Full Contact Fighter Database







Thursday, Jan 10, 2002

Ufc 35 Weigh-ins Go Off Without A Hitch

UFC 35 Weigh-Ins Go Off Without A Hitch
By Loretta Hunt

Vitor Belfort
The UFC held their official weigh-ins last night at the Mystic Marriott Hotel in Groton, Connecticut. There was no autograph session or local radio station to cover the event or beautiful female celebrities conducting raffles. It was just the fighters and the scale, but that was enough for a few fans that still came out to observe the proceedings. Although this weigh-in was not as big a production as the last two events held in Las Vegas, the attendance list still read like a book of MMA’s who’s who. Mark Coleman was there, as well as John Lewis and Vitor Belfort to name a few. This was the first time the public and the press were able to see all of thw competitors in one room together as Zuffa chose to bypass their usual day-before press conference in favor of a "rolling press conference" that visited numerous East Coast states throughout the week.

Jens Pulver
There were no surprises today and every fighter made his designated weight. As each fighter stepped onto the stage and then onto the scale, their entourages looked on and clapped when the numbers were announced by Bruce Buffer.

The first to make their way up to the stage were BJ Penn and Jens Pulver. Penn weighed in at 153 pounds, Pulver at 152 pounds. Both men and their training camps made it a point to stay at opposite ends of the room and when they were finished, they both seemed to immediately slip out of the room or at least out of the spotlight. Both fighters were sober and determined. This was as tense and dramatic as the evening got as the rest of the weigh-ins seemed to run like a roll call.

Ricco Rodriguez was up at the platform next with his opponent Jeff Monson not far behind him. Ricco weighed in at 239 and a quarter pounds and Monson was 229 pounds.

Chuck Liddell
Next to the stage were Chuck Liddell and his opponent Amar Suloev. As Chuck stepped onto the scale, he removed his T-shirt to reveal incredibly chiseled abs. Tito Ortiz hooted from the crowd "Holy abs Batman!" and the crowd laughed. There was no denying that Chuck looked much improved from his last appearance in UFC 33. Liddell weighed in at 205 pounds and Suloev at 197 and a half pounds.

Newlywed Ricardo Almeida, sporting a new red hairdo, was next to step on the scale. He was 185 pounds and his opponent Andrei Semenov rested also at 185 pounds.

Dave Menne made his weight at 183 and a half pounds. His adversary Murilo Bustamante weighed in at 182 and three-quarter pounds, getting a small reaction from a crowd that knew he was dropping almost twenty pounds from his last UFC appearance to fight one weight-class down at middleweight.

Murilo Bustamante Dave Menne

Kevin Randleman made his return to the scale coming in at 204 pounds and blew kisses to the audience as he stepped off. His opponent Renato "Babalu" Sobral made weight at 203 and a half pounds, looking well conditioned.

Gil Castillo and Chris Brennan were next. Castillo was 170 pounds while Brennan came in at 169 pounds.

Eugene Jackson and his adversary Keith Rockel were the final pair to weigh-in. Jackson was 185 pounds and newcomer Rockel made it at 184 pounds.

Big John McCarthy
As each man made his way back to his camp sitting in the audience, UFC president Dana White told the competitors to grab some food that was waiting for them in the adjoining room and then to come right back to begin the rules meeting. Joe Silva began the meeting by thanking the fighters for coming in such great shape. He also asked that they give one thing of themselves and that thing was the best they had to offer in the Octagon. The rules meeting went off without a hitch. With business out of the way, the room quickly cleared out as the fighters went off to enjoy their last night before they will have square off in the Octagon at the Mohegan Sun Arena for UFC 35.

A Few Words With The Wolf
By Loretta Hunt

Eugene Jackson
It’s 11 AM, Thursday morning at the Mystic Marriott Hotel in Connecticut. Eugene "the Wolf" Jackson has finished his morning workout, his mind probably drifting to his pending battle with Keith Rockel at the next night’s UFC 35. There is a lot riding on this fight for Eugene. Coming off of three recent losses in the Octagon including his most recent at the hands of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ricardo Almeida in UFC 33, the man known for his knockout punching needs this win. It’s make or break time for a man whose future in MMA fighting may be winding down. I was there to talk with Eugene about what may be one of his last MMA fights and where this six-time UFC veteran plans to go from there. Here’s what he said.

FCF:   How are you feeling?
EJ:     I’m feel good.

FCF:   Are you ready to go?
EJ:     Oh yeah, for sure.

FCF:   What are you expecting from your upcoming fight with Rockel?
EJ:     I have a ground guy that will try to strike and kick. He’s more like the opponents I’ve fought in about 90% of my losses. They’re gonna keep putting me against somebody till I beat them on the ground. This is a put-up or shut-up fight for me.

FCF:   Is that an added pressure for you?
EJ:     No, because I do so much other stuff with my life. I’m not like everybody else in that I need this or I’m a nobody if I go home and don’t fight anymore. It doesn’t do that to me. Do I still come in with the same intensity? Oh yeah. That doesn’t change but this isn’t the "make or break me as a person" fight. This is the "hey, if you want to continue what you’re doing and you like it, you better do something tonight or you’re in trouble" fight.

FCF:   Has your training varied at all for this fight?
EJ:     I did a lot more groundwork. I always keep with my standup because we know if I win, it’s going to be off my hands. Everybody’s going to try and take me down and I know wrestling and keeping someone down is tiring. I can get through the first or second rounds but my hands will knock him out cold.

FCF:   How do you like Connecticut?
EJ:     It’s cold. Very cold. The people are very gracious. It’s also very spacious. We walked for miles and miles in every direction and didn’t see anything.

FCF:   How has the change in climate affected you?
EJ:     It’s a three-hour time difference with regards to sleep and our flight took a whole day with a layover, but that’s a little thing. Don’t worry, when the time comes, I’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed. With regards to sleep, it’s just about getting used to sleep habits with certain people snoring all night. [Eugene glances over at his boxing coach.]

FCF:   The last time I heard, you work two full-time jobs, right?
EJ:     Yes. I work for Home Depot and I also work for a company called Young Life, which is a program that works with inner city youth.

FCF:   How do you fit your training in?
EJ:     Well, the training comes third. My first job is what will pay my bills. Helping kids and helping people is more important to me because you have to leave some legacy. You’re only remembered by what you leave, not by what you take with you. Having grown up in the ghetto, I’m trying to show people that there’s other stuff out there. The kids are also a lot quicker to respond to me because they know I’m still a fighter, not a used-to-be or couldn’t-make-it. They see me on the video or on TV and that allows me to reach the kids that other can’t reach. It also teaches my own kids a hard work ethic.

FCF:   Win or lose, what’s next for Eugene Jackson the fighter?
EJ:     I truly want to fight one more time after this and then after that I would love to get into commentating. I would like to give the fighter’s point of view. I think I’m a little more animated than most and at the same time, I’m ground level. I would take a more personal interest in the fighters. That’s what I’d truly like to do.

FCF:   Your last fight? Who would you want to fight?
EJ:     It would be a blessing to get the belt. I’d still like to fight Baroni. Baroni is one of those fights where we’ll be bumping at each other in the middle of the ring. Everybody’s gonna love us both after that fight. That’s the type of fight everyone wants to see.

FCF:   Any words for the fans?
EJ:     I don’t consider them fans. I consider them friends. When you come here and laugh and joke with me, it makes ME feel good. It makes me feel like something. If this MMA thing is your dream, find a way to be a part of it. Support it and those that are a part of it. Be like the Japanese. They understand all sides of the game. They understand how much work goes into this. Support the sport and it will grow.

UFC 35 Banner

UFC 35 Tonight!

UFC 35 – Throw Down
Friday, January 11th

Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino
Uncasville, Connecticut
Doors Open 7:30 pm (ET)
Prelim Fights start 8:30 pm (ET)
Pay Per View starts 10:00 pm (ET)

Autograph signing session 7:00 pm EST outside the Mohegan Sun Arena’s main entrance. Fighters expected to be signing autographs include heavyweight champion Randy Couture, light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, welterweight champion Matt Hughes, and Pat Miletich.

Jens Pulver vs. BJ Penn

Dave Menne vs. Murilo Bustamante

Chuck Liddell vs. Amar Suloev

Ranato Sobral vs. Kevin Randleman

Ricco Rodriguez vs. Jeff Monson

Ricardo Almeida vs. Andrei Semenov

Chris Brennan vs. Gil Castillo

Eugene Jackson vs. Keith Rockel

*Fight Card is subject to change*

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
Have a comment about this story? Please share with us by filling out the fields below.

Comments are closed.