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New issue of FIGHT! hitting the newsstands & request for help with my next article

FIGHT! subscribers are already receiving their copies of the latest release and I’m hearing word that it’s already appearing on newsstands. It officially hits the streets on Sept. 25. When I was in LA, I was able to pick up a copy and read the mag cover-to-cover during my long as flight home.

I liked the first issue (yes, I am biased) but thought the second issue was even better. I mean, just look at the bad ass cover:

B.J. Penn cover

I wanted to let all the 5 Oz. supports know that I have two articles in the mag. One is a piece on the “Top Ten Feuds in MMA” and the second is a full-feature on Ted Erhardt’s new Team Takedown concept in which he’s putting fighters on salary in hopes of turning former standout amateur wrestlers into MMA champions.

Of course, there’s a ton of other good stuff in there including an inside look at Greg Jackson’s camp and the debut of Jason “Mayhem” Miller’s column.

There’s also a nice, tasteful pictorial of Anne Rivera, who is also known as “The Mickey’s Girl.” I met her when I was at UFC 74 because Dann from is friends with her. She seemed like a pretty rad chick. I even saw Dann steal a kiss off of her too! No joke. Dann’s a pimp.

The FIGHT! guys are already working on their next mag and I have my next assignment but I need your help. The theme of the article is the “Biggest turning points in MMA history.”

For example, a major turning point for MMA was when the Fertittas and Dana White bought the UFC from SEG. Or, when Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin had that awesome fight during the TUF 1 finale.

Basically, it includes a lot of “What If” scenarios of what happened by certain events and what could have happened (like if Kurt Angle chose to go into MMA right out of the Olympics).

So please, let me know what you think are the biggest turning points in MMA history.

  • c-ing_red says:

    Obviously I would have to say one of the first turning points was in the Extreme Fighting series. John Lewis drew with Carlson Gracie Jr thus showing the world that the Gracies were not unbeatable (although John didn’t do a whole lot). Igor Zinoviev KO’ing Mario Sperry. Then, in EF 3 it was Maurice Smith knocking out Conan with a head kick. I believe that it started a revolution for Mo Smith and the fact that a world class striker could compete with his skills and a minimal ground game. I remember seeing that and freaking out, because as a young guy just getting into martial arts, I knew all about the BJJ mystique – and big ol’ Conan got rocked.

  • stingrza says:

    Sam- Great articles in Fight! I enjoyed them in each of the five issues I inexplicably recieved in the mail. I especially enjoyed your article on Team Takedown. It’s a fascinating concept, one that I think will work extremely well for the athletes involved. I’m not sure how well it will turn out financially for the investors, but that’s a whole different issue. I had the privelege to train with Eric Bradley briefly during his short stay in LA, and I can very confidently say that his talent level is matched only by his humility. I hope those guys all do well.

    As for your question, I have to think that John McCain’s “human cockfighting” comments would have to register somewhere. Though they initially cast the sport in an extremely negative light, they are ultimately responsible for the regulation of the sport in the US, allowing it to become what it has today.

    In keeping with the “what if” theme that you brought up, I keep asking myself, “What if Mark Kerr hadn’t turned into a trainwreck.” I’m sure there are more applicable “what ifs” as it pertains to such a grand line of inquiry, but when I think of guys who could have had the world, Kerr is on top of the list.

  • stingrza says:

    Another turning point which you almost certainly have covered: Inoki vs. Ali.

  • stingrza says:

    This is fun. Now I’m just flooding.

    What if Enson Inoue hadn’t gotten injured at UFC 13?

  • saku says:

    Sakuraba vs. the gracies. Showed that not only were hte gracies beatable, but he beat them at their own game. Submitted Royler and Renzo. And in my favorite fight of all time Sakuraba beat Royce for a 90 minute battle. Almost submitting him with a kneebar in round 1 just before the bell rang.

  • saku says:

    As for the what ifs…what if sakuraba fought at his real wieight 185, and only fought 185 guys, he’d be more of legend than he already is…he could have even dropped down to 170. That not far from his fight weight, he came in at 175 fo rhis fight with royce and igor. Sakuraba at 170 is a scary scary thing.

  • Accomando says:

    “human cockfighting”

    To add to this point.

    Kieth “the giant killer” Hackneys repeated strikes to the balls of Jo Son at UFC 2.

    Solidified the thought of MMA as “human cockfighting” for the political structure of the US. Which eventually caused it to be banned everwhere for a while and why it is still banned in many places today.

  • Forever27 says:

    The debut of Pride Fighting Championships in 1997 was a huge turning point in mixed martial arts. This gave Dana White and the Fertittas the prototype model of what a properly managed and marketed promotion could become. They hadn’t yet purchased the UFC, but I am sure it helped add to Dana’s vision for the UFC.

  • jaydog says:

    Pride Grand Prix 2003. When Dana brought Chuck over to Japan the reality was cemented: there were two big time fight promotions and the race was on to see who would grow the fastest and amass the biggest stable of world class fighters. Chuck’s loss delayed the ballyhooed showdown with Wanderlei Silva, but it simultaneously boosted the reputation of Pride as a destination for the best of the best. I think the next three years were the best for Pride in terms of productions and talent.

  • Brent says:

    “This gave Dana White and the Fertittas the prototype model of what a properly managed and marketed promotion could become.”

    Haha, ok – except that that it was run by a Japanese crime family that eventually bankrupted the entire organization after losing the Fuji TV deal because of in-fighting with another Yakuza clan.

    Thanks for the model of proper management and marketing, Pride!


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