TheGARV Exclusives

Caught up with Frankie "The Answer" Edgar at Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat show last Friday night.  We talked about his upcoming title fight at UFC 112 with BJ Penn.

In this wide ranging interview, legendary fighter Renzo Gracie talks about the difference between the old no hold barred days and today's rules.  Surprisingly, he thinks the sport was safer back then and explains why.  He also talks about his upcoming fight with Matt Hughes and avenging Royce Gracie's loss.  Plus a whole lot more good stuff.

Caught up with Matt Serra at Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat on February 19th.  Matt talked about beating Frank Trigg, Renzon's upcoming fight with Matt Hughes at Abu Dhabi, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and more.  Oh and he out burps the legendary Superfoot Wallace.

Shane Carwin is training hard for his fight with Frank Mir for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 111 in Newark, NJ on March 27.  Shane hasn't fought since last March and last night I asked him about the long layoff and about Mir's penchant for trash talk.  He didn't seem phased by either.  In fact he believes the layoff is helfpul in some ways, saying, "For a guy like me who is limited on ring time and experience it has been a good thing.  Anytime I can train and spar at a high level and advance my skills while taking little to no long term damage I feel I get better. Don't get me wrong I go home with black eyes, sore jaw, but I do feel like I am getting better."

Since Shane's style is similiar in some ways  to Brock Lesnar's, both men being masters of the "ground and pound," I asked him if there was anything he learned about Mir from watching Frank's last fight with Lesnar.  Shane  replied that there were "a few things that we will look for but Frank is a smart guy and I suspect he will have transitioned some since that fight.  I think I have what it takes to win the fight standing or through ground and pound.  He is going to be looking for mistakes and openings for his submissions. It will be a true honor to test myself against Frank."

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I love the sport with a true passion; much like I'm assuming anyone reading this article does.  One of the facets I enjoy most about MMA is witnessing the meteoric rise of fighters who materialize out of nowhere to isolate themselves as standout competitors through dominant and exciting performances.

In that vein, I would like to introduce Amilcar Alves, an 11-1 fighter who has taken the Brazilian combat scene by storm by overwhelming his opponents with an immeasurable array of offensive weapons.  Training alongside elite-echelon fighters at the highly touted Nova Uniao fight team like world champion Jose Aldo, top Sengoku featherweight Marlon Sandro, and upcoming UFC brawler Ronnys Torres, Alves is known for unleashing a hurricane of hostile Muay Thai on the feet, and he's also proficient with aggressive submissions on the mat.

He has an extensive 25 years years of experience with Judo, 10 years with Muay Thai, and now several years of intense Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the tutelage of the great Andre Pederneiras.  Pederneiras has overseen such submission grappling greats as B.J. Penn, Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro, Marc Laimon, Marcus Aurelio, and Renato "Charuto" Verissimo.

After trouncing Fernando Paulon (video), the only fighter to ever best him

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There are two reasons why you should know and love Brazilian MMA fighter Joaquim "Mamute" Ferreira:  the first is that he is the only fighter to not only defeat UFC heavyweight mangler Junior Dos Santos, but finish him with a slick armbar; the second is that he is an old school Sepultura fan and the Cavalera brothers are what got him into fighting.

You say you have no idea who or what a "Sepultura" is?  You probably either get the senior discount on your McDonald's coffee, listen to Michael Bolton, or you're an avid badminton fan (not that there's anything wrong with any of those exemplary qualities).

Before we get into the interview, let's discuss Mamute's losses.  A quick glance at his 8-3 record does not relate the full story nor reflect the talent that this young man exudes.  He suffered his first two losses on the same night in the XFC tournament in Rio De Janeiro.  He first engaged Andre Mussi to a grueling decision that most believed Mamute should have won, and as a testament to this, Mussi was unable to continue in the tournament finals because he was too worn-down and injured from Mamute's submissions.  Exhausted himself, Mamute stepped up and took Mussi's position in the tournament finals later that evening against a man named Junior Dos Santos.

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I was able to catch up with Ron Foster, a former MMA fighter and the man in charge of making the magic happen for the rapidly accelerating Shine Fight Promotions.

Shine Fights vaulted into the MMA spotlight with the star-studded lineup of their second event, titled "ATT vs. The World".  The card featured a compelling and diverse blend of both experienced veterans as well as promising up and comers, such as Yves Edwards, Roan Carneiro, Micah Miller, Jorge "Macaco" Patino, Junior Assuncao, and Luis "Buscape" Firmino.

Shine Fights has been swallowing up oodles of talent as of late, signing former pro boxer Ricardo Mayorga (who will make his MMA debut for the promotion in March of 2010), Murilo "Ninja" Rua, and Russian fighter Alexander Shlemenko, to name a few.  The upcoming Shine card will feature Mayorga's debut against a yet to be announced opponent (although Din Thomas is quite vocally lobbying for the fight), Hector Lombard vs. Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira, the rematch between Luis Azeredo and Luis "Buscape" Firmino from their stellar fight at Pride Bushido 6, and exciting Luta Livre fighter Luciano Azevedo versus the HIT Squad's BJJ coach, Kyle Watson.

 

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Jerry Bohlander is one of the original members of the infamous Lions Den camp, the first official UFC Lightweight Champion, and one of the fighters who inspired my involvement with MMA.

I was fortunate enough to get a chance to correspond with Jerry on a number of topics, such as training at "The Den", what he thinks of the evolution of the UFC and MMA, and what it was like being coached by Ken and Frank Shamrock. Jerry also discusses his war with Scott Ferrozzo, which is still one of my all-time favorite fights.

Since you were such a prominent figure in MMA during a unique time in the sport’s youth, how do you feel about what the sport has evolved into today?

"I think the growth is great. The potential for a fighter to make a great living is there. I like the fact that there are so many quality clubs right now that offer a variety of techniques, skills, and styles. Of course, just about every McDojo out there offers some kind of MMA class with an expert instructor. Even in the little town that I live in there is a guy claiming to have trained extensively with Ken and frank (Shamrock). By extensively he is referring to the 1 time a week he used to drive out to the Lodi Lions Den back when we used to train there. Anyway, I’m going to get off of my high horse and tell you that I appreciate where the sport is going. It offers a lot for the guy or girl that is willing to put in the time and effort to excel."

TheGARV Interviews Jon Jones

Today I was on a conference call with Jon Jones's co-managers Ryan Ciotoli and Gary Marino.  We discussed the Matt Hamill fight and the stoppage.  They plan to appeal the ruling that gave Jones a DQ loss and will attempt to have the loss changed to a no-contest.

TheGARV.com:  Hey guys, thanks for the call.  First off, I just want to say that Jones looked great in there against Hamill.  Amazing performance.

Ryan Ciotoli:  Oh yeah.  He did the things he wanted to do.  I talked to Jon and he’s not disappointed by the performance, just the result.

TheGARV.com:  After the fight he said he accepted the ruling.  But now after reviewing the tapes, you feel he has a case for a no-contest?

Ryan Ciotoli: He doesn’t want to embarrass anyone but he feels that the fair ruling would be a no contest.   After the fight we watched the tapes again and there were a few things that stuck out in our minds that the ref did wrong. We'd  like to see the loss removed.

TheGARV.com: What should the ref have done differently?

Gary Marino: The ref said to Matt Hamill, "Are you done?" but Matt didn’t answer and he called the fight.   If he would have stood Matt up, cleaned the blood out of his eyes, and brought in his interpretor, he would have found out right there that Matt could not continue due to the shoulder injury.  The commissioner  said at the press conference that if an illegal blow is the cause of the end of the fight, then it has to be ruled a DQ.  But in reality, the illegal elbows did not end the fight, it was the shoulder injury.  If the ref had communicated better, he would have seen it was the shoulder not the nose.

Ryan Ciotoli: I also think that Matt felt he'd lost the fight and didn’t see Mazzagatti standing over him.   Mazzagatti should have cleaned off  Matt’s face and brought in the doctor to evaluate him.   Brazilians have translators;  Matt does as well.  But his interpretor was not used by the ref.  Jones did throw some questionable elbows.  Jon was looking for a different angle and it wasn’t intentional.  And if you look at the slow motion replay, it doesn’t look like 12 to 6, there was a curve to it.  Maybe 12 to 7 or 12 to 8.  Plus there was no warnings from the ref prior to the stoppage.

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