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The Ultimate Fighter 4 - Episode 12

Here is UFC’s recap of the show...

Fighters recap the semi-final match between Travis Lutter and Pete Sell. Din Thomas says Travis has the ability to lure people right into his game and that’s exactly what happened with Pete. Pete has great Jiu Jitsu but Travis is far better. Matt Serra is proud of Pete for lasting three rounds and not getting submitted. Georges St. Pierre thinks Travis Lutter is the most dangerous middleweight right now because of his ability to dominate everyone on the ground. Whoever wins the next fight; Edwin DeWees vs. Patrick Cote, will face Travis in the finals.

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APEX and CFS Join Forces

APEX Entertainment Group (APEX) and Championship Fighting Series (CFS) has announced that they have joined forces to created one of Canada’s largest MMA organizations; Hardcore Championship Fighting (HCF).

They companies has also announced that their new organization will be featured on The Score television network starting November 15th, 2006. The Score will feature fifty-two unique episodes a year of live MMA action.

The first five episodes will feature fights from APEX: A Night of Champions which took place October 14th.

UFC Breaks New Ground

The UFC has announced that they have come to an agreement with Fox Sports en Español which will allow them to provide their brand of mixed martial arts to their Spanish viewers for the first time ever.

The exclusive one-year deal includes Spanish-language television and video on demand rights to “Gladiadores del UFC™,” a series of six one-hour UFC® fight specials that will air over the course of six months.

The commentary will be provided by former boxer Genaro Hernández and Tony Rivera and the show will premier November 3rd at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT.

The first episode of “Gladiadores del UFC” features the top fighters from the UFC’s most competitive weight class, the welterweights.  Former UFC welterweight champion BJ Penn kicks things off with perhaps his most explosive performance ever when he faces Caol Uno in a bout from UFC 34 that took place back when ‘The Prodigy’ was tearing through the lightweight division.  Next, Canada’s Georges St. Pierre cements his number one contender status at UFC 56 when he squares off against current lightweight champion Sean Sherk, and then two of the division’s young guns, Diego Sanchez and Nick Diaz, clash in a grudge match that lives up to all expectations.  In the first episode’s main event, UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes battles longtime rival Frank Trigg at UFC 52 in a bout many have dubbed the greatest welterweight match in mixed martial arts history.

TUF 4 Finale Complete Card

Here is the complete card for ‘The Ultimate Fighter 4’ Finale.

Chris Lytle vs. Matt Serra
Travis Lutter vs. Edwin Dewees/Patrick Cote
Eric Schafer vs. Michael Bisping
Rich Clementi vs. Din Thomas
Jeremy Jackson vs. Pete Spratt
Scott Smith vs. Pete Sell
Gideon Ray vs. Charles McCarthy
Thales Leites vs. Martin Kampmann

The Ultimate Fighter 4 - Episode 11

The show begins with the annual recap of the previous episode’s fight - Shonie Carter vs Matt Serra in which Serra pulled out a unanimous decision victory in a hard-fought battle. Tonight will be the first middleweight semi-final, pitting Travis Lutter against Pete Sell.

Back at the house, a few of the fighters are bored and decide that they want to try and run through the wall using a football helmet and pads. Pete Spratt finds a soft spot in the wall and Mikey Burnett is the first to volunteer and try it. Instead of wearing the football equipment, Burnett wears a mouthpiece and swimming goggles, failing to break through the wall on four different attempts.

Later that night, the fighters gather around the TV to watch The Ultimate Fighter 3 Season Finale to see Kendall Grove and Michael Bisping come away with the respective titles for their weight class. The next day, the fighters survey the damage done to the wall and to Mikey from his little stunt yesterday. Mikey explains that he could have broken the wall if there was more room in the house allowing him to get a better burst of speed.

Lutter and Sell both make weight at the weigh-ins. Both Randy Couture and Dana White talk about the fight, banging home the point that it was a bad decision for Sell to pick Lutter to face in the semi-finals and that he will probably lose because of it.

At Team Mojo’s training session the next day, Sell works with Chuck Liddell in prepartion for his fight. Gideon Ray confronts Charles McCarthy at the house because of all the soy milk is gone and McCarthy quickly apologizes. There is also a spur of the moment food/object war throughout the house that is started by none other than Shonie.

The next morning it is shown that Travis Lutter has no one to train with for this fight - His team has basically abandoned him and never accompanies him to any of his runs or workouts. Mark DellaGrotte instead helps Travis prepare for the fight at the gym. After a little mini-preview of the fight courtesy of both participants, it’s time to get it on.

The first round begins with both fighters content to remain standing, throwing jabs to create distance and size each other up. Travis goes for the clinch early, pushes Sell up against the cage, and then takes him down with relative ease. Travis gets into a side mount and throws some rib shots to Sell. Sell tries many times but he is unable to get out from the bottom no matter what he tries to do. Travis tries an armbar but Sell is able to slip out of it. The rest of the round has Travis staying on top and slowing down the pace even though there isn’t much action at all.

The second round starts with Sell landing a few nice punches on Travis. Travis starts to get angry and takes Sell down once again. Travis stays busy during this round, landing a number of punches and elbows. Travis attempts an armbar once again but Sell is able to get out of the submission rather quickly. The remainder of the round consists of Travis controlling from the top and keeping busy.

It’s time for the final round. It begins and within the first five seconds maybe, Lutter takes Sell down once again. The two fighters don’t really keep busy and Big John McCarthy stands them both up. Travis goes for a takedown again and nearly gets caught by Sell’s guillotine, one that has tapped out Phil Baroni if I can remember correctly. The rest of the round is all Travis as he moves to different positions and continues landing punches and elbows until the end of the round.

Your obvious winner - Travis Lutter by unanimous decision…

Spike Set to Debut ‘Inside the UFC’

The UFC and Spike TV announced earlier this week that they will debuting a new show on November 9th called ‘Inside the UFC’, a magazine that will have a variety of features.

Some of the topics that will be covered will be fight results, fight previews, profiles on up-and-coming fighters, as well as a behind the scences look into some of the fighters’ lives away from the Octagon.

With the comments of UFC president Dana White at the recent UFC 64 post-fight press conference, it would seem that Inside The UFC is only a precursor of things to come from the UFC. “We have a magazine show that we’re doing in November… It’s just another way to help promote the fighters and get more people educated on the sport.” He continued, “There’s a ton of programming coming. We’re going to blow your mind again this year. Wait until you see what we’ve got coming.”

The Ultimate Fighter - Episode 10

A busy week gives us another chance to read UFC’s recap of last night’s show. I’ll have my own recap next week, I promise…

Episode 10 - Carter vs Serra

Fighters recap the first welterweight semi-final fight between Chris Lytle and Din Thomas. It was a close match with both fighters bringing all their skills into the Octagon. Travis Lutter sums it up best when he says, “that could have been the final.” Next up is the most anticipated fight of the season. It’s the semi-final bout between Matt Serra and Shonie Carter.

At the weigh-in, Matt Hughes says that the other fighters are underestimating Shonie. He believes that Shonie is very well rounded and is one of the better fighters at this competition. Dana explains that Matt Serra’s first fight against Shonie Carter was Matt’s first loss in the octagon and therefore, winning this fight means the world to Matt.

As Matt Serra prepares to workout for his fight, Marc Laimon’s lack of enthusiasm as a trainer becomes even more apparent than usual. Matt Serra believes that Marc has no interest in actually helping the guys out. Marc argues that the fighters know where to find him and it’s their responsibility to seek out his assistance. Matt Hughes arrives just in time to stir the pot even more between these two. He starts making jokes about wanting to see Serra and Laimon roll together; a little jiu-jitsu competition of their two different styles. Then, Marc Laimon praising Matt Hughes on demolishing Royce Gracie in their recent fight, knowing full well that Matt Serra is a Gracie student and a Gracie fan. Matt Serra says he’s been biting his tongue on this subject for fear that Laimon would reveal all his moves to Team No Love. But now that all the Team Mojo welterweights are in the semi finals, he no longer needs to hold anything back.

Matt Serra decides to tell Marc Laimon exactly what he thinks of him. As far as Serra is concerned, Laimon doesn’t have the right to be so harsh on Gracie, especially because Laimon himself doesn’t have the balls to get into the octagon and fight. As a result, Serra has zero respect for Laimon. Laimon’s defends his position by saying, “…we live in a free country and I can say whatever I want to say.” After it’s all over, Din thinks Matt made Laimon look like a bitch and gives Matt props for speaking his mind. Matt is glad he finally said all this to Laimon’s face rather than just behind his back.

Back at the house, Shonie starts spray painting his bed and pissing off the rest of Team No Love. An annoyed Rich and Jorge come up with a plan to put together a skit called the Phony Carter Show, which will be all their perceptions and feeling of Shonie rolled into one presentation.

At the Training Center, Jorge comes out dressed in his Phony Carter outfit; red speedos, clown shoes, hair and a big red nose. He steps into the ring with Mikey, who is playing the role of Matt Serra. They put on their rendition of Matt and Shonie’s first fight, complete with a slow-mo recreation of Shonie’s famous spinning back fist. Jorge continues to make fun of Shonie with the heavy bag followed by a little weight lifting.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Rich Clementi was asked by Shonie to be his corner-man. So Rich arrives at the gym with Shonie for a training session. Even though he was beaten by Shonie in the first preliminary fight, he is going to help him get ready for his semi-final fight with Matt. Shonie’s strategy for this next fight is to go straight forward towards his opponent. He believes he has a psychological advantage over Matt since he has knocked him out before. He knows everyone including Matt Serra is expecting to see a spinning back fist and he says that he has many ways of delivering it.

It’s Matt’s turn to train. He knows he’s a better fighter now than the last time he fought Shonie. He is definitely expecting Shonie to throw his spinning back fist. But this time he’s more experienced and he’s planning on returning the favor and will put him away.

Later that night at the house, Matt and Shonie reminisce about their previous battles. This fight is a dream come true for Matt. He says that after their last fight, they both moved to different weight classes so he didn’t think he would ever have an opportunity to avenge that loss, but now his chance has arrived.

It’s fight day. Shonie knows he’s being underestimated and will continue to be underestimated even if he wins this fight. He states that he’s not going to get caught up in the rematch but will see Matt as just another tough opponent he must vanquish. Shonie knows he’s going to the finals. Matt mentions that he’s going in there with the same mindset as if he were fighting Matt Hughes. He just wants to finish Shonie. He’s going to break him mentally and physically before the fifteen minutes are up.

In round one, both fighters come out and almost immediately Matt goes for the takedown. He gets Shonie’s back and starts pounding, but Shonie manages to slip out and get the fight back on its feet. Matt throws a kick and they clinch. Matt throws knees until Shonie flips him and takes him down. But Shonie gets right back up. They circle each other and then Matt takes Shonie down again. Matt throws punches trying to do damage as Shonie works to squirm his way out and up again. They stand clinched against the fence as Matt throws some knees into Shonie. They separate once again and circle, both throwing some kicks. Then Shonie throws a kick that is followed by a spinning back fist. This time however, it doesn’t fully connect and Matt only stumbles. They clinch and Shonie throws Matt down again just as the round comes to an end. No one is sure who won the round.

In round two, Matt attempts a takedown and fails. Matt throws a high kick but Shonie blocks it. They clinch and Matt takes Shonie down. Matt tries to throw punches as Shonie defends. Shonie continues to defend punches as he struggles to free himself. Then Matt gets Shonie’s back but Shonie slips out and they’re back on their feet with a minute left in the round. They circle and then clinch. Matt tries to take Shonie down again but he’s too tired. Matt and Shonie both throw kicks as the round ends. The crowd thinks it’s even and whoever takes the next round will win the fight.

Round three begins and Matt catches Shonie with a punch then attempts a failed takedown. Shonie throws a kick that Matt catches and then they clinch. Matt takes Shonie down and throws an elbow as Shonie tries to throw punches from his back. Matt takes Shonie’s back again but Shonie struggles and gets back on his feet with Matt hanging on to his back. Just as Shonie stands Matt, takes him down again, still holding on to Shonie’s back. Matt attempts a guillotine choke but Shonie squirms out again. The fight continues with both combatants on their feet. Matt grabs Shonie’s leg in another takedown attempt but Matt ends up pulling Shonie down on top of himself. Shonie then goes for a guillotine choke but fails. They end up back on their feet, clinched, throwing knees and punches as the fight comes to an end.

Matt thinks it was a great fight as he and Shonie recap the three rounds. Matt had Shonie’s back and thought he was going to finish the fight in the first round by throwing heavy shots, but Shonie got away. Shonie says Matt made a mistake when they clinched because Matt held it too long and that enabled him to take Matt down. Matt says he couldn’t believe that he got caught with the spinning back fist again. Shonie knows he won the first round. He says the second round, however, goes to Matt because Matt was on top of him for most of the round. Matt says the third round was a battle, a total war.

Dana announces that Matt Serra is the winner by unanimous decision. By advancing, Matt Serra will face Chris Lytle in the live finale in Las Vegas on November 11th.

After the fight, Shonie enters Matt dressing room and congratulates him on his win. He jokes with Matt about having another rematch in the future.

Frank Trigg Joins The Fight Network

UFC veteran Frank Trigg has joined ‘The Fight Network’ as an on-air analyst for the network’s ever expanding mixed martial arts coverage.

“I am fired up,” said Trigg. “I never pull any punches when it comes to my views on the sport I love. Now with the multiple media platforms The Fight Network provides at my disposal, all I can say is tune in - there will be fireworks.”

The Ultimate Fighter 4 - Episode 9

The show starts off with a recap of last week’s fight between Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera - Cote won by unanimous decision for those of who you forgot or maybe didn’t know up until his point. At a training session with Team Mojo the next day, UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes shows up to train with the fighters. Georges St. Pierre immediately feels uncomfortable, probably because he is taking on Hughes for the title soon, and decides to leave the gym. Before he leave, he and Matt Hughes exchange some words with Hughes getting in a nice parting shot.

After the training session, Matt Serra talks down on Hughes, calling him a arrogant jock who he wouldn’t like to hang out with in public. The next day Dana White calls the fighters down to the UFC training center so he and the others can hear which fighters want to face whom. The results:

Middleweights
Travis Lutter - Anyone
Patrick Cote - Edwin DeWees
Edwin DeWees - Patrick Cote
Pete Sell - Travis Lutter

Welterweights
Matt Serra - Shonie Carter
Din Thomas - Chris Lytle
Chris Lytle - Anyone
Shonie Carter - Din Thomas

After much deliberation, Dana calls the fighters back into the traning center to announce the matchups for the semi-finals…

Welterweights - Matt Serra vs Shonie Carter; Chris Lytle vs Din Thomas
Middleweights - Pete Sell vs Travis Lutter; Patrick Cote vs Edwin DeWees

Hughes then takes all of the fighters out to dinner. At dinner, Hughes calls out St. Pierre for avoiding him all day. Din tells St. Pierre to kick Hughes’ ass when he fights him and Hughes actually hears what Din has said. Hughes then verbally takes it to Din for a little while. Back in the car, Serra rags on Hughes, saying that he shouldn’t like that just because he has the belt.

Lytle and Thomas will be tonight’s fight. The two weigh-in just fine and head to the octagon. The first round starts off very slowly as each fighter is content to just stand there and measure the other up. Lytle misses with a right hook, allowing Thomas to go for a takedown that ends up being reversed by Lytle. The referee stands the two up and Lytle continues to push the pace, landing a couple of shots while the two are standing. Lytle takes Din down against the cage but Din gets Lytle in a guillotine. Lytle is able to power his way out of it and the two finish the round on their feet. Many of the fighters think that this round actually went for six minutes instead of five because of an error in the time keeping…

Round two begins and Lytle comes out very aggressive - Lytle lands a number of strikes, convincing Thomas that standing up is the best thing for him right now as Din goes for a takedown. Lytle however reverses the takedown once again and lands on top of Din. Lytle is able to land a couple of punches from the top position and sneaks out of multiple submission attempts from Din. The referee stands them up again and Lytle continues to control the stand-up game until the rounds ends.

Lytle starts off the third round just as he did the last one - pushing a heavy pace. Din is finally able to take Lytle down but his time in top position doesn’t last long as Lytle gets him in a guillotine and then rolls him over on his back. Din works his way out of it and pulls guard - Lytle lands a few more punches on the ground but his work isn’t enough as the two are stood back up once again. Both fighters look extremely fatigued. They trade strikes standing for the much of the rest of the round - Each fighter also gets a takedown before the horn sounds.

Chris Lytle is announces the winner by unanimous decision and moves on to the finals…

My thoughts: I’ve never left any thoughts on the show besides a few little ones hidden in my reviews before but for some reason this show has compelled me to do so. Matt Serra - I love you as a fighter, but the attitude needs to go buddy. Every show we constantly hear about the negative side of people - about how every fighter that comes in here and helps out with the training has a problem. Jealous much of Franklin, Hughes, and St. Pierre? It certainly seems that way.

There’s no reason to refer to Matt Hughes as a “penis”. Maybe a little growing up is in order? Hughes had every right to confront St. Pierre like he did. Christ, if you watched past UFC events, you would think that Hughes and St. Pierre are the best of friends. St. Pierre always had an amazing amount of respect for Hughes. Sure, he called him out on the microphone several times but it was always in a joking and respectful manner.

Now since St. Pierre finally has his title shot, it’s like he’s turned to the dark side. Maybe it’s Dana turning him into a heel to build the hype for their fight in November? Who knows? However, Hughes did the right thing in asking St. Pierre why he has changed and why he’s avoiding him like the plague. Wouldn’t you do the same if Pete Sell or someone who you had a decent relationship with was acting like that towards you Matt?

Shamrock’s Final Hurrah; Ortiz’s Road Block

Tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Night will mean different things to different fighters. Will tomorrow night be Ken Shamrock’s last fight, win or lose? Is Shamrock just an easy obstacle for Ortiz to hurdle over right before his December rematch with Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light-Heavyweight title.

Kendall Grove, Matt Hamill, and Ed Herman are all TUF3 guys who will be returning to the octagon against MMA veterans. Rising UFC welterweight contenders Thiago Alves and John Alessio will face off on the undercard as well.

Another fight that intrigues me - Nathan Marquardt fighting for the first since UFC 58 against Crafton Wallace. Why Marquardt hasn’t fought since March is a mystery to me. After his victory over Joe Doerksen, Marquardt was considered one of the top contenders to Rich Franklin’s middleweight belt. Since then, a handful of middleweights have gained ground and Marquardt isn’t considered in the same breath as Mike Swick, David Loiseau, and Chris Leben anymore.

Some media coverage for the readers…

UFC: Tito Ortiz - Shamrock First, Liddell Later
Miami Herald: Shamrock’s fighting mad; Raw hatred fuels Ortiz, Shamrock
Doghouse Boxing: Tito Ortiz speaks; disses Ken Shamrock
Florida Sun-Sentinel - The ultimate rematch
Tampa Tribune: UFC’s Ortiz Still Man Of People
Houston Chronicle: Ortiz, Shamrock ready for final chapter
Sherdog: Ken Shamrock Training Pictures
UFC: John Alessio - Just Getting Started
Boston Herald: Alessio, Alves to meet on October 10th
MMA Weekly - Ed Herman Ready for UFC Fight Night

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