143 lbs
(Nigata, Japan) 2-0-1
Eddie Yagin 141.2 lbs
(Grappling Unlimited) Super Brawl #3 Ranked 6-0

Jason Bress 141 lbs
(Sean McCully, LA) 9-3
Baret Yoshida 142 lbs
(Grappling Unlimited) Super Brawl #5 Ranked 4-3-1

Brennan Kamaka 161.4 lbs
(Gamebred) 1-6
Jay R. Palmer 150 lbs.
(Freelance) 20-17

Ian Nelms 167.2 lbs
(Shark Tank) 0-0
Brandon Wolff 166 lbs
(Grappling Unlimited) 1-0

William Armstrong 132.8 lbs
(808 Fight Factory) 0-0
Will Hagerty 134.4 lbs
(Grappling Unlimited) 0-0

Deshaun Johnson 164.4 lbs
(HMC Pankration) 2-2
Dain Agbayani 157.8 lbs
(Jesus is Lord) 1-2

Nick Bradley 197.4 lbs
(Shark Tank)
Super Brawl #5 Ranked 1-0
Richard Chou 197.5 lbs
(Grappling Unlimited) 0-0

Maloko Sasa 242 lbs
(HMC Pankration) 0-1
Lyndon Talanoa 251
(Grappling Unlimited) 1-0

Joey Jordan 139 lbs
(808 Fight Factory) 0-0
Justin Mercado 141.8 lbs
(Grappling Unlimited) 0-1

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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