Chuck Mindenhall's MMA Articles

October 2013 // MMA Life
Pay-Per-Views and Paper Feuds

Bellator’s maiden voyage into the world of PPV is intriguing, if also a little doomed. There’s a great divide between the acronyms of MMA and PPV. It’s what sets the game’s greatest acronym—the UFC—apart from lesser organizations. The UFC is a pay-per-view driven business that has expanded into such things as broadcast television in its [...]

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September 2013 // Names In the Game
Mark Munoz – The King of Kong

UFC middleweight Mark Munoz was tricked into MMA by a “Kid”…was heel-hooked by a “Gangster” while wrestling in college…and found himself slamming “The Natural” in the most unnatural way. In late July, just a couple of weeks after he came back from a year-long dark period to beat Tim Boetsch at UFC 162, Mark Munoz [...]

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August 2013 // Names in the Game
Chris Weidman – Eve of Destruction

The night before Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title, Ray Longo saw things unfolding before his eyes. Photo: USA TODAY SPORTS Heavyweight great Floyd Patterson wouldn’t have sex during his training camps before fights, because he believed it weakened the knees. This is a proud fight game deprivation that has been [...]

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July 2013 // Features
Anthony Pettis – The Human Highlight Reel

It requires a ballistics team to track Anthony Pettis while he’s getting his kicks—and now (at long last) he’s aiming for UFC titleholders. The Soka Gakkai International Buddhist Center wouldn’t seem to fit neatly in America’s Dairyland, but then there it is—right where Duke Roufus’s gym should be on the GPS. Across the street is [...]

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June 2013 // Features
Chris Weidman – Long Island Ace

Chris Weidman is the latest Long Islander looking to bring a UFC belt back to the neighborhood, and guess what? He’s all in. – Chris Weidman hasn’t been in Ray Longo’s gym for more than a minute before somebody tries to give him money. “Oh shit, you going to Vegas?” the Long Island accent says, [...]

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March 2013 // Features
California Dreaming

If you’re Luke Rockhold, and your new promotion has fighting’s pound-for-pound best at the top of the division, it boils down to this—the best way out is always through. “I’m promising right now, if I beat Anderson Silva, I would fight Jon Jones,” says Luke Rockhold. It’s not the first thing he says, it’s the [...]

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February 2013 // Features
FIGHT! Magazine Awards 2012

2012 was full of breakout fighters, crazy knockouts, debilitating submissions, shocking upsets, and one special fighter who earned our Fighter of the Year moniker. In case you need any help figuring out who the best were, Maverick, our panel of judges has figured it out for you. Here are MMA’s Top Guns of 2012. No [...]

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November 2012 // Last Call
A Country Boy Can Survive

The Matt Hughes era has come to a quiet end, but thinking back on his career still inspires goose bumps (and a good amount of fear). Long before Matt Hughes was hauling off marquee UFC welterweights in his truck, he was the terror of the Midwest. Between 1999 and 2000, Hughes fought 18 times. He [...]

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September 2012 // Features
Drive to the Finish

Rory MacDonald is not the next Georges St-Pierre — he’s the first Rory MacDonald, and it’s his mission to show you what that means. Rory MacDonald lives upstairs. He warns that it’s about 60 steps to his apartment. Once up to it, he slips off his shoes, but the American doesn’t take notice. The dumb [...]

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August 2012 // Features
Never Say Die

There’s so much more to Matt “The Immortal” Brown than simply persevering—there’s a story of redemption that’s still being told. On a cool summer evening in August 2001, Matt Brown died. It’s not that Brown remembers dying in the blur of that dilated night in Xenia, Ohio, just one month before the September 11 attacks. [...]

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June 2012 // Last Call
Under the Boardwalk

Zuffa returns to its beginning with a summer visit to Atlantic City. Before UFC 133 in Philadelphia, Dana White put together one of his more riveting fight week vlogs. In this particular one, he referred to himself as a degenerate while on board a helicopter headed southeast. “Atlantic City, here we come,” he shouted over [...]

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April 2012 // MMA Life
Dishing Out The Pain

Anthony and Ottavia Bourdain may have taken different paths to MMA, but meeting at that crossroads makes for some wild good times. On the night that Ronda Rousey became a star in women’s MMA, Ottavia Bourdain was blowing chunks. She was fever-riddled with stomach flu and in a state of delirium, yet she contentedly watched [...]

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March 2012 // Quick Hits
5 Minutes With Carlos Condit

A lot of people were criticizing your gameplan against Nick Diaz. Do you think part of the problem was that you didn’t put the exclamation mark on him like you have so many other opponents? I think there are a lot of different reasons why people aren’t happy with it, but yeah, that’s one of [...]

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January 2012 // Features
Let’s Get Real

Benson Henderson is on his way to Japan with a mission—fight the perfect fight, take Frankie Edgar’s belt, and make sure it doesn’t leave his waist until 2016. “Can you do a Matrix kick off the fence on this?” Henderson asks. He’s staring at his doppelganger on a flat-screen television, trying to figure out how [...]

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November 2011 // Features
The Human Monkey Wrench

UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon is up in bonus money, down in formidability, and right at home as the underdog. Six weeks before his UFC 136 fight on Oct. 8, Joe Lauzon sprained the same ankle that he jacked up on the night his brother Dan got stabbed. He was unable to train for a week, [...]

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August 2011 // Features
Gray Maynard: Old School Bullying

Gray Maynard is a throwback to the wrestlers of old, which is to say, an unforgiving, down-to-earth roughneck who will not be pushed around… in other words, a freaking Bully. Gray Maynard weighed 10 pounds, 11 ounces at birth. It was mostly head. This has been a sore point of contention for his mother, and, [...]

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September 2011 // Features
Puerto Power

Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez is one of the most compelling MMA fighters going, and you know what? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Eddie Alvarez has a unique niche in that he represents Philadelphia in the broader sense than the city’s earliest noteworthy combatants. Going back to the turn-of-the-century’s “Philadelphia” Jack O’Brien—who The Ring’s founder/editor [...]

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June 2011 // Features
Dominick Cruz: Seeing All The Angles

Dominick Cruz is the king of the UFC’s bantamweight division — and he got there by doing things his way. One minute Dominick Cruz is being accosted by fans for autographs and pictures in the lobby of the Westin Castle Harbour, the next we’re speeding down Toronto’s 404 freeway in a 1991 GMC pickup—three across [...]

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March 2011 // Features
Junior dos Santos: Gypsy Road

Junior dos Santos has destroyed every UFC heavyweight he’s faced—but the division’s top contender has a big one-two combination that he’s looking to deliver…victories over Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez.   Juniordos Santos made his Octagon debut outside of Chicago against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90. He came into that fight as a 5-to-1 underdog. [...]

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November 2010 // Names in the Game
For The Love Of The Game

“Lesnar, Mayhem, and Joe Warren.” That’s what Mark Cuban answers when asked whom his favorite fighters are to watch. He doesn’t actually say this. He types it in an email, his favorite question/answer mode where journalists are concerned. Enthusiasm can’t be measured in a format like this, and context loses all elasticity…but what can be [...]

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October 2010 // Names in the Game
Don’t Look Now

It’s been said with no small dose of historical certainty that champions in fighting and star players in other sports have the ability to slow things down. Geelong, Australia native George Sotiropoulos has proven this ability in the Octagon. He’s not the champion of the lightweight division (yet), but there’s something in his focus that [...]

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January 2011
Turning The Corner

Almost unanimously, fighters who double as cornermen are far more nervous by the concept of vicariism—watching a friend or training partner fight—than they are of actually fighting. This phenomenon is not new. As Pete Sell says, it’s akin to a maniac driver whose knuckles turn white whenever he’s in the passenger seat. That’s because a [...]

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January 2011
The Company Man

If I had it my way,” Rich Franklin mumbles under his breath, “I’d just do the red carpet thing, get the pictures over with, then turn around and go home.”   With just about each day becoming a completely new adventure for the former UFC champ, tonight Franklin finds himself at a red carpet charity [...]

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September 2010 // Features
The Evolution of Kos

Love him or hate him, Josh Koscheck’s rise from serial wrestler to one of the most complete fighters in the UFC can’t be anything but respected.   “To be honest, I’m not sure I even want to do this,”Josh Koscheck says. We are sitting at one of his favorite Vegas haunts, the 24/7 Café at [...]

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August 2010 // Names in the Game
James Toney Won’t Go Quietly Into The Cage

If James Toney is insane, he is—as is usually the case with such accused—the last to know.   “Listen, just as soon as he raises a leg, you can cancel Christmas,” Toney says, dripping sweat after the first of three daily workouts at a gym in Chatsworth, California. He’s talking about Randy Couture, about connecting [...]

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May 2010 // Quick Hits
The Return of El Matador

This might go without saying, but Bellator Fighting Championships got the right guy for its lightweight tournament in Roger Huerta. El Matador is made for television, whether it’s Telemundo, ESPN Deportes, or otherwise. He’s an open book and his soundbites are genuinely intense. He is good looking, his back-story is tragic, and he feeds pop [...]

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July 2010 // Features
Mo Knows Fighting

Aren’t you Rampage Jackson?  That’s the question King Mo Lawal has been getting ever since he began knocking out guys in Sengoku a year and a half ago. He’s being asked that even no win Las Vegas, with Rampage standing there scowling opposite Rashad Evans on the thousands of UFC 114 posters. “Nah, ”he says. [...]

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June 2010 // MMA Life
The Born Scrapper

The question was: “Can a chin be taught?” Mickey Rourke heard it alright, and he says a little something about self-esteem and willpower, about an inner-strength that only some guys possess . . . but pretty soon we are voyaging from the chin to other body parts.   “You know that old rule about not [...]

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March 2010 // Features
Anarchy in the UK

Standing in front of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, FIGHT! photographer Paul Thatcher wants to have the Elvis estate photographer take a shot of me, him, and the brown-eyed bloke we dragged to pay homage to the King of Rock and Roll bright and early, well before the public tours begin. On this chilly December morning, [...]

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January 2010 // Features
The High-Flying Dutchman

Inside the lobby of the Marriott in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, is a scene common to fight-card gatherings everywhere. There are the usual cornermen, journalists, television production slaves, executives and their hookworms, promoters, hardcore mixed martial arts fans, and, of course, the fighters themselves. Everyone poses for pictures with fans and with each other. They walk [...]

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July 2009 // Names in the Game
A Country Boy Can Survive

Across the street from the quiet Alexandria airfield, there is an ochre-colored building with a small sign on the front door that reads “private facility, entrance by appointment only.” The structure is exactly the same in shape and color as the tractor-trailer-tire building to its left and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources outpost to [...]

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