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An article from the Amarillo Globe-News that ran the day after the one in the post directly above.

http://amarillo.com/stories/081797/shoot.html

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 1997

Shoot fighting proves thrilling

Web posted 8/17/97

By TERRY MOORE

Globe-News Sports Writer


A couple of quick kicks to the knee, a flurry of punches, a knee to the stomach, a headlock, and it was over.

Amarillo's Lisa Hunt, a mother of two, defeated Colorado Springs' D'Anya Bierra in the United Shoot Wrestling Federation main event Saturday to win the organization's first women's title fight. Hunt claimed the light-heavyweight title in front of a near-capacity crowd of 4,200 at the Amarillo Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena.

The match lasted just 43 seconds on the three-hour-plus card.

Hunt stalked Bierra from the opening bell and set Beirra on her heels early by landing blows in the form of kicks and slaps before taking the 1996 Olympic judo team member to the mat and forcing her to submit with a choke hold.

``That's just my style,'' Hunt said while wearing the belt, posing for pictures and signing young fans' t-shirts. ``I come out like a bull. That's it. I just charge.''

Bierra, who is scheduled to compete for the United States in the Pan American games starting Aug. 26 and in the Judo World Championships in October, left the ring quickly and declined to comment.

Hunt, who won Amarillo's Tough Man Contest earlier this year and has a 2-0 record in shoot fighting, said she has been working on forcing opponents to tap out.

``All I've worked on is wrestling and submission holds,'' she said.

The USWF Super Shoot Fight II was also a quick affair as Dan Severn defeated Amarillo's Paul Buentello in 2:55.

After both fighters went to the mat, Severn pounded Buentello hard in the ribs and head several times. Buentello, who after going to the mat never had control over Severn, tapped out shortly after the three-time ultimate fight champion Severn landed the flurry of hard blows.

Boys Ranch football and wrestling coach Paul Jones defeated Amarillo's Tony Castillo in the highlight of seven exhibition fights.

The fight was a standoff until the final seconds when Jones caught Castillo from behind and slammed him to the mat.

Once down, Castillo wasted no time tapping out. The fight lasted 8:41.

Phoenix fighter Michael Buel won the eight-man tournament with a win over Amarillo's Bobo Navarette.

Navarette, a crowd favorite, submitted to a choke hold at the 6:18 mark.

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A March 1998 article from the Amarillo Globe-News on Steve Nelson's USWF.

There is no author byline listed on the article.

http://amarillo.com/stories/032898/032-5664.001.shtml

Posted: Saturday, March 28, 1998

Web posted Saturday, March 28, 1998 7:11 a.m. CT

Caprock grads, Brazilian star featured in shoot fight

Two title matches, both involving former Caprock athletes, highlight a 17-match shoot fighting card at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Amarillo Fairgrounds Coliseum.

David Elizalde, a two-time state high school wrestling champion, will challenge Arizona's Michael Buell for the World Lightweight Shoot Fighting Championships. Another two-time high school champ, Evan Tanner, will defend his World Heavyweight Title against Dallas kickboxer Rusty Totty.

"This would be the upset of the year in the martial arts world, but I believe in David," event organizer Steve Nelson said about Elizalde's match. "I think he will, that is why I gave him the fight. David is as mean as a rattlesnake and I think Michael Buell is going to find out the hard way."

Two other fighters will be making their first appearance in the Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation. Colorado's Clarence Thatch, the reigning ISKA World Cruiserweight Kickboxing Champion with a 62-2 record, highlight a eight-man tournament. Brazil sends its first fighter to the USWF in ju-jitsu fighter Carlo Prater, who will make his debut against David Hargrove.

For the first time, the USWF will be selling video tapes called USWF: Best of the Best, which has the top fights from 1997. The tapes are sold in martial arts magazines for $25, but will be available to fans for $10 at the event.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, $20 for ringside and $25 for box seats. Tickets can be purchased at the USWF T-shirt company in Sunset Center or at the gate. For more information, call the USWF at (806) 359-9139.

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A June 1998 article from the Amarillo Globe-News on Evan Tanner and an upcoming USWF show.

http://amarillo.com/stories/062098/spo_ ... .001.shtml

Posted: Saturday, June 20, 1998

Web posted Saturday, June 20, 1998 6:58 a.m. CT

Ex-Caprock grappler Tanner to defend shootfighting crown

By DREW BUTLER

Globe-News Sports Writer


Out of the ring, Evan Tanner is a soft-spoken individual. But as soon as he steps inside the ring, the 27-year-old turns into a fighting machine who has won titles around the country.

The 6-foot, 207-pounder is now the United Shoot Wrestling Federation heavyweight champion and will defend that title against kickboxer Tony Castillo to highlight a 17-match shootfighting card at 7:30 tonight at the Amarillo Fairgrounds Coliseum.

"It should be a pretty good match," Tanner said. "My plan is to close the gap, take him to the ground and secure a submission hold. I have been doing weight training and studying a lot of technique."

The former Caprock wrestler still remembers the first time that he stepped into the ring.

"I had no intentions to be a fighter," Tanner said. "I went to one of his (USWF president Steve Nelson) shootfight shows, and it looked like a lot of fun. There was something in my blood that made me want to do it, and I thought that I'd try it at least once.

"I thought if I'd fought once, I'd get it out of my system and have something neat to show the children that I hoped to have someday. It's taken on a life on its own ever since."

Early next month, Tanner will travel to Tokyo for a month of competition.

"I'm going to fight in a tournament, probably four fights, and I'm going to stay there and train for a month," he said. "I'm really looking forward to it. I don't know anything about the fighters at all. I'm just going to do my best."

He holds three titles, including USWF heavyweight tournament champion and unified world heavyweight champion.

In April, he won the Extreme Challenge, a no-holds-barred cage fighting, heavyweight tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Also on tonight's card at the fairgrounds, USWF Super Shoot Fight III will pit undefeated world light-heavyweight champion Paul Jones against Billy Scott, with a record of 35-7. Also on the card is USWF light-heavyweight tournament 1997 champion, David Davis, who will fight Juan Hernandez.

There will also be an eight-man heavyweight tournament, with the winner fighting for the world heavyweight title at Battle of the Belts in October.

Tickets can be bought in advance at Sunset Center in the USWF T-shirt Company or at the gate. Cost is $10 for general admission; $20 ringside and $25 for box seats. For more information, call (806) 359-9139.

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An article that in the Amarillo Globe-News in August 1998. It's about a USWF show where Steve Nelson fought Ralph Gracie.

http://amarillo.com/stories/082398/spo_ ... .001.shtml

Web posted Sunday, August 23, 1998 5:35 a.m. CT

Nelson injured in final match

Unbeaten Gracie pockets $20,000 in shootfight duel

By DREW BUTLER

Globe-News Sports Writer


Steve Nelson participated in his final shootfighting match, and he went out with a bang.

He battled unbeaten world no-holds-barred champion Ralph Gracie in front of a sellout crowd of about 4,500 fans in the main event of a Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation card at the Amarillo Fairgrounds Coliseum on Saturday night.

Gracie captured the match as Nelson suffered an arm injury with less than two minutes remaining until overtime. The match was a $20,000 winner-take-all event, and Gracie improved to 16-0.

Nelson (14-3), the reigning USWF world middleweight champion, lost to Gracie in a pay-per-view fight on April 26, 1996, in a 44-second, bare-knuckle, no-holds-barred cage fight. That loss set up Saturday's rematch.

"For me, I'm either going out with all the glory or I'm going to finish second-best," Nelson said in an interview before the fight.

Early in the bout, it went back and forth between the two. Nelson was able to take control midway through the fight as open-handed strikes to Gracie's head brought the capacity crowd to its feet.

With less than two minutes left in regulation, with the bout looking like it was headed into overtime, Nelson suffered an arm injury that gave Gracie the win.

The second title bout saw Paul Jones successfully defend his world light-heavyweight title against Wayne Admire. Jones got a submission to remain undefeated.

On the undercard, the eight-man lightweight tournament ended with Eric Payne defeating Clinton Ingram in the final to earn a shot at USWF world lightweight champion David Elizalde in October.

Payne, Dat Ho, Ingram and Brent Medley advanced to the semifinals. Payne advanced to the final with a TKO against Ho. Ingram got a win over Medley in the other semifinal.

Two exhibition matches saw Phillip Preece down Scott Brady and Juan Martinez beat Bobby Pierce. In a women's match, Lisa Hunt scored a knockout at 2:03 against Marsha Segura.

The next card will be on Oct. 24 - Battle of the Belts II. Four title fights are scheduled, with USWF world heavyweight champ Evan Tanner, Jones and Elizalde all fighting.

Tanner will be facing Paul Buentello, Jones will take on Billy Scott, and Elizalde will face Payne. Also on the card will be women's world light-heavyweight champ Hunt, who will defend her title.

An eight-man world middleweight tournament, Ali Elias, Frank Trigg and Adrian Serrano will be among the participants.

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A March 20, 1999 article from the Amarillo Globe-News on a USWF show that was taking place that night. Once again, there is no author byline.

http://amarillo.com/stories/032099/spo_169-6644.shtml

Shoot fighting

Two title fights top tonight's USWF card

Posted: Saturday, March 20, 1999

Amarillo's Evan Tanner will defend his Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation heavyweight title tonight in the Amarillo Fairgrounds Coliseum against Mike Cizek of Oklahoma City, a 6-foot-3, 320-pounder, as the main event in a 15-bout shoot fighting card.

The card begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the USWF T-Shirt Company in Sunset Center or at the gate. Prices are $25 for box seats, $20 for ringside and $12 for general admission.

Tanner has won four different tournaments in the past two years. He won the USWF Heavyweight Tournament and became the Unified World Heavyweight Shoot Fighting champion in 1997, the Extreme Challenge No-Holds-Barred Heavyweight Tournament champion and the Pancrase Neo-Blood Tournament champ in Tokyo in 1998.

The USWF world lightweight title will be at stake as champion Eric Payne will defend against Mark Cantu.

There will also be an eight-man light-heavyweight tournament which will include World Super Challenge champion Larry Parker and 1997 USWF Tournament Champion David Davis.

There will be an autograph signing at Hooters from 2 to 4 p.m. today.

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An May 1999 article from Amarillo Globe-News on Paul Jones, who was headlining a UWSF card.

http://amarillo.com/stories/051699/spo_ ... .002.shtml

Boys Ranch coach Jones headlines shoot-fight card

Posted: Sunday, May 16, 1999
DREW BUTLER
Globe-News Sports Writer


With two of the three top champions of the Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation having retired or having announced their retirements this year, Paul Jones is becoming the last of the old guard.

Jones, the wrestling coach at Boys Ranch, will attempt to keep his unbeaten string alive when he defends his world light-heavyweight championship title against Larry Parker on Saturday in the main event of a USWF card at the Amarillo Fairgrounds. The 15-fight card will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Steve Nelson has already retired, and middleweight champ Ali Elias will retire in July.

"He (Jones) is definitely one of the best fighters on the planet, but most important, he is a sportsman, role model and a true friend to the sport of wrestling," said Nelson, who is the president of the USWF.

Jones, 35, who was recently named the athletic director at Boys Ranch, was a two-time NCAA Division II wrestling finalist at Nebraska-Omaha and was an alternate for the 1988 Summer Olympics. He won the light-heavyweight title in 1997, and his only blemish was a 1997 draw in a no-holds-barred pay-per-view match.

But Jones isn't set to retire anytime soon. He has already signed to fight in the Ultimate Fighting pay-per-view event July 16.

On Saturday, Jones will meet Parker, the World Super Challenge champion. Parker won the right to fight Jones after taking the eight-man middleweight tournament in March. It was the second tournament final of his career, and he took a knee to the head in the final and lost.

Elias will battle Shannan Ritch in the other world title bout on Saturday's card. Also on the card is an eight-man lightweight tournament that will crown a new world champion. Eric Payne resigned the lightweight title and moved into the middleweight division.

Headlined by former world lightweight champion Michael Buell of Arizona, the tournament includes Brent Medley, Richard Hess, Hossein Kalami.

Ticket prices are $20 for ringside seats and $12 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased at Sunset Center in the USWF T-Shirt Company or at the gate.

USWF was honored recently with the "Eddie Goldman Award" as the most exciting fight events of 1998 and is currently in negotiations with area Hastings and Blockbuster Video locations to get USWF videos in their stores.

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Another May 1999 article from the Amarillo Globe-News on Paul Jones.

http://amarillo.com/stories/052299/spo_ ... .001.shtml

Boys Ranch coach puts shoot-fighting crown up for grabs

Posted: Saturday, May 22, 1999
DREW BUTLER
Globe-News Sports Writer


Paul Jones has more to lose than anyone - not only his Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation light-heavyweight championship, but his unbeaten record.

Jones' title defense tops a 14-fight card at the Amarillo Fairgrounds Sports Coliseum tonight starting at 7:30.

Jones talks in glowing terms of his opponent in his 18th fight - World Super Challenge champion Larry Parker of Colorado.

"He's a proven fighter," Jones said. "You can't say that I'm running from tough competition. The top competition is coming to Amarillo. You can't get much better than this."

Leaving the ring won't come easy or soon for the 35-year-old Jones, he has already signed to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Pay-Per-View event on July 16. Jones is 16-0-1 in his fighting career. The draw came in 1997 during a No-Holds-Barred Pay-Per-View match.

"I enjoy the challenge," Jones said. "It takes a little longer to heal now. But I enjoy the competition. I'm just taking it one fight at a time."

Parker, who won his way to the title match against Jones, is ready for the challenge. Parker took the eight-man USWF light-heavyweight tournament in a March card in Amarillo, earning a chance to fight for the title.

"It's going to be a tough fight," Parker said. "I know he's in shape and I know he can grapple. I know it's going to be a tough fight. There isn't going to be anything easy about it at all."

USWF middleweight champion Ali Elias also will be defending his title on the card against Brule Hunter from Dallas. Shannan Ritch was originally scheduled to be the challenger, but he withdrew earlier this week.

"He's undefeated, and I heard that none went over two minutes," Elias said about the new challenger. "I'm going to fight him like I fight everyone else."

Elias said that if he wins today, he will have his last match in July, but a loss means the end of his career.

"I've been competing for 25 years," Elias said. "(After retiring) I'm going to be involved with coaching and teaching."

Also on the card is an eight-man lightweight tournament that will crown a new world champion. Eric Payne resigned the lightweight title and moved into the middleweight division.

Headlined by former world lightweight champion, Arizona's Michael Buell, the tournament includes Brent Medley, Richard Hess and Hossein Kalami.

Ticket prices are $20 for ringside seats, and general admission is $12. Tickets may be purchased in Sunset Center at the USWF T-Shirt Company or at the gate.

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A July 2000 Amarillo Globe-News article on Evan Tanner.

http://amarillo.com/stories/070900/spo_062-3748.shtml

Dual role Tanner's toughest challenge

Amarilloan owns shoot-fighting league

Posted: Sunday, July 09, 2000
STEVE BELVIN
Globe-News Sports Writer


After getting little sleep Friday night, Evan Tanner had one thing in mind when he defended his U.S. Unified World Wrestling Federation world title - get it over fast.

That's just what he did as he successfully defended his title against Mexico City's Raoul Romero in front of 3,200 fans at the Amarillo National Center. Tanner put the finishing touches on Romero in six minutes, 51 seconds.

His workout partner, lightweight world champion Brent Medley, needed even less time, successfully defending his crown against Danny Payne of Dallas in just 42 seconds.

It appeared Tanner, who entered the match weighing 200 pounds, would have a bit tougher time against the powerful 6-foot-1, 220-pound Romero, who's also the Mexico national kick-boxing champion. But in the end it was Tanner wearing Romero's midsection down until he could take no more.

Tanner, who recently purchased the USWF, found out how difficult it is to be a fighter and a promoter.

"It's been hard promoting this and training at the same time," said Tanner, who now has a lifetime record of 23-2. "This was my first show; I got started a little late. Last night I got to bed at 4:30; I got 3 1/2 hours sleep. I don't know if I like this fighting and promoting."

Romero tried to send Tanner a message early in the match when Tanner delivered a kick to the thigh and Romero just stood still and smiled at Tanner, showing him it didn't faze him. Tanner politely smiled back and started to work on Romero's body.

Delivering several hard knees to the midsection, Romero began to wilt. Tanner then got him on the mat and delivered several open-hand blows to the face.

Only once did Romero put Tanner on the mat, but Tanner quickly eluded him by pushing him off with his legs.

Tanner kept kneeing Romero's midsection, prompting a standing eight-count 5:35 into the match. A little more than a minute later Tanner got him on the mat and delivered the final blow, an open hand to the solarplex. That was enough to end the match as Romero submitted.

"He was tough," said Tanner."His strikes were strong. I was trying to duck and take them on the top of the head rather than my face. The top of your head is harder. I was trying to get it over with. I was getting pretty winded. I knew he was one blow away. I was already knocking the wind out of him. I hit him and it shocked his diaphragm."

Medley put Payne on the defensive with a couple of kicks and knees to the body. Payne initiated a grasp, and they went to the mat. In a matter of seconds Medley had the choke hold on him and he was literally out. The paramedics had to wake him up.

"I thought it would be a lot harder," said Medley of the match. "I have really worked on my standup style, but I didn't really get to use it. I got one good knee, and it knocked the wind out of him. I knew the choke would take him out."

Then Medley had other work to do - join his fiancee, Crystal Atkin, and prepare to welcome their daughter, Aspen Renae Medley, into the world.

"Maybe it will be tonight or maybe tomorrow. I'm just be proud whenever it is," Medley said.

In the seven-man light-heavyweight championship, Amarillo's Phillip Preece defeated Brandon McDowell, also of Amarillo, in the final. Preece ended the match with an ankle lock in 44 seconds.

In exhibition matches, Amarillo's Chris Cantrell defeated Richard Rosas of Peoria, Ill, Larry Bartholemew of Amarillo defeated Daniel Greene of Borger, Isaac Rangel of Amarillo defeated Marty Kline of Dalhart, and Noel Plaltz of Amarillo defeated Jason Hickson of Amarillo.

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A March 2002 Amarillo Globe-News article on Evan Tanner.

http://amarillo.com/stories/032102/spo_evantanner.shtml

Tanner seeks bigger, better things

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2002

Les Giles
lgiles@amarillonet.com


Amarillo's Evan Tanner hopes to use this week's Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, Nev. as a springboard to bigger and better things.

Tanner, a former high school state wrestling champion at Caprock more than a dozen years ago, will be a part of Friday night's UFC: Worlds Collide extravaganza at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

UCF: Worlds Collide will be available on most pay-per-view outlets beginning at 9 p.m. local time at a cost of nearly $30.

Tanner, who lives in Gresham, Ore., will meet popular Sydney, Australia native Elvis Sinosic in a light heavyweight bout.

It is one of the undercard events that features the main event light heavyweight match pitting UFC champion Tito Ortiz of Huntington Beach, Calif. against top contender Vitor Belfort of Brazil.

Tanner is optimistic a win over Sinosic might lead to a possible title shot eventually, and big money down the line.

"This is a match that I need to win," Tanner said. "There isn't a guarantee that a win would get me a title shot, but it won't hurt my chances."

He knows a title shot could also bring in big money.

"The top guys make as much as $300,000 per fight," Tanner said. "It's a significant amount more than you get for non-title fights."

Tanner has a 6-1 record in UFC events. He enters this week's competition off an impressive submission victory at UFC:High Voltage.

He is the current USWF Heavyweight World Champion and defended that title in July of 2000 in Amarillo. He has been active in a number of competitions since first getting into shoot fighting more than five years ago.

He took time off from April of 1999 to July of 2000, but has been active since returning.

"I was fighting too many fights, and was getting burned out," he said. "I think I've come back better than before the break."

He enjoys fighting at Las Vegas, and is looking forward to this week's event.

"I'm going to get a big kick out of this," he said. "I've always enjoyed going to Las Vegas and giving them money. It will be fun going there and getting paid for something."

He hopes to make enough money to eventually go to medical school.

"That is still a goal of mine," he said. "I'm young enough (at age 31), and hopefully can do well enough to achieve that. UFC is gaining much more mainstream acceptance, and I'd like to be part of it.

"Moving to Oregon has given me the opportunity to work with some of the top people in the business.'

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A March 1998 article from Amarillo Globe-News. This is one is also on the USWF.

http://amarillo.com/stories/032998/033-7304.001.shtml

Web posted Sunday, March 29, 1998 6:55 a.m. CT

Caprock grads net wins in shoot-fight

By DREW BUTLER

Globe-News Sports Writer


David Elizalde was the picture of calm only days before one of the biggest fight of his life.

The Caprock grad got his first chance to win a world title as he went for the World Lightweight Shoot Fighting Championship, one of two title matches in Saturday night's card in front of 5,000 fans at the Tri-State Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Elizalde fought defending champ Micheal Buell of Phoenix. In fact, he'd been training specifically for Buell, and the tactic paid off as Elizalde scored the upset to claim the lightweight title.

Elizalde, who was quietly confident and positive before the fight, should know what it takes to be a world champ because his roommate, another Caprock grad, Evan Tanner, is the Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Champ. Both are two-time high school state wrestling champions and attended Caprock at the same time.

"Evan's like a brother to me," Elizalde said. "We traveled the country together and we've been roommates for the last year and a half. He works out with me and he's been a real big motivation for me. It's great to see me succeed in this type of fighting. He's tough."

Elizalde won with only seconds left in regulation, and the crowd roared as referee David Quirino signaled that Elizalde got the win and was carried out of the arena on the shoulders of the members of his corner.

"He's tough and has taken people out quickly," Elizalde said about Buell. "He's a tough kid."

Tanner defended his heavyweight title successfully with a 1 minute, 26 second win over Dallas kick boxer Rusty Totty - and was surrounded by fans after climbing from the ring, wearing his gold title belt around his waist.

David Hargrove brought the crowd to its feet with a flurry in the first few seconds of his debut exhibition match against Brazil's Carlo Prater. Hargrove had the win after the fight was stopped at the 1:38 mark.

Jeff Lindsey, Wayne Admire, Odin Marks and Kevin Owens advanced to the semifinals of the eight-man light heavyweight tournament. Admire, a Dumas native, went on to the finals after winning by injury default. When the finals came around, none of the competitiors could compete due to injury and Admire was named the winner.

Other winners in exhibition matches Saturday were: Chris Guillen over Derek McGill; Ricky Barrow over J.J. Chasteen; Robert Sutton over Javier Buentello; Hossien Kalami over Steve Sierra; Kentric Coleman over Amarillo's Corey Loehr; Brandon Sanchez over John Moore and Eva Vandiver over Dianna Sturgen.

The next fights are scheduled for May 23.

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A July 2000 article from the Amarillo Globe-News on Evan Tanner.

http://amarillo.com/stories/070800/spo_062-3728.shtml

Tanner hungry to defend title

Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2000
STEVE BELVIN
Globe-News Sports Writer


Evan Tanner is hungry and that could be detrimental to the other guy.

Tanner, the United States Unified World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight World Champion, will defend his title Saturday at the Amarillo National Center against Mexico City's Raoul Romero. Action on the card gets underway at 7:30 p.m. and it includes another title bout.

World lightweight champion Brent Medley, also of Amarillo, will defend his crown against Danny Payne of Dallas. There will also be an eight-man light heavyweight tournament.

But the main attraction is Tanner and rightly so. He won the Unified World Wrestling Federation, otherwise known as shoot fighting, title in 1997 when he defeated Heath Herring.

Tanner has successfully defended his title five times, but he hasn't had a bout since April 1999.

"I'm ready to go again; I'm hungry," said the 29-year-old world champion. Tanner said one reason for the inactiveness was just to let his body rest. For instance, in 1998 he fought 10 times, which is large fight load for a year.

"It was very intense and very tiring. I was really fighting too many times." So last year he shrunk his fight load down to four bouts. "I'm fresh and I'm rested," he said.

He'll face a formidable foe in Romero, who's also the American National Kick Boxing champion and the ANKB Vale Judo heavyweight champion.

Tanner brings a 22-2 mark into the match. When he first started in the sport, he had little idea he would end up as world champion, much less being the owner of USWWF. This past year, Tanner purchased the company from local resident Steve Nelson. The USWWF is now sanctioned by the Texas State Boxing Commission, which gives it much more credibility, said Tanner.

Tanner, a Caprock graduate who won state wrestling titles in 1988 and 1989, saw his first shoot fighting match in January 1997. He was just passing through Amarillo, on his way to California to go surfing.

"After seeing it, I thought I would try it. I'd always kept myself in shape; did some kind of weight training," he said.

His first competitive fight was in a tournament in April 1997, and he won all three bouts and the tournament. By October, he was the world champion.

Tanner, who uses his wrestling technique to go along with his boxing, kick-boxing, judo and jui-ji-tsu, has been working hard, training for 4-6 hours per day.

This will be the first title defense for the 21-year-old Medley, who was a state wrestling qualifier for Boys Ranch.

He won the world championship in June 1999 after former world lightweight champion Eric Payne of Wichita, Kan., retired. Medley won the championship by winning a tournament in Amarillo. He is currently the youngest USWWF world champion.

But regardless of the outcome, today could be an even bigger day in the life of Brent Medley. Medley and his fiancee Crystal Atkin are expecting a baby girl sometime this week, and it's a strong possibility the baby could be born today.

"This is one of the most proudest moments of my life," he said of becoming a father. "Nothing can top that."

Medley got into the sports thanks to Boys Ranch wrestling coach and light heavyweight world champion Paul Jones.

"I trained with coach Jones. Basically I was his practice dummy for a year."

In his very first shoot fighting match, Medley got a very stern test. At the age of 18, he fought against 35-year-old Shawn Shelton, a three-time Olympic wrestling qualifier and 12-time national champion. Medley ended up winning a tough match that went into overtime.

"I was pretty nervous," he admitted. "I ended up getting a choke on him and he went to the rope. That was the difference. He got some good slams on me and I thought I knocked him out a couple of times. He was one best athletes I've ever wrestled against."

Medley said fans will see a new side to him."I've changed my style," he said. Before I was more of a submission fighter. Now I'm more of an all-around fighter. This is so much tougher than regular wrestling. I was in good wrestling shape, but you get so tired doing this. You have to learn how to wrestle, box and judo. It's definitely a true sport."

General admission is $12 per person. Ringside seats are $20. TANNER Romero

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An article that ran in the Amarillo Globe-News in February 2002. It's about US bobsledder Todd Hays blasting the USDA and the IOC. There is a very tenuous link to MMA, which the article briefly makes reference to. Todd Hays fought at Vale Tudo Japan 1995. In fact, he actually pops up in the documentary Choke (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0251637/).

At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City he won a sliver medal in the four man bobsleigh event. So, he counts as one of the Olympic medallists to compete in MMA. It's not usually the kind of medals people mean when they talk about Olympic medal winners in MMA (they mean Judo and wrestling and such) but he is one of the answers to the question.

http://amarillo.com/stories/021002/spo_bobsledder.shtml

Bobsledder Hays rips IOC, sports supplements

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002
Mark Woods
Morris News Service


SALT LAKE CITY - Todd Hays began pulling items out of a bag at his feet and placing them on the table, like a lawyer setting up Exhibit A for the jury.

"I brought some things that can be found on every corner in the Olympic Village," he said.

Hays had been waiting for this moment. The 33-year-old Texan - a former University of Tulsa football player who somehow became the driver of a four-man bobsled - had walked into the press conference with nine other U.S. bobsledders, sat down in his seat and waited for the question that he knew was coming.

And when it did - when a reporter asked about the two-year ban handed teammate Pavle Jovanovic one day before Opening Ceremonies - the guy who once won an ultimate fighting contest in Japan didn't pull any punches.

He ripped the makers of sports supplements. He ripped the International Olympic Committee.

He ripped the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

"They're very educated about what these companies are putting in these protein drinks and powders," he said. "The problem is that the athletes are not educated on this. Apparently they have tested several hundred supplements and found that 25 percent of them contain banned supplements. The only problem is that they won't release the names of these companies."

And then he reached into his bag.

He pulled out protein bars and sports drinks, talking about them as if they contained illegal drugs - which was his point.

"These things are all free of charge, available on every corner of the Village," he said. "And I find it to be quite ironic that these people (from the IOC and USADA) will stand on this soap box and preach about the integrity of the athletes when you give them a few dollars and they'll put these bars out."

He swallowed hard before continuing.

"As you can see," he said, "it's affected me a tad."

Hays had been counting on Jovanovic, of Tom Rivers, N.J., to be in his sled, helping to make a run at ending a 46-year medal drought for U.S. bobsledders. But on Dec. 29 at the Olympic Trials, Jovanovic underwent a doping test. Analysis of the samples revealed the presence of nandrolone metabolites above the cut-off level. He was banned. He appealed. The Court of Arbitration for Sport issued its ruling Thursday - the ban would stand.

So Hays saw this press conference with media from all over the world as a chance to vent - and to defend his friend and teammate.

"I know Pavle," he said. "I know how hard he's worked to be here. I know the sacrifices he made. And I know 100 percent in my heart that Pavle is guilty of nothing."

Hays shook his head and said that some bobsledders take supplements to try to keep up with "the cheaters" -- the athletes who are taking steroids. He said the cheaters have found ways to beat the system. Meanwhile, he says the system has forced him and others to change their diets, to avoid taking supplements that can be found at GNC shops and grocery stores all over the country.

"I drink water," he said. "I eat chicken breasts and salad. No dressing. That's all I can eat and still sleep at night. I can't speak for the others, but I know a lot of them are the same way. They're in fear of some crazy little thing like this and then having USADA and the IOC hold you up like a trophy and show you off to the world to validate their existence."

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A 2002 piece from the Portland Tribune on Couture and Lindland.

http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/s ... ry_id=9224

Wrestling goes ultimate

Two local ultimate fighters become more like gladiators

By Jason Vondersmith

The Portland Tribune, Jan 25, 2002, Updated Oct 30, 2009


He uses the word pure to describe his sport, and when people meet Randy Couture, they encounter an ordinary man in the most abnormal and pugilistic arena.

You dont know what people are thinking sometimes É if they think Im going to stare them down and bite off their ear or what, he says. I probably freak them out when Im a normal guy. Its odd to me. Makes me feel funny, all these people being nice and gracious.

Indeed, Couture, otherwise known as the most prolific gladiator on the planet, may not be more out of place, personality-wise, than as heavyweight champion of Ultimate Fighting Championship. He struts down the aisle toward the UFC caged ring, face expressionless, muscles bulging, sweat beading on his forehead, staring down an opponent who wants to pummel him back. Calm overcomes Couture.

Cages are for animals, are they not? No, even a nice guy with the talent to physically beat up another man belongs in there.

I get more nervous for my wrestling matches than fights, says Couture, a former Oregon State assistant coach and Oklahoma State and national team star. Walking down the ramp, all the pyrotechnics going off and the lights, the pay-per-view audience Ñ and realizing youre going through a chain-link fence, and theyre going to lock the door behind you.

They look at the cage and say its brutal, a cockfight and blood sport. But, me, I see it as the safest venue in sports.

Local stars

Two of the best UFC competitors live in the Portland area. Couture, of Gresham, is an assistant wrestling coach at Centennial High School. Matt Lindland, the five-time U.S. wrestling champion and Olympic silver medalist, lives in Oregon City and co-owns USA Auto Wholesale on Southeast Stark Street.

In fact, in a building on the car lot, extreme fighters gather nearly every day to fight. Lindland takes off his shirt and tie and dresses in UFC gear, donning a set of tight shorts, two fingerless gloves and a mouthpiece. And, in comes Couture for his daily training, muscles popping out of his skintight T.

Couture, 7-0 in UFC, defended his championship last fall, forcing Pedro Rizzo to submit after punching him and making him bleed. Lindland, 4-0, has a bout set for March 22 in Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel against Pat Miletich. If he wins, Lindland gets a title shot at his weight class, middleweight.

So, how does one become an ultimate fighter? A sport once dominated by boxers and kick boxers has evolved to favor the wrestling stars, with rules changes now prohibiting head butts, kicking an opponent when hes down and striking repeatedly without an officials intervention.

Once a wrestler has you in the clinch, as Lindland calls it, forget about getting out. The goal would be to keep the clinch, administer a chokehold or reel off as many punches and elbows possible to make the competitor tap out. By tapping out, a losing or injured fighter can end the bout immediately.

But, as cruel as the sport sounds, it has been cleaned up. Lindland can remember his first bout, when he delivered blow after blow, including a knee to the head, and the guy never fell. Later, the opponent told him he couldnt remember the last 10 minutes of the fight.

Ultimate fighting now uses rounds, like boxing, and scoring, like boxing. There are blood tests and CAT scans and many rule changes. Fighters have to defend themselves intelligently, as the rule states, or the fight ends. Good thing, Couture says, because the UFC image had prompted many states to outlaw it.

The 1997 Oregon Legislature passed a law banning no holds barred mixed martial arts fights. A UFC-style fight took place in Portland last Saturday after a local promoter Ñ the Full Contact Fighting Federation Ñ created a loophole in the law by banning a limited number of holds.

I came (into UFC) in 1997, and that fight I didnt wear gloves, Couture says. They had just instituted time limits, but you could still head-butt and kick a downed opponent.

From a public perspective, we had to evolve, had to clean up the sport, make it more understandable and accepted.

Lindland says, It would have died without rules. I liked it. I didnt mind. You could hold his hands and smash him with your head until he submits. A lot of blood from that.

A crazy living

Ultimate fighters are not enraged animals, fueled by anger, dueling to the death. Much the opposite because many are former wrestlers who have been taught to never lose their cool, no matter the situation. For Lindland and Couture, the big adjustment has been being allowed to punch, elbow and kick.

I dont think Im too crazy, says Lindland, a red, white and blue mouthpiece exposed with his smile, as he claps his gloves together.

To be able to punch somebody, he adds. How many times have you wanted to punch somebody? Its kinda fun, and it pays all right.

Yet, some people in the wrestling community are not happy with the pairs divergence into extreme fighting. Couture says OSU coach Joe Wells frowned on it and said his participation in the sport would hurt recruiting.

What I dont like is knocking somebody senseless, Wells says. Kids love it. Parents dont.

Even Lindlands friend, Dan Russell, questions why Lindland would want to get involved in it.

Hes a sick puppy, Russell says, jokingly. Hes not afraid to take a licking.

One of the sad things is, wrestling is never going to be something where you make a living. (In) ultimate fighting, theres money, but its missing out on the sportsmanship that the Olympics and world championships can offer. But they have to support their families.

Lindland just signed a three-fight deal with UFC promoter Zuffa, which could pay him $80,000, if he wins each bout. Couture made $125,000 in his last fight, and his next in New Orleans in May, as champ, will be worth $100,000 for showing up and $85,000 more for winning, he says.

And, although Couture has retired from wrestling at age 38 after being a four-time U.S. Olympic team alternate, Lindland continues to wrestle. Last summer, he placed second in the world championships at 187.5 pounds, a weight higher than the level at which he competed in the Olympics. He lost 2-1, in overtime.

It excites him, Lindlands wife, Angie, says of ultimate fighting. Its an obsession. If there was no money involved (in fighting), hed still do it.

Lesson from The Natural

Lindland and Couture are both married, with two children each. Their fighting club, Team Quest, also includes dozens of kids who go to the car lot and learn about wrestling.

Lindland still covets a world title, but theres a world championship in this sport, too, he says of UFC. Im 31 and I have kids, and I need to spend time with them. I have less time when my plate is full.

So, he plans to leave wrestling out, for 2002 anyway.

Lindland gives up 40 pounds to the 6-1, 220 Couture. When he wrestles Couture and pushes him up against the wall and gets to the point where he can strike him Ñ they shadow punch, elbow and kick in practice Ñ hes accomplishing something.

I got it good, says Lindland, a Gladstone High product who wrestled in college at Nebraska. I got to move back to my hometown and work out with the best guy in the world.

Randys unbelievable, he adds. His nickname is The Natural. For one, because hes not on steroids. For two, he has adapted wrestling to this sport.

Recently, Lindland forced Couture to tap out for the first time in their sparring together. Last summer, I choked him unconscious, but he didnt tap out, Lindland says. Couture says, almost defiantly: Ive had to tap out before. Theres no dishonor in that.

Couture laughs off boxing and pro wrestling as gimmicky with pre-bout banter.

Our sport is very pure, he says. Not corrupted by money and endorsements.

Yet, Couture has stood to benefit the most. He will be appearing in ads for the 24 Hour Fitness chain, and he has appeared in an HBO series.

And you may have noticed a recent Nike ad featuring the theme of athletic battle scars and a man with a puffy-looking extremity on the side of his head.

Looks like a cauliflower, they say in his business,

That was my ear, says Couture.

Contact Jason Vondersmith at jvondersmith@portlandtribune.com.

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A piece that ran in the London Evening Standard on April 17, 2002. On April 17, 2002 the UFC had held what they called "a press education day" ( a description which can be read at http://sfuk.tripod.com/events_02/ufc_ukpress.html) at the Sports Cafe in Haymarket (which is in London's West End).

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/ulti ... 29094.html

Ultimate Fighting battles its way here

Wayne Veysey

April 17, 2002

They have been described as modernday gladiators who beat the living daylights out of each other.

Opponents have described their "sport" as the human equivalent of cock fighting.

But the craze of Ultimate Fighting, which has been sweeping the US, is now set to come to Britain.

The first contest to take place here will be in July at the Royal Albert Hall, with spectators seated around a cage watching bare-footed and bareknuckled American and British fighters slugging it out. It will also be screened on Sky Box Office.

Combatants, surrounded by a 5fthigh fence, attempt to punch, kick, slap and wrestle each other to victory.

The sport, which was created in 1993, regularly draws crowds of up to 15,000 in America. Until two years ago, there were only two rules - no striking to the groin or throat and no eye gouging.

Organisers say they have introduced new rules and their sport is as safe as any other. But it has been condemned by doctors' groups and politicians as brutal and dangerous, with calls for it to be banned. John McCain, the Republican Senator for Arizona, has criticised it as "a commentary on the sickness at the heart of American life". He has succeeded in getting fights cancelled in Kansas, Ohio, and North and South Carolina.

The British Medical Association has called for greater regulation, saying combatants risk sustaining brain damage and other serious injuries.

In reply, Dr Richard Istrico, Ultimate Fighting's chief medical adviser, said: "Compared to boxers, these guys, for their age, show less damage to the brain." Bernie Dillon, chief operating officer of Zuffa LLC, which promotes Ultimate Fighting, added: "It was once a brutal sport but not any longer. We are aware of the need for safety and for ensuring our fighters are medically fit."

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A 1999 article from the Phoenix New Times on an amateur fight night in Mesa.

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1999-07- ... spar-wars/

Spar Wars

Amateur fighters get down and dirty in Mesa

By Brian Smith Thursday, Jul 15 1999

The regulation clearly states that a bare-fisted blow to the skull is prohibited. The theory being a man's knuckle rack is more destructive to a combatant's face than that of an open palm.

But the base of the hand, that arched mass of bone and tendon just below the palm, can in fact render hell to the skulls and maws of opponents. And though the no-fist-to-face rule hints a kind of emasculation for the stalwart cage fighters, schoolyard catfights this ain't.

The "sport" of Cage Fighting--or No-Holds-Barred, as it is often referred to--is the bratty kid brother of a professional version called Ultimate Fighting Championship. The two share basic common decencies like no head-butting, elbowing, hair-pulling or gouging of the eyes. But there is one fundamental difference--closed-fist facial slams are welcomed and encouraged in the pro ranks.

Cage Fighting crossbreeds basic martial arts like Brazilian and Japanese jujitsu with American freestyle wrestling and kickboxing. The object is to force the other to surrender. And unlike the professional Ultimate Fighting Championship, tonight's amateur, No-Holds-Barred match is strictly for the love of bodily contact, shared sweat and the idea that one gets to pound and kick another in an elaborate series of holds and moves until someone pleads submission. The fighter's rewards are little more than a collected sense of satisfaction or humiliation.

Tonight's event is governed by the International Federation of Freestyle Fighting (IFFF) and the fighters earn no money. The Nile Theater, Mesa's perennial punk rock palace renowned for its less than kissy relationship with Mesa cops, is venue for tonight's all-ages Cage Fighting event called "Cage Wars." The Nile's large, airy, red-brick and black main room is set with 18 rows of portable chairs facing the ring. The thinly padded ring surface sits under blunt white lights and is walled with a jail-like chain-link fence.

Teens behind the bar serve up drinks no more lethal than a Coke. Caged Fighting events are generally no-booze affairs. As one beefy security guard puts it, "The alcohol just guarantees madness. Crowds at these things get out of hand. It can wind up breaking into mini riots."

Gino Lucadamo, a burly ex-fighter and real estate broker by day, trains with many of the participants involved. He has also promoted numerous caged events around the Valley. Tonight he is the event's referee.

"It's a great sport," he says. "I am encouraging everybody to come out. I got my 3-year-old daughter practicing jujitsu, which is the most used martial art right now in this sport. We're all pals here. These guys will go in there and smack each other around pretty good, and afterwards we'll go out and have a beer.

"The big misconception about it--you gotta keep something in mind--in 65 years of organization, this sport has had only one death occur. If you look at boxing, which is totally accepted worldwide, how many deaths have they had? And what's better for your kids to watch? They'll allow WWF [World Wrestling Federation] where they have hookers and prostitutes accompany the guys in the ring, they have people flipping off the crowd, grabbing their genitalia."

But what Lucadamo is forgetting is that the WWF is basically just tongue-in-cheek theater. It's not based in reality; it's no different from a cartoon with a simple theme and story line and bigger-than-life characters.

"I love the brutal aspect of the fight," says professional fighter David Dodd, here only as a spectator. "This sport is the purest form of brutal man, but it's in sport, it's not in everyday life."

Dodd has a looming presence, threatening even, as if bred strictly for his chosen profession. Tonight he is regarded with utmost respect from the fans; most agree he is the best fighter the Valley has ever produced. Dodd is readying himself for a live Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view this month, broadcast July 15 from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Of his salad days, he says, "I started off as an escort driver, bodyguarding escorts, and that was my trade. I got into fighting because you have plenty of time to train when you have a job like that. Now I have some corporate sponsors and I live off my purses."

Dodd claims he has never been hurt in a fight; he does come clean about an incident that left a limb of one adversary snapped. "It's fighting for sport instead of death. I'll apply submissions until an opponent submits. Once it went too far--it's hard to feel that point of hyperextension--but it was an absolute accident. He was a very cool guy, we talked afterwards."

The whooping crowd of about 150 is a mix of buffed men, pierced punks, eager teens and stripper types toting cell phones. The house PA pushes everything from the Ramones to Jane's Addiction. Outside, a monsoon drencher throws palm tree branches and street debris for city blocks; the streets are in the early stages of flooding.

After a surprisingly unbotched if not affected version of the national anthem, sung by local crooner Jeff Carson, the lights drop on the one-third-full venue. The ring announcer takes command with weighty vocal tones and plenty of diaphragm-thrown fervor, presents the challengers with all the verve and soaring pitch of big-time sports TV: "Ladieeees and gentlemeeen, in the faaar cornerrrr, weighing in at 155 pounds--Kieeeeth Udellllll."

A panel of three judges, including a former boxer, a black belt and a jujitsu expert, is there to award a decision in the event of a no-submission. Lucadamo, the referee, stands, arms akimbo, legs apart, in all the drama of the power of his decisions. Marker-etched round cards are strutted by a randy duo of implant-enhanced bikini models. All the stuff is in place.

Each matched by weight, the fighters emerge, led to the slaughter in bouncy, confident miens. The elite ones go the three-round distance in brutal bursts of roundhouse kicks, double leg takedowns and immobilizing choke holds.

One card lasts less than a minute before the pin. Some aggressors are in possession of a quickness that seems otherwise inhuman. Knees bend in ways that defy their design. Rears and crotch areas are regarded without homophobic burden. Bodies fly upward and over, crashing to the mat with genuine pangs of pain. The slapping sound of flesh on the hard mat floor fills the air.

A few of the fighters are proclaimed skinheads. The beefy security guy points at one and says to me, laughing, "That guy fighting, that dumb skinhead, I just tossed him out of a punk rock show at Boston's. He tried to get all jujitsu on me."

The show's sole female match draws considerable crane-necking from the crowd, both male and female. "Keep the girl down. Keep the bitch down," one incited female fan crows like an aroused dominatrix.

Cori Scott and Annie Vanwie reveal themselves like allegiant gymsters with well-honed shapes and limber limbs. The duo wrestles without the benefit of martial arts training and rolls across the mat interlocked, showing little action. The judge's decision is a tie.

Jay "The Filipino Warrior" Page's entrance is a James Brown caricature, complete with hooded sweat top and small entourage. When his sweats are removed, he wears a beanie set at eye level and a sleek blue Speedo. His challenger, Modoom, is swarthy, long-legged and, like Page, he is fit and taut. When the bell rings, the two revolve around each other like some playground face-off. Then the kicks and punches come hard and fast--some making the "no closed fist to the face" rule an illusion. The crowd shouts its approval as every bitter blow connects and each face falls in agonizing grimace.

I didn't see the strike to the throat; rather, I saw the body of Page lurch back as though struck by some obscene invisible force. He lay writhing on the mat. The crowd looked on in silence. Modoom paced back and forth in his corner, the proud presenter of an illegal blow.

Looking down on Page, the promoter, referee and announcer tried to make sense of it. In what seemed like an instant, the medics, cops and firemen appeared.

A doctor repeated in Page's ear, "Can you hear me, can you hear me?"
Page's eyes were crisscrossed, unable to focus, and he could barely breathe. His mouth was affixed with an oxygen mask, and a stretcher carried him from the cage and through the crowd.

A helicopter landed in the intersection of Main and McDonald, just outside the hall. Page was loaded in and flown to the hospital.

"This is really rare," says ref Lucadamo, not wanting an image of his favorite sport to suffer a blemish. "It was just an illegal blow to the throat. He'll be all right."

The monsoon's receded and the last two fights of the night were canceled. Show is over.

It turns out Page's stay at the hospital was brief; he was released soon after his arrival. I am told his esophagus and throat will be okay. And he will be ready to fight again in no time.

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