Ben Fowlkes's MMA Articles

March 2012 // Features
Randy Couture: Fit for a Lifetime

He was 16 years old when he made up his mind. One day it just happened, like something inside him ignited all on its own and couldn’t be extinguished. You can almost picture him now— a skinny high school kid, bright-eyed and eager, with that same familiar smile only sitting beneath a full head of [...]

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October 2011 // Features
Rio Experiencia

If you want to feel both better and worse about your own physique, go to the beach in Rio de Janeiro. The time of year doesn’t matter. Even in the dead of winter, it’s still 75 degrees, and the beach is still the place to be. That’s where you’ll find the “cariocas,” as Rio residents [...]

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November 2010 // Features
The Psychology of Losing

After studying athletes of all types as an Associate Professor of Sport Psychology at San Jose State University, Dr. Ted Butryn thought he knew what stress and anxiety were all about. Then he began researching mixed martial artists.   “If you’re a football lineman, the coach knows if you missed a block, but the world [...]

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August 2010 // Quick Hits
Fall of the Emperor

This, like many of Fedor Emelianenko’s aphorisms, could have just as easily come out of a fortune cookie as out of the mouth of the man who has for the last several years been considered the world’s top heavyweight.   The fact that the Russian MMA legend was uttering these cryptic words just moments after [...]

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June 2010 // Features
The Rise of Bellator

It started out as a small-time promotion on a Spanish-language cable network, but Bellator is quickly becoming a viable player in the MMA world, and all in a year’s time.   Sometimes in life, and even in the rough world of MMA, everything hinges on the skillful application of makeup. That, and the ability to [...]

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April 2010 // MMA Life
Women & Money

Marloes Coenen thought she had it made. She was a 19 year old college student, four fights into her pro career, and had just won the 2000 ReMix World Cup MMA tournament in Japan. Unbelievably, by some grand accident of accounting or maybe just incredibly good fortune, she took home $100,000 for the tournament victory. [...]

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February 2010 // Features
Memoirs of a Fight Fan In Japan

In Japan, MMA is still a viable art of fighting and pageantry, even in the years since PRIDE’s demise. However, does Japanese MMA have the muscle to continue to endure? Journalist Ben Folwkes found out firsthand as he flew across the globe to experience the Dynamite! New Year’s Eve event in Tokyo. I was tired [...]

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January 2010 // Names in the Game
The Invisible Man

It’s the day before UFC 91 in Las Vegas, and you can’t set foot in the MGM Grand without feeling the energy of an approaching fight night. It reaches out and touches you, like static electricity. A little zap on the surface of your skin. Even the regular tourists who are here by accident feel [...]

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December 2009 // Features
Great Expectations

You could drive for hours up and down Route 41 in upstate New York looking for the BombSquad gym. Unless you already know where it is, however, chances are you won’t find it. Google Maps directs you to an empty field. Signs along the two-lane highway warn you to watch out for tractors. The smell [...]

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September 2009 // Features
Nice Guys Finish Fights

You might expect the American Kickboxing Academy to be a sleek, state-of-the-art facility. With all the elite fighters it has produced, you probably wouldn’t expect to find it sitting between a Big Lots and a craft store, in a strip mall on the edge of San Jose, though that’s exactly where it is. The small [...]

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July 2009 // Features
Feeding Time

Thiago Alves has an insatiable hunger to be the best. This is what the good life looks like. It’s perfect day in South Florida – sunny, not too humid – and Thiago Alves tooling around town in his immaculate white Range Rover. He’s wearing designer sunglasses. He’s sitting on twenty-two inch Asanti rims. He weaves [...]

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June 2009 // MMA Life
The Legend of Don Frye

“When you’re young, you think it’s going to last forever. But it doesn’t.” Don Frye says, growling the words in his diesel engine voice. “One day it all comes to an end. That’s when you realize you should have appreciated it more while it was happening.” This is the distinct brand of wisdom that comes [...]

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