2006 Arnold Classic - Friday Night Fights Competitor Biographies.

The 2006 Arnold weekend is going to be the biggest ever. This year, we have Friday Night Fights! Check out the competitor biographies here...
The 2006 Arnold weekend is going to be the biggest ever. This year, we have Friday Night Fights! Check out the competitor biographies here...

spacer
TEAM HAMMER HOUSE VS. TEAM GRACIE
Gracie Fighting Championships, Friday Night Fights
spacer

arrow CAPTAINS

Mark "The Hammer" Coleman

    Record: 14-7
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: 6-1
    Weight: 245
    Age: 41
    Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
    Style: Wrestling

"The Hammer" Pounds Opponents: The leader of Team Hammer House, Coleman has been recognized as one of the world's best MMA fighters since he burst onto the scene in 1996 by winning UFC 10 and UFC 11 ... Nicknamed "The Hammer" ... Was crowned UFC Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Dan Severn at UFC 12 ... Was a two-time Mid-American Conference wrestling champion at the Miami University ... Transferred to Ohio State University as a senior and won an NCAA championship ... Placed seventh in the 1992 Summer Olympics ... Defeated Kurt Angle in an amateur tournament in 1995.

Relson Gracie

    Team: Team Gracie
    Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A Family Legacy: The leader of Team Gracie and the second oldest son of Helio Gracie, Relson Gracie moved to Hawaii in 1988. He began learning jiu-jitsu at 2 and entered his first competition at the tender age of 10. He was the Brazilian National Champion for 22 straight years during which he went undefeated. He became so popular that he attained the nickname "Campeao" or "Champion" among his friends and fans. Upon his arrival in Honolulu, he introduced the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the Aloha State. He is retired from fighting and continues to teach in Hawaii.

spacer
arrow WES SIMS VS. DANIEL GRACIE
spacer

Heavyweights

Wes "The Project" Sims

    Record: 10-7
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 255 pounds
    Age: 26
    Hometown: Lancaster, Ohio
    Style: Ground & Pound

"The Project" Is a Rising Star: A rising star with Team Hammer House, Sims is coming into form as a mixed martial arts fighter. A native of Amanda, Ohio, Sims has appeared in several UFC events including memorable matches against Frank Mir in UFC 43 and UFC 46. He is coming off dominating wins in his last two fights, including a TKO of Dustin Sutton at HHCF 22 Rumble at the Rodeo. Sims entered the MMA world under the guidance of former Ohio State All-American wrestlers Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman. Nicknamed "The Project," he made his MMA debut in June 2001 with a decision over Dan Severn at Reality Superfighting 2. Played basketball in high school and at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati.

Daniel Gracie

    Record: 3-1-0
    Team: Gracie
    Height: 6-2
    Weight: 225
    Age: 33
    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Style: Gracie Jiu-jitsu

Future Gracie Heavy Weight Champ? -- Daniel is a rising star from the world famous Gracie fighting family, a cousin of Renzo, Ryan and Ralph. He trains under Carlos Gracie Jr. Daniel possesses a devastating ground game, and has become a distinguished striker. He is the only heavyweight in the Gracie family and so their only chance for a heavyweight title. Career Highlights: Win vs. Wataru Sakata by Submission (Armbar) at Pride Shockwave, 12/31/2003 in round 1, 7:12; Loss vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura by Decision (Unanimous) at Pride Bushido, 10/5/2003 in round 2, 5:00; Win vs. Shinsuke Nakamura by Submission (Armlock) at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye, 12/31/2002 in round 2, 2:14; Win vs. Takashi Sugiura by Decision (Split) at Pride 21, 6/23/2002 in round 3, 5:00.

spacer
arrow DUSTIN HAZLETT VS. RHALAN GRACIE
spacer

Middleweights

Dustin Hazlett

    Record: 2-2
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: 5-9
    Weight: 170
    Age: 19
    Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
    Style: Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Ohio Teen Coming on Strong: Rising star who made his debut with a win over Justin Hons in King of the Cage-Dayton in October 2004 ... Competed in the Freestyle Fighting Championships 16 in September 2005, where he beat John Shakleford with a chokehold before losing to Derek Keasley in a decision ... a student at Marshall University ... Also affiliated with Team Jorge Gurgel, who operates a Brazilian jiu-jitsu school in Middletown, Ohio.

Rhalan Gracie

    Record: 0-0-0
    Team: Gracie
    Height: 6-3
    Weight: 180
    Age: 18
    Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
    Style: Gracie Jiu-jitsu

3rd Generation Gracie Makes Pro Debut: Rhalan is making his professional MMA debut. A third generation Gracie, he was made for fighting. With long arms and large hands he is certain to have a serpent like grasp on his victims. Rhalan has trained with father Relson Gracie his entire life. A Gracie Jiu-jitsu purist, he is expected not to throw any strikes. This would make Relson very proud. He has won almost every amateur Jiu-jitsu tournament he has entered and all by submission. Rhalan is the 2004 Pan American Juvenile Champion, 2003 and 2004 Gracie Worlds Submission Champion, Maui Open Champion to name a few.

spacer
arrow MATT LINDLAND VS. FABIO LEOPOLDO
spacer

Middleweights

Matt "The Law" Lindland

    Record: 16-3
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: 6-0
    Weight: 185
    Age: 35
    Hometown: Oregon City, OR
    Style: Wrestling

#1 Middleweight Contender on a 5-Fight winning streak: The No. 1 middleweight contender in UFC ... took down Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Travis Lutter in a UFC bout in April ... won a silver medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics ... wrestled at the University of Nebraska-Omaha ... founder of Team Quest ... A Greco-Roman wrestler as an amateur …. Has won his last five fights, including a decision over Joe Doerksen at UFC 54-Boiling Point in August 2005.

Fabio Leopoldo

    Record: 2-0-0
    Team: Gracie
    Height: 6-0
    Weight: 205
    Age: 28
    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Style: Gracie Jiu-jitsu

11-Time the Jiu-jitsu Champion: Fabio has trained under Renzo Gracie, and Carlos Gracie Jr. His titles include: 3 time World Jiu-jitsu Champion, 5 time Brazilian Jiu-jitsu National Champion, and 3 time Pan-American Jiu-jitsu Champion. His highlights include: Win vs. Yuki Sasaki by Decision (Unanimous) at Pancrase: 2004 Neo-Blood Tournament, 7/25/2004 in round 3, 5:00; Win vs. Brendan Seguin by TKO (doctor stoppage from a cut) at Eruption 1, 4/30/2004 in round 1, 0:43.

spacer
arrow MIKE PYLE VS. FABRICIO CAMES
spacer

Middleweights

Mike Pyle

    Record: 10-2-1
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: NA
    Weight: 170
    Age: 30
    Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
    Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Pyle Goes for Eight Wins in a Row: Mike who uses the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style will use his quick grappling skills for the Hammer House team in the Arnold Friday Night Fights. After turning pro in 2002 "the stud" lost only one fight by submission and endured one draw in the M-1 MFS-Russia vs. the World 5 (round 1, 10:00). His highlights include: Win vs. Shonie Carter by Submission (Triangle Choke) WEC 18-Unfinished Business, 1/13/2006; Win vs. Bret Bergmark by Submission (Triangle Choke) WEC 17-Halloween Fury 4, 10/14/2005; Win vs. Tony Sanza by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) SF 12-Breakout, 9/16/2005; Win vs. Damian Hatch by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) SF 10-Mayhem, 5/28/2005.

Fabricio "Morango" Cames

    Record: 3-3
    Team: Gracie
    Height: NA
    Weight: 176
    Age: NA
    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Fighting Uphill to Win Consistently: Fabricio "Morango" Cames will bring his all-time best to this fight as he struggles to tip his balanced 3-3 record into the winner column. His three wins since his pro debut in 2000, include a TKO against Wagner Tulio, a submission against Marcello Rodrigues and a decision against Vitelmo Kubis Bandeira. His three losses, all by submission were to Luis Azeredo, Luis Besoura Jr. and Graison Tibau.

spacer
arrow FORREST PETZ VS. DANIEL MORAES
spacer

Welterweights

Forrest Petz

    Record: 9-2
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: 5-9
    Weight: 170
    Age: 29
    Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
    Style: Boxing

A "Toughman" Fights His Way into MMA: A Pets also is affiliated with the Strong Style Fight Team and a veteran of Toughman boxing competitions. He has defeated UFC veterans Adrian Serrano and Charles Bennett, as well sas Butch Hajcek, Rhomer Brower, Mike O'Donnell, Leo Sylvest, Joe Thomas, Tierre Hall and Chad Roark. His only two losses were to Josh Neer and Jake Short. Petz is an up and coming star who wants to make his mark with a win in Columbus March 3.

Daniel Moraes

    Record: NA
    Team: Gracie
    Height: 5-7
    Weight: 170
    Age: 23
    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Gracie Prodigy Comes of Age: Daniel started training with Royler Gracie at the age of 15, and continues to train with Marcelo Clemente, earning black belts from both Gracie and Clemente. He is a 4-time World Jiu-jitsu Champion, and winner of the no gi competition at the Gracie Worlds competition during the Arnold Fitness Weekend. Fighters he has bested as an amateur include Marcelo Garcia, Fernando Terere, Johil de Oliveira, Marcio Fetozia, Rodrigo Magalhaes, Edson Diniz, and Alberto Crane.

spacer
arrow JON KOPPENHAVER VS. MICHAEL O’DONNELL
spacer

Welterweights

Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver

    Record: 3-0
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: NA
    Weight: 170
    Age: 23
    Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
    Style: Wrestling

Former Wrestler Grapples With Success: The "War Machine" also is affiliated with Gamebred. His three career wins were in Total Combat competitions, Angel Santibanes (TKO), Frank Duffy, (submission-rear naked choke) and Andrew Ramirez (TKO). Koppenhaver was a high school wrestling star in Southern California.

Michael O'Donnell

    Record: 15-2
    Team: Gracie
    Height: 5-9
    Weight: 170
    Age: 31
    Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
    Style: MMA

The Submission Specialist: Michael started his martial arts training in 1985 at age 10 in Chinese Martial arts then Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in 1994. Michael wins most of his fights by submission. He has trained with some of the best in the world. His trainers have included: Darrin Van Horn (Boxing) John Dufresne (Kickboxing, Kung Fu) Carlos Gracie Jr. (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu) Brian Ray (Strength and Conditioning) and Team 4-S where he is a top instructor (MMA). His highlights include: Lose vs. Forrest Petz by TKO (stoppage from strikes) at King of the Cage 34, 2/28/2004; Won his first match at Arnold Classic Submission Championships in 2003 and was submitted by Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro in the second match; Win vs. Ryan Stout by Submission (Triangle Choke) at Extreme Combat Challenge, 11/23/2002; Won 3 fights by Submission at Extreme Combat Challenge, 11/23/2002, all under 1:00; Ruff Man Welter Weight Tournament Champion 2001, won all 5 matches by submission. He holds a 40-5 grappling record.

spacer
arrow MICHAEL FRENCH VS. FREDSON PAIXAO
spacer

Welterweights

Michael French

    Record: 5-5
    Team: Hammer House
    Height: 5-10
    Weight: 145
    Age: 30

Trying to Win Consistently: Mike French comes to Columbus determined to start his first win streak, having never won two fights in a row. Since his pro debut in 2002 he has defeated Michael Cardoso, Fernando Rodriguez, George James, Dan Swift and Tristan Yunker., tweo by Kos and three by submissions. His five losses were to Kyle Jensen, Jake Hattan, Ivan Menjivar, Hirotaka Miyakawa, Miguel Angelo Torres, one by KO and four submissions. He also is affiliated with Team Extreme.

Fredson Paixao

    Record: 5-1
    Team: Team Gracie
    Height: 5-6
    Weight: 145
    Age: 36
    Hometown: NA
    Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A Gracie Disciple: Fredson Paixao is a black belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor who was trained by Oswaldo Alves, a student of Relson Gracie. Four of his six professional fights have come in the Jungle Fight series. Paixao scored a KO over Andre Rodriguez, submission wins over Jean Robert and Miljan Djurasinovic, and decision victories over Rani Yakhira and Fabio Mello. He was defeated by Yoshiro Maedo in a unanimous decision.

spacer
arrow VITOR RIBEIRO VS. CHRIS BRENNAN
spacer

Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro

    Record: 13-1
    Team: Nova Uniao
    Height: 5-8
    Weight: 155
    Age: NA
    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Style: Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu

#1 in Columbus and the World: Ranked #1 in the world in his weight class, Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro is a four-time winner in the Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and a three-time winner in the World Gracie Submission Championships during the annual Arnold Martial Arts Festival in Columbus, Ohio. A Muay Thai fighter as a teen, Ribeiro concentrated on grappling for years to become the dynamic and versatile fighter he is today. He is determined to maintain his # 1 ranking by winning every belt and title in the world in his weight class, starting with the March 3, 2006 Gracie Fighting Championship. His highlights include: Win vs. Jean Silva by submission (arm triangle) at CR-13 No Fear, 9/10/2005; Win vs Gerald Strebendt by submission (guillotine choke), at CR-12 The Real Deal, 7/2/2005; Win vs. Tetsuji Kato by submission (arm triangle choke), At Rumble on the Rock 7, 5/17/2005; Loss vs. Tatsuji Kawajiri by TKO (punches), at Shooto 2004 Year-End Show, 12/14/2004; Win vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida by decision, at Shooto Hawaii, Soldja Fight Night. 7/9/2004

Chris "The Westside Strangler" Brennan

    Record: 18-10-1
    Team: Next Generation
    Height: 5-8
    Weight: 155
    Age: 35
    Hometown: Mission Viejo, California
    Style: Brazilian jiu-jitsu

1st American to represent Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Brazil: One of the best welter weights in the world, Chris Brennan started his training in 1993; after seeing a skinny little guy by the name of Royce Gracie dominate his bigger opponents in the UFC. He had to learn what Gracie was doing that made him so effective. He trained with Gracie in Brazil at the Gracie Academy and was 1st American to represent Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Brazil. Since then he has trained with some of the best fighters and trainers in the world including: Roger Brooking, Jacare, Ken Gabrielson, Marco Ruas, Frank Shamrock, Todd Medina, Bill "The Mongoose" Holland, Javier Vasquez, Tony Galindo, and Pete Spratt. He has fought in the most prestigious events all over the world including: The Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride, Shooto Japan, King of the Cage, Extreme Challenge, among many others. His highlights include: 3X King of the Cage Champion, a 2X UFC veteran, Extreme Challenge Superfight Champion, Gladiator Challenge Superfight Champion, Reality Superfights Champion, and the Adrenaline Fighting Championships World Champion.

spacer
arrow ALEXANDAR USTINOV VS. DAN BOBISH
spacer

Alexandar Ustinov

    Record: 14-4
    Team: NA
    Height: 6-4
    Weight: 268
    Age: 29
    Hometown: Russia
    Style: Kickboxing

Kicking His Way to Victory: A K-1 veteran, Ustinov has 11 career knockouts. He is 2X European Thai boxing (Muay Thai) champion among amateurs in 2002 & 2003, World champion among amateurs in 2003, European Pro Thai boxing champion in 2004 & 2005, World Pro champion in 2005. In K-1 Tournaments, Alexander won: 2003-2005 (Eastern Europe), Spain-2004, Italy-2005, and Netherlands-2005.

Dan "The Bull" Bobish

    Record: 11-7
    Team: Team Hammer House
    Height: 6-1
    Weight: 330
    Age: 35
    Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
    Style: Wrestling/Judo/Jiu-Jitsu

Wrestler Inspired To Turn Fighter: Bobish is a 3-time All American wrestler who was NCAA Division 3 champion while a student at Mount Union College in 1992. While working as a bouncer, Bobish saw the legendary Dan Severn fight, and started competing shortly after. Last win came at King Of The Cage with a 21-second submission of Joey Smith. Other wins were over Ruben Villareal, Basil Castro, Mike Kyle, Eric Pele, Brett Hogg, Brian Johnston, Jucimar Hypolito, Joe Charles, Dave Beneteau and Mauro Bernardo. He has been defeated by Mark Hunt, Igor Vovchanchyn, Gary Goodridge, Jimmy Ambriz, Mrk Kerr, Carlos Barreto, and Kevin Randleman.

spacer
arrow CARTER WILLIAMS VS. GARY TURNER
spacer

Carter â€Å"Beastâ€Â� Williams

    Record: 13-6
    Height: 6-2
    Weight: 230
    Age: 25
    Hometown: Modesto, CA
    Style: Wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu

A Striking Force: A K-1 USA champion kickboxer who uses the Muay Thai style, Carter Williams has kicked, kneed, elbowed and punched his way to 13 wins, 10 by knockouts and 3 by decision. Muay Thai is often referred to as "The Science of the Eight Limbs", since it utilizes a steady barrage of strikes using the hands, feet, elbows and knees. Williams is coming off a cold streak where he lost four of his last five fights, following an 11-fight winning streak. He is back, and prepared to win again. Highlights include: Loss vs. Peter Aerts, by unanimous decision, at K-1-K-1 World Cup, 3/19/2005; Loss vs. Brecht Wallis, by KO, aay K-1 Battle at the Bellagio, 8/7/200; Win vs. Petr Vandrachek, by TKO, K-1 Nagoya Grand Prix, 6/6/2004; Loss vs Mighty Mo, by TKO, atK-1 Battle at the Bellagio, 4/30/2004; Loss vs. Alexey Ignashov, by KO, K-1 Saitama 2004, 3/27/2004

Gary "Smiler" Turner

    Record: 38-25-11
    Height: 6-0
    Weight: 220
    Age: 34
    Hometown: England
    Style: Kickboxing

Smiling His Way to Victory: A versatile fighter with training in Judo, Traditional Ju-jitsu, Lau Gar Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Sport Ju-jitsu, Thai Boxing, Boxing. Has grades of Black Belt 2nd Degree; Kickboxing, 1st Dan; Judo, 1st Dan ju-jitsu. Turner has a career record of 11-6 in 10 K-1 fights, with victories over Tyrone Herod, Rob Lloyd, Kenny Gayle, Gordon Minors, Turk Kucukulan, Daniel Perez, Steve Jones, Jamie Zikic, Nick Shepherd, Topie Kelm and Wisam Feely. His five losses include two to Bjorn Bregy, and Matt Shelton, Mark Russell, and Alexander Ustinov.

spacer
arrow STEVE CONKEL VS. BRION PEOPLES
spacer

Steve Conkel

    Record: 9-3
    Age: 34
    Hometown: Amanda, OH
    Style: Wrestling

Columbus police officer to take spotlight: Columbus police officer Stephen Conkel, who has fought in 12 professional mixed martial arts events in a variety of small venues, will take his career to new heights when he fights in Nationwide Arena during the Gracie Fighting Championships on March 3. Conkel will take part in the under card of the Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House mixed martial arts showdown at Nationwide Arena. "It is going to be the biggest place that I have ever competed, so it is very exciting," said Conkel. "I am really looking forward to the challenge."

Brion Peoples

    Height: 6-0
    Weight: 265
    Age: 29
    Hometown: Chillicothe, Ohio
    Style: Wrestling

Former Marine turns to MMA: Peoples is a former free style and Greco Roman wrestler for Chillicothe High School who always loved to compete. He wrestled in the USMC and was on the base team. When stationed in Japan with the USMC he studied jiu-jitsu and submission fighting for a year. From Japan he moved to California where he studied in San Diego with Joe Moreira, a former original Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter. From Joe he learned how to fight from the ground. Following that he moved to Lancaster, PA. There he studied under Scott Sonnon, the 1st American to be given the Master of Sport title in Sambo, the soviet military style of fighting. When training for a fight Brion likes to review fight tapes, analyzing his strengths and plan his strategy and mentally prepare.

spacer
arrow PATRICK HORNER VS. PHIL CARDELLA
spacer

Patrick Horner

    Record: 4-0
    Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brash Newcomer is Undefeated: Patrick Horner made is pro debut in July, 2003 and has won all four fights since then, all of them by submission. He has defeated Seth Wetzel, Mark Miller, Richy Karst and Todd Seyler, the most recent being at the Brawl at the Buckeye, February 10, 2006.

Phil Cardella

    Record: 5-2
    Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Gracie instructor remains competitive: A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor who is a student of Relson Gracie. … Is the lead instructor at the Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Austin, Texas. He started Martial Arts at age 12. He first achieved rank in Tae kwon do & Hapkido. Shortly after he started training in Shodo Kan Karate, Akido, Ryku Kenpo, Dillman theory pressure points, Small circle Jiu-Jitsu, Hapkido, Thai boxing, Jeet Kun Do, Kali, and whatever else he could. He started competing while in the Marine Corps. He also met Master Relson Gracie while in the Marines & has been a part of his competition team since 1997. He has been lucky enough to train with some of the best fighters in the World & at some of the best schools on the planet. He is currently the only Martial Artist/ fighter to train APD's learned skills Instructors. He is a full time fighter & Martial Artist. He feels the best way to judge his skill is to look at the achievements of his students in tournaments. He is still an active competitor in order to battle test techniques & strive to find the most effective, current & usable techniques.