April 15, 2012

Shogun Fights VI: Highlights

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Shogun Fights VI at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore was an action-packed MMA fight card. Here are highlights from 10 exciting bouts. (Kevin Richardson/The Baltimore Sun video)

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April 9, 2012

Shogun Fights VI: Hear from the fighters

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March 15, 2012

Cowboy Cerrone is looking for a title shot this year

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UFC lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone believes that 2012 is his year. He is looking for a title shot before the year ends.


“See last year I think I had the wrong mentality, I said I just wanted to fight, and I didn’t care about the title,” said Cerrone. “We’re here to get that belt. So hopefully two more (fights), win this one and win one more and then I will start calling people out.”


Cerrone was scheduled to fight an old friend of his in lightweight Yves Edwards, but Edwards had to drop out due to injury. The UFC replaced Edwards with hard-hitting veteran Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens. The fight is the co-main event at UFC on Fuel TV on May 15, in Fairfax, Va.


Cerrone and Stephens are both known for exciting fights with toe-to-toe action. Cerrone has won a combined seven UFC & WEC “Fight of the Night” honors, while Stephens has won three UFC “Knockout of the night” and one “Fight of the Night” honors.


“Stephens and I are going to be a barn burner, action-pack, non-stop in your face, kicking (expletive),” said Cerrone.


I have interviewed Cerrone on several occasions and each time I walk away respecting him more and more for his honesty. He’s a guy that doesn’t bite his tongue and he’s straight forward on everything.


“Last year was my first year in the UFC, my feet was still wet and I was scared” he said. “A lot comes with holding that (championship) belt, you have to present yourself and be mentally and physically ready to defend it at all-times.”


After winning six fights in a row, Cerrone lost his last fight to Nate Diaz and the critics and haters hit to Twitter and to MMA websites doubting his fighting skills. Cerrone is a fan of Chael Sonnen, and just like Sonnen, Cerrone has a word for his critics (haters), “Haters are like crickets, they talk a lot of crap until you walk up on them”


The lightweight division is a highly competitive weight class. But Cerrone believes his time has come and this is his year.


“I wasn’t ready last year, but 2012 is the year,” he said. “I’m coming hard, harder than I ever had, in shape and a pissed off Cowboy.”

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February 28, 2012

Wanderlei Silva getting ready for 'TUF' Brasil

The Ultimate Fighter Countdown to Brasil show features coaches Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort, who head teams of featherweight and middleweight UFC hopefuls competing in a tournament format.


Before starting his rigorous taping schedule, Silva took time out to meet the fans, and pay a surprise visit to fighters at XGYM in Rio for a pep talk and to exercise his coaching skills. The Ultimate Fighter Brasil debuts on March 25. Check for listings and airdates.


One of the Brazilian fans asked Wanderlei Silva, "When are you going to kill Chael Sonnen?" He said, "Soon".


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February 24, 2012

GSP goes to school in spiritual home of martial arts

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The UFC sent this on GSP in Japan and I thought the readers of MMA Stomping Grounds would like it.

While in Tokyo, Japan for this Saturday’s UFC 144 super-card, martial arts aficionado Georges St-Pierre took the opportunity to train in the birthplace of hand-to-hand combat.
The reigning UFC welterweight champion, who has always considered himself a martial artist first and foremost, takes instruction on how to use a katana (traditional Japanese curved sword) from children from the Kawai Kindergarden School in Tokyo.
‘GSP’ – who has mastered so many martial arts and added them to his Octagon skillset – was taken to school by the kids when it came to Kenjutsu.
“In school in Canada, we play hockey,” said St-Pierre. “I always wanted to be a Samurai when I was a kid, but those kids hit me pretty hard.”
St-Pierre fared much better when he visited the Kyokushin Karate school. The champ took an appreciative class through a series of katas (Japanese for ‘form’, practicing individual techniques) and was clearly very excited to be at the birthplace of the ancient martial art. 
“Karate was the first martial art I was every taught,” he said. “It is an honor to be here where it started. For me, karate will always be a very important part of me. It is not just a fighting style, it is a way of life.”
GSP, along with UFC President Dana White also exchanged gifts with Saitama City Mayor Hayato Shimizu during a visit to Saitama City Hall. 


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Remembering the last time the UFC was in Japan

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At UFC 144 Edgar vs. Henderson, it will mark the first time 12 years that the UFC has held an event in Japan.


Many familiar fighters were on that first card in Japan at UFC 29. A young Tito Oritz was defending his middleweight belt (now the light heavyweight division) for the first time. Also on the card were Pat Miletich, Chuck Liddell, Evan Tanner, Matt Hughes, Matt Lindland, Dennis Hallman and Jeff Monson.


This was the last Ultimate Fighting Championship event held under the ownership of SEG. Zuffa would take over the organization at UFC 30 in Atlantic City, NJ.


Dojo TV recorded hundreds of hours of the early years of the UFC, getting behind-the-scenes footage of the fighter and at ringside.


In the videotape of UFC 29 Japan, you can see how much the organization has grown in 12 years. There were about 30 people at the weigh-in in Japan, compared with the thousands who now show up at the weigh-in events. The fighters were weighed on bathroom scales, and referee Mario Yamasaki demonstrated that if a fighter leaned forward or backward, he could change how much he weighed.


Tito Ortiz talked about his experience at UFC 29. It was his first time fighting outside the country, and he needed to monitor his diet. “When I fought in Japan, food was a big factor. I made sure I ate the right food,” Ortiz said. “People don’t understand, once you make weight, you have to eat the right carbs and the right proteins. The best of both worlds is sushi. I ate a lot of fresh fish and white rice and got my weight back up.”


Dojo TV also captured Ortiz after he lost his belt in a taxicab in Japan. I asked Tito whether he recounted losing the belt in a taxicab, and he didn’t recall it happening (check out the video).


Liddell was in the opening fight on the main card, against fellow American Jeff Monson, and won by unanimous decision. Liddell recalled how much of a low-budget event SEG would operate. “Back then, they would fly us in the day of the weigh-in,” Liddell said. “So I would cut weight at the airport. I would get to the weigh-in, and we would use bathroom scales. So when Zuffa took over, you got commissions and certified scales. A lot more organized.”


The biggest surprise for Liddell and Ortiz in Japan was the fans' reactions during fights. “I think it’s the only place in the world you can hear a pin drop in between rounds,” Ortiz recalled. “They are so quiet because they have so much respect for MMA fighters.”


Liddell remembered being in the corner of Dan Henderson in Japan. “I was at a arena in Japan that had 18,000 fans, and I had earphones on my ears. I was yelling instructions to Dan Henderson during the fight. Someone told me to take my earphones off, and it was so quiet,” Liddell said. “I could have been 50 yards away and he could have heard me because it was so quiet.”



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July 18, 2011

MMA legend goes for his 100th win

On a warm summer night at a mixed martial arts school northwest of Baltimore, there stood the living legend Dan “The Beast” Severn, far from the huge arenas and UFC events he headlined in the ‘90s. He still sports his signature mustache and the barrel-chested physique of a 1960s-pro wrestler.

He first entered the octagon at 37 in 1994, as one of the most intimidating fighters in the world. In the early days of MMA, fighters would fight up to three matches to make it to that day's championship. The bouts were advertised as “no rules” matches. “MMA has approximately 37 rules today. Part of those rules include weight classes, time limits and gloves. Back in the ‘no-holds-barred era,’ we had two rules: No biting and no eye-gouging. Anything else was fair and I mean fair,” said Severn.

Many rules in MMA have changed since Severn first fought, but he said he thinks there are still some changes that need to be made. “I think in the next 3 to 5 years that elbow strikes will be the next thing to go,” said Severn. “Because right now I teach my athletes to let them take you down, and as they lay in your guard, reach back and land that elbow (on the crown of their head), and it’s checkmate.”

These days Severn travels the globe giving seminars on MMA, amateur wrestling and grappling. He was in Maryland to do a 2-hour seminar and to promote his fight with John Shaddock, the owner/coach of Shaddock MMA Academy in Eldersburg. The fight is scheduled for early 2012. Severn has an MMA record of 99 wins, 18 losses and seven draws. He is trying to get his 100th win and hopes that Shaddock will be that victim.

Severn has fought five times this year, winning three but losing his last two bouts by TKO and KO (punches). “I hope to stand on my feet and move a lot and use my speed,"Shaddock said. "At 43, I’m the younger fighter, so I have youth on my side."

Continue reading "MMA legend goes for his 100th win" »

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May 4, 2011

Shogun Fights IV highlights & results

On April 30, Shogun Fights IV once again delivered an action-packed MMA fight card at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore. Along with 11 exciting bouts, there were many MMA celebrities on hand, including MMA fighters Zach Davis (this season's Ultimate Fighter reality series contestant), Kamal Shalarous (WEC & UFC veteran), Frankie Lester (The Ultimate Fighter reality series; UFC veteran) and Ravens linebacker and free agent Prescott Burgess.

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March 18, 2011

UFC's Jon Jones training his brother, Ravens' Arthur Jones

Many fans consider UFC light heavyweight Jon “Bones” Jones one of the best fighters in the world. He is known in mixed martial arts as a very unorthodox fighter with exceptional grappling stills. But if you ask him who the best grappler in his family is, he would tell you that his brother, Arthur Jones, is hands-down the best in the family.


Arthur, the eldest brother, was a New York State heavyweight champion wrestler in 2003 and 2005 and was the runner-up in 2004.


I asked Jon about Arthur one day fighting in the octagon. “I think my brother would do great in the octagon. My brother has been living with me for about three weeks now, and his wrestling is on a completely different level. Honestly I think my brother’s clinch…well without starting anything. I really don’t see anyone in the heavyweight division right now being about to punch with my brother and not get thrown. My brother has amazing Greco-Roman wrestling [skills], and since he has been here, my Greco-Roman has come back completely.”


Arthur plays defensive end for the Ravens, with whom he just completed his first year. One of his teammates is safety Tom Zbikowski, who just fought as a heavyweight boxer in Las Vegas and plans to fight again this month in Atlantic City. He is able to compete in another sport because of the NFL lockout. If the lockout continues into the season, we could possibly see another Ravens player cross over into another sport.


Jon gave an estimated time to on how long it would take for Arthur to get ready to fight in the octagon if he chose to fight. “If he dedicated one year to the twice-a-day training lifestyle, I think he could compete with the UFC heavyweight champion. He's that special. It took me three years to get where I am, and Arthur is so special. He could get here in a year and a half.”


Continue reading "UFC's Jon Jones training his brother, Ravens' Arthur Jones" »

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February 16, 2011

Video: Georges St. Pierre on fighting Anderson Silva

UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre spoke Tuesday about what it would take to move up in weight to fight middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

I interviewed GSP at the Under Armour Headquarters in Baltimore. He was there to demonstrate UA's new products for the media. He also said he would no longer compete in the welterweght division after he moves up in weight.

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February 3, 2011

Q&A with UFC referee Mario Yamasaki

Veteran referee Mario Yamasaki will be the man in charge at UFC 126 main event between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and the challenger Vitor Belfort. I set down with Mario at Yamasaki Academy in Rockville, Maryland to talk about how he got started in the business and what he does outside the octagon.

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December 19, 2010

Local MMA fighter wins bout by knockout

East Coast Combat Club held a Mixed Martial Arts fight card in Manassas, Va. Several local fighters competed, including Jon Delbrugge of Lloyd Irvin martial arts/Crazy 88 team in Elkridge. Delbrugge scored an impressive knockout of Robert Ruby of Newark, Del.

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November 27, 2010

Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia on his upcoming fight with Tyler Toner

I talked to Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia this month about his upcoming fight with Tyler Toner and his lost to Mark Hominick. I asked if his next fight was a must win fight to remain in the UFC. He also talked about maybe a rematch with the "Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung.

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November 15, 2010

Highlights from Shogun Fights III at 1st Mariner Arena

Shogun Fights III was an action-packed night of fights that had many UFC fighters in attendance, including Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia and Mike Brown.

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November 11, 2010

Shogun Fights lll in Baltimore, Maryland

In Baltimore, we have Shogun Fights III at 1st Mariner Arena on Saturday, November 13. If this card is anything like Shogun Fights I & II, it's going to be a great event.

I got a chance to talk with Baltimore's own Binky Jones, Dan Root and Ryan Mackin about there upcoming fights.

The fight of the night may be the super heavyweight bout between Ryan McGowan and Bobby Favors. Favors tip the scales at 350 pounds while McGowan come in at 315 pounds.

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August 26, 2010

Candid interview with B.J. Penn

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani talked to B.J. Penn about his upcoming fight with Frankie Edgar at UFC 118 in Boston.

There was an uncomfortable moment when the interview first started, when Penn asked Helwani if he really liked him. Penn said, "Before I answer that question, I always felt that Ariel Helwani did not like me, and I want to know from a man to a man, do you like me?"

Check out the video here.

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May 26, 2010

Kris McCray talks about TUF 11


Kris “Savage” McCray from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11, talks about his loss to Josh Bryant and his upcoming fight on TUF 11 series.


McCray looks to be in great shape and I here he is working out 3 to 4 days a week with Master Lloyd Irvin. Irvin also trains UFC fighters Brandon “The Truth” Vera and Phil Davis.  

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A great time at UWC Judgement Day fights


I had a great time at Ultimate Warrior Challenge 8 Judgement Day, in Fairfax, Virginia. I got a chance to talk with many of the fighter on the card, but also fighters from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).

The fight card covered the gamut, from an experience fighter with 24 bouts to women fighters to an amateur's bout. In the amateur bout, fighter Carlos Horn of Chicago took on Jason "Fearless" Frank. You may remember Jason Frank from the hit TV series the Power Rangers he played the green ranger. This was his fourth amateur bout, he fought at heavyweight, but he believes he will fight in 205-pound division in the future.

We talked to TUF 11 fighters Kris McCray and Jamie Yager from the self proclaimed "Minority Report". Also on hand were WEC fighters, Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia with his cast on his hand and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone.

Bout results:
Scott Heckman def. Matt Brannon - Round 2 (1:36) Submission (Anaconda Choke)
Jeremy Carper def. Caleb MacAlister - Round 2 (3:00) Submission (Triangle Choke)
Jason David Frank def. Carlos Horn - Round 1 (0:24) Submission (Armbar)
Valerie Coolbaugh def. Iman Achhal - Round 3 (5:00) Decision (Split)
Dustin Pague def. Justin Hickey - Round 1 (0:54) Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Ronald Stallings def. Joey Kirwan - Round 2 (0:52) Submission (Triangle Choke)
Ururahy Rodrigues def. Diego Brandao - Round 3 (5:00) Decision (Unanimous)
Timothy Woods def. Mike Seal - Round 2 (3:35) Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
John Dodson def. Jessie Riggleman - Round 3 (5:00) Decision (Unanimous)

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May 17, 2010

Pedro Rizzo fought Gary Goodridge in DC

MMA Fans in the Nation's Capital got to see live Mixed Martial Arts at the DC Armory. The card was headlined by two Pride FC and UFC veterans, Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo and Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge. Rizzo won by a 2nd round TKO over Goodridge. Big Daddy was unable to answer the bell for the 3rd round due to heavy leg kicks by Rizzo.

Also working the event was ring announcer Lenne Hardt. Many fans can remember her voice from Pride FC, with her signature introduction of American fighters "from the United States of Americaaaaaaaaa". She can now be heard introducing fighters for Dream in Japan. It was a treat to hear her voice once again, it brought back old memories of Pride FC.

We also caught up with UFC veteran Kenny Florian as he talked about his next fight in August against lightweight Gray Maynard. The winner should get a title shot at the lightweight belt.


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April 27, 2010

Tito Ortiz denies assaulting Jenna Jameson

Mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz said his girlfriend is suffering from the drug OxyContin. Which is a narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine. It’s used to treat moderate to severe pain and it’s habit-forming.

Ortiz held a press conference with his attorney to declare his innocence and to deny he assaulted Jenna Jameson. Jameson's dad Larry Massoli called the police and said his daughter plans to press charges.


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March 31, 2010

Highlights from Shogun Fights II at 1st Mariner Arena

Some of the fighters on the card talked about there bouts.

Enjoying Shogun Fights II at ringside were Olympian Michael Phelps, Baltimore Ravens Lardarius Webb, Prescott Burgess, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Marcus Smith and Dannell Ellerbe as well as Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.


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March 16, 2010

Q&A with Balitmore's own MMA fighter Mike Paschall

Mike Paschall recently talked to me about his upcoming MMA fight against Glen Hoffman at Shogun Fights II. In his first MMA fight, the opponent was carried off on a stretcher. Mike gives us his account of how the fight went and what his opponent said before the bout. And you'll see which MMA fighting legend Mike resembles.

Which fighter on the Shogun Fights II card are you going to root for?


Posted by Kevin Richardson at 11:17 AM | | Comments (0)
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March 12, 2010

Talking MMA with John Rallo

John Rallo was the person that went to Annapolis and fought to have professional MMA in Maryland. I visited with John at Ground Control, his martial arts training academy in Baltimore, to talk about his upcoming Shogun II fight card. John wears many hat these day -- from teacher to owner to fight promoter. He talks about how he matches fighters in preparing a MMA card and why he chooses to have his fighters go up against tough competition. In the coming days, check back to hear from some of the fighters on the upcoming card.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:45 AM | | Comments (0)
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About the blogger
Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.


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