Archive | April, 2005

Osbourne is relieved after kneeing a vet

30 Apr

by Patrick Cusick, Special to The Nation (2005-04-30)

“Fighting Jack�? Osbourne voiced relief after his knockout win in his first muaythai bout in Pattaya on Wednesday night.

The son of high-profile TV stars Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne said he was “not surprised, but relieved�? when he punched and kneed his opponent “The Man�? onto the canvass early in the second round.

“I knew that I had an edge in fitness and the tactics were to put the pressure on in the first round and finish off in the second.

“Neither myself or “The Man�? had that much conditioning to go the full distance so it was a matter of getting in fast,�? he said after.

Both Ozzy and Sharon watched anxiously as their son received two powerful kicks to his legs. A heavy exchange in blows in the frantic first round had the celebrities tense with expectation.

“It was some fight. I’m proud of Jack. It’s something I will remember,�? said Ozzie, who embraced his son as he left the ring to the roars of a partisan crowd of local fans.

Jack felt his strength was his powerful punches. “I was as surprised as anyone else when I landed the knee strike. I saw the opportunity and I took it.�?

Jack’s opponent “The Man�?, a veteran muaythai professional on his comeback fight said he was “taken by surprise�? with the ferocity of the first round.

“I kicked him a couple of times hard but he just kept on coming. I tried to control the fight and slow him down but he was a tough nut to crack,�? the Thai fighter said.

Seconds into the second round the 21-year-old Osbourne let fly with a flurry of punches that staggered “The Man�?. The end came quickly as Osbourne delivered a powerful knee strike to the solar plexus and the blow followed through to the chest and face.

“I went down and that was it,�? lamented the Thai stalwart, who said that he would continue to fight despite being “around 40�?.

The Osbourne fight attracted tight security with special bodyguards assigned to protect the Osbournes, who watched the bout on a VIP ringside lounge.

Jack was sore and limping a little after his first bout. But he described muay Thai fighting as “a buzz�?.

“It’s not easy being a fighter. You have to train hard, carry injuries and never lose your resolve.�?

“I do appreciate that you have to train hard in muay Thai and my trainers [at Fairtex Muaythai Fitness] did everything to get me into shape and give me the confidence to fight hard. Without the training, I couldn’t have done it. I wouldn’t have been a winner and it wouldn’t be safe.�?

Sharon Osbourne admitted to some concerns as a mother watching after two preliminary bouts ended with a knockout and a stopped fight. The atmosphere was “intense�?, but “Jack did well. I’m so proud of him,�? she said.

The Osbournes plan to wrap up their stay in Thailand with some touring together.

“I haven’t had much time to take in the sights and it will be nice to do this with my mum and dad,�? Jack said. “I’ve developed a certain kind of love for Thailand.�?

Then Jack plans to put his gloves aside and turns his focus to rock climbing. “Muaythai has given me the strength and confidence to take on new challenges. I won’t be forgetting what I learnt here in Thailand.�?

Picture: Jack Osbourne training with The Living Legend, Ajarn Apidej Sit-Hirun.

Ozzy, son get their muay Thai kicks in Pattaya

30 Apr

by Patrick Cusick, Special to The Nation (2005-04-30)

Superstars Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne – stars of the popular reality television series “The Osbournes�?– watched from ringside yesterday as their only son fought in his first muay-Thai bout in Pattaya.

“Fighting Jack�? Osbourne donned the muay-Thai mongkon (traditional headband) and boxing gloves to fight against veteran muay-Thai professional “The Man�? at the Pattaya Stadium last night.

Ozzy and Sharon cheered as their son scored a sensational knockout eight seconds into the second round.

Although he had been training at the elite Fairtex Muaythai Fitness Camp in Bang Plee Yai for barely three weeks, Jack Osbourne impressed his personal trainers who gave the young celebrity a crash course in the basics of Thai combat.

“His strength is his punches. He also has a fighter’s heart,�? said Philip Wong, chairman of Fairtex and manager of several muay-Thai world champions.

After putting on excess weight and running himself down to a critical level as a result of an indulgent Californian lifestyle, Jack decided to give up all alcohol and drugs and get healthy.

His dad Ozzy, who also quit drinking a year ago, gave his full support for Jack’s new direction – though he was a little concerned at the physical rigors of muay Thai.

“At first mum and dad were a little concerned. But once they came here and saw the training programs – and saw for themselves that I was mentally and physically well prepared – they were very cool about it all,�? Jack said.

The British star said he underwent a detox program on Koh Phangan to cleanse his body and reduce weight.

“Yeah, I’ve lost a lot of poundage, but the trainers tell me my fighting weight is still another 10 pounds lighter,�? he said. “I should be down to a super welterweight – but that will have to wait for another day, another fight.�?

So, is the only son of a megastar family – which rival the Beckhams and Oprah Winfrey in terms of making headlines – looking to a professional career in muay Thai?

“You know, I like to do rock climbing and other sports that test your body, mind and spirit. But yeah, I’d have to say that muay Thai is something special. It’s really demanding and it’s becoming popular all around the world.

“I can dream of being the WBC Muay-Thai champion of the world.�?

This is Osbourne’s first visit to Thailand. His family rarely travels outside the US and Britain, where they have homes but they make occasional trips to Australia.

The Osbournes have been impressed with their first encounter with Asia and the Thai lifestyle.

“What we like about the Thai people is their attitude to life,�? enthused Jack. “They are really super-cool people . . . no matter what happens they don’t let stress get them down.�?

Jack says he’ll leave Thailand a lot stronger and ready to take on some extreme rock climbing.

“I feel that I’ve got to a new level in how to live . . . I’ve learned a lot about myself and what’s required to get fit and stay healthy.�?

Picture: Mr. Philip Wong presenting Jack Osbourne the winning trophy.

Pit Master talks strategy for Couture-Liddell II

29 Apr

by Michael DiSanto, Insidefighting.com (2005-04-29)

Ever wonder about a fighter’s game plan heading into a fight – not the lip service media stuff, but his real game plan? What about the final words of advice or encouragement behind closed doors before the fighter heads to the ring or Octagon?

Neither fighters nor trainers talk much about their strategy or game plan heading into a fight. Sure, toss the media a bone with some obvious generalities. But it doesn’t make sense for a fighter to tip his hand prior to the fight. So, they often keep their cards close to the vest until the fight is over.

With Chuck Liddell’s dominant knockout win over Randy Couture at UFC 52, one had to wonder why the result was so different than their first match up at UFC 43 back in June 2003. What did Liddell work on differently in training, if anything, to make the action unfold so differently?

“I’m the strategist for the fights,�? John ‘Pit Master’ Hackleman, Liddell’s chief trainer, told InsideFighting. “That’s what I do. It’s a tough job, but it’s about one-billionth as tough as Chuck’s job. Before the fight, Chuck gets me videos from the UFC on who he is going to fight. I watch the videos over and over until I come up with a game plan. When we start training, we just train regularly until I come up with a game plan. Once I come up with the game plan, that’s what we focus on.�?

In visiting Liddell’s training camp about a month prior to the fight, it was obvious that Liddell was working hard on one thing – firing a straight right hand right down the middle in search of the knockout.

“I knew Chuck would knock him out with one of two things – either a straight right hand or a liver shot,�? Hackleman revealed. “He got him with the right hand. But if the fight would have gone past the first round, you would have seen the liver shot. That was Plan B.�?

The plan, however, was more involved than just throwing a straight right hand. Liddell has always carried that weapon in his repertoire. Liddell had to set it up, and that is where strategy and forethought comes in handy.

“In the first fight, Randy came forward with that slow step drag – he steps forward and then drags his back foot to get into position,�? Pit Master explained. “We knew he would come out like that again. All you have to do is take one step to the side and that forces him to reset his feet again. Before he resets, you attack from the angle and then move again. That is exactly what Chuck did during the fight.�?

Work the circle and look to strike after Couture steps forward. That sounds simple enough, but it actually required a series of unnatural reactions by Liddell. The natural reaction to pressure, whether it is pressure generated from an incoming punch or someone stepping forward to throw a punch, is to pull or step straight backwards. But that is a recipe for disaster.

“When you step straight back, where do you eventually end up?�? he asked. “You’re going to end up against the fence, and then you have nowhere to go. That is where Randy is at his best. Think of it like a snowball at the top of a hill. When it’s coming after you, what do you do? If you go straight back, it will pick up speed and become a ball that weighs a ton and it’s going to catch up to you. If you’re moving backwards, you can’t win a fight. Sure, you can stop and counter. But 99 out of 100 times, the guy moving backwards won’t win the fight.�?

When Vitor Belfort faced Couture twice in 2004, he made the mistake of stepping straight back in reaction to Couture’s pressure. Accordingly, he quickly found himself trying to outwrestle Couture from the clinch with his back pressed against the Octagon fence. It was exactly where Belfort did not want to be against the world class Greco-Roman wrestler because it guaranteed that he would end up on the ground taking punishment against the fence – a position Hackleman wanted his guy to avoid.

“I kept yelling to him in training, ‘Circle lateral, circle laterally, don’t go straight back,’�? he admitted. “I kept saying that until I was blue in the face. But it worked.�?

Another key to Liddell’s victory was his effective jab. In the 2003 fight with Couture, the 41-year-old superstar was able to counter a pawing, stationary Liddell jab with straight right hands. The right hands kept Liddell off balance which allowed Couture to take him down on multiple occasions.

This time, however, Liddell’s jab was crisp and accurate. He pumped the jab and then circled out. It was enough to keep Couture off balance and caused him to lunge in with a left hook a few minutes into the round that opened the door for Liddell to do what he does best – counterpunch.

“The jab is 50 percent defense and 50 percent offense,�? the former kickboxing champion said when describing the importance of the jab at UFC 52. “He was using a little of both in this fight. There is a time for a hook like in the (Kevin) Randleman and Tito (Ortiz) fights. Then, there is a time for straight punches. We used the jab and a few hooks to set up the right hand. That was the plan the entire time.�?

Suffice to say, the plan worked. After a brief exchange early where Couture landed a few shots, Liddell basically followed the game plan perfectly. And when the opportunity presented itself for the “Iceman�? to uncork a bomb, he capitalized on it.

“At the end of the day, a single right hand changes everything,�? Hackleman said pragmatically. “It doesn’t matter how good you are. It doesn’t matter how fast you are. It doesn’t matter how good you are at wrestling. At the end of the day, when the right hand separates you from consciousness, it’s all done.�?

Without question, a single right hand brought Couture-Liddell II to a sudden and violent end. It dethroned one of the greatest champions that the sport has ever known. And it set up what could turn out to be the biggest rubber match in UFC history.

More importantly, though, that single right hand crowned a very deserving champion.

“The last thing I said to him before we went out there was, ‘Olympic wrestler, great wrestler, all Randy’s adulations and everything else, your right hand is going to take all of that away. All it takes is one right hand. It doesn’t matter how good he is because he is going to go to sleep,’�? Hackleman recalled. “Chuck knew it. He was confident. He knew he would win by knockout.�?

Mission accomplished.

Cagewarriors Announces 9 UK vs. France Bout

29 Apr

by Ian Dean (2005-04-29)

“Strike Force�? Card on May 21st in Coventry England.

The biggest Cagewarriors event yet is due to touch down at the superb Coventry Skydome on the 21st May, with a UK vs. France theme and will be UK’s biggest MMA event yet (held by a UK based promotion).

The Cagewarriors Fighting Championships have once again raised the bar with a 9 bout card which promises to be a night filled with epic MMA action. Cagewarriors have been able to defy common UK MMA convention by using their vast network to not only secure this amazing venue in the Midlands, but have also created links with corporate clients which has resulted in the sale of all 68 V.I.P tables as well as all the V.I.P seats. This venture has already created a lot of local interest and with standard tickets for this event starting at just £10 through the Skydome’s box office, we are confident they will be snapped up quickly too.

Over the last few months the Cagewarriors Fighting Championships owner Mr Dougie Truman in association with his French contacts have been in negotiations to deliver a top class night of Mixed Martial Arts action and are now in the position to confirm 9 fights which features the usual Cagewarriors mix of up-and-coming UK stars along with some bigger names as they are pitted against French adversaries in this UK vs. France series. Will this UK squad be able to avenge the defeat the UK team suffered in 2003 at Cagewarriors 4? Or will the French alliance come out on top again?

Highlights of this stunning card include a local hero in the main event as “The Coventry Destroyer�? Barrington Patterson (3-3-0) takes on the (8-1-0) submission grappler Kassim Annan, in what should be an intriguing style vs. style match-up. This fight is doubly important as it will be Barrington’s retirement fight, as this veteran of the UK K-1 Circuit and the Dutch “Its Showtime�? organisation bids ends his MMA career in his native Coventry in what will be his first MMA rules fight in the UK.

This monumental occasion will also see two CWFC title matches as the Cagewarriors favourite Matt Ewin (13-5-1) will defend his Cagewarriors Middleweight Title against the controversial Frenchman Damien Riccio (6-5-0) in a rematch of their Cage Rage 8 clash. Riccio ended Ewin’s
win streak that night with a KO inside 2 rounds. However Ewin is undefeated in the CWFC and has saved some of his best performances for inside the CWFC octagon. In his last CWFC appearance at Cagewarriors 7, Ewin survived 3 torrid rounds to defeat the talented French grappler Gregory Bouchelaghem in round 4 of one of the greatest fights in Cagewarriors (and even in UK MMA) history. Can Ewin avenge his previous defeat or will Riccio improve on his impressive run of form which started after he defeated Robin Gracie in a challenge match in France back in 2003.

The night’s other Title bout features the unbeaten French submission specialist Emmanuel Fernandez (5-0-0) as he defends his CWFC Featherweight Title against the experienced UK veteran Danny Batten (5-5-2). Fernandez, a De La Riva Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt has
won his previous 4 CWFC fights in the first round via Triangle choke and is also famous for guiding the French team to victory in the first UK vs. France series back in 2003 at Cagewarriors 4. His opponent Danny Batten has been inactive since he took the Cage Rage World
Lightweight Champion Jean Silva the distance back in 2003. However Batten has fought on all the major domestic shows and has even fought in Japan twice. He is also a respected and experienced grappler who has been training intensively as of late and insiders have suggested he is in his best condition yet and will be more confident and stronger at featherweight.

The other major attraction at Cagewarriors Strike Force is a battle of the behemoths as Antonio Silva Junior, (1-0-0) the 120kg sensation from the Wolfslair Gym in Widnes takes on the 130kg Frenchman Marc Emmanuel (2-2-0). Emmanuel has previous experience in top events such as 2H2H and Its Showtime in Holland. Whilst Silva has made a huge impact since his arrival on UK soil, when he defeated former CWFC Heavyweight Champion Tengiz Tedoradze in under 90 seconds in March. Silva will be looking to show why his team believe he is destined to go to the very top and will be a future World Champion with another devastating display on the 21st May.

The line for this spectacular event as follows: (Line-up not in fight order and is subject to change)

Main Event – Heavyweight
Barrington Patterson vs. Kassim Annan

Cagewarriors Middleweight Title Fight
Matt Ewin (Champion) vs. Damien Riccio

Cagewarriors Featherweight Title Fight
Danny Batten vs. Emmanuel Fernandez (Champion)

Light-Heavyweight Cage Kickboxing
Michael Bisping vs. Cyrille Diabaté

Heavyweight
Antonio “Junior” Silva vs. Marc Emmanuel

Lightweight
Dave Roche vs. Bendy Casimir

Lightweight
Danny Mann vs. Samy Schiavo

Light-Heavyweight
Tom Blackledge vs. Loic Pora

Welterweight
Dan Hardy vs. Makhtar Gueye

Cagewarriors “Strike Force�? – UK vs. France
Saturday 21st May 2005
Coventry Skydome Arena
Croft Road
Coventry
CV1 3AZ

Atlanta’s Fight Night

28 Apr

by Undisputed Promotions (2005-04-28)

Atlanta’s Friday Night Fights returns on Friday, April 29 when No Holds Barred fights, promoted by Undisputed Productions, comes to Earthlink Live.

Tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, the Earthlink Live box office and the Undisputed Productions website. Currently, all $15 and $25
tickets are sold out for the fights. The remaining tickets are $50 seats, $100 seats and ringside tables that seat 10.

The night will feature between six and 10 No Holds Barred fights. The No Holds Barred fights will be sanctioned by the International Sport Combat Federation.

For more information go to http://www.UndisputedProductions.com

To purchase tickets go to Ticketmaster.com

In other news, Ebo Elder”s scheduled fight for the Lightweight Championship of the World on Saturday, April 23 on ESPN PPV has been
cancelled due to the champion, Juan Diaz, receiving a cut during sparring last Saturday. It is
still unclear as to when Ebo Elder will next fight.

Atlanta’s Friday Fight Night proudly uses Fairtex Pro fight gloves.For more information on Fairtex gloves, visit http://www.fairtexgear.com.

Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez heads to Japan

26 Apr

by Salvatore Russo (2005-04-26)

The clock is tick tick ticking away to April 28th when Fairtex’s very own Gilbert Melendez will be heading to Tokyo Japan to fight once again for Shooto.

This will be Gilberts second fight for the Shooto Organization, coming off of a win versus Hiroyuki Takaya on December 21st.Gilbert’s fight will be taking place on May 4th at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo versus the very tough and always game submission specialist; Naoya Uematsu.

Uematsu has wins over UFC veteran Caol Uno to name a few and has a fighting style that goes right along with Gilbert’s desire to fight the very best of the best. Defeating Uematsu clears the way for the fight that Gilbert ultimately wants, Alexandre “Pequeno�? Nogueira.

The younger and considerably smaller of the Noqueira’s, while “Pequeno�? means small in Portugese a fight and win over “Pequeno�? would be no small accomplishment. Lets all wish Gilbert luck on his upcoming fight and his journey towards his eventual title shot Shooto.

Fairtex MMA Gloves ranked No. 1 in UK

26 Apr

by Fighters Only Magazine, April 2005 Issue (2005-04-26)

In April’s issue, the Fighters Only team tested the best in MMA Gloves for What?
Equipment:

– Fairtex
– Harbinger
– Century
– Ouano
– Blitz

The Fighters Only Choice ranked Fairtex MMA gloves as the No. 1 gloves in the UK market.The gloves were scored on comfort, style and durability with an overall percentage score from the panels of fighters.

Fairtex MMA gloves received an overall rating of 82% with comfort level at 80%, style at 80% and durability at 85%.

Technical descriptions of Fairtex MMA gloves are as follow:
– Thumbless gloves with leather finger loop design
– Open palm and secure Velcro wristband
– Open palm gives that better grip for grappling
– Nice design but fingerloops could be neoprene
– Comfortable, usable gloves

Priced at 32.99 Sterling Pounds

Available at http://www.muaythai-boxing.com

Results of the other gloves are as follow:

1. Fairtex: 85%
2. Ouano: 85%
3. Blitz: 77%
4. Harbinger: 63%
5. Century: 63%

Although Fairtex and Ouano gloves scored the same percentage, Fairtex were priced considerably less than the Ouano gloves…just giving Fairtex the edge!

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