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A piece by AP TV writer Frazier Moore that ran in The Prescott Courier (as it's an AP piece it (or a version of it, anyway) would have run in a lot of other publications as well) on November 12, 1993 - which is the day before the first UFC. The column touches on the first UFC event. It also talks about the upcoming premier of Return to Lonesome Dove and in doing so contains a major spoiler for the first Lonesome Dove. So, if in 2012 avoiding spoilers for the 1989 Lonesome Dove series is of vital importance to you then, well, don't say you weren't warned.

Once again, this has been transcribed. So any errors are more than likely due to that. Original scan can be viewed at the link below.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=V6 ... ting&hl=en

No warnings about violence when Lonesome Dove returns

By Frazier Moore
AP Television Writer

The Prescott Courier
November 12, 1993

NEW YORK (AP) - Warning to Viewers: Do NOT decapitate someone and leave his head in a leather pouch for his friends to find.

CBS says no such advisory will precede Return to Lonesome Dove when the seven-hour saga of the Old West airs at 9 p.m. EST Sunday, then continues Tuesday and concludes next Thursday.

But let just one person out in TV Land get a little careless with a knife pressed against another persons throat, let one head-in-a-sack turn up hanging from a tree limb in the days to come and the next thing you hear will be politicians threatening to ban decapitations, real of implied, on prime-time television.

Network television, anyway.

Never mind that the scene, which depicts not the beheading itself but the discovery of the grisly deed, is justified dramatically, a tragic twist driving everything that follows. And never mind that the sequel Return is a heckuva lot less violent than Lonesome Dove, the much honored 1989 original based on Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize winning novel.

But these days in Washington town, the issue of TV violence is all the rage. Never having really gone away yet now making an impressive comeback, the old-new thinking holds that, especially when it comes to anti-social behavior, TV viewers mimic what they see. Washingtons predictable solution: Blind them.

In any case, its solid entertainment. While not as good as the original how could it be?- this Return trip is better than anyone had any right to expect.

You must miss ol Gus, folks say a lot in the film, and no one will miss Gus more than viewers who feasted on Robert Duvalls Lonesome Dove performance as a former Texas Ranger. Inasmuch as Gus died in the original, Duvall isnt back. Also regrettably absent is Tommy Lee Jones as Gus compadre Woodrow Call (much alive but played by Jon Voight, who is serviceable if not distinguished in the role).

Even so, Return is grand and bighearted and chock-full of sweeping crane shots and distant horizons, along with co-stars Barbara Hershey, Rick Schroder, Louis Gossett Jr., and Oliver Reed as Voights glowering nemesis.

But if you think you might be put off by the gunfire, fisticuffs and that darned severed-head-in-a-bag, consider your TV alternatives.

Like The Ultimate Fighting Championships, a live pay-per-view event billed as the most brutal, bloody, barbaric event in television history.

Available Friday at 9 p.m. EST, it will be staged (or would executed be the better term?) at McNichols Arena in Denver, and will bring together masters of taw kwon do, sumo, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, karate and two other styles called draka and savate (you dont want to know).

In five-minute rounds in a circular pit, pugilistic knuckleheads will fight one-on-one until only one is left.

No rules. No judges. No-brainer.

Its what sells, says producer Bob Meyrowitz.

Being pay-per-view, no advisory is deemed necessary along the lines of Warning: Do Not Bash Your Wife With Nun-chucks for Switching to Bob Your ability to pick up the phone and punch in some numbers would seem to certify that you arent the type to ape the show youve ordered.

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An AP piece that ran in The Sunday Courier on April 5, 1995. As it's a AP piece it (or a version of it) would have run in a lot of other publications as well. The story is about John McCain urging officials from North Carolina to stop UFC V from taking place in their state.

Once again, this has been transcribed. So any errors are more than likely due to that. Original scan can be viewed at the link below.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2S ... ting&hl=en

McCain tries to stop fight in N.C.

Promoters call bare-knuckle contest most barbaric show in history,

The Sunday Courier
April 5, 1995

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)- State Attorney General Mike Easley is trying to do what the governor says cant be done stop Fridays return to Charlotte of what promoters billed as the bloodiest, most barbaric show in history.

Easley wants to bar the bare-knuckle Ultimate Fighting Championship V, in which only biting and eye-gouging are forbidden. Fighters can choke, pummel and kick opponents in all parts of the body including their face, throat, spinal cord and groin.

I believe its wrong and I believe it ought to be stopped, Easley told The Charlotte Observer. And Im going to try to find a way to do it.

Easleys comments on Monday came a day after U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., pleaded with Gov. Jim Hunt for the third time to stop the fight. Hunt has told McCain the state had no legal avenue to do so.

In a letter to McCain, Hunt said he shares his concern about reducing brutality but that unfortunately, our statutes do not provide a mechanism to accomplish this.

North Caroline is one of only four states with no boxing commission that could regulate such fights. A bill to create one was introduced last week by Rep. Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg.

It is very disappointing that North Carolina officials could find no basis upon which to prevent this extremely dangerous event from taking place, McCain wrote Hunt Sunday.

It is reprehensible that individuals will continue to profit from this blood sport.

Fans at Independence Arena will pay up to $200 for a ringside seat. A pay-per-view audience across the country could top 200,000.

A Dateline NBC segment last month featured previous fights, including one last fall in Charlotte.

It showed fighters squaring off in an eight-sided ring. Some got bloodied. One lost a tooth. One described his strategy of pummeling his opponents brain stem and then punching his two knuckles into an eye socket. Fighters employ elements of boxing, the martial arts and street fighting.

Referees dont stop the so-called submission fights. Only fighters can stop them by tapping three times on the mat. The average fight lasts less than three minutes.

Despite contracts that stipulate a substantial probability of participants suffering serious injury, promoters insist the matches are safe.

When you look at the evidence and when you look at the tapes youll see why many doctors versed in combat medicine ringside medicine say unequivocally say that this is safer than boxing, said Campbell McLaren, a vice president of Semaphore Entertainment Group, the fights promoter.

Ultimate Fighting Championships I-IV have been held over the past two years in Colorado and Oklahoma, in addition to North Carolina. None of the states had any oversight commission to prohibit it.

McLaren estimates fights can occur in eight states.

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A July 1995 AP piece on Charlotte fixing to ban MMA.

Once again, this has been transcribed. Original scan can be viewed at the link below.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=eU ... ting&hl=en

Charlotte read to ban bare-knuckle fighting

Associated Press

July 8, 1995

CHARLOTTE- The ultimate fight is on the ropes in Charlotte.

The city council is expected to pass an ordinance this month barring the Ultimate Fighting Championship from returning to Charlotte. The contest, previously held in Charlotte in April, features bare-knuckled men pummeling each other into submission through any means except biting and eye-gouging.

The citys boxing commission recommend Thursday that the city implement the ban. Swift approval is expected when the council meets July 24 because the council asked the boxing commission to recommend an ordinance.

Charlotte, as are most other cities, is certainly very concerned about the overall violence that exists today, said boxing commission chairman Harold Hall. Some of it seems to be beyond control, and this can be controlled.

At least one North Carolina city will continue to allow the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Winston-Salem plans to welcome the event to Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Complex on Dec. 9.

Also Thursday, the state House tentatively approved a bill creating a statewide commission to regulate boxing.

The bills sponsor, Rep. Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, noted that North Carolina is one of four states that do not regulate boxing. Were a dumping a ground, and we need to clean that up," Rep. Black said.

The Ultimate Fighting Championships New York-based promoter called the proposed Charlotte ordinance absolutely hypocritical. Campbell McLaren, a vice president for Semaphore Entertainment Group, said auto racing and boxing are more dangerous than the fights he promotes.

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6 minutes ago, Devon Malcolm said:

There's absolutely no way this isn't some kind of copy / paste mass spasm we're witnessing here.


It is exactly that.

It's also a subject that I find interesting, and collating these articles  has taken hours and hours of research over the years. I know from when I have posted it previously elsewhere that it's something that over longterm fans have found interesting. However, I will admit that my main motivation for posting it is to archive the material somewhere else (one of the forums it was on for years went down sometime ago). 

Edited by nfc90210
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A December 1995 AP piece on Denver trying to ban ultimate fighting.

Once again, this has been transcribed. Original scan can be viewed at the link below. The original article refers to the Ultimate Fighting Challenge.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0E ... ting&hl=en

Denver says no to Ultimate Fighting

By The Associated Press

Eugene Register-Guard
December 2, 1995

DENVER- Mayor Wellington Webb on Friday said he will cancel the controversial Ultimate Fighting Challenge, saying the event is not the image of Denver we want to portray locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

Webbs announcement follows a threat by the events promoter, Semaphore Entertainment Group, that it will sure the city if the raw combat event, scheduled for Dec. 16, is cancelled.

In a letter to Pat Grant, president and CEO of the National Western Stock Show Association, the city claimed Stock Show officials breached their contract with the city by scheduling the event.

The contract requires that events in the stock show facility receive city approval, Alonzo Matthews, Denvers manager of general services, said in the letter.

Had consent been requested as required I would have refused to provide such consent, Matthews said. The event would violate the public governmental policy of the City and County of Denver as well as moral and ethical standards.

National Western Stock Show officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The Ultimate Fighting Challenge, which has been held in Denver twice before, has been criticized this year for its no-holds-barred style of violence.

Such events reportedly have been banned in Mississippi, South Carolina and Oklahoma because of the brutality.

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On January 4, 2001 MSNBC aired MSNBC Investigates: Extreme Fighting (http://tv.msn.com/tv/episode/msnbc-inve ... e-fighting), This saw MSNBC looking at backyard fight clubs, extreme wrestling (which involved them hanging out a couple of JAPW shows) and both amateur and professional MMA - the UFC is featured heavily and they go to Dan Severn's fight with Pedro Rizzo.

Part 01



Part 02



Part 03



Part 04



Edited by nfc90210
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An article that ran in in New York Times on July 28, 1995. It's about boxing but the UFC does get a brief mention.

The author, Richard Sandomir, had previously written a piece about the UFC back in March 1994, which is posted further back in the thread.

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/28/sport ... tml?src=pm

TV SPORTS; HBO-Showtime Clash Is Pretty Fine Bout, Too

By Richard Sandomir
Published: July 28, 1995

As rain pelted an umbrella at Bryant Park shortly after Wednesday's Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe outdoor news conference was canceled, a well-dressed young man calmly ate a sandwich and discussed the bubbling excitement he felt about Mike Tyson's return. "I'd pay to watch him fight my mother," he said.

But would he pay for Bowe-Holyfield ("The People's Championship") and Tyson-His Mom if both aired on pay-per-view the same night?

That would mean $90 to $100 on the month's cable bill.

That's the choice fight fans face Nov. 4 if detente is not achieved between HBO's TVKO (Bowe-Holyfield) and Showtime's S.E.T. (Tyson versus His Mom).

"There isn't that much money in the market to make it comfortable," said Richard Aurelio, president of Time Warner's New York City Cable Group.

Gary Shaw, a spokesman for T.C.I.'s New Jersey cable system, said: "We'd prefer to have one pay-per-view fight per month."

Pragmatism suggests a settlement (greed will win), but let's hope for a smidgen more of the hostilities. For the sheer amusement found in corporate loathing, little surpasses the HBO-Showtime feud, born of the enmity between Seth Abraham, the president of Time Warner Sports, and Don King, without whom Showtime's boxing and Bruce Seldon as a heavyweight champ would not exist.

"We will not surrender at any cost," King vowed Wednesday via fax.

This is an ego-driven tale of who-came-firsts. Last month, TVKO and S.E.T. told Request TV, a key pay-per-view distributor, that they wanted to stage fights on Nov. 4. TVKO wanted the date for a George Foreman fight that never materialized, S.E.T. for Tyson's second fight. When Request requested that one party make a $50,000 deposit, S.E.T. paid up.

"Request never asked for that before," said Abraham, "and we never go to the cable industry without a signed fight and a site."

Before confirming late Wednesday that peace talks had begun with TVKO, McAdory Lipscomb, S.E.T.'s executive vice president, called his rival "a greedy company" that wants to "rob the viewer."

Added King: "We had the date first and we will not be bullied."

The two sides have accommodated each other before. In late May, King faxed the Nevada State Athletic Commission to reserve Sept. 16 for a Julio Cesar Chavez fight (on S.E.T.), 20 minutes before promoter Bob Arum's fax to get the date for an Oscar De La Hoya bout on TVKO. "Two weeks later, Arum moved De La Hoya to Sept. 9," said Marc Ratner, executive director of the commission.

For the Nov. 4 fight, Ratner said a fax sent by Rock Newman, Bowe's manager-promoter, beat King's, on behalf of Tyson, by two days.

Said Ratner: "We'd honor both fights but we'd need extra staff. We're preparing for both, but I don't think both will come off."

If the combatants prove to be economic rationalists, what factors will help them decide on a solution?

1. Having enraged cable systems with onerous demands to carry Tyson's Aug. 19 fight, S.E.T. may try to re-establish good relations by magnanimously offering to move the fight to December.

2. TVKO would find it tough to move its fight at the Caesars Palace outdoor stadium because nighttime in December is chilly. The Tyson fight is scheduled indoors at the MGM Grand.

3. Cable operators and the casinos that stand to lose a bundle if the two fights are broadcast at once may step in to force one of the parties into sanity.

4. Tyson's performance on Aug. 19 could embolden or weaken King's resolve. King may want to capitalize on a quick, brutal knockout of Peter McNeeley and boldly risk direct competition on Nov. 4; but if Tyson is unremarkable, King may feel that a retreat to December is beneficial.

5. One side could drop its pay-per-view plan and downshift its fight to its premium TV arm. The betting here is that switching Bowe-Holyfield from TVKO to HBO would wrest more viewers from the Tyson bout on S.E.T., than vice versa.

What's the real solution? Forget Tyson, Holyfield or Bowe. Make Don Fehr and Bud Selig square off in the "Ultimate Fighting Championship," a martial arts cockfight. For $19.95, it would outsell pugilism. AIRWAVES

"Kings on the Hill," about the Negro leagues (Sunday at 4 P.M. on NBC) is a terrific documentary that underscores black baseball's cultural potency for African-Americans. "It was our thing," said AUGUST WILSON, the playwright. "Then came integration, and we didn't have our nothing." . . . The LEN DYKSTRA segment on HBO's "Real Sports" (Sunday, 9:45 P.M.), produced by BARBARA KOPPLE, a two-time Oscar-winning documentarian, is a sharply-drawn profile that finds Dykstra introspective.

TNT named CNN's VINCE CELLINI the host of "Pro Football Tonight," the pre-game studio show that will be broadcast Sundays from 7-8 P.M. before TNT's nine games starting Sept. 3. . . . Chances are fading that MIKE WEISMAN will be president of the MSG Network because of his concerns about Madison Square Garden's dual ownership by ITT and Cablevision, said a person familiar with the talks. Said Weisman: "I've had conversations with DAVE CHECKETTS, whom I like very much, about a wide range of subjects." Checketts is president of the Garden. . . . WALT (CLYDE) FRAZIER, the Knicks' WFAN analyst, has agreed to a one-year contract renewal.

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An article that ran in the New York Times in December 1995. It is about the problems that the UFC were encountering in Denver.

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/10/us/mo ... tml?src=pm

Modern-Day Gladiators Head for Denver, but the Welcome Mat Is RolledUp

Published: December 10, 1995

For this genteel city, which prides itself on having the nation's highest concentration of library card holders, next week's Ultimate Ultimate Fighting Championship promises to be a jarring affair.

"He could literally pull the head off here," an announcer excitedly recounted at a recent bare-knuckles, no-pads fight in Buffalo. "If they don't tap out, there is going to be some kind of damage to a ligament, a tendon -- or break of a bone."

Videotapes of fights like that one prompted the Mayor of Denver this week to find a legal pretext to expel the event from a city-owned auditorium. Organizers, though, then found another venue.

The sport, also known as "extreme fighting," features two modern-day gladiators locked in an octagonal pit surrounded by chain-link fence. The fighting combines elements of boxing, martial arts and street brawling, and there are only two rules: no biting and no eye-gouging. A fight is over when a contestant is knocked out, when a doctor intervenes or when a fighter "taps out," slamming a hand repeatedly on the mat.

"This event does not symbolize the image which the city wishes to portray," Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver said of the fights, which allow hair pulling, punches to the kidneys and kicks to the groin. He noted that Denver has five professional sports teams and plenty of museums to entertain the public.

The promoters, though, ducked the Mayor's jab and bounced back with a privately owned auditorium for the Dec. 16 event. In fact, the Mayor's nationally televised attacks on the championship may have backfired, giving the event, which depends heavily on pay-per-view television, a "Banned in Denver" cachet.

Robert M. Meyrowitz, the New York-based promoter of the events that carry the trade name Ultimate Fighting, estimated that about 300,000 households across the nation would pay $19.95 to watch the Denver event on television on that Saturday evening, more than triple the number who watched the first such contest two years ago, also in Denver. The broadcast is expected to reach about 30 other countries as well.

Mr. Meyrowitz said the newly procured auditorium for the Denver event was sold out, with ticket prices from $20 to $200.

Last month, a similar show was denied use of a state-owned armory in Brooklyn. Promoters staged the contest at a sound stage in North Carolina, touting it to pay-television viewers as "Banned in New York."

The fights typically pit a kickboxer against a Greco-Roman wrestler, or a judo champion against a heavyweight boxer. The fighters compete for a purse. The winner of the Denver event will get $150,000.

Blood routinely smears the mat in Ultimate Fighting, whose creative director is John Milius, a film director whose credits include "Conan the Barbarian."

To the event's promoters, the sport is, as a brochure says, "safer than any sanctioned boxing event," with three doctors stationed ringside. Generally, fights in the pit, which is padded, last for only three minutes.

"No fighter from our fights has ever spent a night in a hospital," Mr. Meyrowitz said of the 51 Ultimate Fighting matches that have taken place since the group began staging the events in 1993. "In football you see it every week."

To hear defenders of the sport, its opponents are elitists who look down on the estimated 15 million young people in the United States who train in the martial arts.

Steve Jennum, a 32-year-old Nebraska police officer who flew here today to prepare to participate in the event, dismissed the sport's opponents as "a vocal minority."

"It's the same people who want to censor TV, who want to get boxing outlawed, who think hockey is too violent," said Mr. Jennum, who at 5 feet 10 inches is the shortest of the eight fighters in the Dec. 16 lineup.

But even some of the participants do not call the bone-crunching encounters a sport.

"U.F.C. isn't a sport, it's war," said Pat Smith, a 31-year-old kickboxer and Denver's hometown participant in next week's event.

Mayor Webb has vowed, "It is my determination that this will be the last ultimate or extreme fighting event to be held within the city and county of Denver."

Colorado's State Legislature is to debate a measure next month to institute a state boxing commission. Most states have such commissions, and in many they have banned the no-gloves sport.

"It's a street fight in a cage," said State Representative Nolbert D. Chavez, a Denver Democrat who is sponsoring the commission proposal.

In New York State, legislators are drawing up a bill to ban the sport. On the national level, the fight is led by two Republican Senators, one a former boxer, the other a onetime judo champion.

"They go to states that are basically unregulated," said Senator John McCain of Arizona, who boxed at Annapolis when he was a Navy cadet. "If the profit motive were everything, you could get people to volunteer for Russian roulette."

Last month, Senator McCain and Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado described Ultimate Fighting as "a brutal and repugnant blood sport" in a letter to Governor Roy Romer of Colorado. In 1964, Mr. Campbell was captain of the Olympic judo team.

Some opponents suspect that the promoters are fomenting controversy to build a national following for this kind of fighting before moving the contests offshore for broadcast back to American audiences.

"I think they will be rejected in all 50 states, and they will go overseas," Senator McCain said in an interview.

"We don't allow Americans to put two cocks in a ring or two pitbulls," he added. "Why should we allow people?"

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An article that ran in The Sun in April 2002 - this was when the UFC announced that they were going to be holding an event in the UK.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/fe ... Brawl.html

18 April 2002

The Royal Albert Brawl


Last Updated: 31st July 2007

THE world's most violent sport is about to hit

Britain and it makes normal boxing matches seem like a picnic.

Ultimate fighting is bloody, brutal and has swept America. Now the first UK bouts are being lined up at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The contests are virtually no-holds-barred and the sport has been called the human equivalent of cock-fighting.

It is definitely not for the squeamish.

Two barefoot, modern-day gladiators beat, kick and rip the stuffing out of each other in an eight-sided ring surrounded by 5ft fences.

The latest Ultimate Fighting Championship event in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, was bloodier than any bout involving Mike Tyson.

Yet the promise of its thumping, booting, gouging and grappling combatants drew scores of British fans to make the 10,000-mile round trip to be in the crowd of 12,000 baying for blood.

In one particularly bloody encounter, heavyweight Pedro Rizzo, 27, from Brazil, battered Andrei Arlovski, 23, from Belarus, in a gruelling three-rounder.

Pedro kicked Andrei's leading left leg so severely in round one that an 18in block of bruising appeared round his knee.

The second round saw 6ft 3in Andrei take a lead until 6ft 1in Pedro finished him off with a savage onslaught of punches that left the Belarussian's nose splattered over his face.

No wonder some are calling for it to be banned.

Some MPs are furious that ultimate fighting is coming to Britain.

The British Medical Association has warned that contestants risk severe brain damage.

The sport won its cult following in the UK after Sky Sports began screening it earlier this year.

It may appear brutal but it used to be worse. Organisers say that rules have been tightened up in the last two years to make it safer.

Until then there were just two rules no targeting the groin or throat and no gouging eyes.

The fighters will put on their first live event in Britain on July 13 and the London bash has already been labelled the Royal Albert Brawl.

Organisers anticipate a sellout audience and the championship will be a pay-per-view event on Sky Box Office.

Call centre manager Jim Burman, 27, from Hull, was among the throng who flew to watch ultimate fighting in Las Vegas.

Six-footer Jim, who used to train every day to keep his 13st frame in shape for wrestling bouts in the UK, said: WFor the first five years there were no rules in ultimate fighting."

"It was like watching a car crash you simply couldn't turn away."

"Now it's changed and they've got rules. But none of those favours any particular style of fighter or martial art."

"My trip over here is a holiday that cost £550 and I flew out specifically to see the UFC"

"Fans are very hardcore if you like it you love it. Most of the fans do a bit of grappling or mixed martial arts themselves, so they are very knowledgeable."

Labourer Paul Charlton, 26, from Blythe, Northumberland, jetted to Vegas to see his designer girlfriend Patricia Neville, 20, and watch the UFC.

Paul, a second dan in Shotokan karate, became hooked on the fighting after seeing an earlier clash in Vegas.

Waving his heavily tattooed arms around, Paul said: "I came to Vegas to see Patricia but the main reason was the UFC."

"When it comes to London lots of lads from the North East will be down for it."

"Boxing is boring and Tyson has cast a cloud over it so this is the new sport for fight fans." Repair technician Jim Roberts, 29, of Woodbridge, Suffolk, said: "I had to come to the fight because my friends in America all rave about it."

"Tyson should sign up it's the type of no-holds barred stuff he'd like."

"It's a good spectacle and worth the £70 we paid for tickets"

The fans saw unbeaten heavyweight champ Randy "The Natural" Couture, 38, get slaughtered inside two five-minute rounds by the smaller challenger, Josh "The Baby-Faced Assassin" Barnett, 24.

Barnett's face was scratched and bruised as he was congratulated by girlfriend Shannon Hooper.

Jim Lake, 27, of Smethwick, Birmingham, who visited Vegas with pal Gus Arcon, 27, of Southampton, said: "It proves you can win even if you are smaller than your opponent."

Scot Chris Spurr, 25, is a graphics student at University in California.

He said: "I'm from Glasgow. UFC reminds me of a Rangers game it's awesome and there's lots of blood."

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An article that ran in The Sun on July 13, 2002. This was the day when UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall graced the Royal Albert Hall.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sp ... easts.html

13 July 2002

They're caged beasts


Last Updated: 03rd August 2007

AMERICA'S latest fight craze bursts into Britain tonight promising to knock out fans.

Almost anything goes in Ultimate Fighting, with two men battling it out in an eight-sided cage using a mixture of boxing and martial arts.

Fighters use their skills to beat opponents into submission or gain a technical knockout by the ref stopping the contest - and it is 100 per cent real.

Normal bouts are three five-minute rounds with a minute in between, while championship bouts are five rounds.

But fighters are restricted by rules forbidding groin attacks, hair pulling, biting, butting, eye-gouging and kicking the head of a grounded opponent.

Topping the bill at the Royal Albert Hall tonight will be a rematch for the UFC welterweight belt between Carlos Newton and champ Matt Hughes.

Hughes, 28, won the title last November in controversial style after BOTH fighters were knocked unconscious only for the ref to award him the victory.

Challenger Newton, 25, hopes his Lennox Lewis connections will help win fans in Britain.

Newton was born in the British Virgin Islands but, like Lewis, grew up in Canada. And his trainer is a big pal of Lewis.

He said: "It would mean a lot to me to do as well as Lennox. Since I left home I've been trying to find my place and being in Britain feels like coming home. My coach Everton McEwan and Lennox grew up together and keep in touch. I've learned a lot from their experiences and believe it will make me a great fighter.

"I started training in martial arts at six because a kid stole my lunch money.

"The people here will love Ultimate Fighting and whoever loves me, I love them back. It will be a great fight, so don't blink."

But muscle-mountain Hughes warned Newton he will not give up his belt. Hughes said: "I'm a very relaxed person until a fight. I take everything I love - twin brother, family, fiancee, whatever - and I mentally put it in a box. Then I put the box behind my opponent and think 'The winner takes the box.' That's how I motivate myself."

Boxing in this country is bracing itself for a battle. But Hughes said: "Boxing is a great sport but it is boring. WWF is not a sport, it's entertainment. This is in between - great sport, great entertainment."

There will be four other Brits - Mark Weir, Leigh Remedios, James Zikic and Ian Freeman - in a total of eight bouts.

TV: Live on Sky Box Office, 7pm. Tel: 08705 800 888

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A March 1997 article from the Washington City Paper. It is of its time.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arti ... hting-man/

Street Fighting Man

Fearless Fighting Challenge finds the line between Toughman competetions and UFC. (Yes, there is one.)

By Dave McKenna March 21, 1997

The street fight is dead, killed not by a societal bent toward civility, but because of America's failure to control gun violence. The threat of catching a 9mm slug while slugging it out now keeps all but the most steroidal or soused douchebags from throwing their haymakers on the street corners or in the mall parking lots that hosted informal Friday Nights at the Fights back in the day.

The demise of the bare-fisted brouhaha has, for better or worse, left a void in our culture. And into that void steps the Fearless Fighting Challenge (FFC).

The FFC is the creation of Magic Dane, a 33-year-old Falls Church resident. Dane has for years promoted bodybuilding and fitness shows in the area. But his latest venture is one of the new breed of "extreme" sporting events geared toward helping American males satisfy their primeval urges, in this case to get into a good scrap. And to watch one.

Next Saturday, the FFC will sanction the latest of a series of what it calls "submission grappling tournaments" at the Total Sports Pavilion in Woodbridge. These are few-holds-barred, single-elimination brawling competitions in which two participants get in a hexagon-shaped ring and just plain go at it until one goes limp or cries uncle ("taps out" in the parlance of extreme fighting). If both combatants still have a pulse after 25 minutes, a panel of judges decides who advances. Bouts rarely go the distance. Winners in the three weight brackets will split $10,000.

Dane has high hopes for the fledgling FFC, and understandably so. Over the past several years Americans have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at pay-per-view productions put on by groups such as the New York-based Ultimate Fighting Challenge. Those events have tapped into and expanded the bloodlust market, which is made up mainly of guys who'd love pro wrestling if it weren't so fraudulent and boxing if it were less Marquess of Queensberry and more Marquis de Sade.

But Dane insists his federation's competitions aren't as barbaric as the UFC bloodfests that litter pay-per-view. He points to a rule that the other group doesn't enforce: No kicks or blows to the face are permitted once an opponent goes down. That distinction won't likely put Dane in line for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but anybody who has seen a UFC event can tell you that's a big difference.

"But we're still a lot more brutal than those Toughman competitions of a few years ago," Dane adds. The ruthless reputation of extreme fighting, engendered mainly by the pay-per-view extravaganzas, have hindered the launch of the FFC. Last year, Arlington County school officials canceled the group's first tournament just two days before it was to take place at a county-owned facility, the Thomas Jefferson Community Center. County officials said they didn't know what they were getting into when they agreed to host the event in the first place. Dane claims the county knew exactly what it was getting into but caved in after the FFC got some unfair and inaccurate press. He's suing the county, hoping to recoup some or all of the $70,000 he lost as a result of the late cancellation.

Dane gets most of his fighters through ads in weightlifting and martial arts magazines. No FFC participant can rightly claim he didn't know what he was getting into. The release that all fighters must sign before taking any knees to the solar plexus or throwing any flying back kicks to the groin states: "I hereby understand that it is highly probable that I will sustain personal injuries in the event."

Chris Heflin is entered in the lightweight (180 pounds or less) division of this weekend's tourney. He has never fought professionally before, though he says that throughout his life "scrapes have had a way of finding me." Heflin is a strong, quiet, humorless type who comes off a lot like the Charles Bronson character in Hard Times, the best movie about street fighting ever made. He describes his day job as "personal protection trainer," but declines to go into what that entails.

Heflin, who grew up in Fauquier County, admits to having some nostalgia for the good old days of his adolescence, when street fighting was "just a form of recreation" for him and his friends. At 34, he seems a bit old to be throwing punches or taking kicks for kicks. But Heflin won't admit that the FFC appearance is evidence of any sort of midlife crisis. "I'm fighting now because I want to fight," he says. Nothing more.

Kelly McCann is Heflin's trainer for the FFC tourney. McCann, like his fighter, makes his living as a personal protection trainerPersonal Defensive Measures is his company's name. In that capacity, McCann advises clients (who include Donald Trump's security staff) that they're better off not trading blows with an adversary."In class, we teach everybody that you win most by not fighting at all," he says. "Because if you fight, you lose something, either a little dignity or a little hair."

McCann admits that those teachings are in direct opposition to the FFC doctrinehe refers to extreme fighting as "human cockfights"and he's not overenthused about his involvement in the project. But Heflin is more than just a fighter to McCann; he's also a friend, and the Marine in McCann couldn't turn down his buddy when the request for training assistance was made.

"When Chris first came to me and said he wanted to fight, I told him right away that I was against it," McCann says. "But he said this was something he really wanted, and that his wife's OK with it, so, well, I'm on his side, and I'll do what I can. And no matter how it looks, this is something where the more you know, the better off you are. Fighting's like calculus; it's not instinctive. If nobody's taught you how to do it, you shouldn't do it."

Without much pressing, McCann can be made to confess that his instincts tell him that hand-to-hand combat is nothing to celebrate, and that he should probably just stay away from UFC or FFC events. But he'll also insist that he pays to see extreme fighting contests whenever they're available, and that he intends to continue watching them.

"I think the rise of all this extreme fighting says a bad thing about where we're going as a society. A very bad thing, like we've got not a shred of innocence left," McCann shrugs. "But I watch them, and I like them! It's a male thing, maybe. I was watching a hockey game with my wife the other night, and there was this fight, and my wife turned to me and said, 'Do you really like that?,' and I could tell she was disgusted. But I said, 'Well, yeah, I really like watching guys fight.' And I meant what I said. That probably says something not so great about me, huh?"Dave McKenna

The Fearless Fighting Challenge will be at 7 p.m. March 22 at Total Sports Pavilion, Woodbridge, Va.

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