UFC 32 Louder than a Bomb!
'Expect an early fourth of July, there's going to be a lot of fireworks!' said Din Thomas at the pre-fight press conference and boy was he right. UFC 32 Locked and Loaded was the most exciting UFC to date with only one fight going the distance the fireworks were really flying. Zuffa continuing with their professionalism of Mixed Martial Arts, the UFC press conference was held at the ESPN Zone in midtown Manhattan. Fighter introductions were made along with the kick off of the new UFC branding campaign featuring the beautiful Carmen Electra. Carmen drew a lot attention, she spoke about her love of the Martial Arts and her Tie Bo experience story drew unexpected laughs from the crowd. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy and current UFC Light Heavy Weight Champion, Tito Ortiz stepped up to the microphone with his usual repertoire of hype 'Come Friday you guys are going to see some explosions, and it may be some explosions from fireworks but also from my hands. I feel sorry for this guy (Elvis) because he's going to be taking a little nap. ' Tito is molding himself in to a very marketable character for the world of mixed martial arts providing some attitude and creating a little drama. Light Heavy Weight Challenger Elvis Sinosic spoke with a lot less WWF flair just giving thanks to Zuffa, the fans and press. Elvis is a down to earth, a people's fighter; he spoke kindly and was confident about his preparation for the title match. Surprisingly the co-main event this time featured a light weight non- title match between BJ 'The Prodigy' Penn and Din 'The Dominator' Thomas this was Penn's second UFC appearance and Thomas's UFC debut. Dana White, UFC President introduced the two fighters commenting that after BJ Penn's last appearance the UFC was flooded with e-mails demanding that Penn never fight in a prelim match again. Din and BJ both were drawing as much attention as the main event if not more. Unprepared perhaps for the attention both seemed a little shy and it seemed they were going let their performances do the talking. There was a lot of speculations on the whether the UFC would have the draw to fill the Meadowlands 13,000 seats, however when the doors open early Friday night it was obvious that the house was going to be packed. There was a little bit of Chaos in the air 11,492 fans tore at the UFC and TapouT merchandise. Seats were filling, the excitement was building and the event began with a huge thunder of explosions and fireworks. UFC 32 building on the last event brought back some of the top fighters from UFC 31; in the Middle Weight Division Shonie 'Mr. International' Carter returns after a three round battle with Matt Serra to face former Champion Pat ' The Croation Sensation' Miletich, Pat returning after a devastating lost to Carlos Newton. Also in the Middle Weight Division saw the return of Tony 'Filthy' DeSouza after a very close prelim match against Steve Berger in UFC 31 he now faced a UFC new comer Paul Rodriguez from San Antonio, Texas. The Heavy Weight Division featured two matches Josh ' The Baby Faced Assassin' returned to the UFC to face the giant six foot ten inch, Semmy Schilt, who returns after a very impressive win against Pete Williams. Pride veteran , Ricco 'Pretty Boy' Rodriguez would make his UFC debut fighting against Adrei Arlovski in a prelim match. The Light Heavy Weight Division brought a lot of hype to the card with RAW Team member Vladimir 'The Janitor' Matyushenko making his UFC debut against veteran Japanese fighter Yuki Kondo. The Light Weight Division is stacked in the UFC right now and hopefully the UFC is building all of the other divisions to feature as much talent as this one. Caol 'Uno Shoten' Uno returns to the UFC for the second time. Many fans feel it is only a matter of time before Uno steps up to take the UFC Light Weight Belt. Uno was set to face no easy match Fabiano 'The King of Armbars' Iha. Fabiano is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt with a reputation for pull out great submissions from any position. Also in the Light Weight Division we saw the return of BJ 'The Prodigy' Penn. Penn just off his very impressive win against Wrestler Joey Gilbert steps in to the Octagon with more anticipation from the fans than any other fighter to enter the UFC since Royce Gracie. Penn would face a very experienced reigning WEF Champion Din 'The Dominator' Thomas. This was Din's UFC debut but he is no stranger to the octagon, sporting a 13 -1 record Din has already submitted UFC Light Weight Champion Jens Pulver in a prior WEF match. This match was moved to the co-main event because of all the attention these two talented new fighters were drawing. The Light Heavy Weight Championship title was on the line. The UFC had to look long and hard to find a challenger for the champ Tito Ortiz their search brought them to Australian Elivs 'King of Rock 'n Rumble' Sinosic. Sinosic was a last minute replacement in a recent match against the very experienced Jeremy Horn. As the underdog Sinosic impressed fans and UFC matchmakers by quickly submitting Horn in less than three minutes. His impressive skills earned him a shot at the Champ's belt. The prelim matches started out fast and furious as Tony DeSouza (6', 169 lbs.) avoided a shot from Paul Rodriguez (5' 7', 160 lbs) and set up a guillotine choke. Rodriguez attempted to defend the choke by standing up. DeSouza held tight and torqued the choke tighter while standing with two minutes Rodriguez was submitted. The second prelim match almost went the distance Ricco Rodriguez was having trouble finishing Andrei Arlovski and was catching some leather while standing. Arlovski avoided Rodriguez takedowns and escaped from his submission attempts till the third round when Rodriguez mounted Arlovski. The match ended by ref stoppage late in the third round. As the blasts from the pyrotechnics cooled the octagon started heating up. The main event was on and the crowd was rowdy and anxious from a surprise visit from Tank Abbot. Tank swaggered down the isle to his VIP seat to the chants of 'Tank, Tank, Tank!' He tore his shirt off and riled the crowd in to a furious frenzy yelling 'We want Tank!' It would be great to see Tank back in the UFC it was obvious that the fans love him, maybe this was a little Zuffa foreshadowing, WWF style. The first fight of the main card would be a test to see if the wrester, Vladimir Matyushenko (6', 200 Lbs.) would be able to dodge the flying knees of Yuki Kondo (5'11', 194 lbs.). Both fighters fought a very intelligent fight, Matyushenko was able to take Kondo down with ease however once down Kondo was keeping busy and Matyushenko was able to do much damage till the third round. The third round started out with a bang Matyushenko came out with a huge kick to Kondo's chest knocking him to the ground. Matyushenko took position in side control the rest of round he out wrestled but didn't punish Kondo. The fight ended in a judge's unanimous decision for Matyushenko. The next match was an international grapplers face off between Fabiano Iha (5' 8', 154 lbs.) and Caol Uno (5'7', 155 lbs.), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu vs Japanese Wrestling. The match started with both fighters feeling each other out then after a few quick flurries Uno got a double takedown. Iha had an armlock attempt but Uno wasn't threatened. The fight moved back to their feet where Iha was dominating with kicks and right hands. Uno was able to get under the punches and took Iha down with a single. Back in the guard Iha worked towards a submission but Uno let his hands fly and knocked Iha out in the guard. This match looked like it was going to be a grappling match but Iha demonstrated he had been working stand up skills but Uno's ground and pound game was stronger. The former Champ Pat Miletich (5'10', 169 lbs.) stomped in to the octagon to face Shonie Carter. (5'9', 169 lbs.), Miletich has been publicly upset over his loss to Carlos Newton and I was obvious that he was ready for revenge. The fight started with Carter coming strong with his stand up. Miletich remained calm, clinched and threw Carter to the ground. Miletich quickly took the mount with just over two minutes from there Miletich controlled the rest of the round not doing any damage, but he did manage to stay on top. The second round started with Carter determined to keep the fight standing which was fine for Miletich. Miletich started finding his range and setting up hand and kick combinations. Then finally with barley two minutes left in the round Miletich faked a big right hand and followed up with a kick to the back of Carter's head knocking out. All thought Miletich wasn't that impressive on the ground he pushed his standing game switching back and forth from soft-paw finding an opening knocking Carter out. The next match pitted the two Pancrasion giants of the card Josh Barnett (6'3', 250 lbs.) vs. Semmy Schilt (6'10', 256 lbs.). Barnett using his wrestling background was easily able to take the six foot ten inch Schilt. Once on the ground Barnett quickly passed guard and work knee on the stomach dropping in some hands and elbows. Barnett took the mount over powering Schilts using elbow strikes, with a little more than a minute left Schilt then reversed Barnett to the guard. Schilts never had a chance to start punching because Barnett was already working for an armlock submission. Schilts escaped the first armlock but Barnett stuck with the second one until Schilts finally tapped out. Barnett was able to take Schilts to the mat, controlling and grappling so Schilts was never able to utilize his strengths. The co-main event was being titled The Fans Fight and the fans were on their feet in near mayhem for this match. BJ 'The Prodigy' Penn (5' 9', 154 lbs.) vs. Din 'The Dominator' Thomas (5' 9', 154 lbs.) was the fight of the night. Penn came out quick trying to take Thomas down but Thomas fended off his attempts and put Penn on his back in the guard. Penn looked completely comfortable in his guard attempting an omoplata on Thomas showing his incredible flexibility. Thomas defended the shoulder lock and used his long reach to nail Penn a few time solidly in the head. Thomas's blows seemed to awaken Penn, he jumped up to his feet for some stand up action. On his way in Penn blocked a right hand and dodged a big left while landing a powerful knock-out knee. Thomas hit the mat hard and Penn used his speed to land four more shots to Thomas's head before referee Big John could separate the fighters. Thomas made his UFC debut with a two-year winning streak and a wealth of No Holds Barded experience but it proved to not be enough Penn was the better fighter. Zuffa brought their golden boys out with extravagant flair worthy of any rock star. Elvis 'The King of Rock and Rumble' Sinosic (6'3', 199lbs.) sat atop his golden thrown with fireworks flying everywhere, the music blared, 'I'm the king of Rock and Roll!' Clearly from all the excitement there were a lot of underdog fans in the crowd. Then the arena went dark and Tito 'The Huntington Beach Bad Boy' Ortiz's (6'2', 200lbs.) intro started with a blast of flames and an explosion of Limp Biscuit's 'It's just one of those days'. The crowd roared through meadowlands; the flames grew to over thirty feet high and Tito strolled to the Octagon. The excitement didn't end there. Tito's confidence showed, he was heavily favored in this match. Tito quickly clinched with Elvis and began unloading knees. The fighters broke and Elvis landed a good right hand and a good kick to the head. Tito used the opportunity to take Elvis down. In the guard Tito pressed Elvis in the fence where he pounded Elvis with his fists and with heavy elbows. Elivs was cut bad and with blood in his eyes referee Big John ended the fight with a TKO for Tito. Elvis seemed unable to work his submission game, Tito's tactics proved unstoppable again with another short seemingly easy match. The crowd dispersed and the press conference was held right away. Dana White was quick to announce BJ Penn the Light Weight Division winner. Penn thanked his fans, family and friends finishing with a promise 'I hope you guys enjoyed my fight because you're going to see a lot more fights that look like that.' The title fight contender Elvis Sinosic praised Tito, Zuffa and thanked his fans. 'I'm sorry I didn't put up a better fight, I got haft my training right. I gave it my best shot but Tito's the man.' Dana White introduced the Champ as 'The man they were having trouble finding opponents for, Tito Ortiz.' Tito is a great Champion and has become a true star for MMA including a Celebrity entourage staring Fred Durst of Limp Biscut and Dennis Rodmen. Tito was respectful of his opponent and thankful to all. 'I set a goal to be the best Mixed Martial Artist to grace the octagon. Frank Shamrock is the one who gave me that desire' to be the best.' Tito was asked since it is so difficult to find him opponents if he planned on moving up to the heavy weight division 'No, I want Belford, Victor Belford I want to prove he can be stomped and that's what I'm going to do!' We hope Tito gets his chance and with the UFC growing this fast he will most likely get his chance.