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Gumby Column: Big Weekend!

    Wed, 2004-10-20 22:54 — Gumby

    There are lots of events happening in the next few days and no time to waste. Let`s get straight to it, shall we?

    There are lots of events happening in the next few days and no time to waste. Let`s get straight to it, shall we?

    Well, I`ve got one item of business to handle before starting. If you`re in NY, please make sure my boy Sav doesn`t go jumping off any buildings, okay?

    Second bit of business: seems that our attempt to hook up Kim Possible with one of readers is going well beyond expectations. What started off as a bit of a joke may become a regular feature. Who says we don`t love all of you!

    Third bit (came as I was typing this)...check out the Rumble on the Rock commercial and tell me how jacked you are for this card!

    Today (Oct 21st) is the WEC card in Lemoore. Now the WEC never fails to put on an entertaining show, and this one looks like it will be no exception, with a good old fashioned grudge matches, top level talent, and some promising debuts. Let`s start right away with the debut of Nathan Diaz, the younger brother of UFC star Nick Diaz. Some names you`ll recognize on the card are Alex Steibling (who takes on Chael Sonnen), Shonie "Mr International" Carter (who I hope gets the microphone again) and Joe "Diesel" Riggs….Think any words will be exchanged between Riggs and Cesar Gracie`s camp, which is certain to be in force tonight?

    Our good buddy Gabe Ruediger gets to take on Olaf Alfonso for the lightweight title. Now Gabe was slated to fight Olaf at the last event, but both wound up in separate fights. Gabe took on a last second opponent 10 pounds heavier and pulled out the victory, and in the meantime Olaf bloodied and battered Phillip Perez. With champ Gilbert Melendez moving on to ROTR, the WEC decided to set this up as the challenge match. Gabe has his fair share of admirers (and detractors) on the net, where as Olaf has become a fan favorite for his wild style.

    The match all of the central valley has their eyes on however, will be Troy Miller vs Tom Owens. "Who?" you`re undoubtedly asking yourself. Not being from the Central Valley, I was asking myself the same question. But it was Sherdog himself that pointed out with some measure of glee that this would be a match up to watch, as Troy Miller is one of the biggest shit talkers on the internet. (visit www.WEC.tv and check the forums for yourself.) Troy Miller is a Tae Kwon Do Instructor with a series of successful TKD schools in the area. He is making his MMA debut. The highlight videos of Troy show him doing kata and breaking bricks. Tom Owens has a record of 2-0 and represents Tinguha`s Gracie Barra school.

    Here we are ladies and gentlemen! A good old fashioned BJJ vs TKD match taking place inside of a cage!

    Or so we`re led to believe. Whether or not Troy has something else up his sleeve for Tom is anyone`s guess, or does he truly believe he can win using only traditional Martial Arts? It`s going to be a lesson for someone, that`s for sure.

    Then come Friday is the UFC. Alright, this card has been widely panned, but in all fairness, the loss of their main event can hardly be labeled Zuffa`s fault, the undercard shows some very solid match making and the upside (for BJJ fans, anyway) is we get the UFC debut of one of the most talented grapplers on the planet in Travis Lutter, who take on a very dangerous , heavy handed Marvin Eastman (forget what you saw when he fought Belfort, think about the fighter who defeated Quentin Jackson, and made Alex Steibling pay for "I`ll make him my bitch" comment. Lutter of course has trained in striking, and Eastman trains at J-Sect Jiu Jitsu and wrestles, but there is still a gut feeling that if the match stays on the feet it favors Marvin, and if it goes to the ground it favors Lutter.

    At some point this weekend in Japan our very good friend Javi Vazquez is going to take on Caol Uno in a submission grappling match. Javi is of course fresh off a stellar performance at the ADCC North American Trials. While Javi is confident in his abilities Uno is a very wily opponent, and has proven darn near impossible to finish off. I don`t want to reveal Javi`s gameplan to the world, but let`s just say that he`ll be disappointed if he`s not the one to finish the job.

    I really wish I could see this one live. At some point in the not to distant future I will be going to the land of the rising sun to cover a grappling or Jiu Jitsu tournament.

    Then this weekend is the US Open IX in Santa Cruz, one of the premier BJJ events in the country. I say this would a twang of regret however, as the US Open is one of the few competitions I get to participate in with my regular OTM duties (we`re producing the DVD this time around, BTW), and while training for my division I sprained my ankle badly. Sounded like a firecracker going off actually, and what was worse was my training partner Dave "Canada" McCleod gave this look and said it was broken. (BTW, Canada, congrats on the impending fatherhood). Unfortunately Marcos Torregrossa had to withdraw from our division just days before with a bad back, and this leaves just Nick Diaz vs Mike Fowler in the division, a match that would constitute a superfight in most people`s eyes.

    While the brackets haven`t been listed for the black belts, there are some big names competing as well. With last years champ Sapao out due to injury, the lightweight class is going to be a dogfight. Making his West Coast debut will Shawn Williams, who just opened up his school in the LA area. Joining him will be the always dangerous Paulo Guillobel, as well as Frederico Sabbatini and Paulo Gave. The heavyweight bracket is even more intriguing. Rafael Lovato Jr. is undefeated as a black belt thus far (with two victories) and hopes to keep that streak intact. Rafael "Gordhino" Correra will looking to avenge a loss earlier this year to Cassio Werneck. And TT co-founder Eduardo Telles is certainly capable of spoiling everyone`s plans. Walter Vital I haven`t heard of, but doesn`t mean that he`s not dangerous!

    Also, rumor has it that Rickson Gracie himself will be making an appearance at the tournament, as his son Kron Gracie is competing as well! (Someone must have also tipped Rickson that the Coldwater surfing competition is going on in Santa Cruz at the same time as well :)

    That`s a busy weekend for certain! I`ve got to get some sleep to prepare for it all!

    Until then!

    Train hard!
    Fight hard!
    Party Hard

    Gumby
    gumby@onthemat.com

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