Ron Kruck's MMA Articles

September 2013 // Names In the Game
Pat Healy – Up in Smoke

Despite losing a small fortune in bonus money for a failed drug test at UFC 159, lightweight Pat Healy manned-up and moved forward. Following the biggest victory of his career in April, UFC lightweight Pat Healy was suddenly transformed into a teenager who had worked hard all summer and couldn’t wait for his first, fat [...]

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July 2013 // Names in the Game
Danger Ahead – The UFC Is Covering Its Assets

It’s every sports franchise worst nightmare—dealing with the gut-wrenching news that their All-Star player has been injured and is out for the season. Suddenly, the team’s championship dreams have all but disappeared and their die-hard fans are flooding suicide hotlines for support. The only thing that could make this situation worse is if the savior [...]

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May 2013 // MMA Life
Prince Fielder – Heavy is the Crown

All-Star first basemen Prince Fielder hits hard on the diamond and in the cage. At first glance, 5’-11”, 275-pound Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder looks like he could go toe-to-toe with any UFC heavyweight. Watching him leap into the air to deliver a perfect flying knee while MMA legend Bas Rutten holds the pads [...]

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March 2013 // MMA Life
The Force is Strong

Ring of Fire brought the action to Buckley Air Force Base for the inaugural Buckley MMA Fight Night. All too often, phrases like “this is going to be a war” and “preparing for battle” are carelessly thrown around to describe a mixed martial arts bout. Those words, however, have an entirely different meaning for the [...]

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January 2013 // MMA Life
Going Under NYC

In New York, professional MMA is illegal, so fighters go underground to prove their mettle. More than 17,000 enthused fight fans packed Mon- treal’s Bell Center for UFC 154 and the return of national hero Georges St-Pierre to the Octagon. The crowd was deafening, the gate and pay-per-view buys were massive, and the fighter payroll [...]

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December 2012 // MMA Life
Moving Ahead

As Cleveland Clinic enters its second year of an unprecedented brain injury study on professional fighters, FIGHT!’s Ron Kruck brings us Part II on a story he delved into one year ago. In person, it didn’t look like one of those jaw-dropping, brain-rattling, he-just-got-knocked-the-F-out KOs that makes highlight reels, but as former Olympic wrestler Matt [...]

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October 2012 // MMA Life
Ultimate Disappointments

“That’s the unfortunate thing about hype—when there’s a lot of hype behind you and you don’t live up to it, it goes away really quick.” —Dana White, UFC 149 press conference It’s probably our fault—overzealous media members—who, in our endless quest for an intriguing story, over-hype an athlete who has yet to prove anything at [...]

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August 2012 // Features
The Last Emperor’s Last Stand

AXS TV/Inside MMA correspondent Ron Kruck traveled more than 5,000 miles to be part of Fedor Emelianenko’s last fight in St. Petersburg, Russia. Fedor Emelianenko has always been an enigma. On fight night, he was an emotionless cyborg, possessing a cold stare that could rival any great Russian Czar…but outside of the ring, he was [...]

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July 2012 // Quick Hits
Judgement Day

A new breed of fighter is ensuring that the sport of MMA continues to evolve, but there’s also a new breed of judge—and Ricardo Almeida is leading the way. You don’t need to earn a third-degree black belt from Renzo Gracie to become an MMA judge—but if offi cials were required to do so, controversial [...]

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January 2012 // Fighting Fit
Head Games

“I just don’t want to see anyone hurt. That’s all I care about. When you get to a point—in my opinion, I’m no doctor—that you start getting knocked out on a regular [basis], that’s it. I don’t want to see that any more.” —UFC president Dana White Dana White made that statement after MMA legend [...]

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November 2011 // MMA Life
Snap Decisions

It’s unanimous. No job is more thankless than being an MMA referee or judge. They are constantly under the spotlight, rarely receive praise for a job well done, and the only time they’re mentioned in the media is when they screw up. Doesn’t that sound like a great gig? MMA is in dire need of [...]

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December 2010 // Quick Hits
Inside America’s Gyms

When Miletich Fighting Systems opened its doors in 1997, Bettendorf, Iowa, quickly became THE PLACE for mixed martial artists to train. On any given day, you could find as many top-level athletes working out at MFS as you would playmates at Hugh Hefner’s birthday parties. In fact, at one point, three of the five UFC [...]

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March 2011 // Last Call
The Journey Continues

There are many unique aspects of mixed martial arts that separate it from other mainstream sports. Having the opportunity to punch your opponent in the face to earn a victory instead of just scoring more points than your adversary has to be near the top of the list. However, another interesting characteristic that makes MMA [...]

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February 2011 // Quick Hits
Inside America’s Gyms

I’m not sure if there are more mixed martial arts gyms or plastic surgeons in California, however, if you are looking for the latter then Beverly Hills is the place for you. If it’s a quality, MMA school or training center that you are searching for, there’s an overabundance of them all along the Golden [...]

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November 2010 // MMA Life
Ace Up The Sleeve

There stood Rich Franklin, in his trademark pink and brown shorts, with a broken arm courtesy of a Chuck Liddell high kick only one minute into their UFC 115 fight. He knew it was broken the moment “The Iceman” connected, but “quit” was not in his vocabulary on this June evening. “Even though you are [...]

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October 2010 // Names in the Game
Inside America’s Gyms

Having covered mixed martial arts full-time since2003, I’ve spent plenty of time in gyms, although that hasn’t helped my fight game much. I have visited the cavernous, 2,000-square-foot state of-the-art training centers, and I’ve been in the 200-square-foot non-air conditioned garages that technically can be called a “gym” because there happens to be a ring [...]

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January 2011
Fight For Your Life

When Bryan “The Beast” Baker stepped into the cage on June 24, 2010, to fight Alexander Shlemenko in the Bellator Fighting Championship Middleweight Tournament Finals, very few people had a clue that the biggest fight of his life was being fought outside of the cage.   Baker, a 24-year-old with a13-1 record, entered the cage [...]

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January 2011
Inside America’s Gyms

A common theme that I have gleaned while visiting MMA training centers across the country the past few months is that the majority of gyms are against air conditioning. A close second is that most successful gyms and fight teams are like a family.   Although MMA is considered an individual sport, fighters depend on [...]

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