Andre went to the finals of TUF 9 and fell to Ross Pearson, his teammate. Andre, coming off a win over Rafaello Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 21, discussed his experience in the TUF house and what it has meant to his career. He chimed in on being in position to fight a teammate, and even commented on the possibility of Jon Fitch having to potentially meet Josh Koscheck.
Listen to hear Andre’s comments about what it takes to fight a teammate, and why it’s not as far-fetched as you think.
The DieHards know that Andre was born in Grenada. Stay with MMADieHards and live the life.
(Editor’s note: The author is a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. He is a special correspondent to MMADieHards.com.)
By Creighton Shively
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (MMA DieHards) – It’s Saturday morning, April 3, and I’m standing by for the arrival of some outstanding supporters of the U.S. Military. Mike Swick, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, and Ross Pearson are stopping by to visit our secure compound for a USO event.
We can’t thank them enough for taking their personal time out for us, and yet and they cannot stop smiling when they get out of their SUVs. Somehow these guys look more stoked to be here than we are to leave this duty station at the end of our deployment.
I am fortunate to be stationed in Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, and I have to say that this day was one of the best of my nearly 15 years of service. I’m a proud supporter of MMA, for personal and professional reasons. As MMA came to us on this day, I got to represent fellow service members and my friends at MMA Diehards and FightChix.
The morning started with a phone call from Pauline, our USO representative. Pauline let me know that the fighters started the tedious process of entering our secure compound and would be another 15 minutes. She then handed the phone to Minotauro: “Hello, brotha!”
“Hey bro, looking forward to meeting you,” I said. “Are you guys up for a boat ride after your meet-and-greet?”
The morning continued with very welcoming conversations and followed into some meet-and-greets and signings. Our team got to discuss the UFC and MMA in general. Some of our guys even got to roll a few rounds with Nogueira. We couldn’t get him off the mats. His instruction is nothing short of outstanding and this guy is a machine.
How much of a machine is he? Swick answered that with this personal blog posting:
Nogueira takes off his shirt and pulls swimming goggles out of his pocket! This was baffling considering we had no plans to even go to a beach that day. That’s a true Brazilian right there! He said, “I go to swim now,” and took off for the water. We literally watched him swim laps in the ocean for almost an hour before he exited like a Brazilian James Bond.
Rock Star Ross Pearson had just carried out a victory against Dennis Siver not more than a week prior in Charlotte, N.C., and already was flying back across the planet to show his support; a Englishman and a true gentleman. Of course Pauline immediately agreed, as she is English as well. What a great combination of people on a perfect day.
For those of you that have not had the opportunity to meet Swick, it is a must. Mike has got to be one of the nicest and most engaged supporters of the military, and has started his own clothing line in Combat Life, which particularly supports wounded service members. This guy had more interest in what we do than discussing getting rolled or knocked in the head. We couldn’t have been more happy to have him.
I had to get these guys out on a boat ride on one of our combat patrol crafts, which are pretty well loaded down with firepower. We took them for an eight-nautical-mile ride and let each of them drive. The UFC film crew loved it.
Swick had a grin from ear to ear the entire time (even when Pearson was driving). He couldn’t get over the .50 Caliber and M240 Crew Serve machine guns mounted on a 34-foot boat with that much horsepower at his fingertips.
All in all, this was good for both the military, the UFC and, of course, our civilian counterparts that make all of this happen.
Brad Blackburn, who is a longtime friend of mine, shows up in a few days with his cornermen, fighter Joey Guel and coach Carlos Hernandez.
I plan to show them a good time while they are here and will enjoy the time with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I have gigged a flight for Brad out to the USS Eisenhower, which is a Navy Aircraft Carrier for those of you who didn’t yet know, and am anticipating one of Brad’s infamous laughs followed by one of his surfer like responses: “No way!,” when he hits that catch line on the Carrier out in the middle of the ocean.
More to come following that experience.
Please stop by MMA DieHards and my Facebook page to keep up. Also keep an eye out for some great footage from the UFC film crew that was here. They interviewed me during the visit and plan to catch back up with me at the fight in Abu Dhabi.
I look forward to bringing more. I love my job!
Rear Naked Choke Radio made the MMA DieHards Radio Network debut show one to remember!
Live from LA Boxing in Paramus, NJ, hosts Joe Rizzo and Damian Ross brought some heavyweight power. Roy “Big Country” Nelson, who won knockout of the night honors at UFC fight Night 21, continued his streak of being a guest on RNC Radio “firsts”. We’ll break the mystery for you, because he was the surprise guest!
Before Big Country, another heavyweight, Rolles Gracie, gave special insight for UFC 112 by recalling his trips to Abu Dhabi, the site of the event. Rolles and Roy are blackbelts under Renzo Gracie, who is fighting Matt Hughes at UFC 112.
Another bonus winner was on the show as Jared Hamman who, off his fight of the night win over Rodney Wallace, recalled his war. Hamman also gave the secrets of Vladimir Matyushenko’s 200-degree sauna and the ice baths that follow.
Riz and Ross also chatted up Charlie Brenneman, who won his UFC debut at Fight Night 21. Charlie was the first winner of the Pros vs. Joes reality show. He generally is a cool customer, but revealed that his nerves nearly got the best of him before his debut in The Octagon. Charlie is a great social networker. His vlog from UFC Fight Night 21 is a must-see on his site.
If you do not get the chance to join in live, you can catch it here on demand. You might win a shirt if you pay attention.
Hector Castro and guest co-host Ryan Loco of Jaco Clothing brought you the Ground and Pound live Tuesday night. Hector and Loco previewed and broke down the UFC 112 card, which takes place Saturday in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi has hosted its renowned grappling tournament for years, but this is the first time the UFC is there.
The Voice, Michael Schiavello, joined the show from Down Under to provide his unique insight into traveling long distances to many lands. The Voice can be heard on HDNet, but you never know if he is ringside in Japan or cageside in Detroit.
Rear Naked Choke Radio host Joe Rizzo joined the party to help Hector announce MMADieHards.com as the new home of the Ground & Pound and RNC Radio. He also hung around to talk with The Voice about the K-1 crying episode of Kyotaro Nishimura after his knockout of Peter Aerts.
Hey DieHards, catch The Voice on HDNet for King of the Cage from Detroit on April 16 at 8:08 EDT.
Tara LaRosa joined Joe Rizzo of Rear Naked Choke Radio for an MMA DieHards Radio Network brief to break the news about her fight with Roxanne Modafferi at Moosin MMA in Worcester, Mass., May 21. Listen to hear Tara’s first comments about the match, which is between two consensus top-5 female fighters. The match is at a catch-weight of 130 pounds.
The DieHards know that this is going to be one of the top fights in 2010, men’s or women’s. Stay with MMADieHards and live the life.
Adam Zugec is the head trainer at Zuma in Victoria, British Columbia and his main pupil is Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman. Adam joined Cameron Gidari and Hector Castro on The Free Roll to talk about Zuma, the possibility of Kaufman-Cyborg or Kaufman-Carano, and some other interesting stories. He also gave his assessment of the UFC coming to BC for UFC 115 in June, and what it means to the province, the city of Vancouver and Canadian MMA. Adam also has some great stories, but you’ll have to listen!
LISTEN TO THE FREE ROLL:
Sarah Kaufman is one of the most dominant female fighters in the world today.
Part of that success is due to Adam Zugec, her coach at ZUMA Ultimate Martial Arts in Victoria, British Columbia.
Zugec joined hosts Cameron Gidari and Hector Castro on the Free Roll to talk about what makes Kaufman great, and how her male sparring partners feel about getting beat by a girl.
“You cannot imagine how angry Sarah gets when she can’t take down a 170-pound guy that has no fat on him and he’s jacked,” Zugec said. “She finds it extremely unacceptable. When I tell her there’s a bit of a weight difference, she thinks that’s not an excuse.”
Kaufman certainly benefits from her work ethic, but she also trains under a diverse and experienced coach. Zugec is, among other things, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Carlson Grace, a Combat Submission Wrestling instructor under Erik Paulson, and a Thai Boxing instructor.
Zugec has also worked with different coaches, including close friend Greg Jackson, to improve his game.
“I think [Greg's] just a smart guy that I learn a lot from,” Zugec said. “We try to put smart game plans together. I think you’re starting to see something in the sport, and that’s people recognizing coaches.
“When you’re teaching people, it kind of leads to questions, and when they start firing off questions, it kind of allows you to start sparking stuff in your own mind. You get a little more imaginative with your own technique.”
Also on the show, Zugec talks about Kaufman humbling “Ed Hardy MMA” fighters and the growing MMA scene in the Vancouver area.
He and Hector also challenge Cameron to step onto the mat for a grappling session with Kaufman. Will Cameron accept? Listen to the full show to find out!
To hear full episodes of the Free Roll, listen live every Saturday at 4pm EST. To make sure you never miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast by searching “MMA Radio” on iTunes.