Quick Hits

Quick Hits

0

Brittney Palmer

After almost six years under the Zuffa banner, former WEC sweetheart Brittney Palmer is just hitting her stride in the UFC.

You’ve got a busy day today—photo shoot and then a charity event with Arianny Celeste right after. Do you and Arianny tag team events often?

We’ve been doing it more so lately, it’s been great. I love her, and she loves me, and it’s a good relationship.

Do you do your own charity stuff as well?

I’ve done my own charity things. I did a USO tour in Italy for 10 days with Urijah Faber and Clay Guida. I’ve done the Wounded Warriors, mostly military stuff.

Of all the places you’ve traveled on the Zuffa dime, what place did you not want to leave?

Australia. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing, and I love the place. I love the people, and I love the beach.

How many photo shoots do you think you’ve done in your entire life?

I think 50 sounds about right.

Is it getting old?

No, not at all, because it’s always different. It’s always creative.

How did you get into painting?

When you become an artist, it isn’t something you ‘get into.’ You’re always into it. It’s always been an interest of mine, and I’ve always really appreciated it. I moved to L.A. one-and-a-half years ago to go to art school to pursue this dream of becoming an artist. Whether I make it big and sell a bunch of paintings or have my own little mini collection, I love it, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Brittney PalmerYou’re enrolled in UCLA’s art program. What’s it like walking around the UCLA campus? Do you get hit on a lot?

Well…a lot of artists aren’t really big UFC watchers. They are kind of hippies and keep to themselves and don’t really watch TV, so I don’t get recognized that often. But when we go around the class and tell what we do, and I say what I do, people start Googling me.

What about just when you’re strolling around the streets?

I get stopped every once and a while, but it’s nothing too dramatic. I look so different in person than I do on TV and in an Octagon outfit. When I’m on TV, I have lashes and makeup. I don’t walk around like that. I walk around with no makeup and very casual in Converse and cutoff shorts. For the most part, I never get recognized. I have the best job anyone could ask for, whether or not people are following me.

Does the gig tend to help or hurt in the dating realm?

It helps weed out people who are insecure and controlling. Their colors show really fast. In my career and where I’m at with Playboy, guys hollering at UFC events, you can tell if a guy will be able to handle that kind of lifestyle. It helps it. It makes me not date losers for too long.

Having 350 professional fighters back you up probably helps too.

Oh yeah. Lots of big brothers.

Is that the relationship between you and the fighters—big brothers?

Yes, and I have to thank Dana White for that. He’s defi nitely put Arianny and me on a pedestal. But I think we deserve to be on it. We’re a family, and we’ve been with them for so long. I’ve been with Zuffa since I was 19 years old, and Arianny has been with the UFC since she was 19, and I’m 25 now and she’s 26, I believe. Dana really treats us like we’re his little girls. No one disrespects us or says anything they shouldn’t. They don’t because we’re Dana’s girls, and you can’t do that.

What does the tattoo on your back say?

But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.

It’s a sonnet from Shakespeare, and it’s about how being a narcissist is not only cruel to yourself but also cruel to those around you. I grew up in Vegas, and that’s really a town of narcissistic people and a town of ‘Who’s who and who’s better? Who gets a VIP to this club and who makes more money and who’s sleeping with who?’ It’s very toxic, and there’s a reason why a lot of dreams are born and die there. There’s a reason why a lot of people are born and die young there. I grew up in that, and I got away from it, and I’m very appreciative that I didn’t get sucked into that life. It’s very easy to do. I feel bad for a lot of people that did. My father was one of them. It’s kind of an ode to him.

What happened to your father?

He passed away when I was 16. He was in the wrong scene. Wrong place, wrong time.

What about the cross and necklace on your ankle?

That one was a mistake [laughing]. That was a 16-year-old-I-don’t-know-whymy-dad-isn’t-here-so-I’m-justgonna-get-a-tattoo tattoo. Most of my tattoos, I actually had done before I was 18. I have seven all together. I have my dad’s initials on my toe. My shoulder. I have one on my butt. I have one on my
lower back, which was a mistake. I have one on my neck. I have one on my wrist.

Is the shoulder tattoo a reminder to stick to the straight and narrow?

I don’t really need a way to stick to it. It was just something at the time I wanted to do. I fell in love with the sonnet. I was actually in a car accident, and I did a lot of reading. I was just fucking bored. I couldn’t walk, so I said, ‘Fuck! I want to get a tattoo.’ The taste of ink is addicting. Anyone who has a tattoo, I’m sure they have more than one.

So you were in a really bad car accident?

I was 21 years old. I was T-boned and pinned in my car. I had a little two-seater sports car. I fractured my pelvis in three places, two in my groin, one in my coccyx. I couldn’t walk for three months. And that’s when Jersey Shore was just starting, so I was totally over TV and I started reading.

Brittney PalmerWhat do you do during fights?

Watch, Tweet, hang out with Arianny, and enjoy the fights. I wish I could drink beer and eat popcorn and nachos with everyone else. But I get the best seat in the house.

What do you do after the fights?

It’s different every time. Arianny and I will either host a party, whether it’s together or apart, or just go back to the hotel room and eat a good meal because we’ve been starving all day. We don’t look at it as another way to party. It’s work for us at the end of the day, so you’ll never see me dancing on a table, and you’ll never see pictures of me wasted.

That’s a shame.

I know. I make it a point to stay that way. I really respect my job, and I really respect Dana White. I hope to be with the UFC for as long as I can, and making mistakes like that just isn’t worth it.

The UFC went through a lot of ring girls in their day. How have you managed to stay out of trouble?

I learned from everyone else’s mistakes [laughing]. I’m an ambassador for the sport and I’m their spokes model, so you must represent the sport as best as you can.

Five years ago, did you picture yourself as an artist?

Yeah. I didn’t think I would be this much into art as I am. I didn’t think I could be a professional artist and make money in art. But I’m so happy for every single day, and I’m happy that I can do what I love. I’m stoked for what could be five years from now.

Do you ever get nervous for your role as a ring card girl?

No. I get nervous speaking. I don’t get nervous performing. I spoke at my friend’s wedding once, and that was really, really bad.

What did you say?

I told her entire family, including his, that one day I wanted to grow up and be just like her. She’s only two years older than me.

Who’s your favorite fighter?

Anderson Silva. He’s the champ, he’s amazing. He’s a family man, he’s a showman. I’m all about the show business.

What are your goals moving forward?

Do this for as long as I possibly can—eventually start hosting a show. Be like the next Brooke Burke. If Kathy Ireland and Brooke Burke had a baby, I’d like to be that child.

Be sure to follow Brittney Palmer on Twitter: @BrittneyPalmer

0

Photos by Paul Thatcher \ Wardrobe by Chelsea Elisha \ Makeup by Natasha Chamberlin

The World Series of Fighting hit a homerun when they decided to make Kat Kelley a ring girl for their inaugural event in November 2012. The 25-year-old Las Vegan took the cage by storm, leaving viewers with more than just an appreciation for MMA.

kat1

What’s going on, Kat? Sounds like you’re at a construction site.
I’m sitting in the Vegas airport, waiting to board my plane for Amsterdam.

Amsterdam? Do tell.
I’m making an appearance at a nightclub to do some promotional work. I’ve never been to Europe, so I’m going to make the most of it.

Are you going to visit any hash bars?
Maybe. You only live once [laughing]. I’m more excited about the waffles, though.

You know what they put on French fries in Holland?
Yes. Mayonnaise. I love it with a passion. I eat mayonnaise with everything. That’s going to be amazing.

How long have you lived in Las Vegas?
Ten years.

Do you still party on the strip or prefer to take it easy?
I like to go to the nightclubs on the weekdays. The people are much more laid back. The weekends are for crazy party animals, so I’ll hit up a dive bar instead.

kat2
What’s the best dive bar in town?
I’d have to say Frankie’s Tiki Room. It stinks in there and smells like smoke, but they pour a strong drink.

What’s the absolute worst thing about living in Las Vegas?
Dating. There are no good guys. They are all tools and meatheads and parasites. It’s horrible. It’s better to be single, make your money, and get out.

A girl with a plan. What are you looking for in a guy?
I’m not looking for a guy.

Are you looking for a girl?
No [laughing]. I’m single right now, and happy with it. I’m focusing on my modeling and finishing up my marketing degree at UNLV.

How did you get hooked up with the World Series of Fighting?
There was a competition with more than 200 girls that lasted five months. I had to attend clubs and get the crowds to vote for me and impress the judges. It was a long process, but so much fun, and so worth it.

On March 23, you’ll be in Atlantic City for WSOF 2. You excited?
Yes, I’ve never been to Atlantic City, so I’m ready to go. And the event is going to be on NBC Sports Network, so I’m hoping we will do big numbers like our first event.

Are you a big MMA fan?
Yeah, I love MMA. My favorites are Jon Jones and Andrei Arlovski. I’m pumped to see Arlovski headline WSOF 2 against Anthony Johnson. I also look up to Arianny Celeste. She’s so pretty…and she’s half-Asian just like me.

What’s your ethnicity?
I’m 50 percent Filipino, 25 percent French, and 25 percent Irish.
Looks like some good genes. How do you stay in shape?
I do a lot of Pilates. I also don’t eat red meat or pork, and no sodas.

image desc

Do you still enjoy an adult beverage every now and then?
Definitely. I love wine. I’m a wine fanatic. And I love whiskey.

Whiskey? Now we’re talking.
I’m one-quarter Irish [laughing]. It’s in my blood. My favorite is Maker’s Mark.

I heard you recently shot an MP5 sub-achine gun. How was that?
Fun! I own a Ruger P95, but I’d never shot a machine gun. I was impressed. Those things are powerful.

Where is your favorite place to visit?
I love going back to the Philippines. I have like a thousand cousins there. I’m not kidding.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Probably three weeks ago. I had to spend the day dancing with tile.

Explain that.
I got roped into doing this promo at a private restaurant. When I got there, I found out it was for a tile company, and they wanted me to dance in a go-go box with a piece of tile. The outfits were hideous. It was awful. It was pretty embarrassing. So I drank a couple glasses of vodka and started dancing…with tile. Longest hour of my life.
_

Guilty pleasure food? 
Cake…anything cake. Sweets are my addiction.

Do you have a nickname?
Well, “Kat” is short for “Katrina,” but my pet name is Sasha. It’s a Filipino thing.

What’s the last good book you read?
I like to read self-help books.

What’s the best one?
Why Men Love Bitches.

Why do we?
Read the book [laughing]. Well, it’s time to board for Amsterdam. Wish me luck.

Good luck. I hope you get your waffles with mayonnaise.
Me too!

Follow Kat Kelley on Twitter @Kat_Kelley_

kat4

0

Roots of Fight Black House Sweatshirt

You may not be able to fight like Anderson Silva, but you can dress like hima and the rest of team Black House with this relaxed fitting sweatshirt. We think Steven Segal would like one for Xmas.
$54.99 – rootsoffight.com

MRI NO2 RED Hemo Surge

Get a nitric oxide surge before you hit the gym with NO2 RED Hemo Surge, which is now available in two new flavors – coconut and watermelon. It’s a pre-workout favorite of the FIGHT! staff…and we’re freaking ripped. Hulk now smash.
$29.99 – Available at Gnc.com

Hayabusa Chikara Fight Shorts

Hayabusa’s multi-discipline fight shorts are perfect for pros, no-gi grapplers, and weekend warriors. With reinforced stitching and an indestructible webbing, these shorts can take a beating. Can you?
$69.99 – hayabusafight.com

RYU Tanto Compression Shorts

From the wrestling mats to the weight room, this versatile pair of compression shorts will keep you confident that everything stays in place while you’re kicking ass.
$48.00 – ryu.com

New Gear

0

Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament winner Eduardo Dantas survived the mean streets of his home with a passion for fighting… the right way.

Look around the athletic department of a major college campus and you’re likely to see hundreds of teenagers worried about navigating the nightmare of calculus and the heartache of having to nuke 35-cent Ramen noodles for dinner. That life doesn’t exist in the slums of Rio de Janiero, Brazil. In 2007, when 18-year-old Eduardo Dantas was preparing for his first professional fight, he would have preferred the casual conversation of the college commons to the daily effort of dodging drug dealers and gang violence.

Rio isn’t like the South Side of Chicago or East St. Louis—those cities are just dangerous. The Brazilian city of 6 million is one of the most violent city-states in the world. In 2010, the Brazilian government reported (and these statistics always favor tourism dollars more than accuracy) that there were 3,559 incidents of violent death in Rio. By comparison, New York—America’s largest metropolis with 8 million people—ended 2010 with 536 homicides, or about six times fewer “violent deaths” than Rio.

Eduardo DantasThe Brazilian government is spending billions to clean up the crime, tearing through narrow streets of the traditional ghettos (known as “favelas”) to evict stolid drug kingpins and make room for wide thoroughfares and chipper shopkeepers. The goal is to have the city ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and, later, the 2016 Olympics. The effort comes as a late consolation prize for many who’ve suffered through the street-gang barbarism of the last 20 years.

The streets would’ve claimed one more body, that of Dantas, were it not for his mother, who he says steered him clear of these dangers and sacrificed so much to provide for him and protect him. It’s why he still lives with her in the Rio house where he grew up, and it’s why he’s committed to professional fighting to take care of her financially. “My mother is my inspiration,” he says, “and it’s why I want to provide a better life for her.”

Like many of the Brazilian stars filtering through the upper ranks of BJJ and MMA, Dantas discovered his physical outlet in his early teens. With the help of a neighbor, Dantas found his way to the gym of jiu-jitsu ace Marlon Sandro, who would later become his coach and his mentor. The action of Sandro’s gym excited the imagination of the young Dantas.

“I would watch Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro train,” says Dantas “He made me love the sport. And then with Sandro, my confidence grew, and I began to become a winner.”

If the parallel exists between a tough life on the streets and one of success in the cage, it probably has less to do with the physical toughness a human exhibits—scars, muscles, and a shaved head— and more to do with how they’ve coped with the psychology of pain. What hurts a man’s body is rarely what knocks him out of a fight.

The favela-surviving psychology is evident in each of Dantas’ fights. Where others shirk, he stands and trades. Where some pace and plod, he rushes and lunges. His body is still developing— four years ago he was as lithe as Miguel Torres—but today, a few extra reps in the gym and some much needed post-teenage testosterone have his wiry frame rippled with muscle. Still, Dantas’ physical presence belies his natural tendency toward aggressiveness and brutality. Pull up the YouTube clip of the then 18-year-old fighter going Pele on Aritano Silva Barbosa and you can see what happens when a pound of talent meets a gram of heart. Lights out.

Of course, Dantas lost that fight—even in Brazil you can’t soccer kick an opponent’s head—but everyone in the arena chanting his Brazilian nickname “DuDu” saw the passion from the baby-faced assassin and cheered him with gusto.

Aritano is one of two losses Dantas has suffered in his four-year fight career. The other loss came in a decision to Masakatsu Ueda during their 132-pound Shooto World Championship title fight in Japan. The decision loss—by the hands of the Japanese judges—left a sour taste in Dantas’ mouth. He finished his next four opponents with a range of submissions and knockouts, perhaps none more complete, exhilarating or surprising than his airborne assault of Wilson Reis in the quarterfinals of the Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament.

Reis and Dantas came into the fight on even ground, until they actually entered the arena and Dantas strolled into his corner trailed by fellow Novo Uniao fighter and UFC Lightweight Champion Jose Aldo. You can look significantly more intimidating when cornered by the scariest lightweight Brazilian in the world.

Pot shots, a few clingy right hands and softening jabs marked most of the action in the first round, until Reis failed to follow through on a body kick and he was caught with his leg in the air by Dantas. Reis retreated to the other side of the cage as Dantas followed with an overhand right. After the separation—and hoping to continue the action—the exuberance of youth sent Dantas in pursuit of the fleeing Reis. As the fellow Brazilian turned to face the streaking Dantas, he was met by a flying knee to the jaw. Reis dropped—Dantas pounced and won via KO.

Dantas went on to win a split decision in the semifinals against Ed West, setting up a match against 40-year-old Cuban defector Alexis Vila in the tournament final. Vila, a world champion wrestler and arguably the best overall wrestler in MMA, had recently knocked out Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren, earning him nominations for knockout of the year and causing at least some pause among Dantas’ coaching staff, who were left to wonder where they could find an edge against the heavy-handed wrestler.

The gameplan was to survive the first round and then use his comparatively young lungs to tire out the explosive Vila. Dantas stuck to the plan and earned the decision win.

“Vila is a great wrestler, so I tried to push the pace the entire time and maintain the high guard,” says Dantas. “Thank God everything worked out. I was getting better every day, and my speed was improving for the fight.”

Next for Dantas is a chance to capture a belt, something that has eluded him thus far in his brief fight career. He’ll face Bellator Bantamweight Champion Zach Makovsky in the first few months of 2012.

“I am ready for a huge war,” warns Dantas. “Expect a show.”

DuDu is back in Brazil, living with his mother and taking care of an ailing uncle until his fight with Makovsky is announced. He’s committed to buying his mom a better house in a better neighborhood. The family that guided him through the troubled streets of Rio is still his force.

Dantas says that he’s still focused on his training, even as the world around him seems to be focused on the battle scars he’s accumulated climbing out of the Rio slums. Last year, a film company began editing a documentary that features his life. His team at Optimo Sports Management is betting that the story will combine with his in-cage heart to earn him more fans and eventually more money. The movie, Fighting to Win, will be released in 2012.

“I love this sport of MMA,” says Dantas. “When I am fighting, I am the happiest person in the world, so, while success comes and goes, what matters is that I am doing something that I love and that I am passionate about.”

0

COOL KNOWLEDGE FROM THE WORLD OF MMA

X MARKS THE SPOT
X Games RallyCross Champion and Metal Mulisha founder Brian Deegan defeated X Games BMX Champion Dave Mirra in an MMA charity event at EllisMania 7. A judges’ draw after three rounds of action forced a winner-take-all fourth round, where Deegan eked out the decision victory.

APEX SPORTS
Actor, television host, and former professional mixed martial artist Jason Chambers has recently launched Apex Sports Agency, a top-tier sports marketing, entertainment and media agency. Apex promises to bring numerous unique talents to the table, including building and securing brands for its clients and acquiring and managing sponsorships.

Most notably, Apex has recently signed Olympic gold medalist and former WWE Champ Kurt Angle and UFC newcomer Matt Lucas. On the web:

www.apexsportsagency.com

KNOW WHAT I MEAN, VARN
Former WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner has one victory in his last six fights. Varner recently dropped a unanimous decision at Titan FC 20 to unheralded Dakota Cochrane, who stepped into the cage on three days’ notice.

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
The fight between Alexis Vila and Joe Warren in the quarterfinals of the Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament was the first MMA match to pit two World Champion wrestlers against each other. Vila won the 1993 and 1994 Freestyle World Championship while Warren won the 2006 Greco-Roman World Championship.

FRYE THE BACON
MMA legend Don Frye has two pet pigs—Grunt and Queenie.

0

Kicking off a fight card can be a lonely experience—even in the UFC, which usually reserves that spot for newbies and snoozers competing in quarter-filled arenas. To make fans take notice is a difficult feat, but Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson was up to the task at UFC 143.

Stephen Thompson got his opportunity to open up a show at February’s UFC 143. At 5-0, Thompson was slotted to fight The Ultimate Fighter alum and three-time Octagon veteran Justin Edwards. An injury to Edwards, however, required a change of opponent, and fellow UFC rookie Dan Stittgen got the call.

While Thompson’s MMA credentials made him look slightly less experienced on paper than Stittgen (7-1), the true story takes a little bit of digging to get to. Thompson went into his UFC debut with an unblemished record in nearly 60 amateur and professional kickboxing matches, sporting a knockout percentage of almost 70%. In fact, before Thompson stepped into the cage, he was already training with
some of the top MMA talent in the world, including Rashad Evans, Nate Marquardt, and Georges St-Pierre, who walked Thompson to the Octagon for his debut.

After a hug from the UFC Welterweight Champion, the Octagon door shut and Thompson wasted no time showcasing his world-class karate skills, landing a stealthy head kick-KO of Stittgen in the first round. With the KO, Wonderboy put the UFC welterweight division on notice…short notice.

Family Affair

Growing up in the small town of Simpsonville, South Carolina, Thompson didn’t have much of a choice when it came to martial arts. It was in his blood. His father, Ray, was an influential figure and instructor on the kickboxing scene.

“It was a family thing,” says Thompson. “Sitting at the dinner table, we talked about the fight game and what tournament was coming up the next weekend. It was a great way of life. The martial arts that I grew up with were not all about kicking and punching—they were also about building character.”

One of five kids, Thompson and his siblings hit the mats at Ray’s studio when they turned 3 years old. The integration of martial arts at such a young age helped Thompson earn black belts in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Kenpo Karate and become a talented kickboxer. He racked up titles everywhere he went, including in Chuck Norris’ World Combat League and a 2005 World Association of Kickboxing Organizations Championship at a tournament held in Szeged, Hungary, to become the first American to win a gold in the tournament since 1983. Just a year later, however, Thompson tore all of the ligaments in his left knee while training, putting him out of kickboxing for three years. He had two surgeries on his knee, and 40 percent of his meniscus had to be removed.

“I was told that I would probably never fight again,” says Thompson. “That was devastating to hear at first, but that’s one of the reasons martial arts helps you. It keeps your mind strong, always persevering and keeping that indomitable spirit alive. I always keep positive people around me, so I didn’t let that get me down.”

The ACL injury that has ruined careers for countless athletes across pro sports turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The Decision

Thompson could have done the easy thing—retreat and focus on the Simpsonville school that his father started and where he continues to work as the head children’s instructor. But with the “Wonderboy” moniker, you get the sense that Thompson isn’t someone who takes the path of least resistance.

During his knee rehab, he made the decision to start training for his MMA debut. He met St-Pierre and TriStar Gym head trainer Firas Zahabi in 2008, and they requested that Thompson help GSP train for his upcoming fight with Jon Fitch. Thompson was hooked. From there, he began working with Rashad Evans during one of his training camps and even spent time with Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida.

In February 2010, Thompson made his pro MMA debut, and, in less than two years, he racked up an undefeated record of 5-0 before the UFC came calling. Humbled by the ground game early on, Thompson’s training with St-Pierre, Evans, Marquardt, and his brother-in-law Carlos Machado—an eighth degree black belt in BJJ—is paying off.

“I move a lot more in a kickboxing match because I know the guy isn’t going to try to take me down,” he says. “During my training camps with Rashad, Georges, and Nate—these guys are sick wrestlers—I kept getting taken down every freaking time I would try to hit them. I had to go back and change some things up with the way I moved and with my stance. That was something I had to play with and think about for a while, but it has definitely paid off.”

Road to Atlanta

After his quick KO at UFC 143 and subsequent $65,000 Knockout of the Night Bonus, Thompson was quickly put back to work. He will travel to Atlanta, GA, for UFC 145 on April 21 for a scrap with Matt Brown, who has recently made some disparaging remarks about the level of Thompson’s kickboxing and karate opponents, saying, “I could go 100–0 beating a bunch of idiots.”

“Brown is from a Muay Thai background, and I’m from American Kickboxing, so it’s always the story of what’s better—Muay Thai or karate,” says the 28-year-old Thompson. “I’ve fought all over the world against the best strikers in the world. For him to talk like that, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He will definitely find out on April 21.”

In the lead up to UFC 145, Thompson has been living the life of a high profile fighter, traveling with Evans and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones as the three fighters attended a preevent press conference and all of the subsequent media obligations that come with notoriety.

Thompson has come a long way from his humble beginnings as a toddler in his father’s karate studio, but even with the new fame, Thompson is still the same guy.

“I’m always training, and I feel confident,” he says. “It’s my dream come true, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

“The martial arts that I grew up with were not all about kicking and punching—they were also about building character.”

VITALS

Name: STEPHEN THOMPSON

Record: 6 -0

Class: Welterweight (170 lbs.)

Age: 29

Born: Simpsonville, SC

Fighting out of: Simpsonville, SC

Association: Pitch Black MMA/TriStar

Style: Kenpo, Karate

Enter the Wonder Dragon

As mentioned by UFC commentator Joe Rogan during the UFC 143 telecast, Stephen Thompson’s fighting stance is very unique and similar to the stance of Lyoto Machida, who is a past training partner of Thompson. Here’s how Thompson explained his stance:

“It’s definitely part of my karate background with a wide stance that’s more sideways, which allows me to switch sides. It’s a lot different than what people are used to in MMA. Lyoto and I are both karate guys, so our stances are similar. Our movement and way of covering distance are somewhat the same, but if you watch Lyoto, he leans back a little bit. When I’m fighting, my stance is wider. I’m a little more forward and my hands are down. I remember watching Muhammad Ali fight, and the way he kept his hands down and moved was amazing. I can distribute my weight faster with my hands down because I’m top-heavy. I can use my front leg a bit easier and people don’t expect that. To use a round kick or side kick as a jab, people don’t see that in MMA. Karate has definitely helped out with my success in MMA.”

0

RENZO VS. EUGENIO

In September of 1997 the bout between Renzo Gracie and Eugenio Tadeau at Pentagon Combat had to be stopped due to a riot. Gracie, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter and Pride FC veteran and Tadeau, a Luta Livre fighter and UFC veteran were sworn enemies at the time and their respective camps became unruly outside the cage which forced a stop to the action.

 

THE DREAM TEAM

Former Dream Stage Entertainment staffers (operators of PRIDE FC) and FEG (the parent company of K-1 Hero’s) have joined forces to create DREAM, a new MMA promotion. DREAM has already signed former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight Mirko Filipovic as well as Gesias Calvancante, Kid Yamamoto, and Kazushi

 

VARIETY

Ben Rothwell’s last eight fights have all ended in a different fashion. Dating back to September of 2006, Ben’s fights have ended by KO (punch), Keylock submission, KO (kick), TKO (punches), Split decision, Kimura submission, TKO (elbows), and a Unanimous Decision.

 

WHO’S THE MAN

Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner has the distinction of having fought 4 divisional title contenders (including one former champ) at 4 different weight classes. Tanner battled Paul “The Head Hunter” Buentello (super heavyweight), Heath “The Texas Crazy Horse” Herring (at heavyweight), “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (at light heavyweight) and “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni (at middleweight) beating all but Ortiz (and splitting a pair of bouts with Herring).

 

GOING, GOING, GONE!

UFC 83 in Montreal was the quickest sellout in UFC history. Nearly 14,000 tickets were sold in pre-sale and remaining tickets were accounted for minutes after being made available to the general public.

0

We’re Not Doctors, We Just Play One On TV.

Set the Trap

Trap bar deadlifts are ideal for building strength and explosiveness in the muscle groups of both the posterior and anterior chain. Performed on a box, the deeper starting position places extra emphasis on the glutes, so there is a good chance you will wake up very sore after you do this exercise for the first time.

Prime the Pump

February is National Heart Month, which is a great time to evaluate your diet. Make sure your ticker is pumping strong by keeping your lunch box loaded with optimal foods, including wild salmon, legumes, oats, chia seeds, sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, and blueberries.

Spa La La

Take off those holiday pounds with a week of spa retreat. A new study shows a week-long spa stay—including diet modification, meditation, colonic hydrotherapy, and yoga—can correspond with marked changes in our physical and emotional well-being.

Sleep It Off

According to a recent study, a restful night can result in a faster metabolism. The morning after a sleepless night, you burn 20 percent fewer calories from diet-induced thermogenesis—the number of calories your body uses to break down and digest food.

0

Two UFC fights. Two knockouts. Are you enjoying the hype?

 

I’m trying to avoid it really. I’m trying to stay grounded, stay chilled, and ignore all the hype going on all around me.

 

How did you get started in MMA?

 

I came across a UFC 1 DVD. I keep saying that shit. I came across a UFC 1 video — it was video back then. I watched it and saw Royce Gracie got a massive check. I thought, ‘I want some money.’ Pretty much went like that.

 

Where did the “Semtex” nickname come from?

 

I was fighting amateurs at the time, and me and one of my work friends were looking at a few of my old fights, trying to come up with a name that described the way I was fighting. He just came up with Semtex.

 

Were you a professional wrestling fan growing up?

 

I think everyone was. With Wrestle Mania and Summer Slam and all that, but I wouldn’t say I was a huge fan. I was like a normal kid. I liked the Ultimate Warrior and Shawn Michaels—the early Shawn Michaels—and the original Undertaker.

 

You used to work in marketing. Who is the least marketable guy in MMA?

 

The least marketable guy in mixed martial arts? Ah God, let me have a think. Who would I say? I don’t know, there are so many idiots involved in this sport it’s hard to pick one out. I’d hate to single one out. No one’s jumping in my mind at the moment. There are a few idiots.

 

What have you done with your Cage Rage title?

 

I’ve got like three or four belts actually. They’re all nice belts. I’m moving into a new apartment soon, and I’ve always wanted a glass display cabinet. I’m going to put it in my office.

 

What’s the first meal you like to eat after a fight is finished?

 

KFC

 

Name a promising young fighter on the UK scene?

 

There a lot. Away from my team, I’d probably say Jason Young. He’s from London. I think he fights with Team Titan. He’s got the right ability—the right mindset.

 

Most embarrassing song on your iPod?

 

I’ve got good tunes. I haven’t got any embarrassing ones. I have some old school ones. I’ve got some Informer by Snow on there.

 

That would count as embarrassing, Paul.

 

I still think Snow … I think he’s alright.

 

The Canadian white rapper is alright?

 

Yeah, the Canadian white Jamaican rapper! I always listen to Informer. I know all the words, so it’s one of my favorite songs to listen to.

 

Do you like Lady Gaga?

 

No. My little 4-year-old niece likes Lady Gaga. I don’t.

 

Greatest British fighter not named Paul Daley? No teammates.

 

I think Terry Etim is a good guy to watch. I’ve trained with Terry and he’s got tons of ability. He’s got the right mindset as well, which is the most important thing. I think he’ll do well.

 

What’s the last movie you saw in a theatre that you really liked?

 

The last movie I saw that I enjoyed was probably Law Abiding Citizen.What I do when I watch films—which I’m good at and I’ll challenge anybody to it—is try to figure out the story before it gets to the end.

 

Best striker from England, you or Lee Murray?

 

[laughs] It’s hard to strike from a Moroccan jail. I’d say me.

 

You’ve fought in the States many times. What’s been your favorite part of visiting?

 

Probably your malls and your weather and the fact that I can buy lots of stuff in America that you can’t get over in the UK. The fans are nice as well.

 

What does it take for a woman to win over Paul Daley?

 

Got to be funny, I think. Got to have my sense of humor. Fairly attractive.[Daley is playfully poking fun at his girlfriend, who is in the room listening.] The main thing is humor.

 

Lucy Pinder or Scarlett Johansson?

 

Scarlett Johansson. Nice face.

 

Going with the American. That’s nice.

 

It’s not because she’s American. It’s because she’s naturally prettier. She’s not so common looking.

 

I’m sure Lucy will appreciate your comments.

 

[Laughs] Cheers! Find me on Facebook and my Web site www.semtex.tv. Cheers mate.

0

Many business principles translate across industries, but that doesn’t mean all businesses are the same. However, casual clothing company Affl iction will attempt to make the jump from apparel to fi ght promoting on July 19 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, with one of the biggest MMA fi ght cards in history. While Affl iction: Banned is stacked with fi ghts that have hardcore fans breathing heavy, it may leave newer fans feeling cold.

If you’re reading this magazine, chances are you know who Tim “the Maine-iac” Sylvia is and you have an opinion about controversial lesson Renato “Babalu” Sobral tried to teach David Heath. But you may not know much about Fedor, Josh Barnett, Pedro Rizzo, Mike Whitehead, Matt Lindland, or Ben Rothwell and that’s a darn shame. To help out, here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about the July 19 card.

FEDOR EMELIANENKO VS. TIM SYLVIA

There is a lot of online chatter about whether he still deserves to be ranked among the top poundfor- pound fi ghters in the world, but the fact remains that Fedor Emelianenko’s resume boasts wins over Ricardo Arona, Mark Coleman, Mirko Filipovic, Gary Goodridge, Heath Herring, Mark Hunt, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, Kevin Randleman, Semmy Schilt, and Sobral. The PRIDE FC heavyweight champion and Master of Sport in Sambo may appear sloppy in the ring, but he transitions seamlessly between powerful strikes, takedowns and takedown defense, and grappling. But most impressive about Fedor is the amount of abuse he can shrug off.

In a 2003 PRIDE event, Kazuyuki Fujita nearly knocked Fedor out on his feet, but he stumbled forward, scored damaging blows, and won the fi ght by rear naked choke halfway through the fi rst round. In another match, former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman posterized Fedor with an absolutely insane suplex, only to lose by submission less than two minutes into the fi ght.

Icy and expressionless, facing Fedor is a bit like squaring off with the Russian army; no matter how much damage you infl ict, he will weather the early storm and beat you mercilessly when you’re spent.

JOSH BARNETT VS. PEDRO RIZZO

This bout is actually a rematch of a UFC 30 fi ght from 2001 that Rizzo took by knockout. Barnett was suspended for steroid use immediately after he won the UFC heavyweight belt at UFC 36, and after months of disputing the results, “The Babyface Assassin” left the UFC and relocated to Japan, fi ghting only once on American soil since 2002. Like your neighbor’s weird band, Barnett only has a cult following in America but is a huge star in Japan, where he was a contender for the PRIDE heavyweight strap.

UFC, PRIDE, and Vale Tudo veteran Rizzo shares wins with Barnett over Coleman and Dan Severn. He also owns wins against David “Tank” Abbott, Andrei Arlovski, Jeff Monson, and Ricco Rodriguez. Rizzo has fought only four times since 2003, so it will be interesting to see if he can handle Barnett in his prime.

RENATO SOBRAL VS. MIKE WHITEHEAD

Whitehead’s been on a tear since losing to Keith Jardine in 2006. He’s racked up eleven straight wins in various promotions, and the Xtreme Couture fi ghter seems to be poised for something big. Knocking off “Babalu” would do wonders for this The Ultimate Fighter 2 veteran.

MATT LINDLAND VS. FABIO NEGAO

One of the founders of Team Quest and the Sportfi ght promotion, Matt “The Law” Lindland is one of a handful of fi ghters savvy enough to be talked about constantly while rarely fi ghting. The 2000 Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling silver medalist is a highly regarded middleweight, but he has fl oated since his acrimonious split with the UFC in 2005, competing for the International Fight League, Bodog Fight, and World Fighting Alliance among others. Lindland’s only losses since 2004 came when he fought Emelianenko and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson above his natural weight class.

Not yet three years into his professional career, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Fabio “Negao” Nascimento is a Fury FC veteran who has nothing to lose from a loss and everything to gain from a good showing against Lindland.

ALEKSANDER EMELIANENKO VS. PAUL BUENTELLO

It seems to be a package deal – if you want Fedor, you sign his tatted-up little brother, too. It’s a win-win situation, really. The Emelianenko brothers make bank, and your fi ght promotion gets two Sambo Masters of Sport on one card. Aleks doesn’t have the resume of his big brother, but if he shows well on July 19, he might get the opportunity to shine for an organization where his brother isn’t king of the hill.

Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello has fought for darn near everybody – small regional promotions, King of the Cage, UFC, and most recently, Strikeforce. Buentello’s results are mixed against top competition, so it will be interesting to see if he rises to the challenge posed by Emelianenko.

These fi ghters are also set to appear on the card, though the matchups were undecided as of this writing:

BEN ROTHWELL

The IFL only created a few stars, and the culinarily- inclined Rothwell is one of them. Friendly away from the ring but fi erce in it, this Pat Miletich product tore through all the competition his former employer placed in front of him, going undefeated in 2006 and 2007. Now it’s time for Monte Cox’s client to prove he can hang with the best in the world.

SAVANT YOUNG

While he came up short against the only bigname competition he’s faced (including Chris Lytle and Ryan Schulz), this former IFL fi ghter recently garnered headlines when he beat the favored Takeshi Inoue by decision at Shooto – Tradition 1 in Japan.

MARK HOMINICK

A student of renowned Canadian kickboxing trainer Shawn Tompkins, “The Machine” has spent the majority of his career bouncing between the UFC, World Extreme Cagefi ghting, and the Quebec-based TKO promotion.

MIKE PYLE

Another Xtreme Couture fi ghter, Mike “Quicksand” Pyle has fought in the welterweight divisions of Sportfi ght, IFL, WEC, and EliteXC. He has also traveled to Denmark several times to compete for a promotion called Viking Fight, which we know nothing about. However, it sounds totally badass.

STAY CONNECTED

397,143FansLike
42,133FollowersFollow
18,340SubscribersSubscribe