Neal Taflinger's MMA Articles

November 2010 // Quick Hits
5 Minutes With Chris Lytle

What’s your job right now at the fire station?   I’m an engine company guy, which means that if there’s a fire, I get the hose and try to put the fire out immediately. You have engineers who do the driving, you have officers that manage the scene, you’ve got guys on the ladder who [...]

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January 2011 // Names in the Game
New Blood

Mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in the world. It garners more attention and new fans daily. The emergence of so many new athletes sometimes makes it hard for fans to notice some of the fighters on the verge of making it to the next level. MMAWeekly.com takes you deep inside the sport [...]

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April 2008 // MMA Life
Brazilian Bravado

Jorge Gurgel is sitting in the last place you’d expect to find a fighter to be while at training camp, and he’s talking about the last thing you’d think he’d want to talk about. At a Japanese restaurant, Gurgel is pushing pieces of sushi around his plate while he ponders the tumultuous topography of his [...]

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May 2009 // Features
The Real Matt Hughes

After ten title fi ghts and two seasons on reality TV you think you know him, but really, you have no idea. Gentleman or jerk, who is…The Real Matt Hughes Matt Hughes is giggling. The greatest UFC champion to date grins as he faces off against another fi ghter on the mat at H.I.T. Squad, [...]

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March 2009 // Features
The Clock Is Ticking

Heavy arms swing backward, thick fi ngers almost brushing the fl oor. The athlete’s hips dip low, holding for a split second before rising explosively, heavy arms reversing course to propel 270 pounds of blood, muscle, and bone three feet into the air. Large feet land and the athlete’s frame compresses, slightly less this time, [...]

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January 2009 // Quick Hits
Misaki Bombs

It’s said that you never get a second chance to make a fi rst impression, but Kazuo Misaki might be an exception to that rule. A veteran of nearly every Japanese MMA promotion including, DEEP, Pancrase, PRIDE, and World Victory Road, Misaki was six years into his career before competing on U.S. soil. The “Grabaka [...]

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March 2008 // Names in the Game
Smoker

Someone broke the fi rst rule of fi ght club, and Din Thomas wound up in jail. On October 31, 2007, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, police arrested Thomas, a 31-year-old Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, for holding illegal cage fi ghts in his St. Lucie West training center. Two weeks earlier, police received an anonymous [...]

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October 2008 // Features
Bisping Re-Mixed

Club DJs get used to hearing the same things over and over. They live on a steady diet of looped instrumentals and break beats, playing the same platters week after week. Michael Bisping is no different; the UFC middleweight made ends meet for nearly a decade spinning house and trance in clubs near his home [...]

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November 2008 // Features
Little Big Man

“You a wrestler?” A bizarre question even under normal circumstances. Miguel Torres takes it in stride. He hears it every time he takes his large WEC championship belt through airport security. “You a wrestler?” Torres often jokes that he is, even though he’d make a pitiful looking luchador, all fi ve-feet-nine-inches of him, 150 pounds, [...]

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September 2008 // MMA Life
Garage Days Revisited

It’s an easy story. Redneck parents strap up their kids for MMA brawls in a rural Missouri garage, under the tutelage of some redneck Tyler Durden. Talk TV’s hyperbolic hosts couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s sensational, titillating, and timely. The only problem is that it’s not entirely true; at least not the way television [...]

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July 2008 // Quick Hits
Affliction

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 [...]

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August 2008 // Features
Don Caballero

Inside the Palms Resort and Casino, the crowd roared when Clay Guida fl oored Roger Huerta with a fl urry of strikes, but Huerta’s world was silent. “I was out for the fi rst three to fi ve seconds. Everything was red,” he says. El Matador’s body reacted instinctively, fending off the attack as Guida [...]

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June 2008 // MMA Life
“Fights, Camera, Action”

Mixed martial arts has made it. Forget about live attendance, pay-per-view buys or TV ratings. MMA is the focus of two feature fi lms this year: award winning playwright and fi lmmaker David Mamet’s Redbelt and The OC meets Bloodsport teen fi ght fl ick, Never Back Down. Many fans see this as greedy opportunity, [...]

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May 2008 // MMA Life
Gary Goodridge

Damn good but not great, fi rst runner up always gets a line in the almanac but fades quickly from public memory. Don’t believe me? Quick, who lost Super Bowl XXXII? Name the fi ve teams the Chicago Bulls trounced en route to their six NBA titles in the 1990s. Who did Muhammad Ali defeat [...]

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Dec/Jan 2008 // Did You Know
MMA Rocks

Alex Varkatzas, lead singer of the metal band Atreyu, is a slender man, but his voice fi lls arenas. On May 27, 2006, it fi lled the Staples Center in Los Angeles before the main event of Ultimate Fighting Championship 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Varkatzas says one of the coolest moments of his life was [...]

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