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Which UFC Hall of Famer admits steroid use on Inside MMA tonight?


Just got this bit of info from an HDNet press release:

Fighters make strong revelations about steroid use in the sport and usage during their careers – TONIGHT, Friday, June 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s groundbreaking episode of HDNet’s “Inside MMA” presents a surprisingly frank discussion on a topic rarely talked about in Mixed Martial Arts – steroid use.  How many fighters have used the substances to further their careers and how many are still using them today?

Panel guests are UFC stars Dennis Hallman and Pat Barry and Strikeforce’s Babalu Sobral.

Who could it be?

There are only 8 UFC hall of famers.

Dan Severn – His physique has never hinted at any type of steroid use, so I will rule him out immediately.

Charles “Mask” Lewis – Passed away in a car wreck last year. Ruled out.

Mark Coleman – Coleman did spend a good chunk of his career in Pride, where steroid use was supposedly rampant.  I doubt it’s him, though.

Ken Shamrock – My money is on him. More on that below.

Randy Couture – No way, no how. There wouldn’t be a chance that Couture would still be fighting at his age if he abused steroids earlier in his career.

Royce Gracie – Already tested positive for steroids, and vehemently denied any usage. I doubt he would embarrass the Gracie legacy by openly admitting steroid use.

Chuck Liddell – I doubt he would admit steroid use on the eve of headlining a PPV.

Matt Hughes – This gave me a chuckle because the UFC doesn’t even have him listed as a hall of famer on their website yet. Anyway – no. Hughes has always been a small welterweight.

I’d bet the house on Ken Shamrock. Look at the size of this guy during his stint in the WWE (WWF back then). He also spent a good chunk of his career in Pride. Shamrock has nothing to lose buy admitting steroid use, seeing as his career is all but over anyway.

I guess we will find out for sure tonight.

Posted by lvollmer on Friday, June 11th, 2010 at 1:53 pm |

UFC 114 analysis and some funny Rampage Jackson quotes


There is nothing like a good grudge match; Furthermore, there is nothing like a good grudge match between two of the worlds most elite mixed martial artists. For your amusement, here are some of Rampage Jackson’s best quotes leading into his light heavyweight match up against Rashad Evans this Saturday at UFC 114, mixed in with a little of my analysis.

“He’s not great. I fought great and I beat great, and he is not great. He can’t take me down, his cardio is crap. He says I wasn’t in shape when I saw him in Sydney (in February), and no I wasn’t. But I am now and I will be in the fight. He was (huffing and puffing) in his last fight in the third round. He hits like a kid, like all silly swinging his arms. And we all seen that glass jaw. What’s he gonna do? He’s got nothing for me.” – Rampage Jackson

My notes: Actually, Rashad’s cardio looks excellent. If you have been watching UFC Primetime, you know what I am talking about. Rampage actually looks like the slower of the two , but that could be a case of creative editing. Rampage has been dieting hard, but I don’t know what his actual conditioning program consists of. His camp may have opted not to allow the UFC to film the regimen. Rashad’s camp showed some real workhorse conditioning, however, and “Suga” looks ready to go.

Rampage does make a good point. I have never been a fan of Rashad’s wild boxing, but his speed is tremendous, and allows him to land those wild, looping overhand punches.

Rampage on Rashad training with Keith Jardine:

“What Jardine gonna tell him? “Hey – don’t get beat up for three whole rounds?’ Even Rashad can figure out that.

“I train with Bisping, he’s my friend. Bisping went to a split decision with Rashad and I thought he should have got the decision. If anyone is getting good inside information, I am.

“I was ring-rusty against Jardine, and I may be in this fight in Las Vegas. That gives Rashad a teeny-tiny chance. Not a good chance, just a teen-weeny chance. Like 0.05%. If I had fought more recently? He’d have no chance, he wouldn’t have needed to show up. He’d have fainted in the hotel room and we could have sent the referee with room service to wake his ass up and call that a KO.

“But don’t go crazy and bet money on Rashad. Don’t do that to yourself!”

My Notes: I had the misfortune of attending the event Rampage mentions above. Bisping lost a split decision to Evans at UFC 78, which took place in Newark NJ. The whole card was a snooze fest and this was a lackluster main event.  Regardless, Rampage doesn’t have much to go on based on Evans performance at UFC 78. That event was two and a half years ago and Rashad has evolved tremendously as a fighter since that time.

On the other hand, Evans has little to no advantage by training with Jardine; Jardine didn’t do much against Rampage, and Jardine’s unorthodox striking game couldn’t be farther from Rashad’s. Rampage probably had a specific game plan going into that fight to dismantle Jardine’s odd striking technique. He won’t execute the same game plan against Rashad.

Rampage discusses a possible fight with new UFC light heavyweight champion, Shogun Rua:

“I am happy Shogun won. Now after I get a nice warm-up fight against Rashad, I get my belt back and pay Shogun back for the nap he gave me. Then I hope Forrest gets back healthy and gets winning some and I will set that one right. That would be a good three fights. I will beat Rashad’s ass – or arse as they say in England – then get my belt back with some payback and then I want to retire Forrest.

“Shogun is a good fighter. He’s got the belt, but it is still my belt. I never should have lost that and I should have got the title rematch instead of Rashad getting it. But once I beat Rashad, it is on.”

My Notes: Shogun put Rampage to sleep with soccer kicks at PRIDE – Total Elimination 2005.  Ahh, the beloved head stomps and soccer kicks. This rematch would be great for PRIDE purists. It is a moot point until we know what happens this weekend with Rashad and Rampage this weekend. This match should determine the number one contender for Shogun’s title.

I am no Rashad Evans fan. I don’t get particularly excited to watch him fight. That being said, I think he will pull this one off. The betting lines have Rashad as a very slight favorite right now, and I agree. Rashad’s line is -120 and Rampage is at -110. This fight is one of those fights that can go both ways, and it’s also one of those fights that has the potential to start very slow and end very fast. I think Rashad’s speed and conditioning will be the x-factor in this match, and as long as he doesn’t get drilled with a shot from Rampage while dancing around the cage, Rashad should be able to pull off the W.

Posted by lvollmer on Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 11:33 am |

UFC 114 is sold out


UFC officials announced today that tickets for UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. are officially sold out. The war of words between former UFC light heavyweight champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and “Suga” Rashad Evans has created one of the fiercest rivalries in the history of the sport. It’s also created one of the hottest tickets in Sin City.

Tickets are still available for the closed circuit telecast of UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans to be held at MGM Grand Conference Center. Tickets for the closed circuit telecast are available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino) and at any MGM Grand box office outlet.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at UFC.com <http://UFC.com> , www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com <http://www.ticketmaster.com/> .

UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans will also be available live on Pay-Per-View on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).

Posted by lvollmer on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 4:45 pm |


UFC Fan Expo to feature grappling match between Takanori Gomi and Shane Roller


One of the world’s most accomplished mixed martial artists will meet one of the sport’s most decorated wrestlers in a can’t-miss grappling contest just added to next week’s UFC® FAN EXPO™.

UFC President Dana White announced today that UFC star and MMA legend Takanori ‘The Fireball Kid’ Gomi will take on three-time Division I All-American wrestler and WEC star Shane Roller in a grappling superfight slated for Saturday, May 29 at 1PM PT inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

By pairing the explosive Gomi with the relentless Roller, White believes fans are in for an exciting superfight.

‘Takanori Gomi is a legend in Japan and has won numerous grappling championships,’ White said.  ‘Shane Roller is an incredible wrestler and an explosive athlete. This will be an amazing match and we are excited to bring it to our fans at the UFC Fan Expo.’

The UFC Fan Expo also features four other anticipated grappling superfights. On Friday, May 28, ADCC world champion Penny Thomas locks horns with MMA veteran Shayna Baszler in a women’s match, while UFC veteran Hermes Franca grapples jiu jitsu phenom Bill Cooper. Then on Saturday, May 29, WEC contender Javier Vazquez battles 23-time Grapplers Quest champ Jeff Glover, while MMA star Caol Uno meets four-time jiu jitsu world champion Fredson Paixao. All superfights take place at 1pm PT each day inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Roller, a Las Vegas resident who defeated Anthony Njokuani by first-round submission in his last bout on April 24, sees his superfight against Gomi as a way to solidify his grappling credentials.

‘This is a huge opportunity for me,’ Roller, who wrestled collegiately at Oklahoma State University and trains jiu jitsu under the renowned Marc Laimon, said. ‘Some of the best grapplers in the world are competing at the UFC Fan Expo. I’m hoping to show the grappling world my skills and put myself on the map.’

Posted by lvollmer on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
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Tim Kennedy finally gets an opponent for STRIKEFORCE; Bobby Lashley off card again


After months of wondering who he will fight , Strikeforce has finally named an opponent for Tim Kennedy.  Info below:

American military hero and up-and-coming middleweight, Tim Kennedy, will be opposed by the dangerous Trevor Prangley in one of the featured STRIKEFORCE Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Wednesday, June 16, on SHOWTIME®.

The first-ever STRIKEFORCE event scheduled for mid-week will take place in the midst of the E3 Expo, the premier trade show for computer and video games. During E3 Expo 2010 at the L.A. Convention Center, EA SPORTS™ will exhibit its highly anticipated title, EA SPORTS MMA, in which STRIKEFORCE is featured as a premier league.

Tickets are on sale at STAPLES Center box office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com <http://www.ticketmaster.com/> ) and STRIKEFORCE’S official website (www.strikeforce.com <http://www.strikeforce.com/> ).  Tickets will also be sold at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE box office on days when events take place there.

In other televised fights on SHOWTIME, hard-knocking, hard-hitting “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (17-5) will collide with former STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight (205 pounds) champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral, at a catch weight of 195 pounds in the main event and. DREAM welterweight champion Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis (13-4) will face Evangelista Cyborg (17-13) in a welterweight (170 pounds) contest.

A previously announced heavyweight match between Bobby Lashley and Ron Sparks will not transpire. Lashley suffered a knee injury during training.

Both 185-pound fighters – Kennedy (11-2), of Austin, Tex., by way of San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Prangley (22-5-1), of Couer D’ Alene, Idaho, via Cape Town, South Africa — have been impressive in recent starts.

The 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Kennedy, a United States Army Special Forces sniper with the 19th Special Forces outfit based in San Antonio, has toured the Middle East multiple times, and earned the Army’s Bronze Medal Star medal for valor under fire.

Inside the cage, Kennedy has won three in a row and 11 of his last 12. In his last outing, he submitted (north-south choke) Zak Cummings in the second round during a STRIKEFORCE Challengers event on Sept. 25, 2009.
Prangley, a six-foot, 37-year-old former South African national wrestling champion and Olympic alternate who turned to MMA after suffering a knee injury in college, is 11-1-1 in his last 13 fights. A five-fight winning streak ended  Feb. 26, 2010, when a STRIKEFORCE: Challengers fight he seemingly was on his way to winning against Karl Amoussou ended in a technical draw at 4:14 of the first round due to an accidental thumb to Amoussou’s eye.

Kennedy has split two fights with Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Kennedy’s only other defeat came to Scott “Hands Of Steel” Smith in his pro debut on Aug. 31, 2001.

“I am fighting full-time and still in uniform, which is what I’ve wanted all along,” Kennedy said. “I am looking forward to fighting again against a good, solid wrestler like Prangley, who trains at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif.).

“He’s got heavy hands and a good chin. This will be a good fight for me.

Kennedy signed with STRIKEFORCE in 2009 after a two-year break from the sport due to his military commitments. This will be his third start on SHOWTIME for the San Jose-based organization. Before walking through the previously unbeaten Cummings (10-0 going in) in Tulsa, Okla.,  Kennedy scored a second-round submission (punches) over former BodogFIGHT champion Nick “The Goat” Thompson at Kent, Wash.

“I want to keep winning,” Kennedy said. “STRIKEFORCE has a bunch of guys in my weight class who I match up very well with. I want to fight all of these guys and put on a good show for SHOWTIME and STRIKEFORCE.”
Prangley may not be the most feared fighter in MMA, but he is definitely not one many want to enter the cage with. He’s capable of besting anyone on any given night.

Since his pro debut (as a light heavyweight) in January 2001, Prangley has met some good ones, including “Babalu,” Jorge Santiago (his last loss) and Chael Sonnen. Prangley’s most significant victory may have come against Sonnen.

Prangley has fought for STRIKEFORCE in the past. Besides his last start against Amoussou, he also competed in STRIKEFORCE: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives, the first sanctioned MMA tournament in the state of California on Nov. 16, 2007 and was victorious over Anthony “A Train” Ruiz by way of unanimous decision at the second STRIKEFORCE event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Sept. 20, 2008.

Doors at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE will open for the event at 5:15 p.m. PT.  The first non-televised preliminary bout will begin at 7 p.m. and the first main card fight will begin at 8 p.m.

Posted by lvollmer on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 11:54 am |
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Brett Rogers will throw out the first pitch at St. Louis Cardinals game today


Brett Rogers will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals game against the Houston Astros at 12:40 p.m. CT at Busch Stadium.

Knockout artist Rogers (10-1) will take on STRIKEFORCE World Heavyweight Champ Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem (32-11) in the main event of Saturday’s STRIKEFORCE St. Louis: Heavy Artillery event at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Posted by lvollmer on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 at 11:51 am |
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UFC counters Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery” with UFC’s Ultimate Fights


Spike TV presents a special telecast of 2010’s most action-packed mixed martial arts fights, including the heavyweight showdown between Shane Carwin and Frank Mir and the unforgettable slugfest between Leonard Garcia and Chan Sung Jung (aka “The Korean Zombie”) in “UFC’s Ultimate Fights” on Saturday, May 15 (10:00 PM – 12:30 AM ET/7:00 PM-9:30 PM PT).

The hard-hitting bouts featured include the following:
Shane  Carwin vs. Frank Mir
UFC 111 – March 27, 2010

In a battle for the interim UFC heavyweight crown, Shane Carwin showcases his impressive punching power as he knocks out Frank Mir in a little less than four minutes in the first round of their highly anticipated bout.  Carwin will now face Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight crown in July.
Leonard  Garcia vs. “The Korean Zombie”, Chan Sung Jung
Aldo vs. Faber – April 24, 2010

“The greatest fight I’ve ever seen!” declared Joe Rogan.  This epic three-round slugfest and front-runner for “Fight of the Year” featured two of the most promising featherweights in the world.  Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia and “The Korean Zombie”, Chan Sung Jung, traded devastating blows for three grueling rounds, with Garcia winning a close decision.
Mark  Munoz vs. Kendall Grove
UFC 112 – April 10, 2010

In a matchup of middleweight contenders, Mark Munoz survived a big uppercut from Kendall Grove and several near-submissions in the first round before scoring a thrilling TKO late in the second round.  The action-packed bout earned “Fight of the Night” honors for Munoz and Grove.
Terry  Etim vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
UFC 112 – April 10, 2010

In a hard fought contest between rising lightweight stars, Rafael Dos Anjos scores a victory over Terry Etim via armbar in the second round of their bout. Dos Anjos won “Submission of the Night” honors.

Matt  Serra vs Frank Trigg
UFC 109 – February 6, 2010

Two veterans in the welterweight division met inside the Octagon™ at UFC 109, but it was former welterweight champion Matt Serra that emerged victorious.  The acclaimed jiu-jitsu artist opted to stay on his feet, knocking out Trigg with a right hook at 2:23 of the first round, taking home “Knockout of the Night” honors in the process.

Nate  Diaz vs Rory Markham
UFC 111 – March 27, 2010

After years of fighting at lightweight, Nate Diaz made his debut in the welterweight division at UFC 111, and did so in stunning fashion.  Diaz scored a TKO victory over welterweight veteran Rory Markham via strikes at 2:47 of Round 1.

Paulo  Thiago vs Mike Swick
UFC 109 – February 6, 2010

Paulo Thiago took on a major step towards a shot at the UFC’s welterweight crown by defeating Mike Swick at UFC 109.  After a close first round, Thiago dropped Swick with a right hand early in the second round of their contest, and followed it up with a picture perfect arm triangle choke.  The incredibly tough Swick refused to tap, and the fight ended with referee Herb Dean pulling Thiago off his opponent at 1:54 of the second round.  Thiago earned “Submission of the Night” honors for his efforts.

Posted by lvollmer on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 at 9:48 am |
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Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery” preview


This Saturday, Strikeforce features the “Heavy Artillery” card on Showtime. This bout marks the return of Strikeforce heavyweight champion “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem. Overeem defends his belt against Brett Rogers.

The card is pretty solid from top to bottom:

Main Card :
-Alistair Overeem (32-11) vs. Brett Rogers (10-1)
-Andrei Arlovski (15-7) vs. Antonio Silva (13-2)
-Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza (11-2) vs. Joey Villasenor (27-6)
-Roger Gracie (2-0) vs. Kevin Randleman (17-14)
-Antwain Britt (11-3) vs. Rafael Cavalcante (8-2)

I am really excited to see Overeem back in the US. Alistair is a beast of a heavyweight, which has consequently led to several discussions about how he obtained so much mass over the past few years. Regardless, Overeem has been walking through opponents  in overseas  MMA matches and has also competed very well on the K1 kickboxing circuit. Overeem will definitely be the more technical striker of the two, but if Rogers lures him into a slugfest then Rogers stands a pretty good shot of putting Overeem to the canvas; the “Demolition Man” has been T(KO)’d 6 times.

I’m going with the champ. Rogers is definitely the most game opponent Overeem has faced, but I think Alistair will fight an intelligent fight and pick Rogers apart in the stand up game. Regardless, it’s a pretty sure bet that this fight won’t go the distance.

Arlovski vs Silva is also one to keep an eye on. Antonio Silva is one of those new breeds of heavyweight that brings brute strength and solid conditioning into the cage. Arlovski will no doubt be the faster of the two, and his technical boxing has improved greatly since working with Freddy Roach;Arlovski’s main issue is that he has a glass jaw and Silva has heavy hands. Arlovski will have to execute fast,crisp combos and solid head movement to avoid one of those Antonio Silva sledgehammers connecting with his skull. Andrei was knocked out in a mere 22 seconds in his last fight with Brett Rogers, so he is probably itching to put on a good performance, especially coming off back to back losses.

Posted by lvollmer on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 10:44 am |
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Paulo Filho withdraws from Bellator fight with Hector Lombard


No surprise here; Filho has been about as reliable as a square wheel in the last two years. Suffering from depression and drug abuse,  I was questioning Bellator’s decision to sign Filho to a “superfight” in the first place.

Press release below:

Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that Paulo Filho has withdrawn from this Thursday night’s “Super Fight” against Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard at Bellator 18.

Lombard (24-2-1) will instead face off against former UFC veteran Jay Silva (5-3) who was previously scheduled to fight in another bout on the show. The fight takes place at the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, La., and will air LIVE on FOX Sports Net and during special weekend highlight shows on NBC, Telemundo and mun2.

“We worked very hard to get Paulo here for this fight but, despite all of our efforts, we were unable to make that happen,” Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said today. “Instead, we now have an intriguing fight between Hector Lombard and Jay Silva, who has an exciting, aggressive style.  Coming off of losses in the UFC, I know Jay is hungry for a big win and will be looking to make a name for himself against Hector, one of the best middleweights in the world.”

Silva, an East Coast native, learned Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Renzo Gracie and currently trains at Gracie’s gym alongside MMA notables Cheick Kongo and Quinton Jackson. Lombard, meanwhile, is undefeated in his last 18 fights including his three-fight rampage through Bellator’s Season 1 Middleweight Tournament.

Other fights on this Thursday’s Bellator 18 card include two Season 2 Featherweight Tournament semifinal fights: former World Champion Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion Joe Warren (3-1) versus former pro soccer player Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan (13-1-1) and a battle of two Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts, Patricio Pitbull (13-0) and Wilson Reis (10-1).

Posted by lvollmer on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
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Spike TV to air UFC 115 prelims commercial free


Spike TV will telecast live undercard bouts from UFC® 115:  LIDDELL vs. FRANKLIN on Saturday, June 12 at 9:00 PM ET/ 6:00 PM PT from the GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The one-hour telecast will run with limited commercial interruption.  UFC 115 will air on pay-per-view at 10:00 PM ET.

The first bout scheduled to air on Spike TV is in the lightweight division, and features a former winner of “The Ultimate Fighter,” as Mac Danzig (20-7-1) squares off against Matt Wiman (11-5).  Fighting out Los Angeles, CA, Danzig was the winner of Season 6 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” defeating Tommy Speer to capture the crown.  He most recently defeated Justin Buchholz at UFC 109, and he hopes to make it two in a row by defeating Wiman at UFC 115.

Hailing from Dallas, TX, “Handsome” Matt Wiman appeared on Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and notched his first win in the UFC at the season finale against Brian Geraghty.  He boasts a 5-3 record inside the UFC Octagon™, with wins over Thiago Tavares and Shane Nelson on his resume, as well as a Fight of The Night battle against Sam Stout.  Widely respected for his toughness, Wiman hopes to emerge from his bout with Danzig with his hand raised, and still “Handsome.”

The evening’s second televised bout is also a lightweight contest, and pits rising star Evan Dunham (10-0) against longtime contender Tyson Griffin (14-2).  Training with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Dunham has won his first three contests in the UFC against Per Eklund, Marcus Aurelio and Efrain Escudero.  Compiling an undefeated record in the UFC, with only two bouts going to decision, Dunham will be looking to use his effective mixture of striking and grappling ability to take out his toughest opponent to date, his teammate Tyson Griffin.

Tyson Griffin has defeated an impressive roster of opponents en route to his 7-2 record with the organization, including wins over the likes of Clay Guida, Hermes Franca and Gleison Tibau.  With his aggressive striking, he is also widely known as one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, having captured “Fight of the Night” honors five times during his career.  He’ll look to make it a sixth time with a victory over Dunham.

Other bouts on the card might air on Spike TV, to be determined by the length of the fights.

Posted by lvollmer on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 11:18 am |


About this blog
Web programmer by day, practicing mixed martial artist at night, Larry Vollmer Jr. brings the latest news from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the rest of the mixed martial arts world - a fast-spreading obsession on TV and online. These are the bouts - they occur in an octagon-shaped "ring" - that test men's souls.