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Tag: Chicago

UFC on FOX 6 Interview: Clay Guida Promises to Blow the Roof Off the United Center During Featherweight Debut


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

Before Clay Guida was a UFC star, appearing on television screens all across the world, he fought constantly in the U.S. Midwestern regional circuit. Often, he fought multiple times per month. He was a lightweight and the UFC didn’t even have a lightweight division at the time, to say nothing of the three divisions below it that they have since added. Clay fought in halls, bars — anywhere there was a tough guy and a crowd, really. His locker rooms were sometimes bathrooms and closets.

It was small-time, but the energy in those halls and bars would spike when Guida came out to fight. He was a spastic ball of energy from his walk to the cage and on through the fights themselves, and Clay built a fan-base in the area that raucously cheered for him and rabidly followed him.

On local MMA shows, fighters get paid very little, if anything, to fight. Promoters use the fighters to sell tickets, however, and then give a small percentage of the sales back to the fighters. Matchmaking at this level often takes who can sell tickets into heavy consideration. Clay sold a lot of tickets. And he didn’t exactly have a personal assistant or PR team to help him handle the transactions. Back in the day, Clay would hock tickets while training for fights, weigh in, show up on fight night, and then combine warming up with getting tickets to those of his friends and family that needed them.

Since joining the UFC in 2006, Clay has moved beyond fighting in smoky suburban Chicago rooms, but his fans often follow him around the country and world for his fights. If it wasn’t for the amount of work he puts in at the gym that reveals how serious he takes his job, you’d think life is just one big party for Guida. He enjoys having loved ones around him, and the more people that come out to support him, the better, because it makes the celebration afterwards that much more fun.

That said, all the attention and work that goes along with taking care of friends and fans can take a toll on a fighter and affect their energy and focus. There’s always another request for the fighter to fulfill as he prepares for battle, always another favor for him to do. As best as can be observed, Guida does all that he can with a smile on his face. He knew, however, that if he held his training camp back home because he was scheduled to fight in Chicago this Saturday at UFC on Fox 6, it would be a mess. Instead, Guida chose to stay in New Mexico and keep his camp there at Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn’s gym as he has the past few years.

“That’s why we’re out here in New Mexico,” Guida told CagePotato last week. “We’ve really got to focus. I love everyone back home and we’re going to have a great time there during the fight, but training camp needs to be just about preparing.”

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Check Out Dana White’s UFC on Fox 2 Video Blog


(Video courtesy of YouTube/UFC)

Nothing groundbreaking this time around, but I’m starting to agree with Nick Diaz about how it’s strange that the UFC expects fighters to be cordial and play nice before an event.

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Unnamed ‘UFC Champ’ Thwarts Robbery in Chicago; Mugger Gets Shot in Leg and Face Pounded


(You dun goofed, son.)

A story of street justice out of Chicago today that makes Jon Jones’ bout of heroism seem like a boyscout helping an old lady across the street, claims that a “UFC champion” fended off an armed mugger and would-be carjacker on Friday.

According to various reports that originated from a police report of the incident that was released today, a 24-year-old career criminal got his just desserts when he pulled a gun on a seasoned MMA fighter and ordered him out of his vehicle after lightening his wallet.

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Miguel Torres to Throw Out First Pitch for White Sox on 5/6

Miguel Torres WEC MMA
(That’s what you get for rushing the mound, Manny. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Revered by Chicago-area MMA fans as a hometown hero, WEC bantamweight champ/East Chicago native Miguel Torres will take a big step up in public visibility when he throws out the ceremonial first pitch for the White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers game at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday, May 6th. As NWI.com reports:

Though he’ll be throwing out the first pitch likely in front of tens of thousands of fans, Torres said there won’t be any nerves — despite the best attempts from friends to give him some jitters.
 
"All my buddies are already makin’ fun of me," Torres said. "They’re like, ‘Dude, you’re not gonna make it (to home plate)!’ or ‘You’re gonna look like a punk!’ They’re all trying to mess with me, trying to scare me. But I think I’ll be good…
 
It’s not just an honor — it’s huge as far as fighters being recognized to be invited to do something like this. Especially (for me) fighting at 135 pounds — for the WEC, it’s a huge thing."

Hopefully Miguel will be able to resist the urge to aim for the head. The 135-pound king will next defend his title against Brian Bowles this summer. Though we can’t imagine a better ambassador for the sport than Torres, his new poster-boy status is already weighing on him. As he explained in a recent interview for WEC.tv:

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WEC 40 Quick Results

Miguel Torres WEC 40 Fred Sanford MMA
(Fred Sanford, bitch. Photo courtesy of the WEC 40 weigh-ins gallery on Combat Lifestyle.)

From tonight’s "Torres vs. Mizugaki" show at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago, Illinois:

Rafael Dias def. Mike Budnick via unanimous decision
Akitoshi Tamura def. Manny Tapia via unanimous decision
Rani Yahya def. Eddie Wineland via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:07 of round 1
Wagnney Fabiano def. Fredson Paixao via unanimous decision
Dominick Cruz def. Ivan Lopez via unanimous decision [fight halted in third round after Lopez took an illegal knee and couldn't continue; match went to the scorecards, with the incomplete third round included]
Anthony Njokuani def. Bart Palaszewski via TKO, 0:27 of round 2

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Miguel Torres Returns in April for Hometown Fight Against Brian Bowles

Miguel Torres Yoshiro Maeda WEC MMA
(Torres poses with victim Yoshiro Maeda after their epic battle last June. Photo courtesy of koolpaw.)

#1 bantamweight /#5 pound-for-pound fighter Miguel Torres will reportedly make his next title defense at WEC 40, which will be held April 5th in Chicago; the venue will be announced soon. Unsurprisingly, his opponent will be Brian Bowles (7-0, all wins by stoppage), who clinched his #1 contender status last month by choking out Will Ribeiro at WEC 37 — the same event where Torres retained his bantamweight strap by beating the tar out of Manny Tapia. Ferocious local support should be behind Torres, who lives and trains in East Chicago, Indiana, and made his name by competing in small shows in the area. WEC 40 will also feature another bantamweight match between undefeated Joseph Benavidez and Jeff Curran, who is dropping a weight class after taking consecutive losses at featherweight to Urijah Faber and Mike Brown. The winner of the Torres/Bowles fight will likely take on the winner of the Benavidez/Curran fight in a title scrap later this year.

Remember, WEC 38 goes down this Sunday, headlined by Varner/Cerrone and Faber/Pulver II, and WEC 39 is scheduled for March 1st, featuring Mike Brown vs. Leonard Garcia and Carlos Condit vs. Brock Larson.

In other important non-UFC matchup news…

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MMA-Game: UFC 90 Extracurricular Activities

Anderson Silva afterparty UFC 90 MMA

There’s a lot more to UFC 90 than the fights on Saturday. Here’s all you need to know to make your weekend in Chicago truly epic.

FRIDAY

UFC AUTOGRAPH SESSION
Where: Swissotel, 323 E. Wacker Drive
Lowdown: Clay Guida, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans and Miguel Torres will be hanging with fans from 10 a.m. to noon. Props to Maggie H. at Yahoo! MMA Experts, whose tourist-friendly guide to Chicago is also worth checking out. Portillo’s FTMFW.

UFC 90 WEIGH-INS
Where: Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.
Lowdown: Free and open to the public. Doors are at 3 p.m. CT, and the fighters start hitting the scales at 4. Good luck, Thiago!

JOE ROGAN LIVE
Where: Zanies, 230 Hawthorn Village Commons; Vernon Hills
Lowdown: The night before every UFC event, Joe Rogan traditionally books a standup appearance at a local comedy club. Though Zanies is a little off the beaten path — Vernon Hills is about 35 minutes away the Allstate Arena — it’ll be a great place to mingle with other fun-loving UFC fans on Friday. Joe’s set starts at 8 p.m.; tix are $25 and there’s a two-item (food/drink) miminum. Coincidentally, Carlos Mensteala will be doing appearances at the Rosemont Theatre this weekend. Could we be seeing a repeat of this scene at some point?

COMBATLIFESTYLE.COM ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Where: Spy Bar, 646 N. Franklin St.
Lowdown: If you’ve ever wanted to be in the background of one of Tracy Lee’s party pics, here’s your chance. The photo blog known for pictures of fighters eating and hot females posing turns a year old, and the word is that some well-known fighters will be helping them celebrate. Festivities kick off at 11:30, so you’ll have more than enough time to make it over after Rogan tells his last joke.

After the jump: So many after parties, so little time…

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In Depth: Bisping/Leben, Jardine/Vera, Alves/Sanchez

From Spike.com: Chris Leben says his loopy, wide-open style knocks people out. He also refuses to lose, check the news and read the interviews. Damn…dude is like the white Shonie Carter. Skip to the -5:14 mark for the ridiculous ending to his fight against Terry Martin; there’s your warning to not get cocky, Count. Later in this video, we look at the matchup between the Dean of the Mean and the Truth, also at UFC 89.

From CBS.com, for some reason: A preview of the UFC 90 welterweight feature between Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez. “You are going to see the strongest Sanchez you have ever seen before,” Sanchez says. “The result is gonna be a dominating submission victory.”

(Props: “Card” on the UG)

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UFC 90 Already Nearing a Sell-Out in Chicago


(You’d be smiling too if you sold $2 million worth of tickets.)

Just a few hours after tickets for UFC 90 at Chicago’s All-State Arena went on sale, roughly 80% of them were snatched up. This means that by the time the UFC’s press conference for the event on Monday was over they’d already pulled in around $2 million in live gate money. All this for an October 25 event featuring Anderson Silva against Patrick Cote (rest his soul) and Diego Sanchez taking on Thiago Alves. It’s safe to say the UFC will be returning to Chicago frequently from now on.

Even with such early success Dana White went ahead and poured on the hyperbole at Monday’s press conference:

”This is a bold statement in a town with the White Sox and Cubs and the Bears, but I guarantee you this will be the most exciting live sporting event you have ever seen,” White said. ”I can’t explain it to you. You have to experience it.

”The closest thing that comes to it is when Mike Tyson was in his heyday. There was so much excitement about someone getting knocked out.”

After that last remark we imagine that White looked over at Cote, shrugged, and silently mouthed “Sorry!” before continuing on.

White also vowed that UFC 90 would be the highest-grossing event in the arena’s history, edging out Wrestlemania for that honor. Then they moved on to discuss Thiago Alves’ problems making weight, which we’ve all been assured won’t be a problem this time around, even though he’s currently about thirty pounds over.

In a final bit of UFC 90 news, Mike Swick is expected to be added to the card, though an opponent has not yet been named.

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UFC 90 Gets Fisher/Guillard, Franca/Tibau; Sherk vs. Griffin Rumored

Melvin Guillard Dennis Siver UFC MMA
(Melvin Guillard shuts down Dennis Siver. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

MMA Weekly has confirmed that UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago) will feature a lightweight bout between Spencer Fisher and Melvin Guillard. Fisher (21-4, 6-3 UFC) is coming off a decision win against Jeremy Stephens at the TUF 7 finale in June, while Guillard (21-7-2, 4-3 UFC) is coming off a 36-second KO of Dennis Siver, which won him the “Knockout of the Night” bonus at last month’s UFC 86. Seems like a decent matchup, though Fisher’s coach Pat Miletich isn’t so pleased: “Spencer has no reason to fight that guy,” Miletich told MMA Weekly. “I don’t think Melvin’s earned the right to fight him yet. I think Spencer should be fighting somebody where he’s got something to gain.”

Also in the lightweight division at UFC 90, Sherdog reports that Hermes Franca (who has dropped his last two fights to Sean Sherk and Frank Edgar) will be facing Gleison Tibau (who has dropped his last two fights to Tyson Griffin and Joe Stevenson). It goes without saying that the loser of this match could find himself bounced out of the UFC. Tibau currently trains at American Top Team, and Hermes Franca — a former ATT member — considers him a friend.

MMA Weekly also lists a third high-profile lightweight bout — between Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin — on its UFC 90 Rumors page. The event will feature the middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote, as well as a potential #1 welterweight contender match between Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez.

In other UFC news…

Wanderlei Silva will return to the Octagon in December against Unknown Fighter.

— Ever wonder why Luke Cummo looks so damn healthy and energetic? Partly the pee-drinking, mostly the pre-fight fasting.

— Brock Lesnar isn’t ruling out a return to pro wrestling.

Dana White allows you into his world.

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