Quick Hits

Quick Hits

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Full Circle
Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Michelle Waterson was the FIGHT! centerfold in September 2008. This month, she’s featured on page 56 for her fighting skills.

Family Affair
RFA 8 on June 21 in Milwaukee, WI, will feature the cousin of Pat Curran (Jeff) and the brothers of Anthony Pettis (Sergio), Erik Koch (Keoni), and Lyoto Machida (Chinzo)). You can catch the action live on AXS TV.

Missing
Despite not fighting since 2008, Heath Herring is still listed on the UFC roster.

Shit Happens
Bruce Buffer’s flubbed call after Pat Healy vs. Jim Miller at UFC 159 was his first botched announcement in more than 3,000 fights.

Mama Said Knock You Out
With her TKO victory over Miesha Tate at the TUF 17 Finale, Cat Zingano became the first mother to win inside the Octagon.

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In a Big Country
There are a lot of guys who look like Roy Nelson, but there aren’t a lot of guys who fight like Roy Nelson.” —Joe Rogan commentating UFC 159.

Lights On
“There’s a couple guys I do want to fight on short notice because I wouldn’t have to spend all that time away from my family, and like I said, I’m still training some, I still feel like I’m in good shape right now.” —Chris Lytle to BJPenn.com.

Ding, Ding
“There’s nothing I hate more than having to sit down in the middle of a goddamned fight.” —Matt Brown to bloodyelbow.com.

Bad to the Bones
“He [Jon Jones] is a lot better than I thought he was. To beat a guy is one thing. To beat a guy at his own game is a whole another. He’s the best fighter I’ve ever fought.” —Chael Sonnen at the UFC 159 post-fight press conference. 

Running on Empty
“I’m very scared—always—before a fight. But once I step into the cage or the ring, I feel nothing. Empty. No anger. Nothing.” —Shinya Aoki to mmafighting.com.

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5 Gym Bag Essentials
1. Fluid Replacement Drink: Stay hydrated through your entire workout.
2. Maltodextrin: Load and reload your muscle glycogen (energy for the body).
3. Energy Gel: Maintain high and stable energy levels.
4. Electrolyte Capsules: Prevent muscle cramping.
5. Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA): Enhance recovery for your workout the next day.

Gut Check
Ever had the wind knocked out of you from a gut shot? It’s actually caused by a spasm to your diaphragm, which is a large, flat muscle in your abdomen that runs horizontally. It separates the thoracic cavity (chest, lung, and heart) from the abdominal cavity (belly, organs, and guts). When struck, the diaphragm can spasm, causing significant pain and difficulty breathing since it is not moving properly to help the lungs inhale or exhale air.

Cut the Weight Cutting
A new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, points to the human body’s limited ability to quickly recover following extensive short-term weight loss in preparation for combat sports like wrestling, judo, and MMA. Analyses show that the athletes’ ability to quickly recover from dehydration was far from satisfactory. In fact, almost half of the studied athletes were severely dehydrated on the morning of competition.

Surf’s Up
Hang 10 this summer. A strapping young lad like Luke Rockhold can burn more than 600 calories per hour while surfing.

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image descDana White has spoken publicly about enjoying watching your fights. Does that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside?
Dana has been in the sport of mixed martial arts for a very long time, and he really knows the sport inside and out. If he’s happy with what I do, then that is great for me. It’s a tough business—losses and bad performances are going to happen—but if the boss enjoys your fighting style, there is some job security in that. I also like to perform well and get the win because at the end of the day I’m in the winning business.

The hat you wear during your walk to the cage and post-fight interviews has become your signature look. How did that come about?
When I first started wearing the hat, it was in tribute to my grandfather, who was a bare-knuckle boxer. He used to wear a trilby hat and braces—or what you guys in America would call suspenders. In England, suspenders are a bit different because they are women’s underwear. Some people don’t get my walkout. Some people don’t get it at all, and others get it confused with Mickey from Snatch. But I wear it as a tribute to my grand daddy. Originally, I wore the hat that belonged to him, but one of my mate’s dogs chewed it up and I had to get another one.

The UFC has made two trips to Sweden, and you’ve been on both cards. You’ve also competed numerous times in your home country of England. Are there are any noticeable differences between the crowds in the two countries.
The English crowds are a bit louder. They are very similar to American crowds in that aspect, as they are both very vocal. Swedish crowds are different in that regard, but they are very knowledgeable about the sport. They clap and applaud the ground work, which is not appreciated as much in the U.K. and America. They are different types of crowds, but both good in their own ways.

What’s the secret to having KO power as a 135-pound fighter?
To be honest, it isn’t much of a secret. It is just one of those things where you either hit hard or you don’t. You see it at heavyweight as well. Some of the fighters in that division hit very hard and others don’t. Obviously, it has a little bit to do with technique and timing, but it also comes down to genetics and your ability to be a heavy-hitter. Look at Roy Nelson. He gets in there and throws a wild bomb, and if he hits you…you are going out. I know the lighter fighters are criticized because they are not all finishers, but if you put it into context with the rest of the divisions, there are actually quite a lot of finishes. Trying not to be biased—which I completely am—when you watch a fight in the lighter weight classes, there will be knockouts and submissions, but if those don’t happen, you are guaranteed to see an exciting fight between two guys who will never gas out. On the other hand, in the heavyweight division, if the knockout or submission doesn’t happen, you are going to see two boring guys lying on top of one another. That’s why I personally prefer watching the lighter fighters compete.

As a fighter who lives in England but spends time training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, what is your motivation for coming stateside?
I live in England, but when I get closer to a fight, I like to travel to American Top Team to train. I have been going there for quite some time, and there are a lot of great training partners at the gym. Going there also provides me the opportunity to get away from my day-to-day life and put all of my focus on the fight ahead.

It’s rumored that you have solid skills on the soccer—excuse me—futbol field. Had you not chosen a career as a professional mixed martial artist, is there any chance we would know you as Brad “One Kick” Pickett?
That was the main goal. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a futbol player. That was my thing. I love futbol so much, and if I could make the same money playing futbol, I would much rather kick around a ball for 90 minutes than get punched in the face. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sport of mixed martial arts, but futbol is something I have played my entire life. I didn’t get into MMA until I was 26 years old.

At the end of the day, which way do you go…The Beatles or The Stones?
Man…that is a tough one [laughing]. I’ve never been asked that question before. I feel I would have to take The Rolling Stones to be honest. No…scratch that. I would take The Beatles. I have to say I’m truly torn on this one. You really threw a wrench in the works with this. I’m going to say The Beatles. Or maybe The Beatles and mix in The Rolling Stones. I’m torn over this issue now.

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What better item to accompany your summer mohawk-mullet, than a stellar tank top emblazoned with a mohawk-mulleted Vitor Belfort. This 100% cotton tank from RVCA is sure to keep you feeling cool and features an outstanding profile shot of the middleweight contender by Ryan Loco (@ryanloco). Available now.
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Don’t let the sexy smile fool you…Raquel Riskin is a real tiger at heart. When the 28-year-old actress isn’t on set, she’s trying to keep up with what’s happening inside the cage. Just don’t make the Vancouver native pick between Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald.

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Since you’re an actress, why aren’t you living in Los Angeles or NYC?
Because I’m a Canadian citizen, and it’s easier said than done, unfortunately. It’s kinda like the chicken and the egg—you can go there and hope to book something and work for the role, but technically, you need a visa to be there to work. I almost went over when I was 21, and then I decided I wanted to stay in the Vancouver market. Things fluctuate a bit. Sometimes it’s really fast, and sometimes it’s a little slower based on things like taxes and all kinds of stuff like that. But I decided to stay here and so far, everything is good.

image descWhat’s the coolest thing to happen in your career thus far?
I don’t know if i could pick a a coolest thing. Technically, the biggest role I’ve had was the first thing I ever booked. The first role I booked was the lead of a, low budget mind you, horror movie [Killer Bash], but I got the lead role, so that was a great start to learn. Ever since then, everything I’ve booked has been bigger than the next. As far as coolest for the résumé and what not, I recently co-starred in an episode of Motive. My résumé is growing, I’ve gotten all my credits, Ten to fifteen—something like that. I guess the coolest thing is being on the right path.

Right on. Clearly, you love MMA. How did you get involved with the sport?
I had an ex who was into MMA for years. I was watching every single fight, I knew everybody’s stats, and I was really into it. That isn’t entirely the case anymore, but that’s how I developed my passion for it and now, for sure, whenever there’s a big fight, I’m interested in it.

Who’s your favorite fighter? We can only guess…
Not to sound cliche, but the reality of it is GSP is awesome, and he is Canadian. Also, a friend of mine is doing extremely well with MMA right now. I told him about the FIGHT! shoot and he wrote back in a text, “Yeah, I was on a cover last year.” I’m like, “What? I haven’t seen any of your recent fights. Who did you beat last,” and he’s like, “ BJ Penn.” I’m like, “What? Really!” So yeah, Rory MacDonald is a friend of mine. I would say, for sure, he and GSP are my favorite fighters.

How did you become friends with Rory?
Through a friend of a friend. He briefly dated a girl I was friends with in acting school, and we met and stayed in touch. We chat every now and again. He’s one of those friends you can be proud of and excited for when things go well for them.

So how would you feel if Rory and GSP fought for the UFC Welterweight Title?
Oh my God, don’t even say that! Ahh… I wouldn’t even know who to cheer for. It would really be intense to watch, to say the least. Hey, what did you think of Randy Couture before he finished?

Randy was an OG. He came out of retirement in his 40s and beat Tim Sylvia for the UFC Heavyweight Title. Can’t hate on that.
Exactly, right? He is amazing. I don’t even think people realize how good he was because he doesn’t exactly have every win to prove how great his fighting skills are. But I think he’s money.

Do you have a crush on Randy Couture?
Well, maybe a little bit [laughing]. Is that so bad?

I’ll tell him next time I see him. What’s your opinion on women’s MMA?
My opinion is that it’s sweet. If women wanna train in it and do that, power to ‘em. It’s not different than guys—the same way some people have a problem with even guys fighting. My interpretation of it is, it’s not Hunger Games. No one is making them do it. They’re not being thrown in there and fighting to the death. Obviously, they’re there because that’s what they want to do, and even when worse comes to worse­—they may not want to, but if they have to—they can tap out. They’re not being forced to be there, so what is there to worry about? I support it.

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Let’s change it up. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have a piercing in my hand, on the top of my left hand. You know when you open your hand and try to flex your fingers back as much as you can, you see the tendons in the middle? I have a big diamond in the front of it. I grow diamonds, and by grow, I mean I paid someone to put it there.

I see. Do you moonlight as a rapper too?
No, but that would be fun.

So you have a tattoo on your left side, what is it?
Yes, it’s from my left hip to my left upper rib cage—it’s a tiger coming out of a waterfall.

What does it symbolize?
I’ve always had a fascination with those since I was a kid—just what a tiger embodies. It’s big, it’s powerful, absolutely beautiful, and they take good care of their young. They’re loving to their children and not every species is. Lions will eat their cubs. Tigers won’t do it, but at the same time, while being able to love, this big, beautiful creature can kill you in a heartbeat if they have to, and I just think that’s extremely sexy.

Follow Raquel on Twitter: @raquelriskin

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Weight, What?
Since 2011, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has fought at welterweight, 195 lbs. (catchweight), 197 lbs. (catchweight), light heavyweight, and heavyweight. When Rumble isn’t training, he enjoys eating.

Junior League
Brock Lesnar won the Junior College National Wrestling Championship at heavyweight in 1998. Who won at the weight class (190 lbs.) preceding Lesnar? This guy [Daniel Cormier].

Kickbox Office Smash
Georges St-Pierre will play villain Batroc “The Leaper” in Marvel’s upcoming sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is due out in April 2014. Batroc is a mercenary and master of the French kickboxing art savate.

ForeSure
KJ Noons is an avid golfer with an 8 handicap.

UFC 2012: The Big Picture
Events: 31
Fights: 341
Fighters: 383
Host Countries: 8
Rounds: 788
Minutes: 3,511
Title Fights: 13
(T)KOs: 105
Submissions: 70
Decisions: 159
No Contests: 7

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Hot Cup of Joe

“She [Fallon Fox] calls herself a woman, but I tend to disagree…I’m not trying to discriminate against women in any way, shape, or form, and I’m a big supporter of women’s fighting. I loved watching that Ronda Rousey/Liz Carmouche fight. But those are actual women…Fallon Fox is not a girl, okay? This is a transgender woman. It’s a totally different specification.” — Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

Gentle Ben

“Nick Diaz just didn’t have the skill set he needed to beat him [Georges St-Pierre]. I do.” — Ben Askren to mmajunkie.com.

Apocalypse Now

“It has taken three years for my neighbors to stop calling the cops when I run down the road wearing a wrestling singlet and a gas mask.” — Tim Kennedy on Twitter.

Mark My Words

“Trust me, I got worried against Don Frye [at UFC 10]. There was no quit in Don Frye. He’s the toughest guy I ever fought. Not the best, but the toughest. No matter what I did, he wouldn’t quit.” — Mark Coleman to mmafighting.com.

Fashion Statement

“I want to wear Johny Hendricks’ teeth as a necklace.” — Jake Ellenberger to bleacherreport.com.

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Gesundheit
Allergy season is in full swing, which means headaches, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, and runny noses. If you’re tired of drugging yourself with over-the-counter meds, go natural. Allergy supplements containing compounds such as quercetin, stinging nettles, bromelain, and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) may provide some relief.

Pad Working
Focus mitt training can improve your timing, reflexes, balance, and feel for distance. You can also burn more than 700 calories per hour if you push yourself like an Axe Murderer.

Raw Data
Boiling raw veggies can sap their power. High temperatures, long cooking times, and excess water can increase nutrient loss, especially water-soluble vitamins. In a soup, the liquid is typically consumed, so you get some of the nutrients you “lost.” However, if you’re boiling broccoli and draining it, you’re missing out. Go raw.

Liver Worst
A liver shot can have debilitating effects, causing what some fighters have described as “temporary paralysis.” The liver is covered with a thin, but very tough, fibrous membrane called a capsule. A forceful blow to the liver can cause the capsule to be stretched or deformed. This does not make the capsule happy…and the poor liver is caught right in the middle of this.

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September 2010 was the last time we saw you throwing leather inside the Octagon. What has Matt Serra been up to since then?

I have my third baby girl coming in June. Between running my two BJJ academies, training up-and-coming fighters, and spending time with my family, it’s a pretty hectic schedule. I definitely have a lot to keep me busy.

image descDana White loves to give you shit. During one of his recent video blogs, he was on camera making fun of how much weight you’ve gained. Is making welterweight still possible?

I would never fight in any weight class but 170 pounds. But let me tell you something, I think Dana has a few weight issues of his own. Not everybody can walk around looking like Lorenzo Fertitta. Dana is my buddy, and we like to break each other’s balls all the time. The good thing about Dana is that he can give it, but he can also take it as well. I don’t mind catching shit from him because it’s funny. Do you know what the worst part of being 5’6” and chubby is? Well I’m 5’6” and chubby, so you better watch your mouth. People like to give me shit about my weight, but I’m actually on the mat a bunch. The problem is I like the pasta.

Are you surprised people still want to see you fight?

I have great fans, but I hate saying that. It just sounds weird saying, ‘Oh I have all these fans.’ But the people that support me and enjoy my fighting—I love that, man. I am very blessed to have the career that I’ve had. It is a very rough game, and I’m very lucky to be where I’m at.

What are your thoughts on your MMA generation moving on?

I have nothing but respect for the guys I’ve fought. It’s kind of weird to say that you share a bond with them, but I always wish them the best. You went through something with them. You battled them. Every time I see B.J. Penn, it is nothing but a big hug. Chris Lytle is a good friend of mine, and a lot of the guys I’ve fought I have a tremendous amount of respect for. When you are fighting in the UFC and you get your hand raised on that big stage, the glory is something you just can’t duplicate, and it’s something you are never going to experience again for the rest of your life. It’s like telling a woman she can never have a baby again. It’s very emotional, and I understand that. I’m no different. An aging fighter is like an aging stripper, but not as funny. Nobody wants to see that. By the way, that analogy is mine, motherfu*ker.

What has it been like to watch Chris Weidman progress and see him get this opportunity against Anderson Silva?

I’m really proud of Chris, and I really like all these young guys we are training. If you are hanging out with [Ray] Longo and me, you are alright because we are on a different level. We make jokes and this and that, and people look at us because we throw the F-bomb around, but we are good people, and we breed good people. All of these guys we train are good human beings. Guys like Al Iaquinta and Costa Philippou are definitely good people. Costa is a funny guy, and he sounds like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld when he talks. Chris Weidman and these guys are not only solid people, but they fight their asses off. Win or lose, they are putting it out there, man. They aren’t going in there and trying to squeak out wins. They are going into that cage to take people out. I’m happy to be associated with all of these guys.

You can’t mention Matt Serra without the topic of the greatest upset in MMA history against Georges St-Pierre coming up.

That is obviously the most talked about fight in my career. That fight was my Rocky story. In the movie, Rocky went the distance with the champ, and even though he lost, it was a moral victory because he survived. My story is better, dude. For starters, it’s mixed martial arts, and MMA is cooler than boxing. But the moment I landed that big punch and it kept going until I finished him off was incredible. That fight is so special to me that anything that happened afterward was just gravy. I could have never fought another day in my life and died a happy man.

Will we ever see you in the Octagon again?

I’m ready to move on with my life. But if I had one last chance to close the chapter on my career against the right opponent, I would definitely entertain the thought. I would have liked one more fight against Matt Hughes, but it looks like that isn’t in the cards. Sean Sherk is another guy who I think would be interesting. I’d like to fight another veteran like Sherk, because a match-up like that would make me excited to fight. But if I had to walk away from the fight game today, I would be a happy man.

Check out serrabjj.com for more info on Matt’s schools, and follow him on Twitter: @MattSerraUFC

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