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Articles of 2006

Buddy Turman: Still Fighting, Still Winning

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He didn't achieve his goal of becoming heavyweight champion of the world, but today 73-year-old Buddy Turman is putting up a fight even more impressive than the ones he waged against Archie Moore, Roy Harris and other ranked contenders of the 1950s and '60s.

It's his own personal Battle of the Long Count, and Turman's old friend Jack Dempsey himself—no fan of long counts—would be cheering this one.

In 1999, doctors diagnosed Turman with Stage Four Hepatitis C with significant cirrhosis of the liver, and told him that if he were lucky he would live for one more year.

“I've got news for you,” answered the former heavyweight champion of the Lone Star State. “You've never treated an old goat like me, and I'll go down fighting.”

He has his good days and bad days, says Turman seven years later, but on the whole “I've actually improved since then. That’s one thing about old fighters. A fight’s a fight, and it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s sickness or just another guy. You’d better keep on punching and do what Dempsey used to advise me: ‘Don’t lead with your chin and keep your butt off the canvas.’”

On the phone from Longview, Texas, where he lives with and is cared for by his sister Gayle, Turman sounds exactly like actor Rip Torn (“Defending Your Life,” “Men In Black I & II”), a fellow Texan, in discussing the life and boxing career that took him all over the world, and the interesting people he’s met along the way.

They are also the subject of a book written and published this year by Turman’s younger brother, Joe Garner Turman, called “Buddy: The Life of Texas Boxing Legend Buddy Turman.”

Born on April 12, 1933, in Noonday, Texas, Buddy Turman—who’s gone by the nickname since he was old enough to walk, and was stunned to learn upon entering grade school that his real first name was actually “Reagan”—started working on the family farm when he was four, and after he met the great Dempsey years later and the latter advised him to start chopping wood to build up his arms and shoulders, Turman told him he’d been doing it since he was six. The Turmans listened to Joe Louis fights on the radio in the 1930s, and cheered when Louis—with whom Turman would also later become friends—nuked Max Schmeling in less than a round in their famous 1938 title fight.

At 17, Turman knew he wanted to be a fighter, but in east Texas then there weren’t a lot of opportunities for that. So he joined the U.S. Navy and learned the basics while serving a 16-month hitch. After he returned home, Turman worked in the oil fields and started fighting in the amateurs. He won 20, lost five, and had one draw. Fourteen of Turman’s wins were by KO, thanks to the left hook that was the main weapon in his ring arsenal. “If I didn’t knock ‘em out, I usually didn’t win,” he says. “Clever fighters always gave me trouble, because you don’t hit them too good.” In 1954, he scored the quickest knockout in National AAU Tournament history before bowing out in the semi-finals.

On September 27 of that year, Turman beat Buddy Babcock in four rounds for his first professional win. His manager was Bobby Manziel, a wealthy oilman who wasn’t interested in developing and nurturing his fighter’s skills via the traditional long-and-winding route of preliminary bouts and careful matchmaking. That’s why just one fight and only three months after he beat Babcock, Turman found himself in a Birmingham, Alabama ring with 19-3 Oscar Pharo, fighting 12 rounds for the Southern heavyweight title.

As if that wasn’t unnerving enough for the 20-year-old Turman, Manziel publicly announced beforehand that after Buddy beat Pharo he would try to arrange a match between him and world champion Rocky Marciano.

Pharo’s decision victory ended that pipedream, but a month later, on February 24, 1955, Turman made national headlines when he won a 10-round decision over J.D. “Sporty” Harvey in the first interracial boxing match allowed in Texas. Harvey had gone to court to overturn the ban against fights between blacks and whites. Turman announced his willingness to fight him to help matters along, but it wasn’t just his belief that Jim Crow had no place in boxing that prompted him. “I was a fighter, and I wanted to fight,” he says. “I’d feel like a cheat if I didn’t fight everybody. I wanted to be champion. It was just the right thing.”

(In his book, Joe Garner Turman relates that a few years ago Buddy was playing “Texas Trivial Pursuit” with some relatives and their friends, and cleaned up on the question, “Who were the boxers who fought the first mixed boxing match in Texas?”)

Seven more wins followed quickly (including another one against Harvey), and on November 28 of that year Turman—called “The Golden Boy from Noonday”—met undefeated Roy Harris for the state title. Harris won a 12-round split-decision, and went on to fight Floyd Patterson for the world championship three years later. “Roy was a clever guy, hard to hit,” says Turman. “He couldn’t take a big ol’ punch, but Roy was worthy.”

Over the next three years Turman proved his own worthiness, winning 17 (including a first-round KO over Oscar Pharo) and losing only by decision to veterans Art Swiden (“Probably the cleverest and most knowledgeable fighter I ever fought. You couldn’t hit the son-of-a-gun”) and Donnie Fleeman. In the meantime, his friend Dempsey, whom Turman met through Manziel, was not only touting Buddy as a future heavyweight champion but also, when Hollywood was planning a film biography of the Manassa Mauler in 1956, as the guy to play him. But thanks to legal disruptions caused by Dempsey’s ex-manager, Jack Kearns, plans for the movie were shelved.

Against Big Bob Albright, a huge, strong heavyweight based in Los Angeles, Turman did what so many opponents did with him: “I made a mistake, and you can’t make a mistake with a puncher.” Albright knocked him down three times and the fight at Hollywood Legion Stadium was stopped in round two.

Two months later Albright came to Tyler, Texas for a rematch. Outweighed by 30 pounds, Turman knocked Albright out in the tenth round, and Big Bob spent the night in the hospital for observation.

In his only fight in Madison Square Garden, Turman won an impressive decision over Robert Cleroux of Montreal, the Canadian’s first defeat in 13 bouts. “It was just three weeks after Albright,” says Turman, “and I had my confidence up. And I’m glad I did, because when the bell rang old Cleroux came out punching. I punched with him and got the best of it. After the fight he had a cauliflower right ear, because every time I threw my right he’d duck and I’d hit his ear.”

Cleroux won his next 11 fights, including a decision over George Chuvalo for the Canadian title, and on October 26, 1960, he stopped Turman in a rematch in Montreal. Turman, who hadn’t fought since beating Sonny Moore the previous April, took the fight on a week’s notice. “I hadn’t been in the gym in some while. They wanted to catch me out of condition and get the win back (for Cleroux), and they did. He came out for blood, and I hadn’t prepared.”

Turman insists that the decision he lost a month later to light heavyweight champion Archie Moore in Dallas should’ve gone his way. A visitor to his dressing room after the fight thought so, too. “You beat that old man,” said young Cassius Clay to Buddy. The future Muhammad Ali was then a member of Moore’s entourage.

Archie himself was impressed enough with Turman to invite him to his training camp in San Diego. Buddy went and they became friends. In the spring of ‘61, Moore contacted Turman with a proposal for a rematch in Manila, Philippines. Turman agreed, and left for Manila six days before the scheduled fight. Then Archie sent word from the States that he needed a three-week postponement. Since the heaviest fighters in The Philippines were lightweights Turman got in no sparring in the meantime, and when the fight came off on March 25, 1961, he lost a unanimous decision.

“Archie and I were good friends, but of course he was a very clever guy and I always kind of felt that, being the ‘Old Mongoose,’ he sort of arranged that postponement to make sure I was rusty,” says Turman with a laugh.

Moore himself wasn’t laughing when he told reporters, “Buddy Turman should be rated among the top five heavyweights in the world. I’ve fought most of ‘em, and I know what I’m talking about.”

But a difficult divorce broke Turman’s concentration and momentum. After an eight-month layoff, he was knocked out by Pete Rademacher, the 1956 Olympic champion who fought Floyd Patterson for the world title in his first pro fight a year later.

Moorehad stopped Rademacher in six a month before Turman fought him, and “I figured—wrongly—that if Moore could knock him out in six, I could do it in one,” says Turman. “But he was a better fighter than I thought. After three rounds I was exhausted. He gave me a pretty good beating, and I deserved it. My corner stopped the fight (in round nine). I was so tired I couldn’t walk, hardly.”

After two more fights (including a draw with Scrapiron Johnson), Turman was out of the ring for a year. But not out of the media spotlight. It was 1963, and in late November Turman found himself talking to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the man arrested for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself shot to death two days later on national TV by Dallas strip club owner Jack Ruby.

A boxing fan, Ruby had seen Turman fight a few years earlier and they became good friends. Turman sometimes moonlighted as a manager and “nice bouncer” at Ruby’s club, borrowed money from him, and even stayed at Ruby’s apartment a few times according to the FBI report included in the Warren Commission report on the JFK assassination. He worked in Ruby’s strip club for the first half of ‘63.

“I liked Jack. We got along just fine,” says Turman, adding that at one point he was one of just two people Ruby was said to trust in all of Dallas.

Over the years conspiracy theorists have ascribed all manner of dark political motives for the murder that sent Ruby to prison for the rest of his life, but Turman, who says he was “not surprised at all” by Ruby’s actions, insists that it all boils down to the simple fact that “Jack was emotional, and he really liked Kennedy. They all try to make Jack a villain, but Kennedy was his hero. They all want to conjure up stuff, but he was apolitical.”

After Ruby’s imprisonment Turman was never in contact with him again. “I wrote him letters and sent him money (in jail), but they wouldn’t accept it.”

Turman hit the comeback trail in ‘64. After wins in Utah and Nevada, it took him overseas for the last three years of his boxing career. While training in Los Angeles, he’d become friends with German heavyweight Wilhelm von Homberg, who in the mid-’60s moved back to his homeland and became embroiled in headline-grabbing controversies inside the ring and out. Turman joined him in Germany and they worked each other’s corners in fights all over the country.

Turman loved Germany, and not just because he won all seven of his fights there. “I felt right at home. Germans are down to earth. I liked the people, the food and the frauleins.”

In other European venues, though, the natives weren’t so hospitable. “I never won a fight in Italy,” says Turman, who dropped decisions there to homeboys Piero Tomasoni and Dante Cane, “but it was all questionable.” In Austria, Turman was disqualified after a body punch put Yvon Preberg on the deck. He had Jack Bodell floundering after four rounds of their fight in England, and at the end of the fourth the referee came to his corner and told Turman he was stopping the fight. “It’s about time,” said the American, only to find out that the referee was calling it a TKO for Bodell because Turman had a bloody nose.

“I didn’t care,” he says about all that. “I got paid, and my dream of winning the championship was gone by then.”

After 62 fights, Turman retired in 1967 with a 45-15-2 (32) record.

From what he sees of current boxers, Turman figures he would “do all right” if he were fighting today. “I’d probably be in the Top 10. I was Top 10 material when I was fighting.” He enjoys reminiscing about his friendships with Dempsey, Louis and Rocky Marciano (who, says Turman, “wouldn’t spend a nickel to see an earthquake”), and he and Roy Harris had a reunion recently that was a lot more pleasant than their first meeting. Turman spends time each day reading and trying to maintain his fluency in German.

He’s getting more attention lately thanks to the biography written by his brother Joe, who was a Baptist missionary for 30 years after getting saved at a Billy Graham revival at Madison Square Garden. The book (available at Joe Turman.com) touches lightly on Buddy’s disappointments in life and even his abuse of alcohol and drugs in the ‘60s, but is intended to present its subject in a positive, spiritual light.

The subject says it succeeds in that regard. “After I read it,” says Buddy, “I said, ‘Jesus, what a nice fella!’”

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

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Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to allAfrica.com, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia

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There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9

Featherweight

Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4

Bantamweight

Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10

Flyweight

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1

Minimumweight

Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak

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LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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