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UFC 109: The New Guys


(Rolles Gracie vs. Sam Holloway, 9/20/07)

A quick look at the four fresh talents who will be hunting for success in the Eight-Sided Shape on Saturday night…

PHIL DAVIS (LHW)
Experience: 4-0 record (3 wins by first-round stoppage) in various regional leagues. Last competed in June ’09, choking out David Baggett at a UCFC event in Pittsburgh.
Will be fighting: Brian Stann (8-2, 2-1 UFC)
Lowdown: They call him "Mr. Wonderful." A four-time All-American and 2008 Division I National Wrestling Champion for Penn State, Davis began his MMA education with Greg Jackson before moving to San Diego, where he now works out with Brandon Vera at the Alliance Training Center. His fighting mentality was instilled in him from an early age, as he had to scrap with his two older brothers for two available seats at their family’s dinner table. By the age of 12, Davis was “eating dinner almost every night.” [Ed. note: Wow, that's kind of fucked up.] Davis thinks it’s pretty cool that Brian Boitano gets roses thrown at him after his performances, and would like that to happen for him someday.

RONNYS TORRES (LW)
Experience: 14-1 record (12 wins by stoppage), with all fights taking place in Brazilian leagues including Shooto Brazil and Jungle Fight.
Will be fighting: Melvin Guillard (22-8-1 with 1 no-contest, 5-4 UFC)
Lowdown: Due to a series of injuries, Torres has been out of action since September 2008, when he scored a first-round submission over Eliene Silva at Jungle Fight 11; Torres was originally supposed to face Guillard last April.  The Nova Uniao prospect with the oddly-pluralized first name has had to cut over 30 pounds to make the lightweight limit. He plans on making his cage-entrance to gospel music. "It is step by step that I will arrive to the top," Torres says. "I only ask that God illuminates me."


ROLLES GRACIE (HW)
Experience: 3-0 record (all wins by first-round submission), with appearances in the IFL and China’s Art of War promotion.
Will be fighting: Joey Beltran (see below)
Lowdown: The first Gracie to compete inside the Octagon since Royce (Rolles’s second cousin), this 31-year-old up-and-comer has a lot of expectations to live up to — and judging from his grappling credentials, which include three Pan American jiu-jitsu titles, Rolles should do just fine in the promotion that his family built. But make no mistake, Rolles represents a new generation of Gracie fighter. As he told UFC Magazine: "I’m not going to walk into this holding on to the things that happened two decades ago. If I had that line of thinking, I’d get crushed…With the training I do, I can show it all. That includes the striking, the footwork, and the wrestling. People can have their doubts, but believe me, they’re in for a big surprise." Rolles does most of his training at his cousin Renzo’s gym in New York, but he has also spent time expanding his MMA toolkit at Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque.

JOEY BELTRAN (HW)
Experience: 10-3 record (9 wins by TKO) with appearances in Strikeforce, King of the Cage, and Bellator. Last competed three weeks ago, scoring a second-round stoppage over Houston Alexander at a 5150 Combat League event in Tulsa.
Will be fighting: Rolles Gracie
Lowdown: Nicknamed "The Mexicutioner," Beltran comes in as a late replacement for Mostapha Al-Turk, who was scratched from the card earlier this week due to visa issues. As Beltran writes on his website: "I would say my biggest strength is my willingness to stand and bang no matter who is front of me. I would definitely say I’m a scrapper with a strong wrestling base. I definately have worked to clean up my technique and my Jiu Jitsu is coming along. But as soon as I get hit in the face, it is no longer a sport. It is personal. And I am going to try to break someones face!" Also, he cries every time he watches the movie Rudy. Beltran trains at The Compound in Oceanside, California. Two excerpts from this Triumph United interview are worth sharing…

On his spotty background: "The big thing for us back then was breaking into cars, stealing stereo systems, if we were lucky someone woulda left behind their purse or wallet too. The one time it got real hairy, my one homie who I was doing it with, went around the corner to get into a car, and I started hearing all this rustling and banging up against the parking lot fence. I came running around the corner and saw this dude with a gun, the metal flashing in front of my face. It all happened within a split second, but I just reacted and ‘BOOM’, I hit him, and all I can remember is the ding, ding, ding sound of the metal gun clanging around on the ground after he dropped. I remember taking off, hoping a fence and running into these bushes by a school in my neighborhood. I just broke down and started crying, asking myself what the fuck I was doing with my life."

On his first exposure to MMA: "I remember like it was yesterday, watching the first UFC in my bedroom with my brother-in-law and thinking, ‘This is what I wanna do. I wanna beat people up for money.’ Watching that big Samoan guy getting his teeth knocked out was pretty cool."

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mma samurai- February 4, 2010 at 8:40 pm
I think they were a little vague with the article but my guess is he has to cut all that weight because he's been inactive all this time as opposed to be jacked and just cutting weight.
ColinL- February 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm
@Nate, living up to your name LOL.

About the fights...
Stann is improving but I think still very vulnerable to grapplers as well as technical strikers.

IMHO we don't know about Rolles yet. I've seen his fights and appearances on Inside MMA.. likeable guy for sure, but he hasn't faced many opponents in MMA and no serious competitors. It'll be a few fights in the ufc before we really know his potential.
jrichard4457- February 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm
I don't see what the obsession with Torres is these days in hasn't fought since 2008, his ufc debut, and look into the fact the Guillard hasn't looked that bad in his fight Guillard will make a highlight reel out of Torres and so what Torres cut a shit load of weight so does Gleison Tibau
TheHulkSmash- February 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm
Brian Stann will triumph! Who needs fighting skills when you've got AMERICA. AMERICA F--- YEAH!

@Dojima - What's this about the article on Davis being fiction? Which part is fiction, the part about him being an unbeatable wrestler, or the part about him fighting for food as a child. Because if the wrestling part is true I'm thinking Davis is a smart bet at -200, Stann has no ground game at all as far as I know.
ghostboner- February 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm
I'm not impressed with Ronnys. When you are 186 and you are fighting at 155 you deserve to get a beatdown. Fight someone your own size. That is like GSP fighting at 155. Ridiculous
mma samurai- February 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm
For the love of God someone bring Bas back as a commentator already!
NateGetsIrate- February 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm
It really pisses me off how the ref says "Come on Gracie, let's do something" like 2 seconds after Rolles gets the full mount. What the fuck does it look like he's doing you dumb son of a bitch!? Spooning? No wonder why MMA still has a long ways to go with dumb fucks like that officiating!
LET IT RAIN- February 4, 2010 at 11:15 am
great nickname Joey, but the Mexecutioner will definitely have his work cut out for him.
Dojima- February 4, 2010 at 10:10 am
The writer of that Phil Davis piece deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his brilliant contribution to the world of fiction. Well done, sir.
RJeezy- February 4, 2010 at 9:42 am
@ robthom

maybe because you HATE AMERIC.... oh, I see what you did there.
Sabado Gigante- February 4, 2010 at 9:34 am
Rudy gets me every time as well... I know it was Roc that planted the key! It had to be!
robthom- February 4, 2010 at 9:21 am
Ooh I hope he beats brian stann up.

Cant stann that guy for some unnamed reason.
europepotato- February 4, 2010 at 7:59 am
I'm really curious about gracie's performance, you go girl
Doc Future- February 4, 2010 at 7:58 am
If this crazy MMA thing dosent pan out for Joey Beltran I see an epic career as a guidence counsellor in his future.
Zee German- February 4, 2010 at 7:56 am
Damn, now that I've seen Ronnys Torres working out I want to change my pick at Fightpicker. He is huge for a lightweight - and he is Brazilian. What was I thinking when I picked Guillard?
drtyjersey- February 4, 2010 at 7:54 am
Davis, Torres, and Gracie will come out victorious in their UFC debut. Davis is a beast, and Stann taking the fight on short notice. Davis will catch him with a rear naked choke at the end of the 2nd or middle of the 3rd. Torres will submit the explosive Guillard in the 1st. Melvin can bang and has a tremendous amount of talent but he's not the smartest fighter. Torres will find a window in Melvin's flurry and take advantage of it. Rolles is the real deal at HW. Beltran has heavy hands but he's going against a Gracie. Rolles will be able to avoid the big shot and pull off the W to launch his UFC career.
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