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Tag: army

‘Title Shot’ Caption Contest: BJ and a Gun


After arranging a visit by BJ Penn to his Army unit at Fort Lewis, MMA writer Kelly Crigger was inspired to dig deeper into the subculture of mixed martial arts, and find out what would compel a person to sacrifice all worldly comforts for the opportunity to beat up a stranger in a cage. Over the next year, he visited leading MMA camps including Team Quest, American Top Team, and Sityodtong, and interviewed fighters at every level of the game. The result is Title Shot: Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts, which, no bullshit, is probably the most insightful and essential exploration of the MMA lifestyle that you’ll ever read. We highly suggest that you buy it, but you also have a chance to win a signed copy right here.

Check out the photo above — one of thousands that Crigger took during the preparation of his book — which shows The Prodigy at the Fort Lewis shooting range. (As Crigger explains: “We took him out to bust some caps, but he couldn’t learn to hold the weapon for shit.”) The two readers who provide the best captions in the comments section below will win a signed copy of Title Shot. Contest ends Sunday night at midnight ET; feel free to enter multiple times. Good luck…

Title Shot book cover MMA Crigger


Epic Fail: Hong Man Choi


A couple of weeks ago, we lamented the fact that Hong Man Choi’s mandatory army service would take him out of the fight game for three years. The good news is, he failed a physical and will be sent back home. According to the report (which is translated here):

Choi submitted medical records indicating that his pituitary adenoma may compress his optic nerve and cause visual problems. His condition was deemed problematic for basic training and was discharged. It is likely that he was determined to be unfit for the next three months.

Choi will likely get a re-examination in which case he will “re-start” his duties, get an exemption, or be sent home for yet another physical at a later date, depending on the results…

As of now, it is quite likely that Choi may get an exemption since he has a clear reason and has all the necessary documents. Also, it has been reported that his vision has been deteriorating since last year. In an interview with My Daily, Choi was quoted as saying “I couldn’t see the right hook when I fought Mighty Mo.”

Choi’s pituitary adenoma was revealed to the media in June of last year through the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) right before Dynamite! USA. The CSAC deemed Choi unfit to compete and refused to issue him a fighter’s license.

Hong Man Choi was quoted as saying “It has been a fun two days and everyone was nice to me. I’m sorry that this happened.”

Man, we thought stapling papers for three years in an Army office would be bad; this optic nerve thing might end HMC’s fight career for good. Besides the fact that he was rejected in California, K-1 may not allow him to continue to fight anywhere for their organization with his visual handicap now public knowledge. Thank God he has his rap career to fall back on. And hey, if Yao Ming ever needs a stunt double…


Hoo-Rah! Armed Forces Invade MMA TV Shows

(Jason Miller on the unpleasant end of an Army Ranger “stress position.”)

Two new MMA-based television series are being readied for debut — and we’re already liking them better than The Iron Ring and Settle Your Grudge.

— Next Monday through Wednesday at 10 p.m., the mini-series T.O.P. Army Fighter will air on the Military Channel. Each episode features military personnel competing in four-man tournaments — in seven weight classes ranging from flyweight to heavyweight — using modified MMA rules that prohibit knee strikes to the head and leg-locks, among other attacks. The fights will take place in a ring and will employ a scoring system that awards points for things like takedowns and passing guard. Army Ranger and MMA pro Tim Kennedy (IFL, HDNet Fights) will be one of the 28 servicemen competing on the show. Sounds like it could be a bit too complicated for its own good, but hey, it’s fighting on free TV. Now we just have to figure out what the hell the Military Channel is.

GI vs. Pro, a series where MMA-trained armed services members fight professional mixed martial artists, debuts July 19th on Fox Sports Net. The action will be more traditional than T.O.P. Army Fighter‘s, with each match slated for three five-minute rounds inside a circular cage. The GI team will be led by BodogFIGHT/FCC vet Nick Agallar, while the Pros squad will be led by UFC/KOTC vet Chris Brennan. Both lightweights will face off in a match during the show’s September 13th finale.

— In other MMA-on-TV news, Strikeforce on NBC premieres late this Saturday night at 2 a.m., immediately following Poker After Dark. The first episode will focus on Cung Le, and will include his June 2006 fight with Brian Warren. With that time-slot, how could it not succeed!

(Props: MMAJunkie)