September 2010

The Strike Exchange

CHRIS LEBEN   Leben gained some serious steam with a pair of wins in 15 days. “The Crippler” TKO’d Aaron Simpson at the TUF 11 Finale and then slapped a triangle submission on Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116. Leben’s UFC status had been flagging (from main event to main card to prelims), but Knockout of [...]

Five For Fighting

  5. NATE MARQUARDT VS.ROUSIMAR PALHARES(UFC Ultimate Fight Night 22: Sept. 15)   Palhares comes into the bout on a UFC three-fight win streak, including victories over Jeremy Horn and Tomasz Drwal. Marquardt hopes to rebound from his February loss to Chael Sonnen. Both men have legit BJJ skills, and Marquardt looks to have the [...]

Swiss Miss

Free spirited Swiss beauty Alexandra Lahey will watch fights, drink beer, and eat a steak, but don’t think for one second she doesn’t enjoy being a girl.   + Word on the street is that you’ve been to a few no-holds-barred fights. What were some of the crazy things you saw?   We got there, [...]

Age is Just A Number

Teens MARCIN HELD Age: 18Record: 9-1   Polish sensation Marcin Held went undefeated in 20-plus amateur bouts, and he has compiled a pro record of 9-1. The 18-year-old BJJ practitioner can fight at either 145 pounds or 155 pounds. Held has made a name for himself in his home country, and now he’s primed to [...]

5 Minutes With Dominick Cruz

How did you get the nickname “Dominator?”   I was the smallest guy on my football team, but I would never stop and I’d always get back up.   What’s the last CD you bought?   Eminem’s Recovery.   Where do you keep your WEC title belt?   It’s on my couch underneath a pile [...]

On The Utility of Struggle and The Art of Rising

I. MOTORCYCLE HILL   “You must make friends with suffering!” Greg Jackson shouts to a group of about 15 professional fighters and one aging, but aspiring, participatory journalist as we all struggle up a diabolically steep and absurdly huge sand dune on the outskirts of Albuquerque, NM.   I’d arrived the day before for a [...]

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 [...]

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. takes you deep inside the sport [...]

Using The Force

At 11-0, Ryan “Darth” Bader has quickly become a force in the UFC light heavyweight division. Now, he’s taking the biggest gamble of his career—leaving Arizona Combat Sports and creating his own gym with friends CB Dollaway and Aaron Simpson.   THE BLUEPRINT   Gary Bader and Sons Construction has been around for nearly four [...]

The Circle of Fight

Seedy bars, seedier strip clubs, hospital rooms, and crazy after-parties—I have spent the night after fights at all of these locations. Fights are the culmination of years of blood and sweat. From the moment the fight ends until it’s time to get back to hard training, fighters have a chance to cram in as much [...]

Don’t Judge Me

I am cornering my team in an MMA event, and I look at the judges and think: These people cannot possibly be qualified. Two of the judges are men who are older than dirt and the other is a woman with a bouffant hairdo. Give me a freaking break. I tell my fighters not to [...]

Summertime and the Livin’s Easy

Shortly after getting jumped on national television, I was in Orange County, California, standing in the early summer air in khaki pants, a loose flowing Acapulco shirt, and white slippers—my faithful Hotdog dog sitting at me feet—when I got the call. It was my manager, Ryan Parsons, who had his “brace for impact” voice on, [...]

Dear Don

IMITATION = FLATTERY   Many moons ago, MMA journalistic pioneer Ben Fowlkes decided it would be in the best interest of humanity to seek the sage advice of the awe-inspiring Don Frye in a column he called “Dear Don.” Since that time, Ben’s idea has been pilfered by websites, media outlets, and magazines under similar [...]

Here For The Brawl

Utter the name Leonard Garcia to die hard MMA fans, and they will likely smile before launching into a verbal tornado of praise and admiration that parallels the very fighting style of Garcia himself.   Whether it’s a fan-pleasing brawl against Roger Huerta in the UFC or battles with the likes of Jens Pulver, Mike [...]

Punching Your Pal

Friend or foe, when the cage door slams, the only thought that should go through a fighter’s mind is how to secure victory.   RICH FRANKLIN   Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin has had to square off against his friend—Matt Hamill. “This industry is a small one,” Franklin says. “In some way, shape, [...]

Monumental Moments in MMA

The showdown between Frank Shamrock and Tito Ortiz at UFC 22 was regarded at the time as the greatest fight in MMA history, and it is still seen as such by many people who saw it in person or watched it live on television.   The drama going into this fight was immense. Shamrock, 26 [...]

The Sounds Of A Champ

Noah Francis is a modern day Renaissance man. The 34-year-old is a Welch Amateur Middleweight Boxing Champion, a World Freestyle Dance Champ, an evolving student of mixed martial arts, and the next musical star who is about to invade everybody’s cool pair of Skull candy designer headphones. The singer, who looks like Vin Diesel’s stunt [...]

“Claw & Fang, Tooth & Nail”

On a planet teeming with organisms, humans are truly the top predator. Sure, man is not as powerful as an ox, cunning as a lion, ruthless as a wolverine, or even as durable as a crocodile, but the trait that humans definitively hold over all other species is the ability to learn and adapt. Give [...]

A Man Of His Word

Several months ago, when the UFC announced Chael Sonnen would get a title shot against Anderson Silva, I called and asked if he would appear on my show, Fighting Words With Mike Straka on HDNet, the morning after the bout.   “Win or lose, in the hospital or in the hotel, I will do your [...]

What’s Sup?

In a nutritionist’s fantasy world, you’d get all of your daily essential nutrients from organically produced foods as part of a perfectly balanced, healthy diet. This, however, is not always a reality. We’re busy training…working…always on the go. If you don’t plan out your meals every day, you’ll end up with less than optimal food [...]

Next Round…Drinks!

You probably know that drinking the night before competition is ill advised, but what about having just a few drinks during training? It’s not the end of the world, but even a night or two on the town can have adverse effects on training and performance.   Toxic Waste   Alcohol is a toxin. From [...]

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