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US Combat Sports UFC 82/Arnold's Excursion: Total Recall

Adam "Chewy" Saenz
10 March 2008

Some things go together quite nicely. Coronas on the beach. The Simpsons and Family Guy. The UFC and The Arnold Sports Festival. Earlier this month, Wisconsin Combat Sports made the pilgrimage to Columbus, Ohio to get some o' that UFC-Arnold's double impact.

Behold! The US Combat Sports UFC/Arnold Sports Festival Total Recall...with results from the NAGA championships...

After checking in, we made a late-night pilgrimage to Frog Bear and Wild Boar, a bar featuring a meet-and-greet with Rich Franklin. After paying a ten-dollar cover that we were told on the phone didn't exist, we found "Ace" hanging out and signing autographs. Didn't score any photos, but we did have him and Bruce Buffer sign the posters we ripped off the wall just minutes earlier. When we asked him about Hendo vs. Silva, he sounded slightly traumatized from losing to Silva, but then, who wouldn't? More importantly, Franklin was a stand-up guy and offered lots of time to his fans.

Friday's festivities included the UFC weigh-ins, an appearance by UFC president Dana White, meeting fighters and, of course, Kevin Randleman.

UFC president Dana White participated in a public interview at the Columbus Convention Center in which he discussed the UFC's new partnership with Budweiser, his hatred for EliteXC president Gary Shaw, and more. {mosimage}

Love him or hate him, White at least deserves some credit for saving the UFC from extinction. He recalled UFC 33, the first Zuffa-run event and the first event to air on PPV since being banned for years. In White's words, every fight "sucked", including the three twenty-five minute title fights that all went to a decision. The last fight, Ortiz vs. Matyushenko, ran over the UFC's allotted airtime and the broadcast cut out on most viewers. Now, the UFC is sponsored by Budweiser and its light heavyweight champ will be starring in a Nike commercial. Whether or not the UFC dominating the MMA scene and bringing in such sponsors is a good thing is debatable, but the effectiveness of White and the Fertitas' business strategy is not.

As for the weigh-ins, grabbin' a few pics is really the only reason to go to them. Not much to say...

The fitness expo reminded me of a comic book convention, except the patrons looked more like the superheroes than sweaty, basement-dwelling sword collectors (although some of them appeared to be a combination of the two). Most of the booths were just peddling various muscle milks and neon-colored potions, whose free samples we happily slammed.

Incidentally, I found this online: the exclusive Sean Sherk Supplement Stack. That's right, kids, you can subject yourself to the exact same supplement regimen as "The Muscle Shark"! All you have to do is ingest 9 scoops, 1 pack, 11 caps, 20 grams and 6 softgels every day. Yikes.

I haven't found any statistics indicating how many people attended the expo, but the place was absolutely crawling with people, which makes it even more of a pleasant surprise to randomly run into Houston Alexander.

Back at the hotel, we found Chris Lytle, Eddie Bravo and Shonie Carter hanging out in the lobby. Now, we've run into Shonie Carter several times, and every time, he's wearing the flyest suit you've ever seen, and he always has no less than five championship belts and a  huge suitcase with him, which surely contains more fly suits and championship belts. And Courvorsier.

Kevin Randleman was easily my favorite character at the Arnold’s. We found "The Monster" putting on a seminar in a humble little matted room upstairs. Everyone in the room was a little daunted by Randleman's intensity. He had a hard time focusing on answering questions and demonstrating techniques, and as he digressed from the topic, he paced around the room and walked from person to person, spontaneously pummeling with one guy, maybe throwing a kick at the next. Whenever the urge struck him, he would squat down, pump his fists and close his eyes while screaming, "Yeahhhh!!" I don’t think he did this so much for anyone else as for himself because he just gets really psyched while talking about fighting. However, he apparently established that every time he screams, "Yeahhh!", everyone else in the room should scream, "Yeahhh!" which they did, but only to appease "The Monster."

Randleman was particularly psyched about demonstrating a move in which you would sprawl on your opponent’s shot, secure a bodylock, and then power-bomb him. He then mentions that in practice, he adds the coup-de-grace by punching his opponent while in mid-air, a move I think he may have learned from playing Dead Or Alive 3. I, for one, pray to gawd that he makes a comeback soon just so see that sh*t happen in a real fight.

I asked him about his staph, and he pulled up his shirt to reveal naught but a small bandage just under his armpit. Man, did he come a long ways from this (if you have a mouthful of food, don't click). 

Finally, the time arrived for the NAGA 2008 Arnold Grappling Championships and UFC 82.

NAGA truly dominated the martial arts arena at the Convention Center, despite a multitude of martial arts demonstrations and competitions, including MMA, san shou (kickboxing with throws), boxing, tae kwan do, judo, kendo, escrima and more.

About half of the area was designated for NAGA, although at least twice that area would have been more appropriate for the tournament. In other words, it was chaotic as f*ck. Not only were the spectator areas swarming with people, but the twelve simultaneously occurring grappling matches tended to spill over into each other. {mosimage}

The star-studded NAGA tournament featured the talents of Omar Choudhury, Kyle Courtier, Luke Summerfield, Perry Wirth, Adam Burroughs, Adam Messing, Travis Hansen, Scott Huston and some guy named Eric Schafer.

Where are the pictures you ask? Most of the photos from Saturday got corrupted while being transferred. We tried hard to recover them, but to no avail. Apologies to everyone who was waiting for photos.

However,  I did manage to find a couple moments like this from NAGA's gallery ...

  Here are the full results from NAGA. Wisconsin tournament winners include:

  Ricky Dubiak, 1st place, NO-GI Teen Beginner Heavy Weight, GI Teen Beginner Super Heavy Weight
  Eric Schafer, 1st place, NO-GI Mens Advanced Heavyweight
  Omar Choudhury: 1st place, NO-GI Mens Advanced Fly Weight
  Greg Schliessman: 2nd place, NO-GI Mens Advanced Light Weight
  Travis Hanson: 3rd place, NO-GI Mens Intermediate Heavy Weight
  Scott Huston: 2nd place, GI Purple Belt Crusier Weight.
  Paul Hido: 3rd place, GI Directors Purple Belt Middle Weight

Also, big ups to Bulldog Fight Team’s Elton Chavez for placing 2nd in NO-GI Mens Advanced Fly Weight, 1st in GI Blue Belt Fly Weight and 3rd in GI Master's White Belt Fly Weight. If you're a Wisconsinite and a tournament winner or you need a correction made to the above list, please email us.

More superstar sightings included Jeff Monson, Gabriel Gonzaga, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Tim Sylvia, Miguel Torres, Tristan Yunker, Roger Huerta and Sam Stout.

Gladiators is the biggest fight event I've ever attended, and so witnessing UFC 82 at Columbus' Nationwide Arena kind of blew my mind. The Nationwide Arena was pretty close to maxed out, and MMAJunkie reported that a solid 16,431 people attended. Ironically, the energy a little weak, but then again, so were the matchups. Columbus native Mark Coleman's induction into the Hall of Fame generated the most excitement, even moreso than Henderson or Silva's entrance. In fact, Silva was booed by at least 33% of the crowd. Columbus fans apparently like to pick one fighter they like and then boo the other guy mercilessly. 

Bonafide old-school fighter Evan Tanner made his long awaited return to fight Yushin Okami on the main card, and was knocked out cold. Afterward, A lot of people asked, "Why the hell diid he come back against the #3 middleweight in the world?"

I just read a blog entry by Tanner in which he confesses that a mere five months before that fight, he was living on a diet of beer and mixed drinks, living on his friend's couch and going in and out of consciousness. So after going cold turkey, moving to Las Vegas, training and fighting off his addiction for months, and then it all culminating in a brutal knock out in front of 17,000 people, he says he kinda wanted a drink. Fortunately, he resisted the urge, and that's a pretty significant for someone fighting off a fifteen-year addiction. Maybe there was a very good reason for taking and losing that fight.

But now, it would seem that Tanner went and traded on addiction for another. A copule days ago, he reported on his blog that he just blew $150,000 playing black jack for six days straight in Vegas. When his site is back up, I recommend reading some of his musings.

Speaking of egregious alcohol consumption, what else are you going to do after a UFC show? The only way to truly appreciate what you've just witnessed is to pound lots of "XXX" beer until 7 A.M. and then pass out on the toilet in mid-crap. Thanks for the good times, Columbus.

So, what have we learned here? Well, beer kills brain cells. Agreed? Moving on...

If you sprawl on your training partner (or your smaller, weaker sibling), lift him up and then hit him while in mid-air, somewhere, Kevin Randleman will scream, "Yeahhh!"

Wisconsin is the Michael Jordan of jiu jitsu.

And finally, it takes me a really long time to write anything. Not as lots brain cell make slow.

Until next time...

Last Modified:
07 March 2011

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