February , 2011
As seen on mmamania.com  http://www.mmamania.com/2011/2/3/1973213/jorge-rivera-there-is-a-very-good-chance-michael-bisping-is-going-to Quoteworthy: "There's a very good chance he's going to sleep. This is ...
MMA MANAGEMENT: IT’S AN INTERNATIONAL EXPERIANCE MMA has become a global phenomenon.  Promotions like ...
Posted By Anton Gurevich UFC News Nicknamed "El Conquistador", UFC veteran Jorge Rivera will look to ...
Nate Marquardt recently did a video interview with Sal Mora of Cage Potato where he ...
1/21/2011 3:20 PM ET By Ariel Helwani http://www.mmafighting.com/2011/01/21/agent-lex-mcmahon-fighters-union-needed-in-mma/ There has never been a fighter's union in boxing, ...
Dana White: Nate Marquardt replaces Vitor Belfort in UFC 122 headliner Fresh off a UFC Fight ...
BY MATT FREEMAN ON NOV 10, 10 10:08 AM IN UFC INTERVIEWS Currently riding a three ...
Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (20-4) hails from the Netherlands and stands an enormous 6’11” and is ...
In a sport where great fighters can fall hard in a moment’s notice, the fans ...
Visit www.AlphaFights.com for ticket info Alpha Fights this Thursday at Passion nightclub at The Hardrock Alpha Fights ...

Archive for November, 2010

Nate Marquardt and Brendan Schaub to attend Alpha Fights 11/16/10

Posted by lex On November - 16 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Visit www.AlphaFights.com for ticket info

Alpha Fights this Thursday at Passion nightclub at The Hardrock

Alpha Fights spells Excitement! Unbelievable energy in an unbelievable environment is what Alpha Fights is all about. Live Cagefighting meets Passion Nightclub at The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Some of the top MMA gyms in the country are represented at Alpha Fights! Fighters from American Top Team, Gracie Barra, Wand Fight Team, Team Noguiera, Freestyle Fighting Academy, Evolution fitness, Twin Dragons MMA, and more will be throwing down trying to bring home the victory.

Don’t miss any of the pulse pounding MMA excitement as Alpha Fights invades Passion Nightclub at The Seminole Hard Rock Casino Thursday November 18th for Alpha Fights 2! Doors open at 8pm.

Despite Okami’s grinding style, UFC 122 headliner Marquardt promises excitement

Posted by CherieCarlson On November - 11 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

As seen on MMAJUNKIE.com


Despite Okami’s grinding style, UFC 122 headliner Marquardt promises excitement

While it’s hard to argue against the successful track record of UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC), “Thunder” hasn’t always delivered the most fan-friendly contests.

But fellow top 185-pounder Nate Marquardt (30-9-2 MMA, 9-3 UFC) believes his UFC 122 headlining bout with Okami this Saturday in Germany will provide plenty of fireworks for the evening’s Spike TV-broadcast.

After all, Marquardt plans on supplying all of the highlights, anyway.

“I’m always looking for an opportunity to finish the fight and ways to damage, so this fight isn’t going to be any different,” Marquardt told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).

While Marquardt opened his UFC career with three decision wins in four trips to the octagon, “The Great” has earned stoppages in his past five UFC wins and earned a “Knockout of the Night” bonus with his one-punch destruction of Demian Maia in August 2009.

But Marquardt’s power was negated in a February 2010 loss to Chael Sonnen. Marquardt had difficulty remaining upright as Sonnen utilized superior wrestling to continually move the action to the floor.

Already a well-respected grappler, Okami has worked closely with Sonnen in preparation for the UFC 122 matchup. With a title shot on the line in a bout UFC president Dana White has declared a No. 1 contenders matchup, Marquardt realizes his opponent might be looking for a repeat performance, but he’s not ruling out the idea that Okami might also flash some of the striking skills that have been on display in the Japanese product’s recent wins over Mark Munoz and Lucio Linhares.

“Either way, I’m prepared for him to try and [take me down], or I’m prepared for him to try and stand and bang with me,” Marquardt said.

And if Okami does decide to strike, he may find himself the recipient of one of Marquardt’s powerful blows. With a shot at the title on the line, Marquardt says he’ll be the one dictating the action.

“When I find the openings, I’m going to hit him and hit him hard,” Marquardt said. “That’s going to make the fight exciting.”

by John Morgan

Q&A with UFC’s Vladimir Matyushenko

Posted by CherieCarlson On November - 11 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

As seen on espn.com


Q&A with UFC’s Vladimir Matyushenko

Vladimir Matyushenko, who will take on Alexandre Ferreira on Saturday in an UFC 122 light heavyweight bout, answered questions from ESPNDallas.com about his career and upcoming fight.

What did you learn in your loss against phenom Jon Jones back in August?

Matyushenko: The one thing I learned is that you can’t stay in a certain position too long these days. They’ll take advantage very quick, especially Jon Jones. He’s a really good athlete and he doesn’t miss a chance. I was on my back. I should have just gotten out of there, by getting on my feet or taking his back. The game has become more dynamic than it used to be. It’s become so much faster.

You’ve faced some elite fighters like Tito Ortiz, Antonio Rogerio Noguiera and Andrei Arlovski. Compared to your experiences with those fighters, is Jon Jones among the elite in the light heavyweight division? Is he the real deal?

Matyushenko: He’s definitely a good athlete. He’s taking this game pretty seriously. I talked to him after the fight. Nice guy. He’s very professional. Some people are saying he’s not very experienced, but he learns very fast. He’s on top of his game.

What about your opponent for UFC 122? Is Alexandre Ferreira just a one-dimensional submission fighter? Or do you feel that there is more to his game than many suspect?

Matyushenko: I take every opponent seriously. He hasn’t fought in almost a year. You never know what is going to happen in that year. Maybe he’s been training with his striking or learning other things. But definitely he’s strongest at the submission game, although I’ve never been submitted before and I’ve fought against pretty good submission guys. I think striking is going to be key for me to win this fight.

What has training camp been like in preparation for Ferreira?

Matyushenko: It’s always business as usual in my camps, but there are little adjustments for the opponent I’m facing. But I usually train with a little bit of everything, because you never know who you might face. If your opponent gets injured you might ended up matching up against a fighter with an entirely different style.

Ferreira is really short for a light heavyweight, being 5-foot-7. What issues will he have to deal with against you being that you are 6-foot-1?

Matyushenko: He’s certainly under height. He’s stocky and short, but that is not necessarily a disadvantage in wrestling. There are a lot of good wrestlers that are short and stocky. I’ve wrestled before too; I know my defense for that. If I focus only on my striking, it may open gaps in my takedown defense. It’s going to be an interesting fight.

You’ve been fighting for 13 years. You have 29 fights to your name. What has motivated to stay involved in such a tough sport for so long?

Matyushenko: I’m pretty self driven. Not a lot of the members of my family are athletes. Most of them back in Russia are doing their own thing in Belarus. I always wanted to be somebody, and my dream has come true. I grew up in a little town in Russia. When I go back there, people are still doing the same things. It’s cool to be a fighter. That’s my motivation.

You earned a light heavyweight title shot against then-champion Tito Ortiz at UFC 33. Since that time, you’ve gone 14-3. Being that you are now 39 years old, do you have plans for a final run at the belt?

Matyushenko: Anything is possible. It’s a long ways away. I’m not self-delusional. The division has become so competitive. Step by step. I have to win this fight, and then we’ll see who is my next opponent. You never know in MMA. You always have to be in shape. Somebody gets hurt, you might get an opportunity to fight the best. Anything is possible.

By Andrew Plante

Matyushenko Bridges Past to Present

Posted by CherieCarlson On November - 11 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

As seen on Sherdog.com


Matyushenko Bridges Past to Present
As a 13-year mixed martial arts veteran with 29 professional fights, Vladimir Matyushenko has been witness to the sport’s rich past and its increasingly bright future.

In 2001, the Belarusian dropped a unanimous decision to Tito Ortiz in a light heavyweight title bout at UFC 33. Nearly a decade later, he was victimized by the lethal elbows of 205-pound phenom Jon Jones, a man many believe to be a future champion, at UFC Live 2 in August.

What differences stand out between now and then? The former freestyle wrestling standout known as “The Janitor” has improved — and so has everyone else.

“It’s a little bit of different times and different techniques,” Matyushenko said. “The game improved so much, and I think I’m a better fighter than I was then, but the young generation comes up even better than that. I have to keep up with that.”

Nothing was more indicative of the sport’s evolution than the efficiency with which Jones finished the former International Fight League light heavyweight champion. The 23-year-old Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative quickly took the 39-year-old Matyushenko to the ground, secured a crucifix from side control and finished the fight at 1:52 of the first round.

Matyushenko entered the fight as a heavy underdog but said Jones did not show anything unexpected. The key was the young fighter’s ability to beat the veteran to the punch.

“Like I said before the fight, he didn’t surprise me at all. He’s a fast, explosive, tall guy,” Matyushenko said. “He just showed that he did his homework, actually beat me on my own level. It’s not like I did it wrong. I was just a little bit slower.”

The loss ended a three-fight winning streak for Matyushenko. Shortly thereafter, the UFC inked the California resident to a new four-fight deal that begins against Brazilian standout Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira at UFC 122 “Marquardt vs. Okami” on Nov. 13 in Oberhausen, Germany. It will serve as the promotional debut for Ferreira, a Chute Boxe Academy product who has earned 17 of his 18 victories via submission.
“He’s short and stocky. He goes low and takes people down, or even if he’s been taken down, he goes for guillotines,” Matyushenko said. “I like to keep it on my feet, but if we have to go on the ground, we can go on the ground. I’m not afraid of it.”

Matyushenko — who owns victories over Vernon White, Pedro Rizzo, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Tim Boetsch and Jason Lambert — will be in the unfamiliar position of favorite against the newcomer.

“From my last fight, experience is not everything,” he said. “Even if it’s his first fight in the UFC, a fight is a fight. It can be an advantage; it can [also] not be.”

Dating back to his pre-MMA days — he was given his moniker by a member of the U.S. wrestling team because of the ragged attire he wore while cleaning the mats the night before a meet in which he defeated two of the Americans’ best wrestlers — Matyushenko has been somewhat overlooked and underappreciated. Many people were less than enthusiastic when he was selected to face Jones, in part because he was not a household name.

In the past, Matyushenko said he preferred to focus on training rather than grant interview requests. A new approach to self promotion has begun to give him a new level of familiarity with fans, and vice versa.

“It happened a while ago, because I think I was underestimating media. I liked to be in shape,” he said. “That’s why a lot of people didn’t know me. Now things have changed, and I work with a really good management company. And I changed my ways. I have a lot of interaction with my fans. I think it’s changing more and more now.”

Before too long, fight fans might see Matyushenko’s personal contribution to the future of MMA in the flesh. His son, Roman, recently returned from the Air Force and is pursuing a career in the sport.

“I wish he was in training with me for the Jones fight,” Matyushenko said. “He’s a big guy with a long reach. He’s gonna grow up, and he’s gonna be a good heavyweight. And he wants it.”

At the start of a new UFC contract, Matyushenko does not appear ready to pass the torch yet.

“I want to win this one and redeem myself in the eyes of my fans and myself,” he said. “Then I have a few more fights. There’s a lot of good guys in the 205 division, so there will be no shortage. Whatever the UFC offers me, I will always take it.”
by Tristen Critchfield

Marquardt focused despite big dreams

Posted by CherieCarlson On November - 11 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

As seen on Yahoo sports


Marquardt focused despite big dreams

Somewhere, deep in the back of Nate Marquardt’s mind, he has thoughts of cruising around Denver in a newly restored 1970 Chevelle muscle car while holding the UFC middleweight title.

But right now, he’s not thinking much about his hobbies – or the title shot that he’s once again just one victory away from clinching.

Instead, he has to focus on headlining UFC 122 on Saturday in Oberhausen, Germany, where he’ll face Japan’s Yushin Okami, who similarly has been on the cusp for years for a shot at the perennial king, Anderson Silva. The fight airs on Spike TV in a same-day tape delay.
Last month, Silva became the first man in UFC history to pass the four-year mark as champion. The winner of Saturday’s Marquardt-Okami bout will face Silva following his Feb. 5 fight vs. Vitor Belfort in Las Vegas.

Marquardt has been chasing a rematch with Silva ever since being stopped by him in the first round at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007. But he says all his current thoughts are on Okami, who Marquardt considers a well-rounded fighter, but still feels he has the advantage over in every aspect.

Marquardt (30-9-2) goes in as a 2-1 favorite. But he also was the heavy favorite in his two most recent losses, both in situations in which a title shot went to the winner.

In the first one, against Thales Leitis, he was called for two fouls – one justified (an illegal knee to the head when Leitis was down), and the other a bad call (three elbows thrown in the third round that the referee judged to be illegal but were shown upon replay to be legal). Marquardt won two of the three rounds, but the penalty points gave Leitis the split-decision victory.

In the other, Marquardt was controlled by Chael Sonnen’s wrestling game for most of three rounds in losing a decision. Sonnen and Okami (25-5), who have been training together of late, both have similar strategies of trying to control their opponents on the ground, but Marquardt doesn’t see them as similar fighters.

“He’s quite a bit different from Chael,” said Maruqardt. “He’s a different body-type. He uses different takedowns. His striking is different, and his ground game is different.”

Okami, whose takedowns are more judo oriented than wrestling based, is different from most high-level Japanese fighters. Japanese fighters are generally known for aggressively seeking submissions, relying on skill and slickness to overcome physical disadvantages. Okami is a power middleweight, who fights an often-criticized conservative style, so much so that despite his record, he’s at times been relegated to preliminary-card status. But with a title shot at stake, he’s in a rare main event.

Okami is the last fighter to beat Silva – a disqualification win on Jan. 20, 2006, in a tournament in Honolulu. His quest for a match with Silva since following him to UFC has been rocky. He lost a decision to Rich Franklin in 2007, where a title shot would go to the winner, largely due to his complete lack of aggression early in the fight. But Okami physically took over the match in the third round once he actually started fighting. Okami then was scheduled for a 2008 title shot, but broke his hand and had to pull out of the fight. He was on the road back to a title shot until Sonnen outwrestled him for three rounds to take a decision 13 months ago.

Silva has always been critical of the disqualification call in their 2006 match, made when Okami was unable to continue after an illegal kick. Silva has maintained that he believed Okami could have continued, but by reacting in the manner he did after the illegal blow, he stole a DQ win.

Marquardt’s loss to Sonnen led directly to the epic Silva vs. Sonnen fight on Aug. 7, where Silva retained his title with a fifth-round triangle after losing the first four rounds.

That fight confirmed what Marquardt has said for a long time: that Silva, working on a UFC record 12-fight win streak, is not unbeatable.

“It’s been known to me for a long time that Anderson had holes in his game,” said Marquardt. “And if anything, it was more of an eye-opening event for the media because they put him on this pedestal like he was unbeatable. Chael was able to expose that he’s susceptible to takedowns, susceptible to ground and pound, and that if somebody lands a punch on him, he actually can get wobbled.”

Sonnen’s failed doping test after that encounter, for the steroid Stanazolol, led to Saturday’s fight. Okami was scheduled to face Belfort for the top contender spot, while Silva and Sonnen were going to be rematched. When Sonnen was suspended for nine months by the California State Athletic Commission, Belfort was moved into the title fight.

Marquardt, who had just beaten Rousimar Palhares in the first round on Sept. 15 in Austin, Tex., was asked to face Okami on somewhat short notice.

“I don’t really think about what happened to Sonnen because it is what it is,” said Marquardt. “I just look at it as a positive for me because it moved me one fight closer [to] a title shot.”

“Usually I like to do a 12-week camp,” said Marquardt, noting he usually splits his camp into sessions between his hometown of Denver, Albuquerque, N.M., with Greg Jackson’s team, and in Montreal with Georges St. Pierre. “This time, I only had a seven-week camp. For this one, I did all my training here in Denver.”

But he also noted that even though Okami has had more training time for the fight, Okami’s early camp was geared toward facing Belfort, a completely different style of fighter, so Marquardt is not looking at it as a disadvantage.

“I’ll definitely be watching the fight [Silva vs. Belfort], but it’s not anything I’m thinking about,” said Marquardt. “It’s in the back of my head, but right now 100 percent of my focus is on Okami. It would be a big mistake to look past him.”

UFC recently interviewed several of its top middleweights for predictions, and Marquardt was heavily favored, although Silva himself was noncommittal.

“This is a very closely matched fight,” said the champion. “Both competitors are well-rounded and could win by strikes or submission. I can’t pick a winner.”

However, Wanderlei Silva, Alan Belcher, Tom Lawlor, Kyle Noke, Alessio Sakara and Kendall Grove all picked Marquardt. Chris Leben wouldn’t make a pick, while only Michael Bisping predicted Okami.

Training has taken up most of Marquardt’s time, as well as being a new father to daughter Macaiah, born six months ago, right before he went into a hard camp for the Palhares fight.

His only major outside hobby has been restoring the Chevelle, which he’s in the process of finishing. The glimmer of the idea of driving around as champion next year briefly enters his mind and makes him smile. But right now, only for a second.

By Dave Meltzer,

Nate Marquardt: ‘I Feel Like It’s My Time

Posted by CherieCarlson On November - 11 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

as seen on http://www.mmafighting.com/2010/11/10/nate-marquardt-i-feel-like-its-my-time/

Ben Fowlkes
MMA Writer

These are strange times in the UFC middleweight division. If you don’t believe it, just ask Nate Marquardt.

Back in February he was one win away from getting another crack at the 185-pound title. A little over nine months later he’s still one win away, thanks in part to a positive drug test from the last man to beat him, but also thanks to a bizarre mid-fight mental lapse from his most recent opponent.

Now he heads off to what will be, one way or another, a career-defining bout at UFC 122 in Germany – a country where you can buy a ticket to a UFC event, but can’t find it on TV.

See what I mean? Strange times. Only for Marquardt, the weirdness has started to turn in his favor. Rather than ask questions about why or how, he’s opted to go with the flow and worry about the only thing he can control: beating Yushin Okami.
“When [the UFC] offered this fight, I jumped right on it,” Marquardt told MMA Fighting. “When you get to the top of the division, there tends to be less fights available. The reason I took this fight on such short notice is because it’s for a title shot.”

The reason it’s for a title shot, of course, is because Okami’s previous opponent, Vitor Belfort, got shuffled into a title shot after Chael Sonnen’s positive drug test in California nullified his promise of an immediate rematch with UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva.

While Sonnen deals with that issue, Belfort gets a crack at gold and Marquardt and Okami duke it out to see who’s next in line. And yes, Sonnen’s appeal date with CSAC is coming up soon, but Marquardt isn’t expecting him to emerge free and clear and ready to jump back into action once he’s had his day in court.

“My understanding of how the commission works is that maybe he has an excuse or a reason for whatever happened, and maybe it’s not what everyone expected, but at the same time, if you tested positive for something that wasn’t supposed to be in your system, it doesn’t really matter what your reason is,” Marquardt said.

In other words, even if Sonnen owns a victory over Marquardt, he’s probably going to have to get back in line if he wants another shot at the belt.

The irony is, Marquardt, who’s spent three years trying to prove to the UFC that he’s deserving of a rematch with Silva, had no objection to Sonnen getting the nod for an immediate redo after his performance at UFC 117.

“I think it’s justifiable,” Marquardt said. “I had a shot and I have to prove that I’m a different fighter, that I pose a different threat. In Chael’s case, it made sense to me that he was getting an automatic rematch because he won 95% of the fight and then lost the last few seconds in a five-round fight.
“For me, I’m just happy to have the opportunity again. I feel like it’s my time. I’ve improved so much and I feel like I’m a different fighter.”

All that’s standing in his way now is Okami, who has very quietly amassed an impressive 9-2 record in the UFC, and all without ever getting a title shot of his own. His fighting style might not be such that it makes fans leap out of their seats with excitement, but among fighters he has a reputation for being one of the biggest and most powerful fighters in the middleweight class.

“I’ve seen, and heard, that he’s pretty big and strong,” said Marquardt. “But what I have a lot of here in Denver are guys who are big and strong with good takedowns, so that’s something I feel I’m already ready for. …I have good takedowns of my own and good takedown defense, especially against judo-style takedowns, which is what he tends to use. Really, I feel very confident.”

Then again, the last time Marquardt fought for the number one contender spot he also felt pretty confident. Maybe even too confident, he admitted afterwards, and the end result was a surprising decision loss to Sonnen in a fight where oddsmakers had pegged him a 3-1 favorite.

On Saturday he enters another bout as a significant favorite, with another chance to fight his way toward a chance at the UFC title that has eluded him for the past half-decade. If Marquardt really wants to show what a different fighter he is, there’s no better time than the present, however strange that present may be.

Eliot Marshall on Family and Training With Shane Carwin and Nate Marquardt

Posted by lex On November - 10 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS


Eliot Marshall, former contestant on season 8 of the Ultimate Fight reality television show, is currently fighting his way back into the octagon and is scheduled to fight November 13th at Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion against Chris Davis.

Eliot has been through a lot in his career so far and I had the opportunity recently to have a conversation about his past, present and future in the sport of mixed martial arts and a little bit about his family life.

Eliot Marshal trained in Karate from a young age and transitioned towards Brazilian Jiu Jitsu later on where he competed competitively for a long time before switching over to mixed martial arts. We have seen many wrestlers transition to mixed martial arts and have great success despite having only wrestled for most of their lives, when asked to compare his well rounded background to a more one dimensional fighter, Eliot had the following to say:

“I like my background, I feel like I have a good pedigree and a good skillset to work with. When you’re talking about the wrestlers, sometimes those guys are just so good at wrestling that they can just grind it out. But, me personally I am comfortable with the way I do it, I don’t feel I am getting finished in many places whatsoever. I can present big problems, if you want to stay on the feet or if you want to go down to the ground, doesn’t matter to me.”

Being well rounded doesn’t just apply to fight. Eliot knows there is more to life than just fighting and he has been going through one of life’s great experiences, he had his first child, a baby boy a little less than a year ago. Eliot describes how having his son to come home to has helped him with his career as a fighter:

“I love it man, the best thing about it for me as far as the professionalism of it, is that when I go train I train and I focus on what has to be done in training, on the mat and things like that. When I come home I don’t dwell on it, I play with the baby and whether he is sick, whether he is not sick, a good day, bad day all the stuff that happens in training that you can just dwell on all day long [that can] run down your emotions and your spirit, it hasn’t really been happening. ()”

In fact, the little one has got Eliot working on his cardio everyday:

“Ah man I do extra cardio every day just chasing him [the baby] around.”

Of course having a little one at home can be a lot of work, but the reward of parenthood definitely outweighs the effort. While on the Ultimate Fighter reality series back in 2008 with Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as coaches, the reward although great maybe didn’t overwhelmingly outweigh the effort and Eliot describes this when discussing whether or not he would do the show again:

“Would I do it again if it was a first time thing? Yes. Would I do it again as in a comeback thing? There’d have to be some big incentives, I didn’t enjoy my time doing it. What I took away from it [and] my whole UFC experience is that I can hang with anybody, I can fight whoever it is they want to put in front of me.”

Despite not winning the Ultimate Fighter season 8, Marshall was still offered to fight for the UFC. Eliot Marshall won three straight fights before losing a split decision to a savvy veteran in Vladimir Matyushenko and was cut after that first loss. Some people might feel that cutting a fighter loose after their first loss in four fights is pre-mature, but Marshall isn’t one to point fingers:

“You know what? I try not to think about it, I try not to dwell on it, they [The UFC] can do whatever the hell they want to do. It is my job to go out there and be exciting and win fights. I [was given] the opportunity to do that you know, [it was] 100 percent my fault.

“Did they [The UFC] cut me early? Yeah, I mean I was 3-1, one guy beat me by split decision. [Still] my fault, 100 percent my fault, I am the one that has got to fix that and make it so that they don’t even have the option of cutting me, I just have to go out and smash people. They [The UFC] are not worried about Eliot Marshall, they are worried about the UFC, so I have to worry about Eliot Marshall.”

Eliot Marshall had a taste of the UFC, top tier competition and realised he could hang in there with anyone. However, like anything in life, losing your job and having to get back on the horse and start the comeback trail can be a long and arduous task. Eliot Marshall explains how it hasn’t been too hard for him to start over again because this is the life he loves:

“You either want to do this [mixed martial arts] or you don’t want to do this and it is simple. If you don’t want to do it then you stop and if you want to do it, you love it, you do it for the fun of it, it is a great lifestyle and you love to do it every day. [After getting cut by the UFC] for 10 minutes I was like ah man maybe I am done, after that I was like nah man, [expletive] that, I’ll be back.”

Training is probably the most important part of mixed marital arts and most fighters will say that the actual competition is easy compared to the preparation. The importance of a good training camp with the right training partners cannot be underestimated and being part of The Grudge Training center in Colorado has been of paramount importance to Marshall’s fighting career:

“Mostly, it’s just me, Nate [Marquardt], Brendan [Schaub], Chaun Sims, Shane Carwin, Duane Ludwig and Cody Donavan, those are the mainstays at grudge. Other people are popping in and out sometimes, but we’re the guys that are there day in day out.”

“I feel really well surrounded, we have great training, we go to Amal Easton who owns and runs Easton BJJ, we are all a big team, so we do our days at Easton BJJ, we do our days at Grudge, we have a wrestling coach who helps us on our wrestling, strength and conditioning, we just have it setup so well.”

“One of the main things is the guys just get along so well together, we’re friends, it’s not like you go to work and have to deal with these people, we are buddies.”

Chris Davis is the opponent standing in Eliot’s way back to the top and Chris Davis is looking to get to the top himself. Davis is 9-2 in MMA and what’s interesting is both Davis and Marshall had a common opponent in for Ultimate Fighter contestant Vinny Magalhaes. Marshall defeated Magalhaes and Davis lost to submission against Magalhaes in the first round. Despite having lost to Magalhaes, Marshall isn’t one to underestimate his opponent, but he isn’t shy to express the fact that he will be ready for Davis come Saturday:

“He [Chris Davis] is a tough guy I am sure, I could care less, I know I have been with tough guys. You are not going to find me a guy tougher than Nate Marquardt, you are not going to find me a guy tougher than Brendan Schaub, you are not going to find me a tougher guy than another kid in our gym named Chaun Sims.

“Let’s do it, he [Chris Davis] is a tough guy, 9-2, he lost to Vinny, he beat that guy Kiko France, I watched that fight he has learned not to take Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts to the ground, but wherever he wants to dance were going to dance.”

Marshall discusses his game plan for this fight and all fights after, it is pretty simple:

“My game plan is survival. I have one game plan from now [on], for the rest of my life, the last bell can’t ring. I have got to go as hard as I possibly can so that that last bell does not ring. I am asleep or somebody else is asleep, the fights finish. I can’t fight just to win, no more third and final bell.”

In his last two fights, Eliot Marshall has come away with victories, moving his record to 10-2. A win this Saturday would put Marshall on a three fight win streak and the possibility of getting a second chance in the big leagues may not be too far off. When asked about the opportunity to get back to organizations like the UFC or Strikeforce with a victory this weekend Eliot was quick to make things clear:

“The only place I want to go is the UFC, I don’t want to play in the CFL, I want to play in the NFL and the NFL for fighting is the UFC.”

On whether a third straight win would propel Eliot back to the top of MMA:

“I can’t control any of that stuff, I just got to go out there and from now on for the rest of my life I have to finish every single fight or at least fight with that mentality of not just winning. I can win against anybody and not get touched and move and move kind of like boxing, but I have got to stop people.”

It is pretty clear that Mr. Marshall is really emphasizing not just the outcome of his fights, but the excitement of them as well.

Being a Montreal native myself, I had to ask Eliot Marshall about fighting in Montreal for UFC 97, Marshall’s reaction is similar to that of UFC head honcho Dana White:

“Montreal is crazy. Montreal is the craziest city I have ever been in my fight career. You guys over there you love your MMA and my lord you treat us like rock stars. Montreal is cool I would love to fight in Montreal again.”

Despite the party atmosphere Montreal is known for, the family man Eliot Marshall had to keep it pretty low key when he came to fight in Montreal:

“My wife was pregnant at the time and she was there too, I can’t say we partied too much, but it was a cool city, we walked around a little bit, I love Montreal.”

Before closing off the interview and thanking Eliot for his time he wanted to take the time to thank the fans and the people who have supported him through his career:

“I just want to say thank you to everyone for the support, I’m working my way back to the big show. Thanks to all my training partners, my coaches, my management team at Alchemist everyone that helped me and my family do this sport of MMA.”

Almost as I was doing this interview, Eliot posted a link to his Twitter account of a new MC Hammer music video that he and his Grudge training partners are part of, the video is attached to the article.

MC Hammer actually operates Alchemist Management which is a company that manages MMA fighters, including Eliot Marshall and many of the guys who train at Grudge with him.

Eliot Marshall is fighting this Saturday for Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana, another notable fighter on the card is former UFC veteran Keith Jardine.

Jorge Rivera: Calling Alessio Sakara a “World Class Striker” is a bit of a stretch

Posted by lex On November - 10 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Posted By Anton Gurevich UFC News

Nicknamed “El Conquistador”, UFC veteran Jorge Rivera will look to conquer another opponent, this time facing the Legionarius Alessio Sakara in the co-main event of UFC 122 this weekend. Thirty-eight years old, Jorge Rivera holds a Mixed Martial Arts record of 18 wins and 7 losses (8-5 in the UFC), finishing 12 of his fights via a TKO/KO. Rivera is coming off three consecutive victories, with his latest victory coming via TKO against Nate Quarry at Fight Night 21.

Here’s what Jorge Rivera had to say in an exclusive interview for LowKick.com Community. Enjoy!

You’re fighting Alessio Sakara at UFC 122 this weekend, how’s your preparations going for this fight?
I’m training real hard for this fight, so the preparations are going great. I’m training at F-15 with Peter Welch. I’ve been there for the last three years, so that’s sort of my second home.

What kind of gameplan do you prepare for Alessio, and how do you rate his striking game?
I feel like I’m prepared for everything. It’s MMA so I have to be well rounded. He’s a stand up fighter, so I think he’ll like to keep it there. Fine with me, coz that’s what I’ve been doing my whole career. As for his striking, I think it’s one of the best in MMA, for sure. He was a professional Boxer. He has a great left hook. Fast straight right hand. It’s hard to deny it.

Sakara presented by the UFC as a “World Class Striker”, while you actually have more KO wins on your record. Do you agree with that statement?
It’s a matter of opinion. Like I said, he’s a great striker, but I don’t know about him being a “World Class” striker. If he was a world class striker, he would be in Boxing. For MMA he’s a great striker, but a world class? It’s a bit of a stretch.

Alessio Sakara is a Brown Belt in BJJ. What will be your answer if he decides to take this fight to the ground?
I have no problem with that. I train with a great BJJ guys as well. I have Tim Burrill in my team, who’s a Black Belt under Carlos Machado. I train with so many good BJJ guys, so it’s something I’m not even worried about.

In your opinion, where the victory over Sakara could put you in terms of getting a shot at the title?
As long as I keep winning, it’s gonna come. I’m not going to get caught up in all that pre-fight pressure. As long as I’m getting impressive victories, the fights are going to demand that. My job is to put up exciting fights and win. Everything else will come by itself.

Your last fight against Nate Quarry was on a Fight Night card, and you’re a co-main event at UFC 122 in Germany. Do you feel any pressure because of that?
Not at all. I’m enjoying it. I like the attention, I like the interest. It’s one of the best things in being a fighter. Money and everything is great, but being recognized is another thing. So that’s what I want, to be recognized as a great fighter. Being co-main event is great.
Some fans are critiquing the level of UFC 122 fight card, saying there’s not enough big names on it. What do you think about that?
Well Anton, to be totally honest with you, I’m going to a local shows paying only 10$ and it’s worth every cent. As long as the fighters come to put up a great show, the fights will be exciting. That’s how you measure quality of a fight card. I’ve been to stacked cards, which were a snoozefest. So the so called “star power” has nothing to do with the fights being exciting. That’s the bottom line.

In my eyes, it’s the same unjustified critique coming against wrestlers.
You know, there are wrestlers that make the sport boring. I think there’s a point to look at the rules and change some things. I love the idea of having a Yellow and Red cards like they do in Japan. If you take someone’s money, I guarantee you that they are going to pick it up. You wanna make someone fight – take his money away. And 20% of your fighting purse is a lot of money. We fight for money right? And people are coming to see a fight. So take someone’s pay and I guarantee you they are going to put up an exciting fight.

Good point. Finally, do you have any prediction for November 13th? KO, Submission or Decision?
Decision? What decision? There’s going to be a finish, my friend. One way or another. I don’t want anyone to judge my fights. I’ll look for a Fight of the Night in this one. I want the fans to know that I’m coming to fight, and make sure that this fight is going to be exciting.

Any words for Alessio Sakara?
I just want him to know that I’m honored to fight him. We’re both professionals, that’s what we do for a living and will make sure that it’s going to be an exciting fight.
WATCH Jorge Surrender Video

Jorge Rivera wants to teach the world to sing, once he has beaten Sakara, of course

Posted by lex On November - 10 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS


Currently riding a three fight win streak, it is hard to think of a time that Jorge Rivera wasn’t fighting. A nine year veteran of the sport who has competed all over the world, Rivera, however, is more than just a fighter. A family man with a huge passion for life, the 38-year old has lately been making waves with both his impressive performances inside the Octagon as well as with his recent video clips.
Jorge Video

“I’ve been working a lot on my singing,” laughs Rivera, “I’m going to take it to the next level. I mean, you’ve got to have fun with it; you can’t be too serious in life. I don’t want to be stressed all the time. I want to be able to look back and reflect on my life and know that I’ve enjoyed it,” says the middleweight thoughtfully.

“I wanted to show a different side to me. I’ve got a family that I love and MMA is just one part of who I am. I do a lot of other things besides MMA.”
Clearly, the crooning conquistador has bitten the singing bug hard.

“You only live once; you’ve got to enjoy it. Next up I am planning on doing some duets. Timberlake, Cher, maybe even Manny Pacquiao. I think we could get a Christmas number one together. Then I’ll go into politics,” jokes Rivera.

However, whilst the Sityodtong trained fighter is having fun outside the cage, inside he has been all business. Scoring three impressive wins on the bounce has shown that Rivera may well be having a renaissance in his career.

“I’ve got great training partners and coaches,” says Jorge of his recent successes. “I am surrounded by quality trainers; the best coaches in the game who have my interests at heart. It has made me a better overall fighter.”

In such a difficult division, the 185lbs athlete could well be working his way to a title shot as he continues to rack up wins. But, he knows that first he must defeat Alessio Sakara, an equally tough fighter who is also enjoying a win streak since his move down from light-heavyweight.

“Of course I’d like to fight for the title. But, first I need to do what I need to do and bang Sakara out. As long as I am fighting tough opponents and I keep on winning then it will all fall into line.”

Taking on Sakara at UFC 122 in Germany, Jorge faces a well rounded fighter known for his striking. With both men looking at 2010 as their break out year, the bout has the makings of a real battle.

“Sakara trains out of American Top Team so he is no slouch on his feet or on the ground. In fact, I think we are both underrated on the ground. I’m not fooling myself. He is a well rounded fighter and I know he will be prepared.

“I just want the fans to be entertained. I’m in good shape and ready to go. On the night, I’ll be standing in front of him ready to fight.

“I hope he wants to brawl. I just want to entertain the fans. But, it is MMA so I am prepared for the fight to go anywhere.”

“I want to look back on my career and say that I fought the best in the world. I don’t want to fight no tin cans. I want to push myself against the best competition there is and know that I gave it everything I had.”

With an attitude like that mixed with a deadly combination of skills, a huge heart and a personality to match, Jorge Rivera’s star just keeps on rising. As the man himself says, you only live once so you might as well enjoy it.

Eliot “FIRE” Marshall-Splitting time between fighting and Mc Hammer

Posted by lex On November - 3 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

As seen on   http://www.aroundtheoctagon.com/?p=6759

By Luke Henderson

It is no surprise that Eliot Marshall’s nickname is ‘Fire’ as the fighter is red hot right now. Between recent victories, his work at Grudge Training Center, and an unlikely cameo in a music video, it seems he is everywhere lately.

Marshall (9-2), who will be fighting November 13 against Chris Davis at Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion in the Dominican Republic, is not the least bit concerned about training for a fight outside of the US.

“Fifteen minutes is fifteen minutes in the cage. I’m coming to get my scrap on,” he told Around the Octagon in an interview on Tuesday.

At this point in his career, Marshall a former competitor on The Ultimate Fighter realizes that he needs to start putting on displays for the fans that will erase any doubt they may have about him.

“I need to start stopping people. I can win all day; I can not get touched in a fight. But I don’t want Chris to make it to the first bell, for sure don’t want him making it to that last bell,” Marshall said.

He went on to point out that even a decision victory is like a loss to him, “the score can be 30-24 all in my favor at the end, and that’s a loss for me. If he makes it to that final bell, I’ll feel like I lost.”

And just in case anyone was confused, he had a clear message for the fans and his opponent.

“All due respect to Chris, but I’m going to whoop his ass.”

Part of that confidence comes from being one of the more recognizable members of Grudge Training Center. The gym is seeing a lot of exposure lately, with fighters in almost every card there is, and Marshall loves seeing his friends and teammates in action and day to day.

“It’s like when you were sixteen and you and your buddies all worked at the same pizza place. We all get along great.”

But the question on everyone’s mind is about something outside of the ring. He and numerous other fighters appeared in recent MC Hammer video, Run, in which the well-known Hammer is escalating his beef with rapper Jay-Z. Hammer, whose faith and beliefs are focused in the video on attempting to baptize a wayward Jay-Z, is heavily involved with the MMA community. Marshall, who stars in the video, pointed out that no matter what people may think of Hammer, he is still a force.

“Hammer is cool man, he’s got it locked down tight. He’s got like two million followers on Twitter. Check out Can’t Touch This on You Tube, a few million hits on that thing, and that was out way before You Tube started.”

But does his brief brush with music and fame mean that we might see a career change for Eliot ‘The Fire’ Marshall?

“If they want me to be in a video, let me know. Green money is money, just don’t expect me to rap or dance. I can walk around looking tough, that’s about it.”

Marshall’s name has been hot lately in Colorado at large, he attributes that not only to his recent change in management companies, but also to his hectic fight schedule.
“Working with Alchemist is making a huge difference, that and I’m fighting so much. I fought on August 27, then September 11, and now November 13. If someone wants to scrap in December, let me know.”

Marshall wanted to thank his management company Alchemist, his Grudge teammates, his family andEaston BJJ .

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