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Where are they now?


wandshogun09
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Like the thread about bloody fights, this is also inspired by me watching a few episodes of TUF 4 earlier.

 

Anytime I watch anything of the old Ultimate Fighter seasons, say seasons 1-10, there's always at least one or two guys on the season that I'm curious enough about to get on Google or Wikipedia and see what they're up to now.

 

TUF 4 is full of them. Plenty of characters on the show. But it was Mikey Burnett I was most curious about this time.

 

'The Eastside Assassin' started fighting MMA in 1996. By 1998 he was in the UFC and training with the Lions Den.

 

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He was one of the first fighters of that era who showed really solid boxing. He was a Golden Gloves champion (although that's merely "amateur punk stuff" according to Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan) and had one pro boxing fight, which he won. Looking back at a few old clips of him, he was a legit striker. Especially for that time. He seemed to have pretty strong takedown defence as well, he was tough, scrappy and liked a brawl but he had some real technique. He was basically a bit of a prototype for what Chuck Liddell became a few years later. Sprawl and destroy.

 

In his UFC debut at UFC 16, Burnett absolutely battered Eugenio Tadeu. It went 9:45 of the first round (the length of the rounds were still changing seemingly show to show back then) and he just lit Tadeu up like a Christmas tree with his boxing. So much so that the ref waved it off with Tadeu still on his feet. It looked a slightly harsh stoppage in real time. Until they showed Tadeu walking to the back and his eyes were popping out of his head and darting all over the place.

 

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Poor cunt was probably one good dig away from serious brain injury.

 

After that he fought Pat Miletich to a split decision at Ultimate Brazil. He came up short but Wiki mentions that the decision was controversial. Who knows with Wiki? I can't remember that fight, although I know I've seen it. Miletich had a few snoozers around that time though so I'm guessing this was another and I've blocked it out.

 

Then Burnett took on Olympic silver medalist wrestler Townsend Saunders. And Burnett returned to form and used his sprawl to keep the fight standing and just picked Saunders apart and busted him up en route to an impressive unanimous decision victory.

 

He was 5-2 at this point, with one of those losses coming to the champ Miletich in a split decision, no shame in that. He was showing real promise here and seeming to improve and gain confidence in his defensive grappling.

 

His inebriated promo on Miletich at UFC 21 was pretty good as well...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=ec5y8wtm7xU

 

:laugh:

 

Then he disappeared. This was 1999. Right when he was putting it all together and on the verge of getting himself a rematch and title shot against Miletich, he just fucked off. From what I can gather he became a father around this period, he also started having problems with drug and alcohol addictions and then went through a divorce.

 

He was a forgotten man until he popped up again out of the blue in 2006 to take part in The Ultimate Fighter 4, a season titled 'The Comeback' giving journeymen or struggling ex UFC fighters one last shot at glory.

 

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He was a popular character in the house who everyone seemed to like. But he was the big unknown on the show. Most of the other fighters on the show had fought fairly recently in the UFC or were at least active in the smaller shows. Burnett had just vanished in 1999 and was just walking back in having not fought in 7 years. A real unknown quantity.

 

Sadly, he looked like a fish out of water when his turn came to fight. Didn't help that he was matched with Din Thomas who was one of the better guys in the welterweight bracket. Thomas made light work of Burnett, submitting him with a triangle choke in a couple of minutes.

 

That was the end of Burnett's comeback plans. He needed neck surgery after the show but couldn't afford to pay for it. So he tried to sue the UFC for his injuries. Problem was, like a twat, he'd literally tried to run through the wall in the TUF house towards the end of the season. That footage meant he was getting fuck all from any court when trying to claim the UFC were at fault for his injuries.

 

That was the last I heard of Burnett for years. So I was surprised when looking at his Wiki page to learn that he'd been fucking shot as recently as February this year!

 

Mikey was shot in the stomach and groin while exiting a Tulsa gym on Feb. 29, 2016, and taken to the emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

Never heard anything about that. Burnett and his 18 year old son were shot, apparently. Fucking nuts.

 

Here's Burnett in 2016, in his hospital bed;

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And here's an article on the story;

 

Minutes before he was scheduled for a third surgery to repair damage inflicted by four gunshot wounds in his abdomen, Mikey Burnett recounted the armed robbery attempt that occurred in an east Tulsa parking lot Monday night.

 

Burnett and his 18-year-old son, Freddie Burnett, had just completed a weightlifting session at a 10Gym Fitness Center near the intersection of 31st Street and Garnett Road.

 

In the parking lot, about 7:30 p.m., “I (noticed) these two kids … kind of acting weird,” 41-year-old Mikey Burnett told the Tulsa World during a Tuesday interview at Saint Francis Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. “I walked on up to the car, and I was getting my keys out of my pocket, and (the gunman) said, ‘Hey, man, can I use your phone?’ I said, ‘Yeah. What’s the number? I’ll dial it for you.’ Right at that time, he pulled a gun out.

 

“I don’t know what he said. I think he said, ‘Give me your money.’ I said, ‘F— you. You ain’t getting s---.’ I remember a couple of blasts and my son getting up on this guy. I attacked the other (man) because I wasn’t sure who had what, you know?

 

“I heard a couple more shots, and my legs went numb and I fell. I looked up, and my son was still standing there. He said, ‘I’ve been hit! I’ve been hit!’ That’s all I remember.”

 

Mikey Burnett’s older brother, Scott Burnett, said Mikey Burnett was struck by three bullets on the right side of his lower torso and one on the left side. He had two surgeries on Monday night, Scott Burnett said, and another was planned for Tuesday afternoon.

 

Freddie Burnett was shot once, just below his right knee. None of the bones near the knee were struck, Freddie Burnett said, so the gunshot resulted only in soft-tissue damage and a gaping exit wound on the edge of his leg.

 

After a gun became involved, Mikey Burnett says his son responded heroically.

 

“He saved my life,” the father said. “He’s a special person.

 

“What kind of kid jumps on a guy with a gun? Most kids run. You now what I mean? What a good kid.”

 

Scott Burnett also praised his nephew: “When you hear gunshots and someone is shooting somebody you love, a lot of people might run. (Freddie’s) instinct was to jump on (the shooter).”

 

On Tuesday, about the same time Mikey Burnett was recounting the attack on himself and his son, Tulsa police officers arrested Kywaun Washington, 17, and Harold Thompson, 16, as suspects in the shootings. Police say that during an interview, Thompson admitted to having shot the Burnetts.

 

A police sergeant indicated Washington and Thompson likely will be charged as adults.

 

Freddie Burnett discussed his attempt to subdue the gunman.

 

“I don’t remember this part very clearly,” he said, “but I think he had already shot my dad and I jumped on his back and started choking him. And then he shot me in the leg, and that’s when they ran off. … The other guy wasn’t even involved at all, which I thought was strange. … After they ran off, I grabbed my phone and I called 911.

 

“I tried to signal someone for help. Some people came out of Rib Crib. The police were on their way. The ambulance was on its way. … I was talking to the 911 operator, and I could hear my dad expressing pain.”

Mikey Burnett is a former wrestling star at Hale High School and a former mixed martial arts fighter. Freddie Burnett is an Edison High School senior. As a wrestler, he competes at 126 pounds. He also studies jiu-jitsu.

 

“(Doctors) said I should make a full recovery,” Freddie Burnett said. “I won’t be able to do any sports for three to four weeks. I’ll be OK. I got really lucky. I’m lucky to be alive, I guess.”

 

Freddie Burnett said he and his father were transported to Saint Francis in separate ambulances. Mikey Burnett says he never lost consciousness.

 

“I never did go out. I was awake the whole time,” he said. “Of course, you get that white-out, where it’s sort of like a blur. You’re not used to someone sticking a gun in your face. You can’t (be prepared for such a situation). You just react.”

 

While both father and son were being treated at Saint Francis, they were in different sections of the building. As of Tuesday afternoon, they still had not seen each other since each was loaded into an ambulance.

 

The 10Gym fitness center is about a mile from the home of Mikey Burnett, a lifelong resident of east Tulsa.

“I’ll consider moving, for sure,” he said. “That’s where I grew up … (where) we were born and raised. I feel blessed to be alive.”

 

To Scott Burnett’s original Facebook post about the assault on his brother and nephew, there were several hundred responses. Only 10 hours after the establishment of a GoFundMe account to help Mikey Burnett with medical expenses, more than $14,000 had been donated.

 

“It’s overwhelming … the outpouring of love,” said Scott Burnett, a state champion bodybuilder and trainer. “It’s humbling to be that loved.”

 

Scott Burnett added a comment about the work of the Tulsa police: “You know how we hear so many negative things about the police in the news? I can’t thank the police enough. They took control of that whole situation and captured (suspects) in less than 24 hours. It was great.”

Mental.

 

So yeah, thought this would be a good idea for a thread. If you find any stories like this or just a general discovery of what an old fighter is up to these days, whack it in here. Always interested to hear about this kind of stuff.

 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Thinking about the gap from 1999-2006. Today's equivalent would be 2009-2016.

 

Now, if a fighter from 2009 turned up on TUF today, no one would bat an eyelid. Where's in 2006, it really stood out when a guy from the late 90's was entered into the TUF house. I'm not sure if the game evolved more during the latter period than it did during the former period. I think it's perhaps that MMA culture changed a lot more from 1999-2006 then it has from 2009-2016. The lights were a lot dimmer in 1999, and the exposure was much more limited. By 2006, the game had changed so much. 

 

Burnett was around in an era that I'm not too familiar with. Other than Ortiz, Sakuraba and Franky Shams, I'm not that tuned into late 90's and early 00's MMA. Perhaps for the worse, my knowledge begins during the SEG era, ends around 1997, then cuts back in around 2002 when Zuffa took off and Pride hit its stride. 

 

Phillip Miller was always an interesting case. Went 16-0 in one of MMA's dark periods - with wins over Mark Weir and Jake Shields - and then retired just before the initial boom period kicked in. You'd think he'd have come out of retirement after the rewards increased. Instead, he chose to become a traffic cop. From what Miller says, he saw MMA as an outlet to get in and get out. It seems like he was scarred by some of the beatings he put on opponents, and didn't want that to happen to him. Fair play to him. 

 

http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/1/Phillip-Miller-Where-Is-He-Now-17213

Edited by jimufctna24
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Great first post Wand.

 

Most of the hardcores would have seen this already, but there was an amazing article on MMA Fighting last year on Jason Thacker of TUF 1 fame.

 

It's a really well written piece from Chuck Mindenhall that delves deep into the Strangebrew story and aftermath. A pretty sad but engrossing tale throughout.

 

http://www.mmafighting.com/2015/3/24/8259545/in-search-of-strange-brew

Edited by Silky Kisser
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That Strange Brew article is heart-breaking. Poor guy was given no chance whatsoever, and the UFC, to the complete surprise of no fucker ever, stuck to their policy of being wonderful human beings and held on to his contract even when he had no value to them and was never going to be booked by them ever again.

 

Had a read of the comments and it turns out enough people were moved by the article that someone set up a GoFundMe which ended up raising $13K for the guy (to which, I am sure, Zuffa contributed a princely sum of fuck-all), so at least some good came of it.

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Yeah the Strangebrew article is a sad read. Makes me feel bad for laughing at him during TUF 1.

 

Another one for this thread, Murilo 'Ninja' Rua is running a gas station in Brazil these days.

 

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Mauricio "Shogun" Rua revealed, during a conference call to promote UFC Fight Night 26, that his brother now owns a gas station in Curitiba, Brazil, and "Ninja" spoke to MMAFighting.com about it.

 

"We have great costumers here," Rua told MMAFighting.com about the gas station that he has owned since December. "It wasn’t easy at first. I’m still learning, taking step by step."

 

Rua revealed that he started the business when his father-in-law decided to buy the gas station, but didn’t have enough time to run the business.

 

"A guy offered to sell it to my father-in-law and he wanted to buy it, but didn’t want to take care of it, so he bought it and gave it to me, and I already paid him back," he said.

 

Asked if he makes more money with gasoline if compared to his MMA purses, he said he "can have a good life now, and that’s important."

Good thing he retired when he did. Aside from a moderate run of decent form around 2009/10, he was never the same after his ill-advised participation in the heavyweight GP and getting his brain scrambled by Sergei Kharitonov. He was damaged goods after that. Always seemed a good guy, Ninja. Fond memories of his tremendous fight with Mario Sperry and randomly singing Lionel Ritchie in a backstage interview on one of the Pride shows.

 

On the car theme, Mark Kerr became a car salesman in Arizona post-retirement as well.

 

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Contact Mark Kerr and he'll help you find your next vehicle. Infiniti of Scottsdale is proud to have him represent us and you'll be very well served as you sort through car choices. Let Mark fight through the maze of options and red tape for you. He'll make it easy and you'll enjoy having this powerful man on your side. Call Mark at 480-240-3527 or email him at mkerr@infinitiofscottsdale.com

The article says he got Salesman of the Month in 2010 as well! Fuck knows if he's still selling motors now but he looks happy as a pig in shit in that picture there. Good to see after the shambles his life was in in the Smashing Machine documentary.

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That's a pretty old picture of Kerr. I read a recent "Where are they now?" article about him on some site a couple of months ago and he's a right state now. I'll try and find it. 

 

EDIT: BOOM! http://www.si.com/mma/2015/05/21/mark-kerr-former-mma-champ-reflects-on-career-future

 

Awesome article. At least no longer married to his dick wife, just lives with the shitehawk. You wanna scroll through the article page by page ad "all" just shows the last page. It's worth it.

Edited by PowerButchi
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Ultimate Fighter is loaded with where are they now guys, so many guys seemed to be decent and just vanish (I'm no expert so maybe some did more than I know)

 

I've watched TUF 1-7 or so loads of times first one especially.

 

Ive floated in and out over the last few years so thee guys may be active Im not sure

 

was watching UFC 87 recently and they've hyping up Roger Huerta as the next big thing, talking about his model looks and being on Sport illustrated etc, did he come to much?

 

Clay Guida is another that comes to mind

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Despite his issues, I really liked Kerr. You could feel sympathy for him while watching The Smashing Machine. This was especially the case during the scene in the hospital, just after he had overdosed. Kerr tries making a joke out of the situation with his friends, but when one of his friend notes how serious the situation is, he breaks down in tears. 

 

I've always felt he could have been much more as a fighter as well.

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Ultimate Fighter is loaded with where are they now guys, so many guys seemed to be decent and just vanish (I'm no expert so maybe some did more than I know)

 

I've watched TUF 1-7 or so loads of times first one especially.

 

Ive floated in and out over the last few years so thee guys may be active Im not sure

 

was watching UFC 87 recently and they've hyping up Roger Huerta as the next big thing, talking about his model looks and being on Sport illustrated etc, did he come to much?

 

Clay Guida is another that comes to mind

Huerta's wiki is pretty extensive, that should tell you what you need to know. He was one of the first real MMA guys who had legit crossover appeal though, he was a unique case at the time time, it just never panned out for him.

 

Clay Guida's still about, he's had some of the best fights in UFC history and he's become a middle of the pack mainstay, never seems to go on any kind of run. He's fighting Brian Ortega in June.

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That's a pretty old picture of Kerr. I read a recent "Where are they now?" article about him on some site a couple of months ago and he's a right state now. I'll try and find it.

 

EDIT: BOOM! http://www.si.com/mma/2015/05/21/mark-kerr-former-mma-champ-reflects-on-career-future

Cheers for that link Butch, great read.

 

Re: Burnett vs Miletich

 

Pretty sure that was the fight where Miletich spent the entire fight grabbing and holding Burnett's trunks. Won a very poor fight by decision (solely using that tactic) and led to the UFC changing the rules to stop trunk/short grabbing in the future.

Miletich had some rotten fights, didn't he? In fact, the only ones I remember enjoying were the ones he lost decisively like the Renzo and Lindland ones and when Carlos Newton submitted him with a fucking headlock of all things!

 

Big fan of Miletich's commentating in Strikeforce but fuck me he was no fun to watch as a fighter for me.

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Re: Burnett vs Miletich

 

Pretty sure that was the fight where Miletich spent the entire fight grabbing and holding Burnett's trunks. Won a very poor fight by decision (solely using that tactic) and led to the UFC changing the rules to stop trunk/short grabbing in the future.

Miletich had some rotten fights, didn't he? In fact, the only ones I remember enjoying were the ones he lost decisively like the Renzo and Lindland ones and when Carlos Newton submitted him with a fucking headlock of all things!

 

Big fan of Miletich's commentating in Strikeforce but fuck me he was no fun to watch as a fighter for me.

 

I think Miletich was someone who got a bit more interesting to watch the more he fought.  The early days of his UFC career is filled with complete stinkers like the Burnett fight, one against Jorge Patino that is even worse and there's another against Townsend Saunders that is equally as bad.  I enjoyed his fight against Perderneiros, the Alessio one had a real good finish to it and he looked great against Yamamoto.  I've never seen the Newton fight but would've thought the Ronin would be able to drag something more than watchable out of him.

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I never actually saw much of Miletich, he was just dropping out as i was getting in it and he was very much on top during that dark era of the sport. The lack of any real good fights meant he never ended up on any compilation type tapes.

 

I did see him KO of the fuck out of Thomas Denny in his one-off comeback fight a few years back though.

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One that popped into my head last week: TJ Grant.

 

One of most unlucky people as far as timing goes. After being an average Welterweight, he drops down to Lightweight and goes on a very impressive 5-0 run including a win of Evan Dunham and a knockout of Gray Maynard (both of which was before their declines).

 

Dana White had said before the Maynard fight that the winner would face Henderson for the LW title. The fight was booked but Grant got a concussion in training, though he attributes it partially to a punch in the Maynard fight, he gets replaced by Pettis and we all know what happened there. They try to book him and Pettis but he still couldn't get medically cleared, and that failure to get cleared went on for over a year.

 

With no income due to lack of fighting and a young family to support, he had to get a job working in salt mines in Canada - something he still does to this day. He finally got medically cleared and trains regularly but he said he doesn't expect himself to return to fighting and I don't blame him as unfortunately I think the game will have passed him by. Three years is a long time to be out of the sport.

 

 

I've been trying to think of other fighters in similar situations of having been on great runs but then just disappear almost entirely. Anyone think of any others?

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