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The Independent Weekly sportsbeat
Sportsbeat magazine available in hotels and clubs every Friday
February 26 - March 4, 2010
1. From which country do the
Pohang Steelers come?
2. Where is Cypress Mountain?
3. Who is captain of Australia's
Twenty 20 team?
4. Who broke his leg for the Baby
Reds last Sunday?
5. Who will coach Collingwood
against Adelaide this weekend?
6. In what sport did Australia lose
to England last week for the first
time in 29 years?
7. In soccer, if the ball is thrown
from the touch line into the goal
without being touched -- goal or
8. Which Test cricket team is
number one after the recent
series between India and South
9. Who captains the West Coast
10. Where is Traeger Park?
11. In rugby league, what number
does the five-eighth wear -- 5, 6
12. What was the venue for the
opening V8 race of the season?
13. What is the other name for
the Winter Olympics sport of
14. Name all the EPL teams that
start with the letter 'B'?
15. What race did Star Witness
win last weekend?
16. What race did Scarlet Runner
win last weekend?
17. Which AFL team banked the
biggest profit last financial report?
18. What are the four nicknames
being canvassed by the new
Greater Western Sydney AFL
19. Who were Scott Ninnis's two
assistant coaches at the 36ers
20. Name the eight cricketers
who have won the Allan Border
0-10 Sporting dunce.
11-20 Need more work.
21-30 Strong showing.
31-40 Bright spark.
41-45 Borderline genius.
46+ Sporting guru!
HOME DELIVERY 8224 1600
ONE-POINTERS: 1 - Korea Republic. 2 - Vancouver. 3 - Michael Clarke. 4
- Kristian Sarkies. 5 - Nathan Buckley. TWO-POINTERS: 6 - Netball. 7 - No
goal. 8 - India. 9 - Darren Glass. 10 - Alice Springs. THREE-POINTERS: 11
- Six. 12 - Abu Dhabi. 13 - Tobogganing. 14 - Birmingham City, Blackburn
Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Burnley. 15 - Blue Diamond Stakes.
FOUR-POINTERS: 16 - The Adelaide-Port Lincoln yacht race. 17 - West
Coast. 18 - Giants, Stallions, Rangers and Pride. 19 - Richard Hill and
Liam Flynn. FIVE-POINTER: 20 - Glenn McGrath, Steve Waugh, Matthew
Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Brett Lee and
Two men, covered with blood which
is renewed constantly by an
ever-increasing multitude of cuts,
pound at each other in a cage under
lights. Surrounding them is darkness,
but from the ink come animalistic roars
whenever a fresh hit connects. The only
women in sight are two bikini-clad girls
who periodically walk a lap of the cage
to an accompaniment of wolf-whistles.
This is ultimate fighting, a version
of mixed martial arts. There s no doubt
it s a man s world.
The world s best league -- Ultimate
Fighting Championship (UFC) -- landed
in Australia for the first time last
Sunday on a wave of testosterone. Of
the 18,000-strong, sold-out crowd which
poured into ACER Arena in Sydney that
day, at least 90 per cent were men.
In my block of seats I could see only
one other female; she was clinging to
her boyfriend s arm.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship
(UFC) is obviously hugely popular,
but the height of it is still yet to come
in Australia where it doesn t have the
household-name status it has in many
other countries. Since 1993 mixed
martial arts has been organised into a
professional competition of some kind.
Herb Dean is the world s best
ultimate fighting referee and he s been
there from the beginning.
"At first UFC had very few rules, no
weight classes, no nothing. Then it got
to the point where we had to decide if
we wanted a sport or a spectacle. What
you see today is a sport," he said.
It inspires the same kind of fanati-
cism as pro-wrestling, with many of
the full-grown men in the crowd decked
out head-to-toe in official merchandise.
Unlike pro-wrestling, everything that
happens in the cage is actually real.
The blood, gore and injuries aren t
choreographed and that fact created a
lot of "Helen Lovejoy-type" hysteria as
the athletes touched down in Australia
for the first time.
Dean, although one of the most
involved with the sport, is also one of
its fanatics. To him, ultimate fighting is
a natural progression from all the other
"All sports are a watered down fight.
You re always using your mind and
body to beat somebody. It s just in UFC
you take away the tennis racquet and
use just your mind and body," he said.
The UFC runs a tight ship. Not
only is the music loud and the lights
flashy, but the men are fit and the rules
are well-enforced. Each fighter is
accompanied out to stage by a team of
men who watch his every move to make
sure there s no cheating. The refs know
their game and can stop a fight seconds
before an arm breaks. They make calls
on how much blood is enough and how
much pressure is too much.
"I m pretty serious about my job. It s
almost sacred to me. People s dreams,
aspirations, livelihoods and safety are
in my hands. That s a lot of responsibil-
ity so I m fanatical about doing it right,"
The rules have worked. The worst
injury sustained so far in UFC is a
Last Sunday s matches saw
everything from small, nimble men
battling it out in full-distance battles to
enormous fighters knocking each other
out within minutes through sheer force.
No matter what variation of UFC
was in front of them, the Australian
crowd lapped it up. As fights were
stopped the arena filled with boos and
as Australian fighters gained advantage
the old faithful chants -- "C mon, Aussie,
c mon" and "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi!
Oi! Oi!" -- were screamed.
"I was very happy with the crowd in
Australia. The energy, enthusiasm and
welcome was like nothing we ve ever
seen," said Dean.
An unusually large number of
Australian fighters took to the octagon,
and they kept the punters engaged. But
they certainly weren t there to simply
fill the numbers -- they held their own.
Lightweight George Sotiropoulous
from Victoria had arguably the bout
of the night against UFC veteran
Joe Stevenson. The two went the full
distance of each round in a fierce and
evenly matched exhibition, which
proved UFC could be about skill and
tactics, not just brute force.
The headline fight between up-and-
coming legend Cain Velasquez and
bonafide UFC great Antonio Rodrigo
Nogueria was the opposite, but just as
thrilling. Velasquez levelled the old-
time fighting favourite with one swift
punch within two and a half minutes.
No matter who was hitting who or
how, or even how much blood washed
over the ring, every fighter was
professional. These men aren t boxers
who hold pre-bout press conferences to
hurl petty insults. They re not wrestlers
who want to be famous. They re guys
who want to test their fighting skills
against the best.
"They re great guys we have in
our sport. We have really interesting
athletes," Dean said.
"They re from all over the world.
Lots of them are university educated.
A lot of them have done well at sports
in college and then come into mixed-
When the match is called these men
pick each other up off the ground, hug
each other and shake hands before
walking off to wipe away each other s
UFC is a man s world, but those men
A man's world
(top) made short
work of Antonio
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