Word of the Day for Friday, September 26, 2008
melee \MAY-lay; may-LAY\, noun:
1. A fight or hand-to-hand struggle in which the combatants are mingled in one confused mass.
2. A confused conflict or mingling.
In another incident, two staff members required stitches from a melee that ensued from their attempts to confiscate a razor blade found in the sock of a boy who had just arrived from another facility.
-- James Garbarino, Lost Boys
The accident sparked a general melee, people smashing things just for the satisfaction of watching glass fly.
-- Dorothy Allison, Cavedweller
I was relieved when, apparently unaware of this tradition, the Harasis bedouin unceremoniously dug in, the dread orbs disappearing in a melee of hungry hands.
-- Nicholas Clapp, The Road to Ubar
Melee is from the French mêlée, from the past participle of Old French mesler, "to mix," ultimately from Latin miscere, "to mix." It is related to medley, "a jumbled assortment; a mixture."
Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for melee
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
September 17, 2008
Is Fishkill's Brian McLaughlin the Ultimate Fighter?
Arlington grad debuts on Spike TV tonight
By Phil Strum
Brian McLaughlin would love to be considered the ultimate fighter.
Starting tonight, he'll have his shot.
McLaughlin, a 24-year-old Fishkill native, is one of 32 mixed martial artists who will compete on the eighth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which begins tonight on Spike TV after UFC Fight Night Live. The winner of the competition gets a guaranteed, multi-fight contract in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the top North American MMA promotion.
"This season is some of the highest level of competition you're going to see," said McLaughlin, unable to reveal whether he was one of the competitors to fight his way onto the show out of the original 32. "Everyone is well-rounded. Some of the lightweights have already defeated UFC veterans. In my weight class, everyone deserved to be there."
The coaches on this season of "The Ultimate Fighter" are UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. On Dec. 27, Nogueira and Mir will face in a title match that will also have a co-main event with the light heavyweight title match of Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans, both former champions of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Of the 32 men to start on the show, 16 make it onto the reality show. This season has light heavyweights (186-205 pounds) and lightweights (146-155 pounds). McLaughlin is a lightweight. The finals of the show are going to be live on Dec. 13 and will have an undercard featuring fighters on the show.
"All the guys there whether they made it far in the show or not, those guys are still fighting," said McLaughlin, an alum of Arlington High School and SUNY New Paltz. "The good thing about the show is that you get some marketability even if you don't get the UFC contract."
Yahoo! Sports mixed martial arts writer Dave Meltzer has covered the sport in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter since 1993 and said "The Ultimate Fighter" is the means for getting into MMA, but it isn't a guarantee that you'll be a star like Griffin, Evans or former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra.
"It can skyrocket the career," Meltzer said. "If they do really well, it's a door opening for you, but you still have to perform."
Meltzer added that most of the money in the three-year contract the winner gets are in bonuses and that the winner is really only guaranteed about $100,000 over three years. The good fighters, obviously, can do much better.
"As long as you're on the show and you don't make a complete fool of yourself, you can get booked on the final show, unless you can't fight at all" Meltzer said.
Although he lives in Fishkill and owns Hudson Valley Jiu-Jitsu in Fishkill, McLaughlin, whose professional record is 5-0 is listed on the UFC Web site as being from Tampa. The reason for this is that he trains at Gracie Tampa under Eastchester native Rob Kahn. Kahn received a jiu-jitsu black belt under former three-time UFC champion and MMA pioneer Royce Gracie.
"He's honestly one of the best submission grapplers in the country," Kahn said of McLaughlin. "Brian's beaten some of the best in the country already and has kind of made a name for himself. In 15 years of doing this, I don't know if I've worked with anyone with more drive than him. He's the hardest-working kid I've ever seen."
Kahn feels that even if McLaughlin did not make it onto The Ultimate Fighter, he still would have been under consideration to get some fights in the UFC, especially after he won the Ring of Combat Beasts of the Northeast Tournament last November.
"He turned a lot of heads when he did that," Kahn said. "He's part of that first generation who started as a kid and grew up with it. He's really ahead of the curve. Not even 24 and already a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He's still got so many years of competing."
McLaughlin said that his training philosophy for competing is simple: To constantly surround yourself with people who are better than you, so that you're always challenging yourself.
"It's night and day," McLaughlin said of his skills in boxing and wrestling, as opposed to his vast experience in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. "I look at my first fight and my skills back then going, 'If I could fight myself now, it would be a nightmare.' It's so challenging and so much fun. It's a new way of challenging myself and expanding my range of combat.
"It's made training more exciting," McLaughlin continued. "More exciting, more humbling. You're never the master and always the student."
McLaughlin tried out for the fifth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," but was ultimately rejected. This time though, plenty of friends knew about his tryout, but once he made the cut, he was not permitted to tell anyone he made it onto the show - until the UFC made it official.
"I had to come up with this whole phony story," McLaughlin said. "I had to disappear for six weeks and I couldn't tell people where I was going. And they couldn't get in touch with me. I told them I was leaving the country. I told them I didn't make the show, but when I was leaving was around my birthday, so I said my parents gave me a trip to Brazil. Some people actually bought it."
One thing McLaughlin said he would love is to fight a little closer to home. Mixed martial arts is banned in the state of New York and the closest he gets to fight is in Atlantic City, N.J.
"Every year, we get our hopes up," McLaughlin said. "It's always been a dream of mine to fight in the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. I would love to fight in my hometown. Ignorant minds are dictating the future of the sport."
McLaughlin said that in one meeting of New York lawmakers, he was told, that one asked if there was a referee present in the MMA bouts.
"If you're going to hold the future of the sport in your hands, McLaughlin said. "at least watch one of the shows."
Meltzer said while the launch of "The Ultimate Fighter" has been good for many MMA careers, it's not a guarantee.
"It made the sport and it made careers," Meltzer said. "But it's not a lock. When you're on guarantees you a place in the sport. From there, you either need to win or look good losing."
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Update: Former UFC Champ Tanner Dead at 37
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The body of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner (Pictures) was found Monday in the Palo Verde mountain area.
Tanner, 37, was an apparent victim of heat exposure.
He had embarked on a camping trip on his motorcycle Sept. 3 into the desert-like region north of Brawley, Calif., approximately two and a half hours east of San Diego.
The native of Amarillo, Texas, was found approximately two miles from his campsite, said his manager John Hayner, of Driving Force Sports, who had known the fighter for four years. Hayner said Tanner went camping to undergo a spiritual and physical cleansing, which was not uncommon for the fighter.
Lt. George Moreno of the Imperial Valley Sheriff’s Dept. said his office was contacted last Friday by friends in Oceanside, Calif., where Tanner had moved about six months ago. Tanner’s friends told Moreno the fighter had contacted them via text messaging to say he was out of water and gas and needed assistance. A ground search and air surveillance began Friday to locate the fighter, said Moreno.
Tanner’s campsite was located Sunday by aerial search. His body was discovered Monday at 12 p.m. PST by a helicopter search conducted by the U.S. Marine base out of Yuma, Ariz. Moreno estimated Tanner was approximately 45-50 miles from the nearest town.
Tanner’s body was identified a couple of hours after coroners arrived on the scene, said Moreno.
“He had his I.D. on him,” Lt. Moreno told Sherdog.com.
Tanner’s older brother, Jeff, is expected to collect the fighter’s effects Tuesday afternoon. Tanner’s mother is also en route to Imperial Valley, said Hayner.
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Moreno said circumstances like this were rare but not unheard of in the area.
“If anybody is going to go camping, it’s usually in the winter, not during this extreme weather,” he said. “Right now, temperatures are in the 110-degree index every day.”
Tanner had last been connected to the Compound Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness gym in Oceanside, Calif. Co-owner Claudia Ortega said she and her husband had reached out to Tanner a year ago after he had visited the facility. When Tanner moved back to the area, he visited the gym on a few occasions to train.
Ortega said Tanner told her he planned to “take a couple of trips,” then settle at the gym.
“He wanted to make it his home,” said Ortega. “”We really wanted to see him succeed in any way he could.”
Tanner’s battle with alcohol abuse was well known in the sport, but Hayner said he’d believed Tanner had stayed sober for about a year in an attempt to make a comeback.
“Evan did not kill himself,” said Hayner. “Evan did not go out in the hopes of doing a one-way ticket. He brought two guns out with him for target practice. They were not found with his body. In no way shape or form did he kill himself. He got in over his head, and exposure to the elements killed him.”
Tanner was a self-made mixed martial arts standout. A two-time state championship wrestler in high school, he made his professional debut on a whim with the Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation in 1997 and defeated three opponents in one night -- including eventual UFC title challenger Paul Buentello (Pictures) -- in one night to win a heavyweight tournament. He would later defend the title against Pride Fighting Championships and UFC veteran Heath Herring (Pictures), among others.
He enjoyed his greatest success in the UFC. Tanner won 10 of his first 12 fights with the promotion, losing only to Tito Ortiz (Pictures) and Rich Franklin (Pictures). His UFC run was highlighted by his upset victory over David Terrell (Pictures) at UFC 51 in February 2005, as he stopped the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt on strikes to capture the middleweight championship. Tanner relinquished the 185-pound crown in his rematch with Franklin at UFC 53 four months later, as he absorbed a brutal beating after knocking down the popular Ohioan with a right hand in the first round.
Tanner, the first American to win the Pancrase Neo-Blood tournament in Japan, lost four of his last five fights. He made his final appearance inside the Octagon at “The Ultimate Fighter 7” Finale in June, as he dropped a split decision to Kendall Grove (Pictures) in Las Vegas.
Tanner had recently started his own blog in association with SpikeTV.com.
“I've been sitting around this apartment, bored to tears, waiting on the last of the gear I need for the desert adventure to come in the mail. I've really been looking forward to getting out there,” wrote Tanner. “It seems some MMA websites have reported on the story, posting up that I might die out in the desert, or that it might be my greatest opponent yet, etc. Come on guys. This isn't a version of "Into the Wild". I'm not going out into the desert with a pair of shorts and a bowie knife, to try to live off the land. I'm going fully geared up, and I'm planning on having some fun.”
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Then, last night happened. Embarrassing, to say the least. So the question is: What does Chuck do now? He's in a worse position than Rich Franklin (the guy who seems to own the Middleweight division, but has nothing for Anderson Silva). Are we looking at the retirement of Chuck Liddell? Are the flaws in his style now something that a top level fighter can't afford to have? Will he ever protect his frickin chin?
Nate Marquardt looked good last night. I was hoping to see a slick sub from him, but he demonstrated his bad assness by beating up a kickboxing champ. I like him, I want to see him get another crack at Silva.
Anyway, the card last night wasn't too bad. I'm upset that they didn't air the Fight of the Night, but oh well. I can't complain because I didn't pay for the card. I will say, however, that I much prefer watching fights with people who know a little bit about what they're watching. Watching at a bar amongst people who just want to see someone get hurt isn't as fun. Plus I just miss my friends. Oh well.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Soldier forced to sleep in car after hotel refuses him a room
The Metro Hotel in Woking, which was under fire today
A wounded soldier home from Afghanistan on sick leave was forced to spend the night in his car after a hotel refused him a room.
Corporal Tomos Stringer was told by staff at Metro Hotel, in Woking, that it was company policy not to accept members of the armed forces as guests. The 24-year-old had travelled to the Surrey town to help with funeral preparations for a friend killed in action.
It was so late that Cpl Stringer, who had broken his wrist jumping off an Army truck as it was attacked, had no choice but to bed down in his tiny, two-door car, arm covered in plaster.
Cpl Stringer, of 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, has now returned to Afghanistan, but his mother, Gaynor Stringer, from Criccieth, north Wales, told The Times that she is still furious about the incident.
“I’m very, very angry. It’s discrimination. They would never get away with it if it was against someone of ethnic origin,” she said.
She said they had received neither an apology nor an explanation from the hotel, which is part of a family entertainment centre called The Big Apple and owned by a company called American Amusements.
"In America, they treat soldiers as heroes,” said Mrs Stringer, whose son joined the Army when he was 16 and has done multiple tours of duty in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.
“We went to Disney World with Tomos and the whole family was moved to the front of the lines. Everybody was standing up and clapping and cheering.
“Here, soldiers can’t even get a bed for the night.”
The incident has prompted widespread condemnation from senior members of the Government, MPs, servicemen and their supporters.
Hywel Williams, the MP for Caernarfon, Derek Twigg, the Defence Minister, and Bob Ainsworth, the Armed Forces Minister, have written to the hotel.
Mr Twigg wrote: “Although I do not know the precise circumstances, I think it is deplorable for the management of a hotel to have a policy not to accept military personnel and that this case is especially egregious given that the individual concerned was on injury leave from Afghanistan.”
Mr Williams said: “It is unacceptable and outrageous that anyone is discriminated against in this way. “
But perhaps even more worrying for Metro Hotel are the legions of army men and enthusiasts rising up in the forums of the unofficial British Army website to call for a boycott of the hotel.
Some have suggested booking the hotel in huge numbers only to cancel it at last minute. Others are encouraging their colleagues to post negative comments on websites offering customer reviews of the hotel.
One review site has already received half a dozen such comments.
“As a serving member of the British armed forces, I’m disgusted to see that one of my colleagues was refused a room in Metro Hotel in Surrey...because their policy is to refuse all army personnel,” wrote one.
“Anyone considering using any services of this company should definitely not bother. I'm sure a more patriotic company can be found with far superior services.”
Another wrote of the hotel: “Cons - No beds for our country's heroes.”
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
U.S. hands back a quieter Anbar Province
By Dexter Filkins
Monday, September 1, 2008
RAMADI, Iraq: Two years ago, Anbar Province was the most lethal place for American forces in Iraq. A U.S. marine or soldier died in the province nearly every day, and the provincial capital, Ramadi, was a moonscape of rubble and ruins. Islamic extremists controlled large pieces of territory, with some so ferocious in their views that they did not even allow the baking of bread.
On Monday, U.S. commanders formally returned responsibility for keeping order in Anbar Province, once the heartland of the Sunni insurgency, to the Iraqi Army and police. The ceremony, including a parade on a freshly paved street, capped one of the most significant turnabouts in the country since the war began five and a half years ago.
Over the past two years, the number of insurgent attacks against Iraqis and Americans has dropped by more than 90 percent. Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has been severely degraded, if not crushed altogether, in large part because many local Sunnis, including former insurgents, have taken up arms against it.
Since February, as the security situation improved, U.S. commanders have cut the number of marines and soldiers operating in the province by 40 percent.
The transfer of authority codified a situation that Iraqi and American officers say has been in effect since April: The Iraqi Army and police operate independently and retain primary responsibility for battling the insurgency and crime in Anbar. The United States, which had long done the bulk of the fighting, has stepped into a backup role, going into the streets only when accompanied by Iraqi forces.
But the dynamic that has brought such calm to Anbar, welcome as it is, seems fragile. Many former insurgents now man the local police forces, or remain on the U.S. payroll as loosely supervised gunmen working for the so-called Sunni Awakening Councils.
But with most of the Sunni population having abstained from voting in 2005, many are now claiming that the present arrangement leaves them unrepresented. Local Sunni leaders have warned that provincial elections must go forward if violence is to be averted.
Still, as the parade marched along Ramadi's Main Street on Monday, the signs were mostly good. The ceremony was a primarily Iraqi affair, with the U.S. marines wearing neither helmets nor body armor, nor carrying guns. The festive scene became an occasion for celebration by Iraqis and Americans, who at several moments wondered aloud in the sweltering heat how things had gone from so grim to so much better, so fast.
"Not in our wildest dreams could we have imagined this," said Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser, who flew in from Baghdad. "Two or three years ago, had we suggested that the Iraqis could take responsibility, we would have been ridiculed, we would have been laughed at. This was the cradle of the Sunni insurgency."
Indeed it was. Anbar Province became the most intractable region after the toppling of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. More than 1,000 American marines and soldiers have died in the province, a quarter of the total U.S. toll.
Anbar's second city, Falluja, was the scene of the biggest battle of the war, in which nearly 100 Americans died and more than 500 were wounded.
Bordering on three countries, Anbar was also considered the primary transit point for foreigners entering Iraq.
The fighting devastated much of Anbar. Falluja, a city of 250,000, was razed, and large parts of Ramadi, a city of 500,000, were reduced to ruins.
By the summer of 2006, insurgents had tried to kill Anbar's governor, Mamoon Sami al-Rashid, 29 times. They failed with Rashid, but that was an exception. Rashid's immediate predecessor, Raja Nawaf, was kidnapped and murdered. His deputy, Talib al-Dulaimi, was shot and killed. The chairman of the Anbar provincial council was also murdered. Rashid's personal secretary was beheaded and most of his ministers went into hiding.
What finally broke the stalemate, according to former insurgents and local leaders, was a local revolt against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the radical insurgent group believed to be led primarily by foreigners. As the group began to expand its goals beyond killing Americans to include sectarian assassinations and imposing a fundamentalist Islam, local tribal leaders struck back and reached out for help to U.S. forces. The "Sunni Awakening" was born, and it soon spread across the Sunni areas of Iraq.
Saadi al-Faraji used to be a gunman for a local group called the Islamic Movement of Holy Warriors, which focused mainly on attacking Americans. Then, in 2006, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia tried to take over his group and force them to kill Iraqis who worked for the government, including police officers.
"Qaeda declared that we were apostates, and they demanded our heads, because we would not kill Iraqi soldiers or Iraqi police," Faraji said.
The Islamic Movement of Holy Warriors began attacking Qaeda fighters at about the same time that a local Sunni sheik named Abdul Sattar abu Risha struck a deal with the Americans and formed the first Awakening Council. The Islamic Movement formed its own Awakening Council, and today, Faraji is a colonel in the Iraqi police.
As for his view on Americans, Faraji said they had evolved.
"They made mistakes, and so did we," he said. "The past is past."
See the original article here.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Couture Back in UFC Fold
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Six-time UFC champion Randy Couture (Pictures) will return to the Octagon this November, ending an 11-month legal battle with the promotion he’s called his home for the last 11 years.
As part of a new three-fight contract with Zuffa LLC, parent company to the UFC, Couture (16-8) will face Brock Lesnar (Pictures) (2-1) at UFC 91 on Nov. 15 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The bout will be waged over five rounds for Couture’s heavyweight championship title.
“As you all know, we’ve had problems with Randy over the last few months, but we’ve got them all worked out now. Randy has always been our heavyweight champion,” said UFC President Dana White.
A previously announced bout between UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) and Frank Mir (Pictures) scheduled for December will determine the next contender for the UFC heavyweight crown, said White. White described the scenario as a “heavyweight tournament.”
Under the new agreement, the UFC will also attempt to lock down a bout between Couture and No. 1 ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) in 2009. The highly anticipated bout has been heralded as the fight of the decade.
We’re gonna do everything we can to make that fight happen,” said White. "Emelianenko’s under another contract right now to another promotion and if he becomes available or something works out with that other promotion -- obviously everybody knows how crazy we are about protecting our contracts. Well, we would never do that to somebody else."
It is believed Emelianenko recently signed an exclusive U.S. contract with the rival promotion Affliction Entertainment. It is not known how many fights Emelianenko has committed to. White said he would not be open to a co-promotion effort with the rival organization.
“I think a lot of compromises were made on both sides,” said Couture, “but we’re both ready to try and move forward. We’ve cleared the air and we’re both in different places than we were a year ago. Spending the last year in legal fights is not some place that I've had a very good time.”
Couture’s abrupt departure from the UFC last October dealt a significant blow to the world’s most visible MMA promotion. Zuffa’s inability to land Pride heavyweight champion Emelianenko played a prominent role in the Couture’s decision to walk away, as did the fighter’s discontent with his pay and treatment by the Las Vegas-based company.
With his resignation, Couture left behind two contracted bouts, his UFC heavyweight crown, and a separate employment contract for on-air commentary services.
The 45-year-old Couture’s return to the UFC signals the end of arbitration proceedings over the fighter’s promotional contract that were underway in Las Vegas. A separate lawsuit filed last January against Couture for breach of his employment contract has also been squashed.
Couture called his return to the UFC “a step in the right direction” to getting a bout with Emelianenko down the line.
A three-time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University, Couture won four national championships in Greco-Roman wrestling and made four attempts at qualifying for the Olympics. He made his MMA debut at UFC 13 on May 13, 1997, where, at age 33, he won its heavyweight tournament.
Over the course of the next decade, Couture emerged as one of the most decorated mixed martial artists in history. The UFC’s only six-time champion, he captured the heavyweight belt three times, the light heavyweight title twice, and an interim light heavyweight title as well. Couture was the first fighter to win UFC championships in two weight classes.
His run through the promotion included a memorable trilogy with light heavyweight rival Chuck Liddell (Pictures), the only opponent to beat Couture twice. Following his third bout with Liddell in February 2006, Couture announced his first retirement. Couture returned in March 2007 to topple 6-foot-8 giant Tim Sylvia (Pictures) for the UFC heavyweight crown.
Couture has not stepped back into the Octagon since his third-round pummeling of Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures) at UFC 74 in August 2007.
"I'm certainly under time constraints too. I'm 45. I can't sit around in court rooms for very long. I want to fight."
See the original article at Sherdog.com by clicking here!
Monday, September 1, 2008
So I'm sitting in a windowless building here on base at Keesler, and so far I'm pretty unimpressed. I know, I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about with regard to hurricanes, but there's a good reason for that: I don't. Right now I'm just bored and have nothing better to talk about. Fortunately, a friend of mine here has wireless Internet access and I can do things like pollute the web with my uneducated thoughts on thunderstorms with names. Heh.
Anyway, I thought I'd make some sort of record of the fact that I've lived through a hurricane. If I post nothing further on the matter, then you know it was no big deal.. either that or it killed me, heh. Bye now.
Sources: Couture vs. Emelianenko targeted for early 2009
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Aug 30, 2008 at 5:30 pm ET
The long-rumored heavyweight superfight between UFC champion Randy Couture (16-8 MMA, 8-5 UFC) and WAMMA champion Fedor Emelianenko (28-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is currently being discussed for an as-yet-unspecified date in January or February of 2009.
Sources inside Couture's Xtreme Couture camp today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the ongoing negotiations between the UFC and both fighters.
The fight is far from a done deal. Many of the same issues that prevented Emelianenko from signing with the UFC during previous negotiations must still be ironed out. But it appears that the UFC and representatives for both Couture and Emelianenko are working toward bringing the two legends together for a long-awaited bout.
Additionally, the same sources are reporting that Couture is currently "actively training for a fight."
Couture has remained in shape throughout his self-imposed 12-month layoff, but his workouts are now reportedly being geared toward an apparent upcoming bout.
Adding to previous speculation that Couture's return may be on Nov. 15 at UFC 91 against Brock Lesnar, Xtreme Couture is also reportedly making travel arrangements to bring in several "larger heavyweights" as sparring partners for Couture.
Sources indicate the Emelianenko bout is contingent upon Couture defeating Lesnar in November.
MMA Rated first reported the possibility of Emelianenko as Couture's second opponent after Lesnar. That report also stated that the UFC hopes to make an announcement regarding a new contract with Couture as early as Tuesday.
See the original post on MMAJunkie by clicking here!