Utah Martial Arts Feeds
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Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Hancock and Marky Mark; these are but a few names that belong to the immortal super team only known as “The Founding Fathers”. We don’t know exactly where they came from, but we do know that without them there would be no Declaration of Independence, The Constitution or “Feel the Vibration”, Americas original National Anthem before George Washington announced the inability to feel it.
Here in Utah we do happen to have our own version of the “Founding Fathers” in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. This is one of many interviews that we will be conducting with those who helped establish this sport in the Bee Hive State. I bring to you…The Founding Fathers of Fight.
Mike Stidham has been part of the Mixed Martial Arts scene since the beginning. A retired Sheriff and former Kickboxing champ, Mike Stidham created “The Ultimate Combat Experience”… with his bare hands. We here at FightingOutOf.Net sat down with Mike (basically facebooked him) and asked him some questions.
FOO (Fighting Out Of): You were the originator of the first ever Mixed Martial Arts promotion in the state of Utah. Were there any difficulties you encountered when on the seventh day you said “Let there be fight”?
MIKE: As you can imagine starting a fight show in Utah was not easy. There was a lot of ignorance to overcome. The only thing I can compare it to is the Gay Pride parade. I actually attended it this last week. I was amazed at how big it has gotten. There is a large gay community in Utah although nobody wants to admit it exists, and certainly doesn’t want to be known as supporting them. That is exactly how MMA was received in the beginning.
FOO: A lot of fighters from this state started from the UCE. Is there one you’re practically proud of?
MIKE: I’m proud of all of them. Even those who think they are too big to appreciate where they came from. They have all taken the paths they felt was best for them. For that, I applaud them, and hope they found happiness in MMA, as I have. There are a few that I have been especially proud of for other reasons. Not for their exploits inside the cage, but for the transformations they were able to make in their personal lives as a result of being a part of the show. I have seen drug addicts quit drugs, gang-bangers quit banging, and dead-beats figure out there was more to life than sitting on a couch.
FOO: The UCE is no more, but from its ashes rose the Ultimate Combat now owned by Mike Memmott. What’s your new role in the company and has it been a lot less stressful than your role before?
MIKE: I find it very interesting that you have killed off the UCE. In fact, in preparation for this interview, I read a few articles on your web site. UCE was referred to as the ‘Now defunct’ UCE. I take exception to that. Much to the chagrin of other promoters in town-who by the way will sink to the lowest professional ethics imaginable in trying to steal some of my TV contracts, UCE is still alive and well. We recently were picked up by Al Jazeera sports, putting our brand all over the Middle East. We have new deals in the works for wider distribution in Canada, and all over Europe. UCE is not even close to being defunct. We are not doing live events currently because our athletic commission is run by a bunch of people that have crooked agendas. Rich Montenez has done everything in his power to run me out of businessm in effort to help further the efforts of his son’s organization. Bill Colbert is just his puppet. To answer your question, I have absolutely no role in the operation of Mike Memmott’s organization. He is a friend of mine and has asked me for advice from time to time, but that is the extent of it. I produce the fights he promotes for air on television, and distribute them. He has nothing whatsoever to do with what I do, and I with what he does. My wife acts as matchmaker for him, and she too will ask me for advice in terms of match-ups, but that’s about it. There are no ashes for anything to rise up from, although the image of such ashes may appeal to some in their minds.
FOO: I noticed that the radio show is no longer on ESPN 700AM but on 1280AM. What prompted that move?
MIKE: 1280 THE ZONE is also on FM at 104.7 FM….More listeners, better radio station. Just made sense.
FOO: You have interviewed a lot of well-known MMA stars. Which was your favorite interviewee?
MIKE: By far, Don Frye…..dude was hilarious!!!! I hear he’s making a comeback. He will have to lay off the sauce if he wants to do that.
FOO: What are your thoughts on the future of MMA?
MIKE: The future of MMA is bright. The sport is growing by leaps and bounds. Between my new gym in Draper, and the TV show, I’m happy to be a part of it.
FOO: When will the new season of the Ultimate Combat begin?
MIKE: That is a Mike Memmott question. You guys should interview him for your site. He’s a great guy, and just wants to help the sport grow despite having to work with a commission that appears hell-bent on seeing it otherwise.
FOO: Who are some of the fighters that we, the MMA fan, should keep an eye out for?
MIKE: Keep your eye out for a fighter by the name of Gunnar Legas. Have you seen this kid???? Google him. If he decides to become a fighter….WATCH OUT!
FOO: You were once a Kickboxing champ. Is there one more fight left in Mike Stidham or have you retired the gloves for good?
MIKE: Any time the Baby Gorilla wants to strap a pair on (Gloves that is), I would relish the idea. PEACE!
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