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The Face GINA CARANO

GINA CARANOWhether YOU consider her the “FACE OF FEMALE MMA”, she definitely is being marketed as such according to Jeff Sherwood, founder of Sherdog.com. But is she the best ‘pound-for-pound’ female mma fighter? Sherwood seems to imply no, throwing out names such as Tara LaRosa and Debi Purcell; and Gina Carano doesn’t claim to be “The Poster Girl of the Sport” as heard Friday on “THE SAVAGE DOG SHOW” on Sherdog Radio.

“Whether I’m the POSTER GIRL or not, I want to have the best career that I can…I’m trying my best and I’m learning,” states Carano.

After a big win over Tonya Evinger in Elite XC, Carano definitely has a lot of eyes on her. Although somewhat new to the ground game, Gina earned her first submission win over Evinger. “It was ironic in that Tonya talked about beating me at my own game (stand-up) and it felt so good to beat her at her game via choke.”

While Female MMA continues to grow in popularity with Carano at the forefront, Sherwood referred to a recent statement made by DANA WHITE when asked when we would see female MMA in the UFC,

“Probably never…Female MMA is weak and unentertaining and the‘poster girl’ can’t even make weight for 95% of her fights which is a clear indication of how women don’t take the sport seriously.”

Gina felt that this statement was a little harsh and uncalled for. Dana was clearly referring to the difficulty Gina’s been having making weight for her recent fights, she was .1 pounds over in her fight with Evinger. Sherwood went on to question whether Carano should go up a weight class. “I need to get more disciplined and possibly hire a nutritionist. I feel healthy at 150 and in shape at 145, there is no need for me to go up in weight,” Carano responds. “People were upset because I made the whole ‘period’ comment but it is a different factor that men don’t have to deal with…it’s very interesting to deal with but it’s not an excuse.”

What’s next for Gina? As the pressure seems to be building on Gina, it only “inspires” her to fight harder and show people what she’s capable of and to keep going. Is she the “FACE OF FEMALE MMA”? Time will tell. “Whether it’s me or another female fighter, Dana White will see. The ball is rolling and it’s TOO LATE to deny it’s popularity…too many people are already into Female MMA.”

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Elite XC/Showtime Conference

Elite XC/Showtime Conference
Elite XC/Showtime Conference

Elite XC/Showtime Conference

“NINJA’’ RUA & ROBBIE LAWLER, GINA CARANO & JAKE SHIELDS, PROMOTERS GARY SHAW & TJ THOMPSON, SHOWTIME’S CHRIS DEBLASIO In the biggest Mixed Martial Arts event in the history of Hawaii, talented EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua, will defend against exciting ICON Sport titlist, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in the main event of “Uprising’’ on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

Elite XC/Showtime Conference

The below excerpt is taken from Elite XC’s Media Teleconference:

CONFERENCE CALL QUOTES
“NINJA’’ RUA & ROBBIE LAWLER,
GINA CARANO & JAKE SHIELDS,
PROMOTERS GARY SHAW & TJ THOMPSON,
SHOWTIME’S CHRIS DEBLASIO
Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007

In the biggest Mixed Martial Arts event in the history of Hawaii, talented EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua, will defend against exciting ICON Sport titlist, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in the main event of “Uprising’’ on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

Well-regarded Nick Diaz will make his anxiously awaited EliteXC debut and first start in six months against Mike Aina, streaking top-10 welterweight Jake Shields faces Renato “Charuto” Verissimo, The Golden Girl of MMA, sexy Gina Carano, will face Tonya Evinger and two fighters tough as nails, Joey Villasenor and Riki Fukuda, collide in the other televised bouts.

With the exception of “Ninja”-Lawler, he televised bouts are slated for three, 5-minute rounds.

Shaw: I’d like to thank everyone for joining us for publicizing this great card Sept. 15 on SHOWTIME where Ninja Rua is defending his EliteXC belt against Robbie Lawler. This has been a great promotion and this is going to be a tremendous, tremendous show. We’re glad to have Gina and Jake back and Nick Diaz. I’m very, very excited.

Question: Gary, what other organizations are ProElite looking to acquire?

Shaw: ProElite has formed a partnership, which has been announced, with SpiritMC. I’m here in England now finalizing our Cage Rage deal.

Question: There’s been a lot of talk that ProElite is in talks to acquire ICON and King of the Cage and a couple of other organizations. Is there any truth to those rumors?

Shaw: Yes, there’s a letter of intent out on both properties.

Question: This is about the heavyweight division in EliteXC. You have Rico Rodriguez and a bunch of other guys. When can we expect to see more of these from the past?

Shaw: I think you’ll see more in November. Right now (we’re concentrating on the Hawaii show). We want to give Ninja a shot to defend the title he just won and keep his face out there. He’s an exciting fighter and who better than Robbie Lawler to put his belt up against?

Comment: Definitely. That’s a great compliment to your brand and a testament to sticking to your word about wanting to have one single unified champion instead of a bunch of club champions.

Shaw: I promise you my word is my bond and we’ll continue to do that.

Question: Will you continue with this trend and have the winner of the Lawler-Rua fight possibly go up against the Strike Force champion and Frank Shamrock?

Shaw: Sure. There’s nothing stopping us from fighting anyone. We’ll fight any fighter in the UFC. We’ll let our fighters go into the UFC to bring back their belt or we’ll do it on SHOWTIME on an EliteXC card or ICON or Cage Rage. Doesn’t make a difference. That’s what makes this exciting, so it becomes global and everybody has a chance. Look, Randy Couture right now is training Gina Carano. How good is that?

Question: ProElite seems to be adding a lot of different organizations to Mixed Martial Arts under one banner and that seems like that’s the exact opposite approach taken by the UFC, who tends to lock out other organizations. Can you explain EliteXC’s unique approach and what we can expect in the future?

Shaw: Thank you for your question. EliteXC is inclusive and not exclusive, as Nick Diaz, if he was on the call, would tell you. We believe by acquiring all these brands worldwide we become a global brand and we can help build Mixed Martial Arts and the dream can come true for the directors of this company that it becomes an Olympic sport — hopefully as early as 2012. I have always said that when someone holds up a belt and says I’m a world champion, that it truly should mean world champion and not a club champion from someone’s own organization. So we will continue to acquire brands. We’ll continue to let our fighters fight all over the world and we will continue to offer everyone from every organization, wherever they are, an opportunity to fight for our belts.

Question: You mentioned Nick Diaz and the Takanori Gomi fight. Is there any possibility we could see Gomi versus Diaz in a rematch for EliteXC?

Shaw: Sure. I have no problem with that. The question is will those organizations let Gomi come and fight on SHOWTIME and fight Nick. We would never hold Nick back. We gave him that opportunity. That’s what we’re all about, and I think that’s what the fans want to see.

Question: Have you or anyone with EliteXC had negotiations with Gomi?

Shaw: I have not nor has anyone else. We wanted to bring Nick back. As you know, he was on suspension. I wanted to be with Nick, take him through this fight and hopefully after this fight go right back and show it wasn’t a fluke and that Nick is the superior fighter.

Question: In acquiring these other promotions, does ProElite want to get a controlling interest in these other promotions, or is it more a case where you want to go in and get those promotions’ resources to expand their brands?

Shaw: First of all, we haven’t finished acquiring the brands other than Rumble and that’s a different deal than our SpiritMC deal. Each one of our deals stands on it’s own. We don’t hide anything. We’re a public company. So as soon as we’re done with the acquisitions, we’ll be doing a filing. So your question is premature at this point.

Question: Gary, you’re talking about letting your fighters fight in other organizations, but if you go out and purchase all these other organizations they’re really your organizations, right?

Shaw: Not really because what we want (is for) SpiritMC (to operate) as SpiritMC and keep the Korean flavor. (Like Cage Rage) is going to keep the flavor truly of an English brand. But it gives the English fighter an opportunity to possibly go to Hawaii and bring back an ICON belt or Rumble belt or in the United States a UFC belt or a Rage in a Cage belt or King of the Cage belt or whomever we’re dealing with. It’s giving the fighter the opportunity to be seen on a global stage. So if Rua wants to fight someone from Cage Rage or not, if they have the best fighter out there in the eyes of the public, well, he’s going to have to fight him to defend that title or get stripped.

DeBlasio: Gary, it sounds like what you’re saying is that it’s not about ProElite, it’s not about any one organization, it is about MMA as a sport, right?

Shaw: That’s absolutely correct. Remember, ProElite is out there and they’ve been fighting EliteXC, but it’s building MMA. We’re not just trying to build a brand. I’ve said this over and over again. The fighter and the organizations that we are putting together is king. They will be bigger than me and bigger than the brand, unlike the UFC or the WWE where no one will be bigger than Dana (White), no one will be bigger than Vince (McMahon). That’s not how we operate.

Question: Gary, how would you describe how things are going from the ProElite/EliteXC side of things and are you happy and are things on schedule as far as what you mapped out at the beginning and the progress you’ve made?

Shaw: Yes. It’s close to beyond our expectations. We knew we were real. We knew we had the funding. We knew we had to get fighters that could represent us and we’d be proud for them to represent us like Gina Carano, Jake Shields, “Ninja,’ even “Krazy Horse.’’ These are people that have gone out there and started to talk and believe in us and we believe in them. When I get off this call, Gina Carano will tell you I told her I was going to make her the face of women’s Mixed Martial Arts. She can tell you all the great things that have happened to her as a fighter. We’re not trying to bury her, we’re trying to keep building Gina and building Jake. And when fighters lose, we bring them back and we still talk about them. We want to build Mixed Martial Arts. That’s what this is all about. We’re very happy. We’re on track. We have a wonderful, wonderful partnership with SHOWTIME and Ken Hershman and I think we bring exciting fights. We brought three to premium television and we will continue to do that. And on ProElite.com we have streamed numerous fights both from England, Hawaii and within the United States. So on our ProElite.com site, we are doing things that have not been done before to help Mixed Martial Arts.

Question: EliteXC has been very supportive of Charles “Krazy Horse’’ Bennett over the past few months. What is your impression of his performance last month?

Shaw: I was very, very disappointed. I thought that he could maybe have been trained better or certainly have fought better, but many people don’t know he had a hand injury in the first round. We’re not making excuses. I saw it. It was all swollen. After the fight he was taken to the hospital. However, you know, we have been building him. We believe in him. We think he’s exciting and we will continue to bring him to the eyes of the public in the MMA, but he’s going to have to make the commitment in order for us to follow through on our commitment to the fighter.

Question: The fight between Nick Diaz and Mike Aina is going to be at 160 pounds. Will EliteXC have both a 160-pound division in addition to a 155-pound division?

Shaw: We are talking about that right now within the company and we may go from 155 to 160. I don’t know that we’ll keep both, but it’s a good question, and come back at me and maybe by Sept. 15th I’ll have a more definitive answer for you.

Question: What role will Andy Geer and David O’Donnell continue to have with Cage Rage?

Shaw: I just came out of a press conference here in England. They’re going to be active. They’re going to be running Cage Rage, the English brand and we’re going to step it up to the next level. Hopefully, we won’t do all the fights at Wembley, but we’ll be able to go to Manchester and other great towns that deserve to get great fights.

Question: Gary, are you prepared to say whether those two and their other partners still remain in a minority ownership sense?

Shaw: The acquisition is not completed so I want to repeat, we haven’t done all our FCC filings. We’re just finishing the acquisition, but I can tell you that Andy and Dave will both be an intricate part of the company.

Question: Gary, I know that you’ve been really working on developing Gina Carano as a fighter. What other female fighters are you looking to develop?

Shaw: I have my eyes on three females right now, none of which are signed, but I promise you by Sept. 15 I will make that announcement. But Gina took women’s MMA on her back with her first fight with Julie Kedzie on SHOWTIME, proved to everybody she’s a real fighter, proved that women can be exciting fighters and she’s now given the impetus to go out and sign more exciting women fighters like Gina that are coming into that cage to fight.

Question: Now that you have recently added the ShoXC portion to your brand, how often do you plan staging ShoXC cards?

Shaw: That’s a good question. I’m just getting in talks with Ken Hershman from SHOWTIME. I believe we have two more scheduled for this year, one in October and one in December. I think its Oct. 26 and Dec. 7. And hopefully we’re going to bring you eight-10 of those shows next year on SHOWTIME. Again, I have not sat down with Ken Hershman and put that in stone. But right now, that is the plan. And I hope you’re enjoying them. I hope you see the value in them.

Comment: Great shows.

Shaw: Look, we’re trying to bring new stars to the division, to the eyeballs. We’re trying to show how many great fighters are out there and then move them and get them the opportunity to go from ShoXC to big time EliteXC on SHOWTIME. Make sure Gina and Jake only say nice things about me. I’ll see you all in Hawaii next week. Thank you, very much.

Carano: Hi, everyone. My life has been a little chaotic in the last six months. I’ve been super busy filming different things and meeting different people, but I just want to say thank you to ProElite and SHOWTIME for putting me on this card. It’s an honor once again and I’m really planning on putting on a good fight and I’m looking forward to it..

Question: Gina, what do you know about your opponent? She is sure a tough talker.

Carano: Yeah. I don’t know if tough talking is a cover up for insecurities or if she’s scared or anything, but every fighter can be beat and so I’m planning on beating her.

Question: Robbie, what are your thoughts about fighting Ninja in the main event on Sept. 15? .

Lawler: I’m exciting about the fight. I’m in good shape, ready to put on a good show and knocking Ninja out.

Question: What do you think about Ninja, who is going to try and take you to the ground while you’re going to try to keep everything at standup?

Lawler: It’s definitely going to start on the feet and I think we’re going to exchange. He’s not scared to exchange, but he’ll be quick to take it to the ground if he thinks there’s an opportunity and I’ll be ready to defend him and keep it on our feet.

Question: Jake, what are your thoughts about fighting Charuto and do you think this could be your toughest fight?

Shields: I’m excited. Charuto is somebody I was supposed to fight twice before and it fell through. I’ve been watching him fight for years. He’s a great Jiu-Jitsu guy and I’ve been training my butt off. I’m ready to go out and fight. I’m hoping to do a little standup and bang with him. I’m going to try to knock him out.

Question: Is it a factor that you are fighting Charuto on his home turf?

Shields: Not really. I’ve fought in Japan a bunch. Hawaii is not that far. Obviously he’s going to be the favorite, but it’s not that big of a deal. I’m used to it.

Question: Can you talk about the Team Gracie versus Team Penn factor on this fight card?

Shields: I think it makes it exciting. You’ve got Nick from Cesar’s and you’ve got those two from Team Penn and they are the two best Jiu-Jitsu schools in the country, so it’s kind of a rivalry. We get along with those guys. It’s a friendly rivalry to go out and show them that we’re better.

Question: Will bragging rights be on the line for the camps or do you even think about that?

Shields: A little bit. You always want to make your camp proud. Nick and I want to go out and win and show that our team is the best out there.

Question: Jake, you are both good on the ground. How do you expect it to go if you end up on the ground?

Shields: I think I’ve gone against so many, you know, and it’s a competition. I’m fine on the ground. I think I hold an advantage on top, (to) open him up with elbows and ground it down. I hope to keep the fight on my feet, but there’s always a chance it will be on the ground. If he’s on top and I don’t want to be there, I’ll just try to get back on my feet.

Question: For all the fights, what do you love most about Mixed Martial Arts?

Lawler: I just like competing. If it wasn’t for Mixed Martial Arts, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now. I love competing and pushing myself to the limits, and going out there and performing.

Shields: For me, it’s kind of the same. It’s competing with wrestling and then I found MMA. It’s the best sport out there. I like competing, but what better than a full fight. Boxing is cool, kickboxing is cool and wrestling is cool, but MMA, it’s everything. There are no excuses and you can do whatever.

Carano: I just like the mentality of fighting and I like to be physical and it’s just — I think it’s one of the most honest sports out there. In basketball and other sports, you can fall down and over-exaggerate it, but in fighting it’s so honest.

Question: Jake, I wanted to know if you’re still training with the American Kickboxing Academy on occasion?

Shields: Every now and again I do some sparring. Every couple weeks, I’ll go down there to train.

Question: Jake, there are a lot of guys in your weight class. Is there any concern that you might have to face guys you train with in the future?

Shields: That’s a concern. (But I know) I’m not going to fight them in the near future, so I kind of keep training (with them) occasionally.

Question: Has the UFC given you any expectation they plan to institute a welterweight title?

Shields: They have actually. We talked about it; hopefully after this fight, I can fight for it.

Question: TJ, as the local promoter what are your thoughts on a card that’s being billed as the biggest MMA event in the history of Hawaii?

Thompson: I’ll tell you what. I think clearly this is the biggest MMA event in the history of Hawaii, but I also believe that it’s not the biggest MMA event that Hawaii is ever going to have. I really think that as the world sees this little island out here, (they/fans see) we’ve been so far ahead of the game (in MMA). We started promoting MMA events here in 1995 when ICON was the second longest Mixed Martial Arts show in America. We’re very excited to have this event. We’ll have a full house at the Blaisdell Arena. I’m very excited about the main event – with the ICON champ Robbie Lawler going up against the EliteXC champ. It’s a great opportunity. Gary Shaw had that vision of bringing all these groups together and having true world champions and I think that’s the direction that this sport needs to go to continue to grow. For Robbie Lawler, this is a great opportunity. (With the styles of both fighters), it would be hard not to see that (Lawler-Rua) is the fight of the night and you will have a (decisive) winner when it’s over.

Question: Gina, are you still training with Scott Barry at Randy Couture’s gym?

Carano: I’m still training with Scott; he came over before I went over there, along with my boxing coach and the two over there. So I’m definitely still training with Scott.

Question: What is your game plan for Tonya.

Carano: I guess my game plan is really to fight the fight. People come from wrestling and other places, but the beauty of MMA is that anything goes. And so I just need to remember that if I get stuck on the ground to get on my feet.

Question: Do you expect her take it to the ground or do you expect her to remain standing?

Carano: I expect her to remain standing for a little bit and she’ll probably want to take me down, but I don’t know. I really don’t want to expect anything, I want to stick to my game plan.

Question: Ninja, what are your thoughts about fighting Lawler?

Rua: I am very well prepared and very excited to be (fighting a fellow champion).

Question: Do you think this is going to be your most important fight?

Rua: For sure. I am at the best point of my career and (looking forward to fighting again in the) United States and (for) EliteXC. I believe (this fight will be) the best one of my career.

Question: Ninja, there was a rumor you were leaving the Academy of Chute Box. Is it true?

Rua: Just rumors. I am very happy with (their) support and right now I have no plans. I want to stay and fight.

Question: TJ, which rules will be used for this card? The ones similar to the ones ICON and Pride use or the unified rules used by EliteXC?

Thompson: (For this card), the unified rules will be used. (This show will take place in a cage). ICON uses a ring and will continue to use a ring in the future.

Question: Gina, do you feel pressure being called the face of women’s MMA and fighting again on Showtime?

Carano: Well, there’s been a little bit of pressure. But I started fighting when nobody was watching and I’ll continue fighting whether people are watching or not. I just love the positive energy. People want to (can) put me wherever they want to put me, that’s fine.

Question: Is the SHOWTIME fight card on Sept. 15 going to be available on the Fight Network in Canada.

DeBlasio: I cannot answer that for you. I can find out. I don’t know what the status of any agreement with Canada is, but I can find out.

Question: Gina, are you surprised at how much your life has changed since the big win over Julie Kedzie in the great, memorable fight earlier this year? How has your life changed and how have you handled it?

Carano: Well, my life — my real life hasn’t really changed, but the exposure has. It has been awesome. I have to just keep organized and keep myself together because if not I’m not going to fight well. So it’s nice. It’s beautiful. And I love all the fans and I love all the people that give me positive energy back. I’m trying to keep a level head about it.

Question: Gina, did you have any idea you’d be getting this kind of exposure going into the fight with Kedzie? Did you have any idea that so many doors would open up for you?

Carano: No, actually I didn’t, but I knew that there was something special about the performance and so I just take one day at a time. I didn’t know it was going be like this and I’m thankful to God for it.

Question: How has it been since you started training at Randy Couture’s gym?

Carano: Before, I didn’t have anybody to put it together for me. I would just do my boxing all different places. So when I went over to Randy’s, that all got put together for me. I haven’t had a chance to work with Randy that much because he’d been training for his fight But I did work with everybody there. Team Couture is amazing.

Question: Robbie, have you ever fought anybody with a similar style to Ninja?

Lawler: I fought a lot of different guys. I don’t know, I just look at Ninja as a pretty good fighter. He’s well rounded. Basically he’s ready to stand, ready to go to the ground, so I have to be ready for everything and I am.

Question: Robbie, what do you think Ninja’s greatest strength is?

Lawler: I think his greatest strength is he comes from a great team and when you come from a great team you instill hard work and you know what it takes to win.

Question: What weakness do you think you can try to expose?

Lawler: I just think if I catch him a few times with my hands I’m going to knock him out.

Question: Ninja, what do you think Robbie’s greatest strength is?

Rua: Robbie is a very aggressive fighter, well prepared. He’s ready to go.

Question: Ninja, do you think you can knock Robbie out?

Rua: I am going to win on standup or on the ground; no matter, I’m going to be victorious.

Question: What’s the biggest problem in the sport right now?

Lawler: I don’t know. The biggest thing, I think are fans are starting to support it, the media is starting to get behind us, but I think a lot of people aren’t well prepared when they come to fight and I think that will be bad in the end. You have to make sure that fighters that are fighting in the smaller shows are prepared and well trained so they can basically defend themselves.

Question: Chris, can you give us a quick rundown on the countdown show that’s running on Showtime?

DeBlasio: We have nine more showings including tonight on SHOWTIME and some of the other multiplexes. It’s a 30-minute documentary show. It profiles in-depth Robbie Lawler’s background, Ninja Rua’s background, the explosive main event that is to come that’s really a pick ‘em fight. The Countdown runs until fight night on Sept. 15. We thank you for watching and (for your) interest in alerting your readers and viewers that the show is on. (We appreciate your reviews). The more eyeballs we can get watching that show just builds the excitement. It’s really well done by an Emmy-award winning production house.

Question: Ninja, have you had the opportunity to watch Robbie’s most recent fight, his victory over Frank Trigg, and what are your thoughts on that fight?

Rua: I have a lot of respect for Robbie. I watched the fight and he’s a very aggressive guy and finished the fight very quick. But on Sept. 15, it will be a little different.

Question: Jake, you’ve had a war of words with Frank Trigg the past few months and reportedly was supposed to fight him in San Francisco. What’s the status of that potential matchup?

Lawler: Well, Trigg never signed the contracts so it’s off. I don’t think he wants to fight me. At this point it’s kind of like … whatever. Hopefully sometime down the road someone will set it up. He’s had several opportunities and he’s turned it down with different excuses. I’m up for fighting him.

Question: Robbie, you know there’s been a lot of talk about how you and Matt Hughes are leaving the Miletich camp to start a new training center. Has that affected your training for this fight?

Lawler: It hasn’t affected my training. I put all that aside for this. I knew I couldn’t concentrate on opening a new gym and doing all that stuff. I said I’m going to concentrate on my fighting and then open this fighting center and I’m in good shape.

Question: Can you tell us a little bit about what that involves as far as you and Matt starting a new gym? What’s your role going to be?

Lawler: Basically I’m part owner and a training partner for that and we’re going to start bringing in good fighters from around the area and hopefully build up a great team.

Question: Is this an amicable split from camp Miletich or is that an extension for you to expand on your abilities to go out and do that natural progression?

Lawler: Well, he’s a brother to me, he’s family and he always will be. I’ve been with him for eight years and I’m going to still keep in touch with him and we’re great friends and this isn’t going to stop this.

Question: Robbie, for the last three-four years, you’ve been fighting in ICON in a ring. Now you’re going over to EliteXC to be fighting in a cage. Have you been training in a cage more for this fight?

Lawler: Well, I’ve never really trained in a cage and I never really trained in a ring, so it doesn’t matter. I just know how to fight and know how to get the job done.

Question: Jake, Trigg said one of the main barriers between you two is that you’re 170 pounds, and that he now fights at 185 pounds. Would you be willing to go up to 185 pounds?

Shields: For the right offer I would be. The offer they were making me in the October show was good enough, but then he kind of backed out. I’m not sure his exact reasoning, but we had a verbal agreement. We were ready to sign the contract and all the sudden his promoter stopped returning the phone calls. I’m not sure exactly what happened there.

Question: Jake, what are your thoughts about what is good and bad in MMA?

Shields: I think the good is the public is finally getting behind it. They’re starting to love the sport and making it popular. The bad is all these shows working against each other, but EliteXC seems to be trying to put us out there working with each other. If everybody starts working together it will save the sport and get true world champions, like they say.

Question: Gina, what are your thoughts on that?

Carano: I would say the best thing is the sport is getting more popular and getting more fans and attracting new fighters from other places. The worst thing about it is probably is it still is so young. It’s got a long ways to go and it’s still making baby steps compared to the other sports.

Question: Jake, any chance that you might go over to WEC?

Shields: I haven’t given that serious consideration. If it was the right situation I would go over there, but I don’t have any serious plans of going over there.

Question: Ninja, can we have some closing comments?

Rua: I’m looking forward to putting on a great fight and a good show for the audience, for the American and Hawaiian fans. I’m in good shape and ready to go.

Question: Robbie, any closing comments?

Lawler: Just about the same. I’m in good shape, I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to take it to Ninja.

Question: Gina, can we have some closing comments from you, please?

Carano: Sure. I just want to thank everybody for accepting me and for the fans and the press. Thank you so much for covering and for watching because it really does a lot for the country. I’ve had so many people come up to me and are so inspired about what we’re doing. I plan on having a good fight.

Question: Jake, closing comments?

Shields: I’m excited to fight after all the hard training. I can’t wait to get it over with. Now I want to go out there and fight the best fight I can.

Question: TJ, any closing comments?

Thompson: From top to bottom you look at this card, if you don’t have SHOWTIME this is the time to order it. I’m excited to be part of an organization to have the first event on premium cable channel. I think that excitement from top to bottom on that card is going to be unsurpassed. The main event is a true candidate for fight of the year.

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Fabio Silva Shines Predador FC 6

Fabio Silva Shines Predador FC 6
Fabio Silva Shines Predador FC 6

Fabio Silva Shines Predador FC 6

Fabio Silva Shines Predador FC 6 Saturday evening the Predator FC organization presented the public in Ibirapuera with good fights, three of which were for title belts.

Much of the pre-event attention was focused on a non-title fight between Gustavo Machado (Pictures) and Jorge Patino (Pictures), but it was Fabio Silva (Pictures) who captured the fans after he scored a beautiful knockout against Cláudio Godoi with an overwhelming sequence of blows.

Fabio Silva Shines Predador FC 6

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Aug. 25 — Saturday evening the Predator FC organization presented the public in Ibirapuera with good fights, three of which were for title belts.

Much of the pre-event attention was focused on a non-title fight between Gustavo Machado (Pictures) and Jorge Patino (Pictures), but it was Fabio Silva (Pictures) who captured the fans after he scored a beautiful knockout against Cláudio Godoi with an overwhelming sequence of blows.

When Jorge “Macaco” Patino and Gustavo “Ximu” Machado were announced the gymnasium seemed like cauldron, especially with the tense climate created by the presence of Ryan Gracie (Pictures), a fierce rival of “Macaco” who worked in Ximu’s corner.

When the fight started, the athletes studied each other sufficiently, and “Macaco” scored first with a takedown that put him on top. In the second round, the bout remained standing. “Ximu” dominated the action, connecting on his adversary with strong kicks to the leg. In third round, the combat followed at this rate and went to the ground in the final seconds when “Ximu” tried a takedown. “Macaco” defended and Machado finished by pulling guard. The fight went to the judges, who split decision in their tally for “Macaco.”

The fight between Fabio Silva (Pictures) and Claudio Godoi promised to be one of best of the event when Godoi provoked his adversary during the traditional face-to-face of the weigh-ins.

When the combat started, the Brazilian Top Team fighter soon took down and dominated Silva on the canvas. Yet in the second round, the Chute Boxe light heavyweight went straight at Godoi and finished the fight just seven seconds into the period when he connected with a series of punches and knees. With the victory, Silva took the Predador FC 205-pound belt.

The 183-pound title contest was not very interesting. During three rounds Rafael Motta took advantage against Márcio Baron by taking the initiative, knocking him down and working from the top. Each judge ruled in favor of Motta.

In the dispute of the welterweight championship belt, Mauro Xuxa was almost knocked out by Ricardo Maximo in the beginning of the fight when his adversary connected a strong punch.

After taking Maximo down, Xuxa recovered and started turned around the the fight, ultimately ending the combat with a hear-naked choke much to the delight of the crowd.

Thiago Jambo carried out one of the best fights of the night against Vagner Curió.

After passing winning the opening round by taking down his adversary and working from the top, Jambo was almost defeated in the second round. Curió recovered to takedown and dominate positions on the ground.

In the last round Jambo, a Minotauro Team fighter, found himself in good position after a takedown. He controlled on the ground and eventually won the fight on points.

After that, Pedro Irie defeated Carlos Caiçara by imposing his rhythm during the fight. Throughout the dispute, Irie punished his adversary in feet while he tried to pull guard and work on the ground. The combat went this way during three rounds en route to a judges’ decision in favor of Pedro Irie.

Mauricio Alonso was knocked down early by Gilberto Galvão in the third fight of the night. Galvão was aggressive from the top, but not altogether effective. In the final minute of first round, Alonso reversed his fortune and punished Galvão with a series of punches, compelling his adversary to give up the combat.

The tough Gilmar China made his MMA debut against Sergio Vieira. With his excellent Muay Thai, China started well, imposing his rhythm in the stand-up fight and defending takedowns well.

Sergio, however, did not stop, and with less than two minutes to the go in the first round took China down and connected some blows from the top. He attempted an arm lock that was defended well.

In the following rounds, Sergio started to control the combat, applying good takedowns and dominating the fight in the ground, reaching quality positions where he tried some submissions attempts. Without show any reaction, China came up short on the judges’s scorecards.

Gerson Índio started well in the first fight of the night. He faced Juliano Belgine and, when brandishing good punches in feet, seemed like he would define the combat. Belgine accepted the stand-up fight and connected a devastating punch in Índio, who fell and tried an attack to the legs. Belgine defended and applied an arm-triangle to force an end of the fight.

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Interview Elaina Maxwell

Interview Elaina Maxwell
Interview Elaina Maxwell

Interview Elaina Maxwell While preparing for Strikeforce Triple Threat in San Jose December 8th against Gina Carano, fight veteran Elaina Maxwell talked to Fightergirls about everything from her training to her hour before the fight in this exclusive interview.

Elaina’s decorated career began close to 10 years ago under the guidance of Cung Le. Her record speaks for itself. Here’s what Elaina had to say.

Interview Elaina Maxwell

While preparing for Strikeforce Triple Threat in San Jose December 8th against Gina Carano, fight veteran Elaina Maxwell talked to Fightergirls about everything from her training to her hour before the fight in this exclusive interview.

Elaina’s decorated career began close to 10 years ago under the guidance of Cung Le. Her record speaks for itself. Here’s what Elaina had to say.

1. Let’s get a little history about you and how you were introduced to MMA.
Please go to www.elainamaxwell.com I have a bio on this site. I hope it answers all of your questions about me. It was recently updated.

2. Who have you been training with?
I have been training with Cung Le for almost ten years now. For more info on Cung Le, please go to www.cungle.com During the last two years, I have been training BJJ under Garth Taylor of Claudio-Franca. Over the past year, I have also been training BJJ under David Camarillo of AKA. They are both well-established black belts in BJJ.

3.What is your training schedule like?
I train double days more than a few times/week. I train in the morning, and then I go home, eat, take a nap, eat, and then I train again in the evening. I train in BJJ and/or MMA about 6 times/week, and I do cardio at least 5 days/week. I lift weights 2-3 times/week. I spar 5 days/week. My training regime is always changing. It’s essential to switch up the training routine, so that your body experiences muscle confusion. In addition, I think it’s important to listen to your body, and if it’s time to take the morning/night off, then I take the morning/night off. Overall, I train with Cung Le, so if you have ever seen “Making of a Champion,” then maybe you will have an idea of what my training is like.

4. Do you have a special diet you stick to while preparing for a fight?
Yes, I eat six meals/day, and I eat every 2-3 hours.

5. Tell us about your opponent for Strikeforce on December 8th.
I’m set to fight Gina Carano of Master Toddy’s at 145. She is a well-established Muay Thai female fighter as I am a well-established San Shou fighter. We both have very good stand up and a limited ground game. We are both very tough fighters, so it should be a great fight.

6. This is a huge fight; you are the only female on the card. Is there more pressure than usual for a fight like this?
Of course, we all get nervous before a fight, and anyone who says they don’t get nervous is lying. As for being the only female on the fight card, I’m always the only female on the fight card, so that won’t really be an added pressure on me. I am very honored to fight in front of such a large crowd. I’m hoping this Strikeforce card will sell out as it did in March 2006 with over 18,000 in attendance.

7. Is there anything special you do to prepare for your walk down? What is the hour before the fight like?
It really depends on how the venue is set up. I just make sure the DJ has my entrance music, and I relax in the back until it is my time to fight. The hour before my fight is like the calm before the storm.

8. Do you feel as a female fighter you face more unique challenges than males?
Actually I feel the exact opposite. Although there are moments when I feel the challenges of being a female fighter, I feel that I get more opportunities because I am female, and for this I am thankful.

9. What direction do you see women’s MMA going now? From the time you were introduced, have you seen progress in its recognition and acceptance?
I see that it has grown extensively over the past few years, and because of the smaller promotions, women have been able to compete even more in MMA. I think as the years go by it will be recognized even more. However, I think the acceptance will take much longer than the recognition of the sport.

10. What fighters inspire you?
My coach inspires me everyday in training, along with Ali for his skill, Liddell for his dominance, and Ortiz for his cardio.

11. Any advice to women out there new to MMA or up and coming fighters, trying to get their foot in the door?
Don’t just focus on one style. Stay consistent and determined, and give yourself milestones/goals to accomplish, which will help to motivate you while studying martial arts.

12. What’s next for you after Strikeforce?
I am very much looking forward to my birthday, 12/16, and the holidays! OK. I know you were asking about my next fight. I take one fight at a time, so I will figure that out on December 9th.

I would like to thank Cung Le, Garth Taylor, David Camarillo, KNOXX , and my family for helping me to be the person I am today.

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Laura D’Auguste Interview

Laura D'Auguste Interview
Laura D’Auguste Interview

Laura D’Auguste Interview On June 5th, 2003, I sat down to interview Laura D’Auguste. She is a laid-back, very nice woman known for her aggressiveness in the ring. She loves the sport of MMA but does not follow the sport. Other than being a busy mother to a very cute little girl, she holds a full time job as a registered nurse that has her working 12 hour shifts at the number one ranked hospital in the country. She owns a 2-0 MMA record. Who will she fight? Anyone! Lets find out more…

Laura D’Auguste Interview

On June 5th, 2003, I sat down to interview Laura D’Auguste. She is a laid-back, very nice woman known for her aggressiveness in the ring. She loves the sport of MMA but does not follow the sport. Other than being a busy mother to a very cute little girl, she holds a full time job as a registered nurse that has her working 12 hour shifts at the number one ranked hospital in the country. She owns a 2-0 MMA record. Who will she fight? Anyone! Lets find out more…

BH: Where were you born and raised?
LD: I was born in Brooklyn. Raised in Long Island. Moved back to Brooklyn and then moved back to Long Island where I am now.

BH: How old are you? (She looks about 23)
LD: 32

BH: Your height and weight?
LD: I’m 5’5″ and I weigh between 130 and 135. I fight at 135…even if I weigh 130. When I start to train, my weight drops even though I try to gain weight. That’s why I am usually around 130. I just burn everything off.

BH: Who is your trainer?
LD: I train under Sensei Peter Guzman, Shihan Master Schulman (Daniel “Tiger” Schulman) and I train under Shihan (Ron) Schulman.

BH: Who is your manager?
LD: Shihan Master Schulman

BH: And obviously you fight out of Tiger Schulman Karate…
LD: Yes.

BH: What inspired you to take up Martial Arts and then to take it to the next level of MMA?
LD: I went with my nephew to watch him do Karate, doing some sparring. And I said I want to do this. So I took actually a Woman’s Safety Class and from there I just continued. And as I progressed I watched different fights and I started to do sparring. No grappling because here, at one time, you didn’t grapple until you are like a green or brown belt in stand up. Now you can come into the school and they start you from the beginning. And I saw a bare knuckle tournament, before you had to put on gloves, and I was like, “I am going to do that!”. And there were no women that did it. Eventually I told my instructor that when I am ready I would like to do that…

BH: Bare knuckles?
LD: Bare knuckles. But now they put gloves on. What’s the difference? You are going to get hit anyway.

BH: What age did you begin Martial Arts at Tiger Schulman?
LD: 25

BH: You have done NAGA and Grappling Quest. Are you going to do more of those tournaments?
LD: Yeah.

BH: And you have no idea of your record?
LD: No. Sometimes I come in first, sometimes in second and other times in third.

BH: They teach grappling, ground fighting, here at Tiger Schulman’s. Is it Tiger Schulman’s own technique?
LD: His own style. Yes. It is a hybrid style. Similar to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We have kickboxing, grappling and karate. But when we start to learn, we start standing up. You have to learn how to fight standing up and then you get to the ground. Because really, you don’t want to go to the ground as a woman if someone attacks you. The style is more self-defense for the street. I want to be able to hit someone and get out of there if I am in that situation. I think it is better to first learn how to fight standing. But this style also teaches you that if you are on the ground, how to fight.

BH: While you were grappling in tournaments, obviously you had the two matches against Shannon Logan. Can you tell me about the one you lost and the one you won?
LD: The one I lost I think she got me in an armbar. And I didn’t even know what was happening. So I stood up, and of course it made it worse. She just rolled over. I should have never gotten myself in that position. It is not a good place to be. But she got me, and it will never happen again. So I have to thank her for teaching me. She is very skilled. The people I was working with at the time, never caught me in the hold, so I never had it happen to me before. When I grappled her the second time, I did not know it was her until after the match was over and realized it was the same person who got me. And I really did not know who Shannon Logan was. I was not into the circuit of who the grapplers are. I just went there to get more experience and practice and see what I can do and can’t do.

BH: So how did you win?
LD: I won by, what’s it called…advantage points.

BH: So after grappling against her to a draw, did you purposefully set the rubber match up to be your first MMA fight?
LD: No. I did not know I was going to fight her until they asked if I wanted to fight Shannon Logan…I said OK! I mean, I believe when you go into the ring you bow in or touch hands, or…I don’t really shake hands, I nod. Thats how I say “hello.” I used to shake hands with people but they would pull their hands away. So I don’t shake hands anymore, I nod. We are used to bowing. When you go in, it is what you can do. When you get out, its over. I don’t hold grudges. If someone beats you, they beat you.

BH: You are a true sportsperson.
LD: Well thats what you gotta do.

BH: So going into the fight, you were thinking, on the ground we were basically even. I would assume that you knew that she was basically jiu jitsu trained and you were more of a stand up fighter…
LD: What happened was, people told me she faught in Japan, she trained in stand up, Moon Thai so I thought it would be a lot of knee kicks and things like that. So I was practicing for knee kicks. But I knew she was very good on the ground. So I was prepared for stand up and ground.

BH: Were you confident going into the fight?
LD: When I go in, it does not make a difference if I win or lose. I go in and try what I trained to do. And, hey, you are fighting a person, not God. So whatever happens they can not destroy you. You can always say, I had enough. And my instructor trained me for her. He told me she would try to take me down and thats exactly what happened. It was like choreographed. Exactly how she did it was exactly how it happened in class. In class he would try to take me down, take me down, take me down… and I would work on sprawling. It was exactly how it happened. I was like, WOW!

BH: After the Shannon Logan fight, what did you know you had to work on?
LD: I thought I had to improve my standup. I thought I should have knocked her out. Because I was looking at the tape and her head was back and I didn’t hit her with any uppercuts. Even with Del Greer, I watched the tape and said…where was the uppercut?

BH: Then you went on to fight Del Greer. What were you expecting in this fight?
LD: I knew she was a really good standup fighter. Better standup fighter than on the ground. I never met her before, but one of the girls told me who she was when I was at a grappling tournament.

BH: Did you know she was bigger than you?
LD: Yes, I knew she was bigger than me. They told me to gain weight. I tried but couldn’t. I would eat like hamburger and french fries. But when you train it would just come off.

BH: So she weighed in at 140…
LD: 142

BH: And what did you weigh in at?
LD: 132

BH: But you were still ready to go? The weight didn’t matter…
LD: Didn’t matter. Well, I saw her down ion the bathroom and she told me she doesn’t think she can make weight. And I asked her how much she weighed. She told me and I told her doesn’t make a difference because I am still going to fight you. My instructor still wanted to see if she made weight. I told him there was no way she was going to make weight. He said I dont have to fight her if she doesn’t make weight. I siad, what do you maen I dont have to fight her? I just trained for this fight. Win or lose, I wanted to fight her.

BH: I read it was the best fight of the night!
LD: Thats because we are females!

BH: But it was a tough fight!
LD: She was a tough girl! When we first started fighting, she hit me…I was not even near her yet! She had such a long reach. I was like “How the hell did she do that?” That threw me off a little bit the whole first round.

BH: So you were hell-bent on fighting, then you go tin the ring and she surprised you with her size, strength and reach?
LD: I really had to feel her out a little bit. Its a little strange. Once you hit me, I don’t care what happens after that. But it was funny, before I fought her my instructor told me no one will hit you as hard as I do and when she hit me, I was like, You freakin liar! What were you talking about! That hurt!

BH: And you were finally able to take her down in the third round…
LD: I got her down a couple of times. Actually I got her down and I went to the side and I did not realize you could not knee kick. They said we could knee kick and I did not know once you were down we could not knee kick to any part of the body. But I knee kicked her and hit her in the head. And they stood us up and took a point away from me.

BH: So you did not know about the rule?
LD: No, they said you can’t kick the fighter when she is on the ground. But you could knee kick on the ground, but I did not understand you could not knee kick to the head. And I trained knee kicking and knee kicking to the head.

BH: Good that you brought it up, because someone in the Fightergirls forum described it as “cheap.”
LD: She kicked me once when I was on the ground. They didn’t say anything about that. (Laughing)

BH: And you don’t touch gloves, you just give a nod. That’s enough for you, right?
LD: Yeah. And I actually heard people saying it is rude not to touch gloves, but I never touch gloves for the reason I told you about before at the 4 NAGA tournaments. At the Tiger Schulman’s tournaments we bow, and I not going to do that!

BH: So you are 2-0 in MMA. What’s next?
LD: My next fight. Whoever it is.

BH: Whoever?
LD: Yeah.

BH: At 135?
LD: At 135. I just cant gain weight to fight bigger girls. I don’t believe in weight lifting. I think it makes you stronger but it tightens your body up and you aren’t as flexible, especially for grappling. I think it slows you down. I could get bigger but I would have to lift weights and I wont do that.

BH: Do you do any strength training?
LD: I bag train, I run. Some pushups. I just do martial arts. If you want to get good at grappling, you have to grapple. You want to get strong at stand up, you gotta do it. And cardiovascular wise, I don’t get tired.

BH: would you go down and fight at 125?
LD: No. I would be anorexic at 125.

BH: Would you ever go to Japan and fight?
LD: Yeah!

BH: Any female fighter you would not want to fight for any reason?
LD: NO. I don’t know anything about other female fighters. It does not make a difference. When I go into a fight, I know their skilled, but I don’t hold anyone above me or below me. I just see them as a person and I just want to do my best.

BH: And you leave it up to your trainers to get the fight and then find out the tendencies of the fighter and train for it.
LD: That’s right. They are the ones that get me ready. My job is to do what they tell me to do.

BH: So you don’t know any females fighters out there?
LD: No.

BH: So my next question is totally a moot point…who do you think are the 3 best female fighters.
LD: Right, I don’t know who they are.

BH: How do you feel about women fighting in the UFC?
LD: I think it would be great! You have to go into the ring to test yourself and the art you train in. I found that my style works. I beat a girl who is very good at standup and I beat a girl who is very good on the ground. So I feel like my style is well rounded. It is a good combination of standup and ground.

BH: You don’t know any of the female fighters, do you know any of the male fighters?
LD: No.

BH: So you just don’t follow the sport, you just participate in it.
LD: That’s right.

BH: You are a nurse? Full time?
LD: Yes, at the number one rated hospital in the country.

BH: Where in the hospital do you work?
LD: I am a cardiac nurse. Critical care.

BH: So you went to nursing school? While you trained?
LD: Yes. It was hard. And I am a Mom!

BH: You are a Mom! Does she train?
LD: Yes, at Tiger Schulman. She is 10 years old. Matter of fact she was at my last fight (the Del Greer fight). She told me to try my best!

BH: So you are way to busy to be following this sport…
LD: Yeah.

BH: In the sport, what do you want to accomplish?
LD: I really want to come in first place in the Men’s Advanced Division. But they are in reality too strong. But I am working on it. To make them submit. Make them go tap, tap, tap!

BH: And in MMA?
LD: In MMA, I will stick to the women. I don’t think any man is going to want to punch a woman in the face. And he shouldn’t want to. Even if it is in the ring.

BH: So you would want to take on all 135 pound female fighters out there?
LD: Whoever wants to fight, just call up Master Tiger Schulman. Or have their manager call and set it up. I am looking for a fight for the tournament that is coming up, but did not find anyone. I want to fight in July at the next Ring of Combat 4. And we are looking.

BH: Do you have a boyfriend?
LD: No. I don’t have time for a boyfriend.

BH: Outside the sport, what do you want to accomplish.
LD: I want to go into the intensive care unit. And I am thinking of taking a class in the coming months, Accelerated Life Support Systems to get there. It is intense. It takes a lot of critical thinking. And MMA and grappling helps because you have to think throughout the match to quickly react to your opponent.

BH: Favorite music?
LD: Deep house.

BH: (Showing how hip I am) Deep house? I have never heard of them…
LD: (Rolling her eyes) Sigh*

BH: Oh, deep house, as in, house music…got it.

BH: Favorite food?
LD: Bagels.

BH: With or without cream cheese?
LD: I like it with tuna salad.

BH: Favorite color?
LD: Black

BH: What other sports do you like?
LD: I like to run. I like to swim. I used to play soccer. And I was a dancer. I did ballet and jazz dance. I gave that up for martial arts.

BH: Does that help you balance and coordination?
LD: Yes.

BH: Last question: When are you going to go online and put your profile on fightergirls.net?
LD: When am I going to do that? Right away.

BH: Thank you Laura for your time!

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Interview with Angela Perra Riviera

Interview with Angela Perra Riviera Born in Hesperia, California, 25-year-old Angela Parr (Rivera) started training Muay Thai in 1997 at Master Toddy’s Las Vegas gym. Since then she has had 31 fights (with a fight record of 25 – 4 – 2), and as well as wining numerous national titles, she won a gold medal at the 2001 World Amateur Championships in Bangkok.

In 2002 Angela Perra Riviera moved from Las Vegas to Queensland, Australia and lives there with her husband (Muay Thai world champion “John” Wayne Parr) and their 2-year-old daughter Jasmine.

Interview with Angela Perra Riviera

Interview with Angela Perra Riviera
Interview with Angela Perra Riviera

1. You had your first ‘post-Jasmine’ fight in November 2003, did you find that being a mother changed anything about the way you fight and train (except for the obvious lack of time!)?

Angela Perra Riviera – Training and having a baby is totally different. My mind is in two places – one is on training and one with Jasmine. It was much easier without a baby, but after two years my body is back to normal. My first fight back was exceptionally hard because I was still breast-feeding, but I wanted to prove to everyone that I was still a fighter.

2. How long did you wait after having Jasmine before you got back into training and then fighting? Did you keep putting it off or were you itching to get back into training?

Angela Perra Riviera – I think I started back training after 3 months. I had a natural birth so I had to wait till I felt right again. I wanted to train – every time I saw someone hit a bag or pads it made me very jealous. 3. How hard was it to get back into training after having Jasmine?

It was and is still hard – I cannot get a good session out when she is in the gym because I worry about her too much. I now take her to day care so I can have time for myself.

4. What are your goals for 2005?

Angela Perra Riviera – I really love to fight but would like to just have 2 or 3 fights this year. I cannot fight all the time because my husband is fighting and making money for our family and our future so I have to support him as best as I can. When I train hard I get tired and do not want to cook or take care of my house duties so it is important to me that I focus on my family first. My second goal is to get our new gym started and have more students and more women training for fitness and for fighting.

5. Are there any people you really want fight in 2005?

Angela Perra Riviera – I want to fight anyone in my weight class that I have not fought before. I like the idea of not knowing who I am fighting and challenging myself to figure them out and beat them.

6. Did you have any New Years resolutions?

I guess it would be to focus on our new gym that we are going to open next month. It is twice the size of our current gym and we will have a full facility. We will have men and women’s showers, sauna, weights, treadmills, and much more.

7. Have you tried any other martial arts?

I have had a professional boxing fight which I took on a week’s notice. No one else in the gym would take it so I did and I won, it was really soft. I love fighting boxing, but training just boxing is boring. Other than boxing I have only fought Muay Thai, and I am not interested in training in anything else. My heart is in Muay Thai.

8. Do you do any other sports for cross-training or enjoyment?

I have to run as part as my training but I have also started playing racquetball again. I like it because I get a good work out without thinking how hard it is physically.

9. Have you spent time training in Thailand? Where did you train?

I have been to Thailand three times. First time is when I fought in the Amateur championships. My trainers were from Jocky gym so I did a couple of days of pad work there and I fought the rest of the time. The second time I went to Galaxy gym where I only trained for about five days because I was there to support my friend who was fighting at the time. I have not been able to train in Thailand for any serious amount of time.

10. Did you feel you were treated differently while training in Thailand because you were a woman?

Yes. Women are not allowed to go in the rings or touch them, but when I won my three fights I was treated very well. Thai people are very friendly and I had a great experience.

11. Since you started Muay Thai in 1997 has there been a change in the attitude of trainers towards woman fighters?

The people I have trained with have always had a lot of respect for women fighters. Most trainers do respect the women because they always train hard and fight hard.

12. What about the general public? Are they more accepting of woman fighters now?

Some people have no idea that it is also a martial art. They think it’s all violence but really it’s whose technique is better and who is stronger. When they see a woman’s fight however, they usually have more respect.

13. What is the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with being a woman competing in a sport dominated by males?

It does not bother me personally. I have always thought that my fights were just as important. A women’s fight will always stand out. The worst thing would have to be a sexist promoter. It sucks when they don’t want to put women on their fight cards.

14. Do you think there are any differences in the way that women and men fight?

I think women sometimes fight at a faster pace.

15. Who are your favourite fighters?

I really like the men’s middleweight division; there are so many great fighters there. My husband is in that weight class so I am always watching the middleweights on video. My new favourite is Kaoklai – he is Thai and is fighting in the K-1 heavyweight division. He is only 76 kilos and is beating guys that are 105 kilos. He has amazing power in his kicks.

16. What is your most memorable fight and why?

Trisha Hill on our second fight. She was a lot stronger the second time and she almost beat me – she punched and kicked me very hard. I got lucky when I hit her with a right cross and she went down. That was the first time I hit someone and knocked them down like that. It was so exciting and again was very lucky.

17. What is your favourite thing about fighting?

I like the smell of the ring, the leather gloves, the Thai oil, and the energy that flows through my body before the fight.

18. What is the worst thing about fighting?

I don’t like to be unfit in the ring. It is also hard when you say after the fight “I should have done this” or “I should have done that”.

19. What is the most important piece of advice you’ve been given in terms of training or preparing for a fight?

It would have to be run. Run to get your fitness up so you can fight better.

20. Can you describe a typical day for you?

When I train for a fight I get up and run for about 30 minutes and then I do exercises after that such as push-ups, sit-ups and then stretching. Then I either run again at night or skip rope for 20 minutes then 2 rounds of shadow boxing, then pad work. I do bag work, and partner drills like sparring or leg sparring. If I have a good training partner I like to grapple but I don’t always have someone my weight in the gym so I can’t always grapple. I do light weights and sit-ups and push-ups at end of training. When I am close to a fight I do pad work in the morning also.

21. With two world champs as parents and growing up in a gym, what age will you let Jasmine start training?

Jasmine will start to train at age 5 on a daily basis. She does not have to fight – in fact I’d rather her not, but I want her to train for the discipline. She will be at the gym everyday so it will be a good for her to do something physical.

22. Have you and your husband ever fought on the same night? If you haven’t already, do you think you would it be too stressful or distracting? John Wayne and I fought at Las Vegas in March 2002. Then we fought again in New Mexico later that year. Before Jasmine it was easy because we were in the same routine, but now I think it would be really stressful.

23. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

Thanks for your questions. Also for any fighters – don’t let anyone hold you back or put you down, just follow your dreams and train hard.

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Muay Thai Fights, WCK @ Victorville

Muay Thai Fights, WCK @ Victorville
Muay Thai Fights, WCK @ Victorville

It’s time to rock n’ roll…. thanks for the support…hope to see you there…WCKMy name is Debi Purcell, I am a Mixed Martial Arts fighter under Marco Ruas and hostess of a new web site, https://www.fightergirls.com
We are a resource for female fighters and NHB/MMA event promoters. We are doing what we can to help our end of the sport grow by trying to be a comprehensive source of information for all parties, including fans and sponsors.

Muay Thai Fights, WCK @ Victorville

We hope that we will continue to push the boundaries of the sport and make it a viable option for women, as well.. I am extending the invitation to have any female fighters you may have to fill out their profile on the site,They can do it directly from the site.

Also for promoters or academies to post news or upcoming events with females in them.,We are currently working on our own clothing line that will include women’s fight and training wear, as well of talking to other distributors about selling videos from our site. We have gotten a positive response from everyone that has heard about or seen what we are doing and would love to have your support as well.
Much Thanks,
Debi Purcell

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Laila Ali Vs. Erin Toughill

Laila Ali Vs. Erin Toughill
Laila Ali Vs. Erin Toughill

Laila Ali Vs. Erin Toughill Last night Erin Toughill and Laila Ali boxed in Washington D.C. on a Showtime Presentation for Ali to defend her WIBA Light Heavyweight Championship belt Last night on Pay Per ViewBoth women looked very professional but Toughill lost at the end of the third round with ONLY 1 second to go.

Laila Ali Vs. Erin Toughill

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Shelby Walker Hook N Shoot women’s card

Shelby Walker Fighter
Shelby Walker

This interview was conducted with Shelby Walker by Adam Guerara on Feb 11, 2002.
BARNONE:Hey Shelby how are you tonight?

Shelby:I am great thanks Barnone. How are you?

BARNONE:I am well thanks for asking. Shelby can you give is a little info on your back ground? Ht,wt,style etc?

Shelby:Well I’m a blue belt in bjj, I also kickbox, my trainer Stacy Jourgenson is the best!I am 5’8 135lbs and fluctuate around 125lbs.

BARNONE:Shelby can you tell us about your up coming fight with Tara?

Shelby:I could tell you a lot but I will stick to the basics! This is a fight that has to happen and I’m ready!

BARNONE:What started all the bad blood between you two ladies on the UG?

Shelby:I made a post about not having any females to roll with and Tara got on my thread and stuck her nose where it did not belong and jumped my ass. She has a habit of riding all the other females on the UG. And to be honest I want to beat her face in.

BARNONE:WOW that is some strong words. lol I didn’t think it was this bad.

BARNONE:Can you give us a prediction on how you plant to finish Tara and what round?

Shelby:By submission, I will feel her out and in in the 2nd round I’ll submit her by guillotine! Also Tara has her friends emailing me she has them telling me that she is going to stand with me but I got something for her if she does, ILL KNOCK HER OUT”

BARNONE:Wow this should be a good fight and not to be over looked! Shelby what drives you to to fight?

Shelby Walker:Well the same thing that drives a baseball player to play or a football player to play football, I just love to fight I love it!

BARNONE:What do you think of Debi Purcell’s efforts on creating the first female web site for women MMA fighters?

Shelby:I think she has gone above and beyond duty! Thanks a million Debi!!

BARNONE:Any last words for your fans on the UG?

Shelby:Yeah stay tuned for the fight of the year!

BARNONE:Shelby thank you for your time we look forward to the fight!

Shelby:Thanks Barnone, take care and I’ll see you all at the fights!!

Well there you have it folks Sheby “SUPERSTAR” Walker.

Ps:I want to send a special thanks to Debi also for letting me be a writer for www.fightergirls.com Love ya Deb!!

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Fighter Shelby Walker Passes Away

According to manager Larry Goldberg, mixed martial artist and professional boxer Shelby Walker was found dead on Saturday, September 23rd. It is believed that she died from an overdose of pain medication.

Affectionately known as Shelby Girl, she was a pioneer in women’s mixed martial arts and fought in several title bouts during her boxing career. She was 31 years old.

Goldberg included the following in a post he made to Shelby’s web site, “She was a wonderful person who inspired many people. However, she succumbed to personal demons. Shelby was loved and will be greatly missed by all that knew her.”

He continued, “Shelby should be remembered as the fun loving beautiful person who was the life of any party and got to live her dream. There is so much about her life people never got to know. I had the privilege of managing her and befriending her and watching her fight 2 world champions and experienced with her the thrill of victory and agony of defeat… I know Shelby will be looking down on all of us from heaven.”

We at Fighter girls.com would like to send out our heartfelt condolences to Shelby’s family, her fiancé, and to our good friend Larry Goldberg. Shelby is loved and missed by us all.

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Interviews female fighters news women's martial arts MMA

Jeff Osborne – The promoter

Jeff OsborneJeff Osborne – The promoter Welcome to our second interview. This interview was done with Jeff Osborne. Jeff wears many different hats in the MMA world, mainly he’s one if the main forces behind one of the best shows in the US, Hook N Shoot and he’s also one of the announcers for a small show that you may have heard of unless you’ve lived under a rock since 1992 called the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Jeff is the main force behind the up and coming all women’s Hook N Shoot card coming up in April of this year. Her’s you chance to find out what it’s taking to put together the first all women’s card in the US.

 

Jeff Osborn Women’s MMA Fight Promotor UFC Commentator

Fighter Girls Tell us what you do for Hook N Shoot and who else is involved.
Jeff Osborne What used to be a one-man-show is now about a 10-person production. We have a 3-camera video crew, Bob from South Carolina and Troy from New York are our stage co-ordinators and help with contracts, Miguel Iturrate is the main matchmaker, Rich Santoro helps with regulatory code and is the U.S. Shooto rep, Darryl Neher along with myself handle all video operations from editing, mixing, encoding and all kinds of other good stuff. As far as my duties, I’m in charge of getting sponsors, local promotion, ticket sales, transportation, radio ads, I also produce the TV show and direct the actual show. Basically, we’re doing the job of around 45 people with about 10 of us.

Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: What possessed you to start Hook N Shoot?
Jeff Osborne – The promoter : I was a pro-wrestler for about four years and was told to put on 80 lbs and I would have a very lucrative job. Obviously, this meant steroids. I had the ability but not the size. I got so fed up with the way things were going and the behind-the-scenes crap that I had to leave it. I saw UFC 2 and walked away for good. In pro wrestling, there are so many make-believe egos and in this sport, there are almost no egos at all. I like that. Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: Tell us a bit about how the first few shows went.
Jeff Osborne – The promoter : First show was a sell-out of about 350 people. It was at a 4-H Boys and Girls Club in a small town called Boonville, Indiana. At the time, I had no clue what to pay people and I lost about $2,000 (later this would be minute)

FG: What is the extent of your involvement with the Shooto Organization in Japan and how did the come about?
JO: We are now basically recognized as the U.S. version of Shooto. They are quite possibly the most respected organization in Japan in the fact that they thrive on having the best fighters and entertain the crowd. They may not be rich, but they are true and have the utmost integrity with fans. We are now 100% Shooto and I’m very happy with the way things are going.

FG: How did you land the job and UFC?
JO: I’ve been doing commentary on our HnS fights for roughly 5 years now. They were familiar with me and our show, knew of my work, I submitted a tape and got it. My knowledge on the fighters also helped. I’ve followed the sport before it hit the U.S. with Pancrase and other groups. Knowing the fighters was a plus

FG: It must be fun being a UFC commentator, what’s your favorite part?
JO: My favorite part…that’s a hard one. I guess being able to talk about something I love so much and have the best seat in the house. The paycheck is also a favorite! Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: What is your Martial Arts background?
JO: Studied some traditional martial arts as a kid but nothing serious. I started training in BJJ and Muay Thai in 1994 after I left pro wrestling.

FG: Do you have any pro or amateur fights?
JO: Yeah, two amateurs and 4 pros. I’m technically 2-2 in MMA I guess. I’m a lover, not a fighter (ha ha)

FG: What are your favorite fight styles?
JO: I’m not a big fan of styles but I am a big fan of fighters who can use their styles to their best abilities. Yves Edwards style is great. He can avoid the takedown and deliver incredible knees and still manage to get out of tough spots. Aaron Riley’s style of boxing, submissions and being able to avoid the takedown makes for incredible fights. Rumina Sato is another who has created a style of his own.

FG: I’ve heard your into video and camera work, also, did you go to school for that?
JO: I chose not to go to college because I knew what I wanted to do. I had three different scholarships and two were fully paid but I chose not to go. I wouldn’t advise anyone else to skip college though! I just jumped in the video production business. There’s nothing like watching a creation take shape on video.

FG: Do you have any other jobs besides what we’ve gone into so far?
JO: I do so many things but it’s all MMA related. So many things to explain. I always get asked what I do for a living and I’m stumped!

FG: Are you married or single? Married.
JO: My wife rocks!

FG: Kids?
JO: My one and only. She’s so unbelievable that we chose not to have another in fear that it may turn out like me! Just kidding.

FG: What’s been your favorite fight that you’ve put on so far?
JO: Hmmmm, my personal favorite fight was Aaron Riley vs. Steve Berger. I worked so hard on an intro video that showed live to the audience and it sent chills up my spine. It was emotional for me because both were my friends and one had to lose. The match turned out to be the only non-UFC/Pride/Shooto to make it into the 2000 Match of the Year Top Ten. It wasn’t necessarily the match but the class they showed before and after it. That to me is why I love the sport.

FG: Who has been your most memorable fighter that you have met to date??
JO: I don’t know. I really don’t get that pumped about meeting anyone. I respect everyone and especially the fighters. No one strikes me as a “superstar”.

Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: What expectations do you have for your show this year?
JO: We will continue to grow as we have over the last 6 years. We like to keep things reasonable where other promotions have failed this year. I was a fighter before a promoter and have seen others mistakes in dealing with promoters. Some ask for so much money that it can drive a company out of business. I look at REMIX for example. Marloes Coenen got $95,000 for winning a tournament and the other girls got paid well too. Granted, I believe the fighters should be making as much as boxers but many are driving companies out of business. REMIX folded and only does two fights per year now, Battlarts in Japan folded, RINGS will officially close in February and so many other U.S. promotions are losing HUGE money. We want to be consistent and give people fights on a regular basis. Blowing a quarter of a million bucks on an unproven show is ignorant and before you know it, no one will be fighting.

FG: What was the reaction from the first female fight you did with Judy Neff and Shelby Walker?
JO: Actually the first fight was Judy vs. Jessica Ross back in March of 2001. This was our first fight and it was a sell-out show. I think people were curious to see what the women could bring to the ring and they weren’t disappointed.

FG: There has been a lot of talk about the all women’s card that you are putting, some very positive some not so positive. I am real curious on why you decided to promote it in the first place??
JO: The negatives are getting less and less. I think some people just want to see something fail. They want to see it fail so badly that they’ll even buy a ticket, which doesn’t make sense. Others are jealous of the women getting so much attention. The positives are that it’s so new, at least in the U.S., that virtually every form of MMA media is calling me wanting to cover it. We’re also getting interest from other magazines and such outside our sport. No special reason why I wanted to promote it. I just want to see who the best woman is!

FG: It must be tough when you have some people telling you it is going to fail, how are you dealing with that?
JO: The same way I deal with every day like. Some people react to negatives in bad ways. I tend to turn it around and shove it in their face when I’m done. Tell me I can’t do something and I will. I’m goal oriented and when I achieve a goal, I’ll set more. Life is boring without goals! Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: Anything you wish to say to those who have supported you through all this?
JO: I can’t wait to meet some of the women face to face. They have been incredible to deal with and great thing about negotiating and just talking to the women is that they just want to fight! I’m glad to be dealing with people who love the sport just as much as me.

FG: Anything you wish to say to those who have not?
JO: Nothing bad. At times, I think it’s funny because with the crew of women that we have on the show, they will do my talking for me and prove everyone wrong.

FG: Some people think that women should not fight, what do you say to them?
JO: Tell that to Judy Neff, Jennifer Howe or Marloes Coenen. The people who are saying that may have some issues to deal with. Last time I checked, this was America and you’re allowed to dream and do what you want.

FG: Are you getting a good response thus far from the fans?
JO: For the most part, it’s been about 95% positive. It’s usually the 5% that gets heard. The response has been great and we’re still a few months out.

FG: Do you plan on doing more all women’s card or mixing them up on the men’s cards?
JO: Yes, I’d like to have Erin Toughill vs. Marloes on our May show. We’re also looking at running single fights on our regular shows as well. Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: Do you think the women cross train enough?
JO: I still don’t think a lot of men cross train enough! Usually, a fighter is good at one or two things instead of the complete fighter. There will be some that are “great” but there will always be some who are the “best”. Women’s fighting is so new that the game will change greatly after this show. It’s going to be interesting.

FG: What do you think women should to get themselves noticed as fighter, besides fight well, that is.
JO: Your web page is a good start! ha ha. Seriously, I found many of the women on the show from your page. I would suggest putting together a sparring tape and sending it to us. We’re not here to outmatch people or have one-sided fights. That’s a waste for everyone! My goal is to produce the best quality matches so if I see someone who is better than a possible opponent, I don’t do the fight. Right now, the best way to get noticed in our industry is the web.

FG: Are the winners of this card going to go to Shooto in Japan?
JO: We’re hoping. This is the first full-sanctioned women’s Shooto event. Judy and Shelby was the first official fight and they’re now listed on Shooto’s ranking pages so I do expect things to get interesting down the road and hope they can come up with good Japanese women to do fights on their shows. Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: The 135lb weight class looks to be a top class for the women, are you planning on doing a tournament any time soon to crown a champion?
JO: I would love to do a tournament but Shooto rules are “no tournaments”. We haven’t done a tournament since 1998 and don’t plan on changing. I would rather do tournaments over a period of shows. It’s in everyone’s best interest to have the fighters fresh. I’ve seen tournis where one fighter has a LOOONNNNGGG fight and his opponent was in for about 20 seconds. You don’t get the best when you do them in the same night. I want to crown a champion around the 125lbs to 140lbs division. That’s where 90% of the fighters are. Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: What kind of turn out are you expecting for this card?
JO: Hopefully a good! 🙂 Seriously, I believe that it will rival our other shows with a good turnout. We’re already getting media attention and we still have a regular show on 3/9/02 to think about. We have had three shows drawing over 3,000 and two of them had a women’s fight. I’m hoping to make this the fourth. Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: Are you promoting this show any differently than the men’s shows?
JO: Not really. I don’t have a lot of help going into this but things are falling into place. I think the ladies will do all the promotion on the web and the curiosity of people here locally will handle the rest.

FG: It is also rumored that the ringside seats are almost sold out, is that true, and if so how does that compare to the men’s show?
JO: It’s not sold out but there is a lot of interest. It’s the earliest I’ve ever had people ask me for tickets! That’s a great sign.  Jeff Osborne – The promoter

FG: Did you have a hard time matching up the fighters or was pretty much everyone willing to fight each other?
JO: Everyone was willing to fight. Like Judy Neff said, some women will only want to fight certain people but I’m VERY confident in the women on the show. I just don’t want to outmatch anyone. The last thing I want is someone getting hurt. We have the best medical record of ANY group in MMA.

FG: I heard you got tons of responses from females fighters for this show, what does a fighter have to do to catch your attention to get on one of the cards?
JO: I got about 40 responses and about 30 were legitimate and serious. The best and the ONLY way to get on a show is a video tape. Be it sparring, training or an actual match, this is the only way you will get noticed. I don’t want some girl with 3 months of Tae Bo trying to get on the show by saying she is a kick boxer. Talk and email means nothing to me until a video shows up. That’s when I take them seriously.

FG: This will be a ground breaking and hopefully trend setting event in the U.S., all of the fighters involved would like to thank you for what you are doing. We will all work hard at trying to prove to the fans that aren’t convinced yet that we are capable of putting on a phenomenal show. Jeff, thank you for the interview and everything else.
JO: I would once again like to say thanks to the women who have agreed to compete. What sucks about the whole thing is that all the great people I’ve spoken to are becoming friends and it’s hard for me to know that 50% of my friends will lose. That’s the worst part but just getting in there to fight is the greatest accomplishment of all. Keep up the great work!

Jeff Osborne – The promoter

Jeff Osborne - The promoter
Jeff Osborne – The promoter

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