Saturday, April 26, 2008

Catching up with Terry Etim

l_37037df9a627b772f67d497696374001[1]

How's training going for your fight against Rich Clementi?

My training is going great, I would say this is the best training camp I have had so far.

Did it effect the way you train with Rob Emerson dropping out and changing to Rich Clementi?

No it didn't effect the way I am training too much. We're pretty much working on the same things.

How did you get into MMA?

I have always been a lifelong fan of the UFC and it was something I knew I wanted to do. I wandered into a local gym around four years ago,started training and I have never looked back since.

Was your family supportive of your decision to fight?

Yes they are very supportive,it was my dad who showed me my first ufc video,when I was 10. So he has always been a fan of MMA himself.

Where do you train?

I train with Team Kaobon,in Liverpool, England.

What are you most proud of so far in your MMA career?

My proudest moment so far has got to be my UFC debut. It was an amazing feeling fighting in the UFC and winning was a dream come true.

How cool was it to be on the first UFC in the UK?

It was very cool to fight on a UFC card in the UK. It was actually the second UFC card in the UK.
There's nothing like fighting in front of your home crowd.

I was very focused, I was thinking this is what I've always wanted to do since I started training. It was a real dream come true.

What did you think when you first stepped into the Octagon at UFC 70?

I was very focused, I was thinking this is what I've always wanted to do since I started training. It was a real dream come true.

How good did it feel to get the win over Matt Grice?

It was the best feeling ever, I'll never forget it and hopefully there will many more moments like it during my career.

Who are some of your favorite fighters to watch?

I like to watch GSP and Shogun.They are both very entertaining fighters.

Are you excited to be on the same card (UFC 84) with Jason Tan?

Yeah its cool to be fighting on the same card as Jason. If somebody told me a couple of years ago,we'd be on a UFC card in Vegas together I wouldn't have believed them.

That's going to be a great show are you going to stick around and watch the main event after your fight?

Yeah it's going to be an awesome show, I'll definitely be sticking around for the main event.

Who takes it Penn or Sherk?

It's too close to call, I think it's going to be an action packed fight though.

Thanks again Terry, anything else you'd like to say to the fans?

I'd like to thank all the fans out there and my family,who support me each time I fight. I would also like to thank everyone who has helped me get this far, especially my trainer Colin Heron.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Catching up with Sam Hoger

11820[1]1

Tell us Sam what have you been up to. Is it true you are the Head Coach at Miletich Fighting Systems in Houston?

Yes I'm the coach over here at MFS Houston the head coach of course is Pat but I'm doing the coaching out here.

How did you get to be in that position?

Pat and I were talking and he gave me the assignment I was honored to be chosen and ran with it full force.

Is there anybody there that you feel has the skills to make some noise in the UFC, IFL, EliteXC, etc.?

Ben Rothwell I think is going to be making some huge noise in the next few years making a ton of men shake in fear. Arlovski is his next opponent which I don't think was a good move for Andre. The other guy I think is going to be making some noise is Jake Shields. The guy is sick on the ground. Aside from that St. Pierre will be crushing people for a while and Anderson Silva of course will be on top for a long time. The guy I would like to see fight in the US against Kimbo. Though now that I think about it which would be a war is Melvin Manhoeff. That would be a war for the years. His fight with Cyborg said it all. Oh, also Wilson Goveia is probably going to upset the Machida after he takes the title from the winner of Forrest- Rampage via point fighting karate style win.


You aren't done fighting are you?

Nope. Just turning down cheap promoters who think they can get a business man here for quail prices and not oil prices. So I'm about to be the De La Hoya of this sport. Watch my next few moves.



How did you get selected to be on the Ultimate Fighter?

I went to the try outs, and was undefeated as a heavyweight at the time so I was supposed to be the heavyweight on the show but instead they wanted to do two divisions 185 and 205 so I cut the weight and made it.


Did you have a preference as to who's team you were on (Lidell or Couture)?

I was friends with Chuck, so I was glad at the time that I was on his team but looking back on it Randy's team would have been a bit more fitting.

I heard you really want to avenge your loss to Forest Griffin.

That is the truth. Anywhere, anytime, I'll do it for free.


How good did it feel to beat Bobby Southworth in the Ultimate Fighter Finale? It had to be a pretty big deal to get your first official win in the UFC?

It was good but I was so angry at the guy for being a prick. He thought I would fall in line like the rest of the sheep I had on my team. I knew better, and I knew I was better. So I punished him one minute for every week we were on the show and then clowned him at the end of our fight.


I remember watching your fight with Rashad Evans and thinking before they announced the decision that you won but they were going to give it to Rashad because he was the "Golden Boy." Rashad is a good fighter but I thought you won the fight. He was saved by the bell in the 2nd round. What do you remember thinking right before they announced the decision?

I was thinking man this is mine I locked this win up, then they gave it to him. I never felt more robbed before in my life. That pissed me off.

Had you won other judge over do you feel your career would have gone in a different direction?

No my career is always on the same path regardless of these little bumps in the road. I'm working towards being a billionaire.


Your fight with Stephen Bonner was another close one. Do you ever go back and watch the Bonner and Evans fights and think "If I had just done this..."

No. Can't dwell on the past there is too much going on in the present.

Who is your favorite Non-Miletich fighter to watch fight?

Anderson Silva


Which Miletich fighter gives you the toughest time in training?

Tim Sylvia


Do you feel Tim Sylvia gets the credit he deserves?

Nope. After he crushes Fedor he will. Tim by Arm bar.


Do you think Lyoto Machida will beat Tito Ortiz?

Depends which Tito shows up. Tito has the style to win but he is old now and focused on money, so I don't know. If the ground and pound machine shows up he will win if the Tito who trys to stand and then get his game going shows up he will get killed.


Do you feel that Strikeforce and EliteXC getting new TV deals is good for the sport? I just worry that some of these newer promotions might be seen like the XFL was and not last very long.

If Elite stays on the path they are on they will take over the game as the fresh new thing to keep up with and the UFC will look like the masters division in golf with nobody caring.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to your fans?

Thanks for all your support and watch me make these next few moves. check out www. mfshou. com . Thanks to Alex lopera, Geohn Cho and Yun Cheng.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Catching up with Brad Imes

070219imes[1]

Tell us Brad, what have you been up to.

Training of course. It's baseball season now, so I've been watching a lot of baseball. Went to the Royals home opener yesterday and watched us spank the Yankees. Taking my nephew turkey hunting this weekend.


I heard you were in a movie. How'd you get involved in acting?

The producer called Monte and said they needed a guy bigger than Dolph Lundgren. Monte said "I know just the guy." The rest is history.

How'd you get started in MMA?

Got laid off work and needed to make some money. A buddy told me the Japanese love big, white guys and I could make a killing. I started training, 8 months later I was on the Ultimate Fighter.


Who were some of your favorite fighters when you were younger?

I didn't really watch a lot of fighting, but I watched a lot of movies. I'd have to say Rocky Balboa.


What fighters do you enjoy watching fight now?

Anderson Silva, Ben Rothwell, and Georges St. Pierre


Is it wrong to expect that all your matches will end by a gogoplata?



Yes! There was as much luck as skill (maybe more) involved in me pulling those off in the first place. It may happen again, but not often.


How did you get selected for the Ultimate Fighter?

I was huge and looked the part. It certainly wasn't cause I knew what I was doing. But, I learned quick and made the most of the experience.

Going into the house who did you think were the favorites to win the two contracts?

Mike Whitehead, Seth Petruzelli, and Keith Jardine among the heavies. Joe was the odds on favorite among the welters.

Did you have a preference as to who was your coach? Franklin or Hughes)

No. Honestly, at the time I hardly new anything about either one.

Do you keep in touch with any of those guys from the show?

Yes. Mike and Seth most regularly, but I'm still close with a number of guys from the show.

I remember watching the Finale and thinking you had won the fight against Rashad.He did land a few bombs that knocked you down but it seemed like you were the one on control of the fight. Do you ever think to yourself "Man, if I had only done this or that it might have been different?"

Honestly, I don't. He got everything I had in that fight and I came up just short. I can live with that. If I had held something back, then it would haunt me.

Are you suprised to see Rashad do as well as he has in the UFC?

No. A lot of people have underestimated Rashad, and continue to. He's loaded with talent and heart.

When is your next fight?

CFC: May 17 in Newcastle, England vs. Buzz Berry

Have you heard anything from the UFC as far as a possible return? They have a shortage in the heavyweight division and it would be good to see you back in there.

Right now I'm going to the highest bidder. If they can make it worthwhile, I'd love to get back in the Octagon.

Thanks again Brad. Anything else you'd like to say to your fans?

Check out my sponsors Warrior Wear, Shocker Nutrition, Unbreakable Mouthpieces, Ghengis Grill and EVS knee sleeves.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Catching up with Cole Miller

win_1.preview[1]

How proud of your teammate Thiago Alves for his big TKO victory over Karo Parisyan last week at UFC Fight Night 13?
We are all very proud. Thiago trains very hard and is very deserving of his accomplishments.

How did you hook up with American Top Team?
My friend Charles McCarthy begain training with them, and about 3 years ago i came down to visit and check things out and was welcomed with open arms.

What have you been up to since your last fight at UFC Fght Night 12?
Training, training, training.

Have you heard anything from the UFC as to who your next opponent might be? I heard you might be fighting at UFC 86 in Las Vegas.
Yeah, still no word on the opponent.

Who were some of your favorite fighters growing up?
Royce Gracie, Caol Uno, BJ Penn, and once I got to my late teens Kazushi Sakuraba.

How were you selected for the Ultimate Fighter?
I went to the tryouts and was better than almost all the guys there and the interview went extremely well, so I was on.

Did you have a preference as to who was your coach coming into that situation (Pulver or Penn)?
Yeah, I wanted BJ Penn beacuse he's my favorite fighter, but I couldn't punk out Jens like that. so I just kept my hand down and let whatever coach who wanted me to be on his team choose me.

Coming into the house who do you think was the favorite to win the contract?
I really didn't think that there was a favorite all of the guys were very goood but even the veterans only had one fight in the UFC a piece.

Besides yourself (of course) and Nate Diaz, who do you see having the brightest future in the UFC from that season?
If you notice something, there are more guys in the UFC from my season of TUF than any other season currently. I think Corey Hilll has a bright future, and so does gray but really all the guys: nathan diaz, Matt Wiman, Gray Maynard, myself, Rob Rmerson, Manny Gamburyan, and Joe Lauzon.

If Manny had not injured his shoulder do you think he would've won that fight with Nate Diaz in the Finale? He did really well in the first round.
I think Nate usually starts slow and he would've came out and won the 2nd and finished him in the third.

Did you feel any extra pressure fighting Alan Berube in the first fight on the show? Or where you just ready to get in the cage?
I think we were all ready to get the fights underway. everyone was ready to go.

How good did it feel to get a TKO in your first offical fight in the UFC over Andy Wang?
That feeling was amazing. It cant be replicated. It was a bigger moment than my first win in my first fight ever.

Was the win over Leonard Garcia at UFC Fight Night 11 sweeter than the first? The first fight you made a statement. The second fight you showed you belonged.
I think the 2nd fight was important for me to show I can beat guys that are already in the UFC so it was sweet but its nice to finish fights.

When you are training what is the hardest thing for you to give up? What's your guilty pleasure?
I'm always training so I have a clean lifestyle, I don't give up anything for training because training is my life.

Thanks again Cole, is there anything else you'd like to say to the fans?
Thanks for all the support its what keeps me fighting

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Interview with Drew McFedries

This interview has been moved to www.aroundtheoctagon.com

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Interview with Jeremiah Riggs from the Ultimate Fighter 7

This interview can be found at www.aroundtheoctagon.com

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Catching up with Amir Sadollah from the Ultimate Fighter

This interview can be found at www.aroundtheoctagon.com

Interview with Blake Bowman

l_86855c6152916415cdda3d660b50dd11[1]

Blake, what have you been up to since the Ultimate Fighter?

I had the surgery of course. The rehab for that was tough and very time consuming. Coming right after The Fighter House, it was just more adversity. I got in a depression. I had just been stuck in a house for 6 weeks, now I'm stuck in a house and in bed for 3 more. It really sucked. But I did what I had to do to get better. Since then I've been teaching at a new gym called Defkon One/Gracie Barra VR in Villa Rica Georgia. The people there have been very good to me and it's a great facility. My training time is fairly limited since I teach 4-5 hours a day, but it has been a good experience.


Last year you had surgery to repair your ACL. How much longer will you be out of action?

I have some fights in the works for May and June. Nothing is confirmed yet, but I expect to be back on a smaller show in June at the latest. I have to put together a couple lower profile fights to help get my confidence back up. Not only did I lose badly on the show, but I also wasn't able to walk for a while after the surgery. Everyone kept saying I was healing very quickly, but it was frustrating and slow. That takes a huge toll on you mentally as a fighter and just as a person.


Have you had any talks with the UFC (or anyone else) about a potential fight down the road?

My last talk with Joe Silva, he encouraged me to fight smaller shows. He said he never saw what I can or can't do. I'd looked like I had heart, but just couldn't evaluate anything. "Put together four or five decent wins," he said. "I'm pretty sure you could fit in well at the WEC after some confidence boosters and skill polishers." That's always nice to hear. Joe has a reputation as a ball buster.


Where are you training?

As I stated earlier, I am teaching and training at a new gym in Villa Rica Georgia. I will also train locally with some friends like the Assuncao brothers, Rory Singer, Jeff Bedard and Roan Jucao. Those guys are all really good, local and have a lot to offer me. And they've all been very good to me since I first got around the game.



How did you get started doing MMA?

Haha..THAT I can answer.."why" is a little harder. I was just a fan. I saw UFC 34 and I wanted to be Matt Hughes. I put out a message on mixedmartialarts.com and Cam McHargue responded. I became friends with him before I was ever training with AFA/Team Praxis. I became known around the GA scene before I ever competed or really trained for that matter. Cam and Matthew Waller owned a ring that got rented out to basically anyone doing a show. I'd go and help set up/break down the ring and really kinda learned the in and outs of the sport. At first I just wanted to grapple, but eventually turned into wanting to do MMA. Cam got me a fight on short notice, I got the shit kicked out of me and realized I needed to train more consistently. I didn't start training more than twice a month until Summer of '05.


Is your family supportive of your MMA career?

Yeah. My dad doesn't like it, but he doesn't criticize me for it. I think he's just less a fan in general of the sport. He's an old school boxing fan from a long time ago and boxed a little in the Army. We all know boxing vs. MMA, heh. Everyone else though is gung ho. My mom also knows Cole, Micah, Bubby and some other guys that I use to train with. She started watching TUF because of Cole, not me, lol. She's actually a big Nate Diaz fan. Go figure.


Who were some of the people in MMA that you look up to?

Before the show, I really looked up to Matt Hughes. The way that he treated me and the rest of the team showed that he's just a regular guy. I guess we all are. He makes mistakes, he makes jokes, he makes REALLY good baby back ribs. But he's very supportive of his guys. I've always been a big fan of Jens Pulver too. Aside from that, Genki Sudo is a big inspiration for me in general. I like a lot of his philosophies and his overall outlook on life in all 4 dimensions. And after living with Mac, I really admire him and a lot of things about his life. We share similar politics and social beliefs. He works his ass off too. Always. Even when he doesn't feel like it. I know everyone in the sport does, but he made me work my ass off too, even after I was hurt.



I read somewhere that you and Cole Miller are pretty tight. How happy are you to see him competing and having some success in the UFC?

It's fucking awesome. Cole is the one that really urged me to fight in the first place. I cornered almost all of his amateur fights and quite a few of his pro fights. I cornered him against Garcia at UFN back in September. This is his dream. Everyone wants to see their friends succeed. Cole and I came from the same place, the same school, and we have the same dream...so it's that much better to know that he made it to the end of the same road I'm walking. He's a big inspiration in my life and my training actually. Him and his brother Micah both actually. We're often referred to collectively as "Team Miller."


Your fight with Richie had to be disappointing. It seemed like you had the advantage on the ground if the fight went there. Not to take anything away from Richie but the reason you lost the fight was because you blew out your knee not his punches right?

Of course it was disappointing. I knew I could have done better and while I'm laying there getting an MRI all I can think is "would have, should have, could have." Had I tried to get the fight to the ground, I am confident that I would have gotten a submission. But the fight goes the way it's going to. Unfortunately, I still get people sending me messages in my myspace and email telling me what a disgrace I am to the sport because of that fight. It's always hugs and handshakes to my face of course, but that's how people are. They don't care about editing.

That episode was basically "Joey's gone, Dorian is crazy, Blake is a comedian and has no fighting experience." All three things are false, but whatever. And the reason I lost was because Richie hit me until Big John stopped it. It was a TKO from punches, not injury. I may have fallen because my knee blew out, but I lost because Richie pounced and finished me off. Whether it's a blown knee, a 4 punch combination, whatever....if your opponent drops, your job is to finish. Richie did his job. He's tougher than he got credit for. Not "better" so to say, but he's tough and he puts on good fights. He's still pretty new to the game too. He'll develop and win some fights in the future I'm sure.


Coming into the start of that season who did you think was the favorite to win it?

After how the UFC was treating him, I was expecting to see Jon Fitch in there dominating everyone, haha. But after evaluation day, everyone kind of felt Mac was the guy to beat for sure. There were some other good guys though...but Mac was favorited..for sure.


Did you see Tommy Speer doing as well as he did and advancing to the Finals?

Tommy and I became pretty close. He's a robot that punches a time clock at the cage door. The only thing he cares about is making the ref stop the fight for some reason. He wants to slam and grind until you break. He's got a lot of heart and is very young. His skills are still developing but heart and determination can take you through times that just skill wont. Unfortunately for him Mac had heart and skill.


Have you spoken to Mac since he won the contract? I know you and him are very different and had a unique realtionship on the show.

As I said earlier, Mac and I see eye to eye on a lot of things and hung out together a lot in the house before and after the "skinny hick from Alabama" skit. I talk to him weekly since the show. We usually bullshit about stuff. He sent me a pic on my phone of him knelt in front of the house from the show while he was out training with Gray. Looking all gangster. He's one of my good friends actually, but people ignore that and believe the edited "reality" of television.


Do you keep in touch with any of the guys from the show?

Yeah. I still talk to Fiore and Pena (coaches) I myspace with George,Kolosci and J-Roc. I talk to Mac, Tommy, Rude Boy, Paul and Ben Saunders on the phone often.


Out of everyone in the house, excluding Mac, who do you see having the best career in 10 years?
Like I said, a lot of those guys are young in years and experience..so I see a few of them using the show to better themselves and making waves this year or 2009. But I'd say probably Ben Saunders and Matty Arroyo.



Were you disappointed that Matt Serra got hurt and had to cancel the fight with Matt Hughes?

Of course. That was so built up. Those guys really don't like each other. Not like "build it up to sell tickets" but "Hughes would stop talking if Serra entered the room" don't like each other. That's all we had to preoccupy ourselves in the house outside of training and swimming and eating. So we were all pumped about it.


If that fight had taken place who do you think would've won?

I just think that Hughes is a bad match up for Serra. I mean, maybe that's bias because I consider Matt Hughes a friend now, but he's strong, good positioning. He'd outpower Serra and in later rounds, No one can turn it to 11 like Hughes. Like I said though, I'm a long time fan. So maybe I'm being a little biased.


Who's your pick in the Serra-St. Pierre rematch?

I don't want to sound like a Serra-hater. I like watching him fight. May sound bad picking against him twice in a row; but St. Pierre is just the future of the sport. Everyone gets caught, everyone stumbles. But Georges is evolution of MMA in action.


Thanks again Blake. Is there anything else you'd like to say to your fans?

I'd really like to thank everyone for their support. I felt bad after the show, the loss, the hate mail, and surgery...but I got a huge flow of people with kind words calling themselves fans...saying they liked seeing me and hope that I heal and come back stronger and they can watch me again. That meant the difference in my opinion. I had support of my family and friends, but it was those outside my life that still showed faith and support that really pulled me through the tough times. Anyone that is on the myspace, feel free to add me...I'm at
myspace.com/bowmanb
I save all my messages I get from people. When I don't want to train or go do the extra rehab, I'd read them and realize that I better get my ass off my shoulder. This is bigger than me. I have people that want to watch me do what I want to do. It doesn't get any better than that. So THANK YOU to everyone and thanks for this interview.