I think you have to register so I pasted here.
Posted on Fri, Dec. 10, 2004
I M A G E S
DAVID SWANSON / Inquirer
Lamont Lister works with Phil Migliarese (left) in preparation for tonight’s competition in mixed martial arts, also known as Ultimate Fighting.
DAVID SWANSON / Inquirer
Lister stretches during training at Migliarese’s studio. Lister hopes to turn professional at Ultimate Fighting, which has been criticized as brutal because competitors are often beaten bloody.
Ultimate Fighting aims for a smash hit in Phila.
By Natalie Pompilio
Inquirer Staff Writer
It's been called barbaric, a spectacle for the bloodthirsty.
But those who practice mixed martial arts - made famous by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a multimillion-dollar standby on pay-per-view television - insist they are athletes practicing a sport that is growing in numbers and respectability.
"The general public still considers it a blood-and-guts thing when it's a real, legitimate martial art," said Brad Daddis, 29, owner of Philadelphia Mixed Martial Arts Academy. "You have to learn punches, kicks, elbows, knees, submission holds, wrestling moves. It's almost like a game of kinetic chess. There's a lot of thought that goes into it."
Ultimate Fighting - more accurately, a watered-down version of it - comes to Philadelphia tonight when Vengeance, a mixed martial-arts competition, unfolds at the Northern Liberties Recreation Center at Third and Fairmount Streets. It is the first time the state has sanctioned an amateur mixed martial-arts event.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, launched in 1993, put mixed martial arts into the lexicon. Fighters were trained in Brazilian jujitsu, muay Thai kickboxing, wrestling, and other martial arts.
The battles were often bloody, prompting U.S. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) in 1996 to call the practice "human cockfighting" and to urge all 50 governors to ban it. Some did, and the debate over the legitimacy of such competitions has raged since.
But it didn't stop the UFC from growing into a multimillion-dollar industry. In October, UFC 50: The War of '04 at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall drew more than 10,000 people and was telecast on pay-per-view. Next year, Spike TV will air a new reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, following 16 athletes who train and live together and ultimately fight one another for UFC contracts.
"A lot more people are doing it," said Mangu Khan, one of the promoters of tonight's event. That, he said, is what persuaded the state to finally allow it.
"We've been working for more than two years to get the fight," he said.
Ultimate Fighting is not just "fighting dirty." There's no eye-gouging, biting or hair-pulling allowed. Still, fighters can throw their opponents to the ground and pound them into submission and pull an opponent's head into an oncoming fist, foot or elbow.
But the Philadelphia fight will not allow ground fighting, Khan said. Elbowing will also be banned. The fights will be shorter than UFC bouts - three 11/2-minute rounds, as opposed to three five-minute rounds. Protective garb not ordinarily used, such as headgear and shin guards, is required.
Those rules, local mixed martial-arts instructors said, will make the fights more focused on punches and, therefore, more dangerous.
"This is a 'duke it out' sort of fight," said Phil Migliarese, 28, owner of Balance Studios, which teaches yoga and jujitsu. "When you're on the ground, you can look for finishing holds and make them give up."
In some mixed martial-arts fights, Daddis noted, "you can go through a whole competition without getting hit once."
"You can almost call this 'limited rules' Ultimate Fighting," he said. "It's disappointing for us because we train for all these different things, but we're excited because it's a start."
Two members of Daddis' Team Fight Factory are taking part in tonight's event. One of them, Carlos Torres, 33, a security guard and exotic dancer, said he is fighting to test himself - and to show spectators that he's as much a fighter as any boxer.
"You throw a Bernard Hopkins my way and let him fight my way, and he's done," Torres said.
Migliarese has one fighter in the ring tonight: Lamont Lister, 25, a Philadelphia police officer who knew he wanted to try Ultimate Fighting after seeing a UFC event on television years ago.
"I want to get more experience, get used to guys throwing punches and kicks at me, so when I'm ready to get my game to the professional level, I'm sure I'm ready," Lister said.
Yesterday morning, Lister had his final prefight training with Migliarese. The two tangled on the mat, and the way they wrapped their arms around each other seemed almost intimate - except they were practicing punches and escape techniques. They kept their eyes fixed on each other as they squared off, then Lister pushed Migliarese into the cushioned wall.
"I think your strength is smashing him into the ropes," Migliarese instructed. "Keep the knees going. Use the shoulder."
They practiced getting off the ground with a kick to back off an opponent. They grappled some more standing up. Then Lister kicked and punched a 120-pound hanging bag so hard that the sound of his foot hitting leather echoed through the room and the ceiling shook.
"To me, fighting is like an expression," Lister said. "Some people express themselves through art. Other people express themselves in the ring."
how is any good publicity for the sport gay?
Yeah, the rules are stupid, but Philly has no events at this point so..
does no groundfighting = no strikes on ground?
the rules might be dumb and more sanctioned for the fighters protection but shit thats a good article regarding this sport.
"The two tangled on the mat, and the way they wrapped their arms around each other seemed almost intimate"
lol at exotic dancer.
It was an amateur kickboxing event... similar to that of San Shou last night at a boxing club... a total of 4 matches were held. Only knew 2 fighters and they won. Congrats! Yeah, I guess it is something for Philly.
ttt for at least something happening in Philly
Yea, it's a start and the coverage wasn't bad at all.
"But the Philadelphia fight will not allow ground fighting, Khan said. Elbowing will also be banned. The fights will be shorter than UFC bouts - three 11/2-minute rounds, as opposed to three five-minute rounds. Protective garb not ordinarily used, such as headgear and shin guards, is required"
sounds like a kickboxing smoker rather than "ultimate fighting"
And a poorly done smoker by all accounts......sigh
Here is an internet article title "Fight Club" with a file name of "naked" --