Monthly Archives

November 2008

Rising Son

But sometimes, a fi ghter and trainer can make a connection that transcends the pettiness and the ugliness of such a seedy business. It starts when an old pro sees something in the young man standing before him, something that everyone else…

Backstage At The IFL

The calm before the storm. An hour before showtime at The Izod Center, in a spartan backstage locker room just big enough for two warm-up mats and couple of tables, twenty people congregate. The mob includes the six men who will be fi…

The Basement Legacy

“It’s gonna be crowded tonight,” a skinny guy in glasses says in an almost indecipherable language known as Bostonian. Eighteen students sprawl around a former basement apartment in various stretching positions, preparing…

Grace In Defeat

And The Winner Is… Not me. Let me out of this ring, let me out of this locker room, let me out of this arena. Unfortunately we all know this feeling, and even though you gave it your all, some nights, that’s just not good…

Cool Under Fire

Amir Sadollah isn’t phased when people slip into an unconscious state or become dangerously close to getting their arms ripped out of the socket. It’s part of his job to maintain composure. Also, it was the 27-year-old who…

Stream of Consciousness

As a fan, no one remembers that us fi ghters have a hell of a lot more to worry about than the angry beast standing across the ring/cage/drugstore parking lot from us. The fl ashing lights, being spritzed down, and being touched up with…

Elbows In

Hermes Franca throws wide, looping punches. “He wings it,” says his boxing coach, Lou Martinez. Opponents see them coming, but sometimes can’t do anything to avoid the impact. Watch the tape of Franca’s third-round…

The Making Of A Superstar

The fi rst time Cung Le lost a fi ght, he was ten years old. The victor was a bully named Domingo, who along with his gang, constantly picked on the small Vietnamese kid. Today, Cung Le is a far cry from that scrawny kid back in Vietnam.…

New Blood

Ryan Bader Is MMA a wrestler’s world? Some of the biggest early champions were wrestlers, or had a strong wrestling base. Wrestlers dominated their opponents with control and vicious ground and pound. But as the sport evolved, fi…

Enter The Dragon

It’s common for sportswriters to mythologize the men they cover, to exaggerate their accomplishments, their histories, their presence in a room. Athletes, after all, exist to show us, the mere mortals, that the impossible— the…

The Gilded Age

Mark Twain coined the post-Civil War period the Gilded Age for the garish displays of wealth by the new rich who had made their fortune in that uncertain time. Those entrepreneurs saw opportunities to create, produce, and consume products…

Open Mouth Insert Foot

It’s been nearly ten months since my MMA fi ght quest began. And in that time, I’ve come to learn quite a bit, both about this incredible sport and myself. But of all the newfound knowledge I’ve amassed, the one factoid…