Matthew Ross's MMA Articles

December 2010 // MMA Life
MMA Magic

Parties at the Mansion fall into two categories: official Playboy events, like the annual, infamous,and celeb-laden Mid summers Night’s Dream Party hosted by the company’s icon founder Hugh Hefner, and third-party affairs, when a promoter or organization pays a fee for use of the grounds. Tonight’s festivities—Playboy Energy Fight Night—is the latter. But that doesn’t [...]

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August 2009 // Names in the Game

In boxing, they used to be called opponents, guys thrown in there to add a quality name to a hot prospect’s record, or to provide a reigning champ with a respectable but supposedly overmatched foe. In other words, they were supposed to lose. But some of the supposed flunkies thought otherwise. The fighters on this [...]

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April 2009 // Features
The Dragon Awakens

One day, undefeated defensive genius Lyoto Machida decided to start knocking men out. He succeeded. His reward: a shot at the UFC light heavyweight belt. On July 25, 1945, prior to his fi ght with the highly-rated Jackie Graves, featherweight boxing champion Willie Pep said something crazy to a group of assembled sportswriters: that he [...]

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March 2008 // Features
Hendo’s Moment Of Truth

Temecula Valley, with its rolling hills and postcard-perfect vineyards, isn’t where you’d expect to find one of the toughest men on the planet. But this idyllic patch of wine country southeast of Los Angeles just happens to be the place Dan Henderson calls home. It’s just past ten on this chilly, quiet, morning, and inside [...]

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January 2009 // Features
Uncurbed Enthusiasm

Imagine a hyperactive, eight-year-old who’s just been let loose in an amusement park after downing a case of Red Bull. Then imagine that the kid is in fact a 46-year-old, 200-lb., 6’1,” bald, wisecracking Dutch fi ghting prodigy with as much natural athletic talent as Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre. And imagine that he’s [...]

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December 2008 // Names in the Game
Into The Wild

September 3, 2008. Thirty-seven-yearold former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner loaded his camping gear onto his Kawasaki KLR 650 dirt bike outside his beachfront apartment in Oceanside, California, and embarked on his latest, greatest journey into the unknown. The destination of choice: the desert just north of Brawley, a cattle town about 150 miles inland. [...]

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November 2008 // MMA Life
The Future of Fighting

A prime Tyson vs. a prime Ali? Most would favor Ali, but you never know. Tyson could crack back in the day. A prime Sugar Ray Robinson vs. a prime Sugar Ray Leonard at welterweight? I got Robinson, via late-round TKO. For hardcore boxing fans, those mythical match-ups are a source of endless debate for [...]

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July 2008 // Features
Rising Son

But sometimes, a fi ghter and trainer can make a connection that transcends the pettiness and the ugliness of such a seedy business. It starts when an old pro sees something in the young man standing before him, something that everyone else missed. Before long, they become like father and son, sharing absolute trust and [...]

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June 2008 // Names in the Game
Enter The Dragon

It’s common for sportswriters to mythologize the men they cover, to exaggerate their accomplishments, their histories, their presence in a room. Athletes, after all, exist to show us, the mere mortals, that the impossible— the hole-in-one, the perfect game, the knockout— can actually happen. But sometimes the man and the myth are, in fact, one [...]

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June 2008 // MMA Life
Brave New World

First it was Royce vs. Ken on closed-circuit pay-per-view. Then came Forrest vs. Stephan on basic cable. Now? It’s the UFC vs. everybody else, coming to you live on enough channels to give your TiVo a nervous breakdown. Welcome to a new era of MMA. First, a recap. In 2005, Dana White and Spike TV [...]

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April 2008 // Quick Hits
“Lights, Camera, FIGHT!”

The way things are going, it seems like its only a matter of time before mixed martial arts overtakes boxing as our society’s favorite form of legalized brutality. But despite skyrocketing ratings, there’s one area where the sweet science still reigns supreme: the movies. MMA may be drawing more new fans thanks to the awesome [...]

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February 2008 // Features

“These fighters are scary in a way that boxers and kick-boxers aren’t. They are savage…Whoever wins the fight, the unspoken signifier of victory is, I could have killed you. There are no excuses in the rules. If we were alone, in some back alley or on a deserted island, and we fought without all these [...]

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