Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ultimate Fighting Championship


Two fighters looking to restore their status with the UFC were joined by two fighters hoping to gain any status at all Wednesday to promote The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale. UFC veterans Keith Jardine and Matt Hamill will headline Saturday’s event along with TUF 11 finalists Court McGee and Kris McCray. The finale will air on Spike TV from The Pearl Inside The Palms in Las Vegas.

Predictably, most questions centered around The Ultimate Fighter show. Surprisingly, many were directed to Jardine and Hamill. Jardine was a cast member during the second season (2005) and Hamill was on season three (2006), but both have since produced a body of work far outweighing their time on the show.

The McGee-McCray winner will receive a UFC contract. Both fighters lost once on the show, but took advantage of second chances to reach the finals. McGee fought for Team Liddell. McCray was a member of Team Punishment/Franklin.

Also on Saturday’s card: Jamie Yager continues the UFC’s trend of rewarding house “bad boys” and will face off with Rich Attonito. Coincidentally, former TUF 1 bad boy Chris Leben will face Aaron Simpson.

Here are the condensed thoughts of the fighters from Wednesday:


“The Dean of Mean” is coming off three losses and has lost five of his last seven. Following a controversial split decision loss to Rampage Jackson at UFC 96 – a loss that likely cost Jardine (15-7-1) a title shot – the 34-year-old was knocked out by Thiago Silva at UFC 102 and Ryan Bader at UFC 110 in February. Jardine’s unorthodox style has famously given fighters problems. He owns wins over former UFC light heavyweight champions Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin.

On his recent troubles – “I’ve been going through a bit of a slump lately. I’m looking at it as growing pains. I feel I’ve come full circle. I needed these learning pains to get where I am now. I feel like I am at the bottom now and I’m going to climb my way back to the top. I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been right now. Two years ago I beat Forest. I beat Liddell. I beat those guys but in my heart I knew I wasn’t the fighter I wanted to be. I wasn’t ready to carry the UFC torch yet.”

On his “awkward” style – “Everyone told me how awkward and unpredictable I am so I worked hard to clean up my boxing. (Coaches) Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn looked at all my UFC fights and broke down what I am doing. I could not train any harder for these fights. I needed to fight out what was wrong. I didn’t know what it was that made me unorthodox. I didn’t know what it was that was making it so hard for people to fight me. It was about movement, timing and posture. It’s more doing it on purpose instead of on accident. Some times I got caught trying to be too orthodox, too clean – like I read a how-to boxing book. I was too planned in what I was doing like now I’m going to do this concept, take this angle.. now I’m more relaxed.”

On fighting Hamill – “If he takes me down I’m sure you’ll see my ground game. He’s going to take me down eventually, I’m sure it’s going to happen. I’ve been training with Rashad Evans since 2005 and I’ve been training to fight a wrestler since then so I am pretty excited.”

On the Rampage loss – “Man, things could have been a lot different. I really feel these are just learning pains. Maybe I wasn’t ready for the title shot yet. Maybe I needed to go through that to get where I am now. Being so close was hard to take. Near the end of the fight I didnt know what the score was, I didn’t know I had the fight and I was trying to go for it. That’s why I ran into that punch, I was trying to finish the fight. ”

On staying in the UFC – “The lesson is not to just win, but you have to have good, exciting fights. You have to lay it on the line. I’ve never cowered or tried to win on points. That’s why the UFC always gives me these positions. I am fortunate to be where I am.”

On his recent losses – “I’d like to have a rematch with every single one of them, but I have to earn that. That is what this fight is about. Getting back to the top.”

On his media aversion – “I’m not really searching for the fame. I’m in the fight game just for the love of fighting. I don’t really seek out a lot of the interviews. Maybe that works against me. Maybe I’d be a better known fighter. I try to stay true to myself. At the UFC, they always make fun of me because they have to pull the interviews out of me.”



“The Hammer” is a three-time Division III wrestling champion. Hamill (8-2) has won three straight – with an asterisk. The 33-year-old was being dominated by Jon Jones at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale before the latter was disqualified due to illegal elbow strikes. Hamill suffered a dislocated shoulder in the fight. A silver medalist in wrestling at the deaf Olympics, Hamill answered some questions through an interpreter.

On the Jones “win” – “After the fight against Jon Jones I wasn’t very happy. I was shocked because nobody ever took me down before. It was a wake up call. I don’t feel like I won that fight. Jon Jones did a great job doing what he did.”

On his shoulder – “It took my a while to heal. But now my arm is ready and I’m ready to go.”

On his place in the UFC – “I’m not even in the top 20. Since I lost to Jon Jones I had to go back to square one. I’m focused on Keith and want to get back into the top 10 before thinking about a run at the title.”


A member of Team Liddell on TUF, McGee lost to controversial decision to Nick Ring, but was given a second chance when Attonito was injured. McGee (8-1) beat James Hammortree and Brad Tavares to reach the finals. He has spoken openly about his past battles with drug addictions.

On fighting in front of a big crowd – “I’ve fought in a venue with 6,500 or 7,500 people. If anything you feed off of it. As soon as I take of my glasses everything is a little blurry anyway. It’s odd fighting in front of 20 people (on the show). The pressure is the same if not more because three of those people are the most important people you can fight in front of.”

On reaching the finals – “This is where I worked to get to. I put 4,000 hours to get where I am today. I’m loving it. When you show up you don’t know whether you’re always going to win or lose. But I show up to fight to win. You come in here and train hard and you can start doing it as a career full-time.”

On bouncing back from a loss on the show – “(McCray and I) didn’t dwell on it. We came back, fought and won and here we are. It shows we both have heart and skill and we will definitely put on a show for everybody that’s for sure.”

On Liddell’s recent loss at UFC 115 – “I don’t like to look at the bad in everything. Of course he did get caught. It definitely sucks. He came out and took (Rich Franklin) down. He landed four or five hard shots. He threw a kick that busted Franklin’s arm. If he retires that’s that, but he definitely doesn’t have anything more to prove. If he decides to retire, I’d back him 100 percent. If he decides to keep fighting, I’m in. Right after Chuck lost, I had a little animosity like I would avenge his loss. I can’t think about it that way. That’s fighting angry. Nothing I do angry ever turns out good. I’m fighting because I enjoy fighting and I enjoy the competition. “

On omnipresent alcohol on the show – “I questioned myself before I came because I knew I’d be in a situation with alcohol. With my past with drugs and alcohol, I had to question myself to make sure I was coming for the right reasons. Am I putting myself in a dangerous situation. There were times where I thought hey a drink sounds good, but I know where that takes me. The payout was to better my family.”

On his past associates – “The majority of people I was running and gunning with aren’t doing so well. It’s hard to see. Maybe they can look what I have done. My place is a professional MMA fighter, but my job is to be of maximum service to others. It will all have been worth it because one or two people decide to make a change. I have affected some people close to me by cleaning up.”

On TUF 11 “bad boy” Jamie Yager – “They made Jamie look way worse than what he actually was. Way worse.”


McCray fought every Tuesday for five weeks while at the TUF house. His five fights are a record for the show. After qualifying for the house, he lost to Josh Bryant. McCray (5-0) was then selected as the house “wild card” and given a second chance. He beat Kyacey Uscola and Kyle Noke to earn a rematch with Bryant, which he won by decision.

On rebounding from the loss – “(McGee and I) both did a lot to get where we are at. We’re professional athletes. We are not going to come in and half ass it. Nothing hits harder than life. We got up from it and we’re both moving forward and that’s what winners do. For me to redeem myself would be to win the whole thing. I came back from a loss. My team was always arguing. I had to fight my teammates and my friends.”

On the Bryant loss – “I think I underestimated Josh Bryant the first time. He’s a tough dude. That dude is a brick and he came to fight.”

On McGee – “Even though we’re fighting each other, I feel like I can call him up for anything. We’re both grinders. We’re darkhorses. I knew what kind of guy Court was. He’s funny too. He knows when to come in with punch lines.”

On TUF 11 “bad boy” Jamie Yager – “I know I was loud, but for me it was all in good fun. Some guys they just dont mesh together. Yager has a mouth on him and he’s opinionated. People came to me and said what is up with your boy Yager? If you bash him in front of everybody hes going to bite back. But if you pull him aside you’ll listen to him. He was a bit of an asshole on the show and I’ll tell him to his face, but he wasn’t that bad.



Following each episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights, Team Rashad member Matt Mitrione will share his thoughts on what happened on camera and behind the scenes.

I heard that TUF was doing heavyweights so I talked to Coach Pat McPherson, Chris Lytle and Jake O’Brien, asked them their thoughts, asked them if it was something they thought I should do, which I thought it was. Chris was 100% on board. Coach Pat was a little bit reluctant but he came around. Everyone said, ‘you’re no spring chicken, go get it done.’ They contacted Ken Pavia for me to get get an interview. I’m pretty sure they brought me on as an instigator, my personality is pretty aggressive, so they brought me on as an instigator and the next thing I know I’m in Vegas for the show.

I didn’t know how many ex-NFL guys were gonna be on the show. I thought I might be the only one. In hindsight, my NFL experience probably played into it because it helps validate the sport when guys from other sports come in and do the grind and say that they love MMA.

When we got to the gym it was very much like the first day of school. The only guy I recognized was Brendan Schaub. I had met him when I was out in Vegas for the interviews and we just happened to share the same trainer who got us ready for the NFL, Loren Lando, the director of sports performance at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver. I met McSweeney very briefly when we were in Vegas but he had to leave early because he had a fight in Atlantic City. I heard of Roy Nelson, I think I saw a picture of him once or twice. But I didn’t put it together that Roy was Roy when I met him.

When we lined up I didn’t even notice that there was only 15 guys. Abe is definitely a detailed guy, so it doesn’t surprise me one bit that he would have paid attention to it. When they called Kimbo out I was like, that’s the big surprise? I’ve wanted to fight Kimbo for like four years. What’s the big damn deal, he’s just a puncher. I wasn’t impressed, I was indifferent towards it.

When the coaches worked us out I told Rashad, look, I want to be on your team, I need help with my wrestling, it’s my weakest point. So I wasn’t sandbagging it but I wasn’t busting my stones with Rampage’s workout. I figured Rampage was cool, which he is, but he’s not a wrestler and I needed help with my wrestling.

I wasn’t surprised I got picked when I did. As far as they knew I had no fighting experience at all, I was a complete stranger. I expected to be picked pretty much near dead last. I was surprised that Rampage went the path that he did, where he just picked really big bodies. Really, Abe was Rampage’s first pick. Kimbo was a given as soon as he walked in, so Abe was his first real pick.

This is what I remember hearing about Rampage’s team. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but this is what I remember hearing – Rampage was like, ‘OK, who wants to fight first,’ and no one really raised their hand. So Rampage was just like, ‘you’re gonna fight this guy and you’re gonna fight this guy.’ I remember Abe saying afterwards, ‘eesh, this wasn’t a good fight for me, I don’t have any wrestling at all.’

It was one of the most boring fights ever. There was no punching, no kicking, and Abe was up against the fence so it was like two turtles layin’ there. Once they got stood up I figured Abe would lead off with a teep to keep Madsen away but he kept his hands up high and got taken down again.

I don’t know why Rampage did what he did. Abe caught a raw deal but honestly, the second round, Abe should have known that that takedown was coming and been lighter on his feet. But by that time he had lost a sh*t-ton of blood. Maybe he was lethargic and light-headed. He bled like a stuck pig. From what I remember they stopped counting at 200 stitches.

Read the recap of the first episode of “The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.”

Read the recap of the second episode of “The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.”

Read Matt Mitrione’s second TUF blog.

Read Abe Wagner’s first TUF blog.

Read Abe Wagner’s second TUF blog.


At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad of subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity. Let’s see how things shook out after UFC on Versus 1 and Dream.13.

(Jon Jones is solidly in our Top 10 at 205#.)

Jon Jones was already a top-15 light heavyweight (#15 actually) but crushing Brandon Vera helped him crack the Top 10 at #9. Vera slipped from #20 to #27. In heavyweight action, Junior Dos Santos held on to his #7 ranking with a KO victory over Gabriel Gonzaga who moves down two spots from #23 to #25. Cheick Kongo rebounded from his loss to Frank Mir by finishing Paul Buentello and moved from #25 to #15 in FIGHT!’s Heavyweight Rankings. Buentello dropped from #30 to #37.

James Irvin actually entered the Light Heavyweight Rankings at #31. If he fights again at 185 pounds we will re-assign him as a middleweight. Alessio Sakara moves from #27 to #14 with his win over Irvin. John Howard’s knockout of unranked Daniel Roberts was impressive to the eye but not our Rankings Supercomputer – Howard holds fast at #15 in our Welterweight Rankings.

Clay Guida made a move back towards contention, rising from #37 to #28 in our Lightweight Rankings with his submission victory over Shannon Gugerty, who dropped from #58 to #71. Welterweight Mike Pierce jumped seven spots, from #38 to #31, with his win over unranked Julio Paulino. Jason Brilz slid into the top 25 at light heavyweight – #28 to #23 – with his win over Eric Schafer, who also moved five spots, from #32 to #37.

TUF prospect Eliot Marshall drops from #22 to #25 at 205 pounds while wily veteran Vladimir Matyushenko moves from #24 to #20. At the bottom of the card, Chase Gormley, Brendan Schaub, and Darren Elkins remain unranked because they have yet to accumulate three eligible fights, and veteran Duane Ludwig enters the lightweight poll at #107.

(Bibiano Fernandes has the #1 spot in a stranglehold.)

Over Tokyo way, Bibiano Fernandes held onto his Dream Featherweight Champion belt and his #1 ranking with a split decision win over Joachim Hansen, who slipped from #11 to #14 at lightweight. If he continues to fight at 139 pounds we’ll reassign him to our Featherweight Rankings. Josh Barnett held on to his #4 ranking in our rankings and “Mighty Mo” actually moved up a spot with the loss, from #33 to #32. KJ Noons moves into our lightweight rankings at #26 with his win over Andre Amade, who sits tight at #88.

Welterweight/middleweight journeyman Ryo Chonan moves from #60 to #32 with his win over Andrews Nakahara, who drops from #24 to #47 in our Middleweight Rankings.
Kuniyoshi Hironaka drops from #29 at welterweight with his loss to unranked Kikuno Katsunori and inexplicably, Ikuhisa Minowama and Jimmy Ambriz’s rankings were unaffected by Minowaman’s victory – they remain #9 at middleweight and #59 at heavyweight, respectively.

FIGHT! Fans: What do you think of the rankings?


The UFC will hold the Fight Club Q&A and official weigh ins for UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones on Fri., March 18 at Prudential Center Arena in Newark, New Jersey. The card is headlined by a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between reigning champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (#1 Light Heavyweight) and number one contender Jon Jones (#4), and supported by marquee bouts featuring Urijah Faber (#4 Bantamweight) vs. Eddie Wineland (#8), and Nate Marquardt (#12 Middleweight) vs. Dan Miller (#29) .

The Fight Club Q&A featuring former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell will air live on Fightmagazine.com at 2:00 p.m. EST/ 11 a.m. PST. Official weigh ins will follow at 4 p.m. EST / 1 p.m. PST. The main card of UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones will air live on pay per view on Sat., March 19. Select undercard fights will air on Spike TV and Facebook.com/UFC.


At approximately 12:30 a.m. EST on Fri., Dec. 17, FIGHT! Magazine will present live streaming video of the WEC 53: Henderson vs Pettis post-fight press conference live from Jobbing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz. The card features the final WEC Lightweight Championship bout between current champion Benson Henderson (#7 Lightweight) and challenger Anthony Pettis (#25) and the final WEC Bantamweight Championship bout between current champion Dominic Cruz (#1 Bantamweight) and challenger Scott Jorgensen (#6). The winner of Henderson vs. Pettis will immediately challenge the winner of Edgar vs. Maynard for the UFC Lightweight Championship while the winner of Cruz vs. Jorgensen will be installed as the first-ever UFC Bantamweight Champion. Immediately following the weigh in, TUF winner, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and fan favorite Forrest Griffin will participate in a fan Q&A session. The main card of WEC 53 will air live on Versus at 9 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 16. Check back on Fri., Dec. 17 for full results and analysis of how WEC 53 affected FIGHT!’s rankings.

(Props to Cagetoday.com)
(Props to Cagetoday.com)

Hoist a Boddingtons’s – Paul Daley is coming to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Following the collapse of Affliction Entertainment, the British banger agreed to a four fight deal in the UFC and should figure large in the promotion’s next wave of UK promotion.

Dan Henderson’s thunderous American right hand forced Michael Bisping to do his best Ricky Hatton impression at UFC 100, which was a great reminder that one star isn’t enough to carry the promotion in an entire country.

The UFC understands its push into the UK cannot rest on Bisping, hence “The Ultimate Fighter: USA versus UK.” But the show didn’t produce any standout personalities from England despite graduating three quality talents in Ross Pearson, Andre Winner and Nick Osipczak. Not everyone can be a reality stars and solid prospects like Paul Taylor, Paul Kelly and Terry Etim entered the Octagon the old fashioned way. Daley is the best of both worlds—a natural personality already groomed for stardom by Cage Rage and EliteXC, who has taken on the best non-UFC competition available.

At 26-years-old with over 30 fights (21-8-2) to his credit, the Cage Rage standout adds serious weight to the UFC’s British roster, and Daley’s “Money” Mayweather flair and serious skills in the cage — a record of 8-2 in his last 10 bouts with losses to then-top welterweights Jake Shields and Nick Thompson, with all of his wins via stoppage — will be a promotional boon to the UFC.

Recently, Daley’s accolades—he’s the only person to see the second round against Jake Shields in two years and the only person to stop John Alessio in 38 bouts— have been overshadowed by an inability to make weight. He also abruptly announced his retirement in 2008, which led to questions about his mental stability. If Daley dedicates himself to the overall game, his explosive sprawl and brawl and ever-improving ground defense could spell trouble for many UFC welterweights and fans should drink to that.


(Watch this incredible video to learn more about America’s founding father.)

“I’m sitting on George Washington’s porch,” Greg Jackson says with more than a hint of incredulity. “This is priceless.” Touring Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon on the sanguine banks of the Potomac makes it easy to understand the awe in the legendary MMA trainer’s voice. Besides the impressive expanse that the first President’s plantation occupies, its diversity illustrates the arduous, yet simplistic lifestyle of the eighteenth century. Jackson wanders from the porch overlooking the fisheries past the slaughterhouse and carriage house to Washington’s massive garden, all the while ushered by the throngs of visitors that make it hard to stop even momentarily. Mount Vernon is the last place you’d expect an MMA trainer to be and, predictably, he goes unnoticed, despite wearing the only Tapout shirt in the crowd.

“The amazing thing to me is that [Washington] left all this to fight for what he believed in when he didn’t have to,” Jackson says. “He could have stayed right here and pretended it wasn’t happening. He was rich, but he still went through hell with his men because he believed so completely in his cause.” His cause was, of course, freedom. But it was the way he achieved it that Jackson draws lessons from and applies to his unique brand of mixed martial arts.

“Nothing could break him. He would lose, but not give up,” Jackson says. It’s a simple principle, but its application in MMA is priceless so he replicates it by raising the bar of mental toughness. One of his core philosophies is that the mind is a muscle that has to be exercised the same way as any other muscle-by taking it past its breaking point so it grows. Through his training he strives to make the breaking point of his fighters unreachable. But no matter how hard he makes it, training for a fight doesn’t compare to some of the tribulations the young Washington endured.

On October 31, 1753, a twenty-one year-old Washington (already a Major) was selected to give an ultimatum to French forces building settlements along the Ohio River to cease and desist in the name of the British King George. For seventy-eight days, he rode and walked through bitter cold and Indian attacks to get the message through and return safely in what would become a harrowing tale of bravery and persistence.

Sacrifice was the undertow in Washington’s raging sea of life. He knew the meaning of selfless service, which is the antithesis of today’s MMA. Ask anyone who’s been in the game long enough and they’ll tell you that fighting is a selfish thing that revolves around one person-you. It’s all about your training, your diet, your sleep, and your emotions. It’s an individual sport and to get to the pinnacle of it takes a support structure of coaches, training partners, psychotherapists, and sycophants that all have to be synchronized for a common goal.

On top of that is the challenge of egoism. Jackson’s band of brothers are a combination of locals, like Keith Jardine and Damacio Page, and out-of-towners like Georges St. Pierre and Rashad Evans, who live in New Mexico for a few months and then go home for a few. Keeping such a diverse crowd of alpha males from letting the contagion of narcissism creep in at the seams takes the patience of a saint, the crack of a whip, and the good judgment to know when to differentiate between the two.

“Washington’s genius was keeping his team together,” Jackson says. “He was a master at keeping everyone focused on the prize and reminding them that they were fighting for something bigger than themselves.”

Valley Forge is quite possibly the greatest historical example of this. In the winter of 1777, Washington kept his militia together through the most daunting challenge a field commander has ever had to face outside of combat. Freezing temperatures, inadequate supplies, incompetent generals, and a civilian population unwilling to help took the Continental Army to the brink of collapse while the British rested and recuperated in nearby Philadelphia.

“Greg has a unique bond with his fighters that allows them to trust him,” says Sityodtong founder and trainer Mark DellaGrotte. “His attention to subtle detail is incredible.”

But while the methods are similar, the stakes couldn’t be more different. George Washington was directly responsible for changing the course of human history. Nothing we do today will ever compare to his accomplishments, but that shouldn’t belittle our corner of the world that Jackson and his militia have been changing slowly. Whether its winning a war or an MMA fight, the tactics, techniques, and procedures for each are identical. Jackson’s genius has been keeping other trainers on their toes for years and forced other camps and the sport as a whole to evolve or get left behind.

History is Jackson’s tonic, so Washington’s tomb is his Holy Grail. “You have to really love a place to want to be buried there,” he says admiring the sarcophagus. “I don’t have a family plot of land or an estate that I want to be buried on, but I guess I feel the same connection to New Mexico.”

There are few places in the world that cause us to stop and reflect on our own lives. Almost always those places stir up ghosts from our formative years, like teenage angst at home, embarrassment and achievement at school, or spiritual questioning at church. So it’s significant when someone else’s home causes a man to stop and evaluate his own accomplishments.
But even George Washington’s porch is within cell phone coverage and the shrill of it ringing snaps Jackson back to the present. The time of a tactical genius is priceless.


There was a time, before the Heavyweight division was chock full of muscle bound monsters, that a Belarusian fighter by the name of Andrei Arlovski was the talk of the town. “The Pitbull” dominated the Heavyweight division from 2002 – 2005 and excited fans with his brutal finishes. But since the UFC (and MMA in general) began to make a move into the mainstream, Arlovski has had a rough fall from grace. It’s unfortunate that many were not able to see Arlovski in his prime but perhaps the boxing tactician from Minsk will redeem himself at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery against Antonio Silva on May 15. Until then, let’s take a look at some of Arlovski’s most memorable and not so memorable moments during his extensive MMA career.


UFC 51: 2/5/05
Win Vs Tim Sylvia: Submission (Heel Hook) – 0:47 Rd 1

After a 2004 motorcycle accident sidelined Heavyweight champion Frank Mir and led to the creation of the interim title, it was decided that Andrei Arlovski and former heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia would battle at UFC 51 to determine the holder of the belt.

The 6’8” “Maine-iac” looked to be a huge mountain for Arlovski to climb, but the sambo master was more than up to the task. Even though he was outweighed by 25 pounds, Arlovski took the fight right to Mount Sylvia. With Mir, Goldie and Rogan discussing the difficulties with Sylvia’s size, Arlovski found the answer in his mighty right hand. As Sylvia waded in, Arlovski tossed a left hand and followed with a crushing right hand that chopped Sylvia down. Rather than attempt to pummel the big man, Arlovski scrambled for Sylvia’s right leg and locked in a tight heel hook that gave the former champ no choice but to tap out.

UFC 55: 10/7/05
Win Vs Paul Buentello: KO (Punch) – 0:15 Rd 1

If you blinked you missed it. The commentary team of Joe Rogan and Eddie Bravo certainly did.

Paul Buentello had become a walking wrecking ball as he approached his fight with Arlovski for the Heavyweight title. He had finished off his past six opponents – five in the first round – and looked nearly unstoppable heading into the sure –to-be stand up brawl with Arlovski.

As Buentello rushed in at the opening bell, the champion shellacked him with a straight right hand that put “The Headhunter” to bed instantly. Buentello fell forward, only being held up by Arlovski’s back – which he was momentarily using as a futon to catch some much needed Z’s – before finally falling to the ground at the :15 mark of the first round. It happened so fast that the whole arena fell silent as Rogan asked “What happened?” before Arlovski jubilantly screamed in victory. The crowd booed lustfully at what transpired, perhaps thinking Buentello took a dive, until they saw the replay.

“People are yelling bullsh*t, but there’s no bullsh*t in that right hand,” Rogan said.


EliteXC: Heat: 10/4/08
Win Vs Roy Nelson: KO (Punch) 1:46 Rd 2

In Arlovski’s debut in the now defunct EliteXC, he was paired up with former IFL Heavyweight champion Roy Nelson after the Affiliction event pitting him against Josh Barnett was rescheduled. Nelson was on a five fight winning streak after losing to Ben Rothwell a year prior. Arlovski was fresh off of a third round KO of Rothwell and was in the midst of a four fight winning streak entering the cage.

Arlovski found himself in a bit of trouble early on as a failed takedown attempt left the big bellied fighter from Las Vegas on top of “The Pitbull.” The jiujitsu brown belt kept Arlovski fighting off one arm lock after another before referee Jorge Ortiz stood them back up. As the two exchanged strikes toward the end of the first, “Big Country” seemed to be tiring rather quickly.

A minute into the second, the Belarusian landed a straight right hand and a left head kick that rocked Nelson. Arlovski would then go to work as he followed an inside leg kick with a nasty uppercut and a straight right hand that sent Nelson crashing to the mat. It would be the first and only time that Nelson has been knocked out.


UFC 59: 4/15/06
Loss Vs Tim Sylvia: TKO (Strikes) 2:43 Rd 1

When Sylvia and Arlovski met for a second time at UFC 59 in Anaheim, Ca, it didn’t appear that too much had changed since their first meeting 14 months previous. Arlovski had wiped out both Justin Eilers and Paul Buentello with first round KOs while Sylvia had bounced back from his loss with three consecutive wins. Sylvia, however, seemed to be more focused than their first meeting. He was in great shape and wanted to prove that “The Pitbull” wasn’t the indestructible fighter that he appeared to be.

Many figured that in order for Sylvia to have a chance against Arlovski, he would have to drag the fight to the ground where the Belarusian spent very little time during his UFC tenure. A clean shaven Arlovski entered the cage, and perhaps he needed his beard to protect his glass jaw on this night.
Arlovski started off showcasing his impressive boxing skills as he plucked away at “The Maine-iac” with jabs and hooks to the head and body. It looked like we were about to have an instant replay of the first meeting when a two punch combination – nearly a carbon copy of their first meeting –sent Sylvia crumbling to the canvas. But this time, Sylvia wouldn’t allow Arlovski to lock in a heel hook as he scrambled back to his feet immediately. Still shaking off the cobwebs, Sylvia would catch the reckless Belerusian coming in with a short right hand and sent him face first to the mat. Sylvia wasted no time pouncing on his fallen prey and pounding him with right hands until Herb Dean came to the rescue.

Affliction: Day Of Reckoning: 1/24/09
Loss Vs Fedor Emelianenko: KO (Punch) – 3:14 Rd 1

When Andre Arlovski jumped up in the air, it was Saturday and he was probably thinking about how well his performance had been to that point against Fedor Emelianenko. When he crash landed, it was Monday and the arena was empty.

The two finally met in January of 2009 – after their original October date was rescheduled – and many thought “The Pitbull” had a great chance at usurping “The Last Emperor” at Affliction’s much anticipated pay per view. The highly regarded standup of Arlovski appeared to be the perfect antidote for the WAMMA heavyweight champion’s sick ground game. Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach also helped him get ready for one of the biggest fights of his life. Arlovski also had a height and weight advantage heading into the fight. But there’s a reason Fedor is regarded as the best heavyweight ever in MMA.

Arlovski had been pitching a beauty of a game for the first three minutes of the fight. He kept Emelianenko off balance with his blend of leg kicks and punches. A two punch combination seemed to rattle Fedor and a front kick by Arlovski sent the Affliction champ into the corner. But just like the Sylvia fight, Arlovski made the mistake of rushing in and paid for it dearly. “The Pitbull” was looking to close the show and went for a flying knee. Fedor saw it coming and uncorked a short right hook that separated Arlovski’s soul from his body as his carcass fell from the sky like the Hindenburg.
Arlovski is still trying to figure out what happened on that fateful January evening.

Strikeforce: Lawler Vs Shields: 6/6/09
Loss Vs Brett Rogers: TKO (Punch) – :22 Rd 1

For all of the swift thrashings that Arlovski has handed out over the years, he was certainly due for one when he stepped into the cage against the then-unbeaten Brett Rogers. It was Rogers’ most difficult test to date, but apparently that only incensed the Team Bison fighter to tear apart “The Pitbull” in only a matter of seconds.

With Arlovski busy feeling Rogers out, he lazily shot a left inside leg kick in the direction of “The Grim.” Before Arlovski could figure out what happened, Rogers mugged him with a flurry of strikes filled with bad intentions. A menacing left hook, followed by an equally brutally right hook turned off the lights for Arlovski in only a matter of seconds.


(Osipczak pounds his way to victory over Matt Riddle)

“Slick” Nick Osipczak became a fan favourite on the ninth series of The Ultimate Fighter: UK vs. USA. His exciting style and likeable, ‘cheeky chappy’ personality formed a valid combination, though this obviously this wasn’t hindered by two knockout wins over Tommy Maguire and Mark Miller.

Osipczak progressed to the semi-finals of the show, eventually dropping a decision to Damarques Johnson in a tough, back and forth battle. The loss did little to damage his credibility, however, due to the nature of the contest and he was invited back to fight on the finale on June 20th, 2009. Again, Nick showcased his repertoire of techniques with a submission victory over the durable Frank Lester and this was enough to cement himself a spot on the UFC’s roster.

All set to return at UFC 105 in Manchester, it was the events leading up to the November bout that propelled Nick’s fight against American wrestler Matt Riddle into one of the most anticipated of the night. Bad blood was rife, and Osipczak’s third round stoppage victory over the previously undefeated American was enough to silence his previously vocal adversary.

Now, four months on, Osipczak is scheduled to face Rick Story at the UFC’s inaugural event in Abu Dhabi and we caught up with the Rough House man to get his take on the encounter.

FIGHT! Magazine: Nick, you’re returning to action in Abu Dhabi in April. First and foremost, how does it feel to be a part of a first and memorable moment with the organisation?

Nick Osipczak: Feels great, I asked to be on that card so I’m really appreciative to get on it. It’s gonna be one of the best UFCs ever I think; a great card in a great stadium. Plus, I like going places I’ve never been before, and it doesn’t hurt that the weather is nice!

FIGHT!: It’ll be almost five months since we saw you last. What have you been up to in the layoff?

Nick: I’ve been getting better! In particular I’ve been working my ground game by training in a gi at BJJ School under head coach Felipe Alves De Souza. I’ve also been spending lots of time at my own club, New Wave Academy MMA, helping my students compete.

FIGHT!: You’re back at the Rough House with the most elite welterweights in the country. Has the camp been a good one and how are you feeling?

Nick: It’s been a great camp, what with so many of the other guys having fights lined up a few weeks either side of mine, so we’ve all been pushing each other and are peaking at a similar time. I’m feeling very excited at the moment. In fact, I’ve literally just come back from a session with my mental performance coach Eamonn Madden, so I’m buzzing with confidence!

FIGHT!: Were there many differences from this camp to the last one, considering both guys are/were primarily wrestlers?

Nick: Not a lot to be honest, we’ve just adjusted some tactics for the height differences and worked on some more specific combinations which are likely to work against Rick.

FIGHT!: What do you make of Story’s skills and is there anything in particular you’ll be looking to exploit?

Nick: I don’t think his skills match up well with mine, and I plan on exploiting everything he does! I am confident I can finish him.

FIGHT!: There hasn’t much anywhere near the level of bad blood coming into this one (yet!), do you prefer to keep it professional or do you think the banter with Riddle was good for you and hype for the bout?

Nick: A bit of trash-talking hype is becoming a bit of a tradition with the Rough House! But I’m easy either way. At the end of the day, I’m still gonna win. I guess I just didn’t like Riddle’s face, but this Rick fella is less offensive.

FIGHT!: Coming back to Riddle briefly, that must have been a satisfying feeling? Were things amicable afterwards?

Nick: No, he still hated me! I couldn’t give a f**k though. He just couldn’t get over the fact I said I was gonna piss on him!

FIGHT!: Should you get a victory over a tough Rick Story, where would you be in the 170lbs pile?

Nick: I’m not thinking like that, I’m just taking it one fight at a time and enjoying my evolution. I’m more than happy to let Dan and Paul rule the welterweight roost for now and represent Rough House…my time will come.

FIGHT!: A lot of your partners and Brits are getting huge fights. Obviously Hardy vs. GSP, “Semtex” vs. Kos and then you have Hathaway vs. Sanchez. Is that a level you think you’re ready for or are you happy taking it steady?

Nick: I’m happy taking it steady, but I know from how I perform in the gym with Dan and Paul so if I’m called to step up and fight a big name then I’m ready.

FIGHT!: After taking a ‘piddle on Riddle’, what could you do to Story as there doesn’t appear to be any amusing rhymes?!

Nick: I might read him a bed time story and put him to sleep.

FIGHT!: Finally, as it’s a massive debate that’s raging in the MMA world, what do you reckon will happen when your man Dan takes on GSP?

Nick: I reckon I’ll get much better odds from the bookies than I should be getting!

Just a quick thank you to finish; big thanks to my team and everyone around me as everyone’s been great. I couldn’t do this without them and my sponsors like Maximuscle, Jaco, Tokyo Five, Love MMA, Hayabusa and Mighty Mouthguards!

Look out for Nick on the UFC 112 card as he prepares to say “night, night” to Story and continue his ascent onwards and upwards in the UFC’s welterweight division, further diluting 170lbs with British talent from the Rough House.


Tune in live today at 4 p.m. on FIGHT! for the UFC 125: Resolution pre-fight press conference, streaming live from the MGM Grand Lobby in Las Vegas, Nev. UFC 125 is headlined by a Lightweight Championship bout between reigning champ Frank Edgar (#1 Lightweight) and the only man to defeat him in MMA, Gray Maynard (#5 Lightweight) and will air live on pay per view alongside the following bouts; Chris Leben (#8 Middleweight) and Brian Stann (#55), Thiago Silva (#15 Light Heavyweight) vs. Brandon Vera (#35), Nate Diaz (#10 Welterweight) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (#19), and Clay Guida (#7 Lightweight) vs. Takanori Gomi (#18).

Three fights from the stacked undercard will air live on ION Television. The full card can be viewed here. Follow FIGHT! on Twitter to talk with Danny Acosta about UFC 125 as it happens and check back on Sunday for Paul Thatcher’s best pictures from the MGM Grand Garden Arena as well as full results and analysis of how the fights affected our rankings.